2017 SAAB National Conference Faculty Members

Dr. Alex O. Ellis
Tied To Greatness


Dr. Alex Ellis is transforming lives, one redefined image at a time. An award-winning author, speaker, activist and connoisseur of style, Dr. Ellis is turning heads across the nation through his inspirational message of building a positive image from the inside out.  He has been featured on CNN, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, The 700 Club, Black Enterprise’s Our World Television Show, BET, and the Steve Harvey Morning Show.  Honored with the distinguished 40-Under-Forty award from the Network Journal, Dr. Ellis heralds a powerful message to his audience to “never underestimate the power of your image.”

Dr. Ellis passionately delivers a fresh perspective that stimulates human potential – a lesson he shares from his own personal testimony of overcoming a battle with low self-esteem. He has taken his message to global audiences including: Disney Dreamer’s Academy, the National Urban League, National Black MBA Association, United Negro College Fund, Gates Millennium Scholars Program and Compound Foundations Future CEO Academy (founded by R&B Superstar Neyo).  Whether speaking to audiences in Frankfurt, Germany or spending one-on-one time with young men during nationally known TV personality Steve Harvey’s Mentoring Weekend, Dr. Ellis travels extensively sharing his message of defying mediocrity.

This New Jersey native proves to be one of this era’s leading men by accepting his responsibility of social impartation. His non-profit organization Tied To Greatness, is an international mentoring initiative that has impacted more than 7,000 inner city high school males in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Ellis has called men to take action by role modeling an alternative image of success and teaching young men to convey their inner and outer personalities with a sense of strong character, pride and dignity. As CEO of Simply Ellis, a custom clothing company, Dr. Ellis understands the significance of image and style.  His award winning book: Restoring the Male Image…A Look From the Inside Out urges men to take a deeper look at themselves to determine if their personal brand is a reflection of their authentic self.

Dr. Ellis received a Bachelor of Science Degree at North Carolina A & T State University. He graduated Cum Laude from New Brunswick Theological Seminary with a Masters in Theological Studies, and earned his Doctorate Degree in Urban Ministries. Dr. Ellis is a member of the Disney Dreamer’s Academy Speaker Resource Group, The United Way Board of Trustees, The Berkeley College Fashion Advisory Board, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and a Leadership Newark Fellow.


Mr. Brian Heat
Motivational Speaker, Educator, Entrepreneur. Radio Show Host

Brian Heat, Motivational Speaker, Rockstar Educator, Entrepreneur and Radio Show Host with Rock The World Radio has been electrifying colleges, universities and groups across the country as the new face of inspirational speaking on topics such as “Living a Life of Extraordinary Significance”, “Igniting Personal Passion”, “Overcoming Adversity Despite the Odds” and “Coal to Diamonds: The Explosive Power of Personal Transformation”.

With 14 exciting years as a Classroom Teacher, School Leader and College Success Program Developer Brian Heat empowers his audiences to fearlessly chase their dreams despite the obstacles and lack of self-belief they may face. From keynotes to workshops, panel discussions, to groundbreaking live inspirational stage performances; Brian Heat leaves individuals incredibly strengthened, purpose driven and ready to take on the world.

Through Brian’s profound ability to push the boundaries of inspiration, his message has touched the lives of thousands at engagements such as the University of Akron’s Black Male Summit 2012/2013, BET’s HIV/AIDS Campaign, American University’s Performing Arts Conference, NBC4’s Youth Empowerment Forum, Armstrong Atlantic State University’s Leadership Summit , Bronx Community College’s Freshman Convocation, Miss Black USA Scholarship Pageant and Savannah State University for the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals Conference along with hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Brian Heat has dedicated his life to helping others unleash their hidden potential, breakthrough personal barriers, and discover their own God given talents. His infusion of high-octane motivation and cinematic themes has developed an uncanny Rockstar Educator persona that truly makes him one of a kind.


Mr. Robert Jackson 
Robert Jackson Consulting

Robert Jackson is author of The No More Excuses Curriculum, featuring the books, Black Men Stand Up!, The Workbook: A Boys Guide to Manhood, The Workbook: A Girls Guide to Womanhood, Solutions to Educating Black and Latino Males and Put a Stop to Bullying. He is a nationally renowned speaker, educator, consultant and owner of Lavelle Publishing and Robert Jackson Consulting.

Robert received his BS, Industrial Technology Degree from Western Kentucky University where he lettered four years in both football and track. After being cut from the NFL Minnesota Vikings, Robert began his teaching career in Indianapolis Public Schools. Wanting to make a bigger impact on education, he stepped out of the classroom and onto the road to conduct professional development workshops and keynotes nationally for educators, parents and students. He has remained deeply rooted in his commitment to serve his community as a mentor and leader, especially on issues facing African-American and Latino Students.

His workshop topics include Building Cultural Awareness and Effective Communication, Solutions and Strategies to Educating Black and Latino Males, Discipline and Accountability, Man Rules, Building Self-Esteem, Put a Stop to Bullying and Effective Parenting.

As a consultant and speaker, Mr. Jackson has created positive change in schools systems nationally, working to bridge the gap between parents, educators, administrators and students. He is an active Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., 100 Black Men and Bachelor Benedict Club. Robert has received numerous awards for his work, including the Bridge Building Award (September 2016) from Collaborate to Save our Sons for his leadership and mentorship toward youth and adults nationally, The Do Something Positive, Be Something Positive Award (November 2016) for his leadership in the community, Civil Rights Justice by Action Youth Award from National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE) (July 2015) for his tireless work with students nationally. He has also been awarded the Key to the City in Miami, Florida. His article, “Helping Black and Latino Males Succeed” was published by ASCD Magazine (September 2016).

Mr. Jackson is also a member of the NFL Players Association.

Robert has presented keynote addresses, seminars and workshops across the US and Canada. School districts include Hawaii Dept. of Ed (Hilo, HI), Alief and Spring ISD (Houston, TX), Duncanville ISD (Dallas TX), Moreno Valley Unified School District (Moreno Valley, CA), Beaufort School District (Beaufort, SC). Colleges include Harvard Graduate School and Texas Southern University. National Conferences include, SDE, ASCD, NCEBC, NABSE, CAAASA and SAAB National Conference.

Robert is married to Tajuana “TJ” Butler-Jackson and they have 3 children.


Mr. Ernesto Mejia
Vice President  & CSO


Ernesto Mejia, the proud son of Mexican immigrants, is a true example of the American dream. Diagnosed with the rare disease of Guillain-Barré Syndrome at the age of 16 that left him temporarily paralyzed, he was not supposed to be a successful student, much less a College Dean of Students.

Through his hardships, Ernesto learned to never give up on life. A founding member of the SLiCK program, Ernesto now speaks to students, parents and teachers about overcoming obstacles and never giving up on the American dream: education.