Seminarians and guests gathered for a 3-day-long forum June 4-7, 2017 at The Breakers in Palm Beach.


Personal Challenges & Victories, Cultures & Attitudes, Big Issues of the Day Headline The Seminar 2017



Leadership, Fellowship and Insights were delivered with passion and spirit to an avid audience.

Global issues and trends, along with unique tales of adventure and personal challenges met and mastered, were featured throughout.

The annual gathering of leading communications and public affairs professionals from across the nation met June 4-7 at The Breakers in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The program offered an eclectic, outstanding and relevant series of conversations providing a broad perspective on the major trends and global events affecting Seminarians and their organizations.

Above, Tim Jarvis took Seminarians on a journey to Antarctica with a re-creation of the Shackleton Expedition.


Trevor Noah on Stage

Trevor Noah of The Daily Show, interviewed by Michael Mand

SUNDAY: The Seminar had a dramatic start on Sunday evening with an unconventional communicator, Trevor Noah of The Daily Show, interviewed by Seminarian Michael Mand. Noah shared stories about growing up in South Africa during the last gasps of apartheid, and the tumultuous days of freedom that came with its demise.

He reflected on journalism today, and the responsibility of those who deliver the news to share the truth with audiences who put their trust in the stories they receive through broadcast media.


Temple Grandin and Diana Nyad

Author and professor Dr.Temple Grandin with author and long distance swimmer Diana Nyad

DAY 2 featured the personal stories of two unique women who have faced challenges and achieved success. Author and professor Dr. Temple Grandin of Colorado State University struggled with autism throughout her childhood, then found her calling as a top scientist in humane livestock handling and as an autism spokesperson.

Seminarians learned about a whole new level of “Never, Ever Give Up” from author and long distance swimmer Diana Nyad as she told the story of her arduous swim from Cuba to Florida.


From Russia with Love

Exiled Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his son Pavel Khodorkovsky from Institute for Modern Russia presented their dramatic story.

More stories featured surgeon Dr. Iain Hutchison, of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London, who changes lives for people with facial disfiguration; Jeffrey Goldberg, editor in chief, The Atlantic; and a panel of journalists on Dramatic Shifts Changing Our Future.


Understanding Gen Y and Gen Z

Wunderman's Jamie Gutfreund, an expert in generational workplace issues, interviewed Gen Y and Gen Z panelists.


Rising Seas

A presentation on the Big Thaw and rising seas featured experts on global warming from the U.S. and Holland.

In additional presentations throughout the day, panels of experts and thought leaders on higher education, gender realities and religious freedom provided their views to Seminarians.


Strategist, Pollster Frank Luntz

Political consultant and pollster Frank Luntz discussed how public opinion is shaped.

Luntz drafted a panel from the audience, and quizzed them on their attitudes and trust in government.

DAY 3 delivered a compelling slate of presenters, with an opening session, “Health Care at the Crossroads,” with Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Global terrorism expert Marc Hecker from the French Institute of International Relations addressed how people across the world find ways to live with terrorism. The final session featured a diverse panel of speakers representing social media, print news, online news outlets and literacy projects expressing their views in “Fake News: Is It Our New Reality?”


Fellowship and Fun

Intense days of learning segued to evenings of fellowship and exceptional experiences for Seminarians.

Making the most of south Florida’s location near the Caribbean, Seminarians enjoyed “An Evening Savoring Cuba” with salsa dancing, cigar rolling, a special rum bar, and Cuba’s board game passion, dominoes.

Our special guest was Florida Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Tuesday evening also presented a unique opportunity to learn about and experience the world of virtual reality.

More Highlights of the 2015 Seminar

Mike O’Neill, left, of American Express, received The Seminar’s Distinguished Service Award for his years of service in his profession and to The Seminar. At right, Betty Hudson, past chair, The Seminar.

The Seminar welcomed forty-two First-Time Seminarians from across the world and business sectors.

Next Stop...

Mark your calendars now for the 67th Seminar, June 3-6, 2018 at hill country resort, La Cantera, near San Antonio, Texas.