Veteran, Author, Speaker, Investment Banker,
Eternal Adventure Seeker
Major (Retired) Scotty Smiley became the first blind active-duty officer in military history following a face-to-face confrontation with a suicide car bomber in Iraq in 2005. After his injury, Scotty’s faith led him to forgive his attacker and inspired him to rebuild his life while continuing to serve his country in the U.S. Army.
A West Point graduate, he returned there to teach after he earned an MBA from Duke University. He was named the Army Times “Soldier of the Year" and won an ESPY award for “Best Outdoor Athlete.” He is the recipient of a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the Army’s prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award. Following a position in the Gonzaga University ROTC Department, Scotty retired from the military in 2015.
Scotty wrote his book Hope Unseen about his journey through overcoming adversity and now travels the country sharing his message of perseverance, courage, and hope. Ever the adventurer, after the loss of his eyesight he has learned to surf, gone skydiving, climbed Mt. Denali, and became an Ironman. Scotty currently works as an investment banker and CEO of Bellator Asset Managment and is a regular guest on news networks such as NBC, CBS, and Fox. He is married to his high school sweetheart Tiffany. The couple lives in their hometown of Pasco, Washington with sons Grady, Graham, and Baylor.
Scotty Smiley is from Pasco, a small city in Washington State. After high school, he attended the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. After four years, he graduated and moved to Fort Benning, GA and attended Infantry Officer Basic Course and Ranger School. Soon after he moved to Fort Lewis, WA where he led a 45-man platoon.
In 2005, while leading his platoon in Mosul, Iraq, Scotty found himself in front of a suicide car bomber. After the man blew himself up, shrapnel blew through Scotty’s eyes leaving him blinded and temporarily paralyzed. A week later he woke up in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Though questioning his faith, Scotty made a decision to forgive and rebuild his life and continue to serve in the Army, becoming the first blind active-duty officer in military history.
The Army Times named Captain Smiley “Soldier of the Year" in 2007. In 2008, Scotty won the ESPY award for Best Outdoor Athlete. After receiving an MBA from Duke University, Scotty taught the core course in leadership at West Point and then commanded the Warrior Transition Unit at West Point’s Keller Army Medical Center. Scotty is a recipient of the Army’s prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award and holds an honorary PhD from Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, NY. In 2010, Scotty received a “Father of the Year” award in New York and in 2011 received the esteemed Christopher Award that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.
Since then, Scotty attended the Maneuver Captain Career Course in Fort Benning, GA, and then moved to Spokane, WA where he held a position with the Gonzaga University ROTC Department teaching and mentoring America’s future leaders.
After many years of service, Scotty retired from the military in 2015. Over his military career, Major (Retired) Smiley received a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Ranger Tab, Airborne Wings and Combat Diver Qualification Badge.
He currently works as CEO of Bellator Asset Management, out of New York City, as an investment banker for corporations and banks around the world.
With a passion for using his story to build hope in this world, Scotty authored Hope Unseen in 2010 and now travels the country speaking and sharing his message of perseverance, courage and hope.
He is an avid adventurer and has completed the Coeur d’Alene Ironman. Scotty has climbed Mt. Rainer, has gone skydiving and surfing and is always looking for his next chance to try something new.
Scotty is married to his high school sweetheart, Tiffany. The couple lives in Pasco, WA and are the proud parents of Grady Douglas, Graham Elliott, and Baylor Scott.
Tiffany Smiley is currently CEO and Founder of Tiffany Smiley Consulting and President and Co-Founder of Hope Unseen, a highly successful public speaking firm. She has been featured on CBS News, CNN, C-SPAN, Dr. Phil, Fox News, The Katie Couric Show as well as in major publications such as People Magazine, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.
Prior to that, Ms. Smiley served as a triage nurse and in other health professional roles. She is a graduate of Whitworth University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Ms. Smiley has been a fierce advocate for American veterans, working with high-ranking politicians, lobbyists and the President to secure much-needed services. She runs her consultancy and other businesses from Pasco, WA, where she lives with her husband and three sons.
Tiffany Smiley is an author, motivational speaker, media personality and consultant who helps others discover and harness their unique “superpower” by fearlessly confronting and overcoming life’s challenges. Her specialized approach to tackling obstacles head-on has helped men and women across the world rise above the seemingly insurmountable to achieve their most ambitious goals, from entrepreneurs fiercely transforming their vision into reality to c-suite executives driven by global excellence.
Through her speaking to major corporations, non-profits and civic groups, Ms. Smiley’s inspirational, resilience-based teachings provide invaluable tools that break through the status quo and lead to extraordinary results in financial performance, organizational impact and employee well-being and productivity.
