Rebecca Altamirano has dedicated her professional life to working within underrepresented communities to open up access to the culture of power. Her professional path has given her deep hands-on experience on working with the underserved and underrepresented. Many of these experiences she has shared as a co-author of “Be The Change: Reinventing Schools for Student Success”
Kwame Anku is the CEO and Chairman of the Black Star Fund, an early-stage innovation fund. Kwame has worked extensively in business development and media marketing for over two decades, entering into the tech industry after being personally recruited by the late legendary rock star Prince to develop his mobile app, overseeing business and development teams on Africa, Asia, and the US.
A sought after voice of inspiration, Mandy is a columnist, founder, and prolific influencer. Her breadth of work in mind+body connection and unwavering optimism has earned her global attention and positioning alongside elite social leaders and sports figures around the world. Mandy now travels the globe inspiring resilience through her recent and personal triumph in mental and physical wellness.
Andrea Barrica is CEO and Co-founder of O.school, a judgment-free multimedia platform to learn about sexuality and pleasure. Previously, Andrea co-founded accounting and tax platform, inDinero.com, where she led sales and operations. She also served as a venture partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at 500 Startups.
Chris is a master of transformation. His unique energetic approach challenges businesses to embed a dynamic creative culture within their company ethos. Brands such as Nike, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Unilever, Sony, and WPP come back time and again as his results produce tangible returns on investment.
International Inspirational Speaker; Big Wave Surfing Mavericks Champion; Stand-Up Paddleboarding Guinness World Record Holder; Chris Bertish shifts boundaries, shatters perceptions and achieves what most people perceive impossible.
Mike Brown, a pro-athlete turned self-taught coder, transitioned from tackling to tech and went on to be the founder and CEO of Win-Win, a platform powered by gaming and giving. Win-Win enables pro athletes and influencers to monetize their fanbase and help brands engage with end consumers.
Dr. Tye Caldwell is the Cofounder & CEO of ShearShare. Recognized as a tech visionary and industry pioneer, Dr. Caldwell’s mission is to help beauty and barbering professionals around the world maximize their earnings potential. He has worked in beauty for 25 years as a master barber-stylist, educator, and small business coach, offering his 20+ years of industry knowledge as a proven roadmap.
Courtney Caldwell is the Cofounder & COO of ShearShare, the first on-demand salon and barbershop space rental app. She is also an award-winning entrepreneur and tech founder and has spent two decades building winning teams in tech marketing.
Tara Carter is a highly driven COO/Partner at Tangelo and a Partner at Backstage Capital, providing full circle guidance to startups and larger. She has over 25 years of experience in mentoring, growing and advising startups, investor relations, omni-channel marketing, business strategy, deep technology, and product development, diversity and inclusion, predictive analytics, data visualization, business intelligence, and activism.
Vish Chatterji is an accomplished business leader turned executive coach with a twenty-year business track record spanning multiple industries. In parallel, he has studied and practiced yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda (mind-body medicine). Vish coaches business leaders enabling more of their greatness to show up at work.
Dr. Chiao began his professional career as a chemical engineer, and his passion for space exploration led him to NASA. Following a stellar 15-year astronaut career, he moved on to leadership positions in entrepreneurial startups, applying his space experience to the business world.
Heidi Connal is a seasoned technology executive with over twenty years of experience building collaborative, compassionate, and high performing individuals and teams. Heidi is known for her strategic expertise in large global enterprises, most recently as an executive at Salesforce.
Stephanie Cummings is the founder of Please Assist Me, an all-inclusive home management app. She is an experienced entrepreneur, business leader, and philanthropist, priding herself in being a minority tech founder promoting the importance of STEM education.
Ugwem Eneyo is co-founder and CEO of SHYFT Power Solutions, specializing in the use of IoT software and big data to improve access to clean, reliable and affordable energy solutions in markets that struggle with grid resiliency. Ms. Eneyo explores how we use tech to create ‘grids of the future’ but particularly in emerging markets. She’s given talks on the nexus of energy and sustainable development to global thought leaders, including the World Bank.
Melinda Briana Epler has over 25 years of experience developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, Fortune 500 companies, and global NGOs. As CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda works with the tech industry to solve diversity and inclusion together. Using her background in storytelling and large-scale culture change, she is a strategic advisor for tech companies, tech hubs, and governments around the world.
