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Future of Work Education Summit | Event Program

Summit Agenda (1)

Speakers & Panelists

Keynote Speakers

Rachel Ludwig - head shot

Rachel Ludwig | Future of Work

Rachel serves as Vice President, Talent Development for the Future of Work at the Florida Chamber Foundation. In this role, Rachel leads the Florida Chamber Foundation’s initiatives to improve Florida’s talent pipeline, which is a key component of Florida’s 2030 Blueprint in our pursuit to become the 10th largest global economy by 2030. The Future of Work Florida initiative focuses on cultivating partnerships among the business community, workforce, and education partners to develop talent pipeline strategies for early learning through lifelong learning. 

Before transitioning to the Florida Chamber, Rachel was the statewide Director of Professional Development at the Florida Department of Education Division of Career and Adult Education. At FDOE, Rachel collaborated with educational leaders and key stakeholders to increase her knowledge of various industry and workforce needs throughout Florida. She led expansion efforts of integrated education and training (IET) programs, which accelerate the ability for adult learners to enter the workforce. Rachel has worked in K-12, post-secondary, and workforce education to serve learners across urban, suburban, and rural spaces. She spent much of her career teaching adult GED and English language learners.   

Rachel enjoys watching and playing sports with her husband and 8-year-old son. Her claim to fame is her first position after graduating from the University of Wisconsin, where she worked in a public relations role as a “Hotdogger” and drove the famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile across the US.

Tiffany Vause

Tiffany Vause | Florida Ready to Work

Tiffany Vause is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Florida Ready to Work program. In this role, she assists organizations throughout the state with skilling-up the future workforce with the foundational employability skills training that employers have deemed a top priority. With 15 years of communications, relationship building, and project management experience, Tiffany is helping employers, education, and workforce development partners utilize the Florida Ready to Work program to train and identify qualified new hires and skill-up incumbent workers throughout the state.

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Mr. Kevin Hendrick, Superintendent | Pinellas County Schools

Kevin K. Hendrick is an innovative educational leader and gifted communicator with a proven record of improving student achievement, working collaboratively and building cultures of excellence.  
Before his appointment in 2022, he served five years as the district’s Associate Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Services. During his leadership, Pinellas County Schools achieved a record-high graduation rate, leading Florida’s largest school districts, and consistently increased academic performance in English Language Arts and Mathematics.  
At the height of the pandemic, he spearheaded the district’s transition to remote instruction and developed a plan to ensure computer and internet connectivity for every student. He expanded access to early learning, led effective literacy programs and initiated a program that provides high-achieving students with a personalized path to college success.   

Mr. Hendrick effectively administrated academic components of the district’s Bridging the Gap plan, advocated for Pinellas County Schools growing Hispanic community and facilitated resources that support English learners.  

After taking the helmMr. Hendrick hosted nearly a dozen community Listen & Learn Sessions to connect with employees, families and community members and get their input for making Pinellas County Schools better.  

He challenged schools to reignite the student experience and kicked off the district’s first-ever elementary, middle and high school Student Leadership Summits, which gave students opportunities to build their leadership skillsshare leadership lessons with their peers and suggest ideas for improving student experiences. 

Focused on re-energizing the district’s Core Values, he launched an employee recognition program called PCS Praise, which gives employees opportunities to recognize and celebrate their colleagues who exemplify the Core Values. 

Background and Education 

Mr. Hendrick is a longtime resident of Pinellas County and a graduate of Largo High School. He started his career in education in 1997 as a teacher at Pinellas Park High School and taught for several years at Dunedin High School. He has been a high school math and social studies teacher, a basketball coach, an assistant principal and an athletic director.  

Mr. Hendrick, who also served as Director of High School Education, was the principal of Northeast High School for nine years. Under his leadership, Northeast High consistently performed at a high level, earning the first A and B grades in the school’s history and receiving national recognition for preparing students for college and careers.  

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science Education from the University of South Florida and holds two master’s degrees, including a Master of Arts degree in Exercise and Sport Science from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of South Florida.

Corey McCaster

Corey McCaster, Panel Moderator | Pinellas County Economic Development

Corey McCaster brings a wealth of experience to his role as Division Director of the Office of Small Business and Supplier Diversity at PCED, joining the team in December 2021. In this capacity, Corey oversees the department's entrepreneurial and small business assistance initiatives, including the Small Business Development Center and the ARK Innovation Center.

