HWA New Speakers

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

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

News about our New Speakers

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

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

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

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

<p>Virtual Programming: Public Health Expert and former World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim is a leading voice on our economic recovery after the pandemic, and how companies and communities can safely re-open</p>

Virtual Programming: Public Health Expert and former World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim is a leading voice on our economic recovery after the pandemic, and how companies and communities can safely re-open

Physician, public health expert, anthropologist and former President of the World Bank JIM YONG KIM is speaking out on how to treat and contain Covid-19, based off of his decades of experience treating some of the largest global health problems including HIV/Aids. Recently interviewed by Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The New York Times and more, Dr. Kim is sought after by audiences, governments and organizations for guidance on how to re-open economies and communities, how to effectively test and treat, and how to slow transmission. His is one of the clearest and most experienced voices using science – and our shared humanity – to guide us though the pandemic. He has received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, has been recognized as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and was named one of TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."  Dr. Kim is the co-founder of Partners in Health, a leader in transforming heath and healthcare systems in some of the world’s poorest and most desperate communities, and chronicled in the documentary Bending the ArcHis viral TED talk Doesn’t Everyone Deserve a Chance at a Good Life? helped to bring to the world’s attention the work that needs to be done and the underlying call we all have to answer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When live performances stopped, that did not stop WYNTON MARSALIS. He's been keeping more than busy leading Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WorldWide Concert of Jazzhelping the Philadelphia Orchestra honor FrontLine Workers, supporting Harlem Eat Up! and urging community leaders to keep the arts funding front and center.

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

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

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

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

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

Our New Speakers

HWA NEW

SERENA WILLIAMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

TOM BRADY

  • NFL Quarterback and Six-Time Super Bowl Champion | Co-Founder, TB12
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Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady is one of the most accomplished athletes of the past two decades. With 17 Division Titles and nine 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, including one at the age of 41 – 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 2014, Brady founded TB12, his performance lifestyle brand, to share his approach and wellness movement with a global audience. Brady’s 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, where clients can participate in small group fitness classes, wellness events and one-on-one training 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.

Throughout his career, 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.

In his unprecedented football career, 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 second-most career touchdown passes of any player in history.

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 persistent work, intensive training and inherent athletic ability resulted in Brady finishing his college career ranked as the third best quarterback in Michigan 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, 12, Benjamin, 10, and Vivian, 7.

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

HWA NEW

TINA FEY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

ALEX RODRIGUEZ

  • Founder and CEO of investment firm A-Rod Corp
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Alex Rodriguez invests in world-class startups and partners with leading global companies in a variety of industries. While best known as one of the world’s greatest athletes (a 14x MLB All-Star and a 2009 World Series Champion with the New York Yankees), Alex now leads a team of experts who work with him to build high-growth businesses and enhance the value of 44 companies and 12 partnerships in the $2 billion A-Rod Corp portfolio.

Alex founded A-Rod Corp in 2003, purchasing a duplex apartment on the theory that investing his MLB earnings wisely would protect him from the kinds of financial struggles that afflict too many professional athletes. While he racked up extraordinary stats on the field (696 home runs, more grand slams than any other MLB player in history), Alex simultaneously assembled an impressive team at A-Rod Corp, bought apartment units across the southeastern U.S., and built a fully integrated real estate and development company. Following his success in real estate, where annual returns on investment have exceeded 20%, Alex has invested in a variety of sectors where he has expertise, including sports, wellness, media and entertainment, and technology and consumer products. He looks for long-term opportunities to provide not only financial capital but also business-building advice and connections to create value for all investors and key stakeholders.

Alex is an Emmy Award-winning MLB analyst for Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been a judge and investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, has 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 Club of Miami-Dade and the Board of Trustees of the University of Miami. His gifts to Florida International University have provided scholarships to dozens of students.

Alex is based in Miami. His pride and joy are his daughters, Natasha and Ella.

HWA NEW

KEVIN HART

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

Hart launched his digital network, the Laugh Out Loud Network, which serves as a platform for emerging comedians. He has started and runs his own production company, Hartbeat Productions, and has several successful brand partnerships with companies like NIKE, J.P Morgan, and Tommy John.

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

HWA NEW

BAN KI-MOON

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

GARY COHN

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

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

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

HWA NEW

TINA BROWN

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

INDRA NOOYI

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

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

HWA NEW

BRIAN GRAZER

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

IDRIS ELBA

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

 

HWA NEW

CHARLIZE THERON

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

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

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

HWA NEW

VENUS WILLIAMS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SARAH COOPER

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

Sarah’s first variety special SARAH COOPER: EVERYTHING’S FINE, directed by Natasha Lyonne and executive produced by Maya Rudolph, will premiere on Netflix this Fall. 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 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.

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LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

STEVE MARTIN

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

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

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

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

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

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WHOOPI GOLDBERG

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

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

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AMY POEHLER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

OCTAVIA SPENCER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

WYNTON MARSALIS

  • International Jazz Icon
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Wynton Marsalis is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading advocate of American culture. He is the world’s first jazz artist to perform and compose across the full jazz spectrum from its New Orleans roots to bebop to modern jazz. By creating and performing an expansive range of brilliant new music for quartets to big bands, chamber music ensembles to symphony orchestras, tap dance to ballet, Wynton has expanded the vocabulary for jazz and created a vital body of work that places him among the world’s finest musicians and composers.

Marsalis’ core beliefs and foundation for living are based on the principals of jazz. He promotes individual creativity (improvisation), collective cooperation (swing), gratitude and good manners (sophistication), and 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.

HWA NEW

STEVEN VAN ZANDT

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

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

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

HWA NEW

JEFF FLAKE

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

STACEY ABRAMS

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

JOE SCARBOROUGH

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

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

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

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MIKA BRZEZINSKI

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

Mika's “Know Your Value” is a nationwide movement in partnership with NBCUniversal to support an empowered and inclusive community that helps all women recognize, and be recognized for, their worth in business and in life. Mika is the author of seven bestselling books which serve as essential and inspiring guidebooks for empowering women, offering encouragement and practical advice on claiming and communicating their worth.

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

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

HWA NEW

JUAN MANUEL SANTOS

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

JIM YONG KIM

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

URSULA BURNS

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

JULIAN CASTRO

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

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

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

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

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RAHM EMANUEL

  • 55th Mayor of Chicago
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Rahm Emanuel served as the 55th mayor of the City of Chicago. Over his two terms, Mayor Emanuel led major investments across education, youth programming, neighborhood development, transportation, infrastructure, public health, and public safety.

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

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CHRIS CHRISTIE

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

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

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

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H.R. MCMASTER

  • National Security Advisor to President Trump (2017-18)
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Former National Security Advisor, Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster is a preeminent voice on leadership, global security and international affairs, recognized for his leadership in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Named one of TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World" and Fortune's "50 World's Greatest Leaders", McMaster is renowned as a "warrior-intellectual." He is the author of two important and bestselling books on national security: Battlegrounds and Dereliction of Duty.

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

 

 

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SIMON SINEK

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

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

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

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

 

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SCOTT GALLOWAY

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

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MARCUS LEMONIS

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

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 225 locations in 36 states and a comprehensive e-commerce platform, Marcus has long time served as the Chairperson at America’s #1 source for RVs, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair - Camping World and Gander RV & Outdoors. In 2017, he became the RV Business Newsmaker of the Year for “evolving into one of the most transformational characters in the U.S. recreational vehicle industry.” 

