Alan Stein Jr.
Alan is a dynamic storyteller who delivers practical lessons that can be implemented immediately, and his programs reveal how to utilize the same approaches in business that elite athletes use to perform at a world-class level.
Travels From: Baltimore, MD
Ann Marie Houghtailing
Since then, Houghtailing has developed a reputation as one of the most sought-after business development and storytelling experts in the country and speaks regularly on Narrative Leadership and how to use storytelling as a tool of influence in business with her trademarked Narrative Imprinting® process. She has trained thousands of people in 42 states and abroad, delivered a TEDx talk, and is currently working with a California men’s state prison to bring storytelling to incarcerated men as a tool of learning, empowerment and connection to the outside.
In 2018, Houghtailing will launch the Center for Corporate Storytelling with California International Business University. This groundbreaking program will offer the nation’s first academic certification in Corporate Storytelling.Her writing regularly appears in national mainstream press outlets including the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Daily Worth, XO Jane, San Diego Business Journal, Yahoo! Finance, San Diego Union Tribune, Motherwell, and Thought Catalog.
Houghtailing has also written and performed two one-woman shows, Renegade Princess and Raising Humans. Over the last two years, Houghtailing’s Acts of Love program has donated all proceeds of her performances to worthy organizations and raised more than $35,000 for people in need.
Travels from: Little Rock, AR
Colette Carlson is a human behavior 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.
With a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, 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 is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), a designation held by fewer than 10% of the members belonging to the International Federation for Professional Speakers. Her articles 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. From the top leadership to the front line, it’s all about the power of connection.
Her clients include Boeing, Microsoft, Cisco, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Shell, Great Clips, Davidson Hotels, the United States Government, and numerous others.
Colette grew up in Chicago and now lives in San Diego, but she still prefers pizza over tofu.
Travels from: San Diego, CA
Jay spent 20 years in digital marketing, consulting for more than 700 companies during that period, including 30 of the FORTUNE 500. His current firm – Convince & Convert – provides social media and content marketing advice and counsel to leading companies such as Oracle, Salesforce.com, California Tourism, Billabong, Hardee’s, DOLE and more.
His second book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is About Help not Hype, was #3 on the New York Times business best seller list, and a runaway #1 Amazon best seller. Jay speaks numerous times per year worldwide, and shows how to use technology as an unfair marketing and customer service advantage. As a result, audiences will rethink their approach to marketing and customer service, helping them gain more customers and keep those they’ve already earned.
Jay’s Convince & Convert blog was named the world’s #1 content marketing blog by the Content Marketing Institute, and is visited by more than 200,000 marketers each month. Jay also hosts and produces the Social Pros podcast, which is downloaded 25,000 times monthly.
A fixture in social media, Jay draws attention to interesting and useful articles, videos, blog posts and events via following on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google Plus, which number more than 100,000. He is also an active venture capitalist, and is an investor or advisor to more than a dozen early stage technology and social media companies.
Convince & Convert is the fifth multi-million dollar company Jay has started from scratch. Before his move into digital marketing in 1994 he was a brand marketer and a political consultant, with major roles in state, federal and presidential electoral campaigns.
Befitting his roots in Arizona, Jay is a tequila collector and maintains his allegiance to the teams of his alma mater, the University of Arizona. He lives in the idyllic college town of Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife and children, and travels from Indianapolis to speaking opportunities world-wide.
Travels from: Bloomington, IN
Jenn Lim is the CEO and CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) of Delivering Happiness (DH), a company she and Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos.com) co-founded to inspire science-based happiness, passion and purpose at
work, home and in everyday life.
Jenn has been a consultant with Zappos from its start-up days in 2003 to the $2B business it is today. She created the Zappos Culture Book, an embodiment of how companies can use happiness as a business model to increase productivity and profitability.
Jenn’s experience with Zappos, combined with her development of scientific frameworks for workplace happiness, created the evidence that happier employees = happier customers = successful companies (and meaningful lives).
Jenn has traveled to over 30 countries to speak on this equation and most importantly, share the practical ways of HOW this equation works.
