NIGP Forum In Person & Virtual

Keynote Speakers

Jon Petz

“It’s SHOWTIME!”

Sunday, August 21 - 8:00 AM ET
(In Person & On-Demand)


Jon Petz is a two-time, best-sellers list author, motivational keynote speaker on performance and the power of human connections. He brings this passion and energy for performance, purpose and impact to events of all types, as well as to those he professionally coaches to strengthen their performance mindset and success in life, business and careers.

Jon is a former sales & marketing executive in big corporate as well as a tech entrepreneur. As a remarkable addition - Jon is a professional magician and has performed around the globe for audiences of all types. This one-of-a-kind combination brings relevancy, experience and understanding to the real-world challenges and opportunities we face in our professional pursuits. It also produces a masterful storytelling, engagement and entertainment factor that is uniquely and unequivocally the Jon Petz Experience. Far more than “JUST” a keynote, it is the perfected trifecta of strategy & mindset, personal inspiration and incredible entertainment.

USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, ABC News, Success Magazine and many other media outlets have covered the success of Jon Petz and his quest to help people engage deeper, perform better and fuel growth personally and professionally. His second book, Boring Meetings Suck, was named by Inc. Magazine as a top ten and must-read business book.

Jon’s third book, “Significance In Simple Moments”, has gone through six printings and focuses on human connections to help you achieve significance. Profits from this book are donated in support of the Miracles & Magic Foundation a show which was founded by Jon and his family. Miracles & Magic is a Las Vegas style, grand illusion and comedy magic show that provides children with life-threatening illnesses a chance to forget about the treatments, shots and hospital, and instead shares the wonder and joy of comedy, magic and illusion.


Jess Pettitt

“Why Diversity Initiatives Fail”

Monday, August 22 - 8:00 ET
(In Person, Live-Streamed & On-Demand)


Jess isn’t a chef by any stretch of the imagination, but similar in that a true chef has a secret ingredient that they often leave out of a recipe on purpose and add a dash when no one is looking that pulls from past experiences and is exactly what is needed to really elevate a dish. By pulling from a variety of consulting clients, direct crisis management experiences, multitudes of different jobs along the way, and experience on stage as a stand-up comic, trainer, and now keynote speaker, Jess can elevate conversations.

It is through Jessica’s work in Student Affairs, as a college administrator, in South Carolina, Oregon, New York, and Arizona that she realized her love for the conversations across difference. As a Social Justice Training Institute Alumna, Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and a Certified Speaking Professional, Jessica has taken the typical diversity talks to the next level of social justice conversations examining privilege, oppression, entitlement, and our collective responsibility to make change while connecting difficult topics with employee retention, crisis management, and increasing innovation and profits.

Jessica blends politics, humor, identity, and local flair with big city passion and energy through direct, individualized, and interactive conversations. Her workshops, seminars, and keynotes don’t just leave participants invigorated but inspired and motivated to follow through with action to create change. Having traveled and lived in a variety of communities and environments all over the world, while also engaging with education as student, teacher, administrator, and active community member, Jessica uses her take on life to lead participants through a safe but confrontational process of examination, self-reflection, and open dialog that is as challenging as it is rewarding.

Responses to Jessica’s programs are overwhelmingly positive and include comments ranging from, “This was awful – I never had to think so hard while laughing!” to “I can’t believe my boss brought her – thanks for actually treating us like adults,” to “She answered all of my questions knowledgeably and without making me feel dumb for asking.”

With her attention now turning to larger associations and corporate leadership, Jessica is pulling from the past 15 years of direct experience to lead teams to try instead of avoiding a stretch. It is in this trying that clients uncover a deeper sense of belonging, resourceful collaboration opportunities, and reignite their creativity and innovative ideation. Learning, feeling, and being Good Enough Now allows for teams to do the best they can with what they have and persist long into the future no matter the crisis, topic, or challenge.

Graduating from the University of South Carolina with an M.Ed., in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Crisis Management, Jessica pulls together lessons from teaching History and English in the classroom as well as those from the stand-up comedy stages of New York City to bring real and actionable results to meeting rooms and board tables. She is well published, including multiple online training courses, curriculum guides, and a book that makes the abstract actionable.


Crystal Washington

“The Future of Work is Here”

Wednesday, August 24 - 8:00 AM ET 
(In Person, Live-Streamed & On-Demand)


Crystal Washington, CSP works with organizations that want to leverage technology to increase profits and productivity!

As a technology strategist and certified futurist, Crystal takes complex social media, app, and web topics and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people.

Crystal’s clients comprise Fortune 500 companies including Google, Microsoft, and GE, and as a sought-after keynote speaker, she has entertained and educated audiences around the globe.

As one of Forbes’ 50 Leading Female Futurists, She appears weekly on season two of the Emmy nominated show, Life 2.0 and she’s appeared in numerous publications including Entrepreneur and Bloomberg Businessweek. She is regularly called on by major television networks as a tech expert.

Crystal is the author of the books One Tech Action and The Social Media Why.


Rebecca Heiss

“FEAR(LESS) MINDSET”

Wednesday, August 24 - 3:45 PM ET
(In Person, Live-Streamed & On-Demand)


After earning her PhD with research designated as “transformative” by the National Science Foundation, Dr. Rebecca Heiss went on to hold multiple appointments in academia and applying her research to solve practical problems in overcoming what she refers to as “biological ghosts” - subconscious behaviors that haunt modern life. She is currently launching a new self-awareness, 360-review app, called Icueity (I-cue-it-ee), to help every individual reach her, or his, full potential, and finishing her new book, Instinct, due to be published in May 2021. She has been honored to speak internationally on her work, including multiple TEDx talks, and has found her calling in helping others recognize the power of biological applications in their lives. Rebecca lives in South Carolina with her spoiled rotten dog, named Guinness, and tries every day to live her life motto: “spread happy.”