Dr. Geoff Smart speaker

Dr. Geoff Smart

Best selling author, talent management expert, and social entrepreneur 

 About

Geoff’s professional mission is to help leaders hire and develop talented teams that deliver results. 

Geoff is Chairman & Founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm whose Credo begins, “We exist to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world.” The firm was named one of the "world’s top firms" in Broderick’s The Art of Managing Professional Services, and was profiled in Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto, Tom Peters’ The Little Big Things, and George Anders’ The Rare Find. ghSMART is the subject of two Harvard Business School Cases, titled "ghSMART & Co.: Pioneering in Professional Services."

Geoff is co-author, with his colleague Randy Street, of the New York Times bestselling book Who: The A Method for Hiring. Shanghai Daily named Who a "Top 5 Business Book in China" and Canada's Globe and Mail named it the "#1 Best Business and Management Book of 2009." Geoff is author of the #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government, which won the 2013 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Business Book of the Year. In the 1990s, Geoff co-created the Topgrading brand for talent management.

As a social entrepreneur, Geoff is the Founder of two 501c3 not-for-profit organizations. SMARTKids Leadership Program™ provides a customized program of 10 years of leadership tutoring and a $100,000 scholarship to top students with leadership potential from low?income communities. Second, The Leaders Initiative™ seeks to elevate humanity by identifying, developing, and deploying society's greatest leaders into government. Geoff and his ghSMART colleagues volunteer as leadership advisors in the fields of education, public health, and government. Geoff has also served as Leadership Advisor and Chief Talent Officer for the State of Colorado, a 33,000+ employee, $24b organization.

Geoff earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from Northwestern University, an M.A., and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University, where he was mentored by Peter F. Drucker. Geoff was elected to Sigma Xi, the honorary society for holders of doctoral degrees, and is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).

Ray Smith speaker

Ray Smith

Former Navy SEAL and keynote speaker on leadership.

 About

Widely regarded as one of the Navy's most inspirational leaders, Rear Admiral Ray Smith has spoken extensively on his leadership experiences to a wide range of audiences including corporate, political, military, and civic leaders.

A Navy SEAL for almost 39 years, he achieved extraordinary success through focused, participatory leadership. During his four-year tenure as Commander of the 2300-men SEAL force, he raised personnel retention to a level three times the Navy average. As a Navy Captain, he led the Navy SEALs in Operation Desert Storm, conducting over 200 operations of strategic significance while incurring no casualties. Earlier in his career, Admiral Smith directed Navy SEAL training, generally considered to be the most challenging military training in the world.

Admiral Smith has been recognized in Newsweek, Fortune, Reader's Digest, and on the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and CBS This Morning. He published two highly successful Navy SEAL manuals, one on nutrition and one on fitness. He was awarded the California Distinguished Service Award while a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Admiral Smith holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Admiral Smith successfully completed the 350-mile Beast of the East Adventure Race in 1998 and 1999, finishing with his three Navy SEAL teammates in 9th place out of 34 teams.

Scott A. Snook speaker

Scott A. Snook

Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School and Speaker on Leadership Development

 About

Scott Snook is currently the MBA Class of 1958 Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

He graduated with honors from West Point earning the Royal Society of Arts Award for the most outstanding overall cadet in his class. Following graduation, he was commissioned in the US Army Corps of Engineers where he served with distinction in various command and staff positions for over 22 years, earning the rank of Colonel before retiring in 2002. He has led soldiers in combat. Among his military decorations are the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Master Parachutist badge.

He has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he graduated with High Distinction as a Baker Scholar. Dr. Snook earned h is Ph.D. from Harvard University in Organizational Behavior winning the Sage-Louis Pondy Best Dissertation Award from the Academy of Management for his study of the Friendly Fire Shootdown in Northern Iraq. Until July of 2002, Colonel Snook served as an Academy Professor in the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department at the United States Military Academy. He also directed West Point's Center for Leadership and Organizations Research as well as its joint Master's Program in Leader Development. He is the primary author of West Point's Cadet Leader Development System - the Academy's philosophy on how to develop leaders of character for the Nation. Professor Snook's book Friendly Fire was selected by the Academy of Management to receive the 2002 Terry Award as the most influential book on managerial thinking published during the past two years. He has also co-authored a book that explores the role of "common sense" in leadership titled, Practical Intelligence in Everyday Life, available from Cambridge University Press (2000). He most recently co-edited The Handbook for Teaching Leadership: Knowing, Doing, and Being available from SAGE Publications (2011). Professor Snook has shared his leadership insights in formal executive education programs at Harvard and with numerous corporate audiences around the world. 

Professor Snook's research and consulting activities have been in the areas of leadership, leader development, change management, organizational systems and failure, and culture. He currently lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife Kathleen and their five children.

Dennis Snow speaker

Dennis Snow

Disney University Teaching Alum and Speaker on Creating Magical Customer Experiences

 About

Dennis Snow's customer service abilities were honed over 20 years with the Walt Disney World Company. There, he developed his passion for service excellence and the experience he brings to the worldwide speaking and consulting he does today.

He began his Disney career in 1979 as a front-line attractions operator. As he advanced through the company, Dennis managed various operating areas throughout the park, learning and applying the skills it takes to run a world-class, service-driven organization. 

Dennis launched a division of the Disney Institute responsible for consulting with some of the world's largest companies including ExxonMobil, AT&T, General Motors and Coca Cola. During this time, he presented to audiences in diverse locations around the world, such as South Africa, Australia, Mexico, England and Argentina. This division quickly became the fastest growing venture of the Disney Institute and experienced repeat business of nearly 100%.

He also spent several years with the Disney University, teaching corporate philosophy and business practices to cast members and the leadership team. While there, he coordinated the Disney Traditions program which is universally recognized as a benchmark in corporate training. In his last year with Walt Disney World, Dennis' leadership performance was ranked in the top 3% of the company's leadership team.

Today, Dennis is a full-time speaker, trainer and consultant who helps organizations achieve goals related to customer service, employee development and leadership. Some of his clients include American Express, Johns Hopkins Medicine, ExxonMobil, and Nationwide.

