A New Mission - Event Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth McCormick is a sought after International Motivational Speaker and CEO of Soar 2 Success International, a premier training and publishing company.

As a decorated U.S. Army Black Hawk Helicopter Pilot and Chief Warrant Officer 2, Elizabeth flew missions such as Air Assault/Rappelling, Command & Control, VIP, and Military intelligence. She supported United Nations peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, receiving the Meritorious Service Medal for her excellence in service prior to her career ending injury. In 2011 Elizabeth was awarded the Congressional Veteran Commendation.

Elizabeth is a master leadership trainer and founding member of the John Maxwell Team of speakers, coaches and trainers, and a dynamic energizing entertainer. See a clip at pilotspeaker.com. She inspires audiences with her experiences from her years as a pilot and turns those stories into actionable lessons.

A frequent face in the media, Elizabeth has been seen on ABC, CBS, FOX News, MSNBC, in the Wall Street Journal and more. A No. 1 best-selling author, her personal development book, The P.I.L.O.T. Method, is a “must read”! Elizabeth also has an extensive series of business success books: Soar 2 Success.


Pam Saulsby is an Emmy-award winning television news journalist.

She has worked as a news reporter and anchor since 1981. Pam has worked in specialized areas of news reporting. Those areas include health, crime, children, and currently military matters.

Pam has been recognized nationally and locally for excellence in Journalism. This year she received a Presidential Award for Volunteerism and the use of her personal video camera to produce news stories about military members and their families.  Pam was named one of the top Women in Business in The Triangle Area.  She was recognized by the state of North Carolina and honored with a Woman of the Year Award in Business.

Welcome Remarks

Kellie Covington is the Market Human Resources Manager for Sam's Club, currently supporting 28 clubs with +4,700 associates across North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina.  She has 10 years of Retail management experience, with a mix of operational and multi-unit human resource leadership roles.  In her current role, she has responsibility for championing associate engagement, talent acquisition and development, and building partnerships with business leaders within Sam’s Club and the communities that we serve.  Kellie also has 6 years of construction and project management experience in the power industry, including 3 years as Field Cost Manager in Thailand.  Originally from St. Louis, Missouri and a graduate of the Missouri University of Science and Technology, she now resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


Major Neely Mahoney
is currently the North Carolina National Guard State Education Services Officer (ESO).

Morning Speaker

Rhett Jeppson is is the Associate Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Veterans Business Development. Jeppson's wide range experience includes extensive military service, small business management, and directing a state's procurement activities.

In 1988, Mr. Jeppson completed the Basic Officer Course and The Infantry Officer Course and then reported to the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, California where he served as a Rifle Platoon Officer, a Company Executive Officer, and a principal Battalion Staff officer. During this time, Rhett first experienced combat with 3rd Battalion 9th Marines during Operation Desert Storm.

Following Desert Storm, Rhett left active duty with the Marine Corps to return to Florida in 1991 and tend to his family and father's business while his father underwent a bone marrow transplant for Leukemia. While running the family business, Rhett learned first-hand the rewards and challenges of managing a small business.

The Panel

Annette Hibbert Stevenson, has over 30 years of professional work experience in the personnel/administrative management and procurement profession. During her career at SAS Instiute Inc., she has been responsible for procuring various commodities and earned the designation of Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.).

Annette currently serves as the Supplier Diversity Manager at SAS. As part of the Corporate Services Division, she is responsible for advancing the goals and objectives of the company’s supplier diversity initiatives.

A graduate of Methodist College, Annette holds a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Military Science. She received an early Reserve Officer Commission as a rising senior at Methodist. As a Quartermaster Officer she successfully completed Airborne and Rigger school. Upon college graduation, Annette received a Regular Army Commission in the Adjutant General Corps. She served in numerous leadership positions during her ten years of active duty service. Her assignments included Fort Bragg and Raleigh, North Carolina; West Germany; and Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. She is retired from the U.S. Army Reserves.


CJ Scarlet, founder and Chief Innovator of 10 for Humanity™, LLC, knows first-hand how violence can destroy lives. A survivor of sexual assault, CJ spent much of her life dealing with the emotional aftermath of her experience. She became an advocate for others who had been victimized, volunteering on rape crisis and domestic violence boards, running a child advocacy center and working as Director of Victims Issues for the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. In the process, CJ became an international expert on crime victim issues and victim notification technology, speaking at national and international criminal justice conferences. She also holds a B.A. in Political Science and an interdisciplinary M.A. in Humanities with an emphasis on Human Violence..

CJ decided to use her hard-won experience and knowledge to address violence and crime on a global level. But she was tired of dealing with crime after it occurred— she wanted to do something to stop it from happening at all. The Tiger Eye Security Sensor™ will help accomplish this.

The former U.S. Marine is an award-winning writer, motivational speaker and emerging technology geek who has appeared on numerous radio and television programs. She serves on the state Boards of Directors for the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter, and North Carolina Veterans Business Association. CJ is also a volunteer caregiver and vigil volunteer for Hospice of Wake County.

Kathleen Volandt is a service disabled, Gulf I era U.S. Army veteran. When 9/11 happened, she tried to re-enlist. Told she was too broken to serve, Kathleen got creative and started her own Defense contracting company. She is the Founder and President of Auroros Inc., an 11 year old company providing contract consulting to every kind of company from non-profits to federal agencies. Past clients include Headquarters Marine Corps, Headquarters Army and the FBI. Kathleen is honored to be the new NC State Director of Concerned Veterans for America.

As a former Soldier, daughter and granddaughter of veterans, and a Marine mom, Kathleen is passionate about veteran issues including the treatment of women in the military and post military service, the desperate need for greater accountability and better care of veterans in the Veterans Administration, transitioning out of the military, and national defense.

With a Bachelor's and Master's from Virginia Tech, Kathleen lives the Virginia Tech motto of Ut Prosim: “That I may serve.”   Kathleen supports a number of veteran, women's and children’s charities. She is a 2013 graduate of the Women in Office Program and a Fellow of the Institute of Political Leadership. Kathleen speaks publically on a variety of topics including veteran and women’s issues, financial literacy, small business, and is an inspirational speaker on how to overcome life’s most difficult challenges. She has been invited to speak at K-12 schools, colleges, has testified to Congress and has appeared on CNN, NBC Nightly News, Fox News and NPR. She is the 2013 Triangle Business Journal Women in Business Award Inspiration Winner and the 2010 Spirit of Freedom Award winner of the USO of NC.  Kathleen resides in Raleigh NC.

Linda Hill is the Founder of Green Thumb Cleaning and Organizing, a boutique firm that offers a variety of services in cleaning, organizing and time management.

Linda opened “GTCO”  to help her clients through what can be a challenging process, while, at the same time, remaining sensitive to those clients' special needs and attachments. She also wanted her business to serve as a stepping stone to aid in the employment for veterans and their families.

Linda served in the United States Army, has a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and is a Certified Teacher.

Alisha Ramsey is proud to be a former Captain in United States Army. Early in her career was enlisted Soldier, she carried a camera and tripod in her left hand and an M-16 in her right hand, and was responsible for telling Soldiers stories in places like Bosnia and Iraq. Alisha graduated from the University of Hawaii in 2002 and returned to active duty as a Signal Corps and Public Affairs officer based in Germany and Iraq.

In 2007, Alisha resigned her commission to start a new life as an entrepreneur, relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina. She founded her company, Tellurvision Studios. Tellurvision studios is boutique video production and vieo marketing company for businesses. Alisha's newest production is her very own TV Show called, Flea Market Junkies.

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