World Class Speakers
General Robinson is the highest ranking female General in US history, and was named in Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people for 2016. In May 2016, she took over as leader of U.S. Northern Command, becoming the first female service member to lead a unified combatant command after being inducted by President Obama. NORAD conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in the defence of North America, while USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defence, civil support, and security cooperation to defend and secure the United States and its interests.
Thomas is one of the most respected executives in football due to his passion and vision for the Falcons, his dynamic drafting and philosophical approach to building a team – and since he joined in 2008, the team has experienced a level of consistency that is unmatched in the team’s 46-year history. After his first season with the Falcons, he was named ‘Executive of the Year’ and again went on to be honoured in 2010. He then helped guide the Falcons to their third consecutive playoff appearance for the first time in franchise history in 2012. Prior to his tenure at the Falcons he was with the New England Patriots between 2002-2007.
Rick enters his 5th season as General Manager of the club, the 11th overall with the Vikings and the 26th season in the NFL. The 2016 season will be a monumental one in Vikings history as the club enters the new state-of-the-art U.S. Bank Stadium and is coming off a successful 2015 campaign boasting a roster of young, talented core players. Rick joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel on May 30, 2006 and directed scouting, free agency and draft preparations for the club before taking on General Manager duties for 2012. Earlier in his career he climbed the ranks of NFL personnel departments with Detroit, Chicago and Miami and his tenure with all 3 franchises were highlighted by drafting impact players throughout the seven rounds and making key trades and free agency acquisitions – his teams have won 6 divisional titles and advanced to the playoffs 10 times. The Vikings have drafted players who have made immediate impacts on the club under Rick’s direction, such as superstar Adrian Peterson and this season just gone with Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs, that led them to the NFC North title, taking it away from previous winners Green Bay Packers on the regular season finale.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mark took the reins at the Blue Jays in 2015 after a 14 year stint at the Cleveland Indians that started in 1991, in which time he was named Executive of the Year on two occasions. He joined the Indians as Director of Player Development and eventually made his way up to General Manager in 2001, and then Team President before leaving for the Rogers Centre. During his time in Cleveland, he was the architect behind building a pair of post-season teams with 90+ wins in 2005 and 2007. With Mark’s performance experience mixed with the requirements on the commercial side he has become one of the most highly rated leaders in the MLB. He is widely regarded as the man who built a small market team in Cleveland into a successful and competitive outfit, and during his first two years in Canada has improved the franchise off the field, and had an big influence on the culture, player development and team building on it.
Emma Hayes was appointed manager of Chelsea Ladies in June 2012, replacing Matt Beard after his three years in charge, and succeeding in leading the team to Women’s FA Cup for the first time in 2015, quickly following it with the Women’s Super League title to complete a historic and memorable double. She was the only female manager in that league and the previous season her side had finished close runners-up, thereby qualifying for the Women’s Champions League for the first time.
Hayes’s career in management spans over a decade and she earned huge plaudits after leaving her native North London for successful spells in America.
Sean is entering his sixth season as manager of Burnley FC and in that time has achieved two promotions to the Premier League. Sean guided Burnley for the second time towards promotion to the Barclays Premier League in 2016 and then consolidated the club’s top flight status last season by finishing 16th in the league. Sean Dyche has confirmed his reputation as one of the brightest young British managers in the game. Previously a coach and Assistant Manager at Watford, he became Manager at the club in 2011 before joining Burnley. Before turning to management, Sean forged a successful career as a player, representing Chesterfield, Bristol City, Luton, Millwall, Watford and Northampton Town. Sean also has experience at national team level, having been part of the backroom staff for the England Under-21 team that reached the final of the 2013 European Championships.
Morten is an award winning management professor, researcher, bestselling author and one of the Top 50 management thinkers on the planet, according to Thinkers50. He teaches future leaders of Apple at their University, and also continues to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as INSEAD which was voted the best business school in the world by the Financial Times – he was also formerly a professor of Harvard and holds a PhD from Stanford.
Director of the Center for Enhanced Performance
Lieutenant Colonel Darcy Schnack graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1996 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Transportation Corps. She later earned her Master’s degree from Boston College in 2006 and is currently working on her PhD in Sociology. Darcy has served at various levels of leadership in the U.S. Army, two tours in Iraq as an Army logistician, and two tours teaching in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership where she served as the Military Leadership Course Director. She is currently the Director of West Point’s Center for Enhanced Performance, which houses their Performance Psychology and Academic Excellence programs.
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