Keynote Speakers

Read on to discover more information about each of our amazing keynote speakers for the 2020 conference!

February 25 Opening General Session Keynote

Lessons in Safety From The Miracle on the Hudson

Jeff Skiles, Co-Pilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, “The Miracle on the Hudson”

News of plane crashes and airline disasters usually hits the public hard. Yet those same accidents become the training tools and examples that help pilots avoid repeating those mistakes. But the exploits of the flight crew of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, known as “The Miracle on the Hudson,” are a rare example where others learn from a resounding success rather than a failure. On a bright, 20-degree afternoon in January, the Airbus A320 accelerated down New York La Guardia Airport’s main runway, loaded with 155 passengers and crew, headed skywards for Charlotte, NC. Everything was normal until First Officer Jeff Skiles heard numerous thunks as a formation of Canadian geese impacted the aircraft. Both engines immediately failed. Within seconds, Skiles and Captain Chesley Sullenberger made the decision that returning to LaGuardia was simply not possible—they’d have to fly over densely populated areas and there was no guarantee that they’d make it. Surrounded by nothing but skyscrapers and neighborhoods, they decided to head to the only open, flat space available—the Hudson River. Learn what Skiles’ harrowing experience can teach you about the importance of training at every level of your organization, and how a successful, safe outcome is the result of a group effort representing the contributions of an entire organization and not just one individual.

February 26 Morning General Session Keynote

Combatting Inattention: Mindfulness Matters

Paul Krismer, Safety Culture Expert

The best safety systems have little application if workers are distracted and unfocused as they do their work. And we are all distracted these days, with our to-do lists, our relationships, our future worries and our past challenges. Combine this constant mental chatter with the perils of routine and repetitive work tasks and you have a recipe for disaster.

The secret weapon against distractions from safety is mindfulness. Mindfulness is as important for your brain as exercise and nutrition are for your body. To be mindful is to be fully present with what is actually happening in the moment. Everyone can learn shortcuts to being focused, on task and holding distracting thoughts and emotions at a distance.

February 26 Governor’s Workplace Safety Awards Luncheon Keynote

PTSD/TBI Awareness and Service Dogs in the Workplace

Captain Louis Belluomini and K9 Star

Captain Louis Belluomini served in the United States Army for nine years. He was honorably discharged in 2015, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. Upon his exit from the army, Belluomini was paired with 3-year-old golden retriever Star, who serves as his protector, co-worker and sidekick every day. Their relationship has been featured in an Emmy-winning documentary entitled “A New Leash on Life,” about the importance of supporting veterans upon their return from service. Today, Louis is a paramedic in Ohio, but he also spends his time presenting (with Star) on the what to know about PTSD in your employees as well as awareness of service dogs in the workplace.

Louis Belluomini and Star