Keynote Speakers

Colonel Jason A. Kirk
US Army Corps of Engineers
 
Colonel Jason A. Kirk is the Commander and District Engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. Colonel Kirk assumed command on July 17, 2015.

He is proud to lead this 800-plus team of professionals, who serve across Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, focused on delivering value by anticipating needs and collaboratively engineering solutions that support national security, energize our economy and increase resiliency.

Kirk joined the Jacksonville District after graduating with a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Before attending the War College, Kirk served for three years at the Army’s National Training Center in California’s Mojave Desert, as Deputy Commander of Operations Group and earlier as the Senior Maneuver Support/Engineer Observer Coach/Trainer. In both positions he trained Army units for service in Afghanistan and for broader global contingency missions. From 2009-2011, Kirk commanded the Charleston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, leading the district in executing a broad program that included civil works, military construction for Fort Jackson and Joint Base Charleston, and support to interagency customers such as Department of Energy and Department of State. Before commanding the Charleston District, Kirk served in Army engineer leadership and staff positions with three mechanized brigade combat teams (BCTs): as a field grade officer with 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Division, then based in Germany, which included service in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) 2005-06 as the 40th Engineer Battalion’s Operations Officer and Executive Officer (XO) and as the BCT XO in OIF 2008-09; as a captain with 299th Engineer Battalion, 1st BCT, 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood, Texas, conducting “digitized division/ForceXXI” experiments; and as a lieutenant with 11th Engineer Battalion, 1st BCT, 24th Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia., as part of the XVIII Airborne Corps’ ready force. Kirk also served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, working as both a construction division project engineer and as a planning project manager for the Louisiana Coastal Area Restoration Plan, which was presented to Congress in 2004.

Kirk is a 1993 graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental engineering. He earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a Master of Engineering degree from the University of Florida. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Missouri. His military schooling includes the Army War College (distinguished graduate), Army Command and General Staff College, the Engineer Officer Advanced and Basic Courses (distinguished graduate from both), and the Army’s Sapper and Airborne Schools.

Kirk’s military awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal with five oak leaf clusters, and Iraqi Campaign Medal with three bronze stars. He is also the recipient of the Army Engineer Association’s Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal and the Society of American Military Engineers Regional Vice President’s Medal.

Col. Kirk grew up in two unique locations he calls “home”—first the small northern Illinois town of Genoa and later the northern Louisiana city of Shreveport.

 

Jack Blitch

Retired, General Manager of Walt Disney Imagineering

 

Jack began his career at Disney in 1988 as a Senior Project Manager at WDI, where he managed the design, production, construction, and installation of Wonders of Life Pavilion at Epcot Center and Star Tours at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  In 1989, he was promoted to Principal Project Manager for WDI – Florida, where he oversaw the Studio Tour Expansion project at WDW.  1991 marked another promotion to Project Director, where he served as matrix leader for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios North Expansion project.  From 1993 to 1995 Jack served as Executive Project Director and was responsible for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, New Tomorrow Land at the Magic Kingdom and the Blizzard Beach Water Park.  From 1995 to 2003, Jack was the Project Executive for Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Disney’s largest theme park to date at 540 acres) and numerous expansion projects including Kali River Rapids and Dinorama!  He then returned to Epcot and after completing Soarin’ in 2004, Jack took on his current role as Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering’s Florida office.

 

Prior to joining Disney, Jack was Director of Design and Construction at Jackson Brewery Development, where he led the development process for a new Riverfront Festival Marketplace.  He also served as the Project Director for the Audubon Zoological Park’s Aquarium of the Americas and Riverfront Park, a one million gallon, world-class aquarium and 14-acre urban park.

 

Jack started his career with J.A. Jones Construction Company (New Orleans Regional Office).  From 1971-1983 his portfolio included hospital, prison, school, hotel, historic restoration and high rise office building projects.

 

Education

He graduated from Northeast Louisiana University in 1971 with a B.S. in Building Construction, receiving the Outstanding Senior Award.  He currently serves on the school’s Industry Advisory Council.  Throughout and prior to his college studies, he was employed as a draftsman at Blitch Architects, his father’s architectural firm.

 

Community

Jack is entrenched in a broad range of community work.  He is a co-founder of the Louisiana Children’s Museum and currently serves on their Advisory Board.  In addition, he is a board member of the Junior Achievement Organization.

 

Professional

Jack is a licensed contractor in Louisiana and Florida; a Certified Professional Constructor, Member – Chartered Institute of Building (U.K.), a member of the Associated General Contractors of America’s Private Industry Council, American Institute of Constructors and American Arbitration Association’s Panel of Construction Arbitrators.

 

Speakers & Presenters

Brian Langhorst
Regional Marketing Manager  

Procore

Joe Burgett

Assistant Professor

Clemson University

 

Kristina Corbett

National Director of Occupational Health and Safety

Wellness Coaches USA

Scott Cuthbertson

Management Consultant

PricewaterhouseCoopers

 

Masoud Gheisari

Assistant Professor

Rinker School of Construction Management, University of Florida

 

Kevin Grosskopf

Professor

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Stephane Denerolle

Product Manager

Fieldwire

DeAnna Leitzke

Assistant Professor & Chair of Servant-Leadership

Milwaukee School of Engineering

 

Kristopher Lengieza

Director of VDC

Stiles Construction

 

Bradley Monson

Capital Construction Project Manager

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Jennifer Suerth

Vice President - Technical Services

Pepper Construction

 

Keyan Zandy

Director of Operations

Skiles Group

 

Corey Zussman

Director of Quality Management

Pepper Construction

Mike Yeager, PhD

Director of Applied Technology

VSCENARIO

 

 

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