The Ferrum College In Residence Series initiative is designed to bring the real-world
experience of current and retired professionals to the classroom. Guest speakers tour
campus, audit classes, interact with students and faculty and are asked to deliver
a lecture sharing their personal experiences and philosophies. Speakers offer insight
on the knowledge, skills and leadership qualities necessary for a successful career. Many
of the lectures are open to both the College community and the general public.
If you are unable to be in attendance for the lecture but would like to view it,
the LiveStream can be found here.
2014 Spring Semester Speakers
Kimberley S. Crannis '83, Executive in Residence
Chief of Police, Blacksburg, Virginia
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Kimberley S. Crannis received her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from
Ferrum College in 1983 and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Virginia
Tech in 2000. Chief Crannis is a graduate of the 190th session of the FBI National Academy, the 58th session of the Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar and the 17th session of the Professional Executive Leadership School. She began the Blacksburg
Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy as part of her graduate work and the agency
just graduated its 28th class. The Blacksburg Police Department is a nationally accredited Law Enforcement
Agency with 82 full time employees.
Chief Kimberley S. Crannis was appointed Chief of Police for the Town of Blacksburg
Police Department in October of 2006. Chief Crannis began her law enforcement career
with the Blacksburg Police Department in 1984. During her time with the department,
she has served as a Patrol Officer, Detective, Sergeant (Crime Prevention/Community
Outreach), Lieutenant (Patrol and Professional Standards) and Captain (Operations
Division Commander) prior to her appointment as the Chief of Police.
Chief Crannis is an assessor for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement
Agencies (CALEA), traveling throughout the country conducting compliance assessments
of law enforcement agencies. Chief Crannis serves on the board of the New River Valley
Alcohol Safety Awareness Program and the New River Valley Women’s Resource Center
as well as past President of the FBI National Academy Associates of Virginia. She
is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Virginia Police
Chiefs Association, the Blue Ridge Association of Chief’s of Police, the FBI National
Academy Associates, the International Association of Women in Policing and the Mid-Atlantic
Association of Women in Law Enforcement.
Alfred "Al" Midgett '79, Executive in Residence
Author, Founder/CEO of The Noblemen
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Al Midgett is an author, founder of The Noblemen, and father of a miracle son who inspired an entire grassroots movement to change
lives and empower others to do "Noble Deeds."
Midgett received a bachelor of social work in 1979 from Ferrum College. After three
unsuccessful years of trying to start their family, he and his wife Margaret received
the good news that they were expecting a child. Their son was born 17 weeks premature
with very low odds of survival. After four months in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive
Care Unit), their tiny son came home on Midgett’s birthday. The family faced insurmountable
debt of over $560,000 and had no health insurance but friends and neighbors came
to their aid.
In his effort to “balance the gift” and show his appreciation of all the help he and
his wife had received, Midgett formed The Robin Hoods of Virginia Beach. This small group grew to over 300 members over 17 years and performed
many good deeds for others. After learning that their chosen name was owned and trademarked,
the group was renamed The NobleMen in 2006.
The NobleMen example has evolved into a philanthropic model for other communities and benefits
deserving children in need as well as participants and donors. The organization has
since grown to include NobleWomen, NobleTeens, NobleKids and even NoblePets.
Midgett’s specialties are leadership, community service, branding, event organization,
writing and public speaking. In 2012 he published his story in a book entitled Normal to Noble - a fun and engaging manual for nonprofits. In October 2013 Midgett was honored by his alma mater and received the Ferrum College
Distinguished Alumni Award which recognizes a graduate who has made significant contributions
to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have exemplified
the spirit of Ferrum College’s motto, “Not Self, But Others”.
James E. Winkler, Theologian In Residence
President & General Secretary, National Council of Churches
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Winkler, formerly the General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church
and Society, was recently elected General Secretary/President of the National Council
of Churches, the leading staff position in the NCC. In this position he will serve
as the executive leader of the Council with overall responsibility for personnel,
deploying resources to achieve the priorities of the NCC, organizational and board
development, fund-raising, vision-setting, long-range planning, financial management,
external relationships and thought leadership.
Winkler is a member of the Justice and Advocacy Commission of the National Council
of Churches of the United States of America, a member of the steering committee of
the Campaign for Health Care Now, a board member of several organizations including
the Faith and Politics Institute, Churches for the Middle East Peace, and Africa Action.
He served as general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS),
the international public policy and social justice agency of The United Methodist
Church since November, 2000. As the chief executive of the board, Jim led a staff
of 22 who sought the implementation of the Church’s Social Principles through education,
witness, and advocacy. The board carries out a wide-ranging ministry of peace and
justice throughout the world with offices in Washington and New York.
Winkler re-energized the work of the board around a three-part vision: to help United
Methodists link mercy and justice; to connect the work of the board with local churches
and annual conferences around the globe; and to be the premier denominational advocacy
agency on Capitol Hill. He has led delegations to the Middle East, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Germany seeking peaceful solutions to global conflict
and traveled throughout the world to support the justice work of the United Methodist
in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has preached and led workshops and training events
in Russia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, and is a frequent spokesperson for the justice
work of The United Methodist Church to the national and international media.
Winkler is the son, brother, nephew and great grandson of United Methodist preachers
and United Methodist Women. He studied history at the University of Illinois and George
Mason University and after graduation served as a short-term missionary with the Pacific
Conference of Churches in Suva, Fiji. At the Board of Church and Society he held the
position of Seminar Designer, Director of Annual Conference Relations and Assistant
General Secretary of Resourcing Congregational Life before his nomination as General
Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society and President and General Secretary
of the NCC.
Roddy Moore, Folklorist In Residence
Director of Blue Ridge Institute & Museum
Friday, May 9, 2014
2013-2014 Fall Semester Speakers
Jim Wade, November 19, 2013
Woody Crenshaw, October 30, 2013
William H. Fralin, Jr., September 26, 2013
2012 -2013 Speakers
Julie E. Swanson
President/CEO of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia
Patrick Patterson President of Novozymes Biologicals
Nancy Howell Agee President and CEO of Carilion Clinic
Jeffrey A. Marks President and General Manager of WDBJ7
Michael W. McColl '93 Voice Actor
Harvey D. Brookins, Jr. Market President & Business Banking Manager at Wells Fargo
Marc A. Schewel President of Schewel Furniture Company
Michael J. Quillen Executive Chairman of the Board of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.
Clay Campbell President of Martinsville Speedway
Charles Patton President and Chief Operating Officer of Appalachian Power
Debra C. (Debbie) Meade President and Publisher at The Roanoke Times
Dennis Cronk President and CEO of Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group
John Williamson President and CEO of Roanoke Gas Company
Ed Walker Managing Director of Regeneration Partners LLC
Neal Naff M.D. Neurosurgeon at the Cyber Knife Program at John Hopkins
E. Michael Mutchler Vice President and Group Executive at General Motors
Baxter F. Phillips, Jr.’66 President of Massey Energy Company
Frank M. Simms Manager of Hydro Operations for American Electric Power (AEP)
Edward G. Murphy M.D. President and CEO of Carilion Clinic