These speakers are the most recent additions to our Speakers Bureau roster. Browse this page to view our newest selection of professional conference speakers. The Sweeney Agency makes booking speakers a simple process. We help you find the best speaker for your event by providing you with all the information you need to make the right decision, taking into account your event objectives, audience dynamics and expected outcomes. We provide you with professional business and motivational speaker bios, video clips, and topic outlines, as well as independent perspectives on the best speakers available. Working closely with the speaker you choose, we will ensure he or she delivers a customized presentation that informs, inspires and entertains.
Showing 1–30 of 39 results
John Baldoni is a globally-recognized leadership educator, certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, and author of 14 books that have been translated into 10 languages.
John’s books include GRACE: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us, MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership, Lead with Purpose, Lead Your Boss, and The Leader’s Pocket Guide. John’s books have been translated into 10 languages.
In 2018 Inc.com named John a Top 100 speaker and Trust Across America honored John with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Trust. In 2019 Global Gurus ranked John No. 9 on its list of Top 30 global leadership expert, a list John been on since 2007. In 2014 Inc.com listed John as a Top 50 leadership expert. John is also a member of the renowned Marshall Goldsmith 100 coaches, a group of executive coaches and thought leaders from the worlds of business, academia and social service.
John established a career as a highly sought after executive coach, where he has had the privilege of working with senior leaders in virtually every industry from pharmaceutical to real estate, packaged goods to automobiles, and finance to health care.
John has authored more than 700 leadership columns for a variety of online publications including Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Inc.com John also produces and appears in a video coaching series for SmartBrief, a news channel with over 4 million readers. John is also the host of LinkedIn Live’s Grace under pressure interview series. John’s leadership resource website is www.johnbaldoni.com
While growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, James Benham began writing code at the age of 11 and by 14 had developed his first application. Three years later, he co-managed an internet services provider (ISP), providing dial-up Internet to over 4,000 users. James went on to complete a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Science in Information Systems while in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University. During his final year at Texas A&M in 2001, James established his second company, JBKnowledge, Inc. He has continued to stay involved with his alma mater by joining the university faculty as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M.
James is now the Chief Executive Officer of JBKnowledge, and host of The ConTechCrew podcast. James has led JBKnowledge to become a premier provider of technology solutions for the construction and insurance industries, with clients across North America, the Caribbean and the Middle East. As a rapidly growing business year after year, JBKnowledge is a seven-time recipient of the Aggie 100 award, six-time Newman 10 recipient, and was recently named to the LSU One Hundred for the second time. The company, and James, are headquartered in Bryan/College Station, TX with offices in North America and South America.
With extensive experience in the design, development and use of technology to improve efficiency, James is a sought-after speaker across the United States, Canada and abroad - on business information technology, data security and innovative technology solutions. James’ dynamic speaking style allows him to share his vast technical knowledge in a down-to-earth, engaging manner. In 2015, James presented at a variety of national events including: Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) IT Forum, CONEXPO, Construction Financial Management Association Annual (CFMA) Conference, Construct Canada, BIMForum, Augmented World Expo (AWE), Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Annual Convention, and more. In addition, he was recognized among ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2014 Top 20 Under 40 for his advancements in construction technology and is a founding member of the Construction Open Standards Alliance.
Expert on Marketing, Branding, Trends & Disruption, Innovation, Storytelling
Rohit Bhargava is an innovation and marketing expert, skilled facilitator, and keynote speaker. After a successful 15-year career as a brand and marketing strategist at two of the largest agencies in the world (Ogilvy and Leo Burnett) - Rohit became an entrepreneur and has since started three companies.
He is the Wall Street Journal best-selling author of six books on topics as wide ranging as the future of business and building a brand with personality - and has delivered sold out keynote presentations and workshops to business leaders in 32 countries. His hallmark book Non Obvious is updated annually with 15 new trend predictions, has been read and shared by more than 1 million readers - and is translated in ten languages. His new updated version slated for release on 07-January-2020 is Non Obvious Megatrends: How to See What Others Miss, Predict Trends and Win the Future. Rohit has been invited to share his insights at some of the most forward-looking organizations in the world including Intel, NASA, Disney, JP Morgan Chase, LinkedIn, Microsoft, American Express, BP, the World Bank, Coca-Cola and hundreds of others.
Outside of his consulting work, Rohit also teaches his popular signature course on storytelling and marketing at Georgetown University in Washington DC - and has been invited to deliver guest lectures at many other prestigious schools including Stanford and Wharton. For the past 14 years Rohit has also been writing his personal “Influential Marketing Blog” which has been featured in global media and named One of The top 25 Marketing Blogs in the World by AdAge Magazine. He is regularly interviewed and featured as an expert commentator in global media including Harvard Business Review, The Guardian, and NPR. Rohit also writes a monthly column for GQ magazine in Brazil on technology and trends.
Thanks to his many years of sharing insights, Rohit has been recognized alongside visionary business leaders like Sir Richard Branson and Tom Peters as a “Top 100 Thought Leader In Trustworthy Business Behaviour” and was named by global recruiting firm Korn Ferry as one of the “Most Influential South Asians in Media and Entertainment.”
On a personal level, Rohit is married and lives with his wife and two young boys in the Washington DC area. He is a lifelong fan of anything having to do with the Olympics (he’s been to five so far!), actively avoids anything having to do with cauliflower (yuck!) - and believes the most entertaining and impactful job he will ever have is being a great dad and teaching his sons to be kind when no one expects it, curious about the things others take for granted, and confident enough to change the world.
About Molly Bloom – Inspirational Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, and Bestselling Author
Molly Bloom is an inspirational keynote speaker, entrepreneur, and bestselling author of Molly’s Game. She is best known for her memoir, Molly’s Game, which was adapted into an award-winning film of the same name by Aaron Sorkin. Bloom’s memoir chronicles her journey from college student to LA waitress to building and operating the largest and most notorious private poker game in the world. Her games featured hundreds of millions of dollars and players like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, A-Rod, and Ben Affleck.
