Professor, NYU's Steinhardt School
Amy Whitaker is a creativity champion, business explainer, and human Venn diagram, who is always looking for the connections between people, ideas, and ways of being in the world. She works as a professor in the Department of Art and Arts Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Holding both an MBA and an MFA, Amy teaches business to artists and vice versa. She is passionate about finding space and language to connect our creative and practical selves. Her 2016 book Art Thinking, which was called “fascinating” by Walter Isaacson and “eloquent” and “inspiring” by Adam Grant, teaches us how to invent our own point B, and to move forward without a template in any area of life.
President & CEO, The Schutz Company
Ethan Schutz is President & CEO of The Schutz Company, publishers, intellectual property managers, and consulting experts specializing in solutions that produce cultural transformation in progressive organizations. In this capacity Ethan directs and promotes the development and expansion of these bodies of work in the United States. Globally he oversees a network of partner organizations and practitioners who utilize and implement these solutions, across 91 countries and territories, and in 30 languages.
Directly and simply stated, Ethan Schutz teaches that cultural transformation doesn’t just happen. It requires experience, a dedication to self-awareness, and individual effort to behave differently. Teams that work well together emerge as the result of a mindful, replicable process that integrates a deep understanding of human motivation and today’s demanding professional world.
President & CEO Smallholder Farmers Alliance
Hugh Locke, President & Co-Founder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance in Haiti and President & Founder of Impact Farming, is a smallholder social entrepreneur, author, commentator and speaker. His book “The Haiti Experiment: Amid the Wreckage of a Country Once Rich Beyond Measure, a Chance to Rebuild” is used by many as a primer on development in that country. Drawing on a long career in humanitarian service and international development, Hugh is using an innovative social business approach to transform smallholder farmers into a self-financed global force to combat climate change, improve food security and empower women. His work is the subject of a documentary “Kombit: The Cooperative” and has been featured on CNN International.
Project Director, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
amey Barbas, PE is the Project Director, charged with replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in suburban New York with the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – one of the largest bridge projects in the US, on behalf of the New York State Thruway Authority.
A transformative senior executive with a career in bridge design and construction, she has held leadership positions in several international consulting firms. Her industry experience includes leadership of the strategic, operational and technical aspects for the delivery of major structures projects. A registered professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in bridge management, design, construction and inspection, she has special emphasis on complex and long span bridges.
Vice President for community mobilization for Housing Works, Inc
Jaron Benjamin is the vice president for community mobilization for Housing Works, Inc and involved in their nation-wide effort to improve health care. He also coordinates the "Act Now, End AIDS" coalition, a nationwide partnership that is dedicated to organizing and assisting states, cities, and counties in committing to ending AIDS as an epidemic.
Before joining Housing Works, Jaron was the executive director at the Met Council on Housing, the oldest tenant organization in the US. The organization’s report, “Tax Breaks for Billionaires,” captured international headlines for more than a year and resulted into an investigation of New York State elected officials. Before his time at Met Council, Jaron was the coordinator for VOCAL-NY’s AIDS Housing Network and organizer the “30% Rent Cap” campaign, which resulted in a policy change that helped prevent homelessness among 10,000 low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.
Jennifer Walford is an elementary school teacher who loves science and history. Currently Jennifer publishes Found in Yonkers a site on Westchester County events and activities. In addition to traveling and converting her front and backyards into pollinator habitats she has been obsessed about researching her ancestry. Jennifer recently published an e-book on how to research American ancestors, “Researching Your American Ancestors: A Quick Guide,” available on Amazon Kindle.
Michael Alcée, Ph.D.is a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in college counseling, helping beginning clinicians develop their ‘therapeutic voice,’ and educating the public about transformative power of psychotherapy. Founder of one of the first college groups dedicated to introverts, he is a dynamic speaker and clinician who uses his background in music, literature, and the arts to help individuals and groups make creative connections for personal growth and development. He also has a passion for helping organizations and schools bring out the best in their students and employees through the innovative application of psychological knowledge. A graduate of Williams college, Michael earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. He has trained and worked at a variety of college counseling centers, including: Fordham, Vassar, Manhattanville, and Ramapo.
Pablo Mayor, a Cali-born pianist, composer, producer and arranger has dedicated the last eighteen years to promoting Colombian and Latin music in New York City. His concept "Folklore Urbano,” combines formal studies in jazz arranging with a passion for music from his native Colombia. Mayor produced Folklore Urbano NYC, which encompasses various formats from trio to its current 14-piece orchestra, but also an educational project “Cumbia for Kids and Cumbia for All,” The Encuentro NYC Colombian Music festival, and a music and dance collaboration with Colombian dancer Daniel Fetecua “Amalgama.” In 2016 he established a multi-disciplinary arts alliance called ArtsLatinoNY with his close collaborators, actor and theatre director German Jaramillo, and dancer/choreographer Daniel Fetecua.