The Chair Academy

Worldwide Leadership Development For College and University Leaders

Pre-Conference Skillbuilding Workshops

The Chair Academy offers each conference participant, an expanded Conference experience. For $125.00, conference participants can attend a full day, pre-conference skillbuilding workshop. These day-long workshops can provide you with essential skills and knowledge, that participants can can bring back to their organizations.


Presented by Bill Lamb, Kirkwood Community College

The workshop will present a variety of strategies for new front line administrators, including chairs, directors, deans, and other organizational leaders. Activities throughout the day will help participants define their role as leaders and share strategies to develop cohesive teams.

Topics will include:

• understanding leadership versus management in organizations
• understanding yourself and how you work with others
• skills for building teams and working with diverse work styles
• time management and work best practices
• recognizing and managing conflict
• adapting to and guiding organizational change

  • The activities will involve small group interaction and allow time for sharing strategies as well as applying new methods to real work examples. The afternoon session will encourage the sharing of “successful practices" through guided group discussions. Participants will receive a variety of written materials to use as guides and references, and information related to the Academy for Leadership Development will be shared.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Bill Lamb, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

Bill Lamb is the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Until 2007, Bill was the Dean of Liberal Arts and Distance Learning at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS, where he served in the role of assistant dean, department chair, and writing teacher. He received his PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in 1984.  His Master of Arts degree is in English literature from Pittsburg State University and his Bachelor’s degree is from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Lamb has received numerous awards including the Paul Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award in 2011.  He is active in his local Rotary club and several community organizations.  Additionally, he is a member of the Leadership Editorial Board and a member of the Iowa Liberal Arts Curriculum Articulation council.  He is a member of the STEMhub Regional advisory group, and serves as the treasurer for the Oak Creek Homes Association. He is also a representative to the League for Innovation Board Representative group.  Dr. Lamb has a number of publications and is a frequent presenter at international and regional conferences and workshops.  For the last seven years, he has also served as a reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.


Presented by Candace Croft, Tabankhu and Keith Smith, Kaplan University

Consider this:  You are boarding a trans-Atlantic flight and peek into the cockpit.  Who would you rather see at the controls:  Lucille Ball or Captain Sullivan?  Precisely.  You want someone who is expert at piloting their craft, a pilot who can stay on-course, successfully navigate any conditions that arise, and arrive at the destination safely.  The same is true for leaders!  As with airline travel, a leader’s day is subject to delays, rescheduling, pat-downs (enter HR), midflight adjustments, turbulence, encountering flocks of geese (although we call them turkeys), whining, pressurized cabins, cross winds, having the back of your seat kicked  … You get it.  Minus a flight plan aligned to one’s destination, even a great leader’s dreams remain flights of fancy. 

Join Keith and Candace for this fun, interactive workshop that takes the evolution of authentic leadership to new heights.  Topics include self-awareness, the effects of various conditions on one’s craft (self), and tools for pre- and mid-flight adjustments to stay on-course as a person and leader.  The workshop will include interactive discussion, stories, multimedia, and hands-on activities.

Participants in this workshop will:

  • • Apply the principles of mindful self-awareness for greater self and team wellness.
  • • Apply the number one navigational focus that authentically lifts all leader-pilots to greater heights.
  • • File a personal flight plan for success.
  • • Identify, anticipate, and adjust for common challenges that sabotage flights (your self and leadership). 
  • • Create a personal core aviation instrument panel to keep your progress level and on-course.

About the Presenters:

Dr. Candace Croft is Founder/Chief Executive of Tabankhu where she provides Soul Ninja™ Intuitive Coaching, speaking events, and consulting services focusing on mindfulness and energy alignment for personal and professional leadership.  A member of the International Institute of Complementary Therapists, she also is a registered natural healer and certified hypnosis practitioner, EFT advanced practitioner, and aromatherapist.  She developed the school of unity psychology, designed the PSI-BETA-BLOCK-R8 empowerment method, and is the author of four books, including Soul Gardening: The Rooting Years.  She has served as faculty, Dean, and VPAA in higher education institutions, designed the Distance Education Leadership Masters program at the UW-Platteville, managed an urban wellness center, and has more than three decades of experience as a therapist/coach/energy worker.  More information can be found at and LinkedIn.

