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Conference Speakers

Meet Our Keynote Speaker: Stan Phelps


We find ourselves at a unique time where organizations must lead five different generations. This engaging and humorous program will explain the reasons that drive generational differences and then share best practices for leading across the



As a result of this keynote session, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of using different styles to lead each generation.
  • Appreciate how employees from different generations approach work, projects, and relationships.
  • Gain strategies for leading the three older generations (Matures, Baby Boomers and Gen X).
  • Identify specific techniques for how to recruit, manage, build relationships, and retain Millennials and Generation Z.


For more about Stan, visit


Saturday Morning JUMP START with Lou Everett - Owner, Speaker, Coach, Trainer

Lou Everett is a John Maxwell Certified Speaker, Coach, and Trainer and is known for his energetic speaking, leadership coaching, and training on the impact of Influence in leadership. Over the last 25 years, Lou has received training from well-known and successful speakers and coaches from the likes of Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, and John Maxwell.


Lou’s mission is to spread the message that, as Leaders, it is imperative that we use our Influence on purpose in order to impact positive change and growth. His book, emPOWERment! – 10 Principles Every Leader Must Follow to Lead by Influence, is set to release in late spring of 2020.  


His mission of 'Transforming Lives' is not only Lou's passion, it is his personal drive and focus!


For more about Lou, visit


Breakout Sessions

This year, NCLCCA will run three breakout sessions - which will all repeat. This is being done in an effort to ensure attendees can participate in all the breakout sessions.


Track One – What ECE Leaders Can Learn from the World of College Sports

Michelle Salcedo, Chief Academic Officer, the Sunshine House


If you think about it, coaching college sports is a lot like leading an early childhood center. There is lots of turnover, people come having learned different habits from past coaches, and you answer to lots of different bosses. In spite of these challenges, there are some programs that have legacies of quality and success. This session draws lessons from these programs and applies them to the world directors live in every day.


About Michelle Salcedo

Michelle has been in the field of early childhood for over 30 years, starting as a “teacher’s helper” in her younger brother’s center. She has worked as a teacher, a director, a trainer, and a family educator in numerous child care settings across Michigan, South Carolina, and Spain. She has also worked in a leadership position in the Education Departments of two of the largest childcare corporations in the United States. 


Currently, Michelle is the Chief Academic Officer for the Sunshine House. In this role, she has the pleasure of working with hundreds of early childhood professionals to develop and deliver high-quality educational programs to thousands of children every day.


Ms. Salcedo is the author of the book Uncover the Roots of Challenging Behavior: Create Responsive Environments Where Young Children Thrive. She has also authored various articles and training modules as well as travelled the country as a trainer and keynote speaker at conferences and early childhood events. She has an undergraduate degree in Developmental Psychology with an emphasis in Family Life Education and a master degree in Early Childhood Education.


Track Two – Demystifying Grassroots Advocacy: Communicating and telling your story to elected officials

Charles Hodges, Founder and Principal, Insight Advocacy & Communications

Sherry Melton, Senior Consultant, Ken Melton and Associates


What makes up a compelling message to a legislator? It starts with a boilerplate message (usually pre-written), but you have the ability to make it truly impactful. YOU are the constituent, the business leader, the educator and the connection to your community. And your voice – your story – makes the difference. Find out more about what goes into meaningful legislative communications by email, the phone or in person.


About Charles Hodges

Charles’ firm, Insight Advocacy and Communications specializes in public affairs, communications strategy and public relations for small to mid-size businesses, organizations and non-profits. Started in 2012, IA&C helps organizations educate, engage, build support and affect change through grassroots advocacy, communications, the web and media relations.


Charles has more than 20 years’ experience in public affairs, grassroots organizing and advocacy, communications and public relations gained in Washington, DC and North Carolina. He began his career in Washington, DC, with the global PR firm Hill and Knowlton Public Affairs, before moving to the American Heart Association where he managed communications for state and federal advocacy initiatives in their Washington, DC based government relations office.

