Twice named to the People Magazine "50 most beautiful people", plus-sized supermodel EMME has had a career that spans more than two decades. A leading voice and face in the fashion industry, EMME is an iconic supermodel, and has paved the way for women to know that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. EMME is a TV personality, model, mom, author, brand spokesperson, creative director of her clothing lines, lecturer and continues to model via @IconicFocus.
EMME recently launched Fashion Without Limits: Changing the Face of Fashion with her alma mater, Syracuse University, creating an inclusive fashion education curriculum (#SUFWL). She is a globally recognized advocate and expert on positive body image, self-esteem, fashion trends and model diversity as well as surviving cancer and women’s health. Her philanthropic outreach includes being a board member to Hearts of Gold, an honorary board member to Project Heal, and an ambassador to The National Eating Disorders Association.
Dr. Amanda Parkes is a fashion and wearable technology expert, the Chief of Technology and Research at Manufacture NY, a fashion incubator/factory/research facility. She holds a PhD from the MIT Media Lab and is a member of the Business of Fashion 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry.
As a biomedia designer and fashion technologist, Amanda Parkes stands at the intersection of new media, textiles, and fashion. After completing her BA in art history and BS in mechanical engineering (product design) at Stanford, Parkes dedicated her career to discovering new ways that digital technology and ‘smart materials’ affect everyday lives. Her Twitter handle describes her as “one part algae, one part fashion, a dash of robots and a smattering of installation art.”
Mr. Baker serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ:OMEX), and also as CEO of Nexus Biometrics, Inc., a fingerprint biometrics company he founded in 2004. He is also President of Bramar Developers, Inc., a real estate development company he founded in 1998. In addition to his business roles, Mr. Baker has served in the public sector.
In 1988 Mr. Baker was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as one of the youngest White House Fellows ever. In 1989 he was appointed Corporate Secretary of the new Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) by George H.W. Bush, established to reorganize the thrift banking industry. Mr. Baker served alongside Alan Greenspan, Nicolas Brady, and Jack Kemp. In 1999, he was tapped by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to serve as Executive Director of the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, responsible for granting almost $1 billion to promote affordable housing. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Nova University.
Brian S. Cohen
A professional angel investor and mentor to entrepreneurs, Brian S. Cohen serves as Chairman of the New York Angels, the #1 most active angel group in the country. He also is the first investor in Pinterest. Brian is an accomplished author, and his book “What Every Angel Investor Wants You To Know…” was released in 2013.
Considered one of the fathers of science & technology strategic communications – founded Technology Solutions, Inc. in 1983. Client list read like a who’s who list of startup technology companies in computing, communication, software, education, and entertainment. Maintained a strategic communications partnership with Sony & IBM Corporation (10 years). Received the Gold CIPRA award in 1998 for the IBM Deep Blue/Gary Kasparov Chess Match. In 1996, TSI was recognized as the #1 fastest growing agency in the United States. Sold the company to The McCann Erickson World Group in 1997 and became the Vice Chairman.
Dubbed the ‘Steampunk Guru’ by the Wall Street Journal & the ‘Steampunk Evangelist’ by WIRED Magazine, Bruce Rosenbaum has quickly become an authority on Steampunk art and design through his company, ModVic. Bruce and his wife Melanie transformed their own home into the well-known ‘Steampunk House’.
His work is most popularly and immediately recognized in The Steampunk House, his and his wife Melanie’s retro-future restored home, which has been featured on HGTV, A&E, Discovery and MTV. The Steampunk House has been profiled in Victorian Homes Magazine, Boston Magazine, Green Builder Magazine, Retro Magazine, and Gear Technology Magazine.
Christian Boer has dyslexia and is a graphic designer. For his graduation project he developed a typeface for people with dyslexia called Dyslexie. The typeface went worldwide and used by thousands of people. Next to this he is also busy with dyslexia awareness and connecting people that work in the field of dyslexia and giving speeches for teachers about dyslexia in the class.
Christian Boer is a graphic designer and graduate of the Utrecht Art Academy. He first developed the Dyslexie typeface there as a final project.
Dyslexie font was a finalist for the Fast Company Innovate Through Design Award in 2012 and went on to many highlights in 2013, including a nomination for the Rabobank New Generation Pitch.
