Meet The Experts

The experts and student experts below create monthly leadership content tailored to helping young people succeed.


Kate Garnes

Kate is a teen motivational speaker, kickboxing trainer, DJ, choreographer, and all around normal girl just trying to spread as much joy as possible. She specializes in helping teens find their inner strength and courage, so they can become strong, humble, joyful leaders. Kate has worked with thousands of teens across the nation, between choreography and speaking, and is ready to now encourage YOU on your leadership journey!


Geoff McLachlan

Geoff is a speaker, trainer, coach and facilitator who has worked with over half a million people across the United States and Canada.  His goal is to transform the way students interact with each other! His rules for life are simple: Work Hard, Play Fair, and BE KIND!


Dr. Laymon Hicks

Dr. Laymon Hicks isn’t a stranger when it comes to student motivation and leadership. He has motivated over 350,000 students in 45 states. At the age of 29, Laymon accomplished his ultimate educational goal by graduating with his doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Northeastern University. Today, he is the CEO of Laymon Hicks Enterprises where he travels the nation as a youth speaker and author. He resides in Florida with his wife and daughter.


Shannon McKain

A former professional NFL cheerleader, Shannon draws on that “go team” attitude to show her audiences how to gain yardage in the game of life. For nearly a decade, this Kansas City native has shared her charm, enthusiasm and inspiring words with young adults, employees and organizations, presenting each audience member with the tools and motivation to harness their potential. Using her own life experiences and encounters with adversity as a backdrop, Shannon shows audiences the way to the “Happiness Path,” providing easy‐to‐follow nuggets of inspiration participants of all ages can use in their daily lives.  


Brandon Lee White

Author, speaker, and youth mover, Brandon Lee White has spoken to thousands of youth and adults in nearly all 50 states about “owning it” in life and leadership. Brandon has been seen on TLC, Discovery Health, Fit TV, and TEDx. He attended Rockhurst University where he earned his Master’s in Business as well as a double major in Business and Psychology. At home Brandon loves spending time with his beautiful wife and son. They enjoy leading and serving in their church. Plus, Brandon can’t get enough of barbecuing, sports, hunting, and meeting new people as he travels around the country.


Jake Kelfer

Jake Kelfer is a bestselling author, high energy inspirational speaker, and founder of the Professional Basketball Combine. He aims to inspire millions of people on their journey to achieving their own definition of success. His first book, Elevate Beyond, provides a framework for gaining an advantage in school, work, and life. You can connect with him on social media @jakekelfer or by emailing him at [email protected].


Kyle Willkom

Kyle Willkom is the founder of Action Packed Leadership. He is a sought after keynote speaker and the author of Wake Up Call and The Thinking Dilemma. Kyle speaks to audiences of all sizes and, through his musical comedy, empowers them to get out of their comfort zone, serve others, and intentionally build a life of purpose. 


Student Experts

We believe in peer-to-peer learning. The experts below are standout high school and college students dedicated to sharing their knowledge and experience.

Rachel Brosman

Hi there! I’m Rachel Brosman. I am a second-year student in the Advertising & Marketing Communications program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. During high school, I was the DECA chapter president, the Advertising Editor of the school newspaper, and the Assistant Manager at my local PacSun. I was also able to complete an internship with a local marketing firm. Currently, I am interning at an advertising agency called Devito/Verdi in the new business department. I have been learning Spanish since kindergarten and plan to study abroad in Spain in a future semester. In the future, I plan to become the Chief Marketing Officer of a fashion company. I am excited to join the team as a student expert because I am truly passionate about helping others with their career goals.

Jaron May

Jaron May is a recent graduate of King Philip Regional High School and currently is enrolled at Syracuse University where he is studying Marketing and Broadcast/Digital Journalism. He has a vast resume of leadership positions, such as founding a nationally recognized high school sports broadcast, sitting on executive councils for regional and local community service organizations and, most notably, serving as the High School Division International President of DECA Inc. Jaron is always looking into the future to see what the next big thing is and his youth provides a student perspective different from any other leadership specialist.