Upon the discovery that every organization can have similar results, DH evolved into the culture coach-sulting company it is today...to help businesses, hospitals and governments actualize their own sustainable culture for positive ROI.
Today, Jenn is dedicated to growing DH to inspire people, companies and communities to change their world, so together, we can change the world.
Katty is a popular speaker who addresses both current political events and also issues impacting women. She looks beyond the headlines and provides valuable insights on the top stories making news right now – the challenges facing the President and Congress, the outlook for the next major U.S. election, global economic news, world trouble spots, diplomatic dustups, terrorism, and more.
When she’s not busy making sense of all the drama in Washington, Katty writes about the value of women in business. She is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of three New York Times bestsellers. The latest, The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self, was released in April 2018 and debuted at the #1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list. The empowering, entertaining guide gives girls the essential yet elusive code to becoming bold, brave, and fearless. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance---What Women Should Know, inspires women to understand that confidence – the lynchpin of success – is a choice. She shows ways to break out of comfort zones and take risks that pay off. In her first book, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, she examined the workplace revolution and inspired women to take control, dream big and discover a different way of weaving work into their lives – and in the process create more profitable companies with happier and more productive employees.
Katty grew up in the Middle East and has lived in Europe, Africa, and Asia. She settled in Washington, DC in the mid-90s where she lives with her husband, four children, two cats, and a dog.
Mark Schaefer is a globally-recognized keynote speaker, educator, and business consultant. He is the author of six best-selling marketing books, and his blog is hailed as one of the top marketing blogs in the world.
Mark has advanced degrees in marketing and organizational development; holds seven patents; and is a faculty member of the graduate studies program at Rutgers University.
Customized for every audience, Mark’s programs specialize in marketing strategies
for content marketing, digital marketing, social media, and personal branding.
His clients range from successful start-ups to global brands such as Adidas,
Johnson & Johnson, Dell, Pfizer, The U.S. Air Force, and the UK Government.
When you pop a champagne cork, the bubbles of carbon dioxide form at tiny defects in the glass, join together, and explode upward when enough pressure builds. Crises usually start small the same way – and explode when the pressure builds to the breaking point. President and Co-Founder of Agnes + Day Inc., Melissa Agnes has helped dozens of global brands and government agencies deal with crises before that explosion, preventing and managing a wide range of issues before they become catastrophic. Her client list includes financial organizations, technology companies, healthcare organizations, government agencies, cities and municipalities, energy companies, global non-profits, and many others.
An effervescent personality herself, Melissa is a sought-after international crisis management keynote speaker. She travels the world speaking to organizations and audiences including NATO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Foreign Defense, Ministries of Health, as well as a wide range of private and public companies, universities and non-profit organizations. She has had the honor of sharing the stage with members of the Ukraine government and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
A go-to source for the press, Melissa's recent press coverage includes Forbes, WSJ, VIBE Magazine, USA Today and more. Melissa is also a regular guest on the leading morning radio talk show, CJAD, where she is referred to as "the official crisis manager of the Tommy Schnurmacher show".
Melissa sits on the Board of Directors for the Online Reputation and Brand Protection Coalition, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing businesses with education, solutions, and advocacy to help them protect their reputations and brand online.She is also the editor of the highly acclaimed crisis intelligence blog, and the host of the internationally recognized #CrisisReady Podcast. Published regularly and followed by government agencies and Fortune companies alike, her blog, videos and podcast provide insights to help organizations manage issues and crises in this modern era.
Mike Abrashoff is at the center of one of the most remarkable modern day stories of organizational transformation. At the age of 36, the Navy selected Mike to become Commander of USS Benfold. At the time he was the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific Fleet – on a ship that was plagued by low morale, high turnover and abysmal performance evaluations. Few thought that the ship could improve – yet 12 months later the ship was ranked #1 in performance – using the same crew. People were amazed and the lesson was clear – leadership matters and culture is everything.
