HWA New Speakers

HWA connects you with people who are actively engaged in changing the world.  These fresh voices add new perspective and insight to today's most important conversations.  

Give us a call to chat about these HWA New Speakers for a timely, buzz-worthy, straight-from-the-headlines event.

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News about our New Speakers

<p><strong>Jeff Flake is in-demand by top outlets and organizations </strong></p>

Jeff Flake is in-demand by top outlets and organizations

With nearly two decades of experience on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives, JEFF FLAKE (R-AZ) (2013-18) is able to candidly decode what to expect from the current administration and what is and isn't achievable in a newly-divided Congress. Sought-out to speak everywhere from the Forbes Under 30 Conference to Harvard Law School, and recently in-demand for engaging and refreshingly open in-depth interviews on CNNThe View, and 60 Minutes, Flake provides shrewd analysis on the current political environment, foreign affairs, trade and the economy, and more. Just following the midterm elections, he penned a widely-shared and insightful Washington Post op-ed on the future of the GOP. Currently making a principled stand by refusing to vote on judicial nominations until the Senate agrees to vote on protections for Robert Mueller, Flake has been making headlines in virtually every major outlet. His recently-published New York Times bestselling book Conscience of a Conservative was described in The Washington Post as "the single largest act of political bravery in the Trump era," and his, eloquent, impassioned and headline-making retirement speech, delivered from the Senate floor, condemned the "new normal" in politics with remarkable honesty. A candid and eloquent speaker with true insider knowledge, Flake offers audiences engaging, no-holds-barred analysis on politics today.   

<p>President Juan Manuel Santos is the subject of a powerful documentary </p>

President Juan Manuel Santos is the subject of a powerful documentary 

A new documentary Port of Destiny: Peace tells the powerful and inspirational story of Colombian President and Nobel Peace Prize winner JUAN MANUEL SANTOS' pursuit of peace in Colombia after five decades of civil war. The film reveals how Santos' persistence and dedication to peace transformed a country that was once the murder capital of the world into a global destination for investment and tourism. Directed by Emmy Award-winner Robert Abbot, Port of Destiny features interviews with former President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair-- who offer intimate perspectives of their friend-- and draws on deep access to its Colombian subjects to tell the story of how Santos, a former military hawk, risked his career and his legacy to bring peace to his people. The documentary title, "Port of Destiny," is taken from one of Santos' signature maxims: that if you have a port of destiny, a true passion or calling, it is possible to surmount any obstacle and even the most unfavorable winds can help you reach your destination. Santos has shared his insights on global affairs, and empowering lessons peace and achieving the impossible with audiences around the world, from the World Economic Forum to We Day

Watch the trailer for Port of Destiny: Peace
<p>Cecile Richards' new book is an instant New York Times bestseller</p>

Cecile Richards' new book is an instant New York Times bestseller

CECILE RICHARDS' new book Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, is an instant New York Times and Amazon Bestseller earning stellar reviews. A powerful story about learning to lead and making change, Make Trouble draws on Richards' decade of experience at the helm of Planned Parenthood, work as "heroine of the resistance" (Vogue), and lifetime dedication to fighting for women's rights and social justice. The book's reviews speak for themselves: “Cecile Richards’s story is powerful and infinitely readable. Whether you are newly ‘woke,’ a longtime activist, or just a caring citizen wondering how to advance democracy in hard times, Make Trouble has the answers... She is the best teacher on earth—someone you trust” (Women's Rights Icon Gloria Steinem);"With insight and humor, Cecile Richards offers a call to action for aspiring organizers and leaders. A must-read for anyone hoping to make a difference and trying to figure out where to start" (Senator Kamala Harris). In the wake of the book's release, Richards is making headlines and in-demand by major media outlets such as CBS’ This Morning, NPR, MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show and Morning Joe, Business Insider’s podcast, and more, for her insights and sharp commentary on leadership, women’s rights and politics. 

<p><strong>Ronan Farrow wins the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service</strong></p>

Ronan Farrow wins the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service

Investigative reporter RONAN FARROW was awarded the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his culture-shifting reporting for The New Yorker on Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment, and abuse of power. Awarded along with Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor of The New York Times, the Pulitzer Prize committee recognized the journalists’, “explosive, impactful journalism that exposed powerful and wealthy sexual predators, including allegations against one of Hollywood’s most influential producers, bringing them to account for long-suppressed allegations of coercion, brutality and victim silencing, thus spurring a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse of women.” Farrow’s first article for The New Yorker, a seven-thousand-word investigation, shared the stories of multiple women who were assaulted by the film executive and served as a lightning rod for the important conversation surrounding workplace harassment and abuse of power. Farrow’s initial article was followed up with several subsequent New Yorker pieces, and Farrow has spoken up and shed light on the sobering details surrounding his investigations on NPRRachel MaddowABC This Week, and more, providing powerful commentary on his reporting and its implications.

<p><strong>Penny Prtizker is the co-chair of an independent task force on the future of work </strong></p>

Penny Prtizker is the co-chair of an independent task force on the future of work

Former Secretary of Commerce PENNY PRITZKER is the co-chair of the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) independent task force on the future of work, which just published a groundbreaking report “The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the 21st Century”. Diving into the impacts of phenomenon like automation, artificial intelligence, and globalization, the report focuses on how to rebuild the links among work, opportunity, and economic security for all Americans in the face of accelerating change and offers recommendations for government, business, educators and nongovernmental institutions. Pritzker has been in-demand to decode the implications of the task force’s findings, making headlines for informative interviews in both Wired and Marketplace. A leading voice on the future of work and the skills needed to thrive in a 21st century, digitized economy, Pritzker currently serves on the Board of Directors of Microsoft and Measure, a drone service company, is on the Board of Trustees of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is a member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, and serves as co-chair of the Cyber Readiness Institute.

<p><strong>Maria Shriver’s new book offers meaningful wisdom and guidance                          </strong></p>

Maria Shriver’s new book offers meaningful wisdom and guidance                         

New York Times Bestselling Author MARIA SHRIVER’s new book I’ve Been Thinking…, is a refreshingly honest and powerful source of wisdom, guidance and encouragement for those seeking a meaningful life. Already selected as one of Barnes & Noble's Books to Watch in 2018 and by Hoda Kotb for her "Favorite Things of the Week" on The Today ShowI’ve Been Thinking… draws on Maria's own experiences as a prominent woman juggling myriad professional and personal roles, revealing a roadmap for how to move forward in life in a positive and purpose-driven direction, I’ve Been Thinking… is one of those books people will turn to again and again, and is already receiving praise for its inspiration and tangible takeaways. “Maria Shriver is a beacon of compassion and understanding—a life force” (Journalist Tom Brokaw); “Maria Shriver is a person of unusual compassion, intelligence, and honor. If you want to feel uplifted, inspired, and comforted, read it. This book, like its author, is a precious gift to the world” (Bestselling Author Martha Beck). 

<p>Liza Donnelly’s creative use of technology results in one-of-a-kind presentations  </p>

Liza Donnelly’s creative use of technology results in one-of-a-kind presentations  

Award-winning New Yorker cartoonist LIZA DONNELLY adds an unforgettable element to every keynote through her multimedia, "live drawing" presentations, in which she draws on her iPad live on stage as she speaks, and has the images projected on the screen behind her. The approach makes for incredibly dynamic, captivating keynotes, that engage audiences on a visual and auditory level. At a recent event, tweets of praise from audience-members included: “@lizadonnelly keynote + live drawing + tips = inspired ”; “@lizadonnelly Yes. This. 100% So grateful to have the chance to listen to you”; “Gotta love technology --watching @lizadonnelly live draw on screen :)” Full of fresh ideas on how to strategically tap into the power of tech to spur creativity and create dialogue, Donnelly is frequently sought-out for her insights. She delivered a keynote on "Drawing Disruption" at the esteemed SXSW Festival about the power of digital storytelling, and has been a smash hit at major events from TED to InspireFestAs the InspireFest event-planner raved: "A unique and thought-provoking speaker, Liza Donnelly had the theatre in the palm of her hand... Liza's live drawing added a whole new layer of creativity to our event. Liza's thoughtful and smart interpretation of happenings and on-stage content brought a warmth and humanity to proceedings, and her ability to capture tone is unrivaled. Our community is full of passionate social media users, and Liza's drawing created a remarkable buzz around the event worldwide. What can we say? Liza is simply the best."

Watch some of LIZA DONNELLY's talks here  > >

Our New Speakers

HWA NEW

BAN KI-MOON

  • Secretary-General of the United Nations (2007-2016)
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Ban Ki-moon was the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.

Ban was the foreign minister of South Korea from January 2004 to November 2006. In February 2006 he began to campaign for the office of Secretary-General. As foreign minister of South Korea he was able to travel to all the countries on the United Nations Security Council, a maneuver that turned him into the campaign's front runner.

On 13 October 2006, he was elected to be the eighth Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly. On 1 January 2007, he succeeded Kofi Annan. As Secretary-General, he was responsible for several major reforms on peacekeeping and UN employment practices. Diplomatically, Ban has taken particularly strong views on global warming, pressing the issue repeatedly with U.S. President George W. Bush, and on the Darfur conflict, where he helped persuade Sudanese president to allow peacekeeping troops to enter Sudan.

Ban was named the world's 32nd most powerful person by the Forbes list of The World's Most Powerful People in 2013, the highest among South Koreans. In 2016, Foreign Policy named Ban one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers for his achievement of making the Paris Agreement a legally binding treaty less than a year after it was adopted.

HWA NEW

GARY COHN

  • Director, National Economic Council (2017-18)
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Gary D. Cohn is an American business leader, philanthropist and the former Director of the United States National Economic Council.

Mr. Cohn served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 through April 2018. As President Donald J. Trump’s chief economic advisor, Mr. Cohn managed the coordination of the President’s domestic and global economic policy agenda and led the Administration-wide effort to successfully pass the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Mr. Cohn began a distinguished career in finance at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. in 1990. He held a variety of leadership positions in the firm’s Securities Division in both New York and London, including Global Co-Head of the Equities and Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Divisions. He served as President and Chief Operating Officer from 2006-2016 and was a member of the firm’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Firmwide Client and Business Standards Committee. Mr. Cohn is now Chairman of the Board at Pallas Advisors and serves on the boards of Abyrx, Hoyos Integrity, Indago, Machine Zone and Spring Labs.

HWA NEW

TINA BROWN

  • Award-Winning Journalist, Author and Editor
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From editor to CEO, Tina Brown’s legendary career has been propelled by her talent for reinvention and leading organizations through extreme disruption. Her track record includes transforming Vanity Fair (increasing sales from 200,000 to 1.2 million), reinventing the New Yorker (increasing circulation by 30% and more than doubling newsstand sales) and pioneering online journalism as the founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast.

Brown is now CEO of Tina Brown Live Media and the visionary force behind Women in the World, a global platform dedicated to building a better life for women and girls. By convening inspirational activists, political change-makers and extraordinary leaders, Women in the World has also drawn luminaries such as Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep, Stacey Abrams, Brie Larson, Anna Wintour and Christine Lagarde. Under Brown’s leadership, Women in the World has become a platform for advocacy, awareness and connection. It has also showcased Tina Brown’s wit, intellect and talent for engaging audiences with her powerful storytelling and sharp moderation. Brown also hosts the podcast, “TBD with Tina Brown”, where she talks with entertaining candor to writers, actors, politicians, journalists, activists, thought leaders and news makers of tomorrow's social debates.  

Brown's storytelling, the early years of her celebrated career and the roaring ‘80s are showcased in her latest book, The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 – 1992. this funny, celebrity-studded account tells how she survived back-stabbing rivalries and rampant skepticism to turn around Conde Nast’s failing magazine. Behind the celebrated scoops and iconic magazine covers, Vanity Fair Diaries also tells an unforgettable account of radical reinvention, with valuable lessons for today’s climate of constant competition, change and disruption.  She is also author of the #1 New York Times bestselling biography of Princess Diana, The Diana Chronicles.

Whether she’s sharing stories of triumphant turnarounds, speaking about the challenges of women leaders or advocating to improve the lives of women and girls, Brown inspires and educates any audience. With hard-won wisdom gained as a leader in one of the most disrupted industries of our time, Brown shares stories of of radical reinvention in the face of shifting tastes, technologies, business models, customers and market conditions—including invaluable insights on what it takes to come out on top.

HWA NEW

INDRA NOOYI

  • Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo (2006-2018)
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Former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi is a business powerhouse, globally renowned for leading the company through a decade of tremendous growth and change. Praised for her prescient and strategic thinking, she was responsible for growing PepsiCo's revenues from $35 billion when she became CEO, to $63.5 billion in 2017. She oversaw a portfolio of global brands and diversified products enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. As PepsiCo’s director of global strategy for over a decade, Nooyi led the company's restructuring, including the divestiture of its restaurants into the successful YUM! Brands, Inc; the acquisition of Tropicana and merger with Quaker Oats; the merger with PepsiCo’s anchor bottlers; and the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann, the largest international acquisition in PepsiCo’s history.

Celebrated for her hallmark motto of "do well by doing good," Nooyi was chief architect of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s pledge to do what’s right for the business by being responsive to the needs of the world through sustainable growth initiatives such as making healthier and more nutritious products, limiting the company's environmental footprint, and empowering associates and people in the communities PepsiCo serves. Consistently ranked in Forbes' "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women," Fortune's "Most Powerful Women," and TIME's "100 Most Influential People in The World," Nooyi has been sought-out for her unparalleled business insights and empowering messages on leadership, inclusivity and change everywhere from The World Economic Forum to The Aspen Institute. 

HWA NEW

SERENA WILLIAMS

  • Iconic Tennis Champion, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
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Serena Williams exemplifies courage, beauty, power and style. Currently ranked no. 1 in the world, Serena has overcome insurmountable odds to win 23 career Grand Slams. Her remarkable tennis achievements combined with her off-court success in film, television, fashion and philanthropy makes her one of the most recognizable global icons in the world.

Serena was born in Saginaw, Michigan to Richard Williams and Oracene Price. While still an infant, the family moved to Compton, California where she began playing tennis at the age of four. At nine, Serena and her family moved to Florida. Since that time, she has become one of the most dominant figures in tennis.

Serena has won the most Grand Slam singles titles in history, with her most recent win at the 2017 Australian Open. In the summer of 2016, Serena won the Wimbledon Championship in both singles and doubles alongside her sister Venus.

In 2015, Serena won four grand slams: Wimbledon, the French Open, the Australian Open, and the 2014 US Open, a feat affectionately known as the “Serena Slam” and ended the year on the cover of Sports Illustrated as their “Sportsperson of the Year.”

Overall, Serena has 23 Grand Slam singles titles and 14 Grand Slam doubles titles. She’s won 783 Professional singles matches, 185 doubles professional matches, 72 WTA singles titles, 23 WTA doubles titles, Gold Medal in Doubles in 2000 (Sydney), 2008 (Beijing), 2012 (London), and Gold Medal in Singles in 2012 (London).

Off the court, fashion, acting and dancing are Serena's passions. Named a “Fashion Trendsetter” by VOGUE , Serena used her passion to create her HSN Signature Statement collection and her most recent line premiered at New York Fashion Week in September 2016. In 2016 alone, Serena was featured on the covers of Self , Glamour , WSJ Magazine and FADER.

Serena is a dedicated philanthropist. She started the Serena Williams Fund, is a global Goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and in the fall of 2016, she joined philanthropic forces with her sister Venus to establish the Williams Sister Fund where they launched their first endeavor in their hometown of Compton: the Yetunde Price Resource Center. Named after their eldest sister who was killed by senseless gun violence, the Resource Center conducts community asset inventory and develops a comprehensive resource network designed to connect residents affected by violence with service providers. In February 2016, Serena partnered with the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation to build a school in Jamaica and has funded and opened two schools in Africa that are currently in operation.

Serena splits her time between Palm Beach, Florida and Los Angeles, California with her husband Alexis Ohanian and her newborn first child.

HWA NEW

VENUS WILLIAMS

  • Iconic Tennis Champion, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
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With 7 Grand Slam titles, 5 Wimbledon championships and 4 Olympic gold medals, tennis legend Venus Williams is arguably one of the most accomplished and inspiring women in the history of sports.

Beginning her rise to the top at the age of 14, Williams quickly took the world of tennis by storm rising to the top-ranked position, breaking countless records, and winning numerous championships.

Not only is Williams a force on the court, the fashion community has taken notice of her bold sense of style with numerous recognitions, including landing on Vogue ’s ‘Top 10 Best Dressed‘ list and Sports Illustrated’s ‘Fashionable 50.’

Encouraged by her mother at an early age to explore her creative side, Williams enrolled in fashion school where she was instantly drawn into the world of fashion and interior design. True to her bold spirit, Williams parlayed her fine-tuned business acumen with her healthy competitive spirit into two successful design ventures.

In 2002, after obtaining an Interior Decorator certification, Williams founded V Starr Interiors, a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm, which recently announced their partnership with Airbnb partner, Niido to design their first-ever apartment complex.

Continuing with her love for design, Williams obtained an Associate of Science in Fashion Design and in 2007 she launched the activewear brand, EleVen, the largest apparel line ever launched by a female athlete.

Sticking to her entrepreneurial spirit, in 2009 Williams along with her sister, Serena became the first female African-Americans to have a stake in an NFL franchise after joining the ownership group of the Miami Dolphins. The following year, Venus published her motivational book, "Come to Win" which reached No. 5 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Throughout her career, Williams has been a steadfast advocate for equality. In 2006 UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural organization titled her as the first “Promoter of Gender Equality.’ In 2007 it was her unwavering fight, which led Wimbledon to award women players the same pay as their male counterparts and in September 2009, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored Williams with the Americanism Award for publicly speaking up for Israeli player Shahar Pe'er who was barred from the Dubai tennis tournament.

Williams' achievements throughout her legendary career have merited her a plethora of additional accolades, including being honored as Glamour Magazine’s ‘Woman of the Year,’ ESPN’s ‘WTA Player of the Year,’ and Forbes’ ‘Celebrity 100’ among others. Williams holds Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Indiana University East and an Associate of Science in Fashion Design from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.

HWA NEW

STEVE MARTIN

  • Iconic Actor and Comedian
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Steve Martin is one of the most well-known and pervasive talents in entertainment. His work has earned him an Academy Award®, five Grammy® awards, an Emmy®, the Mark Twain Award, and the Kennedy Center Honor.

Martin began his career on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967-1969), for which he earned his first Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music in 1969. In the mid-1970s, Martin shone as a stand-up on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. Martin’s films are widely popular successes and are the kind of movies that are viewed again and again: The Jerk (1979), Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Roxanne (1987), Parenthood (1989), L.A. Story (1991), Father of the Bride (1991), and Bowfinger (1999).

As an author, Martin’s work includes the novel An Object of Beauty, the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, a collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, a bestselling novella, Shopgirl, and his memoir Born Standing Up. His writing often appears in The New Yorker.

Steve Martin is also an accomplished Grammy Award-winning, boundary-pushing bluegrass banjoist and composer. In 2013, Steve Martin released his third full-length album called Love Has Come For You, a unique collaboration with songwriter Edie Brickell. Love Has Come For You, won a Grammy ® for “Best American Roots Song” for the title track and inspired their new musical Bright Star, which was first staged at San Diego's Old Globe Theater in 2014 and opened at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on December 17, 2015, followed by a Broadway premiere in 2016.

Martin and Brickell’s second album together So Familiar was released on Rounder Records in October. The album features 12 remarkable new songs that bring the acclaimed duo’s musical collaboration into fresh creative territory.

HWA NEW

STEVEN VAN ZANDT

  • Famed Musician, Songwriter, Music and TV Producer, Actor, and Founding Member of the E Street Band
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Musician, Performer, Songwriter, Arranger, Music Producer, Music Supervisor, TV Producer, Actor, Director, Broadway Producer, TV and Film Composer, and Live Event Producer, International DJ, Activist, Historian, Teacher, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and recognized internationally as one of the world’s foremost authorities on both Contemporary and Traditional Rock and Roll.

 “He’s not the only one, nor the oldest, nor the richest. But Little Stevie Van Zandt might currently be the planet’s most charismatic, dedicated and visible crusader scrapping to preserve the dirty purity of Rock ‘n Roll.” - BruceSpringsteen.net

“I know it sounds a bit silly but I do believe Rock and Roll can change the world.  It’s about bands, and that for me suggests brotherhood, family, friendship, and community” - Stevie Van Zandt

HWA NEW

ALEX RODRIGUEZ

  • Iconic Athlete, 3x MVP, and World Baseball Champion
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Over the course of his iconic baseball career, Mr. Rodriguez also built a tremendously successful investment firm with the purchase of a single duplex in 2003. Mr. Rodriguez subsequently founded A-Rod Corp, and created a fully-integrated real estate investment and development firm, while managing a record-breaking baseball career. Following the company’s success in real estate, A-Rod Corp broadened its investment mandate to encompass assets across a wider array of industries, including sports and wellness, media, and entertainment. With a flexible and opportunistic investment mandate, the firm focuses on long-term ownership opportunities, where it can add value and deliver superior, risk-adjusted returns. Today, A-Rod Corp is a fully integrated investment firm, led by Alex Rodriguez and a team of seasoned investment professionals, that manages both internal and external capital and employs more than 500 people.

 

HWA NEW

OCTAVIA SPENCER

  • Academy Award-Winning Actress
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One of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, Octavia Spencer has become a familiar fixture on both television and the silver screen. Her critically acclaimed performance as Minny in DreamWork’s feature film The Help won her the 2012 Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award, SAG Award and Broadcast Film Critic’s Choice Award among numerous other accolades.

Octavia can currently be seen in the highly-acclaimed drama Hidden Figures alongside Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner. The film tells the true story of several African-American women who provide NASA with critical information needed to launch the program’s early successful space missions. Octavia’s performance as Dorothy Vaughan has earned her SAG nomination, Golden Globe nomination and NAACP Image Award nominations to date. Later this year, she will be seen starring in The Shack, a film based off of the best-selling novel of the same title that follows a man whose daughter is abducted during a family vacation with evidence found in an abandoned shack leading authorities to believe she was murdered. She also co-stars in Marc Webb’s drama Gifted alongside Chris Evans and Jenny Slate. The film tells the story of Rank Adler, a deliberate underachiever who is raising his niece in rural Florida.

Spencer recently wrapped production on Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, in which she stars alongside Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg and Sally Hopkins. The film is an otherworldly love story set against the backdrop of the Cold War. She also recently finished filming Small Town Crime with John Hawkes and Anthony Anderson, a film about an alcoholic ex-cop who through an act of self-redemption, becomes hellbent on bringing a killer to justice.

Last year, Spencer reprised her role as Johanna in Allegiant, the third installment of Lionsgate’s The Divergent Series franchise. She also voiced the character of  Mrs. Otterton in the Disney animated film Zootopia, one of fastest worldwide grossing films of the year. Last fall, she co-starred alongside Elisabeth Moss and Boyd Holbrook in The Free World, a drama focusing on a recently released former convict who becomes involved with a married woman with an abusive husband that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival; the drama Fathers and Daughters with Quvenzhane Wallis, Diane Kruger, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, and Aaron Paul and The Great Gilly Hopkins, the adaptation of Katherine Peterson’s young adult Newberry Award winning novel. Octavia also reprised her role as Opal in Mark Waters’ Bad Santa 2, along with Billy Bob Thornton and Kathy Bates.

In 2014, Spencer co-starred alongside Kevin Costner in the drama Black or White, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival to rave reviews. Previously, Spencer co-starred in Tate Taylor’s Get On Up, a chronicle of musician James Brown’s rise to fame that also starred Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman and the sci-fi, action-adventure Snowpiercer opposite Tilda Swinton and Chris Evans. Directed by Bong Joon-ho, the film followed a train that holds all remaining inhabitants on earth after a climate-change experiment wipes out the rest of the population, and the class system that emerges. In 2013, Spencer was seen in the indie-drama Fruitvale Station which follows the final hours of Oscar Grant’s life, a young man whose death sparked national outrage after video footage of his shooting was released to the public on New Year's Eve 2009. Fruitvale Station won several prestigious awards including both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for US Dramatic films at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, the Un Certain Regard Award for Prix de l’avenir at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, was named one of AFI’s Films of the Year and received nominations for the 2014 Spirit Awards and NAACP Image Awards. Spencer was awarded “Best Supporting Actress” from the National Board of Review for her performance in the film and received an individual nomination from the NAACP Image Awards. She also served as a producer on the film.

Additional film credits include Diablo Cody’s directorial debut Paradise alongside Russell Brand and Julianne Hough, Smashed; an independent film which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Bryce Dallas Howard’s directed segment of Call Me Crazy: A Five Film; an anthology of five short films focused on various stories of mental illness, Blues for Willadean, Fly Paper, Peep World, Dinner For Schmucks, Small Town Saturday Night, Herpes Boy, Halloween II, The Soloist, Drag Me To Hell, Seven Pounds, Pretty Ugly People, Coach Carter, Charm School, Win A Date With Tad Hamilton, Bad Santa, Spiderman, Big Momma’s House, Being John Malkovich and Never Been Kissed and A Time to Kill . In 2009, Spencer directed and produced a short film entitled The Captain, which was a finalist for the coveted Poetry Foundation Prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.

Spencer was recently seen guest starring in the latest season of the CBS series Mom, a comedy that centers on a newly sober mom attempting to pull her life together. Additionally, she made a memorable guest appearance in the final season of 30 Rock, starred in the Comedy Central series Halfway Home and appeared in a five-episode arc as the character Constance Grady on the hit series Ugly Betty. Spencer has been seen in guest-starring roles on shows including The Big Bang TheoryE.R.CSICSI: NY , Raising The BarMedium, and NYPD Blue.

Among her many other professional achievements, Spencer has co-authored an interactive mystery series for children called Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective. The first title in the series, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit was published by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing in Fall 2013 and the second book, Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: Sweetest Heist in History is currently in bookstores.

Spencer is a native of Montgomery, Alabama and holds a BS in Liberal Arts from Auburn University. She currently resides in Los Angeles.

HWA NEW

LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA

  • Award-Winning Composer, Lyricist, and Performer
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Award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda's groundbreaking and history-making Broadway shows have impacted and inspired audiences worldwide. 

The creator and original star of Broadway’s smash-hit musicals Hamilton and In the Heights, Miranda is the recipient of countless prestigious awards including the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, three Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Kennedy Center Honor.

 A passionate and dedicated philanthropist, Miranda has been instrumental in providing support for Puerto Rico and is a vocal advocate for equality nationwide. 

Funny, candid and inspiring, Miranda sheds light on the creative process and innovative thinking, his life and career, and the power of supporting the missions that matter to you. 

HWA NEW

WHOOPI GOLDBERG

  • Award-Winning Actress and Comedian
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Whoopi Goldberg is one of a very elite group of artists who have won the Grammy, the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the Emmy, and the Tony. She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse, and the battle against AIDS. Among her many charitable activities, Whoopi is a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations. 

Beyond her remarkable film, theater, and television career, Whoopi is the author of several children’s books, as well as a New York Times bestseller.

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AMY POEHLER

  • Award-Winning Comedian, Actress and Producer
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Amy Poehler is one of Hollywood’s most versatile and sought-after talents with credits including that of actress, writer, executive producer, and best-selling author. She currently appears as co-host (alongside Nick Offerman) and executive producer of the hit crafting competition series, Making It, which is currently in production on its second season. She also recently produced, starred in, and made her directorial debut in the much-buzzed-about Netflix comedy film, Wine Country. She also continues to produce the award-winning online website, “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls,” which showcases real girls who are changing the world by being themselves.

Off-screen, Poehler has multiple projects in development and/or production as part of her successful production company, Paper Kite Productions. She serves as executive producer of the Emmy-nominated Netflix series, Russian Doll, starring Natasha Lyonne. She is also co-creator, executive producer, and will lend her voice to FOX’s upcoming animated series, Duncanville, which centers on the life of Duncan (voiced by Poehler), a spectacularly average 15 year old boy, his family, and friends. Forthcoming projects include Adult Swim’s half-hour comedy pilot, Three Busy Debras; the film adaptations of the feminist young adult novel, Moxie, the children’s fiction book, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, and the Rebecca Makkai-authored The Great Believers; the forthcoming Riki Lindhome comedy, Tails; and an untitled basketball comedy feature for Universal that she will also star in.

Poehler is perhaps best known for her starring role on the Emmy-nominated NBC comedy series, Parks and Recreation, which completed its seventh and final season in February 2015. Her portrayal of Leslie Knope earned her a 2014 Golden Globe award for “Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical, or Comedy,” the award for “Best Actress in a TV Comedy” at the 2014 American Comedy Awards, and a 2013 Gracie Award. For her work on the show, Poehler also received six consecutive Emmy nominations, two additional Golden Globe nominations, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations.

In the film world, Poehler co-starred opposite Will Ferrell in The House and opposite Tina Fey in Sisters. She also lent her voice as the character “Joy” in Disney Pixar’s Oscar-winning smash hit, Inside Out. Her additional film credits include Wet Hot American Summer, They Came Together, A.C.O.D., Free Birds, Are You Here, Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and Mean Girls. Her voice has also been heard in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Monsters vs. Aliens, Horton Hears a Who!, and box office hit, Shrek the Third.

Poehler’s first book, Yes Please, was released in October 2014 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. The book went on to spend over 23 weeks on the list.

After her much buzzed about portrayal of Senator Hillary Clinton during the 2008 Presidential Election, Poehler completed her eighth and final season of Saturday Night Live (and her fifth as the co-anchor of “Weekend Update”). That year she received her first Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series” for her work on Saturday Night Live. This was an unprecedented nomination, making her the first performer in SNL history to land a spot in this category. She went on to receive a second nomination for her work on her final season the following year. In December 2015, Poehler returned to the SNL stage to co-host the show alongside Tina Fey. The duo’s performance led them to win the 2016 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.”

Poehler joined the SNL cast from the Upright Citizens Brigade, a sketch/improv troupe that she co-founded and continues to be heavily involved in. The group has opened theaters which are regarded as the premiere sketch/improv comedy venues in New York City and Los Angeles.

Poehler co-hosted the Golden Globe Awards alongside Tina Fey for three consecutive years from 2013-2015, a role that was consistently met with much critical acclaim. She has also made memorable appearances on television ranging from Arrested Development and Wonder Showzen, and she was also a voice on The Simpsons.

She currently splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.

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TINA FEY

  • Award-winning Producer, Writer and Actress
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Tina Fey continues to be applauded for the iconic and groundbreaking seven-season run as the Executive Producer, head writer, and star of NBC's three-time (2007, 2008, 2009) Emmy Award-winning, one-of-a-kind comedy series, 30 Rock. Her performances as 'Liz Lemon' earned Fey an Emmy, two Golden Globes, four SAG Awards, and a People's Choice Award. In 2009, 30 Rock was nominated for a record 22 Emmy Awards, the most ever of any comedy series on television in a single season. From 2012 to 2013, 30 Rock received a total of 13 nominations for its final season, six of which were individual nominations for Fey.

Prior to creating 30 Rock, Fey completed nine seasons as head writer, cast member, and co-anchor of the "Weekend Update" segment on Saturday Night Live. Fey is an Emmy winner and two-time Writers Guild Award winner for her writing on Saturday Night Live and won an Emmy in 2009 for Guest Appearance by an Actress in a Comedy Series for her portrayal of Sarah Palin on the 2008-2009 season of SNL. Fey also made Emmy history in 2016 when she and Amy Poehler became the first joint winners of “Best Comedy Series Guest Actress” for their SNL co-hosting appearance.

Fey expanded to feature films in spring 2004 as both a screenwriter and an actress in the hit comedy, Mean Girls, which earned her a nomination for a Writers Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. On the big screen, Fey starred opposite Amy Poehler in the film, Baby Mama, for Universal Pictures, which exceeded the $50 million dollar mark at the U.S. box office. In 2010, Fey starred in 20th Century Fox's film, Date Night, opposite Steve Carell and was a featured voice in the Dreamworks animated film, Megamind.

In April 2011, Fey released her first book entitled Bossypants, which topped the New York Times best seller list and remained for 39 consecutive weeks, and received a Grammy nomination for “Best Spoken Word Album”. Bossypants was released in paperback in January 2012 and has sold over 3.75 million copies thus far.

In 2015 Fey and writing partner, Robert Carlock, co-executive produced and created the hit Netflix original comedy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, starring Ellie Kemper.  The series was nominated in the “Best Comedy” category for the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards, boasting four nominations for the talented cast, including a guest actress nod for Fey. After four successful seasons, the show wrapped the first ever comedy interactive special for Netflix, an exciting conclusion to the series.

In 2018, Fey's Broadway adaptation of Mean Girls opened at the August Wilson Theater. Directed by Casey Nicholaw, and with music written by her husband Jeff Richmond, the show received 12 Tony Award nominations, including best book by Tina Fey. 

Fey lives in New York with her husband, Jeff Richmond, and their two daughters.

 

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JEFF FLAKE

  • U.S. Senator (R-AZ) (2013-2018)
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Jeff Flake has nearly two decades of experience on Capitol Hill in both the Senate and House of Representatives. Heralded as an "ideal public servant" in The New York Times, Flake is renowned for his bravery in speaking out against the current administration, his principled stands on spending and free trade, and his shrewd negotiations and bipartisanship on complicated issues such as immigration. 