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

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

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BOZOMA SAINT JOHN

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

With almost 20 years of experience that spans multiple industries including digital music and entertainment, consumer packaged goods, fashion, sports and automotive, Bozoma is a leader heralded for her bold thinking and cutting-edge ideas. Prior to Netflix and Endeavor, she served as the Chief Brand Officer at Uber, where she was tasked with telling the stories of millions of riders and driver-partners across over 600 cities, and as the Head of Global Consumer Marketing for Apple Music and iTunes, where she built and launched Apple Music, as well as spearheaded campaigns geared towards growing consumer brand recognition, loyalty, and equity around the world. 

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

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

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ALEXIS OHANIAN

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

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

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

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

 

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SCOOTER BRAUN

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

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

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

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

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DAVID ROWAN

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

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

 

HWA NEW

CHARLES DUHIGG

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

HWA NEW

STEVEN KOTLER

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

Check out Kotler's podcast on coping during Covid-19 >> 

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

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MAHERSHALA ALI

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

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

 

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BEN AFFLECK

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

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LILLY SINGH

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

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

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

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JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

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

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

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

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

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

 

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DAN LEVY

  • Co-creator, Schitt's Creek
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Daniel Levy is a Multi-Emmy® nominated showrunner, and 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 fifth season, the show earned four Multi-Emmy® nominations including Best Comedy Series, a PGA Award nomination, a GLAAD Media nomination for Best Comedy Series, two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations including Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series, and five Critics’ Choice Award nominations including Best Comedy Series and one for Levy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Recently, the show concluded its final season with a critically acclaimed two-part finale.

Schitt’s Creek has garnered dozens of awards and more than 100 nominations, including a 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy, a 2020 Costume Design Guild Award for Excellence in Contemporary Television, a 2020 SAG Award nomination for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series, a 2020 Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Comedy Series, and 2019 TCA Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. In 2019, Levy won Best Comedic Performance at the MTV Movie & TV Awards for his role on the show, and was honored by GLAAD with the Davidson/Valentini Award. In 2020, Levy received the CSA Radius Award and was honored by the Human Rights Campaign with the Visibility Award. Most recently, Levy was recognized as one of the Grand Marshals for NYC Pride 2020.

Levy began his television career co-hosting MTV Canada’s flagship show MTV Live and later co-wrote, co-hosted, and co-produced the critically-acclaimed ratings hit The After Show and its various incarnations, including The Hills: The After Show and The City: Live After Show. Levy also wrote, produced, and starred in his own Christmas special for MTV, Daniel Levy’s Holi-Do’s & Don’ts and co-hosted the MTV Movie Awards Red Carpet, the X-Factor pre-show, and national coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Games for CTV. Levy also co-hosted The Great Canadian Baking Show, and has also made a guest appearance on Modern Family. He made his film debut opposite Tina Fey in Admission. In 2019, Levy signed a multi-year overall deal with Disney’s ABC Studios to develop and produce scripted projects for the studio. Up next, Levy will appear in TriStar Pictures and Entertainment One romantic comedy, Happiest Season.

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OPAL TOMETI

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

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ROBIN DIANGELO

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

 

 

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AUSTIN CHANNING BROWN

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

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

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

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

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MIKA BRZEZINSKI & JOE SCARBOROUGH

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

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

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TAMRON HALL

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

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

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JOY REID

  • MSNBC Political Analyst and Host of "The ReidOut"
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Joy Reid is the host of the new primetime cable news program, The ReidOut, making her the first black woman to host a primetime cable news program. Prior to The ReidOut, Joy served as a political analyst at MSNBC and host of the hit weekend news morning show, AM Joy.  She is the author of three books: Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama, which she co-edited with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, and her latest book: The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story, which spent four weeks on the New York Times best-sellers list. Reid also co-hosts a podcast: Reid This-Reid That with veteran TV journalist Jacque Reid. She has worked in local and national TV news, as a talk radio producer and co-host, and as a press secretary during two presidential campaigns, including for Barack Obama's campaign in Florida in 2008. Her columns have appeared in multiple outlets including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, New York Magazine, and The Daily Beast.

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

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TIFFANY D. CROSS

  • Co-Founder & Managing Editor, The Beat DC
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Tiffany D. Cross is an on-air political analyst and cable newsroom veteran. She is the bestselling author of Say It Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives, and Saving Our Democracy (Amistad/HarperCollins) and a Resident Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (Spring 2020). Her broad experience across media, politics, and policy includes more than two decades of navigating newsrooms and campaigns while engaging different constituencies on the ground. She previously served as the DC Bureau Chief of BET News and the Liaison to the Obama Administration for BET Networks where she covered Capitol Hill, produced political specials, and oversaw the daily operations of the news department. Tiffany cut her teeth in media at CNN where she worked as an Associate Producer covering Capitol Hill for the network’s weekend show unit. She also previously served as a Field Producer for America’s Most Wanted and Discovery Communications.

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

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

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

 

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W. KAMAU BELL

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

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

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

 

 

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LORI GREINER

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

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TAN FRANCE

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

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

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

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BOBBY BERK

  • Queer Eye Star
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Celebrity designer Bobby Berk’s rise to fame in the home design world didn’t happen overnight. Originally hailing from Texas, Bobby had big dreams of the big city and moved to New York in 2003 with only a few dollars to his name and no job in sight. After working his way up in retail at Bed Bath & Beyond and Restoration Hardware to a Creative Director position at Portico Home + Spa, Berk decided that it was time to create his own brand. Since 2006, Bobby Berk Home's retail division has consistently provided customers with a unique approach to modern design. Epitomizing hip, minimalist urban luxury, Berk’s designs reflect a stylish and youthful spirit that perfectly fits any cool, relaxed lifestyle. Berk most recently has taken center stage as a member of the “Fab 5” in Netflix’s hugely popular, Emmy-winning remake Queer Eye. Berk has also appeared as an expert on numerous television networks including HGTV, Bravo, NBC, and CBS.

Bobby brings a unique millennial viewpoint to the design industry, with substantial experience across many facets of the trade. With his extensive background in retail, manufacturing, interior design and licensing, he is often invited to give lectures across the globe on topics such as the millennial demographic, streamlining furniture manufacturing, and even production processes. For more Bobby Berk and his design and lifestyle tips, visit his website BobbyBerk.com.

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GLENNON DOYLE

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

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AKALA

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

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

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

 

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STEVE MARTIN & MARTIN SHORT

  • Steve Martin: Actor and Comedian, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Grammy Award-winning Banjoist and Composer
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As two titans of comedy, Steve Martin and Martin Short have dominated the big screen, conquered television, and took over the stage during the course of their illustrious, spellbinding comedic careers. But they miss each other whenever they're apart. Together, for not the first time in history – virtually and in-person – Steve Martin and Martin Short bring their comedic genius to the meeting space. They leave audiences in tears as they take them on a journey of two legends who, despite being adults, are incredibly codependent – not really, they just love each other – and it comes through when they're on stage bringing you closer than ever to what it's like in the life of two funny men.

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AMY SCHUMER

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

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

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

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

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TYLER PERRY

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

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

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

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

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AMBER HEARD

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

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

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

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

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MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY

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

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

McConaughey's new Podcast, “HEARD” is a weekly talk format that will take you inside the mind of McConaughey - with wide ranging guests, monologues and anything else that Austin’s Minister of Culture finds interesting.   In his new book, Greenlights, McConaughey writes what he calls a love letter to life.  Greenlights takes readers on a journey of lessons he grappled with throughout his life reminding us to connect with grace, truth, and the beauty of being alive.

