Leadership on Demand
Leadership on Demand was the theme attributed to the conference taking place in 2021 via Zoom. In 2021 the conference had around 60 delegates comprised of Texas high school juniors and seniors. This was the first year that Clifton Strengths was not be apart of the conference material.
The speakers who attended the 2021 Conference were:
Justin Romack works for Texas A&M University in the Disability Services Office. He is also a program coordinator. Justin has a degree in Journalism and Communications from Stephen F. Austin University. He has a love of storytelling and provides content strategy and development for brands, businesses and organizations. He also has a passion for music and spends some of his free time playing the drums. At one point in time he played the drums for Sharna Strange, a Christian singer/songwriter. He lives in College Station with his wife and children.
Shelly Millwee joins Make A Wish Texas Gulf Coast with more than 14 years of experience building strategic alliances for leading nonprofits and corporations. Most recently, Shelly spent a decade with the American Heart Association, which she has led and developed innovative revenue and marketing strategies alongside senior fundraising staff to achieve national benchmarks for the organization in the Greater Houston area.
In 2019, Shelly lead the Houston team alongside the Executive Director and Senior Vice President to a record-breaking fundraising and health impact year. One of her proudest accomplishments was securing a $3 million, multiyear corporate sponsorship which led the Houston division to cross the $10 million threshold for the first time ever. She has received numerous American Heart Association awards including the prestigious Cass Wheeler and Rome Betts awards in recognition for fundraising and collaboration achievements.
While Shelly has built her career in the nonprofit sector, she began in the marketing and public relations sector where she developed strong relationships in the retail and entertainment industries at Dancie Perugini Ware Public Relations (DPWPR). During her time there, Shelly honed her skills in crisis and reputation management, strategic public relations and communications working with clients including City of Houston, Fidelity Investments, Houston Symphony, H-E-B, and Simon Property Group.
In her free time, Shelly serves as Captain on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Trail Ride Committee. Shelly holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations, with a minor in English. In college, Shelly served as a part time Wish Coordinator for Make A Wish, which she credits as solidifying her desire to build a career in the nonprofit sector.
She lives in Klein, TX with her husband, Jacob, of 11 years and two children, six-year-old Piper and four-year-old Brooks.
Shayla Rivera is an Aerospace Engineer & former Rocket Scientist with NASA turned Corporate Trainer, Int’l Speaker, TEDx Speaker, TV & Radio Host, Emcee, Comedian & Writer. As of 2017, Shayla is also Director of the Engineering X program and Professor of Practice for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. With a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M, Shayla spent 5 years working with NASA. From there she moved onto corporate training, motivational speaking and stand-up comedy. For 27 years she has applied her humor & expertise as a speaker to help non-profits & educational programs. Clients include corporations, national organizations and schools around the world, from middle school to college for students, parents & faculty. Keynotes include subjects that span Inspiration, Motivation, Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, Education, STEM Education, Awareness, Stress Management, Communication, and Self Growth, always using the power of humor and her life story. Shayla has hosted award gala’s and fundraisers, appeared on Comedy Central and HBO, but she is most
honored to have entertained U.S. troops around the globe, including Iraq. With numerous awards & accolades throughout her engineering, speaking & comedy careers Shayla is not easily placed in one category, she defines her own. Shayla’s number one goal is to inspire through laughter.”
She is most honored to have had the opportunity to entertain our service men and women around the globe.
Dr. Jennifer Strong ’02 (Dr. Jen) is an Associate Professor of Leadership in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. Upon graduation with her M.S. degree from TAMU, she was hired as an Assistant Lecturer and served in that capacity for two years. She completed her Ph.D. at Oklahoma State and taught at the University of Georgia. In 2010, she returned to TAMU as an Assistant Professor to follow in her mentor’s footsteps and help teach and grow amazing Aggie leaders. She has 13 years of dedicated service to the students of TAMU. Since returning to TAMU, Dr. Jen has taught eight different upper-level undergraduate courses; two of which she developed and four she redeveloped to include innovative teaching techniques and high-impact learning experiences. In the last 11 years, she has taught over 6,000 Aggies how to be effective leaders and strong consumers of leadership. Dr. Jen has published 28 peer- reviewed articles and presented over 75 peer-reviewed conference papers focused on leadership, teaching methodology, and learning impacts for undergraduate students. Dr. Strong consistently receives excellent course evaluations (4.85) above her departmental average, which is above the college average. She has been awarded seven teaching awards while at Texas A&M. She has won the USDA Excellence in College Teaching- Early Career Award, COALS Gail W. and David Marion Teaching Award, North American College Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Award of Merit, Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Teaching (College Level) Award, CTE Montague Scholar, COALS Early Career Teaching Award, and CTE Faculty Fellow. Dr. Strong has worked to help other faculty who teach Aggies by developing the TAMU Service-Learning Fellows with CTE and currently works with the Critical Thinking Fellows program in COALS.
Tanner Cedrone ’21 is serving as the Corps Commander for the 2020-2021 school year. He is an undergraduate student from Lewisville, Texas working towards a B.S. in Political Science and a minor in History. Upon graduation, he will commission into the United States Air Force and begin pilot training shortly thereafter. In his cadet career, he have been awarded the Reserve Officer’s Association Award and title of Distinguished Graduate at Air Force ROTC Field Training for his leadership ability, academic performance, and military aptitude. He also serves as a member of the Ross Volunteer Company, the official honor guard for the State of Texas.
Outside of Texas A&M he has worked and led in youth ministry for the past eight years through Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, Texas. His faith has launched him into a passionate life of service, mentorship, and constant learning. He is striving to build on these foundations of leadership in order to, first, challenge himself to be the best man he can be, and to second, challenge other people to become the pinnacle versions of themselves. Apart from his duties, he enjoys working out, doing anything outside, and spending time with close friends either on the disc golf course, or on the virtual battlegrounds of video games.