Nathan Mellor, Ed. D.


A thought-leader, two-time TEDx speaker, author, and CEO of Strata Leadership, Dr. Mellor is an experienced executive coach who has provided over 3,000 coaching sessions for executive leaders. He serves as a sounding board, thought partner, and a source of encouragement for leaders seeking to maximize their effectiveness.

Since its founding in 2009, Strata Leadership has pursued its mission of “Elevating Life at Work.” Each year, the professionals at Strata Leadership provide character and competence-based talent development services for hundreds of clients (non-profits, for-profits, educational institutions, and governmental agencies) throughout the United States and abroad.

In pursuit of educational, humanitarian, and religious interests, Nathan has studied or taught in Australia, Belize, China, England, Guyana, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, and Rwanda. He is passionate about developing future leaders and is the co-founder of the Presidential Leadership Institute, hosted on the campus of York College, in collaboration with the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. He is an adjunct professor for graduate programs at York College and Oklahoma Baptist University. He is the chairperson for the Strata Center for Workplace Coaching and the co-founder of the Institute for Emerging Leaders. He is the past Chairperson of the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium.

Dr. Mellor earned the Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership degree from Pepperdine University, where he was a Colleagues Grant recipient. He earned the Master of Dispute Resolution degree from the prestigious Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law, where he was named a Straus Fellow. He earned the Master of Science in Education degree from Harding University while serving as the Graduate Assistant to the University President. He earned the Bachelor of Arts from Harding University, where he was elected Student Association President. Dr. Mellor has pursued postdoctoral studies through the College of Executive Coaching.

Dr. Mellor was recognized as the Executive Pilot Award recipient in 2018, the highest individual honor bestowed by the Oklahoma Ethics Business Consortium. In 2021, he was named by the Oklahoma Journal Record as one of Oklahoma’s Most Admired CEOs. He is a fellow with the Institute of Coaching, McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School Affiliate, and a member of the International Coaching Federation.

His book, "Sleeping Giants: Authentic Stories and Insights For Building A Life That Matters" is available via Monocle Press, Amazon, and Audible. He also hosts the podcast, “The Strata Leadership Show.”

Nathan lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with his wife and two daughters.


Speaking Themes:



Speaking Topics:

Shared Mental Models-Managing for Success
Everyone has a mental model. It is the lens through which we process the world. As a leader, it is crucial to understand how mental models are shaped and formed to be able to build team unity. In this presentation, we will consider how to build a culture of respect and consistency at work. The program focuses on enhancing communication, positive reinforcement of values and addressing the root of behaviors that undermine unhealthy teams.

Everything Speaks
A core concept that helped guide and shape the creations of Walt Disney was his belief that “Everything Speaks.” Using this mindset as a source of inspiration, Dr. Mellor explores how the contributions of every person in an organization matter. He also explores how our words and actions speak volumes. Drawing upon real life examples and relevant data, it is the perfect presentation for energizing teams and building morale.  (Communication, Ethics, Leadership, Motivation/Inspiration)

Stepping Down to Greatness
The success of a leader is dictated by the success of those they are leading. A leader cannot be successful if the people they are leading are not successful. Through this program, Dr. Mellor provides inspiring stories and research that engages the heart and mind. (Ethics, Leadership, Motivation/Inspiration)

Built to Win
The difference between a winning season and a winning program is consistency. In this positive, insightful and inspiring program, Dr. Mellor provides a practical roadmap for leaders seeking to take their organizations to the next level.  (Ethics, Leadership, Motivation/Inspiration)

We live in a world of distractions. Through this program, Dr. Mellor explores how breakthroughs in the world of neuroscience are providing meaningful insights into how to train the brain for focus. The program is a breakthrough event that is extremely engaging and practical. Applicable to all, the content can be applied instantly and is a crowd favorite. (Leadership, Motivation/Inspiration)

Innovate to Accelerate
Do you feel like your organization is headed in the right direction, but needs to change its pace? Through this session, Dr. Nathan Mellor walks leaders through how to increase productivity by enhancing your organization's ability to accelerate the learning process. If you are looking for inspiration and practical insights gained by working behind the scenes with innovative leaders and companies, this program can help you reach your goals. (Leadership, Motivation/Inspiration)

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Connect with Nathan Mellor, Ed.D. on LinkedIn.

Lee Roland

Keynote Speaker

Mr. Lee Roland is the husband of 39 years to Wanda Roland, father to Irving and Chanel and grandfather to, 1 year old, Elliott Brown. Lee recently retired after 30 years in public education, 25 of which in administration.  Perhaps most gratifying to him are his last 12 years as the proud principal of Tulakes Elementary, a high poverty, high diversity, and once failing school (by every significant indicator) that was completely turned around under his leadership. Because of the culture and staff that remains, Tulakes is now among the best schools in Oklahoma City.

