VMI's 11th Annual Leadership and Ethics Conference "Strong Leaders, Strong Teams"

Committed to Exploring Today's Top Leadership Themes

WHEN: NEW DATES are February 15 - 16, 2021

WHERE: ONLINE with featured speakers and interactive sessions

WHO: VMI Cadets, Student-Athletes & Coaches, Undergraduate Students, Faculty, Professional Development

For information about the conference, contact: LTC Kim Connolly connollykv@vmi.edu

About This Year's Conference

You've come to know VMI's Annual Leadership and Ethics Conference as one that continues to seek out top leadership themes for our programming - topics such as leading through disruption, civil discourse, strategic leadership, and more. Each conference features top-notch speakers and subject-matter experts, small group discussions, interactive and engaging activities.

Strong Leaders, Strong Teams explores a progression of teamwork principles from leading self, to peer-to-peer leadership, to leading high-performing teams. Speakers, bonus interviews, and activities contribute to the participant's journey over the two days!

Online registration is open. Instructions for registrants on 'How to Access' the conference are available to download.

Timely, Relevant Conference Programming on Leadership and Ethics

Conference Background

Begun in 2010, the VMI Leadership and Ethics Conference is a hallmark of the Center for Leadership and Ethic’s programming. It is a top-tier conference that addresses a significant issue of ethical leadership development, including living an honorable lifestyle in contemporary America.

The conference is open to all interested adults and attracts the attention of faculty and students of a diverse array of military and civilian colleges, members of the public and private sectors, military leaders, and non-profit audiences. Through the participation of these attendees and our speakers, VMI leads national conversations on diverse themes of leadership and ethics in modern society.

Conference Highlights

Gen. McChrystal, Gen. Neal, Shari Harley, and Ben Freakley

  • Stanley McChrystal, retired four-star Army general, former commander of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and author of Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2015. McChrystal's session will focus on high-performing teams.

  • "Butch" Neal, retired Marine Corps general and author of What Now, Lieutenant? Neal is our opening speaker and his session will focus on leading self.
  • Shari Harley, founder and president of Candid Culture, a Denver-based training firm that is bringing candor back to the workplace, and author of the business communication book How to Say Anything to Anyone: A Guide to Building Business Relationships that Really Work. Harley's session will focus on communication skills.

  • Ben Freakley, founder of Ready.Set.Resilient© and currently works for the Toronto Blue Jays as a mental performance coach. Freakley's session will focus on teamwork and organizational culture. 

See our speakers page for more speaker bios, including ones for our alumni presenters.

Bonus Material - Interviews

All conference participants will have access to pre-recorded interviews with a variety of speakers who will focus in on a sub-theme of teamwork such as inclusivity, diversity, resilience, cohesion, and more.  about them and our keynote speakers. 

What You Can Expect

2019 Conference Content


  • Thank you! Awesome conference!
  • I thought it was well organized and facilitated growth. 
  • Great event!!! I simply loved it!

~ Overall Conference Experience, 2018 Survey Respondents

Sponsored In Part By Army ROTC

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