His articles appear in a number of industry publications and he is a featured guest expert on customer service, on several business news-talk radio shows. He is the author of the book, Unleashing Excellence: The Complete Guide to Ultimate Customer Service, which has been used in organizations around the world as a blueprint for organizational excellence. His newest book has just been released, titled, Lessons From the Mouse: A Guide for Applying Disney World's Secrets of Success to Your Organization, Your Career, and Your Life.

Andrew Sobel speaker

Andrew Sobel

Leading Strategist on Building and Developing Business Relationships

 About

Andrew Sobel is the leading authority on the strategies and skills required to earn lifelong client loyalty and build trusted client partnerships. The most widely published author in the world on this topic, he has written four acclaimed, bestselling books on business relationships: Power Questions, All for One, Making Rain, and Clients for Life. His newest book, Power Questions, shows how to use powerful, thought-provoking questions to win new business, build relationships and influence others. He has also published over 100 articles and contributed chapters to four books on leadership, strategy, and marketing. All for One was voted one of the top 10 sales and marketing books of the decade by a major marketing publication.

Andrew has worked more than 30 years as both a strategy advisor to senior management and an executive educator and coach. Many of the world`s leading companies number among Andrew`s clients. These include established public companies such as Citigroup, WPP, Xerox, Experian, Hess, Cognizant, UBS, and Lloyds Banking Group; and also many privately held professional service firms, including Booz Allen Hamilton, Towers Watson, Bain & Company, Booz & Company, Spencer Stuart, Fulbright & Jaworski, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, and many others. 

His articles and work have been featured in a variety of publications including USA Today, The New York Times, Business Week, the Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, and Advertising Age, and he has appeared on numerous television programs such as ABC`s World News This Morning and the Fox Strategy Room. One of his articles, "The Beatles Principles," was featured in major newspapers and media in over 20 countries around the world. 

A former Senior Vice President and Country Managing Director with Gemini Consulting (formerly the MAC Group), Andrew lived and worked in Europe for 13 years and speaks four languages. He graduated from Middlebury College with honors and earned his MBA from Dartmouth`s Tuck School. He is president of Andrew Sobel Advisors and Executive Director of the Client Leadership Forum, a best practices consortium of international services firms. 

Brian Solis speaker

Brian Solis

Award-winning Analyst, Best-selling Author, and Speaker on Technology Trends & Marketing

 About

Brian Solis is a leading digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist. He studies disruptive technology and its impact on business and society. Through his reports, articles and books, he humanizes technology's short and long-term effect to help see people and markets differently and understand what to do about it. 

Brian’s work covers topics including digital transformation, customer experience digital marketing, culture 2.0 and "the future of" industries, trends and behavior. His website is recognized as one of the top destinations for business leaders around the world. He actively contributes to AdAge, Wired and Forbes. And, he’s followed by over 500,000 people on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.

Brian has also worked with and interviewed many celebrities and business leaders live including Katie Couric, Ashton Kutcher, Mark Burnett, Adrian Grenier, Shaq, Russell Brand, Billy Corgan, Oprah, among others.

His new book, X: The Experience When Business Meets Design, introduces the importance of experiences as the new brand, bringing the worlds of CX, UX and BX together to re-imagine the customer journey and lifecycle.

His previous books include, What’s the Future of Business, which explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. Prior to What’s the Future of Business, he published The End of Business as Usual, which was named as a Top 10 Business Book by Publisher’s Weekly.

Susan Solovic speaker

Susan Solovic

Small Business Expert and Best-Selling Author of It's Your Biz

 About

A woman of many talents, Susan Wilson Solovic is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com top 100 and USA Today bestselling author, media personality, sought-after keynote speaker, and attorney.

An Internet pioneer, Solovic was the CEO and co-founder of one of the first video-based Internet sites, a company she grew from it’s infancy to a million dollar plus entity. In 2006, she accepted the Stevie Award (the Oscar’s of business) on behalf of the company for the Most Innovative Company under 100 employees; that same year the company was voted the Best Investment Opportunity at a Venture Forum in the Silicon Valley.

A media personality, Solovic is a former small business contributor for ABC News and hosted a syndicated radio program, It’s Your Biz. She appears regularly as a small business expert on Fox Business, Fox News, The Wall Street Journal’s “Lunch Break”, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and many other stations across the country. She hosted her own PBS special called "Reinvent Yourself Now: Become Self-Reliant in an Unpredictable World." In addition to television and radio appearances, Solovic is a featured blogger on numerous sites, including Constant Contact, Entrepreneur, AT&T Business Circle and FoxBusiness.com.

Solovic was recently named in the Top 10 of both SAP’s “Top 51 Potential Human Influencers” and she consistently ranks in the top 5 of the “Top 100 Small Business Experts to Follow on Twitter.” She has written four bestselling books which have been translated into multiple languages.

Solovic received the Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship Leader of Distinction Award, and she was the first recipient of AT&T’s Innovator of the Year Award for being a pioneer in a new industry. Additionally, she has won numerous awards for small business journalism include recognition from the SBA.

Solovic is a member of the Advisory Board for the John Cook School of Entrepreneurship at Saint Louis University where she also served as an adjunct professor on entrepreneurship in the MBA program. She served on the National Women’s Business Council, which counsels the President, Congress, and the SBA on issues affecting women business owners. She is a past board member of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard University, the Women Presidents’ Organization, Women Impacting Public Policy and the Institute for the Economic Development of Women. Currently, she is mentoring women entrepreneurs in Rwanda.

Solovic started her career as a news anchor and reporter. Her corporate career took her to the C-Suite level of a Fortune 100 company becoming the first female executive in the company’s financial services division. She obtained a law degree from Saint Louis University and is Of Counsel with the firm Junge & Mele, LLP in New York City.

Meg Soper speaker

Meg Soper

Corporate Entertainer, Emcee and Motivational Humorist who Speaks on Work-Life Balance

 About

Meg Soper is a professional speaker and comedienne who combines a remarkable sense of humour with her unique perspective of life - to captivate her audience and provide them with a presentation filled with inspiration and entertainment. Across North America, Meg is highly sought after to energize events and inspire employees through keynote presentations, as an M.C., or through interactive workshops.

