40th Annual Conference - Presenters

Matt Episcopo | Lowell Aplebaum, CAE | Mark Sedgley | Courtney Stanley | Carrie Laney
Albert RizziMitchell Noordyke | Randy Dean | Carol Quinn | Erin Lynch

Matt Episcopo, Author & Motivational Speaker

Matt Episcopo has redefined the formula for personal power, leadership and business success. Matt knows that the real way to become effective is to build credibility, trust and solid relationships. When we establish trust and credibility, others will say “Yes” to our ideas, products and services.

His efforts have helped companies around the world improve their leadership, customer retention and employee engagement. From start-ups to Fortune 500’s, Matt is widely recognized as an energizing and engaging presenter. He is author of the book “How To Gain The Upper Hand, P.O.W.E.R. Tactics That Get Leaders Results”.

Real life experience and results are what fuels this relationship-generating powerhouse. A Medal of Honor recipient with more that 21 years of law enforcement experience, Matt will teach you how to engage with virtually anyone.

Matt’s presentations have been given in Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, Aruba, Bahamas as well as across the United States.

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF, CEO & Strategy Catalyst, Vista Cova, LLC
Master Facilitator, Vision & Strategy Catalyst, Building Board, Staff, & Volunteer Leaders

I am a connector. I am a facilitator of community. I identify strategy gaps and collaboratively build solutions that provide impact for tomorrow's needs. I bring people together. I embrace the mission and vision as the heart of an organization. I am honored that I get to work with those that drive to that vision.

I am in tireless pursuit of innovation and evolution for greater impact.

I have a B.A. in sociology from Columbia University and M.A. in informal education, with a focus on experiential approaches. I ask challenging questions. I listen to your stakeholder voices. I weave their individual visions into stronger collective solutions. In over 15 years working inside non-profits, I created strategy and drove exponential results working with leaders in all 50 states and across 6 continents. I understand that every community has a unique culture that, when recognized and honored, strengthens the organization.

I am a passionate volunteer that can often be found giving time to the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE). I also regularly give platelets to the American Red Cross (so should you!), serve as the incoming-Chair of the CAE Commission (the certification for the association industry), and am on the organizing committee for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Brewers Ball.

At home, during the day you can find me working on light-saber construction with my son and two daughters, and in the evening leading beer tastings for friends and family.

I am an organizer of people. I build communities. I am service-oriented, believing that the good we do unto others will come back to us in time.

Outside of my passion for my munchkins at home, there is nothing I love more than seeing an organization, striving to do good, actually achieve its best. I am the catalyst that helps make that achievement a reality.

Mark Sedgley, President & CEO, MemberClicks

Mark Sedgley is the President and CEO of MemberClicks and has worked in the technology and association industry for more than 15 years. He has helped MemberClicks, an Atlanta-based membership management software company, grow from just under 300 customers in 2004 to more than 3,000 customers today.

As part of leading MemberClicks, he continues to drive a culture of innovation in the workplace and strives to provide refreshing technology to member-based organizations.

On a more personal note, Mark is married to his high school sweetheart, Dorota. They reside in suburban Atlanta with their three children, Jake, Ashton, and Kaia. Mark graduated from Wake Forest University with a dual degree in Literature and East Asian Studies. 

Courtney Stanley, Owner/Partner, SarahxCourtney
#MeetingsToo co-founder

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Courtney Stanley is a trailblazer, motivational speaker, and writer with a background in experience design, community engagement, and leadership development. She believes that leveraging past experiences and fear can transform stress and stagnancy into triumph. Courtney is a passionate co-founder of #MeetingsToo, a movement that empowers event professionals to prevent sexual harassment within the meetings and hospitality industry.

Courtney is the youngest member to have ever been elected to Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) International Board of Directors. She is the recipient of the Association for Women in Events (AWE) Disruptor Award, the MPI Chairman’s Award, and MPI RISE Award, named Collaborate and Connect Magazine’s 40 under 40 and recognized as one of the event industry’s most impactful changemakers. Courtney was recently appointed to serve on AWE’s Board of Directors and spearheads MPI’s brand new global Women’s Advisory Board with Co-Chair Sarah Soliman Daudin. Courtney strives to encourage peers to trust that passion, integrity, and humility are the keys to success.

Carrie Laney, Executive Director, New York State Preferred Source Program for New Yorkers Who Are Blind (NYSPSP)

Carrie Laney is the Executive Director for the New York State Preferred Source Program (NYSPSP) for New Yorkers Who Are Blind, an initiative that creates and sustains employment for New Yorkers who are blind. She assumed this role in April 2013, bringing her experience in state government, commercial and nonprofit management to the NYSPSP team. As Executive Director, Ms. Laney provides leadership, management and direction to the NYSPSP for New Yorkers Who Are Blind, and works closely with NYSPSP affiliated agencies, state and municipal government customers, commercial partners and other key stakeholders to create and sustain employment opportunities for New Yorkers who are blind.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Laney has held several leadership positions within the New York state government, including Deputy Secretary to the Governor for Transportation, Office of the Governor; Director, Office of Transportation Planning and Environmental Services, New York State Thruway Authority; and Deputy Commissioner, Empire State Development. Most recently, she served as Vice President of External Affairs for The New York Botanical Garden, where she was responsible for managing the government relations and marketing program, and generating both earned income and public sector funding from city and state sources.

The NYSPSP for New Yorkers Who Are Blind is designated by the New York State Commission for the Blind. NYSPSP for New Yorkers Who Are Blind is a state-mandated initiative to create and sustain employment opportunities for New Yorkers who are blind or visually impaired. State and local agencies are required to purchase certain products and services produced by nine affiliated nonprofit agencies in New York that employ people who are blind or visually impaired. The program offers more than 1,500 products and services to state and local government customers, and employs more than 400 New Yorkers who are blind or visually impaired.

