Speakers 2014

In the summit, we will explore boys’ physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs. The summit will bring together the science-based principles with practical solutions.


Co-founder of Helping Boys Thrive® Summits

gurian_bio_photo 2Michael Gurian is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty six books published in twenty one languages. The Gurian Institute, which he co-founded, conducts research internationally, launches pilot programs and trains professionals.

Called “the people’s philosopher” for his ability to dynamically combine cutting edge science with stories from people’s everyday lives, his presentations leave audiences with new tools of which to interpret the signals of our growing children and new confidence to love and educate both sons and daughters in a high-pressure world.

As a family counselor, Michael has pioneered efforts to bring neuro-biology and brain research into homes, schools, corporations, and public policy. A number of his books have sparked national debate, including The Mind of BoysThe Wonder of GirlsBoys and Girls Learn Differently, and Leadership and the Sexes.  His book The Wonder of Boys is credited with sparking the Boys Movement (USA Today).

Michael provides keynotes and consulting throughout the world, and his work has been featured in professional journals and major media, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Time, Educational Leadership, Newsweek, the Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, PBS, and National Public Radio. He has been called “the people’s philosopher” for his ability to bring together scientific principles and people’s everyday lives.

Michael is a lead author of a meta-study you can access on the internet (click www.whitehouseboysmen.org then “Proposal”).  Michael and a number of thought leaders in male development wrote the study in order to celebrate boys and alert policymakers to issues they face today. See his biography at www.michaelgurian.com.

Tim Wright

Tim_book shoot_2012_001 3 - Version 2Event Host and Breakout Session Presenter

Tim Wright has been a pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1984. In 2005 he started Community of Grace, in Peoria, AZ. He’s authored five books, including his most recent–Searching for Tom Sawyer: How Parents and Congregations Can Stop the Exodus of Boys from Church, and has trained pastors and church leaders throughout the US and around the world. Along with Michael Gurian he co-created the rite of passage program: Following Jesus: A Heroic Quest for Boys. He and his wife, Jan, raised a daughter and a son. They are now happily investing their lives in their 4 grandchildren.

Session Subject
Raising Boys into Men: Rites of Passage

Since the beginning of time cultures have understood that boys must be strategically trained to be men.  Called a rite of passage, the process varies from culture to culture but the purpose is the same: to take a boy through challenges, mentoring, adventures, and an ultimate test to begin to forge him into a good man.  More often than not, without a rite of passage boys grow up to become either passive men or violent men.  This workshop will look at how we can reclaim rites of passage for our boys in order to reclaim them for heroic manhood.

Dakota Hoyt

dakota_hoyt 2Breakout Session Presenter

Dakota Hoyt has been in education for 30 years as a teacher, math/science specialist, assistant principal, director of professional development, and as an educational consultant.Over her career she has experienced that there is no quick fix to complex educational problems.  Her approach is to have educational staff focus on what instruction is best for all students to be successful (results).  She does this by having the staff identify where they are currently being successful (data), identify the students that are falling through the cracks (data), and analyze possible underlying issues. With this critical information she helps the staff discover “new” strategies and tools (research) to redesign their best educational practices for all students.Dakota has been associated with the Gurian Institute since 2004 as a Master Trainer and became Executive Director in 2012.  Previously, she was also Gurian Institute Project Director, working with her mentor, Kathy Stevens, on a number of one to three year Gurian Institute training programs in schools and districts.Dakota’s keynotes and training work spans Early Head Start through college students and parent groups at the local, national and international level.What educators are saying about Dakota’s training:“The best thing about this training was the relevancy to all grades and to life/understanding of the opposite sex!”“Excellent presenter—very engaging and informed—lots of movement and good information and practical examples to use in my classroom.”

Session Subject
Practical Strategies for Raising Boys

This session will give you common sense strategies for engaging boys that can be implemented immediately.  Most strategies can be adapted to work with boys from early childhood through adolescence at home, school, and in other youth related environments.

Tammy Sipe

tammy picture - Version 2Breakout Session Presenter

Tammy Sipe has been a Public Health Specialist for Mohave County Department of Public Health since 2010.  In this position she facilitates the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.   This program works directly with young people to protect their sexual health and future.  She has gained experience working with teens and attended several facilitator trainings. Her goal is and has been to help young men to gain self-confidence, identify their values, and behave in ways that are consistent with those values using the Wise Guys curriculum.   Her prior work experience consists of 15 years working as a Certified Medical Assistant.  In this capacity she was responsible for patient care and education, managing medical practices, assisting physicians and staff.   The medical background has given her a solid foundation for discussing sensitive topics as well as the ability to connect personally with the young men she strives to help.

Session Subject
Wise Guys: Promoting male responsibility while helping prevent teen pregnancy

Topic covers theories and research about adolescent male development and techniques that have been proven effective in helping young men understand the importance of male responsibility, particularly sexual responsibility.

Dr. Ann Hart

3046e19 2Breakout Session Presenter

Dr. Ann Hart is the Deputy Associate Superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education – African American Outreach, Character, Homeless and Refugee Education.  Her purpose-driven passion for educating the community on various school/community issues has kept her busy in the twenty plus years that she has spent in education sectors. She has been featured in The Arizona Woman Magazine; theArizona Republic for her education, civic and community involvement and contributions; and authors a monthly Parent Involvement column for the Arizona Informant.  Dr. Hart holds a doctorate degree from Arizona State University, in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies. Also, she was named a Fellow in Morrison’s Institute of Public Policy.

Session Subject
Offer Help – Give Hope to Our Boys!
From kindergarten through sixth grade, boys spend more than 1,000 hours a year in school — environments that are largely feminine with female teachers, and curricula that emphasizes reading, writing and verbal ability, areas where boys develop more slowly than girls. We are seeing that educational environments are not supporting our boys.   Research tells us that boys are more likely to be punished in schools and at home, and when punished are likely to face harsher penalties.  We will discuss comfortable strategies to address; Boys and School, Discipline, Violence, Their Well –Being and Their Emotions


The 2015 Helping Boys Thrive Summit™ will have more speakers and workshop tracks focusing on the interests of specific groups such as educators, social workers, faith leaders, parents ad care providers.