Bloom began her career as a world-class skier. While training as a pre-teen she was diagnosed with severe scoliosis and had to undergo surgery that the doctors said would end her athletic career. A year later, fully recovered, she was back on the slopes. She later joined the U.S. Ski Team and at 21 years old was ranked No. 3 in North America in moguls, but her Olympic dreams would go unrealized as she left the team to pursue other projects. This led her to what she thought would be a year sabbatical in LA.
Bloom was finishing her degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado – Boulder, and was in the process of applying to top tier Law Schools, when her assistant job turned her into an accidental entrepreneur, running one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world, pulling in as much as $4 million per year. What happened next is where her story truly begins.
The film Molly’s Game, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, stars Jessica Chastain (as Molly), Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Brian d’Arcy James, and Chris O’Dowd. Bloom has appeared on numerous shows and in media outlets such as Ellen, Vice, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Vulture, and has been asked to speak at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women, for companies like Blackrock Financial, SiriusXM Radio, and delivered the 2018 commencement speech at Colorado State University.
Author and Inspirational Speaker on How A Beginner’s Mind Breeds Success & Achieving Challenging Goals
Liz Bohannon, Founder and CEO of successful fashion brand Sseko Designs, shares the lessons learned from her 10-year entrepreneurial journey growing her business. This quest enabled Liz to acquire an understanding of how a beginner’s mind can influence the successful outcome of any goal? The answer might very well inspire you to create a new roadmap for your next challenge.
Sseko Designs materialized from three women under a mango tree, into a successful international fashion brand that provides employment, educational opportunities - and entrepreneurial training to thousands of women across the globe. Her story is filled with lessons for success that are grounded in the principle of having a beginner’s mind.
Liz sums up those lessons in her new book, Beginner’s Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now. In it, as in her speeches, she shares uncommon ideas toward success such as: Own Your Average; Stop Trying to Find Your Passion…Create It; and Dream Small. Liz continues to channel her inner beginner as she manages 100s of employees across multiple continents - and this mindset sets her apart as a more courageous, creative and effective leader. Audiences find humour and heart in Liz’s storytelling, as well as refreshing strategies that are a realistic roadmap to reaching goals.
Using her unlikely story of a journalist-gone-shoe-maker, Liz shares inspiring strategies that will help leaders be more creative, innovative and courageous - and ideas that will spark intrapreneurs as well as entrepreneurs to go beyond dreaming and start doing.
The Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications including, Vogue Magazine, Redbook Magazine, O Magazine, Inc., Fortune and others. Sseko has appeared on national broadcasts including ABC's Shark Tank and Good Morning America.
Among other notable honours, Liz was recently named a Top Three Transformation Leader by John Maxwell, Forbes listed her as a top 20 public speaker in the U.S. and Bloomberg Businessweek named Sseko a top social enterprise to watch.
Liz now splits her time between Uganda and Portland, Oregon - where she and her husband Ben run Sseko Designs and raise their two young sons.
5 Tips to Book your Next Great Speaker
Did last year's speaker knock your socks off? Not sure where to go next? Let our team of experienced professionals help you find your next great speaker.
Here's a quick guide to help you get started:
Decide on a theme or topic for your event.
Going through a period of transition? Looking to shake up your creative? Building trust within your teams? We have great speakers on all of those topics.
Having trouble? Check out our IDEA GENERATOR for inspiration.
Get in touch with your Event Date & Theme.
We will ask you some key questions to find the perfect speaker for your live or virtual event.
We pride ourselves on our personal touch. We are small team of dedicated professionals with over 20 years experience. When you call us, you speak to us directly... and quickly.
By now, we have a great idea of what you are looking for and will send you a shortlist of exceptional speakers.
Each speaker will be vetted with YOUR event in mind, along with our personal thoughts on how that speaker can inspire your attendees.
From the shortlist, you've narrowed it down to two great speakers. Let's discuss your needs to help make the final decision.
With over 20 years experience, you can trust us to provide all of the information you need to choose the right speaker.
We work with you to find the best format for your presentation, including live streams, Q&A sessions and even follow up programs to ensure maximum engagement for your key stakeholders.
We will facilitate a call with your leadership team & our speaker to do a deep dive into your business to make sure their presentation really hits home.
As trusted experts, you can rest easy knowing our experience will guide you every step of the way.
get in touch
Co-founder of Quiet Revolution, New York Times Best-selling Author and Speaker on Leadership
Susan Cain is the author of the best-sellers Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, which has been translated into 40 languages, is in its seventh year on the New York Times best- seller list, and was named the #1 best book of the year by Fast Company magazine, which also named Cain one of its Most Creative People in Business. LinkedIn named her the 6th Top Influencer in the world.
Susan has partnered with Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant and Dan Pink to launch the Next Big Idea Book Club; they donate all their proceeds to children’s literacy programs.
Her writing has appeared in the The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Her record-smashing TED talk has been viewed over 30 million times on TED.com and YouTube combined, and was named by Bill Gates one of his all-time favorite talks.
Cain has also spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, the S.E.C., Harvard, Yale, West Point and the US Naval Academy.
She received Harvard Law School’s Celebration Award for Thought Leadership, the Toastmasters International Golden Gavel Award for Communication and Leadership, and was named one of the world’s top 50 Leadership and Management Experts by Inc. Magazine. She is an honours graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law School.
She lives in the Hudson River Valley with her husband and two sons.
Author & Motivational Speaker on Human Behaviour and Communications
Colette Carlson is a human behaviour expert and keynote speaker who inspires individuals to connect and communicate in real and relevant ways. How to create effective connections, and leverage them for greater success, is the thread that is woven into every one of Colette’s presentations. From the top leadership to the front line, it’s all about the power of connection.
Colette provides the perfect blend of interaction, research, stories and humour to support leaders in building powerful connections with those they lead. She will also show you how to up your personal connection quotient to maximize relationships, revenue and results with sales and customer service.
