General Session Speakers



Sponsored by CEV Multimedia

Debbi Fields, Founder, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Debra (Debbi) J. Fields epitomizes America's cherished tradition of humble beginnings, launching what has become one of the nation's most visible, successful dessert empires. Hear how Fields -  accomplished businesswoman, entrepreneur and bestselling author - transformed her ideas, personal values and philosophy of excellence into a dynamic business achievement. 

FRI., DEC. 2

Sponsored by Express Employment Professionals

VISION Talk speakers will have 14 minutes each to share fresh ideas that leave you ready to make a difference!

Kim Scott, Company Manager, The Beatles LOVE™ 
As the Company Manager for The Beatles LOVE™ by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Ms. Scott will share a look into the technical trainings and sourcing that are done to present the magic of Cirque du Soleil.

Kimberly J. McWaters, Chairman and CEO, Universal Technical Institute, Inc.

Hear McWaters' keen insights into forming the company’s innovative industry partnership model and balancing the needs of shareholders with its strong commitment to students.

Leah Jewell, Managing Director of Career Development and Employability

This compelling talk conveys the crucial role career pathways play in increasing student retention, graduation rates and employability.

Ahmad Shawwal, Student, University of Virginia

As the U.S. Department of Education’s CTE Innovator award recipient, Shawwal will share how he is leveraging his educational and leadership experiences to advocate for high-quality STEM and CTE programming.

SAT., DEC. 3

Dr. Rick Rigsby, President and CEO, Rick Rigsby Communications

Dr. Rigsby will empower VISION attendees to “make an impact, not just an impression!“ A former college professor at Texas A&M University, he also served as chaplain for the Aggies football team and is the author of Lessons from a Third Grade Dropout—the story of his father’s timeless common-sense wisdom.


VISION Highlights


300+ CTE Sessions

Featuring the full spectrum of secondary and postsecondary CTE programming, VISION’s concurrent sessions will cover: increasing program performance results; classroom tools and strategies; flipped classroom; project-based learning; teacher recruitment and retention; funding strategies; and much more!


This new STEM is CTE Symposium will bring together education and business leaders to address access to STEM-related career paths for all students and strategically for women underrepresented in STEM fields.


A comprehensive framework for organizing high-quality CTE programs and cultivating collaboration between secondary and postsecondary CTE, Career Clusters will be integrated across the VISION 2016 sessions.


This conference within a conference offers more than 50 sessions that address the unique needs of the postsecondary CTE community and provides a venue for exchanging best practices, exploring multiple pathways to college preparedness and career readiness and networking with postsecondary CTE professionals.


The vibrant gathering place for CTE professionals, CareerTech Expo will include 200+ companies featuring the latest CTE products and services, exhibitor workshops and networking opportunities.


Bigger and better than ever, this year’s Career Pavilion will feature industry representatives showcasing career opportunities and resources to help you inspire your students about their career path.




ACTE Events

  • ACTE Region, Division and Town Hall Meetings
  • First-time Attendee Orientation - check out VISION Fast Facts
  • State Leadership Training Program

Wednesday Workshops


Companion Events

  ACTER Conference

  2016 NAAE Convention
  NCCER’s 2016 Construction Career Pathways Conference

  IVETA Conference



Past & Future VISION

VISION 2017: Dec. 6 – 9, 2017, Nashville

VISION 2018: Nov. 28 – Dec. 1, 2018, San Antonio

VISION 2015: Nov. 19 – 22, 2015, New Orleans


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In This Section:

More Resources:

 VISION Guidebook


A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors







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