Faith-Based Leadership Conference Canceled Following Speaker's Death

The 2009 Heart of a Leader Conference in Orlando, Fla., has been canceled following the death of one of the event's main speakers.

Kennan Burch, founder of Brand Catalyst Partners and The Dream Builders Network, was scheduled to fill in for Millard Fuller, the millionaire entrepreneur who co-founded the Christian house-building charity Habitat for Humanity, following Fuller's unexpected death earlier this month.

However, despite having expected a full house of 1,300 corporate and community leaders, Orlando-based Lifework Leadership, which organizes the annual event, issued an announcement over the weekend informing the public that the upcoming March 4 event had been "rescheduled" for next year.

"The decision to reschedule this year's conference was made after the sudden death of keynote speaker Millard Fuller," Lifework Leadership President Steven French stated in the announcement.

"Mr. Fuller's death is a great loss for us all, and in his absence, we are unable to provide the level of excellence we have all come to expect from the Heart of a Leader Conference," he added. "Along with Hard Rock Live, we offer our deepest sympathy and prayers to the Fuller family and friends of Habitat for Humanity and The Fuller Center for Housing."

Fuller died on Feb. 3 at age 74, after falling ill with a severe headache and chest pains. He died in an ambulance on the way to a larger hospital in Albany, Ga.

His brother, Doyle Fuller, said the cause had not been determined, but may have been an aneurysm.

An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death.