Conference Partners


Jason Mott -New York Times Bestselling Author

jason mott

Jason Mott lives in southeastern North Carolina. He has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize award and Entertainment Weekly listed him as one of their 10 “New Hollywood: Next Wave” people to watch. He has published two poetry collections and two novels: The New York Times Bestseller "The Returned" (which was the basis for ABC's television drama "Resurrection") and "The Wonder of All Things."

Cydni Mitchell – Business Consultant/Accountant


Cydni N. Mitchell is the founder of, a global online directory designed to connect Sweet Lovers with local Sweet Makers. By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked closely with many of the Sweet Makers on her site to help them develop and successfully implement their own social media marketing strategies, re-branding initiatives, business plan remodeling, and more.

Lisa Heidrich – Author/Speaking Coach

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Lisa Bongiorno-Heidrich, RN,CCM,CHP, asserts writing unsurprisingly exists hand-in-hand with speaking. An International speaker, Ministry Director, Global Conversationalist and author of Speaking Confidence, Lisa enjoys helping others find their niche through their unique voice, message, and mission. Contributor for monthly web based articles; along with audio blog at . A real social butterfly you’ll catch daily on Facebook and Twitter @LisaCHeidrich. With twenty years experience teaching, speaking and coaching she offers a compilation of vital information for speaking and writing trepidation. She grew up in Florida, now resides in North Carolina and holds degrees in nursing and vocational education.

Kym Gordon-Moore – Author/Poet Motivational Speaker


Kym Gordon Moore is the author of Wings of the Wind: A Cornucopia of Poetry, Diversities of Gifts: Same Spirit, and a contributing author for Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Mom. She is a marketing professional who holds an MBA, and mentors young and aspiring poets. Her mission is to use poetry as a platform to bring greater awareness to the revolution of the genre, by introducing elements of diversity and promoting poetic education among children and adults. Learn more about the author, her mission, writing credits and event updates at

Cheryl McCullough – Author/Vendor Liasion


Cheryl J. McCullough is the author of three novels which have been dubbed “The Hattiesville Trilogy”. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Cheryl is an avid reader, fiction being her favorite genre. She is also a sports fanatic and loves a beach anywhere.
Cheryl is building a successful business around her books and related products. She currently has two novels in the works and one non-fiction book.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, and spent over 20 years in secondary education administration. She is a licensed minister at Life Center International, and an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Cheryl became involved with the Charlotte Writing Academy in 2015 and has attended the writer’s conference and worked with the Academy to create a twelve-month marketing plan and took advantage of the writer’s coaching session. Her third novel was published by Burkwood Media, a subsidiary of the Academy.

Deborah Johnson – Event Coordinator


Deborah began hosting and event planning in 1995 as a personal hobby that led to numerous baby showers, church banquets to coordinating,weddings, funerals and social occasion and gala events.
She has a great deal of planning and coordinating experience.

Deborah has strong communication skills geared to both internal leadership and providing outstanding customer service. She is an excellent multi-tasker and is very organized. Not only is Deborah detailed oriented, but she is also passionate about customer service and building relationships. Deborah works hard to ensure wonderful and stress-free events.