TravCon 2019 Speakers
Opening KeyNote Speaker: Nurse Blake
Nurse Blake graduated with his BSN from the University of Central Florida in 2014. He has worked in a number of healthcare roles and started several successful campaigns including Nurses Support Their Young and Banned4Life.
Nurse Blake has the largest following of any nurse on social media, Nurse Blake’s content reaches an average of 12,000,000 people every month. Over 875,000 nurses and nursing students follow him on social media and his videos have been viewed over 200,000,000 times.
As others follow in our footsteps, we need to always inspire, motivate and help them.
We’re all in this together!
Closing KeyNote Speaker: Allison Massari
In 1998, Allison survived a devastating near head-on car crash where she was trapped & burned alive, conscious the entire time. Just three years later she was hit again at 60 mph & sustained a closed-head brain injury. Allison has always believed in the miraculous. Her profound journey of overcoming these two life-altering injuries gives her a genuine & direct approach to transcending life’s difficulties.
By weaving her remarkable journey with potent life-lessons, Allison highlights the integral nature of patient-centered care & fortifies audience members, reigniting their passion for healthcare.
Prepare to be taken on a journey: Allison has an intimate understanding of the demands and challenges of the medical profession, & compelling authority to address the delicate nature of patient-centered care after surviving two life-threatening car accidents — one where she suffered second & third-degree burns on over 50% of her body
“I didn’t want to just heal. I wanted to feel peaceful.
I became relentless in my pursuit to
find the answers to life.”
Jeff Solheim is an RN from Portland Oregon & was TravCon 2018’s Keynote Speaker. He has worked as a nurse for over 25 years in clinical areas as varied as the ICU, med/surg units & ER, as well as working as a flight nurse & cruise ship nurse. Jeff’s roles in nursing span from bedside nursing through nursing management & administration to trauma coordinator, nursing educator, nursing consultant & state surveyor. Since 2004, Jeff has spoken to tens of thousands of people in all 50 states as well as multiple countries around the world.
Aside from speaking, Jeff has authored more than 20 books & been editor or contributor to numerous others as well as being published in multiple journals & magazines. He is also the founder & executive director of Project Helping Hands, an organization which places short-term medical teams in countries around the globe providing medical & preventative care as well as education to those who lack access to basic services.
Sheldon serves as CEO for LiquidAgents Healthcare. With 20+ years in the staffing sector, Sheldon provides strategy, operational expertise, vision, and leadership.
Prior to his role at LiquidAgents Healthcare, Sheldon held several executive-level positions in the tech industry, including CEO of Esoftsolutions (ranked 52 by Inc. Magazine), senior leader at Perot Systems, and technology leader for EDS. Sheldon is a board member of several privately held companies, a member of technical and business associations, and frequently presents at conferences nationwide. He holds a BA in Computer Science from Wayne State University.
Holly has been with PPR for almost 18 years. She joined the PPR family as a Recruiter and has a passion for recruitment, sales, customer service, employee engagement, training, culture and all things travel nursing. Holly is responsible for the day to day operations and management of PPR and their Jacksonville office.
Holly has won the Annual Core Value Award five times, 2005, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017. She is Top Grading certified, Franklin Covey and Sandler Sales Institute trained. In 2018, she was selected for the Inaugural Great Places to Work For All Leadership Award. Holly is a Jacksonville, FL native. She serves on the NATHO board, as well as the board for the Jacksonville Catholic Charities Workforce Advisory Council. She has a passion for animals, loves playing golf and traveling
Kyle is a Nurse Recruiter for Banner Health, but she’s far more than that! She’s been a Critical Care RN with Banner since 1980. A flight RN for both rotor and fixed wing aircraft, she’s a professional auctioneer and has practiced this art at many black-tie events. She’s a world traveler, has served the Med Help Critical Care team for Dakar, Africa, and is a persistent animal rescuer.
Kyle has exhibited with Banner Health at many TravCons, and was a member of the 2018 Housing Panel. This year Kyle brings the perspective of the hospital to TravCon, including what reasons they may have for not hiring or renewing a traveler, and what you – the traveler can do to avoid those pitfalls.
Chris is the COO of Travel Nurses Inc. A former ER/CVICU staff nurse & current travel company co-owner, he has 37 years of combined experience in health care & industrial staffing solution resource development, & has expertise in new starts, mergers & acquisitions. Chris spent 17 years as VP/Administrator of 400 bed nonprofit, multiple unit, faith-based recovery services provider including full charge of nonprofit industrial staffing component that provided temp to hire opportunities to people facing social barriers to employment.
