Speakers

Meet the 2024 Innovate Speakers

Troy Sandidge, MC

Troy Sandidge, MC

Troy Sandidge is an award-winning growth marketing strategist known as the Strategy Hacker® who builds sustainable, scalable, and profitable strategies, systems, and solutions generating $175 million in client revenue and launching over 35 brands worldwide.

With over 15 years of experience developing and executing Strategic Growth Advisory, MarketingOps, GrowthOps, RevOps, GTM, UGC, Human-Centric Experiential Marketing, Media & Edutainment, and DEIB-integrated MarTech, he helps brands drive revenue, establish brand resonance, cultivate community development, and create social impact. 

A 5x agency builder, 4x CMO, 3x startup founder, 2x COO, angel investor, board advisor, and keynote speaker, Troy is the Managing Partner + Co-Founder & CMO at S3M, a diversity-led strategic growth consulting & media collective. He is the author of Strategize Up and the host of the iDigress Podcast. The  Webby-nominated Top 0.5% global podcast has achieved a multitude of awards and is officially a Top 25 Marketing Podcast all-time.

An international speaker at over 600 events on five continents, Troy has shared stages featuring Oprah Winfrey, President Barack Obama, Viola Davis, Daymond John, Andrew Huberman, Russel Brunson, Steven Bartlett, and Gary Vaynerchuk, to name a few.

Christina Kay

Christina Kay

Christina Kay is a visionary leader with an international track record of driving innovation and growth in the tech industry. With over 15 years of experience in the dynamic world of SaaS, Christina has consistently demonstrated her expertise in crafting data-driven narratives and leveraging technology to create value for forward-thinking companies.

Before founding Season Three Media (S3M), Christina served as the VP of Marketing and RevOps at a leading B2B eCommerce tech company. During her tenure, she transformed the company's operations, streamlining processes, and consolidating their tech stack. Her innovative approach saved 50 hours per week per sales rep through automation and increased contract value by 30% while reducing customer churn by 76%. Christina's strategies, including progressive profiling, sales enablement, customer marketing, SEO enhancements, internal triggers, and outbound marketing, drove a 25% increase in traffic and a 5% boost in conversion rates.

Christina's dedication to her field has earned her numerous accolades, including the Demand Gen Report's B2B Technologist of the Year, Zapier's First Marketing Ops Award, and recognition as one of Cleveland's Top 25 under 35. Her passion for combining communication and technology to build collaborative teams has made her a sought-after speaker at industry events, including Demand Gen Report's B2BSMX, Content Marketing World, and HubSpot's INBOUND.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Christina is committed to giving back to her community through volunteering efforts with organizations like Junior Achievement, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Girl Scouts of America.

As the CEO & Co-founder of Season Three Media (S3M), Christina continues to lead with innovation and a strong commitment to using marketing technology to drive business growth. Her extensive experience, leadership skills, and passion for creating value make her the ideal emcee and host for this conference.

Join us as Christina Kay shares her insights, expertise, and vision for the future of technology and marketing.

Brian Wallace, Event Organizer

Brian Wallace, Event Organizer

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry-leading content marketing agency that makes the world’s ideas simple, visual, and influential. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present, joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019-present and became an SMB Advisor for Lexmark in 2023.

Margaret Bedilion, Lead Event Planner

Margaret Bedilion, Lead Event Planner

Margaret Bedilion is one of the founding members of Innovate. She has been in the hospitality world for nearly 20 years where she has focused most of her time on event planning and sales. She was on the Grand Opening team at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH and was on a team that planned events attended by Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Bush and Colin Powell. She has planned hundreds of weddings and social events and led a sales team at the Newport Aquarium, which is owned by Herschend Family Entertainment. She also worked at a Convention and Visitors Bureau where her focus was spent on promoting group tours and events. Margaret has worked on several events where 3,000+ were in attendance and was the lead event director for an event that brought in over 10,000 people from 33 different countries in 2018. Margaret started her own company, Mac & Bella Consulting, so that she could have work-life balance and focus on the events that are most important to her. She lives in Cincinnati with her two daughters, husband and loyal yellow lab.