With a Master’s Degree in Human Behaviour, a fascination with communication trends, and extensive experience in the personal development industry for over 20 years, Colette knows the difference between trendy topics and timeless truths when it comes to successful business practices.
Colette has published a couple of audible audiobooks, and is the author of countless articles that have been featured in Success, Business Management Daily and Working Mother magazines.
Through her real-world, highly-engaging, and laugh-out-loud funny seminars, Colette teaches organizations how mindful communication creates powerful connections. Every presentation is customized and personalized - and audience members learn how to form and sustain connections that drive productivity, engagement, and collaboration.
Every person at every level of an organization benefits from the power of connection. Most importantly, that power begins within. The awareness and discipline of connecting with yourself first, in order to genuinely connect with others, is what Colette inspires in people everywhere.
Her clients include Boeing, Microsoft, Cisco, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Great Clips, Davidson Hotels, the United States Government among numerous others.
Colette grew up in Chicago and now lives in San Diego - and she still prefers pizza over tofu.
Virtual Events can:
- Reach a wider audience
- Offer a great experience at a much lower cost
- Create long term impact with recorded elements that allow for content to be watched over a period of time
- Have an increased impact over time, as viewers re-watch, discuss and connect over social media and other channels
And, most importantly: offer the ability for inspiring and impactful presentations to connect in a one-on-one way, directly to the attendee.
WHO is your audience?
Who are your virtual event attendees? Are they across a specific group within your organization, or are you serving clients across a wide range of levels? Determining who you are speaking to will help you determine a format for your event that will captivate your audience.
WHAT is your key message?
Are you focusing on change? Innovation? Leadership?
Creating a single focus or mission will allow you to hone in on the type of speaker(s) you need to engage your audience and help event producers to format the event into a dynamic program that balances inspiration with information and audience interaction.
WHAT type of event suits your audience?
- Virtual Conference
- Hybrid Event
Virtual event technology has come a long way over the last few months, offering a huge range of different options from pre-recorded webinars, to multi-day virtual conferences, to hybrid events with some attendees in the audience while the event is live streamed.
A COMBINATION of live and pre-recorded elements will allow your virtual event to run smoothly and stay on time.
Many of our clients are also opting for multi-day virtual conferences with shorter segments spaced over a few days.
This allows some flexibility for attendees in different time zones and accommodates different teleworking situations for attendees, allowing them to tune in when it is convenient.
WHERE? It’s all about Tech.
Virtual meeting technology has exploded over the last few months as teleworking became the norm.
Consider your needs:
- Interactive elements like breakout rooms, polls & Q&A
- Seamless blend of live & pre-recorded elements
- Ability to replay segments
- Live tech support
If you plan for rain, it’s likely the sun will shine…
Tech isn’t perfect so don’t forget to test, rehearse and have a back up plan ready to go for your virtual event.
Pro Tip: Think of a virtual presentation like a podcast. Viewers can view the content multiple times and refer back to it.
WHEN? A Date… or Dates?
As we have all noticed, our attention spans for meeting in real life versus meeting online are a lot longer.
When deciding on a date, consider spreading your virtual event out over a few days, with a variety of speakers, interactive elements and information.
The benefits of a multi-day format:
- Viewers watch content fresh for a short period every day
- Allows attendees in different time zones to stay on top of the content
- Attendees can review & re-engage with content
Virtual Event Checklist:
Is your event?
- Able to be rewatched?
WHY? Pandemic 2020
Just because you are online instead of in person, it doesn’t mean you are missing out on connection.
Using the technology that we have become so accustomed to over the last few months, our keynote speakers have the ability to connect to your viewers one-on-one, in a way that was impossible in live events.
FIND YOUR WHY…
What do you want the audience to leave thinking at the end of the presentation?
Apply this question to all the presentations and segments in your event to create a cohesive, impactful virtual event.
HOW? Virtual Event Checklist
To wrap it all up
- TECH: Find the right tech platform & don’t forget to test drive before your event
- AGENDA: Use a mix of live and pre-recorded segments, mixed with interactive elements, to ensure a smooth flow of events & audience engagement
- ANTICIPATION: Build up your event with emails, teasers and sneak peeks into what content will be offered
- NETWORKING: Create and encourage online chat functions, an event specific hashtag or even a dedicated event page to allow attendees to network virtually. Maximize the networking opportunities offered by your tech platform.
- EXTEND YOUR IMPACT: A dedicated social media page is a great place for attendees to connect after an event to discuss ideas and implement some of the learnings from the event.
Offer a password protected, limited time recording of keynote presentations to continue the conversation long after the virtual event has ended.
Continue the conversation with post-event touch points like emails or questions based on the key presentations.
Best-selling Author, Inspirational Speaker and Global Marketing Influencer
Andrew Davis is recognized as one of the industry's "Jaw-Dropping Marketing Speakers" - and is a mainstay on global marketing influencer lists. Wherever he goes, Andrew Davis puts his infectious enthusiasm and magnetic speaking style to good use teaching business leaders how to grow their sales and businesses, harness innovation, inspiration and performance, transform their cities - and leave their legacy.
Andrew is also best-selling author and internationally acclaimed keynote speaker. Before building and selling a thriving digital marketing agency, Andrew produced for NBC’s Today Show, worked for The Muppets in New York - and wrote for Charles Kuralt. He's appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal - and on NBC and the BBC. He has crafted documentary films and award-winning content for tiny start-ups and Fortune 500 brands.
Jeff DeGraff is the Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He teaches MBA, EMBA, BBA, and Executive Education courses on leading creativity, innovation, and change. Jeff’s research and writing focuses on innovation strategy, change and innovation competency development, creativity and innovation practices and methods, create communities and innovation networks, and leadership development.
