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.

News about our New Speakers

<p>Virtual Programming: Former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns is a sought-after voice for her executive experience leading through times of disruption and offers insights on creating diverse and inclusive workplaces</p>

Virtual Programming: Former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns is a sought-after voice for her executive experience leading through times of disruption and offers insights on creating diverse and inclusive workplaces

Former Xerox CEO URSULA BURNS is a sought-after voice for leadership amid disruption given her executive experience navigating Xerox through a time of great digital upheaval. As one of the few Black CEOs of a Fortune 500 Company - and the first Black female - Burns also offers insights about creating and supporting diversity in the workplace and fostering inclusive capitalism.  She has recently shared her insights on leadership and inclusion on CNBCCNN, and Bloomberg, and audiences praise Burns for her candor and clarity, honed by her experience in the C-Suite and in the Board Room.

Burns regularly appears on Fortune’s and Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women, is a board director of Exxon Mobil, Nestlé, and Uber. She also provides leadership counsel to several other community, educational and non- profit organizations including the Ford Foundation, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Corporation, Cornell Tech Board of Overseers, the New York City Ballet, and the Mayo Clinic among others. 

<p>Virtual Programming: Renowned leadership expert and bestselling business author Simon Sinek helps audiences develop an Infinite Game mindset, a leadership prerequisite to adapt to the upheaval caused by the pandemic</p>

Virtual Programming: Renowned leadership expert and bestselling business author Simon Sinek helps audiences develop an Infinite Game mindset, a leadership prerequisite to adapt to the upheaval caused by the pandemic

SIMON SINEK leads a new wave of leadership thinking which he shares in his speeches,  Bit of Optimism podcast, viral TED Talks and bestselling books The Infinite Game, Leaders Eat Last, and Start With Why. He teaches leaders how to focus on what truly matters by identifying and answering the key questions that are the foundation of strategic leadership. In his speeches and in his newest book, Sinek helps leaders develop an Infinite Mindset, a skillset of thought based on the understanding that our goals have no finite end, and we are more successful when we innovate with resilience in response to an ever-changing world. Sinek teaches leaders how to embrace an infinite mindset to build stronger, more innovative, and more inspiring organizations, and he's been consulting and meeting virtually to help leaders during this disruptive time when they need it most. Amid the coronavirus Sinek was sought-out for a fascinating, live edition of NPR's "How I Built This" on resilience in difficult times; engaged in a virtual conversation on how to lead through chaosdelivered a virtual talk on how to hone an infinite mindset; regularly delivers live online classesand more. 

<p>VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: A brand strategy and digital marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business, Galloway is now positioned to be ‘the most influential thought leader in the history of business’</p>

VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: A brand strategy and digital marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business, Galloway is now positioned to be ‘the most influential thought leader in the history of business’

The bestselling author of The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, which debuted on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller list, SCOTT GALLOWAY makes clear why he, in fact, is one of the most influential thought leaders of our time. His TED Talk, “How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions” has more than 3.5 million views on TED and YouTube combined. Expanding his reach, Scott was elected to the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow. He has built a successful career as a business leader and executive founding three companies: Red Envelope, Prophet Brand Strategy, and L2 Inc., which benchmarks the digital performance of brands and in 2017 was acquired by Gartner, one of the world-leading research and advisory firms in all areas of business.

According to WSJ Magazine, "Prof. Scott Galloway Wants to Be ‘the Most Influential Thought Leader in the History of Business.’" This spring, Galloway launched a TV show on Vice called No Mercy/No Malice, which explores the effects that the pandemic and social unrest has on the economy and offers up a unique perspectives of how we come through this stronger.

<p><strong>VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: Austin Channing Brown receives countless praises for her <em>New York Times </em>bestselling memoir, <em>I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness</em></strong></p>

VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING: Austin Channing Brown receives countless praises for her New York Times bestselling memoir, I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

Everything that can be said of AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN I can begin and end this by saying, simply, she’s remarkable. The depth and breadth of the national climate that she covers, as it relates to social justice and equity, is transformative, fun, and disarming. It’s a message captured in her New York Times bestseller, I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, which was hailed as “[a] deeply personal celebration of blackness that simultaneously sheds new light on racial injustice and inequality while offering hope for a better future.” (Shondaland) Austin’s book was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s book club, which has nearly 2 million readers and received countless praises, such as: “Powerful, haunting, and absolutely impossible to put down.” (PopSugar) and “Brown calls on readers to live their professed ideals rather than simply state them.”(Publishers Weekly - Starred review) During #SharetheMic, a campaign designed to magnify Black women and the important work they’re doing, Brené Brown handed over her platform of nearly 3 million followers to Austin to lift her poignant and timely message.  One thing is certain, once you experience Austin at your event your audience will say exactly what CNN’s Kirsten Powers said, “Austin is one of the most important voices in America.” Period.

<p><span>Wynton Marsalis: Internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture</span></p>

Wynton Marsalis: Internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture

When live performances stopped, that did not stop WYNTON MARSALIS. He's been keeping more than busy leading Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WorldWide Concert of Jazzhelping the Philadelphia Orchestra honor FrontLine Workers, supporting Harlem Eat Up! and urging community leaders to keep the arts funding front and center. Marsalis was recently featured talking about the intersection of jazz and democracy on President Bill Clinton's Podcast, Why Am I Telling You This? With Bill Clinton and on the Democracy Works podcast, a collaboration between WPSU and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. His latest album, The Democracy! Suite, talks a lot about this intersection. The album features his first single, called Sloganize, Patronize, Realize, Revolutionize (Black Lives Matters), a call for innovation, courage, and determination to engage in our rights and responsibilities as citizens, as Marsalis explains in his blog post

Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principals of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), collective cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication), and faces adversity with persistent optimism (the blues). With his evolved humanity and through his selfless work, Marsalis has elevated the quality of human engagement for individuals, social networks and cultural institutions throughout the world.

<p>Virtual Programming: Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, is an audience favorite for his inspiring programs and fun, interactive demos virtually produced at the highest level</p>

Virtual Programming: Buddy Valastro, The Cake Boss, is an audience favorite for his inspiring programs and fun, interactive demos virtually produced at the highest level

BUDDY VALASTRO is The Cake Boss. Do we really need to say anymore? He's one of those speakers who goes above and beyond for meeting planners, willing to be as creative as you are to make sure your audience has a memorable, fun, engaging experience. Buddy's message inspires every time- be it his inspiring story of growing up in and growing a family business; or expanding that business to include hit TV shows, several bestselling books, and a bakery franchise; or forging ahead in the face of uncertainty in a post-COVID world. 

Buddy's virtual format is flexible, and since he has his own studio and kitchen designed for camera, his virtual programs and cooking demos are smoothly and professionally produced to the highest level.  To marry the tangible and intangible, Buddy can send out decorating kits to each audience member and if he does a cake demo as part of his program, he can incorporate the host's logo and branding.  Buddy loves his time with the audience, and digitally queuing VIPs up for one-on-one or small group time with Buddy is easy to do and a memorable add-on to his program.

Our New Speakers

HWA NEW

SERENA WILLIAMS

  • Iconic Tennis Champion, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist
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Serena Williams exemplifies courage, beauty, power and style, and has overcome insurmountable odds to win 23 career Grand Slams, the second-most singles titles of record. Her remarkable tennis achievements, combined with her off-court success in fashion, philanthropy and business, make her one of the most recognizable icons in the world and a powerful voice for women, mothers and future mothers.

In 2019, Williams launched her own VC firm, Serena Ventures, which focuses on investing in companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity. Williams’ fashion brand, SERENA, which celebrates body positivity and female empowerment, made its New York Fashion Week debut this past September.

Williams’ endorsements include Nike, Wilson, Gatorade, Pampers, Stuart Weitzman, Beats by Dre and Wheaties. Her HBO sports documentary series, Being Serena, was nominated for a 2019 Peabody and 2019 MTV Movie and TV Award.

HWA NEW

TOM BRADY

  • Seven-Time Super Bowl Champion
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Seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is one of the most accomplished athletes of the past two decades. With 18 Division Titles and ten Super Bowl appearances, Brady’s accolades both on and off the field have inspired a generation of young athletes to pursue their greatest potential. Brady has won six Super Bowl titles with the New England Patriots, as well as one with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – more than any other quarterback in NFL history. 

Throughout his enduring career, Brady and his team have integrated a holistic and natural approach to health and wellness through preparation, performance and recovery. In 2013, Brady along with his business partner, Alex Guerrero, co-founded TB12, a performance lifestyle brand, to share his approach and wellness movement with a global audience. The TB12 brand delivers personalized, comprehensive programming to a worldwide audience and integrates revolutionary concepts in deep-force muscle pliability work, hydration, nutrition, functional strength & conditioning, and cognitive health. TB12 supports athletes through an omni-channel approach that incorporates physical locations and an expansive growth plan, immersive digital experiences, and innovative functional products.

In 2019, Brady and TB12 celebrated the opening of their flagship location in Boston on Boylston Street, offering clients one-on-one and small group training programs to promote athletic longevity, regardless of skill level. They plan to open sites in New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and Toronto. In 2015, Brady published his motivational book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Brady’s off-the-field ventures include newly launched 199 Productions, his global, multi-platform content company which will develop original, premium content including documentaries, feature films and television shows. The company already has a slate of projects in development, including several featuring Brady, with gripping stories spanning sports, entertainment and health and wellness among others. The name is a not-so-subtle nod to his draft pick, and projects in development include “Unseen Football,” in partnership with Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo and their non-fiction group, Wonderburst. The documentary will be a love letter to football, taking viewers into the invisible realms of America’s favorite sport. 199 Productions is also partnering with ESPN, Disney, and Religion of Sports to produce a nine-episode multi-platform series titled “Man in the Arena”, which will be released in the fall of 2021. The series will be a first-hand account of Brady’s iconic NFL career, including each of his ten Super Bowl appearances.

Brady has always prioritized the importance of philanthropy. With his TB12 Foundation, Brady helps young athletes maximize their potential by providing opportunities for holistic wellness education and elite training. He also maintains long-standing relationships with a number of nonprofit organizations, including Make-A-Wish, which creates life-changing wishes for children diagnosed with a critical illness.

Throughout his unprecedented football career and particularly in his first championship season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he has shattered numerous NFL records. Brady is the first player in NFL history to accumulate 80,000 total yards, holds the most game wins of any quarterback, the most consecutive division titles – eleven – and has the most career touchdown passes of any player in history.

Family is the foundation of all of Brady’s endeavors. In 2009, he married environmental champion, global activist, best-selling author and supermodel Gisele Bündchen. He is the proud and supportive father of three children – John, 13, Benjamin, 11, and Vivian, 8.

Born and raised in San Mateo, California, Brady has always been an athlete, playing baseball, basketball, and of course football from a young age. After graduating high school, Brady attended the University of Michigan from 1995-1999, where he fought hard to become the first-string quarterback. His intensive training, persistent work ethic and tireless motivation resulted in Brady finishing his college career ranked as the third best quarterback in Michigan history.

Brady’s achievements throughout his successful career include being honored as ESPY ‘NFL Best Player,’ Associated Press’ ‘Male Athlete of The Year,’ Sports Illustrated’s ‘Sportsman of the Year,’ Sporting News’ ‘Athlete of the Decade,’ and was named to the NFL 100th Anniversary ‘All-Time Team,’ among others.

HWA NEW

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.

 

HWA NEW

ALEX RODRIGUEZ

  • Chairman and CEO, A-Rod Corp
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Alex Rodriguez invests in world-class startups and partners with leading global companies in a variety of industries. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14x MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), Alex now leads a team of experts who work with him to build high-growth businesses and enhance the value of more than 30 companies in the A-Rod Corp portfolio.

Alex founded A-Rod Corp in 2003, purchasing a duplex apartment on the theory that investing his MLB earnings wisely would protect him from the kinds of financial struggles that afflict too many professional athletes. While he racked up extraordinary stats on the field (696 home runs and more grand slams than any other MLB player in history), Alex simultaneously assembled an impressive team at A-Rod Corp, bought apartment units across the southeastern U.S., and built a fully integrated real estate and development company. Following his success in real estate, where A-Rod Corp’s annual returns on investment have exceeded 20%, Alex has invested in a variety of sectors where he has expertise, including sports, wellness, media and entertainment, and technology. He looks for long-term opportunities to provide financial capital and unlock value for stakeholders.

Alex is an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, mentored financially distressed ex-athletes on CNBC’s Back in the Game, and currently co-hosts the podcast The Corp with Barstool Sports’ Dan Katz, interviewing CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sports legends. Committed to creating opportunities for young people to succeed, Alex serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade and the Boards of Trustees of the University of Miami and The Paley Center for Media. His gifts to the University of Miami and Florida International University have provided scholarships to dozens of students.

Alex is based in Miami. His pride and joy are his fiancé, Jennifer Lopez, and their children, Natasha, Ella, Max, and Emme.

HWA NEW

KEVIN HART

  • Superstar Comedian and Actor
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Kevin Hart is Hollywood’s box office powerhouse, opening ten films as the number one movie opening weekend. He was recently named the highest grossing comedian for the second straight year by Forbes who described him as a “built-in marketing machine.” Per Entrepreneur magazine, “Kevin Hart is building a brand and an empire that will outlive his fame.”

Hart launched his digital network, the Laugh Out Loud Network, which serves as a platform for emerging comedians. He has started and runs his own production company, Hartbeat Productions, and has several successful brand partnerships with companies like Fabletics Men, J.P Morgan, and Tommy John. Kevin’s memoir, I Can’t Make This Up, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the Top 10 Print Hardcover Bestsellers List for ten weeks straight.

Hart is currently in production filming Sony’s action-comedy, The Man From Toronto, which he is starring in alongside Woody Harrelson and Kaley Cuoco. Hart recently wrapped production on his new film, Fatherhood, a movie which he is staring in and also producing through his Hartbeat Productions. Based on the best-selling book, Two Kisses for Maddy, Fatherhood tells the story of a single dad navigating parenthood after his wife unexpectedly dies a day after giving birth and is slated to release April 2, 2021.

In remarks that are empowering, inspiring, and downright hilarious, Hart discusses his life and career, and the lessons on resiliency, overcoming adversity, and success, he's learned along the way. 

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

  • Vice Chairman of IBM
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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. Mrs. Nooyi is currently a member of the Board of Trustees at MIT.

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

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. 

HWA NEW

IDRIS ELBA

  • Award-Winning Actor
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Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba showcases his creative versatility both on-screen in television and film as well as behind the camera as a producer and director. He continues to captivate audiences and secure his position as the one to watch in Hollywood, with a string of well-received performances in high-profile films as well as and multiple critically acclaimed television series.

 

HWA NEW

CHARLIZE THERON

  • Academy Award-Winning Actress
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Few stars have used their platform and celebrity more effectively for good than Charlize Theron. Be it her work to advance women's rights domestically and abroad, to combat gender-based violence around the world, or to advance global health efforts, Charlize demonstrates masterfully how to use one’s platform for good. Theron is not only an United Nations Messenger of Peace, she is also the founder of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, an organization that invests in the health, communities and education of African youth and their ability to keep themselves safe from HIV/ AIDS. Since its founding in 2007, CTAOP-supported programs have reached over 250,000 young people in Southern Africa with critical health services. In addition, her foundation created the CTAOP Youth Leaders Scholarship Program, which cultivates and strengthens young community leaders in South Africa by providing comprehensive scholarships for tertiary education.

The South African born
, Academy Award-winning actress is one of the most celebrated of our time, captivating audiences across the globe with her ability to embody an array of real life and imagined characters. Her impressive resume includes her portrayal of Megyn Kelly in 2019’s Bombshell, which was produced by her company, Denver and Delilah, and earned Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations. She has also had starring roles in The Devil’s Advocate, The Cider House Rules, and the critically acclaimed Monster, for which she earned an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and an Independent Spirit Award. Most recently, Theron can be seen in Netflix’s The Old Guard, also produced by Denver and Delilah. Next up, Theron will reprise her role as “Cipher'' in the 9th installment of the Fast and Furious franchise, set to hit theaters in 2021.

Heralded for bringing her remarkable life experiences and passionate activism to life at each and every engagement, be it virtually or in-person, Theron shares insights on issues ranging from women's health and
 safety, to humanitarianism, global health, racial equity, social justice, and global citizenship. At a recent event, SAP called Charlize's moderated discussion “powerful,” making all other events seem “tame.” Charlize is a passionate and authentic speaker and truly a uniquely talented actor, producer, businesswoman and philanthropist.

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.

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SARAH COOPER

  • Viral Comedian and Writer
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In April 2020, Sarah went viral with her brilliant satirical lip-sync impressions of our current president. She has been retweeted and praised by the likes of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Stiller, Halle Berry, Chrissy Teigen, Jane Lynch, Jerry Seinfeld, Seth Meyers and Bette Midler amongst others. These “how to” videos have been seen by tens of millions of people including her "How to Medical" video which has been viewed over 20 million times and counting.  

Sarah’s first variety special SARAH COOPER: EVERYTHING’S FINE, directed by Natasha Lyonne and executive produced by Maya Rudolph, premiered on Netflix October 27, 2020 to rave reviews and featured a number of high-profile celebrity cameos. She is currently writing a new show for CBS adapted from her best-selling book How To Be Successful Without Hurting Men’s Feelings. Sarah was named one of Variety Magazine’s10 Comics To Watch For 2020” and Vulture Magazine’sThe Comedians You Should and Will Know in 2020”, and guest hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live in August 2020.   

Prior to her online success, Sarah also wrote the best-selling book 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. Sarah is next set to pen an auto-biographical take of Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” for Audible.  

Her social platform is in the millions and continues rising daily. Visit Sarah Cooper's website

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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. 

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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.

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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, director, producer, and bestselling author.

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 recently made her directorial debut in the buzzed-about Netflix comedy Wine Country, which she also starred in and produced. Her additional film credits include The House, Sisters, Wet Hot American Summer, They Came Together, A.C.O.D., Free Birds, Are You Here, Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and Mean Girls. She lent her voice as the character Joy in Disney Pixar’s Oscar-winning smash hit Inside Out and could also be heard in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Monsters vs. Aliens, Horton Hears a Who!, and 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. Poehler co-hosted the Golden Globe Awards alongside Tina Fey for three consecutive years from 2013-2015, a role that was consistently met with critical acclaim. She will return as host with Fey for the telecast in January 2021.

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.

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WYNTON MARSALIS

  • International Jazz Icon
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Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. With the power of his superior musicianship, the infectious sound of his swinging bands and a far-reaching series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis propelled jazz to the forefront of American culture, rekindled widespread interest in jazz throughout the world and inspired a renaissance that attracted a new generation of exceptional young talent to jazz.

Wynton Marsalis is a prolific and inventive composer. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and classical music, creating a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principals of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), collective cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication), and facing adversity with persistent optimism (the blues). With his evolved humanity and through his selfless work, Marsalis has elevated the quality of human engagement for individuals, social networks and cultural institutions throughout the world.

He presently serves as Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center and Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School.

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

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. 

HWA NEW

STACEY ABRAMS

  • Non-Profit Leader, Political Activist & Serial Entrepreneur
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Political leader, voting rights activist, entrepreneur and author 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 at the time 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. The impact of Fair Fight led to Abrams being named to the Forbes list of "World's Most Powerful Women In 2020." 

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 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. Her newly released book Our Time is Now is a blueprint to end voter suppression and chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principles of democracy have been and continue to be under attack.

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. 

HWA NEW

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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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 is the author of seven bestselling books which serve as essential and inspiring guidebooks for empowering women, offering encouragement and practical advice on claiming and communicating their worth.

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.

HWA NEW

MASAI UJIRI

  • President of the Toronto Raptors
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Masai Ujiri is in his seventh season as President of the Toronto Raptors, leading the team to the most successful period in franchise history, including a NBA Championship. In June, the Raptors won the first NBA title in the franchise's 24-year history with a six-game victory over Golden State. In his six years leading the team, the club has won five Atlantic Division titles, made its first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals, set a team record for victories in a season with 59, and complied a 321-171 (.652) regular season mark.

Ujiri returned to Toronto as President and General Manager from Denver, where he spent three years as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Denver Nuggets, and became the first African-born general manager of an NBA team and was named NBA Executive of the Year in 2013.

Ujiri was named 2012-13 NBA Executive of the Year after he led the Nuggets to a team-record 57 wins and a league-best 38-3 home court mark. Ujiri helped construct a young, athletic roster that captured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference despite being the third-youngest team at the start of the season. In Denver, Ujiri is best known for a 12-player deal Feb. 22, 2011 that sent All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. That trade is heralded as a textbook example on how to receive high value in exchange for a pending free agent. 

A native of Nigeria, Ujiri brings tremendous knowledge and extensive global connections to the Raptors front office. He played professionally in Europe for six years, with stops in Belgium, Germany, England, Greece and Finland. He has scouted all over the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Ujiri has also managed and coached the Nigerian junior and senior national teams.

On a personal level, Ujiri has been tireless in his efforts to promote and develop the game of basketball throughout Africa. He is the founder of the Giants of Africa Foundation, which urges young people to “Dream Big,” and uses basketball to educate and enrich the lives of youth, and create opportunities for them on and off the court. Since 2002, Ujiri has also served as the director of the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program.

HWA NEW

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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JIM YONG KIM

  • President, World Bank Group (2012-2019)
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12th President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim is a global visionary devoted to improving the lives of people in developing countries and championing the cause of global health. Renowned for his pioneering approaches to tackling global health issues, education, and economic development, at the World Bank, Kim re-defined the institution's work to amplify the voices of the world's poor, vowing to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Before his time at the World Bank, Kim served as President of Dartmouth College-- becoming the first Asian-American president of an Ivy League institution-- and as Executive Director and co-founder of the internationally renowned non-profit medical organization Partners In Health (PIH). At PIH, Kim helped launch a movement that changed global health forever, tackling some of the world's most difficult health problems, and proving experts wrong in what medical treatments and results are possible in communities of extreme poverty. Kim's work at PIH has now been replicated in more than 40 countries, and is chronicled in the award-winning documentary Bending the Arc, and bestselling book Mountains Beyond Mountains. Kim also served as Chief of the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS department. At WHO Kim led the groundbreaking "3 by 5" initiative, the first-ever global goal for AIDS treatment.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED to the World Economic Forum, Kim's ideas and efforts have changed the way the world thinks about global development. A physician and anthropologist, he is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, and has been recognized as one of America's "25 Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report, named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World," and listed to Forbes' "World's Most Powerful People." Kim inspires people to change the world, and provides eye-opening and empowering insights on just how we can do it. 

 

HWA NEW

URSULA BURNS

  • Former CEO & Chairman of the Board of the Xerox Corporation (2010-2017)
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Ursula Burns made history as the first Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company when she became CEO of Xerox in 2009. Her journey from the lower east side projects, to earning two engineering degrees, and landing an internship at a company she would one day run, is a story that will inspire many.  

When Ursula took the helm at Xerox in 2009, she was tasked with turning around a company that was quickly becoming obsolete. Pushing for diversification and development of new products and services, and spearheading the largest acquisition in Xerox history, Ursula oversaw a monumental transformation and massive growth.

Ursula regularly appears on Fortune’s and Forbes’ list of the world’s most powerful women. She helped lead the White House national program on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) from 2009-2016 and currently sits on the board of Exxon Mobil, Nestlé, and Uber.

An absolute force and American icon, Ursula shares her executive insights on leadership in a time of disruption, and instructs leaders how to answer the call to create more inclusive and diverse organizations. Her powerful and important conversations challenge and inspire audiences.

HWA NEW

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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RAHM EMANUEL

  • 55th Mayor of Chicago
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Rahm Emanuel served as the 55th mayor of the City of Chicago. Over his two terms, Mayor Emanuel led major investments across education, youth programming, neighborhood development, transportation, infrastructure, public health, and public safety. He is also a frequent commentator on public policy issues from healthcare to infrastructure, and serves on the boards of several companies investing in innovation.

Starting out his political career as a senior advisor to President Bill Clinton, Emanuel went on to serve three terms in Congress, and as White House Chief of Staff to President Obama, giving him the unique ability to approach issues from a city, state and federal perspective. He shares prescient analysis on our future political landscape, as well as candid lessons on personal and professional success.

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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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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." He is the author of two important and bestselling books on national security: Battlegrounds and 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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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 The Infinite Game, Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last, 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.

Sinek is posting videos and encouragement on LinkedIn for these challenging times. Here’s one of his gems: "It is rare for all humanity to have an opportunity to come together to help each other. This is one of those times."

 

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SCOTT GALLOWAY

  • New York Times Bestsellng Author of 'The Four' and 'The Algebra of Happiness'
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Scott teaches brand strategy and digital marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business. He was named “One of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors” by Poets & Quants in 2012. A serial entrepreneur, he founded 9 companies, including Red Envelope, Prophet, and L2 Inc., acquired by Gartner (NYSE: IT) in 2017. Scott’s book The Four (Portfolio Penguin, 2017) debuted on the New York Times hardcover non-fiction list. His second book, The Algebra of Happiness: Notes on the Pursuit of Success, Love, and Meaning was published in 2019. Scott was elected to the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow and has served on the boards of directors of Eddie Bauer (Nasdaq: EBHI), The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), Urban Outfitters (Nasdaq: URBN), and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. He writes a weekly newsletter, No Mercy / No Malice, and hosts the podcasts The Prof G Show and Pivot (with Kara Swisher).

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MARCUS LEMONIS

  • Serial Entrepreneur and Investor
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As an impressionable youth, Marcus Lemonis read the description of Entrepreneur to his mother from the dictionary while working on a school project, which inspired him to challenge himself and make his dreams come true. His humble beginnings and journey through life represent the heart and soul of what true entrepreneurism is. Although he was not born in America, he is proud to be living the American Dream through hard work, determination and believing. Those who have had the chance to hear his story through his moving speaking engagements would say that he is humble, down to earth and 100 percent brutally honest. 

