Education Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Josh Linkner

Four‐time tech entrepreneur &  hyper‐growth CEO
NY Times bestselling author & venture capitalist
Keynote speaker on a mission to drive creativity, innovation, and reinvention

To Josh Linkner, creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all human progress, and as such, he’s spent his career harnessing the spirit of creative disruption. The four‐time successful tech entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and CEO delivers a clear call to action — it’s better to innovate and disrupt your organization before your competition does. The riskiest move companies can make today is hugging the status quo — believing the future will be like the past is the fast road to obsolescence.

To get to know Linkner, one can explore the four interconnected aspects of his work:

Entrepreneur & CEO.  Linkner  was the founder and CEO of four successful technology companies over the last 24 years. He is Founder and former CEO of ePrize, the world’s largest interactive promotion agency that provides digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands. Prior to ePrize, he was founder/CEO of three other successful technology companies. Each of his four startups enjoyed successful exits with a combined value of over $200 million. He’s been involved in the launch and growth of over 100 businesses, raised over $150 million of venture capital, employed thousands of people and fought through the dot-­‐com crash, 9/11 and the 2008 financial meltdown. His extraordinary business accomplishments led him to be honored twice as the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” and as a President Barack Obama “Champion of Change” Award recipient.

Author & Thought Leader.  Linkner’s first book, Disciplined Dreaming – A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity was a New York Times bestseller and named one of 2011’s top ten business titles by It is now available in 13 languages. He second book, The Road to Reinvention – How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation, was also named a NY Times Bestseller in its first week on bookshelves and was named the 2014 Best Leadership/Management Book by 800‐CEO‐READ. He is a regular columnist for Forbes, The Detroit Free Press, and Inc. Magazine. His work has been featured consistently in the media, including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, USA Today, and The New York Times.

Venture Capital Investor. As Founding Partner of Detroit Venture Partners, Linkner remains at the cutting edge of technology and entrepreneurship. He oversees a $60 million venture fund investing in tech startups with the goal of revitalizing his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

Keynote Speaker. Consistently ranked one of the top speakers on innovation, creativity, and reinvention, Linkner brings an artistic flair while delivering powerful, inspiring, and practical keynotes and workshops. His presentations are customized for every event, ensuring a highly relevant and valuable outcome. Through his talks, Linkner has inspired over 100,000 people across four continents.

Bottom line: Josh Linkner brings a unique and diverse set of experiences to any project, and helps organizations drive creativity, innovation, and performance.

Breakout Session/Education Bites Speakers

Carylann Assante, CAE

A seasoned tourism and association executive with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, Carylann Assante, CAE serves as the Executive Director of the Student & Youth Travel Association, the international association that promotes student and youth travel worldwide. Carylann is also the Executive Director of the SYTA Youth Foundation, the philanthropic arm that provides scholarships and education experiences for students and youth who are unable to travel due to financial and personal hardship. Prior to joining SYTA, Carylann served as the Vice President of Member Relations and Partnerships at ASAE, the American Society of Association Executives. In this role Carylann was responsible for building relationships with associations and business partners that served the industry.

Ted Bravos

Ted Bravos is CEO and co-founder of the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), the first school for professional tour directors and tour guides in America. Since 1976 ITMI has trained thousands of individuals to develop exciting and rewarding careers in the tourism industry around the world.  As an active tour director and teacher, he has spent thousands of hours on motor coaches, gaining a first-hand understanding of the importance of the drivers and the challenges they face. His respect for the drivers led him to develop a customized motorcoach driver program ten years ago. This one-of-a-kind training has received 100% positive feedback from drivers and motorcoach company owners.

