Business culture catalyst, former Hard Rock International Executive, and author of Culture That Rocks!
A Training & Development veteran for 30+ years, Jim was formerly the head of the “School of Hard Rocks”, running point on all global learning & development functions for Hard Rock International.
Jim Knight’s role at Hard Rock involved many facets of organizational training, including creating/managing all staff and management training materials & programs, facilitating its corporate university, overseeing management training locations, producing training videos, directing company e-Learning initiatives, facilitating leadership transitions and traveling to property locations to deliver on-site classes & measure standards.
Jim has put his experience and creativity to work, which has consistently developed cutting-edge training concepts. During his time with the Hard Rock brand, his team won coveted Telly Awards in 2000 for their “guest service” video, took top honors in 2007 for their “menu rollout” video, garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Reengineering Training” and won Brandon Hall’s Gold Best in Class Award for their “Service Recovery” e-Learning course. Jim Knight was also recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries & businesses.
Jim has since been featured in Forbes Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Business News Daily and Fox Business News.
Jim is the Founder & Owner of Knight Speaker, which positions him to facilitate at any association or company event, in any industry, as a keynote or breakout speaker...and has been listed on the Top 10 Most Booked/Highest Rated Speakers list in 2016.
Jim has partnered with another rockstar speaker/author, Brant Menswar, and together have created Certified Rock Star, a leadership training workshop and Thoughts That Rock, a 30-min leadership podcast.
Jim Knight is also the best-selling author of Culture that Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture, now in its 2nd edition, which was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “5 Books That Will Help You Transform How You Do Business”.
Multicultural marketing and business trends expert, founder of nationally recognized ad agency McDonald Marketing
Kelly McDonald is a marketing and advertising specialist and considered one of the nation’s top experts in consumer trends, generational differences and leveraging the customer experience. She is the founder of McDonald Marketing, which has twice been named one of the “Top Ad Agencies in the U.S.” by Advertising Age magazine and ranked as one of the fastest-growing independently-owned companies in the U.S. by Inc. Magazine.
She has been featured on CNBC, in Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, on CNNMoney.com and on SiriusXM Radio. Her client experience includes iconic brands such as Toyota, State Farm, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Miller-Coors and Sherwin-Williams.
In addition to her extensive public speaking experience, she is also the author of three bestselling books:
Her latest, "How to Work With & Lead People Not Like You", was #9 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2017. Her first, “How to Market to People Not Like You”, was #7 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2011. Her second book, “Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You”, was #5 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2013.
Former Senior Executive at Southwest Airlines & Renowned Training & Development Expert
Jason Young has been called a “rare breed” when it comes to developing leaders and customer service initiatives. During his 10 years at Southwest Airlines, the airline consistently rated No. 1 in customer service and employee satisfaction, and the former senior executive was a key driver in creating and developing the company’s innovative training programs, successful leadership and customer service culture that have become renowned in the business world today.
Driven by the need to extend his unique insight in leadership development to others outside Southwest, Young separated from the pack in 1998, when he left the airline to launch his own consulting practice to focus on corporate training and development services, specializing in leadership, customer service and team building. Today, as president of LeadSmart, Inc., Young shares his vision in developing successful corporate cultures and workplace environments with forward-thinking companies, including Starbucks, Radio Shack, Coca Cola and Tyson Foods. He has captured his philosophy of creating high performance cultures in his recent book, The Culturetopia Effect.
Capturing the innovative strategies and tactics he created at Southwest Airlines, Young offers practical insights and strategies that can be implemented immediately. His presentations and training programs are in demand for audiences ranging from senior level executives to frontline employees. Participants are treated to a compelling experience that will change the way they view themselves, their customers and the company for which they work.
New York Times Bestselling Author & Contracting Business Expert
Weldon Long is a successful entrepreneur, sales expert and author of the NY Times bestseller, The Power of Consistency – Prosperity Mindset Training for Sales and Business Professionals (Wiley). In 2003, he walked out of a homeless shelter and built an Inc. 5000 company generating cumulative sales of over $20,000,000 within just 60 months. In 2009, his company was selected as one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.
