Build Futures, Save Pasts—Dr. Coben is the founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Preservation Initiative, a not for profit organization providing sustainable business and entrepreneurial opportunities to poor communities where endangered archaeological sites are located. SPI believes the best way to preserve cultural heritage is creating or supporting locally-owned businesses whose success is tied to that preservation. SPI's grants provide a "two for the price of one" benefit: they create transformative economic opportunities for the local residents while saving archaeological sites for future generations to study and enjoy. SPI has demonstrated that the if you give communities the tools to thrive economically, they will build their futures and save their pasts.
Coben is also an archaeologist and a Consulting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. His most recent archaeological work focuses on Inca imperial expansion and the role of spectacles, rituals and theatricality in ancient societies. He co-authored the seminal volume Archaeology of Performance: Theater, Power and Community, a study of the importance and use of theatrical performance at public events, rituals and spectacles in ancient societies to create and govern states and empires. Dr. Coben co-directs Proyecto Arqueologico de Cañete in Peru and was the director of Proyecto Incallajta, a multidisciplinary project at the Inca site of that name in Bolivia. He has published numerous articles on various subjects related to archaeology, the Inca, and sustainable preservation and development.
Coben has started and run numerous energy companies. He heads the Tremisis Energy group, and was CEO of its two public vehicles.. Coben is a former CEO of the NYSE-traded Bolivian Power Company and a founder of Catalyst Energy Corporation. He serves on the boards of NRG Energy and Freshpet, Inc., and as an Advisory Partner for the Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Fund.
Coben is an expert member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management ("ICAHM"). He is Chairman of ICAHM's Nominations Assistance Committee. He is a member of the Society for American Archaeology’s International Government Affairs Committee and Americas Committee, and a former Trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America.
Coben holds a B.A. in economics from Yale University, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.A. and PhD in Anthropology with a focus in Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a fluent speaker of Spanish, with some Italian and French.
Be The Elephant In The Room—Rebecca Alexander, LCSW-R, MPH, is a psychotherapist, author, fitness instructor, Lululemon Athletica brand ambassador, volunteer, and an extreme athlete who is almost completely bind and deaf. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, she currently lives in New York City with her mini goldendoodle Olive.Rebecca came to national prominence with the release of her memoir Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found which was recognized as an Indie Book Selection (Fall 2014).
No one would blame Rebecca Alexander if she gave up on life. Born with a rare genetic disorder called Usher Syndrome Type III, Rebecca has been simultaneously losing both her sight and hearing since she was a teenager. She was told that by age 30, she’d be completely blind. Then, at 19, one year after a fall from a second-story window left her athletic body completely shattered, she discovered she would lose her hearing as well. Despite these difficulties, Rebecca refused to lose her drive and zest for life and rose above and beyond every challenge she has faced. Rebecca stresses how important it is to be grateful for every sound, every sight and every sense. Now, at 37, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, Rebecca is a psychotherapist with two master’s degrees from Columbia University. She is an athlete who teaches spin classes and regularly competes in extreme endurance races. Rebecca greets each day as if it were gift, with her boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places we can’t imagine. As a teenager, she was selected to be an Olympic torchbearer as part of the nationwide relay prior to the Atlanta Games in 1996 for her volunteer work with Project Open Hand, a non-profit organization delivering meals to people living with HIV/AIDS in the SF Bay Area. Participating in the 600-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS Lifecycle ride, skydiving, bungee jumping, and regularly competing in the Civilian Military Combine race (CMC) for extreme athletes, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, and swimming from Alcatraz to shore in the San Francisco Bay, are among her extraordinary feats. .
Not Fade Away was chosen as a 2014 Indie Book selection as well as a selection for the 2015 MS Society Books for a Better Life.Rebecca has been featured on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, The Dr. Oz Show, The Meredith Vieira Show, NPR radio and various others. She has also been featured in New York Magazine, Fitness Magazine, SELF Magazine, and Glamour UK magazine. Rebecca was selected as a 2016 Jewish Women International Woman to Watch and she is the recipient of the 2016 Helen Keller Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind. Rebecca also received the 2015 Hope and Spirit Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness.
Her powerful philosophy of positive thinking, physical and emotional well‑being, and perseverance have made her a frequent motivational and keynote speaker at corporate and nonprofit events.
Piercing the Narrative: Political Deceit in a Social Media Age—Matt Katz is a political reporter who has covered New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for nearly six years, first for The Philadelphia Inquirer and then for WNYC and New Jersey Public Radio. He runs The Christie Tracker -- which followed the governor through scandal and presidential candidacy -- and appears weekly on WNYC Studios' Christie Tracker Podcast.
In 2015 Matt and a team from WNYC won a Peabody Award for their coverage of Christie and the Bridgegate scandal. The series -- "Chris Christie, White House Ambitions and the Abuse of Power" -- was WNYC's first Peabody for news coverage since 1944, when the station won for Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia's weekly addresses to New York City.
In January 2016, Matt's biography of Christie -- American Governor: Chris Christie's Bridge to Redemption -- was published by Simon & Schuster's Threshold Editions. Matt has written about politics for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Republic and POLITICO magazine. Prior to covering the Statehouse in Trenton he spent time in Afghanistan, writing a series on reconstruction efforts that won the Livingston Award for International Reporting for journalists under the age of 35. In 2009 his four-part investigation about Camden set the stage for an end to the state's takeover of city government.
Leaving yourself no choice but to Grow—Reflecting on a journey across a wide-ranging career that included crushing his biggest fear, moving 7,800 miles away, working in 10 countries, and learning a new language, Arfan will share snapshots of key decisions that put him in positions of maximum learning.
