Matt Cubbler: Inspirational Speaker, Human Performance Expert, & Leadership Expert

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My Native Admission Statement: Your life is made up of two dates and a dash: the date you are born and the date that you die. The dash is the life you are blessed to have lived. My entire life has been about living a life of service to others. Anytime anyone has needed me, I always said “ I Got You!” This life of service was born out of being my older brother, Andy’s protector. Andy suffered with a severe stutter and was autistic. Prior to my brother dying in a car accident in 1989, there had never been anyone who called our house and asked him to come out and play or invited him to a party or a sleep over. As far as I knew, I was his best friend and my friends were his only friends. Little did I know that when he attended a camp every summer as a volunteer worker without me – he touched more hearts and impacted more lives than anyone could have imagined. Those people showed up when it mattered most – to pay their respects to Andy at his funeral. There were hundreds and hundreds of strangers at his funeral, but to Andy they were his friends and loved ones who came to tell him that they loved him. After writing my memoir dedicated to my life with my brother entitled “A Brother’s Love: a Memoir” in 2006, I made it my life’s mission to keep Andy’s legacy of love and acceptance alive by sharing his story with anyone who wanted to listen. Today, when I speak on stages, I honor my brother and the life he lived. And when I die, I want to have lived a life like my brother lived his – by Living a Life of Selfless Service Worthy of Remembrance.

Career advice to those in your industry?:

Stop being fake. This industry is littered with snake oil salesmen and those who prey on the weak or those desperate for answers.

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Simon Tam: Entrepreneur, Author, Musician, Activist, & Troublemaker

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My Native Admission Statement: I’m a self-proclaimed artist, activist, author, and troublemaker who likes to shake things up with unconventional conversations fueled by compassion. I’m known for starting the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band, winning a landmark case at the U.S Supreme Court, having the world record for most number of TEDx talks, being a serial entrepreneur, and relentlessly fighting for marginalized communities. I believe all of our actions should be grounded in our values and that apathy is not compatible with love. My biggest success so far is inspiring another generation of Asian American artists and activists through my work. Also, getting shout-outs from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. My aspiration is to never be complacent in the face of injustice. I would be honored to be able to continue doing the work that I do.

How did you get into the industry?

I first stepped into the worlds of involved with arts and activism when I made the decision to start The Slants, an Asian American band that would provide a bold portrayal of our community’s culture. Little did I know that this would resonate with so many others. That got me involved with numerous organizations which taught me about public policy development, social justice, and grassroots community activism. That eventually put me on the path to the Supreme Court, to fight for civil rights and civil liberties. Running a band is also like running a startup: you have to find your target audience, raise capital, build a brand, find distribution, and so on, so it was also a great lesson in entrepreneurship as well. I leveraged that experience to start multiple other businesses, both in and out of the entertainment industry. This helped me learn ideas like strategic philanthropy, purpose-driven companies, and addressing problems with unconventional solutions. If you ever want to learn how to be a jack-of-all trades, just go on tour with a punk band: you’ll learn survival techniques real quick.

Jared Lindzon: Freelance journalist, Public speaker & Media consultant

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My Native Admission Statement: When I began thinking about what I want to do with my life as a child, I decided my life would be well lived if I could “do cool shit and write about it” for a living. Today I not only write about it, I speak about it as well. Whether in the pages of Fast Company, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, the New York Times or my own website, NoWordLimit.Blog, whether on stage with rockstars in New Orleans, political analysts in Dallas or business leaders in Lisbon, my career and my life is an endless pursuit of all things a younger version of myself would categorize as cool, and the stories that result. I’m not where I am because I am a particularly talented writer and journalist; There are far too many writers who are on a much higher level of talent yet are still struggling financially for that to be true. I am where I am because I’m particularly talented at hustling. Whatever your grind, whatever your industry, the talent is only as profitable as the hustle behind it.

How did you get into the industry?

My first foray into journalism was a volunteer gig at my school paper, and I instantly fell in love with it. Within that small ecosystem of the university campus I could see how my work was received by readers everyday, and even see changes on campus that resulted from the stories I pursued. From there I went to journalism school and completed my master’s, but I really owe my career to an unpaid internship at the National Post. Though I didn’t make a penny, it was the most valuable experience of my career thus far.

