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.
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John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership consultant, coach, and author of 14 books that have been translated into 10 languages. His business management, leadership and coaching work centers on how leaders can use their authority, communications and presence to build trust and drive results.
As a highly sought after executive coach and leadership educator, John 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 speaks widely to corporate, professional, military and university audiences. Those who attend John’s keynotes and workshops find his advice to be practical and inspirational. Mixed with stories of great men and women, and leavened with light-hearted humor, John seeks down-to-earth practical advice that individuals can apply immediately. John’s presentations blend his passion for leadership with genuine enthusiasm for helping people achieve their leadership ambitions.
John’s newest book GRACE: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us, focuses on grace as a secular force for helping women and men channel their purpose into creating the “greater good” for others. GRACE mixes stories of everyday heroes with interviews with noted thought leaders. The result are practical insights into generosity, respect and compassion – coupled with the energy and actions – it takes to deliver on these virtues.
John’s previous book, MOXIE: The Secret of Bold and Gusty Leadership, explores the grit and determination leaders need to exert to overcome challenges. Blending real-life stories with research and interviews, John provides a roadmap for how leaders can lead with greater awareness, more determined purpose and focused engagement in order to achieve inspired results. MOXIE earned a coveted 4-star review rating from Success magazine.
His tenth book, Lead with Purpose: Giving your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself, solidified John’s reputation for blending thought-provoking ideas with pragmatic advice. Over the past decade John has established himself as world authority on topics that matter to leaders who are seeking insight into leadership challenges of the day.
In 2018, Inc.com named John a Top 100 Speaker. Also in 2018, Trust Across America honoured John with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Trust. In 2019, Global Gurus ranked John No. 9 on its list of Top 30 Global Leadership Experts, a list John has been on since 2007. In 2014, Inc.com listed John as a Top 50 leadership expert.
Through his books and his many columns for leading business publications, John has become a source of practical wisdom on topics such as influencing without authority, applying power appropriately, leading with grace and conviction, and developing genuine followership. All of these topics complement John’s mission to help individuals and their organization achieve positive results. Consequently John’s books have been translated into 10 languages including Mandarin, Hungarian, Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Former Undercover Police Officer & Federal Prosecutor, Trust Strategist & Body Language Expert
Pamela Barnum is a former undercover police officer and federal prosecutor who helps organizations increase trust, strengthen motivational strategies – and improve negotiation outcomes using insider nonverbal communication skills. As a body language expert and trust strategist, Pamela delivers techniques once thought of as a “secret second language” that participants can begin using immediately.
When you take decades of experience which includes a unique background of working deep undercover in the drug enforcement section, followed by a rewarding legal career – you get real-world strategies that help participants crack the code on deception and increase trust using proven field-tested techniques.
Following a successful career in the criminal justice system, Pamela studied corporate negotiations in graduate school – and now shares her experience, research, and expertise with humour, candor, and energy; blending actionable strategies with memorable stories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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.
Celebrated Performer, International Expert and Keynote Speaker on Business & Communication
Freddie Ravel is the GRAMMY-nominated Keynote Maestro – who combines his expertise for business breakthroughs and virtuoso piano performances with a clear and concise application of music’s communicative and scientific powers to inspire, ignite and lift the minds, hearts and potential of audiences around the world.
Backed by number one hits and collaborative successes with Madonna, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince and Carlos Santana to leading the teams of J Lo, Jimmy Kimmel and Lady Gaga – the #1 chart-topping composer is the Founder of “LIFE IN TUNE,” a worldwide program that delivers customized peak performance experiences – to reveal how the structure of music enhances leadership, innovation and productivity for entrepreneurs to major corporations alike. Dubbed the “Keynote Maestro” by the City of Los Angeles, Ravel received the city’s Award of Recognition for creating a music-based system to “renew the national and international economy” – while his film, TV, radio and recording credits include CBS, FOX, CW, Universal, iHeart and XM Sirius. Straddling sectors across Media, Tech, Healthcare and Wellness, Diversity and Inclusion, Communications, Social Impact and Financial Services – clients refer to him as “The ideal balance of Entertainment and Content”.