In many ways, the USS Benfold was an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today. That’s why dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal and Fast Company have cited Mike’s story as an inspiring lesson for business. Leaders especially identify with Mike’s being accountable for the results in an environment where he couldn’t make the rules.
Mike is clear, “I didn’t turn the ship around – my crew did that. What I did was to reinvent my leadership style and create an environment where they felt safe, empowered and supported. When they came to me with a problem, I’d say ‘It’s your ship – how would you fix it?’.” Mike focused on the one thing he could influence: his crew’s attitude, because culture is the ultimate competitive weapon for any organization.
Mike’s solution was to establish a set of management principles that he calls The Leadership Roadmap. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfold was a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers with conviction and humility. "The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. The idea is to empower every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence.”
By every measure, these principles achieved breakthrough results. Turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1%. The rate of promotions tripled, and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25%. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfold won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness. This remarkable change was accomplished by the same crew.
Mike is author of three books. His first, It’s Your Ship, has sold over one million copies. Its message is timeless: don’t use outside forces that stand in your way as excuses – control the things you can influence and amazing results will happen. His next books, It’s Our Ship and Get Your Ship Together, showed how these principles have been put into action by business leaders in their own organizations.
A popular keynote speaker for audiences looking to ramp up organizational performance, Mike has spoken to every industry and kind of audience – from board retreats to front line personnel; from sales groups to universities; from Fortune 500s to startups. He inspires audiences to rethink their beliefs about leadership and organizational culture and tailors the message to focus on engagement, execution, change, safety, diversity, leadership, teamwork, innovation, accountability and more.
Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Mike served as the Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; and served as the Executive Officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
Mike Abrashoff is the founder of Aegis Performance Group, a consulting firm which works with and supports leaders as they address leadership, talent and performance challenges within their organizations. Mike and his team prompt leaders at all levels to re-imagine their leadership thinking and create new ways to elevate individual, team and organizational performance.
Bill Taylor has encouraged a generation of executives and company-builders to think differently about change, leadership, and the new world of work. A spirited and hard-charging entrepreneur, Bill co-founded Fast Company, easily the most influential voice on business and innovation in the last two decades. Fast Company chronicles the revolution in management and competition driven by technology, and profiles the mavericks and rule breakers who achieve outsize success by taking a different path. In less than six years, a magazine that took shape in borrowed office space in Harvard Square sold for $340 million. In addition to writing, Bill’s passion has always been speaking - bringing audiences groundbreaking new ideas and techniques to compete, innovate, and succeed. He’s also authored three bestselling books on leadership, culture, and change. His latest, Simply Brilliant: How Great Organizations Do Ordinary Things in Extraordinary Ways, was named “Best Strategy & Leadership Book of 2016” by 800CEORead. His previous books include Practically Radical and Mavericks at Work. Bill created the “Under New Management” column for The New York Times and has published numerous essays and CEO interviews in the Harvard Business Review, where he now blogs regularly.
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 rewriting 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. Bestselling 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 bestseller, a Wall Street Journal Business bestseller and a BusinessWeek bestseller. 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.
A graduate of Princeton University and the MIT Sloan School of Management, Bill Taylor lives in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with his wife and two daughters.
Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based Leadership Development company. Steve is a dynamic speaker who has delivered numerous presentations to a who’s who list of clients including, Pandora Radio, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, U.S. Security Administration, and Oxford Financial.
Steve has an exceptional ability to communicate clear leadership and business solutions with humor, clarity, and insight. He believes every presentation should transform a life and inspire leadership. He knows how to deliver proven results and has been engaging and inspiring audiences with his messages of extraordinary leadership, achievement, success, and significance for over 26 years.
Having coached and trained CEOs and presidents, professional athletes, and world-class organizations, Steve’s insights have gained a reputation around the world as an authority on high-performance leadership, emotional intelligence for exceptional leadership, growing leaders at every level, and accelerated sales success.
As a former, top advertising executive, Scott Shellstrom knows that creativity is more than an art, it’s a skill. His skills have placed him on some of New York City’s most prominent improv comedy stages, and his paintings on some of the most prestigious gallery walls. He knows how to perform, both as a television host on the Travel Channel, as well as the first white guy on Soul Train.
