HWA connects you with people who are actively engaged in changing the world. These fresh voices add new perspective and insight to today's most important conversations.
Give us a call to chat about these HWA New Speakers for a timely, buzz-worthy, straight-from-the-headlines event.
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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's on the Board Diversity Action Alliance, leading an effort to support diversity on corporate boards, and has recently shared her insights on leadership and inclusion on CNBC, CNN, and Bloomberg. 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.
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, A 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 chaos; delivered a virtual talk on how to hone an infinite mindset; regularly delivers live online classes, and more.
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.
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.
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 Jazz, helping 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alex Rodriguez invests in world-class startups and partners with leading global companies across a variety of industries. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14 x MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), for more than 25 years, Alex has led a team of experts building high-growth businesses and enhancing the value of more than 30 companies in the A-Rod Corp portfolio.
Alex founded A-Rod Corp in 1995, purchasing a duplex apartment on the theory that investing his MLB earnings wisely would protect him from the kinds off financial struggles that afflict too many professional athletes. While he racked up extraordinary stats on the field (696 homeruns 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, 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.
In addition to leading A-Rod Corp., Alex is CEO of Slam Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) with Antara Capital Chairman Himanshu Gulati as equal partner. Slam Corp is seeking to acquire a leader in the sports, media, entertainment, or health and wellness sectors, with compelling technology-enabling growth opportunities.
Alex is the co-founder and a board member of JLo Beauty, the global skincare company launched in 2021. He leads the fast-growing organization with Jennifer Lopez, overseeing operations and the executive leadership team.
Alex is also an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been a judge and invest or 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.
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.
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.
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.
Dan Schulman is focused on democratizing the global financial services system and improving the financial health of people, families, and businesses around the world. With extensive experience in payments, e-commerce and mobile technology, Dan is leading PayPal to empower people in their financial lives and reimagine how merchants can continually strengthen their businesses. Under Dan’s leadership, PayPal has been named as one of the top companies on JUST Capital and Forbes’ JUST 100 list, featuring “companies doing right by America.” PayPal has also been recognized as a Fortune Change the World company for its work to tackle the biggest challenges facing society today and named to Morning Consult's "Most Trusted Brands" list.
Dan has frequently been recognized by Fortune as one of the "Top 20 Businesspersons of the Year." He has also been named one of the "Top 100 Most Creative People" by Fast Company and, in 2019, he was named one of Glassdoor's "Top 50 CEOs." In addition, he has been recognized as one of the "Top 10 Most Innovative CEOs in Banking. " Dan’s leadership and impact have been recognized by several notable organizations. The New York Urban League presented Dan with the 2021 Frederick Douglass Award, in recognition of his commitment, dedication, and influence to advance the rights of generations of underserved Black Americans. In 2020, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights honored him with the Ripple of Hope Award, which recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to social change and a passion for equality, justice and basic human rights.
Dan previously served as Group President at American Express. Prior to joining American Express, Dan was President of the Prepaid Group at Sprint Nextel Corporation following its acquisition of Virgin Mobile USA, Inc., where he led the company as its founding CEO for eight years. Earlier in his career, Dan was President and CEO of Priceline Group, Inc., where he led the company through a period of rapid growth and expansion.
Dan is actively involved in the World Economic Forum, as a member of the International Business Council, and the Board of Governors and Board of Stewards for the Future of Financial & Monetary Systems platform. Dan is a Director of Verizon Communications, Inc. and he also serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Roundtable.
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.
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.
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 A 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.
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.
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.
With 7 Grand Slam titles, 5 Wimbledon championships and 4 Olympic gold medals, tennis champion 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.
Williams is the Founder of V Starr, a full-service commercial and residential design firm, which recently announced their partnership with Airbnb partner, Niido to design their first-ever apartment complex. In 2012 she launched the fashion-forward activewear brand, EleVen by Venus Williams. In May 2020, Venus partnered with Credo Beauty to debut an award-winning line of clean, mineral-based SPF products under the EleVen by Venus umbrella, which recently expanded with their Perfect Form Lip Balms SPF 15 earlier this year. Her entrepreneurship in the health, wellness and beauty space also includes her role as Chief Brand Officer to Asutra and in December 2020, Williams launched her plant-based protein company, Happy Viking.
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 most recently, she launched an awareness initiative called the #PrivilegeTax in conjunction with EleVen to bring attention to the wage inequality and unveiled a platform of resources for young women to get inspired and address the issue on a grassroots level.
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’s “10 Comics To Watch For 2020” and Vulture Magazine’s “The 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Theory, E.R., CSI, CSI: NY , Raising The Bar, Medium, 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.
World-renowned trumpeter, bandleader and composer Wynton Marsalis is a leading advocate of American culture. At the age of 17, Marsalis left New Orleans to attend the Juilliard School in New York City. He quickly found himself in an ideal place to learn what was required to be a jazz musician and bandleader, when he hit the road with Art Blakey and the Jazz Masters. Wynton assembled his first band in 1981 and promptly began touring, performing over 120 concerts annually for 15 consecutive years. With the power of his musicianship, the compelling sound of his swinging bands and a far-reaching series of performances and music workshops, Marsalis rekindled interest and excitement in jazz worldwide and attracted a new generation of fine young talent to the genre. As the Co-founder, Managing and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as the Director of Juilliard Jazz, Marsalis has elevated jazz music to the forefront of America’s leading arts and educational institutions. Wynton has recorded over 100 jazz and classical recordings, which have garnered nine GRAMMY Awards® and sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz artist to be awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in Music for his oratorio Blood on the Fields. Marsalis' vision for a brighter American future resonates deeply with companies and organizations across a multitude of fields. With Wynton, audiences are treated to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a front row seat as he speaks about a lifetime of innovation, soul, and music.
STEVEN VAN ZANDT
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
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.
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 most recent 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.
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
JUAN MANUEL SANTOS
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.
JIM YONG KIM
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.
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. She's also on the Board Diversity Action Alliance, leading an effort to support diversity on corporate boards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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).
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!
BOZOMA SAINT JOHN
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.
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.
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.
David Rowan explains compellingly how emerging technologies will impact business — and how leaders should prepare now. As founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine’s UK edition, David came to know the founders of WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google, Didi, Spotify, Xiaomi, Nest, Twitter and countless other ambitious startups from Tel Aviv to Shenzhen. He has since invested in more than 80 early-stage tech companies, including three that became billion-dollar “unicorns”, and built a health-tech and climate-tech fund, and he’s an adviser to Lakestar, one of Europe’s largest venture-capital funds. His best-selling book Non-Bullshit Innovation: Radical Ideas from the World’s Smartest Minds (Penguin, 2019) has been translated to Japanese, Korean, Russian and Ukrainian. The book, a 20-country quest for bold corporate innovation in the face of technology-led disruption, sets out 17 proven strategies for future-proofing a successful business — from “Turn products into services” to “Empower your team” and “Become a platform”. David has been a technology columnist for The Times, GQ, Condé Nast Traveller and The Sunday Times, and founded the VOYAGERS not-for-profit community of 400 innovators working to solve health and climate problems. He has received repeat requests to keynote for clients such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google, KPMG, McKinsey, Chanel and Unilever, and has moderated events for the World Economic Forum and the UK and French governments. And he is still searching for the future.
