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    Jim Abbott Speaker

    Jim Abbott

    Former Major League Baseball Pitcher & Gold Medal Winner in the 1988 Olympics

     About

    • Jim talks about how individuals must adapt and mold themselves to meet the obstacles of change.
    • Audiences leave inspired by Jim's story of how he used his ADAPT framework to become a professional athlete.
    • Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott is a former MLB pitcher who led Team USA to a Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympics. 
    • Past clients include: Toshiba, Lucent Technologies, Fosters Freeze, Lason Inc., and Prudential.

    Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott is a former MLB pitcher who led Team USA to a Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympics. He was an All-America hurler at Michigan and won the Sullivan Award in 1987. Jim threw a 4-0 no-hitter for the New York Yankees versus Cleveland on September 4, 1993. He played for 10 seasons on 4 different teams and ended his big league playing career in 1999.

    Abbott has worked with The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) on several initiatives encouraging businesses to hire people with disabilities.

    Today, in addition to often being a Guest Pitching Instructor during Spring Training for the Los Angeles Angels, Jim Abbott is a motivational speaker who shares his incredible story of overcoming adversity and achieving ultimate goal.

    Mike Abrashoff Speaker

    Mike Abrashoff

    Inspiring Story of Leadership from Former Commander of USS Benfold

     About

    • Real-life Leadership advice from the former captain of the best ship in the U.S. Navy—the U.S.S. Benfold
    • First book, It’s Your Ship, has sold over 1.1 million copies to date
    • Fresh ways to build trust, harness people’s passion and achieve extraordinary results; common-sense ideas to stay focused only on the things you can control/influence
    • Past clients include: Cox Communications, Disney, Exxon Mobil, JP Morgan, Microsoft, Starwood Hotels, Toyota

    Click Here to Watch Mike's Virtual Presentation

    Mike Abrashoff was the most-junior officer in the Pacific Fleet when he took command of the near-worst performing ship. Twelve months later, the USS Benfold was the best ship in the entire Navy –using the same crew. The story of that stunning transformation has lessons for every organization: leadership matters –and culture is everything. Mike’s written three books –his first, It’s Your Ship, has sold over 1.3million copies. His Leadership Roadmap offers clear, battle-tested, and actionable steps. Mike shows people at every level of the organization how to engage and take incremental steps toward change that can make a dramatic difference at work. Mike is clear, “I didn’t turn the ship around –my crew did that. What I did was to create an environment where they feltsafe, empowered and supported. When you do that, anything is possible.”

    In many ways, what Mike was able to do with the USS Benfold was an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today. That’s why dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company have cited Mike’s story as an inspiring lesson for business. Leaders especially identify with Mike’s being accountable for the results in an environment where he couldn’t make the rules.

    “When my crew came to me with a problem, I’d say ‘It’s your ship –how would you fix it?’.” Mike focused on the one thing he could influence: his crew’s attitude, because culture is the ultimate competitive weapon for any organization.

    Mike’s established a set of management principles that he calls The Leadership Roadmap. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfoldwas a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers with conviction and humility. “The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. The idea is to empower every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence.”

    By every measure, these principles achieved breakthrough results: turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1%; the rate of promotions tripled; and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25%. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfoldwon the prestigious Spokane Trophy for havingthe highest degree of combat readiness. This remarkable turnaround was accomplished by the very same crew that had performed so poorly just months before.

    Mike is author of three books. His first, It’s Your Ship, has a timeless message: don’t use outside forces that stand in your way as excuses –control the things you can influence and amazing results will happen. His next books, It’s Our Ship and Get Your Ship Together, showed how these principles have been put into action by business leaders in their own organizations.

    A popular keynote speaker for audiences looking to ramp up organizational performance, Mike has spoken to every industry and kind of audience –from board retreats to front line personnel; from sales groups to universities; from Fortune 500s to startups. He inspires audiences to rethink their beliefs about leadership and organizational culture and tailors the message to focus on engagement, execution, change, safety, diversity, leadership, teamwork, innovation, accountability and more. Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Mike served as the Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; and served as the executive officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.

    Mike Abrashoff is the founder of Aegis Performance Group, a consulting firm which works with and supports leaders as they address leadership, talent and performance challenges within their organizations. Mike and his team prompt leaders at all levels to re-imagine their leadership thinking and create new ways to elevate individual,team and organizational performance.

    Shawn Achor Speaker

    Shawn Achor

    Author and Speaker on Leadership, Performance and Change

     About

    • World’s leading expert on the connection between happiness and success.
    • Talks about: Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being
    • Popular TED Talk speaker with over 4 million online views
    • Past clients include: Microsoft, American Express, BlueCross BlueShield, KPMG, UBS, AT&T, RE/MAX, Johnson & Johnson, Genentech, HP, Frito-Lay

    Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won numerous distinguished teaching awards for his work. Shawn's research on happiness and human potential has received attention from the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and NPR. His keynotes help organizations to improve performance, leadership and manage change.

    Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he was Head Teaching Fellow for Positive Psychology, the most popular course at Harvard at the time.

    In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc. to share his research with a wider population. When the global economy collapsed in 2008, Shawn was immediately called in as an expert by the world's largest banks to help restart forward progress. Subsequently, Shawn has spoken in 45 countries to a wide variety of audiences: bankers on Wall Street, students in Dubai, CEOs in Zimbabwe.

    Jeff Adams Speaker

    Jeff Adams

    Paralypmian, World Champion and Motivational Speaker.

     About

    • Talks about making and celebrating incredible moments comes from facing failure and adapting to change
    • Audiences are inspired by Jeff's story of becoming a Paralympian and entrepreneur despite facing numerous hurdles
    • Jeff is a gold medal winning Paralympian, as well as being the co-founder of design, engineering and manufacturing company focused on Category II medical devices, and most recently a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School.
    • Jeff is a member of the Order of Ontario, and has been inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Athletics Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, and the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame.

    Jeff Adams is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, a Paralympian, and six-time world champion in wheelchair racing. After a distinguished athletic career that included winning three Paralympic gold medals, he retired from competition in 2008 and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

    In 2010, Jeff co-founded a design, engineering and manufacturing company focused on Category II medical devices. After seven years as President and CEO, and managing the acquisition of the intellectual property by a US company, Jeff decided to pursue a life-long dream of a career in law.

    Jeff’s work experience includes serving as the Executive Director for the International Arts Games Foundation where he instructed counsel on the incorporation of a federal not-for-profit corporation, established an inaugural board of directors and created the charter and by-laws. He was also the President, CEO and Founding Partner of Icon Wheelchairs Inc. and President of Marvel Wheelchairs Inc.

    At Osgoode Hall Law School, Jeff worked at the Business Clinic and interned at ARCH legal clinic.

    Jeff is a member of the Order of Ontario, and has been inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Athletics Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, and the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame.

    Afterburner, Inc. Speaker

    Afterburner, Inc.

    Fighter Pilots who Teach Leadership, Teamwork, Culture & Motivation Skills

     About

    Afterburner is a diverse team of elite military professionals composed of current and former Fighter Pilots. Their keynote speakers take the mindset and ways of working they learned in the cockpit of their high-performance fighter jets and transfer those lessons into your organization. They inspire teams, align them on their purpose, and help execute their plan to accelerate their performance. They connect strategy to execution with their cutting-edge training programs that include keynotes, team building seminars, workshops, training, coaching, and consulting programs.

    Thousands of companies including Microsoft, Google, Home Depot, and Nike have all learned the secrets to accelerating the development of their strategy and execution – and you can too! From executive leaders to the frontline team, Afterburner’s programs are crafted to inspire your leaders and their teams to consistently surpass expectations!