A traditionally conservative Republican, Flake defended the core values and principles of his party-- and revealed how they are currently under threat-- in his New York Times bestselling book Conscience of a Conservative, which was described in The Washington Post as, "the single largest act of political bravery in the Trump era." His eloquent, impassioned and headline-making retirement speech, delivered from the Senate floor, further condemned the "new normal" in politics. He is a current contributor for CBS News where he will be launching a new series called Common Ground, which focuses on opposing groups coming together. 

A passionate and principled defender of "country over party," Flake famously invited Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich on a six-day survival adventure on an island in Micronesia to develop an idea to end partisan gridlock. Their experiences were featured on a Discovery Channel reality TV show, Rival Survival.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from the Forbes Under 30 Conference to Harvard Law School, Flake shares substantive, candid insights on the current political environment and what is and isn't achievable in Washington, as well as shrewd analysis on foreign affairs, trade and the economy, and more. 

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STACEY ABRAMS

  • Political Leader, Non-Profit CEO & Serial Entrepreneur
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Political leader, nonprofit CEO, author, and serial entrepreneur Stacey Abrams made history and captured the nation's attention as the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in any state, going on to win more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia in what was one of the most-watched and closest elections of the year. After witnessing the election’s mismanagement by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight to ensure free and fair elections. 

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED, where her talk has racked up over a million views and counting, to college campuses, to the Commonwealth Club, Abrams is a powerful and passionate speaker heralded for her candid insights on politics, leadership, entrepreneurship, social justice, and being a true force for change. As TIME wrote of her, "People tend to remember the first time they heard Stacey Abrams speak, and it’s easy to see why." Abrams'  New York Times bestselling book Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change, is a personal and empowering blueprint for outsiders who seek to become the ones in charge. From her experiences launching a company, to starting a day care center for homeless teen moms, to running a successful political campaign, Abrams illuminates that finding what you want to fight for is as critical as knowing how to turn thought into action.

Dedicated to civic engagement, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. A recipient of Harvard's Institute of Politic's John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award, Abrams has also been named a "Public Official of the Year" by Governing Magazine. 

 

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MIKA BRZEZINSKI

  • Co-Host, MSNBC's Morning Joe
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The co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, founder of “Know Your Value,” and New York Times bestselling author, Mika Brzezinski is a celebrated, go-to voice on current events, world affairs, and women's empowerment.

Mika's “Know Your Value” is a nationwide movement in partnership with NBCUniversal to support an empowered and inclusive community that helps all women recognize, and be recognized for, their worth in business and in life. Mika's most recent book, EARN IT!: Know Your Value and Grow Your Career, in Your 20s and Beyond, provides young women the tools to find their voices and build success.

A former anchor of CBS Evening News Weekend Edition and CBS News correspondent who frequently contributed to CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes, Mika has covered some of the most pivotal moments of the 21st century, from the September 11 attacks to multiple presidential elections. 

Mika offers empowering insights into women's equality and work-life balance as well as a dynamic perspective on the current political and media landscape.

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JOE SCARBOROUGH

  • Creator and Co-Host, MSNBC's Morning Joe
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The creator and co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe and a former Florida Congressman, Joe Scarborough ignites early morning audiences with his no-holds barred political commentary. Pulling from his experience as an influential player in Republican politics, Scarborough leads candid discussions about the important issues facing America each day. He is a member of the Cable News Hall of Fame, and has been named to the prestigious "TIME 100" list. 

Washington Post contributor and New York Times bestselling author, Joe's books take a close look at Republican politics, offering both historical analysis and prescient insight into the nature of conservatism in the United States. 

As popular on stage as he is on TV, Joe brings the same energy to his speeches as he does his morning show. With his signature off-the-cuff commentary, he offers a dynamic and fast-paced perspective on the current political and media landscape and the headlines of the day.

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H.R. MCMASTER

  • National Security Advisor to President Trump (2017-18)
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Former National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster is a preeminent voice on leadership, global security and international affairs, recognized for his leadership in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Named one of TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World" and Fortune's "50 World's Greatest Leaders", McMaster is renowned as a "warrior-intellectual" who not only excelled in combat but also wrote an award-winning and New York Times bestselling book, Dereliction of Duty.

McMaster was commissioned in the United States Army upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984.  His command assignments in the United States Army include: Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning; Commander, Combined Joint Inter-Agency Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) in Kabul, Afghanistan; and Commander, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Carson, Colorado and Iraq.  He also served as Special Assistant to Commander, Multinational Force Iraq, and as an Assistant Professor of History at West Point. He was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, and a Senior Consulting Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. McMaster has published scores of essays, articles, and book reviews on leadership, history, and the future of warfare in many publications including Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  He was a contributing editor for Survival magazine from 2010-2017, and is currently a Senior Fellow at The Hoover Institution. 

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JULIAN CASTRO

  • Democratic Presidential Candidate for the 2020 Election
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Julián Castro has distinguished himself as a strong leader and successful public servant for nearly two decades. A former Democratic candidate for President, Castro served as the 16th Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama from 2014 to 2017, and as mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014. Today, Castro serves on the board of directors of the LBJ Foundation. 

As mayor, Castro brought a strong focus to expanding educational achievement and making America’s seventh largest city a leader in the 21st century global economy. Under Castro’s leadership, San Antonio implemented Pre-K4SA, a high quality early childhood learning initiative that has earned praise as one of America’s strongest public pre-kindergarten programs. During his tenure, San Antonio ranked first on the Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities List, received an A+ grade for doing business by Forbes, and was the only Top 10 city at the time to achieve a Triple A bond rating with each of the three major ratings agencies. A native Texan, Castro made history in 2012 when he became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. 

His memoir, An Unlikely Journey: Waking Up from My American Dream, is a candid account of race and poverty in America. Born to unmarried parents in a poverty-stricken neighborhood of a struggling city, Castro details his unlikely journey to becoming an emerging national icon.

From education to technology to safe and affordable housing, Castro has been at the forefront of some of the most innovative partnerships, programs and achievements in the public sector. In sharing lessons learned from the struggles and successes of his political journey, he gives audiences insight into how any group can make a significant change when it comes to America's most pressing issues. He empowers groups to engage and take action, even when things seem at their most bleak. Castro’s own personal story is proof that the American Dream still lives, and in his inspiring talks, he shares actionable items people can accomplish in their day-to-day lives to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.

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JUAN MANUEL SANTOS

  • President of Colombia (2010-2018)
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Juan Manuel Santos is the two-term President of Colombia (2010-2014 / 2014-2018). Recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the world, President Santos ushered in a new era of prosperity, peace, equity, and education throughout Colombia during his tenure. 

Due to his tenacity and determination to achieve peace and reconciliation in Colombia, in 2016 the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded President Santos the Nobel Peace Prize "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end." Santos has also been twice-named to TIME’s "100 Most Influential People" and was honored with the World Economic Forum’s Global Statesman Award.

During his administration, Colombia became the region´s leader in economic growth, job creation, reduction of poverty and extreme poverty, sustainable development and the enhancement of Information and Communications Technology. In addition, his administration reduced the housing deficit by half and launched the most ambitious infrastructure plan in Colombia's history.  He also published several books, including The Third Way, which he wrote with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Jaque al Terror (Checkmate to Terror), in which he describes how he successfully fought the FARC.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from Harvard University to the World Economic Forum, in his compelling keynotes Santos shares his reflections on the challenges of leadership, revealing what allowed him to change Colombia's history and make the impossible, possible. He delivers a message of unity and humanity that is inspiring, refreshing and necessary amid these turbulent political times. Santos also offers shrewd insights and analysis on issues such as the global economic outlook, global security, and foreign affairs.

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ROBERT GIBBS

  • Executive Vice President & Global Chief Communications Officer, McDonalds (2015-19)
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A top advisor to President Obama for nearly a decade and the former Executive Vice President and Global Chief Communications Officer of McDonald's (2015-19), Robert Gibbs is a communication expert who offers audiences a unique perspective on today's political, business and media environment. Drawing on his experience as both a Washington insider and executive at one of the most recognizable companies in the world, Gibbs provides robust insights into everything from the economy and regulatory environment, to healthcare reform, to the 2020 election. 

 

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TARANA BURKE

  • Founder of the Me Too Movement
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Tarana Burke is best known for founding the 'me too' Movement and has dedicated her life to social justice work and giving strength to those who experienced sexual trauma or harassment. Honored as one of The Silence Breakers named TIME's 2017 Person of the Year, and named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People of 2018"  Years before 'me too' became a viral hashtag, Burke founded Just Be Inc., a non-profit that helps victims. 

The simple yet courageous #metoo hashtag campaign has generated over 13 million Facebook posts and Tweets, emerging as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment. Tarana’s powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you.

#metoo is not just an overnight hashtag sensation; Tarana has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice and to laying the groundwork for a movement that was initially created to help young women of color who survived sexual abuse and assault. The movement now inspires solidarity, amplifies the voices thousands of victims of sexual abuse, and puts the focus back on survivors.

A sexual assault survivor herself, Tarana is now Executive Director of the 'me too' organization. On stage, Tarana provides insight into the current state of affairs and outpouring of sexual assault and harassment allegations, addresses pressing issues of respect, dignity and power dynamics in schools, workplaces and politics, and shines a light on the stories of survivors and voices that continue to be marginalized. 

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CHRIS CHRISTIE

  • Former Governor of New Jersey (2010-2018)
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55th New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is currently a senior legal and political commentator for ABC News, the managing member of the Christie Law Firm and Christie 55 Solutions, LLC, and the author of Let Me Finish, a no-holds-barred account of his rise to power. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Trump Presidential Transition Committee. 

Governor Christie spent his two terms in office emphasizing the issues of fiscal responsibility, pension, health benefit reform, education reform, and the opioid crisis gripping his state and the nation. He also devised the state’s groundbreaking response to Super-storm Sandy, leading the rebuilding of the state’s housing, infrastructure and public schools, and setting a bi-partisan example for storm recovery.

Lauded for his trademark charisma and candor, Governor Christie provides an in-depth understanding of what is happening in the nation’s capital and what it means for your industry, organization and employees. He highlights that achievable solutions and unrelenting leadership will help move us forward and help solve the most pressing issues in Washington.

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KEVIN HASSETT

  • Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (2017-19)
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Dr. Kevin Hassett is among the world's leading economists, and served as the 29th Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019.

While working in the Trump White House, Hassett was a key force driving internal and external debate on virtually every economic topic, from taxes and trade, to substance abuse and deregulation. While at the White House, Hassett was the top public spokesperson for the White House on economic policy and the state of economy, appearing regularly on Fox, Fox Business, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and more.  Hassett was even drawn upon at times to run the televised White House press briefings. 

Sought-out by numerous presidential candidates, Hassett served as John McCain's chief economic adviser in the 2000 presidential primaries and an economic adviser to the campaigns of George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election and McCain in the presidential election of 2008. 

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RAHM EMANUEL

  • 55th Mayor of Chicago
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Rahm Emanuel was 55th mayor of the City of Chicago.

After his election in 2011, Mayor Emanuel led major investments across education, youth programming, neighborhood development, transportation, infrastructure, public health, and public safety.

Over Mayor Emanuel's tenure, Chicago's students experienced record education gains, while the city led the nation in corporate relocations for five consecutive years and led the nation in foreign direct-investment for six consecutive years.

Mayor Emanuel also marked record progress in reducing Chicago's structural deficit from $635.6 million in 2012 to $97.9 million for 2019 - the lowest it had been since 2007.

Previously, Mayor Emanuel served as White House Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois' 5th District, and was a key member of the Clinton White House.

He is married to Amy Rule, and they have three children.

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JACK LEW

  • Secretary of the Treasury (2013-2016)
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Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew (2013- 2017) has served as the most senior economic official in the U.S. government, helping to shape policies that drove the longest economic recovery in American history.  At Treasury, he oversaw all aspects of international and domestic fiscal policy, including issues related to financial regulation, global sanctions regimes, tax policy, debt management, and trade.  As a speaker, he brings the freshest insights and an insider's knowledge of the individual people and policies affecting the direction of the global economy.  Secretary Lew addresses these issues both from an historical perspective -- given his over 30 years of government experience -- and by looking forward to how the new Administration and Congress may tackle the many challenges they face.  With his unique perspective, Secretary Lew presents an engaging view of how complex financial and geopolitical forces are shaping our economy, both domestically and overseas.

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ERIN BROCKOVICH

  • Iconic environmental activist and consumer advocate
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Say the name Erin Brockovich and you think, strong, tough and stubborn. Erin is all that and definitely more. She is a modern-day “David” who loves a good brawl with today’s “Goliaths”.  She thrives on being the voice for those who don’t know how to yell.  She is a rebel. She is a fighter. She is a mother. She is a woman. She is you and me.

It’s been over 15 years since Julia Roberts starred in the Oscar-winning tour de force, Erin Brockovich. The film turned an unknown legal researcher into a 20th century icon by showcasing how her dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. Since then, Erin hasn’t been resting on her laurels…she continues to fight hard and win big!

This gutsy broad doesn’t apologize for who she is. She has always loved going head to head with the big boys and was never intimated by their bravado. She learned how to come out on top from her tight-knit mid-western family in Lawrence, Kansas. Erin was the youngest child of an industrial engineer father and journalist mother. Her parents always believed that she could do anything she set her mind to if she learned to focus her amazing energy.

After a few years roaming around at various colleges, Erin decided that she wanted to be a California girl. She first landed a job as a management trainee for K-Mart, but when that didn’t make her swagger, she decided to study electrical engineering. But that wasn’t enough for the Kansas beauty.  On a fluke, she entered the Miss Pacific Coast beauty pageant, and, not surprisingly, won the title.  When she realized that beauty pageants weren’t her thing, Erin, her husband, and her two children settled in Reno, Nevada. After divorcing, the single mother became a secretary at a brokerage firm where she met and married her second husband. But that marriage was short lived, and the now mother of three was solo again.

Up until this point, Erin was the average divorced single mother trying to make a living, until she crossed paths with lawyer, Ed Masry, and this meeting changed the course of both of their lives.

After being seriously injured in a traffic accident in Reno, Erin moved back to California’s San Fernando Valley and hired Masry & Vititoe to represent her. They won a small settlement, but she still needed work, so she got a job at the law firm as a file clerk.  It was while organizing papers on a pro bono real estate case that Erin first found medical records that would explode into the largest direct action lawsuit in US history.

Erin’s exhaustive investigation uncovered that Pacific Gas & Electric had been poisoning the small town of Hinkley’s Water for over 30 years. It was because of Erin’s unwavering tenacity that PG&E had now been exposed for leaking toxic Chromium 6 into the ground water. This poison affected the health of the population of Hinkley. In 1996, as a result of the largest direct action lawsuit of its kind, spearheaded by Erin and Ed Masry, the utility giant was forced to pay out the largest toxic tort injury settlement in US history: $333 million in damages to more than 600 Hinkley residents.

The story and eventual film made “Erin Brockovich” a household name. Over time, Erin realized that she could use her notoriety to spread positive messages of personal empowerment and to encourage others to stand up and make a difference.

Erin Brockovich has conquered all forms of media.  Her first TV project was ABC’s 2001 Special, Challenge America With Erin Brockovich, where she helped motivate and organize the rebuilding of a dilapidated park in downtown Manhattan. This show is best described as “Extreme Make-Over Home Edition on steroids”. For three seasons, Erin hosted the Lifetime series, Final Justice With Erin Brockovich. The show celebrated everyday women who triumphed when faced with overwhelming adversity.

Erin then dominated the world of publishing with her New York Times Business Bestseller, Take It From Me: Life’s A Struggle, But You Can Win.  She has also written two fiction novels, Rock Bottom and Hot Water.

Because of her fighting spirit, Erin has become the champion of countless women and men. She is this generation’s “Dear Abby”, and in fact receives thousands of “Dear Erin” letters and emails each year from people who are begging for help and support in their own personal struggles. Erin proudly answers every one of them.

As President of Brockovich Research & Consulting, she is currently involved in numerous environmental projects worldwide.  She has requests for her help in ground water contamination complaints in every state of the US, Australia, and other international hot spots. She is currently working on cases in California, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, and Missouri.

Erin is one of the most requested speakers on the international lecture circuit and travels the world for personal appearances.  She is a true American hero whose icon status and “stick-to-it-iveness” only fuels her determination to expose injustice and lend her voice to those who do not have one.

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SUNNY HOSTIN

  • Co-Host, The View
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Three-time Emmy Award-winner Sunny Hostin is a co-host of ABC Daytime’s morning show "The View." Most recently, she hosted and executive produced Investigation Discovery's six-episode documentary series, "Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin," which explores the stories behind some of the nation’s most notorious homicides. 

A former legal analyst and host for CNN and a Department of Justice Alum, Hostin is renowned for her in-depth analysis of social justice and legal issues. She has brought clarity and context to some of the biggest stories of the past decade, including the Bernie Madoff scandal, the George Zimmerman trial, the unrest in Ferguson and Baltimore, the AME church shooting in Charleston, and the Bill Cosby rape allegations. Following the election of Barack Obama, Hostin reported on potential cabinet picks, including correctly predicting that Eric Holder would be selected as the next Attorney General.

Originally from the South Bronx, Hostin has been a passionate advocate for marginalized communities throughout her remarkable career, and dedicates herself to a number of philanthropic endeavors. She serves on the board of Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit victims assistance organization that provides social services for victims of abuse and violent crimes. She also serves on the board of the Bronx Children’s Museum, the borough’s only cultural and educational institution designed to inspire children and their families.

A  highly sought-after public speaker known for her lively and engaging style, Hostin addresses corporate and academic audiences alike. She delivered a TEDx Talk titled “A Possibility Model,” and has spoken at and moderated panels for the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Corporate Counsel Women of Color, and the National Bar Association. She provides empowering lessons on making a difference and pursuing your passions, illuminating insights on pressing social justice and legal issues, and moving remarks on overcoming trauma. 

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LISA LING

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist
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Lisa Ling is the executive producer and host of This is Life with Lisa Ling   on CNN. Lisa explores the scourge prescription pill addiction in Utah, the recent influx of women in North Dakota’s boomtown and a town in the rural Midwest where young men aspire to be priests.

For five seasons prior, Ling executive produced and hosted Our America   on OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network. Lisa embedded in a Midwest town ravaged by an onslaught of heroin, got exclusive access inside an anti-gay religious movement, witnessed the manifestation of PTSD in returning veterans of war and went undercover to investigate the under-age sex trafficking of minors in the nation’s capitol. She has also profiled Americans living beneath the poverty line for the first time and people serving unimaginably lengthy prison sentences for crimes they did not commit.

As the former field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show  and contributor to ABC News' Nightline  and National Geographic's Explorer ,  Lisa Ling has reported from dozens of countries, covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India, the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang in Central America, among other issues that are too often ignored.

Lisa got her start in journalism as a correspondent for Channel One News, where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age as well as stories in dozens of countries around the world. She later went on to become a co-host of ABC Daytime's hit show The View , which won its first daytime Emmy during her time at the show.

Lisa is the co-author ofMother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood  andSomewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home,  which she penned with her sister, Laura. She is also a co-founder of SecretSocietyofWomen.com, and a contributor to ivolunteer.org.    

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SIR KEN ROBINSON

  • Internationally Renowned Expert on Innovation, Creativity, Education & Business
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One of the world’s foremost experts on creativity and innovation in education and business, Sir Ken Robinson is also the #1 most watched speaker in TED’s history. His talks have been viewed online over 80 million times by over 400 million people in 160 countries, and his books have sold over 1 million copies worldwide.

As famous for his humor and fantastic presentation style as he is for his groundbreaking content, Sir Ken offers life-changing insights on how to lead a culture of innovation; robots, AI, and you; revolutionizing education; and the power of creativity.  Knowing how to innovate and adapt in the rapidly

changing worlds of work, education and day-today life is more urgent than ever, and Sir Ken offers invaluable guidance on how to do exactly that.

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PEGGY NOONAN

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist for The Wall Street Journal
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Peggy Noonan is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Wall Street Journal and bestselling author of nine books on American politics, history and culture. Her Wall Street Journal column, Declarations, has run each week since 2000, garnering millions of readers. In 2017 when she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary, the prize committee cited her, "For rising to the moment with beautifully rendered columns that connected readers to the shared virtues of Americans during one of the nation's most divisive political campaigns." Forbes Magazine has also hailed her column as “principled, perceptive, persuasive, and patriotic.”

A current political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, Noonan also served as a Special Assistant and speechwriter to President Ronald Reagan. In the Reagan White House, she worked alongside the President on speeches that span the 40th anniversary of D-Day, the Challenger disaster, and his Farewell Address.

Peggy Noonan provides unique and thoughtful analysis of our nation and its leaders. Her speeches are filled with humorous anecdotes and political insight, making them as entertaining as they are thought-provoking. 

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TYLER PERRY

  • World-Renowned Actor, Producer, Writer, and Entrepreneur
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Tyler Perry is an established American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, playwright, and author.  Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form the foundations of his work. 

Tyler started his career writing plays, many of which later became the inspiration for his film projects and included the introduction of the now-legendary Madea character, played by Tyler himself.  Tyler’s first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, debuted at number one nationwide. His ensuing films include Madea's Family Reunion, Daddy's Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet The Browns, The Family That Preys, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Why Did I Get Married Too?, For Colored Girls, Madea's Big, Happy Family, Good Deeds, Madea's Witness Protection, The Single Mom’s Club, Boo! and Boo! 2: A Madea Halloween, A Madea Family Funeral, Gone Girl, Vice and more.

With the historical official opening of Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, Perry is the first African American man to ever be at the helm of a major studio.

In conversation, Perry touches upon all of his experiences, ranging from his work in film and television to his activism on behalf of others and the journey it took for him to get where he is today.

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AMY SCHUMER

  • Award-Winning Comedian, Actor, and Bestselling Author
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Amy Schumer is a standup comedian, actress, writer, producer and director. She is best known as the creator, star, writer and executive producer of the award winning Inside Amy Schumer, the popular Comedy Central television series, which won numerous awards including a Writers Guild Award for Best Comedy/Variety Sketch series, the first-ever Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sketch Variety Series, and the prestigious Peabody Award.

Schumer’s first book, the #1New York Times bestseller The Girl with The Lower Back Tattoo, is a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of personal and observational essays.

Schumer is also known for her work in films, including Universal Pictures film Trainwreck, the mother-daughter comedy Snatched, which she also produced, and the drama Thank You For Your Service.

Beyond her comedy career, Schumer is a proud founding member of Time’s Up. She also developed, along with celebrity stylist and costume designer Leesa Evans, clothing line Le Cloud, which is made for--- and meant to inspire-- women of all shapes, sizes, and walks of life to be the best version of themselves. 

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MARK WAHLBERG

  • Award-winning actor and producer
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Mark Wahlberg earned both Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominations for his standout work in the family boxing film, The Fighter, and Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed drama, The Departed. He has played diverse characters for visionary filmmakers such as David O. Russell, Tim Burton, and Paul Thomas Anderson. His breakout role in Boogie Nights established Wahlberg as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents.

Wahlberg’s remarkable film career began with Renaissance Man, directed by Penny Marshall, and The Basketball Diaries with Leonardo DiCaprio, followed by a star turn opposite Reese Witherspoon in the thriller, Fear. He later headlined Three Kings and The Perfect Storm with George Clooney and The Italian Job with Charlize Theron. Wahlberg then starred in the football biopic, Invincible, and Shooter, based on Stephen Hunter’s best-selling novel, Point of Impact. Wahlberg reunited with The Yards director James Gray and co-star Joaquin Phoenix for We Own the Night, which he also produced. In 2013, he teamed with director Peter Berg on military drama, Lone Survivor, and 2 Guns with Denzel Washington. The following year, he starred in Ted 2 with Seth MacFarlane and Daddy’s Home opposite Will Ferrell. Wahlberg’s additional credits include The Gambler, The Lovely Bones, The Other Guys, Pain & Gain, Contraband, Ted, and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Also recently, he starred in Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, Transformers: The Last Night, Daddy's Home 2, All the Money in the World, Mile 22, and Instant Family. He will soon star in the Netflix film, Wonderland.

An accomplished film and television producer, Wahlberg has produced Instant Family, Mile 22, Daddy's Home 2, Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon, Entourage, The Gambler, Lone Survivor, Broken City, Contraband, The Fighter (for which Wahlberg was nominated for an Oscar® for Best Picture), and We Own the Night. For television, Wahlberg is executive producer of Emmy-nominated Wahlburgers on A&E and hit comedy Ballers on HBO. He executive produced HBO’s Entourage through its impressive eight-season run as well as Boardwalk Empire, How to Make It in America, and In Treatment. He recently executive produced three seasons of Shooter for USA Network. For his work in television, Wahlberg has received a BAFTA, a Peabody, seven Emmy nominations, six Golden Globe® nominations, and a Golden Globe® Award for Boardwalk Empire in 2011.

A committed philanthropist, Wahlberg founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001 to benefit inner-city children and teens. He was inducted into the Boys and Girls Clubs of America’s Alumni Hall of Fame in 2012. Additionally, he is the recipient of the Bob Hope Award from the Medal of Honor Society for his work to support our military.

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ERIC WHITACRE

  • Grammy-Award Winning Composer and Conductor
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Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre is unlike any keynote speaker you've seen before. His secret power lies in his one-of-a-kind fusion of music and interactive multi-media, with lessons that radically transform the way your organization feels and thinks. He injects new life into organizations that may feel stuck, uninspired, or overwhelmed by the pace of change; provides insight on transformative innovation and disruptive leadership; and opens audiences' eyes to new ways of creating and collaborating. 

Working at the vanguard of art and technology. Whitacre has brought his unforgettable combination of speaking and music to the TED conference-- where his talk went viral-- and at events for Google, UNICEF and the United Nations. As audiences rave: "Probably the most emotionally impactful speaker we have ever had — people were mouth opened, crying, not leaving their seats."

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MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

  • Academy Award-Winning Actor
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Academy Award-Winning Actor Matthew McConaughey's impressive career has spanned 40 feature films that have grossed over $1 billion dollars. A Texas native heralded for his constant career reinvention, McConaughey is a dedicated philanthropist whose just keep livin Foundation empowers high school students to lead active lives and make healthy choices for a better future.

A force of nature both onscreen and in business, McConaughey serves as creative director for Wild Turkey, has co-created his own bourbon called Longbranch, is part owner of Austin FC, and serves as the Minister of Culture/M.O.C for the University of Texas sports arena and Austin FC MLS Soccer Club.

In engagements that are equal parts empowering and entertaining, McConaughey shares lessons from his life and career, the impact of his philanthropic efforts, and the importance of chasing your passion.

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ASHLEY JUDD

  • Award-Winning Actress
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Ashley Judd is well known for dexterously starring in both box office hits and for turning in unforgettable performances in fine independent films. From her debut in Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize winner, Ruby In Paradise, to Where the Heart Is , Simon Burch, Helen, De-Lovely and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, her films tell very personal stories-- which is exactly what Judd does when she is not making movies. But the stories she tells are not about being a Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated actress or about making People magazine's “50 Most Beautiful People” list three times.

Ashley Judd is a feminist and social justice humanitarian. She has been working internationally, with NGO’S, grass roots organizations, governments, and supranational bodies since 2004. Presently, she serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, is the Global Ambassador for Population Services International, and also for Polaris Project. She serves on the Advisory Boards of International Center for Research on Women, Apne Aap Worldwide, and Demand Abolition. She is Chairperson of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project: Curbing Abuse, Expanding Freedom. She has also served as a board member for Population Services International (PSI) and as Global Ambassador for YouthAIDS.

She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, and in 2010, earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Her paper, Gender Violence, Law and Social Justice won the Dean’s Scholar Award at Harvard Law School.

Ms. Judd speaks on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves.

Judd has traveled the world to do international public health work on all fronts– maternal health, child survival, human rights, family planning, STD and HIV prevention and malaria prevention and treatment. She has experienced firsthand the connection between poverty, illness and gender inequality and how that sets up the pain and degradation that is sex and labor slavery (on which she testified before the General Assembly of the United Nations). Judd says, "The more we hear their stories, the more motivated we are to heal them and the social systems that victimized them in the first place. I believe with all my soul that the art of compassionate witnessing is at the core of global change and peace building."

She has spoken at many prestigious conferences around the world, including the London School of Economics' Family Planning Summit, sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She also hosted a talk with President Clinton on the work of the Clinton Foundation for the London School of Economics. In 2012, she spoke on the floor of the Democratic National Convention as the delegate from Tennessee asked to cast the ballots for the party's nominee for president and vice president. She is also passionate about the environment. An eighth generation Kentuckian, she is an outspoken critic of mountaintop removal coal mining. A proponent of a "green collar" economy, Judd is committed to helping find innovative renewable energy solutions.

She frequently serves as an expert panelist at international conferences, is a sought after public speaker and is a widely published OpEd author, with a diverse and unique social media presence. Her book, All That Is Bitter and Sweet, detailing her visits to grassroots programs in 13 countries, was a New York Times bestseller.

She is well recognized for her work on behalf others. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Muhammad Ali Kentucky Humanitarian Award, and her alma mater, University of Kentucky, established the Ashley T. Judd Distinguished Graduate Fellowship in the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women. She was also featured on the cover of TIME Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year issue honoring the “The Silence Breakers, “ the thousands of people across the world who have come forward with their experiences of sexual harassment and assault.

Whether it's on behalf of a patient dying from a preventable illness a world away or on behalf a woman struggling with mental illness and abuse, Judd is telling the stories of the vulnerable and the at-risk.

Judd says, "I don't do it because I'm an actor. I do it because I'm a human being."

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LINDSEY VONN

  • Olympic Gold and Bronze Medalist and Most Successful Female Skier of All Time
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Lindsey Vonn is a recently retired Olympic gold and bronze medal‐winning alpine ski racer for the U.S. Ski Team as well as a New York Times bestselling author. She is the most successful female skier of all time and holds four World Cup titles, making her one of only 6 women to win World Cup races in all five disciplines of Alpine skiing.

Lindsey served as an International Games Ambassador in the 2018 Winter Olympics. Lindsey is also the founder of the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, established to empower young girls. She splits her time between Nashville, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, California with her 3 dogs.

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DALE EARNHARDT JR.

  • NASCAR Champion
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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s charisma and flair for originality have helped propel him to become one of the most popular figures in sports and, since retiring from racing, on the small screen with NBC Sports Group’s NASCAR coverage. As a third-generation driver from a legendary family, Earnhardt Jr.’s ability behind the wheel comes from Earnhardt DNA, but his style and business savvy are all his own. 

Named to Forbes’ “Most Influential Athletes,” and BusinessWeek’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in Sports,” Earnhardt Jr.’s business sense extends beyond the track with ventures including Whisky River, a restaurant concept he’s expanded from stand-alone structure to franchise entity; and Dirty Mo Media, a video and podcast network that features cutting-edge content on sports and the world at large as well as behind-the-scenes insight from Earnhardt, team members, family members and others.

In his acclaimed memoir, Racing to the Finish: My Story, Earnhardt Jr. details his legendary career and his final year of racing, during which, following years of concussions, he suffered in silence while fighting to close out his career on his own terms.

Passionate advocacy for those less fortunate led to Earnhardt Jr.’s formation of The Dale Jr. Foundation, a charity dedicated to giving underprivileged individuals, with a focus on youth, the resources to improve their confidence, education and the opportunity to achieve extraordinary goals. In 2019, The Dale Jr. Foundation raised more than $1 million toward its goals.

Voted NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver an amazing 15 times, Earnhardt Jr. brings his signature wit, charm, and dazzling personality to worldwide audiences for conversations about his storied career and the many lessons he's learned along the way. Delving into topics ranging from overcoming life-threatening concussions, to how his life on the track guided his business ventures, to innovation and keeping up with change, Earnhardt Jr. offers timeless insights and riveting stories that transcend the traditional lines between industries. 

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BILLIE JEAN KING

  • Sports Icon and Equality Pioneer
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As one of the 20th century's most respected and influential people, Billie Jean King has long been a champion for social justice and equality. She has created new inroads for both genders in and out of sports during her legendary career and she continues to make her mark today, primarily through the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which is dedicated to promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace.

King, who won an astounding 39 Grand Slam tennis titles during her career, blazed trails for women everywhere in 1970 when she became one of nine players to break away from the tennis establishment and accept a one dollar contract to compete in the newly created Virginia Slims Series. The revolt led to the birth of women's pro tennis and the formation of the Women's Tennis Association. King went on to star in one of the greatest moments in sports history when she defeated Bobby Riggs in the famous match dubbed “The Battle of the Sexes,” which was immortalized on the silver screen in the film of the same name.

Named one of the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" by Life and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, King moves audiences with empowering lessons on leadership, inclusivity, equality, and finding your purpose.

