Postsecondary CTE Event

Join postsecondary CTE professionals from across the nation to tackle four critical issues:

  • Expanding Career Pathways
  • Building Apprenticeships
  • Closing Access & Equity Gaps
  • Supporting Faculty Recruitment & Retention.

The Convening will feature expert panel presentations, engaging professional development sessions, and numerous networking/working sessions. Participants will engage in discussions about the best practices in these four key areas and you will draft a plan to impact your institution. This solution-driven event is unlike any event you have ever attended!

Don’t forget to also register for the pre-Convening special event. We have arranged a tour and dinner at the International Culinary Institute of Myrtle Beach at Horry-Georgetown Technical College. You will receive a four-course meal prepared by their very own students! This event will be an intimate gathering with your peers. Space is limited for the Convening and the special pre-Convening event!

Register and reserve your spot soon!

See you in Myrtle Beach!

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Tim Hardee

Dr. Tim Hardee became System President of the SC Technical College System in November of 2016. Prior to joining the System Office, he served as President of Central Carolina Technical College.

Dr. Hardee has over 30 years of experience in education throughout the State of South Carolina. Prior to entering higher education administration, he served as a teacher, coach, counselor, and principal on the K-12 level.

Dr. Hardee graduated with a B.S. in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University, a M. Ed. in Counselor Education and an Ed.D. in Educational Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Hardee serves on the State Workforce Development Board, The Coordinating Council for Workforce Development and the SC Council on Competitiveness and the Leadership South Carolina Board of Trustees. He is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina and the South Carolina Economic Developers Institute.

Dr. Hardee was presented the Coastal Carolina University Outstanding Alumni award and the Sumter Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Achievement Award.

Interactive Session: Apprenticeships and Workforce Partnerships

Brett RichardsonBrett Richardson, Moderator

Brett Richardson serves as the Coordinator for CTE Processes for St. Louis Community College. Brett was a member of the 2020-21 Postsecondary Leadership Success Fellow Class (now NextLevel Postsecondary CTE Leaders). Brett is currently active in ACTE’s PACE Division and serves as the Division Committee Co-Chair and is a member of the PACE  Policy Committee. Brett has helped with other PACE activities including serving on the Postsecondary Advisory Group and the professional development task group. At STLCC, Brett will serve as the FY23 Chair of the Forest Park Campus Senate and the College Senate Executive Committee.

Amy Firestone, Ph.D.Amy Firestone, Ph.D.

Dr. Amy Firestone is the Vice President of Apprenticeship Carolina for the South Carolina Technical College System. She leads a multidisciplinary statewide team in expanding youth and adult apprenticeships across all industries. Under Dr. Firestone’s leadership, Apprenticeship Carolina obtained over $19 million in apprenticeship grant funds from the U.S. Department of Labor. During Dr. Firestone’s tenure, Apprenticeship Carolina’s accomplishments were spotlighted on local, national, and international media channels, such as CNN en español, Fox News, and NPR.

Prior to serving as the VP of Apprenticeships in South Carolina, Dr. Firestone was chosen for and participated in the prestigious Fulbright Specialist grant to advise the Pasto Chamber of Commerce in Colombia, South America, on developing apprenticeships. Before joining the Apprenticeship Carolina team, Dr. Firestone served as the Dean of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Miami Dade College, the largest and most diverse community college in the nation. Dr. Firestone was a Senior Policy Advisor and Program Analyst for Education in the Office of Apprenticeship for the United States Department of Labor. She led USDOL’s Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC), consisting of more than 400 colleges nationwide, and led the nation’s youth apprenticeship policy development.

Dr. Firestone earned a Bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Studies from the College of William & Mary. She earned a Master’s degree in Latin American studies and a Doctoral degree in Spanish Sociolinguistics from University of Illinois. She also published a book on urban youth in Peru, entitled Combinamos el Quechua ‘We Combine Quechua’: Language and Identity among Urban Youth in Peru. She is fluent in Spanish and has studied eleven foreign languages.

