Eric Chester

Jim Biewer

Craig MacFarlane

Conferences and MeetingsNBEA 2015 Annual Convention

Keynote Speakers

Wednesday, April 1
Opening General Session: Eric Chester

Reviving Work Ethic: How to Help Today’s Students
Eric Chester is a leading voice and a trusted source in the global dialogue on employee engagement, work ethic, and building a world-class workplace culture.

For almost twenty years, Eric has been studying, analyzing, speaking and writing about the emerging workforce and attracting, managing, motivating and retaining top talent. Business leaders sought out Eric’s advice on how they could better connect with young employees upon the release of his 2002 bestseller, Employing Generation Why: Understanding, Managing, and Motivating Your New Workforce.

Hearing the outcry from America’s employers, Eric turned his attention to building a better workforce by creating a revolutionary new curriculum exclusively for teens and young adults to teach them the employability skills today’s employers demand. He wrote the breakthrough book for youth, Bring Your A Game to Work: The 7 Fundamental Values That Will Make Every Employer Want to Hire You and Fight to Keep You!, and he founded The Center for Work Ethic Development.

In 2012, Chester released Reviving Work Ethic: A Leader’s Guide to Ending Entitlement and Restoring Pride in the Emerging Workforce — the first business book written on developing work ethic in over one hundred years.


Thursday, April 2
Second General Session: Jim Biewer

Thinking Outside the Penalty Box
Jim Biewer is the Director of Event Marketing & Game Presentation for the Detroit Red Wings. He began his career in the sports industry working for the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club of the Ontario Hockey League as their Director of Game Day Entertainment. In 2008 he accepted a position with the Detroit Red Wings and has been with the team ever since. In his current role with the Red Wings, Jim oversees game entertainment, event promotion, and coordination as well as the team's School Assembly Program, which reaches out to 115 schools annually promoting health and fitness as well as the growth of hockey across the state of Michigan.

The world of marketing has transitioned greatly from ads and spots to experiences and social interactions. Jim will share how the Detroit Red Wings made the transition into the new marketing era and how they keep up with their competition moving forward. Change is one thing that is constant and Jim will energize you and provide insight on knowing what to do when change is inevitable, how to determine what change is necessary, and how to communicate the change that will take place.

Saturday, April 4
Closing General Session: Craig MacFarlane

Pride, Leadership, and Performance
Craig has become a master in many fields including becoming widely recognized as the “World’s Most Celebrated Totally Blind Athlete.” His list of athletic accomplishments is lengthy, if not impressive. He has succeeded in wrestling, track and field, snow skiing, water skiing, water ski jumping, and golf. He has won more than 100 gold medals, the majority against sighted competition. He has even performed as a professional athlete, being the only totally blind person to ever achieve such success.

Craig is a classic example of triumph over tragedy. He has built a remarkable family life and an impressive business career. He took the lessons he learned from his experience and applied them in the most dramatic ways, and has inspired thousands of individuals to achieve more. Craig has been instrumental in developing the “Inner Vision” process which has made his inspirational message an integral part of the corporate culture at many successful companies.

Treating his total loss of eyesight as nothing more than a minor inconvenience, Craig has demonstrated what can be achieved through persistence and perseverance. He will entertain you, engage you, and challenge you. He will give you the tools you need to overcome any obstacles you perceive to be in your way. Most of all, he will inspire you to raise the bar in your own life to make success a reality.