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CECILE RICHARDS

  • Co-Founder, Supermajority
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Cecile Richards, Co-Founder of Supermajority and Former President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (2006-2018), is a globally respected activist and social justice leader. Named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World”, Richards is celebrated for her vocal, dedicated and strategic leadership as well as her extensive advocacy experience at grassroots organizations, in the non-profit sector and in Washington. The author of a new book, and instant New York Times Bestseller, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, Richards offers powerful insights and sharp commentary on leadership, women’s rights, social justice, and politics. A dynamic and empowering speaker who has addressed audiences everywhere from Talks at Google to Harvard University, Richard motivates audiences to action.

In 2019, Richards launched Supermajority, a new home for women’s activism, training, and the mobilization of a multiracial, intergenerational community to fight for gender equality. While at the helm of Planned Parenthood, Richards led a federation of more than 600 health centers, providing high-quality health care to millions of people each year, and directed a staff of more than 500 in the national offices. Under Richard's leadership, Planned Parenthood expanded advocacy efforts to include fighting for access to health care, and she leaves Planned Parenthood with 12 million supporters and counting, four times more than when she joined.

Before joining Planned Parenthood, Richards served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.  In 2004, she founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of 42 national grassroots organizations working to maximize registration, education, and voter participation.  She began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas.

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MICHAEL STRAHAN

  • Legendary Super Bowl Champion and Co-Host, ABC's Good Morning America
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Two-time Emmy winner and Super Bowl Champion Michael Strahan currently co-hosts ABC’s Good Morning America and GMA3: Strahan, Sara, & Keke, serves as an analyst for Fox NFL Sunday, and hosts ABC’s primetime game show favorite $100,000 Pyramid. Strahan also headlines the Thursday Night Football Pregame Show live on the Fox Broadcast Network.

Strahan can also be seen hosting his own digital series Strayland and Close Talker. Strahan is the co-founder of SMAC Entertainment, a multi-dimensional talent management, music, branding and production company which has created a major presence in the sports and entertainment arena. For four years, Strahan co-hosted the hit talk show “LIVE with Kelly and Michael,” and prior to joining the ranks of the top sports broadcasters in the country, Strahan had a spectacular NFL career that resulted in him being named to the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

Strahan introduced COLLECTION by MICHAEL STRAHAN in the fall of 2015, a men’s clothing, denim, accessories, luggage and shoe line.  He has since launched MSX, a men’s athleisure line and most recently, Strahan teamed up with The NFL and G-III Apparel to create MSX by Michael Strahan for NFL, an exclusive men’s and women’s collection in celebration of the NFL’s 100th season.

Strahan is the author of the best-selling book Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life, which includes personal stories and motivational advice.

Dedicated to many charitable works, Strahan donates his hands and heart to numerous charities including The USO, HELP USA and Merging Vets and Players. 

Heralded for his upbeat and inspiring speeches, Strahan talks about his storied career; how to overcome self-doubt in order to follow your passion; perseverance in the workplace; how to achieve excellence in any of your personal ambitions; and details “Strahan’s Rules”—a mix of mental discipline, positive thinking, and a sense of play.

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ERIN ANDREWS

  • FOX Sports Broadcaster and Co-Host of Dancing With The Stars
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One of the most recognized and respected sports broadcasters in the industry, Erin Andrews is part of FOX Sports’ A Team, reporting for FOX NFL Sunday as well as reporting for NFL Thursday Night Football and co-hosting ABC’s long-running reality series Dancing With the Stars.

Andrews’ recently added “creator” to her long list of titles with the launch of her new women’s NFL apparel line, WEAR by Erin Andrews. The fashionable, comfortable and subtle line, designed for women to wear anywhere and everywhere, has quickly garnered notable attention- becoming the #1 NFL women’s only brand since it launched.

While at the top of her career with no limits in sight, Andrews was shocked when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer following a routine annual checkup. Not wanting the diagnosis to interfere with the career she had fought so hard for, Andrews quietly planned doctors’ visits around her work schedule in order to keep her diagnosis private and kept moving full speed ahead during treatment, only sharing her story publicly after she received word she was cancer free.

In empowering, insightful conversations, Andrews discusses her storied career and what it took to get to the top of her game, the challenges and triumphs of working in a male-dominated industry, and spreading awareness about cervical cancer prevention. 

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KATE MCKINNON

  • Emmy Award-Winning Comedian and Actress
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Kate McKinnon won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017 and 2016 and was nominated in 2018, 2015 and 2014 for her work on Saturday Night Live. In addition, she earned a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016 and a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

McKinnon has entertained millions of viewers with her critically acclaimed impression of Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as other notable public figures including Jeff Sessions, Kellyanne Conway, Ellen DeGeneres and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

She recently starred in the Lionsgate/Imagine action-comedy The  Spy Who Dumped Me, opposite Mila Kunis, as ‘Jillian Holtzmann’ in Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters, in the Sony feature Rough Night opposite Scarlett Johansson, and in Office Christmas Party with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. In addition, she has voiced roles in the animated features Angry Birds and Pixar’s Finding Dory, and several series including The Simpsons and Family Guy.  She was also nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy for her work on the PBS animated series, Nature Cat.  She can be heard as ‘Lupe' in the Fox animated feature Ferdinand and Netflix's The Magic School Bus Rides Again as ‘Ms. Frizzle.'

McKinnon also co-hosted the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards with “Silicon Valley’s” Kumail Nanjiani, was a presenter at the 89th annual Academy Awards and was photographed by Annie Leibowitz for Vanity Fair’s November 2017 cover.

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MAYIM BIALIK

  • Award-Winning Actress renowned for "Big Bang Theory"
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Mayim Bialik currently starred on the hit CBS comedy, The Big Bang Theory as Amy Farrah Fowler, for which she received two Critics Choice Awards, four Emmy Award nominations, and a SAG Award nomination. From playing the young version of Bette Midler’s character in Beaches to her turn as Blossom Russo in the iconic 90’s sitcom Blossom, Bialik has appeared in numerous beloved roles throughout her dynamic acting career.

An acclaimed author, Bialik has written two #1 New York Times best sellers, Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular, and the recently released Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant. She has also written a parenting book, Beyond the Sling, and a cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. Bialik has recently dedicated her skills as a writer, actress, neuroscientist and mother to driving the lifestyle website GrokNation.com, which she started in 2015.

Following the end of Blossom, Bialik left acting for twelve years to earn a BS in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2000 with a minor in Hebrew & Jewish Studies. She went on to complete her PhD in Neuroscience, also at UCLA, and then completed her doctorate in the fall of 2007, which examined the role of oxytocin and vasopressin in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in adolescents with Prader-Willi syndrome. While at UCLA, Bialik was a dedicated student leader in UCLA Hillel, including conducting and writing music for UCLA’s Jewish acapella group.

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BOZOMA SAINT JOHN

  • Trailblazing brand marketing executive and change agent
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Over the course of her career, Bozoma Saint John has earned a formidable reputation as a trailblazing brand marketing executive and change agent. With almost 20 years of experience that spans multiple industries including digital music and entertainment, consumer packaged goods, fashion, sports and automotive, Bozoma is a leader heralded for her bold thinking and cutting-edge ideas. She served as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber, where she was tasked with telling the stories of millions of riders and driver partners across over 600 cities, and as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, where she built and launched Apple Music, as well as spearheaded campaigns geared towards growing consumer brand recognition, loyalty and equity around the world. Currently, Bozoma is the Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor. 

Recognized for her breakthrough work by both the industry and her peers, Bozoma is a member of the Billboard Hall of Fame, as well as the Hall of Achievement for the American Advertising Federation. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, named Executive of the Year by Billboard Magazine, and featured in lists such as  Fortune Magazine’s “Disruptors, Innovators & Stars 40 Under 40,” Fast Company ’s “100 Most Creative People”, and more. 

Hailed as the "coolest person to ever go on stage at an Apple event,” by Buzzfeed, Bozoma brings unparalleled energy, transformative thinking, and innovative ideas to each engagement.

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ALEXIS OHANIAN

  • Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Reddit, 6th largest website in the world
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Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder of Reddit, Initialized Capital, and a bestselling author based in San Francisco, CA.

After graduating from UVA in 2005, Alexis and his co-founder Steve Huffman started Reddit. The site quickly took off, and in 2006, they sold it to Conde Nast. In 2015, he returned to executive chair a newly-independent Reddit and helped lead a turnaround—it’s now the 3rd largest US website, 6th largest in the world. Today, he serves on the board of directors as an advisor to the firm.

In 2016, he and Garry Tan co-founded Initialized Capital, an early stage venture capital firm that has over $500M under management and a portfolio with $36B in market value so far.

Alexis helped launch hipmunk (acquired by Concur in 2016) and ran marketing/pr/community for the platform before becoming an advisor and joining the fight against SOPA & PIPA. He's invested in and advised over two hundred tech startups and was a partner at Y Combinator; created & hosted a show called Small Empires (2 seasons!) about tech startups & their communities; and in 2013 wrote a national bestselling book, Without Their Permission. 

Along the way, Alexis spoke at TED, volunteered in Armenia as a Kiva Fellow, and was named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list two years in a row. He’s a vocal advocate and fundraiser for STEM education, the open internet, and paid family leave.

He also proudly designed the mascots for every company he's started. He and his wife are the new and thrilled parents of an awesome daughter, who will be learning to program as soon as she masters eating with a fork and knife.

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RICHARD THALER

  • Winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
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Nobel Prize-Winner Richard H. Thaler studies behavioral economics and finance as well as the psychology of decision-making which lies in the gap between economics and psychology. He investigates the implications of relaxing the standard economic assumption that everyone in the economy is rational and selfish, instead entertaining the possibility that some of the agents in the economy are sometimes human.

Thaler is the co-author (with Cass R. Sunstein) of the global best seller Nudge (2008) in which the concepts of behavioral economics are used to tackle many of society’s major problems. In 2015 he published Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. He has also published numerous articles in prominent journals such as the American Economics Review, the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Political Economy, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times Economic View column. In 2018, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. 

Thaler is a Founding Principal at Fuller and Thaler Asset Management where they manage about $10 billion in U.S. equities.  He was an informal advisor to the coalition government led by David Cameron, the Obama administration, and several professional sports teams.  

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JOY-ANN REID

  • MSNBC Political Analyst and Host, AM Joy
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Joy-Ann Reid is a political analyst at MSNBC and host of “AM Joy,” which airs Saturdays and Sundays from 10 A.M. ET to noon ET. She is the author of three books:Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide,We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama, which she co-edited withWashington Postcolumnist E.J. Dionne, and her latest book:The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story-- published in the summer of 2019, which spent four weeks on theNew York Times        best-sellers list. Reid also co-hosts a podcast: Reid This-Reid That with veteran TV journalist Jacque Reid. She has worked in local and national TV news, as a talk radio producer and co-host, and as a press secretary during two presidential campaigns, including for Barack Obama's campaign in Florida in 2008. Her columns have appeared in multiple outlets includingThe New York Times,The Guardian,The Miami Herald,New York Magazine,and The Daily Beast.     

Reid graduated from Harvard University in 1991 and was a 2003 Knight Center for Advanced Journalism fellow. She has received media awards from the Women’s Media Center, the National Action Network and the National Association of Black Journalists, and her work has been nominated for an Emmy Award, a GLAAD Media Award, and two NAACP Image Awards. 

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BEN RHODES

  • Political Contributor, NBC News & MSNBC
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Ben Rhodes is the author of the New York Times bestseller The World As It Is; a contributor for NBC News, MSNBC and Crooked Media; the co-chair of National Security Action; and an advisor to former President Barack Obama. From 2009-2017, Rhodes  served as a Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama. In that capacity, he participated in nearly all of President Obama’s key decisions, and oversaw the President’s national security communications, speechwriting, public diplomacy and global engagement programming. He also led the secret negotiations with the Cuban government which resulted in the effort to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, and supported the negotiations to conclude the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran. Prior to joining the Administration, he was a Senior Speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign. From 2002-2007, he worked for former Congressman Lee Hamilton, supporting his work on the 9/11 Commission and Iraq Study Group.

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ALEX MOFFAT

  • Actor, Comedian, Writer, and Saturday Night Live Cast Member
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Alex Moffat is a New York-based actor, stand-up, writer, and current cast member on Saturday Night Live. He hails from Chicago where he performed with The Second City's Bizco and Boatco, The Annoyance, iO, Zanies, The Comedy Bar, and The Public House Theater.

He appeared in NBC’s sketch comedy pilot, and can be seen in the films A Conspiracy On Jekyll Island with Minnie Driver and Uncle John with John Ashton. Alex was recently Natural Light Beer’s first spokesperson since Mickey Mantle and was an official acro-dunker with the Chicago Bulls.

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VANESSA BAYER

  • Seven-Season Saturday Night Live Cast Member
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Cleveland native and University of Pennsylvania alum Vanessa Bayer recently wrapped her seventh and final season of Saturday Night Live, where she performed recurring characters such as Jacob the Bar Mitzvah Boy and weather women Dawn Lazurus. She is also known for her roles in films such as Trainwreck, Carrie Pilby, Office Christmas Party and Netflix's Ibiza. She will next appear in guest roles on NBC’s Will and Grace and the third season of Netflix’s Love.

In June 2019, Bayer released her debut children's book, How Do You Care for a Very Sick Bear? Based on her own experience of being treated for childhood leukemia, Bayer offers gentle advice for people of all ages on what to do or say when a loved one is dealing with illness. 

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ELLIE KEMPER

  • Actress, Writer and Comedian
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Known for her television roles on the American version of The Office and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Ellie Kemper is an actress, writer, comedian, and the author of My Squirrel Days, a collection of personal essays that detail her journey from adolescence to Emmy-nominated actress.

In conversations that are equal parts funny and inspiring, Kemper shares behind-the-scenes stories from her time on two of America’s most beloved modern shows; her rise from a struggling actor to a television star; the importance of mentorship in her career; balancing her acting career, publishing a book and having a child in the span of two years; how to keep a positive outlook when facing the challenges of the modern world; and how to effectively follow your dreams.

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WENDY DAVIS

  • Founder, Deeds Not Words
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Former Texas State Senator and Founder of the non-profit, Deeds Not Words, Wendy Davis is renowned as a passionate advocate for women in social, economic and political spheres. After skyrocketing to near celebrity status through her historic 13-hour filibuster in the Texas Senate to stop a legislative effort that would have dramatically reduced women’s access to healthcare, Davis emerged as a leader in the national conversation surrounding women’s leadership and issues which threaten our individual opportunities. Through Davis’ work at Deeds Not Words, for which she earned a spot on Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business”, she is shaping the next generation of leaders and directly working to foster diversity, inclusivity, and change at the highest levels of business and government. Long before she was a Texas State Senator and Texas’ Democratic nominee for Governor in 2014, Davis struggled with the same obstacles faced by women around the country. Determined to break the cycle of poverty she’d been born into, Davis fought to juggle school, career and single motherhood and uses those experiences to connect with others in order to shape perspective.

At the podium, Davis combines the power of personal storytelling with her deep policy understanding to explain why equitable policies matter in the lives of women as well as the overall health and vibrancy of our economy, guiding organizations across industries toward a better understanding of the institutional value in creating diverse work environments, and key issues such as pay equity, family leave, and harassment policies. A living testament to the ability we each possess to rise above challenges and succeed, Davis demonstrates the power of each of our unique voices, and the value in raising them for what we believe in. Audiences are left inspired to utilize their individual strengths into meaningful contributions, and organizations are left with the tools and insights needed to advance positive change.

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W. KAMAU BELL

  • Sociopolitical Comedian, Political Satirist & Host of CNN's United Shades of America
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W. Kamau Bell is a sociopolitical comedian who is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning CNN docu-series, United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. He recently made his Netflix debut with a new stand-up comedy special, Private School Negro. Kamau has a book with the easy-to-remember title, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6' 4", African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama's Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian. He is the director of the critically-acclaimed documentary, Cultureshock: Chris Rock’s Bring the Pain.

Kamau has hosted three critically-acclaimed podcasts: Kamau Right Now!, Politically Re-Active, and Denzel Washington is The Greatest Actor of All Time Period. Kamau is on the advisory board of Hollaback! and Donors Choose and is the ACLU Celebrity Ambassador for Racial Justice. The New York Times called Kamau “the most promising new talent in political comedy in many years.” 

Kamau has been nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards and a GLAAD award, and he was featured on Conde Nast’s ‘Daring 25’ list for 2016. The SF Weekly called Kamau “smart, stylish, and very much in the mold of politically outspoken comedians like Dave Chappelle,” though he was mostly just excited that they called him “handsome.” The New Yorker said, “Bell’s gimmick is intersectional progressivism: he treats racial, gay, and women’s issues as inseparable.” Kamau is also known for his criminally short-lived FX & FXX comedy series, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.

 

 

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LORI GREINER

  • Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank
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Lori Greiner started with one idea and turned it into a multi-million dollar international brand. She is now regarded as one of the most prolific inventors of retail products, having created over 600 products and secured over 120 U.S. and international patents. Lori is known as the star "warm-blooded" Shark on Shark Tank, the four-time Emmy-winning entrepreneurial business show on ABC, where she invests in companies and turns dreams into reality. Lori's QVC-TV show Clever & Unique Creations by Lori Greiner has been on the air for the past 16 years.  Lori says she can instantly tell if a product is a “hero or a zero,” and this is clearly shown through her many thriving investments and a 90% success rate on new items launched. Lori's international bestseller Invent It, Sell It, Bank It! is a step-by-step guide on how to turn an idea into a million-dollar reality.

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TAN FRANCE

  • Star of Emmy-winning Netflix hit Queer Eye
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Successful fashion designer Tan France is renowned as the witty wardrobe wiz leading the charge in the fashion department on the Emmy-winning makeover hit and Netflix re-boot, Queer Eye. Ready to make America fabulous again, one makeover at a time, France showcases how the experience is so much more than just new clothes; it’s about real-life issues, changes, and acceptance on all sides.

Following the global success of Queer Eye, Tan released his New York Times bestselling memoir, Naturally Tan, which reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of color in South Yorkshire, England. Tan also released the 1st season of his viral YouTube series, Dressing Funny, which features him making over his celebrity friends, including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Nick Kroll, Miranda Sings, Pete Davidson, and John Mulaney. 

With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan shares empowering lessons on creativity and innovation, diversity and inclusion, and what it takes to break down barriers to foster human connection and acceptance. He provides a unique perspective on the happiness found in being yourself. 

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JOSEPH LUBIN

  • Founder and CEO, ConsenSys, blockchain venture studio
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Joseph Lubin is a Co-Founder of Ethereum—the most superior advanced blockchain platform by size, functionality and applicationand founder of ConsenSys, one of the largest and fastest-growing blockchain companies in the world.

Named to CoinDesk’s “Most Influential in Blockchain,” Joseph co-founded the Ethereum Project and founded ConsenSys as a venture production studio focused on building developer tools and decentralized applications on the Ethereum platform. Prior to working on Ethereum, Lubin’s career focused on the intersection of cryptography, engineering, and finance, including his role as VP of Technology in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs.  

Sought-out to speak at events ranging from The World Economic Forum to SXSW, in his compelling keynotes Joseph reveals the transformative power of blockchain technology and his vision for a decentralized future. Equal parts informative and inspiring, he sheds light on how new technologies have the power to transform industries, and how organizations can reap the benefits. 

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MICHAEL NUTTER

  • 98th Mayor of Philadelphia
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Michael Nutter served as the 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, his hometown. He served 22.5 years as an elected official in Philadelphia, serving 14.5 years as a City Council member, and then 2 four year terms as Mayor, leaving office on January 4, 2016 due to term limits.

Mayor Nutter was considered one of the foremost leaders in innovation, tackling challenges of public safety, increasing funding for educating children, revitalizing the economy and spurring economic growth, restoring ethics and integrity to city government, ensuring fiscal discipline and making Philadelphia one of the great green and sustainable cities in America.

Known for keeping an active and engaged schedule as Mayor, Michael Nutter is doing the same as a private citizen. He's a Professor at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow with Bloomberg Philanthropies What Works Cities Program, Chair of the Mayors Advisory Board for Airbnb, and holds numerous Fellowships and Advisory positions in academic, political, non-profit and corporate entities. Mayor Nutter is actively engaged in the work of cities and trying to make them work better on behalf of their citizens.

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JENNIFER PALMIERI

  • Communications Director, Clinton 2016 Presidential Campaign
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Jennifer Palmieri is one of the most accomplished communications advisors in politics today. Jennifer was White House Communications Director for President Obama and head of Communications for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. She has been on the frontlines of American politics for 20 years and one of a few people with a hands-on, working knowledge of the complex media environment operating in the U.S. today.

Having served in the West Wing for 12 years under President Obama and President Clinton she has an unparalleled level of knowledge and experience in understanding how US Presidents operate and there is no one working in politics today with more experience in managing crises. She has held the positions of White House Deputy Press Secretary for President Clinton, national press secretary for the Democratic Party and press secretary for the 2004 John Edwards presidential campaign. As someone who worked on the campaign of the first female Democratic nominee, and been a communications advisor to women in the national spotlight, she has a unique perspective on how media and voters treat women in powerful positions.

After losing her sister to early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2017, she has written and spoken about her family’s experience in an effort to aid other families facing the same disease.

She is a frequent contributor to the Washington Post and other national outlets and frequent guest commentator on MSNBC news shows.

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LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

  • Host, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC
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Lawrence O'Donnell is an Emmy-winning producer and the host of MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Bringing his extraordinary background in politics, entertainment and news to the nightly program, O'Donnell provides the last word on the important issues and most compelling stories of the day. 

A sought-after speaker for his straight talking political commentary, O'Donnell has an uncanny ability to go beyond the headlines to provide audiences with prescient analysis.

Prior to his time as a political analyst, O'Donnell served as an executive producer for the acclaimed series The West Wing, a senior advisor on Capitol Hill, and a political columnist and writer.

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TAMRON HALL

  • Award-Winning Journalist and Host, Tamron Hall and Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall
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Television host, award-winning journalist, and philanthropist Tamron Hall takes on the most captivating and thought-provoking issues facing the world every day as the host of The Tamron Hall Show in national syndication. She is also the host of Investigation Discovery’s Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall, where she goes beyond the headlines to explore the nature and effect of crime on victims and communities, a subject that is very personal for her. Previously, Tamron was the first African American female co-host of TODAY and served as the anchor for MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall. 

A Variety “Power of Women” honoree and an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Tamron empowers and inspires audiences with conversations about overcoming obstacles in the workplace and at home; domestic violence, homelessness, and literacy; her storied career; journalism and the media; and much more.

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DAVID ROWAN

  • Editor-at-Large and Founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED UK
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“You can’t really ignore the new rules of business,” says David Rowan. As founding editor-in-chief of WIRED UK and a renowned technology columnist who has written for The Times, GQ, Conde Nast Traveller, and the Sunday Times, Rowan deconstructs tech trends in real time, unpacking how major innovations like the Internet of Things, 3D printing, big data, artificial intelligence, and more, are changing businesses and consumers. Rowan travels excessively to meet crazy-driven startup entrepreneurs who are reinventing every industry in fascinating ways. Fortune 100 companies regularly seek out his insights on how these startups are thinking and scaling.

Author of Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds, Rowan shares game-changing tips for anyone looking for radical ways to adapt and thrive in the digital age. He offers fully customized keynotes that reveal the future of your industry, how companies can transform their values, and ideas for creating genuine innovation.

 

HWA NEW

CLARENCE PAGE

  • Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist
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Pulitzer Prize winner Clarence Page is one of the most nationally recognized and highly regarded syndicated columnists in the country. A member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board, Page is also a regular contributor of essays to The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and has been a regular on The McLaughlin Group, The Chris Matthews Show, Nightline and Lead Story news panel programs. 

A go-to voice on American culture and politics thanks to his sharp, thoughtful and moving analysis, Page has received lifetime achievement awards from the Chicago Headline Club, the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the National Association of Black Journalists. In his speeches, he decodes top political issues with clarity, balance and humor. 

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GREG NORMAN

  • Golf’s “Great White Shark”
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Arguably the most successful athlete-turned-businessman in the world, Greg Norman is known as much for his entrepreneurial spirit in the boardroom as his dominance on the golf course. The internationally renowned “Great White Shark” won more than 90 tournaments worldwide, including two Open Championships, and he holds the distinction of defending his No. 1 position in the world golf rankings for 331 weeks, the second-longest reign in history. As one of the most prolific players in the game’s history, his career culminated in 2001 when he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame with a higher percentage of votes than any other inductee in history.

Greg Norman now transcends the game of golf, with over a dozen companies around the world bearing his name and the iconic shark logo as part of the Greg Norman Company, which he leads as Chairman & CEO. His internationally recognized brand boasts more than 100 golf course designs across six continents, a global real estate collection, award-winning wine, golf-inspired lifestyle apparel and a diverse investment division. Across all facets of business, the Greg Norman brand consistently delivers the quality that his name is synonymous with and continues to inspire people to attack life.

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TROY AIKMAN

  • 3-Time Super Bowl-Winning Quarterback
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Former Dallas Cowboys player Troy Aikman has harnessed the drive and dedication that formed the foundation of his Hall of Fame football career into several successful business ventures since retiring from the game. Through broadcasting, investing in numerous companies, and The Troy Aikman Foundation, Aikman has quickly discovered numerous ways to keep himself occupied in “retirement.” 

After leaving the playing field, Aikman joined the NFL on FOX full-time as a game analyst. He quickly displayed the accuracy and work ethic that marked his playing career and moved up to FOX’s No. 1 broadcast crew. Aikman has impressed both critics and fans with the consistently entertaining and informative brand of coverage.

An empowering and insightful speaker, Aikman engages audiences with conversations about how to identify (and maximize) the individual assets of members on any team, how to use unexpected change and setbacks to grow, what he learned from the struggles and triumphs of his football career, and more.

 

 

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MARIA SHARAPOVA

  • International Tennis Icon
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Maria Sharapova is a world-class tennis champion and entrepreneur. Her passion for craftsmanship and detail is reflected in everything she does — both on and off the tennis court. 

After moving to the United States from Russia at age six to pursue her tennis career, Maria turned professional at age 14. She won Wimbledon at age 17 - the first of her five career Grand Slam titles -  and has been ranked #1 in the world by the WTA on five separate occasions. Maria was also the 7th female player in the open era to complete the career Grand Slam and the first female athlete to serve as the Olympic flag bearer for the Russian delegation. Maria chronicles much of her tennis career in her New York Times best-seller, Unstoppable: My Life so Far. 

Outside of tennis, Maria Sharapova is an active founder, CEO and business investor. She founded her premium candy line, Sugarpova, and has artfully designed and scaled all aspects of the company. She oversees the day-to-day decision-making and growth of the business — from creative branding and packaging to product R&D and retail expansion. Maria is also passionate about supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs — investing in several companies and participating in mentorship programs for women in business. 

 A curious person by nature, Maria is always seeking opportunities to learn and grow from others. She has taken courses at Harvard Business School and is collaborating with architect Dan Meis on a new concept for boutique wellness centers. Maria brings a creative and hands-on approach to all of her projects, spanning tennis, business, design and more. 

In her passionate remarks, Sharapova addresses everything from business advice and how to perform like a champion to women's empowerment and her own inspirational life story. 

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DEION SANDERS

  • NFL Hall of Famer, Two-Time Super Bowl Champion, and Broadcast Analyst
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Pro Football Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders, can currently be seen across several NFL Network television series, including 21st and Prime and NFL Gameday, serving as an analyst for the highly-rated Sunday program. During the football season, Sanders interviews top playmakers and provides pregame, halftime, and postgame analysis. An eight-time Pro Bowler, and two-time Super Bowl champion, Sanders played 14 NFL seasons for the Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens. A two-time All-American at Florida State, Sanders was the first-round draft choice of the Atlanta Falcons in 1989. He is the only person in professional sports history to play in the World Series and the Super Bowl.

A philanthropic at heart, Sanders, alongside Stand Together, launched Prime 5, a $21 million fundraising initiative that will support for-purpose organizations that can empower Dallas residents to transform their lives and find a path out of poverty.

 

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WAYNE GRETZKY

  • National Hockey Legend
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Wayne Gretzky, nicknamed "The Great One," is widely considered to be the greatest hockey player of all-time. Following his successful career on the ice, Gretzky has stayed close to the game he loves. He was Head Coach and EVP of the Phoenix Coyotes from 2005 to 2009 and more recently was named the Vice Chairman of the Edmonton Oilers in 2016 and the official ambassador for the NHL’s Centennial Celebration in 2017.

Gretzky retired as a player on April 16, 1999, after 20 seasons in which he dominated the National Hockey League unlike any player in history. Gretzky helped win four Stanley Cup Championships and three Canada Cup tournament titles during his illustrious career. He became the NHL's all-time leading goal, assist, and point producer for both regular season and playoffs. Gretzky won 10 Art Ross Trophies as the NHL's leading scorer, nine Hart Trophies as the League's MVP, and two Conn Smythe Trophies as playoff MVP. He earned five Lady Byng Trophies as the NHL's most gentlemanly player and made 18 consecutive All-Star Game appearances, securing three All-Star MVP Awards. Gretzky is an eight-time First All-Star Team member and seven-time Second All-Star Team member. He holds virtually every offensive record in the NHL and his tireless support of the game has contributed significantly to the popularity it enjoys today.

Upon his retirement, Gretzky held or shared 61 NHL records. Following his final game, the NHL bestowed on Gretzky the unique distinction of being the only player in the history of the NHL to have his jersey number retired by all member clubs. "No. 99" was formally retired at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game in Toronto and will never again be worn by an NHL player

On November 22, 1999, seven months after his retirement, Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada, becoming the tenth and final player in Hockey Hall of Fame history to have the mandatory three-year waiting period for enshrinement waived by the Hall's board of directors.

In 2002, Gretzky served in a managerial role with Team Canada as the Executive Director of Team Canada's Olympic Hockey Team. Under Gretzky's leadership, Team Canada persevered to win the Gold Medal. Gretzky served in the same capacity with Team Canada for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

The Wayne Gretzky Foundation is dedicated to helping disadvantaged youngsters throughout North America participate in hockey. Gretzky also gives his time to countless other charitable endeavors. He serves as Honorary Chairman of Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities in Canada, and is an Athlete Ambassador and Honorary Member of the Board of Trustees of Right to Play, an athlete driven humanitarian organization that uses sports to enhance child development in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the world. Gretzky also is a participant in “Hands That Shape Humanity”, a project for the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre.

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ADAM RIPPON

  • Olympic Figure Skater, Artist, and Activist
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Artist. Athlete. Activist. Adam Rippon is a combination of all three.

One of the most dramatic figure skaters on the planet, Adam won the hearts of America and the world at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Known for his refreshing candor and wit, his rise to fame on the global stage has provided him with a platform to speak out in support of LGBTQ rights and the freedom to be oneself. His passion and charm have made him an inspiration to young and old alike and he has quickly become a role model and icon to millions.

Adam has been named to the TIME's "100 Most Influential People", AdWeek ’s "100 Most Creative," Bleacher Report’ s "Power 50: Most Influential People in Sports Culture" and OUT Magazine ’s "Power 50: The Most Influential Voices in LGBTQ America." He has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) with their Visibility Award, has supported the GLAAD Ambassadors Program through an online fundraising campaign, hosted the Trevor Project’s 20th anniversary gala, TrevorLIVE which raised more than $2 million (a record), and received a Proclamation from the NYC City Council LGBTQ Caucus in recognition of his advocacy work. 

The oldest of six children from Scranton, Pennsylvania, Adam rose through the skating ranks, claiming the world junior title twice before winning the U.S. men’s title in 2016. He was named to his first Olympic team in 2018 at the age of 28.

Adam also made the bold decision to come out publicly in October 2015 in an interview with SKATING magazine, which led him to become the first openly gay athlete to represent the United States in Olympic competition.

He has been featured on the covers of the New York Times Style section, ESPN’ s Body Issue, The Washington Post Magazine , The Guardian’s G2 and OUT Magazine and celebrated in the pages of In-Style, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, People Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Paper, Elle, Cosmo and many more. His easy conversational style and sense of self have landed him appearances on TODAY, Ellen, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Good Morning America, The View and Live with Kelly and Ryan among others.

He has worked as a special correspondent for Good Morning America, conducting celebrity interviews and covering red carpet events, traveled to Laramie, Wyoming to meet with LGBTQ youth for a feature on ABC’s Nightline, and made his live theater debut in a benefit reading of The Laramie Project. 

In his inspiring,  bestselling memoir, Beautiful on the Outside, Adam uses his signature wit and one-of-a-kind humor to give the world an inside look into his journey from financially-struggling athlete to an Olympian and (self-proclaimed) American sweetheart.

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APRIL RINNE

  • Global Authority on the New Economy, Disruptive Innovation and the Future of Work
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The sharing economy, collaborative economy, on-demand economy, freelance economy, gig economy, access economy, trust economy -- or even just the “new economy”: what is going on? From Airbnb to TaskRabbit and Uber, hundreds of sharing and on-demand platforms are transforming industries and causing us to rethink almost every aspect of our lives. Anyone with a spare room, a car or even a little free time can become a mini-entrepreneur. What is the future evolution of these businesses? Who are the next disruptors on the horizon? What -- and where -- are the real opportunities and obstacles? Sharing Economy expert April Rinne has the answers. Advisor of choice for a range of private and public sector organizations, from Airbnb to the World Economic Forum and  governments worldwide, a graduate of Harvard Law and an inveterate traveler,Rinne can help you see the shifts underway through a practical, helpful lens and bring new insights to light for you and your organization.

