Keynote Addresses

Monday

CAPTAIN SCOTT KELLY, History-Making U.S. Astronaut & Retired Navy Captain

Back from his historic record-breaking Year In Space, NASA astronaut Captain Scott Kelly has laid the groundwork for the future of space travel and exploration, and continues to garner media exposure like no other pioneer of our time.  From the cover of TIME to live interviews on TODAY to features in Forbes and on CNN to a Twitter following that is rapidly approaching 1 million, the world remains in awe as we celebrate a hero’s return to the planet that is hone, from an adventure that is extraordinary.  With life lessons and personal stories that reveal unique and valuable advice on pushing one’s own limits, to insight on the leadership and teamwork required in such demanding conditions, and the challenges—such as long term deprivation from loved ones and Planet Earth—Kelly reflects on the choices and life events that paved his journey’s path and brings audiences to the edge of their seats as he delivers a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

An astronaut since 1996, Kelly’s achievements over his illustrious 20-year career with NASA earned him the coveted position as America’s first year-round astronaut. On his historic mission that spanned from March 2015 to March 2016, Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko conducted experiments, reconfigured station modules, and captivated the world with live interviews and never-seen-before photos from the International Space Station.

The historic mission also included NASA’s groundbreaking Twins Study, in which Kelly’s identical twin brother, retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly served on the ground as a control model in an unprecedented experiment to understand how space affects the human body.

Prior to his career with NASA, Kelly served 25 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as an experienced aviator and decorated Captain.



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Tuesday

MIKE ROWE, CEO mikeroweWORKS Foundation

HAPPY, DIRTY PEOPLE
From the Baltimore Opera to QVC shopping channel, Executive Producer and TV Host Mike Rowe has had hundreds of jobs and relished his role as a chronic freelancer.  He’s best known as the “dirtiest man on TV,” a title he earned on the hit TV series Dirty Jobs, where he completed 300 different jobs traversing all 50 states and transformed cable television into a landscape of swamps, sewers, and coal mines.  He has narrated hundreds of documentaries about space, nature, dinosaurs, serial killers, and how stuff works.  He has also forged a handful of partnerships with iconic brands and filmed a boatload of Ford commercials.

Most recently, Mike launched The Way I Heard It, a weekly five-minute podcast of short mysteries for the curious mind with a short attention span.  In the podcast, Mike gives a different take on people and events that you thought you knew, from pop culture to politics, Hollywood to history.

In his spare time, Mike runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides a pile of free money to people getting trained for skilled jobs that actually exist.  Mike speaks regularly about the country’s dysfunctional relationship with work, the widening skills gap, and challenging the persistent belief that a four-year degree is automatically the best path for the most people.  Through its scholarship programs, the Foundation has helped grant more than $3 million in technical and/or vocational education for trade schools across the country.



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Wednesday

ROBYN BENINCASA, World Champion Adventure Racer, Firefighter, Traithlete and Best Selling Author 

​WHY WINNERS WIN
Robyn Benincasa is the founder of World Class Teams, a world champion adventure racer, a CNN Hero, former corporate sales expert and a full time firefighter who advises organizations on building World Class Teams of their own.  With a background in marketing, she was previously in corporate sales with Baxter and Allergan and is currently a full-time firefighter.  World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, Founder of the Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!), 3x Guinness World Record Distance Paddler and proud owner of 2 metal ‘bionic hips’.

Robyn definitely knows a thing or two about creating Human Synergy – “that magic that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things together.” Her New York Times best-selling book How Winning Works, has been reviewed as “an excellent resource for all business owners on approaching challenges with a team mentality.”

For the last 20 years, she and her teammates have been competing at the front of the pack in the most unique and compelling classrooms on earth – the jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia – studying the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty in extreme teamwork and mastering the skills required to inspire a group of semi-exhausted people through a seemingly endless series of checkpoints, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal, working against crazy deadlines, in constantly changing conditions and all in pursuit of a huge hairy audacious goal.  Sounds a lot like your life as a business leader, right?

It is through these harrowing, life affirming and often hilarious experiences in the world’s most grueling challenges that she has emerged with her refreshing and truly unique perspective on what it takes to build the kind of World Class Teams that succeed against all odds, that triumph in the face of adversity and that win as one in times of great challenge and change. Whether you’re trying to beat the competition to market, scale a looming mountain of a project or simply get your team all marching in the same direction, Robyn’s 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy will coach you to the finish line of success.