Featured Speakers



We are excited to have an array of experts from the government, nonprofit, and corporate sectors speaking at the Leading Through Change Conference. Check out a few below or access our conference program for the full list.

Henry “Hank” Whitman, Commissioner, Texas Department of Family & Protective Services

When he was named head of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services in 2016, Hank Whitman used his 22 years of law enforcement experience and past position as head of the Texas Rangers to provide new direction, clear goals and high accountability to ensure that Texas children remain safe, the agency’s core mission. Together with his team, Whitman has worked to overhaul the operations of Child Protective Services, rebuilding structures that had been failing and improving systems those that are working.

Sheryl Cole, Former Austin Mayor Pro Tem and Candidate for Texas House of Representatives

An accountant and attorney by training, Sheryl Cole got her start in public life stepping up in her local PTA. Elected to Austin City Council in 2006 and to Mayor Pro Tem in 2011, Sheryl was a voice for equality who had the courage to address systemic divides. Today, Cole is stepping up once again as a Democratic candidate for State Representative in House District 46.

John Adcock, Senior Vice President, People, RetailMeNot

As Senior Vice President, People, at RetailMeNot, John Adcock leads the full spectrum of human resource functions including the global workforce strategy, culture and engagement, talent acquisition and development, compensation and benefits, and training and development. Adcock has nearly 20 years of human resources experience and most recently served as the vice president of human resources at HomeAway, supporting the full organization in hiring, development and growth of its worldwide talent.

Alistair Deakin, CEO, KaleidaCare Management Solutions

Alistair Deakin has worked in consulting and business operations his entire career, with a focus on organizations with a social mission. Since 2000, Alistair worked primarily with technology companies serving social service agencies and has led KaleidaCare as CEO since 2007. He actively consults on strategy and leadership with leading behavioral health organizations and has personally led the turnaround of six different organizations. Alistair has also served as Chairman of the boards of nonprofits, including Fresh Chefs, which helps youths aging out of foster care with job training and cooking skills. 

Preston L. James III, CEO, DivInc

Preston L. James III is the chief executive officer at DivInc, which is the first tech startup pre-accelerator in Texas focused on ethnically diverse and women led founders. A former 20 year veteran at Dell, he previously served as managing director for the Dell Global Center for Entrepreneurship and is Entrepreneur in Residence at the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. 

Dee Grimm, Director of Business and Program Development, BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division

Dee Grimm serves as Director of Business and Program Development for BCFS Health and Human Services’ Emergency Management Division. An expert in the field, Grimm has aided in emergency response operations to numerous catastrophic events and natural disasters, including Hurricanes Ike, Alex, Harvey, Maria, the Haiti Earthquake, the U.S. Ebola Outbreak event, and the Sutherland Springs Shooting Massacre.

Janie Cook, Organizational Development Consultant

Janie Cook, a consultant specializing in organizational development, has over 25 years of expertise in non-profit executive leadership. Cook is the former President/Executive Director of Boys Town Texas, where she worked diligently to prevent and respond to the horrors of child abuse and neglect, serving over 8,000 children and their families during her tenure. Previously, she was the Executive Director of Youth & Teen Services at BCFS Health & Human Services, where she had an exceptional program expansion history of 1200%.

Kim Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Interfaith Family Services

As a change strategist, speaker, and blogger, Kim Williams helps leaders maximize the opportunities presented by change. Through her TEDx Talk and articles for Forbes and Huffington Post, she has inspired visionary leaders who are committed to making an impact and through her consulting services, she provides effective strategies that will help you to maximize periods of change. Williams has been CEO of Interfaith Family Services since 2011 and under her leadership, the agency’s finances, impact, and influence have grown significantly. 

Mike Golden, Managing Partner, Boulette, Golden & Marin, LLP

Mike Golden is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, has been repeatedly recognized as a Texas Super Lawyer (Thompson-Reuters), Texas Rising Star (Thompson-Reuters Corporation), and one of the Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White). Previously with Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Golden founded Boulette & Golden L.L.P. with Jason Boulette in 2006. Now known as Boulette Golden & Marin, the firm represents employers in employment, litigation, and corporate immigration matters.