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This year our program is filled with inspirational keynote speakers, well-known authors, industry professionals, newsworthy panels, and timely breakout sessions.

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Our Keynotes


Kindra Hall

Speaker | Author | Storytelling Advisor

Kindra knows the challenges that executives, top performers and brands experience as they try to capture attention in a crowded marketplace. Kindra has been a vice president of sales for a multi-million-dollar enterprise, national champion storyteller, 2014 Storytelling World Award recipient and former board member of the National Storytelling Network. She earned her master's degree in Organizational Communication and Management and conducted original research that examined the role of storytelling in organizational socialization.

Kindra has worked with innovative brands like ConAgra, Stryker, Rodan & Fields and Hilton Hotels to use the irresistible power of storytelling to capture attention and connect in a distracted marketplace. Kindra has become a conference favorite for her clients who invite her back for consecutive annual events. Her presentations include revealing research, eye-opening case studies and, of course, stories that attendees will remember and retell long after the event ends.

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Jared James

Jared James Enterprises

Jared James has become one of the most followed people in real estate today on places like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube because of his no-nonsense advice, motivation and real-world sales tips and videos. He’s an in-demand speaker, entrepreneur and author of the book “Get out of YOUR way!”

His company, Jared James Enterprises, has become one of the most effective coaching companies around, helping thousands of students learn how to create more predictable real estate businesses. In his previous career as a Realtor ®, Jared built one of the largest and fastest growing teams in the USA, earning him a spot in REALTOR ® Magazine’s exclusive 30 under 30 edition. To get his message out, Jared speaks all over North America to tens of thousands of professionals every year and was even named recently as one of the 25 most influential people in the real estate industry today.

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Katty Kay

BBC America

Katty Kay is the lead anchor for BBC World News America. Katty's reports on the latest U.S. economic and political news are also carried by BBC News channels globally, giving her a vast international audience. In addition, Katty is also a frequent guest commentator on NBC's Meet the Press as well as a regular guest and substitute co-host on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

Katty is a popular speaker who addresses both current political events and also issues impacting women. Katty's talks on American politics and global affairs offer the fresh perspective of someone who has lived in and reported from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and now Washington, D.C. Additionally, the challenges of juggling a demanding career and a family with four children led her to speak and write on two topics that strongly resonate with women: confidence and something she calls "Womenonics." Katty Kay is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of two New York Times bestsellers. She shows ways to break out of comfort zones and take risks that pay off.



Our Speakers

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Jennifer Du Plessis, CMPS, CME, CDLP

Author, Speaker Consultant, Coach


Jennifer began her long career in mortgage lending in 1983, after having studied Architectural Design & Construction Engineering at Colorado State University. In the last 35 years, she has held positions from a simple Set up Clerk all the way to Executive Vice President, National Sales Manager. Jen currently is the CEO and Founder of Kinetic Spark Consulting in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Jennifer's desire is to help others in her industry, as well as real estate agents, small business owners and executives, by offering and developing educational training, consulting and coaching. Jen has been featured in such publications as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post; and she is a regular contributor to Mortgage Executive Magazine and Mortgage Women Magazine. Additionally, she has been on Good Morning America, Sirius/XM Radio and Federal News Radio. Jen has been an adjunct Professor with several Universities in the Mid-Atlantic area. She has been named in the Top 1% and Top 200 Loan Originators in the U.S. and is the Founder and host of a weekly podcast and author of “LAUNCH! How to Take your Business to New Heights.”




Billy Ekofo


Born in the United States, but of Congolese origins, Billy’s life continues to be marked by his relentless pursuit of excellence and a deep passion for community and social impact. Billy is a trained communication and business professional with over 10 years of combined academic and professional experience from living, studying and working in Central Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Billy completed his MBA at the College of William and Mary with an emphasis on Real Estate and Entrepreneurship in May 2013, and joined Century 21 in January 2014 as an agent focusing on the Northern Virginia/DC Metro market. Real Estate to Billy is more than just transactional - it is about the ability to see the possibilities in a client' journey towards homeownership, and birth those possibilities into existence. Billy and his wife Karen have two boys – Liam and Jonathan. They currently live in Ashburn, VA.


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Sean Carpenter

Inman News

Originally licensed as a real estate agent in 1998, Sean Carpenter is the former Agent Development Director for the Ohio NRT companies. After 14 years in brokerage leadership and training, Sean decided to jump back into a sale role with Coldwell Banker King Thompson serving buyers and sellers throughout central Ohio, as well as expand his passion for speaking to a wider audience. With over 50 appearances in 2017 alone, Sean has become a popular speaker across the nation – focusing on sales topics of creating memorable customer experiences, maximizing social and digital media, as well as business planning and leadership. Formerly recognized by Inman News as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate, Sean was named as one of the Top 20 most influential people in social media for the real estate industry by The Swanepoel Report for the third year in a row. Recognized by the Columbus REALTORS® as their 2017 Instructor of the Year, Sean’s speaking appearances have included numerous state REALTOR® Conventions, Women’s Council of REALTORS® event and various REALTOR® and leadership events around the country.


