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Speakers

 

Debbie Cooley

Founder & President
M-Pak, Inc.

Debbie Cooley began her career in 1974 with a National packaging supplier as the first woman hired for outside sales in the history of the company. In 1999, with $10,000 in savings, Debbie started M-Pak, Inc. Debbie has built M-Pak from first year sales of $133,000 to a current $11,500,000 company. M-Pak, an industrial packaging and tactical gear supplier with 4 locations in the U.S., has won numerous awards including SBA Vendor of the Year, Entrepreneur of Excellence, Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, and Inc. Magazine’s Top 5000 for 5 consecutive years.

 

Mr. Hugh Forrest

Chief Programming Officer
South by Southwest (SXSW)

Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer for South by Southwest (SXSW). Scheduled March 8-17, 2019 in Austin, this event brings together more than 70,000 industry creatives from across the United States and around the world. 


 

Chris Krimitsos

Chief Creative Officer
Podfest

Chris has facilitated over 1,000 events that have brought together business owners, toward economic growth, under the umbrella of Tampa Bay Business Owners, which he founded in 2008. That success regionally was the springboard to launching a national event, Podfest Multimedia Expo, which he grew to over 500 attendees in just three years. Channeling that energy into creating a documentary, now he is making an impact globally. 

 

Debbie Ledbetter

HP LIFE Partnership Manager
HP Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

Shaun Loney

Author of An Army of Problem Solvers  
Social Enterprise Developer, Aki Energy

Shaun is one of Canada's leading social enterprise developers and a bestselling author of An Army of Problem Solvers. His new book is called The Beautiful Bailout: How a Social Innovation Scale Up Will Solve Government's Priciest Problems. www.armyofproblemsolvers.com

 

 

Linda Losey

Co-founder and COO
Bloomery Sweetshine®

Bloomery Plantation Distillery opened as a mini-distillery in the agri-tourism industry, September 17, 2011. With a sweet spin on moonshine, they make moonshine drinkable through their hand-crafted award-winning SweetShine® liqueurs from farm-fresh fruits, roots and nuts. The Distillery is located two miles east of Charles Town, WV and is situated on a 12-acre parcel of land where they grow farm-fresh ingredients, including ginger, raspberries and lemons.

 

Dr. Susan May

President & NACCE Board Chair
Fox Valley Technical College

Dr. Susan May serves as the president and chief executive officer for Fox Valley Technical College, an appointment that began in July 2008. May joined Fox Valley Technical College as an adult continuing education specialist in 1983. She served as the College’s executive vice president since 2005. From 1997 to 2005 May served as the vice president for Instructional Services, and from 1994 to 1997 the vice president for Marketing and Economic Development. She also served in the positions of dean and outreach operations manager between 1989 and 1993. Earlier in her career, she worked as a teacher and department chair for New Holstein High School, New Holstein, Wisconsin.

Dexter L. Pearson

Agricultural Outreach Specialist, Office of External Affairs
USDA-Rural Development

Dexter is responsible for identifying community development opportunities, building partnerships, and creating access to RD’s more than $60 billion portfolio of programs for rural communities across the nation. Throughout his six-year tenure at USDA Pearson has led efforts to connect small businesses, higher education institutions, and rural communities to USDA grants, loans, contracting opportunities and other programs that encourage participation in the agriculture industry.

 

Mrs. Kam S. Phillips

Chief Executive Dreamer
Dream Outside the Box

Kam Phillips is the Chief Executive Dreamer of Dream Outside the Box, a nonprofit that broadens horizons for K-5 children. A rodeo cowgirl and cattle rancher, the Harry S. Truman Scholar also leads Dream Architects, a stealth consulting firm.

 

 

 

Betsy Price

Mayor
Fort Worth

Betsy Price, a Fort Worth native, was elected in 2011 as the 44th mayor of the City of Fort Worth. In 2017, Price was re-elected for her fourth two-year term. As the 16th largest city in the U.S., Fort Worth remains one of the fastest growing large cities in the country. Along with her focus on promoting jobs, strengthening education, fighting crime and improving mobility, Price has made significant strides along the path toward her vision of a healthy, engaged and fiscally responsible city.

 

Phil Puthumana

Program Manager
Verizon Foundation 

Phil Puthumana is the program manager for education technology at the Verizon Foundation, accountable for the development, implementation and measurement of the organization's STEM programming. Before joining the Foundation, Mr. Puthumana helped Verizon launch their Mobile Learning product portfolio as a member of the company's Public Sector Product Development team.

 

Sam Thevanayagam

President & CEO
Parts Life, Inc.

Sam is the President and CEO of Parts Life, Inc. From the time he was a youth, he displayed an entrepreneurial spirit. After working many years in the automotive aftermarket for other companies, reaching as high a position as VP, Sam saw the opportunity to start his own business. He quickly became the entrepreneur he was always meant to be. Realizing his vision, Sam started Parts Life, Inc. in 2007 which is an innovative company focused on providing customized parts and solutions to support the Defense, Aerospace, Heavy Duty, and Automotive industries. 

 

Steve Tingiris

Managing Director, Dabble Lab
Managing Partner, Dabble Capital

Steve is a software engineer, turned entrepreneur and investor. In his career, Steve has founded and sold three technology companies and is currently the managing director of Dabble Lab; an outsourced research and development firm that specializes in building robotic process automation and block chain solutions for business. Steve is also the managing partner of Dabble Capital – a private cryptocurrency investment fund.  

 

Jacques and Kelli van Gool

Co-founders
Backstage Auctions

Jacques van Gool, co-founder of Backstage Auctions, was just a kid when he first started collecting rock and roll memorabilia. His early fascination with the band KISS, and the band’s successful forays into merchandising, offered him the opportunity to appreciate the value, meaning and art of music memorabilia collecting. Having turned his passion for collecting rock and roll memorabilia into a successful online auction house together with wife Kelli, Backstage Auctions exclusively represents some of today's greatest rock and roll artists and groups and is the auction house of choice for a wide variety musicians, music industry professionals and memorabilia collectors worldwide.


Dr. Betty Young

President
Hocking College

Dr. Young serves as President of Hocking College, Ohio.  She has been a serial entrepreneur and began her higher education career teaching entrepreneurship.  She has focused her career on local economic development and creating pathways to prosperity through education and experiential learning. 

 

  

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