Keynote Speakers


MerrieSpaethMerrie Spaeth

Founder and President, Spaeth Communications

Merrie has a unique background in media, government, politics, business and entertainment. She is a thoughtleader in communication theory, executive training and coaching. Merrie is acknowledged as one of the most influential communication counselors in the world.

Merrie has coached thousands of executives who want to become more effective communicators, improve their presentation skills and ultimately expand their leadership capabilities. She gives clients a proven approach to communciation and teaches them how to structure remarks and presentations to take their careers to a higher level. Her clients include Fortune 500 C-suite executives who have adopted the Spaeth approach for themselves and their global organizations as well as entrepreneurs, academic gurus, politicians and many others. Merrie was voted by the Dallas Business Journal as a “Change Maker” and was featured on the cover of DCEO magazine in 2013 with the headline “The Fixer.”

Merrie was a White House Fellow assigned to FBI Director William Webster. She then served two years as director of public affairs for the Federal Trade Commission, and in 1983, President Reagan appointed her as director of media relations at the White House.

Merrie writes regularly on communication topics, and her columns have collected into two books, Marketplace Communication and Words Matter. Both books are available at You Don’t Say!, her most recent book, is available on Amazon and compiles communication mistakes from her popular monthly BIMBO Memo. She blogs regularly on

A cum laude graduate of Smith College and a graduate of Columbia Business School, she is an instructor at Business Leadership Center of the Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business where she teaches “Communication as a Strategic Business Tool.” She speaks on these topics and others to companies and associations in virtually every industry.



The Honorable

John Wray

State Representative

Representative John Wray grew up in Waxahachie and is a graduate of Waxahachie High School. Representative Wray is a seventh generation resident of Ellis County. After graduating from Texas A&M University and the University of Texas School of Law, Mr. Wray practiced law in Houston for six years. Over the course of six years in Houston, Wray gained a breadth of experience in various simple and complex civil litigation and transactional matters, including real estate transactions, estate planning matters, business litigation, real estate and construction litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and probate litigation.

In 2002, Wray returned to his hometown and began his own general civil practice law firm. In 2003, Wray attainted certification by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in the field of Estate Planning and Probate Law. Wray is the only attorney in Ellis County who is Board Certified in Estate Planning and Probate Law. Counted among Wray’s clients are some of Ellis County’s oldest businesses and families, as well as some of its newest.

Although Wray’s law practice is headquarted in Ellis County, he has handled state court matters in over 30 Texas counties ranging from El Paso to Marshall and from Brownsville to Amarillo, as well as matters in various federal courts throughout Texas. Wray has served as lead counsel in several arbitration proceedings, including those administered by the American Arbitration Association. He has also successfully handled several matters before state appellate courts. Presently, Wray primarily heads up the firm’s transactional and banking law practice, including such matters as debt collection, secured lending, real estate transactions, business entity formations, estate planning, guardianship, and probate. Mr. Wray also assists with select litigation maters, and he serves as local counsel in connection with matters pending in Ellis County courts.

John Wray is a co-owner of Town Square Title, a full service Ellis County title company offering title insurance and escrow and closing services for residential, commerical, and farm/ranch properties.

Representative John Wray is active in the community and frequently contributes his time to a number of civic and charitable organizations. He was recently elected as the State Representative for Texas House District 10, the area encompassing Ellis County and part of Henderson County.

Important Dates & Information
Graduation Application Deadline
March 27, 2015
Commencement Ceremonies
May 15 & 16, 2015
Diploma Pickup
Diploma Mail-out Begins
2 -3 weeks after graduation