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Dr. Greg Reid: World-renowned speaker, Best-selling Author, Filmmaker & Entrepreneur

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My Native Admission Statement: As an entrepreneur, I highly value expressing to others how they can turn seemingly complicated situations into simple, digestible concepts for success. There is a firm belief in the importance of win-win partnerships and aiding others to succeed. It brings me great pride to be as much as a service to others. My tenth novel, Wealth Made Easy: Millionaires and Billionaires Help you Crack the Code to Getting Rich, has been recently released which is an extremely rewarding accomplishment for me as this was one of my favorite pieces of work I have ever been a part of.  Sharing some of the most effective tips for success from the minds of the most reputable millionaires and billionaires was an experience that was like no other.

How do you motivate others?

Luckily as a public speaker, I am able to motivate others for a living and it is one of the most rewarding experiences each and every time I am able to speak somewhere. For me, I think the best way to motivate others is to instill in them a “no quit” attitude and emphasize the overall power of perseverance. When you can grant your audience with a sense of inspiration that they can accomplish whatever it is they set their mind to, they start to believe that themselves. This, in turn, inspires the drive for a great sense of personal achievement, which is exactly what I want to motivate every individual to aim for.

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Sweta Vikram: Mindset & Wellness Coach, Speaker, & Best-selling Author

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My Native AdMission Statement: Hi, I’m Sweta Srivastava Vikram! I’m a mindset & wellness coach, global speaker, and best-selling author of 12 books. I listen to your stories and help transform your life. I understand the unique challenges you face as a human being, employee, employer, entrepreneur, provider, parent, and partner. Executives and entrepreneurs hire me to make critical mindset shifts, so they can use time more effectively, improve relationships, and lower stress levels. The real secret to living your best life is change in MINDSET. Voted as “One of the Most Influential Asians of Our Times,” and raised between North Africa and the foothills of the Himalayas, I now live in New York City and work with clients from all over the world. As the winner of the “Voices of the Year” award (past recipients have been Chelsea Clinton and the founder of the #MeToo movement), in my spare time, I use mindfulness and yoga to empower female survivors of trauma.

My Biggest Success?

Through my writing and coaching and speaking engagements, I have met with diverse groups of people from all over the world who have confessed that my words have transformed their lives. A gentleman read my book in the prison and then attended one of my speaking events (after he was released)—only so he could tell me in person how one of my books had helped him cope with his personal loss.

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Christine Michel Carter: Writer, Speaker, Consultant & Creator of "Mompreneur and Me"

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My Native Admission Statement: As a writer, speaker and consultant I work with companies to ensure they’re at the forefront of the minds of female consumers. I have been featured in, and guest contributed to several global digital publications, including Forbes, TIME, The New York Times, Harper's BAZAAR, Parents, Health, Ebony, Women’s Health and have been called "the exec inspiring millennial moms," a "branding mastermind" and "the voice of millennial moms." My writing has been quoted in four books and I have advocated on behalf of Mom Congress and Senator Kamala Harris for the Maternal Care Act. I also created Mompreneur and Me, the first national free mommy and me professional development event for moms who can’t afford time away from the kids to network or develop professional skills. I aspire to raise happy, confident, well-rounded children personally. That’s my only goal. And in business, I would like to be a published author and have my events (Mompreneur and Me) expand internationally. I’m a Donald Draper kind of marketer. I love bringing retro practices back because these young whippersnappers nowadays want to be the first to market themselves in a disruptive, groundbreaking way. I still believe two things: content is king, and no one will purchase a product or service that someone else hasn’t endorsed

My Favorite People/Role Models?

Beyoncé. There is no other role model in the world. Both business and personal. #beyhiveforever

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Blaze Arizanov: StayUncle CMO, Bestselling Author & Keynote Speaker

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My Native Admission Statement: I propel brands and revenues into new, uncharted territories, without being marked as the enemy of the state. I co-founded hotel booking website for couples, StayUncle, in 2015. I developed the content and marketed StayUncle, taking it from a landing page with no revenue to a multi-million dollar company. It was named as one of the 10 startups to watch by Forbes India in 2018. Aside from StayUncle, I am also a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and angel investor with a keen eye for identifying strong stories and trends and converting them into engaging brand campaigns. I have great intuition and find I am often right about the few big things that matter in marketing and am always reinventing myself whether it be through re-educating my mindset or assessing new techniques I could employ to achieve maximum campaign traction.

How did you get into the marketing industry?

