Strategic Growth Forum®

Palm Springs, California
November 10-13, 2022

      Featured speakers

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour
America’s First Black Female Combat Pilot
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour has been tested her whole life. A gutsy trailblazer, her resume is an impressive collection of firsts, including America’s first Black female combat pilot. She served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. She was also a diversity liaison officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps. After her military service, FlyGirl became an entrepreneur, business consultant and author of Zero to Breakthrough: The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. As a speaker, FlyGirl unleashes hard-hitting advice and anecdotes from her adventures on the battlefield and in business.
Simone Biles

Kristen Bell
Actress, Philanthropist, Producer, Entrepreneur
Kristen Bell is an actress in TV and film and a New York Times best-selling author as well as a philanthropist and producer. She starred in STX Films’ Queenpins, the Netflix parody The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window  and stars in the upcoming Amazon film The People We Hate at the Wedding. She also executive produced and appeared in the second season of Encore, which is on Disney+. Kristen reprised her title role in Warner Brothers’ film Veronica Mars and brought back the role for a series revival on Hulu.
Simone Biles

Simone Biles
World’s Most Decorated Gymnast
The first woman to capture five All-Around World Championship titles, Simone Biles is the most decorated gymnast in World Championships history with 25 medals overall (19 gold) and is a seven-time Olympic medalist (4 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze). A three-time Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, she earned the rare distinction of having four skills named in her honor, The Biles, across beam, floor (two) and vault. Her autobiography — Courage to Soar — was a New York Times best seller. Simone advocates for mental health and support initiatives that provide education and assistance for children and young adults associated with adoption and foster care.
Black Eyed Peas

Black Eyed Peas
Grammy Award Winning Pop Icons
Pioneering an unprecedented global hybrid of hip-hop, pop, electro and world, the Black Eyed Peas — will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo — have a legendary career earmarked by making history, breaking records and raising the bar. Over the past 25 years, they earned six GRAMMY Awards and achieved sales of 35 million albums and 120 million singles. They emerged as “the second best-selling artist/group of all-time for downloaded tracks,” according to Nielsen, and landed on Billboard’s “Hot 100 Artists of the Decade.” Moving over 3 million tickets and performing 300-plus shows, they graced the world’s biggest stage with a 2011 Super Bowl XLV halftime performance.
Black Eyed Peas

Wayne Brady
Emmy-Winning Actor, Producer, Musician
Multiple Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated Wayne Brady is an actor, producer, singer, dancer and songwriter. His TV resume includes Whose Line Is It Anyway?, The Masked Singer, Black Lightning, The Good Fight and American Gigolo. Wayne served as host and executive producer for Let’s Make A Deal, Game of Talents and Comedy IQ, which he also co-created. His debut album earned Wayne a Grammy Award nomination. He made his Broadway debut as Billy Flynn in Chicago, soon after starred as Lola in Kinky Boots and starred as Aaron Burr in the Chicago production of Hamilton. Wayne recently returned to Broadway as part of Freestyle Love Supreme, which combines hip hop, improv and comedy.
Black Eyed Peas

James Lawrence
The Iron Cowboy, Ultra Endurance Champion
Known as The Iron Cowboy, James Lawrence is an ultra-endurance athlete who has pushed himself beyond what many doctors previously believed to be physiologically possible. He spent a decade in mortgage and finance before losing it all in the 2008 financial crisis. At rock bottom, his career as an endurance athlete started humbly with a local 4-mile fun run. Today James is a keynote speaker, best-selling author and the subject of a critically acclaimed feature film. He continues to redefine the impossible in his own life, while teaching audiences around the world to do the same in their own lives.
Nicole Atchison

