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Keynote Speakers & Sessions


Meet opening keynote speaker, Ben Young
Magician , Magician Ben Young

Ben Young is a Magic Event Superhero, performing engaging programs at events and meetings nationwide. Clients call him an “event superhero” because of his versatile services to fit your needs. Whether he provides a comedy & magic show, sleight of hand strolling magic, a keynote, or runs a team-building workshop, Ben is your on-call superhero. Forget the magic stereotypes of hats and rabbits, and instead experience Ben’s quirky and personable style that has been enjoyed from New York to the Las Vegas Strip. People will rave about the event for months after, and best of all, Ben will make you look like the real hero!


The 3 things You’ll Learn from Ben’s The Magician’s Mindset!

  • Use metaphors to destroy your limiting beliefs and open your mind up to new solutions
  • The value of having the magician’s mindset — anything is possible!
  • The steps to creating a magic trick and use them to solve an impossible problem


Meet closing panel speaker, Townes Lavidge Osborn

President, Lavidge & Associates

Townes Lavidge Osborn is president of Lavidge & Associates, an integrated marketing and communications agency based in Knoxville that was founded by her father, Art Lavidge, in 1950, and she serves as president of her family’s foundation. She has served on the Knoxville Museum of Art Board of Trustees and the Knoxville Opera Board of Directors. She continues to serve on the University of Tennessee Library Society board and the Clarence Brown Theatre’s Advisory board. She is co-trustee of KAMA’s Eagle Endowment for Marketing Education, a trustee of the Rotary Foundation of Knoxville and serves on the American Marketing Association Foundation Board of Trustees. She has been a member of the UT Chancellor’s Associates, served on the Helen Ross McNabb Board of Directors and on the American Marketing Association’s Board of Directors. She was Chair of the AMA’s Marketing Management Council, Chair of the World Marketing Congress and Chair of the AMA Leadership Summit. She was a founder of KAMA and when serving as president of KAMA, the Knoxville Chapter won AMA International’s Chapter of the Year. She is the past president of the Rotary Club of Knoxville and has served in a variety of Rotary District leadership positions such as the Rotary International Public Image Zone Coordinator for North America. Over the years she has been on 34 nonprofit boards and chaired half of them. Recognition received includes recipient of the Lemburg Award from the AMA, its highest honor for service and contributions to the marketing profession, the International Marketing Medal for raising four million dollars and establishing 24 business libraries in Eastern Europe after the Iron Curtain fell, the Locander Award, and Outstanding Marketing Professional from the Knoxville AMA. From Rotary International she was honored with the RI Service Above Self award given to a handful of the 1.2 million Rotarians around the world each year. An avid reader and seasoned traveler, Townes is passionate about the arts. She earned her BA from the University of Tennessee and lived, traveled and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, NYC and Washington, DC before returning to Knoxville to join her father’s business where she handled the Coca Cola NA co-branded marketing account for North America for 17 years, Great Lakes Chemical Corp., Link-Belt Cylindrical Roller Bearings worldwide, TVA Employment Marketing, tourism realted accounts, Schaad Companies, and a variety of other accounts. During the 30 years she has been based in Knoxville, the world of marketing has undergone revolutionary changes in technology.



Meet closing panel speaker, Sam Furrow

Owner, Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville

Sam Furrow, born in Roane County, Tennessee in 1941, holds a B.S. in Marketing (1963) and a Doctor of Jurisprudence (1969) from the University of Tennessee. He is a graduate of Repperts School of Auctioneering and the Certified Auctioneers Institute of Indiana University. Sam and his wife, Ann Baker Furrow, have two children, Lee Ann Furrow Tolsma, a graduate of Duke University, and Samuel Joseph Furrow, Jr. (Jay), a graduate of Vanderbilt University, and three grandchildren. Mr. Furrow’s business interests include owning Furrow Auction Company, Mercedes-Benz of Knoxville/smart Knoxville, Land Rover Knoxville, Jaguar Land Rover Porsche Chattanooga, real estate development and investments.
He has served on a number of boards of directors including financial boards, Joe’s Jeans, Inc., and the Knoxville/Knox County Public Building Authority. In the volunteer arena, Sam currently is on the board of directors for the Knoxville Zoo. Sam is a past President of the Great Smoky Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts, past Campagin Charman and a past Chairman of the Board for Leadership Knoxville. His active volunteerism has been honored by the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service and the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and he is in the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame. In 1994 Phi Delta Theta recognized Sam as the recipient of the National Man of the Year award. He was Bond #1 at Phi Delta Theta’s Tennessee Gamma Chapter, which he helped found in 1963, served as Chapter Advisor, Province President, and Alumni Club President, and is currently Trustee of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation. He met his wife, Ann, when she was Sweetheart of Tennessee Gamma Phi Delta Theta, and they married in 1967. Sam and Ann enjoy travel and their summer residences in Nantucket, Massachusetts.


Cynthia Moxley

Meet closing panel speaker, Cynthia Moxley
CEO, Moxley Carmichael

As founder and chief executive officer of East Tennessee’s premier public relations firm, Cynthia Moxley works closely with the chief executives of the major companies in the region and has close personal relationships with top media executives and the working press at all levels. In addition, she maintains close working relationships with key government officials. She plans and implements communications plans, social media initiatives, business strategies, image campaigns, crisis communications plans, government relations efforts, research, special events and employee communications. She works closely with the news media in all facets of representing her clients and is recognized as a leader in social media. Moxley is active in the community with service with the Knoxville Chamber, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, East Tennessee Foundation, Knoxville Area Urban League, Clarence Brown Theatre, Friends of Literacy and Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation, among many others.


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