World Class Speakers
|Attendee Job Titles|
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.
David Brailsford has been involved in cycling throughout his career and has enjoyed a number of highlights. In 2008, in his role as Performance Director at British Cycling, he led the GB Cycling Team to an unprecedented 8 gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. He replicated this feat in 2012, leading Team GB to another 8 gold medals at the London Olympics. In 2010 Dave joined British based professional team, Team Sky, with the aim of bringing Britain its first ever Tour De France winner. In 2012 Dave achieved this, with Bradley Wiggins winning the prestigious race. One year later, it was under Dave’s leadership again that Chris Froome won the Tour De France for Team Sky. Dave received his knighthood for services to cycling and the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games on 28February 2013.
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.
Director of High Performance
Darren is Currently the Director of High Performance at Arsenal Football Club. Prior to this appointment Darren was High Performance Manager at Port Adelaide Football (AFL) Club for just short of 5 years, and Head of Fitness and Conditioning at Liverpool Football Club for 2.5 years
From 2008 till 2010 Darren was employed as Head of Sports Science for Football Federation Australia as well as the Australian Soccer Team’s Fitness Coach. This included the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Darren has previously worked as Head of High Performance at Port Adelaide Football Club (2004-2007) and Assistant Fitness Coach with Sydney Swans in the AFL (1997-2000), as well as Head Fitness Coach with the Parramatta Power in the Australian National Soccer League (2002-2004).
Head of Medical Services
Andrew Massey joined the Melwood backroom team on a full-time basis in July 2015 as Liverpool’s head of medical services. Andy began his career in the game as a professional footballer in the Irish league; however, an injury encouraged him to take up a university course studying physiotherapy.
Upon graduating with a BSc (Hons) degree to his name, he took on a placement with the Victorian Institute of Sport, where he commenced a Masters in Sports Physiotherapy and completed a qualification in Strength and Conditioning. Andy began studying medicine in the UK in 2002 and also started working as the Belfast Giants ice hockey team’s physiotherapist. He graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2007 and one year later was appointed team doctor with the Belfast Giants.
In 2009, Andy returned to football when he was appointed as national team doctor with the Irish Football Association – a role he combined with a similar position at Linfield FC. He completed an MSc in Sports Medicine whilst also training as a General Practitioner and was awarded a Fellowship of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine. Andy joined Liverpool FC in 2013 as the Academy doctor and match-day medical co-ordinator, before acting as first-team doctor on an interim basis in 2014 – a position that was made permanent the following year.
Comedian & Podcaster
Stuart is a stand-up comedian, actor and street performer in which he most recently supported Jack Whitehall at Wembley Arena. Alongside his career as a stand-up comedian, Stuart has also become an incredibly successful podcaster. This year alone he has accumulated 7 million downloads on his ‘Comedian’s Comedian Podcast’ in which he has interviewed the likes of Russell Brand, Jimmy Carr, Matt Lucas and Katherine Ryan.
Carlo Ancelotti is a retired footballer and Italian football manager. He is currently managing Bayern Munich. Ancelotti is the only manager to have won the UEFA Champions League three times and reached four finals (three finals and two victories with Milan, and one victory with Real Madrid). He is also the first manager to have won the FIFA Club World Cup for the European clubs. Ancelotti is regarded as one of the best and most successful managers of all time.
Nicknamed Carletto, Ancelotti played as a midfielder and began his career with Italian club Parma, helping the club to Serie B promotion in 1979. He moved to Roma the following season, where he won a Serie A title and four Coppa Italia titles, and also played for the late 1980s Milan team, with which he won two league titles and two European Cups, among other titles. At international level he played for the Italian national team on 26 occasions, scoring once, and appeared in two FIFA World Cups, finishing in third-place in the 1990 edition of the tournament, as well as UEFA Euro 1988, where he helped his nation to reach the semi-finals.
As a manager, he has worked for Reggiana, Parma, Juventus, Milan, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, and has won domestic titles in Italy, England, France and Spain.
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.
