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2023-2024 New Association Members

The following people have joined NSA Ohio during the 2023-2024 association year.

June 2024

Matt Miller

I joined NSA Ohio to understand the business side of speaking and to connect with others passionate about speaking. My speaking topic is high performance.

I enjoy running and watching Cleveland sports.

Prakash Baskar

I joined NSA Ohio to build my speaking skills, speaking practice as a business line, and the immense learning opportunities from seasoned speakers who have walked this path before.

What is something that always makes you laugh or smile? When I have been thinking about a topic, something or someone relevant to it shows up at the right time.

What's the most adventurous thing you've done? Snowmobiling in the Lake Superior area in the Hiawatha National Forest. Our group lost our way and rode through the trails for over 10 hours.

What is your favorite childhood memory? I spent more time playing for the school in sports than my time in the classroom.

What is a hobby or interest you are passionate about? I am working on developing 1000 leaders who can significantly contribute through their work and grow in their leadership careers.

May 2024

Jaclyn Ochwat

I joined NSA Ohio to surround myself with speakers that have refined their skills as well as learn new ideas and techniques from others.  I have a paid speaking engagement coming up in October 2024 at Trends Connect, a Food and Beverage conference where hospitality professionals get together annually, to discuss the leading trends in F&B this year and next.  My topic this year will be about the Alcohol-Free beverage movement that is hitting the market and the impact on our bars and restaurants with Gen Z becoming the new customer.

What's the most adventurous thing I’ve done? Move to Europe (Warsaw, Poland) for three years.

Gina Kim

My first job ever involved “co-hosting” on a children’s show on 10-TV in Central Ohio called Schoolies. Since then, I’ve always been a hambone. My training as a physical therapist was VERY SERIOUS, and I’m following my call to both educate and entertain folks on a number of topics.

What is a hobby or interest you are passionate about?

I’m most passionate about music. I get to learn piano now, which is very cool and feeds my heart. Cooking is up there, and teaching people how to cook for themselves. Then there’s writing, cinema, reading, comedy, my animals, nature, bleak documentaries--the list goes on.

April 2024

Jeff Kennedy

I joined NSA Ohio because it’s a great group of people who are willing to help. Second, I want to learn how to share a message with audiences who can find a benefit and make a positive change in their life. My topic is stress and burnout.

What is something that always makes you laugh or smile?

Watching my 9-month-old twin granddaughters growl at each other.

March 2024

Meg Adams

I joined NSA Ohio to learn more about the speaking business and to network with fellow speakers! I speak about storytelling. Specifically, I help people use storytelling to overcome common communication barriers and build inclusive communities. I've been researching this topic for over a decade and I am excited to share what I've learned with audiences.

What is your favorite childhood memory? 
When I was in third grade, my teacher Mrs. Wilson assigned the class to each write a story. When we were done, we got to print our story in a bound book. My story was titled, The Castle that Came from Nowhere. I worked so hard on perfecting that story because I loved storytelling! Everyone else loved that book! My parents displayed it on a shelf in our living room, bragging about the story to anyone who would listen. I believe this moment is the one that solidified my career path for me, even though I didn't know that at the time.

 

Michelle Harcha, DVM, MA, BCC, ACC

Many of my mentors were members of the NSA. I have wanted to join for several years and now seemed like the perfect time. My speaking topics include: “Finding Purpose in Challenging Times” and “Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life.”

I am passionate about Ohio State football. My grandparents and parents were Buckeyes and season ticket holders, and I am, too. I am also passionate about TBDBITL, The Ohio State University Marching Band!

 

Keith Keeler

Through networking conversations with trusted colleagues, the topic of NSA came up and created intrigue and interest. The idea of growing my brand while being able to network, grow and learn from others as I lead conversations around business climate, corporate culture and leadership skills is very exciting!

I am a passionate foodie who loves gathering friends around the grill with amazing food, great conversations and maybe a refreshing beverage. Also, an avid Pickleball player who enjoys the game and friendly competition!

 

Christine Kotik,
PCC, NBC-HWC

I attended the NSA/ICF meeting in March and the synergy brought by the NSA really excited me. My speaking topic is less clear, I frequently present on ADHD and related topics.

