UNITE Speakers

September 25 & 26, 2024  |  Duluth, MN

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

David Horsager picture

Dr. David Horsager
CEO, Trust Edge Leadership Institute

Dr. David Horsager, MA, CSP, CPAE, is the CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute, Trust Expert in Residence at High Point University, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Trust Edge. David has advised leaders and delivered life-changing presentations on six continents, with audiences ranging from everywhere from FedEx, Toyota, MIT, and global governments to the New York Yankees and the Department of Homeland Security.

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James Dwiggins picture

James Dwiggins
CEO, NextHome

James Dwiggins is the chief executive officer of NextHome, Inc. He’s third-generation in real estate—his grandmother and grandfather, father and mother all in the business. James brings to the table a sharp, innovative, and forward-focused vision. He’s been in the real estate franchise business since 2006, originally joining Realty World Northern California & Nevada as director of technology and strategy, where he was promoted to vice president five years later. In May 2014, he cofounded NextHome (with Tei Baishiki) and ran both brands until 2020, when Realty World International acquired the region back. In January 2015, James (and Tei) launched NextHome as an independent national real estate franchise.

Prior to joining Realty World, James cofounded—also with Tei, a decades-proven partnership—VREO, Inc. developer of groundbreaking enterprise-level internet applications for agents and brokers. VREO pioneered biometric signature software for paperless transactions and garnered numerous industry accolades, including the coveted Inman Innovator Award for its breakthrough technologies. Previously, James cofounded USA Virtual Tours, which he helped to grow nationally until its acquisition in 2001.

James speaks regularly and is a frequent media expert on real estate and other cross-industry franchise and technology advancements. He has been featured as a RISMedia Newsmaker and on the Swanepoel Power 200 list. Franchise Business Review recognized him as the leader of the number-one real estate franchise (and number-one across industries) in owner satisfaction for three years in a row. James is host of the Real Estate Insiders Unfiltered Podcast.

Originally from San Luis Obispo, James grew up playing soccer and went on to join the California state championship team. He studied business and criminal law at Cuesta College. Today, he loves riding horses and racing cars—he met Tei, who he went on to work with for over 20 years, drag racing on a Friday night when they were both teenagers. NextHome is their third company together.

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Sean Carpenter picture
Sean Carpenter
Real Estate Instructor & Entrepreneur

Sean Carpenter is the former Director of Training and Development for NRT Ohio who has been a licensed Realtor® with Coldwell Banker King Thompson since 1998. Sean led a successful career in real estate prior to becoming a branch manager in 2003. He loved the training and coaching part of the job and was elevated to the Agent Development role in 2005. During the 11 years in that role, he was the co-creator of the company’s highly regarded Pro Start Academy, and also developed programs such as the Elevation Workshops, Boost Your Business sessions, B.A.S.I.C Training workshops and co-created the Success Track Coaching Program.

Sean has been recognized as one of Inman News 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate (2013), he’s been one of the Swanepoel’s Top 20 Most Influential Social Media Voices in Real Estate since 2016 and was recently added to Homespotter’s Top 100 List and Contactually’s 10 Influencers to Have on Your Radar.

In the summer of 2016, Sean made the decision to retire as the Director of Agent Development and return to his roots in sales in Central Ohio while seeking to expand his public speaking opportunities on a national and global level. Sean’s hope is to educate, motivate and inspire new agents to achieve the levels of success they desire as they enter the real estate business and continue to encourage and challenge experienced agents to reach their goals and exceed their wildest expectations in the real estate business and life.

Those who bring Sean in to speak will quickly realize he is simply “one of them.” A fellow Realtor®, a husband, a father, a golfer, a music-loving, beer-drinking sports fan who is passionate about sharing with others.

You can usually find Sean on TwitterFacebook, a golf course or just hanging out with people because he truly lives his motto of “build relationships, solve problems and have fun.

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Juan Bendana Headshot
Juan Bendana
Leadership Strategist & Consultant

Juan Bendana is a keynote speaker and leadership strategist who speaks to over 100,000 audience members annually. But that hasn’t always been the case. For years, he struggled with social anxiety and low self-confidence. After spending 10 years researching the art & science of building confidence, he has dedicated his career to helping people turn their own doubt into self-confidence, just like he did.

Confidence Coach to top CEOs, Fortune 100 Leaders, Olympians, Actors and Peak Performers across every industry, Juan Bendana is an internationally recognized keynote speaker that helps leaders navigate uncertainty and exponential change by developing the unwavering confidence to thrive in any environment. One of the most engaging and high energy keynote speakers in North America, Juan brings a decade of experience on stage presenting to category leading companies such as Disney, American Express and Sony Pictures. He is the author of The Confidence Cycle (Penguin Random House, Spring 2025). His Science-backed Framework has helped over 250,000 leaders thrive both personally & professionally. 

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SESSION INSTRUCTORS

Marki Lemons Ryhal Headshot
Marki Lemons Ryhal
Broker, Realtor®, Author, and Real Estate Instructor 

One of 100 speakers selected out of over 1,300 to speak at the REALTOR® Conference & Expo ten times (face-to-face and virtually) with high program evaluations and an INMAN Closing Keynote Speaker. Marki Lemons Ryhal is a licensed Managing Broker, REALTOR®, avid volunteer, Major Investor, President's Circle, Federal Political Coordinator, Podcast Host of Drive with NAR & Social Selling Made Simple, 30 times published author, and 6X International Best-Selling Author. Marki Lemons-Ryhal is dedicated to all things real estate. With 30+ years of marketing and education experience, Marki has taught over 1,000,000 people (face-to-face and virtually) since 1993.  Marki holds a Bachelor of Science in Management from Chicago State University, a Master's in Business Administration from Saint Xavier University, and sixty-four real estate-related licenses, certifications, and designations. 

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Natalie Davis Headshot
Natalie Davis
Realtor®, National Speaker, and Business Coach

Meet Natalie Davis, a dedicated Colorado REALTOR, National Speaker, and Business Coach committed to inspiring professionals, associations and organizations to become intentional industry thought leaders. With her passion for leadership and service, Natalie has worked with Associations and Brokerages to facilitate strategic and business planning, while also teaching various business, professional, and personal development courses, including the NAR At Homewith Diversity and Implicit Bias Override Courses. She is a Ninja Coach and Mastery for Associates Guide for Ninja Selling, helping agents across the country build an evergreen business. In 2023, Natalie served as the President of the Colorado Association of REALTORS ® (CAR), following her previous roles as the National Association of REALTORS ® Member Services Liaison in 2022, 2016 Chair for the Fort Collins Board of REALTORS®, and Board of Director for the local, state, and National Association of REALTORS®. Natalie's dedication to the industry has been recognized through numerous awards, including the South Metro Denver REALTOR® Association 2023 REALTOR® of the Year Award, Colorado Young Professional of the Year Award (2016), Colorado Association of REALTORS® Distinguished Service Award (2016 & 2021), Fort Collins Board of REALTORS® Rookie of the Year Finalist (2012), and Young Professional of the Year (2014).

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