51st Annual Conference

Preliminary Program

Featured Speakers







Lt. General Rick Lynch


With 34 years in the US Army at his heel, Lieutenant General Rick Lynch has distinguished himself as an exceptional leader and strategist through his chameleon-like ability to adapt to change despite the most challenging obstacles. From surmounting his parents' inability to pay for college by gaining entry to West Point to leading "The Surge" in Iraq as Army General with only six weeks to prepare, Lieutenant General Lynch has constructed a disciplined and effective mantra for success, which he shares with audiences across the country today.


From company (about 100 soldiers) to corps (about 65,000 soldiers) to the head of all US Army installations, Lynch steadily climbed his way up, eventually commanding at all levels. Matching the professional acumen of established business leaders, he was responsible for managing all the installations in the US Army with an annual budget of $12 billion and a workforce of 120,000. Combining this impeccable work ethic with an open heart, he also effectively lowered divorce and suicide rates at Fort Hood, Texas, by outlawing weekend work and mandating soldier family time.


Lynch's new book, Adapt or Die: Leadership Principles from an American General, provides unprecedented clarity to leaders from all walks of life. In it, he offers insight born from overcoming adversity on both the battlefield and in the boardroom. With refreshing directness, he shares how to gain the confidence needed to lead in our ever-changing world.


In his commanding presentations, Lynch captivates audiences with the tenor of his voice and the approachable, conversational nature of his tone. Drawing on his personal experience in and out of combat, he powerfully illustrates his principles, from the foundation of business leadership to the need for resiliency and engagement. There are only 50 three-star generals in the nation and Lieutenant General Rick Lynch is one of them.


Director Michael Heidingsfield


Selected in April 2011 as the Director of Police for the University of Texas System, Michael J. Heidingsfield is responsible for the leadership and operation of the University of Texas System Police (UTSP), composed of 537 sworn officers and 900 civilian staff assigned at 15 University of Texas System campuses across the State of Texas.


Prior to his current position, he was the Senior Assistant Sergeant at Arms for Police Operations, Security and Emergency Preparedness for the United States Senate.  Preceding that appointment, he served for eight years as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to his move to Memphis, Director Heidingsfield served for eight years as the Chief of Police and Director of Public Safety for the City of Scottsdale, Arizona. His service in Arizona and Tennessee was preceded by a fift een year tenure in Arlington (TX), leaving there as the senior deputy police chief after having been selected through a nationwide recruitment to lead the Scottsdale Police Department. At the time of his retirement from the City of Scottsdale, he was accorded the title of Chief of Police Emeritus.


Prior to the start of his law enforcement career, Director Heidingsfield served as an active duty Air Force officer during the conclusion of the Vietnam War and retired in 2004 as a full colonel in the US Air Force Reserve assigned to the Security Forces Directorate at the Pentagon. He was called to active duty in the wake of the attacks of 9/11 and served as a senior team chief in the Air Force Crisis Action Center in the Pentagon. His Air Force career took him to Europe, Central America, Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf as well as to a variety of military locations within the United States.


He is a published author, speaker and expert in the fields of criminal justice public policy, policing,

leadership and ethics, and has presented before numerous national and international law enforcement associations. Director Heidingsfield has provided advice to the Israeli National Police on the issue of violence de-escalation, to the Bermuda Police Service on international law enforcement accreditation and has served as a trainer for the Ministry of Public Security in Costa Rica. He received three gubernatorial appointments for criminal justice posts in the State of Arizona and has served as a subject matter expert for the Department of Defense Threat Reduction Agency at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba

on the security of Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees and has served as an instructor on leadership

for the Indonesian National Police executive corps.


Dr. Alexander Eastman


Lt. Alexander L. Eastman is the Deputy Medical Director of the Dallas Police Department, the Lead Medical Officer for the Dallas Police SWAT Team and the Chief Trauma Surgeon at The Trauma Center at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Dr. Eastman participates in national officer safety initiatives through the USDOJ’s Officer Safety and Wellness Group and The Hartford Consensus. 

DHS Special Agent Wayne Abbott


Agent Abbott served as a Texas municipal police officer for 8 years, the last two as a Chief of Police.  He  also has over 26 years federal law enforcement service which includes service as a Border Patrol Agent, an Immigration Inspector, a Supervisory Immigration Inspector, Assistant Port Director, INS Senior Special Agent, and he currently serves as a Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (DHS/ICE/ HSI). Agent Abbott has also been assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) since 2002.


Lt. Jeff Pugh


Lt. Pugh began his law enforcement career with the Arlington Police Department on June 8, 1992.  He assumed the duties of a police lieutenant in October 2009 with assignment as a liaison between the Traffic Section and the Homeland Security/Special Events Unit during preparations for Super Bowl 45.  Lt. Pugh was transferred to the South Police District in April 2010 as a sector commander.  In November 2013 he became the commander of the department’s Special Operations Division where he is presently assigned.


Lt. Pugh is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve and began his military career by enlisting in 1988.  LTC Pugh continues to serve and now has more than twenty-seven years of military experience.