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

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KUMAIL NANJIANI

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

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

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

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

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ERIN BROCKOVICH

  • Iconic environmental activist and consumer advocate
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Say the name Erin Brockovich and you think, strong, tough and stubborn. Erin is all that and more. A formerly-unknown legal researcher who became a 20th century icon overnight thanks to Julia Roberts Oscar-winning tour de force, Erin’s dogged persistence was the impelling force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in history. 

And she’s kept fighting for the people one town at a time. In her latest book, Superman’s Not Coming (Pantheon, August 2020), she brings to light the stark truths of America today: Resources are exhausted; corruption is rampant; infrastructure is outdated; water and health issues affect us all--rich and poor, Republicans and Democrats. Erin gives permission and empowers people to take action so that they can save their families, their communities, and the planet. 

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

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

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SUNNY HOSTIN

  • Co-Host, The View
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Four-time Emmy Award-winner Sunny Hostin is a co-host of ABC Daytime’s morning show The ViewPeople magazine recently exclusively announced that Sunny’s debut book, I Am These Truths, will be published by HarperOne (an imprint of HarperCollins) on September 22, 2020. An intimate memoir about growing up Afro-Latina, discovering her identity and her fight for justice, the book is written in her signature “no-holds-barred, straight-up style,” chronicling her journey from poverty to bringing a national spotlight to some of the most important news stories of our time.

Last fall, Sunny hosted and executive produced Investigation Discovery's six-episode documentary series, Truth About Murder with Sunny Hostin, which explores the stories behind some of the nation’s most notorious homicides. As a former undefeated federal prosecutor, and current victims’ rights advocate, she uses her expertise to connect with investigators and law enforcement and get to the heart of what exactly happened.

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

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

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

 

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LISA LING

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

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

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

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

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

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MICHAEL STRAHAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ERIN ANDREWS

  • FOX Sports Broadcaster
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One of the most recognized and respected sports broadcasters in the industry, Erin Andrews is part of FOX Sports’ A Team, reporting for FOX NFL Sunday and NFL Thursday Night Football. 

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

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

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

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NICK KROLL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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KATE MCKINNON

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

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

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

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

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JOHN MULANEY

  • Emmy Award-Winning Writer and Comedian
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John Mulaney is an Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian. He recently toured the United States with his stand-up tour, Kid Gorgeous, which was also released as a Netflix special and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Variety Special. Additionally, he has hosted SNL twice, starred in the Broadway hit, Oh, Hello, and can be heard in the Golden Globe-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. 

A former writer on Saturday Night Live, Mulaney appeared as a “Weekend Update” correspondent and co-created characters such as “Stefon” with Bill Hader. Mulaney currently writes for IFC’s Documentary Now! and for Netflix’s Big Mouth, on which he voices the character of “Andrew.” Mulaney’s first comedy album is The Top Part, his second Comedy Central special and album was New In Town, and upon review, Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly hailed Mulaney as “one of the best stand-up comics alive.”

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JOHN KRASINSKI

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

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

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

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

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ROBIN SHARMA

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

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

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

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

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J.R. MARTINEZ

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

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

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

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CHELLA MAN

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

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

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

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MAYSOON ZAYID

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

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

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

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KATIE SOWERS

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

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

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

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ASHLEY JUDD

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

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

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

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MARK WAHLBERG

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

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

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

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

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KEVIN SMITH

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

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

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

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

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

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GUILLERMO DEL TORO

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

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

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

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

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RICHARD THALER

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

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

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

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ALEXA VON TOBEL

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

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

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

 

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ERICA KESWIN

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

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

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

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NICOLAS JAMMET

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

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

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

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

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JONATHAN NEMAN

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

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

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

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SOPHIA AMORUSO

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

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

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

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

Sophia has been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine and featured in the Fortune 40 under 40, Forbes 30 under 30, Inc. 30 under 30, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business lists, and named one of Forbes’ Richest Self-Made Women. 

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ALLI WEBB

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

ROBIN ARZON

  • Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor, Peloton
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New York Times best-selling author of Shut Up And Run, Robin 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. She currently serves as a global brand ambassador for Adidas and was named one of the most influential people on Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" list in 2020. Her life’s mission is to redefine, reform, and rethink possibility through movement.

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JOHN DICKERSON

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

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

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

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

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SARA SIDNER

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

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

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

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

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

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LARA SPENCER

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

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

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

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

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BEN SHERWOOD

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

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

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

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

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LAWRENCE O'DONNELL

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

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

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

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CLARENCE PAGE

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

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

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PEGGY NOONAN

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

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

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

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CECILE RICHARDS

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

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

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

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LINDSEY VONN

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

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

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TROY AIKMAN

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

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

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

 

 

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MARIA SHARAPOVA

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

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

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

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

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

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DEION SANDERS

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

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

 

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DALE EARNHARDT JR.

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

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

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

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

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

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ALEX MOFFAT

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

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

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MIKEY DAY

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

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

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

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

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MELISSA VILLASENOR

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

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VANESSA BAYER

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

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

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ERIC WHITACRE

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

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

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CHERYL HINES

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

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

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JENNA FISCHER

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

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

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

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

 

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ELLIE KEMPER

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

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

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CRAIG ROBINSON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robinson currently resides in Los Angeles.

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SEAN HAYES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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JULIANNA MARGULIES

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

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

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

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

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DESHAUNA BARBER

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

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

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CARLI LLOYD

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

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

 

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BILLIE JEAN KING

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

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

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

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WAYNE GRETZKY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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P.K. SUBBAN

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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ADAM RIPPON

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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RONAN FARROW

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

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

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

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CHARLES BLOW

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

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

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

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

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

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TOM BOSSERT

  • Former Homeland Security & Counterterrorism Advisor
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Tom Bossert served as the Homeland Security Advisor under President Trump and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor under President Bush. During his time in the Trump Administration, Bossert was the Chief Advisor on Global Health Security, Cybersecurity, Homeland Security, and Counterterrorism. There he coordinated the President, Cabinet, and senior White House staff on a range of domestic and transnational security issues. In 2017, Bossert briefed the world on “The Next Pandemic” at the Aspen Security Forum, warning the world of the coronavirus, and urging the administration and the global health community to invest in coordinated pandemic response. In his capacity, Bossert managed U.S. operational risk in the presidential transition, coordinated international cybersecurity policy, and operations, offensive and defensive, and led the successful federal government response and recovery operations to the most damaging and costly natural disaster season in U.S. history. Mr. Bossert led the Nation’s counterterrorism policy and coordinated global operations, dramatically increasing operational effectiveness, destroying the ISIS caliphate, and increasing the lethality of our forces around the world. He also coordinated all diplomatic and special operations for the return of U.S. hostages. Currently, Mr. Bossert President at Trinity Cyber, National Security Analyst to ABC News, and Senior Fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the U.S. Atlantic Council.

HWA NEW

ELIZABETH NYAMAYARO

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

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ROBERT GIBBS

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

 

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KEVIN HASSETT

  • Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers (2017-19)
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Dr. Kevin Hassett is among the world's leading economists, and served as the 29th Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers from 2017 through 2019.  He was recently called back to the White House to serve as a special economic advisor to President Trump to manage data-driven decisions in response to the Coronavirus economic fallout.

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

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

HWA NEW

WENDY DAVIS

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

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

HWA NEW

JENNIFER PALMIERI

  • Former White House Communications Director and Communications Strategist
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Jennifer Palmieri is a writer and one of the most accomplished communications advisors in politics today. The author of the number 1 New York Times bestseller Dear Madam President, Jennifer was White House Communications Director for President Obama and head of Communications for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. She has been on the frontlines of American politics for 20 years and one of a few people with a hands-on, working knowledge of the complex media environment operating in the U.S. today.

