Leadership Conference opens tonight at Troy University

Published 4:41 pm Thursday, February 2, 2023

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The Congressman John R. Lewis Leadership Conference opens tonight at the Lamar P. Higgins Ballrooms on the campus of Troy University and will continue on Saturday with plenary sessions and close with the noon luncheon at the ballrooms.

The Leadership Challenge for the 2023 John Robert Lewis Leadership is: Healthy Body, Mind and Community.

Larry Thornton

The keynote speakers for the annual leadership conference are Larry Thornton, Sr., owner of Thornton Enterprises and, also, an author and artist; and Darryl Caldwell, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Banks, and owner of C&H Auto Sales Troy and Enterprise.

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Willie B. Williams, assistant to Troy Tourism Director Shelia Jackson, said both Thornton and Caldwell are dynamic speakers and have a wealth of experience as business and community leaders to share.

“The John Robert Lewis Leadership Conference is honored to welcome these two speakers who lead by example,” Williams said.

Thornton, a native of Montgomery, is president and owner of Thornton Enterprises, Inc., a McDonald’s Franchisee. He serves on the board of directors for Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Foundation. 

Darryl Caldwell

Thornton is primarily known as a businessman and artist, however, in 2019, he released his first book, “Why Not Win?” a reflection on his 50-year journey from the Jim Crow South to America’s boardrooms and the lessons he learned.

Since the book, the “Why Not Win Institute,” a leadership and professional development initiative has launched and been delivered at several universities, including Auburn, Alabama, Alabama A&M and Alabama State and Clemson.

Williams said Pastor Darryl Caldwell is a powerful preacher and teacher who has a heart for God’s people.

In addition to his pastorship, Caldwell has held positions on the local, district, and state levels. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees for the historic Selma University. In this position, he provides oversight for substantial amounts of new funding opportunities and the continuation of accreditation. He actively supports the Alabama State Missionary Baptist Convention, where he has served as the 2nd Vice President and 1st Vice President

Caldwell was recently blessed with an opportunity to minister at the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. in Houston, Texas.