Conference Speakers

Thought Leader Sessions

Mark L. Johnson, Ed.D.
University Professor
Technology and Workforce Learning
Pittsburg State University

For more than 30 years, Dr. Johnson has been an advocate for student achievement and success, in and out of the classroom, having served as president of a local school board as well as president of the Association for Career and Technical Education-Trade & lndustrial Division (ACTE T&l) and a member of the ACTE, SkillsUSA, and National Occupational Competency Testing Institute National Boards of Directors. He has served as an advocate for faculty development and as president and bargaining team spokesperson for PSU/KNEA.

Dr. Johnson is a frequent presenter at state and national conferences, and his "Engaging Students through Pecha-Kucha Presentations" was a featured presentation at the 2012 ACTE national conference. Most recently, he has served with a consultant for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees providing Train-the-Trainer Workshops for skills specific trainers in the entertainment industry all across North America.

In 2000, Dr. Johnson was named the national career and technical educator of the year by the national Association for Career and Technical Education. He is Black-Belt Certified in Innovation Engineering and is the lead professor for the Innovation Minor offered by Pittsburg State University.

Mark received a B.S.B,A, degree, an M.S, degree in technical teacher education and an Ed.S. degree in industrial education, all from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS. Dr. Johnson received his Ed.D. degree from the University of Arkansas.

Jeff Ehrlich, Ed. D.
Interim President
Park University

Jeff Ehrlich, Ed. D. was appointed interim president of Park University in July 2015 by the University’s Board of Trustees. Ehrlich joined Park in 2011 as associate professor in the Master of Healthcare Administration program within the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs. He served as faculty senate president for two terms, and also served on multiple academic committees including the Student Service Model Task Force, the Graduate Academic Council, the University–wide Academic Program Review, the Retention Task Force, and the Budget Advisory Task Force.

Prior to joining Park, he was assistant professor at the College of Saint Mary, dean of the School of Professional Studies at Peru State College, director of assessment at Midland Lutheran College, vice president of institutional research and assessment at Clarkson College and graduate program director at Friends University. In addition to his experiences in higher education, he brings an extensive range of business acumen with roles including project manager in finance management for Sprint Corporation, internal consultant with Boeing on process re-engineering and business models, and as a clinic administrator in a corporate setting.

Ehrlich earned his doctorate of education in healthcare leadership from the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb. after earning an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.

Shirly Kleiner, CMA
ACBSP Past President
Professor Emeritus, Johnson County Community College

Shirly began her career as an instructor at JCCC in 1980 as an adjunct and worked her way up to become a full-time faculty member, and Chair for the Accounting Department.  She has held numerous positions of leadership in ACBSP at the regional, commission, and national levels.  She was president of ACBSP in 2011-12.

A pioneer both locally and nationally in accounting education, she developed and taught online sections of Accounting I and II, as well as Managerial Accounting. She has served as a member of the JCCC Distance Learning Coordinating Council, the Faculty Development Advisory Committee, the Tech Prep Committee, and the Faculty Association Negotiating team. In September, 2008, she completed the one-year JCCC Leadership Institute.  She has been nominated six times for the Burlington Northern/Sante Fe Faculty Achievement Award at JCCC, where she was one of the three Recipients of the award in 2002 and 2008. In addition, Shirly was one of the 1999 recipients of the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Award for Teaching and Leadership Excellence. She was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for JCCC for the years 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2008. She was also selected to represent JCCC in the 2002 U.S. Professors of the Year Program. In 2000, she was one of the top four recipients of the Fraternalist of the Year National Award from the AAL organization—given in honor of her years of volunteerism in her community.

She is also a past commissioner for the ACBSP Two-Year Board of Commissioners, she served on site visit evaluation teams, she is a past Two-Year Member at Large for the ACBSP Board of Directors, and Board Treasurer. She also served as the board liaison to the Marketing Committee, was an ex-officio member of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Personnel Committee. As Treasurer, she was part of the Executive Committee for the Board of Directors. She served on the Planning Committee and on the Case Statement Task Force in support of the ACBSP Capital Campaign. She has held the position of Treasurer and Secretary for ACBSP Region 5 for many years. She was awarded the 1999 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award for Region 5. She has made presentations at the regional and national ACBSP conferences on the importance of online education.

Tyrone J. Flowers 
Founder and President
Higher M-Pact

Flowers was born to teenaged parents who could not raise him. He spent his childhood being shuffled between foster homes, detention centers, reform schools, and state youth facilities.  Labeled "beyond parental control" at age seven, he was also diagnosed with behavior problems and learning disorders. Service providers saw no hope for his future.

Determined to prove wrong all of the adults who had no hope for his future, Flowers resumed high school. He gained popularity on the basketball team, had completed graduation requirements and had received offers to play basketball in college; however, just two weeks before graduation, Flowers was shot three times by a basketball teammate. The shooting left him in a wheelchair and, faced with decisions about his future with limited use of his body, he chose to use his mind. A diploma from Penn Valley Community College in hand, he graduated next from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor's degree in sociology and a minor in psychology with academic honors. In 1998, Flowers went on to received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, where he received the CALI Excellence for the Future Award for his work in 'Children & the Law.' Flowers was the first person in his family to obtain a college degree.