He stars in CNBC's Streets of Dreams With Marcus Lemonis, where he travels across the United States to take a look at the most influential streets in the country that fuel America's business cultures. A past nominee for the 2018 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Structured Reality Series for his work on CNBC’s The Profit, Marcus lends his business expertise to struggling businesses in various industries across the country while using his famous People-Process-Product principle. Through his 3P mantra, he analyzes every business by the quality people, whether they have an excellent and relevant product, and the best possible process for creating, delivering, and selling that product. While many people frequently call him the “business turnaround king,” he will be the first to say that he really helps people with tough love so they can use the experience to inevitably succeed.

Marcus was born in war-torn Beirut, Lebanon in 1973; and, at nine months old, was adopted by a couple living in Miami, FL. As a young child, he was exposed to positive and prosperous business values at his family-owned auto dealership. His entrepreneurial spirit bloomed at age 12 while attending Epiphany Catholic School, when he started a lawn mowing service to generate money for a candy business while enlisting his friends for their help. He then graduated from Christopher Columbus High School and moved to Milwaukee, WI to attend Marquette University, where he studied Political Science, Criminology and Economics. 

With approximately 165 locations in 37 states and a comprehensive e-commerce platform, Marcus has long time served as the Chairperson at America’s #1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair - Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors. In 2017, he became the RV Business Newsmaker of the Year for “evolving into one of the most transformational characters in the U.S. recreational vehicle industry.” 

With multiple ventures on his resume, Marcus can be seen sharing his knowledge through numerous business and entertainment television programs and is also regarded as one of the most sought-after industry experts and keynote speakers in the small business sector today. 

Marcus drives results through collaborations, partnerships and relationships. His advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is simple: know your numbers, trust the process and remember that he’s 100 percent IN CHARGE!

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BOZOMA SAINT JOHN

  • Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix
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Over the course of her career, Netflix CMO Bozoma “Boz” Saint John has earned a formidable reputation as a trailblazing brand and marketing executive and genuine change-agent in the space. Few people have the depth and breadth of experience that Boz has. Couple that with her remarkable success at Pepsi, Apple, Uber, and the Endeavor brands (WME | IMG, Miss Universe, Ultimate Fighting Champion, Professional Bull Riders, and more) and you have one of the most effective marketers of any generation. 

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. Prior to Netflix and Endeavor, 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. 

Recognized for her breakthrough work by both the industry and her peers, Boz 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 Reddit, 6th largest website in the world
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Renowned internet entrepreneur and investor Alexis Ohanian was a co-founder of Reddit (now valued at over $3B), co-founder of early-stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital ($500M AUM and a portfolio of over $36B in market value) and the bestselling author of Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will be Made, Not Managed

Having started Reddit after graduating college, Ohanian helped take the site through a 2006 sale to Conde Nast, and then returned as executive chair to a newly-independent Reddit in 2015, helping lead the site's transformative turnaround. Reddit is now the 3rd largest U.S. website, and the 6th largest in the world. In June of 2020, in solidarity with the national outcry for social justice, and in an unprecedented act of leadership, Ohanian stepped down from his seat in Reddit's Board of Directors and urged his company to seat a Black candidate in his place.

Over the course of his impressive career, Ohanian has invested in and advised over two hundred tech startups, helped launch hipmunk (acquired by Concur in 2016), was a partner at Y Combinator (the world's most successful startup accelerator), and created and hosted a show called Small Empires about tech startups and their communities. 

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED to Talks at Google, Ohanian offers engaging and eye-opening insights into how to think like a start up, what it takes to build an innovative and purpose-driven business, and the best practices for design and community. 

 

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SCOOTER BRAUN

  • Founder, SB Projects
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Scooter Braun is one of the entertainment industry’s biggest entrepreneurs and innovators and the founder of SB Projects, a diversified entertainment and media company with ventures at the intersection of music, film, television, technology, brands, culture, and social good. Today, Braun has a roster of the top pop culture icons under his management, record label, and publishing companies that include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Zac Brown Band, and Karlie Kloss, to name a few.

Braun has broken more new artists than any other music executive in the last decade and now has expanded his reach by establishing a fund which invests in some of the largest management, media, and rights companies in the industry. SB Projects houses a film and television production division which led to Braun making waves in the industry with his first documentary film, Never Say Never, and also continues to impact new verticals under its tech incubator, Silent Labs, which holds investments in Uber, Spotify, Songza, Casper, Waze, and Pinterest. In 2018, Braun announced new ventures including Mythos Studios, which will develop franchise films, and Good Story Entertainment, which will build out unscripted, live event, and documentary spaces.

As Braun continues to expand SB Projects, he remains committed to the company’s founding philosophy of giving back and designs a philanthropic element for each new initiative. Braun serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of Pencils of Promise, a non-profit organization that builds schools in developing countries. He is also on the board of Fuck Cancer, an organization focused on prevention and early detection of cancer, which his wife Yael Braun co-founded. Braun, his clients, and his companies have – together – granted more wishes for Make-A-Wish than any other organization in the history of the foundation. In 2017, Braun proved to be the music industry’s ‘first-responder’ when he organized the One Love Manchester benefit concert and Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief telethon, within just months of one another.

Braun lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

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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.

 

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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, The New Yorker, and other publications. Duhigg hosts the "How To!" podcast for Slate Magazine and is a 2020-2021 Business News Visionary Award recipient

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MAHERSHALA ALI

  • Star of Critically-Acclaimed Moonlight and True Detective
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Mahershala Ali is quickly becoming one of the freshest and most in-demand faces in Hollywood with his extraordinarily diverse skill set and wide-ranging background in film, television, and theater.

He is the first black actor to win two Academy Awards in the same category for his performances as Juan in Moonlight and Don Shirley in Green Book. Mahershala is also known for portraying House of Cards fan favorite Remy Danton, Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes in Marvel's Luke Cage, and Wayne Hays in HBO's True Detective. Most recently, he's starred alongside Ramy Youssef in Hulu's comedy-drama series Ramy.

 

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BEN AFFLECK

  • Academy Award-Winning Producer
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Ben Affleck is an Academy Award winner who has been widely recognized for his work as a director, actor, writer and producer. During his impressive and long-running career, he has appeared in iconic projects spanning all genres including Argo, Gone Girl, and Good Will Hunting, and he has played Batman in several films within the comic franchise.  Affleck has been honored with some of the entertainment industry's highest awards, including the Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actor's Guild awards for the span of his work both in front of and behind the camera.

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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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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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DAN LEVY

  • Co-creator, Schitt's Creek
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Daniel Levy is an Emmy® winning showrunner, writer, actor, director, and producer, best known for his work on one of the most beloved shows on television, Schitt’s Creek, which he co-created with his father Eugene Levy. For its sixth and final season, the series received nine Emmy® wins, becoming the most awarded comedy series in a single year. In 2013, he formed Not A Real Company Productions with his father and principals Andrew Barnsley and Fred Levy to create Schitt’s Creek, a half-hour single camera comedy for CBC/ITV/Pop. 

Levy began his television career co-hosting MTV Canada’s flagship show MTV Live and later co-wrote, co-hosted, and co-produced the critically-acclaimed ratings hit The After Show and its various incarnations, including The Hills: The After Show and The City: Live After Show. Levy also wrote, produced, and starred in his own Christmas special for MTV, Daniel Levy’s Holi-Do’s & Don’ts and co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet, the X-Factor pre-show, and national coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Games for CTV.  Levy also co-hosted The Great Canadian Baking Show, and has also made a guest appearance on Modern Family. He made his film debut opposite Tina Fey in Admission. Recently, Levy starred in Coastal Elites, written by Paul Rudnick, directed by Jay Roach, and produced entirely under quarantine that aired on HBO.

Up next, Levy appears in the romantic comedy Happiest Season for TriStar Pictures and Entertainment One, streaming on Hulu.

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OPAL TOMETI

  • Co-Founder #BlackLivesMatter
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Opal Tometi is one of the most influential human rights leaders of our time. As one of the three women co-founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, digital platform, and chapter-based network, her name is etched in American history. Hailed as a feminist freedom fighter, Opal is respected for her track record of uniting communities, and is known for her thought leadership on race, immigration, and gender. In early 2019 she completed nearly a decade of service as the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the first immigrant rights organization for people of African descent in the United States. Opal is also a trusted advisor to many formations, including Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity and the Andrew Goodman Foundation. She has received numerous recognitions including an honorary PhD, and was named among the 50 Most Influential People by Forbes, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan magazines. Opal was also honored by the City University of New York (CUNY) with a scholarship in her name to support immigrant students pursuing law degrees. Her most recent recognition includes winning the 2019 Coretta Scott King Center Award and Douglass 200 Award, and being featured in a video installation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum for African History and Culture for her contributions in thought-leadership for the betterment of the diaspora. As the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, Opal has set her movement sights on an even bigger struggle: uplifting the global Black community. In 2020 she founded Diaspora Rising, a digital digest focused on pertinent issues of blackness around the world. When she’s not traveling the world or strategizing for social justice you can catch her dancing, riding a bike or adding to her Black art collection. And while she’s accomplished a lot to date, the truth is, Opal has only just begun.

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ROBIN DIANGELO

  • New York Times #1 Best-Selling Author of 'White Fragility'
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Robin DiAngelo is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism, which has been on the New York Times bestseller list for almost two years and been translated into multiple languages. Her book is widely considered an essential guide for white people seeking to understand and challenge racism. Her research has been the subject of conversations taking place in business and organizations worldwide and has influenced the international dialogue on race. In her talks, Dr. DiAngelo, an academic, author, and facilitator, explains systemic racism with clarity and accessibility. She has the exceptional ability to speak directly about what has traditionally been a deeply challenging and taboo conversation in a way that opens and engages her audience. In so doing, she provides the questions and perspectives needed to develop more racially-just practices.

 

 

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AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN

  • Leading and Inspired Voice on Racial Justice
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Austin Channing Brown is a speaker, writer and media producer providing inspired leadership on racial justice in America. She is the author of New York Times' bestselling I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness - recently chosen as a Reese Witherspoon Bookclub pick - and the Executive Producer of web series The Next Question.

Her workshops and lectures are incisive, fun, disarming and transformative. By using an intentional mix of humor, pop-culture, story-telling, and audience engagement, she awakens people to the current realities of systemic racism and the everyday actions which allow racism to thrive. Austin evokes thought, feeling and action as she celebrates Blackness and the possibility of justice in our organizations and communities. Her book shot to the top 20 of Amazon’s bestsellers list, leading in its categories for months. I’m Still Here has received acclaim from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and more. It has also been featured in OnBeing, The Chicago Tribune, WNYC, The Religion News Service, with Shondaland declaring it, “[a] deeply personal celebration of blackness that simultaneously sheds new light on racial injustice and inequality while offering hope for a better future.” It was also selected as the book of the month for Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine book club.

As a media producer, Austin creates content that centers the experiences of Black women, dismantling the foundations of white supremacy. Her nationally-celebrated first season of The Next Question included Macarthur Genius Nikole Hannah-Jones, NYT bestselling authors Brene Brown, and Jasmine Guillory, and more. Alongside her co-creators Chi Chi Okwuand Jenny Booth Potter, the hosts examine complex topics affecting social justice while simultaneously celebrating the humanity of their guests.

Austin has a Bachelor of Arts in business management from North Park University as well as a Masters in Arts in social justice from Marygrove College in Detroit. Austin’s professional career began in the non-profit sector including homelessness/housing, youth engagement, fund development, and church operations.

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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.

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TAMRON HALL

  • Award-Winning Journalist and Host of 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. For her work in the show’s first season, Tamron received the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host. The show was also awarded the prestigious Gracie Award from the Alliance For Women In Media Foundation.
She was 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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JOY REID

  • MSNBC Political Analyst and Host of "The ReidOut"
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Joy Reid is the host of the new primetime cable news program, The ReidOut, making her the first black woman to host a primetime cable news program. Prior to The ReidOut, Joy served as a political analyst at MSNBC and host of the hit weekend news morning show, AM Joy.  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 with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, and her latest book: The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story, which spent four weeks on the New 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 including The 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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TIFFANY D. CROSS

  • Host of The Cross Connection on MSNBC
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Tiffany D. Cross is an on-air political analyst and cable newsroom veteran. She is the bestselling author of Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy (Amistad/HarperCollins) and a Resident Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (Spring 2020). Her broad experience across media, politics, and policy includes more than two decades of navigating newsrooms and campaigns while engaging different constituencies on the ground. Currently, Cross hosts The Cross Connection on MSNBC, airing on Saturdays.

She previously served as the DC Bureau Chief of BET News and the Liaison to the Obama Administration for BET Networks where she covered Capitol Hill, produced political specials, and oversaw the daily operations of the news department. Tiffany cut her teeth in media at CNN where she worked as an Associate Producer covering Capitol Hill for the network’s weekend show unit. She also previously served as a Field Producer for America’s Most Wanted and Discovery Communications.

No stranger to the campaign trail, Tiffany not only covered campaigns but worked on them as well. She has lent her expertise to numerous local, state, and federal candidates as well as issue campaigns across the country. Serving as a senior advisor to one of the country’s largest labor organizations, one of Tiffany’s many tentacles was organizing all communities of color on both a local and national level. Using her media background, Tiffany has helped shape the narrative around issues, individuals, and ideologies.

Leaving the campaign stump, Tiffany transitioned from the control room to the green room when she co-founded The Beat DC, a national platform intersecting politics, policy, business, media, and people of color. With a readership comprising influencers across the country, Tiffany led a team that made the fast moving current affairs in a busy legislative climate digestible for the political connoisseur and novice alike. She quickly became a sought after voice in the progressive discourse and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, and SiriusXM.

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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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. He also co-hosts a Netflix competition series Next in Fashion and a MasterClass Style for Everyone.

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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GLENNON DOYLE

  • Author, Activist, and Founder of Together Rising
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Glennon Doyle is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller UNTAMED, a Reese’s Book Club selection, which has sold over two million copies. She is also the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller LOVE WARRIOR, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, and CARRY ON, WARRIOR. An activist and “patron saint of female empowerment” (People), Glennon is the founder and president of Together Rising, an all-women-led nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy – raising over $25 million for women, families, and children in crisis. She lives in Florida with her wife and three children.

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AKALA

  • BAFTA and MOBO award- winning Hip-Hop Artist, Writer and Social Entrepreneur
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Akala is an award-winning hip-hop artist, writer and social entrepreneur, and one of the most respected voices in the UK's racial equity and social justice movement.

His best-selling memoir, Natives, is a searing modern polemic about race and society: From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realized his mom was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers.  Always working to promote bigger ideals to the collective through his work, Akala takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have shaped modern society, and where we might go from here.

Akala is also the co-founder of The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company, a music theater production company aimed at exploring the social, cultural and linguistic parallels between the works of William Shakespeare and that of modern day hip-hop artists, which he chronicled in his TEDx Talk. Akala's work offers young people a different view of the arts and ultimately, themselves. 

 

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AMY SCHUMER

  • Comedian, Actress, Writer, Producer, Director and Activist
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Amy Schumer is an Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated 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. In 2019, she was nominated for an Emmy in the Outstanding Writing For A Variety Special category for her comedy special Amy Schumer Growing. Schumer’s latest one-hour Comedy special titled The Leather Special is currently streaming on Netflix. 

Schumer’s first book, the #1 New 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. In 2018, Schumer starred and produced the STX comedy, I Feel Pretty.

Often touring theaters and arenas all over the world, Schumer is the only female comic to headline Madison Square Garden. She is a proud founding member of Time’s Up. Her podcast, Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith premiered its fifth season on Spotify this past March.

In July 2020, Schumer’s three-part documentary series, Expecting Amy premiered on HBO Max. The docuseries takes viewers behind-the-scenes as Amy battles through an extraordinarily difficult pregnancy, while documenting the formation of her latest comedy special. She also premiered the second season of her cooking show, Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, with her husband Chris Fischer who is an award-winning chef on the Food Network this past August. Up next: Life and Beth, a comedy series via Hulu which Schumer will star in, write, direct and executive produce, and Stephen Karam’s The Humans that Schumer will star in.

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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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AMBER HEARD

  • Actress, Activist and Humanitarian
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Amber Heard is an actor, activist and humanitarian. 

Renowned for her roles in films such as The Danish Girl, Her Smell, Aquaman and Justice League, Amber continues to build a successful career in Hollywood while simultaneously using her platform as a public figure to amplify her role as a humanitarian and to bring awareness to human rights issues. She is most passionate about including LGBTQ rights and fighting for the political, social and economic aid and rights for refugees and migrants. She frequently visits locations around the world to fight on behalf of marginalized communities from Syrian refugees, indigenous groups in Central America to migrants at the US border. 

An outspoken advocate for women's rights and for the civil rights of survivors of all gender-based violence around the world, Amber works with organizations that encourage survivors both personally and politically to come forward and reclaim their power. Amber makes frequent trips to DC to lobby and fight on behalf of the civil rights of women and the innumerable silent survivors of gender-based violence. Amber is a Women’s Rights Ambassador at the ACLU, and was the first American actress to be named Human Rights Champion of the UN Human Rights Office.

An eloquent and passionate speaker, Amber has lent her voice to major global events like the UN Social Good Summit, Global Citizen Festival, One Young World Conference and the Incredible Women Gala. 

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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 his New York Times #1 bestselling book, Greenlights, McConaughey writes what he calls a love letter to life.  Greenlights takes readers on a journey of lessons he grappled with throughout his life reminding us to connect with grace, truth, and the beauty of being alive.

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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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.

Nanjiani was recently seen alongside Issa Rae in the romantic comedy, THE LOVEBIRDS, released on Netflix, and coming-up in the highly anticipated Marvel film, THE ETERNALS, alongside Angelina Jolie releasing in 2021. Additionally, it was recently announced that he will star in the political thriller, THE INDEPENDENT. Previously, Nanjiani starred in and wrote THE BIG SICK, which was nominated for an Oscar for Original Screenplay.

On the television side, Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, currently serve as executive producers on the Apple TV+ series “Little America,” which was renewed for a second season ahead of its series debut which released on January 17, 2020. Nanjiani also reprised his starring role as ‘Dinesh’ on the sixth and final season of the Emmy Award-winning HBO comedy series “Silicon Valley.”

Most recently, Nanjiani and Gordon created the podcast, “Staying In with Emily and Kumail,” while in quarantine. “Staying In” donated all proceeds to charities helping those affected by COVID-19.

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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 more. A formerly-unknown legal researcher who became a 20th century icon overnight thanks to Julia Roberts Oscar-winning tour de force, Erin’s dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. 

And she’s kept fighting for the people one town at a time. In her latest book, Superman’s Not Coming, she brings to light the stark truths of America today: Resources are exhausted; corruption is rampant; infrastructure is outdated; water and health issues affect us all--rich and poor, Republicans and Democrats. Erin gives permission and empowers people to take action so that they can save their families, their communities, and the planet. 

Erin uses her life experiences to motivate and bring inspiration to audiences worldwide, providing lessons on her four steps to success, her motto for resilience and perseverance, and advocacy for the causes that matter. Her motto comes from famed biologist Rachel Carson: "We are challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery, not of nature, but of ourselves." 

Erin teaches that it will be up to us, we the people, to change our course.  

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SUNNY HOSTIN

  • Co-Host, The View
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Three-time Emmy Award-winner Sunny Hostin has been a co-host of ABC’s morning show The View since 2016. Her debut book, I Am These Truths: A Memoir of Identity, Justice, and Living Between Worlds, features an introspective, intimate look into about growing up Afro-Latina, discovering her identity and her ongoing fight for justice. Last winter, Hostin hosted and executive produced a six-episode Investigation Discovery documentary series, Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin, exploring the stories behind some of the nation’s most notorious homicides. In May 2021, she will release her first novel, Summer on the Bluffs, chronicling the escapes of three god sisters in Oak Bluffs, the most exclusive Black beach community in the country.

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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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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
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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 and NFL Thursday Night Football. 

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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NICK KROLL

  • Actor & Comedian
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Nick Kroll has established himself as one of today’s most sought-after creators, writers, producers, and actors in film and television.  Nick co-created, writes, produces and performs over 30 voices on the Emmy-Nominated Netflix animated series BIG MOUTH, which is based on his childhood.  The show's third season was released in fall 2019.  Nick and the BIG MOUTH team are now working on their newest project for Netflix titled HUMAN RESOURCES where Nick will serve as co-creator and executive producer.

Before the pandemic, Nick was on tour for his stand-up comedy show, Nick Kroll: Middle-Aged Boy which played to sold-out theaters across the US, the UK and Australia. 

Nick can currently be seen in OLYMPIC DREAMS alongside real-life Olympian, Alexi Pappas.  OLYMPIC DREAMS was filmed on location at the 2018 Winter Games and was released in theaters on February 14th.  Previously, Nick voiced “Uncle Fester” in MGM’s animated hit comedy, THE ADDAMS FAMILY, starring opposite Charlize Theron, Oscar Isaac, Chloe Grace Moretz and Bette Midler.  

In 2017, Nick wrapped his Broadway debut in OH, HELLO ON BROADWAY which ran for 138 performances and received rave reviews.  He starred as “Gil Faizon” opposite John Mulaney as “George St. Geegland,” two elderly men from the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  The show was filmed for a Netflix Original Comedy Special which is currently available for streaming.  Kroll and Mulaney released the first season of their podcast, OH, HELLO: The P’dcast, in spring 2020.

Kroll’s film credits include Jeff Nichol’s critically acclaimed LOVING, OPERATION FINALE, UNCLE DREW, Ross Katz’ ADULT BEGINNERS, for which Nick also served as a producer, Sophie Goodhart’s MY BLIND BROTHER, Terrence Malick’s KNIGHT OF CUPS, Seth Rogen’s SAUSAGE PARTY, Illumination’s SING and SECRET LIFE OF PETS,  John Hamburg’s I LOVE YOU MAN, Shawn Levy’s DATE NIGHT, Nicholas Stollers’ GET HIM TO THE GREEK, and Jay Roach’s DINNER WITH SCHMUCKS.

Nick was the creative executive producer on his sketch show, the KROLL SHOW, which ran for three seasons on Comedy Central.  Kroll also starred as “Ruxin” in the hit FX show THE LEAGUE for a total of seven seasons.

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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 2016 and 2017 and has been nominated every year from 2014 to 2020 for her work on Saturday Night Live. In addition, she earned a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2016.

McKinnon’s recent roles include Jay Roach’s Bombshell opposite Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie, Danny Boyle’s Beatles inspired romcom Yesterday, starring opposite Mila Kunis in the Lionsgate action-comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me, Paul Feig’s reboot of Ghostbusters, Rough Night opposite Scarlett Johansson, and Office Christmas Party with Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. In addition, she has voiced roles in several animated projects, including Oscar-nominated Ferdinand, Angry Birds and Pixar’s Finding Dory.  She has also voiced several TV series, including The Magic School Bus Rides Again for Netflix, The Simpsons and Family Guy. She was nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy for her work on the PBS animated series Nature Cat and can be heard as ‘Queen Mortuana’ in the Audible medieval fantasy-comedy series, Heads Will Roll, which she co-created.

Upcoming projects include the Fox Searchlight/Hulu limited series The Dropout, where she’ll be portraying Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes and playing Carole Baskin in the UCP limited series, Joe Exotic, based on the Wondery podcast and characters made popular on Netflix’s doc series, Tiger King for Comcast/Peacock.

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JOHN MULANEY

  • Two-Time Emmy Award-Winning Writer and Comedian
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John Mulaney is a two-time Emmy and WGA award-winning writer and comedian, most well-known for writing on Saturday Night Live and his successful stand-up comedy career.

In 2018, he traveled the United States with sold out Kid Gorgeous tour, which was later released as a Netflix stand-up special and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special; In 2015, he released The Comeback Kid, also a Netflix original, which The AV Club called the “best hour of his career;” In 2012, his Comedy Central special New In Town had Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly hailing him as “one of the best stand-up comics alive.”  

Solidifying himself as a fan favorite, John Mulaney has been invited to host Saturday Night Live four times. He began writing for SNL in 2008 and created memorable characters such as ‘Stefon’ with Bill Hader and appeared as a “Weekend Update” correspondent. He has written for IFC’s Documentary Now and Netflix’s Big Mouth, on which he voices the character of Andrew.  

He’s also starred on Broadway in the runaway hit written and performed alongside Nick Kroll in Oh, Hello On Broadway.  The duo have since release a Netflix special of the same name, as well as Oh, Hello: The P’dcast, based off their characters Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland. 

In December 2019, the critically acclaimed and Emmy nominated musical variety special  John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch debuted on Netflix. It was recently announced that festivities will continue with a pair of holiday themed Sack Lunch Bunch specials coming to Comedy Central in the near future. 

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JOHN KRASINSKI

  • Famed Actor, Writer and Director
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John Krasinski has established himself as one of the most exciting talents as an actor, writer and director, engaging audiences on the big and small screen. Having first rose to fame as Jim Halpert in the award-winning television sitcom The Office, Krasinski has gone on to co-write, direct and star in the Academy Award-nominated A Quiet Place, star in Sony Pictures Classics film The Hollars, direct Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, and star in the current Amazon series Jack Ryan, among many other commercially and critically successful projects.  

Krasinski also produces a diverse slate of projects through his production venture, Sunday Night, which he formed with Allyson Seeger.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Krasinski created and hosts Some Good News, a Youtube web series entirely dedicated to good news. Operated from inside Krasinski's home, and featuring special guests from David Ortiz to the cast of Hamilton, the show has over 1.5 million subscribers, with multiple episodes going viral. 

In engaging, hilarious, and inspiring remarks, Krasinski shares lessons-learned over the course of his career, insights into the creative process, and how to use your platform for good. 

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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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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.

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MAYSOON ZAYID

  • Comedian, Writer and Disability Advocate
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Renowned comedian, actress, writer, and disability advocate Maysoon Zayid jokes that if there were a competition called the Oppression Olympics, she would win gold. “I’m Palestinian, Muslim, I’m a woman of color, I’m disabled,” Zayid tells audiences, “and I live in New Jersey.” Hilarious, disarming, and with a message that matters, Zayid's comedy and commentary resonate with audiences worldwide. She is the co-founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest, and her famed TED Talk, "I got 99 problems... palsy is just one" has over 10 million views. As Zayid states in the talk's intro: "I have cerebral palsy, which means I shake all the time. Look. It's exhausting. I'm like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali."  