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TABATHA COFFEY

  • Host, Bravo's Relative Success with Tabatha and Tabatha Take Over
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Known for her no-nonsense approach and savvy business expertise, Tabatha Coffey has been widely credited for her ability to help struggling businesses and transform people’s lives.

For five seasons on Bravo’s hit show Tabatha Takes Over, Tabatha “took over” hair salons and, later, other small businesses for a week, whipping the owners into shape. With her new Bravo show, Relative Success With Tabatha, the focus is less on “taking over” and more about giving family businesses tools to succeed with minimal hands-on intervention from Tabatha herself. Her role is more of a coach, and in fact she’s actually certified to coach people in life and in business. “

In addition to saving troubled businesses, Tabatha is also an author and entrepreneur. Tabatha’s memoir, It’s Not Really About the Hair: The Honest Truth About Life, Love, and the Business of Beauty (2011; Harper Collins/It Books) was a huge success and sold out in multiple cities during her national book tour. Her second book, OWN IT! Be the Boss of Your Life – at Home and in the Workplace, reveals-- with Tabatha's characteristic savvy expertise and straightforward advice-- that the secret of success is taking charge – of your priorities, your future, and your life. 

Tabatha's blunt but rock-solid wisdom provides tips for every aspect of business –from entrepreneurship, to customer service, to management – as well as on the home front, to help people seeking to balance their family lives with their careers.

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ABIGAIL POSNER

  • Director, BrandUnit, Google
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Abigail shines a unique, humanistic lens on culture, business and technology that brings fresh perspective to corporate culture, product development, branding and marketing.  Her quest is to spark novel thinking and lead people to take action.  Abigail is the Director of the Brand Unit, Google’s creative think tank for agencies and brands. At Google, she helps advertisers and marketers make sense of human beings’ deep, emotional relationship to the digital space and convert those insights into strategic and creative efforts. She has spent her life catalyzing change and ensuring impact.

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ROBIN SHARMA

  • Globally Respected Leadership Expert
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Robin Sharma is one of the world's premier speakers on Leadership and Personal Mastery, recently named one of the World's Top Leadership Gurus. As a presenter, Sharma has the rare ability to electrify an audience yet deliver uncommonly original and useful insights that lead to individuals doing their best work, teams providing superb results and organizations becoming unbeatable.

For nearly 20 years, many of the most well-known organizations on the planet, ranging from Nike, GE, Microsoft, FedEx, PwC, HP and Oracle to NASA, Yale University and YPO have chosen Robin Sharma for their most important events, when nothing less than a world-class speaker will do.

Sharma's books such as The Leader Who Had No Title have topped bestseller lists internationally and his social media posts reach over six hundred million people a year, making him a true global phenomenon for helping people do brilliant work, thrive amid change and realize their highest leadership capacities within the organization so that personal responsibility, productivity, ingenuity and mastery soars.

Sharma has been ranked as one of the Top 5 Leadership Gurus in the World in an independent survey of over 22,000 businesspeople and appears on platforms with other luminaries such as Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Jack Welch and Shaquille O'Neill.

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J.R. MARTINEZ

  • Wounded U.S. Army Veteran and Motivational Speaker
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J.R. Martinez is a bestselling author, motivational speaker, advocate, wounded U.S. Army veteran, and actor who has been featured on All My Children, Dancing with the Stars, SAF3 and more.  

While deployed to Iraq, J.R. hit a roadside bomb while driving and became trapped in his burning vehicle. He suffered smoke inhalation, severe burns, and had to undergo 34 different surgeries, including skin grafts and cosmetic surgery, in the years following his injury. During his recovery, after a brief visit with another burn patient, J.R. realized that he'd made a positive impact on this individual and decided to use his own experiences to help others. He continued to visit patients every day, sharing his story and listening to theirs. He learned that inspiration is often a two-way street.

A highly sought-after motivational speaker, Martinez travels the world spreading his message of resilience and optimism. He has spoken to troops at various bases around the world, as well as to groups such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the Red Cross, and dozens of universities, non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies. His New York Times bestselling memoir, Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength and Spirit, details how he was able to take his personal tragedy and turn it into an inspiration for others, a message he also brings to worldwide organizations. His story is unique, but his message is universal: your path in life is decided by your own ability to adapt and overcome.

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JON TAFFER

  • Executive Producer & Host of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue”
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Most people know Jon Taffer as a larger-than-life television personality who takes a no-holdsbarred approach to helping hotels, restaurants, bars and businesses reach their full potential. He is also an international celebrity, New York Times best-selling author, highly sought-after hospitality and general business consultant and creator, and is the creator, executive producer and star of Paramount Network’s number-one show, Bar Rescue. For nearly four decades, Taffer has been at the forefront of the business management industry offering his expertise to hundreds of thousands of properties and Fortune 500 companies, to creating what industry experts call “the greatest nightclub in the world,” and changing the game of football for its fans, forever with the creation of football’s “Sunday Ticket”. 

As the creator, host and executive producer of Bar Rescue on the Paramount Network, currently in its sixth season and renewed for a seventh, Taffer has led the show to account for nearly 25% of the network’s programing and over 90 million viewers. Bar Rescue spotlights Jon as he saves failing bars from looming closure, leverages Taffer’s four decades of unprecedented industry experience and trademarked “Reaction Management” strategy to offer advisement on everything from menu design to cost management. In 2019 the show exceeded 180 episodes. On June 2, 2019, Paramount Network expanded its Jon Taffer-led “Rescue” franchise with Marriage Rescue, a new original non-scripted series following Taffer as he helps couples whose relationships are on the brink of failure. 

Concurrently, Jon runs Taffer Dynamics, his business operations firm where he has been brought on to offer dynamic models for a range of well-known establishments and brands, including the NFL, Anheuser-Busch, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Marriott, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Fridays, Buffalo Wild Wings, Famous Dave's Barbecue, and Wolfgang Puck Express. In addition, Taffer is the chairman of the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Tradeshow. 

In the spring and summer of 2019, Jon launched two new business endeavors: Taffer’s Mixologist and Taffer’s Tavern. 

Now on shelves in retail stores across the country, including Walmart, Taffer’s Mixologist brings the craft cocktail experience to the home with a line of delicious, high-quality, pre-made cocktail mixes. Taffer’s handcrafted mixes contain no artificial preservatives and are mixologist-tested and Jon Taffer approved. The initial line at launch includes the following popular cocktails: Bloody Mary, Cosmopolitan, Margarita, Mojito, Piña Colada, Skinny Margarita, and Strawberry Margarita.

Taffer’s Tavern is an innovative restaurant concept based on a high-volume, small footprint format that uses the latest technologies to produce high-quality food and beverage offerings without the need for a traditional commercial kitchen. Jon partnered with Fransmart, the industry-leading franchise development company behind the explosive growth of powerhouse brands like The Halal Guys, Five Guys Burgers & Fries, and QDOBA Mexican Grill. Together with Fransmart, Jon is currently seeking experienced franchisees to bring the Taffer’s Tavern concept to the 50 largest media markets throughout North America.

As an author, Jon wrote Don’t Bullsh*t Yourself, a no-nonsense guide that helps people understand and overcome the excuses holding them back from success, became a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller in its first week of release. Jon’s first book, Raise the Bar, an Action-Based Method for Maximum Customer Reactions, also hit the Wall Street Journal’s best-seller list.  

In 2018 Taffer partnered with PodcastOne, the leading advertiser-supported podcast network to launch Jon Taffer: No Excuses. The weekly show features Taffer’s trademark straight talk and unapologetic approach to daily topics, current events and celebrity interviews. In addition to his genuine opinions and in-your-face analysis on these topics, Taffer offers tough-love advice to fans in the interactive program. Since its launch, Jon has interviewed celebrities and industry trailblazers such as Maria Menounos, Martellus Bennet, Jenny McCarthy, Jim Harbaugh, Dennis Miller, Barstool Sports Big Cat, Robert Irvine, Daniel Negreanu, Rick Harrison and more.

As an entrepreneur and business expert, Jon has been featured in leading publications such as Forbes Magazine, Entrepreneur, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, among other prominent media outlets. He has appeared as a guest on shows ranging from Rachael Ray to Jimmy Kimmel Live to Good Morning America. In addition, Taffer is a regular guest on Fox Business Network, MSNBC and CNBC. 

Some of Jon’s past awards and accolades include:

  • Operator of the Year
  • Visionary Leader Award
  • Property of Year (not once, but twice)
  • Creator of the NFL’s Sunday Ticket
  • Nightclub Hall of Fame inductee
  • United Kingdom’s “Pub Master” distinction
  • Dom Perignon Award of Excellence from UNLV’s College of Hotel Administration
  • The Friday’s “Propeller Award” for the greatest contribution to their business

When he’s not dedicating his time to bringing back businesses from the brink, Taffer volunteers his time with St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and Ronald McDonald House, and most recently joined the Keep Memory Alive Board of Directors supporting the mission of the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. He also regularly offers up his seasoned hospitality skills to the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he helps faculty develop curriculum that is in line with industry expectations and trends. Every year at the holidays, he and his wife, Nicole, host the annual Taffer’s Gift of Giving, with proceeds benefitting the children of St. Jude’s Ranch in Boulder City, Nevada—a 40-acre home for abused and abandoned children located just outside of the Las Vegas Valley.

Married for 18 years to a woman he fell in love with at first sight at Super Bowl XXX, Jon spends what little spare time he has traveling with his wife, Nicole, spending time with his daughter (who’s currently taking the liquor industry by storm), and occasionally sipping one of his favorite cocktails: The Godfather. 

HWA NEW

DANIEL SHAPIRO

  • U.S. Ambassador to Israel (2011-2017)
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Appointed by President Barack Obama, Daniel Shapiro served as the United States Ambassador to Israel from July 2011 until the end of the Obama Administration. As Ambassador, Shapiro won praise from leaders of both countries for his deft management of the U.S.-Israel relationship during Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the Iran nuclear agreement, regional instability, and periods of significant bilateral tension and disagreement. Among Shapiro's major contributions were negotiating the $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding for U.S. military aid to Israel, unprecedented public outreach in fluent Hebrew to Israel’s diverse communities, and 40 percent growth in U.S.-Israel trade.

Shapiro's time as the Ambassador to Israel followed a diverse career of over 20 years in senior foreign policy and national security positions in the United States government, including as the Senior Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Security Council.

Currently, Shapiro is the Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute of National Security Studies. His remarkable breadth of insights have been featured across the major media networks, and his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, Washington PostCNN, MSNBC, Israeli Channel 2, and more. 

HWA NEW

RICKI LAKE

  • Actress, Producer, Author, and Family Advocate
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Pop culture icon Ricki Lake has built an award-winning acting and producing career on her graciously candid sensibility and her authentic, relatable nature. A storyteller, talk show host, documentarian, and passionate activist, Lake has worked hard to make this world a better place through the use of her voice and platform. Lake’s legacy is undoubtedly her ability to share the truth on a wide variety of subjects through her unique lens.

Rising to fame at 18 years of age as the original Tracy Turnblad, in John Water’s Hairspray, she went to on make more than 20 films including Cry-baby, Serial Mom, and Mrs. Winterbourne among others. Ricki then went on to become the youngest talk show host in history at the age of 24. Her show was the voice of the younger generation and the success of her show was unprecedented and changed the genre of talk television forever.  

Lake’s award-winning documentary The Business of Being Born has become a national platform and tool for childbirth education in schools and hospitals, and is hailed as the “must see” film among mothers to be. In addition to other successful film projects, Lake also executive produced documentary film Weed the People, which examines the use of cannabis as medicine for children with pediatric cancer and its status as a Schedule I prohibited drug in the United States.

The author of Never Say Never: Finding a Life That Fits, Lake speaks to worldwide audiences, offering actionable advice for those struggling in their own skin. In empowering, impassioned conversations, Lake shares her journey from troubled childhood to weathering near-bankruptcy, an extremely difficult divorce, and the suicide of a deep love to ultimately finding success and happiness. In recalling the ups and downs of her experience, she reminds audiences that life always hands you the unexpected, so you should never say never. With her signature informative yet conversational delivery, Lake educates people on how to make informed choices when it comes to their health and inspires any group to let go of their own fears to find happiness within themselves.

HWA NEW

BEN SHERWOOD

  • Former Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks
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A master storyteller and one of the top media executives in the world, Ben Sherwood served as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney|ABC Television Group from 2014 to 2019.  An award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist, Sherwood also served as president of ABC News from 2010 to 2014.

Consistently ranked in The Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the "Most Powerful People in Entertainment," Sherwood offers game-changing insights on bold leadership in times of disruption, the art of the turnaround, the secrets of unleashing creativity and innovation, and the inside story of the tumultuous worlds of entertainment and news.

At Disney|ABC, Sherwood managed a twelve billion dollar business with 12,000 employees responsible for the creation of more than 25,000 hours of original content every year. Leading the organization through a period of rapid disruption, with new streaming services and technology upending business models and consumer behavior, Sherwood and his team consistently delivered outstanding results measured in profitability, cultural relevance and creative excellence.

HWA NEW

RONAN FARROW

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter and New York Times Bestselling Author
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Ronan Farrow is a contributing writer to The New Yorker, where his investigative reporting has won the Pulitzer Prize for public service, the National Magazine Award, and the George Polk Award, among other honors. His stories for The New Yorker exposed the first sexual-assault allegations against the movie producer Harvey Weinstein and the first misconduct allegations against CBS executives, including then C.E.O. Leslie Moonves. He was also responsible for the first detailed accounts of payments made by the National Enquirer’s parent company in order to suppress stories about Donald Trump during the 2016 Presidential campaign. Farrow's latest book, Catch and Kill is a New York Times bestseller with a companion podcast which has topped the Apple Podcast charts. Farrow is also currently producing documentaries for HBO. 

Before his career in journalism, Farrow served as a State Department official in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence

Farrow has been named one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People" and one of GQ's "Men of the Year". His speeches have been selected among NPR’s “Greatest Commencement Speeches Ever” and Huffington Post’s "Top 10 Speeches of the Year".

HWA NEW

CHARLES BLOW

  • Visual Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times
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Charles M. Blow is an Op-Ed columnist at The New York Times, where his column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. Mr. Blow’s columns tackle hot-button issues such as social justice, racial equality, presidential politics, police violence, gun control, and the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Mr. Blow is also a CNN commentator and was a Presidential Visiting Professor at Yale, where he taught a seminar on media and politics.

Mr. Blow is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones. The book won a Lambda Literary Award and the Sperber Prize and made multiple prominent lists of best books published in 2014. People Magazine called it “searing and unforgettable.”

Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. In that role, he led The Times to a best of show award from the Society for News Design for The Times’  information graphics coverage of 9/11, the first time the award had been given for graphics coverage.  He also led the paper to its first two best of show awards from the Malofiej Infographics World Summit for work that included coverage of the Iraq war.  He then went on to become the paper’s design director for news before leaving in 2006 to become the art director of National Geographic Magazine. Before coming to The Times, Mr. Blow had worked at The Detroit News.

As a speaker, Blow fearlessly tackles contentious issues, such as income inequality, xenophobia, education, and the relationship between journalism and justice. 

HWA NEW

CODY KEENAN

  • White House Director of Speechwriting for President Barack Obama (2013-2017)
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Cody Keenan has been a speechwriter for President Barack Obama for nearly a decade, rising from a campaign intern in Chicago to Director of Speechwriting at the White House. Through times of challenge and change, Keenan has helped President Obama craft remarks on every topic for every audience – from tiny backyards in Iowa to the biggest stadiums in the country; from sermons on the National Mall to the State of the Union Address.  Over eight years in the White House, their collaborations were compared to the works of Abraham Lincoln, described as the “‘I Have a Dream’ speech for the 21st Century,” and categorized even by prominent Republicans as “speeches that every child should read in school.” 

Together, Keenan and Obama's efforts resulted in some of the most unforgettable addresses of our time.  From Tucson to Newtown to Charleston, Keenan helped President Obama fill his role as Consoler-in-Chief.  From commencement addresses to Selma to Obama’s Farewell Address, they redefined the essence of the American creed and charted an inspiring, optimistic course for a new generation’s active citizenship.  In 2017, Obama asked Keenan to continue their partnership, and today, Keenan serves as Obama’s collaborator on his upcoming book, and as his post-presidential speechwriter.

Described as the "Springsteen" of Obama's White House and included in British GQ's "35 Coolest Men Under 38 (And a Half)", when it comes to finding a message that resonates, Keenan is truly in a league of his own. As Obama said of Keenan, "I rely on Cody not just to share my vision, but to help tell America’s story.  He’s a brilliant writer.  He’s relentless.” 

HWA NEW

CHARLES DUHIGG

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of "The Power of Habit" and "Smarter Faster Better"
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Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit has spent three years on the New York Times Bestseller list. His latest bestselling book, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business (2016) is a fascinating exploration of the science of productivity, and why, in today’s world, managing how you think—rather than what you think—can transform your life. Duhigg's journalistic accomplishments have made him an in-demand speaker for organizations from the UCLA School of Management to Fortune 500 companies and The Johnson Foundation to the National Association of Science Teachers. His presentations are both descriptive and prescriptive, and speak to a wide range of groups from the fields of business, science, medicine, and education. He is a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter , and writes for The New York Times Magazine and other publications. 

HWA NEW

MATTHEW WALKER

  • Scientist and New York Times Bestselling Author of "Why We Sleep"
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A Sleep Scientist at Google, Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UC Berkeley, as well as the founder and director of the school's Center for Human Sleep Science,  Dr. Matthew Walker is a celebrated sleep expert. The author of the New York Times bestseller Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, hailed as an "important and fascinating book" by Bill Gates, Dr. Walker explains how we can harness sleep to dramatic effects including: to improve learning, mood and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s, obesity, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children; and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Previously, Dr. Walker was a Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and served as Chief Scientist and scientific counsel for numerous technology companies, including Hello and Fitbit.

Dedicated to the communication of science, Dr. Walker has shed light on his groundbreaking research everywhere from Google to TED, where his talk "Sleep is your superpower" has over 3 million views. He discusses the impact of sleep on human health and disease in a way that is digestible for any audience and provides tangible takeaways on wellness and peak performance. Dr. Walker translates his work for any industry and audience, and also offers workshops of various kinds to business leaders, technology firms, and medical and healthcare professionals.

HWA NEW

STEVEN KOTLER

  • New York Times Bestselling Author
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Steven Kotler is a New York Times Bestselling Author, award-winning journalist and Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective.  The author of Stealing Fire, The Rise of Superman, Abundance, Bold, and The Future is Faster Than You Think, Kotler shows companies how to unlock their potential and level up their game like never before. His bestselling books and research decode how scientific and technological breakthroughs are radically changing the world for both businesses and individuals, and how to stay ahead of the curve. Whether it’s an optimistic view of how technology and innovation can help us solve life’ s greatest challenges;  or how bold thinking can transform the way your organization problem solves;  or how science can help your team send performance through the roof; Kotler is a master storyteller who decodes our new world with enthusiasm and optimism to provide what the Wall Street Journal called “a manifesto for the future that is grounded in practical solutions addressing the world’s most pressing concerns."

An international pioneer in the fields of innovation, technology and human performance, Kotler has spoken to and consulted with everyone from Fortune 100 companies to the US Special Forces. He explores the mental tactics utilized by high performing organizations like Google and the Navy Seals, and details how today’s top entrepreneurs—Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk—have learned to think at scale and perform at speed—the core requirements for creative disruption.

HWA NEW

PADMA LAKSHMI

  • Emmy Award-Winning Host and Producer, Bravo's Top Chef
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Emmy-nominated Padma Lakshmi is internationally known as a food expert, model, actress and bestselling author, as well as the recipient of the 2016 NECO Ellis Island Medal of Honor and Variety’s 2018 Karma award. Lakshmi serves as host and an executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef, which is currently in its 16th season.

Lakshmi established herself as a food expert early in her career, having hosted two successful cooking shows and writing the bestselling Easy Exotic. Lakshmi followed this success with the publication of her second cookbook, Tangy, Tart, Hot & Sweet, and her food memoir, The New York Times bestselling Love, Loss and What We Ate.

In addition to her work as a writer, Lakshmi is a savvy businesswoman, having had multiple companies of her own, including her home décor line, The Padma Collection, and Padma’s Easy Exotic, a collection of frozen rices, lentils and other culinary products. 

An ambassador for the ACLU, focusing on women’s reproductive health and immigration issues, Lakshmi is also co-founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. 

HWA NEW

JANE LUTE

  • Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security (2009-2013)
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Jane Holl Lute has dedicated her career to preventing terrorism, enhancing global stabilty and security, and helping those in crisis.  It says something about the times in which we live that Ms. Lute now focuses on cyberterrorism, the source of today's most menacing threats to nations, businesses and individuals.  Audiences praise Ms. Lute for grounding her remarks about cybersecurity in her roots as a United Nations Peace builder and Assistant Secretary-General of the U.N. responsible for comprehensive on-the-ground support for humanitarian operations in crises.  She has also served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security where she was responsible for the day-to-day management of the Department's efforts to prevent terrorism and enhance security, secure and manage the nation's borders, administer and enforce U.S. immigration laws, strengthen national resilience in the face of disasters, and ensure the nation's cybersecurity.

HWA NEW

BILL RANCIC

  • The Original Apprentice
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After bursting on to the scene as NBC’s first Apprentice, Bill Rancic has traveled to every part of the globe, sharing his life experiences and business acumen with tens of thousands of leaders, businesses and organizations on a variety of important topics. His expertise ranges from why some companies thrive in chaos — and others don't — to the leadership behaviors needed in a world beset by turbulence, uncertainty and dramatic change.

What makes Bill so unique is that he is both a student and teacher of leadership and has a healthy obsession with what makes great companies and leaders tick.

Having invested nearly two decades living the topic, Rancic has authored four books. These include New York Times best-seller You’re Hired: How to Succeed in Business and Life, which examines how some companies and leaders make the leap to superior results; the enduring classic, Beyond the Lemonade Stand, which teaches young people and empowers them with the value of both money and positive self-image. In addition, Rancic co-authored I Do… Now What? with celebrity wife Giuliana Rancic where they share secrets to a supportive love and true partnership in marriage.  He also just penned his first novel, First Light.

Driven by a relentless curiosity, Rancic really began his business journey when graduated cum laude from Loyola University. He then went on to become a successful entrepreneur when he founded a monthly online subscription-based retailer.  Since that time, he has inspired millions of people around the globe to work towards reaching their full potential, both in business and in their personal lives. He is currently co-owner of the RPM Restaurant Group and the Giuliana Prosecco.  

Rancic appears regularly on numerous daytime broadcast and cable television programs such as Today, The View, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey and various CNBC programs.

HWA NEW

HASAN MINHAJ

  • Peabody Award-Winning Comedian
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Pioneering, two-time Peabody Award-winning comedian Hasan Minhaj is the host and creator of Netflix's hit weekly comedy show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which brings an inclusive and nuanced perspective to global news, politics and culture. 

As Host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah wrote in TIME: "Patriot Act is the manifestation of Hasan’s whip-smart commentary, charisma and sincerity. It’s also a consistent reminder that Hasan is America. And America is Hasan.”
Named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World," Minhaj originally rose to prominence as a senior correspondent on The Daily Show. He has gone on to host the White House Correspondents' Dinner and air his own critically-acclaimed one-hour Netflix comedy special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King.

A first generation American, Minhaj comes from a Muslim family originally from India. In his comedy and at speaking engagements, he draws on his personal history and the immigrant experience to explore the modern cultural and political landscape with depth and sincerity. 

HWA NEW

DOLLY PARTON

  • Country Music Superstar and Actress
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Dolly Parton is the most honored female country performer of all-time and, according to Nielsen, is country music’s #1 most marketable, recognizable and beloved artist in the world. Additionally, Parton’s coveted Q Score ranking—which measures public appeal and branding affinity—lists the superstar among the highest-ranked celebrities across the entire entertainment industry.

An international icon, Parton has made countless contributions to the music industry. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach number 1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 41 career top 10 country albums and 110 career charted singles. She has won 7 Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, 5 Academy of Country Music Awards, 3 American Music Awards and is one of only five female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

In 1999, Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in 2001 she was inducted into the National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001. Broadcast Music, Inc. honored Dolly with their Icon Award in 2003, and in 2004, the U.S. Library of Congress presented her with their Living Legend Award for her contribution to the cultural heritage of the United States. This was followed in 2005 with the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts. In 2006 Dolly was honored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for her lifetime of contributions to the arts. In 2007, Dolly was named the recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. She has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Parton opened her own theme park, Dollywood, in 1986. Dollywood would go on to become the state’s number one tourist attraction. In 1988, Dolly founded a group of dinner attractions called Dolly Parton’s Stampede. In 2001, she built Dollywood’s Splash Country, which is Tennessee’s largest water park.

Dolly Parton’s entertainment businesses attract 4.5 million visitors annually and employ more than 3,000 people. In 1988, she began the Dollywood Foundation. Currently the foundation funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library which gives every preschool child a book each month from the time he or she is born until the child reaches kindergarten. With the help of local sponsors, this program has expanded to over 800 communities in 41 states. In 2016, Parton announced her My People Fund, to help victims of the wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee. In 2017, she created the Mountain Tough organization to provide continued support to fire victims, and pledged over $3 million to this cause.

HWA NEW

MARGARET TRUDEAU

  • Mental Health Advocate
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Margaret Trudeau is celebrated for her role as a respected mental-health issues advocate and proponent of living a vibrant, joyful life especially as we age. From becoming the Canadian prime minister’s wife at a young age, to the loss of both her son and her former husband, to living with bi-polar disorder, Margaret shares her personal stories to remind others of the importance of nurturing the body, mind, and spirit.

HWA NEW

CASEY NEISTAT

  • YouTube personality, filmmaker and digital creator
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YouTube personality, filmmaker, producer and digital creator Casey Neistat has redefined brand content on the internet, setting a new standard for the way brands interact with digital creators. 

Casey, who got his start working as a dishwasher, is a self-taught filmmaker who discovered his passion for making movies with a friend. After attaining commercial success with the HBO series The Neistat Brothers and indie film Daddy Longlegs, Casey founded the social media app Beme, which was purchased by CNN for $25M. With ten years of experience in creating TV commercials, Neistat took his story-telling ability and married it with his commercial experience to revolutionize brand content for companies such as Mercedes and Nike.

Beyond YouTube-- where Casey reaches over 11 million subscribers--  Casey’s audience has followed him to Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to hear his honest narrative and get a glimpse into the creator lifestyle. In keynotes that are as engaging and humorous as they are informative, Neistat shares actionable lessons on innovation and creativity, as well as cutting-edge insight into how to level-up your organization’s brand and content strategy. Heralded for his motto of “Do What You Can’t,” Casey empowers audiences to think outside the box and redefine their creative potential.

HWA NEW

LIZA DONNELLY

  • Award-Winning Cartoonist, The New Yorker
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With award-winning cartoons covering a gamut of topics from global politics, to pop culture, to gender equality, New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly proves that pen and ink are a powerful catalyst for engaging conversation about political and social issues. Donnelly's TEDTalk on how humor and art can empower has racked up over 1,200,000 views, and her work appears in The New York Times, Forbes, Medium, Politico, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Salon, CNN, The Nation, National Lampoon, GlamourGood Housekeeping, and most recently as Contributing Cartoonist on CBS This Morning. Donnelly's "Live Drawing"where equipped with nothing more than an iPad and her quick hand she is able to bring high-profile moments to life—has allowed audiences to engage with major events including the Women's March on Washington, The Olympics, The Oscars, the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, and more.  

Donnelly is also a Cultural Envoy for the US State Department and a member of the United Nations initiative "Cartooning for Peace," which has brought her to the global stage to speak about freedom of speech, world peace, women's rights and other world issues. She is the author of 15 books, numerous essays and her spot-on ability to observe the world with a thought-provoking and humorous lens is resonating with audiences around the world!

HWA NEW

ALLYSON FELIX

  • Olympic Gold Medalist, Track & Field
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Having stepped on the world stage as a passionate 18 year old in her first Olympic Games, Allyson Felix, has redefined athletics as she continues to cement her iconic status on and off the track.

Allyson grew up in Los Angeles, California. Her father, Paul, is an ordained minister and was an excellent sprinter as a teen. She inherited her long, lean legs from her schoolteacher mother, Marlean. Allyson’s interest in the sport began watching her older brother, Wes, run. However, she did not try out for the school track team until her freshman year at Los Angeles Baptist High School in North Hills.

She never expected that she would find one of her passions on that high school track, but she did and has never looked back — amassing an incredible 13 global titles, 10 United States Championships, 9 Olympic Medals, and a World Record. Her accomplishments solidify her as one of the greatest female athletes the world has seen and has garnered attention from the top media publications in the world. Features have included: Vogue, Glamour, Essence, Self, O Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Elle.

Allyson has proven herself a force on the track, but has still made time to graduate with an elementary education degree from the University of Southern California. She also has a heart for her community and serves as an ambassador for Right to Play and Play Works, as well as being a member of The President’s Council on Fitness, Sport, and Nutrition. Felix has recently turned her attention to helping the NFL’s Nnamdi Asomugha provide Los Angeles area teens with tools to prepare themselves for higher education through their ACTS College Summit.

It is hard to imagine that although Allyson was the fastest high school 200 meter runner in history, has the most World Championship titles in United States history, and has an Olympic and World Record that aspects of her career are still in the beginning stages, but in 2015 she has began to pursue the 400 meters and has already earned a world title and delivered the fastest 400m relay split in World Championship history. It seems the best is yet to come.

HWA NEW

TONY GONZALEZ

  • NFL Great and Analyst, Fox NFL Kickoff
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Former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons All-Pro tight end Tony Gonzalez currently serves as a FOX Sports studio analyst. Since the 2017 NFL Season, Gonzalez has been a fixture on FOX NFL Kickoff, Fox’s hour-long NFL pregame show preceding FOX NFL Sunday, airing each Sunday at 11:00 AM ET during the NFL season. This Fall, Gonzalez joined Fox’s Thursday NFL pregame show alongside Michael Strahan, with a rotation of Howie Long and Terry Bradshaw.

Gonzalez, a unique athlete, and the greatest tight end in NFL history, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2019.

This September, Tony launched his podcast “Wide Open with Tony Gonzalez.”  The podcast is an unrestrained and raw look into how to embrace all the revolutionary change taking place in the world of health, mindset, wellness, family and more. Each week, Gonzalez takes you through a different side of his journey and brings on legendary guests to dive deeper into these topics so you can level up your life physically, mentality, and spiritually, in order to have a more successful and enlightened existence. The podcast can be found on all major podcast platforms including Apple and Spotify. 

Gonzalez started his television career as host of a local Kansas City show. He also is an author of two books, and an entrepreneur, developing multi-media programs that celebrate and advocate sports for children in an educational format. In April 2015, “Play It Forward,” a documentary about Gonzalez and his brother premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was seen on Showtime. Tony can also include actor on his resume, recurring in multiple episodes of NCIS as the character Special Agent Tony Francis, as well as making his feature film debut in the 2017 blockbuster “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” alongside Vin Diesel.

Gonzalez offers a fresh perspective and insightful analysis on FOX NFL Kickoff, drawing on his 17-year NFL playing career, where he established himself as one of the greatest tight ends in the history of the game. Following his retirement after the 2013 NFL season, Gonzalez took his talents to television, appearing as a regular studio analyst on “The NFL Today” (2014-16), and contributing to other NFL related programming on CBS.

Gonzalez’s career spanned 17 years in the NFL, 12 with Kansas City after being their first-round pick in 1997, and five with Atlanta before his retirement in 2013. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns (111) and yards (15,127) by a tight end. He also is the NFL’s all-time leader in consecutive starts (120) and Pro-Bowl appearances (14) by a tight end, and ranks second overall among all players in catches with 1,325 on his record.  Known for his strength and durability, Gonzalez missed only two games during his 17-year career.

Gonzalez attended University of California, where he played football and basketball and majored in Psychology.  During his junior season, he recorded 46 receptions for 699 yards and five touchdowns, earning him first-team All-Pac 10 and first-team All-America honors.  That year he also was a starter for the California basketball team averaging 17.1 points and seven rebounds and helped lead them to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship. 

Gonzalez’s philanthropic endeavors include a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs; Shadow Buddies, an organization that provides emotional support through education regarding illness, disability or medical treatments, as well as being named an ambassador for Scholars’ Hope, working with underserved children in Huntington Beach, Calif. He is very active in health, wellness and fitness space. Gonzalez was an investor and trainer in the fitness app FITSTAR, which was acquired by Fitbit in March 2015. 

The Sporting News named Gonzalez the #1 NFL Good Guy in 2004.  Additionally, he won a Presidential Volunteer Award for his work on the “Books and Buddies” project, which sought to promote understanding between teenagers and seniors.

HWA NEW

ALEXA VON TOBEL

  • Founder & CEO, LearnVest.com
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Alexa von Tobel, CFP is founder and managing partner of Inspired Capital and the New York Times bestselling author of Financially Fearless and Financially Forward.

