Keynote Speakers 21 Conference

Niambi Jaha-Echols

Recognizing the challenges that girls of African descent face with issues of cultural displacement and positive cultural identification, Niambi Jaha-Echols was inspired in 2002 to write her first book, Project Butterfly: Supporting Young Women and Girls of African Descent Through the Transitions of Life. The book inspired the creation of Project Butterfly New Orleans, numerous after-school programs across the country, and Camp Butterfly, a nationally recognized summer camp for teen girls. Today, Niambi is the Founder and President of The Butterfly Movement – an expanded personal development opportunity for women and girls.

As a consultant and inspirational speaker, Niambi travels the country spreading love and light. Her writings, teachings and philosophies have influenced and inspired countless. She is a co-contributor to the book, African Americans and Community Engagement in Higher Education, published in 2009 by SUNY Press. She is also the author of Inspiring The Souls of Our Girls, published in 2015 by Earth Light.

Niambi is currently serving on the National Board of Directors for the American Camp Association and has served on various other boards both locally and nationally in the past. She has been featured in Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, and on MSN.com. Niambi has also been recognized by the State of Illinois and Essence Magazine as a woman who is “shaping the world.”

Ian Roberts

Ian Roberts is the Executive Director and President of the Camp Ho Mita Koda Foundation, the world’s oldest summer camp for children with Type 1 Diabetes. He has spent his career in the camping and non-profit world and his expertise lies in focusing on operating efficiency, strategically accelerating change to business processes and system integration, and building a culture of integration, engagement and collaboration.

An active member of the American Camp Association since 2001, Ian currently serves as a Lead Visitor and the Communications Chair with the ACA Ohio Local Council of Leaders. Ian is the co-author of ‘Connection Without Contact: Techniques for Creating Social Connection While Maintaining Physical Distance’ which will be released in the ACA bookstore in Spring 2021.  

Shawn Shepheard

Shawn is an executive coach, business strategist and keynote speaker. Shawn helps great leaders become exceptional, on their terms. Shawn has a long track record of being the secret weapon for executives and business owners. He has worked with entrepreneurs across North America, and for global companies including LinkedIn, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, Javelin, Allstate, Kaloutas, Tim Hortons, Kraft Foods, and the YMCA. Many of his clients think of him as their private Sherpa—in their corner and helping them reach new heights.

His unique ability is using his raw honesty combined with his sense of humor and adventure to help people reignite the dream vision they’ve always wanted, and provide clarity that gets them excited and moves them into immediate positive action where they’ll become even bigger stars than they already are.