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Upcoming Lectures

On Monday, August 24, 2015, The John Ben Shepperd Public Shepperd Public Leadership Institute will hold a very special Distinguished Lecture. It will take place at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center at 7:00 PM. At that time, we will bring to the Permian Basin Mr. Alex Sheen – a young but great leader who knows how to keep promises. He is changing our world one promise at a time. He is modeling the leadership behaviors we talk about every day. He will be a great blessing to the Basin and have a huge impact on all of us. Mark your calendars with this event – it will truly change your life. As always, this extraordinary event is free, open to the public – no tickets or reservations required.


Alex is the founder of a non-profit organization called, “because I said I would.” Because I said I would is a social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Their goal is to build a community of people who are driven to help others through the strength of determination.

Meet Alex Sheen

ca-p-qanda-02Regardless of your age, gender ethnicity or profession, we all understand the importance of a promise. A promise is elemental to humanity. Alex Sheen would come to realize this after a tragedy in his life. On September 4, 2012, Alex would hold his father’s hand as he passed away from small cell lung cancer. Alex was asked to deliver his father’s eulogy. His father’s best quality was being a man of his word. When his dad promised, he delivered. At his father’s funeral, Alex spoke about the importance of a promise and delivered a eulogy titled “because I said I would” that sparked an international social movement. He encourages people to make commitments on “promise cards” that the organization sends to anyone anywhere in the world at no cost. Since the day Alex’s father died, the organization has distributed over 1.3 million because I said I would promise cards to over 105 different countries. As the youngest manager of an international enterprise software company, Alex submitted his resignation in order to advance because I said I would’s philanthropic mission.

Alex believes in leading by example and makes his own promises to help others. He raised money to send 100 kids with cancer to Disneyland. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, he drove through the night to New York City with disaster relief supplies to help those in need. In the summer of 2013, Alex walked over 240 miles across the entire state of Ohio in 10 days. This was part of a promise he made to raise funds for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, the three Cleveland women who were kidnapped and held captive for 10 years. Through the stories of his promises, Alex has inspired individuals to make life-changing commitments to self-improvement and the betterment of humanity. Alex delivers passionate and thought-provoking speeches about the importance of keeping promises to audiences across the country. He is a two-time TEDx speaker and his work has national headlines on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN, TODAY, The Los Angeles Times, Steve Harvey, NPR, and many other programs.


Sheen now works to better humanity through the importance of a promise in what little ways he can. It started by waking up early before going to work and handwriting letters to people thanking them for requesting promise cards. This dedication continued to develop as he began fulfilling charitable promises. He now gives speeches on behalf of because I said I would in order to fund the work of this nonprofit organization. Alex was born in Toledo, Ohio, and was raised in Powell, Ohio. He graduated from Olentangy High School in 2003 and continued his academic career at Ohio University as a proud Bobcat, where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing. In 2007, Sheen moved to Lakewood, Ohio, where he currently resides with his incredibly adorable dog, Kimchi. He was a corporate strategy lead at Hyland Software until March 2013.

By special arrangement with Ector County ISD, Alex will do two sessions on August 25th in the morning – one at Permian High School and the other at Odessa High School – both primarily for the Junior class. Parents of ECISD students are highly encouraged to attend Alex’s lecture at the WNPAC the night before so that they also can benefit from this powerful message – then talk with their kids about it the next evening.

Every student, faculty, and staff member of all area schools, universities, and colleges should attend the August 24th Sheen session at the WNPAC – 7:00PM. Please address any and all questions about this one-time opportunity and spectacular lecture to Ms. Katie Lopez, JBS Special Events Coordinator, at 432-552-2852.


SPECIAL – CALL TO ACTION: We want you to be active participants in Alex Sheen’s message of promise keeping. Therefore, the Entire month of August will be “Promise Month”. For the 4 weeks leading up to Alex’s lecture, we will do 4 separate “promise weeks”. Each week, you can fill out a promise card and make that promise happen by the following week. What a great month of promise-keeping! Send us pictures and video of you creating and making your promises and JBS will display many of those promise cards in our DLS Featurette Film that precedes Alex’s lecture – we will place them on our web site as well.

JBS Promise Month from JBS Public Leadership Institute on Vimeo.


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