Emily Petway is a longtime enthusiast of nonprofit organizations, having always been fascinated by stories of giving and the power of volunteerism to change communities. A graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, she spent 15 years teaching music and currently serves as the education programs manager for the Illinois Music Education Association. As a nonprofit manager, Emily struggled to find items essential to operations, prompting her to found the nonprofit giveNkind in 2012. GiveNkind connects nonprofits in need with donors who have something to give—whether it’s a single, gently used item or pallets of brand new goods. Since October 2018, giveNkind has placed nearly $1 million in donated goods.
Leadership consultant + author
Mark Steel is an international speaker, consultant, and founder and host of the “Invincible Success” podcast. In 15 years with Microsoft, he stood out as a high-impact performer with more than $1 billion in sales. He also worked with industry giants including McDonald’s, Abbott, United Airlines, and State Farm, and led regional training programs for hundreds of highly skilled sales experts. Through his engaging programs and workshops, Mark inspires professionals to sell with confidence, lead with purpose, and speak with impact. He is the author of the forthcoming book Invincible Success: Amplify Your Sales, Leadership, Speaking, and Life! Mark is a married father of two and resides in Woodridge, Illinois. He enjoys rock climbing, running, hiking, and reading.
Life coach + author
Mike Lauesen, a self-described “recovered CPA,” co-founded chemical coating company Nicoat at the age of twenty-eight. After building the enterprise into a multi-million dollar international company, he exited as CEO to begin a new career as a professional speaker and life coach. In April 2017 Mike released Getting Off the Treadmill: Escaping the Race to Nowhere. He coaches and mentors business leaders and any other eager and ready student. He is passionate, entertaining, and motivates audience members to take immediate action steps in their work and personal lives. He enjoys his family, cycling, and travel, and is a fanatical Chicago Cubs fan.
Modest fashion stylist
Nilly Naseer-Farooqui is a computer scientist, author, philanthropist, Peak Performance speaker, modest fashion stylist, and a social media influencer. She is currently a systems analyst at Northwestern University and a lifestyle blogger whose profile, Words Behind a Smile, caters to an audience of more than 10,000 people across the globe. Mentored by the renowned author Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), she is certified in teaching his principles for success. She is also an ambassador and prevention education speaker for Shared Hope International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring human trafficking victims.