The Presidential Leadership Institute

PLI Speakers

Tentative PLI speakers for 2017 

Dr. Steve Eckman
Ms. Mary Eisenhower
Mrs. Christi Lones
Mr. Tim McNeese
Dr. Nathan Mellor 
Mrs. Linda Parker
Mr. Mark Stansberry



DR. STEVE ECKMAN
Steve Eckman is president of York College in York, NE, his alma mater.  He previously served as Executive Vice President of Ohio Valley University.  Prior to that he was the Senior Grant Officer for the J.F. Maddox Foundation in New Mexico.  Most of Dr. Eckman's career has been involved in Christian Higher Education including previous work at York College and 20 years at Lubbock Christian University.  

Dr. Eckman has filled roles in Admissions, Financial Aid, Institutional Effectiveness, Research, taught as Associate Professor of Bible and served as Vice President for both Advancement and Student Development.  Steve served as minister for the Taylor Street Church of Christ in Hobbs, NM for two year.  His education includes an Associate of Arts from York College, a Bachelor's from Harding University, a Master of Arts and a Master of Divinity from ACU and a Doctor of Ministry from Amridge University.  

Eckman and his wife, LaRee have two grown children who live in Texas.  Steve has spoken widely for church groups and has keynoted the National Chamber Ambassadors Convention on two separate occasions.  He has conducted leadership camps for several years and has been asked to speak at ministry retreats and Bible camps throughout this career.  While president of York College, Steve has served on the NAIA Council of Presidents and has been President of the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference.  He also serves on the Executive Boards of the Nebraska Independent College Foundation and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Nebraska.


MS. MARY EISENHOWER
Mary Jean Eisenhower was born in Washington, D.C. during her grandfather Dwight D. Eisenhower's first term in office as President of the United States. She was christened in the Blue Room of the White House and grew up in nearby Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Her family had a home with property abutting the Eisenhower Farm, where President Eisenhower eventually retired.  The Eisenhowers were a very close-knit family and saw each other every day.

Mary attended several schools in Pennsylvania until her father, John, was named as US Ambassador to Belgium.  She lived in Brussels with her family from shortly after her grandfather's death in 1969 through 1972.

Among Mary's numerous awards are an Honorary Doctorate in Letter of Humane from Schiller International University in Florida, the Knight of Peace Aware from the International University of Assisi, Italy, the Medal of Honor from the Slovak Republic, and Friendship Ambassador - China. She also received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from both Park University and William Jewell College in Missouri.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mary's grandfather, founded People to People International on September 11, 1956.  Mary joined PTPI hoping to carry on her grandfather's dream, now it has become an important part of her life's work and she carries the mission and the founder's dream ardently as her own.

MRS. CHRISTI LONES
Christi Lones is assistant professor of history at York College. Professor Lones is a graduate of Faulkner University (BS, history) and Fort Hayes State University (MLS, history). Originally from
Montgomery, AL, she worked as an admissions counselor at Faulkner and, since coming to YorkCollege in 2004, served first in the student development office, then as Director of Admissions, and, since 2008, as a history professor. In 2007 and 2008, Professor Lones served as a faculty sponsor for students attending Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C. She serves as the faculty coordinator for Black History Month each February, as well as a Native American history month on campus, and as faculty sponsor of the annual campus Geography Fair, an education program that reaches out to hundreds of community elementary students. In August 2013, Christi received the Faculty Excellence Award from her peers in the Faculty Forum. She received the Faculty Member of the Year award in 2014. Her first book, The Campus History Series: York College, was published in 2014 with Arcadia Publishing. In 2016, Professor Lones presented her paper, “King, X, and the Looming ‘What If?’” at the Institute of Faith and the Academy Conference at Faulkner University (Montgomery, AL). This past year, Christi served as Resource Historian for York Elementary School. Professor Lones currently serves as the chaplain to the women’s volleyball team. She is active in the East Hill Church of Christ, along with her husband and two children.

MR. TIM MCNEESE
Tim McNeese is associate professor of history and department chair at York College in York,
Nebraska.  Professor McNeese is a graduate of York College, Harding University, and Missouri
State University. Tim taught high school history, English, and journalism for 16 years.  He has
published more than 110 books and educational materials.  His writing has earned him a
citation in the library reference work, Contemporary Authors and multiple citations in Best
Books for Young Teen Readers
.  In 2006, Tim appeared on the History Channel and on the
Military Channel series, America: Fact or Fiction in 2014.  He has been a faculty member at the Tony Hillerman Writers Conference in Albuquerque.  His most recent article, "I Must Have
Some Relief or It Will Kill Me': Abraham Lincoln's Reliance on Shakespeare," was published in The Journal of The Wooden O (2012) by Southern Utah University Press.  His collaborative
history of York College was published in 2014 with Arcadia Publishing.   Professor McNeese’s
new book is titled Revolutionary Spies: Intelligence and Espionage in America’s First War, which was published last fall through Barnes & Noble’s Fall River Press imprint. Recently, Tim
collaborated on a documentary on General John J. Pershing with Nebraska Educational
Television. Tim is the recipient of York College’s Dale R. Larsen Teacher of Achievement Award, the Second Miler Award, and Alumnus of the Year. Married, with two children, Professor McNeese serves as an elder at the East Hill Church of Christ.  He has taught at York College for 24 years.


DR. NATHAN MELLOR

Nathan Mellor serves as CEO of Strata Leadership, LLC based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  Strata is the world's largest character based leadership training company.  Products and services provided by Strata are used in companies, non-profits and schools in all 50 states and in over 25 countries to a monthly audience of over 800,000.  

