Featured Speakers

Thursday, March 22, 2018

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
Opening Keynote with Eric Hoffman 


Eric Hoffman is the author of the 2017 Mitten Award Winner: A Dark, Dark Cave. He has been working with young children since 1970 as a preschool teacher, parent, and foster parent.  He worked for twenty-five years at the Cabrillo College Children’s Center in Santa Cruz, California, as a master teacher and administrator. He is currently an instructor in the Cabrillo Early Childhood Education Department. His work with children was highlighted in the book and video Starting Small, from the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance Project.

Eric has presented numerous workshops and classes for parents and teachers on conflict resolution, diversity, discipline, social-emotional intelligence, and using dolls and puppets throughout the curriculum. His most popular presentation focuses on the “big questions” children start to ask about fairness, right and wrong, and power as they reach preschool age, and the ways they explore these questions through their play.  

Eric has degrees in design and developmental psychology. He has used his design background to help create over forty playgrounds for schools. He currently makes toys and other wood items, which can be seen at www.erichoffmanbooksandtoys.com.

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch with Kevin & Stephanie Kammeraad


Who is Kevin? 

Kevin loves to perform, write, draw, sing, make things, and wonder about possibilities. He is an award-winning artist, performer, and children's author of many books and CDs who loves to collaborate with other artists. Each year, he visits schools, libraries, festivals, and conferences to inspire active imaginations through poetry, puppetry, music, and movement. He and his family live in Grand Rapids, MI. Visit kevinkammeraad.com for more.

Who is Stephanie?

Stephanie is a book-reading, journal-writing, soup-making, smoothie-inventing, vegetable-loving, home-schooling mama of two! 

Stephanie has numerous roles at Cooperfly Creative Arts. She helps coordinate the tours for Kevin and the Cooperfly Puppet Troupe, organizes and advises on the educational components of Kevin's conference presentations, presents at conferences on great multicultural and musical children's books to incorporate in both the home and classroom, and is the general idea consultant for the company! She's passionate about great children's books and loves sharing them with children, parents, and educators! Because of that, as a division of Cooperfly Creative Arts, she started Mama-Lady Books, where her mission is to get great multicultural children's books into the hands of children and the grown-ups who love them! 

Stephanie currently lives in Grand Rapids with her family, two cats, and a dog, in a house where it seems there's always room for one more!      

3:45 – 4:45p.m.
Afternoon Keynote and Book Signing with Jeff Zentner

Jeff_ZentnerJeff Zentner is the author of 2017 Thumbs Up! Award Winner The Serpent King.

Jeff Zentner is the author of New York Times Notable Book The Serpent King and Goodbye Days. He has won the William C. Morris Award, Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, International Literacy Association Award, Westchester Fiction Award, been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and UKLA, and was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize and Indies Choice Award. He was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. Before becoming a writer, he was a musician who recorded with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, and Debbie Harry. He lives in Nashville. 


Friday, March 23, 2018

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Kim_MonaghanGeneral Session with Kim Monaghan

Kim has over 16 years’ experience coaching, training and consulting in the human resources industry. She works with clients throughout the U.S. helping them realize their full potential, reach their dreams and become career happy.

Kim found her career purpose when she transitioned from counseling into building a career services division for a college in Texas. From there, she spent 13 years working with individuals and organizations on career management projects including consulting for a human resources division, a global outplacement firm and developing a dynamic career services department in higher education.

In 2006, Kim launched KBM Coaching & Consulting LLC focusing on empowering others towards professional fulfillment through coaching, career management consulting and employee development.

Kim is an active member of the American Psychological Association, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, International Coaching Federation, Professional Coaching Association of Los Angeles, Society for Human Resources Management and the Author’s Guild.

3:10 – 4:10 p.m.
JeffreyBrownClosing Keynote with Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown is the best selling author and illustrator of the middle grade Jedi Academy series as well as the Darth Vader and Son series. Jeffrey has also written a number of autobiographical books for adults, humorous graphic novels about cats, and parodies like Incredible Change-Bots

Currently, Jeffrey is working on the middle grade series Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, chronicling the adventures of two prehistoric cave kids living 40,000 years ago. The latest book in the series, Lucy & Andy 2: The Stone Cold Age, is a Junior Library Guild Selection.