C.J. Yeh is a designer, artist, educator, and published author. Yeh’s interests include the practices, theories, and history of digital art. C.J. Yeh has published seven books to date, and several of these texts have been adopted by universities in Taiwan. Yeh has won several teaching awards including the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the FIT President’s Award for Faculty Excellence, and the Adobe Educator’s Choice Award. He is a tenured Professor and the Assistant Chair of the Communication Design Department at FIT.
Yeh’s prolific exhibition schedule includes showings at the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (Taichung), the Queens Museum of Art (New York), MAXXI Museum (Roma), and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Taipei). His work has been introduced and reviewed by publications such as The NY Times, World Journal, and NY Arts. His work appears in public art collections such as the MAXXI Museum Net Art Archive and The Joan Flasch Net Art Collection.
Debi Silber MS, RD, WHC, FDN The Mojo Coach®, CEO of Lifestyle Fitness, Inc. and founder of www.TheMojoCoach.com and www.DebiSilber.com is a recognized health, weight loss, fitness, wellness, lifestyle and personal development expert. She’s a speaker, consultant and author of 2 books recommended by Brian Tracy, Marshall Goldsmith, Jack Canfield and many more. Debi’s branded The Mojo Coach® because she’s led countless others to achieve their ultimate body, mind, image and lifestyle; inspiring them to “get their mojo back” and transform into their personal and professional best.
In addition to being a highly credentialed and awarded health expert, Debi has her own line of deliciously healthy Mojo Fuel Bars™ and shakes, has also contributed to FOX, CBS, The Dr. Oz show, The Huffington Post, Shape, Self, Health, Working Mother, Forbes, Psychology Today, WebMD, Yahoo Shine, Ladies Home Journal, MSN, Woman’s World and Glamour to name a few.
Model / Humanitarian
Diandra Forrest is an African American model/actress born and raised in New York. As the first model with albinism to be signed to a major modeling agency, Diandra has been featured in multiple TV specials and magazine covers. As a humanitarian, Diandra’s focus is equality and tolerance for all.
She was born in the Bronx, New York City, on October 22, 1989, to African American parents. She is not the only albino in the family — of her three siblings she also has a brother with the same condition.
The term “albino” comes from word “albus” — the Latin word for “white”. Approximately one person in 17,000 is born with the condition, a rare genetic disorder characterized by a loss of pigment in the skin, hair and sometimes the eyes. Albino people lack melanin, the substance responsible for natural hair and skin color. The condition affects people of all ethnicities globally.
IMPACT Repertory Theatre
IMPACT Repertory Theatre was founded in 1997 by Jamal Joseph, Joyce Joseph, Voza Rivers, Alice Arlen, Courtney A. Bennett, and Ramond S. Johnson with the primary goal of inspiring under-privileged youth towards higher education through the creative arts — theater, dance, music, poetry and leadership training. Impact serves youth ages 12 to 18 and empowers them to define, understand, and realize desirable transformations in themselves and their local communities.
Throughout Impact’s 15 years, the organization has assisted more than 1000 youth members from Harlem and throughout New York City by keeping them off the streets and engaged in workshops, leadership training, arts instruction and performances. Approximately 100 students are enrolled this year for over 300 performances at venues such as the Lincoln Center, the United Nations, Columbia University, the Apollo Theatre, and the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Jen Rozenbaum embraces her femininity while allowing women to embrace their own. By daring her clients to shed their clothes, they begin to shed their inhibitions. In just 7 years, Jen has found a burgeoning audience in the intimate photography market. She proves that you can own your world if you live fearlessly, think audaciously and act spontaneously. Jen has been featured in such places such as Good Morning America, AOL and Entrepreneur Magazine.
In 2008 Jen was a stay at home mom and bought a camera to take some snapshots of her young daughter at play. What she thought would be a hobby quickly turned into more. Jen was struggling with infertility and questioning herself as a woman and a mom. Through her camera she was able to heal herself and see beauty in the world again.
In the 7 years since Jen picked up her camera, she has helped hundreds of women also heal and see beauty in themselves simply by giving women a space to celebrate their unique femininity, shamelessly.
Through his 88 Concert Tour, which began after his Carnegie Hall Debut in 2008, and taking him through every continent on the planet, classical pianist Kimball Gallagher has touched the hearts of thousands of people with his extraordinary vision, music and playing. Coming full circle, the tour concluded this year at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, after over 300 concerts.