David will customize a talk for your meeting. His recent themes include:
• How to build a radical culture of innovation
• How emerging technologies will transform your industry
• What AI, data analytics and blockchain mean for business leaders
• How to optimize customer engagement
• What talent wants in the new world of work
• Why purpose plus profit is the new business mantra
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Daniel Levy is an Emmy® and Golden Globe 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. The show also broke major records for being the first comedy or drama series to sweep all four acting categories and received the most wins for a comedy series in its final season. Levy and his father were also the first father-son pair to win Emmys in the same year and Levy tied the record for most wins by an individual in a single season with four total wins.
Schitt’s Creek has garnered dozens of awards and more than 100 nominations, sweeping the 2020 Emmys by winning Best Comedy Series, Best Comedy Actor, Best Comedy Actress, Best Comedy Supporting Actor, Best Comedy Supporting Actress, Best Comedy Writing, Best Comedy Directing, Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. Additionally, for its final season, the show was nominated for five Golden Globe Award nominations, winning two including Best Musical or Comedy Television Series. In the same season, they earned five Critics Choice Award nominations and secured two. The show also received five SAG Award nominations and one GLAAD Media Award nomination in 2021.
In 2020, Levy starred in HBO’s Coastal Elites and appeared in the romantic comedy Happiest Season for TriStar Pictures and Entertainment One. Most recently, Levy made his hosting debut on Saturday Night Live in early 2021.
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.
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.
AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN
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.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI & JOE SCARBOROUGH
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.
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.
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.
W. KAMAU BELL
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.
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.
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.
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 $30 million for women, families, and children in crisis. She hosts the We Can Do Hard Things podcast and lives in Florida with her wife and three children.
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. He also has published a young adult novel, The Dark Lady.
Akala is 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Lisa is the Executive Producer and host of This is Life on CNN, now its eighth season. For the show, Lisa has embedded with a notorious biker club and explored the medicinal use of psychedelics in psychotherapy.
For five seasons prior, Lisa EP’d and hosted Our America on OWN. She was also a field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC News' Nightline. For these shows she reported from dozens of countries; covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India and the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, among other issues that are too often ignored.
Lisa was the first female host of National Geographic’s flagship show Explorer which sent her to cover the phenomenon of female suicide bombing, the spread of the MS-13 gang—considered the world’s most dangerous gang, and the humanitarian crisis inside North Korea.
She 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. She later went 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 of Mother, Sister. Daughter, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood, and Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and The Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home that she penned with her sister Laura.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maysoon is a Princeton University Arts Fellow for 2021-23 and will begin two years of teaching and community collaboration in September.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO
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.
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.
ALEXA VON TOBEL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most recently Ricky Strauss served as President of Programming for Hulu and Disney + where he was responsible for all programmatic strategy for both platforms. Prior to that assignment, he was the President of Content & Marketing for Disney +. As Disney’s first president of Content & Marketing for Disney +, Ricky led the strategic content vision for the service, overseeing development of the service’s original programming slate, production partnerships and content acquisitions.
Working in collaboration with external production entities as well as content groups across The Walt Disney Company that developed and produced original content exclusively for the service (including The Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television, Disney Digital Media, Pixar Animation, Marvel Entertainment, and Lucasfilm), Strauss had creative oversight and execution of the service’s portfolio of high-quality feature films, episodic series and short-form content. Additionally, Strauss was responsible for all facets of content marketing for the service.
Strauss previously served as president of marketing for The Walt Disney Studios, overseeing the Studios' global marketing strategy encompassing creative, media, digital, promotions, publicity, research and synergy across all distribution channels for motion pictures released under the Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm banners. Blockbuster films that Disney delivered under Strauss' tenure include Star Wars: The Force Awakens, for which Strauss was named Marketer of the Year by Advertising Age; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story; Marvel's The Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, and Guardians of the Galaxy; Disney's The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast; Walt Disney Animation Studios' Frozen, Zootopia, and Moana; and Disney•Pixar's Incredibles 2, Finding Dory and Inside Out.
A 30-year entertainment industry veteran, Strauss joined Disney in January 2012 after seven years as president of Participant Media, where he oversaw the company’s marketing, production, and acquisition for a broad range of socially relevant and commercially viable films, television programming and publishing efforts. Among the acclaimed films that Participant produced under Strauss’ tenure are the 2011 Academy Award®-winning blockbuster The Help, Contagion, Good Night and Good Luck, Syriana, The Kite Runner, The Visitor, the Academy Award®-winning documentaries An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, Waiting for Superman, and PAGE ONE: Inside the New York Times.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
BILLIE JEAN KING
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. Her forthcoming memoir, ALL IN: An Autobiography, will be published by Knopf in August 2021.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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 Chronicle, O, the Oprah Magazine, Time Out, Town 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 bestseller 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.
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.
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.
“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.
A 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.
GIADA DE LAURENTIIS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 moving—and headline-making—speech 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.
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.
STEPHEN A. SMITH
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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, Glamour, Good 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!
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. He hosts the Four Courses with Geoffrey Zakarian podcast, where he sits down to chat with a diverse array of the world’s most fascinating top performers from business titans, chefs, athletes & entertainers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
ROY WOOD JR.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsday, New 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.
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.
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. She also launched a new record label with Def Jam, called Hillman Grad Records, with the intention of developing new artists from underrepresented communities, and helped start The Hillman Grad Mentorship Lab, a free program for emerging underrepresented Hollywood talent.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alan Yang is and Emmy Award-winning writer, director and producer.
Shortly after college, where he wrote for Harvard's comedic magazine The Lampoon, he moved to LA to pursue a career as a writer and some of his earliest jobs were writing on the late night show Last Call with Carson Daly and the television series South Park. Those jobs eventually led to a position as staff writer on the hit series Parks and Recreation where he met his Master of None co-creator, Aziz Ansari. Now a seasoned writer and producer who is responsible for series like Amazon Prime's Forever and Apple TV's Little America and produced Netflix's Free Food for Millionaires, Alan is also the writer and director of his feature film, Tigertail, loosely based on his family's immigration story from Taiwan.
Today, Yang uses the tools of his trade to advocate for Asian Americans and immigrant communities. Yang is a powerful storyteller, usually finding the funniest way possible to connect to the heart of the character, and he created some of the most beloved shows of recent years. Yang sees his works as a way to build empathy during a time when America is divided, and helps us understand the humanity that exists outside of our own inner-circles. Awards Daily calls his work "a necessary viewing experience": He "succeeds brilliantly— telling rich, complex, heartfelt stories."
Audiences describe Yang as open and funny, honest and sincere, and upbeat. Although he already has an Emmy award, Yang is just getting started, and we have a lot more to hear, see...and feel...from this young, ambitious, and inspiring writer and director.
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.
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.
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 and co-hosts the I AM ATHLETE podcast, discussing many topics from sports to fashion, lifestyle, and more.
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.
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.
MARA BROCK AKIL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DANIEL JAMES BROWN
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.
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.
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.
Joseph Lubin is a Co-Founder of Ethereum—the most superior advanced blockchain platform by size, functionality and application—and 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.
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.
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.
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.
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author of the New York Times bestsellers Hooked: Food, Free Will, and How the Food Giants Exploit our Addictions and 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.
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 Post, CNN, MSNBC, Israeli Channel 2, and more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
A 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.
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.
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.
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 Show, in 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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 Circle, The 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.
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.
Golf Major 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 titles, 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 and 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 “
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.
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.
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.
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.
BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Brian Michael Bendis is a Peabody award winning comics creator, Amazon and New York Times bestseller and one of the most successful writers working in mainstream comics.