    Afterburner’s dynamic, high-energy keynote speakers will inspire your audience to take action and set the foundation for you to build highly engaged, outcome-focused teams. They’ll bring out your inner fighter pilot and show you what it’s like at the edge of the human performance envelope, physically and mentally.

    Dirk Ahlborn Speaker

    Dirk Ahlborn

    About Dirk Ahlborn – Entrepreneur and Innovation Speaker, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies, Founder of JumpStarter

     About

    Dirk Ahlborn is an entrepreneur keynote speaker and the founder and CEO of JumpStarter Inc. JumpStarter is a web portal that creates smarter and more successful companies by using crowdsourcing to fund ideas from initial conception to final product. Dirk is also CEO and Co-Founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. It is JumpStartFund’s well-known undertaking to make the Hyperloop become reality, by using its crowd collaboration concept.

    Dirk started his career in 1993 as an investment specialist in Berlin, Germany. After moving to Italy in 1997, he founded several companies in the alternative energy and interior design space. In 2006, he successfully sold one of these companies to a global alternative energy conglomerate.

    He is a serial entrepreneur with experience in almost every element of business. His careers have taken him through management, product design, development, manufacturing, production facility design and set up, production cost control, marketing, product distribution, customer service, and sales.

    Before co-founding Jumpstarter, he was at the Girvan Institute of Technology, an incubator-accelerator for early-stage high-tech companies. At Girvan, beginning in 2009, he was instrumental in the development of several startup companies, most notably Advanced Turbine Designs, a developer of natural-gas-fueled gas turbine generators for combined heat and power. In the course of his multi-faceted activities at Girvan he also managed mobile and web application developments as well as search engine optimization and online marketing.

    Prior to 2009, his activities were centered in Germany and Italy. Dirk is fluent in German and Italian and proficient in conversational Spanish. He holds the credential in banking and insurance from the Organization of German Industry and Commerce.

    David Allen Speaker

    David Allen

    Getting Things Done Author and Leading Time Management Speaker

     About

    David Allen is an author, consultant, international speaker, Founder and Chairman of the David Allen Company. He is widely recognized as the world's leading authority on personal and organizational productivity. His thirty years of pioneering research, motivation and education of some of the world's highest-performing professionals, corporations and institutions - has earned him Forbes' recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the United States, and as one of the Top 100 thought leaders by Leadership magazine. Fast Company hailed David Allen One of the world's most influential thinkers in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision in the face of change - and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance. Time Magazine labeled his first book, Getting Things Done, as the defining self-help business book of the decade.

    David Allen is the author of three books; the international best-seller, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity (GTD - as the method is popularly known), Ready for Anything, and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life. Getting Things Done has been a perennial business best-seller since it's publication in 2001, and is now published in 28 languages.

    Getting Things Done has spawned an international movement of devoted adopters from executives, techies, soldiers, entrepreneurs, university professors, musicians, students and the clergy. It has given rise to a thriving GTD industry of web sites, blogs and software applications. Internet searches bring up tens of millions of references. David Allen is a rarity in the twitter world - as one of the few non-celebrities with over a million followers hanging on his wit and inspiration.

    Piloting a productivity seminar for a thousand managers at Lockheed in 1983, David has continued to test and refine the techniques and principles we now know as GTD - a powerful method to manage commitments, information, and communication. This pioneering and proven system is the result of those twenty plus years of David's consulting, private coaching and organizational programs with over a half million people internationally. GTD has well earned its recognition as the gold standard in personal management and productivity for many of the world's best and brightest people and companies.

    Sophisticated without being confining, the subtle effectiveness of GTD lies in its radically common sense notion that with a complete and current inventory of all your commitments , organized and reviewed in a systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any moment. GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving this relaxed, productive state. It includes:

    • Capturing anything and everything that has your attention
    • Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps
    • Organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based on how and when you need to access them
    • Keeping current and on your game with appropriately frequent reviews of the six horizons of your commitments - purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions

    Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of being overwhelmed, instills confidence - and releases a flood of creative energy. It provides structure without constraint and managing details with maximum flexibility. The system rigorously adheres to the core principles of productivity - while allowing tremendous freedom in the how. The only right way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy. Coaching thousands of people, where they work, about their work - has informed the GTD method with the best practices
    of how to work (and live), in that most efficient and productive way. GTDs simplicity, flexibility, and immediacy are its attraction. Its ability to enliven, enlighten, and empower is its magic. What, indeed, is GTD? More than meets the eye...

    Karen Allen Speaker

    Karen Allen

    Mindset Expert, TEDx Speaker & Founder, The 100% Human Community 

     About

    Your mindset is your greatest asset.

    This belief is at the core of Karen Allen’s message, one that she is sharing with as many people as possible.

    A growth mindset guru, Karen’s work as a keynote speaker, author, coach, and thought leader has helped thousands of people and organizations - including the likes of Google, Experian, and YouTube - improve their lives by implementing various practical, simple techniques that incorporate mindfulness, positive psychology, neuroplasticity, and mental strength training.

    If you think of your mind as a muscle, Karen is the personal trainer who helps it to become stronger, healthier, and more efficient.

    She knows her techniques work because she’s trained her own mind to overcome the unthinkable. At just 29 years old, Karen lost her husband suddenly and tragically, and she found herself struggling to move forward. That is, until she realized that it was up to her to make the conscious choice to let go of the negative thoughts and energy and turn them into positive, productive action— her life, and the life of her then two-year-old son, depended on it.

    This was the catalyst to creating her proprietary Stop & Shift method and launching 100% Human™, a platform where she shares her wisdom, tools, and techniques geared toward mindset training and sustainable joy.

    She has given TED Talks and has been featured in Forbes, MSNBC, as well as other global media outlets.

    Now with a book, also titled Stop & Shift, Karen continues to spread her message far and wide in hopes of maximizing her impact—and with her mindset, there is no stopping her.

    Karen’s talent lies in showing people that change doesn’t have to be daunting. Her unique keynotes and programs are delivered in bite-sized insights designed to be put into immediate practice. She refrains from toxic positivity at all costs and teaches her audiences how to embrace moments of stress, sadness, or setback, and turn them into personal momentum toward something greater.

    Hearing Karen speak is like receiving a warm hug. A student of life and as authentic as you can get, she draws from her real life experiences (along with sprinkles of science) to move audiences on multiple levels.

    Stacy Allison Speaker

    Stacy Allison

    First American Woman to Climb Mt. Everest, Author and Inspirational Speaker.

     About

    • Stacy talks about how mountains are more than just symbols of upward endeavors, mountains are high-altitude crucibles for leadership, team dynamics, risk-taking, vision, and change.
    • Audiences are inspired by Stacy's story of summiting Mt. Everest in this highly customized presentation, that weaves the skills required for high altitude mountaineering into the boardroom, helping organizations achieve their summit goals.
    • Stacy is best known as the First American woman to summit Mt. Everest. She is also president of Stacy Allison General Contracting, a residential building company, a best-selling author, and renowned keynote speaker.
    • Past clients include: SKF USA, Optima Health, Pfizer, Coca Cola, HBC and the University of Virginia.

    Stacy Allison has climbed the world's most famous mountain. Now she's helping organizations across the globe scale their own monumental challenges. She combines her business acumen and her spirit for adventure to show her audiences how to thrive in their organizations through courage, leadership, vision, teamwork, risk taking, and personal accountability. Stacy's high content, tailored, dynamic presentations will encourage and inspire you to take a visionary look at opportunities and move beyond your limits. The future will never look the same!

