David W. Brezina Memorial Sessions

David W. Brezina served as ALA President from 1996 to 1997. His career in legal administration spanned more than 20 years. In 1996, Dave was involved in a tragic bicycling accident resulting in paralysis and quadriplegia. Even as he fought this disability, he served his term as President with distinction and vigor. At the time of his death in 1999, Dave was serving as a Trustee of the Foundation. A memorial fund was created in his honor to further the educational and charitable work of the Foundation.

Each year at the Annual Conference, the Foundation sponsors the David W. Brezina Memorial Session by bringing a speaker who personifies the spirit of community, professional ethics, personal fortitude and high personal standards of human civility that David represented in both his professional life and his personal struggles.

The 2019 speaker, Michelle Silverthorn, heads Inclusion Nation, a diversity consulting firm that partners with forward-thinking organizations to design authentic, inclusive workplaces built for success. She presented "Getting Out of Your Silos: How to Respectfully Discuss Race, Gender and Politics in a Fragmented World" at the 2019 Annual Conference & Expo.

At the 2021 Annual Conference & Expo, our featured speaker will be Dr. Rick Rigsby, President and CEO of Rick Rigsby Communications. In his session, The 21st Century Leader, Dr. Rigsby will explain how in today’s landscape characterized by constant change, business leaders must leverage existing demands with a greater commitment to professional development, or risk becoming ineffective, obsolete and eventually replaced. He argues that dynamic and effective leadership must expand its focus to include technological expansion, knowledge acquisition, diverse demographics and increased globalization.

Here is a listing of speakers and topics presented over the past few years:

Broken Eyes, Unbroken Spirit
Speaker: David Meador, 2015

Civility Pays
Speaker: Christine Porath, PhD , 2016

Giving Voice to Values: The "How" of Values-Driven Leadership
Speaker: Mary Gentile, PhD , 2017

Leading Inclusion with Inclusive Leading
Speaker: Judy Hissong, CLM, 2018

Getting Out of Your Silo: How to Respectfully Discuss Race, Gender and Politics in a Fragmented World
Speaker: Michele Silverthorn, 2019