Hailed in Glamour as "the most fearless comic alive," Zayid has performed around the world, and headlined both the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour, in which comedians toured the U.S. in an effort to counter Islamophobia. Zayid is also a disability advocate who fights to mainstream disabled students worldwide and for disability rights. Her bestselling memoir Find Another Dream chronicles her life story in finding her voice and own path to stardom. 

Zayid's candid, inspiring, and laugh-out-loud funny talks cover topics ranging from beating the odds, to fostering inclusivity and battling discrimination, to the challenges facing the disability community.

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KATIE SOWERS

  • Former Offensive Assistant Coach, San Francisco 49ers
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The first woman and openly gay coach to coach in a Super Bowl, former San Francisco 49ers Offensive Assistant Coach Katie Sowers paves 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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ASHLEY JUDD

  • Award-Winning Actress
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Heralded for starring in both box office hits and for her unforgettable performances in independent films, Ashley Judd is a renowned actress, humanitarian, and political activist.

One of the most vocal and influential figures of the #MeToo movement, Judd was named to TIME's "Person of the Year" as one of the silence-breakers and change-makers who helped shift the culture and conversation around sexual abuse and harassment. A feminist and social justice humanitarian, Judd has worked internationally with NGO’S, grass roots organizations, governments, and supranational bodies. She serves as Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNFPA, is the Global Ambassador for Population Services International, and is Chairperson of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project: Curbing Abuse, Expanding Freedom.

As an actress, Judd's films tell very personal stories-- which is exactly what she does at speaking engagements. A voice for the often voiceless, Judd speaks on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Whether it's sharing the story of a terminally ill patient suffering from a preventable illness a world away, or the story of a family struggling to find clean drinking water in Appalachia, Judd shines illuminating light on the vulnerable and the at-risk. She also dives into topics of women's rights, mental health, the environment, advocacy and more.

Ashley began her life-long activism at the tender age of 19 when she organized a campus-wide walk out of classes at the University of Kentucky to protest the use of the “n” word by a revered member of the Board of Trustees at the University of Kentucky. A member of an all white sorority, none of whom joined her protest, she risked her friendships and social standing to do what she knew was right. When the Governor would not remove the offending Board member, Ashley reached out to the Black organizations on campus to organize a march on the Kentucky state capitol.

Her young activism flourished from there, soon encompassing the anti-apartheid movement and America`s marital rape laws. She has been indefatigable for racial justice and equality ever since. Some of the many highlights of three decades of activism include her iconic and courageous Nasty Woman speech at the Women’s March in 2017 which garnered tens of millions of views.

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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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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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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.

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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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ALEXA VON TOBEL

  • Serial Entrepreneur & Bestselling Business Author
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Serial entrepreneur 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.  Alexa connects with established and foundling entrepreneurs through her speeches, books and podcast, Inc. Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel.  She leads conversations that resonate with the full entrepreneur experience- everything from nuts and bolts of operations and marketing to high-level gut checks.  Most recently she is being sought out for her experience on how to navigate through a recession while staying connected to customers. 

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.

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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.

Nicolas is also an active board member having held positions on the boards of sweetgreen, Outdoor Voices, Great Jones and non profit FreshFarm Markets. 

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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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.

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SOPHIA AMORUSO

  • Serial Entrepreneur in Fashion and Culture
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Sophia Amoruso is a serial entrepreneur and New York Times Bestselling Author who has forged an unprecedented path in building iconic brands. Sophia has evolved from one of the most prominent figures in fashion to a cultural thought leader, inspiring a new generation of founders, professionals, freelancers, and creatives.

In 2017, Sophia founded Girlboss, a community for ambitious women. In 2019, at the 5th Girlboss Rally, which hosted 1800 attendees, she unveiled the new Girlboss.com, a digital professional network that Fast Company dubbed “The LinkedIn for Women.” Sophia also hosted Girlboss Radio, which garnered over 20 million downloads. In December 2019, it was announced that Girlboss had been acquired by Attention Capital.

Her 2014 New York Times Bestseller #GIRLBOSS, which chronicled her early life as well as her experience as the founder of fashion empire Nasty Gal, was adapted into a scripted TV series that premiered on Netflix in 2017 and was produced by Charlize Theron. Sophia has also authored two other books: Nasty Galaxy and the Girlboss Workbook. Her ebook, The Side Hustle Bible, is a guide to navigating the tricky world of professionalizing your side business.

Sophia made her mark when she founded Nasty Gal and bootstrapped it to $30 million on profitably, raising $60 million in venture capital and scaling the business to over $100 million in revenue. Sophia became a member of the CFDA in 2016. 

Sophia has been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine and featured in the Fortune 40 under 40, Forbes 30 under 30, Inc. 30 under 30, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business lists, named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women, and her podcast, Girlboss Radio with Sophia Amoruso, was named to Forbes' 21 Podcasts To Listen To in 2021 list

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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 Drybar 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.  

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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 discovered her passion for athletics after healing from a traumatic experience through movement. She fearlessly left behind a successful law career to embark on new adventures in the health and wellness space, and has since reinvented herself into an avid ultra-marathoner and renowned fitness coach.

As Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor at Peloton, she believes that sweat transforms lives, and her story is living proof. She successfully partners with major lifestyle and fitness brands, using her powerful influence to connect directly with consumers through social media. In 2020, she was named one of the most influential people on Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" list. Her life’s mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement.

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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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SARA SIDNER

  • Multi Award-Winning National and International CNN Correspondent
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Sara Sidner is CNN's multiple award-winning national and international correspondent.

In 2020 Sidner helped lead the network’s coverage in Minneapolis, Minnesota after the police killing of George Floyd. Sidner was front and center in the midst of tear gas, rubber bullets, and fires during protests against police brutality that erupted for weeks in Minneapolis and then spread across the country and the world. Months prior Sidner lead the Network’s coverage in Seattle, Washington covering the first known major deadly coronavirus outbreak in the United States. 

In 2016 she took on a beat which focused on social, racial, and political conflict across the United States. During her work she was involved in extended coverage in the Charlottesville White Nationalist Rally that ended with the murder of anti-racism protestor Heather Heyer. She covered the trial of the Neo-Nazi who killed Heyer. She has also interviewed numerous victims of racism as well as members of the KKK, white nationalist, and Neo-Nazi at the center of a new resurgence of overt and violent racism in America.

In 2014 Sidner led the network's coverage in Ferguson, Missouri where protests continued for more than 100 days after an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, was shot and killed by a white police officer. She was there for weeks while a grand jury looked at evidence and ultimately decided not to indict the officer. Their decision sparked two nights of rioting in Ferguson after weeks of peaceful protests. But it also lead to nationwide protests and a national conversation about race and policing in America, as well as a state commission and Presidential task force on policing.

Previously, Sidner worked for CNN as an international correspondent based in India then Jerusalem and later Abu Dhabi. She has reported from a multitude of countries, including India, Israel, the Palestinian territories, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Libya, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Malaysia, Chile, and Haiti.

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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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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.

Sherwood is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Survivors Club, in which he explores the secrets and science of the world's greatest survivors. A 2020 republication of the book sheds light on surviving amid the Coronavirus pandemic specifically, and how to adapt and overcome a period of tremendous trauma and adversity.

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.

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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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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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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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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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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.

Debuting first at the 2021 Alpine Skiing World Cup Races, Vonn is an NBC Sports broadcast analyst. She 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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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, is the 21st Head Football Coach at Jackson State University and 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.

Sanders is the head football coach at Jackson State University and aims to bring more recognition to the program, school, and HBCUs. 

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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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 where he made appearances starting in 2016 and became a repertory player in 2018. He plays the recurring role of President Joe Biden, one example of his range of characters. He hails from Chicago where he was a regular performer at iO and The Annoyance Theatre as well as an official acro-dunker for the renowned Chicago Bulls. You can see him on Showtime's Billions, and starring in the feature Uncle John. Alex lent his voice as the role of Jimmy in Disney's sequel Wreck-It Ralph 2 and most recently, he can be seen in the film The Opening Act directed by Steve Byrne featuring an all-star comedy cast including Jimmy O. Yang and Bill Burr.

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MIKEY DAY

  • Saturday Night Live Writer and Cast Member
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Mikey Day returns to "Saturday Night Live" for his fourth season as a cast member after joining the show as a writer in the 39th season.

During his first season as a cast member, Day gained recognition for his wildly popular "Haunted Elevator (ft. David S. Pumpkins)" sketch with Tom Hanks as well as his Donald Trump Jr. impression.

Day was a member of the Groundlings comedy troupe in Los Angeles and a cast member on Nick Cannon's MTV comedy series "Wild 'n Out" for seven seasons. He was also a co-head writer and cast member on NBC's "Maya & Marty" and co-writer for the 2016 comedy "Brother Nature." Alongside "SNL" writer Streeter Seidell, Day wrote the Disney "Home Alone" reboot, and the duo is currently writing Disney's reboot of "Inspector Gadget." Most recently, Day can be seen in Amazon's "Brittany Runs a Marathon" and Universal's Will Packer-produced comedy "Little," opposite Issa Rae.

Day will appear in Netflix's upcoming Adam Sandler film "Hubie Halloween."

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MELISSA VILLASEÑOR

  • Actress
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Melissa Villaseñor broke barriers by becoming the first-ever Latina cast member of Saturday Night Live. A comedic impressions expert, she got her start as a semifinalist on America’s Got Talent. Melissa has voiced characters for Toy Story 4 and Wreck It Ralph 2. Melissa has appeared in scripted television shows such as Awkwafina is Nora From Queens, Barry, and Crashing. Melissa tours nationally headlining clubs and theaters. She will release her second music EP later this year, as well as a book of her art.

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VANESSA BAYER

  • Seven-Season Saturday Night Live Cast Member
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Vanessa is best known for her seven seasons on legendary comedy series, Saturday Night Live, where she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her hilarious and memorable work.  She is currently working on the loosely autobiographical Showtime pilot, Big Deal, that she wrote with SNL alum Jeremy Beiler, in which she will star.  

On television, Vanessa was most recently seen as 'Amy/Friday' on Will & Grace and as 'Officer Debbie Fogel' on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.  Vanessa's other television credits include Shrill, I Think You Should Leave, Drunk History, What We Do In The Shadows, Single Parents, Love, and Portlandia, among others.  

Bayer lent her voice to Universal Pictures' animated feature Despicable Me 2 and starred in the series Sound Advice that she co-created with her brother Jonah for Broadway Video's Above Average.  She starred in the Netflix original movie, Ibiza, produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay & Nathan Kahan.  She also featured in the box office hit, Trainwreck alongside Amy Schumer.  Most recently, Vanessa appeared in the independent feature Wander Darkly starring opposite Diego Luna and Sienna Miller.  Bayer can also be seen in Susan Johnson’s independent feature, Carrie Pilby, Dreamworks feature Office Christmas Party, and the indie film The Polka King.  

Last year her children’s book, How Do You Care For A Very Sick Bear?, was widely received and revered by children and critics everywhere.  She also received The Gilda Award from Gilda’s Club, which benefits people living with cancer.

Bayer came to the cast of SNL from iO Chicago, the Annoyance Theater and the Second City.  She starred in the acerbic puppet show Felt and the improv team Revolver at iO Chicago. She wrote and performed in the Annoyance Theatre's Swear Jar and performed stand-up at Zanies. 

Originally from Cleveland, Bayer received her degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004.  While in college, she interned at Sesame Street and Late Night With Conan O’Brien and was a member of Bloomers, a storied all-female musical comedy troupe.

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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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CHERYL HINES

  • Emmy Award-Winning Actor
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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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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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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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CRAIG ROBINSON

  • Famed Actor and Comedian
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Beginning as a stand-up comedian, Robinson first made his mark in the comedy circuit at the 1998 Montreal “Just For Laughs” Festival. Now headlining venues and festivals across the country, he does both solo acts as well as full-band sets with his band “The Nasty Delicious.” 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 Craig was studying education in Chicago that he also discovered his love of acting and comedy when he joined the famed Second City Theatre. Craig is best known for his portrayal of Darryl Philban in NBC’s The Office but has also starred in such movies as Knocked Up, This Is The End, Hot Tub Time Machine, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Morris From America, Tragedy Girls, Dolemite Is My Name! with Eddie Murphy, Timmy Failure, and the upcoming Mona Lisa And The Bood Moon with Kate Hudson. Craig also starred in his very own sitcom, Mr. Robinson on NBC, as well as Ghosted on FOX.

HWA NEW

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. 

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DESHAUNA BARBER

  • Miss USA (2016)
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Deshauna Barber is a former Miss USA and award-winning international speaker, coach, and entrepreneur with a bold approach to inspiring and encouraging her audience. Deshauna uses her experience as an Army officer, Non-Profit CEO, former Miss USA, and STEM graduate to inspire her audience. Deshauna shows the power of perseverance and tenacity to now become a top-rated speaker that is widely sought after by Fortune 500 companies. She currently works full time as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Service Women’s Action Network, the nation’s leading 501c3 nonprofit organization advocating on behalf of all service women and women veterans in the country.  

Deshauna is currently receiving her Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Certification at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Virginia State University and a Master of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and Services from University of Maryland University College. 

As Miss USA, she spent her year-long reign advocating for our men and women in uniform by encouraging our government to provide additional support for soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The 31-year-old uses her platform to encourage us to pay close attention to the mental health of our service members after deployments and their service to our country.  

Captain Barber has served her country for over 10 years and now works as cadet instructor at Howard University's Bison Battalion during her Army Reserve commitment. When she is not serving her country, she travels the world as a full time Motivational Speaker. She has made it her life goal to encourage, inspire and strengthen the people around her. 

Deshauna has appeared on The Steve Harvey Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Fox and Friends, The Chelsea Show, Good Morning Washington, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The T.D. Jakes Show, The Nightly Show, The Source on Sirius XM, The Daily Show, Lunch Break, Live with Kelly, Good Morning America and in Glamour Magazine and Diversity Magazine.

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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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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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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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P.K. SUBBAN

  • All-Star NHL Defenseman
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P.K. Subban is one of the most dynamic athletes and personalities in sports. Known not only as an All-Star NHL defenseman for the New Jersey Devils, Subban is also a philanthropist, entrepreneur, producer and fashion enthusiast. 

A Toronto-native, Subban made his debut in the NHL in 2011 and finished his rookie season ranked among the top 25 defensemen in scoring. After being awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy in 2013, he was also named to the NHL All-Star team in both 2013 and 2015. In 2017, Subban led the Nashville Predators to their first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup finals and continues to be one of the premiere players of the NHL. Subban was acquired by the New Jersey Devils in June 2019.

Subban was named the cover athlete of EA’s NHL 19 with one of the most iconic covers in the company’s history. Additionally, he won the Gold medal representing Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. With these accomplishments, P.K. has become a global ambassador for many sport and lifestyle brands including Adidas, Bridgestone, Red Bull, Wheels Up and others. Subban continues to enhance his roster of projects off the ice.

This year he teamed up with NBC to create a first-of-its-kind content partnership to produce a television special and an original digital docu-series, The P.K. Project. This marked the first time NBC Sports partnered with an active player and was the first deal for Subban’s production company, PeeK Productions.

In addition to Subban’s expansive career in sports and entertainment, he has shown relentless passion for charitable initiatives and enriching his community. His desire to support families who are affected by illness inspired the establishment of the P.K. Subban Foundation. Subban’s dedication and immersive efforts with the foundation have resulted in tremendous growth since its inception in 2014.

His most recent pledge resulted in a $10 million dollar donation to the Montreal Children’s Hospital, which to date is the largest donation made by any Canadian athlete. The hospital showed their gratitude by naming their newly renovated atrium after him, where he continues to surprise staff and patients with his visits.

Extending his philanthropic passion in Nashville, Subban also launched his Blueline Buddies program, where he hosts a member of the Metro Nashville Police Department and an underprivileged youth at every Predator’s home game taking care of game tickets, dinner and meets with the group prior to and after the game to lift their spirits and give them a few hours to forget about everything on the outside. Subban recognizes the importance of athletes serving as role models and building bridges and prioritizes being a part of the solution to social issues that arise in his community.

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RONAN FARROW

  • Pulitzer Prize and Peabody Award-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 Peabody Award-winning 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".

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CHARLES BLOW

  • 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.” His second book, The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, was named a "most anticipated book" by the San Francisco ChronicleO, the Oprah MagazineTime OutTown and Country, and Lithub.

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. 

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TOM BOSSERT

  • Former Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Advisor
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Tom Bossert served as the Homeland Security Advisor under President Trump and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor under President Bush. During his time in the Trump Administration, Bossert was the Chief Advisor on Global Health Security, Cybersecurity, Homeland Security, and Counterterrorism. There he coordinated the President, Cabinet, and senior White House staff on a range of domestic and transnational security issues. In 2017, Bossert briefed the world on “The Next Pandemic” at the Aspen Security Forum, warning the world of the coronavirus, and urging the administration and the global health community to invest in coordinated pandemic response. In his capacity, 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. 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. Currently, Mr. Bossert President 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.

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ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO

  • United Nations Senior Advisor on Gender Equality (2013 – 2020)
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Elizabeth Nyamayaro, a former Senior Advisor at the United Nations on Gender Equality and the founder and CEO of AfricaYouth.org, spent her childhood in an African village that was ravaged by both famine and HIV/AIDS. Born in Zimbabwe, Elizabeth has worked as a humanitarian at the forefront of global development for over two decades, addressing the world’s greatest inequalities and improving the lives of underserved communities. While at the United Nations, Elizabeth created and launched HeForShe, one of the world’s largest solidarity movements for gender equality, galvanizing men in every single country in the world. A strong advocate for women rights and youth empowerment, she has held positions with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and UN Women. She wrote a memoir about her life and experiences, I Am A Girl From Africa. Named as Apolitico’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2018 & 2019, Elizabeth has been touted by The New York Times as “one of only two women transforming Davos” with her social impact work featured in Vogue, Fast Company, Fortune, Elle, BBC and CNN. A strong advocate for women rights and youth empowerment, she served as inaugural Glass Lions jury at Cannes Lions and has received the Feminist Majority Foundation’s prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award. Elizabeth is a Political Scientist by training and holds a MSc in Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and leadership education from the Harvard Business School.

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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.

 

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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.  He was recently called back to the White House to serve as a special economic advisor to President Trump to manage data-driven decisions in response to the Coronavirus economic fallout.

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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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.

HWA NEW

JENNIFER PALMIERI

  • Former White House Communications Director and Communications Strategist
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Jennifer Palmieri is a writer and one of the most accomplished communications advisors in politics today. Author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Madam President and her newest book, She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World, 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 U.S. 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.

She is also a guest host of Showtime’s The Circus and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

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.

 

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

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.

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

DAVID KESSLER

  • A Foremost Expert on Grief and Healing
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David Kessler is the world’s foremost expert on grief and loss. His experience with thousands of people on the edge of life and death has taught him the secrets to living a happy and fulfilled life, even afterlife’s tragedies. He is the author of six books, including the new bestselling book, Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief.  His books and work have received praise by so many, including Saint (Mother) Teresa.

David’s personal experience as a child witnessing a mass shooting while his mother was dying in a hospital helped him begin his journey. For most of his life, David has taught physicians, nurses, counselors, police, and first responders about the end of life, trauma, and grief. He facilitates talks, workshops and retreats for those experiencing grief. However, despite his vast knowledge on grief, his life was turned upside down by the sudden death of his twenty-one-year-old son. It inspired him to write his newest book, Finding Meaning

David’s volunteer work includes being an LAPD Specialist Reserve for traumatic events as well as having served on the Red Cross’s disaster services team. He is the founder of www.grief.com which has over five million visits yearly from 167 countries.

 

HWA NEW

ALLYSON FELIX

  • Olympic Gold Medalist, Track & Field
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It seems like we already know everything we need to know about her, but in many ways she is still carving her path. Her commitment to excellence has cast a shadow of predictability, but Allyson Felix stands alone. She is the most decorated Track & Field Olympian in history. A nine-time Olympic medalist. Six-time Olympic Champion. World Record Holder. She has won, a mind-blowing, twenty-five global medals at the Olympics and World Championships. With a recent event change on the track, Allyson is still honing her craft and seems to find passion and determination rivaled only by the greatest of the greats. Serena Williams. Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. She continues to dig deep and find new goals to motivate and drive her. At this stage of her career Allyson has found passions off the track which she believes are her true calling. She loves children and serves as a member of the Right To Play board hoping to raise awareness for underserved children in developing regions. Her determination is now carrying over to the business sector where she is an investor in a plant based protein bar company and serves as an advisor to a fitness technology startup. She has hosted a wrap-up series for an Emmy-winning prime-time show on NBC. Allyson has accomplished so much, but her greatest accomplishment and her greatest love is her daughter, Camryn, who reminds her everyday that she can never stop fighting for what is right in this world. She continues to strive for greatness in all areas reminding us that we all can achieve things we never dreamed of.

HWA NEW

TONY GONZALEZ

  • NFL Great and Analyst, Fox NFL Kickoff
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Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez is a former Kansas City Chief and Atlanta Falcons All-Pro tight end. He is currently a fixture on FOX NFL Kickoff, the FOX NFL Sunday show, and on the FOX NFL Thursday pregame show. 

An author and an entrepreneur, Gonzalez develops multi-media programs that celebrate and advocate sports for children in an educational format. His latest ventures also include a new podcast, Wide Open with Tony Gonzalez, which provides 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. 

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.

At engagements worldwide, Gonzalez inspires audiences with his thoughtful insights on health, and shares how to evolve and better yourself, how to overcome the fears holding you back from reaching your goals, and lessons learned from his storied career.

HWA NEW

TOM COLICCHIO

  • Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur
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Tom Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food, cooking with his mother and grandmother. It was his father, however, who suggested that he make a career of it. Tom taught himself to cook with the help of Jacques Pépin’s legendary illustrated manuals on French cooking, La Technique and La Méthode. At age 17, Tom made his kitchen debut in his native town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, at Evelyn’s Seafood Restaurant.

Colicchio then cooked at prominent New York restaurants including The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. During his tenure as executive chef of Mondrian, Food & Wine magazine selected him as one of the top 10 “Best New Chefs” in the U.S. and The New York Times awarded the restaurant three stars.

In July 1994, Tom and his business partner Danny Meyer opened Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park neighborhood. Tom’s cooking at Gramercy Tavern won consistent recognition, garnering three stars from Ruth Reichl of The New York Times and earning him The James Beard Foundation’s 2000 “Best Chef-New York” Award.

In 2001, Tom opened Craft one block south of Gramercy Tavern. Soon after, The New York Times awarded Craft with three stars, deeming the restaurant “a vision of food heaven.” Craft was awarded The James Beard Foundation Award for “Best New Restaurant” in 2002. That same year, Tom received The Bon Appétit American Food and Entertaining Award for “Chef of the Year.” The New York Times revisited Craft in September 2011, ten years after its debut, upholding its three stars and stating that the restaurant is “as magical and delicious as it was when it opened.”

Crafted Hospitality, currently includes New York’s Craft, Riverpark, and Temple Court; Craft Los Angeles; Las Vegas’ Heritage Steak and Craftsteak; and Small Batch in Garden City, NY.

Tom has published three cookbooks to date. The first, Think Like a Chef (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2000), won The James Beard Foundation “KitchenAid” Cookbook Award in May 2001. Tom’s second cookbook, Craft of Cooking, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in 2003. A sandwich book inspired by ‘wichcraft, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in March 2009.

Since 2006, Tom has been applying his experience and expertise to cable television as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series Top Chef. The Emmy-winning show is currently in its 18th season.

In May of 2010, Colicchio was awarded The James Beard Foundation’s coveted “Outstanding Chef” award, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work in the restaurant industry.

Tom appears in and served as Executive Producer on A Place at the Table, Participant Media’s documentary about food and security in America. It was produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Colicchio’s wife Lori Silverbush and premiered at the 2012 Sundace Film Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures released the film on March 1, 2013.

Tom and his restaurants give back to the community by supporting charities including Children of Bellevue, City Harvest, Alex’s Lemonade Foundation, United Way of New York, and Food Bank for New York City. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Lori Silverbush, and three sons.

HWA NEW

PADMA LAKSHMI

  • Emmy-Nominated 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, and activist. Lakshmi serves as host and an executive producer of Bravo’s Emmy award-winning Top Chef, which is currently in its 16th season. She is also the host and producer of the acclaimed Hulu show Taste the Nation, which explores the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups- ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American.

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 TV host and producer and 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

ANDREW ZIMMERN

  • James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Anthropologist
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Andrew Zimmern is an Emmy winning and four-time James Beard Award winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate. In February 2020, Andrew returned to television with What's Eating America which premiered on MSNBC and in 2021, he will premiere Family Dinner on Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network. Both shows were created by Intuitive Concent, the full-service television and digital production company that Andrew heads as both founder and CEO.  As the creator, Executive Producer and Host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food and Emmy Award winning The Zimmern List, he has devoted his life to exploring and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food. Andrew is also the founder and CEO of Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food service development company. He is passionate about to his philanthropic endeavors and sits on the board of directors of Services for the UnderServed, Project Explorer/EXPLR, and Soigne Hospitality.  He serves on City Harvest’s Food Council and is the International Rescue Committee’s Voice for Nutrition. Andrew is a founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition, fighting to save restaurants affected by Covid-19. He resides in Minneapolis.

HWA NEW

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. 
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 creator of Netflix's comedy show, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, which brought 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

MARIO LOPEZ

  • Emmy-winner is the host of NBC’s "Access Hollywood"
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Mario Lopez is the consummate entertainer, from acting in and producing multiple iconic TV shows, to penning bestselling books in fitness and inspiration, to hosting on TV and radio- Lopez is one of the hardest workers in Hollywood and a beloved fan favorite. He uses his platform to promote social equality and healthy children and families, partnering with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as driving Hollywood projects which promote inclusive positive images, particularly for Latinx communities.  For all of these reasons, Mario is an outstanding choice as host or emcee for any event. 