The announcement of Brian’s multi faceted move to DC ENTERTAINMENT after a near twenty year run at Marvel made international headlines and trended worldwide. Brian made his DC debut in the landmark Action Comics 1000 and currently writes SUPERMAN, ACTION COMICS, BATMAN:UNIVERSE, LEGION OF SUPERHEROES and curates WONDER COMICS featuring the return of YOUNG JUSTICE, DIAL H FOR HERO, WONDER TWINS, and the breakout original new character... NAOMI. The JINXWORLD line of creator owned comics, also published by DC include the Yakuza epic PEARL, with Jessica Jones co-creator Michael Gaydos, the comic book industry spy thriller COVER, with award-winning multimedia sensation David Mack, SCARLET, with co-creator Alex Maleev, and the alternate history mob story UNITED STATES OF MURDER INC with POWERS co-creator Mike Avon Oeming.
Brian was Executive Producer and consultant of the Academy award winning hit Sony feature Spider-man: into the Spiderverse (and its coming sequel in 2022). Miles Morales was co-created by Brian and Sara Pichelli. Brian won a Peabody Award for his work as the co-creator of JESSICA JONES on Netflix from Marvel TV. Brian’s release from Random House entitled WORDS FOR PICTURES is an intricate look at the creation of comic books and graphic novels based on the college level Graphic Novel class he teaches at Portland State University. It shot to number one on its Amazon chart.
Over the years at Marvel entertainment, Brian completed historic runs on SPIDER-MAN (18 years), AVENGERS (9 years), IRON MAN, and GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, a 100 issue run on the X-MEN franchise, along with the wildly successful ‘event’ projects AVENGERS VERSUS X-MEN, HOUSE OF M, SECRET WAR, SECRET INVASION, AGE OF ULTRON, CIVIL WAR 2 and SIEGE.
From the co-captain of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Champion team to a New York Times bestselling author, Abby Wambach's impressive career exhibits what it truly means to be a champion. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, FIFA World Cup Champion, and six-time winner of the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year award, Abby was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. An activist for equality, pay equity, diversity and inclusion, Abby is the author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Forward: A Memoir, WOLFPACK, and the adaptation of WOLFPACK for Young Readers. A true leader on and off the field, Abby knows how to drive toward success with game-changing power and teamwork.
In 2020, Abby became a founder and part owner of Angel City FC, the first majority female- owned Soccer team in history. She is also co-founder of Wolfpack Endeavor, a training program that is revolutionizing leadership development for women in the workplace and beyond, and sits on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Together Rising.
Abby is a highly sought-after speaker in the areas of leadership, inspiration, family and health and wellness. She lives in Florida with her wife, Glennon Doyle, and three children.
Enuma Okoro is a Nigerian-American writer, lecturer, and speaker, who believes that the stories we believe, and tell ourselves become the stories we live. Using the arts, cultural identity, contemplative spirituality and psychology, Okoro explores the power of story and narratives in our individual and collective identities. She examines the stories we live, where they originate, how they are used, and how unquestioned stories and inherited narratives affect our public and private lives. To this end, her work covers a broad but intersecting range of topics: the arts as a lens for understanding human experience, meaning and identity-making, transcultural literacy and how cultural collisions have an impact on human development and social narratives, women’s empowerment, and intentional living with integrity and self-honor.
Born in Manhattan to Nigerian parents, Okoro was raised in five countries on three continents, and has spent her life living and working as a global citizen. Her educational and professional background is in Psychology and Communications, Family Systems Therapy, Creative and Academic Writing, and Theology. She is a certified spiritual director in the Ignatian tradition. Okoro has written and edited four non-fiction books, her poetry is published in anthologies, she is a weekend columnist for the Financial Times, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, The Washington Post, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, Harpers’ Bazaar, Vogue, CNN, Essence, Artsy, Cultured, The Cut, Aeon, Catapult, and other media outlets.
As an international speaker, Okoro has spoken at over 100 engagements including universities, corporate institutions, organization and conferences. Her speaking invitations have come from four continents and have included Oxford University, Princeton University, The Atlantic Dialogues, The EurAfrican Forum, The Ford Foundation, The MEDays International Forum, Bloomberg Media Conference, Harvard Business School, The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, and more. She had the honor of being the first woman of African descent to deliver a talk from the historic 200-year-old platform of The American Church in Paris, France, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was the first man of African descent to speak from the same platform in October 1965. Okoro gave a TEDx talk in London focused on global perceptions of women, identity, and cultural collisions.
Brian Mackenzie is an innovator in human performance on stress adaptation and a pioneer in the development and application of custom protocols to optimize human health and performance. His work harnesses and integrates breathing, movement, strength, conditioning and endurance-based training approaches to elicit unprecedented positive results. His protocols have been used to accelerate and raise both mental and physical performance in world-class Olympic and professional athletes, top executives, and elite military operators, as well as to improve the health for people suffering from various chronic and pathological issues.
QUIARA ALEGRÍA HUDES
Quiara Alegría Hudes is the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of "Water By the Spoonful"; author of a memoir, My Broken Language; and screenwriter for the major motion picture In the Heights. Previously, she wrote the book (aka script) for the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights and authored other plays and musicals that have been produced around the world. Her notable essays include "High Tide of Heartbreak" in American Theater Magazine and "Corey Couldn’t Take It Anymore" in The Cut. In opposition of the carceral state, Hudes and her cousin founded Emancipated Stories, a platform where people behind bars can share one page of their life story with the world. As a barrio feminist and joyous mischief maker, Quiara y su hermana created the Latinx Casting Manifesto.
Dean Obeidallah is a lawyer turned writer, national radio host, activist and award-winning comedian who has used his skills to counter bigotry and misconceptions about Muslims and race in America. His unique story of once being a “white person” who had all the benefits of white privilege to a minority to ultimately a person targeted for death by white supremacists (who he sued in federal court and won) is both funny and informative. Dean shares through his own story how white privilege is real—since Dean lost his—to being the living manifestation of the concept that in America “race is a social construct.”
Dean can be heard nightly across the United States and in Canada on SiriusXM on “The Dean Obeidallah show.” He writes weekly for MSNBC.com, CNN.com and The Daily Beast on issues from politics to the Muslim community to the intersection of politics and pop culture. You may have seen Dean on Joy Reid’s prime-time MSNBC show, The Reid Out as well as on various others MSNBC programs. He has also appeared on just about every CNN show on air as well as ABC’s Good Morning America and The View. In the world of comedy, Dean has appeared on Comedy Central’s Axis of Evil special, Comics Unleashed, and The Nightly Show.
In addition, Dean co-directed/co-produced the comedy documentary, The Muslims are Coming! designed to combat anti-Muslim bigotry, is on the board of the Muslim Jewish Advisory Committee (MJAC) and is the co-creator of the annual NY Arab American Comedy Festival that will celebrate its 18th anniversary in 2021.
Barney Frank served as a US Congressman from 1981-2013 and Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007-2011. While in Congress, Frank worked to adjust America’s spending priorities to reduce the deficit by providing less funding for the military, thereby protecting funding for important quality-of-life needs at home. In particular, he focused on providing aid to local communities and to building and preserving affordable rental housing for low-income people. He was also a leader in the fight against discrimination of various sorts. He championed the interests of the poor, the underprivileged, and the vulnerable, and he won reelection 16 times by double-digit margins.
As Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank was instrumental in crafting the short-term $700 billion rescue plan in response to the mortgage crisis, and he then worked for the adoption of a sweeping set of financial regulations aimed at preventing a recurrence. He was co-author of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the regulatory overhaul signed into law in July 2010. He also led passage of the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act, a measure that drew praise from editorial boards and consumer advocates.
