2017 Keynote Speakers


Steve Gilliland

Steve Gilliland is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on only 219 men and women worldwide since 1977. Recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA and Blue Collar Radio.

In addition to being one of the most sought-after and top-rated speakers in the world, he is a prolific, accomplished author, evidenced by three of his books—Enjoy The Ride, Making a Difference and Hide Your Goat— perennially making the publisher’s bestseller list and his being named Author of the Year. He has also been recognized by Who’s Who for Speakers and Business Professionals.

He built a multimillion-dollar company from the ground up, which the Pittsburgh Business-Times named one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the region. Speaking to more than 250,000 people a year, he influences the lives of millions through his presentations, books, CDs and DVDs.

Hide Your Goat: Strategies to Stay Positive When Negativity Surrounds You

Our fast-paced and stress-filled schedules open the gate to allow people and circumstances every opportunity to "get our goat." HIDE YOUR GOAT puts into perspective how your daily life intersects with people of diverse backgrounds, opinions and personalities. In this eye-opening session, Steve Gilliland shows how to avoid being robbed of the opportunity to perform at peak performance because of negativity. Key Takeaways: How to head off conflict when negativity runs rampant & how to improve your own outlook; How to deal with by-products of bad attitudes; How to assign the right value to every situation & not give people permission to ruin your day.


Chef Curtis G Aikens Sr.

Chef Aikens is passionate about incorporating the tools to build winners in his kitchen, using similar tactics he used as a coach and in the classroom. He will provide an engaging and interactive cooking demonstration, while touching on how to teach and coach your staff in your kitchen to build a winning program. His 30 plus years of experience has taught him ways to bring out the best in yourself, your kitchen staff and those dining at your establishments. Bring any and all questions you may have, and Chef Aikens will help guide you to be your own winning ticket!