Jim Collins

Author and Management Educator,
The Good to Great Project LLC

  • Jim Collins
  • Jim Collins is a student and teacher of what makes great companies tick, and a Socratic advisor to leaders in the business and social sectors. Having invested more than a quarter century in rigorous research, he has authored or coauthored six books that have sold in total more than 10 million copies worldwide. They include Good to Great, the #1 bestseller, which examines why some companies make the leap to superior results, along with its companion work Good to Great and the Social Sectors; the enduring classic Built to Last, which explores how some leaders build companies that remain visionary for generations; How the Mighty Fall, which delves into how once-great companies can self-destruct; and Great by Choice, which is about thriving in chaos—why some do, and others don’t.

    His most recent publication is Turning the Flywheel. It explores how leaders can best harness the flywheel effect to build and accelerate momentum.

    Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research and engages with CEOs and senior-leadership teams.

    In addition to his work in the business sector, Jim has a passion for learning and teaching in the social sectors, including education, healthcare, government, faith-based organizations, social ventures, and cause-driven nonprofits. In 2012 and 2013, he had the honor to serve a two-year appointment as the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

    Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences and an MBA from Stanford University, and honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. In 2017, Forbes selected Jim as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.

    Jim has been an avid rock climber for more than forty years and has completed single-day ascents of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley.

Gérard Dahan

Senior VP, EMEA, Corcentric

  • Gerard Dehan
  • Well known in the world of procurement, with 25 years of experience in management, strategic marketing, and sales, Gerard Dahan is a pioneer of software solutions designed for procurement departments. A renowned leader, Gerard is known for his ability to develop businesses, identify opportunities, and propose innovative solutions. His marketing strategy is focused on results and customer satisfaction and has proven its effectiveness throughout his career, particularly with Ariba, Intel, and other leading companies in the technology market. Previously the General Manager EMEA at Ivalua, Gerard joined Determine (later acquired by Corcentric) in 2017 as CRO & CMO. He has deployed innovative and effective marketing and sales actions to recently take up his duties as SVP EMEA.

    Graduate of the University of Paris-Nanterre, Gerard speaks five languages, is an avid golfer, and played professional handball at the national level.

Nick Foles

Quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Super Bowl LII MVP

  • Nick Foles
  • After a college career where he threw for over 10,000 yards and 67 touchdowns at the University of Arizona, Nick Foles began his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles as a backup waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. That opportunity came in 2013, during his second season, when the Texas native threw for almost 3,000 yards in just 13 games and tied the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a game with seven. Nick was elected to the 2014 Pro-Bowl at the conclusion of the season and went on to win the Pro Bowl’s Offensive MVP.

    Following stints with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, Nick found his way back to Philadelphia in 2017 as the backup to 2016 first round pick Carson Wentz. In week 14 of that season, Carson Wentz would tear his ACL and be ruled out for the remainder of the year. Nick was then called on to take the reins as the starting quarterback for the rest of the season. Nick would go on to do the impossible when he led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory in franchise history by beating the heavily favored New England Patriots and being named Super Bowl MVP.

    Shortly thereafter, Nick wrote “Believe It”, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at his unlikely path to the Super Bowl, the obstacles that threatened to hold him back, the struggles that brought him to the verge of retirement, his rediscovery for the love of the game, and the faith that grounded and guided him through it all. In this autobiography, you can see that Nick’s story is one of the most inspirational underdog stories in all of sports.

    A year removed from his magical Super Bowl MVP season; Nick signed a four-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars that made him one of the highest paid players in the NFL. Although his first season was plagued with injury, Nick looks forward to bouncing back to MVP form for the 2020 season.

Verne Harnish

Founder and CEO of Scaling Up

  • Verne Harnish
  • Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), with over 14,000 members worldwide, and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” held at MIT, a program in which he still teaches today. He is also the founder and CEO of Scaling Up, a global executive education and coaching company with over 180 partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scaleup.

    Verne’s the author of the bestseller Mastering the Rockefeller Habits which is translated into 9 languages; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times, for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. His latest book Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) has won eight major international book awards including the prestigious International Book Award for Best General Business book.

    Verne also chairs the annual ScaleUp Summits in collaboration with Bloomberg and serves on several boards including chair of The Riordan Clinic; co-founder and chair of Geoversity; and board member of the Million Dollar Women’s movement. A private investor in many scaleups, Verne enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Sterling Hawkins

Futurist, Business Leader + Innovator

  • Sterling Hawkins
  • Sterling Hawkins is a forward-thinking innovator proven to enhance you and your business’ dynamics. Working closely with large companies in reaching their goals, Sterling provides insight for those looking to invite change and innovation(into their everyday life). He is out to break the status quo to create what’s actually possible for humanity in our time. He has spent his career igniting new views and inspiring people to act on them.

    His journey has been non-traditional right from the beginning. Sterling grew up a fifth-generation retailer, having to master the intersection of human behavior and technology under extreme competition. In 2004, Sterling co-founded, launched, and sold his first technology company, Convena, where he developed innovative approaches to beat competition, handle high-growth, and achieve performance no matter the obstacles.

