Community Bankers Association of Illinois

CBAI's 34th Annual Convention & Expo
September 11-13, 2008 in Springfield
General Session Speakers


Opening Breakfast - Richard “Pitch” Picciotto was on a stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center when it collapsed on September 11, 2001. A FDNY battalion commander, his is the harrowing true story of an American hero, a man who thought not of himself, but gave nearly everything for others during one of our nation's darkest hours. Following the terrorist attack, he rushed inside the World Trade Center to rescue those inside, but soon found himself trapped in the North Tower after its collapse. Buried for more than four hours, he emerged almost unscathed as the highest-ranking firefighter to survive the collapse, and the last fireman to escape the devastation. A veteran of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, his experience and subsequent first-hand knowledge most likely saved the lives of his crew members and the citizens they were rescuing. At CBAI's Opening Breakfast, Picciotto offers a tribute to the lives that were lost that day in a presentation modeled after his best-selling book, Last Man Down. His recount is not one of death and destruction, but a celebration of life and its unpredictable nature. Picciotto offers an eyewitness account of the defining historical event of our lives; his story is that of a man, a hero, and a tragic event that inspired a nation.

Closing General Session - At the heart of it all, what separates Bruce Christopher from the rest of the pack is his outrageously funny and dynamic delivery of today's hot topics. He has captivated international audiences by giving them real and practical solutions for success, without fluff and hype. His appearances consistently sell out to standing-room-only crowds, including the exclusive Million Dollar Round Table Conference, the Royal College of Surgeons in London, and the Mayo Clinic. A clinical psychologist holding degrees in both professional psychology and interpersonal communication, he has been listed in the “Mission Possible” project as one of 12 great Americans to watch. Christopher has been called “America's foremost Enter – Trainer today” by the American Heart Association. As a credentialed professional speaker, Christopher's client list comprises some of the best organizations in the world. He speaks more than 150 times a year and is one of the most sought after speakers in the Fortune 500. His Closing General Session, “It's Hard to Lead the Charge if You Think You Look Funny on a Horse,” is targeted toward management and supervisor training and is designed to enhance employee esteem and performance. Not all managers are leaders, and not all leaders manage. What does it take to lead the charge? According to Christopher, the art of leadership is knowing how to lead yourself where you want others to follow. This entertaining session teaches you how to get on the horse, lead the charge, and bring others along with you!

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