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

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

Her second book, She Proclaims: Our Declaration of Independence from a Man’s World will be published in July of 2021. She is also a guest host of Showtime’s The Circus and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair.

HWA NEW

CODY KEENAN

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

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

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

HWA NEW

BEN RHODES

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

HWA NEW

MATTHEW WALKER

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

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

HWA NEW

DAVID KESSLER

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

ALLYSON FELIX

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

TONY GONZALEZ

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

An author and an entrepreneur, Gonzalez develops multi-media programs that celebrate and advocate sports for children in an educational format. His latest ventures also include a new podcast, Wide Open with Tony Gonzalez, which provides an  unrestrained and raw look into how to embrace all the revolutionary change taking place in the world of health, mindset, wellness, family and more. 

Gonzalez’s philanthropic endeavors include a partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs; Shadow Buddies, an organization that provides emotional support through education regarding illness, disability or medical treatments, as well as being named an ambassador for Scholars’ Hope, working with underserved children in Huntington Beach, Calif.

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

HWA NEW

TOM COLICCHIO

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

Coliccio 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.”

With Craft and its casual sibling, Craftbar, established in New York City, Colicchio set out to expand his simple, elegant brand of cooking. He has since opened Craftsteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (2002), Craft and Craftbar in Los Angeles (2007; 2009) and Craftsteak at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods (2008).

Tom opened his first ‘wichcraft – a sandwich shop rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003. Today ‘wichcraft has 14 New York City locations, as well as locations at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Westfield Center in San Francisco.

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 11th season.

In January 2010, he opened Colicchio & Sons in New York. At Colicchio & Sons, he improvises smith small-batch ingredients from microproducers and family farmers, with whom he has forged decades-long relationships. The restaurant earned three stars from The New York Times. Later that year, Colicchio opened Riverpark in New York, with chef and partner Sish Ortuzar. Riverpark features views of the East River and urban farm supplied produce. In May of the same year, Colicchio was awared The James Beard Foundation’s coveted “Outstanding Chef” award, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work in the restaurant industry.

In fall 2012, he opened the restaurant at Topping Rose House, a new inn he is operating in Bridgehampton, New York, which made its full debut in 2013.

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 brings his passion for cooking with fire to the Las Vegas Strip with the opening of Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at the Mirage. Opened in August 2013, the 250-seat restaurant focuses on meats prepared entirely over an open flame-from wood burning ovens to charcoal grills. Looking forward, Tom will open a restaurant at One Hotel & Homes South Beach with a Mediterraean inspired menu, showcasing South Florida’s local farms and fisherman.

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 the West Village with his wife, Lori Silverbush, and three sons.

HWA NEW

PADMA LAKSHMI

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

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

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

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

 

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ANDREW ZIMMERN

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

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CHRISTIAN SIRIANO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

HASAN MINHAJ

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

As Host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah wrote in TIME: "Patriot Act is the manifestation of Hasan’s whip-smart commentary, charisma and sincerity. It’s also a consistent reminder that Hasan is America. And America is Hasan.”

Named to TIME's "100 Most Influential People in the World," Minhaj originally rose to prominence as a senior correspondent on The Daily Show. He has gone on to host the White House Correspondents' Dinner and air his own critically-acclaimed one-hour Netflix comedy special, Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King. 

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

 

HWA NEW

MARIO LOPEZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

MATT ISEMAN

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

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

AMARYLLIS FOX

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

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

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

HWA NEW

GIADA DE LAURENTIIS

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

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

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

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MARCUS SAMUELSSON

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

DAVID CHANG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

ANDRE IGUODALA

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

SYDNEY MCLAUGHLIN

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

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

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

HWA NEW

VICTOR CRUZ

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

STEPHEN A. SMITH

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

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

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

HWA NEW

BUDDY VALASTRO

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

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

HWA NEW

ROBERT IRVINE

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

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

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

HWA NEW

MICHAEL SYMON

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

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

HWA NEW

MAYE MUSK

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

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

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

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

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DOLLY PARTON

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

REBA MCENTIRE

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

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

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

HWA NEW

LECRAE

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

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

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

 

 

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CASEY NEISTAT

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

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

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

HWA NEW

LIZA DONNELLY

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

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

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GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN

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

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

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

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

 

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GAIL SIMMONS

  • Culinary Expert, Food Writer, and Dynamic Television Personality
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Gail Simmons is a trained culinary expert, food writer, and dynamic television personality. Since the show’s inception in 2006, she has lent her extensive expertise as a permanent judge on BRAVO’s Emmy-winning series Top Chef. Now entering its thirteenth successful season, Top Chef is rated the #1 food show on cable television. She is also the host the Top Chef spinoff, Top Chef Amateurs. Gail was previously head critic on Top Chef Duels and host of Top Chef Just Desserts, Bravo’s pastry-focused spin-off of the Top Chef franchise. She was also co-host of The Feed which aired in 2014 on FYI, A+E’s new lifestyle network.

Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Gail moved to New York City in 1999 to attend culinary school at what is now the Institute of Culinary Education. She then trained in the kitchens of legendary Le Cirque 2000 and groundbreaking Vong restaurants and worked for esteemed food critic Jeffrey Steingarten at Vogue.  Gail’s first book, her very own memoir titled Talking With My Mouth Full, was published by Hyperion in February 2012. 

In addition to her work on Top Chef, Gail makes frequent television appearances on NBC’s TODAY, ABC’s Good Morning America and Fox & Friends, among others. She has been featured in such publications as New York Magazine,Travel + LeisureGQPeopleTV GuideUS WeeklyEntertainment WeeklyLos Angeles Times, and was named the #1 Reality TV Judge in America by The New York Post. She also has appeared at the nation’s foremost culinary festivals, including the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and the New York City Wine & Food Festival, among others.           

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ALEX GUARNASCHELLI

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

 

The daughter of esteemed cookbook editor Maria Guarnaschelli, as a child Guarnaschelli received a global education in food as she was raised on the cuisine of whatever book her mother happened to be working on at the time. But it was not the younger Guarnaschelli’s fate to be only a spectator; her mother urged her to be a participant. 

 

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

A Food Network star, Guarnaschelli is the host of Supermarket Stakeout and previously served as host of The Cooking Loft and Alex’s Day Off. She's also been a recurring and guest judge on several prime-time series including Chopped (which earned each of the judges a James Beard Foundation Award for best Television Program), Beat Bobby Flay, and Iron Chef America (and its many spin-offs). She is currently launching the third season of her Food Network digital series, Fix Me a Plate, in which the New York native takes audiences on an insider’s tour of the city’s best no-frills food spots.  

Beyond her television appearances, Guarnaschelli  premiered a one-woman live comedy show, Busting My Chops, at Caroline’s on Broadway. She is also a popular mainstay on social media, and was named the Head of Twitter’s Food Council, a group of leading culinary figures who regularly join the Twitter conversation on all things food and food culture. The author of multiple cookbooks, Guarnaschelli's forthcoming work, Cook with Me (Clarkson Potter, October 2020), explores how the relationships with her family have shaped her as a chef and home cook. 

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

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GUY FIERI

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

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

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

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COLIN QUINN

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

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

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ADAM SAVAGE

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

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

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

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MISHA EUCEPH

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

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

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

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

 

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CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS

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

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

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

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

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

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MAYIM BIALIK

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

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

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

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RICKI LAKE

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

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

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

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

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ADAM BRAUN

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

Adam Braun knows how to motivate people to powerful action and organizations who bring Adam to their event are seeing the difference. His TEDTalk "The Five Phrases That Can Change Your Life," has been viewed 1.3 million times. 

