The PopTech website features the following description of Huff:
C.J. Huff currently serves as the superintendent of Joplin Schools, a position he has held since July 2008. Huff's wide range of experiences as a classroom teacher, building principal, superintendent and a family farmer prepared him to lead his district of 1,100 employees and 7,700 students through the recovery effort that has followed the devastating May 22, 2011 tornado that ripped through the heart of Joplin, Missouri. The tornado destroyed or damaged 10 of the 19 buildings in his district leaving over half of his students without a school to return to on May 23. The Joplin Schools family suffered loss more precious than the buildings though; they lost a staff member and seven students to the storm. His declaration that “We will start school on time” is credited as a key factor that drew the community of Joplin together just days after the tornado and provided a positive light for the country to rally around in the midst of such tragedy and destruction.
This year's PopTech is described this way on the website:
(It will) explore the role of creativity, technology, and learning in building resilience, and what might it take to bolster America’s ability to rebound. We’ll explore what new science is revealing about building our personal and organizational resilience in the face of change.