For an outstanding professional development opportunity, register for our pre-conference seminars! They will be held on Sunday, October 7, 2018.

Registration opens in May.

Business Behind the Magic Seminar


Presented by the Disney Institute. $280

Minimum: 25 guests (refunds will be issued if the minimum is not met 60 days before the event)

In addition to creating a magical environment for Guests from around the world, Walt and Roy Disney mastered the art of business. They determined that leadership, service and employee engagement were key concepts that, when considered holistically, would lead to maximum results. Not only have these time-tested core concepts helped establish Disney as one of the world’s leading brands, they have also helped thousands of organizations around the world think differently about they can deliver the long-term results they are capable of delivering.

This is your opportunity to engage experienced Disney professionals and observe key examples from a “living laboratory,” taking you behind the scenes to explore firsthand how Disney business insights and time-tested methodologies are operationalized to deliver a great customer experience.

This four hour tour features concepts and illustrations from the professional development courses offered by Disney Institute and shows how they come to life each day at the Walt Disney World® Resort for Cast Members and Guests. You will explore the following locations:

  • FLO (Fourth Laundry Operation): Visit a state-of-the-art laundry facility, one of the largest in the world, to see how committed, responsible, inspiring leaders are able to motivate a team to achieve amazing results (Featuring the core competency of Leadership).
  • Epcot® Cast Services: Experience the backstage area from a Cast Member perspective. See how the Walt Disney World® Resort creates a supportive environment for the Cast Members as they prepare to go on stage. Discover the important role backstage areas play in creating a caring environment (Featuring the core competency of Employee Engagement).
  • Main Street, U.S.A.®: Take a stroll through this turn-of-the-century walkway inside the Magic Kingdom® Theme Park to better understand how Disney strives to exceed the expectations of their Guests (Featuring the delivery concepts of exceptional service).
  • The “Utilidor” System: Journey beneath the Magic Kingdom® Theme Park to visit support systems designed to improve the experiences of Cast Members and Guests alike. Discover how Disney uses simple tools to engage and empower Cast Members to create lasting customer relationships that drive repeat business and customer loyalty (Featuring the core competencies of Employee Engagement and Service).

Disney Institute core competencies are illustrated throughout the tour, along with quantitative examples of how each area successfully implemented those concepts.

Reaching for the Stars: Becoming an Inspirational Leader

Leaders inspire, engage and empower others to be extraordinary. They must often make heroic choices that take courage, creativity and commitment. But how do you become that kind of leader? What’s the difference between a leader and a manager? Do I have to lead, can’t I just follow?

This seminar will focus on fundamental traits and characteristics effective leaders demonstrate including communication, problem solving and strategic thinking. We will explore why these skills are necessary, how to develop them and what they mean for teams and organizations. We guarantee this will be a fun, challenging and interactive event!

This session will provide a great foundation for emerging leaders and is designed for anyone who wants to enhance their leadership skills whether an individual contributor, a team lead, a student manager or a director.

Upon completion, participants will:

  1. Possess tools and techniques to inspire, engage, and empower teams
  2. Gain insight into key core competencies
  3. Identify traits that set successful leaders apart

Joan Cheverie is the Director, Professional Development for EDUCAUSE. In this capacity, she supports and promotes community collaboration in order to enable EDUCAUSE to design professional programs to advance IT leadership in higher education, with a specific focus on those who lead, manage, and use information resources to shape strategic decisions. Prior to this position, she served as a Policy Specialist for the EDUCAUSE Washington Office, which dealt with critical IT policy issues arising both in Washington, D.C., and on campus. Joan joined EDUCAUSE in 2011 from Georgetown University where she was the Head of Copyright and Rights Management. She previously held positions as head of digital services, head of government documents, and reference librarian. She has also served as a Visiting Program Officer for the Coalition for Networked Information, and she was a 2008 Fellow from the Frye Leadership Institute. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Mount Holyoke College, a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America, and a second Master’s degree from Georgetown University where her thesis was entitled, “The Intellectual Land Grab: How Does the Public Domain Fare in the Networked Environment?”.

Beth Rugg is the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Client Engagement at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. She began her IT career in 2001 working at Ithaca College as Student Employee and Computer Lab Coordinator. Prior to that she worked in the hospitality industry and in Student Affairs. She have a BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

She champions service and support and has extensive service management experience overseeing service desks, desktop support, labs, instructional support and design, digital media production, technology acquisition and renewal, training, documentation and communication. She has led many administrative and academic initiatives and recently implemented a unified service catalog for UNC Charlotte central and distributed IT.

She has been an Executive Board member of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group University and College Computing Services (ACM SIGUCCS) organization and led the development of their professional mentoring program. She is passionate about customers and making sure we take their experiences and perspectives into account.

Project Management for Non-Project Managers

As technology on campus gets more and more complex, so do information technology projects. IT staff are frequently asked to apply proper Project Management methodology to these projects, yet those techniques can feel like a bunch of pointless hoops to jump through when you’d rather just focus on getting things done. In reality, learning Project Management skills and applying them to your initiatives, both low-impact and campus-wide, can save you time, resources, and relationships.

In this workshop, you will learn how to cut through the jargon and seemingly stringent processes to develop your own understanding of Project Management techniques so you can get things done AND benefit from strong planning, communication, risk assessment and documentation. Session participants will explore all aspects of project management from idea to completion and will gain the following skills and resources:
  1. Defining what a project is at your institution
  2. Understanding the unique issues of technology projects and some strategies to overcome them
  3. Techniques for “managing” people over whom you have no authority
  4. Tools to help with the planning process
  5. Templates for getting started with documentation
Elizabeth Young PictureThe workshop will be organized into activities, brief content presentations, group brainstorming, and interactive demonstrations. There will be lego building.

Elizabeth Young serves as the Director of Project Management for the IT Department at Lewis & Clark College.  She has worked in IT at L&C since 2005, having worked for the two years prior to that as the Lead Dispatcher in Campus Safety.  She was a Computer Consultant, then a Client Services Consultant, and then was promoted to Director of the Project Management Office, where she established an entirely new project process and IT Governance for portfolio prioritization.  She has a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology, and a number of odd Bachelor’s Degrees.