Poet, photographer, activist, role model
Alexandra is a 14-year old poet who has been writing since she was 11 years old. She’s written poems about topics such as equality, feminism, and freedom. At the age of 7, Alexandra joined the New Jersey Orators, a public speaking organization. Over the years she has won awards for Excellence and Honors, the highest awards at the NJ Orators competition.
Singer, Songwriter, Band Leader, Musician
Avery Rose Puryear is singer-songwriter and leader of the band, Avery Rose and The Thorns. A student at Rumson Fair Haven Regional High School, Avery plays the piano, drums, saxophone, and bass guitar. She was accepted into the New York Grammy camp for songwriting and performs at the Stone Pony and The House of Independents.
Rap artist, award-winning playwright
Baba Brinkman is a Canadian rap artist, playwright, and former tree planter based in New York City. He is best known for his "Rap Guide" series of science-based hip-hop albums and theater shows, including Rap Guides to Evolution, Climate Change, and Religion.
Educator, Comedian, Martial Artist
Carl Perino is a middle school Principal, former martial arts and wilderness survival instructor who has developed team-building, public speaking, and anti-bullying programs. When not breaking boards or building Lean-to's, he has worked as the Artistic Director for Improv Jam Comedy Labs, New Jersey's Premiere Improvisational Comedy Group. He has performed 1,000's of shows and helped develop their team-building, public speaking, and anti-bullying programs. He holds a Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Michigan State University and a Master's in Biology from the University of Montana. He feels that his most important education came from summers driving cross country and backpacking across Europe, Central America and Southeast Asia. He will speak about societal obstacles to children discovering their identity.
Leader, Mentor, Educator
Christine Zilinski is an award-winning salon owner, stylist, industry speaker, trainer and leadership expert who believes that “When you own your hair, you own who you are.” She has built a strong foundation within the professional beauty industry by adeptly cultivating her skills as both a creative and technical stylist and an industry leader.
Investor, entrepreneur, author, keynote speaker, and thought leader of the global technology landscape
David Orban explores the ways in which technology is shaping our everyday lives, and how society adapts to these advancements. David cuts across the limits of deep specialization to contribute to the new renaissance. He explains, “My vision is at the crossroads of technology and society as defined by their co-evolution.” David's personal motto is, “What is the question I should be asking?” This concept is his vehicle to accelerating cycles of invention and innovation in order to build the new world ahead. He has been featured in TEDxAcademy.
Eric Burdge is the owner of DRH Furniture, a woodworking business that specializes in 17th- and 18th-century-style handmade furniture. Burdge’s talk will focus on how there is hope for students who fall through the cracks of the school system and don’t seek a traditional four-year college degree.
Professor, Author, TV Host
Dr. Heather Berlin is a cognitive neuroscientist, professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and visiting scholar at the NY Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. She explores the neural basis of impulsive and compulsive psychiatric disorders with the aim of developing novel treatments. Interested include the brain basis of consciousness, dynamic unconscious processes, and creativity. Berlin is a committee member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Science and Entertainment Exchange, and host of the PBS series Science Goes to the Movies, and the Discovery Channel series Superhuman Showdown. She co-wrote and stars in off-Broadway and Edinburgh Fringe Festival show, Off the Top, about the neuroscience of improvisation. Berlin has made numerous media appearances including on the BBC, History Channel, Netflix, and StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford and Master of Public Health from Harvard University.
Prisoner Reentry in Society
Jim McGreevey is a former New Jersey governor who is now the chairman of the NJ Reentry Corp (njreentry.org), a Jersey City-based nonprofit that helps former inmates with job training, addiction treatment, and legal aid. McGreevey will share how his experiences working with the formerly incarcerated have helped to shape his own sense of self.
