Speakers - 2018

2018 Jeffrey Shaw - The Validation Paradox, Finding Your Best Through Others

Jeffrey, a.k.a. the Lingo Guy, has been one of the most sought-after portrait photographers in the United States for more than three decades. He believes that having a keen eye isn’t just for what one sees, but also for what one senses. In his latest book “Lingo” he teaches how he has honed his intuition to attract and maintain specific markets by speaking their ‘secret language’. He is also the host of the popular business podcast Creative Warriors, a nationally acclaimed keynote speaker, and a business coach for entrepreneurs.

2018 Jim Curtis - The cosmic algorithm: Deciphering the signs

Jim Curtis has had a prolific career in health publishing, serving as a key leader in the rapid growth of three leading national health sites, WebMD, EverydayHealth and Remedy Health Media. Named an “elite disruptor” by pm360, and the recipient of Pharma Voice’s Top 100 Most Inspirational in Health, Curtis revamped the standard at Remedy by telling emotionally charged stories infused with immersive multimedia content- inspiring people to live better – now, elevating Remedy to a “Crain’s Fastest Growing Company” in NYC. Jim is the author of the new book, The Stimulati Experience (Rodale), that curates transformational skills learned from 20 years of fighting a chronic health condition of his own while serving as a patient advocate. He is the creator of the documentary series, Elders, an active public speaker, board member and business coach to start-up entrepreneurs. Jim’s focus is on achieving health, happiness and purpose through mindset - lowering inflammation in both the mind and body. He has been featured in The New York Times, Fox News, Elite Daily, The Daily News, Bloomberg, HuffPo, Thrive Global, Rodale Health, US News and World Report and others. Jim lives in NYC with his son, Aidan, and rescue dog, Odie. He can be followed on Instagram @Jimcurtis1 and online at www.jimcurtis.us.

2018 Mary Gauthier - Making Beauty Out of The Beast

Mary’s desire for healing trauma through her songs is echoed throughout her work. In her most recent album, Rifles & Rosary Beads (Thirty Tigers), all eleven songs are co-written with and for wounded veterans. Mary’s awards and recognition for the powerful work she is doing to heal trauma through song include a 2015 nomination for GLADD Outstanding Music Artist of the Year at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, her songs Trouble and Love and Mercy Now, Named One of Best 40 Country Albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone Magazine, The Foundling named No. 3 Record of the Year by LA Times, and her first major label release, Mercy Now, on the Top 10 List for 2005 in New York Times, LA Times, The Daily News and Billboard Magazine. In 2005 she was awarded “New Artist of the Year” by The Americana Music Association and in 1998 she won Best Country Artist of the Year (GLAMA). She has also received nominations for 3 Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards (GLAMA) and Best New Artist of the Year, Boston Music Awards. In 1998 she was awarded 1st Annual Independent Music Awards for Folk/Singer-Songwriter Song for Drag Queens in Limousines. Her songs have been recorded by Tim McGraw, Bettye LaVette, Amy Helm, Mike Farris, Jonathan Jackson, Candi Staton, Jimmy Buffett, Blake Shelton, and Bill Chambers.

2018 Sarah Montana - Forgiveness Isn't a Means To an End—It's an ending

Sarah Montana is a NYC based writer, editor, and branded content producer. She has ghost written book proposals for celebrity experts, some of which have been sold to publishers for six figures. She creates and shapes content for authors and business owners, including ebooks, reality TV pitches, articles, memoirs, and marketing copy. She is also a playwright and creates her own original content. Her most recent play, The Girl, The Ghosts, and the Minotaur was selected for a staged reading at Life Jacket Theater Company’s 2017 Proof of Concept Reading Series in New York City.

2017 Brian HallowDreamz Henry - Krumping Is Language

Creator of Brooklyn Buck dance form based on Krumping

Brian Henry, also know as HallowDreamz, is a Brooklyn Buck/Krump dancer from Bed-Stuy Brooklyn NY who was known for his audition on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (season 8). He calls his personal Krump style BROOKLYN BUCK. Brian started Krumping in 2004. Inspired by Mijo and Tight Eyez "The creators", Brian has been pushing the Krump movement in N.Y.C. since 2008, when he joined E.S.K. (East Street Kingdom, a branch of the group STREET KINGDOM founded by Tight Eyez. Brian has taught at EXPG, Broadway Dance Center, PMT, and many more. Recently featured in Madonna's music video "Bitch, I'm Madonna and A$Ap Ferg & Liam Bailey's "Villain". Brian also has experience in Ballet, Modern, contemporary, and African. Which makes him one of the most sought after Krump teachers. Click HERE to watch Brian's talk.

2017 Kristin Smedley - How I Learned To See Through The Eyes Of My Sons

Rare Eye Disease Advocate and Non-For-Profit Executive

Kristin Smedley

Kristin Smedley is an award winning nonprofit leader, rare eye disease advocate, speaker, and up and coming author – but she never planned on any of that. Kristin originally planned to be third grade "Teacher of the Year". But her personal path to greatness took an unexpected turn when two of her three children were diagnosed as blind. She quickly had to learn all of the tools of blindness and get them into the hands of her sons. She had to build a team of experts that would help her navigate this path. Kristin’s two blind sons, Michael and Mitchell, are thriving. The systems Kristin has put in place for her boys have worked to great success. Her boys’ achievements include baseball championships on “sighted” neighborhood teams, distinguished honors in “regular” public school, and finalists in International Braille competitions. Kristin and her family are role models and her motto, “Life is funny, sort of” is evident in her positive and uplifting attitude. Click HERE to watch Kristin's talk.

2017 Mari Carmen Pizarro - When Did We Stop Loving Our Bodies?

Best Selling Author, Nutritional Consultant, Peak Performance Coach

Mari Carmen founded Streamlined Health, a company dedicated to serving leaders who, like her, suffered from health ailments that prevented them from being at the top of their game. Streamlined Health’s science based approach to fully engaging people’s capacity and skill grew out of over 30 years of experience in the arena of high performance management and coaching. Mari Carmen Pizarro is dedicated to teaching leaders how to feel continuously energized, look their best and exude confidence that is critical to their sense of well being and inspirational to those around them. Mari is an Integrative Health Coach and a Certified Personal Trainer who holds a master’s in business and is a world-class Transformational and Executive Coach. She is also a board-certified member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Click  HERE to watch Mari's talk.

2017 Rich Hollman - How Improv Training Creates Compassionate Behavior

Improvisor, Actor, Teacher, Activist

Rich is an actor, improviser, teacher, writer, musician and activist living in New York City. He earned his BA in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999 and his MFA in acting from New School University in 2004. As an actor, Rich has performed regionally and in many Off-Broadway venues including The Cherry Lane Theater, The Lucille Lortel, Playwrights Horizons, La Mama Etc., and Playhouse on Park in West Hartford, CT. He's also appeared in tv roles including; Law and Order, Guiding Light, All My Children and As The World Turns. Additionally, his film work has been seen in the New York Television Festival where he also won a Best Writing award for the original pilot, 'Actualized'. Rich teaches acting and improv at the New School, The People's Improv Theater (The PIT), where he is currently on the faculty, the Buckley School and The Pelham Film Institute.he is the creator of Care Packages for the Homeless, a charity bringing essentials to NYC's homeless. Click HERE to watch Rich's talk.