Keynote Speakers


Eric Yarberry is a visionary leader who is passionate about empowering individuals to live independent and meaningful lives. As the President and CEO of World Services for the Blind, he brings his personal experience of overcoming challenges as a person who is blind and inspires his clients to cultivate the courage and ambition needed to achieve their dreams.

World Services for the Blind has been providing life skills and vocational training since 1947. The organization has helped over 17,000 individuals from 50 states and 60 countries pursue their dreams. Their focus on empowering clients to live their lives to the fullest is evident in the range of services they provide.

Eric’s journey with World Services for the Blind began as a volunteer while attending UA Little Rock, and he later became an instructor before being appointed as the Director of Education & Training. Today, as the CEO, he remains committed to the organization’s mission and is determined to help others achieve their full potential. Eric volunteers his time to the Arkansas Association for Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Arkansas School for the Blind Alumni Association, Penny Forward, and serves on various boards within the blindness community to make a positive impact.

As World Services for the Blind continues to evolve to meet the needs of its clients, Eric and his team remain focused on fulfilling the organization’s mission. He believes that anything is possible, and he envisions a future where blind individuals have more opportunities to show up, work hard, and make their community a better place. Eric’s determination and passion to inspire others to overcome challenges and achieve their goals is a testament to his leadership and commitment to making a difference.


Gordon singing and playing the piano.

Blind from birth, with 15 solo recordings, 21 Academy of Country Music Award nominations, two Grammy nominations, a Gospel Music Association Dove Award, and 30 years of touring, including 20 years as a solo artist, Gordon Mote has far surpassed any expectations he ever imagined while growing up in rural Alabama. The singer/songwriter/musician and three-time Academy of Country Music Keyboard/Piano Player of the Year has graced stages internationally with dozens of popular recording artists. Additionally, he has shared the recording studio with even more singers, serving as one of Nashville’s most sought-after producers and musicians. His undeniable talent has made him an award-winning Nashville sessions player in demand for such notable artists as Alan Jackson, George Strait, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Darius Rucker, and Josh Turner to name a few. The list goes on with such names as Pop artists, Lionel Ritchie, Kid Rock, Carrie Underwood, and every notable Gospel artist. His progressive keyboard artistry and smooth, rich vocal ability have made him a favorite among peers and music fans worldwide.

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