The two-time Emmy-winner is the host of NBC’s "Access Hollywood" and has an over-all development deal with NBC/Universal.  He is also the host of the nationwide iHeartMedia radio shows, "On with Mario Lopez,” "iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez" and the iHeartRadio boxing podcast, “The 3 Knockdown Rule."

As a producer, Lopez co-created and executive produced the Netflix series “The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia,” a Latinx family comedy that centers on a 15-year-old robotics engineer and her family. Lopez became a household name as ‘A.C. Slater’ on the hit 90’s teen series, “Saved By The Bell,” he appeared in and produced the “Saved By The Bell” reboot for NBC’s streaming service Peacock.  Additionally, Lopez serves as executive producer of the upcoming music competition series, “Menudo.” 

As an actor, Lopez has most recently appeared on the NBC hit drama “This is Us” and the CW series “Jane the Virgin.” Lopez has also made appearances on “Brooklyn 99,” “The Roockie,” and a recurs as ‘Cruz’ on Disney’s animated series “Elena of Avalor” with his daughter Gia.    He played ‘Dr. Mike Hamoui’ in an extensive arc on F/X network's popular show "Nip/Tuck," Lopez previously starred in the highest-rated program in ABC Family history, "Holiday in Handcuffs" and also starred opposite Mark Consuelos in the made-for-TV movie, "Husband for Hire.”

No stranger to rigorous routines, Lopez danced his way to the finals in the third season of ABC's hit series, "Dancing with the Stars." Shortly after, in the summer of 2009, he successfully completed his first run on Broadway, starring in the long-running hit musical "A Chorus Line" as the beloved character Zach.

As an author, Mario released his first autobiography, "Just Between Us." In his memoir, he shares his successes and disappointments, never before-told stories and family values. Lopez became a New York Times best-selling author with his healthy eating guide, "Extra Lean." In May 2011, he released the follow-up to "Extra Lean," entitled "Extra Lean Family." Additionally, Mario penned "Mario Lopez's Knockout Fitness," a best-selling fitness book that offers readers a look into his impressive workout regime. Additionally, he co-authored "Mud Tacos," a vibrant children's book with his sister Marissa; and "Mario & Baby Gia," a children's book he wrote for his daughter Gia. "Mario & Baby Gia" is currently being developed into an animated series.

Mario was named the Alumni Ambassador of Fitness by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA), joining the ranks of some 25 other prominent alumni, including Denzel Washington and former President Bill Clinton in the organization's BE GREAT campaign. Via the campaign, he helps bring to light the major issues affecting today's young people, including the importance of graduating from high school and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the key role community-based organizations like BGCA play in the positive development of children.

HWA NEW

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. 

 

HWA NEW

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.

The book has been translated into 23 languages and was chosen by Time Magazine, the Washington Post, the New York Times and People Magazine as a notable book of the year. It is being adapted into a television series by Apple, featuring Brie Larson. She is the host of Netflix's hit documentary series The Business of Drugs, which ranked #1 in the United States on Netflix the week of its release. Her viral video about listening to our enemies has been viewed over 130 million times worldwide. Previously, she hosted History Channel’s American Ripper and starred in Freak Power, a feature film about Hunter S. Thompson's campaign for Sheriff of Aspen in 1970. Amaryllis has offered guest commentary on global events everywhere from FOX News to BBC.

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. 

HWA NEW

GIADA DE LAURENTIIS

  • Renowned Chef and Restaurateur
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Multiple 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.

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

DAVID CHANG

  • Award-Winning Chef and Founder, Momofuko
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David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku. Called one of “the most influential people of the 21st century” by Esquire, David has appeared on numerous television shows, and was the first chef to be featured on the Emmy-award winning PBS television show, The Mind of a Chef. His cookbook Momofuku and memoir Eat A Peach are New York Times bestsellers. Along with Academy Award Winning Director Morgan Neville, David is a creative force behind Ugly Delicious, an eight-part Netflix original documentary series about foods we love and the stories that shape them.

HWA NEW

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. He was profiled in The New York Times for his business and tech investment success. 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

SYDNEY MCLAUGHLIN

  • Olympic Track and Field Athlete
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The youngest U.S. Olympian to compete in track and field since 1972, Sydney McLaughlin set a junior world record in the 400m hurdles at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. She also won the silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 400m hurdles, and is the current NCAA record-holder in the 400m hurdles. Named the Gatorade National Girls Athlete of the Year, two years in a row, McLaughlin gave a movingand headline-makingspeech about how she overcame obstacles to become one of the top young track and field athletes in America.

Having left the University of Kentucky to pursue a professional career, McLaughlin is also a face of New Balance.

Known for one of her personal mottos, "the only limit is myself," McLaughlin offers empowering and inspiring remarks on overcoming every obstacle, perseverance, learning and evolving from your mistakes, staying open to new experiences, and the pursuit of success. 

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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.

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STEPHEN A. SMITH

  • Famed Sports Television Personality and Journalist
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American sports television personality, radio host, journalist, and actor Stephen A Smith offers powerful and humorous lessons from the world of sports and beyond on adversity, leadership, building a personal brand, and ethics. 

Known for his colorful catchphrases and thought-provoking analysis, Smith is a host on ESPN's First Take, he’s an NBA analyst/insider on SportsCenter, and also hosts his weekly NBA show SportsCenter with Stephen A Smith

Born in the Bronx and raised in Hollis Queens, Smith is the youngest of six siblings. Coming up from humble beginnings, he began his career in newspapers in 1993 at the New York Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer (1994-2010), before transitioning into television at CNN/Sports Illustrated (1999-2000) and Fox Sports (2001-2003). Smith ultimately landed at ESPN In October 2003.

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BUDDY VALASTRO

  • The Cake Boss
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Buddy Valastro is the Cake Boss, a bestselling author and the celebrity baker of several hit tv shows. Known for his affability and family-first message, Buddy is an audience favorite for inspiring messages and light-hearted baking demos.  He loves to connect with audiences and is always willing to customize his demos, leaving audiences with a personalized and memorable experience. 

It's safe to say that baking is in Buddy Valastro's blood. He learned the ins and outs of his family's bakery while growing up there and working alongside his father, Buddy Sr., at Carlo's Bakery. He's grown that business, part of the fabric of Hoboken, into a national phenomenon specializing in authentic Italian pastries as well as over-the-top cakes you've got to see to believe. The cakes are showcased on Buddy's many shows, including Cake Boss, the tv show that introduced Buddy to the world. Despite his international success, Buddy remains committed to his father’s handed down teachings. “I found my dream job and passion when I was 11 and I still have it. I love what I do and I am good at it, which makes me incredibly lucky and blessed.” So, how does a man who’s already achieved so much continue to find inspiration? Simple. “I can see cakes in anything. I just open my eyes.”

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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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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.

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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.

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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

LECRAE

  • Two-Time Grammy Award-Winning Hip-Hop Artist, Songwriter, Record Producer, and Actor
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A multi-Grammy Award-winning, platinum selling artist, Lecrae has evolved into a New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, philanthropist, and Co-Owner/President of Reach Records. Referring to himself as a ‘social anthropologist,’ Lecrae seeks social change through authentic connections and calls for redemption through positive change. This year, he’ll also release his second book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion, But Found My Faith, a follow-up to his New York Times best-seller, Unashamed.

A catalyst for restoration in faith, music, and popular culture, Lecrae's viral TED Talk helped the public see beyond his music and focus on his message: what we say and do in hip-hop - and in the world - matters, so we should be thoughtful, careful, generous and respectful.  In countless interviews, in his music and in his writings, Lecrae continues the message in hopes of restoring faith. We can change the narrative, empower the disenfranchised, and close wealth gaps and can restore the dignity stripped from us, but we can’t do that by separating ourselves. We need to connect with each other and lean on God to restore our sense of purpose and worth,” shares Lecrae. 

To date, he has sold more than 3 million copies and been nominated for 5 Grammy Awards including a win for Best Gospel Album, 15 Dove Awards, one Billboard Music Award, and received both a Soul Train Music Award and BET Hip-Hop Nomination. From his 2017 album, All Things Work Together, his single “I’ll Find You” ft. Tori Kelly, is now certified platinum by the RIAA (sold over 1 million copies) and “Blessings” ft Ty Dolla $ign is now Gold (sold over 500k).

 

 

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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

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.

 

HWA NEW

GAIL SIMMONS

  • Culinary Expert, Food Writer, and Dynamic Television Personality
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Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series Top Chef, now in its 18th successful season. She is also the host of its newest spin-off, Top Chef Amateurs, set to premiere in 2021, as well as the host of Iron Chef Canada. She was previously head critic on Top Chef Masters and host of Top Chef Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spinoff of the Top Chef franchise. From 2004 to 2019, Gail served as special projects director at FOOD & WINE.  

In February 2012, she published her first book, Talking With My Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. Her first cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, was released in October 2017. Nominated for an IACP award for best general cookbook, it features recipes inspired by Gail’s world travels—all made with accessible ingredients and with smart, simple techniques for successful family meals and easy entertaining. 

Gail is a weekly contributor to Dr. Oz’s "The Dish on Oz" and frequently appears on daytime television shows such as TODAY on NBC, Rachael Ray and The Talk, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post. Gail is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College and co-founder of Bumble Pie Productions. 

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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, having embarked on a culinary journey that saw her working in some of France's top restaurants. Today, Guarnaschelli is recognized as one of America’s most accomplished top chefs, acclaimed for her work in the kitchen, as an author, as a social media personality, 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. But it was not the younger Guarnaschelli’s fate to be only a spectator; her mother urged her to be a participant. 

Having worked at the iconic Guy Savoy and La Butte Chaillot in Paris, with Daniel Boulud at Manhattan’s famed Daniel, and in Los Angeles at the acclaimed Patina, Guarnaschelli quickly rose through the ranks in whichever city she found herself in. She went on to helm her own restaurants: New York's  Butter, The Darby, a unique supper club, and Driftwood Room in Miami.  

A Food Network star, Guarnaschelli is the host of Supermarket Stakeout and previously served as host of The Cooking Loft and Alex’s Day Off. She's also been a recurring and guest judge on several prime-time series including Chopped (which earned each of the judges a James Beard Foundation Award for best Television Program), Beat Bobby Flay, and Iron Chef America (and its many spin-offs). She is currently launching the third season of her Food Network 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.  

Beyond her television appearances, Guarnaschelli  premiered a one-woman live comedy show, Busting My Chops, at Caroline’s on Broadway. She is also a popular mainstay on social media, and was 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. The author of multiple cookbooks, Guarnaschelli's latest work, Cook with Me (Clarkson Potter, October 2020), explores how the relationships with her family have shaped her as a chef and home cook. 

A passionate and dynamic speaker, Guarnaschelli also serves as an emcee and provides cooking demonstrations to the delight of audiences. In remarks, she provides lessons from a life steeped in culinary education and adventure, her own travels, and experiences as a mother and in world-renowned kitchens. 

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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. 

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COLIN QUINN

  • Famed Stand-Up Comic, Actor, and Writer
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Colin Quinn is a stand-up comedian, actor, and author 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. Over the course of his more than 3-decade career, he has become one of the most beloved voices in comedy, with a focus often on the roller coaster ride that American politics and culture has historically been. His beloved commentary on news headlines dates back to his popular 1990s run hosting "Weekend Update" on NBC’s iconic Saturday Night Live and as host of Comedy Central’s classic fan favorite series Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn.

This year, Colin’s new book Overstated comes off the heels of his most recent one-man show, Red State Blue State, which premiered in January 2019 to rave reviews at The Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City. The New Yorker lauded the hour as “among Quinn’s funniest so far” and The New York Times lovingly described Quinn as a “barstool philosopher.”  The show aired on CNN as the network’s first comedy special in May 2019 and is currently streaming on Netflix. Red State Blue State followed the wildly successful off-Broadway run of Colin Quinn: The New York Story, directed by Jerry Seinfeld, and Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, which garnered a Drama Desk Award nomination.

Colin’s HBO Max special Summer of 2020: A Drive-In Comedy Special was filmed at a repurposed drive-in theatre in Brooklyn. Part stand-up showcase and part documentary, the hour special will soon be released.

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ADAM SAVAGE

  • Former co-host and Executive Producer, 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.

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MISHA EUCEPH

  • Trailblazing Pakistani-American Podcast Host
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Misha is a Pakistani-American podcast host, writer and producer, on a mission to make shows that inspire awe and push audio into uncharted territory. She is the founder and CEO of Dustlight Productions, a mission-driven podcast studio. In 2020, the Los Angeles Business Journal named her as one of their “20 in their 20’s.” This followed Ad Week naming her “Producer of the Year” and her podcasts landing on 9 best-of lists in 2019.

Misha helped make The Michelle Obama Podcast as an Executive Producer with her production company, Dustlight, in collaboration with Higher Ground Audio and Spotify.

In 2019, Misha 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.

Misha also produced The Big One: Your Survival Guide in 2019, named one of TIME, The Atlantic, Thrillist, Vulture, IndieWire, and NYT Podcast Club’s best podcasts of the year. The New Yorker’s Sarah Larson called it “riveting” and “strangely reassuring.”

All this podcasting started with Beginner, her autobiographical series about learning to belong as an immigrant in America. The Guardian’s Rowan Slaney said it brought her week “oodles of joy.”

When Misha wants to give her ears and voice a break, she hosts Quran Book Club on IGTV, make jokes on McSweeney’s and writes serious things for the Wall Street Journal. Sometimes, she naps. But that’s not featured anywhere.

She got her Masters in Journalism at Northwestern University, and has taught as an adjunct professor at USC Annenberg and the Transom Radio Workshop.

If you want to make podcasts, read How To Make a Podcast, which Misha wrote for you.

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CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS

  • Award-Winning Poet
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Caroline Randall Williams is a catalyst. She makes change possible by bringing art and joy into the room in such a way that the grit of real challenge and limits may become eclipsed by analysis, innovation, and skill. She is an award-winning poet, young adult novelist, and cookbook author as well as an activist, public intellectual, performance artist, and scholar. She is the author of the powerful New York Times Opinion piece You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument, which grabbed international attention as a reckoning in the movement to dismantle systemic racism.

Born and raised in Nashville Tennessee, Williams is a Harvard graduate and a Writer-in-Residence in Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University.  She focuses her work and speaks to the places where art, business, and scholarship intersect, moving people closer to their best lives and corporations closer to their ideal identities.

You may have seen her on Morning Joe, or Dr. Oz, or The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. More likely you’ve read her. Caroline’s first book, The Diary of B.B. Bright, Possible Princess (co-authored with Alice Randall) won the Harlem Book Fair’s Phillis Wheatley Prize and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. Her second co-authored volume, Soul Food Love won the NAACP Image Award and got her invited to speak at The Smithsonian. In 2017 the New York Times published an op-ed she wrote and it went viral. Her book of poetry, Lucy Negro Redux, earned rave reviews and got optioned to become a ballet. In 2019 the ballet debuted to more rave reviews with the New York Times review concluding that Lucy Negro Redux was “something wildly original, something so unlike anything else that all description falls short of its otherworldly reality. A place where, when the curtain drops, the very city cries out: “Brava! Brava! Oh, brava!” Another reviewer wrote, “All this is to say that Attitude: Lucy Negro Redux is not just original, but revolutionary — marking a seismic shift in the art form not just in Nashville, but in dance the world-over.” No wonder she was chosen in 2015 by Southern Living as one of “50 People Changing the South” for her work around food justice, and in 2016 as a national Neiman Marcus “Face of Beauty” because she personifies “beauty, brains, and passion.”

She has taught in two of the poorest states in the union -- Mississippi and West Virginia -- and she has been educated at two of the richest universities on the globe -- Harvard and Oxford. After graduating from Harvard University, where her undergraduate thesis received Magna Cum Laude honors, Caroline moved to Mississippi where she taught public school on a dirt road in Sunflower County for two years. In Mississippi, Caroline lived in an America many Americans are hardly aware of any longer, an America as rich in culture as it is wretched in poverty, towns still split into white and black by train tracks and bridges. During her second year, she taught 9th grade English to 86 kids who didn’t have a book to take home. She got that job by tutoring eight kids who the state of Mississippi said couldn’t pass the English exit exam—eight for eight, her kids passed.

To every speaking engagement Caroline brings a fierce intelligence, disarming charm, and a depth of lived experience. 

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MAYIM BIALIK

  • Award-Winning Actress renowned for "Big Bang Theory"
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Mayim Bialik 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. She currently stars as the lead in the new Fox comedy show Call Me Kat, and is a co-executive producer on the show. 

Bialik puts her Neuroscience degree to use in her podcast, Mayim Bialik's Breakdown, where she breaks down the topic of mental health, especially to bust myths and misunderstandings. 

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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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.

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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. His TEDTalk "The Five Phrases That Can Change Your Life," has been viewed 1.3 million times. 

The Founder of Pencils Of Promise, Adam Braun’s story is how one young man turned $25 into more than 525 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 become Founder & CEO of MissionU, a 21st-century higher education company teaching hard and soft skills for the new economy. MissionU was an early pioneer in remote learning for workforce development that led to it being named to Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" in 2018, and it was acquired by WeWork later that year.

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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APRIL RINNE

  • Global Authority on the New Economy, Future of Work and Navigating Constant Change
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A World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and one of the “50 Leading Female Futurists” in the world, April Rinne is equal parts global authority, advocate, ally and adventurer. She sees trends early, understands their potential, and helps others do the same. Focus areas include the digital economy, sharing economy, future of work, travel and tourism, and public policy.

April helps individuals and organizations navigate a world in flux. Even before 2020, the pace of change was mind-boggling. Then a pandemic hit and accelerated many shifts already underway, ushering in a "new-now-next-never normal" that humanity has yet to fully grasp. Yet the future does not see a return to stability or certainty. Quite the opposite: around every corner, there is more change. So how do we move forward?

In her keynotes, presentations and forthcoming book Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change, April guides the way. April has been weaving a story about how to thrive amid flux for as long as she can remember, drawing on her history as a futurist, advisor, global development executive, microfinance lawyer, investor, mental health advocate, certified yoga teacher, globetrotter (100+ countries) and insatiable handstander. She brings global perspective and extraordinary cross-cultural understanding to how we see, think about, struggle with and ultimately forge positive relationships with change.

April also harnesses her very personal experiences with flux, including the death of both of her parents in a car accident when she was 20. She shares how she learned to let go of her own future, buck convention, create a "portfolio career" and find meaning – and how you can do so, too.

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ADAM DEVINE

  • Comedian & Actor
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Adam Devine is best known for his role as “Adam DeMamp” on Comedy Central’s hit comedy Workaholics. Already a growing success, the show ended its summer season with an average of 2 million viewers per show, establishing itself as the highest rated series in its timeslot among Men 18-24 and Men 18-34. His sketch-comedy group, Mail Order Comedy, has headlined sold-out comedy shows all over the nation. Devine acts, writes and produces all of Mail Order Comedy’s material, including Workaholics.

Devine starred in the hit Universal comedy, Pitch Perfect , which follows the competitive world of collegiate a cappella and also stars Anna Kendrick, Brittany Snow and Rebel Wilson. Devine also performed in the New Faces show at the Montreal Comedy Festival, shortly after which, he was cast opposite Jon Heder and Diane Keaton in the Warner Bros. movie Mamma’s Boy. He appeared on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and on TBS’ Frank TV and ABC’s Better Off Ted. Additionally, Devine was a recurring guest-star on ABC’s Samantha Who? He can currently be seen on the hit ABC series Modern Family.

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BEN SCHWARTZ

  • Emmy Award-Winning Actor
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Schwartz can be seen alongside Thomas Middleditch in their Netflix specials, Middleditch & Schwartz. The specials are based on their completely improvised two person show that they took on tour through early 2020. During this tour, the two played Carnegie Hall, Chicago Theatre and sold out theaters all across the country. 

Additionally, Schwartz will be seen starring in Netflix’s Space Force, the comedy series that follows the people tasked with creating Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military. He also stars in the Disney+ original film Flora and Ulysses and lends his voice to the Paramount Animation and WWE-produced animated film, RUMBLE starring Will Arnett, Terry Crews and Tony Danza set to release in 2021.

Most recently, Schwartz voiced the title character in Jeff Fowler’s highly successful live action/animation hybrid film Sonic The Hedgehog, based on the classic Sega video game. Paramount released the film on February 14, 2020 and it has since become the highest domestic grossing video game adaptation of all-time with $146 million and a worldwide gross of $306.7 million.

On the TV side, Schwartz starred opposite Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell in Showtime's House Of Lies and notably guest starred as “Jean-Ralphio” on NBC's Parks and Recreation opposite Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. He also played series regular “Bill Hoyt” on J.J. Abrams' one-hour NBC spy drama Undercovers. In the animated world, Schwartz voices "Dewey" in Disney Channel's Ducktales reboot, returning for Season 3, "Leonardo" in Rise Of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and voiced the lead role of “Randy Cunningham” on Disney XD's Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja.

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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. In addition to stand-up comedy, producing and acting, Roy is currently a correspondent on Comedy Central's Emmy & NAACP Award winning The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. During his tenure, he has used The Daily Show’s brand of satire to shed a light on serious issues like Chicago gun violence, police reform, LGBTQ+ discrimination, ICE deportations and PTSD in the Black community. His recent credits include guest starring roles in Netflix’s comedy series Space Force, AMC’s Better Call Saul, and The Last O.G on TBS.

Roy expanded his already large role on Comedy Central with a comprehensive “first look” deal and is developing his comedy pilot ‘Jefferson County: Probation.’ He also wrote and starred in the Comedy Central web series The Night Pigeon, the story of a black superhero with minimal powers fighting the biggest baddest gang in his community, The Gentrifiers. Additionally, Comedy Central is committed to produce and air Roy’s third one-hour standup special. His second special, Roy Wood Jr.: No One Loves You premiered as part of Comedy Central’s Stand-Up Month in January 2019, the network’s highest rated original stand-up premiere since his February 2017 one-hour, Roy Wood Jr.: Father Figure. In 2017, he was also named the new host of Comedy Central’s storytelling series, This is Not Happening.

Roy is a graduate of the Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. True to his roots, he is a strong and outspoken advocate for reshaping the image of Alabama and the American South as a whole. In 2018, he penned a New York Times piece on the subject. He is actively working with the Birmingham City Council and the Film Commission to bring more entertainment jobs to the state. During the pandemic, Roy has spent time raising money for the staff of his hometown comedy clubs in Alabama through tipyourwaitstaff.com and Laugh Aid. In October 2006, he made his network television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman. In 2008, he appeared on HBO’s historic Def Comedy Jam and in 2010 was selected by America as one of the top three finalists on NBC’s Last Comic Standing. He has appeared on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He has also performed for the troops on numerous USO tours in the Middle East and the Pacific Islands. Prior to The Daily Show, Wood co-starred for three seasons on the TBS sitcom Sullivan & Son. Angeles. Keep up with Roy on Twitter and Instagram @roywoodjr.

HWA NEW

JACLYN JOHNSON

  • Powerhouse Entrepreneur and Investor
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Jaclyn Johnson is a powerhouse entrepreneur, author, investor, podcast host and business owner. She is the CEO of Create & Cultivate, which gathers the best and the brightest female entrepreneurs and CEOs in online and in-person conferences to help educate & facilitate young women in today’s working world. Create & Cultivate reaches an audience of 1 million millennial women, and has hosted over 100 events to date. The conferences boast sponsors that include top Fortune 500 companies like Mastercard, Facebook Messenger, Amazon, LinkedIn, QuickBooks and Microsoft to the buzziest brand names like LaCroix, Clinique, Chandon, Urban Outfitters and more. Past speakers and panelists include celebrities and CEO’s like Kim Kardashian West, Martha Stewart, Chelsea Handler, Jessica Alba, Meghan Markle, Chrissy Teigen, Gloria Steinem, Issa Rae, Nicole Richie and more front-runners in fashion, technology, design and business.

Previous to Create & Cultivate, Jaclyn established and sold her own marketing and influencer agency titled (No Subject) by the time she was 28. Jaclyn has been recognized by Forbes' "30 Under 30," Ad Week Disruptor, A Women Of Note by The Wall Street Journal and more.

Jaclyn’s own work-life philosophy, built on the cornerstones of female empowerment, hustling-hard and innovation have propelled her voice to the forefront of the discussion on workplace equality, a new thought-leader for millennial women and Gen Zers on the career come up. Known for her powerful messaging and often imitated never duplicated style of digital and experiential marketing, Johnson is reshaping attitudes on female entrepreneurialism, work culture and the gig economy for women all over the world.

Johnson's first book, WorkParty, offers a rallying cry for women in the workplace, First We Leaned In, Now We Stand Up. WorkParty is Johnson’s career manifesto sharing her story as well as advice on how she turned distrust into determination, frustration into fuel, and heartache into hard work. WorkParty has an accompanying podcast which has featured guests like Kristen Bell, Sophia Bush, Kendra Scott and Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran and was named to Forbes' 21 Podcasts to Listen to in 2021 list

 

HWA NEW

JOANNE LIPMAN

  • CNBC Contributor
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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, 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.

HWA NEW

HELENE COOPER

  • Pulitzer Prize-Winning New York Times Pentagon Correspondent
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Helene Cooper is a Pentagon correspondent with 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 and Schuster), a New York Times best seller 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.

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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, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other national publications, as well as in reports and documentaries for National Public Radio. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and Pushcart Prize Editor’s Choice honoree, she is the author of the highly acclaimed narrative history The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, hailed as a "riveting, nail-biting political thriller" with powerful parallels to today's political environment.

Weiss is a frequent media commentator on the themes of women's political organization and voting rights, with recent interviews on NPR's All Things Considered, CBS Sunday Morning, and PBS American Experience.

Steven Spielberg's Amblin production company is adapting the Woman's Hour for TV, with Hillary Rodham Clinton serving as Executive Producer.

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JOHN BOOCKVAR

  • Main character in Hit Netflix Docuseries Lenox Hill
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Dr. Boockvar is one of the main characters on the hit Netflix docuseries called Lenox Hill (2020). This 8 episode docuseries chronicles the lives of four doctors while they manage the daily stresses of medicine with their personal lives. The show has achieved widespread critical acclaim. Dr. Boockvar is also featured on the special 9th episode called "Pandemic" which details the extraordinary response of the health care heroes of Lenox Hill hospital to the Covid-19 crisis.

