2016 Speaker Highlights
We find speakers that are some of the most innovative, inspiring and creative leaders in the industry. Here’s a selection of some of the speaker highlights from the 2016 Annual Meeting & Exposition.
Captains Mark and Scott Kelly
U.S. Navy pilots. NASA astronauts. American heroes.
Scott Joseph Kelly, with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering and a master’s in aviation systems, and Mark Edward Kelly, with a bachelor’s in marine engineering and transportation and a master’s in aeronautical engineering, are American astronauts from Orange, NJ and the only identical twins to have traveled in space. Scott and Mark became pilots in the U.S. Navy in 1987 and 1989, Mark flying 39 combat missions during the Persian Gulf War, and began their astronaut training in August 1996. Scott first flew into space as the pilot of the space shuttle Discovery; Mark’s first spaceflight was as pilot of the space shuttle Endeavour. In March, Scott completed the longest stint that any American has spent in orbit, spending a year at the International Space Station. A special part of the mission was the NASA Twins Study, in which Scott was compared with the earthbound Mark to understand the medical effects of long spaceflight, such as astronauts would experience on a yearlong flight to Mars.
Visionary. Activist. Humanitarian.
Derreck Kayongo, once awarded a CNN Top 10 Hero of the Year, is a human rights activist and humanitarian who founded the Global Soap Project. Endorsed by the American Hotel and Lodging Association in 2013 and active in 32 countries with more than 1500 hotel partners, this organization takes discarded soap from hotels and distributes it to the poor throughout the world. An expert in environmental sustainability and global health, and graduate of the prestigious Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Derreck has a renowned record in NGO capacity building, fundraising, and grassroots organizing. Based in Atlanta, he now serves as CEO at the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
American Philanthropist. Educator. Entrepreneur.
Charles Best is the founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that provides a simple way to address educational inequity. Charles launched the organization in 2000, just two years after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Yale, out of a Bronx public high school where he taught history. For three years, FORTUNE magazine named Charles to its "40 under 40: Business’s hottest rising stars.” He has received the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and a National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service.
I.T. Strategist. Author. Tech Legend.
With $200 and a bicycle, Robert Stephens transformed the small, cryptic world of tech support when he founded computer consulting business, Geek Squad, in 1994. His 1990 decision to leave the Art Institute of Chicago to pursue a degree and passion in computer science at the University of Minnesota paid off in spades. Since then, the Geek Squad CEO entered into joint operation with Best Buy where Robert added the role of CTO and expanded internationally. Roberts has been featured by CNN, Newsweek, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal and Rolling Stone.
Inventor. Telecomm Entrepreneur. Explorer.
Tan Le co-founded Emotiv Systems, a neuroengineering company that developed a break- through interface technology for digital media taking inputs directly from the brain. Now CEO of Emotive, Tan is a recognized world leader and pioneer in the field of brain computer interface with developers and researchers in over 100 countries. Tan was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013. An Australian based in San Francisco, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including Fast Company's Most Influential Women in Technology, Forbes “50 Names You Need to Know,” and World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader.”
Social Entrepreneur. Author. Consultant.
Matt Tenney is the CEO of Wanna Save the World, Inc. based in Nashville, TN. Since 2006, after transforming his greatest failure into the most important experience of his life, Matt has had a successful career as a sales team leader, cofounded and led two nonprofits, and become a trainer with the prestigious Perth Leadership Institute, whose clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies. Matt is working to build a worldwide community of highly effective leaders who are devoted to serving and inspiring greatness in others.
Job Creator. Inventor. Social Visionary.
Veronika Scott will take you on her journey from being on track to becoming a top product designer to dedicating her life to the empowerment of others through her own non-profit organization. Veronika and her nonprofit, the Empowerment Plan, hire homeless individuals from local shelters to help manufacture the coats. Employees who include 22 previously homeless parents receive training and other support services. Since 2012, the group has made and distributed more than 15,000 free coats for the homeless nationwide and around