Prior to Inspired Capital, Alexa founded LearnVest with the goal of helping people make progress on their money. After raising nearly $75 million in venture capital, LearnVest was acquired by Northwestern Mutual in one of the biggest fintech acquisitions of the decade. Following the acquisition, Alexa joined the management team of Northwestern Mutual as the company’s first-ever Chief Digital Officer, overseeing digital strategy. She later assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer through which she oversaw Northwestern Mutual’s venture arm.

Alexa has appeared on the cover of Forbes Magazine, been interviewed on NPR’s "How I Built This" and been featured in a wide variety of publications from The New York Times to Vogue. She is a member of the 2016 Class of Henry Crown Fellows and an inaugural member of President Obama’s Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship. Alexa has been honored with numerous recognitions including: Fortune ’s "40 Under 40", Fortune 's "Most Powerful Women," Forbes ’ "30 Under 30", Inc. Magazine 's "30 Under 30" and World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader.

 

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ERICA KESWIN

  • Author, Bring Your Human to Work
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Erica Keswin is a workplace strategist who has worked for the past twenty years with some of the most iconic brands in the world as a consultant, speaker, writer and professional dot-connector. Her book Bring Your Human to Work: Ten Sure-Fire Ways to Design a Workplace That is Good for People, Great for Business, and Just Might Change the World, a Wall Street Journal bestseller in its first week, serves as a powerful guide to a workplace revolution that honors relationships and puts people first.

In Erica's game-changing keynotes, she highlights how relationships are the most powerful driver of success for individuals and companies striving to attract and retain talent and loyal customers. Leaving audiences deeply informed and engaged, she reveals her tried-and-true, human roadmap for people seeking a more meaningful and connected work life, and provides actionable insights on everything from how to cultivate a work culture of diversity and inclusion, to how to connect with customers in an authentic way. 

Erica’s work and insights can be seen in varied media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Huffington Post, O Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, Mogul, and Conscious Company. She is also the founder of the Spaghetti Project, a platform devoted to sharing the science and stories of relationships at work.

HWA NEW

MICHAEL MOSS

  • #1 New York Times Bestselling Author, "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us"
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Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Salt Sugar Fat, Michael Moss is a leading expert on the food industry, health and wellness, and marketing. Taking audiences on an eye-opening journey deep inside some of the world's biggest and most successful companies, he offers audiences an illuminating and surprising look at the researchers, marketers, strategists, and CEOs who seduce us with their products. Moss brings to vivid life the creative ways food manufacturers use the science of human behavior, biology and marketing to hook us. Using humor, case studies, and insight gleaned from investigative reporting that won him a Pulitzer Prize, he shows how companies get consumers to buy, often at the expense of their health.

Informative, engaging and often hilarious, Moss also offers lessons on the new world of health food, smart marketing strategies regardless of industry, and the state of journalism today. Hailed as "extraordinary" (University of the Sciences), "powerful" (Epicure) and "riveting" (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), Moss tailors his remarks to every audience, ensuring they leave deeply informed and with actionable takeaways. 

HWA NEW

MARCUS SAMUELSSON

  • James Beard Award-winning Chef and Owner, Red Rooster
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Marcus Samuelsson is the acclaimed chef behind many restaurants worldwide including Red Rooster Harlem, Red Rooster Shoreditch, and Marcus B&P. Samuelsson was the youngest person to ever receive a three-star review from The New York Times and has won multiple James Beard Foundation Awards including Best Chef: New York City.  He was tasked with planning and executing the Obama Administration’s first State dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. 

Samuelsson was also crowned champion of television shows Top Chef Masters and Chopped All Stars , and served as a mentor on ABC’s The Taste. A committed philanthropist, Samuelsson co-produces the annual week-long festival Harlem EatUp!, which celebrates the food, art, and culture of Harlem. Samuelsson is co-chair of the board of directors for Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP). In May 2016, he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. He is the author of multiple books including The New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chef, the young adult version-- Make It Messy, Marcus Off Duty cookbook, and his latest book-- The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem. In addition, he is one of the founders of the website Food Republic. 

Recent restaurant openings include: Red Rooster Shoreditch in East London; Marcus B&P in Newark, New Jersey; and Streetbird Express at the world-famous Madison Square Garden.  He most recently announced the opening of his newest restaurant, Marcus, coming to Montreal in Spring 2019. 

Samuelsson’s new TV series titled No Passport Required with VOX/Eater and PBS debuted summer of 2018.  He most recently joined Buzzfeed's Tasty as Executive Chef-in-Residence of their newly launched talent program.

HWA NEW

ALEX GUARNASCHELLI

  • Acclaimed American Chef, Author, and Popular Television Personality
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Few American chefs, much less female chefs, can boast leading Michelin-starred restaurants abroad. Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli can make such a boast, having embarked on a culinary journey in France that saw her working in some of that country’s top restaurants, including esteemed chef Guy Savoy’s eponymous three-star kitchen. Today Guarnaschelli is recognized as one of America’s most accomplished top chefs, acclaimed for her work in the kitchen, as an author, and as a popular television personality.

The daughter of esteemed cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, as a child Guarnaschelli received a global education in food as she was raised on the cuisine of whatever book her mother happened to be working on at the time. During a year devoted to her mother’s work on the manuscript of Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni, Indian cuisine starred at the dinner table; months spent working on Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s The Splendid Table ensured that Italian food appeared regularly on the menu. But it was not the younger Guarnaschelli’s fate to be only a spectator; her mother urged her to be a participant.

"My mother was always coaxing me from my ‘Barbie land’ under the dining room table to peel potatoes, knead bread or assemble a trifle,” says Guarnaschelli, who jokingly continues, "what else could a seven-year-old have wanted from life?"

This early exposure to the foods of the world both expanded her palate and determined her future. In 1991, after Guarnaschelli graduated from Barnard College, she decided to explore her culinary interests and began working under the tutelage of the acclaimed American chef and restaurateur Larry Forgione.

Sensing both her innate talent and need for wider experience, Forgione encouraged Guarnaschelli to travel and expand her skill set. Taking his advice, she moved to France to do a work study at La Varenne Culinary School in Burgundy. After earning her Grand Diplôme in Culinary Arts, she traveled throughout France before moving to Paris to begin a four-day stage at the Michelin three-star restaurant Guy Savoy. Four days turned into four years with Guarnaschelli rapidly being promoted to sous chef at La Butte Chaillot, another Savoy establishment. Though it was daunting to be a young American woman in charge of a French kitchen with ten young male cooks serving under her, she rose to the challenge, winning the respect of all who shared her kitchen in the process.

After seven successful years in France, Guarnaschelli returned to the States to join the venerable Daniel Boulud at Manhattan’s iconic restaurant Daniel, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become sous chef. Thereafter, seeking to further expand her culinary knowledge, Guarnaschelli moved to Los Angeles for two years to join Joachim Splichal’s Patina Group, working at the acclaimed Patina restaurant in West Hollywood before moving to New York to open Splichal's first New York City venture.

In 2003, Guarnaschelli became the executive chef at Butter Restaurant, which provided the opportunity for her to spread her wings and develop a menu based on her own choices and point of view. Guarnaschelli created an American menu spotlighting local ingredients in dishes that allowed their flavors to shine. In 2011, following the success of Butter, she opened The Darby, a unique supper club. In addition to restaurant work, Guarnaschelli also spent a few years instructing budding professional chefs as a chef-Instructor at New York City’s Institute of Culinary Education, becoming a member of the ICE Advisory Council. In fall 2015, Guarnaschelli opened Driftwood Room at Nautilus South Beach in Miami, Florida. In a departure from the kitchen to the stage, in 2015 Guarnaschelli premiered her one-woman live comedy show, Busting My Chops, at Caroline’s on Broadway and also appeared in East Hampton at CAROLINES @ THE BEACH in August 2016. A popular mainstay on social media, Guarnaschelli was recently named the Head of Twitter’s Food Council, a group of leading culinary figures who regularly join the Twitter conversation on all things food and food culture.

Guarnaschelli is a recurring and guest judge on several Food Network prime-time series such as Chopped (which earned each of the judges a James Beard Foundation Award for best Television Program), Beat Bobby Flay, Cooks vs. Cons and Bakers vs. Fakers. Alex has appeared as a judge on Food Network’s new series Iron Chef Gauntlet, and as both a challenger and a judge on Food Network’s Iron Chef America where she went on to compete on season 4 of The Next Iron Chef. In 2012, she beat nine rival chefs to win The Next Iron Chef: Redemption and joined the ranks of Kitchen Stadium Iron Chefs. Guarnaschelli won the last season of Food Network’s Guy’s Superstar Grocery Games in September 2016 and was a mentor on the second season of Food Network’s All-Star Academy. Alex hosted her own shows, The Cooking Loft and Alex’s Day Off, which launched in October 2009. Most recently, she has appeared on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, NBC’s TODAY , The Dr. Oz Show , ABC’s Good Morning America and ABC’s Live! With Kelly. Alex has been featured in publications such as T he Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Food & Wine, Food Networking Magazine and Every Day with Rachael Ray. In 2018, Food Network launched Alex’s digital series Fix Me a Plate, in which the New York native takes audiences on an insider’s tour of the city’s best no-frills food spots. 

Alex released her first cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook, in spring 2013. In fall 2017, Alex’s second cookbook, The Home Cook: Recipes to Know by Heart won praise from outlets such as Publisher’s Weekly which noted that “…Guarnaschelli nicely chronicles the changes in a shifting culinary landscape.”

HWA NEW

GUY FIERI

  • Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur
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Guy Fieri, chef, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling author, and Emmy Award-winning host, began his love affair with food at the age of ten, selling soft pretzels from a three-wheeled bicycle cart he built with his father called “The Awesome Pretzel Cart”. After selling pretzels and washing dishes for six years, Guy earned enough money to pursue his dream of studying abroad as an exchange student in Chantilly, France. There he gained a profound appreciation for international cuisine that further strengthened his passion for food. He returned to the U.S. and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in Hospitality Management.

In 2006, Guy won the second season of Food Network Star and was awarded a six-episode commitment for his own show, Guy’s Big Bite. Since that time, Guy has created a thriving culinary empire as the host of top-rated TV shows, including the Emmy-nominated Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, Guy’s Family Road Trip , and most recently, Guy’s Big Project and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen. In addition, he has opened over 63 restaurants around the world and at sea, from the Las Vegas strip and the Atlantic City boardwalk to South Africa and Dubai. He has also authored six bestselling cookbooks.

In 2013, Guy fulfilled a personal passion with the launch of Hunt & Ryde Winery in Sonoma County, named for his two sons, Hunter and Ryder. He continues to support numerous charities, including his own, Cooking with Kids, as well as The Make-A-Wish Foundation and Best Buddies International. 

HWA NEW

DAVID CHANG

  • Award-Winning Chef and Founder, Momofuko
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David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku, which includes restaurants in New York City, Sydney, and Toronto as well as a bestselling cookbook and print journal called Lucky Peach.

Momofuku originated in New York City, now home to Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Milk Bar, Momofuku Má Pêche, and Booker and Dax at Ssäm. David opened Momofuku Seiōbo, his first restaurant outside of New York City, at The Star in Sydney in October 2011. In 2012, David opened Momofuku Toronto, located in a three-story glass cube in the heart of downtown Toronto. The building is home to five concepts: Noodle Bar Toronto, Nikai, Milk Bar Toronto, Daishō and Shōtō.

Since opening Noodle Bar in 2004, David has been honored with awards by Food & Wine Magazine  and Bon Appetit and profiled in The New Yorker  and Vogue.  He was named a TIME 100, one of GQ 's “Men of the Year,” and Fortune’s “40 Under 40.” Dave has been called one of “The Most Influential People of the 21st Century” by Esquire and one of Fast Company’s “10 Most Creative People in Food.”

Dave has taken home four James Beard Foundation Awards and Momofuku Ko has two Michelin stars, which it has retained for six years. Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Ssäm Bar and Momofuku Seiōbo are all featured on the S. Pellegrino World's Best Restaurants list. Momofuku Seiōbo also has three hats from The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide (2013 and 2014 editions) and was the first restaurant to receive this honor in its opening year. Gourmet Traveller selected Momofuku Seiōbo as Restaurant of the Year for 2014 in addition to the #1 restaurant on the Top 100 2014 Restaurant Guide.

David's first cookbook, Momofuku, a New York Times best seller, came out in the fall of 2009. His quarterly print journal with Peter Meehan and Chris Ying called Lucky Peach launched in the summer of 2011. Lucky Peach  Issue 2 & Issue 3 are both New York Times bestsellers. In the fall of 2012, David was the first chef to be featured on the PBS television show The Mind of a Chef.

David and Momofuku are also collaborating with Dave Arnold to create new equipment for use in the food sciences. The company will be called Booker and Dax, which is also the name of Momofuku’s bar project with Arnold.

In 2018, Ugly Delicious, hosted by David, premiered on Netflix. In the travelogue, David is joined by a variety of guests who use food as a vehicle to break down cultural barriers and tackle misconceptions.

HWA NEW

ADAM SAVAGE

  • Co-Host, Mythbusters
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One of the most beloved figures in science and technology, Adam Savage has spent most of his life gathering skills that allow him to take ideas and make them real.

In his book, Every Tool’s a Hammer: Life Is What You Make It, Adam shares his golden rules of creativity, problem solving, and much more. This inspiring read not only explores the MythBusters star’s journey through 40-plus years as a maker and creator, but offers readers profound advice on how to pursue what truly inspires them.

In speaking to audiences around the world, Adam challenges and inspires people to turn their curiosities into creations. From finding what inspires you to following through on making an idea a reality, Adam encourages you to push the boundaries of what's possible, and provides a toolbox of techniques to achieve personal and professional success.

HWA NEW

MISHA EUCEPH

  • Trailblazing Pakistani-American Podcast Host
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Misha is the CEO of Dustlight Productions. A Pakistani-American podcast host, writer and producer, she’s on a mission to make shows that inspire awe and push audio into uncharted territory. In 2019, Ad Week named her “Producer of the Year” and her podcasts made 9 best-of lists.

Misha most recently made “Tell Them, I Am.” The LA Times called the show “quietly revolutionary.” The New York Times called it “hypnotic listening” and TIME, The Atlantic, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and the NYT Podcast Club named it one of their best podcasts of 2019. The series is about the small defining moments in our lives— the voices are all Muslim; the stories are universal. You can learn more about the podcast from this interview on All Things Considered.

Just a couple months before “Tell Them, I Am,” Misha produced The Big One: Your Survival Guide, named one of TIME, The Atlantic, Thrillist, Vulture, IndieWire and NYT Podcast Club’s best podcasts of 2019. The New Yorker’s Sarah Larson called it “riveting” and “strangely reassuring.”

Misha also writes for McSweeney’s, the Wall Street Journal and other publications and has taught podcasting as a professor at USC Annenberg. She got her Masters in Journalism at Northwestern University.

 

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ALLI WEBB

  • Founder, Drybar
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Renowned entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author Alli Webb is the founder of Drybar and the co-founder of Squeeze.

Named to Fast Company's “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Fortune’s “40 Under 40” list, Marie Claire’s “Most Fascinating Women,” and Inc.'s “100 Women Building America’s Most Innovative and Ambitious Businesses,” Webb is a bonafide business powerhouse and innovative leader paving the way for aspiring entrepreneurs the world over. 

A former professional hair stylist, Webb left the industry to start her own family, but began offering affordable in-home blowout services to her mommy friends, and the concept for Drybar was born. Launching with just a sole California location, within a decade Dryba exploded into a nationally-recognized and highly sought-after brand with over 150 locations nationwide and line of products and tools sold at popular retailers such as Nordstrom, Sephora, and Ulta.

Currently the co-host of “Raising the Bar,” a podcast about what it takes to launch a business, Webb has also opened the doors the latest extension of her expanding empire, Squeeze, an innovative massage concept that lets you book and pay online.  

In her informative, actionable and inspiring remarks, Webb shares insights into business innovation and tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit, creating a company culture and brand that lasts, and the challenges and opportunities in being a female entrepreneur.  

 

HWA NEW

ROBIN ARZON

  • Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor, Peloton
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New York Times best-selling author of Shut Up And Run, Robin Arzón fearlessly left behind a successful law career to embark on new adventures in the health and wellness space. She soon discovered her passion for coaching athletes.

As Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, Robin believes that sweat transforms lives. When she’s not training for ultramarathons, she serves as a global brand ambassador for Adidas, and has successfully become a sought-after partner who connects brands directly to consumers via social media. Her life’s mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement.

 

HWA NEW

MONA HANNA-ATTISHA

  • Flint Water Crisis Whistleblower
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Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, is founder and director of the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint, Michigan. A pediatrician, scientist, and activist, Dr. Hanna-Attisha has testified twice before the United States Congress, was presented the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America, and named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for her role in uncovering the Flint Water Crisis and leading recovery efforts. She has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, BBC and countless other media outlets championing the cause of children in Flint and beyond. She is founding donor of the Flint Child Health and Development Fund (flintkids.org).

Dr. Hanna-Attisha received her bachelor’s and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Michigan and her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She completed her residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit, where she was chief resident. 

She is currently an associate professor of pediatrics and human development at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

Her new bestselling book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City, is a riveting, beautifully rendered account of a shameful disaster that became a tale of activism and hope, the story of a city on the ropes that came together to fight for justice, self determination, and the right to build a better world for their—and all of our—children.

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DAPPER DAN

  • Fashion Innovator
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A New York Times bestselling author and global fashion icon with a remarkable rags to riches story, Dapper Dan pioneered streetwear in the early 1980s with his eponymous store on 125th Street. Co-opting luxury branding to design original garments with high-end detail, Dapper Dan first drew powerful New York City hustlers as clientele, who flocked to him thanks to his strong street reputation as a legendary professional gambler and dandy. He then went on to outfit the world’s top entertainers and celebrities, all leading to his notoriety. 

Dapper Dan’s incredible personal journey from a hungry boy with holes in his shoes, to a teen who gambled drug dealers out of their money, to a beloved legend in the worlds of Harlem, fashion, and hip hop, is chronicled in his New York Times bestseller, Dapper Dan: Made in Harlem. It’s also a story that inspires and resonates with audiences worldwide. In his empowering and riveting remarks, Dapper Dan highlights the importance of tenacity, curiosity, and determination to make ones wildest dreams a reality.

HWA NEW

MONICA ALDAMA

  • Coach of 14-Time National Champions Navarro College Cheer Squad
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One of the most successful athletic coaches in the country, Monica Aldama became an overnight sensation after starring in the hit Netflix docuseries CHEER, which chronicles her tremendous leadership in building the country's most successful cheerleading squad and program from the ground up. Monica is heralded as a pioneer in the world of cheer, one who combines her sharp, high-achieving mindset, business acumen, and tremendous empathy and dedication to her students, to set the bar ever-higher. Celebrated for her hallmark phrase, "You keep going until you get it right, then keep going until you can't get it wrong," Monica is her students’ biggest advocate, always encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves. She has been with Navarro College for 24 years and has led the cheer squad to win 14 National Championships, more than any other squad in the country. 

Profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Oprah, Women's Health, and more, Monica is a role model and paragon of fierce leadership. A true force and inspiration that has captured the hearts of the world, Monica brings her empowering messages on leadership, resilience, teamwork, and success to audiences worldwide. She also shares messages of inclusivity and acceptance, drawing on her experiences working with racially diverse, LGBTQ+, and low-income students in an insular, small town. 

HWA NEW

GENO AURIEMMA

  • Legendary Head Women's Basketball Coach, University of Connecticut Huskies
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Geno Auriemma has redefined the meaning of success in women's college basketball in his 34 years as head coach of the University of Connecticut.

During his illustrious tenure, Auriemma has transformed the UConn program into the standard that all others are measured, both on and off the court. Under his guidance, the Huskies have been transformed from a program with only one winning season, to its current state, which includes 11 national titles, 19 Final Fours, six perfect seasons, and 47 Conference titles. He also served as the head coach of the U.S. National Team, which won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio.

An inductee into both the Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women Basketball Hall of Fame, and the recipient of numerous awards including 27 National Coach of the Year honors, Auremmia sets the bar in coaching. In his empowering remarks he shares lessons from on and off the court on teamwork, perseverance, finding motivation, and developing an ethic of success. 

HWA NEW

ELIZABETH SHERWOOD-RANDALL

  • Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (2014-2017)
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Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has spent 35 years addressing the world’s most pressing global and domestic challenges. Serving in top public sector positions, including as Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Energy (2014-2017), White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control (2013-2014), Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs (2009-2013), and at the Pentagon as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia (1994-1996), Sherwood-Randall has chosen to engage in the most complex and consequential global challenges, participating in the highest levels of international decision-making. Offering unique insights and unparalleled expertise across a spectrum of issues from energy security to national security, Sherwood-Randall presents the threats and opportunities that lie ahead through a compelling insider’s lens. With first-hand experience as a defense and energy policy leader, global crisis manager, and female executive, Sherwood-Randall has inspired diverse teams to achieve ambitious goals, using innovative approaches in complex and uncertain times.

HWA NEW

FRED HOCHBERG

  • Longest-serving Chairman in Export-Import Bank history
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Fred P. Hochberg is the longest-serving chairman in the history of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and was one of the highest-ranking business leaders in the Obama Administration. Throughout nearly eight years of his leadership, EXIM Bank supported more than 1.4 million American jobs and financed exports with a value exceeding $240 billion. The Bank also generated $3.8 billion in surplus revenue for U.S. taxpayers during that time and Hochberg reduced internal costs by nearly 30 percent. Hochberg increased the Bank's focus on its customers, cutting transaction times and introducing new products. He also put America’s small business exporters at the top of the Bank's agenda and, as a result, nearly 90 percent of EXIM Bank authorizations directly supported small businesses on his watch. 

HWA NEW

TINA TCHEN

  • President & CEO, Time's Up
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Tina Tchen shares hope, ideas and strategies that inspire others to recognize the power of diverse teams and keep equality on the forefront of the global agenda.

A high-powered lawyer, Tina’s career accomplishments have established her as a powerful advocate for gender equality. As President and CEO of TIME’S UP Now and the TIME’S UP Foundation, Tina oversees the organizations’ efforts to change culture, companies, and laws in order to make work safe, fair, and dignified for women of all kinds. In 2017, Tina co-founded the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, which has connected more than 3,600 people to legal or PR support for sexual harassment across dozens of different industries.

During her eight years at the White House, Tina served as chief of staff to First Lady Michelle Obama, special assistant to President Barack Obama, and the executive director of the Council on Women and Girls, leading the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families and the first-ever United State of Women Summit. 

A passionate champion for women’s and children’s issues, including women in positions of leadership, Tina shares her unique perspective and insights on workforce diversity and inclusion, breaking through male-dominated industries, and ending campus assault. Energetic, authentic and engaging on stage, she empowers the next generation to raise their voices and take action now to secure a better tomorrow for women and minorities across the country and world.

 

HWA NEW

DANIEL HOFFMAN

  • Former Central Intelligence Agency Senior Executive Clandestine Service Officer
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Daniel Hoffman is a former Senior Executive Clandestine Service Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. His combined 30 years of distinguished government service included high-level positions not only within the CIA, but also with the U.S. military, U.S. Department of State, and U.S. Department of Commerce. Assignments included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and war zones in both the Middle East and South Asia. During this time, Mr. Hoffman developed extensive, substantive expertise on geopolitical and transnational issues related to the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, counterterrorism, and cyber and counter-intelligence. Now in the private sector, Mr. Hoffman remains highly regarded for his policy experience and his work with foreign officials in the regions where he served.  He has been a Fox News contributor since April 2018, and serves on the advisory board of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.

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PHILIPPE REINES

  • Long-Term Senior Advisor to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton (2002- present)
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Philippe Reines is one of Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton's longest serving communications advisors. He has worked with Secretary Clinton in the State Department, on her first presidential campaign, and in the U.S. Senate. Reines stood beside Secretary Clinton during some of the most important national security and policy decisions of the last decade and a half, and is an expert in strategic communications and public relations. Reines also serves as a Founder and Managing Director of Beacon Global Strategies LLC, a strategic advisory firm specializing in International Policy, Defense, Cyber, Intelligence and Homeland Security.

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MATT ISEMAN

  • Licensed physician, Emmy Award winning Host and professional comedian who shares his “prescription for laughs”
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“Life is short, do what makes you happy.” That’s the advice that Matt Iseman got from his dad, a world renowned physician, when Matt quit medicine to pursue stand up comedy. And those words still guide Matt today. 

Renowned as the host of the four-time Emmy-nominated American Ninja Warrior and as the winning contestant of the newest Celebrity Apprentice, Matt is beloved for his energetic, charismatic style. A regular on multiple TV programs, Matt shared his medical expertise and unique lifestyle tips on Hallmark’s Home & Family; won an Emmy Award for his hosting on Style's Clean House; and combined his lifelong passions of sports and comedy to host Sports Soup on Versus (now NBC Sports Network). 

Matt's ongoing battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis transformed him into a strong supporter of the Arthritis Foundation. His battle with Renal Cell Carcinoma has also made him a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. 

Heralded as "fantastic...energetic, kind, personable, and relatable" (BlueCross BlueShield), Matt combines his winning sense of humor and unique experiences and perspective as a doctor turned comic, who also hosts a smash hit show. His dynamic remarks can cover everything from battling cancer, to overcoming obstacles, to the paramount importance of following your dreams. 

 

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DAVEED DIGGS

  • Award-Winning and Trailblazing Actor, Writer, Rapper, and Producer
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Tony, Grammy, and Lucille Lortel Award-winning actor, writer, rapper and producer, Daveed Diggs is widely known for originating the dual roles of ‘Thomas Jefferson’ and ‘Marquis de Lafayette’ in the Broadway sensation Hamilton. His independent film Blindspotting, which he co-wrote, produced and starred in, debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Lionsgate. Variety called it, “The most exciting cinematic take on contemporary race relations since Do the Right Thing nearly 30 years ago.” And Eric Kohn of IndieWire wrote, “Daveed Diggs is an instant movie star.” His performance earned him an Independent Spirit Award nomination for “Best Lead Role.”

Diggs will soon be seen in the upcoming thriller Velvet Buzzsaw premiering at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and starring alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. Diggs was recently seen in the hit film Wonder opposite Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay, in a performance heralded as “irresistibly charming” and “deeply sympathetic.” He can also be heard as the voice of ‘Dos’ in Fox’s animated film Ferdinand opposite Kate McKinnon and John Cena.

On television, Diggs can next be seen in TNT’s series Snowpiercer opposite Jennifer Connelly and Netflix’s upcoming rotoscope series Undone by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. He has also lent his voice to Fox’s Bob’s Burgers, Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, and Josh Gad’s upcoming Central Park. Most recently he was seen on ABC’s Emmy-nominated series Blackish and Netflix’s hit comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He also starred in HBO’s Tour de Pharmacy alongside Andy Samberg and Orlando Bloom. Previous television credits include NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and Netflix’s The Get Down created by visionary director Baz Luhrmann. Diggs executive produced ABC’s The Mayor and is currently creating original content for ESPN and the banking app ZELLE.

Diggs is also a member of the West Coast-based experimental hip-hop trio, “clipping.” Diggs has toured nationally and internationally, both as a solo artist and with “clipping,” playing venues including Sonar Festival in Barcelona; Off Festival in Krakow; ATP Iceland in Keflavic; and Brooklyn's AfroPunk Fest. Special engagement bookings include the Red Bull Music Academy and Moog Electronics. The group was also nominated for a Hugo Award for their sophomore album Splendor & Misery.

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ERTHARIN COUSIN

  • Executive Director, World Food Programme (2009-2017)
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Ertharin Cousin possesses more than thirty years of national and international non-profit, government, and corporate leadership experience focusing on food, hunger, humanitarian operations, political organizing, community development and resilience strategies.

From 2009 until 2017 Cousin led the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) as the twelfth Executive Director (ED). As WFP ED Cousin guided the world’s largest humanitarian organization with 14,000 staff serving 80 million beneficiaries in 75 countries meeting urgent food needs; while, championing and serving as a global advocate for longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger. 

Cousin has been listed numerous times on the Forbes "100 Most Powerful Women" list, as the Fortune "Most Powerful Woman in Food and Drink", on Time’s "100 Most Influential People" list, and as one of the "500 Most Powerful People on the Planet" by Foreign Policy magazine. 

Cousin has an international reputation as a leader, with an emphasis on visionary thinking, practical problem solving, and the capacity to articulate clearly an important perspective on the global political and social situation. 

 

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SETH MATTISON

  • Workforce Strategist and Management Trendspotter
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Seth Mattison is an internationally renowned expert and author on workforce trends, generational dynamics, and business strategy. As Co-Founder and Chief Movement Officer of Luminate Labs, Seth advises many of the world’s leading brand and organizations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership, and the future of work.

His ideas have been featured in such publications as The Wall St. Journal, Forbes, The Huffington Post, and The Globe and Mail and was named to the Editors’ Picks for Speakers to Watch by MeetingsNet.

For the past decade Seth has shared his insights with thousands of business leaders around the world and has received accolades from many of the worlds best brands including: MasterCard, Johnson and Johnson, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, AT&T, PepsiCo, GE Energy, Cisco, State Farm, Merrill Lynch, Dow, and Disney.

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MICHELLE STACY

  • President, Keurig Inc. (2008-2013)
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If you drank a cup of coffee, brushed your teeth or shaved this morning, your life has already been impacted by Michelle Stacy’s leadership.

For the last 35 years, Michelle Stacy has built a career that has culminated in leadership positions at Gillette, P&G, and most recently as President of Keurig. These companies have all benefited from her ability to develop and articulate a clear vision and strategy, build brands, and identify avenues for growth.

Michelle’s key to managing and driving exceptional growth has been her ability to create a positive and focused culture that generates high employee engagement, as well as talent for creating company-wide commitment to lead with a higher purpose.

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KEVIN SMITH

  • Famed Director, Producer, and Actor
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Kevin Smith spent nearly twenty years making filthy movies like Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and most recently Red State. He also spent nearly twenty years eating lots of processed foods while living a sedentary lifestyle.

When not working in movies, Smith can be found podcasting every waking moment of his life over at his online empire, SModcast.com. If he's not hosting shows like Hollywood Babble-On, Jay & Silent Bob Get Old or Fat Man on Batman, Smith can be found on a stage, answering for his crimes in lotsa different Q&A DVD’s: An Evening with Kevin Smith, An Evening with Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder, A Threevening with Kevin Smith, Too Fat for Forty, Kevin Smith Burn in Hell, and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old: Teabagging in the U.K. He's also the happy host of several shows at his YouTube channel as well as the front man and creator of Spoilers, a movie "revue" show on Hulu.

When not getting bounced from planes, Fatty McNoFly has also written no less than three New York Times best selling books: Tough Shit: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good , My Boring-Ass Life, and Batman: Cacophony - the latter of which was improved dramatically by Comic Book Man Walter Flanagan’s artwork. These books sit beside Smith's other published works, which include Silent Bob Speaks, Shootin’ the Shit with Kevin Smith, and Batman: The Widening Gyre (also with Flanagan).

A comic book man ever since he was a plump little boy, Smith has written Green Arrow for DC Comics and Daredevil for Marvel Comics, as well as adapted his un-produced screenplays for The Green Hornet and The Bionic Man into comics series for Dynamite. He’s also written several comic books based on his movies, including Clerks, and The Adventures of Bluntman and Chronic, starring Jay and Silent Bob.

But the greatest trick he ever pulled was convincing a girl to marry him nearly 14 years ago. On June 26th, 1999, his wife Jennifer Schwalbach gave birth to their only begotten daughter. Ever the comic book nerd, Smith named her after the Joker’s sidekick, Harley Quinn.

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GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN

  • Internationally Renowned Chef and Restaurateur
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Throughout a career spanning 30 years, Geoffrey Zakarian has made his mark as a chef restaurateur known for his sophisticated taste and signature style. An accomplished chef, host, and culinary consultant, Zakarian has presided over some of the country’s top kitchens, traveling the world for new inspiration to marry with his classical training and techniques in a lifelong effort to deliver paramount hospitality experiences.

Zakarian's rise to culinary prominence began at Le Cirque, where he first worked in a professional kitchen. In five years, he worked his way up from Pastry Sous to Chef to Chef de Cuisine. He has gone on to open legendary restaurants including Town, Country, The Water Club at the Borgata in Atlantic City,  The Lambs Club at The Chatwal Hotel and The National at The Benjamin Hotel in New York City, and Georgie in Beverly Hills. He has also overseen three-star restaurants on Norwegian Cruise lines, served as Culinary Director at the Plaza Hotel. 

Outside of the kitchen, Zakarian is an accomplished author, philanthropist, and notable television personality. He is Chairman of the City Harvest Food Council, a food rescue organization dedicated to fighting hunger in New York City. 

Already established as America’s favorite judge on Food Network’s Chopped, Zakarian won the 4th Season of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs , earning him the title of Iron Chef. He is currently the co-host of Food Network’s Emmy-nominated talk show, The Kitchen, and Top 5 Restaurants. Zakarian also hosts Food Network’s hit primetime series, Cooks vs. Cons. Alongside appearances on ABC’s The Chew and The Rachael Ray Show, CBS’s The Dish and NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Today shows.