Meg has appeared as a keynote speaker and featured entertainer at conferences and corporate functions across North America and internationally. A veteran performer, she got her start at various comedy clubs across Canada, and over the years shared the stage with many leading comedy acts including Ray Romano and Ellen Degeneres

With over 30 years experience in the health care industry and as a Registered Nurse in the Operating Room, she understands how your attitude affects those around you at home and in the workplace environment. Meg is co-author of the book, From the Stage to the Page - Life Lessons from Four Funny Ladies. She has appeared on the CBC Television Network, Women’s Television Network and Prime TV, as well as being featured in many radio programs and comedy festivals. Meg has a tremendous ability to connect with her audience and take every event to a higher level.

Her experiences as a staff nurse and operating room nurse - in major urban teaching hospitals and regional healthcare facilities - shaped her perspective. It taught her how humor can help us effectively deal with stressful situations in our personal and professional lives. Out of the pressure-packed environment of the hospital operating room and balancing two careers, Meg realized humor is extremely effective for dealing with stress and managing change.

And how better to motivate and entertain her audiences than through humor and inspiration? That’s why her unique brand of motivational comedy is referred to as “Humor with a Heart”. She inspires people to improve communication, deal with stress, and achieve better balance in their lives while establishing a healthy workplace and home life.

It all comes down to choices. We always have a choice about how we do our work, even if we don’t have a choice about the work itself. We choose the attitude we bring with us to work and to life, and the ability to decide whether any given day will be good or bad. If we have the ability to step back from a situation and see the humor in it, we quickly realize that life can be less stressful.

Anders Sorman-Nilsson speaker

Anders Sorman-Nilsson

Author of Thinque Funky, Speaks on Future Thinking, Innovation, and Generational Trends

 About

Anders Sorman-Nilsson is a reformed lawyer, and the founder and creative director of the Sydney and Stockholm based research company - Thinque. His unique global perspectives have been helping leaders, teams, and business owners in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia make sense of and harness disruptive trends in innovations, generations and communications. His misfit insights have recently been manifested in his book Thinque Funky: Upgrade Your Thinking and amplified by endorsements via AFR Boss Magazine, Wired (UK), and Monocle. Anders is an expert on generational trends, thought leadership branding, and innovation.

The current rapid pace of change in every industry means that we need to be constantly upgrading our personal, organisational and leadership software. The only way to make these upgrades is to understand how oncoming trends are likely to affect your organization, so you can act swiftly when the next tidal wave of information hits your shores. How would your company be different if your staff were inspired about change, rather than paralysed by it? Or if your leaders could raise performance to meet the oncoming generations, do more with less, and innovate their way into the future? Or better still, if you knew which trends were impacting your industry today and how to position your thinking favourably for the future?

Advising clients like Apple, MTV, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, SAP, McCann Erickson, CPA Australia, UTS Business School and Macquarie Bank on 'next practice', Anders' future thinking provides GPS directions for businesses, teams and leaders seeking to navigate a constantly shifting business landscape, and successfully enter a new decade of thinking.

Willis Sparks speaker

Willis Sparks

Director of Global Macro, Eurasia Group and Speaker on Geopolitics & Risk Management

 About

Willis Sparks is a thought leader on risks, opportunities, and trends created by current geopolitical conflicts and political developments in major emerging market countries, as well as on US politics and foreign policy. He works directly with Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer on a variety of macro political risk projects.

Prior to joining Eurasia Group in 2005, Willis worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he wrote on transnational terrorism and US national security. He regularly gives speeches on market-moving trends in international politics for investor and corporate audiences in the US and abroad. Willis holds master's degrees in international affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, where he specialized in international security policy and the former Soviet Union, and from the Study of Political Science (Sciences Po) in Paris. He holds two bachelor's degrees from Brown University and is a graduate of the Juilliard School. In addition, Willis once worked as a stuntman at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Tommy Spaulding speaker

Tommy Spaulding

Leadership consultant and speaker on driving success through communication and relationships.

 About

Tommy Spaulding is President of the Spaulding Companies Corporation, a national leadership development, speaking, training, consulting, and executive coaching organization. A world-renowned speaker on leadership, Tommy Spaulding has spoken to hundreds of organizations, associations, educational institutions, and corporations around the globe. His first book, It’s Not Just Who You Know :Transform Your Life and Your Organization by Turning Colleagues and Contacts into Lasting, Genuine Relationships, published by Random House in 2010, is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today national bestseller.

Tommy’s new book, The Heart-Led Leader: How Living and Leading from the Heart Will Change Your Organization and Your Life, published by Penguin Random House in October, 2015 is a New York Times and #1 Wall Street Journal national bestseller. In The Heart-Led Leader, Spaulding discusses the 18 Inch Journey which is the distance from your head to your heart.

Spaulding rose to become the youngest president and CEO of the world-renowned leadership organization, Up with People (2005-2008). Up with People is a global education organization which aims to bring the world together through service and music. The unique combination of international travel, service learning, leadership development and performing arts offers students an unparalleled experience and a pathway to make a difference in the world, one community at a time.

In 2000, Tommy Spaulding founded Leader’s Challenge, which grew to become the largest high school civic and leadership program in the state of Colorado. He is also the founder & president of the National Leadership Academy, a leading national non-profit leadership development organization. Previously, Spaulding was the Business Partner Sales Manager at IBM/Lotus Development and a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program.

Spaulding received a BA in Political Science from East Carolina University (1992); an MBA from Bond University in Australia (1998), where he was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar; and an MA in Non- Profit Management from Regis University (2005). In 2007, Spaulding received an Honorary PhD in Humanities from the Art Institute of Colorado. In 2002, he received the Denver Business Journal’s “Forty under 40 Award.”