A U.S. Army veteran, he believes strongly in being an advocate for all people experiencing homelessness, & feels a special burden for veterans. Chris serves as the chair-elect of the American Staffing Association’s Healthcare Section Council, is certified by the ASA as a Healthcare Staffing Professional (CHP), & serves on The Joint Commission’s Healthcare Staffing Services task force.
Mary Ann “Cammy” Christie MSN, ACNP, CCRN-CMC-CSC, PCCN
Norma is originally from New Orleans. She started her Medical Laboratory Science travel career in 2007 and is still going strong. She’s been traveling as an MLS for 12 years. She is very passionate about her profession. Norma tells us “I love what I do and do what I love. I am licensed in Louisiana, New York, Hawaii, and California. My decision to travel was the best decision I ever made. The experience I have received is invaluable, and the friendships I have made are countless. I am involved in ASCLS the national professional organization for MLS/MLTs where I have given presentations on traveling at both the state and national levels. Always ready to learn something new.
Dylan Callier, a TravCon planning committee member, has been a traveling physical therapist for the past two years and is the founder and host of the popular New Medical Nomads Podcast for Medical Travelers where he interviews other experts within the healthcare traveling field. He holds a position as Traveler Expert at Nomadicare that has allowed his expertise to grow from therapy into the other areas of Allied Health.
Michelle started her travel nursing career in 2003 and spent 7 years full-time in an RV working around the country. She attended the first TravCon in 2008 and immediately fell in love with it. She has been one of the principal organizers of the conference ever since, and a founding TravCon Board member in 2009.
Obtaining her BSN and Executive MBA degrees in British Columbia, Canada, Michelle has worked in various areas including long term care facilities, med-surg & ENT units, Cardiac ICU’s, ER’s and general ICUs. Moving to the United States in 2003 to start her career on the road, Michelle eventually focused in the ER which she still enjoys. When not working on the conference, she can be found enjoying the great outdoors, developing websites, or dancing West Coast Swing.
Kim Gipson, ARDMS/RVT & Erran Gipson, RT(R)
Kim and Erran both work in Radiology and have been traveling for over 6 years with their pug Mimi La Roux. They are the creators of Travelers School, an Interactive, Fully Comprehensive, Online Training Course for healthcare travelers. They started the popular Facebook group..Travel Life: Freedom in Scrubs, where they have free trainings, resources, and tons of great info for healthcare travelers.
They are Motivational Speakers, Teachers and Leaders in the Healthcare Traveling Industry. Their Passion and Mission is to give travelers, no matter where they are on their journey, all the Resources, Tips, Tools, Support, Inspiration, Guidance, and Confidence they need….to have the most Incredible…Successful..Fun…Adventure of a Lifetime!! You can find our more about Kim and Erran and the work they do on their website www.KimandErranG.com
He had a leadership role with the Ministry of Health in mass casualty management in preparation for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, which transitioned into a Games-time role of leading medical services for the Vancouver and Whistler athlete villages.
Jeremy Grimaldi is a Senior Recruiter of 10+ years & Team Lead at Core Medical Group. He is speaking with Julia Kuhn on how to take great photos by making with what you have on hand. Jeremy is a professional photographer, owner of MV Image works, & loves photojournalism from weddings to street photography.
One of his favorite things is when he gets to see a therapist step outside of his or her comfort zone & just own a new career path. That kind of transformation is miraculous & inspires him.
Casey has since worked both national & international recruitment. A born & bred Aussie, she has assisted International Nurses in fulfilling their dreams of an adventure Down Under; guiding them on work opportunities, initial Visa inquiries, rights to work, & how to obtain Nursing Registration in Australia. With experience in both our UK & national offices, Casey is now based in South Australian as a Candidate Liaison & advocate for Team International’s nursing talent.
Erin’s primary focus is sourcing & educating clinical professionals through the Australian regulatory process, initial Visa inquiries & matching skill set to the right job. Erin specializes in Nursing & Midwifery & currently leading a project for International Physical & Occupational Therapists. As a migrant from the U.S.A to the Land Down Under, she offers key insights into transitioning abroad. Her goal is to make working in Australia a reality.
A graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University, Erica has spent her first 3 years as an Occupational Therapist working in the Home Health Setting. With a background in both international business and child psychology, Erica brings a unique perspective to the field. “When I show up to a patient’s home, my preconceived notion of “my job” or what their needs “should be” goes out the window.