    He went on to be involved with the launch, growth, or investment in over 50 companies. Today, Sterling reviews over 1,000 new technology companies every year further refining the keys to realizing breakthrough innovation and giving back that experience as a mentor to leading entrepreneurs working through exponential growth. He is the co-founder of CART, a platform to drive adoption of emerging technologies at fortune 500 companies.

Daniel Kraft, MD

Medical Inventor and Innovator

  • Daniel Kraft
  • Daniel Kraft is a Stanford and Harvard trained physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur, and innovator. With over 25 years of experience in clinical practice, biomedical research and healthcare innovation, Daniel has served as Faculty Chair for Medicine at Singularity University since its inception in 2008, and is the Founder and Chair of Exponential Medicine, a program that explores convergent, rapidly developing technologies and their potential in biomedicine and healthcare.

    Following undergraduate degrees from Brown University and medical school at Stanford, Daniel was Board Certified in both Internal Medicine & Pediatrics after completing a Harvard residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital & Boston Children’s Hospital, and fellowships in hematology, oncology and bone marrow transplantation at Stanford.

    He has multiple scientific publications and medical device, immunology and stem cell related patents through faculty positions with Stanford University School of Medicine and as clinical faculty for the pediatric bone marrow transplantation service at University of California San Francisco.

    Daniel is a member of the Kaufman Fellows Society (Class 13) and member of the Inaugural (2015) class of the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship.

    He is also the inventor of the MarrowMiner, an FDA approved device for the minimally invasive harvest of bone marrow, and founded RegenMed Systems, a company developing technologies to enable stem cell-based regenerative therapies. He is also the founder of IntelliMedicine, focused on data driven, precision medicine.

    Daniel is an avid pilot and has served in the Massachusetts and California Air National Guard as an officer and flight surgeon with F-15 & F-16 Fighter Squadrons. He has conducted research on aerospace medicine that was published with NASA, with whom he was a finalist for astronaut selection.

Josh Linkner

Five-time Tech Entrepreneur

  • Josh Linkner
  • Josh Linkner – who started his career as a jazz guitarist – personifies creativity, entrepreneurship, and disruptive innovation. He has been the founder and CEO of five tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million.

    Josh is the author of four books, two New York Times Bestsellers: Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, and The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, as well as his latest book, Hacking Innovation. He is also the Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, investing in and mentoring over 100 startups.

    Josh has twice been named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. Magazine. His work on innovation has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, CNN, and The New York Times. And yes, he still plays a mean jazz guitar.

John Sileo

Cyber Security Expert

  • John Silo
  • John Sileo’s identity was stolen out of his corporation and used to commit a series of crimes, including $300,000 worth of digital embezzlement. While the data thief (an internal spy) operated behind the safety of John’s identity, John and his business were held legally and financially responsible for the felonies committed. Ultimately, the data breach destroyed John’s corporation and consumed two years of his life as he fought to stay out of jail. But John chose to fight back and speak out.

    Emerging from this crisis, John became America’s leading professional speaker on identity theft prevention and corporate data privacy, teaching audiences to bulletproof their bottom line against data breach. Weaving his story together with cutting-edge research, disarming humor and hilarious audience interaction, John inspires every one of us to emotionally grasp and intellectually comprehend the profitability of privacy. After all, sensitive data — whether personal or professional — is the most valuable asset inside of our organizations. By examining the role of fear, incorporating the power of instinct and redefining our paradigm of trust, John empowers audiences to regain control of that information — before it’s too late.

    Organizations that proactively educate their team members about identity theft protection, drastically reduce their chances of a costly data breach. Your audience will experience first-hand what data theft feels like, and the resulting costs of poor privacy practices. John gets the audience up on their feet, laughing and learning. Increased awareness inside of your organization translates into an immediate return on your speaking investment.

    Safe data is profitable data, whether it’s a client’s credit card number, a patient’s medical file, an employee’s benefit plan, or sensitive intellectual capital. By the time John finishes his hilarious closing story, your audience will be fully empowered to protect private information, at home and at work.

James White

Principal, J.A. White Financial Services, LLC

  • James White
  • James White has been a professional US Government Securities trader/manager since 1984. He has managed US Government securities portfolios for banks, corporations, large public utilities like PSEG of New Jersey and the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission, pension funds, and unions. He has been a bank regulator, investment officer of a savings institution, a director of banking institutions and investment specialist for a state regulatory department.

    James is the principal of J.A. White Financial Services, LLC. As a manager of primarily US Treasury portfolios, he has earned consistently high returns for his clients, far in excess of market averages, for more than 33 years. He is a so-called “active” manager, seeking to time overbought and oversold situations with the intention of outperforming a simple buy and hold strategy. Because he manages only US Government securities, credit risk is taken out of the equation and he concentrates fully on interest rate risk. His investment style has always represented safety of principal and specialization on one asset class, and has resulted in consistently superior returns for clients.

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