Herb “Flight Time” Lang

Herb “Flight Time” Lang

An active speaker, actor, entrepreneur, motivator, and author, Herb “Flight Time” Lang is an 18-year former player and coach with the World-Famous Harlem Globetrotters. He is originally from Brinkley, Arkansas, where he was a former All-State standout student-athlete graduating at the top of his class while serving as senior class president. Herb later obtained his degree in Education from Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. During his tenure there, he led the Trans-America Athletic Conference in scoring and won the National Association of Basketball Coaches Slam Dunk Contest on ESPN.

 

Throughout his travels, to nearly 90 countries while entertaining as “Flight Time,” some of Herb’s most memorable moments include meeting Pope Francis, President Obama, and appearing on numerous national television commercials and reality TV shows—most notably CBS’s “The Amazing Race.” He currently resides in Ruskin Florida with his wife Elena. Herb is the proud father of three Antonio, Nicholas, and Reya Lang, and continues to make a difference through kindness and his life experiences, which he believes are the keys to maximizing what we get out of life. He is a true believer in that we are all rich with love and kindness. #kindnessisfree

Danielle Wozniak

Dr. Danielle Wozniak is a transformative administrator, innovative strategist, and academic
leader who draws on an entrepreneurial spirit to drive growth and organizational change. As a
disruptor in higher education, she brings to Yeshiva University an enterprising voice with a
passion for online and hybrid learning and the positive development of tomorrow's workforce
leaders. She emerges as a leading proponent of AI in both education and the workforce, working
tirelessly to revolutionize the traditional higher education model.


Dr. Wozniak was appointed Vice President for Global Strategy and Business Development in
August 2022. Prior to this appointment, she served as Dean of the Wurzweiler School of Social
Work at YU, where she transformed the school into a thriving academic unit with broad reach
into multiple national and international communities.


During the early winter of 2020, while still dean, Dr. Wozniak began to talk with YU leadership
about competency-based, employment-focused, online learning through stackable certificates.
Those seeds sprouted, and she was asked to start YU Global in 2022. Through her visionary
leadership at YU Global, Dr. Wozniak is spearheading innovative changes that are set to have a
lasting impact on the future of higher education. She is passionate about three things: making
high-quality education accessible through distance learning, education that changes an
individual's life trajectory, and education in service of repairing a fractured world.


She received her bachelor's degree in English literature at Miami University of Ohio, a master's
in social work from Fordham University, a sixth-year certificate in educational leadership from
the University of Hartford, and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Connecticut.
Throughout her career, she has assumed leadership roles at the University of New England, the
University of New Haven, and the College of New Rochelle. She gained promotion and tenure at
the University of Montana, where she also stepped into leadership working with tribal and non-
tribal undergraduate social work students. Drawing on expertise in social work and anthropology,
she is the author of several books and articles on kinship through US-based fosterage and post-
traumatic growth.


As a trailblazer in higher education, Dr. Wozniak's innovative approach and bold vision are
poised to reshape the educational landscape, ensuring that YU Global remains at the forefront of
preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

Tim Salau Mr. Future of Work

Tim Salau, Mr. Future of Work

Tim Salau, Mr. Future of Work is a Nigerian-American experiential artist based out of Houston, Texas. Born in 1993 to Racheal & Tayo, his Nigerian-American parents, October's Very Own (OVO) Bush boi, Tim Salau, Mr. Future of Work was always destined for greatness.
.
When he was 8, he got his start in music singing for his local church choir and elementary school. During middle school and high school, he pursued performance theatre for a few years until deciding he was more fascinated by human behavior, psychology, technology, and computers.