Johnny Campbell

Johnny "The Transition Man" Campbell, is a Business Growth Strategist, and the CEO of Rise-Up and Win Seminars. He co-founded/co-creator of the IFBTV web platform an Interactive Television Platform on Facebook. Johnny currently provides business professionals with strategic direction on how to improve their Presentations, Social Media Campaigns, Business Networking and Sales efforts. Johnny's expertise is in Team Management, Lead Generation and Sales Conversion methods for revenue enhancement. Johnny also provides clients with customize programs on Leadership, Change, Conflict Resolution, Success and Communication skills.

Johnny is the 2012-13 President of the National Speaker association for state of Illinois and is also an accredited Speaker a designation presented by Toastmaster International and is held by only 65 professional speakers in the world for excellence in public speaking. Upon receiving this designation Johnny became the first African American under the age of 40 to hold this designation, and at age 35 was one of the youngest Toastmasters in the world to earn Toastmasters highest communication designation. Johnny’s induction into the Speaker Hall of Fame was in 2007.

Johnny gained his team management and sales expertise in the Insurance industry where he participated in leading hundreds of people through multiple Corporate Downsizings and Mergers.Based on those events, sales results and his experiences in life he became: “The Transition Man”

Johnny’s ongoing mission is to help people overcome the personal and professional obstacles of life, so they can have more success, more money and more happiness in their life.

Sima Dahl

After a successful 20-year career in corporate marketing and branding, Sima Dahl founded Sway Factory, Inc. to help business professionals build personal brands that mean business. She has shared her revenue-generating Sway Factor™ system for clients from Boston to Budapest including Microsoft, Orbitz, Harley Davidson, Jones Lang LaSalle and associations large and small. Sima’s clients say she is the only one that has made business sense out of all the social media madness. Learn how to become the Chief Marketing Officer of BRAND YOU, generate more referrals, and increase your SWAY!

Randall Dean

Randall Dean, MBA, and author of the recent #1 E-mail Bestseller, Taming the E-mail Beast, has 25 years of experience using and teaching an advanced time management/personal organization system, including systems for effective e-mail management, office clutter reduction, optimizing your Outlook and/or Gmail/Google usage, and getting the most from affiliated smart phone and tablet devices. He has taught different versions of his time & e-mail management systems for many prominent organizations. 

Stuart Ellis-Myers

One of the most gifted and inspiring public speakers on the conference circuit today. Stuart has used the life lessons learned through years of battling this often emotionally crippling condition to help countless others to overcome their own challenges and fears. His insight and humanity have enabled him to share his own, often painful, experiences in such a way as to offer a real, usable, methodology for overcoming the many pitfalls of modern life. The countless physical and psychological manifestations of our high stress lives are made clearer to understand and easier to bear through his simple and effective system of Unstoppable & Mental Health to Mental Wealth change. By chronicling his journey in the pages of his books and presentations; with both his successes and failures fully exposed, Stuart takes you on a trip through the life of a man held captive but not broken by his mental health condition and yet who found the strength and determination to break free by sharing his Unstoppable message of true and lasting love.

From helping you to face the reality of your current situation; to offering guidance to help you seize the constant opportunities that come our way each and every day; to providing easy to learn and easier to perform exercises to gain control over your fears and doubts. Stuart invites you to join him in creating the foundation for your own mental health to mental wealth UNSTOPPABLE LIFE.

So, if Stuart can overcome the ravages of the rare, incurable and socially bizarre disorder Tourettes Syndrome, and all of the disabling mental health realities that so often accompany it. All the while becoming remarkably successful and published keynote speaker career and his personal life . . . what is holding any of us back from achieving our dreams?

Debra Fine

Timidly, at first, she dipped her toes into the pool of small talk But, Fine soon realized that conversation, like most things in life, comes easier with practice.

Now the formerly shy, tongue-tied “enginerd” is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, trainer and best selling author.

A former engineer Debra Fine established her Denver based company The FINE Art of Small Talk to teach all variety of C-Level, manager and stake holder, along with the spouse who is dragged along to banquets and meetings conversation skills for use at business networking events, conventions and meetings, trade shows, as well as when interacting with clients, customers and patients. Fine studied the art of conversation as diligently as she had once studied engineering.

A member of the National Speakers Association Fine receives high accolades from her clients, which include Cisco Systems, Wells Fargo Banks, Hinckley, Allen and Snyder LLP, Spectra Energy, The US Treasury Department, Toyota, the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business, Lockheed Martin, Vermont Law School and hundreds of associations including insurance, real estate, legal, financial, engineering/technology, health care, and Chambers of Commerce and civic organizations across the country. Debra is also a member of Rotary International serving on the board of her club during her membership over the past 18+ years. In addition she is a past member of the Advisory Council of the University Of Colorado School Of Engineering, Mountain States Anti-Defamation League and the Communities Advisory Council of the Junior League.

Debra authored the best selling books “The Fine Art of Small Talk How to Start a Conversation,” “Keep it Going,” “Build Rapport and Leave a Positive Impression” and the most recent in the Fine Artseries: “The Fine Art of Big Talk: How to Win Clients, Deliver Great Presentations, and Solve Conflicts at Work.” Debra’s recent media appearances include The Today Show, CNN, The Early Show, and NPR Morning Edition.

Stefanie Gorder

Stefanie Gorder is the Executive Director of the Travel Alliance Partners (TAP), a North American corporation who in 2001 emerged as a dominant leader in the travel industry. Gorder has an extensive background having worked with motorcoach, tour, hotel and cruise companies; headed up a regional DMO and has been a professional tour guide. This well round industry experience has enabled her to understand the power of partnership working in unison to gain a return on investments.  With industry experience since 1984, Gorder has been recognized as an international travel writer; two-time nominee for Most Powerful Woman in Travel by Travel Agent Magazine; and was recently nominated by peers to the Groups Today 2016 Most Influential Women in Travel.

Vincent Ivan Phipps

The National Speakers Association calls Vincent Ivan Phipps, “The Attitude Amplifier!”  This is because of his high energy, humor, and interactive training style.  Vincent is an expert communication coach, author, trainer, and speaker.  His passion is helping industry leaders understand how attitude and communication skills impact relationships and revenue.  Vincent has spoken in in over 350 North American cities, and internationally throughout the United Kingdom, the Caribbean, and Western Europe.

John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a professional speaker, strategist and author who, for nearly two decades, has been building and delivering sales, service and success strategies to well over 250,000 audience members…one innovative idea at a time.

His speaking and consulting work has him in high demand among progressive global companies and associations in North America, Canada and the Caribbean. John’s long list of clients include The Baltimore Ravens, Marriott Hotels, Aramark, Butterfield & Vallis Bermuda, The American Bus Association, state tourism conferences for South Dakota, Indiana, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, as well as countless other service industries and associations throughout the world.

John has crafted a rock solid reputation by delivering the right results in an accelerated manner…he is “the catalyst” for change, growth and innovation and would love to share his experience with you.  Feel free to find John at MarketPlace to set up your own roadmap to success.

Heather Lutze

Breaking free of corporate “cubicle” jobs well over ten years ago with nothing more than a dream of entrepreneurship and a basement computer, Heather has built her business into a multimillion dollar Denver SEM company—the Findability Group.

These days, you will usually find Heather either preparing to leave for a speaking engagement or just getting back from one. (Apparently, jetlag is not an issue.) As for her “street cred,” Heather spent three years training advertisers in Paid Search techniques for Yahoo! Search

Marketing. She is a member of the National Speaker's Association, a sought after Vistage International Speaker and has shared the stage with Tony Robbins Business Mastery in Fiji and London. And yes, Heather has even been on Oprah, and will tell you all about it if you ask!

Heather founded Findability Group in 2000 in response to all the frustrated web site owners who had paid good money for beautiful, high-tech web sites that weren't bringing in business.

Heather LutzeFindability 888-588-9326 FREE

Heather is the widely acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact— and the brand new . Her writing and in-demand keynotes and workshops are The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners.