 

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AMINATOU SOW

  • Co-host, Call Your Girlfriend Podcast
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Aminatou Sow is the co-host of Call Your Girlfriend, a podcast that tackles the intricacies of feminism, pop culture and the latest in politics every single week. She is a frequent public speaker, appearing at events like SXSW, Chicago Ideas Week and the Sydney Writers Festival. She convenes and facilitates conversations about the most important cultural issues of our time. She has interviewed everyone from Hillary Clinton to Roxane Gay, Kirsten Gillibrand, Ali Raisman and so many more impressive women. Her talks and interviews lead to candid conversations about female ambition, money and power. 

She is a member of the Sundance Institute Director's Advisory Group and previously led Social Impact Marketing at Google. She was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Tech. She is also the co-founder of Tech LadyMafia, an organization created to increase the visibility of women working in and around Technology. She's been nominated for the Shorty Awards Storyteller of the Year. She is currently working on a memoir about friendship with her friend, the journalist, Ann Friedman. Aminatou is an endometrial cancer survivor who lives in Brooklyn. 

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MARA BROCK AKIL

  • Trailblazing Screenwriter and Television Producer behind "Girlfriends" and "The Game"
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Groundbreaking Hollywood visionary and power player Mara Brock Akil has written and produced nearly 400 episodes of television, truly leaving her mark on the industry. A trailblazer in many ways, Akil created the seminal television series Girlfriends-- a witty, intelligent and honest exploration of the many facets of black womanhood. Additionally, Akil developed the spin-off series The Game, which became the most-watched scripted-series premiere ever on ad- supported cable. The series continued on for a total of 9 seasons, earning praise throughout its run for its verisimilitude and, during the reality television boom, as one of the few shows on television that felt truly specific to its moment. Akil is also the creative force behind BET’s Being Mary Jane, which further cemented her ability to tell powerful and engaging stories that speak to women through honest, true-to-life reflections, The CW’s Black Lightning, and OWN’s Love Is___. 

A regular on the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment Power100, Akil is a leader in her field. She's been honored with the prestigious Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award; Essence magazine’s Visionary Award; named to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s Showrunner Power Lists; and been inducted into Northwestern’s Medill Hall of Achievement.  

A passionate, dynamic, and empowering speaker Akil has been sought-out to speak everywhere from Google to The Wing. She shares remarks on self growth and love, finding the power to be bold, loving life at every age, and breaking barriers in all facets of life. 

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LARA SPENCER

  • Co-Anchor, ABC's Good Morning America
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Renowned broadcast journalist Lara Spencer is a co-anchor for ABC's Good Morning America.

Spencer began her broadcasting career in the NBC Page Program. Her first reporting job was at WDEF-TV in Tennessee where she was, as she calls it, a "one man band"--shooting, reporting, and editing all of her stories. From there, she landed on her home turf when the New York native began reporting for News 12 Long Island, and then worked as a reporter and anchor for WABC-TV's Eyewitness News in New York City. While at WABC she covered breaking stories including the crash of TWA Flight 800 and the death of Princess Diana. But it was her nightly feature, "Life Around Here with Lara Spencer" that got her noticed by Good Morning America.  She moved full time to GMA, lending her infectious curiosity and writing skills to memorable stories including "50 States in 50 Weeks: In Search of America". The Emmy-nominated series featured Spencer exploring the diversity of the American states.

Spencer is the author of two bestsellers I Brake For Yard Sales and Flea Market Fabulous, which reveal her side as a self-confessed frugalista with a passion for shopping at yard sales, thrift shops, and estate sales, and for decorating her home and friends' homes with her fabulous finds.

At engagements nationwide, Spencer serves as a dynamic host and moderator. She also offers illuminating insight on issues such as work-life balance and the current media landscape. 

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KATIE SOWERS

  • Offensive Assistant Coach, San Francisco 49ers
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The first woman and openly gay coach to coach in a Super Bowl, San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach Katie Sowers is paving the way for equality in the workplace.

Through hard work and dedication, Katie has found success in a male-dominated industry and is creating an environment that welcomes all types of people, no matter their race, gender or sexual orientation.

In her authentic talks, Katie encourages audiences to find their “why” and become an irreplaceable asset to their team. An inspiration to anyone afraid to pursue their passions, she shows how it’s possible to break down barriers and make dreams come true.

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ALEXIS COE

  • Historian
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Historian Alexis Taines Coe is the author of the narrative history book Alice+Freda Forever as well as her latest book, You Never Forget Your First, a New York Times bestselling biography of George Washington that combines Coe’s rigorous research with her signature lively, humorous storytelling.

Coe is a consulting producer on Doris Kearns Goodwin's three part George Washington series on the History Channel and the host of No Man's Land from The Wing/Pineapple. Additionally, Coe co-hosts Presidents Are People Too! from Audible, a podcast that recasts each of the American Presidents as real-life people, complete with flaws, quirks, triumphs, scandals and bodily ailments.

Coe has contributed to the New Yorker, the New York Times' opinion section, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, the Paris Review, Elle, and many others. She has appeared on CNN, the History Channel, C-SPAN, and CBS, and lectured at Columbia, West Point, Georgetown, Sarah Lawrence, NYU, the New School, the University of San Francisco, and many others. She has given talks sponsored by Hulu, Chanel, and Madewell. 

Heralded for her engaging, informative and charismatic delivery in speaking engagements, Coe makes political history digestible and entertaining for any audience.

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PIERA GELARDI

  • Co-Founder & Executive Creative Director, Refinery29
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Piera Gelardi is co-founder and executive creative director of the trailblazing media and entertainment company, Refinery29. Refinery29 has won countless awards for its unique approach and work championing women, including spots on both Inc. 500 and Fast Company's lists of most innovative companies. She and her team launched 29Rooms, the wildly creative, interactive exhibition that’s become a viral event sensation. As of 2019, Refinery29 was acquired by Vice Media Group, in a transaction valued at over $400 million.

Piera has been honored as one of Ad Age's "50 Most Creative People," Entrepreneur magazine’s "50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs," and one of Adweek's "37 Women Who Are Disrupting the Status Quo and Championing Gender Diversity." Piera is praised for her ability to use storytelling and creativity as tools to inspire, empower, and create positive change.

A passionate advocate for girls and women, Piera is a board member at the Lower East Side Girls Club, an organization training the next generation of ethical, entrepreneurial, environmental leaders. 

Piera’s informative and engaging talks offer advice on cultivating creativity, taking risks, and creating inclusive leadership and storytelling practices.

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LAURA BROWN

  • Editor in Chief, InStyle
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Laura Brown is the Editor in Chief of InStyle, one of the world’s most successful fashion media brands, where she is responsible for InStyle’s voice, content, strategy and brand extensions. Helming a brand that reaches more than 30 million women, Brown oversees the print magazine, digital across all platforms, and 13 international editions. In addition, she leads development of the ‘ InStyle Badass Women’ platform and live events such as the annual InStyle Awards and the Golden Globes party.

Heralded for ushering in a new generation of Editor in Chief, Laura's philosophy of “Everybody’s In,” helps her reach and appeal to a wide range of audience. Her invaluable contributions to the media and fashion industries have garnered extensive coverage and recognition – with profiles in The New York Times, The Business of Fashion, New York Magazine, Fast Company and Digiday, among many others.

Lauded for her fun, informative, and relatable speaking style, Laura captivates audiences with conversations about her storied career, the intersection of fashion and politics, and following your path in an organic way.

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MAYSOON ZAYID

  • Comedian, Writer and Disability Advocate
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Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, writer, and disability advocate. She is a graduate of and a Guest Comedian in Residence at Arizona State University. Maysoon is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has most recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey Networks In Deep Shift, 60 Minutes, and ABC News. Maysoon had the most viewed TED Talk of 2014 and was named 1 of 100 Women of 2015 by BBC.

As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Maysoon appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the the Zohan and has written for VICE. She limped in New York Fashion Week, is a recurring character on General Hospital, and is the author of Audible's Find Another Dream.

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TIFFANY D. CROSS

  • Co-Founder & Managing Editor, The Beat DC
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Tiffany D. Cross is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of The Beat DC, a platform intersecting national politics, policy, business, media, and people of color. With a readership comprising influencers across the country, Tiffany makes the fast moving current affairs in today’s climate digestible for the political connoisseur or novice. 

Tiffany’s broad experience across media and policy includes nearly two decades of navigating the nation's capital. She previously served as the DC Bureau Chief of BET News and the Liaison to the Obama Administration, for BET Networks. Prior to that she served as Director of Communications at brilliant corners Research and Strategies, where she worked closely with the company’s president, Cornell Belcher. She cut her teeth in media at CNN where she worked as an Associate Producer covering Capitol Hill. She also spent five years as a Senior Adviser to the National Education Association. Tiffany has lent her expertise to numerous local, state, and federal candidates as well as issue campaigns.

Known for her unique ability to engage audiences with digestible dialogue about some of today’s most complicated issues, she is a sought after effervescent voice in the progressive discourse. 

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JOANNE LIPMAN

  • Industry Leading Journalist and Bestselling Author of That's What She Said
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Powerhouse journalist Joanne Lipman has transformed newsrooms across the country – and now, with her No. 1 bestseller That’s What She Said, she turns her keen eye to achieving gender equality at work and at home.  She inspires men as well as women to join together to promote diversity, innovation and excellence.

Lipman, one of the nation’s most prominent journalists, is a CNBC contributor and former chief content officer of Gannett and editor-in-chief of USA TODAY and the USA TODAY Network. There, she oversaw more than 3,000 journalists at 110 newspapers, and led the organization to an historic three Pulitzer Prizes. She is also the inaugural Distinguished Journalism Fellow at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study.

Dubbed “innovator in chief” by The New York Times and “star editor” by CNN, Lipman began her career at The Wall Street Journal, where she rose to become the highest-ranking woman in the paper’s history, created Weekend Journal and Personal Journal, and supervised coverage that won an additional three Pulitzer Prizes.

Lipman is a familiar face on television, appearing on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, and CBS, among others, and her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Fortune, Newsweek, and Harvard Business Review.  

A lively and entertaining speaker, Lipman offers action-oriented insights into issues ranging from media and the 2020 election, to the generational divide in workplaces, to fostering diverse and equitable organizations, to transformative leadership. She is also a leader at the intersection of technology and media, focused on combating the spread of misinformation online. For select clients, she hosts private workshops with top executives on closing the gender gap.

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DESHAUNA BARBER

  • Miss USA (2016)
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The first Miss USA to be crowned while currently serving in the United States military, Deshauna Barber has made it her life goal to encourage, inspire and strengthen the people around her.  . An IT Analyst for the U.S. Government for over 5 years, Deshauna was also a logistics commander in the United States Army Reserve. She has a passion for our men and women in uniform During her year-long reign as Miss USA in 2016, Deshauna partnered with and lent her voice to organizations such as the USO, Smile Train, Best Buddies, Operation Homefront and numerous other impactful organizations.

From speaking at Google to delivering a commencement address that went viral, Deshauna inspires everywhere she speaks. Offering lessons on diversity and inclusion, women's and youth empowerment, and more, her reviews from engagements include raves such as: "Deshauna is phenomenal!... She is moving, inspiring and powerful. She is also very approachable and personable..." (NAJA); "The energy you brought... really created great chemistry that cannot be duplicated... Thank you for empowering all attendees there!" (Georgetown University)

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JENNA FISCHER

  • Award-winning Actress Best Known for "The Office"
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Jenna Fischer is best known for playing Pam Beesly on the acclaimed television show The Office for which she received an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress and two SAG Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble Comedy. Most recently starred in the abc comedy Splitting Up Together, from Emily Kapnek. A love story about a divorcing couple, opposite with Oliver Hudson, the series was a critical hit and ran for two seasons

After wrapping The Office, Fischer went on to star in the Off-Broadway play Reasons to Be Happy. Most recently, Fischer was on stage in the world premiere of Steve Martin's newest play Meteor Shower, an absurdist comedy opposite Greg Germann and Josh Stamberg, for a record-breaking run at the Old Globe Theatre.

Fischer's films credits include the Mike White feature Brad's Status, in a role opposite Ben Stiller, as his wife, Melanie; The 15:17 to Paris directed by Clint Eastwood; The Giant Mechanical Man (which she also produced); the Farrelly Brothers’ comedy Hall Pass; Solitary Man opposite Michael Douglas; Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, produced by Judd Apatow; The Promotion; Matt Weiner's Are You Here; and Blades of Glory opposite Will Ferrell. 

Fischer's bestselling first book, The Actor's Life, which spells out the nuts and bolts of getting established in the profession, based on her own memorable and hilarious experiences. With canor and wit, Fischer covers everything from how to get the right headshot, to what to look for in representation, to the importance of joining forces with other like-minded artists and creating your own work. Fischer is also co-host of "Office Ladies," a podcast that provides a behind-the-scenes look at The Office, along with her co-star and friend Angela Kinsey. 

 

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LILLY SINGH

  • Award-Winning YouTube Personality and Comedian
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Lilly Singh is an actress, performer, comedian and entrepreneur. As the host of NBC’s A Little Late With Lilly Singh, she is the only female to host a late-night show on one of the big four networks.

Named one of TIME’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet, Forbes’ 30 Under 30, and Fast Company's Most Creative People, Lilly has developed a massive, engaged fan base thanks to her hilarious sketch videos on YouTube, collaborations with brands including Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, Dell and Coca-Cola, and her inspiring book How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life.

Heralded for her candor and comedy, Lilly offers hilarious, empowering, and informative conversations about her career, diversity, activism, pop culture and more.

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HELENE COOPER

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Pentagon Correspondent
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Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times. Prior to this assignment, she covered the White House and was The Times' diplomatic correspondent. She joined the newspaper in 2004 as the assistant editorial page editor, a position she held for two years before she ran out of opinions and returned to news. She has reported from 64 countries, from Pakistan to the Congo.

Previously, Helene worked for 12 years at The Wall Street Journal, where she was a foreign correspondent, reporter and editor, working in the London, Washington and Atlanta bureaus. She is the winner of the Raymond Clapper award for Washington reporting (2000), the Sandy Hume award for best reporter under the age of 35 (2001), the Missouri Lifestyle award for feature writing (2002), a National Association of Black Journalists award for feature writing (2004), and the Urbino Press Award for foreign reporting (2011). In 2015 she won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, an Overseas Press Club Award for International Reporting, and a George Polk Award for Health Reporting, all three for her coverage of the Ebola crisis.

Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Helene is the author of The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood (Simon & Schuster), a New York Times bestseller and a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography in 2009. In 2009 and 2010, she appeared on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy!, as a clue. She has also appeared on Meet the Press, Washington Week, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Chris Matthews Show, and This Week. Her latest book, Madame President, published by Simon & Schuster, is the harrowing, but triumphant story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, leader of the Liberian women’s movement, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first democratically elected female president in African history.

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ELAINE WEISS

  • Award-Winning Journalist
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Elaine Weiss is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The New York Times, and The Christian Science Monitor , as well as in reports and documentaries for National Public Radio and Voice of America. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and Pushcart Prize Editor’s Choice honoree, she is the author of the highly acclaimed narrative non-fiction book, The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight for the Vote (Viking 2018), hailed as a "riveting, nail-biting political thriller" with powerful parallels to today's political environment. Weiss is also the author of Fruits of Victory: The Woman’s Land Army in the Great War , the inspiring story of a long-forgotten women's movement.

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SOPHIA AMORUSO

  • Founder and CEO, Girlboss; Founder The Girlboss Foundation
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As the founder of Girlboss, Sophia Amoruso is the creative visionary, entrepreneur, and industry disruptor who has forged an unprecedented path in building modern brands. Named by Forbes as “Fashion’s New Phenom” and featured on the cover of their June 2016 “Self Made Women” issue, Amoruso has gone from one of the most prominent figures in retail to a cultural thought leader.

Amoruso is the author of New York Times 18-week best-seller #GIRLBOSS , which was originally published on May 6, 2014 and has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide to date. Part memoir and part business book with an edge, #GIRLBOSS provides insights on entrepreneurship and career advice. In 2014, Amoruso launched The Girlboss Foundation, which awards financial grants of $15,000 to women in industries of design, fashion, music, and the arts, to help them build and grow their small businesses. To date, the Girlboss Foundation has awarded over $120,000 to the next generation of female entrepreneurs.

In October 2015, Amoruso debuted her podcast, Girlboss Radio, which has grown to over 100,000 weekly downloads. In October 2016, Amoruso released her second book Nasty Galaxy, a highly graphic and visual book that binds together the collective spirit of the Nasty Gal brand, Amoruso's personal brand, and the Girlboss ethos.

In 2016, The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) inducted Amoruso as a member, solidifying her position in the fashion landscape. Netflix has since adapted #GIRLBOSS into a 13-episode scripted comedy series written by Kay Cannon, with Charlize Theron and Amoruso serving as Executive Producers. Girlboss premiered in April 2017.

In March 2017, in tandem with the announcement of her newly formed Girlboss, Amoruso held the inaugural Girlboss Rally, a conference which brought together 500 women to share their wins, losses, life hacks, and more. Today, Amoruso is working closely with a talented team at Girlboss to produce daily content across a variety of digital channels to reframe the outmoded concept model of “success” for the modern woman. Amoruso released her third publication, The Girlboss Workbook , on October 24, 2017.

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CHELLA MAN

  • Model
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Renowned for his personal documentation of his experience in gender transition, Chella Man is celebrated for his motto "be your own representation." As a deaf, genderqueer, Chinese, and Jewish individual, Chella found he didn’t have role models to look up to, and so he became a voice and a true representation for himself and for others. With over 290K subscribers and many millions of views on his YouTube video entitled "One year on testosterone: voice updates," Chella is normalizing the conversation around gender issues for disabled and LGBTQ+ youth. 

Through his talks, Chella opens up about his experiences transitioning on testosterone, navigating the world with a disability, and facing isolation while growing up within a small and conservative town in Central Pennsylvania. His TED Talk, "Becoming Him," offers an empowering investigation of gender, identity, race and disability.

Since leaving high school as a Junior to attend college early, Chella has written for Condé Naste’s first queer publication Them, launched a radically inclusive clothing line in collaboration with Opening Ceremony, signed as the first deaf and trans masculine model with IMG Models, and was cast as a superhero within Warner Brother’s DC Universe, Titan’s. He hopes to continue pushing the boundaries of what it means to be accessible, inclusive, and equal in this world.

HWA NEW

KELLY RIPPON

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Kelly Rippon is an teacher, author and single parent of six children, including her oldest son, Olympic medalist, Adam. She transformed her skills as an experienced college philosophy educator into a career as a motivational and professional development speaker. She started her own consulting company, Authentic Change Inc, with the mission of “Changing the world one conversation at a time.”  

As a humorous and empathetic storyteller, her presentations, tailored to meet each organization's specific needs, leave participants with heightened awareness and tools that widen perspectives on the subjects of Parenting, Optimism, Wellness, Women's Empowerment, Education, Leadership, Motivation, Communication, Diversity, Student Retention, Conflict Resolution, and Customer Service.

A dynamic keynote speaker and breakout presenter for parenting and education conferences, healthcare groups, customer service teams, leadership training, and women’s conferences, among others, Rippon inspires audiences to ignite their influential power, think bigger, and heighten their own purpose and worth. 

HWA NEW

PHILLIP PICARDI

  • Award-Winning Journalist and Editor: LGBTQ+ " them", "Teen Vogue" & "Allure"
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Award-winning journalist and editor Phillip Picardi is best known for his role in helping to re-brand and reinvigorate Teen Vogue. Under Picardi's leadership, the digital audience of Teen Vogue grew from just 2 million unique visitors per month to over 12 million, making the Condé Nast title the fastest-growing women's magazine in America for two years running. More impressive than the digital metrics of Teen Vogue, though, was the sentiment of the re-brand: Respecting the next generation, and giving them the inspiration they need to change the world. Once a glossy focused on runways and shopping, Teen Vogue became a symbol of "the resistance," with Picardi developing editorial, video, and cover concepts that became some of the most talked about content on the internet.

While at Teen Vogue, Picardi was appointed by Anna Wintour to also oversee the digital operations of Allure, where he was in charge of raising overall metrics, as well as affiliate revenue related to the Best of Beauty Awards. It was there that he concepted "The End of Anti-Aging," an industry call to action for brands to speak more honestly to consumers, and to eradicate the shame and stigma around women getting older. 

Dubbed "The Prince of Condé Nast" by The New York Times, Picardi went on to launch a community-driven platform for LGBTQ+ youth called them. It was during them's growth period that Picardi was tapped to re-brand and relaunch Out Magazine, the largest and most influential publication for the queer and trans community. There, Picardi increased digital traffic by over 150% while leading the most diverse staff and creating the most representative publication in the brand's history. 

A Fast Company "100 Most Creative People" and Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient, he has contributed to brand campaign and experiential for clients like Levi's, Madewell, Express, Burberry, and Nike. 

In engaging, informative talks, Picardi delves into the state of the fashion industry, his career journey, the need for increased ethics in our workplaces, the importance of young people using their voices to improve corporate culture, and more. 

HWA NEW

SARAH BROOM

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author of The Yellow House
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Sarah M. Broom is the author of the 2019 National Book Award Winner and instant New York Times bestseller The Yellow House, a brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. Heralded as “one of the year’s best memoirs…an urgent meditation on the American dream” (Entertainment Weekly), “a remarkable journey” (Robin Roberts, Good Morning America), and “an instantly essential text, examining the past, present and possible future of the city of New Orleans, and of America writ large” (cover review of the New York Times Book Review), Sarah’s debut has been dubbed a must-read book in over 15 publications including the LA Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, NPR, and TIME.

Sarah’s previous work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine among others. A native New Orleanian, she received her Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016 and was a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2011. She has also been awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York state.

HWA NEW

RYAN O'CONNELL

  • Producer and Actor of Netflix' 4 Emmy Nominated SPECIAL
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Ryan most recently adapted his book I’m Special: and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves as an 8 episode short-form series for Netflix with Jim Parsons producing. Ryan Executive Produced and starred in this series which is loosely based on his upbringing, growing up with cerebral palsy, discovering he was gay and navigating through his 20’s. Prior to that, he was an Executive Story Editor on NBC’s revival of Will & Grace which was nominated for a 2018 Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Comedy. Previously, Ryan spent a couple years on the Awkward writing staff where they ended up creating a character on the show based on him. On the feature side, Ryan wrote Popular for DreamWorks based on the autobiography by Maya Van Wagene. He’s a truly unique voice who served as the Editor of Thought Catalog and has contributed to numerous publications ala Vice and Buzzfeed.

HWA NEW

ROY WOOD, JR.

  • Comedian and Correspondent, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah
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Roy Wood Jr’s comedy has entertained millions across stage, television and radio. Roy joined “The Best F#@ing News Team” in 2015 as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s Emmy-nominated hit series, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. In 2017, he was named the new host of Comedy Central’s storytelling series, This is Not Happening. His first Comedy Central one-hour stand-up special, Father Figure, premiered in 2017 along with an extended uncensored album of the same name released by Comedy Central Records. His second Comedy Central one-hour stand-up special, Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You, premiered in 2019. 

Entertainment Weekly has described the thought-provoking comedy of Roy Wood Jr. as “charismatic crankiness.” Prior to The Daily Show , Wood co-starred for two seasons season on TBS’ Sullivan & Son , playing the loving drinking buddy of star Steve Byrne, who has returned to Pittsburgh to run the family bar.

Wood, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, began his comedy career in 1999 at the age of 19 while attending Florida A&M University. In October 2006, Wood made his network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman. In 2008, he appeared on HBO’s historic Def Comedy Jam and was later selected by America as one of the top three finalists on Last Comic Standing on NBC. Wood has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, TBS’ Conan, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon , Late Night with Seth Meyers , and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  He also performed for the troops on USO tours to Guam and The Philippines. 

Wood appeared at the Montreal Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in the New Faces Showcase, an appearance that lead The Hollywood Reporter to call Roy a "standout". He has also been a regular contributor to ESPN’s Sports Nation. His first full comedy CD, 'Things I Think, I Think,' was released in 2013.

HWA NEW

SEAN HAYES

  • Emmy Award-Winning Actor, Comedian, and Producer
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Emmy-award winning actor Sean Hayes has received critical acclaim for his roles in theater, television and film. Hayes is widely known for his role as the sarcastic and hilarious Jack McFarland on NBC’s Will & Grace. 

Hayes’ other notable television projects include well-received guest roles on Scrubs, 30 Rock, Up All Night, Parks and Recreation, Portlandia, Hot in Cleveland, and Smash, as well as Martin & Lewis, a television film that earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for his role as Jerry Lewis. He also appeared in NBC’s Hairspray Live!, which was nominated for seven Emmy Awards.

Hayes' film credits include The Three StoogesMonsters University, The Bucket List, Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss, Pieces of April, The Cat in the Hat, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, Igor, Soul Men and Cats and Dogs.

Hayes made his Broadway debut in the wildly successful Promises, Promises. He received a leading-actor Tony nomination for his performance in addition to a Grammy nomination for Soundtrack Recording. He also served as the host of the 2010 Tony Awards and was later awarded with an Emmy for his work as host. Hayes returned to Broadway as the title role in An Act of God. 

In addition to working successfully and simultaneously in television, film and theater, Hayes has also added producing to his repertoire with Hazy Mills Productions, his venture with producing partner Todd Milliner. Their productions include Situation: Comedy, Hot in Cleveland, Grimm, Hollywood Game Night and the eight-part docuseries The History of Comedy.

The recipient of GLAAD's Stephen F. Kolzak Award, an honor given to a LGBTQ media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance, Hayes speaks to worldwide organizations about how he achieved success as an actor while using his platform to significantly shift the conversation on issues including LGBTQ rights. In talks that are equal parts entertaining and inspiring, Hayes details the cultural impact of his storied career while empowering audiences to take immediate action on pursuing their wildest dreams.   

HWA NEW

LENA WAITHE

  • Emmy Award-Winning Writer, Producer and Actor
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Lena Waithe is one of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming talents, who continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma, and comedy. One of Hollywood Reporter ’s “TV Breakouts”, Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms.

Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Master of None. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe has made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own. Waithe became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for writing the show's "Thanksgiving" episode, which was loosely based on her personal experience of coming out to her mother. 

Waithe’s additional acting credits include Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, Amazon’s Transparent and HBO’s The Comeback.

As a writer, Waithe is serving as Creator and Executive Producer of The Chi , a relevant, timely, and distinctive coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. Showtime will premiere the show in January, which was penned for Fox 21 Television Studios. Common will produce with Rick Famuyiwa directing. The Chi stars Jason Mitchell, Sonja Sohn, and Jacob Latimore.

As a producer, Waithe’s credits include the upcoming film, Step Sisters , a comedic dance film that follows a black sorority girl who agrees to teach the art of Greek stepping to a house of white, party-obsessed sorority girls. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling, Dear White People, and Tiffany Johnson’s short film, Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube.

 

HWA NEW

RYAN COOGLER

  • Award-Winning Writer and Director
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Ryan Coogler was born in Oakland, CA. He was an avid student-athlete and earned a football scholarship to St. Mary's College and later transferred to California State University, Sacramento, where he graduated with a degree in Finance.

Having always harbored a talent for storytelling, Ryan discovered his own passion for filmmaking as a college freshman, and began shooting shorts with his teammates and friends. After being admitted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he went on to create his award winning shorts Locks, Fig and Gap. Locks was shown at Tribeca Film Festival and was winner of Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence, Gap received the Jack Nicholson Award for Achievement in Directing, and Fig won the HBO Short Filmmaking Award, DGA Student Filmmaker Award, and was nominated for the Black Reel Award for outstanding independent short film.

After receiving his M.F.A., he began to work as a juvenile hall counselor before creating his first feature film Fruitvale Station, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to win both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film, two of the festival’s top honors. Following its success at Sundance, Fruitvale Station competed at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival and won the Cannes Prix L'avenir Award in Un Certain Regard. The film was produced by actor Forest Whitaker, stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer.

Later, Ryan went on to write and direct Creed for MGM starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Ryan’s latest film, Black Panther won three Oscars and was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture.

Coogler still resides in the Bay Area with his wife Zinzi Evans.

HWA NEW

SIMON SINEK

  • Renowned Leadership Expert
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Simon Sinek is an unshakable optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together. Described as “a visionary thinker with a rare intellect,” Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people, foster cooperation, build trust, and effect change. 

The author of the global bestsellers Start With Why, Leaders Eat Last and The Infinite Game, Sinek is an ethnographer by training. Fascinated by the leaders who make an impact on the world and the companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Sinek's work focuses on the remarkable patterns in how such people and organizations think, act and communicate. 

With a bold goal to help build a world in which the vast majority of us wake up inspired, feel safe at work and return home fulfilled at the end of the day, he is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that ignite their passion, creativity, and joy.

HWA NEW

CATHERINE PRICE

  • Author of How to Break Up With Your Phone
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Hailed in The New York Times as "the Marie Kondo of brains," Catherine Price is an award-winning science journalist, speaker, and author ofHow to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life(Ten Speed Press, 2018). As a consultant, coach and workshop leader, she helps individuals and organizations create healthier personal and professional relationships with their phones (and other devices), and establish best practices to encourage creativity, productivity and mental health.  

A “new and noteworthy” selection by the New York Times, How to Break Up With Your Phone is being published in 29 countries, and has been featured in scores of high-profile media outlets around the world, including NPR, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, Wired, Vox, Refinery29, BBC World News Service, and many others. A New York Times article about Catherine and her 30-day program titled " Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain ,” went viral, receiving more than 2 million hits in less than a week. The article remained at the #1 slot for most-popular, most-emailed and most-shared for more than four days, and was the #27 most-read article published by the New York Times in all of 2019.

Catherine is also the creator and founder of Screen/Life Balance (a term that she coined) which is dedicated to helping people learn how to scroll less and live more. Screen/Life Balance is part of Catherine’s continued mission to create evidence-backed resources to help people around the world design lives in which they control their technology, rather than the other way around—with the ultimate  goal of increasing happiness, productivity, creativity, health and wellbeing. 

Catherine speaks, consults, and leads workshops on how individuals and corporations can set better boundaries with — and best practices for — their devices in order to maximize creativity and productivity, and improve mental health. Her engagements can be customized based on audience size and area of interest, but they are always compelling and actionable, chock-full of with what Catherine calls "science-backed self help," to reveals how to monitor our technology use, prevent burnout, and improve brain function and performance. 

HWA NEW

JONATHAN NEMAN

  • Co-Founder and Co-CEO of sweetgreen
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Jonathan Neman is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of sweetgreen, the destination for simple, seasonal, healthy food. Jonathan and his co-founders, Nathaniel Ru and Nicolas Jammet, started sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Georgetown, DC – just three months out of college. The brand’s strong food ethos, embrace of passion and purpose, and investment in local communities has enabled sweetgreen to grow into a national brand with more than 70 locations across the East Coast, Midwest and California.

Jonathan has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Inc’s “30 Under 30,” Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.” In 2016, sweetgreen was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Jonathan graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he met Nathaniel and Nicolas.

HWA NEW

JORDAN LEE DOOLEY

  • National Best-Selling Author of Own Your Everyday
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Jordan Lee Dooley is a National Bestselling Author, Speaker, Creative Business Educator, and Host of the Top Rated Podcast, SHE. Her mission is to help people find and live their purpose, and she does that through a variety of avenues including her education platform called The Own It Academy, which is designed to help creative women start and grow small businesses from home. She also sits on Liberty University’s School of Business Board of Advisors, and has been featured on Forbes, Inc Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine's 30 Under 30 List, and more. Jordan is an Indiana native, an advocate of working in your slippers, and a happy wife to her college sweetheart, Matt.

HWA NEW

DANIEL JAMES BROWN

  • New York Times Bestselling Author of Boys in the Boat
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Daniel James Brown is the author of #1 New York Times bestseller The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. A story that captures the world's attention and quickly skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists, The Boys in the Boat is about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and served as the inspiration for the PBS documentary “The Boys of ‘36'.It is an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times, and an improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world what true grit really meant.

Brown's other books include, Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894, which traces the personal stories and social, economic, and environmental causes of the Great Hinkley Fire, and The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, which follows the footsteps of Sarah Graves, a young bride who left her home in Illinois in the spring of 1846, only to become one of a handful of the ill-fated Donner Party members who attempted to hike out of the Sierra Nevada to save herself and her family.  

In his captivating presentations, Brown shares the remarkable stories covered in his work, bringing history to life to leave audiences inspired.

HWA NEW

CHONDA PIERCE

  • Emmy®-nominated and Best-Selling Comedian
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Emmy®-nominated and best-selling comedian Chonda Pierce, or “the country comic” as Billboard Magazine dubbed her, has been making audiences laugh for more than three decades with her winning combination of fierce wit and southern charm. A stand-up comedian, television hostess, author and actress, Pierce has channeled her life experiences into positivity, bringing laughter to audiences around the country. As the RIAA’s number one selling female comedian of all time, her hilarious take on life is easily relatable as she publicly opens up to her listeners about times of darkness and depression in her own life, drawing humor and good from every situation.

