Decorated Navy SEAL and Best-Selling Author of Lone Survivor and Service: A Navy Seal at War

Lone Survivor: A Tribute to Courage, Honor, and Patriotism

Marcus Luttrell’s 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book, Lone Survivor tells the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Operation Redwing. In 2014, Luttrell’s amazing story made it to the big screen with the blockbuster film, Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg. 
Operation Redwing’s mission was to gather intelligence on a Taliban leader with ties to Osama bin Laden. A large Taliban force ambushed the four-man team on a remote ridge. Marcus Luttrell and his team fought valiantly for hours displaying characteristic SEAL determination and bravery, refusing to retreat despite being heavily outnumbered. Hours later, Luttrell had watched all three of his friends die. A rescue helicopter sent to attempt a rescue was shot down and all aboard perished.
His face shredded, nose broken, rotator cuff torn, three vertebrae cracked, his body riddled with shrapnel and unable to stand, Luttrell began to crawl through the mountains. Help arrived by way of the Afghan villagers of Sabray. They took him in, cleaned his wounds, and honoring their tribe’s custom, protected him from the Taliban at risk to their own lives. Five nights after the nightmare began, Marcus Luttrell was rescued. He was awarded the Navy Cross for combat heroism in 2006.

Join us for Marcus Luttrell’s story of survival and grace as he weaves a rich account of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, community and destiny that you will find both wrenching and life-affirming.

Public Works Technologies Panel

Drones, connected cars, intelligent transportation and data management systems are among the whole slew of new technologies that are on the verge of becoming mainstream in our workplace. APWA’s 2015 Emerging Leaders Academy will take you on a memorable ride discussing these amazing new cutting-edge technologies that will, within the next few years, change the way Public Works delivers and maintains infrastructure services and influence the lives and expectations of those that reside in the communities we serve. Join our panel of experts as we explore what’s happening now and what’s on the horizon.
Kate Hartman, Team Leader, U.S. Department of Transportation will guide us through how connected vehicles will change the way we travel and how that will impact public works.
Tom Schaffnit, President, A2 Technology Management LLC will discuss the automobile manufacturer’s perspective regarding pre-competitive research projects with the US Department of Transportation and the benefits of a coordinated nationwide deployment of  connected vehicle Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology.
Nate Harman, Applications Specialist, RDO Integrated Controls will explore how the use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) is changing the way public works approaches many facets of maintenance, operations, and inspection.
Todd Henderson, Cartegraph Subject Matter Expert, will focus on creating a high performance organization and how the powerful combination of people, technology, and data is creating our future and changing how public works does business and manages assets.
Thank you to the Emerging Leaders Academy Class of 2015 for planning and hosting this presentation.

Diana Nyad

Long-distance swimmer, sports journalist and broadcaster

Find a Way

At the age of 64, in her fifth and final attempt, Diana Nyad successfully fulfilled her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile swim, from Cuba to Florida on September 2, 2013. Upon completing her grueling 53-hour journey, a breathless Nyad told the world: “I have three messages. 1. We should never give up. 2. You are never too old to chase your dreams. 3. It looks like a solitary sport but it takes a team.”
In the 1970s, Nyad was considered the greatest long-distance swimmer in the world. Among her feats was swimming the 102.5 miles between the Bahamas and Florida. In 1978, she made her first attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida but strong currents forced her off-course. In the intervening years between the 1978 and 2010, Nyad became known as a sports broadcaster for various outlets including NPR and ABC’s Wide World of Sports.
In 2010, after more than 30 years out of the water, Nyad was scheduled for another attempt to swim from Cuba and Florida but bad weather forced her to cancel. Not one to quit, she tried again in 2011 and 2012 before she finally completed her historic swim in 2013. This presentation will include Nyad’s perspectives about the pursuit of her Xtreme Dream, facing: powerful currents, potentially deadly Box Jellyfish stings, lightning storms, and circling sharks. But her ultimate message is about the heart and professionalism of her 35 member Xtreme Dream Team.
Author of three books, Diana Nyad is currently working on a new memoir and was recently a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.

Dan McNichol

Author, Journalist, Speaker

Low & Slow Across America: A Road Trip through the Nation’s Public Works… in a 1949 Hudson

Dan McNichol is a best-selling author and an award winning journalist. His published books, articles and thought-leadership works, focus on mega construction projects ongoing in the United States and around the world. His focus recently has been on Departments of Public Works and their unsung heroics around patching America’s vital infrastructural systems together with anemic funding.
In 2014, McNichol completed a year-long national media tour advocating for the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure in a 1949 Hudson saying:  “America’s infrastructure is as old, rusty and energy defunct as my original Detroit lead-sled.” McNichol’s 33-state, 12,000 mile circumnavigation of the United States culminated in a successful statewide ballot initiative to raise billions of dollars for Texas’ Transportation initiatives. In the spring of 2015, the National Geographic Channel featured McNichol in a 2-hour special film called: Driving America.
A former White House Appointee, he served as an advisor on transportation and infrastructure policies. He’s a frequent contributor to national media outlets including The History Channel, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, PBS and NPR. McNichol’s books include: The Roads that Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System (2006-paperback); and The Big Dig (2002-paperback).