Over his celebrated career, Mr. Roland served in the Oklahoma City Public School as well as the Putnam City School District.   In addition to enjoying great success as a special education teacher, principal, and superintendent liaison, Lee has spoken and presented at countless venues, conferences, and workshops across the state and country, particularly with regards to effectively addressing diversity, poverty efficacy and motivation.

Finally, while also endeavoring on a number of city, civic and community boards, mostly involving the welfare of children, Mr. Lee Roland is a motivational speaker; a school, church and business consultant, especially regarding race; Pastor at The Parish in OKCs Plaza District; and an adjunct professor of sociology at Southern Nazarene University where he strives to help future administrators prepare to  truly “Leave no child behind.”


Speaking Topics

Other Special Forces
This presentation for teachers who are feeling undervalued, overwhelmed and underpaid. Lee works to help them understand their worth and how to motivate and lift them up.

After the Doors Close
How teacher attitudes and awareness of the children and families served and how it impacts student achievement. Answers and empowerment to teachers and how they can win.

Teacher/Parent/Student Relationships
Positive relationships among teachers, parents and students is an ingredient for success. Mr. Roland has an assortment of methods that helped his school achieve a partnership.

Understanding/Embracing Diversity
Mr. Roland calls race the “Pink Elephant” in the room. However, the elephant is very conspicuous when final statistics are revealed and when problems arise. He’ll help you successfully confront the elephant and get it out of the room (where it belongs.)

Being the designated leader doesn’t mean that others will follow. Lee Roland wholehearted believes that it is absurd for “leaders” to discover this sad truth on their own. He will explain fail-safe methods to lead in the area of service.

Becoming a Team
Competing as an individual is great if you are a boxer, tennis player or figure skater. There is one winner and one loser. However, in schools, churches and other organizations, there are multiple winners and losers, and it takes teamwork. Lee will show you how to work towards coalescence.

Achieving Peak Performance
There are at least two ways to get the job done: 1) just barely and 2) very well done. Assuming you want the latter, Lee Roland will help show you how.



“Whenever I would call you with my troubles, the very first thing you would do is pray for me and ask if there was anything the Tulakes family could do to help. I continue to be amazed by the heart and culture of this school, and I am proud to be a part of that. Tulakes is so unique and a not just a place that students come to learn, it is a place they come to be loved on. Expectations are high and there is no choice to fail, because of the amazing supports that are in place. With this, the children have a place to grow and flourish."–T.M.-Teacher

“When I think about leadership or what makes a great leader, my first thought is always of you. There is a quote by John Quincy Adams that says, “If your actions inquire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, YOU ARE A LEADER. Thank you for inspiring me to dream BIG. Thank you for helping me to learn more everyday. Thank you for challenging me to do more than I felt capable of doing. Thank you for leading and empowering with a Godly heart all these years!”–S.J.-Teacher

“Thank you for changing the world one child at a time. And thank you for your continued support.”–R.P.-Parent

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Jim Priest

Senior Consulting Partner

Jim Priest is a husband, dad, attorney, author, CEO and ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. For over thirty four years he was a trial lawyer focusing on employment and civil rights law before joining the nonprofit Sunbeam Family Services as its CEO in November 2014.  Under Dr, Priest’s leadership Sunbeam first adopted an “Employee First” culture resulting in being named one of Oklahoma’s “Best Places to Work” every year of his tenure.  Under his leadership Sunbeam also grew from a $7 million budget agency serving vulnerable Oklahomans to a $14 million agency.

Dr. Priest’s gift of communication, both verbal and written,  is well known and deeply appreciated whether it’s speaking to large audiences, facilitating small groups, or in one on one conversations.  As a speaker, coach, trusted advisor and counselor, his humor, warmth and multilateral insights have made him an innovator in both the for profit and nonprofit sectors.

As a trial lawyer for over three decades, Dr. Priest represented major corporations, governmental entities, police officers, managers, directors, corporate officers, and victims of discrimination. He tried nearly 100 lawsuits in Oklahoma and surrounding states and was a sought after legal advisor and speaker at Bar conferences.

Dr. Priest is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and has written three books, “Family Talk”, What is Your Fate?” and “Changed Lives, a history of Sunbeam Family Services” (co-authored with Bob Burke). He is a weekly contributor to the Oklahoman and writing a column called "Family Talk" that addresses issues relating to marriage, parenting and families.

Dr. Priest earned his Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University, magna cum laude and was a member of the National Championship Mock Trial Team.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Houghton College in Houghton, New York, where he was involved in student government and music outreach where he started and led a ten voice singing group that traveled throughout the northeast.