What are you passionate about? 
I am passionate about the Canton Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, an organization I performed with during the summers of 1987-1989.  I have also been performing with them as an alumni since 2022.  It makes me feel like a kid again!

Chad Willet

I want to idea generate with fellow speakers in the industry to come up with ideas that will change the experience we give our audience members.

My speaking topic focuses on innovation which includes “Smashing the Box” and developing cultures of innovation at the workplace.

What is something that always makes you laugh or smile? 
My daughter Scarlett, she looks like her mother but acts like her father.

February 2024

Karen Hough

NSA Ohio offered a place over 10 years ago for my thriving business to grow even more and find colleagues who could support and advise me. I speak on the application of improvisation paired with research in neuroscience and human behavior to elevate professionals and teams - improv makes them more flexible, positive, agile, and successful.

What is a hobby or interest I am passionate about? I really love hiking and waterskiing. Anytime our vacation plans include new places to hike or waterski, I'm extra excited!

Michael Pope

Becoming a member of NSA Ohio felt like a seamless progression in my journey, enabling me to harness my rich experience in IT and leadership. As a speaker, I aim to foster transformational change by delving into the realms of Marketing, Personal Growth, and Technology, offering insights that not only inform but empower.

My favorite childhood memory? Watching my Grandpa Joe put on his two heavy prosthetic legs and take me on walks into our community. It was there, amidst our strolls, that I witnessed him brighten the day of everyone he encountered through his acts of service. This profound experience with him has significantly shaped my belief system and values, instilling in me the conviction that serving others is a powerful source of joy and fulfillment.

January 2024

Craig Burford

Cassandra D'Aula

For almost everything, I go by Cassie. Last name is pronounced day-ALL-uh.

I joined NSA Ohio because I’ve come to realize that there is no “right” time to start developing my speaker business. (Really, it is a restart? I was a professional speaker for 10 years, but it was someone else’s material. Now I am developing my own.) There is only now, so enough second guessing myself and looking for perfection, I’m starting where I am, right now.

Which brings me to my speaker topics. They are still in development and revolve around “start where you are” and “you are enough — today” and kindness.

A favorite childhood memory is not one thing, but the memory of the joy and freedom of growing up on a farm. I had vast amounts of time to wander the farm, enjoy nature and just … be.

Bethany George

Speaking on the public stage to raise awareness of certain business challenges has been a goal of mine for many years, and joining NSA Ohio is a way for me to get support from others who are doing this in a very purposeful way. 

I speak on topics of selling as a small business, growing your business network with purpose, building business relationships that support your success and “What’s all the hype?” around following up. 

I LOVE to meet fun, silly and/or quirky people who enjoy doing things a little bit differently, who go against the norm and turn some heads in the process. When I am with those people, you'll notice my smile and hear my laugh that carries across the room. 

Jeff Higgins

As I sought recommendations on learning the speaking industry, several people recommended I join NSA. My speaking topic is finding peace in the face of adversity.

What is the most adventurous thing I’ve done? Summit Mount Rainier!

Jim Mahoney

I joined NSA Ohio because I enjoy learning from other like-minded people who teach, inspire, and motivate audiences with their presentations. My speaking topics could best be described as all things leadership—motivating others, understanding your strengths, building teams, creating high performing cultures, etc. Many of my ideas are included in my recently published book, “To Lead is to Teach”. 

A piece of advice I might give my younger self would be to keep your enthusiasm for life, work, and others. It will never grow old. 

Stacy James

Marcus Muhummad

I joined NSA Ohio because I want to connect with a supportive group of experienced speakers. I am hoping to gain valuable insights into the speaking industry and enhance my skills as well as learn and grow in the field of public speaking.

The one piece of advice I'd give my younger self?  Keep thine eye single!

Teri Quimby

The good governance and organization of this chapter is evident, bringing great programming that serves the needs and interests of the entire membership.  My expertise is in communication clarity, whether written or spoken: How do we say things to get the results we expect?

What's the most adventurous thing I’ve done?  In Iceland, I slept under the northern lights in a clear “bubble” at Buubble's: “The One and Only 5 Million Star Hotel” and explored beautiful formations of ice caves during the day.

