Digital Technology and Media Entrepreneur / Executive
Beth Polish is a widely experienced entrepreneur and executive with unique expertise in digital technology and media. She was founding COO/CFO of iVillage and co-founded Dreamlife with Tony Robbins, backed by Allen & Co., building it into a public company valued at close to $1 billion. She has been CFO of Goldman Sachs Ventures and Managing Director at KPMG, and she created and led Hearst Corporate Innovation, fostering a culture of innovation across a $10+ billion company. As a certified executive leadership coach Beth works with senior C-suite executives at critical junctures in the company or their careers. She has 3 Grammy nominations as a producer and is a speaker nationally and internationally. Her board memberships include UGA’s Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has an AB in anthropology from Franklin & Marshall College and an MBA from Harvard.
Colby B. Jubenville PhD
Speaker, Author, Educator, Coach, Podcast Host
At his core, Colby B. Jubenville, PhD is a coach who uses the obstacles and challenges people face in search of achievement as “teachable moments” that help make sense of their life, work and relationships. Dr. Jubenville holds an academic appointment as a Professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and is the Director of the Center for Student Coaching and Success. He was selected by The Nashville Business Journal as a member of its 40 Under 40 class and selected by YP Nashville as its Impact Award Winner, which recognizes top leaders who have made a significant impact on the city’s YP demographic. He is the recipient of the St. Paul’s Episcopal School (Mobile, AL), Distinguished Alumni award. Jubenville is a member of the Forbes Councils and publishes content on Forbes.com; and is the host of The Goat Consulting Podcast, which drops weekly on Apple Podcast and YouTube.
Dr. Contrecia T. Tharpe
Re-Entry Advocate, Business Owner, and Author
Dr. Contrecia T. Tharpe is an accomplished marketing, branding, and communications practitioner with FayeVaughn Creative. With over 14 years of experience, she has collaborated with national and international brands, providing expertise in growth strategy, customer acquisition, and related areas.
Beyond her professional work, Contrecia is an active member of the Nashville community and serves on the boards of Nashville CABLE and Impact Youth Outreach. She is also a mentor and sought-after speaker who inspires and guides individuals and organizations to achieve their goals. She is also the Chief Business Officer of Imperial Cleaning Systems and co-founder of The DREAM Initiative.
Contrecia's academic achievements include a doctorate from Trevecca She has authored two books, with a textbook, Strategic Integrated Marketing Communications: Practical Theory and Application, set for release in 2024.
Contrecia lives in Nashville with her son, Braylon.
Dr. Heidi Williams
Dr. Heidi M. Williams holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition with a concentration in Writing Program Administration and has over 15 years of experience teaching in Higher Education. Heidi has dedicated her career to cultivating classroom spaces that appreciate and celebrate cultural, personal, and linguistic differences.
Heidi is a visionary, creative, and reflective and is committed to education in multiple capacities. She's presented at national and international conferences on various topics regarding Higher Education, published in academia, and has written and received several grants. Heidi has been named Top 22 under 40 Racer Young Alumni by the Murray State University Alumni Association Young Alumni Council. She has taught at three college institutions and in Zhejiang, China. Outside of the institution, Heidi homeschools her two daughters and is heavily involved in the Tennessee homeschool community. Heidi is a writer focused on both Higher Education and homeschooling.
Jared Throneberry is a husband, father, foster parent, volunteer, and speaker. He has served as the President of Historic Old Hickory Village and the Old Hickory Chamber of Commerce. He was a 2014 semi-finalist in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking and the 2017 Tennessee Big Brother of the Year. He gives speeches, keynotes, and workshops on values, communication, and family. During the day Jared is a QA/Business Analyst and an IT and social media volunteer for several organizations. He and his superhero wife live in Mt Juliet with their two kids and foster kids. In his free time, he enjoys fixing things and blogging on various topics. When he speaks, it is to inspire people to do good in the world.