He eventually went on to graduate from Texas Tech University and University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Psychology and Information Studies. Today, Tim is the Co-Founder, Executive Creative Chairman, & CEO of a lifestyle brand called Guide with 300,000+ member community following him online.

He's been featured in Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Forbes, Millennial Mogul, and recognized by Google, Linkedin, Millennial Mogul, and other publications.

Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang

Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang

Dr. Ai Addyson-Zhang is the CEO and founder of Classroom Without Walls. She is an award-winning educator, consultant, and coach. She received her MA from Syracuse University and PhD from the University of Maryland. Dr. Ai serves as an Adobe Education Leader, Adobe Insider, and HubSpot Academy Instructor. Dr. Ai’s work has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Forbes, Katie Couric Media, Inside Higher Education, Pearson Education, Entrepreneur, The Today Show, & others. Dr. Ai is a highly sought-after speaker, having spoken at TEDx, Inbound, Adobe Education Summit, and VidCon, among numerous other flagship conferences in academia and the industry. Known as an education disruptor, Dr. Ai enjoys sharing her thought leadership on education and entrepreneurship on LinkedIn.

Janice Person

Janice Person

Food is a part of our daily lives, but not all of us are lucky to have also been immersed in agriculture. Janice Person grew up in the city, Memphis to be exact, and never knew what laid down the road when she took an internship with a farm magazine. That's when she discovered the amazing impact agriculture offers in solving so many of the world's problems from hunger to environmental challenges like climate change.

A professional communicator, Janice has decades of experience working with some of the world's most innovative companies and still discovers new ideas after visiting farms across the US and abroad. She shares that knowledge on the podcast Grounded by the Farm, is a sought-after public speaker, and works with a range of clients on outreach and communications projects. Her career contributions were recognized with her recent induction into the Ag Relations Hall of Fame. She currently lives in St. Louis, Missouri but finds herself equally at home driving down a backroad in farm country.

Jeff Barrett

Jeff Barrett

Shorty Award winner, Webby nominated and named Business Insider's #1 Ad Executive, Jeff Barrett works with major influencers and brands like Adobe, Experian, Oracle, FIS and more on communications and influencer strategy. He spent three years traveling to almost every state in the country writing about startup ecosystems for Inc and Entrepreneur. Currently he is the host of the Shorty Awards' podcast, It's No Fluke.

Bobbie Carlton

Bobbie Carlton

Bobbie Carlton is the founder of Carlton PR & Marketing, Innovation Nights and Innovation Women, or, as she calls them, the day job, the night job and the dream job. Carlton is an entertaining, tell-it-like-it-is speaker who speaks extensively (and passionately) about public speaking and how it can be the driving force behind career growth and business success. She's a TEDx speaker; an entertaining startup event host; she's spoken at the United Nations; she's shared the stage with storytelling legend (and NPR's Snap Judgment host) Glynn Washington; and she's been on the main stage for some of the world’s best-known conferences for technical and professional women. Carlton has been featured on CBS News, in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, USA Today and other major media. She was previously the head of global PR at two different enterprise software companies and the head of marketing for a brand devoted to providing positive role models for preteen girls. She’s inspired thousands of technical, entrepreneurial and executive women to take control of their own speaking careers and has worked with event managers around the world to deliver diverse and inclusive events.

Alex Schutte

Alex Schutte has over 15 years of B2B marketing experience. As Sr. Director of Demand Gen at Paycor, he leads multi-channel marketing strategies that drive demand and increase revenue. Over his 8 years, he has transformed Paycor’s demand generation efforts to be digital-first and helped grow his team’s revenue contribution by 682% over his tenure. Alex has been instrumental in Paycor’s growth from founder-led and privately owned, to private equity backed, and going public in 2021.
When he’s not planning his next marketing strategy, you can catch him putting his certification as a “Bourbon Steward” to the test or giving back to the community. Alex serves on multiple non-profit and community boards, and in 2020 was awarded the Forty Under 40 honor by the Cincinnati Business Courier. However, his favorite passion is striving to be the best Girl Dad he can be.
Lilly Massa-McKinley

Lilly Massa-McKinley, Ed.D.

