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Please check back often for updated session information and new additions to our dynamic speaker line up!

Courtney Herring Bowden: DECODED: An Interactive Workshop to Master & Monetize Your Brand Message.

Without a message, you don’t have a brand. In this interactive workshop, you’ll learn the keys to creating a brand message that grabs attention, cuts through the noise, inspires meaningful engagement and generatessales. With expert guidance and coaching from Courtney, you’ll walk away from this workshop having identified the elements of your core brand message that you can communicate with clarity, conviction and creativity.


Maddie Callendar: Making Science Fiction a Reality: a Silicon Valley VC perspective on investing in emerging technology and the importance of liberal arts entrepreneurs.

Using familiar Science Fiction references as a backdrop to showcase investments and technological advancements that are happening now, we will discuss what does the world 10 years or 100 years from now look like?  This will be an inspiring way for students to check out this technology for their career, forward thinking for existing entrepreneurs/business owners and horizon broadening for other investment professionals. Think Jetpacks (flying humans), Virtual / Augmented Reality, Digital Currency, Decentralized Web (Crypto currency), Drones, Crisper (Gene Modification), e-sports, Virtual AI Beings, Rockets, Space Software, Ocean Tech (changing the business model for sustainability).

We will also discuss how we need writers to keep pushing the boundaries of the science fiction field.  


Byl Cameron and Joe Maxwell: Money & the Evolution of Fintech

This session will look at how money itself is changing in the modern era, through the advent and evolution of fintech. The presentation will start with a high-level review of the history of money, going all the way back to prehistoric and ancient times. Then the presentation will review trends in how money is evolving today, where money is increasingly managed digitally.  The presentation will culminate in an overview of how fintech is evolving in the current economy and what could be expected in the future from these trends.


Rick Coplin: How to be The Visionary Leader Your Business, Team, and Family Deserve.

You’re an entrepreneur. You started and now own a rapidly growing business. From the outside, everything looks like a success, but you feel more like an employee. You seldom have time to focus on the essential activities of leading your company and team, and the pressures you experience are impacting your personal life. You’re in reaction mode, fighting fires.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

During this interactive workshop, you’ll discover how to upgrade your mindset and invest your energy in working on your business rather than in it. You’ll learn the seven essential priorities of a CEO and actionable strategies that enable you to be the leader your company, team, and family deserves.


Todd Defeo:  From the Deepest Valley to the Highest Mountain.

Most advice people give you is pointless. How can you learn to take a tragedy and use it for inspiration and whatever you plan in life?

People often say there is no guidebook for life.  Anyone who has encountered a tragedy knows that is correct.  So, how can you take a tragic situation and turn it into valuable lessons that will help guide you through life? What lessons can leaders take away from adversity?  Success is best measured by the lessons you learn and how you apply them to better yourself and the world at large. As President Richard Nixon once said, “Defeat doesn’t finish a man, quit does.  A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”

In this presentation, you will find inspiration in the deepest valleys to guide you to the highest mountaintops of success.


Nick Farrell & Emily David:  Civic Engagement in the “Post-Truth” Era

Building a business with a customer base that is generally distrustful and disengaged can be a near impossible thing. Discover how the Bites team went about it, the trials and tribulations of starting and running an early stage company, and the importance of our decision and value of choosing a pathway of social entrepreneurship.


David Gewant:  Operations and Execution

You’ve followed your dream and have launched your company or non-profit.  Your legal structure is in place… product and services are in development or up and running.  The focus is now on scaling, growth and impact.  But how do you best optimize your execution?  Build out and leverage technology and operations?  Drive the right culture of excellence?  Manage risk?  Somewhat mundane compared to product and marketing but vital to the future success of your endeavor.  In this session, we will explore some best practices around these key questions and look to engage in a robust dialogue.


Kelly Greer:  Woman-Owned Businesses — Are We Different?  

Business is business. We sell a product or service that our customer needs. We price it so that our customer buys it. We manage the staff needed to provide the product or service. So does the gender of the owner play a role? If so, how can the role of gender be understood? Also, how does understanding it help future female entrepreneurs?


Winters Heafey:  How do you Build a Professional Network From Scratch?

This session is focused on changing our approach to networking and how to do it. It will not be your Thursday afternoon corporate happy hour.


Terry Jones: ON Innovation

Every business needs to innovate, but where do you start? In this presentation, Terry Jones explores the fundamentals of innovation and gives leaders simple but powerful ideas they can use to create a more innovative organization. Drawing from his experiences as the founder of Travelocity.com and founding Chairman of Kayak.com, and now his new venture Wayblazer.com, Jones helps audiences turn innovation from an academic exercise into an everyday skill. The stories from his career and personal experiences not only provide well-chosen real world illustrations of how challenging, and ultimately rewarding it can be to gather a team and establish a culture that is open to change, he gives audiences step-by-step plans to create it.


