Keynote Speakers

Brendan McDonough

Granite Mountain Hotshot and
Subject of the Film Only the Brave


Brendan McDonough’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. A heroin addict with a daughter on the way, McDonough was facing a bleak future. After recovering from that addiction, he was given a chance to completely change his life and serve a higher purpose as a member of an elite squad of firefighters. Through painstaking work, unshakeable faith and devotion to his new family, Brendan became an invaluable member of the “Granite Mountain Hotshots.”

After surviving the Yarnell Hill Wildfire and an unfathomable loss of 19 of his fellow firefighters in 2013, Brendan McDonough suffered from bouts of deep depression and intractable Post-Traumatic Stress. Nationwide, it was the greatest loss of firefighter lives since the 9/11 attacks. But the family who needed him, his faith in God, and the memory of his brothers’ sacrifice inspired him to keep living through his darkest moments and pushed him to begin helping others. McDonough’s story of struggle and redemption leaves audiences uplifted, encouraging them to become their best selves and to seek out support when struggling.

The story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots came to the silver screen with the release of Only the Brave in October 2017. The film, directed by Joseph Kosinski, stars Josh Brolin, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Kitsch, and Jennifer Connelly. McDonough was portrayed by Miles Teller.

David L. Cook, Ph.D.

Sport and Performance Psychology
Speaker, Coach, Author and Film-Maker

David Cook is a speaker, peak performance coach, author, and film-maker in the field of Sport and Performance Psychology.  He served as "Mental Training Coach" for the San Antonio Spurs from 1996 – 2004 that included two World Championships. He has coached performers from the PGA (over 100 players), NBA (two NBA MVP’s, David Robinson and Tim Duncan), NFL, MLB, Olympics, and collegiate national championship ranks.  His business clients have included Valero, Insperity, Exxon Mobil, Sprint, HP/Compaq, USAA, and many other Fortune 500 companies.  

In 2006 he released his best selling novel, Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia.  This book was made into a movie, Seven Days in Utopia, summer of 2010 with academy award winners Robert Duvall and Melissa Leo and was released in theaters across the country Sept. of 2011. He served as Executive Producer on this project and President and Chairman of the Board of Utopia Films the Production Company. David’s newest book, “greatness,” has strategically by-passed the typical publishing model becoming his most successful literary project to date.  

David completed his Ph.D. in Applied Sport and Performance Psychology from the University of Virginia in 1984.


Derek B. Williams

Chairman of the Independent
Community Bankers of America (ICBA)
  President and CEO of Century Bank & Trust in Milledgeville, Ga., Williams has served ICBA and the community banking industry for many years. Williams serves in many leadership roles at ICBA. He is chairman of the ICBA Executive Committee and board of directors. He is a member of ICBA’s Federal Delegate Board and its Policy Development and Nominating committees. He serves on the ICBA ThinkTECH Selection Committee and is Executive Committee liaison to the Bank Innovation and Solutions Committee and the Large Community Bank Council.

Williams previously served on the Executive Committee as treasurer for 2016-18 and also served three years on the FDIC Community Bank Advisory Committee.

Active in his local community, Williams serves as chairman of the Communities in Schools of Milledgeville, Baldwin County; vice chairman of the Milledgeville Baldwin County Development Authority; and member of the Middle Georgia Regional Commission Council. He also previously served as chairman of the American Cancer Society of Muscogee County in Columbus, Ga., is a past chairman of the Community Bankers Association of Georgia, and is former treasurer of the Milledgeville Rotary Club.

Fireside Chat

Jelena McWilliams

Former Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


Charles Cooper

Current Banking Commissioner of Texas

Jelena McWilliams was sworn in as the 21st Chairman of the FDIC on June 5, 2018. Ms. McWilliams was Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and Corporate Secretary for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. At Fifth Third Bank she served as a member of the executive management team and numerous bank committees including: Management Compliance, Enterprise Risk, Risk and Compliance, Operational Risk, Enterprise Marketing, and Regulatory Change.

Prior to joining Fifth Third Bank, Ms. McWilliams worked in the U.S. Senate for six years, most recently as Chief Counsel and Deputy Staff Director with the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and previously as Assistant Chief Counsel with the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

From 2007 to 2010, Ms. McWilliams served as an attorney at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, where she drafted consumer protection regulations, reviewed and analyzed comment letters on regulatory proposals, and responded to consumer complaints.

Before entering public service, she practiced corporate and securities law at Morrison & Foerster LLP in Palo Alto, California, and Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells LLP) in Washington, D.C. In legal practice, Ms. McWilliams advised management and boards of directors on corporate governance, compliance, and reporting requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. She also represented publicly- and privately-held companies in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, strategic business ventures, venture capital investments, and general corporate matters.

Ms. McWilliams graduated with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in political science, and earned her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

  Charles G. Cooper was appointed Texas Banking Commissioner by the Texas Finance Commission on December 1, 2008. His career in the banking industry spans almost 50 years and includes senior level positions in both the public and private sectors.

As Texas Banking Commissioner, his responsibilities include the chartering, regulation, supervision, and examination of 214 Texas state-chartered banks (as of December 31, 2022) with aggregate assets of approximately $426.6 billion. In addition, the Department supervises trust companies, foreign bank agencies and branches, prepaid funeral licensees, money service businesses, and perpetual care cemeteries. He has served in various positions with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS). He was elected Chairman in 2016 and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus. In September 2018, state bank supervisors appointed him to serve as the state banking representative on the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) for a two-year term. He was re-appointed to this position in September 2020 and 2022. The Commissioner concluded his service on December 31, 2022, after representing state banking regulators’ perspective on several important issues, including climate-related financial risk and state-federal pandemic coordination. He also serves as the state representative on the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC) and is heavily involved in promoting cybersecurity efforts in the financial sector.  

Mr. Cooper began his career in banking in 1970 with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the Dallas Region. He made the transition to the private sector in 1982 and since then has served as a banking executive, board member, educator, and professional consultant to the industry. 

A native Texan, Mr. Cooper holds a BBA degree in Finance and Economics from Baylor University and is also a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU.