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CEO - Keynote Speakers

Laura Stack

Award-winning keynote speaker and bestselling author of seven books, Laura Stack is a noted expert in employee and team productivity. Her engaging personality, combined with nearly 25 years of experience helping organizations achieve results, have made her one of the most sought-after experts and keynote speakers in her field. Laura is the president and CEO of The Productivity Pro, a past president of the National Speakers Association, and is a member of the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame. Her latest book, Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time, details how today’s leaders can be more successful by managing their effectiveness and efficiency. Funny, engaging, and full of real-life strategies that work, Laura will change mindsets and attitudes. With Laura's help, your team can maximize its productivity, increase market share, strengthen performance, increase sales, and get the job done right!

Jim Murphy

Jim "Murph" Murphy, the Founder & CEO of Afterburner, Inc., has demonstrated a unique and powerful mix of leadership skills in both the military and business worlds. Murph joined the U.S. Air Force where he learned to fly the F-15. Through his leadership, Afterburner has been listed on Inc. Magazine's "Inc. 500 List" twice. Murph was also named as one of Atlanta's top 50 entrepreneurs by Catalyst Magazine. Murph and Afterburner have shared the podium such notable speakers as Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Marcus Buckingham, Colin Powell, J.W. Marriott, Sr., and Terry Bradshaw. He is the author of the groundbreaking books Business Is Combat and Flawless Execution and has spoken at many of the world's most notable business schools, including Harvard, Wharton, Cornell, Emory, Duke and Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Jack Stahl

Jack Stahl is Chairman of the New Avon LLC Board of Managers. From 2002 to 2006, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Revlon, Inc. Prior to joining Revlon, Mr. Stahl worked for 22 years with The Coca-Cola Company, culminating in the role of President and Chief Operating Officer. He is also the author of Lessons on Leadership: The 7 Fundamental Management Skills For Leaders At All Levels. Jacks speaks to audiences about effective leadership, building relationships, and strengthening your brand. He shares practical, usable frameworks in an interactive and engaging way, and draws from his rich and continuing business experience.

Jim Cathcart

Jim Cathcart is the founder and CEO of Cathcart Institute, Inc., a for-profit think tank of advisors to business owners, leaders and executives in the areas of executive development, professional speaking and sales improvement. Jim is the author of thirteen books including "Relationship Selling", and the newly released "The Eight Competencies of Relationship Selling", which is setting the new standard for selling in this hyper-connected era. He is a member of the exclusive Speakers Roundtable, 20 of the most popular speakers in the world. As cofounder of MentorU.com and ProfessionalSpeaker.com, he is leading a new wave of digital learning. Jim is the recipient of The Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International for 2001, winner of the ghtt Award and Past President of the National Speakers Association (NSA). Among professional speakers worldwide Jim Cathcart is an industry leader. He has risen to the top of his profession through 30 years of presentations to a worldwide audience and decades of unselfish service to his profession. He believes in serving his industry and community as well as his customers.

Mike Walsh

Mike Walsh helps businesses prepare for what's next. Mike is a best selling author of FUTURETAINMENT and CEO of innovation research lab Tomorrow, and a global authority on building businesses for the 21st century. Rather than focusing on the distant future, Mike takes an anthropological approach - scanning the near horizon for emerging technologies and disruptive shifts in human behaviour, and then translating these into pragmatic plans for business transformation. A global nomad constantly traveling the world for the best ideas – Mike distills the most relevant insights into tailored keynotes that allow any audience to not only understand, but also start to in?uence the future direction of their industry.

Peter Guber

As one of the most successful executives in the entertainment and communications industry, Peter Guber is the founder and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, the visionary multimedia venture spanning movies, TV, sports, and news media. He has also produced films such as Rain Man, Batman, Flashdance and The Color Purple and is author of Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story, which reach #1 on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestseller lists. Guber has dedicated himself to empowering current and future leaders by showing them how the influence of oral narrative can bring you further in business. You will be able to learn the power of your own story and be prepared to share it once you leave the room.

Terry Jones

Terry Jones’ experience of being on the cutting edge of innovation and change helped him become the founder of Travelocity.com, chairman of Kayak.com and Chief Information Officer at American Airlines/Sabre. Terry’s tools for being ahead of the curve in this rapidly changing world have helped many companies over the last five years advance quicker than their competitors. His keynotes inspire attendees to implement his program into their lives to change the way they do business for the better.

