The SOAR Summit features nationally recognized speakers to educate and inspire you. Read about our 2020 keynotes speakers here, and stay tuned for updates on the 2021 SOAR speakers.

James Robilotta
James Robilotta

James Robilotta is a professional speaker, personal coach, emcee, entrepreneur, and author of Leading Imperfectly: The value of being authentic for leaders, professionals, and human beings. His clients include American Express, General Electric (GE), Yale University, The Ohio State University, and many others. As a speaker, he is doing the two things he loves the most: causing audiences to think critically about their leadership journeys and making people laugh! His thought-provoking talks are infused with self-awareness and comedy stemming from his background as a trained stand-up and improv comedian.

James is also a personal coach. He loves helping people get out of their own way to live the lives they deserve and be the leaders they are capable of becoming. James’ clients undergo purposeful life-changing and self-affirming transformations. His clientele ranges from CEOs to college students. If you would like to know more info about James’ speaking or coaching visit his website:

Diane GottsmanDiane Gottsman

As a nationally renowned etiquette expert, author, media personality, and popular industry resource, Diane Gottsman understands that building relationships is more than knowing which fork to use at the dinner table. Modern day etiquette is not about outdated, stuffy gestures — it’s the main component to creating and strengthening relationships in business and life. Diane is the founder of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and business etiquette training, and the author of Modern Etiquette for a Better Life. Her expertise comes from nearly two decades of corporate etiquette training, coupled with a master’s degree in sociology with an emphasis on adult behavior.

An informative, engaging, and entertaining speaker, Diane has shared her message in appearances on The TODAY Show, CNN, Fox & Friends, CBS Sunday Morning and the Hallmark Channel. She’s the resident etiquette expert for two morning talk shows, Good Day Austin (a Fox News affiliate) and SA Living (an NBC affiliate). Diane’s tips have also been shared in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Kiplinger’s, U.S. News & World Report, and other publications. Diane has been helping Southwestern students with etiquette training for nearly 20 years and is part of our Pirate family as a current SU parent.

Daron RobertsDaron K. Roberts

Daron K. Roberts, former NFL Coach, Harvard Law graduate, best-selling author, and non-profit founder, serves as founding director of the Center for Sports Leadership & Innovation (CSLi) at the University of Texas. In his third year at Harvard Law School and against the advice of friends and family members, Daron decided to burn his law firm offers ($150,000 in compensation) and chase a career in football coaching. 31 rejection letters later, Daron landed an internship with the Kansas City Chiefs. He parlayed that no pay/no frills grunt position into an NFL coaching contract. Daron’s book about that experience, Call an Audible, gives you a blueprint for tackling your dream job and, according to former UT head football coach Mack Brown, “gives us all a chance to think of what might be, rather than just accept things as they are.”

As a lecturer at UT, Daron focuses on issues of leadership and innovation in the sports arena. He developed a course – A Gameplan for Winning at Life – that is taught to incoming UT freshmen student-athletes. Daron has also been recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader for creating a nonprofit football camp - 4th and 1, Inc. The camp, which has served nearly 500 student-athletes since 2010, provides free SAT prep, life skills development, and football training to at-risk youth.