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Apple’s Wozniak keynotes the 2018 Blanchard Leadership Forum

Charge up your iPhones, The Woz is coming to town.

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Computers, headlines the impressive lineup of speakers at the 13th annual Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, which begins Aug 27th at the Columbus Iron Works and Trade Center.

Hosted by the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University, the forum will bring a lineup of the best and brightest minds in the world to Columbus. This year’s event, themed “Art of Leadership” features leaders in various sectors, including business, education, technology, art, music, film and military.

The two-day event begins at 1 p.m., Monday, Aug. 27 and runs through Tuesday, Aug. 28. Monday afternoon opens with Futurist and Innovator Erwin McManus and the evening portion of the program features the keynote address by Wozniak, a contestant on the 2009 season of ABC-TV’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

Speakers scheduled for Tuesday include U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley; Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Deputy Commissioner Lee Thomas an CSU’s director of Orchestral Studies Paul Hostetter, accompanied by members of the Schwob Philharmonic.

For the fifth year, students currently enrolled with a valid CSU ID can watch the forum, including Monday night’s keynote address with Wozniak, live via simulcast from the University Hall Auditorium.

“Each of our speakers this year has a unique style, a different background and a record of effectiveness in his or her industry,” said Ed Helton, assistant vice president of Leadership Development at Columbus State University. “We are excited to see the concept of leadership as art personified at this year’s event.”

The complete lineup of speakers includes:

  • Erwin McManus – Author, Speaker, Futurist and Innovator
  • Lori Lee – CEO, AT&T International and Global Marketing Officer, AT&T Inc.
  • Bill Strickland – Community Leader, Author and President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation
  • Peter Lovatt, Ph.D. – Dance Psychologist, Reader in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, UK
  • Steve Wozniak – Co-founder of Apple Computers.
  • James H. Blanchard – Chairman, Board of Advisors, JBA Capital, LLC
  • General Mark A. Milley – 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
  • Paul Hostetter – Ethel Foley Distinguished Chair in Orchestral Activities, Director of Orchestral Studies, Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music
  • Lee Thomas – Deputy Commissioner, Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office
  • Erik Wahl – Groundbreaking Artist, Author and Expert on Creativity and Innovation

For more information about the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum, visit


About the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University: The Leadership Institute at Columbus State University is a university-based consulting group that provides expertise and training in leadership development, team building, assessments, executive coaching and strategic planning. Founded in 2005, the Leadership Institute has worked with more than 200 organizations and helped develop thousands of leaders. For more information, visit

About the Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum: Founded in 2005, The Jim Blanchard Leadership Forum is hosted by the Leadership Institute at Columbus State University. It is the premier leadership event in the region and offers an intimate setting with some of the world’s foremost leaders. Held annually during the last Monday and Tuesday in August, the event draws more than 1,200 attendees. The forum is named in honor of Jim Blanchard, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Synovus Financial Corp., which is headquartered in Columbus. For more information, visit

Source: Jessica Drake, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Leadership Institute at Columbus State University, (706) 569-3054,

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