Christina Wenman

Christina Wenman is a 17-year-old high school student from Wisconsin who has a natural propensity to look at things from a different perspective. She is the author of Success Through Your Eyes: Learning from Your World to Find Your Way, a book about what she has learned from interviewing people who she considers successful. She is an extroverted-introvert, a practical dreamer, and a natural born entrepreneur. Other than spending this past year interviewing CEOs and motivational speakers, she is a typical teenager, involved in Student Senate, DECA, National Honor Society, FCCLA, Volleyball, and Softball. She is the youngest of four siblings and when she is not spending time with her family or hanging out with her friends, she is reading books, listening to TED talks, and preparing to study Business at a University in Wisconsin.

Isaiah Swift

As a sophomore at Norfolk State University in Virginia, Isaiah Swift published a book called “Unlock Your Greatness” 8 Ways to be Successful in High School and Beyond. In the book, He teaches high school students how they can be better prepared for the real world after they graduate, and provides them with valuable insights on how they can find volunteer, internship, and scholarship opportunities in their community. Isaiah Swift was born and raised in Norfolk, VA and graduated from Maury High School as an AP Scholar with distinction. He was awarded a full ride academic scholarship to attend Norfolk State University where he is pursuing a degree in Business Finance. In addition, this rising junior currently works as an intern for Fresh Prints - a clothing design company. During His first year, Isaiah sold nearly $25,000 worth of merchandise. In His spare time, Isaiah enjoys traveling, spending time with his family and serving as a volunteer for Step Up for Down Syndrome, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk, and the Roc Solid Foundation.



Guest Experts

We love bringing guest experts onto Think Like a Student Leader to ensure we're delivering the best leadership content available. 

Jim Love

As a lifelong stutterer, Jim understands what it takes to overcome obstacles, and his work as a youth motivational speaker encourages audiences to take on their own obstacles in a real way. Jim's messages focus on authentic leadership, self-love, gratitude and mental health. Jim Love was born and raised on the south side of Chicago, attended Marquette University, and has spoken to several thousand high school students across the country. Bad jokes and dance moves aside, Jim has a passion for leadership development and working with high school and college students. He shares his life experiences and connects with participants on a personal level.


Dr. Daniel LeBreton

Dr. Daniel LeBreton is an organizational psychologist who helps organizations – ranging from small non-profits to Fortune 100 companies – enhance their leadership and teamwork practices.  He has worked with hundreds of leaders and executives in organizations such as MasterCard, Bridgestone, HCA, Pacific Life, Belk, and the National Restaurant Association. He has an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Virginia Tech and is a licensed psychologist. In addition to teaching at Vanderbilt University and running his consulting practice (Impavid Consulting), he serves as a pro bono advisor at the Nashville Entrepreneur Center and a program contributor for the ScaleNashville entrepreneurial program.

Mike Lee

Starting with 1 basketball camp in 2003, Mike has taken Thrive3 from his college apartment to an international brand. He was awarded a scholarship to attend the Fuqua School of Business and Coach K Leadership Conference, served as the Assistant Director for the inaugural Stephen Curry Skills Academy and worked events for NIKE Basketball. He’s also a keynote speaker and the author of UN/TRAIN, a book that inspires people to tap into their own personal power through mindfulness.

Jake Widmann

Jake Widmann is a perpetual force of positivity. His topics of expertise include: the importance of perspective and empathy, the power of sharing our individual stories, and how to use adversity to create the life you want. He is a husband, father to two boys, Army veteran and the author of UP, Lessons of Adversity, Hitting Bottom, and Choosing a Life That Matters.

Scott Backovich

Youth motivational speaker Scott Backovich has dedicated his life to doing one thing: inspiring teens through speaking at their level. He’s been a featured speaker at conferences and schools across North America, appeared regularly on both television and radio as a teen help advocate, and established himself as a worldwide youth speaker that students can trust.


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