Keynote Speakers


Fred Blankenship
Fred BlankenshipNews Anchor, Channel 2 Action News, WSB-TV

Since joining WSB-TV in 2007, Fred has written and produced special assignment news series and been a part of Prime Time Action News projects. Fred actively hosts local leadership and community events and celebrations. His true passion is working with kids and young adults to help insure they get added encouragement and support to accomplish whatever it is they want to do in life.

Watch Fred on Channel 2 Action News from 4:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. and Channel 2 Action News at Noon.

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Jimmy Etheredge
Jimmy EtheredgeCEO, North America, Accenture

As Accenture’s chief executive officer of North America, Jimmy Etheredge leads Accenture’s business in the United States—the company’s largest market—and Canada. He is a champion of improving equality, a proactive supporter of mental well-being programs and an advocate for bridging gaps for vulnerable communities. Jimmy helped bring Accenture’s national professional apprenticeship program to its Atlanta and D.C. innovation hubs, giving members of underrepresented groups new skills so they can adapt and thrive in the digital economy.

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Phyllis Newhouse
Phyllis NewhousePresident & CEO, Xtreme Solutions, Inc.

Phyllis Newhouse is an entrepreneur, retired military senior non-commissioned officer, mentor, Founder and CEO of Xtreme Solutions, Inc. and Founder of ShoulderUp. A pioneer in cybersecurity, she is the first woman to win an Ernst & Young (EY) Entrepreneur Of The Year® award in the technology category. Passionate about women-led businesses, Newhouse teaches aspiring entrepreneurs to recognize and capitalize on their leadership skills and empowers others to operate in greatness.

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Ralph de la Vega
Ralph de la VegaFounder & Chairman, De La Vega Group; Former Vice Chairman of AT&T Inc. and CEO of Business Solutions & International

Ralph de la Vega is Chairman of the De La Vega group, which focuses on investments in entrepreneurial startups. He is the former Vice Chairman of AT&T Inc., and the author of Obstacles Welcome. He is actively focused on helping young people reach their full potential.

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Vernice
Vernice "FlyGirl" ArmourFounder & CBO (Chief Breakthrough Officer), VAI Consulting & Training, LLC

Known simply as FlyGirl, Vernice "FlyGirl" Armour went from beat cop to combat pilot in 3 years. Within months of earning her wings, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. After serving two tours overseas, she had become America's First African American Female Combat Pilot. After returning home, she realized that many people wanted to create breakthroughs in their own lives, they just didn't know how.

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