• Bright Futures Community Engagement Conference

    Keynote Speaker: Carrie Caruthers

    Business Manager - Priority Investors - American Century Investments

    @CarrieCaruthers   Profile

    Carrie Caruthers has been a leader in the business community of Harrisonville, MO, for over ten years where she has worked for American Century Investments and now serves on the Bright Futures USA Board of Directors. Carrie currently manages the priority investor program specializing in project management, investment strategies, client base growth and retention, and performance development. Prior to serving on the Bright Futures USA Board of Directors, she served as chair of the Bright Futures Harrisonville Advisory Board. Carrie was awarded the Guiding Principle Award in Challenging & Inspiring in her department by ACI in 2010 and 2012. She was also inducted into the Circle of Honor by ACI in 2008 and received a Guiding Principle Award in Innovation from ACI the same year. Carrie attended Fort Scott Community College and Fort Scott High School in Fort Scott, Kansas. She and her husband, Brent, have three children and are active in their church and community.

    Keynote Speaker: Dr. CJ Huff

    Superintendent of Joplin Schools

    @CJHuffJoplin   /CJHuffJoplin   Profile

    Dr. C.J. Huff currently serves as the Superintendent of Joplin Schools, a position he has held since July 2008. Dr. Huff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Pittsburg State University, a Master and Specialist in Education from Missouri State University, and later in 2003, a Doctorate in Education with a focus in Educational Leadership from the University of Arkansas. Dr. Huff possesses a deep understanding of the interrelations that exist between community organizations, local governmental agencies, faith-based organizations, and business/private industry. Under Dr. Huff’s leadership, more than 270 formal partnerships were established in the Joplin community within nine months of initiating the district’s community engagement initiative. Dr. Huff meets regularly, both formally and informally, with key individuals in his community to maintain and grow relationships. This allows him to more easily recognize partnership potential in relation to connecting resources in the community to support broader organizational and community needs.

    Following the devastating tornado on May 22, 2011, Dr. Huff declared that school would start on time. This key factor drew the community of Joplin together just days after the tornado and provided a positive light for the country to rally around in the midst of such tragedy and destruction.

    Dr. Huff is well respected by the community and his peers as a man of vision and a man who keeps his word. People magazine named him as one of their “2011 Heroes Among Us.” Other honors and recognitions include the 2013 Missouri Superintendent of the Year award, one of four finalists for the 2013 National Superintendent of the Year award, 2012 Missouri National Education Association Horace Mann Award, 2012 National School Public Relations Association’s Bob Grossman Leadership in School Communications Award, 2012 eSchool News Tech-Savvy Superintendent Award, 2012 Missouri Association of School Administrators Pearce Award, 2012 Missouri School Public Relations Association Administrator of the Year, and the 2011 American School Board Journal Magna Award/Grand Prize Winner for Joplin’s Bright Futures initiative focusing on community engagement and drop-out prevention.

    Meg Bourne-Hulsey

    Art Feeds

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    Jesse DeGonia

    Director at Bright Futures Webb City
    Webb City School District

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    Jill Filer

    Director of Communication
    Bright Futures Harrisonville


    Kelli Frazier

    Advisory Board Member
    Bright Futures Webb City

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    Peggy Fuller

    Vice President and Marketing Director
    Southwest Missouri Bank

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    Randy Gariss

    Preaching Minister
    College Heights Christian Church


    Jonathan Hollingshead

    Owner / Designer
    PixelEffect Design & Printing

    @PixelEffectCom   /pixeleffect

    Mark Kinsley

    Staff Vice President of Marketing
    Bedding Group at Leggett & Platt

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    Amanda Musick

    Director of Student Service
    Bentonville School District

    Brooke LeMasters

    Director of Visual Content
    Art Feeds Joplin

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    Dr. Kevin Cooper

    Assistant Superintendent
    Webb City School District

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    Rick Neal

    Superintendent of Schools
    Pea Ridge School District


    Steve Patterson

    Director of Missions
    Spring River Baptist Association

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    Mark Penny

    Superintendent of Schools
    Lincoln County R-III School District

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    Kelli Price

    Communications Specialist
    Joplin School District

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    Mark Quinn


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    Dr. Tony Rossetti

    Superintendent of Schools
    Webb City School District

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    Tracie Skaggs

    Public Relations Director
    Carl Junction School District

    @CJBrightFutures   View Profile

    Kim Vann

    Executive Director
    Bright Futures USA

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    Melissa Winston

    Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator
    Joplin School District

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    Libbie Burd

    Teaching & Learning Coach
    Joplin Schools

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    Catherine Glover

    Executive Director
    Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce

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    Robin McKeithan

    Special Events Coordinator
    Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce

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    Sarah Mwangi

    Principal, Columbia Elementary
    Joplin School District

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    Lisa Montgomery

    Advisory Board Member
    Bright Futures Webb City

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    Jennifer Statler

    Teaching & Learning Coach
    Joplin Schools

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    Jay St. Clair

    Executive Director
    God's Resort

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    Julie St. Clair

    Operations Director
    God's Resort

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    Jill White

    Principal, Royal Heights Elementary
    Joplin School District


    Dale Peterson

    Assistant Coordinator
    Bright Futures Joplin


    Elizabeth Nickle

    Study High School

    Lieutenant Joe Falcon

    Uniform Division Lieutenant
    Bentonville Police Department