2018 Keynote Speakers
From his wildly successful role on ABC's smash hit, Shark Tank, to his distinguished status as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Daymond John has become globally recognized for his relentless commitment to promoting and supporting entrepreneurs. Daymond initially made his mark as the entrepreneur and branding expert behind the groundbreaking lifestyle brand, FUBU, which eclipsed more than $6 billion in global retail sales.
In 2009, Daymond was tapped to join the cast of a new business-reality concept, Shark Tank. Over the course of the series, now in Season 9, Daymond has been a mainstay of the cast of Sharks and is now affectionately referred to as, "The People's Shark."
Daymond has written three books, the most recent of which debuted at #2 on the New York Times Best-Seller list in January of 2016. The wildly successful release, The Power of Broke (Crown Publishing) takes an in depth look at how successful entrepreneurs who started from broke were forced to think more creatively and to leverage their resources more efficiently, than their counterparts.
Beyond the brands, the television series and the books, Daymond's commitment to entrepreneurship has been celebrated on a global level. In 2015, he was named a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship and was part of an exclusive group who joined President Obama at the Global Entrepreneur Summit in Kenya. In March 2016, Daymond accompanied President Obama on his historic trip to Cuba.
One of Daymond's greatest accomplishments is his continued fight against dyslexia. He has worked with the Yale Center for Dyslexia and he currently sits on the advisory board of Understood.org. Daymond has embraced his affliction allowing it to be a catalyst for his career as a highly sought after public speaker and author.
A recipient of more than thirty-five awards, including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year and Ernst & Young's Master Entrepreneur of the Year, Daymond serves as CEO of the brand consultancy, The Shark Group, which specializes in brand strategy and development, artist relations and talent development. Under Daymond's leadership, The Shark Group has rewritten the script on how companies, brands and products can seamlessly work together to yield a sum greater than its parts. The Shark Group works with a wide range of businesses and brands, including Capital One, HSN, Forbes, Miller Lite, Gillette, Shopify and Infusionsoft and superstars such as Muhammad Ali, the Kardashians, Pitbull, Stan Lee, Carlos Santana, Jillian Michaels and others.
One of the country's most informed economists, Brian Beaulieu (bo-lee-o) is a principle of ITR Economics where he serves as CEO and Chief Economist. He has been with ITR since 1982 and its CEO since 1987. He is also Chief Economist for Vistage International and TEC, global organizations comprised of over 13,000 CEO's. At ITR, Brian has been engaged in applied research regarding business cycle trend analysis and the utilization of that research at a practical business level. For the past 25 years, he has been giving workshops and seminars across the US and Canada to thousands of business owners and executives.
Prior to joining the Institute, Brian was an economist in Washington, DC for the US Department of Labor where he worked on the health care component of the Consumer Price Index. Brian is co-author of two best sellers, "Make Your Move" and "Prosperity in the Age of Decline" and children's book "But I Want It."
Erik Wahl is an internationally recognized artist, TED speaker, and No. 1 bestselling author. On stage, Erik's keynote experience creates a dynamic multidimensional metaphor for how to systematically embrace innovation and risk. His message: disruption is the new normal and businesses must embrace creativity in a wholesale fashion, or risk being left behind. Erik's presentation inspires organizations to be increasingly agile and outlines how to use disruption as a competitive advantage. Some companies will be disrupted others will choose to be the disruptor. Choose wisely.
His new book, "THE SPARK AND THE GRIND", activates the essential components translating ideas into action. The book rose to CEO Reads bestseller list within the first week of its launch; his previous book, a bestseller called "UNTHINK", was hailed by Forbes Magazine as THE blueprint to actionable creativity, and by Fast Company Magazine as "provocative with a purpose."
Erik discovered an alarming truth early in his career as a partner in a corporate firm: organizations that encouraged creative thought did better than those that did not put innovation as a priority mission. So he set out to challenge companies to change their way of thinking.
In the meantime, inspired by street art, he became an acclaimed graffiti artist—though he has since stopped selling his works for personal gain, and instead uses his art to raise money for charities. His keynote is where his passion for business growth and art dovetail.
Erik's list of clients includes AT&T, Disney, London School of Business, Microsoft, FedEx, Exxon Mobil, Ernst & Young, and XPrize.
Frances Cole Jones is the author of "How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your (Brilliant) Self in any Situation", "The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today's Business World" and "Wow Your Way Into the Job of Your Dreams" and has appeared on ABC, Fox and the Hallmark Channel. She is a body language expert for The Insider, a business etiquette expert for Demand Media's eHow video series, and a job interview expert for About.com.
Her blog www.francescolejones.com/blog was voted one of the top 100 websites for women by Forbes.com and in 2014, Speaking.com recognized her as one of the top 5 speakers in Communication. She also developed the "Interview Wow" app for the iPhone and iPad.
In addition to writing and speaking, Frances is the President of Cole Media Management, a media training company focused on cultivating clients' inherent strengths to develop more powerful communication skills. Cole Media Management clients have appeared on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose, Squawk box, CNN, C-Span, Top Chef, Project Runway and others. Clients' print interviews have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Newsweek.
Ira Harris is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia and Director of the M.S. in Commerce Program and has a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from The University of Texas at Austin and a M.B.A. in Corporate Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania.
Professor Harris' research focuses on corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. He has studied boards of directors and how their composition affects major strategic decisions. His recent governance research particularly addresses the context of family business. He is currently studying the distinguishing governance characteristics of family business ownership and the various "non-equity" and "non-genetic" ways of defining family ownership.
Professor Harris teaches in the area of strategic management and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Before joining the McIntire School of Commerce, he taught for five years at the University of Notre Dame and was voted the 2001 Mendoza College of Business M.B.A. Outstanding Professor of the Year. He also taught at Texas A&M University for three years. Professor Harris is a certified public accountant in Illinois and Virginia. He was an Auditor in the Chicago Office of Deloitte Haskins & Sells for three years and a Financial Reporting Manager for four years at MCI Telecommunications. In addition to teaching, he runs his family's self-storage business in Tappahannock, Virginia.