Brian has been the General Manager and Senior Vice-President of the New York Yankees for 16 years, having initially joined the organisation as an intern in 1986. The New York Yankees is one of the best known teams in world sport and is the most valuable franchise in the US, with a value of $2.3billion. During Brian’s tenure, the Yankees have won five World Series championships and seven American League pennants. Brian is recognised for piloting the Yankees front office through one of its most successful periods and in 2009 he was selected as MLB Executive of the Year for 2009 by the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Arsène Wenger started his management career in France with AS Nancy and Monaco from 1981-1994. Then moved to Asia where he was the manager of Nagoya Grampus Eight in 1995/1996, where he won the J-League Super Cup and the Emperor’s Cup, and was voted the J. League Manager of the Year. Since 1996 Wenger has been manager of Arsenal FC and has led them to three Premier League titles, five FA Cups, and five Community Shields. Arsène has also guided the Gunners to the Champions League and the UEFA Cup finals. He was the first coach from outside of the UK to win the Premier League and is, by some distance, the longest serving manager in the Premier League. Arsène has been hailed as the man responsible for changing the philosophy of football played by Arsenal, who under his leadership have adopted an exciting and attacking style of play.
Former Head Coach
Sir Graham is one of the most successful rugby coaches of all time. Starting out at the Auckland provincial team in 1992, he moved to coach Wales in 1998. It was there that he made his first major mark, leading the team to 11 consecutive wins and becoming the first foreign coach to supervise a British and Irish Lions tour. From 2004 to 2011 he coached the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national team. It was here that he earned his reputation as the person responsible for creating an environment of excellence across the team; transforming them from under achievers, to 2011 Rugby World Cup champions, with an incredible record of 88 wins from 103 tests along the way. Affirming his successes, Sir Graham was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for his services to rugby.
Sam Presti is heading into his seventh season with the Thunder after being appointed General Manager in 2007. A year into his tenure with the Thunder, he was promoted to Executive VP. In 2010, Presti was named NBA ‘Executive of the Year’ by The Sporting News and his phenomenal drafting over the years with the Thunder has established the team as arguably one of the top three in the entire NBA. His philosophy that you need more than one star to make a team is reflected in his trading strategy to build a team that is sustainable and one that nurtures young talent.
Faculty and Associate Director of Dance
Risa Steinberg, both faculty and Associate Director of Dance at The Juilliard School, has been an active member of the dance community for more than 35 years as a performer, teacher, re-constructor of the works of José Limón, and mentor to young choreographers. She has had the good fortune to travel the world performing and teaching extensively. Former principal dancer with the José Limón Dance Company, Bill Cratty Dance Theater, Annabel Gamson, Anna Sokolow’s Player’s Project, Colin Connor, and American Repertory Dance Company of Los Angeles, Ms. Steinberg has also been a guest artist with choreographers including Wally Cardona, Sean Curran, and DanzaHoy of Caracas, Venezuela. Her solo concert, A Celebration of Dance, featured repertory from Isadora Duncan and Doris Humphrey as well as contemporary choreographers. As a re-constructor of the works of Mr. Limón, Ms. Steinberg has worked with companies and dancers around the world including Nureyev and Friends, Frank Augustyn, Karen Kain, and the Pennsylvania Ballet. She was a dance panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts; presently sits on the Artists Advisory board for Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church and is on the selection committee of The Bessies. Ms. Steinberg is currently the Choreographic Advisor and Rehearsal Coach for Brian Brooks Moving Company.
Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations
Beane turned the identification and recruitment of talented players into a science, famously charted in the best-selling book ‘Moneyball’ and has moulded the A’s into a perennial postseason contender whilst running the club as one of the most cost effective teams in the MLB. Throughout his career Beane has been awarded a number of prestigious honours including; The Sporting News’ Executive of the Year, MLB’s Executive of the Year, and Street & Smith’s Sport Business Journal’s “40 under 40” list. Billy Beane was drafted by the New York Mets in 1980 and spent most of the 1980s in the minor leagues. He played six seasons in the major leagues before joining the management team of the Oakland Athletics in 1990, becoming general manager in 1997. His innovative management style inspired the 2003 book Moneyball, which was made into a film in 2011, starring Brad Pitt as Beane.
Chairman and Chef Patron
A household name in the UK, Raymond Blanc is a self-taught two star Michelin chef and Chairman and Chef Patron, Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, the only country house hotel in the UK to have achieved two Michelin stars for a total of 30 years. Restaurants, bakeries, patisseries, hotels and a cookery school are but a few of his achievements, alongside being a best-selling author with his own BBC television series. He was presented with an honorary OBE in 2008 in recognition of his services to the British food industry and received the insignia of Chevalier in the Ordre National de Légion d’Honneur in 2013, for services to agriculture, the highest French decoration.
