2019 Keynote Speakers

Founding CEO of the National Resilience Institute

Mollie Marti Ph.D, JD


Mollie Marti, a social psychologist and attorney, is founding CEO of the National Resilience Institute, a U.S. nonprofit organization that equips helpers with trauma informed tools to grow resilience. She also directs Worldmaker International, a global human resilience collaborative. Through these initiatives, she has convened several national and international resilience summits.

Dr. Marti’s research examines the most important factors that drive group norms of hope, help seeking, and resilience. Her frameworks, such as the THRIVE Resilience Model™, are used in the fields of community preparedness and recovery, law enforcement/military wellness, school-based resilience, and workplace mental health. She frequently lectures in these areas and provides resilience education directly to viewers through her Resiliency Matters TV show.

The author of several journal articles, her leadership books have been translated into eight languages. Prior to her nonprofit executive work, she directed an academic survey research unit, taught as a university psychology professor, and coached elite business and athletic performers, including world and Olympic competitors.


Medal of Honor Recipient

James McCloughan


Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan was born in South Haven, MI. He completed his tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969-1970. He distinguished himself during 48 hours of close-combat fighting against enemy forces, May 13-15, 1969. At the time, then-Pfc. McCloughan was serving as a combat medic with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, in the Republic of Vietnam.

During this timeframe, he saw a wounded soldier lying on the ground, too injured to move. McCloughan ran 100 meters to the soldier through an open field, ducking and dodging the crossfire of his company and a charging platoon of North Vietnamese Army. Upon reaching the wounded soldier, McCloughan shouldered him and raced back to the company, saving his fellow Soldier from being captured or killed. McCloughan is credited with saving the lives of ten members of his company.


Bob VandePol

VandePol circle.jpg

Bob VandePol serves as the Executive Director of the Pine Rest Employee Assistance Program. He is an active keynote speaker and has published business and clinical journals. In addition to journals, he has co-authored books focusing on responses to hardships in the workplace. Along with journals and book chapters, Bob VandePol has also been featured in video training courses. One of his many focuses includes examining how executive teams can lead organizational readjustment after tragedies. In doing this, he has managed CCN’s Command Center in Manhattan after the 2001 terrorist attacks. As a result of all of his experience, he has an excellent understanding of crisis response training, consultation, and service to faith-based organizations.