Speakers to share insights on leadership

Published 3:00 am Thursday, February 4, 2016

The 2016 Leadership Conference at Troy University this weekend will feature three outstanding speakers for the Breakout Sessions on Saturday,

Kemba Smith Pradia, Sue Bell Cobb and Bishop S.D. James were the top choices as breakout speakers based on their wide range of expertise and appeal.

“All three of the breakout speakers are high profile individuals and are greatly respected in their fields,” said Shelia Jackson, public relations director for the City of Troy, Leadership Conference co-host with Troy University. “The Leadership Conference is honored to have them.”

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Pradia is an author with a real-life story to tell, Jackson said.

“In college, she got involved with the wrong crowd and became involved with a drug dealer,” Jackson said. “She was arrested and sentenced to 24 years in prison. President Bill Clinton granter her clemency and she only had to serve six and a half years.”

Pradia’s case drew national attention and helped gain support for the reversal of lengthy sentences for first-time, non-violent drug offenders.

Her story has been featured on CNN, Nightline and other television news programs and in print media including the New York Times, The Washington Post and People Magazine.

Sue Bell Cobb is a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and the first woman to hold that office in Alabama’s history.

Jackson said Cobb is a strong advocate for children and a dedicated public servant.

Cobb served as president of the Alabama Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and chaired the Children First Foundation, which is dedicated to helping make the lives and conditions of Alabama’s children a top priority through advocacy, awareness, and accountability.

“She has received numerous public, achievement and conservation awards,” Jackson said. “When looking for someone to speak about leadership, Sue Bell Cobb was at the top of the list.”

And, equally impressive, is the resume of Bishop S.D. James.

James is the founder, president, senior bishop and chief executive officer of the S.D. James Evangelistic Association and its Pentecostal churches, worldwide.

Jackson said James demonstrated great wisdom at an early age.

He was in the third grade by age seven.

He received his license to preach at the same age and began traveling alone as an evangelist on Trailway and Greyhound buses.

Dr. James has an inspiring story to tell,” Jackson said. “He is an outstanding motivational speaker. We are fortunate to have him as a breakout speaker for our 15th Annual Leadership Conference.”

The keynote speakers for the 2016 Leadership Conference are Juanita Abernathy and Jasmine Guy. Abernathy will speak at the opening session at 6:30 Friday at Sartain Hill. Guy will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon at noon on Saturday.

Tickets for the 2016 Leadership Conference are $30 for the weekend and include the closing luncheon on Saturday and a reception from 6 until 8 p.m. on Friday at the Johnson Center for the Arts.

The reception features the artwork of Alabama artists. Darius Hill and Scott Meyer.

Tickets may be purchased prior to Friday’s opening session online at troy.edu/leadershipconference or by calling the Troy Tourism and Public Relations Office at 334-670-2283 or on site at 113 North Market Street in Troy.