Today, Weldon Long is one of the nation’s most powerful speakers and a driven motivator who teaches others the Sales and Prosperity Mindset philosophies that catapulted him from desperation and poverty to a life of wealth and prosperity. Weldon has been featured on numerous national and regional television programs, including Fox News Channel, First Business Network and Chicago’s Very Own WGN.
Mr. Long has successfully used his signature program, The Power of Consistency, to help hundreds of companies and thousands of sales professionals radically improve their sales results. Weldon holds a bachelor’s degree and an MBA in Management. He is honored to have served some of America’s finest companies, including FedEx, The Franklin Covey Organization, Tom Hopkins International, Dex Media, Wells Fargo Bank, Pre-Paid Legal Services, Direct Energy/Clockwork Services, Mitsubishi Electric, Rheem, Goodman Manufacturing and the Carrier/Bryant Corporation.
President, ProfitSpark & Energy Design System, Inc.
Drew Cameron is America’s Most Sought-After Sales & Marketing Strategy and Success Adviser to Home Services Contractors, is president of both ProfitSpark (formerly HVAC Sellutions) and Energy Design Systems, LLC: the premier industry alliance developing leading-edge technology along with providing complementary marketing planning, budgeting, content and consultative support; and sales recruiting, education, coaching, consulting, and performance and profit enhancement for home services contractors.
Drew’s 41 years of experience in all facets of running a residential contracting business help companies implement effective lead generating marketing sales strategies to build multi-million-dollar profit-generating home services companies. Drew is a renowned author, educator, coach, consultant, inspirational/educational/”irritational”/aspirational speaker, software developer, industry philanthropist, and an International Consultant Award Winner.
Drew is also the president of the Ron Cameron Foundation, a Board member, an EGIA Foundation Board Trustee, a Contractor University Founder & Faculty member for the Electric & Gas Industries Association (EGIA), a member of Black Belt Contracting (BBC), and a member of Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).
President, EPC Training
Gary Elekes is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping others become more successful by sharing what he has learned over the past 3 decades working closely with all facets of the contracting industry. During his career, Gary has held senior management positions at Lennox and Service Experts. In 2000, Gary moved into entrepreneurship and started his training and consulting business EPC. Today, EPC continues to support growth oriented businesses aspiring to reach 20% EBIT. He also designed the very first web-based learning platform for the residential contracting industry, which acts as a support system for training and learning in HVAC and plumbing trades, and has over 5,000 subscribers.
In 2003, Gary began acquiring contracting firms with a focus on developing turn-around opportunities. He also opened and operated several start-up businesses. In 2010, he added web design/SEO and online marketing to his company portfolio starting iMarket Solutions as a co-founder. Gary graduated from Ohio State University with a BSBA and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business and Finance.
Best Selling Author and President of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, LLC
Steven Shallenberger understands the contractor world. He founded Synergy Companies in 1981, a successful energy services contractor, with offices throughout the State of California and is on the National Association of Energy Service Companies Board of Directors.
Steve has more than 40 years of experience as a successful business owner, trusted senior executive, professional corporate trainer, and best-selling author. He is the founder and president of Becoming Your Best Global Leadership. Steve and his team provide award winning training and keynotes helping teams and leaders tackle some of their greatest leadership challenges around the world.
As a young entrepreneur, Steve successfully built numerous organizations from the ground up. During those years, he continued his education at the Harvard Business School. Steve was also a trusted advisor for Stephen R. Covey. Steve was a key leader in Covey’s organization who helped build the world-renowned Covey Leadership Center. He led a stalwart team and was responsible for the development and distribution of the original Covey planner.
President & CEO, Aptora Corporation, Mr. HVAC LLC, RA Tax and Accounting Inc.