December 2023

Adam Gongwer

Adam Gongwer joined NSA Ohio on the recommendation of his favorite sales author Jeffrey Gitomer. He presents on overcoming the difficulties of rebranding yourself when you change employers as a sales agent. One of the many focal points of Adam's keynote is why the business card is still relevant and how the design matters in positioning yourself as professional and competent.

Adam has been a Jeep Wrangler enthusiast for over 25 years. He has owned several models, from the mid-70's CJ series up through the current Gladiator. He even wrote a college paper on how the 1941 Military Jeep helped the US and Allies win WW 2.

Stephanie Nowak

I joined NSA Ohio because I am early in my speaking journey, and I saw the benefits of engaging with others who have been in my shoes and subsequently excelled. As I had hoped, the professional development sessions have been thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening. My speaking niche: I empower women engineers in the construction industry to lead confidently and effectively through improved self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done wasn’t intended to be particularly adventurous. While on a solo vacation in Sedona, Arizona last year, I took a wrong turn on a hike and experienced a treacherous descent down the face of a mountain. It ended up being an amazing experience that inspired me to write a LinkedIn article drawing parallels between my harrowing hike and my career journey, encouraging others to embrace life’s detours.

November 2023

Kristie Boltz

Ernie Boyd

I am a pharmacist who speaks on the “ 7 Steps to Stay Alive in the Era of Fentanyl” along with a program titled “Leadership Lessons from My Heroes”.  

What's the most adventurous thing you’ve done?  I went scuba diving on a giant clam on the great barrier reef in Australia.

Kim Regis

Ed Shanley

I joined NSA because I want to be around other individuals who are looking to influence the world for the better.

The biggest adventure that I’ve had was to run the Dopey Challenge in January of 2022. The Dopey Challenge is where you run 4 races in 4 days: a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, and full marathon.  This is 48.6 miles in 4 days, and it takes place at Walt Disney World each year.

October 2023

Shara Hutchinson

As author of Barefoot in the Boardroom, I joined NSA Ohio because it helps speakers improve and share their knowledge more widely and I want to better leverage my book for more corporate speaking engagements. My talk is called “The Art of taking a STAND to Drive Change
That Sticks”. I focus on giving the audience practical strategies for leading effectively,
emphasizing how to minimize resistance and maximize adoption, ensuring changes are embraced and sustained for lasting impact.

What’s something that always makes you laugh or smile? I have a 5-year-old. Every day he does something to make me smile.

Craig McGuire

Greg Shak

I joined NSA of Ohio because of my interest in serving as a mental health advocate.  Public speaking will provide a greater opportunity to connect with communities on a broader level.

What's the most adventurous thing I've done? I love adventures so it’s hard to choose just one.  Skydiving, swimming with dolphins, taking pilot lessons, and traveling Europe are all toward the top of my list!

September 2023

Kathy Horack (Peddicord)

The reason I joined NSA is for professional development and networking.  I am an Executive Leadership Coach and Consultant who recently resigned from The Ohio State University after 15 years of service; the last four years coaching executives through the Faculty Leadership Institute.  I am also working as a Coach, through Families Flourish and my company, Coaching Your Choices, LLC.  As a Board Member of the ICF Columbus Chapter, I want to support the collaboration between our organizations.  

What is something that always makes me laugh or smile?  My husband makes a point of trying to make me laugh daily.  If anyone needs good Dad jokes, he’s a great resource!

Craig Mills

DeDe Miser

I joined NSA Ohio to enhance my presentation skills, grow my business and connect with some of the most experienced professionals in the business. I have been impressed with the expertise of the speakers and extremely inspired. I am happy to be a part of NSA Ohio.

What is something that always makes me smile? Without a doubt that would be my three beautiful granddaughters. They always make me happy.

August 2023

Fern Silver

Pia Fitzgerald

I joined NSA Ohio to connect and learn with other professionals in the field. I am asked to speak on Stress Management, Leadership Development, Mental Models and Belief Systems.

What's something that always makes you laugh or smile? This is a tough question because my FAVORITE thing to do is LAUGH! I STAY laughing. I go to sleep laughing. So, if I have to pick something, it would be someone: My husband is astute at keeping me in stitches. He knows it is a full-time job and takes this role seriously!

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pia-fitzgerald-60a6//www.linkedin.com/in/pia-fitzgerald-60a60593/