Before founding Insight, Charles spent more than six years in Raleigh, NC, at Capstrat, which was one of the largest communications firms in the Southeast and one of the top 40 agencies in the United States, where he provided communications and public affairs services for a range of government relations clients.


Charles holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and he has also completed the Governing for Nonprofit Excellence course at the Harvard Business School during his recent tenure as board president for Transitions LifeCare.


About Sherry Melton

Sherry joined Ken Melton & Associates in 2010 as a Senior Consultant and has 21 years of experience in the North Carolina public affairs arena, specializing in strategic advocacy messaging.  Prior to joining the firm, she worked for three different advocacy associations – one national and two state-level organizations – in both communications and lobbying roles.

Sherry joined Ken Melton & Associates in 2010 as a Senior Consultant and has 21 years of experience in the North Carolina public affairs arena, specializing in strategic advocacy messaging.  Prior to joining the firm, she worked for three different advocacy associations – one national and two state-level organizations – in both communications and lobbying roles.  


From 2005-2010, Sherry served as Vice President of Communications for the NC Chamber, leading the Chamber’s communications and public relations efforts.  Prior to the Chamber, she spent eight years at the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), in roles including lobbyist as well as Communications and Public Relations Director.  


Sherry holds a Master of Public Affairs degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in communications. She is a North Carolina native, who grew up Macon County in the far-western part of the state and currently resides in Garner.


Track Three – Finding, Fostering and Retaining Talent

Vernon H. Mason, Jr. M.Ed., Owner, Directors Leadership Solutions

Lisa Mabe Eads, Ph.D., Director of Academic Programs, North Carolina Community College System Office

About Vernon H. Mason, Jr.

Author, Humorist, Inspiring Keynote Speaker and Workshop Trainer

Vernon Mason has been an early childhood administrator for over 28 years with a master’s degree in Early Childhood Administration from National Louis University.


After opening his first center in 1991, he eventually grew his business to five centers with 125 staff caring for 700 children.  Along the way, Vernon began consulting, training and giving keynote addresses. He has become known for his inspiring storytelling, candor and humor in his presentations at local, state and national conferences.


His popular keynotes and trainings come from real life experiences, dealing with hands-on in childcare programs for decades.  Vernon is the author of multiple books, including Don’t Go! (2015), a practical guide for tackling employee turnover and Get Out! (2018), a guide for new and seasoned directors providing the steps and tools to help them supervise their employees, turnaround unwanted behavior, turn employees into valued team members, or “Set them free.” 


Vernon began Directors Leadership Solutions out of his desire to make director’s path to success easier.  Through his program he shares a variety of resources like parent communication, parent complaints, getting employees to do what you ask and developing a healthy work environment.


Contact Vernon:


About Dr. Lisa Mabe Eads

Since 2018, Dr. Lisa Eads has served as the Director of Academic Programs for the North Carolina Community College System Office.  She joined the North Carolina Community College System Office in 2014 as the Program Coordinator for Early Childhood Education, Public Service Technologies, and Career & College Promise. 


Prior to the NC Community College System, she served on the faculty at UNC-Greensboro as a visiting professor and online student advisor in the department of Human Development and Family Studies and the School of Education, Specialized Education Services. Dr. Eads joined the UNC-G faculty in 2012 and continued to teach online courses and advise students there after moving to the NC Community College System. Prior to that she was on the faculty at Surry Community College in the early childhood education department and served as Director/Lead Instructor of Early Childhood Education Programs beginning in 2005.


In total, Dr. Eads has 23 years of experience in the field of higher education and early childhood education, which she began in 1996 first as lead teacher in a 2-year-old classroom and then as the lead teacher in a four-year-old classroom. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked with Smart Start/Surry County Early Childhood Partnership as the Child Development Specialist. While at Smart Start, she taught psychology and early childhood education courses at Surry Community College, which led her to serve as the PreK Coordinator & Even Start Family Literacy Program Director for Stokes County Schools.


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