2019 Keynote Speakers
International Bestselling Author
With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 50 novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.
In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.
Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.
When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating a historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.
Award Winning Singer/Songwriter
Jon Chandler is a three time winner of the prestigious Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. Linwood, his moody examination of Doc Holliday’s life won the Spur for Best Song in 2009, while his tribute to Wyoming’s Hole in the Wall country, Morning Star Moon, received the award in 2012.
He hosts the iconic monthly concert series America’s Soul Live at the Olde Town Pickin’ Parlor in Arvada, Colorado. …. West of Laramie on Entertainment Tonight, while his Keepers of the Flame was the focal point of a conservation education program administered by the National Association of Conservation Districts, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and a variety of agricultural organizations. His Westerns inspired the Los Angeles Daily News to name him the “best western songsmith since Ian Tyson,” with Sepia Soul—The Best of Jon Chandler being praised as “a beautiful recording” by Cowboy Magazine.
He holds a B.A. in communications and an M.A. in business public relations from the University of Northern Colorado. He has written - and ghostwritten - myriad opinion columns appearing in periodicals and newspapers throughout the country.