Val Demings & Chris Christie

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Val Demings

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  • U.S. Representative (D-FL, 2017-2023)
  • First Female Police Chief for the City of Orlando, FL
  • Served on House Committees on Judiciary, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Oversight and Government Reform

Former Congresswoman and Orlando Police Chief Val Demings is a rising political star who has made an impact with her message, “everyone counts, and everyone is accountable.” A lifelong public servant, Demings broke numerous glass ceilings in her rise through the Orlando Police Department, her election to Congress, her appointment to prosecute the first impeachment of former president Donald Trump, her campaign for Senate in Florida, and her consideration as a potential running mate to President Joe Biden. She is heralded as a tireless champion for public safety, civil rights, the rule of law, and the American Dream – Demings shares her perspective and insights as a riveting keynote speaker.

Demings served as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 10th District from 2017-2023, and held positions on numerous House Committees including Judiciary, Intelligence, Homeland Security, and Oversight and Government Reform. Demings was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and New Democratic Caucus, as well as a member of the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Review Board and the Elections Security Taskforce, to name just a few. At sought-after events with groups including the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the Orlando Economic Partnership, League of Women Voters, 92nd Street Y, and many others, Demings shares her uplifting and inspiring vision for the promise of what America could be, if we have the courage to fight for it.

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Chris Christie headshot

Chris Christie

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  • Former Governor of New Jersey
  • Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey
  • Managing Partner, Christie 55 Solutions
  • Appointed Chairman, President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

55th New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is a high-profile figure in U.S. politics. He spent his two terms in office emphasizing the issues of fiscal responsibility, pension, health benefit reform, education reform, and the opioid crisis gripping his state and the nation. He also devised the state’s groundbreaking response to super-storm Sandy, leading the rebuilding of the state’s housing, infrastructure, and public schools, setting a bipartisan example for storm recovery. Gov. Christie is currently a Senior Legal and Political Commentator for ABC News and the Managing Member of the Christie Law Firm and Christie 55 Solutions, LLC. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Trump Presidential Transition Committee. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller Let Me Finish, detailing his life and career in New Jersey and as a candidate for President. In his book What Would Reagen Do?, Gov. Christie reflects on the past, present, and future of U.S. leadership. Lauded for his trademark charisma and candor, Gov. Christie provides an in-depth understanding of what is happening in the nation’s capital and what it means for your industry, organization, and employees.

Gov. Christie highlights achievable solutions and unrelenting leadership which will help move us forward and help solve the most pressing issues in Washington. Governor Christie currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Mets, appointed by owner Steve Cohen, Pacira Pharmaceuticals, and Saker Holdings. His insights have been sought by hosts such as Concordia, Motorola Solutions, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute, and more.

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Biography

Val Demings's Biography

“Everyone counts, and everyone is accountable,” says Val Demings. Today, she’s a lifelong public servant who broke numerous glass ceilings in her rise through the Orlando Police Department, her election to Congress, her appointment to prosecute the (first) impeachment of former president Donald Trump, her campaign for Senate in Florida, and her consideration as potential running mate to President Joe Biden.

Val Butler Demings learned from her parents about the American Dream. They didn’t have much: two parents and seven children in a small wood-framed house in Jacksonville. Her mother Elouise Butler worked as a maid; her father James as a janitor, landscaper, and orange picker — as many jobs as it took to get by. “Work hard and play by the rules,” they taught her. ”Have faith.” “Treat others as you want to be treated.” “Never tire of doing good.” In America, these were the building blocks of a successful life.

She took her first job at 14 as a dishwasher. Became the first in her family to go to college, showing up with $50 in her pocket and working at a fast food restaurant to pay her way to a B.S. in Criminology from Florida State University and a later Master’s in Public Administration. She became a social worker, working to protect children in broken homes. Then, dismayed at a system that was leaving too many families behind, she signed up to become a police officer — an officer with a social worker’s heart.

It was a tough path, and tougher still in the 80s for a woman and Black American in a profession that had few of either. But she determinedly pushed forward, graduating from the police academy as class president, receiving the Board of Trustees’ Award for Overall Excellence, and earning the reputation of a bold, creative cop willing to take on conventional thinking and the toughest parts of the city.