With over 20 years of combined experience in economic and workforce development, Corey has made significant contributions to various agencies across Florida. Before his tenure in local economic development agencies in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, Corey served as the Director of Workforce Services in Palm Beach County. In this role, he spearheaded efforts to create employment opportunities and training programs aimed at assisting individuals in overcoming barriers to gainful employment.

Corey's journey in economic development began in Tallahassee at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. In this position, he played a pivotal role in state policy development, ensuring operational and financial compliance of 24 Regional Workforce Boards. Additionally, Corey worked to align Florida's Training and Provider List with market demand in targeted occupations.

A graduate of the University of South Florida's business school, Corey holds certifications in both project management and workforce development. His diverse skill set, coupled with his entrepreneurial background as a former small business owner, uniquely positions Corey to drive forward initiatives that support small businesses and foster economic growth.

Panel Discussion | Education


Dr. Daniel Evans | Pinellas County Schools

Dr. Dan Evans is the Chief Academic Officer for Pinellas County Schools. In his role, he oversees all aspects of curriculum development and instructional best practices for all district schools and subject areas. He was previously the Deputy Superintendent for Instructional Services for Manatee County Schools, and the Executive Director of Assessment, Accountability and Research for Pinellas County Schools. Prior to that, he was an accomplished school principal, where he was named the district winner of the Principal Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership. He is a former high school English teacher, and district reading supervisor. Dan is the author of a non-fiction book on systems change titled The Instructional Soul: Leading Schools with a Spirit of Innovation.

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Eric McClendon | St. Petersburg College

Eric McClendon currently serves as the Director of the SPC Workforce Education Department and provides training opportunities leading to mid/high-wage careers to increase students’ economic mobility. He is a first-generation college graduate who is grateful to serve his alma mater, St. Petersburg College, and Pinellas County residents.

Mr. McClendon earned an associate in arts degree from St. Petersburg College, Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Supervision from the University of South Florida (USF) with certifications in Local Director of Vocational Education, Educational Leadership, and School Principal. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Special Education from USF and was a member of the Project PILOT Program (Preparing Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow).

Mr. McClendon has over 24 years in the education field. He started his career as a Special Education Instructor at his alma mater Largo High and received a promotion to Assistant Principal. His Workforce and Career Technical administrative experiences include being an Assistant Director at Suncoast Technical College in Sarasota County and Pinellas Technical College. He supervised Suncoast Technical College’s program managers in various career education clusters and was responsible for accreditation compliance and FLDOE data reporting.

Mr. McClendon received the Pinellas Adult, Career, and Technical Education Association Outstanding CTAE Administrator Award for professional achievement. In addition, he received various community awards including the Pinellas County Urban Young Life Award, the Greatness, Attitude, and Potential Program Community Educator Award for Largo Middle, and the What's Right with Ridgecrest Award in recognition of professional achievement and enriching the lives of youth. His favorite quote is “To whom much is given, from him much will be required.”

Prokop Headshot2 (2023)

Dr. Jake Prokop | Pinellas Technical College

Dr. Jake Prokop is a 23 year veteran of Career and Technical Education. Prior to entering the education arena, he worked in the automotive industry.  He found his passion for technical work at his local high school and worked as a technician through his undergraduate studies.  He moved on to work for Chrysler Corporation prior to switching careers.

Dr. Prokop started in education as a high school automotive service technology instructor for eight years.  He then worked as a Career and Technical Education district level employee managing grants, teaching curriculum integration, and supporting mostly industrial technology programs.  In 2013, he was promoted to assistant director for Pinellas Technical College – St. Petersburg and worked in that capacity until being promoted to the director of the Clearwater campus.  Dr. Prokop has been the director for over 7 years and has overseen the addition of multiple programs as well as an extensive remodeling project.  He is engaged with multiple chambers of commerce in Pinellas County as well as professional and business organizations.

Dr. Prokop has a Bachelor degree in Automotive Service Technology from Southern Illinois University, a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida. He has performed dozens of presentations at the national and local level on curriculum design and program development. Dr. Prokop is an active volunteer with multiple non-profit organizations.

Stephen Meier

Stephen Meier | Career Source Pinellas

As an experienced executive with over 30 years of experience in diverse industries, Steven Meier has built a proven track record of success in driving financial performance, operational efficiency, and strategic growth. With a background in leadership, finance, and accounting, he brings a wealth of skills in program management, organizational development, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, grant management, risk management, and team leadership.