In 2006, Spaulding was awarded East Carolina University’s “Outstanding Alumni Award,” the highest distinction awarded to an alumnus of the university. In 2009, he was appointed the university’s first “Leader in Residence.” In September 2012, Spaulding was named by Meetings & Conventions Magazine as one of the Best Keynote Speakers in the nation.

Robert Spector speaker

Robert Spector

Author of The Norstrom Way, Speaker on Customer Service Excellence

 About

Robert Spector is a best-selling author, international speaker, and customer service expert. Based in Seattle, he has helped companies create their customer service experiences for over 30 years.

Robert is recognized worldwide as the ultimate authority on customer service and the Nordstrom Way. He is the author of the business classic The Nordstrom Way: The Inside Story of America’s Number One Customer Service Company.

Robert believes that the elements of world-class customer service are the same, whether they come from Spector’s Meat Market (his family’s mom & pop store), Nordstrom, or Amazon.com, the subject of his international bestseller Amazon.com: Get Big Fast

He has contributed articles to publications nationwide, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, and National Lampoon. He has been a guest expert on countless national and local television, radio, and internet programs, and is quoted in publications throughout the world.

A graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Robert taught retail leadership at the University of Washington School of Business, drawing from the work he’s done on Seattle-based giants including Nordstrom, Amazon.com, Starbucks and Costco.

Laura  Stack speaker

Laura Stack

Productivity Expert, Speaker and Best-selling Author

 About

International Keynote Speaker and bestselling author of six books, Laura Stack, is an expert in Productivity and Performance. Her engaging personality,combined with nearly 25 years of experience helping organizations achieve RESULTS have made her one of the most sought after experts and keynote speakers in her field. Funny, engaging, and full of real life strategies that work, Laura will change mindsets and attitudes so your team can maximize its productivity. Increase market share. Strengthen performance. Foster better leaders. Increase sales. And get the job done right!

Laura has been featured in the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, and Forbes magazine and has been a spokesperson for Microsoft, Dannon, belVita, 3M, Skillsoft, Office Depot, Day-Timer, Fel-lowes, and Xerox. Her client list includes top Fortune 500 companies, including Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Aramark, Bank of America, GM, Wells Fargo, and Time Warner, plus government agencies such the United States Air Force Academy, the Census Bureau, the U.S. Senate, and even the IRS. Her books have been published and translated in over 20 countries. Her audiences Love her as much for her energy as they do the solutions she presents.


Michelle Stacy speaker

Michelle Stacy

Accomplished Senior Leader & Speaker on Consumer Businesses

 About

Michelle Stacy is a senior leader with the consistent ability to run and scale businesses, and a commitment to creating world class cultures by developing and articulating a clear vision that ignites the organization to deliver innovation, drives P&L focused top line growth, and builds powerful global brand franchises. She creates forward thinking vision and executable plans that have driven strong growth at Gillette, P&G and Keurig by leveraging the combination of new product innovation, acquisition, ecommerce/social media, brand building, and overall excellence in marketing and sales execution. Of tremendous value has been her operational expertise across all functional areas including manufacturing, R&D, procurement, distribution and IT, and her ability to create a positive and focused culture that delivers both financial results and a commitment to a higher purpose.

Michelle is currently on the Board of Directors of iRobot Corp, Tervis Tumbler Company and Young Innovations Inc.; a Director Advisor to The Cambridge Group (a AC Nielson Company); the Expert in Resident at the Harvard Innovation Lab and is a professional speaker on leadership, innovation and Women’s Leadership.

In her previous position, Michelle was President of KEURIG, INC., a $2 billion division of Keurig Green Mountain [NASDAQ: GMCR], where she had full P&L leadership with direct reports in all functional areas, and directed marketing and operations of all products across all sales channels, including management of the business partnership network. During her five year tenure, Keurig's single serve coffee system grew from 2+ to 16+ Million installed households delivering a CAGR of 61% in net sales and 74% in operating income and propelling total GMCR sales from $493 million in revenue in 2008 to $4.3 Billion revenue for FY 2013. Her commitment to leadership, sustainability, and culture resulted in Keurig being elected to the top 10 places to work in Massachusetts two times.

Prior to joining Keurig, Michelle had a successful 25 year career with GILLETTE including the PROCTER & GAMBLE acquisition of Gillette in 2005. In her last role at P&G, she was Vice President & General Manager Global Profession - Oral Care where she directed the Global Professional activities for the Crest and Oral-B brands, led 700 people in 70+ countries, oversaw $220MM in net sales, delivered over $20MM in cost reduction and integration efficiency, and created a highly efficient global organization structure. Her previous positions at Gillette included Vice President, Global Business Management-Oral-B, Profession and Kids Oral Care, leading the global management and development of the kids business and the B2B Professional business; and Vice President, Global Business Management – Manual Oral Care, overseeing global business planning focused on product development and international market expansion including the launch of Oral-B Pulsar.

Previous leadership roles at Gillette included Vice President, Global Business Management-Stationery Products Division at Parker & Waterman, providing global general management and new product innovation, and participating in the divestiture team negotiating the Rubbermaid acquisition in 2000; Vice President of Marketing, Grooming and Personal Care with net sales >$1.4 Billion, including the Launch of Gillette Mach3 in the USA.

Michelle started her career in product management at CLAIROL and RICHARDSON-VICKS. She received her Masters in Management from J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, her B.S. from Dartmouth College.

Dr. Natalie Stavas speaker

Dr. Natalie Stavas

Harvard Physician, Mentor, Runner, International Humanitarian; Runner Turned First Responder in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing

 About

Dr. Natalie Stavas shares her inspiring story as she takes you back to April 15, 2013 - when approaching the finish line of her fifth Boston marathon - just blocks away heard explosions, and she ran towards them. Arriving at the scene she went to work administering CPR, applying tourniquets, and triaging the wounded.

What led her to make that fateful decision to run into a terrorist attack? An expert on chaos, Natalie Stavas attacks every obstacle with the same attitude: “You run towards that which you fear, that which challenges you, that which is oppositional.” Running toward chaos actually makes chaos more manageable.