Arfan Qureshi is a Senior Talent Consultant at The Hershey Company. He has led Leadership and Organizational Development programs across industries and across the world. He has worked in 10 countries and is proficient in 4 languages. He holds two master’s degrees from the University of Oxford and Michigan State University.
Enough of Enough: The End of Measuring Up to Others—Scientific careers strengthen our analytical skills and abilities by emphasizing calculating and measuring. This is key for many aspects of our society to be successful, whether technology or medical advancement. It is vital to compare and contrast current vs improved progress in these areas. However, we live in a world where we are also taught to evaluate the many aspects of our life. The following thoughts are quite common: “How am I doing?”, “Am I smart enough?”, “Do I have enough friends?, “Is my house big, or nice enough?”. Our society measures life qualities: personal characteristics, monetary status and happiness level by comparing ourselves against others. This social comparing has very little benefit, and the damage that can come from these comparisons over time becomes dangerous to our future thoughts and opportunities. The comparisons you make to others are not fair assessments. This is simply your perception of others. The only true model of which you should compare, is you.
The word “enough” contributes to the internal mental dialogue, and in many ways and is not particularly helpful. Julie believes this thinking is learned and begins very young, and by minimizing inappropriate social comparisons and the use of the word enough we can change how we see ourselves and build confidence in who we are as individuals.
Julie Emsing Mann, M.S. Food Science and Nutrition, has excelled at translating complex scientific principles and concepts into analogies that easily become tangible to others. Her ability to distill abstract ideas to something understandable and relatable to friends, colleagues, business partners and consumers has drawn her deeply into mentoring. Julie has been creatively mentoring high school and college age students for the past 15 years, coaching them to explore all the possible options, and set zero limitations. She has been with The Hershey Company for 21 years and is currently leading the Protein Research Team. Julie is Manager of Technology and New Business Development in the Snacks Division. She has authentically earned the title of Protein Guru, driving healthful snacking initiatives forward in a company whose emphasis has traditionally been confections and sweet treats. Integrating science with business deliverables, as well as applying empathy, passion and support for team members provide a unique management style that brings cross-functional teams together to drive growth and work seamlessly.
Julie lives in Annville, PA and has a deep love for Sighthounds, and has 3 that share her life: 2 whippets and a Rhodesian Ridgeback.
Once Upon a Time at the Office: How Stories Shape Culture at Work—Every workplace has a culture, and in every workplace, that culture shapes how people perform. Sometimes culture is an asset, an accelerator that keeps people engaged, motivated, and doing great work. But sometimes, culture is a cancer: people only stick around for the paycheck, never bring their best self to their work, and are loyal only until something slightly better comes along. (When they’re not actively sabotaging things, that is.) With two-thirds of today’s employees either disengaged or actively disengaged, culture matters more than ever. So where does culture come from? What separates a strong culture from a counterproductive one? Eric Ratinoff argues that culture comes from stories, and explains how learning to harness the power of story can help you build a better organization.
Eric Ratinoff is the Executive Editor of the Ferguson Commission Report, and leads the storytelling team for Forward Through Ferguson, the organization carrying on the Commission’s work. He is also founder and Chief Storyteller for the strategic storytelling firm Story First, co-founder and Principal of The Mouse and the Elephant, a diversity and inclusion training company, and co-author of “A Seat at the Table,” an award-winning column on diversity and inclusion for the New Hampshire Business Review. In addition to his work as champion for the power of storytelling and advocate for inclusive workplaces, Eric is the lead organizer for TEDxAmoskeagMillyard in southern New Hampshire.
Our Cybersecurity Opportunity: What it is and why it matters. Cybersecurity expert Bill Hargenrader offers insights and inspirations into how the cyberwar, hacker fights, and the vulnerability of our nation’s infrastructure that we see and read about via the news actually represents an opportunity for us to improve the way we interact with the world. Through presenting the latest cyber challenges and technological advances, as well as sharing his personal story of losing his sense of identity, trust, and security, Bill will present a framework for innovating and improving upon the things that truly matter to us.
Bill Hargenrader is a United States Army Veteran, a Project Management Professional focusing on cybersecurity and innovation with the Fortune 500 technology and strategy consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, and founder of Next Level Life where he focuses on empowering entrepreneurs so we can massively change the world for the better together. Bill has been quoted and featured for his cybersecurity expertise in the Washington Post, CIO.com, Huffington Post, NBC news, and more.
When Bill was 8 years old, he was wrongfully committed to a mental institution for 3 years due to an unfortunate course of events. This set him on a lifelong quest of learning and discovery to figure out what the best tools are for us to truly change our lives for the better. Now, Bill is a bestselling author, and an international keynote speaker who is both a technical presenter and an inspirational motivator with his talks ranging from the latest advances in technology, to advancing through our lives realizing that we can choose to be the hero of our own story.
Sylvia was born on March 27, 1999 in Tema, Ghana. Having lived in Africa, Pacific Islands and North America, I have experienced numerous cultures and differences from around the world. I have one sister and 3 brothers, I'm the 4th. My family is centralized in the Christian faith, so I grew up in it; I attend Lighthouse Chapel International, I love music and enjoy singing, dancing and learning how to play instruments. I hope to become a lawyer in the future, as well as open up an orphanage. She plans on attending college at either Rutgers, Rowan, or Villanova.
I love to write and am inspired by authors on fanfiction.net. My favorite and childhood book series is Nancy Drew. I love the thrill of mysteries and putting puzzles together. Traveling has always been a big part of my life, and has made me who I am today. It also allows me to see things from different perspectives and understand people better. One day, I hope to write great books like Carolyn Keene and Dag Heward-Mills but also fulfill my life's purpose.