Meet Our Speakers

Meet Our Speakers


  • Internationally known storyteller Alex Sheen will headline the convention’s opening general session with his powerful message, “because I said I would,” which is now the center of a social movement and nonprofit organization dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. His charitable projects and awareness campaigns have been featured on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” CNN and NBC’s “Today” show.

    Opening General Session Keynote Speaker
    Tuesday, March 20
    5:30 p.m.


  • For two decades, Greg Hawks has mentored leaders, developed teams, crafted culture and empowered employees, growing talent that consistently works, serves and sells with excellence. He created the Like an Owner® platform to challenge and empower leaders, teams and organizations to reach for greatness. His energy, wit and optimism will capture your imagination, give you fresh perspective and challenge you to think new thoughts.

    Headliner Session: Unlock an Ownership Culture
    Wednesday, March 21
    3:15 - 4:30 p.m.


  • Stacy Allison—businesswoman, adventurer and the first American Woman to climb Mt. Everest—headlines the awards luncheon, celebrating chapter achievements in innovative management, membership growth, workforce development, communications, political advocacy and safety and honor our longest-tenured staff.

    Chapter Excellence! Merit Shop Proud Awards
    Thursday, March 22
    12 p.m.


  • International speaker Galen Emanuele works with teams and organizations around the globe—including Fortune 500 firms such as Microsoft, CBRE, Expedia and Shell—redefining the way people interact and communicate in business. He is an expert in human behavior with 18 years in sales, marketing and business leadership and also a world-class improve performer and teacher who uses his experience to create a team culture of high-level performance and engagement.

    Headliner Session: Creating a "Yes, And" Culture of High-Level Performance & Engagement
    Thursday, March 22
    2:30 - 4 p.m.

Education Speakers


Matt Abeles

Matt Abeles is a co-founder of BuiltWorlds Media, an online media and events company that burst onto the scene in 2014. As a thought leader on the fast-moving technologies transforming design, construction and development, Abeles oversees BuiltWorlds’ expanding outreach to established and emerging industry players committed to pushing our industry forward.


Sonja Daneshgari 

Sonja Daneshgari is field operations manager for MCA Inc. With experience from the construction, automotive and global technical supplier industries ranging from supply chain management to system design and the Toyota Production System, Denashgari works with contractors and distributors nationwide on process improvement and productivity measurement. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Otto von Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.


Matt Judge

Matt Judge worked as a comedy writer and morning show personality and owned an import-export business before finding his vocation providing software that helps professionals do their work more profitably and efficiently, sales training and new business development consulting. Judge is a frequent speaker, with clients including the Formula One race, Super Bowl and major corporations. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University.


Galen Emanuele

International speaker Galen Emanuele works with teams and organizations around the globe—including Fortune 500 firms such as Microsoft, CBRE, Expedia and Shell—redefining the way people interact and communicate in business. He is an expert in human behavior with 18 years in sales, marketing and business leadership and also a world-class improve performer and teacher who uses his experience to create a team culture of high-level performance and engagement.


Jamie Notter

Jamie Notter is a partner at WorkXO Solutions, a culture management firm that uses analytics and innovative consulting to drive company growth. He brings 25 years of experience in conflict resolution, generational differences and culture change to his work with leaders around the world. He is the author of two books—When Millennials Take Over and Humanize—and teaches at Georgetown University. He earned a master’s degree from George Mason University. 


Deanna O'Dell

Deanna O’Dell, data quality specialist, is an instructor for MCA's agile construction classes. She works in the field with MCA customers, walking the jobs with project managers and foremen and helping them identify obstacles on the job that prevent them from doing their work or pinpoint what is causing them to fall behind on their schedules.