Conference deemed ‘one of the best’

Published 11:00 pm Monday, February 10, 2014

The 13th Annual Leadership Conference Celebrating African American History Month at Troy University over the weekend was hailed as one of the best ever.

Shelia Jackson, Troy public relations director, said every session – “the opening, the plenary and closing sessions –were as good as any in the 13 years of the conference. From beginning to end, this leadership conference was one of the best.”

Dr. Bernice King, chief executive officer, The King Center, Atlanta, was the keynote speaker for the opening session Friday night.

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General Session speakers on Saturday morning were the Honorable Steven L. Reed, Dr. John Ed Mathison, Dr. Marquita Davis, Lauren Cole and Zarif Roberson. The Honorable Penny Brown Reynolds, judge, author, television personality, entrepreneur and ordained minister, closed the conference on Saturday afternoon.

“If there’s a better group of speakers on the subject of leadership and a better group of role models, I don’t know where you would find them,” Jackson said. “Six hundred and seventy-five people registered for the conference. About 200 university students participated. Every participant should have gone away from the conference empowered to lead.”

Octavia Jones of Troy attended all sessions of the leadership conference and agreed that it was one of the best.

“And, I’ve attend all of them except one,” Jones said.

“What I enjoyed so much was that the speakers were all down to earth people. I could relate to them and to what they had to say. It was a spirit-filled weekend.”

Jones said King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., spoke of her father’s legacy.

“She is dedicated to carrying on the things that he stood for,” Jones said. “Judge Penny gave her testimony and talked about where she came from. She said you should move forward – not look back to yesterday and tomorrow’s not here. You’ve got to live for today. She was an inspiring speaker.”

Don Crapps of Troy attended the opening and closing sessions and said both speakers were excellent.

“It was a privilege to get to hear those two women,” he said.

“They both challenged their audiences to think and then do. They were inspiring. They motivated you to get out and make life better for everyone.”

Crapps, laughingly, said he was motivated “to come back to next year’s conference.”

Jackson expressed appreciation to all of those who made the 13th Annual Leadership Conference such a great success.

“It took a lot of people to make this conference possible and to each and every one, thank you,” she said.

The African-American Leadership Conference was presented by Troy University and the City of Troy.

Primary sponsors of the conference were Walmart, SD James Evangelistic Association and Troy Bank and Trust.