Presentations and activities from ||:Leaders Creating:|| are custom-designed to address the unique challenges facing your organization, with a blend of team-building exercises, experiential learning, group discussions, and keynote presentations. Every workshop is guaranteed to be fun and challenging.

If funding is an issue, please contact us. At LCL, we'll find the win-win.

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Tyson Wooters
Leadership Coach
John Franklin
Leadership Coach

Tyson has been called an entertainer, a comedian, and most importantly an educator. His life mission is to educate people through humor, shared experiences, and win-wins, about the phenomenal power of helping those around you by activating them to help each other.

Although Tyson spent his first career educating in public schools, colleges, and corporate events, these days he serves educators in the classroom, in personal development, and even in retirement.

Tyson lives in Salem, Oregon. He enjoys travel, scuba diving, and hugging strangers, which he has done in 45 U.S. states and 15 countries.

John is an educator in music and leadership who also happens to be a band director, a role that he has served for 22 years in a variety of settings including middle school, high school, small college, large state university, and both private and public institutions. His diverse experiences in developing and growing band programs have provided opportunities for John to learn from his students how to help them become effective peer leaders in order to create positive, intentional, and goal-driven band cultures. John’s work as a leadership clinician ranges from self-development and improvement, effective communication and pedagogical skills, and the application of servant leadership in the music ensemble setting. His materials are adaptable for a variety of settings including large and small groups, one-on-one coaching, virtual and in-person clinics, and for both students and educators of all levels.

Gary Rupert
Leadership Coach

Gary L. Rupert was a music educator for 40 years and was most recently the Band Director at Smithsburg High School in Smithsburg, Maryland where his bands consistently achieved Superior ratings at local, state and national levels. He is a sought-after conductor and adjudicator in the areas of symphonic bands and jazz ensembles. An avid blogger whose daily entries are followed by people in over 57 countries, Mr. Rupert is the author of a daily inspirational book for students and teachers, "Today, No Every Day." He is also a sought after speaker on leadership, motivation and creating a positive learning environment.


Mr. Rupert has been named an Outstanding Maryland Music Educator, a Teacher of Excellence in both the Frederick and Washington County public schools, and has been twice nominated as a Disney Teacher of Excellence.

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Veronica Juarez
Leadership Coach

Veronica is a communication guru who has taught thousands the art of effective communication in a FUN, high-energy learning environment. She presents research-based methods in ways that are engaging and practical. This award-winning university instructor, wife, and mom-of-four can crack up an audience with her funny stories about life & miscommunication. With over a decade of experience as a public speaker and working in higher education, Veronica has a proven record of helping people create better organizations, workplaces, & families.

Dr. Nikki Gross
Leadership Coach

Dr. Nikki Gross serves as the Assistant Director of Athletic Bands at Auburn University. In addition to her work with the Auburn University Marching Band and Basketball Bands, Dr. Gross is an associate conductor for the Concert Band and an instructor of music appreciation.

Prior to her appointment at Auburn she served as Director of Athletic Bands at Indiana State University, marching and concert band director at the University of Dayton, and Assistant Director of Bands at West Virginia University. During her career she has taught courses within the music education curriculum, general music elective courses, and has served as a supervisor for student teachers.

Dr. Gross is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and drill writer and has written for high schools and colleges such as West Virginia University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Dayton, Indiana State University, and Elon University. She serves on the Board of Directors of the John Phillip Sousa Foundation and holds membership in the College Band Director’s National Association. Dr. Gross has also been a staff member with Mid-Atlantic Camps (Richmond, VA) since 1992 and has served as lead instructor for the drum major area since 1998.

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James Keller
Leadership Coach

James is a humble servant-leader with a decade of experience recruiting musicians for the military. He offers an extraordinary course on how to build a sustainable recruiting program for any collegiate band program.

Dr. Zachary E. Shirley
Leadership Coach
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Micah Brusse
Leadership Coach

Dr. Zachary E. Shirley serves as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader for Cambium Assessment, Inc. (CAI). In his role, Dr. Shirley oversees the DEI efforts and strategic plans for the company, while also providing training and education around DEI initiatives to members of the organization along with direction and support to the Diversity & Inclusion Council and employee resource groups. Prior to his role at CAI, he served as a Partner Success Manager at Mainstay, where he worked with a portfolio of 28 institutions of higher education. 

Prior to making the pivot into the EdTech industry, Dr. Shirley spent 16 years as an administrator within the field of higher education, with roles focused on student engagement, leadership development, diversity and inclusion initiatives, mentorship initiatives for marginalized populations, and programming. 

A native and current resident of Dallas, Texas, Dr. Shirley earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education/English from Paul Quinn College (2005), a Master of Science in Higher Education/Counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce (2006), and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education from the University of North Texas (2014).

Micah Brusse is a marching percussion specialist from the Pacific Northwest who currently resides in Oregon City, OR. He has been the Percussion Caption Supervisor for the Oregon Marching Band (University of Oregon) since 1998 and has served in the same role with the Seattle Cascades Drum & Bugle Corps since 2017. Previous teaching experience includes percussion instruction with the Blue Knights (1999-2001) and the Blue Devils (2002-2005) as a snare technician; he has also worked with the Oregon Crusaders and OC Indoor as battery coordinator and arranger, respectively, in addition to working with Evergreen High School in Vancouver, WA from 2007 through 2016. As a performer, Micah was a member of the Oregon Marching Band from 1993-1997 and the Blue Devils in 1995 and 1997. Micah is a proud endorser of Remo, Vic Firth, Yamaha, and Zildjian.

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Jackie Gilley
Leadership Coach

Jackie Gilley is a native of Stratford, Texas, and was the band director at Monroney Middle School in Midwest City, OK, for 29 years.  She also taught color guard at Midwest City H.S. for 18 years.  Her first job was in Miami, Texas, teaching art, band, and yearbook.  Jackie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Ceramics and her Masters of Music Education degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State University.  She is also accredited in Secondary Education Administration from the University of Central Oklahoma. 

Ms. Gilley earned accreditation in 2002 as a “National Certified Teacher” in Instrumental Music, and she was also “Monroney JHS Teacher of the Year” in 1992 and 2003.  In 2012, Jackie was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association Hall of Fame.  In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Hall of Fame and was awarded “OKMEA Exemplary Teacher” in 2013.  She is past president of the Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu International Bandmasters Fraternity and also a member of OMEA, OBA, MENC, and WIBDA.

Ms. Gilley has been an adjudicator for Winter Guard International, Drum Corps International, Bands of America/Music for All, the Texas Color Guard Judges Association, and Oklahoma Music Adjudicators Association. She also judged for Drum Corps Japan, the Calgary Stampede, and numerous band, guard, and drum line competitions throughout the US.