    Stacy brings a vast range of experiences and knowledge to her energetic and dynamic presentations. She is best known as the First American woman to summit Mt. Everest. She is also president of Stacy Allison General Contracting, a residential building company. She and her team of builders specialize in high end restorations, where they steadfastly preserve the charm and integrity of classic old homes, while achieving financial success.

    At the age of 21, Stacy began major alpine climbing in earnest and achieved rapid success. Within a year, Stacy reached the top of Alaska's Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America, and was part of the first successful women's ascent of Ama Dablam, the 22,495 foot peak known as Nepal's Matterhorn. These accomplishments provided the groundwork for much greater accomplishments.

    Stacy was the first American woman to top Pik Communism (now known as Ismoil Somoni Peak), at 24,600 feet, the tallest peak in the Russian Pamir Range. On her first attempt on Mt Everest, Stacy did not summit, but she returned to Mt. Everest with the Northwest American Everest Expedition. On September 29, 1988, after twenty-nine days on the mountain, Stacy became the first American woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the world's highest mountain at 29,028 feet. Stacy then went on to become the leader of a successful K2 expedition, the world's second highest mountain, considered to be the most difficult peak on Earth to climb. Three of the team of seven made it to the top; after an accident to the third, in keeping with her view of teamwork and leadership, Stacy and the others descended. “In any endeavor, leaders should inspire members of the team with a passion for success,” Stacy says, “but within the framework of team effort. One of the most crucial things to realize, feel and remember is that when one team member succeeds, the entire team succeeds.”

    Stacy's first book, Beyond the Limits: a Woman's Triumph on Everest, is a suspenseful, triumphant adventure story. Her second, Many Mountains to Climb: Reflections on Competence, Courage and Commitment, is an exciting anecdotal account of climbing challenges practically applied to help you plot your way more surely to professional and personal success. Stacy also contributed a chapter on Leadership in the book, Upward Bound.

    Stacy serves on the Board of Trustees of National University and is the Chairperson for The American Lung Associations fundraiser - Climb for Clean Air. Remarkably, among all of her accomplishments, she proudly is a committed mother of two.

    David Allison Speaker

    David Allison

    Human Values Expert, Bestselling Author, and Founder of The Valuegraphics Project

     About

    David Allison is a human values expert, international speaker, head of a global research firm, and two-time best-selling author.

    As the founder of the Valuegraphics Project – a worldwide inventory of human values created from one million surveys in 152 languages – he has transformed values into measurable data and created an entirely new type of human-centric insights.

    He helps big brands like PayPal, Five Star School Supplies, the United Nations Foundation, and Google connect with people by honoring their values. Valuegraphics are now included next to demographics in textbooks used on college campuses around the world, and INC Magazine named his last book one of the top ten leadership books of the year.

    His latest book, The Death of Demographics, was hailed by critics as "Convincing, insightful, and...revolutionary."

    Amazing Speakers for Your Events Speaker

     About

    Get Your Customized List of Speaker Ideas

    Our mission is simple: We find great speakers for YOUR events.

    Simply fill out the form below and we will be in touch with a customized list of ideas for your event.

    It's that simple.

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      Amplify Your Sales Speaker

      Amplify Your Sales

      5 Tips on Sales to make 2021 better than ever

       About

      Click here to receive your Customized List of the Best Speakers on Sales

      Our Sales Speakers have used their knowledge to adapt and create actionable and engaging presentations on how organizations can pivot to embrace the opportunities presented by the pandemic.

      Ranging from Virtual Keynotes to Fireside chats, all with interactive elements, let our Sales Speakers help your 2021 Sales Conference.

      We work with some of the best Sales Speakers in the speaking world and asked them all the same question:

      What is your number 1 sales tip? 

      Here’s how they answered:

      1. Say Yes to Misfortune – Scott McKain

      Scott McKain, Dynamic Speaker on Innovation, Sales & Customer Service - The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

      Saying “yes” implies a course of positive action. The predictable expletive, “No!” can fill up our time and energy because saying “no” is
      frequently a commitment to an unproductive struggle that reinforces helplessness and inertia.

      Responding positively to problems is the prerequisite to overcoming bad things that occur so we can break down our challenges and move forward.

      People thrive on challenges, and are the winners who get things done.

      Scott McKain is a Dynamic Speaker on Innovation, Sales & Customer Service.

       

      2. The 80/20 Rule – Tim Sanders

      Tim Sanders - Renowned Communication and Leadership Speaker at The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

      Some great advice we received from Tim Sanders, VP of Customer Insights for Upwork just after starting The Sweeney Agency:

      “Don’t think about sales or closing deals, just position yourself so that whenever you can help someone you help them, without any expectations. 20% of the people you help you’ll never hear from again, but that won’t matter because you will certainly hear back from the other 80%. They will remember you and your incredible help and that will create such great relationships
      that you will build both a great business and a great life.”

      Tim Sanders is a renowned Communication and Leadership Speaker.

      3. A Vision of the Future – Ryan Estis

      Ryan Estis - Speaks on Business Performance, Leadership and Sales - The Sweeney Agency - Coronavirus

      Communicating compassionately, consistently, confidently and courageously is precisely what is required during a crisis. Our research has found that two of the biggest drivers of engagement and commitment from employees are confidence in their senior leadership and confidence in the future of the
      organization.

      Now is the time to model scenarios to create a long-term plan and vision for your business, fully aware that you will be agile enough to adapt when new information is available or the landscape suddenly changes.

      Ryan Estis speaks on Business Performance, Leadership and Sales.

       

      4. Be Indiana Jones – Sterling Hawkins

      Innovation Keynote Sterling Hawkins The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

      At the climax of Indiana Jones & The Holy Grail, the Nazis are turned to dust after selected a gem studded chalice they believe to be the Holy Grail. Indy chooses a simple wooden cup that is in fact the true Holy Grail.

      In the context of business, most of us scramble to have the “right” message on social media or want to make things look a certain way. The same optics that make the false grail so beautiful.

      This is a powerful lesson: the substance of something, is ultimately infinitely more important than what it looks like. Optics may present a short term gain but will always lose in the long run and at a macro level.

      Sterling Hawkins is a leading speaker on Breakthrough Innovation, Tech Entrepreneur and Leadership Expert.

      5. Ask Open-Ended Questions – Diana Kander

      Diana Kander, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Speaker, The Sweeney Agency

      Your customers’ natural inclination is to be nice, not honest. Open-ended questions give your potential customers the option to respond very honestly and to fully explain the problems they’re
      facing (that your product may or may not solve).

      Ask leading questions that broadcast the answer you want to hear, such as:

      • “Are you…”
      • “Will you…”
      • “Won’t you…”
      • “Didn’t you…”
      • “Can’t you…”

      Diana Kander is an Entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker on Innovation.

      Get in touch to book your next great sales speaker.

      Scott Amyx Speaker

      Scott Amyx

      Out-of-the-Box Thinker, Forbes Columnist, Innovation Keynote Speaker, Experiential, Interactive & Engaging

       About

      • Experiential, Interactive & Engaging Innovation Keynote Speaker
      • Talks about exponential technologies, Fourth Industrial Revolution & success in a rapidly changing, digital world
      • Tribeca Disruptor Foundation Fellow, a disruptive innovation awards program of Tribeca Film Festival, Singularity University/ Smart City Accelerator Mentor and Startup Board Member, Winner of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative Vendor
      •  Past clients include: Amazon, American Express, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Fiserv, IBM, the United Nations

      Scott Amyx is the Chair & Managing Partner at Astor Perkins. Astor Perkins is a deep tech and sustainability VC that backs mavericks solving some of the hardest problems facing humanity on Earth and in space.