Chief Demings served 27 years and at every rank level in the department. She commanded the Special Operations division and handled the department’s highest-profile tasks. She coordinated the response of the Airport Division on 9/11. And in 2007, she made history when she was appointed to serve as the city’s first female Chief of Police.

The eyes of the city were on her. The financial crisis was squeezing budgets. But by taking the tough fights head-on, she did more with less, kept officers on the street, and crushed violent crime, reducing it by 40%.

By making the Orlando community a partner of the department, Chief Demings made the concept of “protect and serve” a tangible presence in Orlando’s most dangerous neighborhoods. She launched innovative programs like Operation Positive Direction, a mentoring program that empowers at-risk students through tutoring, community service, and positive incentives. She also launched Operation Free Palms, a project focusing on rejuvenating Orlando's most crime-ridden housing complex, the Palms Apartments. By focusing on unorthodox strategies like access to childcare, building playgrounds, a GED program, and job skills training, she improved the quality of life in Orlando’s most distressed community.

In 2016, Chief Demings was elected by the voters of Florida’s 10th District to serve in Congress. She swiftly gained a reputation as a tireless champion for public safety, civil rights, the rule of law, and the American Dream that had given her a chance to succeed. She gained widespread acclaim for her conduct as a deliberative and justice-focused impeachment manager during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

In Congress, she served on the House Committees on Judiciary, Intelligence, Homeland Security (chairing the Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery) and Oversight and Government Reform. She was a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Women’s Caucus, and New Democratic Caucus, a member of the Law Enforcement Congressional Badge of Bravery Review Board and the Elections Security Taskforce, and served as Assistant and Regional Whip for the House Democratic Caucus, Co-Chair of Candidate Recruitment for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.

Demings holds an honorary doctorate of laws from Bethune-Cookman University, as well as honorary doctorates from Florida Technical College and City College Fort Lauderdale. Rep. Demings is an active member of St. Mark A.M.E., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Orlando Chapter of the Links, Inc., NAACP Silver Life Member, Florida Bar Citizens Advisory Committee, Florida Police Chiefs, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, National Congress of Black Women, and numerous other affiliations.

Val Demings and her husband Jerry Demings (currently serving as Mayor of Orange County) have been blessed with three children and five grandchildren. When she’s not fighting for our democracy and spending time with her family, she rides her Harley-Davidson Road King Classic.

Through all of it, she has never tired of doing good, the lesson taught to her by her parents in their home in Jacksonville. She has never given up on the promise of what America could be, if we have the courage to fight for it.

Chris Christie's Biography

Chris Christie was inaugurated as the 55th Governor of the State of New Jersey on January 19, 2010. He was re-elected with 60% of the vote in November of 2013 and served two terms as Governor.

He was a Republican candidate for President in both 2016 and 2024.

Governor Christie was elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2014, leading the organization to the election of 31 Republican Governors.

In 2017, President Donald J. Trump appointed Governor Christie as Chairman of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. The Commission issued a final report on November 1, 2017.

As Governor, he was the lead plaintiff in challenging the federal prohibition on sports gambling. His six-year fight concluded with a win before the U.S. Supreme Court in May of 2018.

Prior to his service as Governor, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and he served as the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey from January 2002 to December 2008.

In 2019, he authored The New York Times bestseller, Let Me Finish, about his life and his candidacy for President. In 2021, he authored Republican Rescue, dealing with his prescription for the future of the national GOP. In February, 2024 he will release his third book,What Would Reagen Do?, about Reagan’s leadership.

He is the Managing Member of the Christie Law Firm and Christie 55 Solutions, LLC in Morristown, NJ.

Governor Christie also serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Mets, appointed by owner Steve Cohen, Pacira Pharmaceuticals in Parsippany, NJ, and Saker Holdings in Middletown, NJ.

Governor Christie married his wife Mary Pat in 1986. They have four children: Andrew, Sarah Anne, Patrick and Bridget. They currently reside in Mendham and Bay Head, New Jersey.