He is an author and co-author of the books Innovation You, Creativity at Work: Developing the Right Practices to Make Innovation Happen, Leading Innovation: How to Jumpstart Your Company’s Growth Engine and Competing Values Leadership: Creating Value in Organizations. His book, Making Stone Soup, was a finalist for several book awards. In his newest book Innovation Code: The Creative Power of Constructive Conflict, he argues that diversity of thought is essential to innovation. He urges everyone to practice constructive dialogue and work in diverse teams to find hybrid solutions and develop unique approaches to solve difficult problems.
Jeff’s mission is “the democratization of innovation.” He brings innovation to everyone, every day and everywhere through his books, his public television program (Innovation You), columns (Inc.) and radio program (The Next Idea).
His articles and thought leadership on contemporary business matters have been covered by Business Week, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few.
His client list reads like a ‘who’s who’ within the world of innovators, including, among many others, General Electric, Coca-Cola, American College of Surgeons, and Google. In working with these prominent firms, he has developed a broad array of widely used change and innovation methodologies and tools. Jeff was a member of the executive team at Domino’s Pizza when it was one of the fastest growing businesses in the world in the 1980’s. Jeff’s creative and direct take on making innovation happen have made him a world-renowned thought leader and have prompted his clients and colleagues to dub him as “The Dean of Innovation.”
Jeff is a Managing Partner of Innovatrium, an innovation center and consulting practice that specializes in teaching companies how to grow and become more innovative. He serves as an advisor to think tanks and governments. Jeff has worked all over the world, with significant experience in Europe and Asia, and in most industry and market segments.
Technology and Futurist Keynote Speaker, Author, Software Expert, and Former Head of the Ford Developer Program with Ford Motor Company
John was most recently Global Technologist and Head of the Ford Developer Program with Ford Motor Company. Under his leadership, John’s team delivered a number of automotive industry firsts including SmartDeviceLink, the open source version of Ford’s award-winning AppLink technology connecting brought-in devices to vehicles and the genesis of Google, Apple and MirrorLink technologies, developer.ford.com, Ford’s developer program with over 10,000 unique and global content providers all committed to developing for AppLink/SmartDeviceLink as well as a 2014 software developer conference attended by over 175 world-class developers from 15 countries. John’s team also delivered a ground-up design and development of a service delivery network that helped propel the MyFordMobile product to award-winning status.
During most of his career, John worked for Motorola where he held key leadership positions in engineering, product management, software & services, and marketing and strategy. While there, John participated in developing, marketing and selling Motorola’s mobile software and services, their software developer ecosystem (developer.motorola.com), and their industry-leading Open Source Software program (opensource.motorola.com).
For the past 19 years, John has been the managing director of Ellis & Associates, the management consulting firm he founded in 1997. Originally established as a boutique training firm focused on international business and culture, the firm now serves clients in the world where automotive, consumer, connectivity and software intersect.
As a designer and lead instructor of the Connected Vehicle Professional certificate course for the Society of Automotive Engineers, John is frequently called upon as a software expert for interviews, keynotes and panels to discuss software security and the new business models traditional “ship and forget” companies like automotive companies need to adopt in order to be “ship and remember” companies and adequately address cybersecurity concerns and pending legislation.
John served as an adjunct professor at Notre Dame University teaching financial math to Executive MBA students from 2002-2010 as well as a translator in the 1992 Summer Olympics
Mike Forde is one of the world’s leading authorities on elite talent and high performance - having worked in professional sports since 1998. Mike has a rich background and experience in creating ‘game changing’ methodologies around management of world class, multi-cultural talent. His work in pioneering new practices in the elite sports world have become a benchmark for leading teams across the globe. Mike is the go to expert for some of the great sports leaders from the world of the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and European Soccer.
Between November 1999 and July 2007, Mike was Performance Director for Bolton Wanderers Football Club, also in the EPL. Mike also consulted closely on Corporate Knowledge Capture, with Sir Dave Brailsford and two-time Tour de France winners Team Sky Cycling.
Between August 2007 to July 2013, Mike was employed as Director of Football Operations & Executive Club Director for Chelsea Football Club in the EPL - dealing with all areas of performance and team operations relating to the 1st team. In this period Chelsea won the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Premier League title and three FA Cups. The most successful era in the club’s history.
In 2013, Mike branched out to create the leading Consulting and Software company Sportsology - based out of London and New York. Mike now has a client list of the ‘who’s who’ of professional sports - including 2019 NFL Super Bowl runner-up L.A. Rams; 2018 NFL Super Bowl Champions Philadelphia Eagles; and 2017 NFL Super Bowl runner-up Atlanta Falcons.
Over the past four years Mike has built a powerhouse business consulting around building high performance teams and ‘Talent Factories’ - for over 30 professional teams across five global sports. Through his extensive work, Mike has created a clear methodology around building high performance environments and leading talent that is repeatable and scalable - for teams and companies anywhere to take their organizations to the next level.
In addition, Mike is co-author of the inspiring business book Quiet Leadership (with over 100,000 sales globally) - and a consistent publisher in the Financial Times; MIT Sloan; Harvard Business Review and many other leading business publications.
Award-winning Entrepreneur, Globally-renowned Innovation & Human Creativity Expert and Speaker
Sara Frasca is a world-renowned keynote speaker on innovation, creativity - and transformation. She masterfully blends creativity research with colourful and effervescent storytelling - to help leaders and their organizations build and maintain a culture of innovation. Drawing on many years of corporate and start-up experience, consulting for some of the largest global organizations, and her experience as an award-winning entrepreneur - Sara is an expert on innovation and the power of human creativity, she offers inspirational tools of innovation, while masterfully driving actionable impact from the moment she steps on-stage.
Honing her skills in senior leadership roles in both corporate America and the world of startups - Sara now serves as Vice President of Innovation for Platypus Labs - a global innovation enablement, invention, and consulting firm. She helps leading organizations cultivate human imagination, build a culture of innovation - and solve complex problems in creative ways. Sara is the go-to resource for leaders seeking competitive advantage and sustainable success by harnessing innovation. Let her inspire your team to harness inventive thinking - and leave them with actionable tools to make an immediate impact!