      From climate change mitigation and adaptation, longevity, and human survival on Earth and in deep space, to the space economy itself, Astor Perkins is tackling some of the most difficult scientific, engineering, and technical problems that have global market potential.

      Scott is also a Forbes New York Business Council Member, Singularity University/ Smart City Accelerator mentor and startup board member and SXSW Pitch (formerly SXSW Accelerator) judge. Scott is a Tribeca Disruptor Foundation Fellow, a disruptive innovation awards program of Tribeca Film Festival. Scott is a national Sloan Fellow/ Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has spoken at TEDx on exponential technologies, Fourth Industrial Revolution & success. Scott is a global thought leader on breakthrough innovation, voted top global innovation keynote speaker, and author on smart cities, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and winner of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative and was voted Top Global Exponential Technologies Expert by Inc. Magazine, HP Enterprise, and Postscapes & Top 10 Global Innovation Keynote Speaker by Speaking.com. Scott has been nominated to the World Economic Forum as a committee member for the Future of the Internet. The Republic of Korea nominated Scott to present at the ITU Telecom World, United Nations. Sovereignties, governments, multinationals, and international consulting & research firms look to Scott for unrivaled insights and pulse on the changing landscape.

      Scott was voted the Most Influential Leader in Smart Cities and awarded the 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by Inc. Magazine, Internet of Things Institute, HP Enterprise, World CSR Congress, and numerous institutions. Scott is enabling the realization of a global network of smart, sustainable cities through his partnerships with the United Nations, United Smart Cities, United for Smart Sustainable Cities, Smart Cities Council, and ASEAN Smart Cities Network, family offices, and institutional investors.

      Scott has been featured on New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Washington Post, WIRED, TechCrunch, Inc., Pew Research, Chicago Tribune, InformationWeek, Forrester, Gigaom, ReadWrite, Shots Magazine, Business News Daily, IBM Big Data & Analytics, Intel, Geektime, Examiner, TechBeacon, EE Times, IEEE, El País, Costco Magazine, and television and radio programs. He has spoken at TEDx, European Commission, World Economic Forum, ITU Telecom World (United Nations), International CES, SXSW, IBM Insight, IBM Amplify, IBM Watson IoT, IBM InterConnect, PTC LiveWorx, AMEX, SAP, CRM Evolution, THINK!, NED, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud & DevOps World, KAIST, Samsung SDS, ArabNet Dubai & Riyadh, Internet Summit, JCK Las Vegas, Customer Service Experience, Razorfish Tech Summit, Location & Context World, Internet of Things World, K-Global Startup, and more. Scott is the co-author of Internet of Things and Data Analytics Handbook, an academic publication by John Wiley and Sons and The Advances in Information Security, Privacy, & Ethics (AISPE) Book Series: Managing Security Issues and the Hidden Dangers of Wearable Technologies, an academic publication by IGI Global.

      Scott is the author of Strive: How Doing the Things Most Uncomfortable Leads to Success, about unlikely individuals who persevered through change to become outrageously successful. His second book, The Human Race: How Humans Can Survive in the Robotic Age, is scheduled for release next year and will cover how artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution will lead to a net job loss that will increase income inequality and stoke further populism and nationalism that are already sweeping across the globe.

      Scott has a master’s degree in applied microeconomics and public policy from the University of Chicago. Scott was a national Sloan Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.

      Simon J. Anderson Speaker

      Simon J. Anderson

      Founder of Venture Foresight, Futurist, Award-winning Author and Global Speaker on Trends & Technology.

       About

      • International Futurist and Applied Foresight Expert
      • Co-author of the award-winning book Foresight 2020: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow
      • Creator of the Future Ready Formula™ which empowers audiences to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities created by rapid change.
      • Past clients include: AT&T, American Heart Association, Michigan Bankers Association, Telekom Austria Group, TMW

      Simon Anderson is an international futurist keynote speaker, applied foresight expert, executive advisor, and award-winning author. With a mission to help executives and organizations move beyond resilience and become future ready, Simon translates complex emerging trends and technologies into actionable insights and strategies using his Future Ready Formula™. Drawing on his extensive experience in applied foresight with executive leadership and a global perspective gained from speaking on four continents and his travels to more than 35 countries, he empowers leaders across industries to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities created by rapid change.

      As the co-author of the award-winning book Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow and former advisor to technology startups and a multinational education non-profit, Simon has established himself as an expert in emerging technologies and trends. He was a co-founder of the Future Ready Economies network, and now partners with economic development professionals to prepare and adapt their communities and regions for a successful future. Simon’s insights have been featured in a wide variety of publications worldwide, including CityWire’s New Model Adviser, Commercial Factor, Crain’s Business News and Executive Connections, a publication of the International Executive MBA Council. His captivating, insightful, and immediately actionable presentations make him a popular speaker among executives, boards, and organizations eager to increase their success by confidently embracing the future.

      Scott Anthony Speaker

      Scott Anthony

      Author and speaker on growth and innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism.

       About

      • Scott Anthony talks about companies can outperform the competition by focusing on innovation.
      • Audiences leave with a new appreciation for how innovation can shape their ability to grow their business and build their future.
      • Scott Anthony a senior partner at Innosight, a contributor to Harvard Business Review, author and distinguished keynote speaker.
      • Past clients include: Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Singtel, Kraft, General Electric, LG and Cisco Systems.

      Scott Anthony is a senior partner at Innosight, a strategy and consulting firm. He has led Innosight's expansion into the Asia-Pacific region as well as its venture capital activities (Innosight Ventures). In his more than a decade with Innosight, Scott has advised senior leaders in companies such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Singtel, Kraft, General Electric, LG, the Ayala Group, and Cisco Systems on topics of growth and innovation. He has extensive experience in emerging markets, particularly in India, China, and the Philippines. In 2017, Scott was awarded the Thinkers50 Innovation Award, which recognizes the world’s leading thinker on innovation.

      Scott is one of Harvard Business Review’s most prolific contributors and is the coauthor of the new book Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future, a blueprint for how successful companies can leverage disruptive change to fortify today’s business and create tomorrow’s growth engine. He was the co-author of the HBR article “Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days” as well as dozens of digital articles for the magazine.

      Scott’s previous books are The First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas Into the Market. Seeing What’s Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change (with Innosight co-founder and Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen); The Innovator’s Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work; The Silver Lining: An Innovation Playbook for Uncertain Times; The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It; and Building a Growth Factory. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles on innovation and strategy for a variety of publications.

      Scott is a featured speaker on topics of innovation and growth. He has delivered keynote addresses on five continents, and has appeared on Good Morning America, Channel News Asia, CNBC, and FOX Business.

      Scott received a BA in economics summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

      Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour Speaker

      Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour

      America’s First Black Female Combat Pilot, Former Marine & Cop, Author and Consultant to Business

       About

      • America’s First Black Female Combat Pilot, Former Marine & Cop
      • Created a “Zero to Breakthrough Mentality” to ensure success in business and in life
      • Frequently featured on Oprah Winfrey, CNN, Tavis Smiley, and NPR among others
      • Motivates, inspires, and energizes audiences to see obstacles as opportunities and conquer them at full speed
      • Past clients include: Accenture, American Airlines, IBM, Lockheed Martin, NASCAR, Oracle, Walmart

      Combat tests you. Being a beat cop tests you. Life tests you. Three brothers and being the only girl...tests you. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour has been tested her whole life. A gutsy trailblazer, her resume is an impressive collection of “firsts” including America’s first Black female combat pilot. She served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. She was also a diversity liaison officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps. After her military service, FlyGirl revved up her career in the private sector as an entrepreneur, consultant to business, and author of Zero to Breakthrough, The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. As a speaker, FlyGirl unleashes hard-hitting advice and amazing anecdotes from her adventures on the battlefield and in business. She helps individuals and organizations Get Gutsy and build a sustainable inner force and conviction, that results in accomplishing significant goals.