Brooks BackmanBrooks Backman

Brooks is the Director of Training and Development at Nephron Pharmaceuticals in West Columbia, SC.  During her 8+ years with Nephron, she has created and expanded their many Apprenticeship programs ranging from Pharmacy Technician to Welding.  She works closely with local Midlands colleges and high schools on Apprenticeship initiatives and workforce development.

Jeremy CatoeJeremy Catoe

Jeremy is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. A proud graduate of the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He has worked in the workforce development field for almost 17 years in the Midlands of South Carolina where he has assisted organizations from every industry in their efforts to upskill their current employees as well as find better ways to recruit, train and retain new talent. He has worked towards this goal as a staff member of the Midlands Workforce Development Board and most recently as the Lead Business Solutions Director at Midlands Technical College. Jeremy spends his spare time on the lakes and rivers of South Carolina and in the woods of Kershaw County where he practices tree farming and forest management.

Dr. Jason WilliamsDr. Jason Williams

Dr. Williams was born in Cleveland, Ohio. After graduating from High School, he attended Shaw University for one year then transferred to Hampton University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Health and Physical Education. Upon graduating from undergrad, he returned to Cleveland and began teaching and later progressed to the Administration level. Then, Dr. Williams joined the United States Military as a Navy Logistic Specialist with a focus on Training and Program Development. While in the US Navy, he earned his Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a minor in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. After retirement from the US Navy, Dr. Williams gained employment with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as Lead Supervisor of Business Internships and Contracts. He then, transitioned back to his passion in education for Hampton City School System (HCSS), in Hampton, Va. While at HCSS he continued his education at the University of Phoenix where he earned his Doctorate degree in Academic Leadership and Administration of Curriculum and Instruction. Now, Dr. Williams works at Virginia Community College System (VCCS)-System Office as the Coordinator of Apprenticeship and Work-Based Learning Programs of all VCCS’s 23 Community Colleges. Dr. Williams has spoken, presented, and facilitated for schools, colleges, business, State agencies and within his local community. Dr. Williams extends his passion for teaching, instructing, and facilitating by educating, appealing to, and providing soft and life-skills to underserved populations. Dr. Williams has authored and coauthored studies surrounding the education of underserved populations. Most notably, Dr. Williams is to complete his first book titled Vicariously: Through a Black Father, which details how soft, and life-skills enhances a fathers and children’s outcome this year. Dr. Williams enjoys barbecuing, playing pool, watching movies, and power walking. Dr. Williams is married to his beautiful wife Genet for 20 years, they have 2 children, daughter Angel soon to be 18 and son Jason Jr. soon to be 16. Dr. Williams and his family reside in Chesapeake, Va.

Interactive Session: Expanding Career Pathways

Torrie CostantinoTorrie Costantino, Moderator

Torrie is a two-time graduate of Arizona State University where she studied English Literature for her Bachelor’s and went into Family and Human Development for her Master’s degree. For the past 4+ years she served as a CTE Pathways Coordinator for Utah Valley University where she did project management work in developing articulation agreements, building credit and noncredit stackable certificates and programs, grant implementation, and conducting CTE-related program outreach. She recently moved to the Colorado Community College System to oversee a Rapid IT Training and Employment Program that provides free online instruction to underemployed and unemployed individuals in the Denver Metro Area.

Interactive Session: Apprenticeships and Workforce Partnerships

Annie PhillipsAnnie Phillips

Annie Phillips is an Associate Director at Education Strategy Group, a mission-driven consulting firm that works with America’s education leaders and employers to design, scale, and implement strategies that improve postsecondary attainment and advance equity. At ESG, she leads efforts to support higher education leaders in embracing, aligning and setting consistent standards for high-value non-degree and non-credit credentials. Through this work, she developed a nationally-recognized report, A More Unified Community College, which provides a framework and tools for colleges to get started on alignment efforts. In her role, Annie also provides implementation support to colleges across the country through national initiatives such as the Non-Credit and Credit Alignment Lab, a network of 14 community colleges committed to strengthen pathways between non-credit and credit programs, and through direct technical assistance colleges and systems including the Texas Community College Association, the Iowa Community Colleges and the University of Hawai’i Community Colleges.  Annie has presented on the importance of non-credit and credit alignment for national audiences, including for the Association of Community College Trustees, National Council for Workforce Education and Achieving the Dream. Before ESG, Annie worked with Jobs for the Future’s Pathways to Prosperity initiative and as a Program Director at CUNY – LaGuardia Community College. She has her master’s degree in higher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Emily Jones GreenEmily Jones Green