Prior to Platypus Labs, Sara spent 13 years at General Mills in multiple leadership roles. She was also an account director at the interactive agency ePrize - leading the forefront of digital transformation for Fortune 500 brands. Sara is the Founder and proud owner of Trasca & Co. Eatery - and was named the 2017 Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Jacksonville, Florida.
Sara is the ideal opening or closing keynote for your next corporate meeting or event.
Risha Grant is Founder & CEO of Risha Grant LLC, an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, as well as an edgy, educational and motivational speaker - author Risha Grant is an internationally renowned diversity, inclusion and bias expert. She covers these topics as NBC KJRH TV News 2 for You community correspondent and host of the JustUs series, through her Tulsa World column, Risha Talks, as a columnist for Black Enterprise Magazine and in her book, That’s BS! How Bias Synapse Disrupts Inclusive Cultures.
Risha is motivated by her passion to correct societal 'isms' - like racism, sexism, classism and plain old stupidism! It is her personal mission to expose the value of Diversity & Inclusion - while shining a light on the economic impact it creates. From her race, gender and lifestyle choices, to growing a small business and tackling economic issues - every area of her life intersects diversity.
Featured in Forbes, The Financial Times, Off Script, Bloomberg Media, Black Enterprise, Radioactive Radio, Take the Lead Radio and WURD Radio among other podcasts, local and national media. Risha has also been awarded numerous honours such as being named a 2019 Top 100 HR Influencer by Engagedly, a 2018 Inclusive Leadership Award Winner and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.
Through her interactive keynotes and deep-dive training sessions, Risha teaches and empowers attendees with D&I tools to increase their bottom line - and permission to get rid of their BS.
Corinne Hancock is a globally recognized expert in building world-class leaders, effective teams, and cultural proficiency in chaotic environments. With over a decade of international aid and development experience working around the world developing bold leaders, building highly effective teams, delivering medical trainings and delivering medical care.
Corinne translates her expertise from working in chaotic environments into REAL RESULTS through EFFECTIVE and INTERACTIVE keynote presentations, corporate trainings and executive coaching, helping organizations and individuals THRIVE IN CHAOS.
Corinne Hancock is the former Director of Clinics and Training Programs for Project C.U.R.E., a global leader in bringing medical aid to low-income countries. She brought together multi-generational, multi-cultural teams to train leaders, open clinics and deliver medical care in some of the most remote locations on the planet. Corinne is a certified leadership coach and has worked on numerous contracts with the Department of State and Department of Defense, helping develop the next generation of African Leaders and improve health care systems in some of the most underserved, war torn parts of our world. She is now considered a leader in disrupting the model of aid in Africa. She regularly travels to countries across the African continent working with everyone from heads of state to tribal elders; from US Ambassadors to remote village community members. She challenges them all to create a better way to bring sustainable success to the areas that need it the most. She has worked in conjunction with several for-profit and non-governmental organizations to help them Thrive in Chaos.
Corinne is the Founder of The Curiosity Project, a nonprofit organization that provides health and entrepreneurial opportunities in countries where people have limited access to resources.
Inspiratonal Speaker, Best-selling Author, Founder & CEO of Herjavec Group and Leading Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank
Robert Herjavec a dynamic entrepreneur and leading Shark on ABC’s Emmy Award-winning hit show Shark Tank - is one of North America’s most recognizable business leaders. In 2003, he founded Herjavec Group, and it quickly became one of North America’s fastest growing technology companies. Today, Herjavec Group is recognized as a global cybersecurity operations leader - specializing in managed security services, compliance, identity services and incident response for enterprise-level leaders and their organizations.
Born in Eastern Europe, he arrived in North America on a boat with his parents - after escaping communism in the former Yugoslavia. From delivering newspapers, and waiting tables, to launching a computer company from his basement - his drive to achieve has led him to the fulfillment of a better life for himself and his family. Robert’s motivational business advice has received millions of impressions through TV, print, radio and digital media.
Robert's inspiring books all appeared on best-sellers’ lists:
- You Don’t Have to Be a Shark: Creating Your Own Success (St. Martin's Press, May 2016)
- The Will to Win (HarperCollins, Apr 2013)
- Driven (HarperCollins, Sep 2010)
Robert will engage and inspire anyone willing to keep up with the pace of change! Robert's fundamental guiding principles include "Today we do what others won’t, so that tomorrow we can accomplish what others can’t" - and "Constant Forward Momentum!"
Serial Entrepreneur, Acclaimed Author and Sought-after Innovation & Technology Keynote Speaker
Peter Hinssen for 15+ years has led an entrepreneurial life immersed in technology start-ups. His first company e-COM was acquired by Alcatel-Lucent, his second, Streamcase, by Belgacom, and Across Technology by Delaware Consulting. His third venture (Porthus) was quoted on the stock exchange in 2006 and acquired by Descartes. Between start-ups, he has been an Entrepreneur in Residence with McKinsey & Company - with a focus on digital and technology strategy. Peter’s current company nexxworks helps organizations become fluid, innovate and thrive in The Day After Tomorrow.
Peter has presented innumerable keynote speeches around the world, among those for Google Think Performance, Nimbus Ninety, Gartner, NEXT Berlin, Tedx, PayPal, MasterCard, Microsoft, CIO City, SAS, Accenture and Apple. He lectures at renowned business schools such as the London Business School, the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine. He is also a multiple board advisor on subjects related to innovation and technology.
Peter is the author of four best-selling business books. The Day After Tomorrow (2017) - about surviving in times of radical innovation. The Network Always Wins (2014) - explains how and why companies have no choice but to become a network when the outside world has evolved into one. In The New Normal (2010) - Peter writes about how companies should explore the limits of the digital world, and what happens when technology just becomes ‘normal’. Business/IT Fusion (2008) - is a guide about how to solve the conflict between business and IT. Peter is frequently asked to contribute to (international) publications and is a Forbes contributor as well as a LinkedIn Influencer. Peter's forthcoming best-seller The Phoenix and The Unicorn - is slated for release the beginning of March 2020.