Following these actions President Barack Obama, Katie Couric, and Anderson Cooper honored Natalie for her role as a first responder. Improper Bostonian magazine named Dr. Stavas one of “Boston’s Best" and The Boston Globe awarded her with “2013 Bostonian of the Year” - an honor bestowed upon those that shape the biggest story of the year in a remarkable way.

After the bombings Dr. Stavas was so motivated that she increased her efforts in preventing childhood violence and improving the health of urban communities. She is a mentor for Sole Train - a non-profit organization guiding inner-city youth on a path towards their full potential through running. She is also the Medical Advisor for the Appalachian Mountain Club, helping improve the health of children by getting them outside.

Dr. Stavas’ work goes beyond borders - traveling to Haiti throughout the year, she provides medical care to children and helps strengthen the fragile medical infrastructure. A documentary featuring this work as a medical pioneer premiered at the 2014 South by Southwest film festival.

Dr. Stavas has written for multiple outlets including the Huffington Post, the Center for Disease Control, Self Magazine and the Medical Bag.

She has been featured in Runners World, The New York Times, LA Times, The Boston Globe, The New Yorker, Time and People Magazine. Described as a healer, educator, and community leader she received the 2012 Change Maker award from The Boston Foundation.

Dr. Natalie Stavas is currently a physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Trained and educated at Harvard University, Natalie’s area of experience is in childhood trauma, decreasing youth violence and researching how we can better protect and serve high-risk children.

She is pursuing fellowship training in Child Protection pediatrics and obtaining a Masters in Health Science and Public Policy at The University of Pennsylvania. She was recently named The Wellbeing/Work-Life Integration Specialist for the Department of Pediatrics at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Keep an eye out for her upcoming book, Sole to Soul, about the transformative power that running has on high-risk youth, a simple solution to the complicated problem of childhood poverty and violence.

Michael Staver speaker

Michael Staver

Keynote speaker on leadership and communication.

 About

Michael Staver is the CEO of The Staver Group. Together with his colleagues of professional development consultants, he provides keynote presentations, consulting programs and workshops. He also conducts executive coaching sessions that inject courage and authenticity into leadership. The most courageous leaders look to Michael Staver for the inspiration and strategies they need to fight the battles they face. Michael Staver helps every member of your team achieve amazing results in leadership, sales, customer experience AND communication. With a master's degree in counseling psychology and a bachelor's degree in business administration, he understands the importance of results and can assist your organization in the successful pursuit of its objectives.

Michael's commitment to his clients is evident in the content and delivery of his message. His message is centered on his fundamental belief that each person and every organization has the potential to achieve outstanding results. Michael has an uncanny ability to make the most complex ideas simple and memorable. His sense of humor, depth of knowledge, and caring attitude, will keep your attendees engaged from start to finish.

Michael's work has appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, and Training & Development Magazine, to name a few. He has produced numerous books, CDs and other tools that help organizations thrive, including Motivational Leaders: Strategies and Wisdom from America's Top Professional Motivators, Do You Know How to Shut Up? and his latest book Leadership Isn't for Cowards

Curt Steinhorst speaker

Curt Steinhorst

Speaker on Strategic Communications

 About

Curt Steinhorst is the bestselling author of Can I Have Your Attention? Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team, and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace. He is on a mission to rescue us from our distracted selves. After years studying the impact of tech on human behavior, Curt founded Focuswise, a consultancy that equips organizations to overcome the distinct challenges of the constantly-connected workplace.

Diagnosed with ADD as a child, Curt knows intimately the challenges companies face to keep the attention of today’s distracted workforce and customer. He has coached executives, TV personalities, and well-known professional athletes on how to effectively communicate and create focus when they speak to audiences, lead their employees, and engage their customers.

Curt’s unique insight and entertaining speaking style has captured the attention of audiences worldwide. He speaks more than seventy-five times a year to organizations that include everyone from global leadership associations and nonprofits to Fortune 100 companies.

David Stillman speaker

David Stillman

Speaker on different generations in the workplace and communication.

 About

David Stillman is a generational expert and an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker.  He is co-author of two best-selling books on the generations at work including When Generations Collide (HarperCollins) and The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation Is Rocking the Workplace (HarperBusiness). He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and the TODAY Show as well as in Fast Company, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among numerous other national publications.  David has received rave reviews from Fortune 100 companies including 3M, American Express, Best Buy, Cisco Systems, Deloitte, Disney, GE, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Pepsi, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Pfizer, and many more.  His creative communications work earned him numerous accolades including gold medals at the NY Film Festival and the much coveted CLIO Award. He was named to the prestigious list of “Forty Under 40” movers and shakers by The Business Journal and most recently as one of 200 to Watch.

Prior to launching his work on the generations, David worked for ABC television in New York City for PrimeTime Live. Later with CBS radio, he embarked on a round-the-world trip covering such topics as the end of apartheid in South Africa and the fall of the former Soviet Union.

Diane Sawyer from ABC said it best, “David will help you see the world through the eyes of a different generation.”

Dr. Paul Stoltz speaker

Dr. Paul Stoltz

Motivational speaker on change, adversity and resilience.

 About

Dr. Paul G. Stoltz is considered the world’s leading authority on the integration and application of grit and resilience. He is author of four international bestselling books on the subject—printed in 14 languages—was voted by HR Magazine as “One of the Top 10 most influential global thinkers,” and by Executive Excellence as “One of the 100 Most Influential Thinkers of Our Time.” His newest book, GRIT—The New Science of What it Takes to Persevere, Flourish, Succeed is available now, in which he pioneers the first construct for growing both the quantity and quality of one’s GRIT.

Dr. Stoltz guest lectures at MIT, where his GRIT-related methods and assessments are used to equip tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Dr. Stoltz has also been a member of Stanford University’s Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series, was selected as the Millennial Thinker for Singapore, “Thought Leader of the Year” in Hong Kong, and is a top-rated international faculty member for the Young Presidents’ Organization.

He has also guest lectured for Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, and the Harvard Business School Executive Education program. HBS incorporates Dr. Stoltz’s AQ (Adversity Quotient) theory and methods into its prestigious executive development and MBA programs. Dr. Stoltz has been a featured blogger and author for the Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today.