My job, is to find out what they need help with, and do exactly that.” Erica is presently working as the Clinical Liaison for Sutter Coast Acute Rehabilitation Department in Crescent City, CA.
Aaron is a RN specializing in long range aeromedical transport. He became an EMT in 1996 and an RN in 2006. He was a traveling ER nurse in The Virgin Islands, California and New England before deciding that 13 week contracts weren’t mobile enough. He’s worked for a cruise line and in the relief and development sectors. He now enjoys the logistical and clinical challenges associated with being a flight nurse for Airmed International.
Aaron has been a flight nurse for 6 years now. When not on the road, he is based in Portland, Oregon. Aaron will be bringing his international and volunteering experience to TravCon this year for all those wishing to shake up their career and go beyond the 13 week contract…
Cynthia has over 20 years of experience in healthcare staffing (she started as a travel nurse recruiter) and is the former president of Randstad Healthcare, which offers nursing, allied and locum tenens including a strong focus in Travel Nursing. Kinnas co-founded Clinical One, the predecessor to Randstad Healthcare, as a travel nurse staffing firm in 1993. Cynthia also serves on the Editorial board of Healthcare Traveler, and was listed in SIA’s Top 100 in Staffing in 2011-2014.
Cynthia is very passionate and knowledgeable about the travel nursing industry and speaks at a variety of healthcare conferences including several past Traveler’s Conferences. She is the former Chairman of the Health Care Section of the ASA (American Staffing Association) as well as a founding board member and former president of the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations and was instrumental in creating the first-ever travel nursing specific annual benchmarking report, which was launched by NATHO in partnership with SIA starting in 2013. Cynthia holds a BA in International Relations from USIU-E.
Melissa has over 15 years of experience in the medical staffing industry & over 10 years of clinical nursing experience. Prior to joining Randstad Healthcare, Melissa was employed as an RN working in a variety of settings including a level one trauma center, a community hospital setting, & as an instructor for an Associates Degree RN Program. Melissa is a member of the Joint Commission Advisory Board for Health Care Staffing Services, sits on the Clinical Executive Committee of NATHO, & is an active member of the Health Care Policy Council of the American Staffing Association.
Julia is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in adult neurogenic rehab. She has worked as a traveling SLP across the USA, including Hawaii. She has worked in acute care, inpatient rehab and skilled nursing facilities. While she is not on assignment, Julia has traveled to over 15 countries! She loves to hike, practice photography and drink a lot of coffee! She blogs resources and inspiration for healthcare travelers at www.thetravelingtraveler.com
Laura is the founder of Nomadicare.com as well as a traveling OT for 6 years (and counting!) She is on a mission to find the best recruiters in travel healthcare and connect them to travelers. Only 1 in 4 recruiters pass the Nomadicare test and receive the”Nomadic Stamp of Approval”. She knows just how important a recruiter is in a traveler’s journey and Laura is honored to be dubbed “The Recruiter Matchmaker.”
You can get Laura’s free guide to getting started in travel healthcare at Nomadicare.com and follow her on Facebook at Laura Nomadicare where she loves giving away resources, answering questions and running free travel healthcare webinars.
Carol is a labor and delivery hospital-based nurse specializing in midwifery for 20+ years. Her background includes a BSN from UCLA and an MSN from Case Western. She became a certified nurse midwife through the Frontier Nursing Service and has been teaching AWHONN courses since 2007. She is a veteran of the US Air Force and continues to share her skills in clinical faculties for multiple nursing and PA programs. She is also a Simulation coordinator for OB emergencies for 10 years.
Carol currently teaches all levels of AWHONN – including instructors – with Blanche who has been successfully revived in hundreds of drills over the years. She is teaching the Advanced AWHONN Fetal Monitoring class this year.
Jeff is currently the Director of Operations and Corporate Training for the International Tactical Officers Training Assoc. (ITOTA). Jeff has over 24 years of experience studying a variety of Martial Arts and a decade of special operations law enforcement experience. He currently teaches Tactical Combatives providing seminar instruction for self-defense for civilians. As a personal defense expert Jeff brings practical solutions to immediately impact each student’s abilities to defend themselves & their loved ones.
Angel is a partner in Toccoa Security Consulting, as well as The Warrior Institute, School of Martial Arts & Combative Training. Angel started her career in various health care settings, then focused on public safety & into healthcare with a degree in dental hygiene & public health. Angel has been training as a self-defense/personal security instructor & provides consulting services for client companies in the area of sales & marketing. She is a true believer in self-worth: she believes in those who don’t believe in themselves.