Executive Director, The Kentucky Student Success Collaborative

Dawn Marie Yankeelov

Dawn Marie Yankeelov creates communication, identifies workforce development paths, and champions business strategies that drive corporate growth through leadership, research, and partnership in the US, Canada, and Europe.

She is a marketing and communications professional with 34+ years experience working with teams to determine key strategies for communications with target audiences and industries. Technology and healthcare are specializations. A full spectrum of media, print or static to mobile for PR and marketing, is envisioned for business development and presentation.

Dawn welcomes challenges and responsibilities that require out-of-the-box thinking to build outstanding teams. As president of Aspectx, she routinely works with startups and large corporations to create new products or services or to innovate utilizing market intelligence and management programs to assess clients’ workflow, and transform branding and marketing communications for bottom-line results.
In her role as Chair and CEO of TALK, her work includes championing STEAM curricula for youth and related education, federal and state tech policy and advocacy, and event planning.

As a journalist, over the years, she has written hundreds of articles for numerous trade publications on diverse topics for a range of industries, from food and wine production to technical trends, software, taxation, automation and more.
She has spoken internationally on tech topics from knowledge management to digital marketing to cybersecurity for professional audiences seeking insight for critical thinking.

Mary Katherine Wathen

Mary Katherine Wathen

Mary Katherine is a co-founder of West of Perfection. West is a boutique coaching & consulting firm that helps professionals grow in leadership through research-based professional development training, coaching, and masterminds.  We are experts in humans: how employees experience the company, and how the company engages its employees.

Mary Katherine is a leading business consultant for professionals with West. She has worked in corporate America for a Fortune 50 company, owned and operated her own business, and coached women for the past 19 years. She specializes in galvanizing businesses and teams to take them to the next level. Mary Katherine’s no-excuse approach will motivate your team to greater productivity. If you can keep up with her, you will find her running marathons, creating business plans, and raising 7 kids with her amazing husband.

Mary Katherine graduated Summa Cum Laude with a dual degree in Corporate Communications and Political Science from the University of Kentucky.

Bob Woods

Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a no-nonsense, straight-shooter who tells the truth about digital marketing and calls B.S. where it happens. Sure, he is a well-respected influence strategist and industry thought leader, but when Falls talks, people listen. He hosts the popular podcast Winfluence, which digs into the nuances of influence marketing. Unabashed, unafraid and unfiltered, Falls leaves audiences thinking, laughing and wanting more. Aside from his engaging talks, he is a well-respected social industry analyst, oft-interviewed and quoted by the likes of the BBC, NPR, Forbes and more. Falls contributes to Entrepreneur.com, hosts one of the top influence marketing podcasts in the world, and is the executive producer of the Marketing Podcast Network. He has authored three books, none of which are about his favorite topic (bourbon) and is an unabashed fan, resident and advocate for the Kick-Ass State of Kentucky.

Evan White

Evan White

Evan White is a highly seasoned Consigliere to the C-Suite, boasting two decades of expertise in PR, Communications, and Marketing. His illustrious career includes founding and expanding a successful marketing and PR firm, where he has played a pivotal role in assisting startups secure tens of millions in investment and achieving billions of impressions across diverse markets.

Among Evan's notable achievements is steering the Viddy app to #1 listings on the App Store, and contributing to the success of Netflix's Sweet Magnolias. His projects have consistently garnered recognition in esteemed outlets such as People Magazine, Fortune, Good Housekeeping, The Today Show, and more.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Evan is actively involved in philanthropy, dedicating his time to community organizations and contributing to the vibrant life of Mt Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, where he resides with his family.