Throughout his career, Steven has worked for notable organizations such as Price Waterhouse, Koch Industries, and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. He currently serves as CEO of CareerSource Pinellas, where he has been instrumental in leading the organization through the consolidation process with CareerSource Tampa Bay.

Steven's commitment to community engagement and building strong relationships with stakeholders is a testament to his dedication to making a difference, especially for socio-economically challenged citizens and community partners. With an active Florida CPA license, a B.S. degree from Rider University, and an MBA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, Steven is a true asset to CareerSource Pinellas and the Tampa Bay region.

lindsay Carson

Lindsay Carson | Early Learning Coalition Pinellas

Lindsay Carson is a long-time educator, administrator and advocate with over 20 years of experience in early learning. She currently leads the Early Learning Coalition of Pinellas County which serves nearly 15,000 children annually. Lindsay is recognized as a dynamic industry leader both locally, and across Florida. She serves on the Florida Council for Early Grade Success and is past chair of the Association of Early Learning Coalitions. Her passion, knowledge and commitment to young children shine through in her work each day.

Panel Discussion | Business & Industry

Jacquelyn Kane_Headshot

Jacquelyn Kane | BayCare Health System

As campus recruiter for Baycare Health System, Jacquelyn visits local high schools and colleges to discuss entry level positions, both clinical and non-clinical.


Mike Sutton

Mike Sutton | Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas & West Pasco Counties

Mike Sutton serves as president and CEO of the second largest producing Habitat for Humanity affiliate in the country, based on new home builds. Mike has served the Habitat for Humanity mission for 15 years total, including 10 years in his current role with the Pinellas and West Pasco affiliate. He is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) with experience in the nonprofit sector dating back to 2001 at nationally recognized organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA.

The University of South Florida alumnus grew up in Tampa and remains active with his alma matter. Mike is deeply involved in the community through his many leadership roles including serving on the Board of Directors for the Board of Certified Safety Professionals and Amplify Clearwater, serving as a Copperhead with the Valspar Championship and as an active donor and advocate of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation as a Crohn’s patient of 20+ years. Mike has been recognized as a Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Power 100 honored for four consecutive years. Most recently, Mike was recognized by US Congressman Gus Bilirakis as a Florida's 12th Congressional District 2024 Heroes Among Us Recipient.

Eric Waltz

Eric Waltz | Sandpearl Resort Clearwater Beach

Eric is the General Manager of the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach.  He has held that position for 14 years.  Eric has worked in 12 hotels throughout the eastern United States and has been the General Manager of 4 of them, mainly Marriott products.  Eric has been the Chapter President of the Pinellas County Chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and is currently the Chair for Amplify Clearwater, Clearwater's Chamber of Commerce.  Eric is married with 2 teenage boys.

Chris Constantine

Dr. Chris Constantine | Plasmatherm

Chris Constantine is a 30+ year semiconductor and plasma science veteran who has worked within large and small organizations as a Scientist, Business Unit Director, CTO and USA Group President.

Dr. Constantine spent 28 years with the Swiss OC Oerlikon Organization, starting with Plasma-Therm Inc. in the US (St. Petersburg, FL), and moving through several US and European Divisions, creating new semiconductor equipment and Processes for CMOS Logic devices, Photovoltaics, and Advanced Lasers and Sensors.   He was elected to be an Industry Representative for the DoD/DARPA MMIC High Speed Electronics Program and advising the Industry as an Advisory Committee Member for the SEMI Trade Organization.

Recently, Dr. Constantine has been deeply involved with technology curriculum design and implementing sub-baccalaureate training methods within Florida’s high tech Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Constantine graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fordham University (NYC) and finished a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry and Nuclear Science from the City University of New York (CCNY).  He is an IEEE Member, an SPIE Fellow and was awarded the SPIE Lifetime Achievement Award for Advances in Plasma Science and Photolithography.  He has 50+ Refereed Publications and 4 Patents.

Mike Shaluly

Michael Shaluly | Mastercut Tool Corp.

Michael Shaluly is President and founder of Mastercut Tool Corp in Safety Harbor, FL. He has worked in the cutting tool industry since 1979 and started Mastercut Tool Corp. in 1985. He has successfully guided the company through technological change and worldwide competitive challenges to establish the firm as a major, international player in the industry. He is also active in the community, creating and advocating programs that enhance education for manufacturing in the USA.  Today, he oversees the operation of more than 100 grinding machines, 120 employees, and multiple warehouses and sales stretching across the globe.

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