Dr. Keith Smith is a Vice President at Kaplan University. His experience includes serving on the Boards of Elsevier Publishing, the American Medical Technologists Association, the Distance Education Leadership Masters at the UW-Platteville, Youth Dynamics, and the Eaton Leadership Foundation.  He received his Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Doctorate of Education from Seattle University, and a Master of Business Administration from City University. He has taught graduate leadership and organizational change courses domestically and internationally, is a frequent presenter in the leadership and personal growth arena, and has been a consultant with leaders in high profile companies and universities, including Boeing, Microsoft, and Western Governor’s University.


Presented by Clifton Taulbert, Freemount Corporation, Tulsa Oklahoma

This Workshop will give each leader/participant an opportunity to choose what they perceive to be the top two issues facing community college leadership today and the strategic preparedness required to meet those challenges. Secondly, we will take a comparative look at the top seven challenges facing community college leadership as determined by external observers to ignite the conversation. The “outcomes” from this early activity will show up throughout the workshop day—guiding the workshop conversation ensuring alignment with real community colleges issues. The workshop will be very engaging and interactive with thought provoking activities and “outcomes” that will be of value upon the participants return to their respective institutions.

Their Day will involve Leader Teams working separately and together to maximize their storehouses of knowledge as they collectively see themselves as the “North Stars” to guide others into the required “New Think” dynamics. This concept of reflecting on LEADERSHIP SHIFTING came about as a result of our work with Mid-Stream Fortune 500 Pipeline Companies who because of the rapid changing dynamics within the oil and gas industry [Fracking & the early drastic drop in the pricing of a barrel of oil] had to accept the fact that they—The Leaders—had to alter their own leadership style-leading beyond the traditional styles—if they were to see their people respond creatively as was being demanded. Innovative and nimble became the order of the day. How do you get there… is the workshop.  Engaging activities will be supplemented by strategically chosen articles from Leader to Leader—an international leadership journal formerly published by the PETER DRUCKER INSTITUTE as well as several books published by the facilitator:  Shift Your Thinking: Win Where You Stand and Eight Habits of the Heart.

The “New Think Leadership" Outcomes:

• Understanding & Responding to the Dynamics of Turning Challenges into Opportunities
• How “Leaders” become the “North Star”  for their Teams
• Skills for Building Teams reflective of the “New Think Leadership”
• How to Ensure SUSTAINABILITY of Expended Efforts
• Discovery Strategies to Employ: Start, Stop, & Accelerate

About the Presenter:

Clifton L. Taulbert is the President and CEO of the Freemount Consulting Company and has consulted internationally for businesses, international schools and for community colleges throughout the United States. Taulbert a banker by profession saw his life shift to owning his own business with the publication and success of his first book, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored which became a major motion picture. Taulbert’s capture of the look and feel of community was received internationally. Taulbert now has fourteen books to his credit and is recognized internationally as an entrepreneur—from being on the team that introduced STAIRMASTER EXERCISE SYSTEM to the world and most recently as the President and CEO of AFRICAN BEAN COMPANY—the home of ROOTS JAVA COFFEE. Taulbert’s life is reflective of the necessity to embrace STRATEGIC PREPAREDNESS.


Presented by Lisa C. Gregory, Strengths Strategy, Inc.

We all share common human needs including the need to make a meaningful contribution, to be seen as unique and to be part of something larger than ourselves. In this interactive applied learning experience, you will learn how to identify and strategically use your uniqueness to create contribution and build effective partnerships with others to support that contribution. You will also begin to see the uniqueness of others in new ways which will transform both work and relationships.

