Southeast Regional Conference Speakers 2017

Williams speaks at conference closing

Hush Now, Baby by the regional conference closing meeting speaker Angela Williams, tells how Williams grew up in the segregated South, with a family employee, Eva Aiken, largely rearing her and loving her unabashedly. Aiken was the central figure in Williams’ life from her birth until the day she married.

Williams’ roots have remained deep in the Low Country of South Carolina, where Eva Aiken’s strength and values permeated her life. A middle child, early on Williams loved words and reading. At Queens College she began writing about Eva, who called her “Baby.” After graduate school at Duke, she taught English from the California coast to the Maryland shore, finally at the Citadel, where she taught for 20 years, writing snippets of Eva along the way.

Now a personal/professional coach and speaker, Williams, through her book and speeches, reflects on Aiken’s influence on her life, of civil rights issues and the subsequent embarrassment that she knew so little, did so little. The urge to do something, if nothing more than reach back to touch the Eva wisdom, resulted in the publication of Hush Now, Baby, a coming-of-age story that brings to the forefront issues long hushed in Southern culture.

Angela Williams shares her compelling personal story.

2011 Miss South Carolina to speak

Bree Boyce is a native South Carolinian who first made news when crowned the 75th Miss South Carolina in 2011. A top-12 finalist in the Miss America competition, Boyce’s journey to that point was far from ordinary since it included losing over one hundred pounds.

Boyce has gone on to host The View and appear as a guest on Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and the Today Show.

She has appeared on the covers of People (2011 and 2014) and Woman’s World, while being prominently featured in Runners World and Southern Living. Boyce is also a feature story in the best-selling book Believable Hope.

Boyce has received numerous awards for her involvement in school systems, including the Whole Child Award from the South Carolina Association for Supervision and Curriculum. She recently worked with Subway as a “Fit Buddy” while being a face for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” Campaign.

Having studied classical music extensively since the age of six, Boyce is a trained classical violinist and vocalist. Her Bachelor of Arts degree from Francis Marion University is in theatre arts.

Her love for helping others has brought Boyce to focus mainly on motivational speaking as well as helping young girls achieve their goals. As an in-demand speaker, Boyce promotes health and well being while emphasizing the importance of self-esteem through her award-winning Campaign, One Step with Bree™.

Huntley lets experience guide efforts for women and children

Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley is a child advocate and a litigation attorney. She practices law in Birmingham, Alabama, and regularly serves as a motivational speaker throughout the country. In addition to her corporate defense litigation practice, a significant portion of her legal practice is spent representing or consulting with governmental and non-profit agencies that serve women and children.

Huntley actively participates in numerous civic and professional organizations. She volunteers time to advocate expanding high quality Pre-K to all four-year-olds in Alabama. She also serves on the governor’s task force for prevention of sexual abuse in children.

In her memoir More Than A Bird, Ms. Huntley recounts her childhood. Born in a violent housing project in Huntsville, Alabama, she was reared in her grandmother’s home. The book details her emotional journey, living in poverty and being sexually abused by her uncle, and profiles the men and women who mentored her and helped her reach her full potential.