These include IBM, Toyota, Red Bull, NASA, Apple, Blue Cross, Prudential, Google and Citi where he continues to serve as a captivating access point through which to transform corporations, education, entertainment and the human condition. Based on decades of entrepreneurial and corporate training, scientific research and directing and performing with many of the music legends of our time – conference planners often engage Freddie and his team in the program planning process to help design and incorporate their meeting objectives into a rich, harmonious and rewarding experience. Having performed in over eighty countries, Freddie is in tune with cultural nuances and sensitivities delivering the universal language in both English and Spanish – as well as collaborating with translators to uplift your audience to success.
Denise Ryan is not your typical motivational speaker – she is genuine and real. Denise is an author, keynote speaker and most notably – a fire starter extraordinaire. Denise’s trademark interactive programs address workplace issues such as dealing with change, getting along with others, communication, staying motivated – and motivating others. She also offers customized training sessions. Denise’s infectious enthusiasm motivates the unmotivated – and challenges the challenged.
After earning millions for clients in the corporate world, Denise realized she had a talent for firing people up. She parlayed this gift into FireStar – a company specializing in enthusiasm. FireStar’s unique programs are relevant, uplifting and informative. Eighteen years later, Denise motivates and energizes large corporations and small businesses across North America at conferences, board retreats – and annual meetings. Her no nonsense, direct delivery coupled with her business savvy and humour leave audiences not only laughing – but with actionable tips.
Denise is a professional speaker – known as a motivational pyromaniac. She is based in Raleigh, North Carolina – and her infectious energy, humour and enthusiasm will set a room ablaze. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s degree in business, what she really specializes in is lighting fires.
Author, Motivational Keynote Speaker, Engagement and Retention & Culture Expert
Lisa Ryan’s work experience and research in employee engagement and cultural transformation gives her a unique perspective for retaining top talent. She is President and Founder of Grategy® – a Cleveland based firm specializing in strategies for employee engagement, retention, and recognition using gratitude strategies (Grategies) for personal and professional development.
Lisa has 20+ years of experience in marketing, training, and sales. She has worked in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare – and executive recruiting. She is an active member of The National Speakers Association, has been featured in Speaker Magazine as an expert advisor, writes articles for numerous newsletters and online publications – and speaks regularly for several colleges and universities.
NASA Astronaut, Doctor, Author and Speaker on Leadership & Teamwork
Dr. Rhea Seddon is a woman of many firsts, was one of only six women in a class of 100 in medical school – and the first woman ever accepted to her General Surgery Residency Program. As one of the first six women accepted into the Astronaut Corps, her marriage to fellow Astronaut Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson produced the first astronaut couple – and the two of them produced the first official “astrotots.” She was the eighth woman accepted to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Besides her space career, Rhea’s life experiences have led her from surgeon to licensed private pilot, to healthcare executive, entrepreneur, business owner, author and now inspirational public speaker.
Dr. Seddon spent 19 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1978 she was selected as one of the first Astronaut classes to include women. She served as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle flights in 1985 and 1991 – and as Payload Commander in charge of all science activities on her final flight in 1993. This brought her total time in space to 30 days.
After leaving NASA in 1997, Dr. Seddon was the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville for 11 years. There she led an initiative to improve patient safety, quality of care, and team effectiveness by the use of an aviation-based model of Crew Resource Management. She then helped to found LifeWings Partners, LLC which teaches this concept to healthcare institutions across the United States.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in physiology – Dr. Seddon received her M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, where she completed her residency in General Surgery.
She was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005, the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2016 she was awarded the National Football Foundation Nashville Chapter’s Fred Russell Distinguished American Award, the Independent Book Publishers Association Ben Franklin Gold Award for Best Autobiography/Memoir Go For Orbit: One of America’s First Women Astronauts Finds Her Space and the Athena International Leadership Award (Rutherford County) and a University of Tennessee Centennial Top 100 Alumni Award. She was the co-recipient of the Great American Leadership award – which was presented to her along with her husband Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson at Awakening 2017.
Rhea and her husband currently reside near Nashville, TN. They have four children and three grandchildren.