Most importantly, Dr. Priest is the husband of one, father of two, owned by a dog named Jeter, and is an elite, world class grandfather to his namesake grandson, James.

Speaking Topics:

Culture Begins with the C (Suite): How to Create a Powerful, Positive Work Culture

Nearly everyone agrees that workplace culture and organizational health are critically important, but few companies recognize the important role played by executives in the C Suite. Most often workplace culture (seen as a "soft side" issue) is left to Human Resources while the C Suite focuses on what they consider to be "hard side" aspects of the business (marketing, finance, sales, operations). In this dynamic presentation attorney and former CEO, Jim Priest explains why culture eats strategy for breakfast and how C Suite execs must and can engage in creating a positive workplace culture.

Great Employee Relations in the C*A*R*D*S: Consistency, Action, Respect, Documentation

For employers who feel like they are gambling--and losing--at employee relations, Jim Priest provides four practical recommendations and implementation ideas. A former employment attorney and CEO, Jim engages the audience with card games and card tricks that illustrate how your workplace can stop gambling and start winning with employee relations. Priest punctuates his presentation with real-life examples of employment law cases he's handled over the three decades of his law practice, as well as what he encountered as a CEO focused on "employees first". You'll laugh, you'll shake your head, and you'll leave with real-world answers to your real-world employee challenges.

Lean in or Lean out?  How to Deal with #metoo in the Workplace

In today's workplace, we live in an era of confusion, awkward interactions, and workplace dissonance caused by women who are "leaning in" while more men are "leaning out", trying to figure out the new rules of employee engagement. In this entertaining and insightful presentation, Jim Priest, former employment law attorney and CEO, provides practical pointers and frames the right attitude workers need to have in this changing environment. With plenty of real-life illustrations from his law practice and his time as CEO, Jim will provide you with real-life guidance you can use immediately.

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Connect with Jim Priest on LinkedIn.

Alton Carter

Keynote Speaker

Alton Carter is a Career Development Specialist at Meridian Technology Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. He is the author of The Boy Who Carried Bricks and Aging Out which are books about his life journey from foster care through adulthood, as well as the author of two children's books, The Boy Who Dreamed Big and The Boy Who Went to the Library. He received his Bachelor’s Degree at Oklahoma State University and is using his story to inspire youth and adults to do all they can to “make the world a better place.” He makes his home in Stillwater, Oklahoma with his wife Kristin and their five children.


Speaking Topics:

“Equip, Adapt and Respond-Creating Student Survivors”
This workshop will provide teachers an inside look at why students see themselves as victims and provide them with information and tools to reach and change the victim mentality.

Inspiring employees to use their personal stories and experiences to create a fulfilling environment in the workplace. This workshop will help employees find value in what they have been through and use those experiences to create personal ownership in everyday tasks, giving them tools to lay down the burdens that cripple success.



“We had Alton come in and do a presentation over lunch for our Young Agents conference, and everyone loved it. He spoke on his life story and held the audience captive. The next year, we had him come back to our conference to do more of a leadership presentation for a couple of hours. He really excelled and got to dive in deeper into not only his story but how agents can think of our job as going beyond the sell. I have known Alton for more than 25 years now, and I can still say that I absolutely love hearing him speak about life and leadership. He is one of the most influential people in my life and I know once you hear him speak then he will influence your life, too.”–Ryan Teubner, Past Chair of Oklahoma Young Agents Committee; IIABA InVEST Board Member; 2017 IIABA National Young Agent of the Year.


“Best professional development since I began teaching in 1989!"–NW Classen High School Educator, 2019

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Erin Engelke, APR

Keynote Speaker

Erin Engelke is the Executive Director for Calm Waters, a nonprofit in Oklahoma City that serves children and families who have experienced loss due to death, divorce or other significant loss, providing free support groups and other services.

Prior to Calm Waters, Erin served in fundraising and public relations roles for Sunbeam Family Services, Feed the Children, World Neighbors, and MidFirst Bank. She has traveled extensively around the world, including Guatemala, Albania, and Peru and has a heart for seeing children and families thrive no matter where they live.

A graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, Erin serves on the Board of Trustees for The Christian Chronicle, President-Elect for the Public Relations Society of America, past president of the Association of Women in Communications, and an active member of the Junior League of Oklahoma City. Erin’s greatest pride is her family – her husband, son and two daughters.

