IBSC Pillars of Character in Boys’ Schools Conference

27 – 28 January 2017

Montgomery Bell Academy, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Jon Meacham

Pulitzer Prize Winner and New York Times Best-Selling Author

Jon Meacham has established himself as one of the premier biographers of our time. Each of his expertly crafted biographies on Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and George Herbert Walker Bush has hit The New York Times Best Seller list. Meacham’s book, American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2009. His other New York Times best sellers include Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power; Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship, and American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and The Making of a Nation. Meacham is a regular guest on “Morning Joe” and also occasionally appears on “Meet the Press,” “Charlie Rose,” and other broadcasts. He attended McCallie School, an all-boys boarding and day school in Chattanooga, and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He currently lives in Nashville and in Sewanee with his wife and children, one of whom attends Montgomery Bell Academy.

R.A. Dickey

Major League Baseball Pitcher, Cy Young Award Winner, and Author

A 1993 graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, Robert Allen "R.A." Dickey is a U.S. professional baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, and New York Mets. After limited success in the majors as a conventional starting pitcher, Dickey learned to throw a knuckleball. As of the 2016 season, he is one of only two active players in the majors who use the knuckleball as a primary pitch. In 2012, Dickey was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game, won the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award, and became the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. Dickey is the author of Wherever I May Wind Up, a memoir that provides a frank account of his journey through athletics. He is closely connected to Sage Hill Counseling, Nashville, where he often speaks to groups on authenticity and transparency in one’s personal life and in athletics. Dickey lives in Nashville with his wife and children.

Stephen James

Director of Sage Hill Counseling

Stephen James is the executive director of Sage Hill Counseling where he serves as a therapist and group facilitator. He is a best-selling author of five books, including Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys. He actively trains other mental health professionals, as well as speaks to audiences across the country on topics such as servant leadership, family relationships, and spiritual authenticity. Prior to starting Sage Hill Counseling, James worked in private practice in Nashville for more than a decade. He has developed a close relationship with R.A. Dickey. Together they will enlighten us about the culture of authenticity and transparency, which they believe is critical to being a good man.

Tom Douglas and Mike Reid

Country Music Song Writers and Musicians

Mike Reid has enjoyed great success as an NFL football player and as a songwriter. Reid was a first-round draft pick for the Cincinnati Bengals and was Defensive Rookie of the Year after his first season. His success continued when he was voted NFL All-Pro in 1972 and 1973. Despite these honors, Reid decided he would rather play music than football for a living. He retired from the Bengals and moved to Nashville where he continued to garner accolades by winning the Songwriter of the Year Award. His song Stranger in My House won a Grammy. Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler, Prince, Etta James, Kenny Rogers, and many other famous artists have recorded his songs. Reid divides his time between Nashville and New York with his wife and children.

Tom Douglas is an American country music songwriter. Active since the early 1990s, he has written Top 10 hits for John Michael Montgomery, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Collin Raye, and countless others. One of his first cuts was Little Rock, which Collin Raye took into the Country Top 10 in 1993. The Country Music Association (CMA) nominated it for Song of the Year in1994, and it earned a Million-Air Award from Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) for receiving one million plays on country radio. Douglas has co-written several songs for Tim McGraw, including Grown Men Don’t Cry, Southern Voice, My Little Girl, and Let It Go. He also co-wrote Martina McBride’s Love’s the Only House, as well as Lady Antebellum’s number one hit, I Run to You. His song, The House that Built Me, co-written with Allen Shamblin, won the CMA and Academy of Country Music Song of the Year Award in 2010. He also received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for the song, Coming Home, for the movie, Country Song.

Randy Hearon and Scott Hearon

Founders and Directors of Nashville Coaching Coalition

Randy Hearon and Scott Hearon are a father-son duo with a lifelong interest in athletics, playing and coaching at all levels of competition through college. Recently, they founded the Nashville Coaching Coalition, which focuses on building character through athletics and cultivating a positive athletic experience between the players, coaches, and parents in Nashville. This high school program reaches across the city. Scott graduated from MBA in 2006.