      In 2007, FlyGirl launched VAI Consulting & Training, LLC. Through that work, she helps individuals and organizations make gutsy moves and create breakthrough results by applying her “Zero to Breakthrough TM” Success Model –a mindset that helped to propel her career and kept her safe in air combat. FlyGirl regularly takes her message to premier meetings and conferences worldwide and is a Gutsy Confidence Mentor for elite senior executive Women in Tech.

      As a Black gay woman and single mom, FlyGirl brings vital experience to her role as a member of the Forbes School of Business & Technology Board of Advisors and COMCAST/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council.

      FlyGirl has two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards as a pioneering pilot, including honors for her commanding role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

      Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour’s story has been featured in the media including on CNN, MSNBC, The View, FOX News, Oprah Winfrey and many more, along with being a running back for the San Diego Sunfire professional women’s football team and two-time title holder of Camp Pendleton’s Strongest Warrior Competition.

      She is currently working on her next book, The Gutsy Move.

      VERNICE “FLYGIRL” ARMOUR –HISTORICAL FLIGHT PATH

      How did it all start? Vernice was born in Chicago, IL in 1973, and moved to Memphis, TN after her parents divorced when she was three. By the age of four, she knew she wanted to be a police officer that rode a horse downtown. She received her first pony as a gift on the Christmas day following her fourth birthday and her dream quickly started to have afoundation in reality. In 1991, she graduated from John Overton High School for Creative and Performing Arts where she was very active in the music program, class vice president, a member of Mu Alpha Theta (mathematics honor society), and The National Honor Society.

      In 1993, the future combat pilot enlisted in the Army Reserves and joined the Army ROTC program while at Middle Tennessee State University. During an Army ROTC career day, the seed of becoming a pilot was planted when Vernice saw the image of a young Black female in an Army flight suit. “Now why didn’t I think of that!” was her first thought!

      In June of 1996, after a brief stint as a Nashville Sheriff’s Department correctional officer, Vernice took a break from college to accept an invitation to the Nashville Police Academy. She graduated in December 1996 –and later became the first woman of color on the Nashville Police Department’s motorcycle squad. She graduated from MTSU in December of 1997 with her B.S. in Physical Education: Emphasis in Exercise Science.

      With the aviation seed in full bloom, Vernice was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps on December 12, 1998 and on her way to flight school. When Vernice finally earned her wings in July 2001, the ambitious pilot ranked No. 1 out of both her class of 12 and of the last 200 to graduate. She made the Naval Air Station’s prestigious Commodore’s List, received the Academic Achievement Award, was the top graduate in her class, and went on to make history as the Marine Corps’ first African American female pilot.

      After flight school, Vernice was stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, CA, piloting the AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopter. While there she was Camp Pendleton's “Female Athlete of the Year” and two-time titleholder in their “Strongest Warrior” Competition.

      Deployed as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, Vernice was recognized by the Department of Defense as America’s first African American female combat pilot. Vernice flew above the deserts of Iraq in her missile-equipped attack helicopter, engaging the enemy and scouting the roads from her cockpit, making sure they were safe for her fellow Marines and soldiers on the ground.

      Upon leaving the military after the completion of two tours in Iraq, Vernice launched VAI Consulting and Training, LLC. She now resides in Atlanta, GA with her daughter Noah...her gutsiest move yet.

      Lior Arussy Speaker

      Lior Arussy

      Leading Global Expert on Customer Experience & Customer-Centric Transformation

       About

      • Lior talks about How organizations can create and execute a profitable customer strategy.
      • Audiences will explore the success (and some failures) of leading brands in their pursuit of profitable, lasting customer relationships.
      • Lior Arussy is hailed as one of the leading global authorities in the fields of Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Strategy Execution. He is a best selling author & regular contributor to Harvard Business Review, CNBC, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.
      • Past clients include: IBM, Accuity, Mercedes Benz, Cognizant, Cisco, KIA and Great Wolf Lodge.

      Lior Arussy is hailed as one of the leading global authorities in the fields of Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Strategy Execution. He is a Corporate Culture expert, a ‘success accelerator’ - and a proven, passionate change agent. Called a “triple threat of transformation” by William Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine - Lior has helped many of the world’s top brands achieve unprecedented goals in customer satisfaction, growth - and profitability. Among these are Mercedes-Benz, Johnson & Johnson, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Thomson Reuters, HSBC, E.ON, FedEx, SAP, and the University of Pennsylvania - to name a few.

      His insights and methods have been successfully put into practice in over 200 corporate transformations worldwide, making Lior not only a forerunner in the field - but a proven practitioner. And that’s what truly sets him apart - where other speakers simply talk of change, Lior makes it happen time and time again. As inspiring as he is passionate, Lior’s unique and critical voice continues to drive people across the globe to achieve their ultimate success.

      Lior spent the first part of his career in various executive positions at world-leading firms, such as Hewlett-Packard. It was at this stage that he recognized the old, traditional methods of change management were flawed - and simply didn’t work for most companies. Lior took it upon himself to create a different methodology - one which recognizes the key to truly driving a company’s change for success, is in putting its most important resource at the center of its transformational efforts: its employees. The idea being that, in order for customers to choose your product and get the most out of it, you not only have to have an exceptional product - but a great, dedicated, happy team that stands behind that product’s success.

      Lior’s methodology enabled Mercedes-Benz to reach the much-coveted #1 position in customer satisfaction. Another client, a European logistics corporation - leapt from 3% annual organic growth to 44% annual organic growth in just two years!

      In 2003, Lior founded the Strativity Group - a strategy firm specializing in customer experience consulting, employee engagement programs, journey mapping, and business growth. In addition, he has written seven books on business strategy, customer experience optimization, and achieving the ultimate success. Lior's latest book Next is Now: 5 Steps for Embracing Change - Building a Business that Thrives into the Future (May 2018, Simon & Schuster), and his self-published Exceptionalize it! (2015) - which has sold over 30,000 copies to date. He has also written over 300 articles for publications around the world, including the Harvard Business Review, and Chief Executive media - for which he is a regular contributing author. As well, a multitude of magazines and media outlets have cited his work including MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, CRM Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, Inc. magazine, Financial Times, The Times of London, and  ABC.

      Lior currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and five children. He completed his undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University - and received his MBA from Weatherhead School of Management.

      He is a self-professed chocoholic.

      Mariana Atencio Speaker

      Mariana Atencio

      Peabody Award-winning Journalist, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Inspiring Storyteller, and Host/Moderator

       About

      Mariana Atencio is on a mission to help people supercharge their careers, their workplace cultures, and their happiness by embracing the power of authenticity. Coming to America from Venezuela as a young girl, Mariana learned first-hand how feeling self-conscious about being different kept her from engaging. After graduating Columbia University, Mariana wanted to take that experience into her journalism career and tell stories that build bridges and foster understanding.

      She became a national news anchor and correspondent, earning a Peabody Award for reporting which took her from Haiti to Hong Kong to the Syrian border. The success of her TEDx talk, “What Makes YOU Special?”, viewed over 23 million times, catapulted Mariana into a new storytelling outlet: speaking.

