Keynote & Featured Speakers

Vince Papale - A Virtual Presentation

Some of Hollywood’s most inspirational movies were born from the world of sports. One in particular inspired not only sports fans but anyone with a pulse. In 2006 Walt Disney Pictures continued their triumphant tradition of motivating sports stories with the release of INVINCIBLE. It’s a stirring football drama starring Mark Wahlberg as Vince Papale, an ordinary guy who, against all odds, takes his shot at every fan’s fantasy of going from the grandstands to the gridiron. It has been described that Papale’s odds of achieving his wildest lifelong dream of playing for the Eagles as “one in a gazillion!”

It was 1976 when this 30 year old, a teacher and coach at his HS Alma mater, part-time bartender and die hard Eagles fan decided to act on a whim and a dare and entered the unprecedented public tryouts for his beloved Eagles. Inspired by this quote from his high school coach mentor, “Happy are those who dream dreams and are willing to pay the price to make those dreams come true”, he figured he had nothing to lose. Papale, a ten year season ticket holder and former track star who did not play a down of college football, not only paid the price and made the cut . . . he made history!

It was a time when Philadelphia fans were buried in 11 years of defeat, when Americans were battling the lingering effects of Watergate, the Vietnam War and a sweeping energy crisis. Ordinary people appeared badly in need of a champion from their ranks and Vince answered the call. Now, in today’s uncertain economic times he continues to respond to the need for a motivating hero who knows what it’s like to battle and overcome adversity.

Instantly electrifying the fans and eventually winning over skeptical teammates with his gritty play, Papale helped the Eagles rediscover their winning ways. From being voted Special Teams Captain by his teammates to earning Eagles “man of the Year’ in 1978 for his numerous charitable activities Papale was an NFL sensation until a shoulder injury ended his playing career in 1979. Having now added “cancer survivor” to his bio, Papale continues to hold the record for being the oldest rookie in the National Football League (kickers excluded). He was recently honored by the Eagles and their fans and was named “Most Outstanding Special Teams Player” during a celebration of the Philadelphia Eagles 75th anniversary.

“Not often can a person see a film made about their own life’s journey,” Papale said of Invincible. “What’s even rarer is having that movie described as inspirational, motivational, and giving hope. There’s a feeling of intense pride and humility that, at times, is overwhelming.”

Vince is married to former US World Team Gymnast, Janet Cantwell, and they reside in Cherry Hill, NJ, with their two children Gabriella and Vincent. Today, he electrifies audiences and is regarded as one of the top motivational speakers on the country. The ultimate underdog continues to thrill audiences with his energy and humor.

Justin Draeger - President & CEO, NASFAA

Justin is president and CEO of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. He serves as the primary voice of NASFAA and as the liaison between the association members, the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and the media. Most of Justin's career has been devoted to assisting disadvantaged populations achieve their educational goals and better their communities. Since 2002, Justin has been engaged in either administering, interpreting, communicating, or developing student financial aid policy. His prior experiences include working as a financial aid director, regulatory and policy analyst, and spokesperson. He has held senior positions overseeing government relations, communications, and policy work. Justin has testified in multiple Congressional hearings on student financial aid, college access, student loan policy, and the interplay between federal agencies and colleges and universities. He is frequently quoted in the press and has appeared on The Today Show on NBC, National Public Radio, APM's Marketplace, Fox Business News, CNBC, and C-SPAN, and is often quoted in national news outlets. Justin serves on several boards of directors that promote health and education. He earned his undergraduate from Brigham Young University and his MBA from Baker College. Justin lives in Fairfax, VA with his wife and three children.

Brent Tener - NASFAA National Chair

Brent is currently the director of student financial aid and scholarships at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has over 30 years of experience as a financial aid administrator and has worked with financial aid professionals across the country while serving in varying capacities in state, regional, and national associations. Brent has served on NASFAA's Board of Directors as the SASFAA regional representative, commission director, and representative-at-large. He is a past president of TASFAA at the state level and SASFAA at the regional level, and was one of the main architects of Vanderbilt's current progressive need-based financial aid program, Opportunity Vanderbilt. He was honored with the NASFAA Regional Leadership Award (SASFAA) in 2010 and the SASFAA Distinguished Service Award in 2013. Brent started his financial aid career at Wichita State University.

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