Speakers

Meet the JLDC lineup

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Eddie Slowikowski

Premier General Session

Whether it’s as a Gold Medal winner for the USA Track & Field Team, a 3-time NCAA All-American, or the world’s most dynamic professional speaker, Eddie knows a thing or two about thriving. Through years of training as an athlete and running his own speaking business, he knows what it takes to be elite. Eddie has always had the can-do spirit of an entrepreneur, in all walks of life. Best of all, Eddie can channel that sense of accomplishment through interactive storytelling to audiences everywhere. He will make you laugh, cry, dance and learn… all in one presentation. It’s a rollercoaster journey like no other.

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Stephen Mackey

Kickoff Session

From high school football teams to high-profile conferences, Stephen Mackey brings an empowering, inspiring, and equipping message to audiences of all backgrounds. Drawing from his own life story and the stories of people he meets across the country, Mackey has an uncanny ability to authentically connect with his audience through humor, wisdom, and passion, and usher them to the next level of character and performance. Mackey’s life was changed by the mentors in his life, who challenged him to “Take Responsibility. Period.” for his life. This single challenge has fueled everything Mackey has done in his life, and is the foundation of his work today.

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Jessica Meuse

Featured Entertainment

Jessica Meuse is anAmerican performer from Slapout, Alabama. She has wowed audiences since the age of 10 and plays several instruments (guitar, piano, and classical violin). At 20, Jessica won the statewide artist showcase, Stars of Alabama. A spot on Season 3 of NBC’s The Voice followed, where she made it to the blind auditions and was on Vans Warped Tour. Jessica was then selected by American Idol’s judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr., for Season 13 of the TV series where she rose to be a Top 4 National Finalist. 

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Jess Ekstrom

THRIVE Session

Jess is the founder and CEO of Headbands of Hope, a company she started as a junior in college. For every headband sold, a headband is given to a child with cancer. The company has donated over 200,000 headbands to every children's hospital in the United States and 15 countries. Jess is also a professional speaker, writer for Entrepreneur and curator of Weekly Wink -- a positivity email sent every Wednesday. She's also the founder of Mic Drop Workshop, an online course with the mission of empowering more women to share their message as a speaker.

Bobby Jon

Bobby Jon Drinkard

THRIVE Session

Bobby Jon Drinkard is a native of Troy, Alabama. Upon graduating from college, Bobby Jon moved to Los Angeles, to pursue a career in entertainment. While in L.A., he had the opportunity to model and walk the runway for clients such as Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and Ralph Lauren. However, his claim to fame came as a contestant on the CBS hit reality television show “Survivor.” After moving back home to Alabama, Bobby Jon began hosting and co-producing “On The Job”, a television show featuring jobs all over Alabama. Drinkard now serves as a training manager for AIDT and chairs the Alabama CTE Leadership Council.