Before 2005, travelers did not have an organization committed to representing their interests, nor a unified voice within the industry. PanTravelers was founded to fill that void. There was and is still an immense amount of myth and misinformation circulating among both travelers and agencies. We recognized a need for an authoritative source of accurate information available to all travelers with a goal of helping travelers avoid the common pitfalls that can affect their careers. PanTravelers is the only voice exclusively dedicated to traveler’s interests.
As a registered nurse for 30 years, Dr. Long has worked in critical care, emergency medicine, IMC and primary care. She has developed health education & diabetes programs in Spanish for local hospitals in Las Vegas, Nevada where she resides. She has served as faculty and Professor of Nursing at the College of Southern Nevada, Nevada State College in the School of Nursing, Kaplan, Chamberlain and Brightwood College. She works with International Service Learning taking nurses & students to Central & South America offering medical clinics to rural communities. She is also the CE Planner for the Travelers Conference.
As a freelance speaker with OnCourse Learning, ATrain and Pesi, she has earned the Educator of Excellence Award, and has been an invited keynote speaker for nursing school graduations, nursing career fairs, nursing webinars and genealogy seminars. As a freelance author she has written “Climbing Family Trees-Whispers in the Leaves” about doing genealogy, developed nursing courses and has written 3 children’s health books including “Mommy the Builder,” “Grandpa’s Big Heart” and “Grandma’s Crooked Smile.”
Jonathan Pierre is a traveling nurse and the founder of Med Travel Hub, a community for traveling healthcare professionals. As an active traveler, he understands the importance of finding and making connections with like-minded people when frequently moving from city to city and state to state. An engaged and connected community is necessary to help each other navigate the industry and maximize the overall traveling experience.
In early 2018, Jonathan began working with staffing agencies to host Game Night and The Travelers Welcome Mixer; San Diego based events that brought the local community of travelers together. By November, he was taking The Hub to the skies for his first international gathering in Thailand. Jonathan has more trips on the horizon and is actively working on sharing his message of community with a larger audience. You can learn more about the Med Travel Hub community by visiting www.medtravelhub.com.
Joseph has appeared on numerous industry podcasts, been an author for various industry publications, and has done over 70 student loan workshops at university graduate programs, SIGs, Conclaves, and annual conferences throughout the country. In 2017 he was named as one of the top 40 influencers in physical therapy by UpDoc Media.
Joseph finished degrees in Accounting and Respiratory Therapy, and worked as a travel respiratory therapist before founding TravelTax and TravelTax Canada, a tax practice catering to the travel healthcare professional and mobile professionals in other staffing segments. TravelTax is well known in the healthcare staffing industry and serves a substantial client base of domestic and international mobile professionals, and their staffing agencies. His firm prepares US and Canadian returns and represents clients before the IRS, Canadian Revenue Agency and State Tax Agencies in audits, tax controversies and litigation support.
Joseph is a regular contributor to a number of staffing related publications/social media. He is the co-author of the 2015/2017 edition of Highway Hypodermics, serves on the Tax Compliance Committee of the National Association of Travel Healthcare Organizations (NATHO), a regular speaker at the Healthcare Staffing Summit and teaches taxation at Northeast Community College. In addition to his undergraduate degrees, Joseph holds a MS in Taxation from Golden Gate University and has completed tax courses at Athabasca University in Canada.
Stephen & his wife Ellen are both physical therapists who have been traveling around the country, from Kentucky to Alaska, for the last 5 years. They recently became a family of 5 when their two dogs were joined by Kinley, their daughter, who just turned two. They are both Orthopedic Clinical Specialists, & have used these skills in nearly every setting since graduating together in 2011. When off the clock, they enjoy running ultra-marathons, mountain biking, bouldering, skiing, and backpacking with their three “kids” in tow. Together they founded the blog PTAdventures to share their experiences as travelers and offer a resource to others in the industry. They are passionate about living the adventure and exploring wherever they land on this travel journey. They want to inspire other travelers to stand out in whatever setting they are contracted in, and strive to be a valuable asset to their patients and the therapy world.
Linnea has been an RN for almost 40 years. After more than two decades providing direct patient care in mostly critical care areas, she started her own business, National Institute for Healthcare Education (NIHE), an AHA Training Center, in 2003 in her living room. This business has grown every year since and she has now written the definitive book on how to do what she does, “How to Start a Safety Training Center”. NIHE was awarded National AHA Training Center status several years ago and she now spends her time training AHA Instructors and helping AHA Training Sites grow their footprint in their communities.
