2019 Workplace Summit Speakers
Dr. Brené Brown
DR. BRENÉ BROWN is a research professor at the University of Houston, where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five number one New York Times best-sellers, including The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead, which is the culmination of a seven-year study on courage and leadership. Brown’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over thirty five million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed talk on Netflix. The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service on April 19, 2019. Brown lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Steve. They have two children, Ellen and Charlie. @brenebrown
WADE DAVIS is a former NFL player, thought leader, writer, public speaker, and educator on gender, race, and orientation equality. He is the NFL’s first LGBT inclusion consultant, and currently consults for numerous professional sports leagues. Beyond his work in sports, Davis currently consults for Netflix, Google, Viacom, and others to co-create transformative solutions to build inclusive corporate cultures. He is a Global Champion for Innovation for UN Women, and a founding member of VICE’s Inclusion advisory board with Gloria Steinem, Roberta Kaplan, Tina Tchen, and others. Davis has worked with Planned Parenthood, the Ms. Foundation and Huffington Post Women. In collaboration with the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up Now, he develops curricula and initiatives for male leaders. Additionally, understanding the importance of engaging men around gender equity and equality, Davis built a Men’s Gender Equality Development leadership program that he launched with the United Nations and other organizations in 2018. A former national surrogate for President Obama, Davis has been an Adjunct Professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business, and has also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration. Davis was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah with a BS in business administration. In 2014 Wade received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from Northeastern University.
CY WAKEMAN is president and founder of Reality-Based Leadership. She is a drama researcher, global thought-leader, and New York Times best-selling author. She holds a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speaker’s Association. She’s a regular contributor on Forbes.com, Success.com, The Huffington Post, and Thrive Global. She’s been featured on the TODAY Show, the AskGaryVee Show, Cheddar TV, The New York Times, Business Insider, The Daily Muse, SHRM.com and many more. Voted in the top one hundred leadership professional to follow on twitter for seven years in a row, Wakeman also came in at number twenty three on the Global Gurus 2019 list of top thirty leadership professionals around the world. She has published three books, the latest of which is No Ego: How to Cut the Cost of Drama, End Entitlement and Drive Big Results. She also hosts the No Ego podcast, a Facebook Watch show, Life’s Messy, Live Happy, and adds weekly video content on YouTube. @cywakeman
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HEATHER CAMPION is a managing director at Koya Leadership Partners, a diversified search company that is one of the nation’s top ten executive search firms and the largest woman-founded search firm in the world. Campion manages the firm’s Connected Leadership practice, which provides strategic consulting for leaders to help them build influential networks and more meaningful reputations around their larger purpose. Prior to joining Koya, Campion served as CEO of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, following over a decade in financial services. She led corporate affairs at Citizens Financial Group, serving as EVP on the company’s top management team. She later served as chief administrative officer at Northeast Bancorp, where she co-founded ableBanking, an innovative online savings division with a charitable affinity program. Campion began her career in government and national politics, first in the Carter White House. She then joined Harvard’s Kennedy School and held several key leadership positions throughout its early years. Over the years, she has held numerous positions on presidential campaigns, and most recently worked on the podium operation of the 2016 Democratic National Convention. She is past president of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum and is an advisor to the Women in Leadership Program at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. She sits on the boards of AAA Northeast, Harvard’s Institute of Politics, and she serves on the advisory boards of Partners HealthCare and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
KELLI KIRWIN is a director in the worldwide software sales organization with Cisco. The “Software Simple” team specializes in simplifying the sales process across the customer lifecycle. She and her team effectively align sales, operations, engineering, finance, and legal to simplify internal processes, policies and platforms across Cisco. In her more than ten years at Cisco, Kirwin has held various leadership roles across sales, marketing and customer support. One of her key achievements at Cisco was as the senior manager, Americas services sales specialist, where she grew the business from $330 million to over $1.3 billion in three years, with an average annual growth rate of 55% each year. Prior to joining Cisco, Kirwin held executive and management roles within the technology industry, from startups through F500 corporations. Kirwin puts her passion for mentorship and inclusion into action as the Cisco Systems board of directors representative for the Massachusetts Conference for Women. She regularly participates in mentorship activities inside and outside of Cisco. She is a sought-after speaker at WIT as well as diversity and inclusion events, where she champions the importance of closing the gender gap. Kirwin believes in “reverse mentorship” and has built a highly specialized, select group of people as her own personal board of directors to help guide and counsel her.
DEBORAH PINE is the executive director of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University and Bentley Executive Education. She leads all external and internal strategic efforts for both organizations including corporate engagement, student initiatives, faculty collaboration, and research. Pine is a successful entrepreneur and business leader, having served in the C-suite for several early-stage technology companies. She co-founded PreVision Marketing, a customer marketing and technology firm which developed breakthrough customer loyalty programs for Fortune 500 companies. She has also served as an investor and advisor to early-stage ventures and served on the board for T1DExchange, a nonprofit organization that builds patient and community research platforms dedicated to eradicating chronic diseases. Pine earned an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BA in communications from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. @bentleycwb
ANTHONY WILLIAMS is a vice president of HR, talent acquisition and diversity with Akamai Technologies, Inc. He leads Akamai Technologies HR team responsible for the Asia Pacific and Japan region inclusive of India, and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, as well as all of Akamai’s Global Talent Acquisition initiatives. Williams joined Akamai in April 2015 bringing with him twenty years’ global experience in HR from a variety of business sectors. While at Akamai, his team established the Akamai Technical Academy, a twelve-month classroom and on the job training program for individuals without a formal technology background. First piloted in Cambridge, Williams is working to widen its reach globally and has successfully expanded the program to Europe and more recently to Central America. He is a 2016 recipient of the MASSTLC Mosaic Award recognizing exemplary leadership in the development and creation of a more diverse high-tech workforce in Massachusetts. He currently serves on the board of trustees for Mass Technology Leadership Counsel. @akamai
LAUREN ZAJAC is vice president, general counsel and data protection officer with Workhuman, where she oversees all legal, regulatory, and compliance affairs. With more than fifteen years of experience, she has served as legal counsel for a broad mix of high-growth public and private companies. Prior to Workhuman, Zajac was vice president of corporate affairs and general counsel at Metatomix, Inc., a leading provider of semantic solutions that was acquired by Versata Enterprises in 2010. Previously, she held the role of vice president, general counsel at Riverdeep, an Irish-based, public educational software company. Zajac also served as senior counsel for Allaire Corporation, Macromedia, Inc., and counsel for Object Design, Inc. She earned a BA from Boston College, and a JD from Hofstra University School of Law. @workhuman