Jasmin Singer is the author of "Always Too Much and Never Enough," the co-host of the Our Hen House podcast, and the senior editor for VegNews Magazine. In 2016, "The Advocate" named Jasmin an exemplary person on its annual “40 Under 40” list for her work with Our Hen House. That same year, she completed a 45-city book tour for her memoir, which documents her transformation from a bullied kid to an activist, losing 100 pounds, and resolving everything from her food addiction to her sexuality. The Our Hen House podcast, now in its eighth year, has been twice-honored by the Webby Awards, and VegNews—which reaches more than 2 million readers monthly—has won nearly every major magazine industry award. Jasmin speaks extensively throughout the country and has appeared on "The Dr. Oz Show," and in the documentaries "Vegucated" and "The Ghosts in Our Machine."
Expert on gender issues, certified psychotherapist
Jean Malpas is a certified psychotherapist and the director of The Gender Family Project of the Ackerman Institute for the Family (ackerman.org/gfp), which provides comprehensive multidisciplinary services for gender-expansive children, transgender adolescents, their families, and communities. He is a globally recognized expert on gender issues and is a regular on-air speaker for MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets. He recently appeared in National Geographic Magazine’s Gender Revolution issue (Feb 2017) and on the companion NatGeo Channel documentary hosted by Katie Couric.
Writer, Speaker, Activist, Demander and Fighter of Equality for All
Jenan is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of MissMuslim (missmuslim.nyc), a women’s empowerment website covering a wide range of topics from faith to food and fitness, to female/sexual health and dating, to politics and pop culture. MissMuslim
starts the necessary conversations about topics deemed as too controversial or taboo for women in various communities to speak of. Jenan hopes to inspire more women to speak out and demand their voices be heard as well as highlight the global accomplishments of Muslim women in a time where being both Muslim and a woman are seen as unfavorable.
Jess Fong is an Asian American girl from central Jersey. Since high school, she has been active in the local Asian community, teaching classes and giving talks on a variety of topics, including education, bridging gaps, and parent-child
relationships. She draws from her experiences as a child of immigrants, a student of NJ public schools, and a recent college graduate working in consulting. Through education and drawing from her personal experiences, she is able to bridge cultural gaps and open the minds of her audiences.
Joe Primo is the CEO of Good Grief in Morristown and Princeton, NJ (good-grief.org). The organization assists hundreds of children and families each month following the death of a mother, father or sibling. He currently serves on the advisory board of Option B at the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldman Family Foundation. Primo formerly worked as a hospice Chaplain at both The Connecticut Hospice and The Hospice of Southeastern Connecticut. He received his Masters of Divinity from Yale University, where he concentrated on end-of-life care. Joe speaks about grief as a process to embrace and how it creates a climate of hope and resilience.
Government Affairs and International Relations
John Sitilides is a government affairs specialist who will share his insights on U.S. and global geopolitical decision-making that impacts markets in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, helping high-stakes investors, business executives and opinion leaders better understand and mitigate disruptive risk. Sitilides chairs the State Department’s Advanced Area Studies Program for Southeastern Europe at the Foreign Service Institute, Washington’s primary training institution for American senior diplomats and other professionals of the U.S. foreign affairs community. He has testified before Congress and conducted hundreds of interviews on national security, global affairs and American politics by broadcast, print and digital media – including CNN, Fox News, CNN International and One American News networks.
Augmented Reality Expert and Innovator
John Werner is an innovator, mobilizer, and human super connector. He constantly builds community and is a ‘moonshot’ thinker innovating as he goes while incorporating the latest technologies. He believes passionately in 21st century collaborative creativity in innovating with direct human or environmental impact. John is the vice president of Strategic Partnerships at Metavision where he explores augmented reality. John is the recipient of the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard Graduate Study of Design. Additionally, he is the founder of TEDxBeaconStreet and on the board of advisors for TEDx along with a number of other TED affiliations. His work has been featured in dozens of TED talks.
A hybrid entrepreneur, investor and advisor focused on deploying sustainable technologies to change the world
Justin Kamine has been at the forefront spearheading sustainable, environmentally progressive technologies and food movements for the past 6 years. His angel investments and entrepreneurial talents have led him to be deeply involved
with growing technologies that are actively transforming the agriculture world; creating a more sustainable food supply chain and eliminating food and plastic waste. He is a cofounder and partner of KDC Ag, helped develop KDC Solar which has over 75
megawatts of solar operational and is on the board of several sustainable businesses.
Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University.
Kenneth Womack is a world-renowned authority on the Beatles and their enduring cultural influence. His next book, Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years: 1926-1966), is forthcoming in 2017. His previous Beatles-related books include Long and Winding Roads: The Evolving Artistry of the Beatles and The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four. He serves as Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University.
Kory Stamper is a lexicographer at Merriam-Webster, America's oldest dictionary company, and an author. In addition to writing definitions, she appears in Merriam-Webster's online video series at merriam-webster.com, and writes and speaks on the role of language and dictionaries in society. Her blog about dictionaries, Harmless Drudgery, has been mentioned in The Paris Review and The New York Times. Her debut book, Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, is being released by Pantheon/Knopf in the spring of 2017.
Founder/Director of Pennsylvania Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training
Mariah is a 36-year ALS survivor, advocate, motivational speaker, award-winning psychotherapist and the founder/director of the Pennsylvania Gestalt Center for Psychotherapy and Training, in Malvern, PA. She focuses on inspiring others to create positive relationships for personal and professional excellence. Mariah is also the author of Tales of a Wounded Healer, an intimate description of her life and work.
Creator and Musician
Mileece is the founder of Children of Wild Designs a program that integrates renewable energy, technology, and art to create novel perspectives. She focuses on how to connect people with plants, peace, and unity through interactive audio and imagery. Her work has been featured in The New York Times.
CEO, Business Advisor, Author.
An alumna of Monmouth University, Patty Azzarello graduated as an electronic engineer, then moved into a business career becoming the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33. She ran a $1B software business at the age of 35 and became a CEO for the first time at the age of 38 (without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk). Patty is known for her straightforward and practical manner, and through her work strives to bring authenticity and humanity back into the business world.
She is the founder of Azzarello Group a company that helps businesses (and people) get better at what they do and is the author of two books: RISE which helps people advance their careers in an authentic and non-political way, and MOVE which helps organizations decisively implement their strategies. She is also an artist, scuba diver, cyclist, and was briefly a singer in a rock band.
Professional Baseball Coach, Author, and Radio Host
Rick Peterson, co-author of, "Crunch Time: How to Be Your Best When It Matters Most" is known throughout the business world and professional baseball as a leading practitioner for peak performance coaching. His track record on the field has been chronicled in Michael Lewis’ bestseller "Moneyball" and John Feinstein’s "Living in the Black." He frequently appears on national radio and television shows—ESPN, Bloomberg TV, MLB (Major League Baseball) Network, Fox Business, and Wharton Moneyball on Sirius XM—to share his expertise. Talk Title: Crunch Time
Architecture and Design
Rob Van Varick is a partner at Michael Graves Architecture & Design where he passionately believes design has the power to positively impact people’s lives. His mission is to apply the right blend of research, psychology, creativity and strategy so that root causes are identified, allowing the best solution to be designed.
Non-Fiction Author, Associate Professor of Economics
Dr. Hanson, is a non-fiction author, Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University, and research associate at Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute. Dr. Hanson will speak on hidden motives in everyday life and how an understanding of these motives can change how we view familiar social institutions.
Technology Startups and Music
Profiled by Forbes, The Huffington Post, International Business Times and more, Roy LaManna has become synonymous with the launch of visionary and inventive companies, propelling him as the go-to guy in the music video space. He will speak about how being a bad student can make you a great entrepreneur. Roy is the CEO and co-founder of Vydia a centralized solution for video creators to manage and power their video content strategy.
Sean O’Sullivan is managing partner of SOSV, the world-leading “Accelerator VC.” With $300 million assets under management, SOSV backs more than 150 startups annually through its accelerators. Recognized in 2017 as the world’s #1 most active global early stage investor and the #2 most active global seed investor*, SOSV’s accelerator model takes a small initial stake in startups and provides a framework and community where startups get further and faster than they could on their own.