The Founder of Pencils Of Promise, Adam Braun’s story is how one young man turned $25 into more than 525 schools, serving 100,000 students around the world, and built a global community which is well on its way to achieving its goal of making a quality education a possibility for everyone. His story proves that anyone can take small steps to lead a successful and significant life. 

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

Adam went on to become Founder & CEO of MissionU, a 21st-century higher education company teaching hard and soft skills for the new economy. MissionU was an early pioneer in remote learning for workforce development that led to it being named to Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" in 2018, and it was acquired by WeWork later that year.

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

 

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TARANA BURKE

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

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

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

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

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APRIL RINNE

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

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

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

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

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ADAM DEVINE

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

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

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BEN SCHWARTZ

  • Emmy Award-Winning Actor
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Ben stars in the Greg Daniels and Steve Carell series Space Force, in which he plays 'F*ck Tony' opposite stars John Malkovich, Noah Emmerich and Diana Silvers. Ben is also the voice of the titular character in Paramount’s feature Sonic the Hedgehog, opposite James Marsden and Jim Carrey. He is working on the Disney + feature, Flora and Ulysses which will be produced by Gil Netter. Ben also stars opposite Kevin Hart in the Universal feature Night School directed by Malcolm D. Lee. He recently wrapped We Are Unsatisfied starring opposite Billy Crystal; Happy Anniversary, written and directed by Jared Stern; and The Blue Iguana opposite Sam Rockwell.
 
Other feature credits include Outside In alongside Jay Duplass; An Actor Prepares alongside Jeremy Irons; The Intervention written and directed by Clea DuVall; The Walk directed by Robert Zemeckis and This Is Where I Leave You directed by Shawn Levy. 
 
Ben starred opposite Don Cheadle & Kristen Bell in the Showtime comedy series House of Lies and starred alongside Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt and Aziz Ansari as the iconic Jean Ralphio on Parks & Recreation
 
An Emmy-winning writer, Ben was named as one of Variety’s “2014 Ten Screenwriters to Watch” and has feature comedies in development at Paramount, Good Universe and Universal and a pilot he sold to CBS based on his book “Things You Should Know By Now” with Gary Sanchez producing. 
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ROY WOOD, JR.

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

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

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

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

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JACLYN JOHNSON

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

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

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

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

 

 

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ANN CURRY

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

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JOANNE LIPMAN

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

HELENE COOPER

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

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

Born in Monrovia, Liberia, Helene is the author of The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood (Simon and Schuster), a New York Times best seller and a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography in 2009. In 2009 and 2010, she appeared on the TV quiz show, Jeopardy!, as a clue. She has also appeared on Meet the Press, Washington Week, The Tavis Smiley Show, The Chris Matthews Show, and This Week.

HWA NEW

JOHN BOOCKVAR

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

CATHY O'NEIL

  • Big Data Scientist and New York Times Bestselling Author
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Cathy O’Neil is a data skeptic who uncovers the dark secrets of big data.  She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, which was also a semifinalist for the National Book Award. She is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and founded the company ORCAA, an algorithmic auditing company.  She helps companies understand and mitigate their risks around the algorithms they employ and that are used against them. 

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

 

 

HWA NEW

LENA WAITHE

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

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

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

RYAN O'CONNELL

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

HWA NEW

RYAN COOGLER

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

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

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

HWA NEW

DAPPER DAN

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

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

HWA NEW

DAVEED DIGGS

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

DAVID DOBRIK

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

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

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

HWA NEW

PIERA GELARDI

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

CARI CHAMPION

  • Sports Anchor, Journalist, & Host
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CARI CHAMPION has worked across the country covering network news, entertainment, and sports stories of national interest for ABC, CBS, NBC and other cable networks. Champion worked as anchor, sports journalist, and host and spent nearly a decade at ESPN where she served as a SportsCenter anchor and host of ESPN2’s First Take.  Most recently, 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.

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.

HWA NEW

NNEKA ONUORAH

  • Award-Winning Documentary Filmmaker
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Nneka Onuorah is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, television producer, and activist of Nigerian-American descent. She is known for her film, The Same Difference, a documentary about internalized homophobia within the black lesbian community. The film was nominated for a GLAAD award in the category of “Best Documentary.” Her 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 alongside Director Dee Rees and Oscar winning producer Cassian Elwes on the feature film, The Last Thing He Wanted, which was released by Netflix earlier this year. She is currently in post-production on an upcoming feature documentary for HBO which she is Directing and Executive Producing alongside John Legend and Mike Jackson.

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.

HWA NEW

PHILLIP PICARDI

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

BRANDON MARSHALL

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

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

Aside from his work with the foundation, Brandon is an active participant in other mental health organizations such as Child Mind Institute as an ambassador for the Healthy Brain Network. Brandon advocates for the NFL Life Line and McLean Hospital. He has also been a participant in the Senate Finance Committee in Washington, D.C., testifying about mental health issues in our health care system.

HWA NEW

LISA GENOVA

  • Bestselling Author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony and upcoming Remember
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Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, Inside the O’Briens and Every Note Played. Her next book Remember, will be released in the Spring of 2021.

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

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

 

HWA NEW

HOPE JAHREN

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

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

HWA NEW

FELICIA DAY

  • Producer, Actress, TV writer, and Award-Winning Web Series Creator
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Actress and YouTube sensation Felicia Day is best known for her work in the web video world, behind and in front of the camera. She co-starred in Joss Whedon’s Emmy Award-winning Internet musical “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog,” and also created and starred in the seminal, award-winning web series “The Guild,” which ran for six seasons. Day expanded the Guild brand into numerous merchandizing opportunities, including a hit comic book series with Dark Horse Comics. Recently, costume and props from the show were admitted to the Smithsonian American History collection as examples of early web media pioneering.

Day created a funded YouTube channel and production company called Geek & Sundry. Since launching, the channel has garnered over 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube, and over 30k on the livestreaming platform Twitch. In 2014, the company was sold to Legendary Entertainment.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of her memoir, You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost), and Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity, an empowering guide to expanding your creative passions, overcoming fear and criticism, and cultivating a creative community. 

Currently on the CW show "Supernatural", and the SyFy series "The Magicians," Day also works on her own creative projects for television and the web.

HWA NEW

MARA BROCK AKIL

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

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

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

HWA NEW

CHRISTOPHER WYLIE

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

ALEXIS COE

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

DANIEL MARKOVITS

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

KELLY RIPPON

  • Author of Parent Up!: Inspire Your Child to Be Their Best Self
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Kelly Rippon is an teacher, author and single parent of six children, including her oldest son, Olympic medalist, Adam. She transformed her skills as an experienced college philosophy educator into a career as a motivational and professional development speaker. She started her own consulting company, Authentic Change Inc, with the mission of “Changing the world one conversation at a time.”  

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

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

HWA NEW

JOHN RICH

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

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

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

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

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LAURA BROWN

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

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

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

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JUSTIN BALDONI

  • Actor, Director, Producer, Entrepreneur and Changemaker
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Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, producer, entrepreneur, and changemaker whose efforts are focused on creating impactful media and entertainment. Baldoni is the co-founder of Wayfarer Studios, an independent financial and production engine pioneering purpose-driven, multiplatform film and television 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.

In 2019, Baldoni co-founded Wayfarer Studios with business leader, humanitarian and film producer Steve Sarowitz, disrupting the typical studio model by producing stories that serve as true agents for social change. Baldoni directed and produced Wayfarer Studios’ first featurefilm project, Clouds, which is based on the book Fly a Little Higher by Laura Sobiech about her son Zach. The film was acquired by Disney+, becoming Disney’s first-ever narrative acquisition on its global platform. In addition to Clouds, Wayfarer Studios has already built out a robust, genre-defying slate with innovative projects spanning film, scripted television, documentaries, digital platforms and more.