Rae Majors-Wildman

Rae Majors-Wildman is an award-winning business strategist, sought after speaker, best-selling author and CEO/President of Rae Majors-Wildman International.

Rae graduated with honors with her degree in Counseling Psychology and has received certification and mentorship from some of the best business leaders in the U.S. – from Brian Buffini, Tony Robbins and John Assaraf to Chet Holmes (who was responsible for doubling seven divisions of Warren Buffet’s partner Charlie Munger). It is no wonder why her clients get RESULTS.

With over 15,000 coaching hours under her belt, Rae has successfully coached and trained every business from startup at the ground-level to Fortune 100 companies.  Some of the companies impacted by RMW International includes Microsoft, T-Mobile, 5/3 Bank, City of Santa Ana, Wells Fargo, Re/Max, Oklahoma Gas and Electric and BEI Networks, just to name a few.

Rae is committed to helping companies who struggle with attracting and retaining top employees.  She solves their problem by taking a G.P.S. approach to developing emerging and the next generation of leaders.

She is the author of The Juggling Act: A Step by Step Guide to Balancing Your Business and Your Life and the soon-to-be released book “The Corporate Exodus: How America’s Top Companies Attract and Develop their Next Generation of Leaders…(and keep them from leaving!)

Christina Miranda

Chris is a founding principal of Redpoint Marketing PR, which provides public relations, digital marketing, graphic design, social media, and training/consulting services for businesses in the hospitality, tourism, and home furnishing industries.  From its HQ in NYC and satellite office in VT, Redpoint shapes brands and sculpts images for companies of all sizes.

In her 25 years as a brand and image counselor, Chris has helped organizations around the world reach their marketing and business goals.  Her roots in tourism marketing run deep, having worked closely with the New England Inns & Resorts Association, Vermont Department of Tourism Marketing, US Tour Operators Association, Student & Youth Travel Association, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line, Loews Hotels, Hyatt Resorts, New Hampshire Tourism, The Principality of Monaco, Tauck Tours, Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Alaska Tourism Marketing Council, and more.

As Redpoint’s lead trainer and operational business consultant, Chris is tapped to nestle within hospitality organizations to identify imbalances and profitability impediments, and then create – and implement – solutions grounded in reality.  With a particular focus on guest service, staff training, operational efficiency, and resource management, Chris has helped “course correct” at such businesses as Killington Resort, Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Six Flags, Collette, Main Street Hospitality, Manchester & The Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce, and more.  She can often be found in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, creating organizational harmony through counsel and training for a diverse range of tourism entities including the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Nova Scotia Tourism Agency, the Tourism Industry Association of Nova Scotia, Taste of Nova Scotia, and the Miramichi River Tourism Association.

In her spare time <pause for laughter>, she is the Chief Consigliere to the rising-star jazz band The Hot Sardines, a role which combines her music obsession with her quest for parachuting into unfamiliar industries just for fun.  She’s volunteered at archeological digs, mussel hatcheries, DNA labs, aquariums, distilleries and more.  Next up:  logging.  So please don’t panic if Redpoint’s Facebook page shows pictures of her wielding an ax.  It’s all good.

For more information, visit and, which is Redpoint’s marketing education blog featuring hospitality lessons from Chris’ travels around the world.  Check it out to learn juicy tidbits like these:  why she fiercely defends Fiat, what she learns at the grocery deli counter, and how one Canadian housekeeper made her cry (in a good way).

David Norman

David Norman is Managing Director and co-owner of Kitchen Public Relations, a New York-based corporate media relations and social media firm. Founded in 1992, KPR specializes in helping companies use media relations and social media to raise brand awareness and drive business results.  Through a combination of strategic focus and tactical execution, KPR creates high-level media opportunities and brand attention targeted to the constituencies and markets its clients want to reach.

David leads KPR’s award-winning crisis and reputation management practice. As a nationally recognized expert in crisis communication, he speaks regularly about the subject and has written extensively about crisis planning and management.