Laura Klahre gives a voice to the unsung heroes – pollinators! A full-time beekeeper with over 18 years of experience, 100 hives, and upwards of eight million bees, Laura raises mason bees, bumblebees, and honeybees. Her store Blossom Meadow is located in Cutchogue, NY. She also writes a column “Notes from the Meadow” for Edible Magazine.
Majora is a Bronx High School of Science graduate, Wesleyan University Distinguished Alumna, MacArthur ‘genius’ Fellow, Peabody Award winning broadcaster, and her TEDtalk launched TED.com in 2006. Her latest project, StartUp Box uses unusual methods to drive technology jobs and careers into unlikely places.
Majora Carter is an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. After establishing Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she built on this foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty.
Her long list of awards and honorary degrees include accolades from groups as diverse as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, John Podesta’s Center for American Progress, and Goldman Sachs. Majora is a Board Member of the US Green Building Council, and the Andrew Goodman Foundation.
Nathaniel Raymond is the Director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative of the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. He has over fifteen years of experience as a humanitarian aid worker and human rights investigator.
Raymond was formerly director of operations for the George Clooney-founded Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) at HHI. He also was director of the Campaign Against Torture at Physicians for Human Rights and led an investigation that helped expose the American Psychological Association’s complicity in the Bush-era torture program.
Raymond served in multiple roles with Oxfam America and Oxfam International, including in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. He has published multiple popular and peer-reviewed articles on human rights, humanitarian issues, and technology in publications including the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the Lancet, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and many others.
Peter Laughter is CEO of Wall Street Services and an active public speaker. He is driven by teaching, connecting with others, and helping to create a world where people are fulfilled and inspired by their daily work through Mission: Love Your Job.
His leadership at Wall Street Services has been pivotal in helping the firm innovate ways of talent and relationship management in the recruiting industry. Working closely with each of its top investment banking clients, Peter has developed process that allow the Wall Street Services team to identify and distinguish company cultures in order to successfully match teams and consultants for maximum performance. Peter has designed consultant management software so that firms can manage talent resources more effectively. In the last five years, Peter has also restructured the organization and business objectives to focus on highly trained project-based consultants.
Writer / Filmmaker
Richard Stratton is a former international cannabis smuggler, CEO of a multi-million dollar operation. Arrested in 1982, he was convicted under the "Kingpin Statute" and sentenced to 25 years in federal prison.
While incarcerated he wrote the underground cult classic novel, Smack Goddess. He also became a jailhouse lawyer, had his sentence vacated and was released after serving eight years. His work has been published in Story Magazine, Rolling Stone, High Times, Spin, Newsweek, Penthouse, Esquire and a number of literary quarterlies.
Stratton has also worked as a producer and creative consultant on a number of HBO productions including Prisoners of the War on Drugs, The Execution Machine: Texas Death Row, Thug Life in D.C. and the dramatic prison series, Oz.
He is qualified as an expert witness in state and federal courts in the areas of prison violence and prison culture, and has testified in capital prison murder cases in Texas, Oklahoma, Utah and California.
With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Rishon Blumberg is co-founder of 10x Management, which manages "rockstar" techies, and of Brick Wall Management, an entertainment management and consulting firm representing musicians, producers, songwriters, and filmmakers. A Wharton alumnus, he began in concert promotion first at Nederlander Concerts and then Delsener/Slater Enterprises (now Live Nation).
Galinsky is an NYC poet, town crier, agitator and master improvisor. Current highlight? He is teaching his new initiative “the Power of Performance and Personality: tPOPP” to incarcerated youth at Rikers Island & in prisons throughout NY State, in conjunction with Literacy for Incarcerated Teens.
An expert on the dynamics of severe corruption, Sarah Chayes lived for most of a decade in Kandahar, Afghanistan, before serving as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She now researches the role of corruption in driving security crises.
Chayes is a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and the South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment. She is an expert in South Asia policy, kleptocracy and anticorruption, and civil-military relations.
She is working on correlations between acute public corruption and the rise of militant extremism.
After running a nongovernmental organization founded by President Karzai’s brother Qayum, Chayes launched a manufacturing cooperative that produces skin-care products for export from licit local agriculture. The goals were to help revive the region’s historic role in exporting fruit and its derivatives, promote sustainable development, and expand alternatives to the opium economy.