Emily Jones-Green, MA, joined the Virginia Community College System in May 2021 as the Coordinator of Credit for Prior Learning. In addition to her CPL role, Emily also is the Project Director for REACH, a grant from the Lumina Foundation which focuses on career pathways and students supports to help adult learners of color. Before joining VCCS, Emily was the Director of Advising, Recruitment, and Retention at American University, a private four-year institution, in Washington, DC.

Tony DavisTony Davis

Tony Davis has been the National Director of FAME USA since February 2020. He leads a team that supports the growth of the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education, a network comprised of more than 400 employers comprising more than 30 chapters across the country who collaborate to train the next generation of skilled maintenance technicians. Before joining The Manufacturing Institute, Tony was involved with various workforce solutions as the leader of a local economic development organization and prior to that, President of the Chamber of Commerce. Tony previously was elected to two terms on the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), where he served as Vice President of the Board and Chairman of the Administrative and Finance Committee for five years. He was a driving force behind the revamp of the JumpStart initiative (dubbed JumpStart 2.0) as well as a proponent of the importance of early childhood education initiatives. Tony is a native of Natchitoches, Louisiana, and has volunteered his time to serve on several statewide boards for business, industry, and education over the past ten years. Tony and his wife reside in Fishers, Indiana with their son and daughter.

Interactive Session: Supporting Faculty Recruitment and Retention

Alissa Smith, Moderator (Bio coming)

Dr. Ebon BrownDr. Ebon Brown

Dr. Ebon Brown, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Support Services, joined the Beaumont Unified School District in 2016. Ebon is known throughout the school community as creating innovative programs that inspire students to find their own Strengths, Interests, and Values (SIV). His life’s work has been in creating unique learning opportunities for students through Career and Technical Education (CTE) in order to prepare students to be College AND / OR Career Ready. He was a CTE teacher, assistant principal, adult ed and CTE principal, alternative education principal, Director of College and Career Readiness, and now Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Support Services. He earned his doctorate from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in Organizational Leadership with his dissertation being about the “Lived Experiences of CTE Concentrators.” He works directly with local and regional industry partners to ensure students have non-traditional pathways to earn livable wages. He does this by embracing relationships with people, listening for the greater good, and building a network of trusted partners. Ebon puts students, families, and the community first and is not afraid to live “outside the box”. He embodies the belief that all students have untapped skills that add tremendous value to the greater world and the global workforce.

Dr. Lisa MartinoDr. Lisa Martino

Dr. Lisa Martino has over 15 years’ experience in career and technical education. She began her academic career as a CTE teacher and has been a CTE teacher educator since 2012. She has earned a B.S. and M.A. in career and technical education, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a Concentration in Career and Workforce Education, Cognate in Teacher Education and Distance Learning from the University of South Florida. Dr. Martino has earned the honor of two fellowships: one in postsecondary CTE research and the other in CTE leadership. She has published research in postsecondary CTE teacher quality and its affect on student learning outcomes with a continued research agenda that focuses on secondary and postsecondary CTE teacher recruitment, training, and retention. Currently, she is the project lead and PI on a nationwide CTE Teacher Recruitment, Training, and Retention Toolkit, a project supported through ECMC Foundation CTE Leadership Collaborative Mini Grant program.

