Keynote Speakers: John Boehner & Ed Rendell

February 23, 2017 — 08:30AM EST - 10:00AM EST
Orange County Convention Center
Valencia Ballroom


Political Perspectives on America's Future

John Boehner
Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives

A former small businessman, John Boehner served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for nearly five years (January 2011-October 2015), during which he led the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. Boehner represented the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio in the U.S. House from 1991 to 2015. He now serves as Senior Strategic Advisor for Squire Patton Boggs LLP, one of the world’s foremost law and public policy firms.

The son of a bartender and second oldest of 12 brothers and sisters, John grew up mopping floors at the family tavern and playing football at Cincinnati’s Moeller High School. While working to pay his way through Xavier University, he met Debbie – his wife of 41 years – and started his own small business. He and Debbie still live in the home where they raised their two daughters, Lindsay and Tricia. John got involved in state and local government after seeing firsthand how high taxes and red tape impact entrepreneurs. Then in 1990, the voters sent John to the U.S. House, where he took a strong stand against pork-barrel spending and, as part of the reform-minded “Gang of Seven,” forced the closure of the scandal-ridden House Bank and House Post Office.

John’s reputation as a reformer grew as he worked alongside then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), helping to craft the historic 1994 Contract with America and helping to lead the effort to enact the first balanced federal budget in a generation. Later, as Chairman of the House Committee on Education & the Workforce, he wrote legislation to expand school choice, strengthen America’s pension system, and reform the federal education bureaucracy to demand results for students and parents. Elected as House Majority Leader in 2006 and chosen to become House Republican Leader later that year, Boehner led the opposition to job-crushing proposals such as President Obama’s “cap and trade” initiative and ObamaCare while promoting better solutions to the challenges facing American families. On January 5, 2011, Boehner took the gavel as Speaker of the House following the historic 2010 election in which Congressional Republicans, under Boehner’s leadership, picked up 63 seats in the U.S. House. Guided by the Pledge to America – a new governing agenda reflecting the priorities of the American people – Speaker Boehner focused on removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and economic growth, addressing the drivers of America’s debt, eliminating pork-barrel “earmarks” and reforming Congress, and rebuilding the bonds of trust between the American people and their representatives in Washington.

Boehner, who became a first-time grandfather during the summer of 2015, left the United States Congress on October 31, 2015, after nearly 25 years of serving the people of Ohio’s 8th Congressional District and the nation. Boehner joined Squire Patton Boggs in the autumn of 2016 as the firm’s Senior Strategic Advisor. In this role, he provides strategic advice to Squire Patton Boggs’ clients in the U.S. and abroad, and focuses on global business development.



Ed Rendell
45th Governor of Pennsylvania, NBC News Political Analyst, Author

After 34 years of public service, including 24 years as an elected official, Governor Rendell continues to pursue many of the same issues he was passionate about while serving. His commitment to making America a cleaner, more efficient place and to fostering investment in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure is as strong as it has ever been. Rendell has become a champion for progress in the area of alternative energy, and now serves as a consultant or board member for several green and alternative energy firms, including Own Energy, The Efficiency Network and VNG.co. He has also remained heavily involved in the campaign for government efficiency and strategic cost cutting through his work with entities such as Government Sourcing Solutions and Public Financial Management.

Perhaps no other issue has been and continues to be as important to Governor Rendell as America’s dire need to rebuild and reinvest in its infrastructure. As Governor, Rendell worked with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to create an organization called “Building America’s Future.” The organization focuses on the need for a more significant investment in American infrastructure projects to ensure that America maintains its place as a global economic power. Governor Rendell currently serves as Co-Chair of the organization, along with Mike Bloomberg and former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and travels throughout the country speaking about this issue.

Governor Rendell also recently penned his first book, A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great. In A Nation of Wusses, Rendell chronicles his storied political career with his trademark candor while making a strong statement about the state of American leadership.



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