Author & Inspirational Speaker on Emotional Intelligence and Resilience
Jia Jiang is the owner of Rejection Therapy, a website that provides inspiration, knowledge and products for people to overcome their fear of rejection. He is also the CEO of Wuju Learning, a company that teaches people and trains organizations to become fearless through rejection training. In 2015, he authored the Amazon bestselling book, Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection and was one of the most viewed TED Talks of 2017. In 2019, Toastmasters International awarded Jiang the Golden Gavel, which is given annually to honor the best keynote speaker in the industry.
Several years after Jiang began his career in the corporate world, he took a life-altering risk and stepped into the unknown world of entrepreneurship. His result was everyone’s biggest fear: rejection. This was the catalyst that set Jiang on the path to his true calling.
To conquer the fear of rejection, Jiang embarked on a personal quest and started a blog, 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. His journey revealed a world that was hidden in plain sight — a world where people are much kinder than we imagine. He discovered that rejection can be much less painful than we believe and that the fear of rejection is much more destructive than we know. He has turned his rejection therapy into the phone app: Dare Me.
Jiang grew up in Beijing, China and migrated to the United States at age 16. He holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University.
Culture, Diversity, Marketing and Branding Speaker, Former CMO at Beats by Dre, and Former VP of Marketing at Apple
As the former Chief Marketing Officer at Beats by Dre and former VP of Marketing at Apple, Omar Johnson has created strong consumer connections with the brands he’s represented. He drove explosive growth at Beats, leading groundbreaking campaigns with celebrities such as LeBron James, Chris Rock, and Eminem – helping to take a $20 million company to a $1.1 billion dollar global icon and category leader.
Johnson drove explosive growth in the headphone category through groundbreaking campaigns including #ShowYourColor Solo Campaign, Powerbeats starring LeBron James and The Pills featuring Chris Rock and Eminem. He used “ambush marketing” and influencers to expand the brand—giving athletes and musicians free headphones at private company parties—which helped turn Beats into the headphone of choice for the best musicians and athletes in the world.
Previously, Johnson led innovative marketing programs for international brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and Campbell Soup. As an advertising lead at Nike, Johnson produced some of Nike’s most memorable TV commercials including “Rise,” starring LeBron James, “All Together Now,” featuring Kobe Bryant, and “The Most Valuable Puppets”.
Johnson also built the Nike+ sports music platform, establishing Nike’s first revenue-generating relationship with record labels. Johnson and his team created an industry-first sports music program with Universal, Interscope, Sony, Capitol, Def Jam and more than 25 independent labels. This collaboration sold +5 Million tracks and deepened the connection between music and sports.
Johnson is from Brooklyn, NY. He received a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Georgia State University and an MBA from Goizueta Business School at Emory University.
Entrepreneur, Author and Speaker on Digital Marketing Communication & Persuasion
Erin King is an award-winning entrepreneur, best-selling author and digital persuasion expert. She is the Amazon best-selling author of Digital Persuasion: Sell Smarter in the Modern Marketplace.
Erin is the Founder and CEO of Socialite Agency - which elevates digital communication styles to attract attention, increase influence - and sell smarter. Socialite’s clients include the The Oscars, The United States Navy, ABC/Disney, Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Hope, VISA, Siemens, Hilton Worldwide, Johnson and Johnson, Hitachi, Mutual of Omaha, Merck, Abbott Laboratories, Synchrony Financial, and dozens of others.
Socialite Agency, the world's only social media firm specializing exclusively in live events - has helped Fortune 100 brands catapult their social media success via award-winning digital activations and campaigns. Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) awarded Socialite's work with FreemanXP as "Best Social Media" across the entire meetings industry.
Erin started her first venture, Jump Digital Media, at the age of 25 - and cut her teeth building websites for brands like Whole Foods, Black and Decker, and Linksys. Her second venture, PMS.com - was a Dollar Shave Club-type subscription model for women’s monthly healthcare supplies. Her experience running these digital enterprises has made her a highly sought-after keynote speaker - for thousands of people from all industries on stages around the world.
When off-duty, the former world champion Irish step dancer and NCAA Division I athlete can be found in Laguna Beach, CA with her husband Hartman - biking, hiking, surfing, snowboarding, boating; basically anything outdoors will do for this ball of fire. As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland, Erin is very close to her east coast, massive, crazy Irish Catholic family.
Erin's life mantra is “attitude of gratitude,” and right now, her only five-year plan - someday she will be home long enough for Hartman to finally allow them to get a dog, which will be a King Charles Cavalier named Louise.
Matthias Kröner known as ‘mk’ - has been bringing his visionary brand of thinking to financial services for 25 years. Over this time he has acquired vast insight into corporate strategy, innovation-leadership and M&A - during a period of fundamental transformation in the banking industry.
His extensive practical knowledge of the regulatory environment combined with a deep understanding of technological trends such as big data, AI, blockchain open banking and financial inclusion - has enabled Matthias to build bridges between the traditional banking world and FinTech-powered digital banking platforms.
Matthias’ entrepreneurial style was the driving force behind two highly disruptive financial service companies. As Founder and CEO of Fidor Bank and DAB Bank, he built both organizations from scratch - forging his reputation as a key figure in the FinTech movement. The Fidor project began in 2007 - long before the FinTech boom started, and positioned Fidor at the forefront of global FinTech development, becoming known as the “oldest FinTech bank in the world”.
Under his leadership, DAB Bank and Fidor Bank won numerous awards: Best Banking Innovation in San Francisco in 2013; the Celent Model-Bank-of-the-Year award in 2015 and 2019; and WEF´s Award for young companies in 2015 to name but a few. DAB Bank underwent a highly successful IPO in 1999 at a top valuation of €1.5 billion. Fidor Bank was sold to a major French banking group - in one of the very first successful major trade-sale acquisitions within the FinTech industry in 2016.
