2019 Talent Conference & Exposition

Keynote Speakers

  • Ginger Hardage


    Ginger Hardage recently retired as Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications at Southwest Airlines after an illustrious 25 years, where she served as a member of the CEO's executive leadership team. At Southwest (the nation’s largest airline), Ginger led a team of 150 people responsible for building and sustaining the organization's legendary culture and communications enterprise.

    Recognized by many as a foremost global authority on building and sustaining organizational culture, Ginger was responsible for the activities that nourished the culture and the internal and external communications function. At Southwest, Ginger was a tireless ambassador of the world-famous Southwest Culture, leading to honors like 22 consecutive years on FORTUNE’s “Top 10 Most Admired Companies in the World” list. Most importantly, Ginger helped champion the values that have made Southwest a culture of enduring greatness – we put people first, we treat customers like family, we nurture our culture, and we try to change ahead of the times.

    Monday, April 8, 2019 - 9:00am to 10:30am
  • Dan Heath


    Dan Heath co-wrote four of the most-loved business books of the past decade: Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive, and their latest book, The Power of Moments, which explores why certain brief experiences can jolt, elevate and change us—and how we can learn to create these extraordinary moments in our life and work. All four were New York Times best-sellers. Together the Heath brothers' books have sold over two million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages.

    Dan is a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who fight for social good. He is also an entrepreneur himself, having founded Thinkwell, an innovative education ompany that will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017. A former case writer for Harvard Business School, Dan was named in 2013 to the Thinkers 50, a ranking of the world’s 50 most influential management thinkers, and also to Fast Company magazine’s list of the Most Creative People in Business.
    He has delivered keynotes or workshops for teachers, police chiefs, U.S. senators, interior designers, Navy admirals, health care leaders, marketers, ministers, and countless executive teams, across 26 countries on 6 continents. (He’s still waiting for that invitation from Antarctica.)

    Dan has a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 8:00am to 9:15am
  • Elatia Abate


    Elatia Abate is the CEO of a start-up that matches advisors with innovation projects. She is an expert on the future of work, blockchain applications, and building cultures of creativity. She works with organizations that range in size from Fortune 500 to early-stage start-ups. She coaches the Scaling Social Innovation Lab at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

    She is a sought-after speaker and lecturer, having delivered a TEDx titled, “Pioneering The Future of Work.” Other recent speaking engagements include “The Future of Work” at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Convention (August 2017), “Design Your Dream Career” at University of Chicago Booth School of Business (February 2018) and keynoting Fundación RAP’s Seminar on Employment and Inclusion with a talk entitled “Preparing For The Fourth Industrial Revolution” at Tulane
    University (March 2018). She is also the voice of "Good Evening," Brazil's Gazeta do Povo English language nightly news briefing.

    Before leaving the corporate world, Ms. Abate served as Vice President of Human Resources at Dow Jones & Company and Global Director Talent Acquisition at Anheuser-Busch InBev. At both organizations she led global initiatives to build cultures of innovation through human capital strategy.

    She teaches in the Continuing Studies departments of Stanford University and University of Toronto. Her work has been featured in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Estadão and Fast Company.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 9:00am to 10:00am
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