BARR 2021 National Conference

Keynote Speakers

P.J. Fleck

P.J. Fleck was named head football coach at Minnesota on January 6, 2017. Fleck, 39, is the 30th head coach in the program’s history. He has a career record of 53-37 and is 23-15 at Minnesota. 

In 2019, Fleck led Minnesota to unprecedented heights as the Gophers won 11 games for the first time since 1904. Minnesota also won seven Big Ten games for the first time in school history, beat two top-10 teams, won a Jan. 1 bowl game and ended the season ranked No. 10. 

Fleck was voted Big Ten Coach of the Year by his fellow conference head coaches and was named AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year. He was also named a finalist for the George Munger Award, Dodd Trophy, Eddie Robinson Award, Bear Bryant Award and AFCA National Coach of the Year. 

Off the field, Fleck and his team can often be found at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital and annually host a diaper drive during training camp and a turkey drive during Thanksgiving to give back to the community. Minnesota has also hosted canned food and school supplies drives under Fleck. In the classroom, Minnesota has posted program record GPAs under Fleck, which included a school record 3.21 in the 2019 fall semester. 

Fleck came to Minnesota after spending four years as the head coach at Western Michigan, where he was 30-22 overall and 21-11 in the Mid-American Conference. While leading the Broncos, Fleck authored one of the most memorable turnarounds in college football history. The Broncos were 1-11 in his first year in 2013, but ended the 2016 season with a No. 12 ranking, a 13-1 record, a conference championship and a berth in the Cotton Bowl. 

Fleck was named MAC Coach of the Year in 2014 and 2016, and in 2016 he led the Broncos to their first MAC Championship since 1988.

Check out Fleck’s full bio here!

Kai Kight

As a classical violinist turned innovative composer, Kai Kight uses music as a metaphor to inspire individuals and organizations across the world to compose paths of imagination and fulfillment. Inspired by his own mother who, when diagnosed with cancer, revealed regrets of not bringing her ideas to the world, Kai is on a mission to spark a global mindset shift in which ingenuity is the norm, not the exception. In his emotionally powerful presentations, Kai performs mesmerizing original music and vulnerably shares stories from his own transformation as an artist. Kai translates these insights into takeaways that audiences can easily infuse into their own lives and work environments.

A product of Stanford University’s design and engineering program, the d. School, Kai remains fascinated by the leaders, artists, and companies who dare to be different. As both a Mayfield Fellow and Kleiner Perkins Design Fellow, Kai has proven himself as a leader of the next generation of innovative and entrepreneurial talent. As a musician, Kai has performed his
original music for thousands in venues across the world, from the White House to the Great Wall of China. As a speaker, he has created impactful experiences for audiences at conferences, companies, and universities internationally. Some of his clients include The Walt Disney Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the Super-bowl winning Seattle Seahawks. His mesmerizing and original violin performance beautifully becomes a sonic metaphor for the core of his message: to inspire people to compose unique ideas in a world that celebrates conformity.

Check out Kight’s full bio here!

Alex Sheen

Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex began sending promise cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. Since his father’s passing on September 4th, 2012, because I said I would has sent over 11.3 million Promise Cards to more than 150 countries. Alex’s commitment to the betterment of humanity has inspired millions and his promises have been shared virally around the world.

As one of the foremost experts on promises and commitment, Alex is a four-time TEDxTalk speaker, author, podcast host and internationally-recognized humanitarian. While known most for inspirational keynotes (both live and web speeches), Alex also leads Leadership Development Workshops. By combining research and philosophy, Alex shares the habits and tactics that make it easier to keep promises.

Leadership insight from a life of promises:

  • Walking 245 miles across the entire state of Ohio in under 10 days to fulfill a promise to the three Cleveland women who were held captive for 10 years.
  • Volunteering at 52 different nonprofit organizations in a single year.
  • Promising children with cancer trips to Disneyland and personally delivering 100 tickets.
  • Driving through the night to deliver disaster relief aid to the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
  • Giving 100% of his speaking fees to because I said I would and other charities (approximately $1,000,000 a year).

Alex Sheen in the news…
Alex’s work has been featured on CNN, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, the TODAY Show, the Steve Harvey Show and many other programs. Alex’s efforts have made the #1 spot on the front page of over 10 times. His work in awareness videos was listed BuzzFeed’s “Most Important Viral Videos of 2013′′.

Check out Sheen’s full bio here!

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