Scott’s presentations will unite and excite teams as they collaborate and support one another using proven techniques of improvisational theater. He ignites productivity and inspires unique solutions to everyday challenges. He teaches how to prosper from perspective and see more than what the picture first portrays. (And if that wasn’t enough, just wait for his masterpiece painting… done in four minutes… upside down.
If you have seen or heard about major brands such as Jet Blue, United Healthcare, Allstate Insurance, AT&T, and Applebee’s in the past few years, chances are it’s because of Ted Wright. He has contributed to several consumer revolutions in the United States, taking big brand clients to the next level of marketing.
Ted has been at the forefront of Word of Mouth Marketing since he helped re-ignite the Pabst Blue Ribbon brand in 2000. Over the last decade, his agency, Fizz, has become a global leader in word of mouth marketing with clients on every continent.A keynote speaker, author, and word of mouth marketing pioneer, Ted helps organizations identify influencers and create communications, resulting in the most effective marketing technique available today.
Ted has received numerous speaking awards for his thought-provoking programs. An alumnus of Booz Allen & Hamilton, Ted holds an MBA with honors from The University of Chicago. He also enjoys great bourbon and drives too fast, but never at the same time.
Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him . . . his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.”
Therein lays the genius of Bob Woodward – a journalistic icon who gained international attention when he and Carl Bernstein broke the deeply disturbing news of the Watergate scandal.
Watergate’s theme of secret government is a common thread throughout Woodward’s career that has spawned 19 books – all national bestsellers – 13 of them #1 – more than any other contemporary nonfiction author. His 19th book, FEAR: Trump in the White House, sold more than 1.1 million copies in its first week in September 2018 – breaking the 94-year first-week sales record of its publisher Simon & Schuster. No one else in political investigative journalism has the clout, respect, and reputation of Woodward. He has a way of getting insiders to open up in ways that reveal an intimate yet sweeping portrayal of Washington and the political infighting, how we fight wars, the price of politics, how presidents lead, the homeland security efforts, and so much more. His work is meticulous and draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the president.
As a speaker, Woodward pulls the curtain back on Washington and its leaders to captivate audiences with stories that are sometimes surprising, at times shocking, and always fascinating. He blends stories that are both up to the minute and from the past (to provide historical context). Woodward speaks as he writes – crisp and concise – and helps people get behind the spin to understand what’s really going on in the halls of power in an age of 24-hour news, social media, and snarky politics.
Professionally, Bob Woodward is currently associate editor for The Washington Post where he’s worked since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News said "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time." Jill Abramson, the former editor of The New York Times, wrote in her review of Fear for The Washington Post, “Woodward is truth’s gold standard.” The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” In 2003, Al Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.” In listing the all-time 100 best non-fiction books, Time magazine has called All the President’s Men, by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”
Woodward has co-authored or authored 13 #1 national best-selling non-fiction books. They are: All the President’s Men (1974) and The Final Days (1976), both Watergate books, co-authored with Bernstein. The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (1979) co-authored with Scott Armstrong, Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi (1984), Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-87 (1987), The Commanders (1991), The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (1994), Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate (1999), Bush at War (2002), Plan of Attack (2004), State of Denial: Bush at War Part III (2006), and Obama’s Wars (2010), and Fear: Trump in the White House (2018). Woodward’s other national bestselling books: The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat (2005), The Choice (1996), Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed and the American Boom (2000), The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008 (2008), The Price of Politics (2012), and The Last of the President’s Men (2015). Newsweek magazine has excerpted six of Woodward’s books in headline-making cover stories; “60 Minutes” has done pieces on seven of his books; three of his books have been made into feature films.
In November 2017, the online learning portal MasterClass released “Bob Woodward Teaches Investigative Journalism.” In it Woodward reveals the lessons he’s learned during his 45-year career, teaching students what truth means, how to uncover it, and how to build a story with it.
Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County Sentinel (Maryland), where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.