Dr. Boockvar is an internationally known brain surgeon who has been repeatedly named to the lists of New York Magazine's Top Docs, New York SuperDoctors , America's Top Surgeons, and America's Best Doctors. His research has been widely published and he has received numerous national awards.

Dr. Boockvar has been featured many times on TV and in print. Of note, he was featured on the Dr. Oz Show, ABC's Nightline, TMZ, CNN, Good Morning America, and the Today Show among others. Dr. Boockvar's work has been featured in the New York TimesWall Street JournalForbesNewsdayNew York Post, and many others. Dr. Boockvar is also an honorary surgeon of the NYPD and the New York State Troopers.

In his speeches, Dr. Boockvar shares timeless principles related to “how to be a hero” in the time of crisis; how to handle extreme stress during adversity; how to achieve work-life balance; and easy tips for basic stress management. Dr. Boockvar’s presentations also include how to utilize grit, flow and mindfulness to optimize peak performance.

HWA NEW

CATHY O'NEIL

  • Big Data Scientist and New York Times Bestselling Author
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Cathy O’Neil is a data skeptic who uncovers the dark secrets of big data.  She 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.  She helps companies understand and mitigate their risks around the algorithms they employ and that are used against them. 

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 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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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, and is also on an advisory board at Audible to help discover new talent. 

HWA NEW

RYAN COOGLER

  • Award-Winning Writer and Director
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Producer, director and screenwriter Ryan Coogler is behind history and headline-making films including Fruitvale Station, Creed, and The Black Panther, the last of which shattered box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by a black director. Named to TIME's "30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing the Word," Coogler's work is not just critically and commercially successful, but has been hailed for celebrating often overlooked cultures and characters and bringing unprecedented diversity to the silver screen. 

Having always harbored a talent for storytelling, Coogler discovered his own passion for filmmaking as a college freshman, and began shooting shorts with his teammates and friends. From winning the Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence at the Tribeca Film Festival for his short Locks, to the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film at Sundance for Fruitvale Station, to three Oscars as director and co-writer for Black Panther, Coogler's work resonates with and empowers audiences worldwide. 

As a speaker, Coogler offers eye- and mind-opening insights on the power of storytelling, racial equality, and innovative approaches to changing the world.

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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.

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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 was seen in the thriller Velvet Buzzsaw, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and starred alongside Jake Gyllenhaal. Diggs was 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 and seen in Netflix’s The Starling.

On television, Diggs can be seen in TNT’s series Snowpiercer opposite Jennifer Connelly and Netflix’s rotoscope series Undone by Raphael Bob-Waksberg. He has also lent his voice the live-action film adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Fox’s Bob’s Burgers, Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, Disney's Soul, and Josh Gad’s Central Park. 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.

HWA NEW

DAVID DOBRIK

  • YouTube Creator With Over 24.5 Million Subscribers Across Two Channels
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David Dobrik is a digital star and TV personality known for making viral content on YouTube. With over 24.5 million subscribers across two YouTube channels and 12.3 million followers on Instagram, Dobrik has mastered the art of quick-cut content. Dobrik has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the Today Show, Live with Kelly & Ryan, Good Morning America, GQ, Wall Street Journal and many others. With his widely popular social media presence and podcast, "Views," Dobrik has elevated himself into international stardom.

Dobrik starred alongside co-judges Ciara and Debbie Gibson, in Nickelodeon's series, America's Most Musical Family in 2019, hosted the Teen Choice Awards and presented at the American Music Awards. David has won Shorty Awards for Vlogger of the Year, Breakout Creator, YouTube Ensemble and Podcast, he's a multi-Streamy Award winner and in 2019, he took home the Kids Choice Award for "Social Star" and the Teen Choice Award for "Choice Web Star: Male."

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

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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CARI CHAMPION

  • Sports Anchor, Journalist, & Host
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CARI CHAMPION has worked across the country covering network news, entertainment, and sports stories of national interest for ABC, CBS, NBC and other cable networks. Champion worked as anchor, sports journalist, and host and spent nearly a decade at ESPN where she served as a SportsCenter anchor and host of ESPN2’s First Take. Champion made history with her move to Vice TV, working alongside co-host Jemele Hill, as the first Black women to host a late-night cable show. Currently, Champion currently hosts the “NFL Next Live” Thursday Night Football live stream alongside former NFL wide-receiver, Andrew Hawkins and  hosts TNT’s studio show, “The Arena.”

In her energizing and uplifting talks, at virtual and in-person events, Cari empowers audiences worldwide with a unique perspective and thoughts on women in the male-dominated world of sports, race, and ethnicity in both sports and media, how to overcome personal and professional adversity.

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NNEKA ONUORAH

  • Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker
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Nneka Onuorah is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, television producer, and activist of Nigerian-American descent. Currently in post-production on a documentary feature commissioned by HBO about the Nigerian underground non-conformist resistance formed in response to the country's outlawing of homosexuality; she is best known for her debut feature, The Same Difference, a documentary about internalized homophobia within the US black lesbian community. The film was nominated for a GLAAD award in the category of “Best Documentary.” Other credits include field producer on the Netflix original docu-series First and Last, about inmates' intake and release from the prison system and My House, a documentary-series about the black queer vogue scene for Viceland. Most recently she worked along side Oscar Nominated Director Dee Rees and Oscar winning producer Cassian Elwes on The Last Thing He Wanted, which premiered at Sundance 2020 and was released by Netflix.

Nneka has a continued commitment to giving a voice to the voiceless through her work on the "Black Girls Rock" awards and her “We are All Women Campaign,” a global visibility campaign dedicated to improving equitable healthcare and housing for lesbian women. 

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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. 

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BRANDON MARSHALL

  • NFL Wide Receiver
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Brandon Marshall is an American football wide receiver who played college football at the University of Central Florida and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. Brandon has also played for the Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, New York Jets, and New York Giants.

As the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of PROJECT 375, Brandon is passionately dedicated to his work in the mental health community. PROJECT 375 is a national non-profit dedicated to unlocking human potential through conversation, education, and inspiration. Brandon believes strongly that football is his platform and his work in the mental health community is his purpose in life. With suicide being the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24, he is dedicated to ensuring youth across the nation receive prevention and early intervention services.

Aside from his work with the foundation, Brandon is an active participant in other mental health organizations such as Child Mind Institute as an ambassador for the Healthy Brain Network. Brandon advocates for the NFL Life Line and McLean Hospital. He has also been a participant in the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C., testifying about mental health issues in our health care system. Marshall also co-hosts First Things First on Fox Sports 1, sharing opinions on each day's top sports stories. 

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LISA GENOVA

  • Bestselling Author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony and upcoming Remember
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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. Her next book Remember, will be released in the Spring of 2021.

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.

 

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HOPE JAHREN

  • Award-Winning Scientist
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Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist and best-selling author who helps us see that science is personal.  She shares her insights from her study of climate change and plants with humor and emotion, helping us see our interconnectedness and interdependence with the world around us.  Her best selling books The Story of More and Lab Girl are favorites of curious readers, and audiences consistently give her speeches rave reviews, such as this ovation from Howard Hughes Medical Institue: "Hope’s entire visit was a HOME RUN for us. She is a wonderfully engaging personality and it was truly a pleasure to have her on our campus. She set a high bar for future presenters."

Jahren has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her PhD at University of California Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University. She is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. She was a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu from 2008 to 2016, where she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories, with support from National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. She currently holds the J. Tuzo Wilson professorship at the University of Oslo, Norway.

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FELICIA DAY

  • Producer, Actress, TV Writer, and Award-Winning Web Series Creator
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Fans of Felicia Day know her as one of their favorite actresses from such shows as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, and as creator of The Guild, the hit web series about gamers. She also founded Geek & Sundry, the self proclaimed geek hub and digital production studio. 

In her talks and bestselling books Embrace Your Weird and You're Never Weird on the Internet, Day's message is about finding your community and unapologetically being yourself. This is one of the reasons why she launched a series on Twitch called WomenR, highlighting diversity among creators in a broad spectrum of entertainment fields so that others, most centrally women and girls, can literally see people like them being successful in the creative tech world.

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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___. Now, she is co-executive producing Netflix's adaptation of Ibram X Kendi's three anti-racism books, which will be a mix of a documentary and scripted features. 

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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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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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. You Never Forget Your First cracked open the scholarship around George Washington and was just named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Books To Read.

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 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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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. 

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KELLY RIPPON

  • Author of Parent Up!: Inspire Your Child to Be Their Best Self
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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. 

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JOHN RICH

  • Multi-Platinum Artist, Singer, Songwriter & Producer for country duo Big & Rich
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John Rich is an American dream chaser. Armed with confidence, ambition and determination, John Rich is a multi-platinum hit generator, lifestyle-brand entrepreneur, and host of The Pursuit! with John Rich on FoxNation. John speaks with authority on entrepreneurism, the music industry, politics, current events, and the importance of family and God.

Whether through a raucous party anthem or a sober reflection on hard times in the heartland, Rich’s ability to capture the American zeitgeist in song has made him one of the most successful and prolific entertainers in the music business today. John is a 3 time consecutive ASCAP Songwriter of the Year winner and has penned over 2,000 songs in his career. In 2011, Rich impressed Donald Trump and American TV audiences with his business acumen and leadership skills, winning NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice and raising $1.5 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Rich is the founder of a national lifestyle brand called "Redneck Riviera" which celebrates 'Work hard, play hard' Americans. The brand boasts a successful national whiskey, Redneck Riviera Whiskey, a beef jerky line and a full-blown honky-tonk on the famed Lower Broadway in Nashville, Tennessee, with several more set to open across the US. The Redneck Riviera brand supports Folds of Honor and has now funded over 100 college scholarships for kids who have lost a parent in combat.

In addition to hosting his own show, Rich makes regular appearances on such top-rated shows such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News Channel’s The Five, Hannity, Fox and Friends and many more.

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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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JUSTIN BALDONI

  • Actor, Director, Producer, Entrepreneur and Changemaker
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Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, producer, entrepreneur, and changemaker whose efforts are focused on creating impactful media and entertainment. As a creative entrepreneur with a mission, Baldoni is the co-founder of Wayfarer Studios, an independent production engine pioneering purpose-driven productions that elevate and speak to the human spirit. He is also the founder of Wayfarer Entertainment, a social impact production company, and founder of Wayfarer Foundation, a non-profit which seeks to change the way communities see and respond to unhoused populations.

Baldoni created the dinner conversation series, Man Enough, which dives into the traditional and modern definitions of masculinity and fatherhood while focusing on topics like body image, relationships, and fatherhood- all of which Baldoni open shared about in his viral TED talk.

Baldoni has made an impact on audiences by lovingly and sincerely portraying courageous, multi-dimensional people with disabilities and illnesses, including his successful and award-winning projects Clouds; People's Choice Award-nominee Five Feet Apart; and My Last Days, an uplifting multi-season documentary series about life as told by courageous people living with terminal illnesses. That show was recognized by the Television Academy Honors as one of the most powerful and impactful television shows that inspired widespread social change.

Baldoni first rose to worldwide fame through his role as “Rafael” on The CW’s award-winning phenomenon Jane the Virgin.

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MARK NEPO

  • NYT Bestselling Author of The Book of Awakening
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With over a million copies sold, Mark Nepo has moved and inspired readers and seekers all over the world with his #1 NYT bestseller The Book of Awakening. Beloved as a poet, teacher, and storyteller, Mark has been called “one of the finest spiritual guides of our time,” “a consummate storyteller,” and “an eloquent spiritual teacher.” His work is widely accessible and used by many and his books have been translated into more than twenty languages. 

A bestselling author, he has published twenty-two books and recorded fifteen audio projects. In 2015, he was given a Life-Achievement Award by AgeNation. In 2016, he was named by Watkins: Mind Body Spirit as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People, and was also chosen as one of OWN’s SuperSoul 100, a group of inspired leaders using their gifts and voices to elevate humanity. And In 2017 Mark became a regular columnist for Spirituality & Health Magazine.

Recent work includes The Book of Soul (St. Martin’s Essentials, 2020); Drinking from the River of Light (Sounds True, 2019) a Nautilus Book Award Winner; More Together Than Alone (Atria, 2018) cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2018; Things That Join the Sea and the Sky (Sounds True, 2017), a Nautilus Book Award Winner; The Way Under the Way: The Place of True Meeting (Sounds True, 2016), a Nautilus Book Award Winner; The One Life We’re Given (Atria) cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2016, Inside the Miracle (Sounds True) selected by Spirituality & Health Magazine as one of the top ten best books of 2015; The Endless Practice (Atria) cited by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2014; and Seven Thousand Ways to Listen (Atria), which won the 2012 Books for a Better Life Award. 

Mark was part of Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Tour in 2014 and has appeared several times with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday program on OWN TV. He has also been interviewed by Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. The Exquisite Risk was listed by Spirituality & Practice as one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2005, calling it “one of the best books we’ve ever read on what it takes to live an authentic life.” Mark devotes his writing and teaching to the journey of inner transformation and the life of relationship. He continues to offer readings, lectures, and retreats. 

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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 of How to Break Up With Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life (Ten Speed Press, 2018), among other books. As a speaker, consultant 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 30 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, 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. 

Her newest book, The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again is being published by the Dial Press. 

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, improve mental health and brain function, reduce burnout, spend more time doing the things that actually matter to them...and have more fun! Her engagements can be customized based on audience size and area of interest, but they are always compelling and actionable, chock-full of what Catherine calls "science-backed self-help."

To learn more about Catherine and her other books and journalistic work, please visit CatherinePrice.com

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GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN

  • Six-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back
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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.

 

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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. 

Refreshingly endearing, Landyn is not only relatable – she’s downright loveable. 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 Landyn launched her lifestyle website, Living with Landyn, she has cultivated a highly engaged audience of women (and men!) that she affectionately refers to as her Tribe.  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. 

A dynamic and beloved speaker, Landyn's live show allows her to connect with her audience directly, quickly transforming followers into friends. From marriage and parenting to health and beauty to interior design and style – there is no topic that Landyn doesn’t cover with her laid back, honest conversation. And through various on-stage segments and giveaways, Landyn makes sure that everyone in the audience is engaged and having fun from the time they arrive until the time they leave. As Landyn always says, “If you’re not excited then you’re not invited!” 

Known for going above and beyond and always being the “hostess with the mostest” Landyn throws a party like no other. Audiences leave feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to make positive choices in their lives. 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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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.

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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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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 writer who reports 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 five 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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KATHERINE EBAN

  • Renowned Investigative Journalist
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Renowned investigative journalist Katherine Eban is a Vanity Fair contributor and Andrew Carnegie fellow. Her articles on pharmaceutical counterfeiting, gun trafficking, and coercive interrogations by the CIA, have won international attention and numerous awards. 

The New York Times bestselling author of two books, Bottle of Lies: the Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom and Dangerous Doses: a True Story of Cops, Counterfeiters and the Contamination of America’s Drug Supply, are both explosive investigative works into the dark side of the pharmaceutical industry. In Bottle of Lies, Eban exposes the deceit behind generic-drug manufacturing—and the attendant risks for global health. Based on a decade of reporting, Eban reveals endemic fraud and dire conditions in an industry where companies routinely falsify data and circumvent safe manufacturing practices to minimize cost and maximize profit. In Dangerous Doses, she exposes the dark side of America's pharmaceutical trade, and how stolen, compromised, and counterfeit medicine increasingly makes its way into a poorly regulated distribution system. 

In her talks Eban addresses pharmaceutical integrity, the production and distribution of generic drugs, and how globalization -- as well as COVID-19 -- impact our supply chain of essential goods. 

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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. 

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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.

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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. 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 explores these issues in her Gravity podcast, and 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. 

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. She completed 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.

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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.

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ABIGAIL POSNER

  • Director, BrandUnit, Google (Humanizing Digital)
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Today’s unprecedented speed of change is forcing companies to pivot like never before and leverage their most innovative assets -- their PEOPLE.  For centuries, our workforce has been focused on specific roles and siloed divisions, but now the path to growth will come by inspiring every employee (from leader to individual contributor) with a new path to bring different, untapped sides of themselves to work, and ultimately become more curious, creative and action-oriented.  This process of creating a more holistic person and organization is what Abigail Posner refers to as expansiveness. Tapping into her Harvard background in social anthropology, as well as her practical application in business through her work at Google, where she pioneers a focus around Humanizing Digital, Abigail provides an inspirational narrative and a roadmap for how people and organizations can embrace a new WHOLE-istic approach to business innovation and growth.

If you are looking to guide people in your organization to embrace more than a siloed vision of their roles, as well as become more vested in using their unique perspectives and skills to be more creative and innovative, then Abigail is the perfect guide to spark novel thinking and lead your people to action. Beyond her role at Google, she is a world-renowned speaker, podcaster, writer, beauty blogger, and lifestyle influencer. From appearances before packed audiences at Lincoln Center and SXSW, to speaking in over 10 countries, Abigail has shared her insights on culture, technology and leadership to audiences of thousands and proves that her own expansive approach to life has infused her work with a creative and innovative edge.

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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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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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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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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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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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

His message of how to extend and amplify our connections across the virtual space is one he's been talking about since well before Covid-19.

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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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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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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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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. 

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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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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.

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BART BANFIELD

  • Superintendent, EPIC Charter Schools
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Bart Banfield is the author of the book Virtual Leadership.  He is also the superintendent of EPIC Charter Schools, the largest public school in the state of Oklahoma, and one of the largest virtual schools in the United States.  Since becoming Oklahoma’s youngest public school superintendent at the age of twenty-seven, Bart has been a pioneer, innovator, and leader in the virtual learning-work environment.  He is an advocate for Educational Reform of America’s public schools.  Bart has been a public school educator for over twenty years and holds a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from East Central University. 

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BRAD MELTZER

  • #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Escape Artist and eleven other bestselling thrillers
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#1 New York Times bestselling political thriller novelist, TV show creator, and comic book author Brad Meltzer is a dynamic speaker with the powerful belief that ordinary people change the world.

Named to The Hollywood Reporter's "25 Most Powerful Authors," Meltzer is behind many bestselling books including, The Inner CircleThe Book of Fate, The Tenth Justice, The First Counsel, The Millionaires, and The President’s Shadow. His newest book is the non-fiction The Lincoln Conspiracy, about the first secret plot to kill Abraham Lincoln. He is also the author of books of advice, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter; Children’s Books, I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln; and even a comic book, Justice League of America, for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.

Meltzer is the the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2, in which he hunts down artifacts, and famously found the missing 9/11 flag the firefighters raised at Ground Zero. He's also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, in which he searches for answers to some of history's most provocative, perplexing mysteries.

Beyond his work in media, Meltzer supports many worthy causes including putting mentors in underserved public schools with City Year, fighting breast cancer with Sharsheret, and serving on the Board of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.

Sought-out to speak everywhere from TED to the Library of Congress, Meltzer provides bold inspiration for us all to dream big and work hard in order to leave our mark, shares lessons on heroism and leadership drawn from his work, and shares a fascinating look into some of the most perplexing and important moments in history. 

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BRIAN HOOK

  • Senior Advisor to three Secretaries of State (Rice, Tillerson, and Pompeo)
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Brian Hook is a veteran diplomat who worked for President George H.W. Bush, President George W. Bush, and President Donald Trump. He was the lead State Department official who negotiated peace agreements between UAE-Israel, Bahrain-Israel, Sudan-Israel, and Morocco, known collectively as the Abraham Peace Accords.  He conducted secret negotiations with Iran in 2019 and 2020 that won the release of two American hostages, and in 2018 he flew to North Korea to bring home three Americans held hostage by Kim Jong-Un.  From 2016-2020, he led the campaign to counter the Iranian regime’s deadly terrorism and pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

Mr. Hook held a number of senior positions in the Bush Administration, including Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations; Senior Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Special Assistant to the President for Policy at the White House, and Counsel in the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department.  He was a corporate lawyer at Hogan & Hartson in Washington from 1999-2003.  His many foreign policy articles have been published by The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and he has been featured by major media outlets around the world for his commentary on international affairs.

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JACQUELINE WOODSON

  • Bestselling Author of more than 30 books for adults, young adults & children
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Jacqueline Woodson is the bestselling author of more than two dozen books for children, young adults and adults. She is a MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellow, the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition given to an author of children’s books, to recognize lifelong achievement. Her books include the New York Times bestselling adult novels Red at the Bone and Another Brooklyn, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. Her memoir-in-verse, Brown Girl Dreaming, considered a modern classic, won the 2014 National Book Award for Children’s Literature. Woodson is a four-time Newbery Honor winner, and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award Winner. She was America’s 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, and the recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children's Literature Legacy Award. Her work has been translated into over 15 foreign languages.

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JANET STOVALL

  • Diversity & Inclusion Pragmatist
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As Senior Client Strategist at NeuroLeadership Institute—a global research firm and cognitive science consultancy—Janet Stovall helps companies replace subjectivity with science to evolve diversity, equity and inclusion practices to be more brain-friendly and human. Her responsibilities range from delivering C-suite briefings and keynote presentations to facilitating workshops and helping develop science-based organizational development solutions for some of the world’s leading corporations.

A popular speaker and workshop facilitator, Janet’s work tackles systemic racism, focuses on understanding the value of diversity, and offers straightforward, objective solutions to unlock that value. Her TED talk challenging business to get serious about inclusion has nearly 2 million views.

Prior to joining NLI, Janet was Senior Director, Social Impact and The UPS Foundation, working to advance UPS’s global philanthropy, social impact and community engagement efforts. She also served as UPS’s DE&I communications lead. Janet joined UPS in 2017 as primary speechwriter for UPS’s CEO and Executive Leadership Team, one of the few Black speechwriters working at the C-level in the FORTUNE 500.

Prior to that, she founded The Point Communications, a marketing communications and PR consultancy, where she developed, implemented, and managed marketing strategies and executive positioning projects for leading U.S. companies, advising, scripting, ghostwriting articles, books and presentations for some of the country’s most influential thought leaders. Her speechwriting and scriptwriting work has garnered numerous awards. 

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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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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.

 

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VAN JONES

  • Political Contributor, CNN
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Van Jones’ honest and poignant social commentary has made him one of the most compelling and powerful public voices in America.  A U.S. media personality, New York Times bestselling author, social entrepreneur, and world-class change maker, his reach transcends age, race, geography and political ideology.

A CNN political contributor, Jones is the host of The Van Jones Showin which he offers his unique take on the future political landscape, and The Redemption Project, which is focused on criminal justice reform. A go-to voice of reason, heralded for his bipartisan, solutions-oriented approach, Jones burst into the American consciousness during the 2016 presidential campaign with an unscripted, truth-telling style and an already established history of bridge-building across party lines.

A longtime progressive activist with deep roots in the conservative South, he has made it his mission to challenge voters and viewers to stand in one another’s shoes and disagree constructively. He pushes people on both the left and the right to be better With experience working with the last four consecutive presidents to sign legislation on issues like prison reform, the green jobs act, and opioid recovery, Jones is a true Washington insider. He is also the author of three New York Times bestselling books, Beyond the Messy Truth, Rebuild the Dream, and The Green Collar Economy. A dynamic speaker sought-out to speak at financial institutions and college campuses alike, he offers unvarnished and future-looking analysis on politics, policy, climate change, and being a change-maker in a complicated world. 

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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."

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LATOSHA BROWN

  • Cofounder Black Voters Matter
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LaTosha Brown is an award-winning organizer, philanthropic consultant, political strategist and jazz singer with over twenty years of experience working in the non-profit and philanthropy sectors on a wide variety of issues related to political empowerment, social justice, economic development, leadership development, wealth creation and civil rights.

She is the co-founder of Black Voters Matter Fund, a power building southern based civic engagement organization that played an instrumental role in the 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate race. Ms. Brown is principal owner of TruthSpeaks Consulting, Inc., a philanthropy advisory consulting firm in Atlanta, GA. For more than 25 years, she has served as a consultant and advisor for individual donors, government, public foundations and private donors.

Throughout her career, Ms. Brown has distinguished herself as a trusted expert and resource in political strategy, rural development and special programming for a number of national and regional philanthropies. She is the founding project director of Grantmakers for Southern Progress.

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AMINATOU SOW

  • Co-host, Call Your Girlfriend Podcast
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Writer, cultural critic, and entrepreneur Aminatou Sow is renowned as co-host of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, which tackles the intricacies of feminism, pop culture and the latest in politics.

A member of the Sundance Institute Director's Advisory Group, and previous head of Social Impact Marketing at Google, Aminatou has been 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. Her book, a TIME's 100 Must-Read Book of 2020, Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close (June 2020), makes the bold and compelling argument that a close friendship is the most influential and important relationship a human life can contain—helping you improve as a person and in your relationships with others.

A passionate public speaker, Aminatou has been sought-out for 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, and has interviewed everyone from Hillary Clinton to Roxane Gay, Kirsten Gillibrand, Ali Raisman, and so many more impressive women. At engagements, Aminatou shares candid insights into female ambition, money and power.

 

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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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PADRAIG HARRINGTON

  • PGA, Ryder Cup & British Open Champion
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Golf champion, Olympian and Ryder Cup Captain Padraig Harrington has a career total of more than 30 victories around the world, and has achieved great distinction in the sport, not only for his scorecard, but also for his work ethic, affability, and dogged determination. As the Irish Times said, "Harrington’s discipline, earning him the reputation as the hardest working player on tour, almost always the last to leave the practice range, stood him well." The New York Times points out that Harrington "Chooses to Believe" and credits his hard work, tenacity and attititude in achieving such high ranks in the sport.

Padraig’s professional career began in 1995, when he secured his European Tour card, shortly before gaining his maiden tour victory at the 1996 Spanish Open after only 10 events as a professional. In 1999 he fulfilled one of his career ambitions, qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team, thus beginning an association with the famous trophy that continues to the present day. Three Major victories in the space of 13 months helped him to reach a career high of third in the World Rankings and earned him the European Tour, PGA Tour and PGA of America Player of the Year awards. In addition, he won the Golf Writers’ trophies on both sides of the Atlantic and the European Tour Shot of the Year. Padraig represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympics.