Mike has developed a unique perspective from 20+ years working alongside world-renowned thought leaders. He is a leading authority on unleashing personal and organizational accountability. Clients rely upon Mike’s solutions to accelerate change, shape their optimal culture, flawlessly execute key strategies, ignite leadership capacity at all Levels, amplify employee engagement, and cultivate peak performance.
Carmen Gentile is a veteran journalist who has covered the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and numerous bouts of unrest throughout the world. He was seriously injured while reporting in Afghanistan, an experience he chronicles in his book “Blindsided by the Taliban.”
Aaron’s work is a melting pot of things he loves: creative thinking, strategy, inspiration, nutrition and exercise, mastery of mind, body and spirit as well as helping others with life coaching. The blend of these is the cement he works with when he helps companies and organizations shape their ideas into action.
Andrea Guendelman is a leading force in creating platforms for minority professionals and the tech industry. Through her own experiences as a Harvard-trained corporate lawyer and an entrepreneur, she co-created Wallbreakers - a solution to connect talented students from underrepresented backgrounds with companies hungry for talent and looking to build inclusive teams. Andrea is considered to be a thought leader in the topics of Latinx career building and creating diverse workforces.
As an internationally recognized speaker, Phil has shared his wisdom and inspired audiences in 40 different states and four continents to over 100,000 people. He is a firm believer that with the proper motivation, training, and support system, members of any generation can become capable of remarkable accomplishments.
Arlan Hamilton is a remarkable entrepreneur who built a venture capital fund from the ground up, while homeless. She is the Founder and Managing Partner of Backstage Capital, a VC firm dedicated to minimizing funding disparities in tech by investing in high-potential founders who are people of color, women, and/or LGBT.
Roger Haskett helps to make meetings, organizations, and individuals be more engaging. In his award winning career as a speaker, actor, emcee and entrepreneur, Roger developed a unique formula for maximizing audience engagement and influencing employees, members, participants, and everyone he meets to be more engaged and authentic individuals.
The entrepreneurial genius, Troy Hazard, has founded and nurtured twelve businesses over two decades, has turned around businesses that were making enormous losses, and has consulted to countless successful companies including Goodyear, Baskin Robbins, Subway, Fisher & Paykel and many more.
For over twenty years, Roderick, has built award-winning sales enablement organizations within some of the world's most successful Fortune 1,000 companies. Roderick has won numerous awards including being selected as the 2015 Sales On-boarding Program of the Year by SiriusDecisions.
With eight bestselling books, in 34 languages to his credit, Jason Jennings is one of the most successful and prolific business authors in the world.
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.
Washington, D.C.-based British news anchor Katty Kay brings a fresh perspective to the reporting of American politics and global affairs. Katty’s insights reflect a global mindset that is a natural offshoot of having grown up in the Middle East and worked as a journalist in Europe, Africa, and Asia before coming to Washington in 1996.
Carrie Kerpen an author, columnist, host of the popular podcast “All the Social Ladies”, and the co-founder and CEO of Likeable Media, a digital agency that was named Crain’s sixth Best Place to Work in NYC.
Jonas Koffler is the New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestselling coauthor of HUSTLE: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum (Rodale, Penguin Random House Books), which Fortune called “a must-read.” It has been published in more than 10 countries. Having recovered from a stroke in his 20s, Jonas is a leading voice in enhancing human potential around how we work, live, learn, and play.
Polly LaBarre arms leaders with a Maverick Manual to hack the status quo and ramp up originality, invention and game-changing disruption. Co-author of Mavericks at Work and founding team member of Fast Company magazine, Polly is co-founder of Management Lab, the think-and-do tank where she consults with top global brands.
With over 20 years in the Performing Arts - from Broadway to comedy clubs to high-profile television to commercials including a Super Bowl spot - Victoria Labalme helps people perform at their highest levels by awakening their hidden genius.
Max Lenderman is currently CEO/CCO of School, a purpose-led creative consultancy that specializes in human-centric media, articulating purpose in brands and creating the content and tools to show it to the world. He is one of the world’s most respected, cited, and followed leaders on experiential advertising, brand activation, and purpose-focused marketing trends.
Kimberly Lewis is the co-founder of CurlMix, a clean beauty brand for curly hair. Her innovative take on clean beauty hair products has won her praise from top industry publications. Kimberly now shares her journey into entrepreneurship, balancing motherhood, and how to scale your beauty brand.
Jones Loflin equips individuals and organizations with real tools to conquer today’s tsunami of work and life challenges. Jones’ innovative solutions on leadership, change, and time management have attracted the attention of organizations around the world.