Award-winning Television News Anchor, and Inspirational Speaker on Resilience, Overcoming Adversity & Dealing with Change
Nina Sossamon-Pogue is a hyper-growth tech executive, USA Gymnast, and Emmy-winning television news anchor. She is a sought-after and respected keynote speaker on Resilience, Adversity, Change and Achievement – who expertly blends big data, current events and brain science research into an energetic multi-media stage performance. Nina helps organizations strengthen their workforce in this fast-paced, ever-changing world. Drawing on a dozen years as an executive in a high-growth software company, two decades in television news, and her early experiences as a world-class athlete – Nina is the ideal opening or closing keynote for your next corporate meeting or event.
Nina brings a wealth of experience and passion to everything she does – she inspires you to examine your future in a new way. With a proven framework to conquer adversity, she teaches you how to overcome challenges – of all sizes. This knowledge allows you to gain strength from each obstacle – on your own way to success.
Nina enjoyed success at some of the highest levels of sport, television and corporate America. She also endured painful public failures – and devastating life events. She is often asked how she managed to rebuild and reach even higher levels of success, after her lows. So, she developed a framework anyone can implement, to leverage adversity – and achieve success.
In each chapter of her life, Nina faced tremendous adversity, including an injury that ended her athletic career – and a very public lay off from her dream job. At the peak of her journalism career, Nina had to rebuild her life once again. After a devastating car accident, she found herself at the center of a story gripping the headlines. Amid darkness, Nina developed a proprietary model to harness adversity – and strengthen resilience.
Her first endeavour into writing garnered best-selling status – This is Not ‘The End’: Strategies to Get Through the Worst Chapters of Your Life (Difference Press, June, 2019). Nina shares her proven approach to handling life’s hardships – so you can control your own destiny. While today may be miserable, This Is Not the End helps you see that your life is not ruined – you’re just in a really horrible plot twist and better days are ahead.
Gen Zer, Gen Z Guru, Entrepreneur, and Speaker on Gen Z as a Consumer and in the Workplace
Jonah Stillman graduated from high school in 2017 and is pursuing life as an entrepreneur. Growing up, for 10-years Jonah competed on the national U.S. circuit in snowboarding. He was ranked in the top 5 in the U.S. before hanging up his helmet – to pursue working with his Dad in the generational field.
Jonah and a team of peers conducted one of the first national surveys about Gen Z’s workplace attitudes. The eye-opening results ignited Jonah’s interest in keeping the dialogue going. After growing up watching his dad, David be the voice of his generation – Jonah is excited to be a voice of Gen Z. Together, they published Gen Z @ Work, published by HarperCollins – it describes the seven key traits of Gen Z.
He is the youngest speaker on the circuit – and has already shared his insights on Gen Z with CNBC, MSNBC, and CBS and was recently featured in Fast Company, TIME, INC, Forbes and the NY Times.
Success Magazine voted David and Jonah in the top 25 most influential speakers and authors for 2018.
Rohit Talwar is a global futurist, award-winning and thought provoking speaker, strategic advisor, author, entrepreneur, and the CEO of Fast Future. He delivers keynote speeches, executive education, consultancy, research, and future-focused leadership mentoring to clients internationally. He helps clients understand the key future factors driving innovation, growth and disruptive change. He works with major corporations, governments, professional services, investors, associations, business schools, and NGOs – to help them anticipate, prepare for and create the future. He has delivered over 1,500 keynote speeches and executive workshops in 70+ countries on six continents.
Rohit leads Fast Future Publishing – delivering a series of multi-contributor books exploring the emerging future. He is the co-author of Designing Your Future, lead editor and a contributing author for The Future of Business, and editor of Technology vs. Humanity. He is also a co-editor and contributor for the recently published Beyond Genuine Stupidity – Ensuring AI Serves Humanity, and The Future Reinvented – Reimagining Life, Society, and Business. He is also working on two forthcoming books: Unleashing Human Potential – The Future of AI in Business, and 50:50 – Scenarios for the Next 50 Years.