I had been ‘marketing’ since my early childhood. In a country with little to no opportunities, marketing became a crucial survival skill for me, and was a craft I learned myself. You had to fight off a large number of candidates for a single chance at success. Recognizing influencer marketing as the next big thing, I developed a blog at the age of 16, which I managed to sell one year later to a local job search portal in Macedonia. It was a career interview tips blog, which I sold for $1700 - a big paycheck for a 17 year old student. Through this, I discovered my passion and talent for content and branding, which allowed me to work with prospects as unlikely as VC funds in India, Miss India 2017, and some politicians.

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Abhijit Naskar: Neuroscientist, Bestselling Author & Speaker

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My Native Admission Statement: After quitting my Computer Engineering studies, I renounced my home in Calcutta and became a wandering monk. And upon the attainment of the so-called transcendental state of consciousness, which has been called differently across cultures, such as "Samadhi", "Nirvana", "Oneness" and so on, I realized that the purpose of life is not renunciation of anything, but the realization of that purpose. So, I returned home and started investigating for a rational explanation for my experience of transcendence. As basically a useless and careerless young lad, I began studying hundreds of published materials on Neuroscience, Psychology and Philosophy, while constantly being mocked and laughed at. I was studying on my own only to have an understanding of the human mind in relation to the society and the world, without the expectation of any degree or job opportunity. I had no clue whatsoever, what would become of me, whether I’d be able to make a living at all. I did not come from a rich family, nor did I have rich friends, so, as far as everybody else was concerned, my life was doomed.

I was flowing like a canoe in the open seas without any sense of direction. And in that very directionlessnes, I constructed my own direction, without even being aware of it. Eventually, quite unexpectedly, I found myself publishing my own first book on the investigation of various aspects of our human mental universe. With that first book entitled "The Art of Neuroscience in Everything", the world embraced me as their household Neuroscientist. With the magnificent tool of Neuroscience, I opened up to the world its internal realm in terms that every person could understand. After the publication of that first book, my brain kept exploding with one book after another, on various issues of the mind and the society. Along came an inpouring of invitations to speak at various educational and professional institutions. Thus, a useless university dropout turned into a globally acclaimed Neuroscientist, Bestselling Author and Speaker.

Favorite Drink?

My mind is my offering to humanity, therefore I despise alcohol, for it corrupts the mind as well as the body. However, I do take one kind of beverage quite a few times throughout the day, and that's tea, with lots of sugar and milk.

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Minter Dial: Award Winning Author & Keynote Speaker

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My NativeAdmission Statement: I feel like change is my middle name, having moved countries 15 times and homes 34 times in my life. I can get by in 8 languages (only 3 fluently). Professionally, I have explored a host of different activities, from teaching tennis, to working in an investment bank to creating four startups, two of which failed with style. Thus, I can say that I am a jack of all trades and master of none, except perhaps for storytelling. I am the author of three books and produced an award-winning WWII documentary that has been shown on national television in North America, Australia and New Zealand. I love to connect dots, patterns and people. Connecting my own dots, the theme of my life has been to seek consciously to elevate the debate. I want to be known for being a storyteller who moves people, by connecting ideas, patterns and people, and always seeking to elevate the debate. It’s both a personal and a professional ambition.

How did you get into the industry?

I worked in the cosmetics industry for L'Oréal – in the division serving the professional salon hairdresser -- for the largest part of my career (16 years). I entered L’Oreal right out of INSEAD business school. The whole purpose of going to business school was to change country (I wanted to move to Europe), to enter a new industry (fashion/beauty) and change métier (marketing). It was a tall order to change all three aspects at the same time. L’Oreal and Louis Vuitton were my first two choices. L’Oreal hired me before LV even answered my application letter. How did I get the job? Once I got an interview, before the appointed day, I spent a full day in a local hairdressing salon, learning all aspects of the business. I discovered a world I had never properly known, how a salon works, the incredible passion of the hairdresser and the importance of the products. It was the human experience of the salon that seduced me most.

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James H. Carpenter Barnes, Ph.D: Author and Transformational Speaker

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My Native Admission Statement: My passion is teaching people how overcome the words, thoughts and feelings (subconscious habits) which result in a life controlled by our surroundings. Our past experiences often hinder growth and advancement. I believe we have the ability within us to be transformed… to create the events in this life’s experience. I know I’ve lived it. I’m gifted at inspiring people to first believe they deserve to be the best version of themselves. I then teach them how to walk this out on a day by day basis.

