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Air Force Featured Stories

LIFTx: Leaders Inspiring for Tomorrow

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez
Ten diverse speakers shared their stories of leadership, inspiration, innovation and resiliency during the first Leaders Inspiring for Tomorrow, or LIFTx, seminar hosted by MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, April 19, 2018.

The speakers, who ranged from life coaches, to entrepreneurs, to tragedy survivors, to combat veterans, were invited to tell their stories as part of an overall strategy to cultivate teamwork.

One of the most notable speakers was David Roever, a Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient, who shared his tragic story of survival and perseverance, in hopes of imparting courage in the face of insurmountable obstacles.

“Resiliency is the capacity to bounce back, you have to come back strong,” Roevers aid, reminiscing on the fateful day a grenade exploded in his hand during his time in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy. “You never, never settle. Don’t give up, stay in the battle.”

Furthermore, Kevin Jans, president of a consulting company, focused his talk on the most influential proverbs he has learned throughout his leadership career and how they apply to everyday life.

“The time we put into relationships, makes a critical difference in how much we can get done,” Jans said, when speaking on how relationships relate to leadership. “You start to multiply the impact of your organization when you have strong relationships.”

Although the first of its kind at MacDill AFB, this TedTalk-style seminar was adopted from Fairchild AFB, Washington, who was the first to launch a conference of this design back in 2017.

“The idea was to uplift and reinvigorate people’s sense of purpose,” said Maj. David Stuckenberg, the 6th Air Mobility Wing commander’s action group director. “LIFTx is about valuing our Airmen and showing them that they are cared for, while imparting wisdom into their lives.”

The seminar was held in the base theater with around 600 base personnel in attendance from nearly every branch of service, while approximately 1,000 people experienced the event through a YouTube livestream.

“Even though a lot of us didn’t know each other, we’re leaving as friends,” said David Dusek, who spoke on the importance of having someone “to watch your six” through life. “I think we succeeded in our mission, which was to inspire people.”