Leadership Symposium Guest Speakers


  • Lara G bio picture

    Lara Gutierrez

    Lara Gutierrez is a 200 hour RYT yoga instructor specializing in alignment and mindfulness.  She currently works as part of the Employee Fitness Center Team at Kennesaw State University, as well as being a key staff member at Breathe. Yoga in Chamblee, GA.  With 20 years of yoga practice and over 7 years as an instructor, her work helps people in all walks of life find wellness and mobility through meditation and movement.  She is also certified to work with populations with specific needs, such as those living with PTSD, Seniors, Pregnant Women, and Athletes.  Lara Gutierrez received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University. She enjoys hiking, baking, and being with family in her spare time. 


    • Lisa Lewis-Fears Photo

      Lisa Lewis-Fears

      Lisa Lewis-Fears is the Associate Director at Kennesaw State University’s (KSU) Center for University Learning. She consults with university leaders, faculty, staff and teams to provide professional development and career enrichment at KSU and for the University System of Georgia’s Professional Development Consortium. Lisa holds several professional certifications and designations including Professional in Human Resources, Registered Corporate Coach, MBTI Practitioner, FranklinCovey Facilitator, Development Dimensions International Facilitator, DiSC Facilitator, and a certified speaker, coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team. She received a graduate degree in Human Resource Development from Georgia State University and an undergraduate degree in Communications from Boston University.


      • Tanya Smith Image

        Tanya Smith

        Tanya M. Smith is the Founder & CEO of Life In Quarters, LLC a Leadership Development consultancy.

        Ms. Smith honorably retired from the US Army in November 2016 after 24 years of total service. She began her military career as an Army Reserve Radiologic Technician. Wanting to experience the Army on a full-time basis, she resigned from her position as Acting Director for New Jersey’s largest residential facility for male juvenile delinquents. She then enlisted as a Cryptologic Linguist and graduated with Honors from the Spanish Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC) in Monterey, California.
        She successfully served in both traditional and nontraditional Army leadership positions. Her station assignments include Fort Drum, New York, Fort Meade, Maryland, Fort Hood, Texas, and the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center (DLIFLC), Monterey, California. She deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iraq in support of peacekeeping and combat operations.

        Ms. Smith’s civilian education includes Associate degrees in Spanish, Intelligence Studies, and Applied Science, a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. She has also completed the University of Pennsylvania’s Master Resiliency Trainer Certificate program and Cornell’s Executive Leadership Certificate programs in High Performance Leadership and Executive Leadership.

        Her combined civilian experience and years of service to the nation have provided her invaluable opportunities to see and understand the world from unique perspectives. These experiences have contributed to her ability to develop effective leaders and enhance organizational growth. As a life-long learner with a passion for adding value to organizations and individuals, she also became a certified speaker, coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team.

        Traveling and reading are her two most enjoyed activities.


        • Harry Vardis Photo

          Harry Vardis

          Harry is the Director of the Center Of Business Innovation - Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University. He is a professional facilitator, trainer and consultant in the field of innovation and creative thinking. He is a lifetime member and a trainer at the Creative Education Foundation

          Harry is the founder of Creative Focus, Inc. a Market Research consultancy located in Atlanta. Harry’s clients include FORTUNE 500 companies such as AT&T, Verizon Information Systems, Delta Air Lines, Mohawk Industries, Assurant Solutions, Cox Media, Autotrader.com and others.

          Universities where Harry has introduced his course on innovation are: Emory University, Kennesaw State University, Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, University of Illinois, Southern Polytechnic, Albany State University, Anahuac University, and Novartis University

          He loves sailing, fishing and trekking.


          Leadership Symposium Home