James is a successful entrepreneur and master mechanic whose accomplishments include being the founder of MrHVAC.com, the CEO and founder of Aptora, the President of RA Tax and Accounting and a partner with ProAmerican Investments.
James’ company MrHVAC.com is a website dedicated to improving the lives of contractors. It includes industry articles, specialized HVAC calculators, forms, templates and one of the most extensive operations manuals in the country. As the founder of Aptora corporation, he has created some of the most popular software programs in the service industry including Flat Rate Plus and Total Office Manager.
James is well known for his burning passion to help contractors and it shows in his unique speaking style. He has hosted management workshops all around the United States and has conducted onsite consulting since 1996 with hundreds of contractors.
President, RCI, llc and Scott Deming Speaking, Training & Consulting
Scott Deming is a highly accomplished senior executive with more than 30 years of success within a wide variety of industries. He leverages extensive brand development and strategic planning experience to improve an organization’s standing while implementing innovative solutions to support growth. Scott has proven his ability to build and motivate teams while developing unparalleled customer experience, innovation and leadership initiatives with his internationally acclaimed keynote presentations, training sessions and consulting arrangements.
Scott’s current clients include Disney, Apple, Toyota, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., McDonald's of Russia, Hershey Foods, Pfizer, Delta Airlines, Verizon Wireless, General Motors, Farm Credit Bank, AT&T, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Daikin Heating & Cooling.
Scott works closely with clients to identify core requirements and develops solutions with an emphasis on culture transformation, employee motivation and engagement, and corporate goal attainment, drawing on 30+ years of corporate experience. Key indicators of his success are represented by his training and workshop sessions that have been considered so impactful, that The Vision Council issued CXO Certification to all attendees.; his consultancy input to a national manufacturer recognized in supporting the company’s achievement of record sales figures; and assisting a Verizon Wireless subsidiary franchisee with customer service improvements which resulted in an 80% increase in sales.
Vice President, ProfitSpark
Russ Horrocks emerged as one of the most successful Comfort Advisors in America in the mid-90’s. Russ quickly took to sharing his unique knowledge of buyer psychology with sales forces across the country. He turned his profession into a passion, educating and coaching in-home sales and service advisors to understand the critical skills necessary to achieve results far exceeding personal mindset limitations and corporate expectations.
Most trainers preach about product and process. Russ teaches and coaches his sales and service protégés not only about what to do in the home and how to do to it, but more importantly, why. Why leads to a purpose allowing the people his students serve to build a strong connection based on a position of trust, confidence, competence and credibility. When matched with the creative execution of a process built to work with human nature and how people want to buy, it yields explosive growth.
Having mastered the sales process, in 2011 Russ joined with business development specialist, Drew Cameron, as Vice President of HVAC Sellutions to help clients enhance the performance of their entire business, and transcend growing one person or department at a time. Together they work in the trenches with their clients in every facet of building successful home services businesses.
Clients embrace Russ’ detailed holistic approach to assessing a company’s people, present state and potential. Drawing a blueprint for success, he collaborates with clients onsite, online, and on-the-phone to achieve operational excellence with a hands-on strategic approach to growing people and implementing profit-based processes and systems. Clients benefit from Russ’ 20 years of knowledge and national experience, along with his relentless pursuit of building happy, effective, top-performing professionals and developing a culture of success and achievement.
CEO & Executive Director of EGIA
Bruce Matulich as CEO of EGIA manages day-to-day operations, represents the Association in key state and national industry forums and regulatory proceedings and provides oversight of EGIA strategic growth initiatives. Bruce Matulich brings over 35 years of experience in leadership positions within the utility, energy services and home services industries and has been instrumental in developing, managing and implementing some of the most extensive resource efficiency, demand response and renewable energy programs in the country.
Bruce Matulich is also the Chairman and CEO of the EGIA Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charitable organization committed to educating, researching and developing the next generation of qualified workers for the home service industry.