In 1987 he became the first Member of Congress to voluntarily acknowledge that he is gay, and in 2012 became the first Member of Congress to marry his same-sex partner, James Ready.
In 2014 a documentary titled Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank was released. In the film, Frank gives a rare and intimate peek into the life of Barney Frank as a quick-witted, cantankerous, and first openly gay Congressman in the United States. On the verge of his retirement, Frank reflects on his 40 years in office and the role his own homosexuality played in his campaigns for social justice. An unvarnished example of when the personal meets the political, with incredible “bare all” access, this documentary reveals Frank as one of the most sharp-tongued, entertaining, and lionhearted politicians of our time.
In addition, he has written two books: Speaking Frankly, in 1992, a critique of some aspects of the Democrats approach to public policy; and a political memoir published in 2015 titled Frank: From the Great Society to Same Sex Marriage. He has taught at Harvard, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Ashly is a writer, director, and producer. Formerly of BuzzFeed, she is currently a story editor on Freeform’s Good Trouble. Most recently she served as a Senior Producer on the Biden/Harris campaign where she co-directed and co-produced “Michelle Obama’s Closing Argument.” A queer first generation American herself, Ashly is focused on telling underrepresented stories in every genre. Her passion lies in comedy, romance, and YA. She one day aspires to be the queer Nora Ephron of her generation. On the non-fiction side she has a podcast, "Listen to This for Inspiration," with Kast Media, and a book, Read This For Inspiration, publishing with Clarkson Potter. For more information, visit ashlyperez.com.
Curious to his core, Donovan is a rule-breaker hell-bent on moving culture forward. As a content creator, producer, writer, and performer, he harnesses the power of storytelling to normalize empathy. Growing up Black and gay in Brooklyn during the 90s put him at odds with the world around him. Fitting in wasn’t an option and luckily, he’d have it no other way. His love for music and art provided a great escape, but it has also fueled his passion to confront outdated social attitudes. He’s on a mission to prove through The Grapevine, his hit digital talk-show, as well as his upcoming tv and literary works, that confrontation and compassion together, are a great recipe for progress.
Paola Ramos is an author, Emmy award-winning journalist and Latinx advocate.
She is a host for VICE and VICE News, as well as a contributor for MSNBC and Telemundo News. Ramos uses these multi-media platforms --in both English and Spanish--to uplift the voices of marginalized communities, break down stereotypes and mobilize people towards civic engagement. Ramos was the former Deputy Director of Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign, a political appointee during the Obama Administration and also served in President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
She is the author of Finding Latin-X: In Search of the Voices redefining Latino Identity, published by Penguin Random House. Ramos received her B.A. from Barnard College, Columbia University and her MPP from Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
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
Punkie Johnson is a comedian and writer from New Orleans, Louisiana who just joined the cast of Saturday Night Live for its 45th season. Recent credits include Space Force (Netflix), A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO), Corporate (Comedy Central), Adam Ruins Everything (truTV), and Bill Burr Presents: The Ringers (Comedy Central). She was a New Face at the Just For Laughs Festival in 2019, and is a proud paid regular at the World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood.
Beginning with her early days as an up and coming stand-up comedian in San Francisco, Margaret Cho has always been the Agent Provocateur of entertainment. Never one to shy away from any topic, there is literally nothing off limits when it comes sharing her views on family, gay rights, politics, sexuality, bullying and oh-so-much more. Margaret’s socially aware, no-holds-barred type of comedy has made her both a thought leader and a tolerant teacher for those with open minds and open hearts. An accomplished performer in all formats, Margaret has conquered the worlds of film, television, books, music and theatre. Having been nominated for five Grammy Awards and one Emmy, her comedy tours are a constant sell-out both here and abroad.
Equally as important to her as her work in entertainment is the causes she is passionate about. Margaret has been widely recognized for her work in the non-profit sector, lending her name, time, and tireless work ethic to several charities, especially those involving gay rights and anti-bullying campaigns. In every segment of her life, Margaret is honest, adoring, passionate, uproarious, and always entertaining. Margaret Cho is at her very best.
Richie Jackson is the author of Gay Like Me: A Father Writes to His Son published by HarperCollins. He is an award-winning Broadway, television, and film producer who most recently produced the Tony Award-nominated Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song on Broadway. He executive produced Showtime’s Nurse Jackie (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for Best Comedy Series) for seven seasons and co-executive produced the film Shortbus, written and directed by John Cameron Mitchell.
As an alumnus of NYU Tisch School of the Arts, he endowed a fellowship program at his alma mater in 2015 to assist graduates in the transition from academia to a lifelong career in the arts called The Richie Jackson Artist Fellowship. He and his husband, Jordan Roth, were honored with The Trevor Project’s 2016 Trevor Hero Award.
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.
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.
STEVEN T. MNUCHIN
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.
Beanie Feldstein is an American actress and singer. She received a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical for her starring role as a high school senior in Olivia Wilde's directorial debut comedy Booksmart. She also starred in the film adaptation of Caitlin Moran's How to Build a Girl in 2020. She can also be seen in supporting roles in Greta Gerwig's directorial debut Lady Bird, opposite Saoirse Ronan, which was released to critical acclaim and the comedy film Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.
On Broadway, she has appeared in the most recent production of Hello, Dolly! alongside Bette Midler from 2017 to 2018.
She is currently producing and starring as Monica Lewinsky in FX’s American Crime Story: Impeachment. As a writer, Beanie has published essays in Refinery 29, and Instyle.
She graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Sociology.
Kardea Brown is a contemporary Southern cook born in Charleston, South Carolina, and host of Food Network’s Delicious Miss Brown. She is of Gullah/Geechee descent, a term used to describe a distinct group of African Americans living in the coastal areas of South Carolina and Georgia who have managed to preserve much of their West African language, culture and cuisine. Kardea created the pop-up New Gullah Supper Club, where the menu pays homage to the dishes her grandmother and mother passed down to her. She has appeared on Beat Bobby Flay, Chopped Junior, Cooks vs. Cons, Family Food Showdown and Farmhouse Rules.
Eugene Daniels is a Playbook author and White House correspondent, with a focus on Vice President Kamala Harris, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, the Second Gentleman and emerging power players in Washington. Since joining Politico in 2018, he’s covered the midterms, the Democratic presidential primary and general election through print, video journalism and podcasts.
Eugene will continue to leverage Politico's many platforms as part of the Playbook team. During the country’s reckoning with race in 2020, Eugene moderated Politico's Confronting Inequality Town Hall series that examined how inequities in policing, housing, healthcare, education and employment permeate and plague the United States.
Prior to Politico, Eugene covered the 2016 primary, general election and national politics as a political reporter at Newsy. He began his career in local television in Colorado Springs and graduated from Colorado State University in 2012.
Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Hasan Piker is an American journalist, producer, activist, and arguably the most entertaining political commentator, commonly known for his detailed analysis on trending news and culture. His honesty, personality, and deep understanding of the subject makes him one of the leading political voices for younger generations. Piker live streams daily on Twitch, where he is currently the #1 most popular “Just Chatting” channel with an average of over 20,000 concurrent viewers per live stream. This insanely high viewership also makes him one of the most watched channels across the entire platform. With a background as a journalist for The Young Turks, Piker has been a regular contributor on outlets such as TMZ and Buzzfeed, as well as being a guest on mainstream news outlets.