Padraig is actively involved in many charities including the Special Olympics and cancer awareness. Padraig's father died from oesophageal cancer, an experience that impacted his response to his own skin cancer diagnosis. Padraig now helps to raise awareness about cancer signs and treatments, saying: "When you get a symptom, don't ignore it. Do something about it."

Clune Construction sums up hosts' reaction to an event with Padraig: “We have had the pleasure of engaging Padraig for a number of our corporate events and while his golf was the draw, the highlight on each occasion ended up being his speech presentation and interaction with our clients “

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NATE BOYER

  • Former Active-Duty Green Beret and NFL Player for Seattle Seahawks
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Nate Boyer is what many would deem a renaissance man. The Army Green Beret is also a philanthropist, humanitarian, and former football player for the Texas Longhorns (despite never playing a down of organized football prior to the Special Forces), and later for the Seattle Seahawks becoming the oldest rookie in NFL history at age 34. Being a member of both the military veteran and athlete community, he saw an opportunity to team up both populations to tackle their transition struggles together through his charity Merging Vets & Players (MVP). Boyer's belief that "Anything is Possible" has served him well throughout his life, and has made him especially fit to speak about finding one's passions and living with purpose. Nate currently works in Film and TV as a producer, director, actor, and host. Among several other projects he currently produces and hosts the NFL Network show, INDIVISIBLE, which features NFL players and community leaders across America, discussing issues that are relevant to them, and how they’re solving those problems.

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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, Auriemma 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. 

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ADAM MET

  • 12X Platinum Award-Winning Musician with the band AJR
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Adam Met is an interdisciplinary thinker, performer, humanitarian and academic. He is a 12X platinum award winning musician with the band AJR and completed his BA, MA and will submit his PhD dissertation on Human Rights and Sustainable Development next year. His work with the United Nations has helped to amplify the Sustainable Development Goals and reach millions of people across the world from Gen-Z to millennials and beyond. He is the Executive Director and Founder of Sustainable Partners, Inc. a non-profit organization that develops mutually beneficial philanthropic brand campaigns. Adam works cross-genre and cross-sector, borrowing solutions and practices from music and entertainment, applying them to social activism and vice versa.

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KRISTIN CAVALLARI

  • CEO and Founder, Uncommon James
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Born in Denver, Colorado, the Rocky Mountains couldn’t have predicted what was in store for Kristin Cavallari when she headed west to live with her father and brother in Laguna Beach, CA. Cavallari was in her junior year of high school when the first season of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County began production for MTV. With her whit, charisma and girl next-door looks, Cavallari was an instant TV sensation, winning over audiences across the nation. She was nominated for a Teen Choice Award in 2006 for “Choice Reality Star.”

After wrapping two successful years on MTV’s hit show, Laguna Beach, Cavallari switched gears to focus on a career in acting. From 2006 – 2009 Kristin starred in numerous films like Van Wilder: Freshman Year (2009), Green Flash (2009), Spring Breakdown (2009), and Wild Cherry (2009), starring alongside Amy Poehler, Rumer Willis, and Rob Schneider.

In May of 2009, Cavallari confirmed that she would be joining the cast of the mega-popular MTV reality series, The Hills. Already a smash hit, Kristin appeared in the mid-season finale before continuing on as the reality-drama’s new lead girl and narrator throughout the last two seasons.

After several successful partnership opportunities, Kristin craved the creative freedom and fulfillment of founding her own company and in 2017, Uncommon James was born. Her spring jewelry line for Uncommon James, sold out the first week of releasing. That same week, Kristin debuted her passion project and first cookbook True Roots - filled with hundreds of recipes that are free of refined sugar, dairy free and gluten free. Two days after its release, True Roots hit The New York Times best-seller list – making this Kristin’s second book to receive this honor. 

In 2018, Kristin made her long-awaited return to reality TV with the hit E! docuseries, Very Cavallari. The series followed Kristin as she opened the flagship store and Nashville headquarters of her rapidly growing fashion and lifestyle brand Uncommon James. Throughout the three seasons, the series documented Uncommon James and the brand’s expansion as well as the opening of a Chicago location.

Most recently, Cavallari released her highly-anticipated second cookbook, True Comfort: More Than 100 Cozy Recipes Free of Gluten and Refined Sugar: A Gluten Free Cookbook. This release marks Cavallari’s third book to become a New York Times best-seller. Up next, she’ll open her third Uncommon James store in Dallas in 2021.

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SEKOU KAALUND

  • Managing Director, JP Morgan Chase & Co.
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Sekou Kaalund is a Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and Head of Consumer Banking for the Northeast Division. In this role, Kaalund oversees 1000 branches in five regions with 10,000 employees and over $300 billion in deposits and investments.  

Prior this role, Kaalund launched and was the Head of Advancing Black Pathways (“ABP”), a JPMorgan Chase program created to help Black individuals, families and businesses achieve sustained economic success. Kaalund set bold goals, including hiring 4,000 black students in 5 years, reaching 40% of the goal in less than two years. During his tenure, Kaalund deepened relationships with historically Black Colleges and Universities, and even launched a Hardship Fund to help keep financially distressed students in school, which became critical during COVID19.  He also launched Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, a program to provide access to capital and insights for Black businesses. Kaalund’s success in building ABP led to the firm’s historic $30 billion commitment to closing the racial wealth gap. 

Kaalund has held several leadership positions within J.P. Morgan’s Corporate and Investment Bank —including as Head of U.S. Pension Fund Coverage and as a senior relationship manager for some of the firm’s largest clients. He joined J.P. Morgan in 2007 as Managing Director and Global Head of Sales for Private Equity and Real Estate Fund Services. Kaalund previously held leadership roles at Citi and served as a Commission Bank Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Kaalund currently serves on the board of INROADS, The Public Policy & International Affairs Program, and is a Cabinet Member of Black Entrepreneurs NYC (NYC Department of Small Business Services initiative). He has previously served as a trustee for Duke University’s School of Public Policy, New York City Parks Foundation, and the Council of Urban Professionals. His civic contribution and corporate success have been recognized in several organizations – including in Ebony Magazine’s 2020 Power 100 list for the “Titans of Industry” category and Face2Face Africa’s 2019 “30 Black Stars List.” Kaalund has been featured in numerous publications for his work, including BBC, Forbes, NBC, CNBC, Black EnterpriseEssence, and more.

Kaalund earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Duke University and Bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney College.

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AFUA HIRSCH

  • Award-Winning Writer, Broadcaster and Film Maker on Issues of Race and Equality
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Award-winning writer, broadcaster and film maker Afua Hirsch is known for her work on black culture, history, identity and culture in the African diaspora and worldwide.

A journalist from the age of 14, Afua has been a practising lawyer, a war correspondent, and has written multiple cover stories for Vogue, Time Magazine, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, and the UK Guardian Newspaper.

Afua has worked as a TV correspondent, as social affairs editor and anchor at Sky News, and is currently presenting African Renaissance, a 3 part documentary series for the BBC on African art; Enslaved, a 6 part series for Epix about the history of the transatlantic slave trade with Samuel L Jackson; and a podcast series for Audible. 

In addition to her book Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging - winner of the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Prize - Afua is the author of Equal To Everything, about the UK Supreme Court, and was a judge on last year’s Booker Prize. She is currently the Wallis Annenberg Chair of Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. 

Afua is the founder of Born in Me Productions, which creates scripted and non-scripted movies, TV and podcast. 

She is currently based in London.

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AMNA NAWAZ

  • Peabody and Emmy Award-Winning Broadcast Journalist
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Amna Nawaz joined PBS NewsHour in April 2018 and serves as senior national correspondent and primary substitute anchor.

Prior to joining the NewsHour, Nawaz was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s digital coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as a foreign correspondent at NBC News, reporting from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, and the broader region. She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian America platform, built to elevate the voices of America’s fastest-growing population.

At the NewsHour, Nawaz has reported politics, foreign affairs, education, climate change, culture and sports. Her immigration reporting has taken her to multiple border communities in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexico. She’s investigated the impact of the Trump Administration’s immigration policies, including following the journey of a single toddler as she left her home in Mexico, was separated from her family at the U.S. border, and later reunited with her family several weeks later. She also regularly covers issues around detention, refugees and asylum, and migrant children in U.S. government custody.

Nawaz has interviewed international newsmakers -- including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Brazilian leader Eduardo Bolsonaro; lawmakers and Trump administration officials – including then-ICE Director Mark Morgan’s first interview after President Trump announced mass raids across the U.S., Acting Secretary of DHS Kevin McAleenan, and former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in her first interview since leaving the Trump administration; and influential voices including Reba McEntire, Gloria Estefan, and Dev Patel. Domestically, her reporting has taken her to Appalachia to cover healthcare and the economy, the Pacific Northwest to cover gentrification and discrimination in housing, and communities across the country to take the political pulse of the nation. Internationally, she’s traveled to Brazil to report on climate change from within the Amazon, and the Venezuelan refugee crisis.

In 2019, her reporting as part of a NewsHour series on the global plastic problem was the recipient of a Peabody Award.

While at ABC News, Nawaz reported the documentary, “Roberts County: A Year in the Most Pro-Trump Town,” following four families’ lives over President Trump’s first year in office, and hosted the podcast series, “Uncomfortable,” featuring in-depth, one-on-one conversations with thought leaders on the issues dividing America.

Earlier, at NBC News, her work appeared on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, Dateline NBC, MSNBC, and MSNBC.com. She was NBC’s Islamabad Bureau Chief and Correspondent for several years, and was the first foreign journalist allowed inside North Waziristan, the then-global hub of Al Qaida and the Taliban. She covered the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai, the U.S. raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, and broke news in a series of exclusive reports on the impact of U.S. drone strikes. Nawaz reported for the network’s investigative unit, covering the U.S. housing crisis and the BP oil spill, and also covered the election and inauguration of Barack Obama, the earthquake in Haiti, and Hurricane Katrina.

Nawaz began her career as a Nightline Fellow at ABC News. When the Sept. 11 attacks happened just weeks into her first job, Nawaz was given the opportunity to work on one of the most important news events in recent times, which set the precedent for the rest of her career.

Nawaz has also been honored with an Emmy Award for the NBC News Special “Inside the Obama White House,” a Society for Features Journalism Award, and was a recipient of the International Reporting Project fellowship in 2009.

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WILL HURD

  • U.S. Representative (R-TX) (2015 - 2021)
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Will Hurd is a former member of Congress, cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA. For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress.

After stopping terrorists, preventing Russian spies from stealing our secrets, and putting nuclear weapons proliferators out of business, Will helped build a cybersecurity company that prepared businesses for the next domain of conflict – cyberspace.

While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us. He was able to get more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades – substantive legislation like a national strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Will is a native of San Antonio and earned a Computer Science degree from Texas A&M University. He is growing the US transatlantic partnership with Europe as a trustee of the German Marshall Fund and is serving as a fellow at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

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RACHEL HOLLIS

  • Famed Lifestyle Influencer
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Rachel laid the foundation for her lifestyle brand and media company with the same unfiltered honesty and staunch inclusivity that made her a three-time New York Times bestselling author. Hollis connects with a highly engaged and growing global audience of women who treasure her transparency and optimism.  She is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers, plays host to some of today’s top podcasts, and is a proud mama of four who uses her platform to empower and embolden women around the world.

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STEPHANIE IZARD

  • Award-Winning Chef, Restauranteur, and Entrepreneur
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Stephanie Izard, James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” recipient 2013, and 2011 Food & Wine “Best New Chef,” is the Executive Chef and Owner of four Chicago restaurants, Girl & the Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat and Cabra, along with the forthcoming Girl & the Goat LA.

A 2011 James Beard “Best New Restaurant” nominee, Girl & the Goat has been praised by high-profile publications such as Saveur, New York Times, Food & Wine, Better Homes and Gardens, and others. Little Goat, Stephanie’s highly successful follow-up to Girl & the Goat, encompasses a diner, coffee shop, bakery and bar. In March 2016, Stephanie opened her third restaurant, a Chinese concept called Duck Duck Goat in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. In 2019, Stephanie’s Peruvian-inspired eatery, Cabra Cevicheria, opened on the rooftop of The Hoxton, Chicago.

Izard was awarded the coveted title of “Iron Chef” after winning season 1 of Food Network’s Iron Chef Gauntlet. Additionally, Izard was the first woman to win Bravo’s Top Chef (Season 4/2008) and is the only winner of the original version of the show to take home the title of “Fan Favorite.”

Among other projects, Izard has a product line called “This Little Goat,” consisting of cooking sauces and spice mixes for home cooks and a nationwide meal kit service called “Girl & the Goat by Stephanie Izard” in partnership with Goldbelly. Izard’s first book, Girl in the Kitchen, was released in 2011 and her second book Gather & Graze was released in April 2018.

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EMERIL LAGASSE

  • Famed Chef and Restauranteur
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Chef Emeril Lagasse received his first culinary experience from his mother, Hilda, when he was a boy growing up in the small town of Fall River, Mass. As a teenager, he worked at a Portuguese bakery where he mastered the art of bread and pastry baking. Upon high school graduation, Lagasse was offered a full scholarship to the New England Conservatory of Music, but decided to pursue a career as a professional chef. He earned a degree from the respected culinary fortress, Johnson and Wales University, and later received an honorary doctorate degree from the university. Lagasse then traveled to Paris and Lyon, France, where he polished his skills and learned the art of classic French cuisine. Returning to the United States, Lagasse practiced his art in fine restaurants in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia before heading south to the Big Easy. Lured to New Orleans by Dick and Ella Brennan, Lagasse established his star at their legendary restaurant, Commander's Palace, where he was executive chef for seven and a half years.

Lagasse is now the chef-proprietor of 13 restaurants in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Orlando, Charlotte, and Bethlehem, PA. In 1990, Chef Emeril opened Emeril’s Restaurant in the Warehouse District in downtown New Orleans. Two years later, he opened NOLA Restaurant in the French Quarter. In 1995, Emeril brought his “New New Orleans” cooking to Las Vegas and opened Emeril's New Orleans Fish House, located in the MGM Grand Hotel. In 1998, Lagasse opened Emeril’s Delmonico in New Orleans’ historic Garden District. He opened two restaurants in 1999 including Emeril’s Orlando at Universal Studios CityWalk and Delmonico Steakhouse in the Venetian Resort, Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. In 2003, he opened Tchoup Chop (pronounced chop-chop) at Universal Orlando’s Royal Pacific Resort. In February 2008, he opened Table 10 at The Palazzo in Las Vegas. He opened his first restaurant in the Northeast, Emeril’s Chop House, on May 22, 2009 at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, and Lagasse’s Stadium, a restaurant and sports entertainment venue, opened on September, 25 2009 at The Palazzo. He opened his first-ever burger restaurant, Burgers And More by Emeril, in 2009 at the Sands Bethlehem. In 2011, Lagasse opened his first-ever Italian restaurant, Emeril’s Italian Table, making this the third restaurant by Emeril at the Sands Bethlehem. In January 2012, he opened his newest restaurant, e2 emeril’s eatery, in Charlotte, NC.

The recognition and awards he has garnered have made him known to food-loving Americans everywhere. His restaurants consistently win critical praise and top ratings. Emeril's Restaurant was dubbed "Restaurant of the Year" by John Mariani in Esquire magazine in 1990 and received the coveted Wine Spectator "Grand Award" in 1991. Also in 1991, Lagasse was named "Best Southeast Regional Chef" by the James Beard Foundation. Emeril's Restaurant later earned the prestigious Ivy Award. NOLA achieved the status of "Best New Restaurant" by Esquire magazine in 1993 and has been recognized nationally by Travel & Leisure and Southern Living magazines. His third restaurant, Emeril's New Orleans Fish House, was named “Best Restaurant in Las Vegas" by Zagat. In 2002, Delmonico Steakhouse was named "Best Steakhouse" by Las Vegas Life magazine. In 2004, Delmonico Steakhouse received the Grand Award from Wine Spectator magazine, and has continued to do so each year since. Emeril’s restaurant has received a “Grand Award” from Wine Spectator every year since 2000 for its robust and varied wine list.

Lagasse himself has also received accolades and awards for his culinary expertise. In 1998 he was chosen as "Chef of the Year" by GQ magazine. In 1999, he was named one of People magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of the Year." In 2004, he was chosen as “Executive of the Year” by Restaurants & Institutions magazine. In 2005, he received the “Distinguished Service Award” from Wine Spectator for his significant and long-lasting contributions to the wine industry. In 2006, he was inducted into the MenuMasters Hall of Fame by Nation’s Restaurant News. In 2007, he was named “Restaurateur of the Year” by New Orleans CityBusiness. In 2009, he received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival. For his contributions to the American culinary industry, Lagasse was featured in the 2012 Smithsonian exhibit “Food: Transforming the American Table 1950–2000.” In 2013, Lagasse was named the Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for his dedicated efforts to further the culinary arts in America, as well as his philanthropic work supporting children’s educational programs through the Emeril Lagasse Foundation.

As a national TV personality, he has hosted more than 2,000 shows on the Food Network, and is the food correspondent for ABC’s Good Morning America. He is also the host of Fresh Food Fast and The Originals with Emeril, both airing on Cooking Channel. His latest TV show, Emeril’s Florida, premiered its second season in January 2014 on the Cooking Channel. Lagasse also joined the judges’ table onTop Chef: New Orleans—season 11 of Bravo’s hit food series, Top Chef, and will join TNT’s new reality cooking series, On the Menu, as Menu Master in fall of 2014.

Lagasse is the author of 18 bestselling cookbooks including his first, Emeril’s New New Orleans Cooking, which introduced his creative take on Creole cuisine. His latest cookbook, Cooking with Power, was released in October 2013.

In 2002, Lagasse established the Emeril Lagasse Foundation to support children’s educational programs that inspire and mentor young people through the culinary arts, school food and nutrition, and important life skills programs. Projects funded by the Foundation include an outdoor classroom, gardens, fresh foods cafeteria, and teaching kitchen at Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, an accessible learning kitchen for special needs students at St. Michael Special School, and a culinary learning center for hospitality training for at-risk youth at Café Reconcile. In March 2011, he dedicated the Emeril Lagasse Foundation Culinary Arts Studio, a four-year culinary arts program for high school students with master-apprentice curriculum, at New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. Each fall, the foundation hosts two fundraisers: Boudin, Bourbon and Beer, and its primary fundraiser, Carnivale du Vin, which has consistently ranked among the “Top Ten U.S. Charity Wine Auctions” in Wine Spectator magazine. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $5.5 million to children’s causes in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and on the Gulf Coast.

Lagasse’s restaurant company, Emeril's Homebase, is located in New Orleans and houses restaurant operations, a culinary test kitchen for cookbook and recipe development, and a boutique store for his signature products.

Emeril Lagasse joined the Martha Stewart family of brands in 2008; Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (NYSE: MSO) acquired the assets related to Lagasse’s media and merchandising business, including television programming, cookbooks, the Emerils.com website, and his licensed kitchen and food products.

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GRANGER SMITH

  • Award-Winning Country Music Singer-Songwriter
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The power of music has always been in Granger Smith’s hands, even when he didn’t know it. When people need hope, his songs inspires it. When people are in a tough spot, he shows them a way out. When people are looking for purpose, he is proof that sometimes purpose finds you.

After the kind of year Smith had -- we all had -- he decided to let his music do the healing. Not just for himself, but for anyone who needs to hear songs that let them know they’re not alone on whatever road they’re taking. This new batch of music from the born-and-bred Texan initially started back in early 2019. Smith was writing and creating and prepping for his 10th studio album, when all of those plans abruptly came to a halt.

“The vision for this music collection was just starting to come together. I had about six songs ready to record, and had booked a Nashville studio for June 5, 2019. And then we lost Riv the night of June 4,” Smith recalls of the tragic nigh the and his wife Amber lost their 3-year-old son River in a drowning accident at their Texas home. “Everything stopped. The album wasn’t just on hold. It didn’t even cross my mind.”

But after several months of mourning, he was visiting his parents, sitting on their front porch just outside of Waco, and listening to the song he’d written earlier that year with Chris DeStefano, Bradley Rempel and Jon Nite. “That’s Why I Love Dirt Roads” was one of the songs he’d been planning to record on June 5.

“It started hitting me in a different way. It had taken on new meaning,” he says. “That was what I wanted people to hear me say. So when we started playing shows again, I was using that song to recalibrate my life,” he says. “You can relate life to a dirt road in a lot of ways: sometimes it’s beat up, broken, scattered and washed out, and you don’t always know what’s around the next curve, but you take that road anyway. That’s what makes it beautiful.”

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RYAN TANNEHILL

  • Pro-Bowl NFL Quarterback for the Tennessee Titans
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Ryan Tannehill is a current Pro-Bowl NFL Quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

Following an exceptional high school career in Big Spring, TX, Tannehill committed to Texas A&M. Tannehill’s collegiate career began in earnest as a record-setting wide receiver in 2008, before ultimately making the switch back to his natural position of quarterback in 2010. He shattered the program single-game passing record in his first start against Texas Tech and made his mark with victories against Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas. Tannehill concluded his Texas A&M career with a total of 5,450 passing yards and 42 touchdown passes in nearly two full seasons as quarterback.

In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins selected Tannehill with the 8th overall pick, becoming the first quarterback selected by the Dolphins in the first round since Dan Marino in 1983. In his rookie season, Tannehill set franchise rookie records for passing yards, attempts, and completions. Following seven years in Miami, Ryan was traded to the Tennessee Titans prior to the 2020 season.

During his first season in Tennessee, Ryan took over at the helm after six games and reinvigorated the Titans franchise, leading the team to a 7-3 record and a wild card berth in the 2019-20 NFL playoffs. Tannehill went on to lead the Titans to the AFC Championship after impressive victories over defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the top seeded Baltimore Ravens. Ryan accumulated a NFL-best 117.5 passer rating, a 70.3 percent completion percentage, an NFL-high 9.6 yards per attempt. To cap off the monumental season, Ryan was named to the Pro Bowl and awarded the 2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

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BOB STOOPS

  • Former Head Football Coach, University of Oklahoma
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The winningest coach in Oklahoma history, Bob Stoops has become synonymous with success as he firmly etched his indelible stamp upon college football. Stoops is the former legendary head football coach at the University of Oklahoma, a position he held from 1999 until he announced his retirement June 7, 2017.

In his 18 years as head coach of the Sooners, no head coach in school history produced more victories than Stoops. Stoops accumulated an impressive home winning streak of 39 consecutive games from 2005 to 2011. He also has the most wins of the decade of any BCS school. Stoops is one of four coaches to win over 100 games at the University of Oklahoma, reaching the feat faster than any coach in college football history. Add it all up, and it’s easy to see why ESPN the Magazine in 2012 named Oklahoma the top college football program of the BCS era.

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KELTIE KNIGHT

  • Co-Host of Entertainment Tonight
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Keltie Knight is an Emmy Award winning television personality and Entertainment Tonight host. She has co-anchored CBS’s broadcasting of national events such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Grammy Awards Red Carpet.

Knight was able to combine her entertainment and entrepreneurial expertise into a podcast she co-created and co-hosts, The LadyGang. Since its inception in 2015, the popular podcast has boasted almost 100 million downloads, making it one of the most popular podcasts for women in the world. The show has been nominated for a Webby award, a People’s Choice award and in 2016 was named 'Podcast of the Year'. LadyGang has been featured on the Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, People magazine and on Entertainment Weekly’s coveted "must list.”

The LadyGang's first book Act Like a Lady became a New York Times instant bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, an Amazon best pick of the month, and a Toronto Star bestseller in Canada. Knight recently collaborated on their first fashion collection nationwide with Express, and in 2018 E! aired 16 episodes of the TV version of the podcast with Knight serving as star and executive producer.

What began as a movement to help women feel less alone, by offering content that was unapologetic, unfiltered, and very real, has grown in the millions and become a powerhouse media brand that has also partnered with major brands including Disney, Netflix, Anheuser-Busch, Vogue, and Chanel.

Knight is frequently seen contributing on The Talk, CNN, HLN, and and as a moderator for Vanity Fair. With best dressed mentions in Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Us Weekly, People Stylewatch and The New York Times, it’s no surprise Project Runway invited her to be a guest presenter.

As passionate as she is about media, she is just as dedicated to service. Knight has a long history in philanthropy, working with groups like the Humane Society and the Beagle Freedom Project. She helped raise over $300,000 for the National MS Society as a part of the team, BeatMS, and nearly 1 million dollars throughout her years hosting the Circle of Hope/ Dancers Against Cancer Charity Gala.

Known for her quick wit and fearless personality, she’s interviewed the biggest stars in the world including Oprah, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence. Harry Styles kissed her twice. Pharrell Williams deemed her “…a spirited journalist and a star.” 

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JIMMY BUTLER

  • 5-time NBA All-Star
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Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat is a 5-time NBA All-Star and a 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist who was the 30th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. Originally from Tomball, Texas, Butler (31) attended Marquette University and won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2015 as a member of the Chicago Bulls. Jimmy is a 4-time All Defensive Team selection, and a 3-time All NBA honoree. 
 
Butler’s vast off-the court interests and passions include traveling, listening to country music, coffee, soccer, fashion and playing dominoes with his friends and family. He also enjoys wine tasting, cooking and working out. 
 
Jimmy is widely regarded as one of the hardest working, most fit, self-made players in the entire NBA. His popular YouTube page has 640K + subscribers while his Instagram page has nearly 6M followers. 

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SARA EVANS

  • Multi-Platinum Country Recording Artist
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Multi-platinum entertainer Sara Evans is at the top of her game. As one of the top five most-played female artist on country radio in the last two decades, she has five No. 1 singles including “No Place That Far,” “Suds In The Bucket, “A Real Fine Place To Start,” “Born to Fly,” and “A Little Bit Stronger,” which spent 2 weeks in the top spot and was certified platinum by the R.I.A.A. She has garnered such honors as ACM's Female Vocalist of the Year, CMA's Video of the Year, named one of People Magazine's ""50 Most Beautiful People,"" and the first country star to compete in ABC's Dancing with the Stars.