Evan's expertise extends to event programming and activation, where he has successfully captivated audiences at prominent events like SXSW, CES, RecFest, Unleash, and more. His adept leadership in this domain has further solidified his reputation as a dynamic force in strategic communication and audience engagement.

In addition to his professional endeavors, Evan is a committed community member and family man, embodying a holistic approach to success. With a passion for driving impactful narratives and elevating brands, Evan White remains a prominent figure in the intersection of PR, Events, and Marketing.

Jeremy Knauff

Jeremy Knauff

Jeremy Knauff ran a successful digital marketing agency for nearly two decades until a health crisis nearly killed him and destroyed his business.

He rebuilt from that devastating loss by developing a process that his agency now uses to help clients get featured in the media so they can become a recognized authority in their industry, attract more clients, and earn more money.

He is a speaker, author, founder of the digital marketing agency Spartan Media, and a Marine Corps veteran.

Rachael Schwartz

Rachael Schwartz

For over two decades, Rachael Schwartz has been leading strategy, innovation, and product
management in consumer products and electronics with a focus on driving personalization and
intuitiveness of physical products through digital technology, voice, and AI.

Rachael currently is the Digital Strategy Leader across all of cooking at GE Appliances as well as the
Executive Director, Product for Built-in cooking. In those roles, she is responsible, not only for the end-
to-end revenue and profitability for the built-in cooking category (wall oven and cooktops) but also for
envisioning and driving digital technology across GEA’s cooking appliances.

Under Rachael’s direction, GE Appliances has launched a “better with time” strategy in which the
company is selling ovens and ranges with the promise of new capabilities over time through over-the-air
updates. New capabilities to existing units already in homes have included a launch of Airfry to units
built before Airfry was the hot feature, screen upgrades including adding dynamic wallpaper content
that reflects the seasons or holidays, weather widgets, and fun facts, a 1-step Turkey Mode for
Thanksgiving (that also included thanksgiving images, fun facts, and a “gobble gobble sound” in place of
the timer sound), and a Steakhouse mode that makes a perfect steak in the oven using Reverse Sear
methodology. GE Appliances is also expanding its App functionality to making cooking easier and more
convenient including remote control capabilities (preheat oven from app), remote monitoring (view in-
oven camera from app), and generative AI features like a recipe generator and a chatbot that answers
owner’s appliance questions.

Prior to GE Appliances, Rachael led strategy for Bose's consumer electronics division where she
supported overall division strategy as well as strategy related to Bose's new big endeavors including
augmented reality ("Bose AR"), IoT/ smart home, and Bose Frames ("Sunglasses with a soundtrack").
Before Bose, Rachael was General Manager of Keurig Connect and VP Product Management, at Keurig,
the leading single serve coffee brewing system, and numerous beverage brands including Green
Mountain Coffee, Tully’s, and Timothy’s. Keurig Connect is Keurig’s Internet of Things program,
providing consumers with enhanced beverage experiences enabled by a smart personal brewing system.
She also started Keurig’s innovation program and its strategy group where she launched Keurig Kold
beverage system and Campbell’s Soup k-cups.

Rachael’s early career including working for several strategy consulting firms for 12 years, providing
strategy consulting to innovation and R&D teams at large consumer products, foods and beverage, and
financial services clients. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business in Strategic
Management and Marketing and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania in Design of the Environment
(architecture and design). She is based in Louisville, KY, where she lives with her husband and 2 teenage
boys.

Mike Dattilo

Mike Dattilo

Mike Dattilo is a seasoned, forward-thinking digital marketing professional, highly skilled in the ability to solve business challenges with creative solutions. His blended background of computer science and marketing gives him a unique perspective on the business objectives at hand and the technologies available to deploy. During his career at Lexmark, Mike has been a leader in multiple business areas, been instrumental in mergers and acquisitions, and spearheaded a variety of strategic projects for the Marketing organization.

