Spring Meeting

LPA Spring Meeting
April 1-3, 2024
Grand Hyatt Nashville
Nashville, Tennessee

CLICK HERE to view the registered attendees!

Unveiling Tomorrow:
Navigating Innovation and Resilience

The LPA has organized a meeting aimed to prepare members for the challenges that lay ahead, as we steer towards new and bold work of the future. Christopher Penn of TrustInsights, a renowned expert in artificial intelligence (AI), will deliver a compelling hour keynote presentation on Tuesday, followed by a 90-minute hands-on component. After receiving rave reviews for his workshop in Boston, Penn is back to ensure you stay ahead in the AI landscape.

Explore the intersection of innovation and inclusivity with our opening speaker, Charleson Bell, PhD. As the Director of Entrepreneurship and Biomedical Innovation at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Center for Innovation, Dr. Bell is a recognized leader shaping an inclusive innovation ecosystem in the Mid-South.

Stay informed with an in-depth legislative and regulatory update from Rob Smith and Tony Hobbs of Platinum Advisors, our government affairs consulting firm. Gain insights into the happenings in DC and how they may impact your company and the industry.

Concluding the meeting on Wednesday is Kristian Bush, who is a multi-platinum, two-time Grammy Award winner most known for being half of the record-breaking country duo Sugarland. Kristian will present What do you do when you can’t do what you do anymore? - A conversation about resilience and music, which examines and explores the impact of unexpected change in his career and why resilience is the one thing you can depend on to carry you through.

But it's not just about business; it's about fun, too! Join us for a rock and roll experience at the welcome reception on Monday evening with Jeff Allen, a seasoned musician delivering classic hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Don't miss the chance to kick off the meeting on a high note.

And the excitement doesn't end there. After our Tuesday evening dinner, head to Blake Shelton’s bar, Ole Red, for an exclusive area reserved for LPA attendees. Enjoy live music and camaraderie in the heart of Nashville.

This Spring Meeting promises a perfect blend of professional development, networking, and entertainment. Make sure you're part of this unforgettable experience – register your team today! 

Register here or DownloaD the PDF

Monday, April 1
6:00-8:00 PM          Welcome Reception with special musical guest Jeff Allen

Tuesday, April 2
7:30-9:00 AM          Breakfast/registration
9:00-9:15 AM          Welcome & Self-introductions
9:15-10:15               Dr. Charleson Bell, Towards the Ecosystem of the Future:
                                  Inclusive Innovation, Cross-sector Collaboration, and Shared Prosperity

10:15-10:45            Break
10:45-11:45            Christopher Penn, AI & the Intelligence Revolution
11:45-12:00            Jim Averso, Student Engagement Update
12:00-1:30 PM        Networking Lunch
1:30-3:00                Christopher Penn, AI Hands-on 
3:00-3:15                Break
3:15-4:15                LPA Roundtable Forum, moderated by Fran Hutson and Amy-Jo Yogmas
5:00-6:30 PM         Dinner
7:00-9:00 PM         Group Outing to Blake Shelton’s Ole Red Bar

Wednesday, April 3
7:30-9:00 AM         Breakfast
9:00:-10:30            Rob Smith & Tony Hobbs, Government/Regulatory Affairs Update
10:30-10:45           Break
10:45-11:45           Kristian Bush, What do you do when you can’t do what you do anymore? - A conversation about resilience and music. 

11:45 AM                Meeting concludes

Registration Fees
$1,165      1st Member Attendee                   
$    995     2nd Attendee         
$    895     3rd Attendee        
$1,300      Non-Member     
$    250     Spouse/Guest  (Spouse/Guest fees include all receptions and dinners)

Register here or DownloaD the PDF

Grand Hyatt Nashville
1000 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203
Group cutoff date was Friday, March 15, 2024
LPA Member Rate was $299
Check-in: 4PM; Check-out: 12PM
To call Reservations, please dial (615) 622-1234
*Please reference the group name "Laboratory Products Association Room Block" when making reservations.

The Grand Hyatt Nashville is a 25-story luxury hotel situated on the western edge of the development, just a short walk to the city’s trendy Gulch neighborhood and midtown, where you can find restaurants specializing in biscuits or burgers, and bars serving booze, coffee, or freshly squeezed juices.

You don’t have to venture out of the hotel to grab a meal or snack. There are plenty of places to choose from. There’s the Grand Hyatt Nashville’s anchor restaurant, The Continental, run by James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Brock, and Tennessee-to-table cuisine at The Nashville Grange. With a panoramic view of downtown, the Grand Hyatt Nashville’s rooftop bar and lounge is a perfect spot to sip its signature cocktail, Sly Fox, made with Tennessee-crafted Greenbriar whiskey. The gilded lobby bar, Aurum, has a signature golden ale, created by Nashville’s own Black Abby Brewing. There’s locally roasted coffee at the Hummingbird and poolside snacks at Solstice on the fifth floor, adjacent to the pool and sundeck.