Sara continues to forge a bold, creative path with the launch of her label Born to Fly Records, and as the bestselling author of her memoir Born to Fly, as well as a series of entertaining novels.  Those who know Sara as a storyteller through music connect with her personal and humorous stories in Born to Fly, in which she tells the narrative about her life and how faith and music brought her through some of her darkest hours.

Sara has been honored for her philanthropic work and was presented the NAB Education Foundation’s Service To America Leadership Award. A Red Cross ambassador, Sara received the national Crystal Cross award for her work with the disaster-relief organization.

Sara is praised for her humorous, real and inspiring talks in which she reminds us of the important things that matter: faith, love and family.

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JANA KRAMER

  • Actress and Recording Artist
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Jana Kramer is an actress, ACM award-winning country music singer and a New York Times best-selling author. Known by her fans for her honesty and willingness to be vulnerable, Kramer and her husband Mike Caussin launched the award-winning iHeartRadio podcast "Whine Down with Jana and Mike" where they share advice and chat about everything from motherhood, relationships, and beyond. Together they wrote their New York Times best-seller, The Good Fight: Wanting to Leave, Choosing to Stay, and the Powerful Practice for Loving Faithfully. Kramer is also an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Moms and Babes Box, a premium subscription-based gift box service for new mothers.

In her speeches, Kramer shares honest and relatable insights from lessons learned, sometimes through pain and tears, but always in faith. 

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PAMELA BROWN

  • CNN Anchor and Senior Washington Correspondent
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Senior Washington correspondent Pamela Brown currently anchors the weekend primetime edition of CNN Newsroom based in Washington, DC. Most recently, Brown covered President Donald Trump and his administration for all of the network's programs and platforms. Brown previously served as the network's Justice and Supreme Court correspondent covering law enforcement, as well as issues related to the Department of Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

See some of Pamela's recent reporting as White House Correspondent >>

Known for her journalistic tenacity, Brown inspires audiences to advocate for themselves and stay the course when someone tries to shake them off. She also shares her experience covering Trump's White House during both of her pregnancies, and how she's learned to mix motherhood with her demanding career.

Brown shares a deep empathy with those who struggle with Alzheimers and those who care for them. She speaks with audiences about her grandmother's Alzheimers journey and the impact it had on her family, as well as poignant lessons learned along the way about love, grief and caregiving.

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KWAME ALEXANDER

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author, Poet, and Educator
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Kwame Alexander is the New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, a regular contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, and the Founding Editor of VERSIFY, a publishing imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt whose mission is to "Change the World One Word at a Time.”

Twice long-listed for the National Book Award, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including The Newbery Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, the Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award, The Dominion Energy Strong Men and Women of Virginia, and the Penn State Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award. 

He has appeared in or on: The Today Show, Comedy Central, BET, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Parade Magazine, and ESPN’s TheUndefeated.com. He has delivered hundreds of keynote speeches for corporations, educational institutions, commencements, and annual organization conferences such as Hallmark, Writer’s Digest, Teachers College Columbia University, and The International Literacy Association. 

Kwame has led cultural exchange delegations to Brazil, Italy, Singapore, and Ghana, where he built the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded.

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LEAH MCSWEENEY

  • Famed Streetwear Pioneer, Female Entrepreneur, Cultural Provocateur, Influencer
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Leah McSweeney is a streetwear pioneer, female entrepreneur, cultural provocateur, influencer, and mother living in New York City. Leah became notorious in New York City for launching Married to the Mob in 2004, one of the first streetwear brands for women, by women. For Leah, MOB was a direct response to the male domination of the streetwear scene at that time, and she set out to prove that women could not only establish themselves as innovators, designers and influencers in the arena, but as consumers as well. She successfully brokered exclusive partnerships for MOB with some of the world’s most desirable brands, like Kangol, KRINK, Colette, Reebok, Burton, and Nike to make MOB a cult classic brand. This summer, Leah and her business partner, Chanel West Coast, launched LOL Cartel, a boutique streetwear brand with a carefully curated lookbook and a large following. 

When she wasn't building fashion empires, Leah brought her strong female voice and viewpoint to debates about pop culture, feminism, and sex as and advice columnist for Penthouse magazine and the co-cost of the popular podcast, Improper Etiquette, as well as a contributor to Hypebae and Mass Appeal. As Leah continues to advocate for female empowerment, street culture and creative entrepreneurship, she also leans into lifestyle topics like health, fitness, and breaking the stigma around mental health. Leah is currently raising her 12-year-old daughter in New York City and starring on the reality show Real Housewives of New York City since 2020.

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WENDELL POTTER

  • Insurance Co. Insider Turned Investigative Journalist and Health Care Advocate
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Wendell Potter is one of the most recognized whistleblowers and advocates for health care reform in the United States. Dubbed the “Daniel Ellsberg of corporate America,” he is the only former health care executive to testify before Congress against his former industry, and one of the news media’s most-cited sources for coverage of American health care access, coverage, and affordability. His voice was instrumental to passage of the Affordable Care Act, and has been a leading voice advocating for greater health care reforms to provide affordable care and coverage to Americans. He regularly collaborates on projects with elected officials and other national health care thought leaders.

In his speeches, Potter offers among the freshest and most insightful analysis available of the U.S health care system. His ability to articulate how large insurance companies have come to control every facet of the health care marketplace is regularly cited in publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, MSNBC and numerous other outlets. His level of understanding of American health insurance companies, one of the largest and most important industries in the world, is unique in its level of inside insight into how insurers play their game.

He is the author several bestsellers, including Nation on the Take and Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. 

Potter has spoken to numerous physician groups about how insurers interrupt the doctor-patient relationship, and has spoken to groups focused on the social determinants of health and value-based care. He is regularly sought after by groups that seek to explore ways to expand insurance coverage, to lower deductibles and co-pays, to counter anti-health reform propaganda, and to increase the control doctors have over patient care. His counsel has also been sought by groups of attorneys seeking insight into how to obtain justice for clients foiled by an insurance company, and by large employers paying exorbitant sums to carriers.

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KEVIN GRIFFIN

  • Singer, Songwriter, and Producer
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Better Than Ezra frontman Kevin Griffin has produced, written, and co-written albums and songs that have sold in excess of 30 million copies.

He's always been connected to his fans, who have loyally supported his robust touring schedule, and most recently helped him raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in Covid relief with his “Alone Together” living room concerts streamed via Facebook Live. Concurrently, the Better Than Ezra foundation has raised more than $2 million for charities, many of which are devoted to children and the arts around New Orleans.

Griffin has produced and written songs performed and recorded by artists such as Taylor Swift, Train, Sugarland, Barenaked Ladies, Christina Perri and James Blunt among others. He scored a #1 hit in 2005 with Howie Day's "Collide." In 2010, Griffin had Sugarland's #1 Country hit, "Stuck Like Glue" which became the 11th most downloaded country music song of all time. Recently, Kevin teamed up with fellow songwriter Sam Hollander to form Band of Merrymakers, a rotating-cast Yuletide super group featuring today’s biggest artists such as Fitz and the Tantrums, Natasha Bedingfield, and Neon Trees. In 2015 the group released their Sony debut album “Welcome to Our Christmas Party” with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Grammy’s MusiCares Foundation®. Christmas 2015 saw them performing on the Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! and NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center for the tree lighting ceremony.

Griffin made his professional debut in 1995 as the singer and songwriter for New Orleans based band Better Than Ezra. Their debut record, Deluxe, went double-platinum fueled in part by the success of the #1 Modern Rock track “Good.” The band's follow up record, Friction Baby, went Gold and contained two Top 10 Modern Rock tracks followed by another Top 10 Hit in 2001 with the single “Extra Ordinary.” In 2005, Better Than Ezra had a Top 10 hit with "Juicy". In 2010, their song, “Breathless,” was covered by Taylor Swift at the Hope for Haiti telethon and during her worldwide tour. In 2014 BTE released their eighth studio album All Together Now which secured a Top 30 song with lead single “Crazy Lucky.” Better Than Ezra continue to tour around the world.

In addition to songwriting and performing, Griffin is involved in artist management, publishing, lectures on the subject of keeping a creative edge to groups and companies such as Live Nation, Novation, WhichWich and YPO/WPO, and this fall will be an adjunct professor and writer-in-residence at NYU’s Clive Davis School of Music. He is a founder and partner along with Justin Timberlake in Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival which is a two-day event located in Franklin, TN. After its inaugural year, Rolling Stone commented that Pilgrimage had “an A-list lineup (arguably the best curated of the year)” and “established itself as a festival to watch.”

Griffin currently lives and works in Franklin, TN.

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JACQUELINE SANDERLIN

  • Fearless Empowerment Speaker, Accomplished Educator, and Leadership Guru Committed to the Success of Urban School Communities
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Dr. Jacqueline L. Sanderlin (Dr. Jackie) is an accomplished educator, empowerment speaker, and leadership guru whose commitment to urban school-communities has led to dramatic improvements in some of Southern California’s toughest schools! She is the author of The Why Not Challenge: Say Yes to Success with School-Community Partnerships. Her passion and expertise for community partnerships is unparalleled! She has been able to forge sustainable partnerships with over 350+ corporations and local businesses with under-served schools. In addition, she has trained numerous educational and corporate teams about best practices for successful community partnerships. In a time of such vitriol and division, Dr. Jackie has been outspoken about her “Why not?” message, which is to build community, unity, equity and partnerships. She believes there is no better time than now to build unity!

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ERIC NAM

  • Korean American pop superstar, entrepreneur, and podcast host
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Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Eric is a multi-faceted Korean American singer, songwriter, entertainer, and host. He is one of the most popular and recognizable celebrities in Asia and has been named GQ Korea’s Man of the Year, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia, and YouTube’s Artist Trending On The Rise.

Fluent in English, Korean, Spanish, proficient in Mandarin, and with millions of fans around the world, Eric is the most extensively touring solo Asian act across the major continents. 

Nam's highly-anticipated album The Other Side, is a phenomenon, and he hosts three podcasts, I Think You’re Dope, K-Pop Daebak Show, and Commit or Quit, and has a vision to establish himself as an Asian American on-camera talent with a voice he hopes will captivate his millennial-focused audience. He is passionate about social impact, philanthropy, and diverse representation across the media landscape.

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DANIEL CORMIER

  • Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight UFC World Championship
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Daniel is one of the most decorated fighters in UFC history. A former two-division world champion, DC held the heavyweight and light heavyweight world championships simultaneously. He is also an accomplished Olympian and former All-American at Oklahoma State.

Cormier is the head wrestling coach at Gilroy High School, having been appointed in the summer of 2018. Cormier made his film debut in 2014, playing himself in the 2014 comedy Mantervention. In February 2015, Cormier starred in the videoclip All About That Cake, a parody of All About That Bass, to promote the 2015 World MMA Awards. In January 2018, he was featured on an episode of Sneaker Shopping on the YouTube channel Complex.

In February 2019 he featured in "Sub-Zero's Head Shatter", the first episode of the YouTube series "The Science of Mortal Kombat" by Because Science. Cormier is known for being a dedicated fan of the New Orleans Saints and professional wrestling.

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CATHERINE COLEMAN FLOWERS

  • Internationally Recognized Advocate for the Human Right to Water and Sanitation
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Catherine Coleman Flowers, an internationally recognized advocate for equal access to water and sanitation for all communities, engages and informs audiences on environmental justice and climate change.

A 2020 MacArthur Fellow in Environmental Health, Flowers founded CREEJ, the Center for Rural Enterprise and Environmental Justice, which focuses on reducing health and economic disparities among communities, as well as improving access to clean air, water, and soil in marginalized rural communities. In addition, she serves as Rural Development Manager for the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), is a Senior Fellow for the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and sits on the Board of Directors for the Climate Reality Project and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Flowers served on the Biden-Sanders Unity Climate Task Force to inform policy making discussions in preparation for the 2020 presidential election.

As the author of Waste: One Woman’s Fight Against America’s Dirty Secret, Flowers shares her inspiring story of advocacy, from childhood to environmental justice champion. She discusses sanitation and its combination with systemic class, racial, and geographic prejudice that affects people across the United States.

Whether addressing equal access to water, the effects of climate change on different communities, or the effect of history on today's inequities, Flowers' lens of leadership in environmental justice and climate change inspires attendees with tangible solutions and ways to take action. Thought-provoking and informative, Flowers’ talks have left lasting impressions at Duke University, Georgetown University, Wheaton University, and more.

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MISSY FRANKLIN

  • 5-Time Olympic Gold Medalist
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Missy Franklin, who was raised in Centennial, Colorado began swimming competitively at the age of five and competed in her first international event at the age of 14. In 2011, she established herself as one of the top swimmers in the world when she won five medals – three of them gold – at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai.

At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Franklin won four gold medals and one bronze medal. Franklin’s performance in the 200-meter backstroke broke the world record in the event and also marked the first time that an American had won the event in 40 years.

She followed her Olympic success by winning six gold medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona, becoming the most decorated female swimmer in history at a single World Championships. In 2014, Touch the Wall, a documentary following her life and preparation for the Olympics, was released with two thumbs up from swimmers and non-swimmers alike.

A member of the U.S. National Team, Franklin competed at UC-Berkeley before turning professional. While there, she earned four individual NCAA titles and helped Cal win the 2015 NCAA Women’s Division I Swimming and Diving Team Championship. She was also awarded the 2015 Collegiate Woman of the Year and awarded the Honda Cup for her collegiate athletic achievements. Following the 2015 World Championships in Russia, Franklin owns more World Championship titles than any female swimmer in history.

Recognized for her bright smile and engaging personality, Franklin has been named “World Swimmer of the Year" and "American Swimmer of the Year" by Swimming World Magazine and earned the ESPY for Best Female Olympian in 2013 and Best Female College Athlete in 2015.

Franklin brought home another gold medal from the 2016 Rio Olympics for her performance in the 4 x 200 relay. After recently finishing her degree in psychology with a minor in education at The University of Georgia, she moved back to her beloved home state of CO. She currently resides in Denver with her husband, Hayes, and their Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Ollie.

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JESSIE JAMES DECKER

  • Singer, Songwriter, and TV Personality
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Jessie James Decker is a dynamo who takes her fans along for the ride.  She is a singer, songwriter, TV personality, fashion designer of Kittenish, beauty and lifestyle entrepreneur, and New York Times bestselling author. She's an unstoppable force of talent and energy, and fans love to connect with Jessie through her brands and music.

Signed to Warner Music Nashville, Jessie’s passion for music has made the multi-talented artist one of music’s true breakout firebrands. The singer’s authentic style immediately captivated listeners everywhere on her 2009 self-titled debut. She continued to keep it real with her second studio album, 2017’s Southern Girl City Lights, which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.  She's the host of several tv shows, not to mention New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest.

She founded the Eric and Jessie James Decker Foundation with her husband, which strives to positively impact the lives of the United States military service members, veterans and animals. As part of the foundation, Deckers Dogs, helps fund the rescue, care, and training for military service dogs.

Decker’s first book, the New York Times Bestseller Just Jessie, is her guide to love, life, family and food. In Just Feed Me Jessie shares her the favorite recipes of her family - her husband, retired NFL player Eric Decker, and their three children.

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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.

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CAM

  • Award-Winning Singer, Songwriter
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Cam writes music to tell the truth, especially truths that help women understand themselves. The GRAMMY®-nominated artist has released music that is brazen, bold and transcends genre boundaries as seen through songs like the viral fame of “Diane” and the breakthrough debut of her double-platinum hit, “Burning House.” “Burning House” garnered Cam multiple award nods and to date, is the most-downloaded song by a female country artist since 2015. Along with joining international superstar Sam Smith on the North American leg of his “Thrill of It All Tour” this Summer, Cam has shared the stage with artists like Harry Styles, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, George Strait, Alicia Keys, Eric Church, Smokey Robinson and others.

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MICHELE TAFOYA

  • Emmy Award-Winning Sports Reporter
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Three-time Emmy Award winner Michele Tafoya joined the NBC Sports Group in 2011 as a sideline reporter for Sunday Night Football after more than a decade at ABC/ESPN, where she saw her profile rise steadily since 2000 through a variety of on-air roles, most notably as a reporter for Monday Night Football and ABC’s coverage of the NBA Championships. Tafoya is a part of NBC’s Olympic coverage and has served as the sideline reporter for NBC's coverage of Super Bowl XLVI, XLIX, LII, and ABC’s coverage of Super Bowl XL.

After serving as the sideline reporter for ABC Sports' Monday Night Football for two seasons (2004-05), Tafoya joined ESPN's Monday Night Football in 2006. In the fall of 2008, Tafoya made the difficult decision to step down from her NBA reporter role to spend more time with her family.

Tafoya previously hosted The Michele Tafoya Show on WCCO News Radio 830 AM in Minneapolis-St. Paul. Prior to ABC/ESPN, Tafoya worked for CBS Sports from 1994-2000 as a game reporter and studio host for NFL, college football and college basketball telecasts. She hosted CBS' NCAA Tournament selection show, Goodwill Games and U.S. Open coverage, as well as CBS's late-night Winter Olympics programs. She was also a WNBA commentator on Lifetime from 1997-99, for which she won The American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award for “Outstanding Achievement by an Individual On-Air TV Personality.”  She would later win the same award for her sideline work on Sunday Night Football.

Early in her career, Tafoya worked as a host and Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter for KFAN-AM in Minneapolis and also served as a Minnesota Timberwolves host and sideline reporter for the Midwest Sports Channel. She spent three years at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis as a sports anchor and reporter from 1995 to 1998.

A native of Manhattan Beach, California, Tafoya graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree, with honors, in mass communications.  She also earned her master's degree in business administration from the University of Southern California. The Davie-Brown Index ranked Tafoya among the most likeable TV sports personalities, including “Biggest Trend-Setter.”

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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

CANDACE PARKER

  • WNBA Champion, WNBA Finals MVP & Two-Time WNBA MVP
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As one of the most decorated women’s basketball players of all-time and a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Candace Parker has already solidified herself as one of the most influential athletes of this generation. Both on and off the court, Parker has continued to build a legacy that she hopes will inspire others to break through glass-ceilings as she has. Off the court, she serves as the lone female sports analyst and commentator for Turner and also co-hosts the Ledlow & Parker Podcast. Candace continues to show the world her incredible ability to balance her life both on and off the court, while undoubtedly continuing to aspire for greatness in all aspects of the world around her.

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BECKY HAMMON

  • Assistant Coach for the San Antonio Spurs
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After an outstanding college and professional basketball career, including two Olympic appearances, Becky made history in 2014 when she became the first woman to coach full-time in the NBA when the San Antonio Spurs brought her into a leadership role as assistant coach. She made history again as the the first woman head coach to lead an NBA team in a regular season game when head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected in the second quarter of a Spurs game. 

As she describes her fascinating journey to the NBA, Becky reveals vital leadership lessons for building credibility and respect. Considered an underdog for most of her career, Becky’s enthralling tale features her rise from undrafted rookie in the WBNA to being named one of the league’s Top 15 Players of All-Time.

Becky’s presentations are uniquely personal, as she shares her perspective on what it means to be the first female coach in a men’s league. As she urges participants to pursue their dreams relentlessly and to stand up for what they believe, audiences embrace her forward-looking vision and learn to see every day as a gift with innumerable possibilities. 

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TREY EDMUNDS

  • NFL Running Back & Full Back, Pittsburgh Steelers
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“Setbacks only create new opportunities.” - Trey Edmunds

Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Ferrell “Trey” Edmunds is the ultimate embodiment of these words. The oldest of the three Edmunds boys, Trey paved the way and set a standard of unyielding work ethic and drive for his younger brothers, Terrell (Pittsburgh Steelers, Safety) and Tremaine (Buffalo Bills, Linebacker).

Having suffered multiple career halting injuries during college ball, Trey’s journey to the NFL was far from easy. Despite neither being drafted nor a priority free-agent signing in 2017, Trey never faltered, kept pushing, and maintained positivity. His grit and determination would eventually overpower the setbacks, landing him a spot on the Saints 53-man roster…where he would play in all 18 games.

Trey’s ability to defy the odds time and time again is a testament to his character and is a beautiful reminder that success begins with belief in oneself. Trey’s ability to inspire, motivate, and unify his family and teammates through his own journey has made him an indispensable team member and leader.

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MORGAN DEBAUN

  • Founder and CEO of Blavity Inc.
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Morgan DeBaun made history at the age of 25 as one of the first Black women to raise over a million dollars in venture funding. As Founder & CEO of Blavity Inc., the leading media company for Black culture and millennials, Morgan has spent years mastering the challenges that face all growing companies: funding, acquisition, and scaling, and sharing her insight to help other entrepreneurs thrive. A keen business mind and brilliant innovator, Morgan knows how to adapt, pivot, and defy the odds while building teams that lead with purpose.

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TYLER OAKLEY

  • LGBTQ+ Vlogger & Influencer
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Tyler Oakley is an independent creator on YouTube, one of the largest digital platforms to date. With over 7.5M+ subscribers on YouTube and over 23M+ across his social media platforms, he has been established as one of the most influential LGBTQ+ vloggers and is an A-Lister in the digital age. Tyler’s videos are hilarious, engaging, and unapologetically personal. With an undying love for all things pop culture, his quick wit, and an innate sassiness, Tyler is immediately lovable and undeniably viral. Tyler and his best friend Korey Kuhl launched Psychobabble, a weekly podcast discussing "unfiltered gossip" and untold stories and it has gone to number one in the iTunes podcast chart, while the duo also placed 3rd on season 28 of The Amazing Race. He also completed 30 stops of his international Slumber Party themed tour, was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 11 consecutive weeks for his book Binge, and released his much anticipated documentary, SNERVOUS.

Among his many accomplishments, Tyler has been a consultant for both the President and the First Lady of the United States on using digital platforms to connect with youth, raised over $1M for The Trevor Project, has been nominated and won Teen Choice Awards, Streamy Awards, Shorty Awards, and a Webby! With extensive experience hosting red carpets (i.e., Grammy Awards, the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, Kids Choice Awards, mtvU Fandom Awards), and hosting award shows (The Streamy Awards), he's got plenty of behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories to share. Tyler was also named one of Time Magazine’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet, was considered one of Time Magazine's Next Generation Leaders, and was included in The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Digital Stars list two years in a row and on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list & OUT Magazine's Power 50 list.

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MELISSA KING

  • Winner and Fan Favorite of Top Chef: All Stars
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Known for her technical precision and ability to blend modern California cuisine with Asian flavors, Chef Melissa King is a proud Chinese American and queer chef who is also creative and entrepreneurial outside of the kitchen. Chef King is best known as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All Stars: Los Angeles Season 17 and is also the winner of All Star’s Fan Favorite. With over 15 years in the industry, Chef King has helmed several Michelin starred kitchens in San Francisco and is acclaimed around the world.

As a proud Asian-American, queer woman, Chef King is passionate about cultural inclusivity, media representation, environmental sustainability, and social justice. Most notably, she donated her $10,000 Fan Favorite prize money in support of marginalized Black, Asian and LGBTQI communities, and she continues to support them through active work, help raising awareness, and funding through her entrepreneurial ventures.

Chef King is also a food entrepreneur with a passion for partnerships, and has created ice cream and sauces that sell out in minutes.  She’s the face of IMB Research's 5 in 5 series, focused on 5 innovations that will change our lives within 5 years.  She’s called on as a creative consultant for companies around the world

HWA NEW

GUS KENWORTHY

  • Freestyle Skier and Olympic Silver Medalist
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Gus Kenworthy is one of a kind, not only for his skiing, but also for his personality, determination, advocacy, and heart. Born in Chelmsford, Essex, UK, Gus’ family moved to Telluride, Colorado when he was 2 and began skiing shortly after. He picked up his first sponsor at the age of 16, and he continues to push the sport and establish new boundaries. His dedication to his craft established him as one of the top park skiers in the world, and one of a select few athletes that consistently makes the podium in slopestyle, halfpipe and big air events.

At the age of 22, Gus earned the privilege of representing the United States in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, proudly bringing home the Silver medal in Slopestyle. After the city of Sochi decided to kill stray dogs during the 2014 Olympics, Gus arranged for four stray puppies and their mother to come back to the United States. Drawing attention to the plight of rescue animals, Gus became an activist and advocate for the well-being of dogs, partnering with Humane Society International. In 2015 Gus made the bold and courageous decision to come out as an openly gay man. Never one to shy away from the camera or his fans, he chose the cover of ESPN magazine as the vehicle to deliver the news and received widespread support, love and praise for the choice to reveal his true self. In South Korea in 2018, he went on to make history as one of the only two openly gay men ever to compete for the United States at the Winter Olympics. Prior to his qualifying run for slopestyle, Gus kissed his boyfriend on camera, immortalizing it as the “kiss seen round the world,” an iconic moment for the global LGBTQ and sport communities alike. Gus transitioned into his new role seamlessly, using his fame to bring to light issues he is passionate about. No stranger to activism, Gus participated in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride, a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and more than tripled their previous individual fundraising record by raising over $250,000 in donations for the organization that year. He also works with the Trevor Project in an effort to prevent suicide in LGBTQ youth, along with the Happy Hippie Foundation aiding homeless and LGBTQ kids.

Gus’s versatility as a public figure is unlimited. In 2019, he made his acting debut on “American Horror Story: 1984,” the wildly popular horror show is in its ninth season. Beyond his athletic prowess, Gus has become a symbol of hope and acceptance, transcending boundaries and overcoming obstacles, proving to be a one of a kind icon. Gus’s talent has no bounds, through his success as an Olympic medalist in skiing, his efforts in activism, and overall star power, Gus Kenworthy has established himself as a global icon.

HWA NEW

DEEPICA MUTYALA

  • Founder & CEO of LIVE TINTED
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Deepica Mutyala is the founder & CEO of LIVE TINTED and a renowned South-Asian American beauty entrepreneur with a dedicated following. On a mission to change beauty standards, the focus of her platform aims to dismantle colorism, while encouraging her followers to advocate for and love themselves. Her effectiveness and passion have been recognized by O: The Oprah Magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, VOGUE and more. 

