ANLA Unveils Headliners for Convention

The American Nursery & Landscape Association announces its headliners for its Convention & Learning Retreat in Boston, July 16-20. Retired U.S. Navy Capt. D. Michael Abrashoff, best-selling author of The Big Dig Dan McNichol and the “Ambassador of Fun” Tony Brigmon, will motivate, educate and energize attendees.

The “Revolutionary Learning Experience” kicks off Friday, July 18 with “Big Thoughts Speaker” Capt. (Ret.) D. Michael Abrashoff speaking about grassroots leadership, the process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion by engaging the hearts, minds and loyalties of workers. Grassroots leadership is a principal that empowers every individual to share the responsibility of achieving success. It was through this dedication and leadership style that Abrashoff was able to turn around exceptionally low morale and high turnover on the USS Benfold and make the Benfold the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet and an example the entire U.S. Navy follows today. The Benfold was awarded the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness.

Saturday, July 19, attendees will be both entertained by the self-proclaimed “Ambassador of Fun” Tony Brigmon and awed by author Dan McNichol and his role in Boston’s Central/Artery Tunnel Project (“The Big Dig”).

Brigmon is a unique individual who has developed an unusual ability to bring business meetings to life. Brigmon gained notoriety after conceiving a unique way to generate PR for Southwest Airlines as a keynote speaker and creating a highly successful way to present stress management information to 2,000 Southwest employees. Because of his successful work in Southwest’s customer care and employee development areas, Brigmon earned Southwest Airlines President’s Award for exemplifying the spirit of enthusiasm, fun and caring, which is Southwest, and for sharing that spirit creatively through employee development programs. Brigmon will offer his ideas for motivating your team, adding pizzazz and personality to your business culture even in challenging times.

To cap the morning general session, Dan McNichol will inspire attendees to think “outside-the-box” when he shares his experiences on one of the nation’s largest interstate highway project, The Big Dig. McNichol spent 10 years on becoming an expert on Boston’s Central/Artery Tunnel Project, when he started working on the project as the executive assistant to the project’s director. While in that role, he partook in the project management and overseeing the management consultant before becoming the Big Dig spokesman. His innovative work style has lead him to be featured in many articles and programs including the Discovery Channel, Learning Channel, History Channel and the Travel Channel. He has also appeared in many local news shows as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Washington Post, Fortune magazine, and National Public Radio. Because of the extensive role he played in this project, McNichol received a White House appointment to serve Secretary of Transportation Andrew H. Card.

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