Several incredible speakers will be coming to share their stories and their wisdom with the heads of state, during Simulations Week West. Information will be posted here are each speaker is confirmed.
Jake and Vivian (their new American names) escaped from North Korea and made the very dangerous journey across the border and through China where, if they were arrested, they would be sent back to North Korea where they would have been sent to a concentration camp. At the border, soldiers on patrol have orders to shoot to kill and people are killed crossing the border. Only when they arrived in Thailand were they safe and given a South Korean passport and an air ticket to Seoul and freedom.
To address the challenge of poverty:
Ruel Haymond is passionate about serving the poor. He has led humanitarian trips and served those less fortunate in countless ways. All who know Ruel Haymond will tell you how passionate he is about education and principle-based teaching. With experience as the former principal at American Leadership Academy in Spanish Fork, UT, and also as an instructor at Bear River High School (Garland, UT), Aspen Academy (Payson, UT) and the Founders Commonwealth (Payson, UT, homeschool cooperative), Ruel is a devoted teacher with a deep love of God, family and country. Having graduated from Utah State University with degrees in Family Science and Spanish, Ruel went on to complete a Masters Degree in Instructional Technology at USU. Ruel is a teacher of many talents – not the least of which is his great gift for educating hearts and connecting with students on a spiritual level. Ruel and his wife Tresa are the parents of 7 children.
Dann Hone is a key developer and administrator for the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Easter Studies. He has a BA in Political Science and International Relations from BYU, and an MA in Biblical History from Jerusalem University College. He is a scholar of Biblical history, Hebrew, Koine Greek, archeology, geography and history. He has served as an instructor for BYU’s Department of Ancient Scriptures, and Director of Faculty for BYU’s Department of Travel Study. He authored a textbook on the Near East, has served as the President of the Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation, and as an Advisory Board Member for Center for Jewish Studies. He speaks a Palestinian street talk version of Arabic.
Austin Hepworth is an attorney licensed in Utah and California who has been involved in freedom of speech cases in states stretching from Hawaii to Rhode Island, where he represented individuals and groups ranging from an electrician banned from speaking on political matters to organizations promoting traditional marriage that were restricted from speaking freely. Austin is admitted to four Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, and has been a part of challenging governmental restrictions placed on the speech of politically involved individuals and groups. Austin often represents and assists other attorneys in complex legal matters, including in constitutional challenges that arise in various forms of litigation, and his legal work has also included working with small business owners to advising international corporations in tax matters. He has written briefs, articles and curriculum on constitutional matters, and works to promote principles associated with faith, family, and freedom through his work and writings. Austin is the proud father of six children and blogs and presents on topics related to faith, family and freedom when he isn’t working.
Tori Black, President, United Families International As a child growing up in Southern California, Tori witnessed first hand the devastating change that washed over family and friends with the passage of no-fault divorce in 1970, and from an early age recognized the difference that intact families make in the lives of young people. An avid reader, Tori kept abreast of issues affecting the well being of families while raising and homeschooling her children. After seeing them successfully matriculated at university, Tori focused her energies on the study of marriage and family advocacy. Tori holds a Bachelors of Science in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University – Idaho.
Holly Richardson graduated as a Registered Nurse at age 19 and two years later, married her husband, Greg. A year later, their first was born and after that, their family took the path less traveled. She and her husband adopted children from all over the world and ended up with a family of 25 children who are now mostly grown. Thirty years after getting her Associate’s degree in Nursing, she went back to school and got a degree in Communication, with an emphasis in Public Relations, then went on and got a Master’s degree in Professional Communication. She will be starting a PhD program this coming fall. She is also a columnist for the Salt Lake Tribune. In addition to her family, her great passion in life is international humanitarian work. She recently returned from working with Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and Syrian refugees in Turkey.