Since rising to the forefront of the beauty industry after her 2015 YouTube video “How to Cover Dark Under Eye Circles” (currently 10.9 million views) went viral, Deepica landed appearances on Today and Dr. Oz. Following this success, she created the multicultural digital community LIVE TINTED, bringing attention to those underrepresented in media. In the past year, Deepica has transformed LIVE TINTED into its own award-winning beauty brand, offering a growing range of multi-use products that are inclusive, clean, cruelty-free and vegan.

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CHAD SANDERS

  • Creator. Writer. Entrepreneur.
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Chad is a former tech entrepreneur turned writer and creator. Chad started his career at Google working around the world from Silicon Valley to New York to London, then took on the role of head of expansion for a tech startup that was later bought by Kaplan. But Chad felt marginalized racially, and creatively starved in corporate America. With no industry connections or experience, he quit his job in technology and started his writing career from scratch. Sanders wrote about his experience in his book, Black Magic: What Black Leaders Learned From Trauma and Triumph, where he combined his story with other Black leaders across industries. He’s sold TV series and movies and books and Op-Eds to giants like Universal, Viacom, The New York Times and Simon & Schuster. He’s collaborated with people like Morgan Freeman, Spike Lee, Kevin Hart and Will Packer. He has been touted as a writer by Brene Brown and Angie Martinez and Shea Serrano. He combines the spirit, voice, and vision of an honest, unsparing writer with the strategy and execution of a scrappy, hungry entrepreneur.

Chad will relay to your audience how and why his career took off when he embraced, instead of trying to hide or water down, his identity as a Black man and a creative.

HWA NEW

TAYLOR ROOKS

  • Sports Journalist, Anchor & Interviewer
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Taylor Rooks is an acclaimed sports journalist and interviewer whose probing questions give rise to some of today's most pressing discussions beyond the game.  She hosts the "Take It There With Taylor Rooks" interview show for Bleacher Report, among other duties for Turner Sports. 

A New York Times profile of Taylor praised her for conducting some of the N.B.A.'s most impactful interviews during her two months living inside the NBA bubble during the COVID season.  She is able to read the moment and the player to get at the emotions behind the game. "Taylor Rooks gets the interviews that go viral," praises the New York Times.

Previously, she worked as a host, reporter, and correspondent for the Big Ten Network and as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports Network. A native of Georgia, Taylor attended the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, where she majored in broadcast journalism and reported on football and basketball recruiting for scout.com. She made national news with her stories and knowledge of basketball—specifically in recruiting. Rooks broke multiple stories regarding Cliff Alexander, Jalen Brunson, Quentin Snider, Aaron Jordan, Charles Matthews, and Jayson Tatum.

Taylor comes from a family of athletes. Her father is former football player Thomas Rooks, while her uncle is legendary MLB Hall of Famer, Lou Brock. Taylor is also the niece of former Pittsburgh Steelers and New Orleans Saints NFL player, Marv Woodson.

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MJ ACOSTA-RUIZ

  • Emmy Award-Winning Sportscaster
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MJ Acosta-Ruiz is the host of NFL Total Access on the NFL Network. Acosta-Ruiz is the first ever Afro-Latina and woman of color to host a show at the NFL Network. Fully bilingual in English and Spanish, she also contributes across multiple platforms for NFL Mexico & NFL Español.

In her nearly decade long career, the Emmy Award-winning journalist continues her work as an advocate for representation and equality. MJ works closely with women’s empowerment groups such as A Seat at the Table, and is dedicated the amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. 

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MICHAEL SMITH

  • Co-founder of Inflection Point Entertainment
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Michael is one of the sports industry’s most versatile, creative, and accomplished storytellers. He’s currently the co-host of the new Peacock show, “Brother From Another.” In 15 years at ESPN, he served in a variety of roles and worked across all of the network’s platforms – including as a reporter, commentator, host, and anchor. Respected from locker rooms to owners’ boxes and beyond, Smith brings a long list of both sports and entertainment industry relationships throughout his stellar 20-year career in media. Prior to joining ESPN, Michael was a reporter for the Boston Globe, serving as the paper’s NFL and New England Patriots beat writer.

Michael began his journalism career while a student at Loyola University in his hometown of New Orleans, serving as a sports reporter and copy editor for the New Orleans Times-Picayune and sports columnist for the award-winning Loyola Maroon. Michael received his BS in mass communication from Loyola in 2001. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and three children. Michael is a member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.

HWA NEW

JEMAR TISBY

  • Founder and CEO of The Witness, Inc.
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Dynamic, significant, and prophetic, Jemar Tisby is a public historian with the ability to explore racial justice solutions and cultural conversations that compel listeners to action. Tisby brings history to bear with contemporary relevance. His style provides audiences with richly-informed explorations, unflinching moral insight, and clear paths forward.

He is the founder and CEO of The Witness Inc, an organization dedicated to Black uplift from a Christian perspective. He is also the co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast, which got nearly half a million downloads in 2020, and has spoken nation-wide at conferences. In addition to his books, The Color of Compromise—a New York Times bestseller—and How to fight Racism, his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, and The Atlantic.

Tisby is currently a PhD candidate in History at the University of Mississippi studying race, religion, and social movements in the twentieth century.

HWA NEW

ISHA SESAY

  • Peabody Award-Winning Journalist
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Seasoned and award-winning journalist Isha Sesay has covered global events and major breaking news of the past decade, with a focus on stories of social injustice and their impact on women and girls. Of Sierra Leonean descent, Sesay grew up in Britain and holds a B.A. honors English degree from Trinity College, Cambridge University.

After graduating, she joined the BBC as a researcher, then moved to Sky Sports News, where she hosted Good Morning Sports Fans. In 2005, she joined CNN International as an anchor and correspondent. As part of her anchoring and reporting duties, Sesay’s impressive roster of interviews include numerous global leaders - the Prime Ministers of Kenya and Australia, as well as the Presidents of Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone, and a host of newsmakers including Nancy Pelosi, David Beckham, Bill Gates, Bono, Richard Branson, Matt Damon, Michelle Obama, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates - Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai, Leymeh Gbowee, and Denis Mukwege.

Reporting from Nigeria in 2014, Sesay led the CNN team that covered the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. CNN’s in-depth reporting was recognized with a Peabody Award. Sesay was awarded a Gracie Award for Outstanding Anchor for her coverage of this story, in addition to other accolades during her tenure at CNN.

Sesay is also the Founder, and President of W.E. (Women Everywhere) Can Lead, a non-profit organization working in her native country of Sierra Leone, to nurture and empower teenage girls to become Africa’s next generation of dynamic female leaders. 

Sesay’s definitive account and first book, Beneath the Tamarind Tree: A Story of Courage, Family, and the Lost Schoolgirls of Boko Haram (Dey Street Books) published in July 2019. The paperback edition of the book was released in April of 2020. She lives in Los Angeles.

 

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CHESLIE KRYST

  • Miss USA 2019
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A powerful and versatile speaker, Cheslie Kryst first gained national attention after delivering memorable answers to onstage questions asked during the Miss USA 2019 Competition. Her responses about #MeToo, #TimesUp, and millennials helped her to win the title and become the first practicing attorney to be crowned Miss USA.

Before becoming Miss USA, Cheslie worked full time as a complex civil litigation attorney and also served as counsel, pro bono, for clients serving excessive time for low-level drug offenses. She spoke frequently about criminal justice reform and women’s empowerment during her reign as Miss USA and also spent her year advocating for organizations including Dress for Success,  Smile Train, Best Buddies, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Cheslie’s work as a correspondent for the nationally broadcast entertainment news show, Extra TV, sharpens her ability to captivate a wide range of audiences. She regularly interviews some of entertainment's biggest names, such as Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Henry Golding and Lizzo to name a few.

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JAQUEL KNIGHT

  • Director
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JaQuel Knight is a director, creative director, entrepreneur and critically acclaimed, award-winning celebrity choreographer known for creating some of the most memorable moments in dance and entertainment history. His rise to global recognition came at the age of 18, when he created the choreography for Beyonce’s iconic “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).”  A song that has since accumulated over 789 million views on YouTube.  Since then, Knight has spent over a decade architecting the images of music’s brightest stars all while creating opportunity for other artists. Most recently, JaQuel lent his creative expertise to culture-shifting projects such as Beyonce’s Disney +’s “Black Is King,” film, the Shakira Super Bowl Halftime performance with Jennifer Lopez, and Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” video. Additionally, artists ranging from pop legends like Cher and Britney Spears, to singer-songwriter stars like The Chicks, Miley Cyrus, Pink, Zara Larsson, Victoria Monét and Ben Platt, to hip-hop powerhouses like Pharrell, N*E*R*D, Big Sean and Jay-Z, enlist the help of JaQuel to utilize his impeccable vision and ability to innovate groundbreaking concepts that the world has never seen before. As a director, JaQuel has brought numerous other projects to the forefront including Pharrell’s John Lewis tribute for Oprah and Zara Larsson’s 2020 EMA performance.  JaQuel is also the man behind Beyoncé’s history making 2018 Coachella performance, featured in Netflix’s Homecoming documentary film.

Most recently, JaQuel has served as a creative director for all things Megan Thee Stallion in 2020, First it was her electrifying performance for the 2020 BET Awards, which designated her as the industry’s newest it-girl and catapulted her into newfound stardom, then Megan’s BET Awards, not to mention, his vision for the powerful SNL performance, along with her amazing AMA performance and coming soon Apple concert. To cap off an incredibly busy year, JaQuel garnered the COVER of the prominent Billboard Magazine, being named the first choreographer ever to make the cover. JaQuel has even more exciting directing projects underway: a dance film co-produced by an A-List star as well as several TV Shows in development for JaQuel to star in and produce. In 2020, JaQuel also launched Knight Choreography and Music Publishing where he and his manager work to ensure that choreographers and songwriters receive royalties for their compositions and generate opportunities for those compositions to be performed and reproduced. 

In 2013, JaQuel launched his own production company, J.K. Creatives, Inc. Based in Los Angeles, the company oversees artists, songwriters, and producers, and produces music videos & short films. J.K. Creatives houses its own media department, where Knight creates and develops content for TV, film, and digital, from scripted features to non-scripted competitions and series.

Aside from his work, JaQuel operates his eponymous non-profit organization, The JaQuel Knight Foundation, targeting community focused initiatives aimed to build, uplift and inspire the next generation of artists. Through the foundation, JaQuel brings grants, scholarships and events to underrepresented groups throughout the globe. Most recently, JaQuel and his foundation partnered with various dancer relief organizations across the nation to launch The JaQuel Knight Dancers’ Relief Fund, providing grants and meals to dancers and creatives whose lives and work were impacted by the pandemic.

Born in North Carolina and raised in Atlanta, JaQuel currently resides in Los Angeles, where he continues to develop and innovate creative ideas for music’s brightest stars, the next generation of artists, and beyond.

HWA NEW

EDEN GRINSHPAN

  • Chef and Television Personality
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Eden Grinshpan graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in London with the "Grande Diplome" in both Pastry and Cuisine. After graduating she went to India to volunteer with different organizations, one of them being an orphanage called Ramanas Garden. There she came up with the idea of raising money for the orphanage by re-opening their café, which had not been in operation for some time.

After returning to New York City, Eden enrolled in a management program at The Institute of Culinary Education before working at the bakery, Babycakes. Eden is the co-owner of EthNicitY Productions and was the host of Eden Eats and Log on and Eat With Eden Grinshpan on the Cooking Channel, a traveling show in which she ventured across the U.S. visiting food bloggers, YouTube sensations, and tweeters to find out their favorite dining spots. Eden has been a guest co-host alongside Nick Lachey on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz. She has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Men’s Health, Los Angeles Times, The New York Daily News, Eater, Glamour, Well & Good, and more. Eden just released her first cookbook with Clarkson Potter called EATING OUT LOUD and is the current host of Top Chef Canada. 

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IDDRIS SANDU

  • Social Application Technologist
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Iddris Sandu is an architectural technologist who has revolutionized the convergence of entertainment and technology. Learning how to code at the age of 13, Sandu has consulted for some of the biggest tech companies in the world like Google, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. In high school, he received a commendation certificate from President Obama. Iddris conceived the world’s first smart retail experience, The Marathon Store, with the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, designed an album cover for Kanye West, gave a TedTalk, and conceived a high-tech parking meter with the City of Inglewood. His mission now is to bridge the divide between the tech industry and minority communities, and to bring good design to everyday objects that don’t have the same appeal as aspirational gadgets and products.

Sought out to speak everywhere from TED to ComplexCon, Iddris speaks on variety of topics like the culture of design, how people interact with their environment through tech, and the democratization of technology in Africa and in urban neighborhoods around the US. As a multi-hyphenate, Sandu defies the laws of the tech mogul typecast. As an architect, he learns how to apply technology to societal structures through app development, product design and industrial engineering.

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MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER

  • Rapper & Songwriter
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Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, is a Grammy-award winning rapper, businessman and activist. He is one half of the hip hop duo, Run the Jewels, host of the Netflix series, “Trigger Warning with Killer Mike,” and co-owner along with Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris of famed Atlanta restaurant, Bankhead Seafood. 

A native of Atlanta, Render made his musical debut on “Snappin’ and Trappin’” from OutKast’s 2000 LP Stankonia, and later appeared on the Grammy-award winning song “The Whole World,” from Outkast’s greatest hits album. He has since released five full-length albums as a solo artist and four albums for Run the Jewels. His fourth album was released on June 5.

Render was raised in the Adamsville/Collier Heights neighborhood on the Northwest side of Atlanta. He began organizing at the age of 15 and made a name for himself as an activist well before he recorded a single song. In addition to advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana, and restorative justice programs for young people, Render has worked locally with the anti-violence organization, Black Teens for Advancement and the Atlanta/Fulton Commission on Children and Youth through its Kids 4 a Change program.

A fierce advocate for black businesses, in July 2016, Render used his considerable influence to urge citizens to move their money to Black-owned banks. The Bank Black program is estimated to have moved more than $60 million to black-owned banking institutions. He was later presented with the James E. Young Visionary Leadership Award by the National Bankers Association for his impact.

It would be easy for someone of Render’s stature to focus exclusively on his career, but Render believes service to the community is the rent he pays for existing. Through his SWAG Shop barbershops, which he co-owns with his wife, he’s held back-to-school events offering free haircuts, braids, and school supplies for Atlanta children.

He has also used his platform to champion a love for the arts. His commitment to arts and culture was recognized recently when he was appointed to a three-year term for the prestigious High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

The pride of Atlanta, the city dubbed an $11.6 million boring machine, “Driller Mike,” in his honor. He was named to NME's "The Ten People Who Defined 2020" list for his powerful lyrics and activism, his album, RTJ4, made Variety's "Best Albums of 2020" list alongside Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, and he was named as the recipient of 2020's Billboard Change Maker Award.

Of all his roles and responsibilities, recognition and celebration, Mike is most proud to be called “husband” to Shana, and “father” to two sons and two daughters.

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ANDREW REA

  • Chef & YouTube Personality of Babish's Culinary Universe
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Andrew Rea is the creator and star of the hit YouTube show, Binging with Babish. Despite only being online since 2016, the show has an astounding 4.8 million fans and counting, making it one of the most popular web-based cooking shows of all time. New videos routinely receive 1 to 3 million views, with some being watched a staggering 12 million times. He is one part chef, one part filmmaker, and a generous dash of irreverent YouTube personality. His passion for teaching and experimenting in the kitchen is rivaled only by his love of film and television, both of which he endeavors to share from his New York City kitchen. Rea is also the author of Eat What You Watch and the New York Times Bestseller, Binging With Babish.

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RIZ AHMED

  • Award-winning actor, writer, producer, musician, and director
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Emmy award winner Riz Ahmed is a critically acclaimed actor, writer, producer, musician, director and activist.

Best known as the star of the explosively successful "The Night Of" on HBO, for which Ahmed became the first man of  Asian descent to win an acting award at the Emmys, Ahmed has graced the cover of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People.”

As Riz MC, Ahmed came up in the London music scene as a rap battle champion, going on to write and perform both as a solo artist and with his band, Swet Shop Boy. A vocal activist and advocate, Ahmed has raised awareness and funds for Rohinya and Syrian refugees, and his award-winning piece in the Nikesh Shukla–edited collection of essays, The Good Immigrant, has been dubbed “essential reading.” 

Ahmed has been sought-out to speak everywhere from the British Parliament’s House of Common,  where he was an invited guest to speak on  diversity, to the BBC, where he’s spoken on harmful stereotypes and representation. He provides powerful remarks on diversity and inclusion, combating negative stereotypes, and harnessing creativity for good.

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KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON

  • U.S. Senator from Texas (1993-2013)
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Kay Bailey Hutchison is a business woman and public servant with more than 40 years of experience in the public and private sectors. She served in the U.S. Senate for 20 years, representing the state of Texas. She served in the Senate leadership, having first been elected Vice-Chairman of the Republican Conference and later elected Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth-highest ranking Republican Senator. In 2017, she became the permanent Representative of the United States to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, where she was responsible for holding the alliance together and mapping out a strategy for how the United States works with Russia and China specifically in the world in general. Forbes magazine ranked her one of the world's 100 most powerful women.

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MARCUS BUCKINGHAM

  • New York Times Best-Selling Author, Researcher, and Founder of the Strengths Revolution
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Marcus Buckingham is a global researcher and thought leader focused on unlocking strengths, increasing performance and pioneering the future of how people work.

Building on nearly two decades of experience as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization, he currently guides the vision of ADP Research Institute as Head and Talent Expert. He founded The Marcus Buckingham Company in 2006 with a clear mission: to instigate a “strengths  revolution.” It started, as all revolutions do, with the simplest of ideas: that when people spend the majority of each day on the job using their greatest talents and engaged in their favorite tasks, basically doing exactly what they want to do, both they and their organizations will win.

In other words, companies that focus on cultivating employees’ strengths rather than simply improving on people’s weaknesses stand to dramatically increase efficiency and productivity while allowing for maximum personal growth.

In all of his speeches, Marcus demonstrates the correlation between strengths-driven, engaged employees and business fundamentals such as turnover rates, customer satisfaction, profits, and productivity. Challenging entrenched preconceptions about achievement to get to the core of what drives success, Marcus’s strengths-based approach is a win/win scenario that, without exaggeration, will define the future of work.

In his compelling presentations, Marcus Buckingham helps leaders focus on what’s most important for their team right now as Covid-19 shifts us all to a new reality. He breaks down 5 Things All Leaders Should be Doing Today, and his Lead from Strength Virtual Series dives into how individuals and teams can use their strengths to build resilience, connection and confidence. 

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NATHANIEL RU

  • Co-Founder & Co-CEO of sweetgreen
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Nathaniel Ru is Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer of sweetgreen, a company with a mission to connect people to the future of real food.  Nathaniel and his co-founders launched sweetgreen in 2007, opening their first location in Washington, D.C., just three months out of college. Together, they are dedicated to creating intimacy at scale with a focus on a transparent supply chain, a foundation of technology and investment in local communities. Today sweetgreen has grown to over 90 locations with over 4,000 team members nationally.

Nathaniel has been recognized as a key innovator in food and business, named to Forbes “Next 50 CMO’s,” Ad Age ’s “40 under 40,” Fast Company ’s “Most Creative People in Business”, and Forbes’ “30 Under 30”. 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, Nathaniel graduated from Georgetown University, where he met fellow sweetgreen co-founders, Nicolas Jammet and Jonathan Neman. 

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HANNAH BEACHLER

  • Academy Award-Winning Production Designer, Black Panther
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Hannah Beachler made history when she became the first African American to be nominated, and to win, an Academy Award in 2019 for Production Design for her work on the Marvel Superhero film Black Panther, directed by her long-time collaborator Ryan Coogler. Most recently she designed Kill Switch with Academy Award winning director Steven Soderbergh, and Dark Waters, with Academy Award nominated director Todd Haynes. Hannah designed Beyoncé’s stunning visual concept album Lemonade and earned a 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Production Design for A Variety Nonfiction, a 2017 Peabody for her work on the Visual Album, and took home the 2017 Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for Awards or Event Special. She joined the singer again in 2018 to design the interstitials for Beyonce and Jay-Z’s mega tour OTRII. In 2019 Hannah was named one of Fast Company’s "100 Most Creative People in Business," Marie Claire Magazine’s "50 New Guard," Elle Magazine’s "2019 Women In Hollywood’s Power List," and InStyle’s "50 Badass Women List." For her work on Black Panther, Hannah was named Ellevate’s 2019 International Woman of Change and received the Critic’s Choice Award, Hollywood Film Awards, Latino Entertainment Journalists Association Film Awards, Music City Film Critics’ Association Award et al.

In 2016 Hannah collaborated with director Barry Jenkins on the 2017 Best Picture Oscar-winning film, Moonlight, a coming-of-age tale that transcends traditional genre boundaries. The film was named one of the top 25 movies of the 21st century by The New York Times. She also Designed Don Cheadle’s Directorial Debut feature film Miles Ahead, Sundance Film Festival Audience and Jury Award winning film Fruitvale Station, her first collaboration with Director Ryan Coogler. In 2015 Hannah designed Creed, Coogler’s sophomore feature file, the story of Apollo Creed’s legacy. She has been the keynote speaker for tech, automotive and architecture firms all over the world, such as Google, Ford’s “World Symposium”, Detroit CityLab, The PGAV, UX Week 2018, MoMa NYC, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, United Nations African Descendants, and given Master Class’ in Production Design at the 55th Chicago International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.

Collaborators include: Academy Award Winning Director Steven Soderbergh, Academy Award-nominated directors Todd Haynes, and Dee Rees, Grammy and Emmy-nominated directors Khalil Joseph and Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Academy Award-nominated cinematographers Ed Lachman, Rodrigo Prieto, and prolific cinematographers Maryse Alberti and Malik Sayeed; and legendary Academy Award-winning costume designers Ruth Carter, and Colleen Atwood.

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JAMES BLAKE

  • American Tennis Legend
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James Blake inspired the world during an epic tennis career that featured 10 singles titles and a Davis Cup Championship. He is the author of two New York Times Best Sellers Ways of Grace: Stories of Activism, Adversity, and How Sports Can Bring Us Together and Breaking Back. In his speeches, he discusses the important issues of the day and the path ahead for a more inclusive, diverse and happier America.

James turned pro in 1999 while he was the #1 collegiate player at Harvard University. In 2004, James overcame a potential career ending injury and a case of the shingles that temporarily left his face paralyzed and blurred his vision. Just one year later, James climbed from outside of the top 200 in the ATP rankings to his career highest ranking of #4.

In memory of his father who lost a battle stomach cancer in 2004, James created the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Cancer Research Fund at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and holds an annual celebrity tennis and entertainment event, Serving for a Cure, to raise funds for cancer research and prevention.

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FOLAKE OLOWOFOYEKU

  • Actress in the CBS Hit Comedy 'Bob Hearts Abishola'
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Nigerian-born actress Folake Olowofoyeku has won the ❤️ of critics and audiences alike with her title role in the CBS half-hour comedy Bob ❤️ Abishola. In this comedic examination of immigrant life in America from a creative team led by Chuck Lorre (The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men), a middle-aged, divorced medical sock salesman (Billy Gardell) from Detroit suffers a heart attack and falls for his cardiac nurse (Folake), an immigrant from Nigeria and young single mom. “Olowofoyeku bewitches as the delightfully gruff and straightforward Abishola,” applauds the Hollywood Reporter, recognizing the “surprising level of nuance” in the series which renders it “nothing short of groundbreaking.”  Audiences seem to agree, tuning in to make it one of the highest rated among the network’s series. 

She received the 2019 Breakout Actress in TV Award for her work on the series on behalf of the Sync Con Honors. Her additional television credits include a recurring role on Transparent and guest roles on The Gifted, Modern Family, How to Get Away with Murder, Westworld, Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, among others.

Olowofoyeku’s feature film credits include When They Could Fly, which earned her a Best Actress award at the prestigious ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto, Central & Broadway, for which she won Best Actress in a Fashion Film at the CinéFashion Film Awards, Female Fight Club, The Bride, The Child Within and Hellbenders-3D, among others.

As a voiceover artist, Olowofoyeku voiced the Priestess on the video game “Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series – Episode 1.” Olowofoyeku’s other passion is music – she sings, plays guitar and piano and enjoys DJing. In 2019, she released her single, “Happy, Happy (Money Dun Come)” under the moniker ‘Fọlákẹ́’.

Olowofoyeku grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and spent time in London. Her native language is Yoruba. Growing up in Nigeria, the youngest of twenty children, Folake always dreamt of being in the arts, a dream that went squarely against the wishes of her parents, Chief Babatunji and Chief Mrs. Felicia Olowofoyeku, who insisted on the family profession of law and politics. During a summer vacation in New York City, unbeknownst to her family, Folake began to pursue her goal as a student at City College of New York, where she would earn her B.A. with honors in theatre and a diploma in Audio Engineering from The Institute of Audio Research (IAR), also distinguishing herself on the basketball court where she competed with CCNY's Beavers in the NCAA. She subsequently moved to Los Angeles to earn success in the film and television industry.

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STEVEN T. MNUCHIN

  • 77th Secretary of the Treasury (2017-2021)
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Steven Terner Mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th Secretary of the Treasury on February 13, 2017.

As Secretary, Mr. Mnuchin was responsible for the U.S. Treasury, whose mission is to maintain a strong economy, foster economic growth, and create job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable prosperity at home and abroad. He was also responsible for strengthening national security by combating economic threats and protecting our financial system, as well as managing the U.S. Government’s finances.

Secretary Mnuchin played a pivotal role in advancing the Administration’s economic agenda, including the passage and implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and the bipartisan CARES ACTs . He also led the Treasury Department’s regulatory reform efforts. Secretary Mnuchin chaired the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and was a member of the National Security Council. He was responsible for using economic tools to combat terrorist financing and other threats to the United States and our allies.

Prior to his confirmation he also served as Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Dune Capital Management. He founded OneWest Bank Group LLC and served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer until its sale to CIT Group Inc. Earlier in his career, Secretary Mnuchin worked at The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. where he was a Partner and served as Chief Information Officer. He has extensive experience in global financial markets and investments.