After beginning his career in the hospitality business, Matthias brought his expertise in customer-centric experiences to the world of financial services. The core of his philosophy centered on how financial services organizations can use technology to effectively engage their retail and SME customers with innovative, value-adding business and service models.
Matthias was at the helm as Fidor pioneered one of the world’s first Banking-as-a-Service offerings, enabling start-ups to achieve scale and become part of the digital ecosystem. Building a bridge from innovation to regulation - he brokered the first cooperation between a regulated bank and crypto-currency trading platforms. As well as this, Fidor enabled non-banks to offer full banking services for the first time in a collaboration with Telefonica in 2016.
Since standing down as CEO of Fidor in March 2019, Matthias has sharpened his focus on how technology can be used to build bridges between financial services and impactful projects that help to make the world a better place. Concepts such as green finance and financial inclusion have the potential to positively affect the lives of millions of people - and his mission is to democratize access to banking and self-determined finance management, using digital financial services to create meaningful, sustainable change.
Matthias acts as an advisor to regulators and central banks. He is a member of the International Technology Advisory Panel (ITAP) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). His geographical expertise covers Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East - and he is recognized as a thought leader, a multi-award-winning inspirational keynote speaker and blogger. He is a senior advisor to several companies, as well as a successful incubator; he is also an investor in several highly innovative start-up companies through his company Professional Development GmbH.
Tan Le is an innovator, inventor & entrepreneur, and founder and CEO of EMOTIV. In 1998, Le was named Young Australian of the Year and voted one of Australia’s 30 Most Successful Women Under 30. Le’s story was featured in the ‘Hope’ section of the Eternity Exhibition of the National Museum of Australia. Le has been featured in “Who’s Who in Australia” List since 1999, Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology in 2010 and Forbes’ 50 Names You Need to Know in 2011. Released in 2020, her book The NeuroGeneration shows how our brains will be augmented and improved in the near future.
Le has been honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader since 2009. Le was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013. She currently serves on the Board of Stewards on Shaping the Future of Information & Entertainment of the World Economic Forum and the Global Future Council on the Future of Neurotechnologies & Brain Science of the World Economic Forum.
Born in South Vietnam, Le migrated to Australia as a refugee with her family in 1981. Le began university studies at the age of 16 and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in law (honors) and commerce (honors) in 1998 at Monash University.
Cofounding Executive of Netflix, President of RedBox, Business & Leadership Speaker
Mitch Lowe was one of the early pioneers in the movie rental industry opening video rental stores in the early 1980’s building a chain of stores in Northern California called Video Droid. Mitch was active in the trade association representing that nascent industry and served on its national board and as President. In the early ‘80s Mitch tried to launch VHS Video Rental kiosks as well as a subscription-based website provider. In the late 90’s Mitch joined Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings at Netflix as the video industry expert. As VP of Business Development and Strategic Alliances for Netflix’s first 5 years and as a member of its core executive team Mitch led many of the partnerships that drove new subscribers to join Netflix such as its partnership with Best Buy and DVD manufacturers.
Mitch left Netflix in 2003 after a successful IPO and joined the business development team at McDonalds Ventures to build a DVD vending machine business called Redbox. Mitch served as its COO and President for 8 years growing the company from $36k in first-year revenue to over $1.5B in revenue 8 years later. Mitch left in late 2011 and began investing in startups in various spaces eventually going Moviepass as its President in 2016.
Mitch Lowe speaks on the future of leadership, entrepreneurship, company culture, and the $2 Trillion entertainment industry. Mitch also speaks on strategic product launches —- and the critical roles of intuition perseverance, analytical thinking, and love.
While most speakers have a story to tell, there are a select few with one so impactful and poignant that the audience is forever changed. That is what happens when Allison Massari speaks. She has been named one of the Top Ten Best Motivational Speakers in North America by Meetings and Conventions Magazine and has forged her path to success with creativity, tenacity, and deep gratitude.
Having survived two devastating and near fatal car accidents, one where she burned alive and suffered severe burns on over 50% of her body, Allison views her experiences as a tremendous gift that allowed her to find strength and a fiery passion to reach pinnacle achievements both in business and personally.
Allison has dedicated her career to catapulting individuals and organizations toward total success, mastery, and fulfillment. As an international keynote speaker, executive coach, and interdisciplinary artist, Allison provides an exceptional blend of business acuity, clarity, creative perspective, and real understanding. Her highly effective methods have enabled her to form bonds as a trusted confidante to CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs.
As an international keynote speaker, executive coach, and award winning visual artist, Allison Massari ignites vitality, inspires confidence, and offers essential tools for self-mastery to audiences worldwide. Prepare to be inspired, moved, and energized. Prepare to be taken on a journey.
Best-selling Author and Speaker on Customer Service, Client Experience Design, Employee Engagement & Leadership
Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D., C.S.P., is an internatonally sought-after speaker, author, and organizational consultant - who transfers his knowledge of innovative and exceptional business practices in ways that develop joyful and productive workplaces with a focus on the total customer experience. His insights encourage leaders and frontline workers to grow and invest passionately in all aspects of their lives.
Dr. Michelli is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Nielson Bookscan and New York Times #1 best-selling author. His latest book is The Airbnb Way: 5 Leadership Lessons for Igniting Growth through Loyalty, Community, and Belonging. Joseph’s other titles include Driven to Delight: Delivering World-Class Customer Experience the Mercedes-Benz Way; Leading The Starbucks Way: 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customer, Your Products, and Your People; The Zappos Experience: 5 Principles to Inspire Engage and WOW; Prescription for Excellence: Leadership Lessons for Creating a World-Class Customer Experience from UCLA Health System; The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary; The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, and When Fish Fly: Lessons for Creating a Vital and Energized Workplace which was co-authored with the owner of the "World Famous" Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.
