Leading Adults Toward a Better Tomorrow

Melissa Terbrueggen

Cindy Wadsworth

Carol Rayburn Cofer

Workforce Development Division Director for the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission

Felicia Mabuza- Suttle

Concurrent Session:  Dare to Live Your Dream


Businesswoman and talk show host, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle, is an international award-winning entrepreneur, an inspirational speaker, an author, and a philanthropist. She is President and co-owner of Leadership Success International, LLC, an organization that specializes in executive leadership
training and business communications. Mabuza- Suttle is one of the founding members and shareholders of Pamodzi Investment Holdings. The South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) also named her among the “100 Great South Africans.” Felicia, as she is known on television, is host of Conversations with Felicia, a talk show on The Africa Channel in the US. In South Africa, she hosted the popular The Felicia Show.   She is author of Dare to Dream, her memoir describing how she answered Nelson Mandela’s call to all South Africans living abroad to come back home to help build a new democracy. Her new book, Live Your Dream, is an inspirational book based on quotes and experiences that will help propel you to your own success.

Concurrent Session Presenters

Carol Rayburn Cofer is the Workforce Development Division Director for the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission. As Workforce Development Division Director, she supervises staff responsible for the daily management of programs funded under the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as well as other workforce development initiatives in the 12 county Northeast Georgia region. Mrs. Cofer began working with Commission in 1982. She has been the director of the job training/workforce development division since June 1994. She serves as President of the Georgia WIOA Directors’ Council and is a past president of the Southeastern Employment and Training Association and a 2012 Graduate of the Georgia Academy of Economic Development. Carol serves on several local advisory committees including the Athens Clarke Literacy Council, the Athens Community Career Academy and the Athens Technical College’s Clarke County Literacy Advisory Committee. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from West Georgia College in 1982. She and her husband Stuart, reside in Oconee County and have 4 children.

Kenny Adkins

Holly Free

Concurrent Session:  Apprenticeships in Non-Credit Programming





Davia Rose Lassiter

Concurrent Session:  Bullseye - Target Marketing


Davia Rose Lassiter is an award-winning communications professional and marketing strategist with experience in publication management, journalism, graphic design, social media and public relations. She is the Director of Marketing for KSU's College of Continuing and Professional Education. After earning her MA from UGA's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, she used her talents working for a variety of newspapers, magazines, websites and nonprofit organizations. 



WIOA Funding at its Best

A summit style presentataion

Local Workforce Development Areas are the gateway to workforce and training resources in the form of federal grant funds through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  LWDAs work closely with businesses and training entities to determine workforce needs and to develop training solutions.  During this session, you will hear from WorkSource Georgia on how to access the funds, and hear from three training providers on how they are leveraging the federal funds to help address critical workforce shortages.


​The panel consists of 

Carol Rayburn-Cofer - Northeast Georgia Regional Commission

​​Kathleen Kosmoski - Ogeechee Technical College

James WIlburn - Georgia Tech

David Mihuta - Freightliner


Keynote Speaker

Concurrent Session Presenter
Charles Marshall


Keynote address:  Real Heroes Don’t Wear Spandex
How to positively impact the lives of others without wearing a costume


Concurrent Session:  The SERVE Method™
Creating Success and Encouraging Teamwork with Extraordinary Customer Service


Charles is able to reinforce his humor with poignant insights and salient strategies that your audience members will immediately connect with. He is adept at engaging his audience’s attention with humor and then driving his point home with a powerful and potent message.

Charles is the author of the modern day motivational classic Shattering the Glass Slipper, whose central message is that success is available for all who harness, develop, and apply their Seven Powers.

Charles is the founder and president of M Power Resources, a company dedicated to providing growth resources for business and individuals. He has over 20 years of full-time experience as a motivational speaker and comedian and is recognized amongst meeting planners as one of the best humorous keynote speakers for any corporate event.​

Jeffrey Arnott

Concurrent Session:  How to use Elevate and Educate from COABE to strengthen your advocacy needs


​Jeff is the Director of Adult & Community Education with Brevard Public Schools.  He also serves as the Region 3 Representative for COABE.



Samantha Gurski

Concurrent Session:  How to Run a Summer Camp Without Losing Your Mind


Samantha K. Miller Gurski is a mouthful, so feel free to call her Sam. Hired in February 2016 as the events manager for Columbus State University Continuing & Professional Education, she increased revenue from events and rentals by 18% over four months. She transitioned to Program Coordinator in July 2016, where she now plans adult open enrollment courses, customized business training, and CSU's award-winning summer camp Activ8. A long-time believer in the benefits of lifelong learning, she is a LERN Certified Program Planner, holds a BA in philosophy from the University of South Carolina, and is currently in graduate school at CSU pursuing a master's degree in organization leadership. We all know that CE professionals don't have spare time, but if she did, she'd spend it with her best friend and husband Justin, drinking wine while watching him cook, or in bed cuddling with their four rescue dogs--Fatso, Candy, Windy, and Roadie. Adopt don't shop.