Nicole Atchison
CEO, PURIS Holdings
Nicole Atchison leads the agricultural technology and food technology business units in the PURIS portfolio of companies. PURIS is a leader in the sustainable food and agriculture movement, driving innovation across seed genetics, ingredient processing, plant-based food development and product commercialization — all from US-based organic and non-GMO sources. PURIS is a family-owned company founded in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Built with intention over 35 years, the PURIS plant-based food system benefits every link in the production chain: flavorful and nutritious choices for people, profitable opportunities for growers, flexible ingredients for food makers, and practices that nourish soil, the environment and life on earth.
Black Eyed Peas

Thack Brown
Chief Operating Officer, SAP North America
Since joining SAP in 2008, Thack Brown has held several leadership roles in finance, sales and operations. In his current role as Chief Operating Officer for SAP North America, Thack is responsible for the development and seamless execution of SAP’s go-to-market and sales strategies and is a driving force behind the region’s fast-growing cloud business. Fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese, he has lived and worked around the world. He has an international MBA with a specialization in Finance from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Appalachian State University.
Jim Fitterling

Gregory Daco
Chief Economist, EY-Parthenon
Gregory Daco is Chief Economist at EY-Parthenon, a global strategy consulting organization that helps CEOs and business leaders design and deliver transformative strategies. He leads thematic research on the global economy, central bank policy and fiscal policy. Greg uses econometric modeling to produce macroeconomic forecasts and conducts briefings for CEOs, corporate boards, trade associations and policymakers. He was previously Chief US Economist at Oxford Economics and Director of US Macroeconomics at IHS Global Insight, now IHS Markit. He also worked in the Economic Affairs Department of the Belgian Embassy in Australia and the Permanent Representation of Belgium to the United Nations and World Trade Organization.
Jim Fitterling

Jim Fitterling
Chairman and CEO, Dow, Inc.
Jim Fitterling is Chairman and CEO of Dow, a global materials science company with approximately $55 billion in annual sales. He became CEO in July 2018 and was elected Chairman in April 2020. Jim led Dow’s transformation from a lower-margin commodity company to one deeply focused on higher-growth markets that value innovation with the ambition to be the most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company in the world. He is a leading voice in sustainability, a strong advocate for a circular and net-zero carbon economy, and a vocal champion for inclusion, diversity and equality.
Sheila Mikhail

Xian Horn
Founder, Give Beauty Wings, and Changeblazer
Xian Horn, born with cerebral palsy, serves as the founder of the nonprofit Give Beauty Wings and consultancy Changeblazer. She is an advocate, speaker, Forbes contributor, writer for Thrive Global and former exemplar for the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge in the creation of assistive technology. Xian was named to Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2017 and Walker’s Legacy Power 15 in 2018. She has spoken at Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, the White House, the UN, Zappos, NBCUniversal and Target, among many others. Her mission is to shift culture to be as inclusive and welcoming of all humanity as possible.
Suneera Madhani

Suneera Madhani
CEO and Founder, Stax
Suneera Madhani is the founder and CEO of Stax, a FinTech company that provides integrated payments and payment processing for small business, large business and software-as-a-service companies, processing over $23 billion in payments. Under her leadership, Stax has catapulted from startup to Orlando’s first FinTech unicorn with a valuation of over $1 billion. Suneera has become a notable minority female entrepreneur, raising over $500 million in venture capital. A visionary leader, she is the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 Florida Award winner. Suneera strives to help other women succeed through her platform at CEO School, a top 100 business podcast.
Sheila Mikhail

Quynh Mai
Founder & CEO, Qulture
Qulture is a digital creative agency known for equipping its clients to confidently embrace the near future. Using compelling narratives and cutting-edge technology, Qulture crafts prescient campaigns to connect brands with their audiences and prepare them for their next big move in digital.   They have helped Sephora, Ferrari, H&M, Google, COTY Group, L’Oreal Group and Uniqlo successfully shift their marketing practices from traditional media driven initiatives to innovative, digital-first programs that drive business results for the modern age.  As Qulture’s leader, Quynh Mai was named a Campaign 40 over 40 Digital Innovator and has steered the company to two Clio Awards, three Hermes Creative Awards and a Webby Award Official Honoree.
Sheila Mikhail