Dr. Mellor holds the Bachelor of Arts and the Master of Science in Education degrees from Harding University located in Searcy, AR.  He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law – Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, and the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University located in Malibu, CA. 

Dr. Mellor has consulted, trained, and lectured in companies, non-profits and governmental agencies throughout the United States, In pursuit of education, humanitarian, and religious interests he has studied or taught in Australia, Belize, China, England, Guyana, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, and Rwanda. He has nearly 15 years experience teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at Baker College, Pepperdine University, and Oklahoma Christian University.  Nathan and his wife Christie were married in 1997 and have two daughters. 

MRS. LINDA PARKER

MR. MARK STANSBERRY
Mark A. Stansberry is an international businessman, energy leader, award-winning author, columnist, radio talk show host, film producer and a humanitarian from Edmond, Oklahoma. He is the founder and Chairman of The GTD Group and the author of five books. Along with having served as Chairman of People to People International, 2009-2013, he also served as Acting CEO of People to People International in 2013. He has been a banker, real estate developer, higher education leader, adjunct professor and entrepreneur. 

Stansberry founded the GTD Group (Global Trade and Development) in 1988 as a vehicle for helping American businesses expand into international markets and operate skillfully in diverse cultural, political and competitive landscapes. He has led business development and federal government relations initiatives in countries including: Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, China, Japan, Mexico and Russia. In 1997, Stansberry arranged a key meeting between former Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus - who became President of the Czech Republic - and U.S. Senator Lott, regarding NATO expansion. He served in an advisory role on advance teams of Oklahoma visits for Presidents Reagan and Ford, and was an intern, then a staff member for U.S. Senator Dewey F. Bartlett. Stansberry has been a National Convention Delegate three times (1996, 2000 and 2004) and was the White House event chairman for the Oklahoma Centennial Salute in 2007. Stansberry was inducted into the Western Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2009.

With over 37 years of direct experience in the energy industry, Stansberry has become a respected industry spokesman, expert and media commentator on energy issues.  He has appeared on CNN, and other TV outlets, has been quoted in newspapers and magazines such as Wall Street Journal Market Watch.  Stansberry has been a frequent guest on radio shows, publishes op-eds, has a weekly newspaper column and has presented speeches throughout the U. S. and globally.

He has been invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, served a nine year term as chairman of the State Chamber of Oklahoma Energy Council and founded the International Energy Policy Conference, now in its twenty-third year, www.energypolicyconference.com.   

He is the 2015 Chairman-Elect of the Board of Directors of the Gaylord-Pickens Museum/Oklahoma Hall of Fame and will serve as chairman for both 2016 and 2017.

Stansberry served on the Board of Directors for PostRock Energy Corp. (PSTR, NASDAQ-Global) and the predecessor company from 2007 to 2014.  He served on the audit committee, pricing committee and chaired the Nominating, Governance, Safety, and Environment Committee of PostRock.  He is an ex-officio Board member for The Energy Advocates, a Washington D.C./Tulsa based nonprofit national public education organization.  He served as president of The International Society of The Energy Advocates, 2003-2009.

Stansberry began his first job in the Oklahoma energy industry in 1977 as a landman for an oil and gas properties company headquartered in his original hometown of Elk City.  A few years later, he and a friend started their own petroleum land management company, also focusing on the Anadarko Basin of western Oklahoma.  In 1988, he founded The Oklahoma Royalty Company, an acquisition, mergers and divestitures firm, and served as its president through 2008.

In 1991, Stansberry co-authored his first book, an energy industry handbook called, "The Acquisition Process and Due Diligence: Minimize Risk/Maximize Return!" His second book, "The Braking Point: America's Energy Dreams and Global Economic Realities," was released in 2008, sparking a public speaking tour of universities and energy conferences.

In 2010, Stansberry concluded a nine-year term on the nine-member Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges/the Regional University System of Oklahoma, appointed by Governor Frank Keating.  He has also served on the Board of Regents for the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 1988 to 1993, appointed by Governor Bellmon.  He was recently appointed (2015) by Governor Mary Fallin to the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, term ending June, 2019.  

He served as Chairman of the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges/the Regional University System of Oklahoma, 2006-2007 and Chairman of the Board of Regents of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 1990-91.

The University of Central Oklahoma honored him for his service supporting higher education in Oklahoma with an annual endowed scholarship in his name.  He served on the Board of Trustees, University of Central Oklahoma Foundation, 2010-2015.

Stansberry has served on numerous public and private boards.  Currently, he served on the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma Christian University, 2006 to present, and has been a board member for various organizations including:  The Fund for American Studies, Oklahoma Hall of Fame/the (Ed) Gaylord-(Boone) Pickens Museum.  He has served on the Board of Visitors, School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University and Board of Visitors, Oklahoma Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma, Advisory Board of the Oklahoma Small Business Centers and Adjunct Professor at Oklahoma Christian University instructing an “International Business” course.  He was appointed by Mayor Cornett to the OKC Port Authority/Foreign Trade Zone Board of Directors.  

He serves on the Board of Governors of the Texas Chapter of the Grammys/Recording Academy and Board of the Tulsa Film and Music Commission.

Stansberry served as Chairman of the 14 member international governing board of People to People International, a Kansas City-based nonprofit founded in 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to promote world peace through cultural, education and understanding from 2009 to 2013 and as Acting CEO a portion of 2013.   (Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of President Eisenhower, served as CEO/President from 1998-2013.)  

Stansberry currently resides in Edmond, Oklahoma with his wife, Nancy.  They have three grown children and six grandchildren.

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