Hasan has worked with organizations such as Muslims For Progressive Values, March For Our Lives, Black Lives Matter. His activism is rooted in social and economic justice, LGBTQ+ rights, Muslim rights, intersectional feminism, gun control, pro-peace initiatives, and sustainable energy initiatives.
Hasan graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers University with a dual degree in Political Science and Communications.
Victor Vescovo was born in Dallas, Texas and has received degrees from Stanford University, M.I.T. and an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he graduated as a Baker Scholar. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of three different companies across the defense, electronics, and industrial sectors. He is also a Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Insight Equity, a private equity firm with over $1B in equity capital deployed across multiple funds.
Victor served 20 years in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer, retiring in 2013 as a Commander (O-5). His principal duties involved operational targeting in the Iraqi, Kosovo, and Afghanistan theaters and after 9/11 he was deployed to support counter-terrorism efforts overseas.
In 2017, Victor became the 12th American to complete the “Explorer’s Grand Slam” which requires climbing the highest peak on all seven of the world’s continents including Mt. Everest and skiing at least 100 kilometers to both the North and South Poles. In 2019, he made history’s deepest solo submarine dive in the Pacific’s Mariana Trench at Challenger Deep. He was the first person to dive there more than once (now ten times), and became the first person to visit “The Five Deeps” – the deepest points in all five of the world’s oceans.
Victor was also the first person to dive the second- and third-deepest points on the ocean’s floor, the Sirena and Horizon Deeps, and also made the first solo dive to the RMS Titanic. His diving missions have been filmed for both the Discovery Channel as well as National Geographic and the book Expedition Deep Ocean was released in November 2020 chronicling the Five Deeps and other missions. He has been awarded five Guinness World Records for various diving and climbing achievements and is believed to be the only person in the world qualified as a multi-engine jet, helicopter, as well as submersible test pilot.
Derek DelGaudio is a writer, artist and performer, primarily known for his highly acclaimed theater show, and now award-winning film, In & Of Itself. He served as the Artist-in-Residence for Walt Disney Imagineering and co-founded the performance art collective, A.BANDIT.
DelGaudio’s debut book, AMORALMAN is out on Knopf.
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 serves as the Assistant Director of Narrative and Advocacy at the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University, directed by award-winning author and historian, Ibram X. Kendi. Tisby 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.
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.
David Gelb is an Emmy and Grammy-nominated producer, director, and founding partner of Supper Club, a production company. Best known for his critically acclaimed documentary feature Jiro Dreams of Sushi, he is also the creator of the Netflix award-winning series Chef’s Table, now in its eighth season, which has won numerous James Beard Awards. He is also the co-creator of the Netflix series Street Food and an executive producer of Trial By Media.
Most recently, Gelb executive produced the Disney+ series Marvel’s 616 while also directing the first episode, which chronicled the creation of the “Japanese Spider-Man”. David is currently producing and directing the upcoming Disney+ feature documentary Wolfgang chronicling the life of world renowned celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck, which will be released in 2021. He is also in development on the scripted feature film Consume with Searchlight Pictures. David has worked extensively in advertising, directing both short and long-form work for clients including Apple, Google, Chase, Bank of America, Chipotle, Mazda, and the Ford Motor Company.
David was born and raised in New York City, where he was immersed in the arts and journalism throughout his upbringing. His mother, Donna Gelb, is a food writer and recipe chef, and his father, Peter Gelb, is the General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera. His grandfather, Arthur Gelb, was the Managing Editor of the New York Times, and his grandmother, Barbara Gelb, was an accomplished writer and playwright.
David graduated from film school at the University of Southern California in 2006, and remained in California. David currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Christine D’Souza Gelb and his young son, Elliot Arthur Gelb.
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.
With “a comic identity as distinctive as his name,” according to The New York Times, Conan O’Brien has firmly established himself in the late night comedy universe. Hailed by The Washington Post as “modest, wry, self-effacing and demonstrably the most intelligent of the late-night comics,” O’Brien’s unique brand of comedy has earned Conan the title “Late Night’s King of Cool” from Entertainment Weekly.
A Harvard graduate and two-time president of the venerable and notorious Harvard Lampoon, O’Brien moved to Los Angeles upon graduation and joined the writing staff of HBO’s Not Necessarily the News. During his two years with the show, he performed regularly with several improvisational groups, including The Groundlings.
By 1988 his talents had come to the attention of Lorne Michaels, executive producer of Saturday Night Live, who hired O’Brien as a writer in January of that year. In 1989 his work on SNL was recognized with an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy or Variety Series.
Starting in the Fall of 1991, O’Brien signed on as a writer/producer for the Fox series, The Simpsons, where he later became the show’s supervising producer. Of all the episodes he wrote, his favorite is “Springfield Gets a Monorail.”
On April 26, 1993, Lorne Michaels selected O’Brien to succeed David Letterman as the new host of Late Night on NBC. According to Michaels, O’Brien was selected from among the many talented potential hosts of Late Night for his particular and unique mix of “vitality, wit and intelligence”.
From 1993 to 2009, O’Brien combined his talents as writer, performer and interviewer as the award-winning host of Late Night, which The Boston Globe dubbed, “the most consistently funny and original show on late night”. During that time, he hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards several times. As part of a long-term plan at NBC, O'Brien moved from the host of Late Night to The Tonight Show. In 2010, O'Brien launched a brand-new talk show on TBS, appropriately titled Conan.
When he's not interviewing guests on Conan he's interviewing them on his long-running, highly entertaining podcast Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend.
Born in Brookline, Massachusetts, O’Brien is married with two children and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Chrissy Teigen is a New York Times #1 bestselling author, TV personality and the founder of Cravings. In 2019 Teigen was included on TIME Magazine’s prestigious annual list of the “100 Most Influential People” as well as The Hollywood Reporter’s "20 Most Powerful Players in Food Media." In 2016, Teigen released Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat which debuted #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and marked the first time a cookbook debuted #1 on USA Today's best-seller list. In 2018 she released her highly anticipated second cookbook, Cravings: Hungry for More, in addition to launching her kitchen and tabletop collection “Cravings by Chrissy Teigen.” Her website, CravingsbyChrissyTeigen.com, launched in November 2019.
In Spring 2019, Teigen signed a multi-year first-look deal with Hulu to produce projects via her production company Suit & Thai Productions. In addition, Teigen partnered with David Chang and Vox to produce a slate of food programing for Hulu. They are currently in pre-production for their first untitled series as part of this partnership. In 2020, Teigen executive produced and starred in Chrissy’s Court, which appeared on the streaming platform, Quibi. She was previously seen as a judge on NBC’s comedy competition show Bring the Funny and co-hosting Paramount Network’s smash hit competition show Lip Sync Battle, which ran for five seasons.
Teigen was recognized on the 2020 Variety500 list as an influential business leader for her work with Cravings and Suit & Thai Productions. She has been a voice for social justice and women’s rights and is actively involved in several charities. In 2018, Teigen was awarded the “Heart of the City” award by City Harvest, a non-profit food rescue organization, for her fundraising efforts. In 2018, Teigen also helped raise $1 million for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in just two days.
For nearly 20 years, tennis great Chris Evert provided fans throughout the world with one guarantee - she gave every match all she had. She was always more than just the best tennis player in the world. Evert was ranked number one for seven years and had a 90 percent win average spanning her 17 year career as a pro. She won 18 grand slam titles including three Wimbledons, seven French Opens, two Australian Opens, and six U.S. Opens.