Most recently, Mike has helped developed an eCommerce strategy to participate in unassisted sales through direct and reseller platforms. These efforts have paved the way for new market growth, exceeding the ROI goals the program had established. In addition, as a Marketing Director, Mike is invested in helping his team reach their full potential while supporting their personal and professional goals. He continues to look for new technologies, partners, networks, and path to markets to lead his company to the next breakthrough.

Jessika Phillips

Known as the Queen of Relationship Marketing, Jessika is on a mission to redefine corporate America and create something she wanted to be part of. Jessika founded NOW Marketing Group in 2010 with only a laptop and a vision to give people with heart an upper hand. NOW Marketing Group was recognized as Inc. Best places to work 2022, is a Forbes recognized Agency Partner, Partnered with Facebook, Google and and a certified inbound partner with Hubspot.

NOW Marketing Group works with more than 100 clients across the United States and beyond, choosing to serve – not sell. Jessika lives by a personal mission of helping inspire people to love more, give more and be more through authentic relating and proving doing what’s right, not what’s easy can turn a vision to a profitable agency that produces results.

Rabbi Ari Rockoff

Ari Rockoff

Navin Goyal, MD

Navin Goyal, MD

Navin Goyal, M.D. is a physician and entrepreneur who serves as Founding and Managing Partner of LOUD Capital. Bringing his physician training to do good for people, Navin strives to make venture capital more purpose-driven, inclusive, and accessible. Outside of being an angel investor in over a dozen companies, he has invested in over 80 companies with LOUD Capital since 2015. Navin is a frequent speaker at medical schools, hospitals, and businesses worldwide, sharing his perspective on how physicians can bring their ethical code to influence and impact the world more fully. His story, his experience, and what he sees as an opportunity for physicians to have a broader impact on themselves and society is the focus of his book, Physician Underdog. Before co-founding LOUD Capital, Navin practiced anesthesiology in a large hospital-based setting and was the Medical Director of a community hospital for several years. The beginning of his entrepreneurial journey was co-founding OFFOR Health (formerly SmileMD), a venture-backed mobile healthcare company that expands access to care across the United States with a dedicated focus on lower-income and rural communities. The company is currently in 5 states and services over 10,000 children a year. Navin received his M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and trained in anesthesiology at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Goyal, M.D.

Phil Gerbyshak

Phil Gerbyshak

Meet Phil Gerbyshak. With more than 20 years of sales and marketing wizardry under his belt, he's a juggernaut in the world of business. From Wall Street's bustling avenues to Main Street's cozy corners, Phil's charisma and savvy have left a mark. He's not just a salesman; he's a relationship guru, tech-whisperer, and a downright sales superhero! Penning books like "Zero Dollar Consultancy," he's a wordsmith who knows his trade. If you hear applause at conferences, that might be Phil rocking the stage with one of his keynote speeches. A cocktail of wisdom, fun, and creativity, Phil Gerbyshak's approach to sales is a thrilling ride that turns business into an exciting adventure. Jump on board, and let's grow with Phil!

Steve Wiideman

Steve Wiideman

Writer, scientist, professor, and practitioner of search optimization, Steve Wiideman lives, breathes, and eats SEO, SEM, and inbound marketing. He is the author of SEO Strategy & Skills, a college textbook through Stukent. When he's not leading his team of SEO consultants for franchise, multi-location, and e-commerce brands, he's a cheeseball romantic, entertaining dad, and world traveler with a passion for life; embracing culture and diversity.

 

While serving as an adjunct professor at UCSD and CSUF, Steve’s also building the Academy of Search, while volunteering time to help improve transparency and industry standards as an agency trainer.

Chad Illa-Petersen

Chad Illa-Petersen

Following a hardcore snipe hunt, botched pizzeria robbery, two years in a bear suit, and several moments atop a 6-foot unicycle, Chad Illa-Petersen (aka The Story Catcher) discovered the compelling power of stories. Today, Chad helps you find and craft the stories you didn't even know you had to create deeper connections, grow your influence, and increase your bottom line.
Mark Suter

Mark Suter

Mark is a computer science, game design, and entrepreneurship teacher going on 17 years. His classroom is a hybrid of a mad-scientist’s laboratory and a traveling circus. Mistakes are encouraged, iteration is frequent, and expectations are high.

