Advice from a variety of corporate experts – from a Coca-Cola executive, bank president, UCF coaches and others in the academic, athletic and administrative community – will be presented June 14 at the University of Central Florida’s first leadership conference.

The inaugural Knights Charge On: Leadership Through Engagement will feature 10 successful leaders who will share tips on how to guide others.

UCF Human Resources and UCF Athletics teamed up to organize the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. conference, which is open to the university and the community in Bright House Network Stadium’s Recruiting/Media Room. The event also will be a networking opportunity.

“Leadership is critical to the continued growth and success of UCF,” said Beth Scheitzach organization development and training manager. “Our university’s effectiveness depends on the character, skill, and dedication of its leadership core.”

UCF has become the second largest university in the nation in just 50 years, and Bob Guarnieri, associate director of Human Resources, said the university’s leadership needs to keep pace with that growth.

“The need for strong leadership throughout the university will continue to grow as the university continues to develop in its pursuits in technology, business development, education and medicine,” he said.

The featured speakers for the event are:

  • Alfred G. Harms, Jr., retired Navy vice admiral and UCF’s vice president for Strategy, Marketing, Communications & Admissions
  • Donnie Jones, UCF men’s basketball coach
  • Tony Coley, regional president of BB&T Central Florida
  • Todd Currie, UCF Lead Scholar alumni, President’s Leadership Council and assistant director of Volunteer UCF
  • Valarie King, director of UCF’s Office of Diversity Initiatives
  • Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, UCF women’s soccer coach and Olympic gold medalist
  • Eduardo Salas, team leadership expert, UCF Pegasus and Trustee Chair Professor
  • Marie Perry, vice president of North Florida Market, Coca-Cola Refreshments
  • Mark Toombs, president of Training Edge and lead facilitator for corporate and organizational development programs with the UCF Division of Continuing Education.
  • Bringing these community and university speakers together is a natural partnership to develop local leaders, said Brian Reed, assistant athletic director.

    “Strong leadership is the essential quality towards sustainable success, inspiring the growth and accomplishments found throughout UCF and the Central Florida community,” he said.

    The pre-registration cost is $49, or $39 for students. Half-day pre-registration (noon to 5 p.m.) is available for $39. The pre-registration deadline is Monday, June 10.

    Registration at the door is $75, or $65 for students.

    The cost includes lunch and parking.

    Each attendee will receive a UCF padfolio and be eligible for prizes, including an autographed copy of performance psychologist Jim Loehr’s The Only Way To Win.

    For additional information or to register, go to, od&, or call 407-823-0440.