Recognizing the special challenges that women face in business, Ms. Smiley has also created the More Than Me conference tour, a live community forum for ambitious “women of vision” to make meaningful connections, share their life-altering stories, realize their true worth and learn how to similarly inspire their family, friends and community. These conferences feature an impressive lineup of accomplished women with real-world stories about achieving the impossible, as well as the opportunity to tap into experts in a variety of fields, including personal development, business coaching, entrepreneurship and financial acumen.
As outlined in all of her platforms, Ms. Smiley's results-driven methods are founded on:
To light a path for others, Ms. Smiley combines her education, training and personal experience as a triage nurse, start-up co-founder and victor in a David-and-Goliath battle against the US government into a powerful, practical guide for succeeding in spite of hardship of any kind — from dealing with life’s daily difficulties to office politics to the worst imaginable tragedy.
Smart Women Smart Money Nebraska Conference Host
John Murante was born February 6, 1982 in Omaha, Nebraska. He is a proud graduate of Skutt Catholic High School and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He married his wife, Melissa, on December 22, 2007, and they have one daughter, Talia. He is the former President of the iconic Big Fred’s Pizza in Omaha.
In 2012, Murante was elected to represent the Gretna-based 49th Legislative District in the Nebraska Unicameral. During his time in the Nebraska Legislature, he served as Chairman of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee as well as Chairman of the Special Committee on Election Technology in 2016. He also sat on the Unicameral’s Transportation Committee.
As a State Senator, he served as the Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures Elections and Redistricting Standing Committee, and on the advisory committee to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.
Treasurer Murante is a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, Gretna Optimists, and serves on the board of Partnership 4 Kids.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Liaison and founding President of SFOF
As President of SFOF he is charged with leading the national organization and collaborating with like-minded state officials to promote fiscally responsible, free market principles to better impact state and federal financial policy. Kreifels is charged with ensuring that SFOF’s fiscal, operational, fundraising, marketing, and communication strategies are effectively implemented.
Kreifels spent five years as Assistant State Treasurer of Kansas. As Assistant State Treasurer he also served as chief of staff - an agency head and deputy to a statewide elected official. He managed all aspects of the Treasurer’s office including scheduling, policy development, legislative, budgeting and personnel.
Kreifels was accountable for an office which processed over $21B annually which is comprised of 42 employees with an annual budget of over $3.5M. He worked with the State Treasurer to create new programs and modernize existing ones to reach out to a diverse set of Kansans with a wide variety of financial education initiatives. He was responsible for identifying innovative ways to help return unclaimed property to Kansans.
Kreifels played an integral role in working with the Kansas 529 Learning Quest program and program manager to develop annual marketing plan which includes television, radio, newsprint, collateral material and other borderless marketing initiatives.
Kreifels continuously sought out ways to increase the use of technology in the office to reduce costs. He directed Emergency Preparedness Operations planning and training for the agency with exposure to FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Kansas Department of Emergency Management.
Kreifels has spent the last 25 years encouraging, advising and working along side various federal, state, and local leaders. Before working for the public sector, Kreifels spent several years in banking.
He attended Kansas State University, received his undergraduate degree from Wichita State University, and his Masters from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. He lends his leadership to several boards and non-profits. He and his wife Melanie recently traveled to a remote part of Ghana, Africa, on a mission trip to attend the grand opening of a school. He and Melanie live in the Kansas City area.
Smart Women Smart Money Conference Emcee
Carolyn Holly comes to the Smart Women Smart Money team from the Treasure Valley of Idaho after being involved with Smart Women Smart Money as its conference emcee for the past 15 years. Holly currently serves as Vice President of Idaho Business for Education. In her role, she is an instrumental part of developing meaningful relationships with business leaders to create a highly educated and skilled workforce.
Carolyn enjoyed a 33 year career at KTVB Channel 7 television in Boise, where she became one of Idaho's most experienced and best known television personalities.
Carolyn has acted as an important representative and volunteer for many Treasurer Valley organizations including Smart Women Smart Money, Boise Public Schools Foundation, Idaho Youth Sports Commission, the Saint Alphonsus Foundation, FUNDSY, the Boise Police Chiefs Citizen Advisory panel and the President of the FACES Foundation.
2D - What to Do When Mom or Dad Dies
It is never easy to lose a parent -- it's even more difficult when you have responsibility as executor of the estate or are power of attorney. Learn about the difference between the two and how to navigate issues regarding the death tax, life insurance, executing wills, and estate plans.