      Her first book, Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, is a bestselling call to action to unleash the magic of personal and professional authenticity to find purpose and break barriers. Currently head of her own media production company, Mariana pursues stories that capture her curiosity. She also continues to deliver inspiring keynotes and moderate/host at major events.

      Sarah Aviram Speaker

      Sarah Aviram

      Author, Keynote Speaker on Remote Work & Managing Change

       About

      Sarah Aviram is a former Fortune 500 Human Resources and Talent Development leader. After working remotely from 12 countries in 12 months in 2019, researching the future of work, she published the best-selling book,"Remotivation: The Remote Worker's Ultimate Guide to Life-Changing Fulfillment". She was named one of the top 25 innovators of remote work in 2021 by the leading company in the space, Remote.

      Sarah is an international keynote speaker and workshop facilitator for organizations globally on the topics of remote work, hybrid teams, and change reslience. She’s created and delivered leadership development programs and processes to over 50,000 people at the companies like Google, American Express, Bank of America, and her alma mater, New York University Stern School of Business.

      Nikolas Badminton Speaker

      Nikolas Badminton

      Futurist Speaker, Advisor, and Best Selling Author

       About

      Nikolas Badminton is a world-renowned futurist speaker and Chief Futurist that mentors top executives and the highest levels of government to create bold visions by exploring desirable futures, anticipating opportunities and risks, and strengthening strategic planning.

      He has spent 30+ years working with leadership at over 400 leading organizations at the frontline of futures, strategy and disruption - including NASA, Disney, Google, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, WM, JP Morgan, Verizon, VISA, TD Bank, American Express, BISCI, ISACA, Rolls Royce, Procter & Gamble, US Department of State, UK Home Office, United Nations, and many more.

      Facing Our Futures: How foresight, futures design and strategy creates prosperity and growth - is Nikolas’ number one best selling book and has been named Top-50 Business Books of 2023 by The Next Big Idea Club, and JP Morgan Private bank’s “Next Gen Pick” for their 2023 Summer Reading List to guide new leaders to ignite curiosity and embrace futures thinking.

      Nikolas’ essential research has been featured by the BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Business Insider, Forbes, Sunday Telegraph and many others. He appears on SIRIUSXM and CTV regularly, was a key advisor to the ‘Age of AI’ series with Robert Downey Jr, and appears in the Franklin Institute's series ‘2050’.

      Jay Baer Speaker

      Jay Baer

      Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker and Best-selling Author on Customer Experience, Customer Service, Business Growth, and Marketing, and Event Emcee & Host

       About

      Jay Baer is a customer experience and digital marketing pioneer, expert, advisor, researcher, and analyst. He has spent nearly 30 years helping the world's most iconic brands gain and keep more customers. A 7th-generation entrepreneur, Jay has written six best-selling books, and founded five, multi-million dollar companies.

      Jay is an inductee into the halls of fame for professional speaking and word of mouth marketing, and the creator of multiple award-winning podcasts. He is also one of just two people in the world listed as one of the top 30 "Global Gurus" in two different knowledge categories (customer service and internet marketing).

      He founded the strategy and analysis firm Convince & Convert and is a board member of Experience Dynamic, a full-stack customer experience services collective.

      Media outlets like CNBC, NPR, Fox Business, and The Wall Street Journal frequently rely on Jay to comment and contextualize top trends. His very popular twice-monthly newsletter is at TheBaerFacts.com.

      Jay loves growing businesses, delivering presentations (in-person or virtual) that audiences love, and plaid suits (meeting planners get to pick which suit he wears). He’s also a licensed tequila sommelier and a certified BBQ judge.

      Mehmet Baha Speaker

      Mehmet Baha

      Global Trainer & Speaker on Psychological Safety, Agile and Resilience

       About

      His full name is Mehmet Baha and everyone calls him Baha. Since childhood, he has been fascinated by the question: “How can I make a difference in the lives of people?” His interest leads him to win a scholarship from Fulbright and finish his master’s in the USA on Conflict Resolution. He has lived and worked in Germany, Turkey, Ireland, Guatemala, and the USA, with over 20 years of work experience.

      Baha was one of the first employees of Facebook in Europe. Throughout his life, he has realized the importance of having psychological safety to create high-performing teams. So far, he has delivered training and talks in more than 28 countries across five continents. Recently, he completed Harvard Business School’s Online Executive Education Programme “Organizational Leadership”. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Turkish, and German.

      In his free time, he loves to play percussion, travel with his family, and play soccer with his 6-year-old daughter. His first book, “Playbook for Engaged Employees", was released in April 2021 and already purchased in the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, Australia, and Switzerland. His second book, "Playbook to Create Psychological Safety", will be published in September 2024.

      Rodger Baker Speaker

      Rodger Baker

      Executive Director of the Stratfor Center for Applied Geopolitics at RANE

       About

      Rodger Baker is the Executive Director of the Stratfor Center for Applied Geopolitics at RANE, a global center of excellence for geopolitical intelligence and analysis. The Stratfor Center for Applied Geopolitics identifies, develops, and strengthens best practices in geopolitical analysis and offers tools, methods, and training to organizations and individuals as they integrate geopolitical factors into their business practices.

      As the firm's senior analyst, Mr. Baker for more than 20 years has guided the company's analytical process, to include the development of their understanding and application of Stratfor's proprietary methodology grounded in the study of applied geopolitics and intelligence analysis.

      Mr. Baker is one of the world's leading experts on North Korea and has dedicated extended periods of time living and working in and around the Korean peninsula. His core emphasis is the
      multidisciplinary approach to geopolitics and the evolution of international relations to develop mid- and long-term forecasts to assist companies, governments and other globally engaged
      organizations make informed decisions.

      Mr. Baker joined Stratfor in 1997 and holds a master's degree in military history from Norwich University, the oldest private military university in the United States. He has studied and worked in South Korea and graduated with honors from Southampton College, Long Island University.

      Mr. Baker regularly holds exchanges with academic institutes and research groups around the world and frequently travels to brief executives and corporate boards as well as deliver keynote
      addresses to a wide range of industry groups.

      Dr. Robert Ballard Speaker

      Dr. Robert Ballard

      Inspiring adventure speaker, deep sea explorer who discovered the RMS Titanic.

       About

      Best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship BISMARCK, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier YORKTOWN (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy boat, PT-109.

      While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and black smokers in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.

      In addition to being a National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Dr. Ballard is the president of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). 

      Ballard was born June 30, 1942, in Wichita, KS but moved to California at a very young age and grew up exploring the shore in San Diego. Dr. Ballard has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island. He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop telecommunications technology to create "tele-presence" for his education initiative, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year. In 2001, he returned to the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he is presently a tenured Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration.

      Dr. Ballard has 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He was also a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving in the Navy from 1967 to 1997. He received the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for extraordinary accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the world's oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers, and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. Dr. Ballard also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking Secrets of the TITANIC.

      His discoveries also include sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea; two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel, the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water; and four 1,500-year-old wooden ships, one almost perfectly preserved in the Black Sea. Dr. Ballard's Black Sea project seeks evidence of a great flood that may have struck the region thousands of years ago.

      His 1997 best-selling book, Lost Liners, tells the story of the great transatlantic liners through memorable wrecks he has visited. Dr. Ballard was also a special advisor on Steven Spielberg's futuristic Sea Quest, DSV television show.

      An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard's fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea.