Today, GRIT™ and AQ® are the most widely adopted methods of their kind in the world for measurably enhancing one’s resilience, agility, and GRIT—currently in use by industry-leading companies, top institutions, and many governments in 63 countries across the globe.

Dr. Stoltz is frequently featured in the world’s top media. Examples include the major news shows CNN, CNBC, ABC, Sky News, Business News Network, NBC Nightly News, Public Broadcast Service (PBS), as well as the biggest daytime shows such as the Today Show, and Oprah. You will also find Dr. Stoltz quoted in the major press, worldwide, including Wall Street Journal, Harvard Management Update, Investor’s Business Daily, Yahoo! Finance, Asia 21, Inc., Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Singapore Straits Times, The Australian Financial Review, Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Boss Magazine, The Drucker Foundation’s prestigious Leader to Leader and other publications.

Dr. Stoltz founded PEAK Learning, Inc. in 1987. PEAK is a leading global research and consulting firm, through which he coaches, consults, teaches, and collaborates with top leaders, thinkers, and influencers within a broad range of organizations from start-ups and NGO’s to the Fortune 50 on six continents.

As a highly sought-after thought leader, presenter, and teacher, Dr. Stoltz combines inspiration and humor with application and substance, delivering a compelling and practical message to audiences of 10 to 10,000 people, including some of the largest venues in the world.

As Director of the Global Resilience and GRIT Institutes, Dr. Stoltz oversees a research agenda in 29 countries dedicated to exploring, expanding, and advancing the applications of AQ and GRIT to strengthen people and their organizations. His research partners have included top thinkers at Yale, Stanford, Cornell, Harvard, and more than a dozen universities overseas.

Dr. Stoltz received his bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication and Economics from the University of California, as well as his business and social sciences interdisciplinary master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. PEAK Learning’s international headquarters is situated in the coastal mountains of San Luis Obispo, California, where Dr. Stoltz resides with his family, who were honored by USA Today as “America’s Most Creative Family.”

Nikki Stone speaker

Nikki Stone

Olympic Gold Medalist & Expert on World-Class Performance

 About

Powerful, Inspiring, Engaging, Influential...all describe one of today's top inspirational speakers Nikki Stone. She shares specific skills to show everyone how to be a champion.

Nikki came back from a serious a spinal injury to win America’s first Olympic gold medal in aerial skiing, Nikki can fully relate to the pain, risks and challenges many businesses, organizations and individuals are continually faced with on a daily basis and perform under pressure in key moments, Nikki shares how to develop unmatched concentration skills that business individuals need to access increased output and proficiency and improve the bottom line.

As an author, inspirational speaker and sports psychologist, Nikki has proven and mastered the process and tools needed for success in unpredictable situations. She shares the hands-on activities she developed as an Olympic Gold Medalist and in training Olympic medalists.  Attendees continually communicate what a unique approach she has formed to help guests find their own successes.

Sasha Strauss speaker

Sasha Strauss

Strategic Brand Manager, Award-winning Global Brand Builder & Consultant

 About

Sasha Strauss speaks from two decades of experience in brand strategy and brand development for corporations, nonprofit organizations, philanthropies and universities. His unique and proven perspective on how brands should be built and communicated is the foundation for his educational pedagogy and Innovation Protocol’s approach to brand development.

In addition to teaching graduate brand strategy and marketing courses as USC and UCLA, Sasha is a trusted keynote speaker for companies like Google, Nestle, LEGO and American Express. His ability to inculcate brand truth is the reason NPR, Forbes and The Wall Street Journal seek his perspective as a brand authority on topics related to market dynamics, culture, and innovation.

Kelly Swanson speaker

Kelly Swanson

Award-Winning Storyteller, Comedian, Motivational Speaker

 About

Kelly Swanson is a nationally known award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, author of Who Hijacked My Fairy Tale? How to hang on to humor when life doesn't go the way you planned and creator of Pride's Hollow, with its cast of characters who have charmed audiences from coast to coast. She writes programs and shows for business audiences, women's conferences, associations, corporations, general audiences, non-profits, and faith-based groups.

She has been described by Our State Magazine as one of North Carolina's funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities by learning how to motivate themselves and others. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships.

Marilyn Tam speaker

Marilyn Tam

Author and Speaker on Leadership, Productivity, and Diversity

 About

Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is a Speaker, best selling Author, Consultant, Board Certified Executive/Corporate Coach, CEO of Marilyn Tam & Co. and Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation. She was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group, Vice President of Nike Inc. and also a successful entrepreneur who has built four companies. 

Inc Magazine ranks her as one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world. She has been selected as one of the Top 10 inspirational business speakers by one of the best professional speakers bureaus. Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally. Marilyn is a contributing writer to Thrive Global/Medium on how to live a successful, happy, healthy and dynamically balanced life. 

Her life is an inspiring example of what can be achieved if one followed their dreams. She grew up as an abused and neglected child in Hong Kong. She left home as a teen to come to America alone. Following her life mission, she achieved international business and humanitarian success.

Marilyn is now speaks, facilitates workshops and consults with corporations, organizations and people to achieve greater success and happiness. She helps people and organizations find and fulfill their life purpose, and provide them with the principles and actions steps to take them their goals. Her NPR (Net Promoter Score) from her clients, the industry standard for measuring customer satisfaction, is among the highest rated of all speakers. 

Marilyn was recognized as one of the Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs in the USA by Fempreneur magazine. Jack Canfield detailed her work in his book on the strategies for success, “The Success Principles”.  

Among her numerous recognition and awards is the Artemis Award from the Greek Government and Euro-American Women's Council, with her image on a Greek postage stamp. Marilyn is featured in many documentary movies including GLOW Project, The Compass, Tapping the Source, and FEMME for her accomplishments and inner wisdom.

Marilyn’s book, “The Happiness Choice”, was the top 3 most read book by businesses according to the leading business book supplier. The book won the Silver Medal of the Global eBook Awards. The book shows how and why happiness is crucial for business productivity and success, and for your physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health. 