Pierce is a frequent guest at the famed Grand Ole Opry and has served as host of the Inspirational Country Music Awards and Christian Music Hall of Fame Awards and also co-hosted the GMA Dove Awards in 2012. She has also appeared on Entertainment Tonight, The View, Fox News Channel, Wanda Sykes, Hallmark Home & Family, NY1, CNN’s History of Comedy, How The States Got Their Shapes, and her comedy is regularly featured on XM and Sirius satellite radio. Variety raved about her ability to draw audiences for an encore performance for Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark.

In addition to her comedic work, Pierce has used her success to help others, and in 2006 founded Branches Recovery Center, which offers counseling and treatment to those with depression, anxiety, addiction, regardless of their ability to pay. She has also raised millions of dollars for international relief organizations Compassion International, WorldVision, Food for the Hungry and Feed the Children.

Today, as the RIAA’s best-selling female comedian, Pierce continues to bring the laughs with her unique blend of music and comedy.

HWA NEW

GLENNON DOYLE

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author
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Glennon Doyle is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Untamed, Love Warrior (an Oprah’s Book Club selection), and Carry On, Warrior. An activist and thought leader, Glennon was named among SuperSoul 100’s inaugural group of “awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity.” She is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $20 million for women, families, and children in crisis. She lives in Florida with her wife and three children.

HWA NEW

ANTWONE FISHER

  • Award-Winning Film and Literary Writer
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Antwone Fisher is an award-winning film and literary writer. Born in an Ohio prison to a teenage mother, Antwone became a ward of the state and was placed in foster care. He spent two years in a loving foster home, but was subsequently moved and suffered twelve years of abuse at the hands of his new foster family.

Unable to locate a new placement for him, at age 14, Antwone was sent to a reform school in western Pennsylvania where he remained until he graduated high school at 17. Emancipated from foster care, he found himself in the world alone and homeless, living on the streets of Cleveland.

Antwone set on a course of healing when he joined the U.S. Navy, where he served his country for eleven years. After his honorable discharge from the military, Antwone became a Federal Correctional Officer with the Federal Bureau of Prisons and, after three years of service, he took a job at Sony Pictures Entertainment working as a Security Officer. It was at Sony Pictures that Antwone was referred to a free screenwriting course.

Antwone has worked in Hollywood for 20 years as a writer and producer, with an impressive fourteen writing projects or assignments with the major studios. Among those projects is the feature classic, Antwone Fisher, directed by and starring Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington, written by Antwone and based on his own life. The film garnered numerous nominations and awards. Antwone received the renowned Humanitas Prize, the Screenwriter of the Year Award from the National Association of Theater Owners, and was listed in Variety's "Fifty People to Watch." Antwone was also named among Fade In Magazine's "100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know" in 2005. On May 10, 2003 Antwone received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Cleveland State University. On April 23, 2013 Antwone testified before the Senate Finance committee. The hearing was entitled: The Antwone Fisher Story as a Case Study for Child Welfare.

Antwone’s first book, Finding Fish: A Memoir, about his inspiring story, became a New York Times best seller. His collection of poetry, Who Will Cry For The Little Boy?, a national best seller, creatively disclosed the road from his tumultuous childhood to the man he is today. Antwone’s poetry is featured in Nikki Giovanni's book for children, Hip Hop Speaks to Children. His third book, A Boy Should Know How To Tie A Tie And Other Lessons For Succeeding In Life, won the award for Outstanding Literary Work - Instructional from the 2011 NAACP Awards and is in its third printing.

Antwone continues as a prolific writer with his stage project, Antwone Fisher: A Play. His most recent screenwriting project is Training Day 2. Antwone made his film directing debut with the award-winning short film, My Summer Friend, and produced, wrote, and directed the 2013 documentary, This Life of Mine. Antwone teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers Program, the country's largest continuing education writing program.

About how far he has come, Antwone states, "I think back on a childhood full of longing for belonging, and see my life now as what I have created out of my dreams. An image comes to mind of Mrs. Brown at the orphanage in Cleveland, me sitting at her side, telling her, ‘You'll read about me someday.’ I was definitely dreaming then. With no evidence of that ever being possible, I clung to that preposterous vision and with the force of those dreams willed it and made it happen. Not because I needed to be famous, but because I needed a world that made me feel uninvited to be wrong, so I imagined myself free, I imagined myself loved, I imagined myself... as somebody."

HWA NEW

GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN

  • #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back, International Speaker, and Spirit Junkie
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Gabrielle Bernstein is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back and has written six additional bestsellers, including her most recent book, the New York Times bestseller Super Attractor. She was featured on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday as a “next-generation thought leader,” and The Oprah Winfrey Network chose Gabby to be part of the “SuperSoul 100,” a dynamic group of 100 trailblazers whose vision and life’s work are bringing a higher level of consciousness to the world. The New York Times identified her as “a new role model.”

YouTube named Gabby one of 16 YouTube Next Video Bloggers, she was named one of Mashable’s "11 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Inspiration", and she’s featured on the Forbes list of "20 Best-Branded Women". She appears regularly as an expert on The Dr. Oz Show and co-hosted the Guinness World Record largest guided meditation with Deepak Chopra.

 

HWA NEW

DAVID DOBRIK

  • YouTube Phenom with over 15 Million Subscribers and over 6.5 Billion Views
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YouTube personality David Dobrik became known on the now defunct 6-second mobile app Vine and now creates content for more than 15 million YouTube subscribers and 11 million Instagram followers.

Known for being the leader of the popular YouTube ensemble The Vlog Squad, Dobrik's vlog channel had accumulated 15 million subscribers and was the fifth-most viewed creator channel on YouTube in 2019, with 2.4 billion views.

With his signature candor and entertaining delivery, Dobrik shares how his inimitable work ethic drove him to success, the challenges that come with being a content creator and how to overcome those in any industry, how his DACA status influences his daily life and the content he creates, and details of his journey from struggling content creator to internet star.

HWA NEW

VICTOR CRUZ

  • Super Bowl Champion
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Victor Cruz is a Super Bowl champion. As an undrafted free agent, Cruz impressively played his way onto the Giants’ 53-man regular season roster. He finished his first season with a single-season franchise record for receiving yards and was named second-team All-Pro by the Associated Press.

Cruz co-hosts E!’s morning news show, Pop of the Morning, a mix of celebrity news, interviews and discussions around pop culture moments.

An active philanthropist, Cruz established the Victor Cruz Foundation to promote positive change in the lives of youth by providing innovative educational programs that equip students with skill sets to prepare them for a successful future. The foundation is especially committed to continued research and partnerships with STEM programs. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of America, his foundation launched and implemented the “Science in Sports” program. This curriculum provides students with a hands approach to STEM curriculum while simultaneously teaching them the science behind football as it relates to the NFL.

In engaging conversations, Cruz discusses how motivation and perseverance drove his career; the impact and goals of his foundation; the importance of exposing youth to STEM programs; and more.

HWA NEW

NATALY KOGAN

  • Founder of Happier, a global technology and learning platform enabling users to discover new methods of pursuing emotional wellbeing
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A successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Nataly found that after reaching the highest levels of corporate America, she still wasn’t happy. Nataly came to the United States as a refugee from Russia when she was 13 and overcame significant obstacles on her way to achieving career success. But while her achievements left her proud, she was unfulfilled, so she became inspired to figure out how to live a truly meaningful, happier life. In the process, she found the answers each person and organization needs to unlock their maximum potential, making them not just more productive and innovative, but helping them to find more joy in everyday moments and get through challenging ones with resilience.

The CEO and Founder of Happier—an award-winning global technology and learning platform—Nataly is a leading expert on how people and organizations can transform their individual and team culture so that they can thrive.  Having helped more than a million people and employees dramatically improve their emotional health and resilience by cultivating her Five Core Happier Skills, Nataly demonstrates that happiness is not just a feeling, but a skill that can be learned and improved through practice, and that in turn boosts creativity, productivity and profits.

Nataly’s received standing ovations from groups such as Million Dollar Roundtable, Fortune's Tech Brainstorm, SXSW, Harvard Women's Leadership Conference, Gillette, Pendulum Leadership Summit, Atrium Innocations, TEDx Boston, and many more, thanks to her instantly implementable takeaways that transform the way people work and live. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, New York Magazine, Time Magazine and more, and her new book Happier Now: How to Stop Striving For Perfection and Embrace Everyday Moments (Even the Difficult Ones) provides a roadmap for how to cultivate genuine, lasting happiness in every facet of our lives.

HWA NEW

NICOLAS JAMMET

  • Co-Founder and Co-CEO of sweetgreen
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Nicolas Jammet is Co-Founder & Co-CEO of sweetgreen, a destination for simple, seasonal, healthy food. Nicolas and his co-founders, Nathaniel Ru and Jonathan Neman, launched sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Georgetown, DC, just three months out of college. The brand’s strong food ethos, embrace of passion and purpose, and investment in local communities has enabled sweetgreen to grow into a national brand with more than 70 locations throughout the country.

In 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama selected Nicolas for the Presidential Delegation to EXPO 2015, an international summit to discuss global nutrition and health as well as sustainable food solutions. He has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business,” Inc’s “30 Under 30,” Forbes’ “30 Under 30” and Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.” In 2016, sweetgreen was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies.”

Born and raised in New York City, Nicolas grew up in a family of restaurateurs — the son of André and Rita Jammet, owners of NYC’s beloved La Caravelle. He graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, where he met Nathaniel and Jonathan.

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LANDYN HUTCHINSON

  • Lifestyle Influencer
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Landyn Hutchinson isn’t really a lifestyle blogger. She is a high-energy, hardworking mom who is raising two kids and perpetually trying to navigate the perfect work / life balance. Like most of the incredible ladies out there, some days she gets a little closer than others...but rest assured she’s mastered the art of finding the perfect under eye concealer so no one will be able to tell the difference! (And the good news is that she can’t wait to tell everyone where to find said concealer...and how to get it on sale!) 

Refreshingly endearing, Landyn is not only relatable – she’s downright loveable. Married to her 8th grade sweetheart, she’s literally saved every single ticket stub from every single movie that they’ve seen together for twenty-six straight years. (All the heart eyes.) She makes sure to celebrate all the moments in her loved one’s lives, and she can throw one heck of a party. Much like Landyn, her home is warm and inviting. It’s the perfect space for gathering with family and friends. With a keen eye for detail, Landyn is not afraid to mix designer pieces with accents from a discount store, and she’ll show you how you can too. (Oh, and before you ask - The paint? It’s Benjamin Moore.) 

Toputitsimply:LandynHutchinsonisabouttobecomeoneofyourbestgirlfriends.Theoneyou go to when you need a recipe or a life hack or a perfectly fitting plain white Tshirt. Brutally honest and passionately authentic, she isn’t afraid to show the less than picture-perfect moments in her life. Sure, she can whip up a gourmet, keto-friendly meal in no time flat, but she’s not afraid to eat a chocolate pop tart straight out of the box or crush up some oreos in a coffee mug of milk and eat it like cereal. (And if you ask her, she’ll definitely divulge the perfect oreo-to-milk ratio. Yes, it matters.) 

A natural motivator and extrovert, Landyn genuinely loves sharing her life with her community. She’s creative, she’s witty, and sometimes she drops her kids off at school without a bra on because, well, it’s early. Since starting her lifestyle website, Landyn has cultivated a highly engaged audience of women (and men!) that she affectionately refers to as her Tribe. She’ll be the first to tell you that these followers-turned-friends help her just as much as she helps them. Living with Landyn is a community of people who are just better together, and Landyn makes sure that it stays that way. Whether it’s sharing styling tips, recipes, workout recommendations, or the perfect shade of nail polish (which, by the way, is OPI Funny Bunny), each day Landyn strives to support and encourage each and every member of her tribe. And perhaps most importantly, she’s there to remind them that even though life may look really pretty in photos, it isn’t always picture perfect: It’s Authentic. It’s Exciting. It’s ALL. THE. THINGS.

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JULIE WILLIAMSON

  • Co-Author with Peter Sheahan of MATTER: Create more value, move beyond the competition, and become the obvious choice
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Dr. Williamson is a Vice President of Strategy and Research for Karrikins Group, where she has worked with some of the world's largest companies, helping them set and execute on strategy and transformation. She is a leading voice in how organizations link together communication, design, strategy, sales, marketing and service to deliver sustainable growth. She uses both traditional and forward looking resources in her strategy and transformation work, leveraging design thinking to help client arrive at solutions that are informed by data and inspired by creativity.

Her work with Peter Sheahan on the recently released book MATTER: Create more value, move beyond the competition, and become the obvious choice highlights Julie’s commitment to working with clients to find and deliver on opportunities for growth and development.

Julie is an educator and a professional, teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses on organizational strategy, behavior, and change, and helping students connect the theoretical concepts to real-world applications. Her work with knowledge management and leadership development has been put to the test with Fortune 100 companies and stands well outside of the classroom.

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HANNAH BRONFMAN

  • Famed DJ, Lifestyle Expert, and Co-Founder, Beautified
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Hannah Bronfman is the quintessential city girl. As a graduate of Bard College, where she studied fine art, she has built a reputation as an influencer through her work as an Entrepreneur and DJ and her passion for health and wellness.

Bronfman is a co-founder of the app, Beautified, a unique mobile platform for hand-picked, premier spas and salons to sell last minute/same day appointments to a targeted audience of beauty enthusiasts. Since its release last year, the app has already made it on the radar of a who’s who of the beauty community and has been featured by outlets such as Vogue, Vanity Fair  and WWD, among others.

Hannah has served as a DJ for some of the greatest fashion/art events and corporate clients worldwide, including Banana Republic, Bvgalri, Chopard, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Ebay, Fendi, H&M, Moet-Chandon, Samsung, SONY, and UNICEF. Bronfman has opened for stars like John Legend and has also curated music for fashion shows during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week.

As a firm believer of the mantra, "your body is a temple," Hannah routinely shares her homemade recipes and workout regimens via her Instagram account (@hannahbronfman). She can be seen concocting everything from her daily smoothie, to raw granola, to almond milk. Hannah also loves to switch up her workout and often documents videos of herself boxing, doing pilates, and even working out from home! She has turned this passion for wellness and food into a career, and she has invested in NY fixtures such as Acme Restaurant.

Bronfman’s success has led to global recognition. She has been featured by magazines such as Allure, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Teen Vogue, The New York Times  and U.S.  and International editions of Vogue. Hannah has also been asked to serve as a guest blogger four outlets such as ASOS, Elle, Elle Australia  and Equinox.

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ERIN & BEN NAPIER

  • Stars of HGTV's Home Town
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Ben Napier is a woodworker, author, and entrepreneur with a degree in history, founder of Scotsman Co. and co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. He is a past president of Laurel's Main Street America chapter dedicated to promoting the rebirth of their historic downtown district.

Erin Napier is a designer, author, and entrepreneur with a fine arts degree who started her career in corporate graphic design before founding her own international stationery company, Lucky Luxe, and is a founding co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. 

Six days after meeting in college, Erin and Ben decided they would marry and have been inseparable ever since, working side by side in every venture pursued. Their passion for small-town revitalization and American craftsmanship is evident in their store, Laurel Mercantile Co., where they design and manufacture heirloom wares and durable goods made exclusively in the United States. 

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MAYE MUSK

  • Author, Model, Dietician, Speaker
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Renowned model, dietitian, and passionate advocate for embracing life at every age, Maye Musk has run her own nutrition business for over 45 years. She is also a world-famous mother, having raised engineer and technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, restaurateur and philanthropist Kimbal Musk, and filmmaker Tosca Musk. 

Maye's story is one of resilience, ingenuity, and constant reinvention. She became a single mom at 31, struggled through poverty to provide for her three children; dealt with weight issues as a plus-size model and overcame ageism in the modeling industry; and established a lifelong career as a respected dietitian, all the while starting over in eight different cities across three countries and two continents. Maye made her way through it all with an indomitable spirit and a no-nonsense attitude to become a global success at what she calls the "prime of her life."

Maye's remarkable life story is chronicled in her book, A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success, which is also a fount of frank and practical advice on how the choices you make in every decade can pay off in surprising, exciting ways. 

In her candid and inspiring remarks Maye shares experiences and lessons from her life, conveying hard-earned wisdom on career (the harder you work, the luckier you get), family (let the people you love go their own way), health (there is no magic pill), and adventure (make room for discovery, but always be ready for anything). As Maye is a brilliant example of, you can't control all that happens in life, but you can have the life you want at any age. All you have to do is make a plan.

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TOM BOSSERT

  • Former Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Advisor
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Tom Bossert was the 7th U.S. Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (commonly referred to as the Homeland Security Advisor), serving under President Donald J. Trump during his first year and half in office. As such, Mr. Bossert was the chief advisor to the President of the United States on cybersecurity, homeland security, counterterrorism, and global health security, coordinating the President, his Cabinet and other senior White House staff on a range of domestic and transnational security issues.

Mr. Bossert managed U.S. operational risk in the presidential transition, coordinated international cybersecurity policy and operations, offensive and defensive, and led the successful federal government response and recovery operations to the most damaging and costly natural disaster season in U.S. history. He instituted comprehensive policy and budget reforms to target all the drivers of effective cybersecurity and technology policy globally, applying the largest economic and financial sanctions ever imposed on adversary nations and individual criminal actors. He led the successful effort to reauthorize U.S. intelligence collection authority and led the international, congressional, executive branch, and private sector efforts to enact the CLOUD Act. These efforts allow the U.S. to lead on international data sharing and law enforcement while preventing costly data localization requirements for US businesses. Mr. Bossert led the Nation’s counterterrorism policy and coordinated global operations, dramatically increasing operational effectiveness, destroying the ISIS caliphate and increasing the lethality of our forces around the world. He also coordinated all diplomatic and special operations for the return of U.S. hostages.

Mr. Bossert previously served as Deputy Homeland Security Advisor under President George W. Bush and held a variety of other positions in the homeland and national security fields, worked as a lawyer and risk management consultant in private practice, and has been a leading voice on U.S. cybersecurity operations and policy for over a decade. Mr. Bossert is a senior executive with extensive experience in operational and strategic management roles. Prior to rejoining the White House, he was co-founder and general counsel of a unique cybersecurity start-up that operates highly advanced custom technology on behalf of its clients, and he founded and led a management consulting business that provided advice and support services to commercial companies and government agencies as they assessed and managed their multifaceted, complex risk structures and compliance requirements.

Currently, Mr Bossert serves as Chief Strategy Advisor at Trinity Cyber, National Security Analyst to ABC News, and Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the U.S. Atlantic Council.

Mr. Bossert was raised in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and his law degree from The George Washington University Law School. He was an Engalitcheff Scholar on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown University, has guest lectured at the Naval Post Graduate School.

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JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

  • Award-Winning Actor, Director and Screenwriter
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Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an actor, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. His acting career spans three decades, and ranges from television (3rd Rock from The Sun) to arthouse (Mysterious Skin, Brick) to multiplex (Inception, 500 Days of Summer, Snowden). He made his feature screenwriting and directorial debut with Don Jon (Independent Spirit Award nomination, Best First Screenplay). Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also the founder and acting CEO of the online creative platform, HITRECORD.

HITRECORD is an online creative platform with a growing worldwide community of over 850,000 people. The platform empowers artists around the world to start their own creative projects, and to invite others to collaborate with them. Over the years, HITRECORD’s “community-sourced” production company has published a number of books, produced award-winning campaigns for brands ranging from the ACLU to LG, toured live shows and screened short films at festivals such as Sundance, BFI, TIFF, and SXSW. Their first television show, HITRECORD On TV, won an EMMY in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Media. 

Through HITRECORD, Gordon-Levitt also hosts original live events that invite people - both online and in the room - to collaborate on creative projects together using the HITRECORD platform and mobile app. Most recently, he hosted HITRECORD Live Labs, a unique interactive experience which debuted over the course of two nights at Sundance 2020. 

In recent years, Gordon-Levitt has become a thought leader in exploring the relationship between technology and creativity.  In his latest talks, Gordon-Levitt examines the unintended side effects of social media culture on our creative and mental wellbeing.  

Drawing from his own unique perspective as an artist, entrepreneur, and his years of experience in the spotlight of Hollywood, Gordon-Levitt delivers dynamic talks and presentations that shed light on internet culture, collaboration, and creativity. He’s been sought out to speak everywhere from TED to TechCrunch and AT&T. His 2019 TED talk has nearly four million views.

 

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ROBERT IRVINE

  • World-Class Chef and Host, Restaurant: Impossible
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Robert Irvine is the host of Restaurant: Impossible on Food Network, which is now filming its 16th season. He is the author of four cookbooks including his most recent, Family Table By Robert Irvine.

A veteran of the British Royal Navy, Robert learned to cook for a huge number of people under intense pressure, an experience that served him well when he moved to United States to run restaurants and later take Food Network by storm on his first show, Dinner: Impossible.

In addition to being a world-class chef, business leader, and fitness authority, he is also a philanthropist focusing on veterans’ issues. He created the Robert Irvine Foundation to support wounded servicemen and their families and he frequently tours with the USO, visiting our troops around the globe. For his efforts, he has been named an Honorary Chief Petty Officer of the US Navy. 

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CATHY O'NEIL

  • Big Data Scientist and New York Times Bestselling Author
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Cathy O’Neil is the author of the New York Times bestselling Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was also a semifinalist for the National Book Award. She is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and founded the company ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.

Starting as a professor at Barnard College, where she published a number of research papers in arithmetic algebraic geometry, Cathy later switched over to the private sector. She worked as a quantitative analyst for the hedge fund, D.E. Shaw, in the middle of the credit crisis, and then for RiskMetrics, a risk software company that assesses risk for the holdings of hedge funds and banks. She then left finance in and started working as a data scientist in the New York start-up scene, building models that predicted people’s purchases and clicks.

 

 

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PAMELA DRUCKERMAN

  • Journalist, and International Best-selling Author, Bringing Up Bébé
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Pamela Druckerman is an American journalist and author of the international bestseller Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting (known in the U.K. as French Children Don’t Throw Food). It’s an unconventional parenting guide that mixes anthropology, journalism, and memoir, with dashes of history and humor. The book has been (or is being) translated into 21 languages.

Pamela is also a Contributing Opinion Writer for the International New York Times. Her op-eds and articles have appeared in the Washington Post, The Guardian, the Financial Times, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, Vanity Fair France, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured on Good Morning America, The TODAY Show, National Public Radio, BBC Women’s Hour, and Oprah.com, among many other news outlets. From 1997 to 2002 she was a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, based in Buenos Aires, São Paulo, and New York.

Pamela speaks regularly to audiences in Europe and the United States. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from Colgate University, a Master of International Affairs from Columbia Univeristy, and has trained in improvisational comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade. She lives in Paris.

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BRIAN GRAZER

  • Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy Award-Winning Producer
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Hollywood legend Brian Grazer is an Academy, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Grammy award-winning producer and New York Times bestselling author. Behind iconic films and shows including Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Splash, 24, and Arrested Development (just to name a few), Grazer's work has been nominated for 43 Oscars and 195 Emmys.

Named to TIME’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” Grazer co-founded Imagine Entertainment along with his longtime friend and business partner Ron Howard in the 1980s, quickly growing it to become one of Hollywood's most prolific and successful production companies. Heralded as a creative visionary and entertainment powerhouse, and described by Russel Crowe in TIME as "a modern-age hunter-gatherer of information," Grazer is renowned for his uncanny prescience, curiosity, and innovative insight. 

Coming from modest means and growing up with dyslexia, Grazer's rise to a mogul in the pantheon of Hollywood is an empowering story of resilience and ingenuity. The secret to Grazer's success and distinct outlook are chronicled in his #1 New York Times bestselling book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, which reveals why curiosity is our superpower and how all of us can channel it to lead bigger and more rewarding lives.  Grazer's second book,  Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection, reveals yet another key to happiness and success: eye-contact. Filled with personal, life-changing stories and insightful advice, Face to Face highlights the transformative power of genuine human connection, even as technology takes on a bigger and bigger role in our lives.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from Google to Goldman Sachs, SXSW to the Aspen Institute, Grazer has helped everyone from parents to CEOs to artists to young graduates hone the mindset, philosophy, and skills needed to thrive in turbulent times. With a unique flair for telling fascinating stories, and decades of experience as a Hollywood icon to draw upon, Grazer offers insight into themes such as leading through times of disruption, unleashing curiosity and creativity, innovating in a fast changing world, and the future media landscape. 

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CHRISTOPHER WYLIE

  • Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower
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Best known for his role in setting up – and then taking down – his former employer, the cyberwarfare firm Cambridge Analytica, Christopher Wylie sparked a global conversation when he gave The Guardian and The New York Times documents detailing the secret workings behind the company's alleged unauthorized possession and misuse of personal data from millions of Facebook users.

Wylie witnessed firsthand how culture, information and algorithms were being weaponized by militaries, governments and companies to undermine elections around the world. His testimonies before the United States Congress and British
Parliament served as a wake-up call and have led to new legislative proposals in both countries.

In powerful, eye-opening conversations, Wylie shares his groundbreaking story, discusses the future of technology, details the power of weaponized algorithms and information warfare, and makes AI understandable, disturbing, and yet somehow compelling. 

 

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ELIZA GRISWOLD

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author of "Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America"
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Eliza Griswold is a poet and journalist who works on issues of social justice, religion, politics and the environment abroad and at home in America. A contributing writer for The New Yorker since 2003, she has also written and translated four books of nonfiction and poetry.

Griswold was awarded the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for her book Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America.

She was recently awarded a PEN prize for her 2014 book, I Am The Beggar of the World which traces the secret life of women and poetry in Afghanistan. Her 2011 non-fiction book, The Tenth Parallel, a New York Times Bestseller, was awarded the Lukas Prize. 

A graduate of Princeton, she has held fellowships at Harvard University, New America, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2010. Her poems and reportage have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Atlantic, among many others. 

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JOEL STEIN

  • Former TIME Magazine columnist
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Celebrated journalist and author Joel Stein is a sharp, thoughtful, and hilarious moderator and emcee for events worldwide. As a speaker, he also provides insights on today's political climate and cultural moment, and the ways in which we can get disparate-- and often disagreeing-- groups to come together. 

A TIME columnist for nearly two decades, Stein has written over a dozen cover stories on everything from pop culture, to politics, sports, business, and technology. He's also been a columnist for Men’s Health, Entertainment Weekly, and the Los Angeles Times. 

Stein’s the author of two books, Man Made, and most recently, In Defense of Elitismwhich explores the power of people with seemingly opposing mindsets coming together, and makes a compelling argument for a return to empathy and understanding in society today.

Sought-out to speak and moderate everywhere from Ted to Google to college campuses nationwide, Stein customizes his remarks for every audience, infusing them with his sense-of-humor and unique ability to bring unexpected-- and fascinating-- details to light. As a moderator he's interviewed Barbara Streisand, Seth Rogen, Joan Rivers, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Questlove, Fred Armisen, and more. He's heralded for bringing out the best stories and thoughtful analysis from his subjects, and keeping the conversation moving in organic and dynamic ways. 

 

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COLIN QUINN

  • Famed Stand-Up Comic, Actor, and Writer
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Colin Quinn is a stand-up comedian from Brooklyn (okay, Park Slope). From MTV's “Remote Control” to “SNL” to Comedy Central's "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn," Mr. Quinn is not one to take a hint and bow out gracefully. He's been on Broadway with “Colin Quinn: An Irish Wake” and “Colin Quinn: Long Story Short” (also an HBO special) and off-Broadway with his show “Colin Quinn: Unconstitutional” (available on Netflix) and “Colin Quinn: The New York Story,” directed by Jerry Seinfeld (also available on Netflix). Recent credits include “Trainwreck,” “Girls,” and his web series “Cop Show.” His first book, The Coloring Book, is now out from Grand Central Publishing.

In January 2019, Colin Quinn’s newest one-man show, “Red State Blue State,” premiered to rave reviews at The Minetta Lane Theatre in New York. The special was adapted into CNN’s first comedy special in May 2019 and started streaming on Netflix in August 2019.

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CRAIG ROBINSON

  • Famed Actor and Comedian
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Craig Robinson is arguably best known for his role as acerbic Dunder-Mifflin employee Darryl Philbin on NBC’s Emmy-winning “The Office.” Regardless of what role you know him from, he is definitely a world away from his original career intentions. Before deciding to pursue his comedy career full time, Robinson was a K-8 teacher in the Chicago Public School System. He earned his undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and his Masters of Education from St. Xavier University. It was while he was studying education in Chicago that he also discovered his love of acting and comedy when he joined the famed Second City Theatre.

As a stand-up comedian, Robinson first made his mark in the comedy circuit at the 1998 Montreal “Just For Laughs” Festival. That year, he also won the Oakland Comedy Festival Awards and the Miller Genuine Draft 1996 Comedy Search. He soon went on to perform his act on “The Jimmy Kimmel Show,” and “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Now headlining venues and festivals across the country, he does both solo acts as well as full-band sets – “The Nasty Delicious” – tying together his lyrical comedy with his finesse at the piano. Whether Robinson shows up with just his keyboard or also with his seven-man band, the clubs are packed to the brim with raucous laughter in response to the musical comedy on display.

His rise to success with “The Office” and his stand-up prowess quickly brought him to the forefront with industry comedy maven Judd Apatow. Robinson made audiences question their notions of vanity playing the sensitive bouncer in KNOCKED UP. He then kept audiences glued to their seats as one of the henchman hunting Seth Rogen and James Franco’s bumbling stoner characters in PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, and made fans squirm when he co-starred with Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO.

In February, Robinson was heard in The Weinstein Company’s first animated feature, ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH. In May, finally getting his due with his first leading man role, Robinson starred in the Lionsgate comedy WE THE PEEPLES. Playing a pushy boyfriend, Robinson surprises his fiancé-to-be (Kerry Washington) who is on a trip home to visit her family and discovers that the family is not only surprised to see him, but has never even heard of him.

This past summer, he appeared as himself as part of the Hollywood juggernaut that makes up the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg comedy world. With the likes of James Franco, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Seth Rogan, Emma Watson, Danny McBride, and a slew of their other actor-type friends, Sony Pictures’ THIS IS THE END tells us what will happen while attending a party at James Franco's house the celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.

Robinson spent the remainder of his summer shooting alongside Rob Corddry, Clark Duke, and story addition Adam Scott the sequel to the 2010 ensemble comedy feature HOT TUB TIME MACHINE for MGM and director Steve Pink. The original story follows three grown men (Corddry, Craig Robinson, and John Cusack) as they visit the hot tub where they once partied, discover it is now a time machine, and travel back to their raunchy heyday in the mid-1980‘s.

Robinson has made it a point to flesh out every element of his resume, turning in a hilarious cameo in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: BATTLE OF THE SMITHSONIAN as one of the Tuskegee Airmen, lending his comedy genius to fellow Apatow devotee Danny McBride in his HBO television series “East Bound & Down,” and voicing several characters on “The Cleveland Show.” Robinson was heard in the final chapter of the SHREK film series, SHREK FOREVER AFTER, as one of the new characters being introduced to the repertoire, a member of the ogre clan and the camp’s resident chef named “Cookie.” And taking a dramatically different role, Robinson starred in the independent feature FATHER OF INVENTION with Kevin Spacey and Camilla Belle

Robinson’s additional credits include the films THE GOODS with Jeremy Piven, MISS March, WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY, Tyler Perry’s DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL and television shows including “Friends,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” He also turned up as a preacher in the demonstrative web video celebrity push in support of Gay rights, “PROP 8: THE MUSICAL” with Jack Black, John C. Reilly, and Neil Patrick Harris.

Robinson currently resides in Los Angeles.

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CHERYL HINES

  • Actress
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Actress, producer, and director Cheryl Hines is a two-time Emmy nominee for her role as Cheryl David on HBO's Golden Globe Award-winning series Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Heralded for her humorous and passionate delivery in speaking engagements, Hines inspires audiences with conversations about finding success in a career that mainly consists of rejection, upholding “dangerous optimism” throughout her life, and shares how to reframe the mindset to take life’s twists and turns and view them as learning and turning points in order to achieve your wildest dreams. Additionally, she gives actionable insights into attacking the problems we face head on in order to move forward and how to let go of the things that don’t contribute to your happiness.

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JAMES VEITCH

  • Comedian and Writer Focused on Technology
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Viral comedy sensation James Veitch is renowned for his unashamedly nerdy and hilarious stand up material that speaks volumes about our tech world today. Responsible for one of the most-viewed Ted Talks of all time, "This is what happens when you respond to a spam email," (56 million views and counting), as well as "The agony of trying to unsubscribe," (21 million views),  Veitch’s comedy is high-tech: picking apart, parodying (and pranking) the fast-advancing and perplexing technology we live with.

A former Apple Store Genius, Veitch has written and performed two viral hit seasons of his show Scamalot with Mashable, and has appeared on TBS’ Conan and NBC's The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He is also the bestselling author of  Dot Con: The Art of Scamming a Scammer, a collection of laugh-out-loud funny exchanges with email scammers, has a stand up special airing on HBO Max, and will serve as the host of Q Talks, a comedy talk show on forthcoming digital shortform outlet Quibi.

At engagements, Veitch delivers a hilarious high-tech stand-up routine, that leaves audiences thinking differently about the internet and technology. 