Global Head of Culture
Maxine has been a Googler for 10 years now, and now the leads the whole companies strategy for their world renowned culture and environment. Google is led by the values and missions of its employees, and when they hire people it is integral that they fit to the principles that the company set – it’s not just about what you achieve, it’s how you achieve it. She not only looks outward to decide on what the type of person the company should recruit, but also looks inward to scrutinise whether the people who work and lead the company are abiding by the beliefs they have set. All this is really relatable to sport, and the responsibilities will mirror that of a lot of General Managers, Head Coaches and CEO’s – asides from this, Google set the standard when it comes to corporate culture and everyone will be intrigued just how the company, and Maxine in particular, creates it. I intend to put her on a panel discussing talent, and exploring how they draw people into the culture and more importantly what engages them to it, a topical and interesting discussion when it comes to talent acquisition and management.
Chief of Sport Performance
Alan Ashley was named chief of sport performance for the United States Olympic Committee on Sept. 1, 2010, after previously serving as managing director of sport performance since January 2010. In his current role, Ashley oversees the USOC divisions tasked with providing targeted resources and support to the National Governing Bodies, athletes and coaches in pursuit of sustained competitive excellence. These areas include coaching and sport science, sports medicine, international games and sport partnerships. Sport performance is also responsible for the preparation and execution of all Team USA activities related to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Ashley joined the USOC after spending 16 years with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, where he was a key contributor to the rise of the U.S. ski and snowboard teams, having most recently served as the vice president of athletics. At USSA, Ashley helped manage the coaching, training and organizational structure for six Olympic (alpine, cross-country, nordic combined and freestyle skiing; ski jumping; and snowboarding) and two Paralympic (alpine and cross-country skiing) sports involving 170 elite athletes, 125 elite coaches and administrative staff, 320 USSA clubs, 3,000 club coaches and 16,000 USSA member athletes.
Meg is a screenwriter and producer, and is currently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for co-writing the script for Pixar’s Inside Out. She also co-wrote the script for The Good Dinosaur and is currently writing the script for the live-action Captain Marvel movie. Story telling is an interesting subject for performance professionals to look at because it gives the opportunity to influence and connect with people, and can prove to be incredibly insightful when identifying how people work and develop. Part of this development relates to the story of emotion, and Meg has the ability to ‘find heroes’ which could relate back to sport where you’re looking to inspire and influence your team or organisation, and get emotional responses from your players or personnel. This can also relate to athletes themselves, a story can make them understand the obstacles and personal development tasks that they must overcome to become successful.
Gain unlimited access to a stunning list of over 25 world class speakers and sessions
Topical and current stage content to mirror the ever-changing world of performance from sport and beyond
Take away valuable, applicable, intelligence that will challenge your thinking and inspire ideas
In a unique environment, meet 350 performance practitioners from 25+ sports and 28 countries
A platform for the most elite to meet and learn from professionals who otherwise might not cross paths
Create relationships and exchange ideas which will contribute towards making the field of play an even more competitive space
Official Performance Analytics Partner
Technology has always been deeply woven into the world of sports. What’s different today is the ability to make technology more personal and intelligent, so it provides athletes and coaches with customized and real-time data to help teams improve training and performance. Intel is leading this next generation of computing by creating reference designs and complete end-to-end solutions from software to security to hardware that allow customers and partners to develop meaningful & impactful solutions.
Official Strength & Conditioning Partner
Keiser. Because…’Good Enough’ Isn’t.
BETTER SCIENCE Keiser brings together the science of the human body with the principles of engineering to create human-centered machines that elevate performance for all who use them.
BETTER RESULTS From elite athletes to active seniors, Keiser fitness equipment delivers superior results for any person desiring to improve their performance, whether on the field of play, on the job, or in everyday life.
BETTER BUILT Keiser engineers industrial-strength cardio, strength and functional training equipment around the human body. They are built for hard use, delivering long-term functionality for both users and owners.
Nolan Partners is the world’s leading and largest retained executive search firm with a dedicated focus on sports and entertainment. The firm has placed over 500 executives across 6 continents.
Nolan Partners has represented Manchester United, PGA Tour, Mercedes F1, NFL, Chicago Cubs, San Jose Earthquakes, International Tennis Federation, Breeders’ Cup, USTA, Toronto Blue Jays, City Football Group, Arsenal, and others.
In performance, Nolan Partners works with world famous clubs, governing bodies and professional leagues to identify top performance talent including Sporting Directors, General Managers, Technical Directors, Talent Acquisition Specialists, Medics and Sports Scientists, from a global pool, representing clients in the UK, Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.
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