Monday, January 10, 2022

Spring Retreat 2022: Keynote Speakers Announced

The VA Council of CEOs 2022 Spring Retreat includes well-known, national keynote speakers, relevant workshops and learning opportunities for CEOs, and time for networking and making connections. This year’s event is in person, and we are pleased to announce these powerhouse speakers will command the stage.

(This event is for VACEOs Members and Sponsors only.)

Spring Retreat 2022 Keynote Speakers

Rakia Reynolds Presents (How the ‘C’ in C-Suite Will Evolve)

April 28, 2022
9:30 am – 10:30 am

In this keynote presentation, fully titled: “How the ‘C’ in C-Suite Will Evolve into ‘Change’, from ‘Chief’- How Senior Executives will increasingly become the Stewards of Tomorrow“, Rakia Reynolds, Founder and Executive Officer of award-winning non-traditional multi-cultural multimedia communications agency, Skai Blue Media, will discuss why it’s important for the future of your organization to set the tone of your leadership, which can start with choosing how your title/position is defined.

As times rapidly change, cultural sensitivity and awareness are paramount to the wellness of your brand, and maintaining a forward-thinking strategy at the highest levels of your company is critical to your success both internally and externally.   In this keynote, Rakia will explain why changing the “C” in CEO to “Change” instead of “Chief” could dramatically revitalize your organization on various levels, setting you up for future success. 

About Rakia Reynolds

One of the most sought-after minds in strategic communications, Rakia Reynolds is a thought leader, tastemaker, and branding expert who advises name brands on creative strategy. Her guiding principles as an intriguing storyteller focus on distilling equity in messaging, and her ability to navigate the ever-increasing complex cultural and social media landscapes are only some of the reasons Rakia has successfully created her own distinct brand of authenticity and expertise for over 15 years.

Rakia has been named by Inc. Magazine as one of the 27 Business Leaders Aiming to Change the World, was listed as one of the 25 Most Socially Influential Tastemakers on Dell’s “Inspire 100” list, and recently was also profiled by Forbes on their “Next 1000” list.  As a thought leader and proven authority in marketing, creative strategy and business development Rakia regularly contributes her expertise to the pages of Forbes,, HuffPost, Fast Company, and more. 

Learn more about Rakia Reynolds

Eric Herrenkohl Presents Turning B-Players Into An A-Players Team

April 28, 2022
10:45 am – 11:50 am

The best leaders and best businesses know how to get great results out of good- but not necessarily superior- employees. This session, fully titled “Turning B-Players into an A-Player Team: How to Meld Regular People into a Superior Team“, provides you with a system for driving top and bottom-line results by coaching B-player employees to generate A-Player results. 

This session pulls together decades of experience in getting the most out of the people we have by making sure they know WHAT to do, WHY it is important, and HOW to do it. This process also explains how to provide the ACCOUNTABILITY essential for any team to thrive. 

By the end of our time together, you will have tools and strategies for: 

  • “Coaching up” B-Players to produce A-Player results.
  • Delegating more work and freeing up your own time.
  • Retaining your best performers with personalized career plans.
  • Creating better team results by playing to strengths and managing weaknesses.
  • Avoiding hiring mistakes and acquiring the right talent. 

This is an interactive, workshop-style session, not a “sage on the stage” lecture. I will share my tools, strategies, and stories. Then we as a team will work together to apply them to your businesses.

About Eric Herrenkohl

Eric Herrenkohl is an executive coach and Managing Director of Executive Coaching and Executive Career Services for AchieveNEXT. He is the creator of the A-Player Executive and Leadership Leverage coaching systems, designed to help leaders pinpoint, assess, and overcome obstacles to human performance at every level in a business. Eric led a boutique executive search and executive coaching firm for 20 years prior to joining AchieveNEXT. 

Besides other varied and distinguished accomplishments, Eric’s book How to Hire A-Players, published by Wiley, is an Amazon bestseller named one of the top 10 recruiting books of all time by His thought leadership has been featured by Business Week, Fox News,, the LinkedIn Talent Blog,, NBC News, the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Toronto Globe and Mail. 

Learn more about Eric.

Elliot Eisenberg Presents The Economy in 2022: Growing and Slowing

April 29, 2022
9:30 am – 10:30 am

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. (aka, “The Bowtie Economist”) promises to entertain and educate as he discusses the short-term and longer-term health of the US economy. Dr. Eisenberg will discuss the most recent statistics on key topics such as the depth and breadth of the economic recovery from Covid-19, inflation, interest rates, the Fed, labor markets and wages, supply-chain issues, the impact of new Congressional legislation, and of corporate investment.  In particular, Dr. Eisenberg will examine trucking, construction, medical services, hospitality, manufacturing, R.V. sales and more! Be ready to take plenty of notes. 

About Elliot Eisenberg

Elliot Eisenberg, Ph.D. is an internationally acclaimed economist and public speaker specializing in making economics fun, relevant and educational. Dr. Eisenberg earned a B.A. in economics with first class honors from McGill University in Montreal, as well as a Master and Ph.D. in public administration from Syracuse University.  Eisenberg is the Chief Economist for GraphsandLaughs, LLC, a Miami-based economic consultancy that serves a variety of clients across the United States.  He writes a syndicated column and authors a daily 70-word commentary on the economy that is available at

Dr. Eisenberg has spoken hundreds of business groups and associations, serving as keynote speaker on topics including economic forecasts, economic impact of industries such as homebuilding, consequences of government regulation, and other current economic issues. His research and opinions have been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Bureau of National Affairs, Forbes, Fortune, and many other publications.  He is a regularly featured guest on talk, and public radio. 

Stephanie Stuckey Presents Brand Building, Pecans, And the Great American Road Trip

April 29, 2022
10:45 am – 11:50 am

Stuckey’s has been a part of the American travel landscape for folks to stop by and “Relax, Refresh, & Refuel” since 1937. Stephanie Stuckey, granddaughter of W.S. and current CEO of the brand icon, discusses her journey with the company her family founded, sold and reacquired give an update for 2022. 

About Stephanie Stuckey

Stephanie received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia. She has worked as a trial lawyer, elected to seven terms as a state representative, ran an environmental nonprofit law firm that settled the largest Clean Water Act case in Georgia history, served as Director of Sustainability and Resilience for the City of Atlanta, and taught as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Stephanie’s achievements include being named one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine and a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. She is active in her community, a longstanding member of Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, and serves on many nonprofit boards, including the National Sierra Club Foundation, EarthShare of Georgia, and her local zoning review board.

About VA Council of CEOs Spring Retreat

The VACEOS Annual Spring Retreat features acclaimed keynote speakers and workshops tackling the challenges that are most on the minds of small and mid-sized business owners of today. The event also includes time for networking and making connections. CEO members often say the Retreat is “worth the price of membership.” The event is included in membership. Learn more about VACEOs Member benefits.

(VACEOs Members and Sponsors only. Not a member or sponsor but interested in attending? Contact us at with questions.)

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