Hummingbird Coffee Market is a convenient stop to recharge and refresh. They proudly brew coffee and specialty espresso drinks from a local roaster, Good Citizen Coffee. You can also find delicious grab-n-go items throughout the day along with Nashville themed retail items. Hours: Sunday–Thursday: 6 a.m.–10 p.m.

aBOUT THE Speakers

Dr. Charleson Bell

Leader, Scholar, & Champion of Inclusive Innnovation

Towards the Ecosystem of the Future: Inclusive Innovation, Cross-sector Collaboration, and Shared Prosperity

The word Innovation has become a ubiquitous term used in many forms to describe invention, creation, and ingenious research or discovery. However, innovation, its core outcomes, the process to perform it, and the underlying reasoning for its pursuit, are rarely articulated or deeply examined. Collaboration is a term often used, yet loftily executed, and rarely employed in a cross-sector manner, where academia, community, government, and industry, all orchestrate together in unison towards a common outcome. Shared prosperity, a state of flourishing outcomes for all included, is an achievable condition for any region or heterogenous population. However, in view of both the historical context and continuing dialogue surrounding equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, this positive achievement of shared prosperity has not yet been attained in the modern era of capitalism. At this opening plenary forum, Dr. Charleson Sherard Bell will profess proven processes, sharing how a firm, institution, or even an individual, can overcome these limitations, implement innovation processes, foster collaboration, and contribute to a broader movement towards shared prosperity; this same activity occurring across the Mid-South, moving this region towards becoming the Ecosystem of the Future.

About Charleson
Charleson Sherard Bell, PhD is a recognized leader administering the establishment of an inclusive innovation ecosystem across the Mid-South, galvanizing an innovation economy to impart shared prosperity across the region.

Dr. Bell, Director of Entrepreneurship and Biomedical Innovation at the Wond’ry, Vanderbilt’s Center for Innovation, Research Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Associate Director of the Medical Innovators Development Program in the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, is a parallel innovator, 3x serial entrepreneur, 10x published researcher, and 3x patented inventor with over a decade of experience launching ventures and developing new products. Dr. Bell is the Hub Director of the NSF Mid-South I-Corps Hub and co-PI & State Director of the NIH Mid-South Research, Evaluation and Commercialization Hub, both led by Vanderbilt University. Dr. Bell is also the Director of the Coalition Responsible for Equitable Skills Training (CREST) & PI of the NSF ExLENT workforce development award that launched the coalition. Garnering influence at the National level, Dr. Bell was elected co-Chair of the Hub Council of the National Innovation Network.

Dr. Bell is a ‘triple-Dore’, earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Vanderbilt University (BE’07, MS’09, PhD’15) - the first African-American to earn a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt. The first graduate student at Vanderbilt to receive an investment of venture capital to launch a startup, Dr. Bell uses his innovative mind to combine his engineering knowledge to create novel technologies of great impact. He is a much-respected champion for equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts, creating an innovation culture that cultivates a sense of belonging for all instructors, innovators, participants, and founders. Most importantly, Dr. Bell is a staunch believer that the value and practice of inclusive innovation is critical to optimize the way innovators empathize with humanity and ideate solutions that create positive change across the world via financially sustainable business models.

Tony Hobbs
Associate Vice President, Platinum Advisors

Government/REgulatory affairs update

About Tony

With over a decade of political and policy experience, Tony provides a breadth of tactical knowledge and expertise on a wide range of issues. Tony provides Platinum’s clients with real-time, in-depth analysis and updates on key policy and political discussions in DC and beyond.

Prior to joining the Platinum team, Tony was the Legislative Director in the office of US Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01). There, he directed the legislative efforts of the Congresswoman’s DC staff, formulated and implemented the Member’s legislative agenda, and managed an expansive legislative portfolio including appropriations, energy, labor, and financial services policies. Tony also has extensive experience in the political arena – directing the field efforts for successful congressional campaigns that involved massive voter outreach and volunteer coordination efforts.

When not in D.C., Tony can be found sailing the Potomac River in his small sloop, Rocinante, or hiking in the Shenandoah forests.

CHristopher Penn
Co-founder @TrustInsights, ninja, PodCamp cofounder, Marketing Over Coffee cohost, speaker, author, IBM & Google certified pro

AI & the Intelligence Revolution: How Large Language Models Have Changed Business Forever
Transformational technologies used to occur once in a lifetime, but in the past two decades, we've been party to four: the Internet, the smartphone, social media, and now generative artificial intelligence. Of these, artificial intelligence stands as the most transformational.  With the advent of large language models and generative AI, permanent, deep transformation is here. Tools like ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, and Google Bard have trivialized some tasks, allowed others to scale rapidly, and are changing the very foundations of every career, every job, every company.