1st Grade Teacher
Kayla Slavens is a dedicated hard working first grade teacher hailing from her beloved hometown of Old Hickory, TN. With over a decade of experience in education and teaching at Metro Nashville Public Schools, her passion for helping children reach their full potential has only grown stronger. Recently named Teacher of the Year at her school, Kayla is recognized for her unwavering commitment to providing a voice for every child in her classroom. Her philosophy centers on building children's confidence and helping them recognize their unique value. She believes in all children and lets them know that daily. Kayla's inspiring journey is a testament to the transformative power of education and she couldn't be more excited to share her experiences on the TEDxOldHickory stage.
The connection between grief and gratitude, vulnerability and belonging, has played an important role in Kerriann Otaño's career shift from professional opera singer to Vice President of Engagement. Kerriann began her international career at 17 with a tour of the musical Godspell in Ireland. She lived in Milan, Italy at 18, and received her operatic education at Indiana University and Mannes the New School for Music before embarking on a career that would see the young soprano take the stage at Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Memphis, and even the Metropolitan Opera. When a mental health crisis caused her to reevaluate her priorities, Kerriann's passions turned to artist advocacy and empowerment. Kerriann prides herself on her ability to connect with diverse audiences, advocate for artists, campaign for state funding, and create a sense of belonging in the arts community that transcends age, race, education, or socioeconomic status.
Director, Economic Growth & Small Business Development
LaTanya Channel was born and raised in Washington, DC but her extended family were farmers for 6 generations in Southern Maryland, 45 minutes from the US Capitol building. She is a natural teacher and leader, passionate about public service having served 30+ years in federal government. Since October 2022, LaTanya has been Director of Economic Development for Nashville and, 20 years before, was in senior management at the US Small Business Administration (SBA) - in both DC and as Director of the SBA Tennessee Office. A graduate of Claremont McKenna College and Rutgers-Newark Law School, she served as Managing Editor of the Law Review. LaTanya is the proud daughter of Theresa, Floyd and Reggie and is a graduate of Nashville Emerging Leaders and Leadership Tennessee. She serves on the board of her Nashville church, launched “The H.O.W. Project” in 2020, and living in Old Hickory with her husband, Leon, and dog, Teddy, is the highlight of 9 years in Nashville, now proudly called “home”.
News Anchor, Podcaster & Coach
Lauren Lowrey is an Emmy-Award winning TV News Anchor at WSMV 4 Nashville (NBC) and and the Founder/Host/Executive Producer of the AMPstigator video podcast - ranked in the Top 10% of the Most Shared Podcasts Globally on Spotify. Lauren brings nearly two decades of experience going beyond the script to connect deeply with people on their struggles, life lessons and their journey toward finding purpose, meaning and fulfillment. Lauren also teaches Intuitive Interviewing to people looking to amplify their voice.
Surviving multiple health crises ignited a passion for somatic and intuitive understanding which influences her approach to life. She’s a 2023 Woman of Impact by the American Heart Association and was recently named to the Nashville Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 for 2023.
Lauren is a wife to her best friend and a mom to three young children.
CEO, Mentor, Author, Coach, Speaker
Luba Sakharuk holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from Worcester Polytech Institute of Technology and started her career as a software engineer. The unique insights and abilities she gained in her career led her to agile coaching, facilitation, leadership, and digital transformations. While working full-time as a Sr. Lead Consultant at Apex Systems, she founded RALM3 LLC, focusing on mentorship of women in tech, organizing retreats, writing books, and finding various ways to uplift others with her passion for creativity and desire to help others find joy in their careers and everyday life. Her main focus is to help people show up more credible and be more marketable. Luba helps people match their genius and passion with current opportunities and continuously upskill themselves.
Luba lives in Framingham, Massachusetts. When not working, she can often be found on the ski slopes at Loon Mountain in New Hampshire or taking long walks along Craigville Beach on Cape Cod.
Founder, Speaker, Investor, Influence Broker™, Fortune 500 Consultant
Nick Cavuoto is a 4x CEO/Founder, Speaker, Investor, Influence Broker™, and Fortune 500 Consultant dedicated to seeing people succeed with an intuitive approach to business growth and personal transformation. He has earned a remarkable track record being the voice behind some of America's top brands, such as Verizon, Microsoft and Paychex. He now aims to bring that success to entrepreneurs and executives through Influence Brokers™; a agency devoted to launching successful entrepreneurs into the digital age by providing customized branding and booking solutions so they can make their mark on society.
