General (Ret.) Vinny Boles
Gen. Vincent Boles is a career Army officer with over 35 years of experience. Highlights include managing the nation’s $27 billion ammunition account, assuming command of the Army’s War Reserve equipment six weeks before the attacks of 9-11, and flexing into operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and other locations, as well as deployment to Kuwait in preparation for the invasion of Iraq with 142 personnel, growing to a force of 8,000 soldiers, civilians and contractors in 90 days. From Kuwait, the General was forward deployed into Iraq where he assumed command of the 16,000 personnel responsible for providing all logistical support and services to the 150,000 members of the coalition. Following redeployment from combat operations, Gen. Boles led the training of 120,000 soldiers before his final Army assignment, serving as the Army’s Chief Operating Officer for Logistics Operations, overseeing the logistics strategy for the 1.1 million soldier Army. Today, Gen. Boles is president of Vincent E. Boles Inc., a leadership and logistics consulting service.
United States Navy Flight Surgeon and NASA Astronaut (Ret.)
Captain Jerry Linenger is a retired United States Navy flight surgeon and NASA astronaut. A Naval Academy graduate, he holds doctorates in both medicine and research methodology, as well as dual master's degrees in Policy and Systems Management. He has also been awarded three honorary doctorate degrees in science. Linenger was awarded the 2013 “Trailblazer Award” from WSU School of Medicine for his lifelong contributions to medical research and to the advancement of medicine.
During what has been reported to be one of the most dangerous and dramatic missions in space history, Linenger spent nearly five months aboard the Russian space station Mir. He faced numerous life-threatening events, including repeated failure of critical life-support systems, a near-collision between the space station and an incoming re-supply spacecraft and computer failures that sent the space station tumbling uncontrollably through space. As if these problems were not enough, he narrowly survived a raging out-of-control fire that was later described as the most severe fire ever aboard an orbiting spacecraft.
In spite of these challenges, Linenger and his two Russian crewmates accomplished all mission goals: shuttle docking, space walking, a Soyuz fly around and all 120 of the science experiments. In completing the mission, he logged 50 million miles, the equivalent distance of over 110 round trips to the moon, traveling at a speed of nearly 18,000 miles per hour. He was the first American ever to undock from a space station in a Russian Soyuz capsule and the first American to do a spacewalk in a Russian spacesuit. At mission completion, Linenger held the endurance record for the longest time in space for an American man. In 2008, NASA awarded Linenger the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest award conferred by NASA, citing his courage and outstanding service to our country.
Linenger is author of the books Off the Planet, which chronicles his time in space; and Letters from Mir: An Astronaut's Letters to His Son. He collaborated with National Geographic Explorer on The Angel Effect, a documentary revealing how he was able to endure the solitary conditions of his mission and the science behind the "Third Man Factor." He is a founding board member of the global freshwater think tank Circle of Blue and has been awarded the 2012 Royal Canadian Geographical Society's Gold Medal in recognition of his remarkable achievements in space. He has appeared in numerous documentaries seen on Discovery, Nova, History Channel, PBS and National Geographic Television. As a space analyst, Linenger is seen frequently on NBC's Today, Nightly News, as well as on various CBS, CNN, PBS and FOX news shows. He has also worked behind the scenes as scientific advisor to various futuristic voyages to Mars films. In 2016, Linenger was prominently featured in Discovery’s eight-part series, Secret Space Escapes, and is presently narrating a National Geographic program focusing on Planet Earth. A full-feature movie based on his book and his life is also currently being filmed.
In his free time, Linenger enjoys bicycling, ice hockey, swimming, and stand-up paddle-boarding. He now lives back on the planet in northern Michigan with his wife, Kathryn, and their four children.
Chris Maslin, MBA, SPHR
Sr. Director, Talent & Organizational Development
Biltmore Center for Professional Development
Chris is the Senior Director of Talent & Organizational Development for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC, and also serves as the Director of the Biltmore Center for Professional Development. His work includes oversight of recruitment, hiring, training, talent management, and strategic planning. Additionally, he provides overall direction and guidance for the professional development of Biltmore’s 2,400 employees, with the objective of maximizing growth and profitability as well as day-to-day leadership and management.
Chris is well suited to successfully position any company in these fast-paced, highly competitive times. Over the past 15+ years, he has created and implemented modern training programs for a variety of age groups and learning styles. Chris excels in both leadership development and strategic/long-term planning. He also provides informative and entertaining facilitation in both individual and group settings with an audience that ranges from front-line staff to CEOs.
Chris brings a fresh perspective to each group with whom he works, customizing programs to suit specific outcomes, helping clients drive results. Using a combination of e-learning and traditional methods, he has streamlined Biltmore’s internal education programs as well as its talent management and employee engagement strategies. Chris has delivered programs to numerous Fortune 500 companies, providing actionable take-aways for cultural transformation.
Chris holds BS and MBA degrees with Beta Gamma Sigma distinction. He also holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources certification from the HR Certification Institute. Chris is a member of the Association for Talent Development and The Society for Human Resource Management. He has served on the North Carolina Travel Industry Association Education Task Force and was recognized as one of Asheville’s “40 Under 40” emerging business leaders by Mountaineer Publishing. He currently serves on the North Carolina Chamber HR/Employment Committee, Chief Learning Officer Business Intelligence Board, the Western Carolina University Hospitality & Tourism Advisory Board, as well as a number of non-profit boards in the Asheville area.