She is frequently tapped to speak on issues relating to branding, non-profit marketing, and management. Her deepest passion is empowering other working moms to resist the pull to achieve work-life balance, instead seeking a fulfilled life. Her expertise and real-life perspectives have been heard on stages across Oklahoma, including as a TEDx presenter in 2014 and keynote speaker for the Junior League of Oklahoma City Leadership Development training, Metro Tech Health Occupations Students of America Conference, OSU-OKC’s Leadership Conference and the Oklahoma City Working Mom Summit. She is a writer and blogger, most recently launching her own website

Erin was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from Oklahoma Christian University, PR Professional of the Year from the Public Relations Society of America, The Journal Record Achievers Under 40 2010 honor, is a 2013 40 Under 40 honoree from and 40 Under 40 Honoree from Oklahoma Magazine. She is also accredited in public relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America.

Speaking Topics:

Living The Unbalanced Life
Work/life balance has been debated for decades, yet it seems as though we as women are no closer to finding it. We've juggling home, kids, careers, community obligations and, hopefully, some time to just enjoy life.  But what is balance exactly? Would we know we had it if we achieved it? Be inspired as  Erin Engelke, Executive Director for Calm Waters and mom of three, answers these questions, and many more, challenging you to think about this topic in a new and unconventional way.

Persistence in the Pursuit
How many times have you given up on a goal or dream because something stood in your way…another person, your own fear or a lack of direction? Erin Engelke brings clarity and confidence to the need for persistence in the pursuit of our personal and professional goals, presenting thoughtful, well-defined tools to hold firm and see your dreams come to life.

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Thomas Hill

Keynote Speaker

Thomas Hill III is Chief Executive Officer of Kimray, Inc. As the grandson of Kimray’s founder, Garman Kimmell, Thomas grew up around the family business and manages the family-owned company with a sense of stewardship and heritage.

In 1948, Kimray revolutionized pressure regulation in the oil and gas industry by introducing a three-inch pilot-operated gas back-pressure regulator. The company has since grown to be a globally-known manufacturer of a comprehensive line of reliable, smart, and inventive American-made control equipment for safely and efficiently producing oil and gas. Having worked in virtually every department, Thomas has an intimate knowledge of the processes and people involved from start to finish.

Thomas earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Oklahoma State University. He and his wife have been married for over 30 years and have six children. When he is not doing something with his family, working at Kimray, or sharing his story with others, you will find Thomas reading and writing, collecting LAMY fountain pens, and learning something about everything.

Thomas grew up in a high-performing family, which shaped his belief that people are worth what they can accomplish. This sent Thomas on a long and unfulfilling journey of pursuing success by constantly doing bigger and better things. Life eventually spun out of control, and Thomas reached a dead end. Unfortunately, this meant Kimray hit rock bottom at the same time.

Thomas’s story does not end there. Through significant pain and loss, he began the long and difficult road of recovery that transformed his life and leadership. Today, Thomas enjoys sharing his story with others who can benefit from the lessons he has learned. He is committed to carrying the message of Recovering Leadership to other “addict leaders” and practicing these principles in daily life.


Speaking Topics

Recovering Leadership:
Creating a healthy, purposeful, and energizing workplace culture



“Thomas Hill is a student and faculty favorite to speak at our Liberal Arts leadership class on the campus of Oklahoma State University—Oklahoma City. We have been fortunate to have him in our class multiple times and listen to his amazing leadership story as it unfolds.”–Robin A. Scott, Professor, Oklahoma State University—Oklahoma City

"Thomas's transparent articulation of his journey stands as a model to the real-life confrontation with challenge and transformation towards ethics of one of our community leaders. His story is a living example of action, failure, and reorientation that models ethics in our state. Thank you OK Ethics for inviting him to share his story with our city and state!"–Brent La Vigne, Vice President of University Relations, Southern Nazarene University

"The message was so very inspiring. It resonated with me from so many different perspectives but primarily from the perspective of' Am I doing all that I can to influence character and integrity at the top of our organization?' Even days after the presentation I found myself changing processes and procedures in order to demonstrate our commitment to treating others with dignity and respect regardless of their situation. My batteries were recharged!!! I'm committing myself to do more to influence character and integrity from the top down."–Bill Turner, Vice President of Human Resources, Valir Health

"I believe Mr. Hill is the first speaker who has stated that all people have intrinsic value. I love that! I still have a lump in my throat. If everyone believed that with all of their hearts, what a wonderful world this would be. As a person who doesn't fit the stereotypical "all that" description, it was heartwarming to hear such respect for all life. I hope Mr. Hill speaks again soon!"–Anonymous

"I found that the presentation really gave me things to think about. Thomas Hill is an excellent storyteller, and I am excited to read the book. I'm glad we went!"– Pam Mowry

"Excellent presentation - was blown away by his transparency."–Anonymous

"I most especially enjoyed Thomas' integrity in sharing his personal journey; he certainly did not attempt to glamorize it! A couple of take-away that reinforced my personal beliefs and values: I) People are intrinsically valuable; 2) Changes must be transformative, not tactical. I have already shared most of his key points with other team members."–Anonymous

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