Participants in this learning experience will:

• Develop strengths acuity—recognizing the unique language patterns of strengths, the needs of strengths, and effective and ineffective strengths use
• Leverage strengths to resolve problems, mitigate weakness and reduce toxicity
• Apply strengths strategies to low performance/energy activities – empowerment through an increase in time spent in the A+ zone (areas of high energy and high performance)
• Shift relationships towards interdependence by leveraging their own strengths and calling forth the strengths of others

The learning experiences will involve individual and small group interaction with a focus on applying new methods and understanding to real work examples.

This one-day workshop is built upon the work of Strengths Strategy, Inc. and their philosophies including: 

  • • High Energy and Performance which serves self and others does not happen by accident—it is a function of Knowledge, Skill, Passion, and Talent effectively applied to the situation, self, or others.
  • • There are specific Strengths STRATEGIES that empower sustained, fulfilling, positive energy and performance for self and others.  When applied, they lead to successful outcomes again and again.
  • • There are four domains of strength, each with their own contributions and needs.  When understood, the domains of strength become a lens through which high energy and performance can be created and sustained for self and others.
  • • Developing an awareness of the contributions, needs, triggers, and overuse patterns of strengths activates choice around the application of strengths—thus increasing the amount of time spent using talents in a way that lends itself to high Energy and Performance for self/others.

About the Presenter:

Lisa Chapman Gregory is the principal consultant, coach, training developer, facilitator and project manager for her own company, Coaching Matters. As part of her work, she is also a Strengths Strategist and certified strengths coach with Strengths Strategy; the premier strengths based performance improvement organization in North America. Lisa brings her business and leadership experience to her clients to help them improve performance, effectiveness and engagement.

With a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology (training design and development), and 14 years of business experience as a trainer, coach, advisor, entrepreneur and corporate leader, Lisa has broad and deep knowledge of the challenges facing top executives, employees, and managers as they strive to bring their best to an organization and provide value. She has dual passions for improving the effectiveness of organizations and enabling individuals to make a unique contribution.

Formerly, Lisa served as the Vice President of Product Development and before that, as Vice President of North America Instructor Relations for Learning Tree International. Learning Tree specializes in Leadership and IT Training. In her roles, Lisa worked with over 300 instructor-consultants who create and deliver Learning Tree’s 250+ courses to ensure high quality instructor-led learning events. In her previous roles with Learning Tree, Lisa has also managed the custom course creation team and consulted with the sales team and clients to build custom solutions to performance and leadership challenges.

Prior to joining Learning Tree, Lisa founded and ran Lisa Chapman Learning, a for-profit company serving individuals, small businesses, non-profit organizations and educational groups. The company focused on teaching individuals and organizations how to hone public speaking skills and how to design, develop and deliver webinar and teleseminar-based training.

Lisa has extensive experience in learning and development, at both strategic and implementation levels. Before starting her own company full time and then joining Learning Tree, she worked as a Senior Director with the Learning and Development Roundtable, a membership-based, for profit research practice serving some of the world’s pre-eminent corporations with strategic and best practice research in the area of learning and development. The Learning and Development Roundtable is a division of the Corporate Executive Board located in Washington, DC. She also worked with recruiting and sales executives through the Recruiting Roundtable and Sales Executive Council at the Corporate Executive Board.

Lisa joined the Corporate Executive Board in 2005. Her primary responsibilities were to present, facilitate and lead discussions of the Roundtables/Council’s research findings at annual executive retreats, staff briefings, and on-site presentations through teleconferences with member organizations. She also played a significant role in the creation of products – teleseminars, books and white papers – for members of the Roundtables/Council; as well as coaching and developing public speakers and speechwriters at the Corporate Executive Board.

Before joining the Corporate Executive Board, Lisa worked for Delta Air Lines for seven and a half years in operations and as a training design manager. While Delta, she gained experience in both facilitation and learning design.

Lisa graduated from Georgia State University with a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology and has a Bachelor’s of Science from Brigham Young University. A native of Northern Virginia, she has lived in Boston, Jerusalem, Tokyo, New York City, Atlanta and Washington Dc. She now resides in Northern VA.