Baldoni made his feature-film directorial debut in March 2019 with Five Feet Apart for CBS Films and Lionsgate, starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson as Cystic Fibrosis patients who fall in love but aren’t allowed physical contact due to their medical condition. The film went on to gross $91 million worldwide, making it CBS Films’ third highest grossing film of all time, and was nominated for several awards including a People’s Choice Award nomination for “Drama Movie of 2019” and a Teen Choice Award nomination for “Choice Drama Movie.”

As a director, Baldoni is known to leave a lasting impression on his audience. In 2012, he created and directed The CW’s My Last Days, an uplifting documentary series about life as told by courageous people living with terminal illnesses. The series is currently in its fifth season on The CW and was recognized by the Television Academy Honors as one of the most powerful and impactful television shows of 2018 that inspired widespread social change.

Baldoni co-founded Wayfarer Entertainment in 2013—a social impact production company specializing in inspirational digital and branded content with a mission to create projects that benefit the world. Through this platform, he created the dinner conversation series, Man Enough, which dives into traditional masculinity while focusing on topics like body image, relationships, and fatherhood. He has spoken about his own journey with masculinity in a viral TED Talk as well as across college campuses in America.

Baldoni is also founder and chairman of The Wayfarer Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the way communities see and respond to the needs of people experiencing homelessness. Each year, The Wayfarer Foundation puts on one of Los Angeles’ largest volunteer events, the Skid Row Carnival of Love, which provides connection, services, and resources to people who are experiencing homelessness in LA’s Skid Row community. Over the past few years, over 6,000 volunteers have served over 15,000 guests, providing them access to over 100 service partners.

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

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MARK NEPO

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

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

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

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

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CATHERINE PRICE

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

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

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

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

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GABRIELLE BERNSTEIN

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

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

 

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LANDYN HUTCHINSON

  • Lifestyle Influencer
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Landyn Hutchinson isn’t really a lifestyle blogger. She is a high-energy, hardworking mom who is raising two kids and perpetually trying to navigate the perfect work / life balance. 

Refreshingly endearing, Landyn is not only relatable – she’s downright loveable. A natural motivator and extrovert, Landyn genuinely loves sharing her life with her community. She’s creative, she’s witty, and sometimes she drops her kids off at school without a bra on because, well, it’s early. 

Since Landyn launched her lifestyle website, Living with Landyn, she has cultivated a highly engaged audience of women (and men!) that she affectionately refers to as her Tribe.  Whether it’s sharing styling tips, recipes, workout recommendations, or the perfect shade of nail polish (which, by the way, is OPI Funny Bunny), each day Landyn strives to support and encourage each and every member of her tribe. 

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

Known for going above and beyond and always being the “hostess with the mostest” Landyn throws a party like no other. Audiences leave feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to make positive choices in their lives. Most importantly, she’s there to remind them that even though life may look really pretty in photos, it isn’t always picture perfect: It’s Authentic. It’s Exciting. It’s ALL. THE. THINGS.

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CURT MENEFEE

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

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

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

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

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

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PAMELA DRUCKERMAN

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

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

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

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ELIZA GRISWOLD

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

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

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

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

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KATHERINE EBAN

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

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

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

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WILL REEVE

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

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

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

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

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SARAH BROOM

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

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

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LUCY KALANITHI

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

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

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DANIEL JAMES BROWN

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

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

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

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ABIGAIL POSNER

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

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

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JACK LEW

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

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JOSEPH LUBIN

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

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

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

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GREG NORMAN

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

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

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MICHAEL NUTTER

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

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

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

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PENNY PRITZKER

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

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

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MICHAEL MOSS

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

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

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DANIEL SHAPIRO

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

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

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

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JANE LUTE

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

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MARGARET TRUDEAU

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

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NATALY KOGAN

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

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

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

HWA NEW

SETH MATTISON

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

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

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

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

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MICHELLE STACY

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

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

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

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JULIE WILLIAMSON

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

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

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

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VAN JONES

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

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

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

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PHILIPPE REINES

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

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FRED HOCHBERG

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

HWA NEW

ERTHARIN COUSIN

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

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

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

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

 

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DANIEL HOFFMAN

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

HWA NEW

LATOSHA BROWN

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

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

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

HWA NEW

ANTWONE FISHER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

URBAN MEYER

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

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

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

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

 

 

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NINA TEICHOLZ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GENO AURIEMMA

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

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

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

HWA NEW

BRAD MELTZER

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

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

HEBEN NIGATU

  • Co-Host of the Acclaimed Another Round Podcast
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Heben Nigatu is a writer, producer, and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2016, she was named one of Forbes ' 30 under 30 in Media, Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, Brooklyn Magazine' s 50 Funniest People, Marie Clare 's 50 Most Influential Women, and The Root' s 100 Most Influential African-Americans. 

She is the co-host of the podcast Another Round (currently on hiatus), which Elle Magazine described as, "one of the Internet’s most beloved podcasts." The critically-acclaimed show has featured such high-profile guests as Hillary Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Valerie Jarrett, and Ta-Nehisi Coates. It was named one of the best podcasts of 2015 by Apple; the Guardian; The Atlantic; New York Magazine; Slate; and many more.

She previously worked at the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where she produced new segments like Barbershop Stories, Hey White People, and other collaborations with guests like Chance the Rapper and Ziggy Marley. 

HWA NEW

JACQUELINE WOODSON

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

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ADAM MET

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

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BART BANFIELD

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

HWA NEW

PADRAIG HARRINGTON

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

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

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

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

HWA NEW

ELIZABETH SHERWOOD-RANDALL

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

HWA NEW

AMINATOU SOW

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

A member of the Sundance Institute Director's Advisory Group, and previous head of Social Impact Marketing at Google, Aminatou has been named one of Forbes "30 Under 30 in Tech." She is also the co-founder of Tech LadyMafia, an organization created to increase the visibility of women working in and around Technology. Her book, Big Friendship: How We Keep Each Other Close (June 2020), makes the bold and compelling argument that a close friendship is the most influential and important relationship a human life can contain—helping you improve as a person and in your relationships with others.

A passionate public speaker, Aminatou has been sought-out for events like SXSW, Chicago Ideas Week, and the Sydney Writers Festival. She convenes and facilitates conversations about the most important cultural issues of our time, and has interviewed everyone from Hillary Clinton to Roxane Gay, Kirsten Gillibrand, Ali Raisman, and so many more impressive women. At engagements, Aminatou shares candid insights into female ambition, money and power.

 

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JANET STOVALL

  • Diversity & Inclusion Pragmatist
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In her role as manager of executive communications for UPS, Janet Stovall serves as primary speechwriter for the CEO and senior leadership, making her one of the few executive speechwriters of color in the FORTUNE 500. She is uniquely adept at developing diversity and inclusion messages – and helping leaders deliver them authentically.

A popular speaker and workshop facilitator, Janet champions Pragmatic Diversity©, a frank business approach that tackles head-on systemic racism, corporate diversity, inclusion and belonging and provides straightforward solutions to dismantle it. Her TED talk challenging business to get serious about inclusion has been viewed over 1.5 million times.

Prior to joining UPS, Janet founded and served as principal of The Point Communications, a marketing communications and PR consulting firm. For more than 20 years, 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 leading thought leaders. Her work has been published extensively in Vital Speeches of the Day and has garnered numerous awards.

