2020 Speakers

Kindra Hall

Kindra Hall

President and Chief Storytelling Officer, Steller Collective

Kindra is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers trusted by global brands to deliver presentations and trainings that inspire teams and individuals to better communicate the value of their company, their products and their individuality through strategic storytelling. She was a National Champion storyteller (yes, they have those), a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Storytelling Network and has her master’s degree in communications where she conducted original research studying the role of storytelling in defining and revealing organizational culture. Kindra is a former Director of Marketing and VP of Sales. She is a contributing editor to SUCCESS Magazine and was guest faculty at the Harvard Medical School. Her book, Stories that Stick: How Storytelling can Captivate Customers, Influence Audiences and Transform Your Business debuted at #2 on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller List and Forbes claimed “the compelling new book….may be the most valuable business book you read." Kindra’s message spans all industries and her clients include Facebook, Hilton Hotels, Tyson Foods, Target and Berkshire Hathaway and many others.

Sally Helgesen

Sally Helgesen

Women's Leadership Expert & Best-Selling Author

Sally Helgesen, cited in Forbes as the world’s premier expert on women’s leadership, is a best-selling author, international speaker and leadership coach. She has been ranked number 6 among the world’s top 30 leadership thinkers by Global Gurus, honored by the coaching consortium MEECO for her transformational influence on organizational cultures and chosen as the Thinkers 50/Marshall Goldsmith world’s top coach for women leaders. Sally’s most recent book, How Women Rise, co-authored with legendary executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, examines the behaviors most likely to get in the way of successful women. It became the top-seller in its field within a week of publication and rights have been sold in 17 languages. Previous books include The Female Advantage: Women’s Ways of Leadership, hailed as the classic in its field and continuously in print since 1990, and The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at Work, which explores how women’s strategic insights can strengthen their careers. The Web of Inclusion: A New Architecture for Building Great Organizations, was cited in The Wall Street Journal as one of the best books on leadership of all time and is credited with bringing the language of inclusion into business. In addition to delivering leadership workshops, seminars and keynotes for companies around the world, Sally has consulted with the United Nations on building more inclusive country offices in Africa and Asia, led programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Smith College and been visiting scholar at Northwestern University, U-Nordic Stockholm, and the Lauriston Institute Melbourne AU. She is a contributing editor for Strategy + Business magazine and a member of the MG 100 Coaching Network and the New York and International Women’s Forums. She lives in Chatham, NY.

Wendy McManus

Wendy McManus

Executive Leadership Coach and Founder, Connect 2 Potential

Wendy McManus knows that thriving teams are the key to stellar results. As a Leadership Coach, she draws out the true genius in each of her produce industry clients, helping them become more confident, capable leaders of their own thriving teams. Through her group coaching initiative, the Thriving Leaders Project, Wendy guides participants through a deep exploration of the inner game of personal leadership and the outer game of leading others. Wendy’s clients expand their self-awareness and build more authentic relationships with their co-workers, leading to stronger business outcomes. Wendy brings her extensive experience, including 17 years of success as a leader in produce marketing, to her work as an Executive Leadership Coach. She is doing the work she was born to do and loving every minute of it!

Lisa Nichols

Lisa Nichols

Founder and CEO, Motivating the Masses, Inc.

Lisa Nichols is one of the world’s most-requested motivational speakers, as well as a media personality and corporate CEO whose global platform has reached nearly 80 million people. From a struggling single mom on public assistance to a millionaire entrepreneur, Lisa’s courage and determination has inspired fans worldwide and helped countless audiences breakthrough, to discover their own untapped talents and infinite potential. A noted media personality who has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, The Dr. Phil Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and Extra – just to name a few. Lisa is also a best-selling author. Her 7th book ABUNDANCE NOW, was published in 2016 by HarperCollins. In ABUNDANCE NOW, Lisa continues her journey with her fans, providing a clear and practical blueprint for personal success, drawn directly from the life experiences of its beloved author. ABUNDANCE NOW is the follow-up to Lisa’s New York Times Best Seller, NO MATTER WHAT.