Rohit delivers fully researched and completely customized presentations for each keynote – and has the audience spellbound with his story of ending up on Interpol’s most wanted list due to identity theft.
Rohit’s primary objective is to support clients in exploring and shaping the emerging future – putting people at the center of the agenda. Rohit highlights the new thinking and business models being enabled by exponential technologies such as AI, blockchain, and hyperconnectivity – and uses case studies to demonstrate how firms across sectors are reinventing themselves in the era of smart machines. He then explores the mindset shifts and leadership capabilities required to compete in the emerging future. Finally, he demonstrates how to harness the next waves of innovation to unleash human potential – and ensure a very human future for our organizations.
Rohit has extensive experience of conferencing speaking, delivering corporate executive education, post-graduate classroom teaching, including programmes created by business schools
Rohit has delivered keynote speeches around the world and for clients across the globe. Example clients include 3M, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, American Express, Barclays, Bayer, BP, Citi, Deloitte, DeutscheBank, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, EE, Emaar, Emirates, Etisalat, EY, GE, Generali, IBM, Intel, KPMG, Latham and Watkins, Linklaters, Microsoft, Nokia, Norton Rose Fulbright, Novartis, O2, Orange, PWC, Pepsi, SAP, Sara Lee, Tata, The Singapore Government, The World Government Summit 2016 (UAE), and Twofour54.
Award-winning CEO and Global Keynote Speaker on Entrenching the Customer in the Heart of All Activities by Creating The Customer Promise
Hamish Taylor has a CV that the Times describes as “takes some beating.” His energetic, thought-provoking and humorous keynotes are based on a rare combination of real stories – and a fantastic ability to inspire audiences with tailored advice and practical tools. Regularly featured in broadcast media, today Hamish acts as an advisor to some of the world’s largest companies (and even Governments) – assisting with specific innovation projects, customer focus and/or people leadership.
Hamish is an award-winning CEO whose career has taken him from the international consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, consultancy firm Price Waterhouse and British Airways – to become CEO of the channel tunnel railway Eurostar, and then CEO of Sainsbury’s Bank… all before he was 40! In all cases, he left behind a record of significant business growth triggered by a willingness to challenge the normal way of doing things – so much so that his advice and assistance is now sought by organizations all over the world in many different industries.
As the self appointed “chief dumming down officer” in each of his roles, his approach is simple – but highly effective in delivering breakthroughs.
- The first thing that has to change is the way you look at your customers (both internal and external) – if you look at your customers the same way, you will get the same answers and keep doing the same things
- Secondly, you need to use your customer insights to create a new leadership tool – a simple “customer promise” as a platform for ALL future activity that puts customer benefit at the heart. Your customer doesn’t care about what you do, but about how they benefit as a result of what you do – so use this as your key purpose
- Thirdly, you must look to other environments and industries if you want breakthrough ideas – for product, service, process, leadership and much more. The Inspired Leaders Network dubbed Hamish the “Master thief” due to his track record in this area
- Concentrate your major energy on changing the way you engage with the team that will deliver the customer promise
Hamish’s keynotes will demonstrate the major breakthroughs that can be achieved by changing your approach. Hamish’s message can be tailored to a variety of topics and levels within an organization.
American Ninja Warrior, Inspirational Speaker on Leadership & Peak Performance
Alex Weber is a sought after motivational speaker on leadership and peak performance. He is an award-winning performer, an American Ninja Warrior, a World Record Holder, a TEDx Speaker, World Championship Athlete, and one of the youngest coaches ever to be awarded US Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
Alex has appeared on NBC, The Discovery Channel, FX, and more. As a Professional Entertainer, he has been critically acclaimed for his contagious energy, humor, and positive impact. Alex is a master at engaging audiences with stories of competing on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior — billed as one of the most difficult competitions on earth. He embraces challenges head on, and has competed in the World Championships of Lacrosse where he finished as a Top Scorer in the World.
Alex is a 5-time TEDx Speaker and has lectured at Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was praised as “tremendous, memorable, and special.”
More than anything, Alex passionately believes that every goal is capable of being accomplished if we know how to lead the way forward – for ourselves and our organizations.