Bill Taylor speaker

Bill Taylor

Co-Founder of Fast Company Magazine, Entrepreneur & Innovator, Best-Selling Author and Speaker on Business Strategy & Growth

 About

Bill Taylor pronounces that “We live in a world where playing it safe may well be the most dangerous course of all.” He shows business leaders a path to go from now to next in a world filled with non-stop disruption. As a young entrepreneur, Bill co-founded Fast Company, the bold business magazine that redefined the genre and chronicled the tech-fueled revolution that transformed business and work. Highlighting free-thinking leaders and companies that are upending their organizations and industries is Bill’s passion -- and he had a front-row seat. After selling the magazine, Bill has continued to inspire a generation of executives and company-builders to think differently about leadership, change, culture, and the new world of work. He’s written three best-selling books filled with examples of new ways to innovate and succeed: Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, Practically Radical, and Mavericks at Work. Bill also writes regularly for the Harvard Business Review. In a business environment where ordinary is not an option, Bill Taylor is a natural storyteller who inspires people to avoid the experience trap and not allow what they know to limit what they can imagine about the future. 

Bill’s latest book, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, offers a set of messages and a collection of case studies about how to unleash breakthrough creativity and cutting-edge performance in even the most competitive, hard-to-change fields. Simply Brilliant was published in September 2016 by Portfolio. The book was named “Best Book of 2016” by Leadership Now. Wharton professor Adam Grant calls it “a fascinating look inside companies that are re-writing rules of success.” Sir Ken Robinson says it “offers transformative messages for leaders in all walks of life.” Simply Brilliant is a sequel of sorts to Bill’s popular book, Practically Radical: Not-So-Crazy Ways to Transform Your Company, Shake Up Your Industry, and Challenge Yourself. Best-selling author Daniel H. Pink called Practically Radical “the most powerful and instructive change manual you’ll ever read.” Anne Mulcahy, former chairman and CEO of Xerox, called it “a handbook for successful transformation and a great tutorial for implementing your change agenda.” 

Before Practically Radical, Bill co-authored Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win. Just weeks after its release, Mavericks became a New York Times best-seller, a Wall Street Journal Business best-seller and a Business Week best-seller. The Economist called the book “a pivotal work in the tradition of In Search of Excellence and Good to Great.” The Economist also named Mavericks one of its “Books of the Year” for 2006, as did The Financial Times

Bill’s three books are just the latest chapter in a career devoted to challenging, conventional wisdom and showcasing the power of business at its best. As co-founder and founding editor of Fast Company, he launched a magazine that won countless awards, earned a passionate following among executives and entrepreneurs around the world -- and became a legendary business success.

Fast Company has won just about every award there is to win in the magazine world, from “Startup of the Year” to “Magazine of the Year” to three National Magazine Awards. In recognition of Fast Company‘s impact on business, Bill was named “Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance” by the American Society of Training and Development. Past winners include Jack Welch of GE and Fred Smith of FedEx. In less than six years, a magazine that took shape in borrowed office space in Harvard Square sold for $340 million.

A graduate of Princeton University and the MIT Sloan School of Management, Bill Taylor lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with his wife and two daughters.

James Taylor speaker

James Taylor

Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Author, Inspiring Keynote Speaker on a Global Mission to Unlock Creativity, Increase Productivity, and Accelerate Innovation

 About

James Taylor M.B.A. F.R.S.A. - who started his career managing high profile rock stars - is now an in-demand keynote speaker and internationally recognized leader in business creativityinnovation, and artificial intelligence he is passionate about delivering experiences on stage that inspire, educate, and entertain audience. For over 20 years, he has been advising CEO’s, entrepreneurs, educators, governments and leaders from Silicon Valley to Singapore on how to build innovative organizations, unlock creative potential, and increase productivity.

As the founder of C.SCHOOL™ and the host of multiple global summits he has personally interviewed over 500 of the world’s leading creative minds including Silicon Valley tech CEO’s, New York Times bestselling authors, and AI pioneers. Hundreds of thousands of people in over 120 countries have learned about creativity and innovation through his online courses, videos, media interviews and keynote speeches.

He has spoken at conferences across North America, Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. Recognized as an inspiring speaker in his industry he has given keynotes at conferences for the National Speakers Association, Professional Speakers Association, Asia Professional Speakers, and Meeting Professionals International (MPI).

His clients have included Fortune Global 500 companies, government policy makers, industry associations, and he was recently the subject of a 30 minute BBC documentary about his life and work. He was awarded the S.D. Southern Prize from Canadian energy services company ATCO, and named 'ONTRApreneur of the Year’ from U.S. business and marketing automation leaders ONTRAPORT.

James is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (F.R.S.A.) whose Fellows have included global innovators and leaders including President Benjamin Franklin, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Bob Dylan, Adam Smith, Nelson Mandela and Professor Stephen Hawking.

Michael Tchong speaker

Michael Tchong

Speaker on Innovation and Business Trends

 About

Michael Tchong is a published author, cultural anthropologist, plus a FAST Company and ReadWrite innovation columnist. Michael is a serial entrepreneur and founder of four startups in media, software, the internet and digital marketing.

A professional people watcher, Michael researches, speaks and writes about cracking the code of the future. He specializes in the evolution of humanity due to the impact of “Ubertrends” — his proprietary framework of massive waves that are reshaping global human behavior.

Michael is an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco and UC Berkeley, where he offers innovation workshops that teach how correctly to interpret the dynamics of Ubertrends and their human value changes.

He is a much sought-after public speaker and has shared his Ubertrends research with Fortune 500 companies and groups across the globe, including Accor, Apple, Adobe, Cadillac, Canon, Carlson, Chick-fil-A, Chili's, Diageo, Dunkin’ Donuts, Evian, Harrah’s, Kraft Foods, MindShare, NAR, Neutrogena, Pfizer, Sennheiser, Shangri-La Hotels, Siemens, Starwood, Verizon, Visa and Zappos.

As founder of Ubercool Innovation, a consulting agency and incubator, he is regularly quoted in the media and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg TV, New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and USA Today.