KPR is a partner with the American Bus Association in providing a comprehensive crisis management planning service, complete with detailed, customized response plans in the event of an accident or high-profile incident. KPR has a strong track record in the motorcoach industry in creating these plans as well as managing crisis situations when they occur.

Prior to joining KPR, David was a founder and principal of Israel-Norman Communications along with now-Congressman Steve Israel.  Earlier in his career, David served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Bob Mrazek. David is also an Adjunct Professor of Public Relations at Hofstra University, with a focus on crisis communication.

David is a magna cum laude graduate of Hamilton College where he majored in Government. He also obtained a Master of Public Policy at The George Washington University. Truth be told, he chose to attend these institutions in the hope of meeting some of the founding fathers but was truly bummed to learn upon his arrival that Hamilton and Washington were both long deceased.

Bob Pacanovsky

Can you name any other speaker who would show up to speak dressed in a tux?  That is how passionate Bob Pacanovsky is about creating a Black Tie experience! You may not remember or be able to pronounce his last name, but you will hopefully remember the guy in the black tux!

Bob has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, almost all of them in the hospitality industry where he and his team had only one opportunity to create a both a wow experience and a lasting impression each time they were in front of their clients and guests (over 7,000 times)!  He has owned restaurants, an Events and Catering company (where he and his team catered 25 of the Pro Football Hall of Fame- National Induction parties), managed a banquet facility and worked in over 50 unique venues.  

Bob’s most popular keynotes are focused on Business Behavior and Professional Etiquette (in a Digital Age), Creating the Customer Experience, Corporate Culture and Professional Presence.  His programs are interactive, entertaining and make people think about always trying to create a Black Tie Experience.

He is a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association and has spoken to companies and organization on a state and national level.  Included in these are the Catersource/Event Solutions Conference, The Ohio Society of CPA’s regional conferences, The Council of Smaller Enterprises Convention, as well as companies in the hospitality, healthcare, non-profit, collegiate, retail and tourism fields.

His new book, The Black Tie Experience, a business parable about how important it is to treat people the right way, will be out in 2017.

Chris Riddell

Chris Riddell is the Executive Director of the Motorcoach Marketing Council and has been the instrumental in the development of the GoMotorcoach brand, products and training that are now available for the entire industry to use. He has been a driver, a dispatcher, a bus washer and a sales person for a motorcoach company in Portland Oregon. He is also the founder and owner Deliverabilities, a marketing company that specializes in Motorcoach Companies in North America. He now lives on a little island in the pacific northwest with his wife and 5 children where he works to help companies do more with less.

Dr. Gary Schwantz

Dr. Gary Schwantz has a Ph.D. in Family Consumer Sciences Education from Texas Tech University – his focus in those studies was adult education and customer service in industry and education. Gary’s careers have spanned a number of industries:  corporate education, high school teacher and administrator; administration in community college; carpenter and remodeling contractor; ministry; sales and sales training; grant development for a hospital; even County Commissioner for Lubbock County.  Dr. Schwantz has been teaching as adjunct faculty at Texas Tech University for 18 years and twice recognized by student organizations as outstanding instructor.  He currently teaches in the College of Media and Communications.  Gary has been speaking and teaching for years, but about 9 years ago made the jump to doing this as his life’s work.  One of the common themes in his presentations is to live life as an adventure – so he finds himself practicing what he preaches.   His greatest pleasures are his wife, his children and their spouses, but especially his two grandsons, Hopper Jack and Whitt Paul.  He also has 2 greyhounds and 4 chickens!

Joshua Seth

Joshua Seth is a real-life mentalist and author of the best-selling book “Finding Focus In A Busy World: How To Tune Out The Noise and Work Well Under Pressure”. He presents at over 100 meetings and events each year as a Speaker and/or Entertainer.

He knows a bit about what it takes to perform under pressure. He’s done over 2,000 live events, starred in four of his own international TV specials, and performed in 38 countries.