Rick Kienzle: 21st Century Medical Device; Opportunity abounds in the powerful convergence of the Liberal Arts, Medicine and Engineering

The Medical Device Industry is defined by change and the rate of change is accelerating.  Driven by Big Data, AI and Machine learning there are tectonic shifts in the Development, Manufacturing and Commercial practices and strategies.

Denison has the unique capacity to prepare you to excel in this burgeoning and pivotal global industry.  What do History, Chemistry, English, Biology, French, Physics, Data analytics, Communication and HES Studies have in common?   They are the perfect counterintuitive academic preparation for a highly successful career in Medical Device.

This session will be an interactive conversation around the implicit value of liberally trained left and right brain thinkers. Individuals who can flourish in an environment where the ability to assimilate and favorably communicate complex multi-variable material from a variety of sources to a diverse audience is paramount.


Sarah K. Peck: How Parenting Makes Me Better at Business.

For too long, we’ve kept parenting hidden from the world of work, but the world of work—and how we show up to it—is changing rapidly. In new research, businesses are finding that policies that support working parents actually make everyone happier and more productive at work (even if you aren’t a parent yourself!). Further, having more women (and parents) on boards help increase profits; and women in leadership roles boost company longevity. Given all of this exciting news, and as a new parent myself, I dug into the research that shows how parenting can make us better at business, and how new companies are innovating what work can look like with parents at the forefront. I’ll share what I’ve learned about companies rethinking how we design work—and how top companies are able to attract and retain more talent as a result.


Meghan Powers: Pitch Perfect: Getting Your Startup the Media Attention It Deserves

Maybe you see a less established competitor featured on your favorite industry blog, or need to get a few small media mentions to entice investors to give you funding.  How do you get reporters to pay attention to you?  Get tangible tips on how to write a pitch or set up an intro that can change the game for you and your company in the early startup stages.


Lucy Reynolds: The Leader Within: Finding Your “Why”- Values-Based Leadership

When you know and are aligned with your core values and subsequently make values-based decisions for your life/work, then you find your authentic voice…And this shows up as the Leader Within leadership stance. Join this interactive session to reflect on your “why” and your values-based leadership.


Duncan Riefler:  What Happens When Things Go Wrong?

I had an experience co-founding a credit brokerage operation in the United Kingdom called Sonas Partners.  We had agreed to a term sheet to sell the business to Lazard Capital Markets. Over the following weekend the regulatory body raided and closed a financial firm that supplied our clearing, operations and banking services.  I was required to access our regulatory capital, to pay all of our liabilities and then try to salvage a replacement for our clearing services and salvage the sale of the business.

In this presentation we will discuss what were the lessons to be learned and how best to respond.


Jack Tankersley:  Beyond Collins – Getting the Right People in the Right Seats means you now have to Be a Great Boss, here’s how to do both.

All organizations must have great people. Jim Collins famously defined great people as the Right People in the Right Seats. However, he did not tell us how to accomplish it.

In this workshop, we will introduce simple and practical tools that provide great transparency into not only what great people are for your organization, but importantly, how to get 100% Right People in the Right Seats.

After you have the right people in the right seats, one of the most commonly asked questions is, “how do I hold my people accountable?” The surprising answer is that you can’t. Accountability is created by becoming a great leader and a great manager.

Once we have the tools necessary to attract and retain 100% Right People, Right Seats, we will outline the 5 key attributes of leadership and the 5 key attributes of management and further provide simple and practical tools that attendees can begin using within their organizations to begin driving accountability.


Greg Taylor: Behind the Scenes at a Venture Capital Firm

Raising capital from a VC firm is an important, difficult and opaque process for entrepreneurs.  This session will describe what it is like to be a partner at a VC firm and how the investment decision making process really works from someone who spent 11 years in the business.  Time will be spent on industry terminology, valuation strategies, navigating the firms politics and tips on closing. The goal is for would-be entrepreneurs to be better prepared to navigate the process of raising private capital.  

This session will arm the attendees with the inside knowledge of what the process entails, from how analysts review business plans, which ones are likely to be awarded a deeper look, what to expect if invited to present to the partnership, building support across the firm, closing – and just as importantly – what to expect after closing.


Matt Walker:  A Million Little Tests  

You cannot think your way to your passion.  There is no reason you need to know your passion when you graduate, oftentimes, it’s impossible.  Instead, pay attention to what you pay attention to (a million little observations), and explore the many potential paths (a million little trials).

You cannot think your idea into a success.  Thoughts are not ideas – they’re fragments of ideas (capture everything x 1MM).  Ideas require work to construct together and they are only the beginning. You must prioritize, test, measure and repeat x 1MM.  You can only think so much and can only do even less.

In this session, we will discuss how breadth is inversely correlated with intensity and how to prioritize & focus more.  We will discuss how to practice timefulness and to live and do with intention in order to get results. We will talk about balancing life, a day job, a passion project, and practical ways to GSD.


This is just a partial list.  Please check back often for updated session information and new additions to our dynamic speaker line up!