Harvey Mackay

Harvey Mackay offers insightfully powerful tips as a corporate speaker on how to outsell, out-manage, out-motivate, and out-negotiate their industry’s competition. Harvey has written five New York Times bestselling books including “Swim With the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive and “We Got Fired!.... And It’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Us.” He is also a nationally syndicated columnist, has been named the top five speakers in the world by Toastmasters International, and is the chairman of the $100 million Mackay Envelope Company. From his experience as a Minneapolis entrepreneur and prominent community leader, Harvey offers powerful and compelling advice on salesmanship customer service, leadership and negotiation.

Jack Mitchell

The very word “hugging” implies all sorts of fuzzy, touchy-feely behavior. That’s not exactly what Jack Mitchell means by it. He defines hugging as a mindset more than a physical act. It’s a way of thinking about customers and delivering over-the-top service. Jack is Chairman of the Mitchell Stores, and has been recognized as one of the top ten retail visionaries by the Daily News Record. As one of the country’s most respected retailers in his third-generation family business, he has a long, proven record of providing exceptional, personalized customer service and maintaining employee loyalty and longevity. His personalized presentations provide specific techniques on how to get to know and better service customers, how to hire employee and make them happy and productive, and how to run a successful family business that passes from generation to generation.

Howard Putnam

Howard Putnam is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines, transforming a small entrepreneurial venture into a major competitor. In three years profits increased by 200 percent. Putnam accepted the challenge of Braniff International in 1981 and became the first Chairman and CEO to successfully restructure a major airline out of bankruptcy. Earlier he spent over 20 years with United Airlines, his final position being Group Vice President of Marketing. He has also been an entrepreneur and has learned "Crisis Management" by living it. Harvard wrote a case study on his Braniff experiences called "The Ethics of Bankruptcy." Howard is a business and motivational speaker, author, consultant, commentator, and online mentor on: Leadership, Customer Service, Change, Transformation and Ethics. For nearly thirty years, Howard played a leading role in one of the most exciting and rapidly changing industries. He earned a well-deserved reputation for his capacity to think systematically, create a vision, build a team, define a niche, and design successful strategies for managing growth and crisis. An impressive entertainer and motivational speaker, Howard shares his prescription for successful management in the 21st century. Howard Putnam's ultimate objective is Bottom Line Improvement. He believes that cultures that place people as their highest priority have the greatest long term impact and success.

Nido Qubein

Dr. Nido R. Qubein is an accomplished university president and a nationally recognized author, speaker, and leader. Dr. Qubein came to the United States with $50 in his pocket and a few words of English in his vocabulary … yet went on to become one of America’s most sought-after speakers and consultants. As a university president, the story of his tenure at High Point University is known to many. In less than a decade, he led the institution to phenomenal growth and significant academic advancement, tripling its size and moving it to the number one spot among Best Colleges in the South. As a business leader, he is the chairman of Great Harvest Bread Company with 220 stores in 43 states. He serves on the boards of several national organizations including BB&T (a Fortune 500 company with $210 billion in assets) and the La-Z-Boy Corporation (one of the largest and most recognized furniture brands worldwide). President Qubein is the author of a dozen books and scores of leadership audio and visual recordings translated into many languages. The Biography Channel televised his Emmy-nominated life story titled “A Life of Success and Significance.”

William "Gus" Pagonis

When it comes to expertise in logistics and overall leadership in management of very complex projects and organizations, few people are better qualified than Gus Pagonis, a retired three-star U.S. Army General. Lieutenant General Pagonis is widely recognized for his logistical achievements particularly during Desert Shield/Desert storm. After successfully masterminding logistics for the Gulf War and winning high praise from General Norman Schwarzkopf, Pagonis left the Army in 1993 and was hired as Head of Supply Chain for Sears Roebuck and Co. Also, he was President of Sears Logistics Services, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears. He retired from Sears in June 2006. From July, 2006 to December, 2013, Gus served as the Vice Chairman of the BOD for GENCO and supervised their government operation until December 2013. He presently does consulting for various Corporations and public speaking on Leadership of the Supply Chain. Also, he is a lecturer at Penn State University in their Executive Program.