Michael was labeled “the most influential trendspotter in America” by the UK’s Telegraph. He's currently writing his third book, "Ubertrends -- How Trends and Innovation Are Transforming Our Future," which will be published in early 2018. His trend and innovation analysis resides at ubercool.com.

Max Tegmark speaker

Max Tegmark

Professor of Physics at MIT, Co-founder of the Future of Life Institute

 About

Max Tegmark is a professor doing physics and AI research at MIT, and advocates for positive use of technology as president of the Future of Life Institute. He is the author of over 200 publications as well as the New York Times bestsellers Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence and Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality. His work with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey on galaxy clustering shared the first prize in Science magazine’s Breakthrough of the Year: 2003

Eric Termuende speaker

Eric Termuende

A Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, Author, and Speaker on Optimizing Workplace Culture, Future of Work, and Engagement in the Workplace

 About

Eric Termuende is a thought leader on optimizing workplace culture, productivity & peak performance, the future of work, business strategies, and engagement in the workplace. He provides key actionable takeaways on how companies can drive engagement through connection and trust. Eric is the co-founder of NoW Innovations, a bestselling author (Rethink Work: Finding and Keeping the Right Talent, publisher: Barlow Book Publishing, 2017), and an international speaker. His work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Thrive Global, the Huffington Post, Globe and Mail, and elsewhere. Termuende was recognized as a Top 100 Emerging Innovator under 35 globally by American Express, is a TEDx speaker, and represented Canada at the G20 Summit.

Eric dispels generational groupings to re-humanize and gain more out of the workforce. Having given nearly 200 presentations, he goes beyond diversity and inclusion to help audiences understand people and patterns in order to optimize the workplace. His new book, Rethink Work is now available on Amazon.

Eric’s Mission, Vision, and Value Statement:

Eric’s mission is to change the way we think about work. His vision is that by getting his message out in the world, there will be less of a talent gap, communications gap, and age gap in the workplace. He values giving a presentation that respectfully challenges the people he addresses, and adds to the life they live and the position they work in.

Richard Thaler speaker

Richard Thaler

 Foremost Authority and Speaker on Behavioral Economy

 About

Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2017 for his work on behavioral economics. Richard studies the psychology of decision-making which lies in the gap between economics and psychology. He investigates the implications of relaxing the standard economic assumption that everyone in the economy is rational and selfish, instead entertaining the possibility that some of the agents in the economy are sometimes human. Thaler is the director of the Center for Decision Research, and is the co-director (with Robert Shiller) of the Behavioral Economics Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research. 

Thaler is the co-author (with Cass R. Sunstein) of the global best seller Nudge in which the concepts of behavioral economics are used to tackle many of society’s major problems. In 2015 he published Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. He has authored or edited four other books: Quasi-Rational Economics, The Winner's Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life, and Advances in Behavioral Finance (editor) Volumes I and II. He has published numerous articles in prominent journals such as the American Economics Review, the Journal of Finance and the Journal of Political Economy.

Thaler is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Finance Association and the Econometrics Society, and in 2015 will serve as the President of the American Economic Association.

Before joining the University of Chicago faculty in 1995 Thaler taught at the University of Rochester and Cornell as well as visiting stints at The University of British Columbia, the Sloan School of Management at MIT, the Russell Sage Foundation and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Originally from New Jersey, Thaler attended Case Western Reserve University where he received a bachelor's degree in 1967. Soon after, he attended the University of Rochester where he received a master's degree in 1970 and a PhD in 1974. He joined the Chicago Booth faculty in 1995.

Dr. Bill Thomas speaker

Dr. Bill Thomas

Physician, Entrepreneur, Longevity Expert and Visionary Culture Warrior

 About

Dr. Bill Thomas is a humanitarian who advocates that “What we need is a radical reinterpretation of longevity that makes elders (and their needs) central to our collective pursuit of happiness and well-being.” He is an author, entrepreneur, musician, teacher, farmer and physician whose wide-ranging work explores the terrain of human aging. Best known for his health care system innovations, Dr. Thomas is the founder of a global non-profit (The Eden Alternative) which works to improve the care provided to older people. He is the creator of The Green House® which Provider Magazine has called the “Pinnacle of Culture Change.” Dr. Thomas also developed the Senior ER Model of Care and is now working to transform the acute care services provided to elders.

His synthesis of inspiration, imagination and action led the Wall Street Journal to highlight Dr. Thomas as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Innovators” changing the future of retirement in America and U.S. News and World Report to name him as one of “America’s Best Leaders.” The magazine noted his “startling commonsense ideas and his ability to persuade others to take a risk,” and concluded that “this creative and wildly exuberant country doctor has become something of a culture changer -- re-imagining how Americans will approach aging in the 21st century.”

Dr. Thomas recently starred in the Sundance award-winning documentary Alive Inside. He has been traveling the country since 2014 starring in what he calls his ChangingAging tour, a traveling pro-aging festival featuring “non-fiction theater" stage performances, workshops and community expos. “People hear that a doctor is coming to town to talk about aging and they expect me to show up wearing a white coat with PowerPoint slides. I show up with a guitar, a bass player, a theater set, costumes, music, art, mythology, storytelling, biography, and neuroscience all mixed up. It’s kind of like a TED Talk on steroids.” The ChangingAging tour has visited more than 130 communities in the U.S. and Canada.

A firm believer in data, Dr. Thomas made the most of his 130+ city tour to ask thousands of elders the question, “What is the biggest challenge facing you as you age?” The data pointed overwhelmingly to the lack of housing options that allow people to age in the place and manner of their choosing. This led Dr. Thomas to his newest innovation, Minka Homes and CommunitiesMinka is an innovative production system to rapidly print compact houses optimized for elder-living and designed around universal accessibility. Dr. Thomas and his team are currently developing a number of pocket Minka neighboorhoods in the United States.

Dr. Thomas’ books include Principia Senescentis; Second Wind: Navigating the Passage to a Slower, Deeper and More Connected Life; Tribes of Eden; and What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World. He blogs regularly at ChangingAging.org and lives in Ithaca, New York.