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Bobbi Desai


Bobbi is a Realtor® with Century 21 Redwood Realty, licensed in Virginia. She is also a Special Needs Mom. While she has always believed in keeping her professional and personal lives separate, over time, she found that many of her clients had been families with special needs. Whether those needs were mental, physical, behavioral or emotional, special care was required in the buying or selling of a home. Her experience as a Special Needs Mom gives her a unique understanding of these families, and the skills she has honed allows her to be the best advocate for her clients throughout the process. She is a true advocate for her clients -- from patiently educating them, to fiercely negotiating for them, to diligently managing every aspect of their transaction.


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Marki Lemons-Ryhal

a reMARKItable brand

Licensed managing broker, Realtor®, avid volunteer and major donor, Marki Lemons-Ryhal is dedicated to all things real estate. With over 25 years of marketing experience, Marki has taught over 250,000 Realtors® how to earn up to a 2682% return on their marketing dollars. As a Realtor®, Marki has earned several sales awards, the Realtor® Achievement Award and the President's Award from the Chicago Association of Realtors®. By consistently offering sound industry analysis and professional guidance, Marki's expertise has been featured in Forbes, Washington Post, Homes.com and Realtor® Magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Chicago State University, a Master's in Business Administration from Saint Xavier University, and over 50 real estate related licenses, certifications and designations.



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Karen Hall

Principal broker & Realtor®

Karen Hall is a founder and the principal broker of @home real estate lounge & design center and is licensed in VA, MD, and DC. She was a contributor to the NAR Military Relocation Professional certification course, and NAR's 2016 Broker Stand-Out. Karen is sought out for her strategic business consultations and speaking nationally on a variety of branding and marketing topics for Inman, CRS Sell-a-bration, NAR, Virginia Realtors, and a myriad of other local and state associations, as well as media.



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Lou Christopher

Vice Chairman, CBRE

With an unparalleled understanding of complex real estate transactions, Lou Christopher has led some of the Washington, D.C. market area's most significant real estate assignments on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, large law firms and other leading enterprises. He provides many of these organizations with national and international representation and has conducted transactions in more than 80 markets. As a 29-year industry veteran, Lou is known as a trusted advisor who delivers meaningful and measurable results. Serving as Vice Chairman, Lou is a leader with CBRE and serves on the Executive Committee of the firm's National Law Firm Group and most recently as Chairman of the firm's Americas Producers Advisory Board. He is also consistently recognized by industry organizations for his market leadership.



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Tara Houston

Associate broker & Realtor®

Tara Furges Houston is the Founder and CEO of Houston Consulting Group & Associates, LLC, a consulting practice with a mission of helping others build their unique legacies. She is a real estate professional with eXp Realty, where she is the former State Broker for the District of Columbia (DC) and Maryland (MD); as well as the former State Compliance Broker for Virginia (VA). Now, as Associate Broker, she works, alongside her husband Michael, as a leader and ambassador for the brokerage. Tara and Michael are trainers, mentors, and coaches for their personal agent group. Tara teaches Broker and Salesperson Pre-licensing and CE courses for DC, MD, and VA. As a trainer, Tara helps agents build successful businesses so they can live better lives.


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Natalie Roy

Keller Williams Arlington

Natalie is a top real estate professional and neighborhood specialist with over thirty years of experience working in the non-profit and government sectors, particularly on environmental issues. She is licensed in both Virginia and Maryland and specializes in the following areas: Arlington, particularly the orange line corridor of Rosslyn, Ballston and Clarendon. She also covers the areas of Falls Church, McLean, Alexandria, Bethesda, Takoma Park (MD) and Silver Spring. As a longtime resident of Arlington, she has served as the President and Vice-President of her neighborhood civic association in Arlington, She is also a sports enthusiast, serving as the head coach of the Yorktown High School Girls Varsity Tennis Squad and a striker for the Speed Bumps, an Arlington women's soccer team. Natalie works hard to develop comprehensive strategies that enable her clients to accomplish their real estate goals.



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Jeff Turner


As founder & CEO of J.J. Grace, Jeff Turner led the firm to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 Fastest-Growing Companies. He has served as Founder, or President of several real estate technology companies, including RealSatisfied, acquired by Placester in 2016. Currently, Jeff is CEO of immoviewer, Inc., a world leader in 3-D virtual tour technology.



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John Altmiller

Partner, Pesner Kawamoto

John C. Altmiller is a shareholder in the firm Pesner Kawamoto since 2008. His practice is concentrated in real estate, real estate litigation, civil litigation, business law, landlord-tenant, collections, and contract law. He has tried cases in state, federal, and bankruptcy courts, and has numerous reported cases. He has been lead counsel in over sixty circuit court trials, and he has also represented parties in proceedings before regulatory boards and associations. Mr. Altmiller graduated Villanova University in 1988 and received his law degree from George Mason University in 1992. He is the former co-chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Fairfax County Bar Association. He has been a speaker at many continuing education seminars throughout Virginia in the areas of real estate and litigation.