Stefan Swanepoel

Stefan's inspiring and captivating book, Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life, reached the New York Times bestseller the week it was released and was later also ranked a bestseller by 18 other resources including the Wall Street Journal. The companion “Skills Quiz” has been taken by 250,000 people since its release in early 2011. This has now evolved in an captivating and engaging keynote that transports attendees into an “Africa Safari” with awe-inspiring visuals, invigorating stories and revealing breakthroughs. Stefan Swanepoel is also widely regarded as the country’s leading real estate trends analyst and tracker. Stefan has been on more than 20 safaris in five countries, holds four degrees and diplomas, and has given over 900 talks ranging from 50 to 10,000 people.

John Mattone

John Mattone is widely acknowledged as the world’s leading authority on corporate culture, culture transformation and leadership. He is also the former coach to Steve Jobs. John advises CEO’s and senior leadership teams on how to create and sustain a “game changing” leadership, talent, and corporate culture that drives superior operating results. John is recognized globally as a powerful keynote speaker, prolific author, and highly sought-after CEO and high-potential executive coach. John was recently honored by Globalgurus.com as the world’s #9 ranked leadership authority and top twenty executive coach. He has also been recognized by Thinkers50 as one of the world’s leading management thinkers and leadership experts. John has created a number of breakthrough leadership and culture assessments, including the MLEI which was the centerpiece of his 2-part coaching session with Steve Jobs.

Lisa Bodell

Founder & CEO of innovation firm futurethink Lisa Bodell is the bestselling author of Kill the Company, and her latest Why Simple Wins. A leader on simplifying innovation and change management, Lisa is often called upon by global companies to help them eradicate workplace complexity that is killing their ability to innovate and adapt. Simplicity is fast becoming the competitive advantage of our time and Lisa offers tested tools and takeaways to motivate organizations and individuals to action. Lisa has addressed capacity audiences at Google, Cisco Systems, Accenture, Citigroup, and Merck and is often the highest-rated presenter, as she engages audiences and empowers them with practical tools, tips, and resources that they can use to create immediate and effective change.

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 four tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million. Josh is the author of 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. 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.

Liz Brunner

Award-winning journalist Liz Brunner is using her 25+ years of broadcast experience to help others build brands, businesses and relationships. Brunner's polished professionalism shines brightly in a crowd. Learn how to command attention with engaging conversation and an undeniable presence. Brunner is now recharging clients ranging from business leaders to on-air talent to professional athletes by helping them find their inner strength, stronger voice and confidence to lead. Her message and story are motivating and inspiring.

Mike Michalowicz

Mike Michalowicz is the entrepreneur behind three multi-million dollar companies and is the author of Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan, and what BusinessWeek deemed the entrepreneur’s cult classic, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. Mike is a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal and the former business makeover specialist on MSNBC. He is globally recognized as the guy who “challenges out dated business beliefs” and teaches what to do about it. Mike’s simple yet profound changes lead to instant and permanent profitability.

Richard Horwath

New York Times & Wall Street Journal bestselling author Rich Horwath provides managers with a framework to master the most important business skill of our time: strategic thinking. As the CEO of the Strategic Thinking Institute, Rich leads teams through the strategy process and has helped more than 50,000 managers around the world. By developing this strategic mindset, managers will be able to continually discover new insights that enable them to create and deliver new value to their customers. He is the author of six books, including, Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking. Rich and his work have appeared on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNBC, CNN, and FOX. Rich brings both real-world experience and practical expertise to help companies build their strategic capabilities. He presents strategy in a very understandable, relevant, and practical manner so that audiences can immediately apply his tools and concepts to their business.

Irv Rothman

With over forty years of executive experience, Irv Rothman is a renowned financial services expert and has an acknowledged track record of excellence. Whether engaging in start-ups, large mergers, joint venture and M&A activities, turnaround situations, or global operations, Irv’s Gutsball mentality has fueled his undeniable success and powerful execution. As President and CEO of HP Financial Services, Irv leads over 1500 employees and oversees $12.5 billion in assets by championing a culture of trust, collaboration, autonomy, and ethical behavior that works to better serve their customers.

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