James R. Wilburn

Georgia Tech

Luncheon Speaker

Jason O'Rouke


Luncheon Presentation:  Trends in GA Georgia 2030.2.0


Jason directs the Chamber’s internal think tank, the Georgia Chamber Center for Competitiveness, and also handles federal affairs.  Prior to joining the Chamber, Jason worked as a consultant on political campaigns of all sizes in Georgia and Alabama.  He was the Political Director of the 2012 Non-Metro Atlanta T-SPLOST referendum, as well as the campaign manager for the successful 2012 Georgia Charter Schools constitutional amendment. He previously served in the Washington D.C. office of Congressman Doug Collins, and began his career with the Council for Quality Growth.  He currently serves on the Alumni Board of the University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs. He lives in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta with a beagle named Roger.

Kathleen Kosmoski

Ogeechee Technical College

 Kathleen Kosmoski is the Director for Continuing Education and Industry Training at Ogeechee Technical College. In this role, Ms. Kosmoski is responsible for all non-credit programs and training for the college including public classes as well as customized training with private entities. Over the past six years, she has worked with local businesses and industries to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate their training needs. Ms. Kosmoski has developed numerous partnerships throughout the region to maximize resources for developing the local workforce.
Ms Kosmoski has a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Science degree from Purdue University. She currently serves as the President for the Georgia Adult Education Association, which is tasked with promoting and developing adult and continuing education to create a more educated and trained workforce in Georgia.Type your paragraph here.

Dr. James Wilburn is the Director for Military Academic Programs for Georgia Tech Professional Education.   In this role, Wilburn serves as the university’s liaison for military personnel, and works to develop and identify programs beneficial to the career advancement of military members, veterans, and their family members.  Most recently, Dr. Wilburn has developed the Veterans Education Training and Transition (VET2) program which focuses on assisting service members transition from the military to the civilian workforce.  Prior to joining the Georgia Institute of Technology, Wilburn was the program director and Professor of Military Science at Vanderbilt University. He has also served as a course director, operations officer, and instructor at the United States Military Academy (West Point) and served for 22 years in the United States Army.  Wilburn earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from New Mexico State University, a master’s degree in Management at Colorado Technical University, a master’s in Applied Sport Science/Exercise Physiology from Indiana University, and a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Vanderbilt University. He is a graduate of Leadership Savannah and Leadership Southeast Georgia, and is a member of the Georgia State Workforce Development Board (SWDB).

Ann Sechrist

Concurrent Session: The Georgia Retraining Tax Credit


Ann is the Director of Economic Development for Gwinnett Technical College. She has been with Gwinnett Technical College for 17 years serving the business community. In her role she works closely with Gwinnett County’s business and industry providing customized training.  She is also responsible for two State economic programs in Gwinnett and North Fulton - Georgia Quick Start and the Georgia Retraining Tax Credit.  Ann serves on the Georgia Department of Labor Employer Committee, Quick Start Advisory Board, Partnership Gwinnett, and Gwinnett Senior Leadership. Ann is a Certified Economic Developer Trainer and a graduate of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. Ann has received many awards, most recently the 2017 Partnership Gwinnet Influence Award for a business leader who plays a key leadership role in their company/ community and strives to transform some part of the community through their career, volunteerism, organizations participation and/or everyday life.

Cher Brister

​​Concurrent Session:  Partnership Power: Elevate Your Professional  Relationships to Grow Your CE Programs


Cher Brister is the Director of Green Technologies at Gwinnett Technical College. She has been at Gwinnett Tech since 2006 and has worked as an Instructor, Program Coordinator and Program Director. She not only manages the Building Operator Certification Program for the state of Georgia, but she is also responsible for Continuing Education and Business and Industry training in the North Fulton service area. In addition to her role on the Board of Directors for GAEA, she serves on the board for Amana Academy in Alpharetta and Atlanta Recycles.

Closing Session Speaker 

​Dr. Earl Suttle

Dr. Earl Suttle is the Founder and Chairman of Leadership Success International, LLC, an international training and consulting company based in Atlanta, GA, that specializes in working with businesses and organizations to increase their profits and productivity through developing their people.  ​He earned his Doctorate in Addiction Studies. As a business consultant and dynamic entertaining keynote professional speaker, Dr. Suttle delivers numerous presentations throughout the year in the United States and South Africa. He is a best-selling author of five books with Dr. John Hubbard.   All books have received rave reviews. He also has produced a number of CD’s and DVD’s on leadership and professional and personal development. “Empowerment through education and enthusiasm” is the mission statement of his company.