Keynote Speakers

13th Annual Florida Higher Education Summit - FACRAO/FCRAO

Thank you for your interest in our 13th Annual Florida Higher Education Summit. Distinguished speakers who appeared at the 2022 Summit include:

Camesha Whittaker, Ph.D.: Keynote Speaker, Sunday, June 5, Opening Session 

A noted motivational speaker, American academician, faculty developer, and diversity and leadership development coach, Dr. Whittaker's presentations are engaging and compelling. As Managing Principal & Consultant of Advance Civility Enterprises, LLC, (dba Dr. Camesha), she provides innovative communications and leadership training to business and educational executives throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Long-time educator, non-profit administrator, entrepreneur, and communication expert, Dr. Camesha Whittaker oversees the faculty development and e-learning division at Bethune-Cookman University and maintains active scholarly engagement through her roles as Director of the BJ Moore Center for Faculty Innovation and Associate Professor of Communication. A former Tenured Professor of Communication and Adjunct Coordinator in the Department of Arts & Communication at Seminole State College (Sanford, FL) home to more than 30,000 students, in May 2018, Dr. Whittaker was awarded the Ken Sylvester Excellence in Teaching Award by Seminole State College of Florida.

Prior to returning to serve Bethune-Cookman University in 2018, Dr. Whittaker held full-time and adjunct faculty appointments at various colleges and universities (including Daytona State College, Upper Iowa University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Kaplan University) and also served as Interim Department Chair for Mass Communications at Bethune-Cookman University. For nearly two decades, she has taught courses (traditional and online) and has written and lectured on interpersonal communication, mass communication, crisis communication, civility, conflict resolution, public speaking, public relations and strategic planning, social change in higher education, and non-profit leadership. Dr. Whittaker has been involved in community outreach for nearly 17 years. In 2004, she co-founded VMO, Inc, a 50l(c)(3), a non-profit organization that provides life enrichment, community outreach, counseling, transitional housing, corporate training, and behavioral modification services. In 2009, she successfully led the organization through state licensing to open the first group home for at-risk boys in Daytona Beach city limits.

Dr. Whittaker is passionate about advancing the principles of civility and global citizenship. Her newly released book, "Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary McLeod Bethune: An Unusual Friendship" unearths the highly influential and unusual 28-year friendship of two of America's most powerful leaders of the 20th Century. Dr. Whittaker proposes civility as an essential core value and remedy for advancing better relationships as a means to realizing greater societal progress. Dr. Whittaker earned the B.A. in Mass Communication from Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, FL), the M.A. in Public Communication from American University (Washington, DC), and the Ph.D. in Communication Studies: Organizational Communication from Regent University (Virginia Beach, VA).

William Gil, Director of Government Relations, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO): Conference Plenary Presentation, and Wednesday, June 8, Annual Business Meeting Keynote Speaker

Bill is the Director of Government Relations for the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers (AACRAO), where he manages and implements AACRAO’s public policy agenda and oversees federal government relations, legislative, policy and regulatory matters impacting the AACRAO membership. In this role, he provides information and strategic advice regarding developments in education policy and regulations relating to college admissions, records, student privacy, financial aid and other issues impacting higher education at the federal, state and local levels. 

Prior to this position, he served as the Senior Vice President of Programs and Administration for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), where he provided direction for CHCI education policy positions and was engaged in federal education policy through the work he did with the with the Administration, federal agencies, associations, organizations and groups to build coalitions around national education issues. 

Bill also served as Associate Vice President for Collegiate Programs and Federal Relations for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). In this role he was involved in the constant effort to increase capacity building funds for Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) through the annual federal appropriation process. In addition, he worked with Members of Congress to create new funding opportunities for HSIs through several reauthorization bills, such as the Higher Education Act (HEA), the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Farm Bill. He also oversaw all regulatory issues that impacted Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)

Other working experiences include serving as the Executive Director, as well as a Legislative Assistant, for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), an informal group of Hispanic Members of Congress that is dedicated to advancing issues that affect Latinos in the United States through the legislative process. 

Bill was born in Venezuela and moved to the United States with his family at a young age.  He has a Master’s in Public Administration from the George Mason University and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a double major in Economics and Spanish Literature. He and his wife Kelly reside in Arlington, VA with their two sons - Alexander Rafael and Dominic Vicente.