 

Mark and his students team up to build 2D, 3D, and virtual reality experiences and games. The VR experiences include working with real world companies to build training simulations that are used for customer education and employee job training.

 

Mark won the 2018 District 1 Ohio Teacher of the Year Award, The 2015 Henry Ford Innovation Nation Innovative Teacher award, and is an Adobe Certified Associate Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert.

Adam Torkildson

Adam Torkildson

Adam Torkildson lives and works in Utah. He owns Tork Media; a PR, Content, Domain Development, and Small Business consulting company. He is open to partnerships, equity, and creative opportunities at just about any level of business or startup.

He has invested in or co-founded over a dozen companies ranging from hair salons to sports card authentication.

Also, he was quoted in NBC News about the topic of men's health in a very unique way https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dude-wheres-my-junk-crude-test-may-help-men-trim-flna1c6866894

Ryan Retcher

Ryan leverages his twenty plus years of experience of financing, advising, angel and venture investing, and building early-to-growth stage businesses as a Managing Partner and Lead Strategist at LOUD Capital, Midwest founded Venture Capital and Alternative Investment firm. In roles as COO, CFO, and Managing Partner for several VC's and start-ups, he has built due diligence, investor relations, portfolio relations, corporate finance, and operations platforms for multiple venture capital firms while advising and consulting dozens of early-stage companies, non-profit, and social enterprises on operations, culture, and growth strategies.

Most recently, Ryan has leveraged decades of passion and experience as a strategist and certifications as a Futurist, in Design Thinking, and Workshop Facilitation around strategy to build and co-lead LOUD Capital’s growth and strategy consultancy, LoudX. There, he acts as a lead workshop designer and facilitator for clients helping them solve problems, make decisions, and take action. Prior to entering Venture Capital in 2011, Ryan spent over eight years in various roles in Business Banking and Treasury at JPMorgan Chase.

He currently resides in Columbus, OH with his two children and wife of 21 years.

Jon Salisbury

Jon Salisbury

Co-Founder Nexigen, Co-Founder Enterprise Technology Association, Co-Founder Pay Options, Co-Founder Nimblesoft, Co-Founder Beast Carbon, Co-Founder NXG Holdings, Co-Founder Signi, Co-Founder Smart home HQ through 20 years.

I love the human experience that life brings and try to live fully with what I have. Long Runs, Long Deep Reads, Intense study sessions, Long Format pod casts, Long Bike Rides and Swims. I love challenging myself and trying to improve my mentality, curiosity and to be “HELPFUL” in general. After many years of leadership, I’ve come to realize space means a lot and my relationship to it mentally. I’ve also realized that someone’s short comings are normally from self-doubt so I’m a huge believer in positive manifestation, encouragement and removing division. Try to utilize cross disciplines to look at problems from alternate angles for unique outcomes.

Interested include:
Cyber Security, Cloud, Dev Ops, Artificial Intelligence, Mobile Tech, Web 3 as well as Smart City, Carbon Fiber, IoT, Psychology, Physics, Quantum, Philosophies.

Key Achievements:

Father, Brother, Husband, Son. Helped develop first smart city project in the mid-west, created first cyber security education non-profit for high schools in Cincinnati, member of the Cincinnati AI Catalyst.

Joseph Lewin

Joseph Lewin

Joseph Lewin is a marketing and sales strategist. Over the last ten years, he’s helped companies create marketing systems that scale business growth. He focuses on using podcasts, live stream events, and personal brand building to establish credibility and build relationships for clients. He hosts The Strategic Marketer, OUTBOUND, and Relationship-Led Growth Live.