My Favorite Products/Objects? I enjoy nice cars. Presently it’s my Navy blue Porsche, which came into my life by visualization.

My Current Passions?

Spending time with my wife Wendy doing anything (movies, plays, concerts, being near the water), and playing my guitars.

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Dr. Tiffany Jana: TMI Consulting Inc Founder & Author

My Native Admission Statement: I’m help build emotional bridges and walk people across the chasm of differences so they can better experience, understand, and respect each other. I’m an entrepreneur of 16 years with 3 companies and 3 books under my belt. All of them are focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Public speaker, thought leader, change maker, and champion of the people—my goal is to make the hardest concepts and conversations accessible and inclusive through the written word, experiential design, and groundbreaking technology.

Most Challenging Moment?:

My most challenging moment was deciding to part ways with my ex-husband and former business partner. Even though I started the company 8 years before I invited him to join me, the pivot to diversity happened with him. It was always my intention for us to be in it together for the long haul. My core goals and values remained consistent, but the entrepreneurial desire for evolution and growth was mine and not his. It was hard and horrible, but it’s the best business decision I ever made. The companies experienced their most exponential growth following his departure.

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Audrey Wu: CONVRG Co-Founder & CEO

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My NativeAdMission Statement: I’m the CoFounder and CEO of Convrg, an AI voice and messaging platform powering experiences for brands such as Estee Lauder Companies and the GRAMMYs. I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and fell into conversational AI, starting with chatbots in 2015 to now where we build world class voice experiences. I’m a walking wiki on all things chatbots and voice assistants and most recently spoke about the topic at SXSW and Mobile World Congress. I also write for Adweek. Chatbots and voice assistants are a very nascent industry which means there is no “traditional” background. One of my co-founders comes from a beauty, creative and editorial background while the other has an MBA and is a master coder. I came from a digital marketing via investment banking background.

Emerging industry trends?:

I am very bullish on voice assistants and conversational AI. Having built voice skills for top brands such as Estee Lauder Companies and GRAMMYs, I see a huge potential on how brands can capitalize on a truly bi-directional conversation with their users.

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Tanya Harris: Harman Cyber CEO

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My Native Admission Statement: I am a female entrepreneur within the field of Artificial Intelligence and Insider Threat. She is on the Board of Harrman Cyber, Universal Data Protection and ICOM4, and was previous Chair of American Chamber of Commerce, Women in Leadership. My personal mission is to help companies solve the problem of data protection and insider threat from a human motive/behavior standpoint, so that companies can start to protect their critical data from being exposed due to employee error and malicious attacks. People live with their own frame of reference, therefore when they have rejected the product, it is that person who has rejected it, not the organization that they work for. I do not let peoples’ opinions impact my motivation, I always maintain a positive can-do attitude and bounce back quickly from setbacks.

Any industry opportunities or challenges?

We can do more AI as it can help identify the growing threat of a malicious insider threat by raising the satisfaction levels of employees. The challenge is data privacy laws under GDPR. Let me explain, the data that a company holds about their employees and clients, can be used to predict dissatisfaction that goes unnoticed to the human eye, in order intervene before it gets out of control. However, due to fear of employee backlash when using their data to predict happiness or dissatisfaction levels and bad press, many companies are not prepared to use this data which places their business at risk. And with research figures citing between 60% and 90% of cyberattacks and data breaches caused from insider threat, this is an issue that needs to be faced.

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Mark Hamade: VENTURE INVESTOR, PUBLIC SPEAKER & PRIVATE EQUITY ADVISOR

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My Native Admission Statement: Being a 7 time surgery champion, Stage 4 cancer survivor, wheel chair champion & loosing 220lbs taught me to understand that I am not unique, special, or possess any super powers.  I am a human who has learned to take things in stride because tomorrow may never come.  I have had the will to survive & not give up just like everyone else.  Fortunately, I have had plenty of experience in that. My grandmother raised me in a beautiful country of Lebanon and she taught me that the world is about the animals & humans.  Go to school to support & do well to support your family and friends. My philosophy is simple.  I am an operator & a survivor by heart who loves to create jobs to support humanity, the planet, Women Entrepreneurs.  So people can live a life of happiness before they leave this earth. 

How do you motivate others?:

I infuse energy in others by helping get the best out of them & showing them the best version of themselves.  I support them 100%.

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