Sheila Mikhail
CEO, AskBio
Sheila Mikhail cofounded AskBio in 2001 and has served as CEO since 2017. Under her leadership, AskBio has become one of the most prolific gene therapy companies in the world with over 700 employees operating in five countries. During her tenure at AskBio, Sheila has guided several strategic acquisitions that have contributed accretive value to the company’s technology portfolio while also successfully conducting two spin-offs to Baxter and Pfizer. In December 2020, Sheila orchestrated a $4 billion acquisition by Bayer AG. She was named the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 National Overall Award winner.
Viraj Puri

Ramez Naam
Managing Partner, PlanetaryVC
Ramez Naam is the Managing Partner of PlanetaryVC, which invests in startups addressing the world’s greatest challenges. He is part of the core faculty at the new EY Tech University in Silicon Valley.

Ramez has spent the past decade investing in climate and energy technologies and speaking around the world on innovation, exponential technology, and the future of energy and climate. He has advised executives of the world’s largest energy companies. Ramez is the award-winning author of five books, including The Nexus Trilogy. He spent 13 years at Microsoft working on artificial intelligence and is the author of more than 20 patents, several co-invented with Bill Gates.
Viraj Puri

Viraj Puri
CEO, Gotham Greens
Viraj Puri is an entrepreneur and innovator who has helped to advance the global indoor farming industry. In 2009, Viraj cofounded Gotham Greens, a Brooklyn, NY-based Certified B Corporation, which has grown to be one of the largest indoor farming companies in the world. Today, Gotham Greens products are available in more than 3,000 grocery locations and via e-commerce in more than 45 US states. Before Gotham Greens, Viraj led startup enterprises in the US, India and Malawi focused on sustainable agriculture, green building, renewable energy and environmental design. He was recognized as the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2021 New York Award winner. 
Ryan Roslansky


Ryan Roslansky
CEO, LinkedIn
Ryan Roslansky is the CEO of LinkedIn, the world’s largest and most powerful network of professionals. Ryan joined the company in May 2009 and has since held leadership roles in every part of LinkedIn’s business. He led the evolution of LinkedIn’s products into a single, holistic, global ecosystem of more than 850 million members, 58.4 million companies, 120,000 schools and 39,000 skills. Under his leadership, LinkedIn has also seen record levels of engagement on the platform and accelerated growth across the company.
Anne-Marie Slaughter

Ravi Saligram
CEO, Newell Brands
Ravi Saligram is the CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Newell Brands, a Fortune 300 global consumer products company, and is Chair of the Governance Committee at Church & Dwight. Prior to joining Newell, Ravi was CEO of both Ritchie Bros. and OfficeMax.
 
Since joining Newell in 2019, Ravi has led the company’s turnaround, returning it to growth by revitalizing its iconic brands, including Sharpie, Coleman, Graco and Rubbermaid, by driving innovation, building omnichannel expertise, integrating supply chains and reducing complexity. He and his world-class leadership team have galvanized the organization through a “people first” culture aimed at fostering a diverse and inclusive culture and making Newell a great place to work, grow and thrive.
 
During Ravi’s tenure, Newell has received several prestigious recognitions, including Fortune’s 2022 World’s Most Admired Companies and The Wall Street Journal’s 250 Best-Managed Companies. In 2018, he was recognized as CEO of the Year by Business in Vancouver and named to Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Most Admired CEOs in 2021.
Anne-Marie Slaughter

Anne-Marie Slaughter
CEO, New America
Anne-Marie Slaughter is the CEO of New America and the Bert G. Kerstetter ’66 University Professor Emerita of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University. From 2009 to 2011, she served as the Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. Department of State, the first woman to hold that position. Anne-Marie was the Dean of Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs from 2002 to 2009 and the J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School from 1994 to 2002. She has written or edited seven books, and published “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” in The Atlantic.

Strategic Growth Forum 2022

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