Flowers' motivation comes from two sources: faith in Christ and a desire to fulfill his God-given purpose. Involved with community service organizations and agencies, he has served on local, state and national committees and boards that address the needs of youth and community. Flowers serves on the Governor's Committee to End Chronic Homelessness in Missouri, on the board of directors of the Missouri Court Appointed Special Advocacy (MOCASA), the Missouri Children's Justice Task Force Council on Philanthropy(COP) and the Kansas City House of Hope. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Beta Lambda Chapter; NAACP Missouri's Juvenile Justice Advisory Group (JJAG), Black Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City, Missouri (BCCGKC) and The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce (GKCCC). Flowers is also a member of the prestigious GKCCC's Centurions Leadership Program's class of 2009. Flowers is a Congressional Black Caucus Political Educational and Leadership Institute fellow and a Rotary International Paul Harris fellow. His community work and Higher M-Pact have been featured in numerous publications, and he has received countless awards in recognition of his creation of an organization that is a catalyst for change, not only for the youth it serves but, also, for the many lives he has touched.

Flowers has a combination of over 25 years of personal and professional experience of involvement in the juvenile justice field. After graduation, Flowers chose to use his law degree to help high-risk urban youth. His personal experiences and his careful study of the juvenile justice system and various youth organizations inspired him to create Higher M-Pact, a community-based organization dedicated to transforming today's high-risk urban youth into tomorrow's leaders. Higher M-Pact impacts youth engaged in destructive behavior by turning their obstacles into opportunities and by creating a solid foundation for success. Higher M-Pact has positioned itself to emerge as a leader through providing effective programs, services and experiences to youth in the Kansas City, Missouri area and beyond. Flowers resides in Kansas City, MO with his wife, Renee, who is the Executive Director of Higher M-Pact.

Jeffrey S. Hornsby, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Henry W. Bloch School of Management 
University of Missouri - Kansas City

Jeff assumed the role of Executive Director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Chair of the Department of Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation in March 2014. Prior to that he held the role of Henry Bloch/Missouri Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Associate Director of the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

He has authored or co-authored 148 refereed journal and proceedings articles appearing the top journals in entrepreneurship and management including Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Journal of Operations Management. His research has earned five conference "best paper awards."

Dr. Hornsby has coauthored five books entitled: Innovation Acceleration: Transforming Organizational Thinking, New Venture Management: The Entrepreneur's Roadmap, The Human Resource Function in Emerging Enterprises, Frontline HR: A Handbook for the Emerging Manager, and Training Systems Management.  He is currently completing his sixth book entitled Frontline HR.
Dr. Hornsby is currently on the board of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers and recently served as Senior Vice President of Programming (Anaheim USASBE Conference), Co-Program-chair, and a member of the Executive Board of the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

He has consulted with entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the areas of business planning, leadership, human resources, high performance work systems, corporate entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. Some of his clients have included Borg Warner Automotive, Buhler Industries, Community Hospital, Ball Memorial Hospital (now Indiana University Ball Memorial Hospital), Ontario Systems, and Delaware County Government.

Scott Ezzell
Manager of Admissions & Recruitment
Henry W. Bloch School of Management 

Scott Ezzell assumed the role of Manager of Admissions & Recruitment at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management in July of 2014. Prior to that he served in several roles at UMKC that include Academic Advisor in the Bloch School of Management, Enrollment Services Coordinator in the UMKC Office of Admissions, and Coordinator of Fraternity & Sorority Affairs in the UMKC Student Life Office

Rick Welch
River City Products, Inc.

Rick began his professional career in the corporate world with Honeywell and later the Kansas City based firm Western Forms.  He started River City Products, Inc. and has expanded it in many areas including food and spices, packaging, printing, eCommerce and infomercials, and barbeque.  Rick is active in business incubation and new product development and has found niche opportunities in a number of fields.

A graduate of the University of Missouri, he is a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He co-founded the Greater Kansas City Barbeque Society, which has spread our favorite home town export near and far.  He represents Kansas City Steak Company on the QVC channel and helped the firm become one of the top producers on national TV.

Active in the community he and his wife Tina participate in many charitable endeavors, one of which was JazzFeast for the reStart homeless shelter where he cooked barbeque for more than 500 patrons to raise money for the organization. He is also working with high school entrepreneurs in the Blue Valley School District.  Rick has been a guest lecturer for the Park Summer Business Academy for 9th and 10th graders from the Kansas City urban core, where he embodies the model of businesses partnering with students for success.

Rick will be our guest tour guide on the Kansas City BBQ Pilgrimage to Arthur Bryant's and will share stories on how he has helped to inspire and develop other entrepreneurs in the multi-billion dollar barbecue industry.

William S. Parrott
Director of Strategic Alliances
Peregrine Academic Services

For over 30 years, William (Bill) Parrott has worked in quality assurance and academic program development. Bill is an expert in the implementation of continuous improvement including program assessment. Before joining our team, Bill spent 13 years with International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).Bill has traveled to over 250 institutions of higher learning and reviewed 1000+ degree programs in more than 20 countries and within the US.

Bill has reviewed accreditation documents, developed new academic programs, updated existing programs, and consulted with program administrators to enhance their ability to accomplish their goals.

Randy Sealy
National Business Development Manager
Capsim Management Simulations Inc.

Randy joined Capsim in November 2014 where he is responsible for driving digital product sales and growing revenue by working with business schools throughout the nation.  Much of his work includes traveling to trade shows and conferences.

His career includes extensive experience in the higher education sector having held positions in account management and marketing with Cengage Learning and McGraw Hill.  Randy holds a degree in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an M.A. in Television, Radio, and Film from Syracuse University.

His first job out of grad school was as a camera man and editor for BET J’s Real Life Divas, a division of Viacom.