Two headline speakers coming to Fort Hays State in November

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HAYS, Kan. – A personal story of learning to live according to what is significant and a special Entrepreneur Direct speaker will appear at Fort Hays State University in the same week in November.

Both presentations are free and open to the public.

The first speaker, Pete Smith, an internationally known speaker and coach in the fields of leadership, management, personal growth and development, will deliver an address titled “Dare to Matter: Rising to the Level of Significance” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in the Memorial Union’s Black and Gold Room. His appearance is sponsored by the university’s Management Development Center and community partners.

On Thursday, Nov. 8, Entrepreneur Direct, a speaker series conducted by Fort Hays State’s Center for Entrepreneurship, will feature entrepreneur Peter J. Werth, FHSU alumnus and founder and CEO of ChemWerth Inc., from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. in the Robbin’s Center’s Eagle Communication Hall. FHSU’s Peter Werth College of Science, Technology, and Mathematics is named for him.

Pete Smith developed his guiding principles in answer to the question, “If you disappeared today, what impact would you leave on the world?” He asked himself that question during his recovery from a stroke he suffered in 2010. The stroke changed the direction of his life.

In the aftermath, he says, he thought, “Is this really how I’m going to go out? Did I change anyone’s life? Did I do anything memorable?” He has since used this experience to inspire, educate, and entertain audiences throughout the world on the importance of pursuing significance in their personal and professional lives.

His energetic, edgy, and interactive style is complemented by his ability to provide practical takeaways that actually work, while having a little fun in the process.

Formerly, Smith worked in education as a director of high school programs. He took historically underperforming Mid-Atlantic regional schools to No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 rankings. Earlier in his career, he taught history at the ninth- and 11th-grade levels, and was a Career counselor at the high school level for four years.

The FHSU Management Development Center has partnered with the Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, Sunflower Electric Power Corporation, and FHSU’s Society for Human Resource Management Student Chapter to bring Smith to Hays.

The address begins at 7 p.m.

The day after his presentation, Smith will facilitate two workshops on leadership training.

For more information, contact Hanna Hilker at the MDC, 785-628-4121.

Peter J. Werth’s company, ChemWerth Inc., is a privately held, Connecticut-based corporation founded in 1982. It is a full-service generic drug development and supply company providing high quality active pharmaceutical ingredients to regulated markets worldwide.

Along with his family, he has established the Werth Family Foundation to support various philanthropic causes, specifically in educational, cultural, and medical-related initiatives globally. Werth earned a B.S. degree in chemistry and math from Fort Hays State and an M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Stanford University.

Entrepreneur Direct is a free speaker series conducted by the Center for Entrepreneurship that features successful entrepreneurs in an informal setting accessible to students, faculty and the public. The program is intended to connect students with successful entrepreneurs who have stories and advice to share. A panel asks questions about entrepreneurship and encourages questions and interaction with the audience.

The presentation begins at 10:30 a.m.

For more information, contact David Snow, director of entrepreneurship for the Robbins College, at 785-628-4035 or by email to

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