Linnea has become known around the country for her ability to make complex topics simple and easy to understand, and her willingness to mentor healthcare providers who want to start their own business to provide freedom for themselves and their families. Her dream is to share the experience and the things that she has learned with others who are looking for the freedom that owning their own business brings and want to own a business that gives back to their local communities. She served for many years as AHA Regional Faculty for ACLS, BLS, and PALS and was a Regional Trainer for NRP.
Dina is teaching our AWHONN Intermediate Fetal Monitoring class with Onika this year. She has 12 years of experience in OB, and a little over a year traveling. She is certified in Inpatient OB as well as External Fetal Monitoring. She is married and travels with her husband, who is able to work from anywhere. Dina loves to travel in her free time as well and has visited Europe and Japan recently.
Onika-Simone has been a Nurse for 18 years. She has an extensive nursing practice in High Risk Labor & Delivery that started in New York City. and has been a Labor & Delivery Travel Nurse for 7 years with assignments throughout the East Coast as well as the West Coast. She absolutely loves the role she plays in assisting patients to expand their families and get off to a healthy start. She also enjoys teaching as well as volunteering in her spare time. Being a team player is just as important to Onika as being a resource to her colleagues.
Jenny Swinerton is the General Counsel for LeaderStat. In this role, Jenny provides legal advice and strategic guidance to the company on issues related to employment matters, compliance, regulatory, & other legal and business matters. She works closely with operational leaders within LeaderStat to develop business strategy & promote the organization’s commitment to providing innovative services to its clients.
As Director of Business Development, Kendra oversees marketing & business development for LeaderStat, as a full service, leadership resource for post-acute, senior living & healthcare companies. Kendra has 20+ years of marketing, business development & sales experience in the healthcare industry & private sector & spent several years in a corporate marketing & business development role for a regional skilled nursing and assisted living provider.
Melanie began her career in ICU. Migrating to southern Indiana, Melanie moved into home care and eventually became a partial owner of Riverfront Home Health. After 10 years, the company was sold to American Nursing Care and Melanie joined two silent partners to open Medical Staffing Solutions, LLC in Evansville, Indiana.
Joanie initially worked in hospital units including Med/Surg, Telemetry, and ICU. She transitioned into homecare where she met her future business partner Melanie, and the two began working together. Joanie eventually left home care nursing to open a home infusion company.
In 2003, Melanie approached Joanie about becoming a business partner with Medical Staffing Solutions, LLC (MSS). Within a year, the two single mothers bought out their silent partners and became 100% Woman-Owned/100% Nurse-Owned business. Digging in her heels, the two expanded their per diem staffing services to include therapy, pharmacy, and allied health services.
Debra A. MacLeod, RN is a Senior Vice President Vice President for Favorite Healthcare Staffing and has worked with Favorite for 27 years. Her specialty is management focused in developing personnel to deliver exemplary results. Debra’s clinical nursing experience provides her a unique understanding of the clients and healthcare professionals she serves. She is a believer in giving back to the community and has sat on several nonprofit boards.
Jaclyn is the Clinical Nurse Liaison at Favorite Healthcare Staffing, providing support to Branch offices and Divisions relating to Per Diem, Travel, Allied and MSP staffing, and the Human Resources Department. Before joining Favorite, Jaclyn worked in Kansas City area hospitals primarily in critical care areas with the most recent as a Charge Nurse in a local Emergency Department. Her years of clinical experience make her an expert in subject matter relating to both internal and external customers. Jaclyn achieved her BSN from the University of Kansas in 2004.
Jennifer Crane, Melissa Stewart, Jeremy Grimaldi, & Kyle Renkei
Allied Recruiter Panel
Jennifer Crane is a Recruiter at CrossCountry with a demonstrated history of working in the staffing and recruiting industry. She works with rehab & all allied travelers!
Melissa Stewart is a Senior Recruiter at Anders Group with all of allied travelers. Melissa focuses on building positive, supportive, & transparent partnerships with the travelers she works with. In her free time, Melissa loves to enjoy the outdoors, & spend time with her #1 pup, Junebug.
Jeremy Grimaldi is a Senior Recruiter of 10+ years & Team Lead at Core Medical Group & just came from his session with Julia Kuhn for taking great photos. Jeremy is also a professional photographer, owner of MV Image works, & loves photojournalism from weddings to street photography.
Kyle Renkei is a Senior Recruitment Manager & Team Lead at Host Healthcare. He has been in the travel industry for 2.5 years. “I’m here to keep travelers equipped and knowledgeable, to give them my experience and insight and help them be successful.”