Jill Overdorf

M. Jill Overdorf

Director of Business Development, Foodservice; Corporate Chef, Naturipe Farms

An executive chef for more than two decades, Jill Overdorf is Naturipe Farm’s Director of Business Development for Foodservice and their Corporate Chef. After attending UMASS-Amherst and graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America, she launched her career in New York City by helping to open Osteria del Circo, the sister restaurant of Le Cirque. She has worked as the Executive Sous Chef at the Telluride Film Festival and opening Executive Banquet Chef at The Getty Museum, Brentwood, CA; Executive Chef at DreamWorks Studios, Burbank, CA; Executive Chef at McMurdo Station in Antarctica and Executive Sous Chef at the Ross School in Easthampton, Long Island. Prior to joining Naturipe, Jill held a similar position with Coosemans LA Shipping. In addition to her position with Naturipe, Jill is a former Board member of both the Center for Growing Talent by PMA and the Produce Marketing Association. She is also a member of the Leadership Board of the LA Food Policy Council. Jill is a Board member and volunteer with a number of Los Angeles regional animal rescue organizations. She has visited all seven continents and has found many favorite places around the world to eat and cook.

Jenean Merkel Perelstein

Jenean Merkel Perelstein

CEO, Alchemie Academy

As a Sociocultural Anthropologist, Jenean Merkel Perelstein has studied behavior change across many different cultures. From the markets and prisons of India to the boardrooms across America, Jenean has learned and implemented change strategies that have saved lives and made fortunes. Jenean is a Business Anthropologist, U.S. Patent holder, and revered speaker who worked as a medical anthropologist before becoming CEO of Alchemie Academy where she has enriched workplace culture for clients ranging from solopreneurs to Fortune 100 companies. When not speaking, she mentors organizations to grow their workplace culture, develop their leadership skills, and achieve a higher level of positivity, productivity, and profitability. Jenean has created several programs in Leadership Development and Workplace Culture Enrichment where she provides training to clients worldwide and certifies coaches to use her models for their own clientele. This work is supported by her book Finding Your Lighthouse: A Leadership Guide to Navigating Change. Looking at organizational culture through the eyes of an anthropologist, Jenean passionately helps business professionals and organizations get out of their own way and become the powerful and recognized leaders that they are meant to be.

Marilyn Sherman

Marilyn Sherman

Front-Row Leadership Expert & Hall of Fame Speaker

Hall of Fame speaker Marilyn Sherman knows how to engage an audience. For the last 25 years she has worked with high performing teams and leaders teaching them how to get out of their comfort zone and live and lead from the front-row. She is the author of four books that help people navigate their business and personal lives to the front-row. She has a long list of corporate and association clients like Coca-Cola, Marriott, the US Postal Service, and the International Association of Hospitality & Finance Professionals. She is also the only speaker to have been hired by the Women’s Foodservice Forum to speak at their Leadership Conference for 12 years in a row. She is a graduate of Washington State University and has used her years of experience as a crisis management counselor and corporate trainer to motivate and inspire her audiences today. In 2018 she was inducted into the National Speaker’s Association Speaker Hall of Fame. She is one of only 185 people worldwide who hold this designation.

Jade Simmons

Jade Simmons

Powerhouse Speaker & World-Class Concert Artist

Jade spent the first few years of her career performing as a classical concert pianist. Following an artistic epiphany, she pivoted from playing the piano to impress audiences, to using the piano as the vehicle by which to provide the inspiration, information and entertainment that profoundly moves them instead. The results have been, well… darn impressive! No stranger to pushing boundaries to see bold results, this concert pianist turned world changer is brought in by the likes of corporations like Mass Mutual, Royal Bank of Canada, DOW, Raytheon, the Hershey Company, Genentech, Valic, Pfizer and Nationwide to redefine purpose, inspire seismic shifts in mindset and activate audiences to go out and instantly start living more consequential lives of impact. The one-of-a-kind artist has built a one-of-a-kind career garnering diverse recognition from unlikely places. She’s played renowned halls, including the hallowed ones of the White House and the US Supreme Court and her genre-bending concert adventures that span Rachmaninoff to Rap attract diverse audiences of all ages and backgrounds. For her work on and away from the stage, Essence magazine featured Jade alongside former First Lady Michelle Obama as a part of their Style & Substance List. As one of the rare classical artists invited to perform at the taste-making South by Southwest Festival, her show was ultimately branded one of the "Best of SXSW 2014". She’s starred in a Broadway style musical called Lillete’s Rhythm Club and she can be heard portraying Nina Simone’s classical years in the Oscar-nominated documentary What Happened Miss Simone?

Laurie Ulrich

Laurie Ulrich

Learning Experience Designer, Produce Marketing Association

Laurie Ann Ulrich is a trainer, author, and instructional designer with more than 30 books published and 30,000+ students trained – in college classrooms and corporate conference rooms throughout the US. She’s currently PMA’s Learning Experience Designer, developing educational content to support their members and their mission – to grow a healthier world. Laurie also continues to teach online courses to help people around the world build their business skills and gain confidence in their abilities.