Since retiring in 1989, the Hall of Fame tennis player has become active in more than a dozen organizations including the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, Save the Children, The American AIDS Association, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She founded Chris Evert Charities, Inc. which has raised over fifteen million dollars to combat substance abuse and to assist neglected, drug-exposed, and abused children.
Chris is also a partner and coach at Evert Tennis Academy in Boca Raton, Florida, which she opened in 1996. The Center offers junior and adult programs for all skill levels from beginning to professional. Active in all aspects of the junior tennis program, Chris founded the academy to give something back to junior tennis and to ensure that the tradition started by her father will continue in South Florida. The Evert Tennis Academy quickly became, and continues to be, the home to countless national and international junior champions and some of the world’s finest pros. The Academy has recently been chosen as a USTA National Training Center. Chris works with global brands such as Wilson and Nike and is also the publisher of Tennis Magazine.
Of all of her accomplishments, she considers being the mother of 3 children to be her greatest.
Today, Chris Evert remains one of the most prominent female athletes of our time as well as one of the most recognizable women in the nation.
With over 25 years dancing experience and several championship titles under her belt, Emmy nominated professional dancer Cheryl Burke, tangoed and sambaed her way into the hearts of millions through the hit ABC television show Dancing with the Stars becoming champion twice with Emmitt Smith in Season 3 and Drew Lachey in Season 2.
Cheryl has been named one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful and often appears on Maxim’s Hot 100 List. In 2008, Burke was awarded an Asian Excellence Award and in 2010, she made a much talked about appearance in the music video for Ne-Yo’s Camera Phone. In addition to her onscreen roles, Burke is a noted motivational speaker. Having been publicly attacked about her weight and battling body image issues her entire life, Burke often speaks at medical conferences, women’s conventions and to school age children about self-esteem and having a healthy body image. She also speaks about being a survivor of domestic sexual abuse. Her accomplishments in entertainment were celebrated in 2020 with an induction into the Robert Chinn Foundation’s Asian Hall of Fame.
For Cheryl, dancing is a way of life. It provides a medium for her to express her inner feelings and passions all while maintaining focus and composure during extremely high-pressure situations. It is dancing that has made her such a competitor, both on and off the floor, and made her strive for perfection in anything that she sets out to do.
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.
CATHERINE COLEMAN FLOWERS
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.
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.
Cam Newton is the first NFL player in 60 years to win the Heisman Trophy, a national championship, and be the No. 1 overall draft pick in the same academic year.
In 2011, his rookie year, Newton set an NFL record for touchdowns rushing in a season by a quarterback and became the first player in league history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 500. He helped the Carolina Panthers improve from 2-14 to 6-10 in one season.
For his efforts, Newton was awarded the 2011 Associated Press NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year and was selected to the 2011 Pro Bowl.
Following an impressive year at Auburn University in 2010, Newton took home every major post-season award. He was also honored by the House of Representatives as “the most outstanding college football player in the United States.”
In 2015, Newton led the Carolina Panthers to a first place finish in the NFC South with a record of 15-1, scoring an impressive 45 touchdowns during the season. After a postseason victory over the Seattle Seahawks, the Panthers took on the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC Championship and a spot in Super Bowl 50. Newton was outstanding once again as the Panthers cruised to a commanding 49-15 victory. Cam Newton was signed by the New England Patriots as a free agent on July, 8, 2020.
Off the field, Newton has hosted several charitable events focused on children’s needs and has plans to continue giving back to the community.
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.
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.
Blair Braverman is an author and dogsledder whose stories are equally riveting on and off the page. She and her dogs have traveled through thousands of miles of wilderness in Alaska, the Yukon, Scandinavia, and the upper midwest. But the dogs are just as happy with small adventures, which Braverman recounts with equal weight—focusing not just on grand journeys, but on the teamwork, love, and trust that get them there.
Braverman is a contributing editor for Outside magazine, and writes for a range of venues, including The New York Times, Vogue, and This American Life. Her dog team has been featured on The Today Show and in O: The Oprah Magazine, Washington Post, Time, Teen Vogue, and on National Public Radio.
Braverman’s first book, Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube (Ecco, 2016), was called “stunning and sharp” by the New York Times Book Review. She lives with her husband, Quince Mountain, and their 21 huskies in northern Wisconsin.
BILLY RAY CYRUS
Billy Ray Cyrus occupies an unprecedented position in our collective cultural history. From Achy Breaky Heart to Hannah Montana and now Old Town Road, Billy Ray stands at the center of several cultural phenomenons spanning three decades. He’s gone from nothing (growing up in poverty in Flatwoods, Kentucky) to living the life of his dreams. Global Super Star of film, television and music, Billy has seen it all, and he knows what it’s like to grapple with the pressures of unimaginable success, and disappointing failure. And he’s excited to share all the many hard-learned lessons he’s picked up along the way.
Cyrus exploded onto the music scene in 1992 when his first album, Some Gave All, debuted on the Billboard Chart at No. 1 and stayed there for a record-breaking 17 weeks. The lead single, “Achy Breaky Heart,” took the world by storm and went multi-platinum. In between world tours, BR raised six kids (including megastar Miley and Grammy nominated Noah). In 2006 when Miley landed Hannah Montana, BR also auditioned for the show and became “Robbie Ray,” Hannah’s Dad. The series became one of the most successful Disney shows of all time and introduced Billy to a whole new generation as a charming songwriter and funny father figure.
In 2019, Billy Ray topped the charts again with Lil Nas X’s genre-bending track Old Town Road, which became the longest-running number 1 hit in Billboard Hot 100 history, spending 19 consecutive weeks at the top spot. American Songwriter lauded Cyrus’s recent EP The Singin’ Hills Sessions Vol. 1 Sunset saying it "gets to the heart of the art of music." Taste of Country called the focus track, "I Am… I Said" " a sensitive, emotional reading of the song.” Cyrus has achieved every accolade the music industry has to offer, including two GRAMMY® Awards, two BET Hip Hop Awards, two MTV VMA Moonmen, two Country Music Association Awards, an American Music Award and seven Academy of Country Music nominations. Reinvigorated and ready to speak his truth, BR is ready to take on the world and make 2021 his best year yet.
Bailey Sarian has quickly risen as one of the most popular YouTube channels with her successful series, Murder, Mystery and Makeup. Since the start of the series in January 2019, Bailey's channel has grown over 4.07M subscribers and over 60M views on the series. Bailey and the Murder, Mystery and Makeup franchise also has a successful Facebook Page with over 9M followers and over 200M views total. Bailey's light hearted approach to true crime and infection personality, results in a binge worthy series and a huge Bailey Sarian fandom.
Born in San Antonio, Texas and raised in the suburbs of North Jersey, Ashley is a storyteller on a mission to create art that places Black women front and center in complex and uniquely crafted worlds. Hailing from an Igbotic culture of rich and immersive storytelling, she discovered her love of film as a young girl whose parents put her in front of the television as a means of distraction. After graduating from The University of the Arts with a focus in Narrative and Documentary Filmmaking, Ashley went on to create the hit discussion series, The Grapevine, on Youtube. With an audience that boasts over 190,000 subscribers, the grassroots series places hot button issues in the hands of Millennials and Gen Z panelists to dissect and bring forth raw and nuanced conversation.
Andy’s tennis career began to blossom when he won the Junior US Open and Australian Open singles titles in 2000. His Junior career highlights included six world singles titles and seven world doubles titles. Andy finished as the #1 ranked Junior in the U.S. in 1999-2000, and #1 Junior in the world in 2000. Andy turned pro in 2000.
