2017 Keynotes & Game Changers
The featured content leaders below brought inspiration and insights to the #ASAE17 attendees. Check back to see which world-class experts and thought leaders will share revolutionary ideas at #ASAE18.
Fellow, The Martin Prosperity Institute
In a meteoric 20-year career, Nilofer Merchant has gone from being an administrator to becoming a CEO and then board member of a NASDAQ-traded company. Along the way, she has gathered monikers such as “the Jane Bond of Innovation” for her ability to guide Fortune 500 and startup companies. A regular lecturer on innovation at Stanford and Santa Clara Universities, Nilofer is the author two bestselling books, The New How and 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra. Based in Silicon Valley, her experience ranges from working with Steve Jobs at Apple to defeating Microsoft in an epic industry battle and advising the C-Suites of GE, IBM, Logitech, and more. She has personally launched more than 100 products that, in total, have netted 18 billion dollars.
Chef Jeff Henderson
Food Network Host and Bestselling Author
From humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles, Chef Jeff Henderson went on to become executive chef at several top restaurants. Jeff became the first African-American in the role at Café Bellagio and the first African-American Chef de Cuisine at Caesars Palace and is now a successful Food Network TV personality on shows including Family Style with Chef Jeff and Flip My Food. Once named Las Vegas Chef of the Year by The American Tasting Institute, Jeff tells his life story in his New York Times bestselling autobiography, Cooked, to which Sony Pictures bought the rights and is currently developing into a major motion picture. Today, Jeff shares his knowledge and excitement for food through his speaking career, his cooking shows, his popular cookbooks, and his philanthropic work to inspire disadvantaged young adults and at-risk youth.
Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar
Executive Coach and Consultant
Former Pilot, Air National Guard
With a brand new memoir, Shoot Like a Girl, and film adaptation to star Angelina Jolie, Major MJ Hegar is a Purple Heart-decorated pilot and a hero twice over, having filed the historic lawsuit against the Secretary of Defense that called for equal rights for women in the military. She has been named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Most Influential Women and today works as an executive coach and consultant.
Psychology Professor, New York University and Author, U Thrive
Dan Lerner is on the faculty at both New York University, teaching The Science of Happiness, and the University of Pennsylvania, teaching graduate studies in Applied Positive Psychology. Following a decade at International Creative Management and cofounding 21C Media Group, Dan studied coaching and performance enhancement techniques for world-class athletes with leaders at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Executive Director, The Red Pump Project and Author, I'm Judging You
Luvvie Ajayi is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and digital strategist who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology, and activism. In 2009, Luvvie cofounded and became executive director of The Red Pump Project, a nonprofit that raises awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls, and has more 500,000 readers and followers of her blog at AwesomelyLuvvie.com.
Winner of America's Next Top Model and Dancing with the Stars
He won the mirror ball trophy on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and was the last model standing on The CW’s America’s Next Top Model. Now, Nyle Dimarco is winning over audiences as an influential leader and ambassador for the deaf community. Born into a multigenerational deaf family, Nyle is a creative collaborator on The ASL App, is an honorary spokesperson for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-K), and is founder of the Nyle DiMarco Foundation.
Author, The Productivity Project
When Chris Bailey graduated university, he received two full-time job offers but decided to decline them both to dedicate a full year of his life to exploring his weird passion: productivity. Chris has researched and experimented with every possible productivity technique to discover what works and what doesn’t. Based in Toronto, Chris is on a mission to share productivity with the world with his new book, The Productivity Project.