The Heffern Lecture

About the Lecturer 

Founder/CEO of Never Fear Being Different (NFBD) Rooney grew up in Union Township in New Castle, PA. He went on to graduate from Westminster College (PA) in 2012. While at Westminster, he was the captain of the football team. He also started the Community Pride Foundation. Then, after four successful 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, he raised enough money for a brand new outdoor basketball court outside of his high school.  After college, he started a Professional American Football Career with stops in Serbia, Brazil, and Poland where he accounted for 39 touchdowns and a Polish National Championship. 

Lecture Description 

Never Fear Being Different is a lecture as well as a movement urging people to make life choices that can be both supportive and motivational for their future goals and dreams. The NFBD movement is a way for people to step out of their comfort zone and achieve tasks they never thought possible.

The motivation came from a frustration with society and a noticeable need to change the way kids are influenced.  The first steps were a kid’s camp where 150 third - sixth graders attended and a leadership program for 125 seventh - twelfth graders.  From there, things took off rather quickly. Rooney became the keynote speaker at fifty school assemblies in six states in a little over a year. NFBD blew up on social media with 100,000 likes on Facebook and 25,000 followers on Instagram. Just recently, Rooney and NFBD Vice President Dave Wright won a competition for entrance into a business incubator in Pittsburgh. NFBD's next step is creating a media platform for teenagers.
About the Heffern Lecture
The Gordon Heffern Business Ethics Lecture was established by Mount Union Trustee Gordon E. Heffern to encourage dialogue about the practical ways in which spirituality can transform the workplace. Heffern, a graduate of the University of Virginia, served as chairman of the board of Society Corporation before retiring in 1987. 


Past Heffern Lecturers


Gordon E. Heffern, former chairman of the board, Society Corporation and James W. Griffith, president and chief executive officer, The Timken Company


F. G. "Buck" Rogers, author of The IBM Way and Getting the Best Out of Yourself and Others


Thomas Petzinger Jr., co-founder and chief executive officer of LaunchCyte LLC, a Pittsburgh-based biotechnology development company


Nancy Hill ’79, President and CEO of American Association of Advertising Agencies


Paul Worstell, president of PRO-TEC Coating Company


Frank Casey, financial expert


Shawn Seipler, executive director and co-founder of Clean the World


Abraham Madkour, executive editor of Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Daily Global.


Gretchen Schuler, Vice President of Insurance Risk Management and Technical Documentation for Invacare Corporation


Jordon Rooney, Founder/CEO of Never Fear Being Different (NFBD) 

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