Early in his career, Andy established the Andrew S. Roddick Foundation. The goal of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised over $10 million. Andy received The Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award in 2005 for his charitable efforts and contributions, and the Arthur Ashe Prestigious Leadership Award for Urban Health in 2007. In 2009, Andy also received the Heineken Star Award for achieving success both athletically and philanthropically.
In 2003, he captured the US Open title and the #1 ranking in the world. In 2003, Andy was honored as the ATP Player of the Year. He finished the year ranked #1, making him the youngest American to ever reach that feat. In 2004, Andy won the ESPY for “Best Male Tennis Player.” From 2000 through 2010, Andy continually ranked as a top 10 player in the world. He has reached the finals of Wimbledon three times. He has played in 42 Davis Cup matches and led the team to victory in 2007. Andy still holds the record for the fastest serve ever – 155 MPHs.
In 2009, Andy married model and actress Brooklyn Decker.
Andy has been featured in non-sports publications ranging from Rolling Stone to Vogue. Some of the most interesting profiles have included an item written by Sir Elton John for Interview Magazine, and being selected as the Sexiest Athlete in 2003 by People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” issue. Proving his versatility, Andy has hosted Saturday Night Live and made a cameo in Adam Sandler’s movie, Just Go With It.
Roddick has headlined national advertising campaigns for Lacoste, Babolat, Rolex, American Express and Lexus, as well as participating in promotional spots for ESPN Sportscenter.
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.
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.
Amanda Kloots is a former Broadway dancer and Radio City Rockette turned entrepreneur and celebrity trainer. Now, a co-host on CBS’s The Talk. Amanda approaches life with positivity despite what challenges are thrown her way. Kloots is the creator of the global fitness brand AK! Fitness and the co-creator of the apparel company Hooray For® that donates proceeds to non-profit organizations worldwide. Her first memoir, Live Your Life, co-written with her sister, will be released in June 2021.
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, known to their audience as The Minimalists, help more than 20 million people live meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and films. They have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Time magazine, and they have spoken at Harvard, Apple, and Google. The Minimalists Podcast is often the #1 health podcast on Apple Podcasts, and their popular documentaries, Minimalism and Less is Now, are available on Netflix. Both raised in Dayton, Ohio, they currently live in Los Angeles.
The Minimalists have spoken at Harvard, Apple, Google, MDRT, SXSW, and many other organizations, schools, and conferences. They speak about a wide array of topics, from simple living and decluttering to digital clutter, workplace minimalism, personal relationships, and living a meaningful life.
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.”
Phil Keoghan is the host and an executive producer of CBS’ multi-Emmy Award-winning reality series The Amazing Race and host of National Geographic Explorer… arguably the most traveled host on the planet.
He is currently the creator, show runner and host of Tough as Nails on CBS, the #1 New Unscripted Series on U.S. Broadcast during the Summer of 2020.
Born in New Zealand, Keoghan has experienced a life full of travel and adventure. After he started traveling around the world at the age of 2, he has been globetrotting ever since.
Surviving a near-death experience at the age of 19, Keoghan wrote a list of things to do before he died and created a BUCKiT Tick-it Before You Kick-it! philosophy which he turned into a best selling book called No Opportunity Wasted. He is now a regular motivational speaker at colleges and Fortune 500 companies around the world.
Visiting more than 100 countries, Phil has been sharing his stories in front of a TV camera for over 30 years. His adventures include riding his bicycle from LA to New York; having a five-star meal on top of an erupting volcano of Stromboli; breaking an unofficial world record bungy jump; putting a golf ball across Scotland; changing a light bulb on top of the Verrazano Bridge; diving the world’s longest underwater caves and swimming from Asia to Europe across the Bosporus.
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.
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.
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.
Myha’la Herrold is an actress and youthful voice of inspiration for dreamers everywhere. She discusses the joy and privilege of the hustle, how to overcome obstacles and naysayers, and gives advice to students of what to expect in the real world, and how to prepare for it.
Myha'la plays the lead role of 'Harper' in HBO’s hit series, Industry. She can also be seen in Natalie Morales' feature directorial debut Plan B for Hulu.
The California native graduated from Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama with a BFA degree in Drama, Acting and Music Theater. Since graduating, she has worked non-stop, beginning on Broadway as Nabulungi in "The Book of Mormon." Other recent credits include Rashaad Ernesto Green’s Premature, which premiered at Sundance in 2019, and an episode of Modern Love for Amazon, opposite Julia Garner.
Robert Rodriguez is a film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer, editor and musician.
While a student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991, Robert Rodriguez wrote the script to his first feature film, El Mariachi, which went on to win the coveted Audience Award at the 1993 Sundance Film Festival, and became the lowest budget movie ever released by a major studio. Rodriguez wrote about these experiences in Rebel Without a Crew, a perennial guide for the independent filmmaker.
Rodriguez went on to write, produce, direct and edit a series of successful films including Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin City, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, Machete and Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, and embarked on a collaboration with iconic film director James Cameron on the film adaptation of Alita: Battle Angel which Cameron is producing alongside Rodriguez directing.
In 2000, Rodriguez founded Troublemaker Studios, an Austin, Texas based production facility of which he is co-owner and president. The studio includes a world-renowned visual effects house, music and publishing arms and has played a primary role in making Austin a vibrant filmmaking hub.
In 2017, Rodriguez, alongside his sons Racer and Rebel, formed Double R Productions, a development and production company with capabilities to produce media projects across film, television, gaming, and interactive platforms. In addition to Red 11, Double R produced a state of the art VR live-action short called the The Limit as well as as a new feature film, We Can Be Heroes, in partnership with Netflix. We Can Be Heroes has become one of Netflix’s most popular films of all time.
He recently directed the Lady Gaga/Ariana Grande video "Rain on Me," and an episode of The Mandalorian which led to him currently producing the new Star Wars series The Book of Boba Fett.
Rising star Marsai Martin, at just 16-years-old, is already on course to be a whirlwind sensation. At the age of five she landed her first national commercial and shortly after relocating to Los Angeles, she was cast as Diane Johnson on the ABC Emmy-nominated hit comedy “black-ish.” Her work on the show has earned her 9 NAACP Image Awards and 2 BET Awards.
At the age of 10 she conceptualized and pitched a movie idea to Will Packer and Universal which became the feature film, Little, which also earned her 2 more NAACP Image Awards. As the star and Executive Producer on the film, she has become a part of Hollywood history as the youngest person to Executive Produce a major Hollywood film.
With opportunities presenting themselves daily, Marsai’s excited about uplifting diverse and young voices through her production company, Genius Productions, who signed an overall deal with Universal. In addition to acting, she loves producing, singing, dancing and creating her own content for social media.
Nicole is one of the most versatile and recognizable voices in the comedy landscape today. She currently stars as host of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated competition baking series Nailed It, which was just renewed for a third season. She can also be seen as producer and star of the scripted comedy series Loosely Exactly Nicole, which debuted its first season on MTV and aired its second on Facebook Watch. The show features her unique brand of confidence and irreverence as she demonstrates the hilarious missteps of what it means to be out on your own for the first time. Byer also appears in the new Netflix animated series Tuca & Bertie alongside Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong and continues to host her popular weekly podcast Why Won't You Date Me.
