Keynote Speakers

Bruce J. Avolio, Ph.D.

Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership

Executive Director, Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking

Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington

Bruce has a global reputation as a researcher and practitioner in advancing the science and practice of leadership and its development. Over the course of his career, he has published over 150 articles and 12 books, and was recently recognized as being one of the top 25 management scholars in the world. Bruce has consulted with public and private organizations around the globe, including organizations in the U.S., Japan, Singapore, China, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada and South Africa. He is also a fellow of the American Psychological Society, the American Psychological Association, the Academy of Management, and the International Association of Applied Psychology.

Bruce’s most recent book is entitled, “Organizational Transformation: Achieving it One Person at a Time”, with Stanford University Press. This book examines the way organizations move through 4 states of change that results in institutionalizing a transformative change in way individuals engage and work in the organization. This book includes several major studies focusing on successful and not so successful change in a number of industries, including several case studies of healthcare organizations.



Maria R. Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FAAN                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Professor and Chair, Department of Acute, Chronic and Continuing Care

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing

Birmingham, Alabama                                                                               

Dr. Maria R. Shirey, professor in the School of Nursing at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, teaches at the graduate level focusing on leadership, management, health policy, and scholarly writing. Dr. Shirey’s expertise is in executive nursing leadership teaching, research, and practice.  Her research focuses on nurse manager work complexity to provide a better understanding of the nurse manager role and its unique contributions to health care systems.  Her research identifies necessary system structures required to maximize individual and organizational outcomes associated with the nurse manager role in acute, critical care, and ambulatory work environments.  Dr. Shirey’s scholarly work is extensive and has been used to affect workforce policy at the state and national levels.  

A former nurse executive with over 30 years of experience in the health care field, Dr. Shirey is a champion for healthy work environments that enhance the ability of health care professionals to provide safe, quality patient care while personally growing, thriving, and remaining engaged within the workforce.  She has been involved in leading the development and evaluation of innovative care delivery models that maximize the talents of various professionals to advance population health in underserved populations.  

Dr. Shirey received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Florida State University, a Master of Science in Nursing from Texas Woman’s University, a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University, and a PhD in Nursing Science from Indiana University.  Her experience includes roles as staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, academic faculty, nurse manager, nursing director, hospital vice-president, clinic administrator, and entrepreneur.   She is active in multiple professional organizations such as the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Alabama Organization of Nurse Executives, Sigma Theta Tau International, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) where she served two consecutive terms as Chair of the national board of directors of the AACN Certification Corporation, the American College of Healthcare Executives where she is a past member of the Indiana Regents Advisory Council and past Chairperson of the Advancement Subcommittee, and the Southern Nursing Research Society.  She is past President of the American Board of Nursing Specialties and current Editor-in-Chief of the Journal for Healthcare Quality.

Dr. Shirey is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in advanced nursing executive practice.  Also board certified in health care management and a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, Dr. Shirey is active as a regional, national, and international speaker on evidence-based leadership and management topics.  She is a prolific author, editor, and scholar contributing to many peer-reviewed journals and professional venues.  She is the recipient of multiple professional honors including two national awards from the American Organization of Nurse Executives (Organizational Innovation and Nurse Executive Scholarship) and four Circle of Excellence awards from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (Value of Certification, Leadership, Multidisciplinary Collaboration, Lifetime Membership).  In recognition of Dr. Shirey’s national and international contributions to nursing and health policy, she was selected and inducted in 2010 as a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Nursing. For her exceptional contributions to teaching, she was selected in 2014 as a Fellow of the Academy of Nursing Education of the National League for Nursing.