Entrepreneur and Community Builder
Patricia Glaser Shea integrates social impact & business savvy to launch ideas, build community, & lead organizations into the future. For 3 years, she served as Co-Founder/CEO of Givful, a SaaS start-up that automated workplace giving & volunteering. Pat served as President/CEO of YWCA Nashville for 11 years, stabilizing the century-old organization while growing its reach & impact. In 2010, Pat founded Nashville Women Presidents' Organization. In healthcare for 15 years, she co-founded Echelon Health & consulting practices in HCA/QHR. Pat is a founding director for Studio Bank & Women Business Collaborative. A Leadership Nashville & Leadership Tennessee graduate, Pat launched YWCA's Nashville Stand Against Racism, Co-Founded Nashville's Gender Equity Council & is a TN International Women's Forum member. Recognized by NBJ as one of Nashville's Power 100, Shea has received Most Admired CEO, Women of Influence (Trailblazer), Nashville Human Relations Award & the ATHENA Leadership Award.
DEI Consultant, Speaker, and Author
Shan Foster is the Co-Founder and CEO of Fostering Healthy Solutions, LLC. He is passionate about diversity and is a visionary amongst leaders. Foster is the author of “What Hurt Didn’t Hinder.” He also serves as Executive Director of AMEND Together at YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee. Under his leadership, AMEND Together has grown to a nationally recognized program. Foster explores the intersections of race, gender, and identity. Foster graduated from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Science in Human and Organizational Development in 2008. He finished his collegiate basketball career as the all-time leading scorer in school history and was drafted into the NBA. Foster serves on the board for several organizations and was selected to Nashville’s 40 Under 40, Nashville Emerging Leader Award Winner, and one of Nashville’s Most Powerful Influencers. Foster is a graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee, Leadership Nashville, and Leadership Music.
PGA Professional, Golf Analyst, and Author
Virgil Herring is a PGA Professional whose career as a coach has blessed him to be named TNPGA Teacher of the Year in 2003 and 2015, coach 2 PGA Tour winners, 6 National Champions, 3 players reaching #1 in the NCAA, coached Ensworth to its first ever TSSAA championship in 2019, and helped 138 junior golfers earn over $11,000,000 in scholarships. Virgil is a 3-time best selling author (The Golf Journal, Elevated, and Excavated) host of two podcast (Elevated and On The Virg) and is a former Golf Channel Academy coach and current Golf Analyst for Newschannel 5 WSMV-TV in Nashville. Virgil is driven to help people achieve their goals, whether it be on the course or off.
Whether you’re building flying cars or selling shoes…Wendell Moon is the guy to help you build a dynamic brand experience and captivate the imagination of your audience.
As a visionary, Wendell helps leaders create story-driven and strategic brand experiences that are cutting edge.
For over 15 years, Wendell has coached & consulted startups, non-profits, and enterprises — reaching over 20 countries. His portfolio includes Red Hat, Lenovo, Soundstripe, Discovery, Nascar, Coca-Cola, O’Charley’s and many more.
As Founder of Rattle The Lamp, LLC., Wendell Moon is passionately helping businesses accelerate their value and impact the marketplace through brand innovation.
He’s planted in Nashville, TN where he and his remarkable wife juggle life with 3 rambunctious boys.
Strategic Engagement & Ecosystem Development Expert
Yesi has 20+ years of experience in leadership roles across varying global biotech and healthcare industries, consulting, and higher education. She has focused on the following priorities 1) Corporate: marketing, business development, client engagement, innovation; 2) Nonprofit: community engagement, fundraising, innovation, Diversity; and 3) Education: co-curricular student engagement, marketing, fundraising, design-thinking, innovation, and Diversity Equity & Inclusion. Yesi holds a B.G.S. from the University of Miami, and a certificate in Multicultural Mentoring from the University of Florida. Her diverse industry background, global business acumen and multilingual skills make her an invaluable resource in innovating, collaborating, building, and leading.