Byer was an early standout and fan favorite on MTV’s hit series Girl Code, a strong and smart female-driven comedy series that brings viewers a hilarious how-to manual full of over-the-top tips to push the envelope and open the dialogue about the wonders and woes of womanhood. She is also an Upright Citizens Brigade alum who continues to cement her status as a force in standup comedy, regularly performing in cities across the country.
Previously, Byer received national attention for her Above Average web series Pursuit of Sexiness, which she co-created and starred in alongside Sasheer Zamata. The series followed the adventures of two broke, single, and adorably self-absorbed young women trying to find a good guy in New York City. Her additional film and television work includes Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Lady Dynamite, Brooklyn 99, The Unicorn, Black Lady Sketch Show, Bojack Horseman, and 30 Rock.
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.
Laura Ling is an award-winning journalist and author. She most recently hosted the Discovery mini-documentary series, The Power of Kindness that looks at the scientific roots and benefits of being kind. She hosts Everyday Bravery, a podcast about overcoming life’s biggest challenges.
Ling is the host of Conquered on Z Living Network, a series that profiles awe-inspiring people who have broken boundaries to achieve their goals. She has also hosted two documentary series airing on the E! Network: E! Investigates and Society X with Laura Ling. The shows investigate topics such as teen suicide, the challenges faced by military spouses, and underground youth subcultures in America.
Prior to joining E! Ling served as Vice President of Current TV’s journalism department and created Vanguard, the network’s weekly investigative documentary series. As a Vanguard correspondent, she traveled the world to report on subjects including slave labor in the Amazon, the drug war in Mexico, Internet censorship in China, and women’s rights in Turkey. Under her leadership, Vanguard received numerous prestigious awards including the Alfred I. DuPont Award and several Emmy nominations.
In March 2009, while reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were detained by North Korean soldiers along the Chinese-North Korean border. The two journalists were arrested and held captive in North Korea for 140 days before being granted a special pardon and returning to the United States. She documented her experience in the 2010 memoir, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, that she penned with her sister, Lisa.
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.
Colonel Merryl Tengesdal (ret.) is the first and only African American woman to fly the United States Air Force’s U-2 “Dragon Lady” high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. As a former Naval Aviator and Air Force Combat Pilot, Merryl has flown over 3,400 flight hours including 330 combat hours in six different rotary and fixed wing aircraft. She has been deployed worldwide supporting combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and military operations in South America, the Caribbean, and the Horn of Africa. Since her retirement, Tengesdal has become a highly sought-after motivational speaker for industry, non-profit organizations and educational institutions on a wide range of topics including diversity and leadership, applying military leadership lessons to business enterprises and women in leadership. Tengesdal has a keen interest in promoting efforts to increase women and children of color in STEM.
Tengesdal has extensive command and senior leadership experience including Deputy Operations Group Commander and Inspector General for the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Director of Operations and Commander for the 9th Physiological Support Squadron. As the first female selected to be Commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Detachment 2 at Palmdale, CA, she led the oversight of a multi-billion-dollar depot-level maintenance, repair, and developmental testing program for the U-2. She retired in 2017 from the Pentagon in her last assignment as the Director of Inspections for the Air Force Inspector General, where she oversaw USAF’s conventional, nuclear and special access inspections program for 860,000 Airmen.
Tengesdal is a Reality Television Star and cast member on season 2 of CBS’s uplifting, reality competition show Tough As Nails and promotes increased minority involvement in the Trades. She has also appeared as a commentator on PBS’s UNLADYLIKE2020: The Bessie Coleman Story (2020) and as a technical consultant to Steven Spielberg on Bridge of Spies (2015).
In 2021, Merryl received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Engineering from her alma mater, the University of New Haven for her pioneering career and the far-reaching impact she has had in helping others soar to new heights.
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.
Jake Gyllenhaal is an Academy Award and Tony nominated actor, as well as a producer of note with his company Nine Stories. Alongside Hollywood's greatest filmmakers, Gyllenhaal starred in Sony Pictures highest grossing film of all time, Jon Watt’s’ Spider-Man: Far From Home; Ang Lee's classic Brokeback Mountain, for which he received an Oscar® nomination and won a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor; Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, for which he received Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG and Independent Spirit Award nominations; Bong Joon Ho’s Okja; David Ayer’s End of Watch; Antoine Fuqua’s Southpaw; Dennis Villeneuve’s Prisoners and Enemy; Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko; David Fincher's Zodiac; Sam Mendes' Jarhead; Nicole Holofcener's Lovely and Amazing; Ed Zwick's Love and Other Drugs, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, and Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, for which he earned a BAFTA nomination. His stage work on Broadway includes the Tony nominated "Sea Wall / A Life" (Tony nomination Best Actor, Drama League Award) ; "Sunday in the Park with George;" "Constellations" (Drama Desk Award); and "Little Shop of Horrors." Off-Broadway includes "If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet"; and on the West End, "This is Our Youth" (Evening Standard Award). Gyllenhaal re-teamed with director Antoine Fuqua and starred in The Guilty for Netflix, which Nine Stories produced.
Nine Stories produced Antonio Campos’ The Devil All The Time for Netflix starring Tom Holland, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska, and Robert Pattinson, and Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Good Joe Bell starring Mark Wahlberg, Connie Britton, and Gary Sinise. Nine Stories has produced Paul Dano’s Wildlife; David Gordon Green’s Stronger; and executive produced the documentary Hondros. Gyllenhaal also produced End of Watch and Nightcrawler, the latter of which earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. For the stage, Nine Stories produced the Broadway revival of "Sunday in the Park with George", "Sea Wall / A Life" (4 Tony nominations including Best Play and Best Actor for Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge), David Cale’s "We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time", and the Broadway debut of Jeremy O Harris’ groundbreaking Tony-nominated "Slave Play" (12 nominations). Both “Slave Play” and “Sea Wall / A Life” received 16 Tony nominations combined for the 2020 Broadway season—both received nods for Best Play.
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 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.
Chef, cookbook author and TV personality Scott Conant brings a deft touch and unwavering passion to creating culinary experiences with thoughtful hospitality and soulful cuisine. He is the chef and owner of The Americano, Mora Italian and Cellaio. Conant has published three cookbooks, including the acclaimed Bold Italian, and is a regular judge on Food Network’s Chopped, host of the spinoff series Chopped Sweets, and frequent co-host on Beat Bobby Flay.
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 Enterprise, Essence, and more.
Kaalund earned a Master’s of Public Policy from Duke University and Bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney College.
Theo Epstein is a veteran of Major League Baseball, including almost 20 years running organizations, and has presided over three World Series winners: 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox, and 2016 with the Chicago Cubs. He continues to influence Major League Baseball as an Advisor focusing on rule changes and future-of-the-game issues. He is also an Executive-in-Residence with Arctos Sports Partners, and the CEO of Arctos NorthStar Acquisition Corporation.
Theo is the architect of two of the most historic and memorable championship teams in baseball history: the 2004 Boston Red Sox who broke the Curse of the Bambino and ended an 86-year championship drought, and the 2016 Chicago Cubs who broke the Curse of the Billy Goat and ended a 108-year championship drought.
In 2002, Epstein became the youngest General Manager in baseball history at the age of 28 years, 11 months. Two years later, at age 30, he became (and remains) the youngest General Manager to win a World Series.
Epstein is one of only four baseball executives in history to build World Series winners for more than one organization. Fortune Magazine named Theo number one on its list of the World’s Greatest Leaders in 2017 and TIME Magazine named him to their list of 100 Most Influential People in the same year.
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.
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.