In this keynote talk from TrustInsights.ai Chief Data Scientist Christopher Penn, you'll learn:
- What large language models can and cannot do
- How large language models are built
- How your organization should be thinking about their usage
- 12 marketing use cases in 6 different areas of focus
- How to approach AI with privacy and data security in mind
- What other applications of the underlying technologies apply to marketing
- How various marketing jobs will be impacted
- What's just around the corner

This will be followed up by a hands-on demonstration so get ready to make some real-time changes to the way you work!

About Chris
Christopher S. Penn is an authority on analytics, digital marketing, marketing technology, data science, and machine learning. A recognized thought leader, best-selling author, and keynote speaker, he has shaped five key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, modern email marketing, marketing data science, and artificial intelligence/machine learning in marketing. As co-founder and Chief Data Scientist of Trust Insights, he is responsible for the creation of products and services, creation and maintenance of all code and intellectual property, technology and marketing strategy, brand awareness, and research & development.

Mr. Penn is a 2021, four-time IBM Champion in IBM Analytics, a Brand24 Top 100 Digital Marketer, an Onalytica Top 100 AI in Marketing influencer, and co-host of the award-winning Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Prior to co-founding Trust Insights, he built the marketing for a series of startups with a 100% successful exit rate in the financial services, SaaS software, and public relations industries. His work has served brands such as Twitter, T-Mobile, Citrix Systems, GoDaddy, AAA, McDonald’s, and many others.

Mr. Penn is an IBM Watson Machine Learning Certified Professional, a Google Analytics Certified Professional, a Google Ads Certified Professional, a Google Digital Sales Certified Professional, and a Hubspot Inbound Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as AI for Marketers: A Primer and Introduction, Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero, and Leading Innovation.

Kristian Bush 
Recording artist, singer, songwriter, producer, and playwright

What do you do when you can’t do what you do anymore? - A conversation about resilience and music.

Kristian examines and explores the impact of unexpected change in his career and why resilience is the one thing you can depend on to carry you through.

About Kristian
Kristian Bush is a multi-PLATINUM-selling, two-time GRAMMY® Award winner most known for co-founding the record-breaking Country duo Sugarland with Jennifer Nettles.

Last summer, Bush drove his striped umbrella in the sand staking his spot in summertime beach music with his EP “Drink Happy Thoughts.” “Drink Happy Thoughts” was born from Kristian’s love of all things beach. “(Beach music) is just fascinating,” Kristian says. “No matter who I talk to about this kind of stuff, it's the same feeling I got when I would tell people I have a band called Sugarland. They're like, ’Oh my God, I love Sugarland. That's you?’ When people confess that you're their guilty pleasure, it’s such a beautiful feeling. How about we normalize it? Beach music is one of my favorite things.”

Since then, Bush has released a series of island versions of his popular songs that marry his signature groovy sound with his reggae influence. 
At the same time he was working on his own music, Kristian was also busy in the studio producing Megan Moroney, who recently charted her first No. 1 song “Tennessee Orange.”
The Sevierville, TN native launched his professional music career in 1994 with the Folk-Rock duo Billy Pilgrim. Within the decade, Kristian formed Sugarland, and the group released debut single "Baby Girl" in 2004. Sugarland went on to chart five No. 1 hits and 12 Top 10 songs. His “Southern Gravity” solo debut in 2015 produced Top 20 hit "Trailer Hitch." Kristian made a foray into television theme songs in 2016 with "Forever Now (Say Yes)," which he penned and performed for TLC's popular show "Say Yes to the Dress." The multi-instrumentalist is also a founding member of Rock Jam band Dark Water alongside his brother Brandon Bush and esteemed guitarist Benji Shanks. In addition, Kristian co-wrote a song for the Atlanta staging of Stephen Schwartz's "Working: A Musical" and has written three musicals. "Troubadour" (2017) and "Darlin' Cory" (2021) opened at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, and "Me Before You.”

Rob Smith
Senior Vice President, Platinum Advisors

Government/REgulatory affairs update

About Rob
A Republican operative who originally hails from Oklahoma but now splits his time between Oxford, MS and Washington, DC, Rob represents a diverse client base, including the defense, healthcare, tribal issues, environmental, financial services and transportation sectors. 

Rob began his career on Capitol Hill as the military legislative aide to House Armed Services Committee Member, Congressman Joel Hefley (R-CO), where he worked on defense procurement and military construction issues. He later went on to serve as legislative director for Congressman Wes Watkins (R-OK), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where he focused on trade and tax issues.

Upon leaving the Hill, Rob joined Sun Microsystems, where he represented the company on numerous legislative and regulatory matters, including domestic and international tax, broadband, employee compensation and benefits and accounting and export controls. 

Throughout his time in Washington, D.C., Rob has remained politically active. In 2004 and 2008, he served as a professional volunteer in the Official Proceedings Division of the Republican National Committee. In that role, Rob was responsible for the logistics and hospitality of over twenty members of Congress and VIPs. Additionally, he serves on the steering and finance committees for many elected officials and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Club Association.

Rob earned his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.

Register here or DownloaD the PDF

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