HWA NEW

NATE BOYER

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

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TINA TCHEN

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

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

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

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

 

HWA NEW

GUS KENWORTHY

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

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

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

HWA NEW

CHESLIE KRYST

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

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

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

HWA NEW

JEMAR TISBY

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

He is the president of The Witness, a Black Christian Collective, where he writes about race, religion, politics, and culture. He is also the co-host of the Pass The Mic podcast and has spoken nation-wide at conferences. In addition to his books, The Color of Compromise—a New York Times bestseller—and the upcoming How to fight Racism, his writing has been featured in the Washington Post, CNN, and The Atlantic.

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

HWA NEW

MICHAEL 'KILLER MIKE' RENDER

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

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

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

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

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

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

The pride of Atlanta, the city dubbed an $11.6 million boring machine, “Driller Mike,” in his honor.

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

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CHRIS EVERT

  • Tennis Icon
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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. 

HWA NEW

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

  • Legendary Comic Book Writer and Artist
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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.

 

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GILBERT GOTTFRIED

  • Famed Comedian Whose Jokes Know No Bounds
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As a famed comic's comic, Gottfried puts aside political correctness for his live performance and fires an onslaught of jokes that know no boundaries.

At the young age of 15, Gilbert Gottfried began doing stand-up at open mike nights in New York City, after a few short years, became known around town as “the comedian’s comedian.” After spending several years mastering the art of stand-up comedy, producers of the legendary NBC late night comedy show Saturday Night Live became aware of Gottfried and, in 1980, hired him as a cast member. It wasn’t until a few years later when his true notoriety would begin when MTV hired him for a series of improvised and hilarious promos for the newly formed channel. This led to several television appearances on The Cosby Show and Late Night with David Letterman.

Gottfried’s work in television soon led to roles in film. Most notable was his improvised scene as business manager Sidney Bernstein in the hit sequel Beverly Hills Cop II, for which the New York Daily News said, “Gilbert Gottfried steals the picture with a single scene.” Aside from his glowing reputation in comedy clubs, Gottfried began to gain a reputation as the king of quirky roles in both movies and television. He appeared in such movies as Problem Child, Problem Child II, Look Who’s Talking II and The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. He was also the host of the very popular late night movie series USA Up All Night.

After his stellar performance as the wise cracking parrot, IAGO, in the Disney classic Aladdin, Gottfried became one of the most recognizable voiceover talents, lending his voice to several commercials, cartoons and movies, including the frustrated duck in the AFLAC Insurance commercials. Gottfried also is the voice of DIGIT in the long running PBS Series Cyberchase. His signature voice can also be heard on the Comedy Central series The Annoying Orange, the voice of the horse on Family Guy, Mr. Mxyzptlk in Lego Batman 3 – Beyond Gotham video game, and Abraham Lincoln in A Million Ways to Die In the West.

Gottfried has made numerous memorable appearances on Comedy Central Roasts and the Comedy Central series, The Burn with Jeff Ross. Gottfried’s Fifty Shades of Grey reading (College Humor) received over 5 million views on YouTube.

Gilbert has been a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with Seth Meyers, @Midnight with Chris Hardwick and numerous appearances on The Howard Stern Show. He also has had a recurring role on Law and Order SVU as TARU tech Leo Gerber.

Gottfried appeared in the hit comedy documentary The Aristocrats, with Entertainment Weekly saying that “out of the 101 comedians who appear on screen, no one is funnier – or more disgusting – than Gilbert Gottfried.”

Gilbert Gottfried Dirty Jokes was released on both DVD and CD, featuring 50 non-stop minutes of Gottfried telling the funniest and filthiest jokes ever. The show was filmed live at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Also featured on the DVD are some of the funniest bonus features ever, including wild stories, indignant ranting and celebrity impressions.

Rubber Balls and Liquor is Gilbert Gottfried’s hilarious book- part memoir, part twisted social commentary, and part scratches on the bathroom wall. With this scathingly funny book of rants and musings, Gottfried sullies an entirely new medium with his dysfunctional worldview.

Oh, and did we mention the reality shows and podcast? Gilbert appeared on both ABC’s Celebrity Wife Swap, swapping with Alan Thicke, and NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice where Gilbert took his first trip into the boardroom and perhaps his last. And the podcast… Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast! where Gilbert journeys back in time with some of the Hollywood icons, legends, and behind the scenes talent who shaped (warped?) his childhood and influenced his unique brand of comedy. He is joined each week by his co-host and late night phone friend, fellow showbiz fanatic, and Comedy Writer Frank Santopadre.

Gilbert, the documentary about Gilbert Gottfried, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Director Neil Berkeley’s Gilbert reveals an unexpected side to the iconic comedian. The film peeks behind the larger-than-life persona at a more personal story about growing up in Brooklyn and becoming a husband and father late in life. 

Stephen King on Gilbert Gottfried: “More than a national treasure, he’s a secret weapon. If we had had Gilbert Gottfried in World War II, Hitler would have given up in 1942.”

Gilbert, a lifelong resident of NYC is married with 2 children and has never had a drivers license.

HWA NEW

AFUA HIRSCH

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

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

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

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

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

She is currently based in London.

HWA NEW

TIMOTHY SNYDER

  • #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author of 'On Tyranny' and 'Our Malady'
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Yale University historian of Nazism and communism Timothy Snyder was described by the New York Times as a "public intellectual unafraid to make bold connections between the past and present."  His book On Tyranny was #1 on the NYT Bestseller List more than two years after its publication, thanks to Snyder’s unique ability to distill practical guidance for action from the darkest chapters of history. It has been used around the world in defense of democracy.  

His newest book Our Malady is a short, urgent examination of healthcare as a human right which begins from Snyder`s recent and nearly fatal illness.  From his hospital bed, he rethinks the connections between the health we lack and the freedom we need.  In a time of authoritarianism and pandemic, the timeliness of this book cannot be overstated. Both a cri de coeur and a data-driven argument, it shows the way towards an America that is both healthy and free.   

Snyder is also well known internationally for the prize-winning Bloodlands, which explains the most murderous events of the time of Hitler and Stalin in Europe.  In his book Black EarthSnyder explains the Jewish Holocaust in ways that help us to better understand the basic predicaments of our own time. In The Road to UnfreedomSnyder charts the path from democracy to tyranny (and back). All five of these books were or are New York Times bestsellers.

A masterful presenter, Snyder is sought out by groups around the world to understand the direct line between big ideas of the past and our lives today.

 

HWA NEW

KELTIE KNIGHT

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

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

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

What began as a movement to help women feel less alone, by offering content that was unapologetic, unfiltered, and very real, has grown in the millions and become a powerhouse media brand that has also partnered with major brands including Disney, Netflix, Anheuser-Busch, Vogue, and Chanel.

Knight is frequently seen contributing on The Talk, CNN, HLN, and and as a moderator for Vanity Fair. With best dressed mentions in Vogue, Elle, Glamour, Us Weekly, People Stylewatch and The New York Times, it’s no surprise Project Runway invited her to be a guest presenter.

As passionate as she is about media, she is just as dedicated to service. Knight has a long history in philanthropy, working with groups like the Humane Society and the Beagle Freedom Project. She helped raise over $300,000 for the National MS Society as a part of the team, BeatMS, and nearly 1 million dollars throughout her years hosting the Circle of Hope/ Dancers Against Cancer Charity Gala.

Known for her quick wit and fearless personality, she’s interviewed the biggest stars in the world including Oprah, Meryl Streep, Taylor Swift, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Jennifer Lawrence. Harry Styles kissed her twice. Pharrell Williams deemed her “…a spirited journalist and a star.” 

