Presenters

“I loved how positive and supportive it was.  I really got this sense of we’re all in this together.  That made it uplifting and inspiring.  I loved the SEL information, the teaming sessions, and the e-learning engagement sessions.” – Nichole Cooper

Meet Our KeyNote Speakers

Alison Levine

First American Women's Everest Expedition Team Captain, Bestselling Author

Alison Levine has made a career out of breaking boundaries and inspiring others to achieve more than they ever thought possible. A history-making polar explorer and mountaineer, she served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam— which only twenty people in the world have achieved. In January 2008, she made history as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse across west Antarctica to the South Pole following the route of legendary explorer Reinhold Messner. Levine completed this arduous journey on skis while hauling 150 pounds of her gear and supplies in a sled harnessed to her waist. She made history again in 2016 when she completed two first ascents: Hall Peak in Antarctica and Khang Karpo in Nepal. Her success in extreme environments is noteworthy given she has had three heart surgeries and suffers from Raynaud’s disease, which causes the arteries that feed her fingers and toes to collapse in cold weather—leaving her at extreme risk for frostbite.

In addition to climbing mountains, Levine has also spent time climbing the corporate ladder. She has worked for several Fortune 500 companies in both sales and marketing roles and spent three years at Goldman Sachs. She left Wall Street in 2003 to serve as Deputy Finance Director for Arnold Schwarzenegger in his successful bid to become governor of California.

When not challenging herself in the outdoors, Levine focuses on training others to become strong leaders. She spent four years as an adjunct professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point in the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership. In 2013 she transitioned from training cadets to working with corporate leaders and currently serves on the board and faculty of the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point—one of the nation’s premiere executive leader development programs. She was a contributing author to the book Leadership in Dangerous Situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services and First Responders (Naval Institute Press). She also served as a board member and Senior Fellow at the Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University.

Levine is the founder of the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of jobless women in western Uganda by training them to be trekking guides and porters in their local mountains, thus allowing them to earn a sustainable living wage through climbing-related tourism. Prior to her work in Uganda, women’s only avenue to earn money in this area of the country was through prostitution. Her efforts enabled the very first group of local women to climb Uganda’s highest peak—Mt Stanley. Her work to change the lives of women in Africa is the subject of the PBS documentary Living Courageously.

Levine’s newest role is that of executive producer of the upcoming documentary film The Glass Ceiling (www.theglassceilingmovie.com), which chronicles the life of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (1961-1993), the first female Sherpa to summit Mt. Everest.

Levine was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018. She holds a BA from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Duke University, where she currently serves on the Board of Visitors. She is the recipient of the 2019 Ellis Island Medal of Honor which recognizes individuals whose accomplishments in their field and inspired service to our nation are cause for celebration. The Medal has been officially recognized by both Houses of Congress as one of our nation’s most prestigious awards and is annually memorialized in the Congressional Record.

A sought-after consultant and keynote speaker on the subject of leadership development, Levine has addressed audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to professional sports teams to the prestigious World Economic Forum at Davos. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller
On the Edge: Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and other Extreme Environments. Having spent prolonged periods of time in some of the world's most dangerous and inhospitable places, she tackles the topics of creating cohesive teams, taking responsible risks, and developing no-nonsense leaders that can succeed in times of uncertainty.

FUN FACT: Levine’s life story was the inspiration for a craft beer called Conquer the Route Chocolate Stout which is distributed by Bold Missy Brewery and features her likeness on the label.

View the Invite from Alison

Derreck Kayongo

Entrepreneur, Global Soap Project Founder

With his trademark panache, Derreck Kayongo tells his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism, and the life lessons he learned along the way.

From Ugandan refugee to successful entrepreneur, CEO, and renowned human rights activist, Derreck’s journey inspires audiences to dream big. Through personable and articulate storytelling, he shares his visionary ideas for harnessing the power of observation and creative problem solving, applicable to any organization or community. It’s all about taking responsibility while looking for opportunities to improve.

Derreck is the founder of the Global Soap Project: a humanitarian aid organization that collects discarded and unused soap from thousands of hotels worldwide, reprocesses it, then distributes it to in-need populations around the world. The project was born from his simple observation about how much soap is available in hotels, and how much is thrown away when hotel rooms are turned. This observation turned into a simple yet innovative idea that is now battling global health issues in 90 countries. Hygiene-related diseases, and the resulting deaths, have dissipated in many at-risk communities, thanks in part to Derreck’s creative problem solving.

The energy and enthusiasm levels are unmatched as Derreck brings his stories and principles to life. He identifies the key factors of his personal and professional success with the memorable acronym S.E.L.F.: Service, Education, Leadership and Faith. He calls upon his dynamic experiences to empower audiences, inspiring an entrepreneur spirit made possible only through creative problem solving. Derreck’s emotionally-packed presentations linger long after his speech, empowering audiences to invent their own self-made motto of success so they can create tangible change in the world.

In creating this global humanitarian initiative, Derreck demonstrates that a simple yet novel idea has the power to transform millions of lives. That “the little guy can do something big.” It is this creativity and innovation that led him to be named a 2011 CNN Top Ten Hero and a 2014 TED Talks speaker.

Derreck’s demonstrated passion for helping others and commitment to innovative thinking led him to the role of CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. During his time as CEO, he elevated the visibility of the Center on a global scale, showcasing stories of victims of civil rights abuse and the heroic actions that changed the course of history.

Derreck is an advisory board member for The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Derreck Kayongo is an internationally recognized visionary and humanitarian. The Global Soap Project demonstrates his creativity and innovation, making him a leader in both global health and environmental sustainability. His infectious optimism and powerful storytelling inspire audiences from all walks of life to see the bigger picture.

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Michael Toth

CEO of LSI and Award-Winning Author

Michael D. Toth is founder and CEO of Learning Sciences International (LSI) and leads LSI’s Applied Research Center. He is the author of The Power of Student Teams: Achieving Social, Emotional, and Cognitive Learning in Every Classroom Through Academic Teaming with David Sousa; author of Who Moved My Standards? Joyful Teaching in an Age of Change; and co-author with Dr. Robert J. Marzano of The Essentials of a Standards-Driven Classroom, School Leadership for Results, and Teacher Evaluation that Makes a Difference.

Toth was formerly the president of the National Center for the Profession of Teaching, a university faculty member, and director of research and development grants. He is an expert in research-based school improvement models, shifting instructional methodologies, root causes analysis for school issues, and building 21st century skills in students; he gives public presentations and advises education leaders on these issues.

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Robert Marzano

Author and Educator

Internationally recognized author of The New Art and Science of Teaching, Dr. Marzano will share practical translations of the most current research and theory into classroom strategies. Including thought-provoking aspects of rigor, their impact on types of work such as team-centered tasks that promote effective student collaboration and promote complex learning which are covered in his latest book, Understanding Rigor in the Classroom.

Dr. Marzano's practical translations of the most current research and theory into classroom strategies are widely practiced internationally by both teachers and administrators.

View the Invite from Bob