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Illinois LEAP 2021 Conference

Resilient and Thriving



Rhonda Scharf, Keynote Speaker

Insightful … humorous … entertaining … even contagious J … words that are often used to describe Rhonda Scharf.  A speaker with the uncanny ability to look at the normal and see something quite different. 


Rhonda will share some things she has learned to help you thrive in your work environment, emerging at the end of the day with a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Audiences far and wide sing her praises for her relevant and useful tips on administration, communication, and workplace effectiveness!


Rhonda is an author, speaker, trainer, and grandmother! She has earned her Certified Speaking Professional (less than 7% of all speakers worldwide have earned this designation), is a member of the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame, and is one of only 35 speakers worldwide who have earned their Global Speaking Fellow (meaning she truly has an international business), and been awarded the Spirit of CAPS award. She is the ONLY speaker in the entire world who has earned all four awards. Her peers consider Rhonda a leader in the speaking industry! Her natural warmth and sincerity are balanced by a healthy sense of the absurd, a combination that is useful in any situation.

Following thirty years in local government including ten as the city manager of Naperville and ten as the village manager in Hoffman Estates, Peter Burchard worked as the chief operating officer at inVentiv Medical Management in Augusta, Georgia. Since returning to Illinois, Peter has been a faculty member at Northern Illinois University where he teaches graduate level classes in public sector ethics and innovation. Today, Peter is president/CEO of his own multi-sector consulting, coaching and training firm. For the past five years, Peter has worked with representatives of the Chinese government to teach their high-level visiting delegations’ American local government.


Peter received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from NIU. He has been recognized as a Public Service Education Fellow and member of the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Peter attended a semester of studies at Salzburg College in Austria. Peter was the chairperson of a Chicago area hospital, Treasurer of the NIU Foundation and former board member of the Suburban Law Enforcement Academy. As an aside, Peter is a charity event auctioneer and has worked on stage with Ellen DeGeneres and Howie Mandel.

Peter Burchard


Arthur Greeno

Arthur has been involved with Chick-fil-A for 30 years.  Going from a small store (worst in the chain) to being a multi-store owner was not easy.  He never went to business school, so his approach is real, and down to earth.  People whom have heard him describe him as real, hilarious, and engaging.  


Customer service is the cornerstone of his approach to business. When people think Customers service, Chick-fil-A is almost always at the top.  What you experience at his restaurants is what has taken him all over the country speaking to organizations about how to provide "remarkable" service to their guests. Anyone can deliver a plate of food, but it's an altogether different thing to change someone's day, week, or even their life. Arthur's insight will give you keys to be remarkable in your business and more importantly to really make a difference.


When it comes to marketing, Arthur's goal is to make it 'remarkable.' What do others say about your business? Is it something worth 'remarking' about? Arthur was talked about in over 50 articles, reports, and TV shows in 2014. He is also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records multiple times and was even mentioned by the New York Times for poking fun at McDonald's. Arthur will teach you tips for getting media exposure and how to connect with your guests in creative and unique ways.


Surround yourself with amazing people, and amazing things start happening.  Arthur didn't come from a business background, but if you've ever been to any of his restaurants, you will agree that his teams are extraordinary. He teaching organizations how to "Find and Train Freakin' Awesome Teams", and he does it in his own lighthearted, irreverent, and down-to-earth way. From how he trains team members to how to get them to say "my pleasure!" and mean it, you will learn how his daytime team retention rate is 6+ years (far eclipsing the industry average).


You may not be able to change the world, but you can change YOUR world!  Coming from a broken home, Arthur got to endure hardships in his family financially, as well as emotionally.  His story of overcoming adversity is amazing.  By the time he got to high school in Tulsa, OK he has been to 9 different schools, He has scoliosis and wore his back brace all thru high school, put himself thru college, then got hired by Chick-fil-A, where its either to get hired by the CIA than it is Chick-fil-A.  He started with one of the worst stores in the chain, and in 2015 did more in one month, than his first store did in an entire year.  He now has multiple locations, multiple Guinness World Records and influences 1000's of people each day thru his locations, speaking, and books.  His book Dysfunctional Inspiration was written to share with his team how with the right decisions, they can change their world, just like Arthur did.

Shawn K. Woods is President and CEO of Shawn k. woods & associates, an organization committed to empowering businesses and individuals to unleash their full potential. 


An international trainer/facilitator, author and executive/life/career coach.  He has delivered over 2500 conferences including keynote presentations, bullying awareness seminars and leadership training to fortune 500 companies, associations, small business owners, government and non-profit organizations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa.  Through Shawn's expertise and diverse background he has helped clients decrease turnover, increase accountability, effectiveness and productivity through communication, team-building, leadership, diversity/inclusion and change/transition workshops and coaching modules.  He has helped individuals gain the courage to chase their personal goals and coached them on how to achieve them.  

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Shawn K. Woods





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