      Pamela Barnum Speaker

      Pamela Barnum

      Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecuting Attorney Trust Strategist & Nonverbal Communication Expert

       About

      • Pamela talks about why having strategies that engage a client, customer, or colleague from the first minute to the last second is critical for success, especially in the virtual world.
      • Audiences learn to effectively display trustworthiness to improve and regulate the perception of peers, team members, and clients; Decode nonverbal cues that provide reliable feedback on how the other person is feeling, regardless of what they are communicating online.
      • Pamela has been a featured trust strategist and body language expert, contributing to print media, radio, and television news programs. Her TEDx Talk, What Drug Dealers Taught Me About Trust, was viewed more than 400,000 times in the first year.

      Click Here to Watch Pamela's Virtual Presentation

      Imagine what it would be like to live as a different person with a different name, identity, and background. For months at a time, you’re living with a false identity, and your success depends on
      building trust and detecting deception with some of the most dangerous people imaginable. That’s precisely what Pamela Barnum did for years working undercover in the Drug Enforcement Section. She learned real-world techniques for building trust and interpreting body language.

      When Pamela graduated from law school, she left policing and accepted a position as a federal prosecuting attorney. She spent countless hours in the courtroom, perfecting her proficiency as a truststrategist and body language expert.

      Following a successful 20-year career in the criminal justice system, Pamela studied corporate negotiations in graduate school. Now, she shares her expertise with others, teaching them how to
      improve their communication skills to increase trust inside corporations, associations, and law enforcement agencies.

      As a body language expert and trust strategist, Pamela delivers techniques once thought of like a “secret second language” that participants can begin using immediately.

      Take decades of experience, including working deep undercover in narcotics, followed by a rewarding legal career, and you get real-world strategies that help participants crack the code on trust and improve professional relationships using proven field-tested techniques. Pamela shares her experience, research, and expertise with humor, candor, and energy, blending actionable strategies with memorable stories.

      She is also a featured expert and contributor in print media, radio and television news programs in Canada and the United States. She has appeared in person in front of audiences ranging from 50 - 12,000 and on countless virtual stages.

      Chris Barton Speaker

      Chris Barton

      Founder and Creator of Shazam, Entrepreneur, Inventor, and Tech Investor

       About

      Spend time with inventor Chris Barton and you’ll be inspired to believe anything is possible. His positive energy to make seemingly impossible ideas come to life is absolutely contagious. Chris’s latest venture, Guard, uses AI to detect drowning in swimming pools – a never-before accomplished effort. Chris’s best-known creation is Shazam, the app that changed the way the world discovers music and laid the groundwork for the consumer AI industry we know today. With over 2 billion downloads, Shazam is a global phenomenon and Apple's sixth-largest acquisition. The app lets people identify songs out of thin air from anywhere they are, making it nothing short of pure magic. Chris holds 12 patents and played key roles in the early days of Google and Dropbox. He believes his dyslexia helps him uncover novel solutions to obstacles and to achieving audacious goals. In his speeches, Chris shares his Start From Zero thinking method of questioning assumptions and challenging conventional wisdom. His amazing story and storytelling completely captivate audiences and inspires them to make big things happen in their organizations – to create magic in defiance of the obstacles.

      Chris grew up with a French mother and British father – both of whom were university professors. However, academics were a struggle for Chris. Chris would come to learn he had undiagnosed dyslexia. Over the years, Chris learned to embrace what he now calls his superpower. Chris believes that dyslexia has allowed him to overcome barriers to achieve his many accomplishments.

      Shazam is a great example. Though Chris does not position himself as an expert on the broader future of A.I., his journey as a true A.I. pioneer started when Chris had the idea to identify music using a mobile phone, as no technology existed to achieve his goal. In addition, he was told by Professors at MIT and Stanford that this application of pattern recognition was impossible.

      Besides inventing a new technology that didn’t yet exist, he had to build a search engine supercomputer from scratch, create the world’s largest music database, and create a user experience on very basic mobile phones. Did Chris ever think maybe the experts were right? “No,” he says.

      When Shazam was founded in 2000, it was far ahead of its time. It was three years before iTunes, seven years before the iPhone, and eight years before the App Store. The nascent Shazam struggled in the early days, teetering near bankruptcy for six years waiting for key digital advancements to arrive, allowing Shazam to unleash its full potential on the world.

      In 2018, Shazam, and its 200 employees, was acquired by Apple in Apple’s 6th largest acquisition of all-time. Today, Shazam has been downloaded over two billion times and is considered one of the world's most popular apps. It has become an integral part of our everyday lives, with its ability to instantly identify songs and provide information about the music such as lyrics.

      Shazam has even become a verb, as in "Can you Shazam this song for me?" In addition to its widespread usage, Shazam has also been the inspiration for a popular game show hosted by Jamie Foxx called "Beat Shazam," which has aired for four seasons on the Fox Network challenging contestants to recognize songs faster than the Shazam app.

      Chris has also played a key role in tech history as a founding member of Google’s Android Partnerships team where he created Android's mobile operator partnership framework. He also spent four years at Dropbox where he led carrier partnerships and was one of the first 100 people at the company.

      Holding 12 patents, including one found within the Google search algorithm that billions of people use, Chris has made significant contributions to the tech industry. He also invests in a wide range of start-ups, including artificial intelligence for heart health and inflammatory disease therapeutics.

      Today, Chris spends much of his time building his third startup company, Guard, a system that detects drowning in swimming pools using artificial intelligence.

      When he has the time, Chris enjoys speaking at events and sharing lessons learned from his experiences achieving the impossible. He inspires people with stories of the unexpected mindsets that are necessary to overcome challenges and achieve success. Chris gives audiences a new framework for thinking about the obstacles they face and motivates them to take action.

      Prior to his audacious technology career, Chris was a strategy consultant and earned two master’s degrees from UC Berkeley and Cambridge University.

      When he isn’t working or speaking, you can find Chris enjoying the outdoors and spending time with his son, Jude.

      Chris Bashinelli Speaker

      Chris Bashinelli

      TV Host, Inspirational Speaker & Cross-Cultural Expert

       About

      • National Geographic Explorer who pulls from experiences in 40 countries to inspire a practical and powerful message of Human Connection
      • Arab-American from Brooklyn, New York who uses the relatable metaphor of the “Stoop” to empower Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
      • Passionate Mental Wellness advocate with more than a decade of in depth Meditation and Mindfulness studies

      Click Here to Watch Chris' Virtual Presentation

      “We need more people like Chris in the World,” says Dr. Jane Goodall. National Geographic Explorer Chris Bashinelli pulls from real life experiences in over 40 countries to empower organizations to create a culture of true human connection. He helps companies reignite employee inspiration, foster a culture of trust and empathy and tap into the power of their greatest asset – their people.

      Chris Bashinelli, better known as “Bash”, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to Lebanese and Italian-American parents. After a decade-long acting career including an appearance on the HBO hit television show, The Sopranos, Bash decided to follow his real passion – using media to build bridges between cultures. He now traverses the globe from Uganda to Haiti as Host of Bridge the Gap, a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he experience’s life in countless cultures around the world.

      A celebrated Diversity, Equity & Inclusion speaker, Bash brings to life an inspiring message of empathy and connection that has birthed lifelong friendships around the world. His world-view was shaped on his childhood “Stoop” where his friends shared a combined total of over thirteen nationalities. His ancestors immigrated to the United States from Lebanon, through Ellis Island and his great-grandmother was onboard the Titanic. Bash helps companies understand in engaging, humorous and practical ways how to create a culture of trust, belonging and empathy in the workplace.

      A passionate Mental Wellness advocate, Bash has studied meditation & mindfulness for more than a decade. After studying Anthropology in East Africa at 20 years old, he returned home to discover his father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The death of Chris’s father propelled him on an international quest to better understand the human condition and the universal qualities that lead to a happy, meaningful life. Today, he brings to life the powerful lessons he’s learned to overcome depression, increase productivity and reignite employee inspiration.