Jodi AdamsJodi Adams

Jodi Adams is the Director of the New Teacher Institute, the Kentucky Department of Education certification program for occupation-based Career and Technical Education teachers, as well as a Clinical Instructor for the University of Louisville Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development. Prior to joining the university, Jodi served as Career Pathways Branch Manager in the Kentucky Department of Education Office of Career and Technical Education. Before moving to the state department of education, Jodi taught business in Jefferson County Public Schools and started a High School of Business™ program at Eastern High School, where she was instrumental in developing dual credit opportunities and work-based learning experiences for students. Prior to secondary education, Jodi worked in postsecondary recruitment and admissions for adult education programs and taught as an adjunct instructor for a community college and two universities, as well as owned/operated several businesses. Jodi has offered hundreds of presentations on a broad range of topics including teacher preparation, effective school based enterprises, creating dual credit opportunities for students, project management, micro-credentials, assignment choice, project-based learning, mentoring CTE teachers, end of course assessments, working adults transitioning into the classroom, instructional sequencing, building enrollment in a CTE program, and learning management systems, and recruitment and retention of CTE teachers.

Dr. Carol WerhanDr. Carol Werhan

Dr. Carol Werhan, served as an Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) high school teacher & FCCLA advisor and university teacher educator for over 25 years.  She has served on the national board of directors for:  American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS):  Chair of the Coalition for Family and Consumer Sciences Education;  President of the National Association of Teacher Educators of Family & Consumer Sciences;  Board/Exec Committee for the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), VP for FCS; and Board/Exec Committee for the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA).   She has been honored by AAFCS with the 1999 New Achiever and 2020 Leader awards; ACTE 2017 Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year National Finalist; FCCLA as 2022 National Distinguished Serve Award. Most recently retired from Purdue University, Dr. Werhan is enjoying traveling with her husband Jeff and continuing her service to FCS through volunteer work.

Dr. Michelle Conrad, Facilitator (Bio Coming)

Workshop: Change Management

Dr. Ashlee SpannagelFacilitator: Dr. Ashlee Spannagel

Development at Southeastern Community College, where she oversees 47 CTE certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Dr. Spannagel has over 12 years of experience in secondary and postsecondary education. She began her career in education as a high school agriculture teacher, then went on to serve in multiple capacities at the community college where she completed her associate degree; these positions included recruitment, retention, compliance, and grant writing/management. From there, Dr. Spannagel transitioned into a role where she managed the CTE grant funding for eight K-12 school districts. Dr. Spannagel has extensive experience in project management, program development and implementation, and CTE. Most notably, Dr. Spannagel recently led the effort to secure a partnership with a large OEM to develop and launch a training program, making SCC the first institution to have this type of program in the United States. This partnership and program are a direct result of the change management that will be discussed in her presentation. Dr. Spannagel holds an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management from Capella University, and a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Plant, Soil Science, and Agricultural Systems with a specialization in Agricultural Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. Spannagel has been blessed with an incredible husband, Brian, to whom she has been married for 11 years, and together they reside on a farm in southeast Iowa.

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Exhibitor Online Registration

The convening is bringing together postsecondary professionals across the nation to tackle four critical issues which includes:

  • Expanding Career Pathways
  • Building Apprenticeships
  • Closing Access & Equity Gaps
  • Supporting Faculty Recruitment & Retention

This event is featuring keynote presentations, engaging professional development sessions, exhibits and numerous networking opportunities. This will be a place where you can effectively connect with an interested group of CTE professionals from across the U.S that are seeking solutions around these critical issues.


Embassy Suites by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront Resort
Address: 9800 Queensway Blvd, Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Phone: (843) 449-0006
Rate: $191 plus 12% tax
Reservation Deadline: September 5, 2022. Please note rooms may sell out prior to this date.

To make your reservation online, please click here.


United Air Lines is pleased to offer special discounts for Association for Career & Technical Education attendees. To make your reservation, please call your professional travel agency, book online via or call United Reservations Meetings Desk at 800-426-1122.

Please mention the following codes:
Z Code – ZM9X
Agreement Code -603261
Booking fees are waived for all Meeting reservations.

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