Albert J. Rizzi, Founder and CEO, My Blind Spot

On January 6th, 2006, Albert J. Rizzi came out of a morphine-induced coma and opened his eyes to a world gone dark. Doctors had thought he had a sinus infection, but after 5 spinal taps, it was determined he was suffering from a lethal form of fungal meningitis. Fortunately, after 2 months in the hospital, Albert beat the odds and started to live his life as a man who had been robbed of his sight, but not his vision.

“I spent a few days feeling sorry for myself. But then my father reminded me: ‘You weren’t raised to say you can’t do something. You were raised to except and embrace all of life’s challenges.”

With energy and determination, Albert threw himself into learning how to navigate the world as a person who just happened to be blind. He brought a sense of adventure to all his endeavors, from grocery shopping to traveling the New York City subways to driving a race car in a blindfold derby.

A tireless and vocal advocate, Albert debunks stereotypes about those who live with disabilities and speaks out for job opportunities, accessible technologies, and financial independence for the disability community, particularly for people who are blind or print disabled. In 2009, he founded a nonprofit, My Blind Spot, www.myblindspot.org dedicated to Inspiring Accessibility for All!

“Children would say, ‘Why is he carrying a stick?’ or ‘Mommy, that man is blind.’ This would usually be followed by an adult voice saying something like, ‘Hush—it's not polite to talk about people that way”, which always lead to a teachable moment for Albert.

Albert has addressed thousands of people across the U.S. and internationally. His unique blend of passion, optimism, humor, and outspokenness make him a sought-after speaker who engages and inspires audiences of all ages.

At My Blind Spot, we believe that access to the right tools promotes ability and restores infinite possibilities.

Randy Dean, MBA,The E-mail Sanity Expert ®

Randall Dean, MBA, and author of the recent Amazon.com #1 E-mail Bestseller, Taming the E-mail Beast, has 25 years of experience using and teaching an advanced time management/personal organization system, including systems for effective e-mail management, office clutter reduction, optimizing your Outlook and/or Gmail/Google usage, and getting the most from affiliated smart phone and tablet devices. He has taught different versions of his time & e-mail management systems for many prominent organizations including Procter & Gamble, Michigan State University, University of California Berkeley, Westinghouse Electric Company, Volvo, The Global Business Travel Association, the Graduate Management Admissions Council, The University of Pittsburgh, Ohio State University, the Institute of Management Accountants, the National Association for Legal Career Professionals, the Michigan Association for Continuing Education & Training, and the Michigan, Indiana, Texas, and Iowa Societies of Association Executives for groups as small as five and as large as 550. 

He has previously been interviewed by the Washington Times, Detroit News, The Globe and Mail, Business Week Online, and numerous other media outlets, including radio, television, newspaper, and blog sites. He is an active member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and Michigan Society of Association Executives. 

Mitchell Noordyke, Westin Fellow, International Association of Privacy Professionals

Mitchell Noordyke graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School. While in school he externed for a federal magistrate judge and worked as a law clerk. Active at Minnesota Law, Mitchell was lead managing editor for the Minnesota Law Review and president of the Business Law Association. He focused his studies on technology and privacy law.

Mitchell’s interest in privacy is rooted in his love for data. He developed an interest in statistics while he was an undergraduate student at Minnesota, where he became fascinated by the power of data to persuade, and wary of its ability to deceive. His interest in data and statistics led him to pursue and complete a Master of Science in Business Analytics — also from the University of Minnesota — after which he was an analytics intern for a medical device company. Prior to law school Mitchell worked as a supply chain professional and a technology consultant.

A native Minnesotan, Mitchell embraces winter and enjoys the cold and snow. He is also a technology enthusiast and tries to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and product releases. Outside of work, Mitchell balances out his wife’s culinary expertise with a flair for dish washing. He also attempts to keep his coding chops sharp by organizing a volunteer analytics group.

Carol Quinn
Deputy Director of Lobbying Guidance
NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE)

Carol Quinn is the Deputy Director of Lobbying Guidance at the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE). In this position, she has led JCOPE’s effort to propose and adopt its Comprehensive Lobbying Regulations and launch a new online Lobbying Application, both of which took effect on January 1, 2019. Prior to her current position, Ms. Quinn served as an Associate Counsel in JCOPE’s Ethics and Lobbying Guidance unit.

At JCOPE, she educates and advises public officials, state employees, as well as lobbyists and their clients to ensure compliance with New York State’s Public Officers Law and the Lobbying Act. Ms. Quinn came to JCOPE with a background in regulatory and education reform work. She began her career as an Assistant Counsel for the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Reform where she facilitated the development and enactment of regulatory reforms with an eye toward making it easier to do business in New York State. Thereafter, Ms. Quinn served as a consultant to various organizations regarding education reform and charter school operations.

Erin Lynch
Special Counsel to Lobbying
NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE)

Erin Lynch serves as Special Counsel for Lobbying at the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) where she assists members of the regulated community in complying with New York’s Lobbying Act and JCOPE’s comprehensive lobbying regulations as well as provides guidance relating to state ethics laws.  Prior to JCOPE, Ms. Lynch was a Special Assistant Attorney General with New York State Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and worked as a prosecutor for District Attorney’s Offices in Albany County and Schenectady County.  She also served as an Associate Counsel for the New York State Assembly Codes Committee where she oversaw National Crime Victims’ Rights Week legislation.

Ms. Lynch is an active member of the Capital District Women’s Bar Association and provides pro bono legal services through the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York.  Ms. Lynch received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2002 and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 2005.