Ted Ma is a leadership development expert. As an entrepreneur, he built an international sales team of over 6,000 agents, had been featured in Success From Home magazine and helps organizations develop high-performance leaders and create a collaborative team culture.
Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.) defies stereotypes. She was a jet fighter pilot, a combat veteran, and the first woman pilot on the Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. But her distinguished 21-year Air Force career came to an end when a devastating tick-borne illness left her unable to speak or walk for ten months leaving Nicole’s indomitable spirit to fight back against overwhelming odds and prevail.
Matt Mayberry, a former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, is currently one of the most-read columnists for Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as an acclaimed keynote speaker, author, and peak-performance strategist. Using a real-world approach, He specializes in maximizing the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals all over the world.
Scott offers an unusual mix of experience, having worked as a research scientist, HR director, business consultant, rock musical producer, writer, keynote and TEDx speaker. His delivery style, which he has developed across the sectors in over 20 years, is humorous, well-crafted, inspiring and direct.
Connie Merritt, BSN, RN, PHN, has more than 25 years experience of speaking nationally with leading companies, organizations, and associations in Business and Healthcare industries.
Brad Montgomery teaches people how to use happiness to boost productivity, creativity, innovation, and profits. He specializes in using humor, interactivity, music, and visuals to ignite audiences so that they can use happiness as a tool to improve their lives and their jobs.
Aimée Mullins has excelled in multiple fields, inspiring people around the world as an athlete, actor, model, and speaker. As the first double amputee in history to compete in Division 1 NCAA track and field and for Team USA in the 1996 Paralympic Games. Over the past decade, she has acted in film and television shows, including the Netflix mega-hit Stranger Things, and has multiple feature films in development as a producer.
Milagros Phillips designs strategic learning initiatives for clients seeking to enhance their diversity and inclusion programs by adding race literacy to their initiatives. With more than 25 years of experience in learning and development, Milagros has consulted with, designed and delivered customized programs across many industries and services, including financial/insurance, healthcare, higher education, and national and political leaders.
Joseph is a thought leader in business agility and uses that expertise to motivate his audience to think of breakthrough ideas in their industries. Integrating startups with legacy corporations, running technology operations for the world’s largest payment processor, building a nationwide franchise organization has given Joseph the breadth and depth required of any executive.
TEDx Speaker, writer, and life coach Ranbir Puar helps adults and children break free of their limiting beliefs by providing the tools to tap into their inner strength and silence their inner critics.
Greg Schwem is more than just a business humor keynote speaker and sought after corporate emcee, Greg is also an author, nationally syndicated humor columnist for the Chicago Tribune, award-winning greeting card writer and creator of funnydadinc, voted one of the top Dad humor sites of 2016.
Janine Shepherd is an inspirational speaker and writer whose books have become classics in the survivor genre. A champion cross-country skier in training for the 1988 winter Olympics, Janine’s life changed forever when she was hit by a truck during a bicycle training ride in the Blue Mountains of Australia.
Amiah Sheppard is a perpetual learner who currently is the Director of Backstage Accelerator LA. In venture capital, she daily examines the myriad ways founders harness, strategize, and utilize their unique socio-cultural location to get to their desired outcome.
Marilyn Sherman is dedicated to training people to let go of obstacles and live and work with courage, commitment, and confidence. For the last 22 years, she has motivated audiences all over the country, and internationally with topics about hope, inspiration, and practical tools to implement immediately.
Dr. Travis Stiles is the founder of Novoron Bioscience, which is developing therapeutics to reverse damage of the brain and spinal cord. A member of the Cherokee Nation, Dr. Stiles is a passionate advocate for diversity, equality, science and informed solutions to the world’s problems and speaks across the spectrum from innovators to policymakers to encourage the ideas and policies that will shape the future.
Anastasia Tarpeh-Ellis is the Managing Director for Backstage Los Angeles for the recently announced Backstage Accelerator. She is passionate about empowering others, creating genuine connections, and striving towards financial independence through entrepreneurship. She co-founded bosa, a wellness and productivity app that enables consultants to provide the highest level of service to their clients.
Aniyia Williams is a creator, inventor, and tech changemaker. She serves as Executive Director of Black & Brown Founders, co-founder of Zebras Unite, and founded and led the fashion tech company, Tinsel. Aniyia addresses topics of diversity, equity and inclusion in tech, the economic future of creativity, self-awareness and mindfulness, alternatives to venture capital, fashion technology, hardware design, and parenting while building a startup.