Joseph holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA) - and is a member of the Authors Guild. He received his Masters and Doctorate from the University of Southern California. Joseph has won the Asian Brand Excellence Award, is an editorial board member for the Beryl Institute's Patient Experience Journal (PXJ) - and is on the founders’ council of CustomerExperienceOne. He was named as one of the Top 10 thought leaders in Customer Service by Global Gurus.
Having journeyed with a close family member through a six-year battle with breast cancer, Dr. Michelli is committed to social causes associated with curing cancer as well as abating world hunger.
José Morey, M.D., is a health and technology keynote speaker and a medical consultant for NASA, IBM, Hyperloop Transportation, and Liberty Bio Security. His talks focus on the future of health and medicine in terms of emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, hyperloop travel, and space exploration.
His expertise in big data and innovation has made him a much sought-after consultant in many industries. As Chief Medical Innovation Officer for Liberty BioSecurity, he helps drive innovation in genetic intelligence, national defense biotechnologies, precision medicine and augmented human performance.
As Associated Chief Health Officer for IBM Watson Health, he helped develop AI medical technologies. As Chief Engineering Council in charge of Innovation for Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, he aided in the development of the augmented reality window technology to alleviate passenger discomfort. And as the Medical Technology and Artificial Intelligence Adviser for NASA iTech, he helped evaluate research initiatives that would develop novel biotechnology to meet the 2030 Mars Mission objectives and deep space exploration.
Morey has also consulted with other companies and healthcare systems to help create and train their deep learning algorithms and neural networks to create intelligent systems in healthcare and aerospace.
Morey sits on several AI advisory boards and has over 50 peer-reviewed publications, presentations, and lectures. He also has a seat on the Informatics Leadership Council for the American College of Radiology.
He has given talks to NASA360, the Radiologic Society of North America, HIIMS, Academy Health, Health Datapalooza, Tech.Co, Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange, Stifel Nicolaus Healthcare Investment Conference, the Chinese Medical Association and the Senate of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Morey holds an adjunct professorship of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of Virginia and at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He is a guest lecturer at Singularity University and a member of the Forbes Technology Council.
#1 New York Times Best-selling Author & Member of MTV’s Hit Show, The Buried Life
Ben Nemtin is the #1 New York Times best-selling author of What Do You Want to Do Before You Die? - and a star of MTV’s highest rated show ever on iTunes and Amazon called The Buried Life. As co-founder of `The Buried Life` movement, Ben’s message of radical possibility has been featured on The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, FOX, and NBC News. President Obama called Ben and The Buried Life “ inspiration for a new generation” - and Oprah declared their mission “truly inspiring.” An acclaimed keynote speaker, Ben has headlined business conferences and Fortune 100 leadership teams around the world, offering motivational strategies and garnering standing ovations from AIG, Anthem, Amazon, FedEx, Harvard, Microsoft, Verizon, and more. Global Gurus ranked Ben in the Top 30 Best Organizational Culture Thought Leaders in the World in 2019.
In his first year of university, Ben was unexpectedly hit with a depression that forced him to drop out. In an attempt to feel more alive, he created the world’s greatest bucket list with his three best friends. They borrowed a rickety old RV and crisscrossed North America - achieving the unthinkable. And most importantly, every time they accomplished a dream - they helped a complete stranger cross something off their bucket list. From playing basketball with President Obama to having a beer with Prince Harry, from reuniting a father and son after seventeen years to surprising a young girl with a much-needed bionic arm - Ben’s bucket list quest has inspired millions to thrive personally and professionally.
National Security Strategist at VMWare Carbon Black, Former FBI Agent, Bestselling Author & Speaker on Cybersecurity
In 2001, Eric O’Neill helped capture the most notorious spy in United States history: Robert Hanssen, a 25-year veteran of the FBI. The remarkable true events of his life are the inspiration behind the critically acclaimed dramatic thriller Breach, starring Ryan Philippe as O’Neill, and his bestselling novel Gray Day. The film set inside the FBI- the gatekeeper of the nation’s most sensitive and potentially volatile secrets – is the story of the greatest security breach in US history.
Preceding Hanssen’s arrest, O’Neill worked with the spy within the information assurance division that protected all classified FBI intelligence. O’Neill gained Hanssen’s trust and used that relationship to slowly draw the traitor out of deep cover.
O’Neill began his career in the FBI as a graduate of the FBI’s Intelligence Program. He spent the first five years of his career as a special surveillance group field operative tasked to surveil and monitor foreign, national, and domestic terrorists and spies. He transitioned from field operative to direct undercover work focusing on Hanssen. Although his prior training had focused on “ghosting” targets from the shadows, he engaged his target in conversation in order to elicit information needed to catch Hanssen in the act of espionage. The singular nature of the assignment, one with little backup or support, required O’Neill to draw from deep reserves of courage and confidence within himself to battle Hanssen’s mind games and aggressive probing and learn to “stop reacting to Hanssen and begin acting.”
Currently, Eric O’Neill runs The Georgetown Group, a premier investigative and security consultancy, where he specializes in counterintelligence operations, investigations into economic espionage, cybersecurity penetrations, internal investigations, catching the trusted insider and security risk assessment consulting out of Washington, DC. Eric is also the National Security Strategist for Carbon Black, the leader in next-generation endpoint protection, where he provides insight and advice on strategic cyber-security issues and will work to ensure Carbon Black is an active participant in the conversation about the national strategy for cybersecurity.
O’Neill’s story is one of patriotism, of decisive action in the face of fear, and of learning to maintain confidence in ability even if it looks like success is impossible. He has told his story in national media, in print, on radio, and on television including 20/20, Nightline, Hardball with Chris Mathews, Fox News Power Player of the Week with Chris Wallace, CNN, CSPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” World News Now, MTV, and Access Hollywood.
A talented motivational speaker who weaves real-life experiences into a presentation that is both entertaining and rewarding, Eric O’Neill provides practical insights into real work situations relevant to many industries. In addition to his experience in the Hanssen case, he also addresses the issues of