Programs + Events

Keynote Speakers

Convention attendees will hear from exciting and powerful speakers and special guests during each action-packed general meeting.


Hardy Brown
First General Meeting on Friday, May 3

Hardy Brown is a leader in conversations of historical empathy, Hardy Brown is a collector of over 15,000 historical freedom artifacts. They date as early as 321 AD and concentrate on stories of resilience.  His traveling exhibits have been viewed by over 350,000 visitors and immerses audiences in deep dialogue of the resilience of the human spirit.

Houston Kraft
First General Meeting on Friday, May 3

Houston is a speaker, author, and kindness advocate who has spoken at over 700 schools or events internationally. In 2016, he co-founded CharacterStrong – curriculum and training that help teach social and emotional skills. To date, they have worked with over 10,000 schools globally serving over 5 million students. In 2019, his face was featured on Lays BBQ chip bags as someone who helps “spread smiles.” In 2020, his first book, Deep Kindness (Simon & Schuster, Tiller Press) was released. His mom is his hero, and her best life lesson is to “hug like you mean it.”

Casey Cuny
Teacher of the Year
Third General Meeting on Sunday, May 5

At the age of 13, Casey Cuny was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. Cuny remembers his teachers as his source of hope in that difficult time, helping him realize what he was capable of. They inspired him to pursue a career in teaching — to give back and honor their impact on his life.

Casey Cuny is the 2024 California Teacher of the Year, and he teaches 10th grade honors English and senior mythology and folklore at Valencia High School in Santa Clarita, California. He serves as English department chair and the school’s instructional coach. He also teaches at National University in the Master of Education program — working with teachers from all over the country.

In February of 2014, Cuny’s article What is the Value of Life? … And Other Socratic Questions was published in Educational Leadership magazine. The article led to district and statewide professional development seminars on how discussion can be utilized to scaffold critical thinking. In 2019, he hosted a Summer Social Emotional Learning Institute with more than 100 teachers from Southern California. He has served as English language development coordinator for a decade and instructional coach for 15 years.

He strives to create an inclusive environment for his students, to teach them the power of growth mindset and to champion their growth as individuals. He uses the synergy of social, emotional and academic intelligence to push students to levels of rigor not possible without this concerted approach.