2023 TNSTRONG Summit Speakers
Jamie Kent, Artist, entrepreneur, and advocate Jamie Kent has forged a unique path of his own through the music and public health worlds over the last decade. He's been called an "Artist You Need to Know" by Rolling Stone and dubbed one of the "Most Fascinating People of 2020" by Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. As an artist, he has notched over a thousand shows under his belt, including concerts with icons ranging from Reba to Huey Lewis & The News. His last album, "All American Mutt", debuted at #16 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart, and his songs have been heard across network television in shows and commercials. Beyond his own music, Kent has emerged as a key voice advocating for and on behalf of the creative working class in Tennessee. Through his company Band Ambassador Media Group, Kent serves as both a marketing strategist and lobbyist, bringing an approach to communications rooted in both creativity and advocacy. He sits on the board of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, serves as the Artist in Residence or the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation, and is the Chair of Musicians for a Smokefree Tennessee, a coalition of 80+ artists, businesses, and public health partners advocating for smokefree/vapefree workplaces for TN musicians. Kent is constantly working to innovate advocacy, that in turn, impacts policy and improves the lives of Tennessee's creative working class.
Robyn (Burns) Russell works as Public Health Educator for Dyer County in the West Tennessee Region. Robyn partners with community stakeholders, including the Prevention Alliance of Dyersburg and Dyer County and Dyer County Health Council, to provide evidence-based curriculums surrounding opioid and nicotine prevention in schools and at local community events. Robyn is a certified American Lung Association Freedom from Smoking Cessation Counselor as well as an American Lung Association INDEPTH/N-O-T Youth Cessation Counselor.
Chelsea White serves as Regional Tobacco Coordinator and Assistant Health Promotion Director for West Tennessee. Chelsea facilitates evidence-based curriculum to schools across Weakley County to prevent the use of Nicotine and other addicting substances. She is currently a certified American Lung Association Smoking Cessation Counselor. She also works to disseminate information to school districts to assist schools in policy change regarding nicotine use by students, faculty, and staff.
Bryan Coleman is a leadership development and facilitation expert who delivers experiential learning content that challenges audiences to think critically about the intersection of identity and inclusion for youth-serving practitioners. His presentations draw from deep experience engaging national, regional, and local youth programs and are designed with practical strategies attendees can apply personally and professionally. Bryan earned his undergraduate degree at Bucknell University and a number of certifications through the Sustained Dialogue Institute focused on community engagement and cultural competency. His passions include dreaming big, critiquing everything, and empowering the next generation of leaders.
Maren Lopez is a Volunteer Parent Educator for Parents Against Vaping e-cigarettes (PAVe), a national advocacy and education organization dedicated to protecting kids from the dangers of e-cigarettes. She was motivated to get involved after discovering one of her own children was using e-cigarettes. She gives presentations and participates in local and national advocacy to help other parents take action to protect the children in their communities. She is the mother of four children and is an educator in the public school system with experience in elementary and middle schools. She has seen first-hand, both as a teacher and as a parent, the pervasiveness of the vaping epidemic and the need for strong parent and youth voices.
Jill Murphy is a member of the Regional Advancement team with East Tennessee Foundation and provides support to the affiliate funds, advisory boards, and nonprofits across the 25-county region of East Tennessee. Prior to joining ETF, she worked for the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth providing support and connecting resources in the 36-county grand region to families dealing with a family member with mental illness. During this time, Jill traveled presenting ACE’s information to various community stakeholders. Jill also worked for many years as a mental health therapist, worked as part of a local anti-drug coalition, and published her own magazine. Jill’s diverse background in social services, business ownership, volunteerism, and community-based activities for counties in the east region serves her well in knowing needs and opportunities in the region.
Matt and Phil of M&P Presentations LLC are a nationally known motivational speaking duo who are high-energy experts in cultivating self-confidence and promoting a positive mindset. Together they are on a mission to cultivate confidence in others and promote positivity through high-energy keynotes, social media creations, and their “Train Of Positivity” short films. #MP2Day.
Matt Matkovich is an ultra-marathon running, College Board recognized school counselor with a master's degree in school guidance and counseling.
Phil Januszewski is a tattooed-covered, Netflix baking-show flopping, high school chemistry, and physics teacher with a master's degree in teaching leadership.
Starting through SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) in the state of Florida, Nicolas Suarez has been fighting against Big Tobacco since his middle school years. In 2017, for his tobacco control advocacy in Florida, he was recognized as CTFK's South Region Youth Advocate of the Year. His passion for public health has seen him tackle a number of issues, including tobacco, COVID-19, and striving for health equity in an inequitable world.
Currently, Nicolas is the Program Associate of Youth Advocacy for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids.
Jason Michaels is a professional speaker and entertainer with astounding expertise in the arts of deception. A storyteller by heart, Jason loves to blend impossible mysteries with unforgettable tales. He has been performing sleight of hand, the art of illusion, and theater for over twenty-five years.
SPEAKER: Diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome at age six, Jason has overcome "the impossible" and become an internationally award-winning sleight-of-hand artist and professional speaker. He motivates audiences to see beyond their challenges and self-imposed limitations and inspires them to take action by living bigger, bolder lives with his program #DOTHEIMPOSSIBLE: LIVE B.I.G. ENTERTAINER: Jason has shared his style of interactive sleight-of-hand, illusion, and humor with corporate audiences, theaters, universities, the United States Armed Forces, and for private social affairs all over the world.
AUTHOR: Jason is the author of the book "You Can Do the Impossible, Too!" His book details his journey of overcoming the debilitating neurological disorder Tourette Syndrome to become a success in business and in life.
Learn more about Jason at his website - www.jasonmichaelsmagic.com
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Ambassadors plan, implement and participate in tobacco education and advocacy events across the state. They play an active role within their communities, counties, and statewide. They engage in local and statewide activism, educate their peers on tobacco-related issues, and inspire/motivate others to start taking action. These select youth leaders will receive specialized in-person and web-based training to advance their knowledge and further their advocacy skills.
Dr. Bolden is a nationally recognized consultant in men's health, community organizing, cancer, cardiology, and diabetes. He currently serves as the Community Initiatives Program Manager for The Center for Black Health & Equity (The Center) serving the Africa Diaspora on the health risk associated with menthol tobacco/vaping, and its relationship to health concerns affecting African descendants. He has 30 years of experience in Public Health and Community Medicine. He-served as a co-principal investigator, researcher and health educator for the American Cancer Society, advisor for the Congressional Black Caucus Health Brain Trust. Dr. Bolden continues as a visiting Scholar for Georgia Institute of Technology and was appointed to the advisory committee for the Morehouse School of Medicine’s COVID-19 Phase III clinical trials. He assisted in the development of “Power & Immunity”, a COVID-19 vaccine toolkit developed for African Americans by The Center for the American Lung Associates. He holds a PhD in Community Medicine and Public Health, Master of Science in Healthcare Administration, and Master of Theological Studies. He is an Ordained Elder within the Church Of God In Christ and the father of 3 adult children and 8 grandchildren.