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Award-Winning Speakers to Be Keynote Presenters

Former Walgreens executive Randy Lewis established the “gold standard of disability employment,” replicated by many other companies; Born without arms, Jessica Cox became the first airplane pilot to fly with feet in 2011.
getAwareLive! Conference Keynote Speakers Randy Lewis and Jessica Cox.

Award-Winning Speakers to Be Keynote Presenters

We’re thrilled to announce two nationally renowned authors as keynote presenters at getAwareLive! 2018. Both have changed the way the world views people with disabilities.

Inspired by his son with autism, Walgreens senior vice president, Randy Lewis, pioneered an employment model in 2007 that resulted in a more inclusive and effective workforce for the company and the hiring of thousands of people with disabilities.

“We found that the (new model) distribution centers are the most efficient centers in the history of our company,” Lewis said. “Team members proved every day that they’re safe, dependable and high performing.” See this compelling video from 2011 where Lewis shares the program details on the Senate floor with Senator Tom Harkin (also, a keynote presenter at getAwareLive! 2018!)

Today, more than 10% of Walgreens’ logistics workforce includes people with disabilities who perform the same jobs, earn the same pay, and are held to the same performance standards as fellow team members.

More impressively, the Walgreens model spread to other major corporations in recent years, replicated both domestically and abroad at Procter & Gamble, UPS, Lowe’s, Best Buy, AT&T, Clarks Shoes, GlaxoSmithKline, Meijer, and Marks & Spencer.

Disarm your limits

Jessica Cox was born without arms. Growing up, she learned to do everything with her feet. She now flies airplanes, drives cars, and lives a normal life using her feet as others would use their hands. She became the first person without arms to get a black belt in American Taekwondo Association (ATA) Martial Arts, and holds the Guinness World Record for being the first armless person in aviation history to earn a pilot’s certificate.

In her book, Disarm Your Limits, Jessica shares the powerful self-motivation behind her standout accomplishments and creates a compelling message of hope.

 “Most of our limitations are self-imposed and come from a narrow mindset,” Cox said, “I try to encourage people to change their perspective, and enlighten them to think outside the shoe.”

She also teamed with Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker, Nicholas Spark, on the documentary, Right Footed, the winner of 14 major awards including Best Social Impact at the Hollywood International Film Festival and Best Documentary at MirabileDictu International Catholic Film Festival at the Vatican. A TV version of the film was released in more than 90 counties on NatGeo, as well as on ABS-CBN in the Philippines, and FUSE in the United States.

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