HWA NEW

MELISSA KING

  • Winner and Fan Favorite of Top Chef: All Stars
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Known for her technical precision and ability to blend modern California cuisine with Asian flavors, Chef Melissa King is a proud Chinese American and queer chef who is also creative and entrepreneurial outside of the kitchen. Chef King is best known as the winner of Bravo’s Top Chef All Stars: Los Angeles Season 17 and is also the winner of All Star’s Fan Favorite. With over 15 years in the industry, Chef King has helmed several Michelin starred kitchens in San Francisco and is acclaimed around the world.

As a proud Asian-American, queer woman, Chef King is passionate about cultural inclusivity, media representation, environmental sustainability, and social justice. Most notably, she donated her $10,000 Fan Favorite prize money in support of marginalized Black, Asian and LGBTQI communities, and she continues to support them through active work, help raising awareness, and funding through her entrepreneurial ventures.

Chef King is also a food entrepreneur with a passion for partnerships, and has created ice cream and sauces that sell out in minutes.  She’s the face of IMB Research's 5 in 5 series, focused on 5 innovations that will change our lives within 5 years.  She’s called on as a creative consultant for companies around the world

HWA NEW

BRIAN EISCH

  • Chronicled in Netflix Documentary 'Father Soldier Son'
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Brian Eisch grew up in the state of Wisconsin and joined the Army in 1992 at the age of 17 as an infantryman. He served in various duty positions over his 20 year career including Scout, Senior Scout, Radio Telephone Operator, Team Leader, Squad Leader, Instructor, Drill Sergeant, and Platoon Sergeant.

In 2010, The New York Times and Netflix began a 10 year journey following Brian throughout his deployment during the war in Afghanistan and filming the effects it had on him and his young sons back home in Wisconsin. While in the field in Kunduz Province Afghanistan, Brian was shot 3 times in his legs while attempting to save a wounded Afghan policeman.

Brian will be the first to say “this is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me.” After enduring debilitating pain and eventual amputation of his leg, Brian suffered an even greater loss when, in 2015, Brian’s son Joey, aged 12, was killed by a truck while riding his bike. Throughout this decade on film, we see Brian navigate pain, love and loss, and the rebuilding of a new normal.

In his speeches, Brian epitomizes the strength, perseverance, and humor it takes to not only pull a team through combat, but also a family through tragedy. His outstanding military record reflects his innate ability to lead, communicate through crisis, and inspire teams. Brian’s story not only inspires other veterans, but anyone else who has found themselves needing to find new purpose, inspiration out of tragedy, and the strength to overcome.

HWA NEW

CRIS CARTER

  • NFL Hall of Famer
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Pro football hall of famer and longtime broadcaster Cris Carter is one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history. Carter finished his career as the NFL’s second all-time leading receiver and with the second-most touchdowns in league history. Carter is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. 

Carter's road to success didn't come easily. Growing up in a low-income family in Ohio, his lifelong dream of becoming a professional athlete was finally realized when he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles. However, as he made a name for himself in football, he was privately battling addiction off the field. Now, nearly three decades later, Carter shares his profound story with worldwide audiences. 

Carter transitioned seamlessly into broadcasting following his playing career, joining HBO’s Inside the NFL as a studio analyst. He became well-known for his candor, creating one of the show’s most memorable segments when he interviewed his former coach Buddy Ryan and opened up about his controversial release from the Philadelphia Eagles early in his career. Carter then moved to ESPN, appearing on a variety of programs as a studio analyst, including Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown, eventually becoming a fixture on the sports television landscape. Carter was also a FS1 NFL analyst, contributing to a number of the channel’s daily studio shows. 

A dedicated philanthropist, Carter is co-chair and founder of CarterBrothers Charities and has been recognized for his work with inner-city youth. He also serves as a mentor in President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Program.

Heralded for his ability to inspire and any audience with honest and empowering conversations, Carter speaks about the challenges and triumphs of his storied career, his powerful recovery story, and how to use life's most challenging obstacles to emerge a stronger, better version of yourself. 

HWA NEW

JON MACKS

  • Award-Winning Comedy Writer, Speechwriter, and Political Consultant
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Jon Macks is a writer and producer of over 200 live television shows, including 23 Academy Awards, for which he served as head writer 7 times, as well as the Emmy Awards, The Golden Globes, The Tony Awards.

Jon was the top political comedy writer during the Tonight Show with Jay Leno's 22 year run, writing over 100 jokes a day every day for Jay's 4610 Tonight Shows! If you were counting, over 18,000 of his jokes have been broadcast on late night television, in addition to the jokes, sketches and speeches Jon has penned for Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Helen Mirren, Marty Short, Steve Martin, Michael Douglas, Queen Latifah, and Ricky Gervais. For his efforts he is an 8 time Emmy nominee and winner of Writers Guild Award.

Jon is an acclaimed expert in Corporate Branding and Crisis Management, and has written speeches for CEOs and over two dozen U.S. Senators, specializing in presidential debate prep in every election since 1996.

Jon is the author of Monologue: What Makes America Laugh Before Bed, How to be FunnyFuhgeddaboutit: How to Badda Boom, Badda Bing and Find Your Inner Mobster, and Heaven Talks Back: An Uncommon Conversation. 

 

HWA NEW

CHONDA PIERCE

  • Emmy®-nominated and Best-Selling Comedian
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Emmy®-nominated and best-selling comedian Chonda Pierce, or “the country comic” as Billboard Magazine dubbed her, has been making audiences laugh for more than three decades with her winning combination of fierce wit and southern charm. A stand-up comedian, television hostess, author and actress, Pierce has channeled her life experiences into positivity, bringing laughter to audiences around the country. As the RIAA’s number one selling female comedian of all time, her hilarious take on life is easily relatable as she publicly opens up to her listeners about times of darkness and depression in her own life, drawing humor and good from every situation.

Pierce is a frequent guest at the famed Grand Ole Opry and has served as host of the Inspirational Country Music Awards and Christian Music Hall of Fame Awards and also co-hosted the GMA Dove Awards in 2012. She has also appeared on Entertainment Tonight, The View, Fox News Channel, Wanda Sykes, Hallmark Home & Family, NY1, CNN’s History of Comedy, How The States Got Their Shapes, and her comedy is regularly featured on XM and Sirius satellite radio. Variety raved about her ability to draw audiences for an encore performance for Chonda Pierce: Laughing in the Dark.

In addition to her comedic work, Pierce has used her success to help others, and in 2006 founded Branches Recovery Center, which offers counseling and treatment to those with depression, anxiety, addiction, regardless of their ability to pay. She has also raised millions of dollars for international relief organizations Compassion International, WorldVision, Food for the Hungry and Feed the Children.

Today, as the RIAA’s best-selling female comedian, Pierce continues to bring the laughs with her unique blend of music and comedy.

HWA NEW

ELAINE WEISS

  • Award-Winning Journalist
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Elaine Weiss is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other national publications, as well as in reports and documentaries for National Public Radio. A MacDowell Colony Fellow and Pushcart Prize Editor’s Choice honoree, she is the author of the highly acclaimed narrative history The Woman's Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, hailed as a "riveting, nail-biting political thriller" with powerful parallels to today's political environment.

Weiss is a frequent media commentator on the themes of women's political organization and voting rights, with recent interviews on NPR's All Things Considered, CBS Sunday Morning, and PBS American Experience.

Steven Speilberg's Amblin production company is adapting the Woman's Hour for TV, with Hillary Rodham Clinton serving as Executive Producer.

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ALAN YANG

  • Emmy-winning Writer and Executive Producer
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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, 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.