But despite all that, Joshua’s still best known for his former career as one of the busiest voice over actors in Hollywood. He’s been heard by millions as the star of the hit animated series “Digimon”, various voices on “Spongebob Squarepants”, and over 65 other TV shows and movies.

Joshua Seth trained as a performing artist at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he completed a four year program in just two years with a double major and honors level performance. How did he do it? Focus.

Dave Sherman

Since 1998, Dave Sherman has had the distinction of being the only professional icebreaker on Earth.  He is the founder and president of Sherman Consulting, a corporate training and consulting organization that specializes in helping companies and individuals find, meet and connect with more new business prospects through the use of networking, marketing, branding and more.

Before becoming a consultant and trainer, Dave was an award winning retail business owner. He was named a Top Small Business Person of the Year by the Phoenix and Tempe Chambers of Commerce, as well as receiving the Mass Mutual Blue Chip Award for Small Business Excellence.

Dave is the author of three best-selling books on the topic of networking and has had the pleasure of working with companies such as American Express, Southwest Airlines, Toyota, Raytheon, Northwestern Mutual, Wells Fargo, and many many more.

Brent Sverdloff

A practitioner of trained-memory methods since his teens, Brent has helped countless students and professionals improve their powers of recall. With Brent's guidance, law and medical students learn the secrets to acing their exams, sales teams retain clients’ names better, actors and presenters nail their lines, and aspiring police officers and firefighters become sharper observers. 

Brent credits memorization techniques with enabling him to learn multiple languages and reams of historical facts and figures, which early on led him to secure research library positions at The Getty Center and Harvard University. Drawing on his recent years as an executive at non-profits such as the Boston Conservatory and San Francisco–based BATS Improv, Brent knows how to engage participants with lively interaction.

Since 2004, Brent has taught workshops in San Francisco at the Commonwealth Club, California Academy of Sciences, and City College; Adult Education Centers in Greater Boston; the New York Public Library; and with private clients and businesses elsewhere.

Brent currently lives in the metropolitan New York area and is sought after for private memory coaching and seminars. His popular book—How Could I Forget You! A Creative Way to Remember Names and Faces—has garnered him interviews with Forbes magazine, the lifestyle site Refinery29, and television, radio, and print outlets.

Crystal Washington

When powerful companies want their teams to take action online, they book social media expert and dynamic speaker Crystal Washington, who has worked with Google, Microsoft, GE and others in the USA, Africa and Europe. For this comprehensive knowledge on social media, she has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe.

Crystal is well known for her ability to take complex Web and social media topics, and make them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people and small business owners. She owns CWM Enterprises, a social media instructional brand aimed at training everyone from Gen Y's to Baby Boomers in strategically using social media. Educating consumers on the practical applications of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube is her passion.

As a recognized authority on social media, she has appeared in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Glamou]r Magazine, Bloomberg Business Week and in The Associated Press. She was the past host of a weekly technology segment on Houston’s Fox television affiliate.

Crystal is the author of the book, "The Social Media Why: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business."

Judd Wheeler

Judd Wheeler draws on more than 20 years of digital marketing and consulting experience for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies. Over the past few years, Judd has produced the first mobile conference in Oklahoma, presented as the keynote speaker internationally and wrote “160 Characters of Less: How to Increase Customer Loyalty, Drive Sales and WIN with Text Message Marketing.” He recently joined 3C Interactive, a market leader in enabling mobile consumer engagement, igniting his imagination and converting innovative thought into reality.

While many speakers are celebrities and self-proclaimed experts, Judd brings years of hard knocks experience and delivers the only way he knows how: fast-paced, energetic and packed full of actionable mobile strategies. Adapting from technology to technology as the times change and the business winds shift, Judd captures lessons learned from each and applies it going into the next realm of human-technology interaction. He looks beyond the numbers and hype to find the true essence and how maximize customer engagement.