NAQ is proud to announce the following keynote speakers for our 23rd Annual QDDP Conference:

On August 8, VJ Smith will delight us with his story - "The Richest Man in Town".  This talk is based on the life of 'Marty', a memorable man who ran a cash register at Wal-Mart. He was considered rich because he was loved and respected, but most of all, he was content with every aspect of his life, no regrets. Marty's simple philosophies show what happens when you take the time to be kind and compassionate. All that you give, you get back, and more. Audience members will go on an emotional roller coaster ride... guaranteed!

V.J. Smith is a professional speaker and published author.  He graduated from South Dakota State University in 1978 and spent the decade of the 1980s working for the Allied Signal Aerospace Company in Kansas City.  He returned to his alma mater in 1990, working for six years in the SDSU Athletic Department.  He was appointed Executive Director of the SDSU Alumni Association in 1996.  In January 2007, he left that position to pursue a career in professional speaking.  Smith travels the country and makes over 100 speaking appearances a year.

In March 2014, Meeting and Conventions Magazine named V.J. as one of the favorite speakers of meeting planners throughout America.  He is the author of the best-selling book, “The Richest Man Town.”  The book details Smith’s relationship with a little old man who ran a cash register at a local Wal-Mart.  “That guy changed my life,” Smith says.  Smith is a two time finalist in Toastmasters' International's “World's Championship of Public Speaking.”  He is also the author of, “Can You Hear What I See” and “Jackrabbit Tales.”  He is the President of Life's Great Moments and resides in Brookings, SD.

On August 9, James Rimmer will present "Assisting Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disability to Age Well".  We know that people with intellectual/development disabilities (I/DD) have higher rates of poor health compared to the general population including obesity and poor fitness levels. QDDPs can provide adults with I/DD and/or their family members with simple remedies that will help reduce obesity, improve fitness and prevent a slow decline in health. From the foods we eat to how much we exercise to social interactions to the amount of time spent outdoors, all of these wellness remedies have been proven through research to make dramatic improvements to the health of people who practice them.  So how can QDDPs and caregivers get adults with I/DD to practice them? This presentation will provide straightforward remedies for helping adults with I/DD make small, incremental changes in their life that can have a major overall effect on their health.     

James H. Rimmer, Ph.D, is a Professor in the School of Health Professions and the first Lakeshore Foundation Endowed Chair in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  For over 30 years he has been developing and directing health promotion programs for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) aimed at reducing obesity, increasing physical activity and improving nutrition. Since 1997 he has provided leadership in the development of interdisciplinary research programs in disability, physical activity and health promotion at the University of Illinois at Chicago and now at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He currently serves as director of the UAB-Lakeshore Foundation Research Collaborative and is directing a clinical study examining weight loss in adults with I/DD.  He is the director of the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (, which has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1999 and contains multiple resources applicable to adults with I/DD.