Matt Strippelhoff

Matt Strippelhoff

Matt Strippelhoff is the founder and CEO at Red Hawk Technologies, a custom software development, support and maintenance provider focused on serving the mid-market. The Circuit, a nonprofit information technology association for Greater Cincinnati, awarded Matt with the 2022 Visionary Leader Award for his reimagining of the software and application development process. Red Hawk is ranked in the top 1000 companies globally, among the top application development, maintenance and support companies in the United States and among the top software developers in Kentucky in 2023 by Clutch, a business platform helping corporate buyers connect with the solution providers they need to improve effectiveness and increase productivity. The ratings and reviews platform publishes the most extensive and referenced client reviews in the B2B services market.

David Hasler

David Hasler

David Hasler is the Founder & President of Breakthrough Solutions Consulting, LLC (BSC) – a successful consulting firm focused on helping growing businesses tell their economic story and providing c-suite level support in both finance and strategy.

David is an active member of the startup community in Kentucky and a frequent instructor/presenter at various events and helps startups prepare for pitch competitions. In 2022, David was named the startup coach of the year in Central Kentucky. This was followed in 2023 by being awarded startup mentor of the year for the state of Kentucky.

Over David’s career he has held steadily increasing finance and strategy leadership roles in prominent companies such as Walmart, Procter & Gamble and Limited Brands. David has experience working in consumer products, retail and the restaurant industries including roles in manufacturing, R&D, brand management, investor relations, corporate finance, treasury and M&A. Most recently, David has developed an expertise around how cash is handled by retailers and used by consumers in the US and around the world.

David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky and a Master in Business Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. David has also held a Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) certification.

David is also passionate about Business Ethics. He's co-authored one white paper in conjunction with a faculty member at NC State University. In addition, David also developed an upper-level ethics course for UK's Gatton College of Business and taught the first offering of that course.

Tuli Kraus

Tuli Kraus

Tuli Kraus is the visionary founder and CEO of Blackbird Recruiting, a thriving recruiting agency that has been making waves in the industry since its inception since 2021.

With a relentless passion for connecting talent with opportunity, Tuli embarked on a journey to transform the recruitment landscape. Under Tuli's leadership, the agency has achieved remarkable milestones in a remarkably short time. Having successfully partnered with over 400 companies in less than three years, Tuli's dedication to matching the right candidates with the right organizations has been nothing short of impressive.

In the agency's first two years of operation, under Tuli's strategic guidance, they achieved a milestone that speaks volumes about their commitment to excellence - over $1,000,000 in revenue. This exceptional achievement not only underscores Tuli's entrepreneurial spirit but also reflects the trust and confidence that clients and candidates alike place in Blackbird Recruiting.

Don Skaggs

Don Skaggs

Don Skaggs is an inventor, entrepreneur, speaker, author, and consultant to a wide range of businesses. His experience includes bootstrapping startup companies from initial idea to successful exit, developing products, creating & implementing new marketing strategies, helping small companies move forward, and successfully launching new products.

Don is president of The Fulson Group which includes the Empowered Inventing brand, providing specialized courses, consulting and more to inventors, entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses, and includes the Empowered Inventing TV YouTube Channel. Don is also president of the Inventors Network KY, a nonprofit that helps inventors through education and support services.

In his 20+ years of experience, he has bootstrapped companies from startup to exit, negotiated with multinational companies, developed product lines, orchestrated product launches, negotiated company acquisitions, introduced new technologies to untapped markets, and has created and launched national conferences and events. In 1991, he co-founded US Biotex Corporation, successfully developing and introducing many new innovations into the pathology laboratory market. In 2001 he founded 3Gen
Scientific, a specialty product developer for the life-science industry. He holds a CBA at Gatton College of Business and Economics, along with several patents and patents pending.

Web Links:
KYInventors.org
EmpoweredInventing.com
linkedin.com/in/donskaggs/

 

 

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