      Bash has spoken around the world, from Abu Dhabi to Azerbaijan, and at 24 years old, became the youngest male to ever moderate the UN International Day of Peace. He has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, the UN Secretary General, and his mentor, Dr. Jane Goodall. He is a National Geographic Explorer, an Eagle Scout and has interviewed some of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People on the Planet.
      Bash has lived as a nomad in Mongolia, worked with suicide prevention activists in Pine Ridge and Sumo wrestled the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. Through one of a kind stories of adventure and authentic moments of human connection, he truly bridges the gap between self and other, helping us recognize our shared humanity. Bash takes audiences on an inspirational journey, coupled with stunning video footage and thought provoking exercises.

      Whether he’s embarking on yet another jaw-dropping adventure for National Geographic, or interviewing his mentor, Dr. Jane Goodall, for PBS – Chris Bashinelli leaves audiences inspired, empowered, and connected, reminding us of our greatest asset – our people.

      Bernard Baumohl Speaker

      Bernard Baumohl

      Chief Global Economist of the Economic Outlook Group, Speaker on International Economy and Geopolitics

       About

      • Bernard examines forward-looking economic indicators and talks about how these will affect business and investment.
      • Audiences learn to foresee turning points in the economy and use them to effectively plan business and investment strategies.
      • Bernard Baumohl is a member of the Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel; Featured contributor to the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, Financial Times, and on National Public Radio. The Wall Street Journal ranked Mr. Baumohl the most accurate economic forecaster for 2019.
      • Past client include: AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, Nike, BMI, the US Naval Academy, and SAP, among others.

        Bernard Baumohl is Chief Global Economist at The Economic Outlook Group. He is well known for being ahead of the curve in assessing the direction of the U.S. and world economy. His ability to correctly predict the economy's path was recognized by the Wall Street Journal, which ranked Mr. Baumohl the most accurate economic forecaster for 2019.

        Mr. Baumohl began his career as an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, a think tank specializing in international affairs and national security. He later served as an economist at European American Bank - with responsibilities to monitor the global economy and develop forecasts. Mr. Baumohl was also an award-winning economics reporter with TIME magazine who covered the White House, Federal Reserve and Wall Street.

        A sought out international speaker, he frequently makes keynote presentations before conferences, workshops and legislatures - on the latest economic and geopolitical outlook. In additional to his current post as Chief Global Economist, Mr. Baumohl is on the faculty of the New York Institute of Finance - where he conducts seminars on how forward-looking economic indicators can help business leaders better foresee turning points in the economy. He has also previously lectured at NYU and Florida Gulf Coast University.

        Mr. Baumohl is a member of the monthly Wall Street Journal Economic Forecast Panel - and his projections on the economy and geopolitical trends are frequently cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, Business Week, Financial Times, and on National Public Radio. He also served as a regular commentator on TV's Nightly Business Report.

        Mr. Baumohl is author of The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and Investment Opportunities (Pearson Education). The best-selling book is in its 3rd edition - and has been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and German.

        He is  a recipient of the John Hancock Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism, and is a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the American Economic Association. Mr. Baumohl holds an M.A. from Columbia University's School of International Affairs.

      Jack Becker Speaker

      Jack Becker

      Decorated U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot, Founder & CEO, Flight Level Solutions, Inc., Leadership, Teamwork, Safety, and Peak Human Performance Expert

       About

      Jack Becker is a highly decorated, combat proven US Navy fighter pilot.

      Renowned as one of the most dynamic keynote speakers in the industry, Jack Becker has spoken to some of the highest-performing organizations in the world including General Electric, Allied Transportation, the American Heart Association, and Truist Bank.

      His keynotes deliver action-packed lessons of fighter pilot combat missions to instill a culture of continual process improvement. Regardless of your business, Jack’s keynotes simply reduce human error. Your team will make fewer mistakes! Within all seven regions of GE Power and Water alone, Jack’s program has reduced OSHA recordable mishaps over 60%.

      As one of the Navy’s most highly decorated Landing Signals Officers (LSO), Jack was instrumental in incorporating the process improvement model of CRM to help pilots improve quickly while landing supersonic fighter jets on nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

      He was responsible for over 21,000 mishap-free carrier landings. Jack’s unique experience as both an LSO and as the Navy’s top CRM instructor, he saw an opportunity to relay the same skills of Brief-Execute-Debrief-Perfect to the American workplace. From healthcare groups to manufacturing, construction, sales teams, and insurance firms, Jack’s dynamic keynotes, and seminars leave a lasting impression.

      Jack earned a BS in Political Science with an emphasis on organizational leadership from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

      Currently, he serves as CEO of Flight Level Solutions, Inc., a globally recognized human performance and organizational execution consultancy. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with his wife, three young daughters, and dopey golden retriever "Captain."

      David Ben Speaker

      David Ben

      Entertainer and speaker on innovation, author of Advantage Play: A Manager’s Guide to Creative Problem Solving.

       About

      Educated at the University of Toronto (BA), the University of Western Ontario (LLB), and the London School of Economics (LLM), David Ben retired from practicing tax law to pursue his passion for creativity, performing and community. As a magician, David was the sole protégé of Ross Bertram - one of the great sleight-of-hand artists of the twentieth century. David is a member of London's prestigious Magic Circle and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, England and Japan. In addition to performing magic, David acts as a keynote speaker on creativity, innovation and problem solving. A feature presenter at The Walrus Talks (Performance), IdeaCity, and a two-time presenter at the Smithsonian, David has addressed a broad range of associations and corporate clients in the United States and Canada.

      David was the co-writer (along with Canadian broadcast icon Patrick Watson), performer and producer of The Conjuror (Shaw Festival, Theatre ROM, Isabel Bader Theatre) and The Conjuror's Suite (Salon ROM, Charlottetown Festival), Tricks (Artword Theatre) and Natural Magick (Luminato Festival). David has made numerous television appearances and was also the subject of an award-winning documentary film A Conjuror in the Making that aired on Breakfast with the Arts on the A&E Network and on Adrienne Clarkson Presents on the CBC.

      David is the author of four books. His first, Advantage Play: A Manager's Guide to Creative Problem Solving, examines magicians, card cheats and psychics as models of creativity and pragmatic problem solving and was published by Key Porter Books. His second, Tricks, was a how-to book for magicians published by Squash Publications. His third book was Dai Vernon: A Biography, the first volume of a long-awaited portrait of the life and times of the most influential magician of the twentieth century. The fourth, a landmark book, Zarrow: A Lifetime of Magic, a portrait and technical retrospective of one of magic's most revered arrangers, Herb Zarrow. David will soon complete the business biography of Allan Slaight scheduled to be published in 2013. David is also the author of several articles and essays published in several journals including the Canadian Literary Review, Genii, A Conjuror's Magazine and Magicol: A journal of magic history and collectibles.

      David is also a consultant for a variety of film, television, print and theatre projects including The Shaw Festival's production of Ragtime, Soulpepper Theatre's production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Brian Johnson's short film based on Denis Lee's book of poetry Yes/No, and Michael Ondaajte's award winning novel, Divisadero.

      David is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Magicana a performing arts organization and registered charity dedicated to studying and promoting magic as a performing art. He spearheaded My Magic Hands, a program designed to use the process of learning, practicing and performing magic as an introduction to creativity and the arts for underprivileged and disadvantaged children; and Senior Sorcery an intergenerational initiative to bring live theatre to isolated seniors in their homes and community.