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CHRISTIAN SIRIANO

  • CFDA Fashion Designer
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Behind Christian Siriano's prestigious fashion label is a groundbreaking, ambitious and fearless businessman. As a pioneer in body positivity and diversity in the fashion industry, Siriano's outspoken defense of inclusivity has forever changed the business of fashion.

A designer, activist and entrepreneur, who can be seen as a mentor on Bravo's Project Runway, Siriano brings his one-of-a-kind charisma to worldwide organizations for conversations about business, entrepreneurship, fashion, diversity, and the power of being your authentic self. 
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REBA MCENTIRE

  • Legendary Country Music Star
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Multi-media entertainment mogul Reba McEntire has become a household name through a successful career that spans across music, television, film, theater and retail. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Hollywood Bowl member has won 16 ACM Awards, 15 American Music Awards, 9 People’s Choice Awards, 6 CMA Awards, 3 GRAMMY® Awards and a GMA Dove Award. The Grand Ole Opry member has also received the Andrea Bocelli Foundation Humanitarian Award, Leadership Music Dale Franklin Award, the Music Biz Chairman’s Award, the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress and membership into the Horatio Alger Association, in addition to other philanthropic and leadership honors. In 2018, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame presented Reba with the inaugural Career Maker Award for her significant influence on the songwriting careers of Nashville songwriters. She also joined an elite group of creators as one of the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors recipients for her lifetime artistic achievements alongside Cher, Philip Glass, Wayne Shorter and the creators of Hamilton – writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire.

In 2017, she marked her thirteenth summit as SING IT NOW: SONGS OF FAITH & HOPE topped both the Billboard Country and Christian/Gospel charts, bolstering Reba’s successful record of 35 No. 1 singles and over 56 million albums sold worldwide. The double-disc collection earned Reba her first GMA Dove Award for Bluegrass/Country/Roots Album of the Year and third GRAMMY® Award for Best Roots Gospel Album. On April 5, 2019, she released her new album STRONGER THAN THE TRUTH on Big Machine Records. Reba co-produced the 12-track project with Buddy Cannon in Nashville.

The Oklahoma native is an acclaimed actress with 11 movie credits to her name, a lead role on Broadway in Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun and starred in the six-season television sitcom Reba. In 2005, she partnered with Dillard’s to launch her own lifestyle brand, and most recently launched the REBA by Justin™ western footwear collection at select retailers nationwide. She was named the first female and musician to portray KFC’s iconic founder Colonel Harland Sanders in the brand’s celebrity colonel campaign. Throughout 2019, she will bring that same bubbly energy and penchant for excellence to Las Vegas as part of the longest-running Country residency in The Colosseum’s history alongside her superstar pals for REBA, BROOKS & DUNN: Together In Vegas at Caesars.

HWA NEW

MICHAEL SYMON

  • Iron Chef and Co-Host, ABC's The Chew
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Michael Symon cooks with soul, having grown up in a Greek and Sicilian family. The Cleveland native shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on Food Network and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew. 

Michael is the chef and owner of more than 18 restaurants, including Lola and Mabel’s BBQ in downtown Cleveland, locals of B-Spot Burgers throughout the Midwest, and Angeline at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. He is also the author of five cookbooks, including the New York Times bestseller Fix it with Food a guide to managing inflammation and pain with 125+ recipes proving that you don’t need to sacrifice delicious food to eat healthfully and be pain free.

HWA NEW

GUILLERMO DEL TORO

  • Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker
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Guillermo del Toro is among the most creative and visionary artists of his generation, whose distinctive style is showcased through his work as a filmmaker, screenwriter, producer, and author.

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, del Toro first gained worldwide recognition for the 1993 Mexican-American co-production, Cronos, a supernatural horror film, which he directed from his own screenplay, after beginning his career working as a special effects makeup artist.

His subsequent films include Mimic, The Devil’s Backbone, Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pacific Rim , and Crimson Peak. He earned international acclaim as the director, writer, and producer of the 2006 aforementioned fantasy drama, Pan’s Labyrith. He was honored with an Oscar nomination for his original screenplay for the film, which won Academy Awards for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Makeup. In all, the film garnered more than 40 international awards and appeared on more than 35 critics’ lists of the year’s best films.

Most recently, del Toro wrote and directed The Shape of Water, which was nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and won 4, including Best Director and Best Picture. He also won a Golden Globe for Best Director and was nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture-Drama for The Shape of Water. He also won a DGA, a Critics' Choice Movie Award, a BAFTA for Best Director, and a PGA for the film.

HWA NEW

KUMAIL NANJIANI

  • Critically Acclaimed Actor, Comedian, and Writer
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Kumail Nanjiani is an Oscar-nominated writer and critically acclaimed actor and comedian.

As co-writers, he and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay for The Big Sick, in which Nanjiani starred. Premiering to tremendous acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, the film was released by Amazon, becoming one of the breakout hits of the year.

Nanjiani’s many memorable film roles include Fist Fight, Hello, My Name Is Doris, Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates, The Five-Year Engagement, Sex Tape Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Central Intelligence. His vocal talents were also recently heard voicing one of the ninja warriors in The Lego Ninjago Movie from Warner Bros.

On television, Nanjiani served as writer, executive producer and co-host of Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail. His comedy special, Kumail Nanjiani: Beta Male, was on several ‘Best Of’ lists, including Vuiture, Village Voice and The AV Club, and was chosen as one of the 5 best stand-up albums of the year by Entertainment Weekly. Nanjiani has also hosted two podcasts, The Indoor Kids and The X-Files

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JULIANNA MARGULIES

  • Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Award-Winning Actress
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As an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award-winner, Julianna Margulies has achieved success in television, theatre, and film. 

Best known for her iconic roles on The Good Wife and ER, Margulies is currently on Showtime's hit drama Billions and recently starred in the Nat Geo limited series The Hot Zone, based on the true story of the origins of the Ebola Virus.  

With an impressive personal history of strong leadership and activism, Margulies exemplifies the difference one person can make when they see the world, and the people in it, as part of something bigger than themselves.  Starting with her grandmother (who was among the first women to graduate NYU Law School), Margulies has stepped up to give voice to many social issues and advocate for women and children. She has personally been involved in Project ALS, the world's leading ALS research organization, since its inception, and  Erin’s Law and the rebuilding efforts of the Rockaways, along side the St. Bernard Project, after Super Storm Sandy. She is also a longstanding board member of the New York City based theater company MCC, a company dedicated to giving the American playwright a voice and a platform. 

In her moving remarks, Margulies discusses her advocacy work and the importance of fighting for the causes you believe in. 

HWA NEW

MIKA BRZEZINSKI & JOE SCARBOROUGH

  • Hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe
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Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are morning television’s hottest political duo and the co-hosts of MSNBC's Morning Joe, one of the most popular and influential shows on politics because of who watches it – namely, every member of the Washington political ecosystem, from journalists and legislators to staffers and consultants.

An entertaining pair, they are as popular on stage as they are on TV. Tailoring their remarks to every audience, they can speak about the current political environment, current events, the current media landscape, and leadership and business news.

HWA NEW

NINA TEICHOLZ

  • Advocate for Rigorous Science-Based Nutrition Policy
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Nina Teicholz is an investigative science journalist, author, and adjunct professor of health policy at New York University. Her international bestseller, The Big Fat Surprise has upended the conventional wisdom on dietary fat—especially saturated fat—and challenged the very core of our nutrition policy.

The executive editor of The Lancet wrote, "this is a disquieting book about scientific incompetence, evangelical ambition, and ruthless silencing of dissent that has shaped our lives for decades…researchers, clinicians, and health policy advisors should read this provocative book. ”A review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said, “This book should be read by every scientist…[and] every nutritional science professional.” In The BMJ (British Medical Journal), the journal's former editor wrote, “Teicholz has done a remarkable job in analysing [the] weak science, strong personalities, vested interests, and political expediency” of nutrition science.

The Big Fat Surprise was named a 2014 "Best Book" by The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Mother Jones, Kirkus Reviews and Library Journal.

Teicholz's writing has also been published in The BMJ, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Independent, and The New Yorker , among others. 

In addition, Teicholz is a thought leader in the field of evidence-based policy in nutrition. Towards this end, she founded and currently serves as executive director of The Nutrition Coalition, a nonprofit, non-partisan group that is free from industry funding. Teicholz has testified before the Canadian Senate and U.S. Department of Agriculture about the need to reform guidelines so that they are based on sound science. .

Teicholz attended Yale and Stanford where she studied biology and majored in American Studies. She has a master’s degree from Oxford University and served as associate director of the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at Columbia University.

HWA NEW

CURT MENEFEE

  • Award-Winning Reporter, Veteran Sports Anchor, and Broadcaster
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Curt Menefee is a well-established and respected sports anchor and reporter. During the NFL season, he serves as co-host of FOX NFL Sunday  along with Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson and Michael Strahan. The program has been the #1 pregame show for 21 consecutive years – with Menefee on board for 10 seasons. Menefee also provides prefight coverage during UFC main events, and hosts the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League final pregame show. In 2015, he will be part of the PGA U.S. Open commentary team.

Menefee’s career includes sideline-reporting for FOX Sports, calling plays in the game booth for NFL and NFL Europe League, broadcasting sporting events from Madison Square Garden with WNYW-TV, and working as the sports director and weeknight sports anchor for KTVT-TV in Dallas. He also hosted a daily two-hour show on The Ticket  sports radio in Dallas, anchored sports for WTLV-TV (NBC) in Jacksonville, hosted a live two-hour daily sportscast on Sports News Network, and served as sports anchor and reporter at WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin and WOI-TV (ABC) in Des Moines, Iowa.

In 1996, Menefee received The Associated Press Award for ‘Best Sports Reporter in New York.’ And in 1993, 1994 and 1995, he won four Katie Awards (the Texas equivalent of an Emmy) – two were for ‘Best Sportscast’ and the other two were for ‘Best Sports Special.’

In the Fall of 2015, Menfee will host Travel Channel’s new series, Hello Goodbye,  where some of life’s most precious moments are captured as regular, everyday people arrive and depart from an airport terminal. The series highlights heart-warming – and sometimes heart-wrenching – stories of love, sorrow, family and friendship from travelers of all cultures and walks of life. These stories reveal the raw emotions and real moments of the hellos and goodbyes that take place every minute at airports across the world.

Menefee earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies, with minors in History and Physical Education, from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He currently serves on the school’s Board of Trustees, and dedicates as much time as possible to community work.

HWA NEW

LUCY KALANITHI

  • Widow of the #1 New York Times Best-selling Author of When Breath Becomes Air, Neurosurgeon Dr. Paul Kalanithi
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Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, MD, FACP, is the widow of the late Dr. Paul Kalanithi, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, for which she wrote the epilogue. An internal medicine physician and faculty member at the Stanford School of Medicine in Palo Alto, CA, she completed her medical degree at Yale, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society, her residency at the University of California-San Francisco, and a postdoctoral fellowship training in healthcare delivery innovation at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center.

At the cross-section of her career as a medical professional and her personal experience standing alongside her husband during his life, diagnosis, treatment, and death, Dr. Kalanithi has special interests in healthcare value, meaning in medicine, patient-centered care and, end-of-life care. She has appeared on PBS NewsHour, NPR Morning Edition, and Yahoo News with Katie Couric, and been interviewed for People, NPR, and The New York Times. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her daughter, Elizabeth Acadia.

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ANDRE IGUODALA

  • NBA Champion
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Miami Heat player Andre Iguodala has made his mark as one of the NBA’s premier players. Named to the NBA All-Defensive Team twice, a three-time NBA Champion with the Golden State Warriors, Iguodala was also a member of the United States National Team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Summer Olympics, winning the gold medal both times. Iguodala was named the National Basketball Players Association’s First Vice President in 2019.

Off the court, Iguodala is known for his savvy business instincts and has been at the forefront of navigating the worlds of venture capital and technology in the Bay Area. Iguodala has invested in over 40 companies through F9 Strategies, including GOAT, Zoom, HIMS, Lime, Thrive Global, AllBirds, Casper, STANCE, and Carta. In partnership with Bloomberg, Iguodala created The Players Technology Summit, which convenes top executives and leaders in the technology, venture capital, and sports communities to exchange ideas and share expertise in an educational and empowering forum. Iguodala is also a member of the Board of Directors for Jumia Technologies, a leading e-commerce platform widely considered the “Amazon of Africa”

Andre’s memoir, The Sixth Man, is a deeply personal look at Iguodala’s life growing up in Springfield, Ill., with his single mother and brother, who he says taught him how to be a defender early on. Iguodala recounts his early awareness of segregation and racism, the strength and influence of the strong women in his life (and later, coaches), and his gradual realization of how to best harness his intelligence, ambition, and drive.

In insightful, impassioned speeches, Iguodala engages audiences with digestible information on tech investing, data trends and analysis, and shares his insights on leadership, how to overcome obstacles to pursue your passions, the lessons he has learned from his storied career, how his upbringing shaped his success, and more.  

HWA NEW

LISA GENOVA

  • Bestselling Author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony
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Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens and Every Note Played.

Dr. Genova speaks about brain health in a way that is insightful, digestible, and actionable for any audience. Her talks focus on people living with neurological diseases or disorders who tend to be ignored, feared, and misunderstood; story as a vehicle for empathy and conversation that fuels social change; and understanding neurological conditions as a platform for understanding our shared human condition. Genova is dedicated to describing with passion and accuracy the journeys of those affected by neurological diseases, thereby educating, demystifying, and inspiring support for care and scientific research. She has written and spoken about Alzheimer's disease, traumatic brain injury, autism, Huntington's disease, and ALS.

Genova’s TED talk, "What You Can Do to Prevent Alzheimer’s," has been viewed over 4.5 million times.

HWA NEW

DANIEL MARKOVITS

  • Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School
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Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School and Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Private Law.

His latest book, The Meritocracy Trap (Penguin Press, 2019), develops a sustained attack on American meritocracy. The meritocratic ideal—that people should get ahead based on their own accomplishments rather than their parents’ social class—has become our age’s literal common sense. Both Democrats and Republicans, even as they agree on almost nothing else, insist that meritocracy gives everyone fair shot at success and place it at the heart of the American Dream.

Markovits argues, however, that both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham. Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was invented to defeat—a new aristocracy, only now based on schooling rather than breeding. Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle class is more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, trapping rich adults in a pitiless competition, which requires them to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return.

People commonly say that we suffer so much inequality because we have too little meritocracy—because elites cheat to get and stay ahead. But in fact, Markovits argues, it’s because we have too much. Meritocracy has created a competition that (even when everyone plays by the rules) only the rich can win and that, at the same time, exploits and degrades even the supposed victors.

An illuminating speaker, Markovits explores themes of inequality, opportunity, and democracy for audiences worldwide. 

HWA NEW

GIADA DE LAURENTIIS

  • Renowned Chef and Restaurateur
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Emmy Award-winning television personality, restaurateur, New York Times bestselling author, and globally revered celebrity chef Giada De Laurentis is a culinary powerhouse celebrated for her unique, personable charm. 

De Laurentis is renowned for her multiple shows on the Food Network, including Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, Giada’s Weekend Getaways, Giada In Paradise, and Giada In Italy, and as a judge on Winner Cake All. She is also a NBC Today Show contributor, and behind top restaurants such as GIADA and Pronto by Giada in Las Vegas, and GDL Italian in Baltimore. 

The author of nine New York Times bestselling cookbooks and a children's book series, Giada launched the lifestyle and e-commerce platform, Giadzy.com, which showcases new recipes, entertaining and travel tips, and videos, along with a range of kitchen products.

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CRIS CARTER

  • NFL Hall of Famer
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Pro football hall of famer and longtime broadcaster Cris Carter is one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. Carter finished his career as the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver and with the second-most touchdowns in league history. Carter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. 

Carter's road to success didn't come easily. Growing up in a low-income family in Ohio, his lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete was finally realized when he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, as he made a name for himself in football, he was privately battling addiction off the field. Now, nearly three decades later, Carter shares his profound story with worldwide audiences. 

Carter transitioned seamlessly into broadcasting following his playing career, joining HBO’s Inside the NFL as a studio analyst. He became well-known for his candor, creating one of the show’s most memorable segments when he interviewed his former coach Buddy Ryan and opened up about his controversial release from the Philadelphia Eagles early in his career. Carter then moved to ESPN, appearing on a variety of programs as a studio analyst, including Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown, eventually becoming a fixture on the sports television landscape. Carter was also a FS1 NFL analyst, contributing to a number of the channel’s daily studio shows. 

A dedicated philanthropist, Carter is co-chair and founder of CarterBrothers Charities and has been recognized for his work with inner-city youth. He also serves as a mentor in President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Program.

Heralded for his ability to inspire and any audience with honest and empowering conversations, Carter speaks about the challenges and triumphs of his storied career, his powerful recovery story, and how to use life's most challenging obstacles to emerge a stronger, better version of yourself. 

HWA NEW

ANDREW ZIMMERN

  • James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Anthropologist
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A three-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher, Andrew Zimmern is universally regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel, Andrew has explored cultures in more than 170 countries, shining the spotlight on impactful ways to think about, create, and live with food. 

According to Andrew, “Diversifying the American diet is the most important step we can take towards decentralizing our food system, combating food insecurity, eliminating hunger and restoring wellness to our society.”

Among his many business ventures, Andrew has launched Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, reflecting his fascination with food history from around the world. The business has since expanded to include a brick and mortar location at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. Inspired by visits to countless street stalls and markets around the world, the fare at Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen reflects the perfect intersection of food and travel. Andrew has also launched Intuitive Content, a full-service production company dedicated to developing and producing original television series, broadcast specials, branded content series for both web and cable, and other digital content. 

Thanks to his parents who had him traveling around the world mouth first, Andrew knew from a young age that he wanted a career in food. As a teenager, while his peers were picking up part-time summer jobs at the local landscape company, Andrew was spending days at the beach and nights cooking in Long Island restaurants. After attending The Dalton School and then Vassar College, Andrew was on the fast track to success cooking in New York City restaurants helmed by Anne Rosenzweig, Joachim Splichal, and Thomas Keller. He helped open and run a dozen restaurants, but he was also an active addict and alcoholic spiraling out of control. Crashed and burnt, he lost his apartment and spent a year living on the streets, stealing to support his addiction, ultimately leading to one last intervention by close friends. That brought him to the renowned Hazelden Foundation in Minnesota. Transforming his life around sobriety, Andrew began work again washing dishes and bussing tables at the Minneapolis outpost of New York's Café Un Deux Trois restaurant in 1992. When a line cook fortuitously didn't show up for his shift, Andrew took over his station, and in seven weeks was named Executive Chef, changed the menus, and turned Un Deux Trois into one of America's first successful gastro-bistros during his six year tenure.

 

HWA NEW

WILL REEVE

  • ESPN Broadcaster
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Will Reeve is a media personality and philanthropist. A multi-platform commentator for ESPN, Will serves on the Board of Directors for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, an organization dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. 

At ESPN, Will appears on platforms including SportsCenter, E: 60, and ESPN Radio. He also hosts the weekly MSG Hockey Show on the MSG Network in New York City. 

At the Reeve Foundation, Will’s personal experience with his father's-- famed actor Christopher Reeve-- spinal cord injury gives him unique insight into the challenges faced by the 5.4 million Americans living with paralysis. He works to improve the quality of life for those affected by paralysis through his involvement in the Reeve Foundation’s Quality of Life Grants Program, and is the captain of and board liaison for Team Reeve, the Foundation’s athletic events-related fundraising arm. 

Will speaks nationwide on behalf of his family and the Reeve Foundation to harness support and mobilize community involvement around critical advances in the field of spinal cord research, and to honor the legacy of his late parents, Christopher and Dana Reeve. 

HWA NEW

JOHN DICKERSON

  • 60 Minutes Correspondent
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John Dickerson is a correspondent for 60 Minutes. Previously, Dickerson was a co-host of CBS This Morning. Prior to that, he was CBS News' chief Washington correspondent and anchor of Face The Nation. Dickerson is also a contributor to Slate 's "Political Gabfest" and a contributing editor to The Atlantic.

Dickerson joined CBS News in April 2009 as an analyst and contributor.  He worked as the network's political director and has been moderator of Face the Nation since June 2015. During the 2016 presidential campaign he moderated CBS News ' two presidential debates and as host of Face the Nation, interviewed each of the major candidates multiple times.

Dickerson has been a reporter in Washington since 1995, covering the White House, Congress and economics. Most recently he was Slate Magazine's chief political correspondent winning the Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. A 2010 long-form series on risk profiled current Secretary of Defense James Mattis. Before Slate, Dickerson covered politics for 12 years for Time magazine. During his last four years, he was the magazine's White House correspondent, covering the presidency of George W. Bush. He has covered six presidential campaigns and hosts a twice-monthly podcast, "Whistlestop," which chronicles great moments in presidential history.

A native Washingtonian, he graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's degree in English and a specialty in American Studies. His mother, Nancy Dickerson, was CBS News' first female correspondent. Dickerson is the author of On Her Trail (Simon and Schuster), a book about his mother. He is also the author of the New York Times best-seller Whistlestop: My Favorite Stories from Presidential Campaign History (Twelve Books). Known for his active use of social media, Dickerson has more than 2.22 million Twitter followers. 

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URBAN MEYER

  • Legendary College Football Coach
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One of the most prolific coaches in college football history, Urban Meyer’s accomplishments have cemented his legacy in college football history. His commitment to all facets of life, both on and off the field, will soon land him a place in the Hall of Fame.

Meyer's six-year tenure at the University of Florida nabbed him honors such as “Coach of the Decade” along with several “Coach of the Year” awards. He ended his career as one of the most decorated college football coaches in history before joining FOX as college football studio analyst, appearing on the network’s Big Noon college football pregame show.

Faith and philanthropy are key tenets in Meyer’s life and have contributed to his successes on and off the field. Joining the fight against cancer, Meyer and his wife, Shelley, founded the Urban and Shelley Meyer Fund for Cancer Research in 2012, which is a general cancer research support fund dedicated to advancing cancer research for all cancers. The fund helps recruit experts in the field of cancer research to Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

New York Times bestselling author of Above The Line: Lessons in Leadership and Life From a Championship Season,  Meyer engages any audience with profound insights on leadership skills, team building, the keys to empowering people to achieve things they  never thought possible, and turning setbacks into victories in any setting. 

 

 

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PENNY PRITZKER

  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2013-2017)
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Penny Pritzker is an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist with more than 30 years of experience in numerous industries. Named by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world, Pritzker is the founder and Chairman of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group, a global private investment firm that takes a long-term, fundamental approach to investing in and building market-leading businesses in sectors such as professional services, real estate, technology, agriculture, industrial services and consumer products. 

From June 2013 through January 2017, Pritzker served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration. Pritzker was a core member of President Obama’s economic team and served as the country’s chief commercial advocate, leading the Administration’s trade and investment promotion efforts. During her tenure, she launched SelectUSA, the first federal initiative aimed at attracting foreign direct investment to the United States, which facilitated $23 billion in investment to date and created or retained tens of thousands of good paying American jobs. Pritzker also developed the agency’s first comprehensive digital and data agenda, chaired the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program and served as the Administration’s point person on manufacturing. 

HWA NEW

CARLI LLOYD

  • Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist, World Cup Champion, and FIFA World Player of the Year
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Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist and World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd is a soccer legend who currently plays & is a Captain for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. Having represented the U.S. at the past four Women's World Cup tournaments, Carli holds the unique distinction of scoring the game-winning goals in the finals at both the 2008 Games in Beijing and the 2012 Games in London. She is also one of four Americans to have been awarded the most prestigious and highest award in soccer: the FIFA World Player of the Year, which she has now won twice.

Off the field, Carli is a role model who empowers fans to never give up on achieving their goals. The bestselling author of a memoir titled When Nobody Was Watching, Carli serves as mentor and mental toughness coach for her former youth club, the Medford Strikers. She empowers audiences to find their own success with lessons from both in and beyond the world of sports.

 

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RICK SANTORUM

  • Senior Political Commentator, CNN
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A passionate champion of America’s founding principles, Senator Rick Santorum's impressive presidential campaign positioned him as a leading voice of the Republican Party. Senator Santorum began his first presidential campaign as a dark-horse candidate, but with a victory in the Iowa caucuses, he became a center-stage challenger who went on to win another ten states, over 3 million votes, and claim the mantle of conservative alternative to the front-runner. In four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, 12 as U. S. Senator, and now as a Senior Political Commentator with CNN, Rick Santorum earned a reputation as a passionate fighter for conservative values and a vocal advocate for smaller government, cutting wasteful spending, a strong national defense, and a return to our country’s founding principles.

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ANN CURRY

  • Emmy Award-Winning Journalist
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What is the Ann Curry difference? She is more than a highly esteemed, award-winning journalist. Ann brings stories to life. Her reporting is raw, bold, and deeply personal, because she knows how to connect with each person she interviews. Her passion to share someone else’s truth so that she can better inform the world, comes from a deep understanding of the importance of service and it continues to be the driving force of her work on and off camera or stage. Audiences praise her for her “…genuine interest, insights, compassion for others, passion for your work, and obvious intellect and talents ... Your message was inspirational.” (Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Inc.) Her celebrity status in the “Who’s Who” of the journalism world is a wonderful vehicle bringing her to events around the world, but at the end of the day, Ann is a person who will connect with every member of an audience and share a message that will leave each person forever changed.

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ADAM BRAUN

  • New York Times & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, The Promise of a Pencil
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Coca-Cola, Kraft, and Great-West Life have all hosted New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Adam Braun and praised him as “The best speaker I’ve ever seen in the history of our company’s offsite events.” (Coca-Cola HBC); “The feeling was unanimous, the best speaker we’ve ever had at an offsite.” (Kraft Brands); “We all agreed that he is someone to watch over the next few years.” (Great-West Life)

Adam Braun knows how to motivate people to powerful action and organizations who bring Adam to their event are seeing the difference.

The Founder of Pencils Of Promise, Adam Braun’s story is how one young man turned $25 into nearly 500 schools, serving 100,000 students around the world, and built a global community which is well on its way to achieving its goal of making a quality education a possibility for everyone. His story proves that anyone can take small steps to lead a successful and significant life. 

Adam's book, The Promise of a Pencil, did not become a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller just because it was a great story; it became a sought-after guide for achieving goals and dreams and in the book Adam outlines chapters that provide actionable steps toward success. Adam empowers audiences to discover their next big idea, and he gives them guideposts for a path forward. Watch him in action in this inspiring presentation:  Creating Extraordinary Change in Life & Business

Adam went on to co-found MissionU, where he also served as CEO. A 21st century alternative to the traditional college experience, MissionU was named to Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" and received 10,000 applications for its first 50 slots. In 2018, MissionU was acquired by WeWork.

By the age of 31 Adam was already named to Business Insider’s 40 Under 40, Wired magazine‘s 50 People Who Are Changing the World, and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers. Braun was previously nominated for the TED Prize and has received the nation's oldest and most prestigious award for public service, the Jefferson Award. 

 

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AMARYLLIS FOX

  • Former CIA Clandestine Service Officer, Writer and Peace Activist
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New York Times bestselling author, peace activist, and former CIA Clandestine Service Officer Amaryllis Fox has stopped at nothing to improve the world we live in. 

From interviewing Suu Kyi for the BBC while working with the Burmese democracy movement – which briefly landed her in prison – to spending time in Dili, East Timor, working to settle IDPs in the world’s newest country, Fox has spent years doing hands-on work to drastically enhance global communities. As a political and terrorism analyst for South East Asia, and then a Clandestine Service officer overseas, Fox was deployed as a spy under non-official cover--the most difficult and coveted job in the field. Her intensive training included everything from how to get out of flexicuffs while locked in the trunk of a car, to how to withstand torture, to the best ways to commit suicide in case of captivity. Her remarkable experiences spending a decade hunting the world’s most dangerous terrorists in sixteen counties-- all while getting married and giving birth to her daughter-- are chronicled in her New York Times bestselling memoir Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA.

Sought-out to speak at TED, Fox's remarks are equal parts informative and inspiring. She brings the conflict resolution, communication, and teambuilding techniques and strategies she learned during a career in counterterrorism to audiences worldwide, and shares invaluable insights on human nature and how to apply these findings to daily life, vastly enriching our relationships and unlocking the power to communicate, collaborate, and together achieve common goals. 

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JOHN STOSSEL

  • Current Events Commentator with a Libertarian Point of View
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Nineteen-time Emmy-winner John Stossel is a highly respected journalist who has earned a reputation for asking hard-hitting questions—and offering the tough truth. Hailed by The Dallas Morning News as "the most consistently thought-provoking TV reporter of our time,"  he is the host of Stossel on Fox where he highlights 'current consumer issues with a Libertarian point of view.' He is best known for being the former co-anchor of 20/20. Stossel began his career as a business-bashing consumer reporter calling for government regulation. But when he saw regulation fail, he began reporting on the wonderful things that free markets create: prosperity, innovation, choice, and freedom.

 

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ALEX BANAYAN

  • The youngest bestselling business author in American history
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Alex Banayan is the youngest bestselling business author in American history. The Third Door chronicles Banayan’s seven-year quest to uncover the definitive mindset of exponential growth and success. The book is a #1 international bestseller, has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been acclaimed by The New York Post as “a joy to read.” 

Over the course of his unprecedented journey, Banayan’s research led him to interview   the most innovative leaders of the past half-century, including Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Larry King, Maya Angelou, Steve Wozniak, Jane Goodall, Jessica Alba, Quincy Jones, and more.

Named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and Business Insider’s “Most Powerful People Under 30,” Banayan is his generation’s leading expert in high performance and personal development, having been featured in Fortune, CNBC, Businessweek, The Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, and NBC News. A renowned keynote speaker, Banayan has presented the Third Door™ framework to corporate leadership teams around the world, including Apple, Google, Nike, IBM, Snapchat, Salesforce,  Delta Airlines,  Kaiser Permanente, Mastercard, and Disney.

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JOE MOGLIA

  • The only Wall Street luminary to achieve career excellence in leadership as a Wall Street CEO, and an award winning College Football Coach
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As the current Chairman of the Board at TD Ameritrade and the former head football coach of Coastal Carolina University, Joe Moglia has one of the most "unique resumes in modern business," according to Forbes, and his tremendous success from the locker room to the board room provide invaluable lessons on strategic risk-taking, how to look at challenge with new perspective, and leadership. Having honed his message of the four-pillars of success through his own trials as a business leader and football coach, Moglia is an in-demand executive leadership speaker heralded as "incredibly gifted" (Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC); "raw and remarkable" (Collegiate Sports Summit); and "pitch-perfect" (Bentley University).  

In the business world, Moglia was at Merrill Lynch for 17 years before becoming the CEO at TD Ameritrade in 2001. By 2008, in the midst of a global financial crisis, the firm had its sixth record year in a row, grew its market cap from $700 million to $10 billion, and shareholders enjoyed a 500% financial return.

In 2008, he stepped down as CEO, became Chairman of the Board and returned to football. In his last 10 seasons of coaching college football, Moglia has been part of 8 championship teams. In his first five seasons at Coastal, he has led his team to the National Playoffs 5 times and was Conference Champions 4 times. Moglia has also been inducted into six Halls of Fame, is the recipient of three Honorary Doctorates and is also the only author in the world to have written books published on both investing and football.

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JOHN BOEHNER

  • Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives (2011-2015)
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A former small businessman, John Boehner served as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives for nearly five years during which he led the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government.  Speaker Boehner focused on removing government barriers to private-sector job creation and economic growth, cutting government spending, reforming Congress, and rebuilding the bonds of trust between the American people and their representatives in Washington.

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MARIA SHRIVER

  • Peabody & Emmy Award-winning Journalist & Producer; NBC News Special Anchor
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A force of nature of the highest order — “one who gives back continuously, helping those in need in any way she can” — Maria Shriver is a powerful, passionate, and purpose-driven leader whose work has fostered change and advanced some of our nation’s most pressing issues. A Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, seven-time New York Times bestselling author, NBC News special anchor, and founder of the for-benefit media enterprise Shriver Media, Maria is a trailblazer who serves as an inspiration for others to become "Architects of Change" and make the world a better place.

In addition to her award-winning journalism career, Maria has also been a long-time champion for empowering women. As the founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement, she has become one of the world’s leading advocates for women and Alzheimer’s, using her voice and her work to ignite important conversations and inspire much-needed personal, professional and political change around this major health issue in America. While serving as the First Lady of California from 2003 to 2010, she produced the iconic Women’s Conference, which under her leadership grew into the largest women’s conference in the world. Maria’s groundbreaking Shriver Reports have also changed the conversations around women, work, poverty and Alzheimer’s in America.

A shining example of using one’s platform and career accomplishments to positively impact the world, Maria eloquently moves audiences—from the boardroom to the stage and small, intimate gatherings—to lead a purpose-focused life and channel their passions into meaningful contributions that make a difference in the world.

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MOHAMED EL-ERIAN

  • Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz
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Dr. Mohamed A. El-Erian is an internationally respected economist and financier with experience at the highest level of business and government.  Markets hang on his analysis and insight, and audiences interested in issues of finance and global markets buzz when El-Erian comes to the podium.  Meeting planners share their praise for his ability to connect with audiences through a humorous laid-back style, and to clearly explain the complex issues of the global economy.