World Class Speakers
|Attendee Job Title|
Dave is the current General Manager of the NBA’s LA Clippers, and has over 40 years of experience as a player and coach at the top level. Dave has held a number of roles including Assistant Coach at the Nets, Celtics, Timberwolves, Kings and Lakers (where he won the NBA Championship in 1985), as Assistant General Manager of the Celtics, and EVP Basketball Operations at the Miami Heat. He started his current role as GM of the Clippers in 2014, which is the third time working with Head Coach Doc Rivers after the two worked together in Boston and with the Orlando Magic. In his playing career, Wohl was selected in the 3rd round of the 1971 NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers. He played for six different teams over a seven-year career including the 76ers, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets.
After starting the 2015 season as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, Clay Helton was named USC’s permanent head coach on Nov. 30, dropping the interim head coach title he had held since Oct. 12 (for USC’s final 7 regular season games). He signed a 5-year contract.
The 44-year-old Helton, who has been at USC since 2010, is 6-4 as the Trojan head coach (5-4 in 2015, with wins over a pair of Top 25 teams), including 0-2 as the permanent head coach. He guided the 2015 Trojans to 5 wins in the last 6 regular-season games (including victories over No. 3 Utah and No. 22 UCLA), the co-championship of the challenging Pac-12 South Division, a berth in the Pac-12 Championship Game and a trip to the Holiday Bowl. He was named the 2015 Los Angeles Sports Council Coach of the Year.
Tom is the in his third year as GM of the Chargers, having previously spent 14 years with the Indianapolis Colts in the roles of VP Football Operations and Director of Player Personnel. Tom comes from a strong scouting background after roles with the Panthers and Colts, the latter coinciding with one of the most successful eras of the franchise’s history – he also arrived at the same time as one the team’s and sport’s great Quarterbacks, Peyton Manning.
Tom and the rest of the recruitment team put together a Colts team that appeared in the playoffs 12 times, winning 8 division titles and the Super Bowl XLI title in 2006, and were the second best team in this period only to the Patriots.
Following this successful spell, Tom was hired as the GM at the Chargers and was immediately part of the committee that appointed Mike McCoy as Head Coach. It’s a new era in San Diego, and the last three years have been a rebuilding phase, spearheaded by top players Philip Rivers and Danny Woodhead. Tom is the youngest GM in Chargers history, and one of the youngest in the NFL, so he will be able to give some great contrasting views alongside Dave Wohl of the Clippers, discussing the future of the leaders in their respective sports, and how the role of GM is evolving.
Michael is the reigning World Rugby Coach of the Year after leading Australia to the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final and winning the 2015 Rugby Championship. He has had a standout coaching career as he’s led Leinster to the 2009 Heineken Cup trophy, the NSW Waratahs to the 2014 Super Rugby title and Stade Francais to the 2011 Challenge Cup Final – this makes him the only ever coach to win a major rugby club competition in each hemisphere. He took over the Wallabies when the team were in somewhat of a crisis, and within a year identified and rectified the weaknesses in the teams play, overhauled the coaching and playing staff and created a new environment and philosophy for the team to buy in to – hence the success at RWC2015 and him becoming the first Australian to win the games top coaching accolade since 2001.
Mark Helfrich had one of the hardest jobs in college sport after replacing Chip Kelly, arguably the Ducks’ most successful ever football coach in 2013. However, after 11-2 first year (surpassing Chip Kelly’s previous Oregon pinnacle for most wins in a first-year), and a victory over Texas in the Alamo Bowl (only the second Ducks’ coach to win a bowl game in the first season), he could not of got off to a much better start. But he and his team went from strength to strength, and in 2014 he became only the school’s second ever coach to lead the team to a National Championship appearance, falling at the final hurdle to Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes – this included guiding the school to more single-season victories than any other in conference history. The achievements continued as they won the Pac-12 title with a 15-3 record, ran out 51-13 winners over Arizona in the conference championship game, and handed Florida State only their second loss in two seasons. Mark also coached the school’s only ever Heisman Trophy (College Football Player of the Year) winner ever, Marcus Mariota.
Les has just completed his fourth year as General Manager of the newly relocated LA Rams. He partners with Head Coach Jeff Fisher to direct all personnel decisions for the club, as well as coordinating all aspects of the club’s football operations, and direct the team’s business ventures alongside EVP Football Ops and COO, Kevin Demoff. Les started his career in the NFL at Jacksonville Jaguars as a Pro Scout between 1995-97, then moved to the Atlanta Falcons where he was also Pro Scout as well as Director of Pro/Player Personnel. He was hired as GM of the Rams in 2012, and instantly made an impact with his ambitious moves to improve the organization in any way possible, with clever trades that resulted in greater manoeuvrability in the draft, and the acquisitions of players such as Michael Brockers, Brian Quick, Janoris Jenkins and Isaiah Pead. The Rams also have this year’s NFL Rookie of the Year in their roster, Todd Gurley, who Les was instrumental in picking and bringing to the Rams.
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.
Alex Van Pelt enters his fifth season with the Packers and returns to coaching quarterbacks, a group he led in 2014, following his role of quarterbacks/wide receivers coach in 2015. He was the team’s running backs coach in his first two years with the club (2012-13). He is entering his 20th NFL season and his 11th as an NFL assistant coach.
Van Pelt joined the Packers on February 13, 2012, as running backs coach after spending the previous two seasons (2010-11) as quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was named quarterbacks coach by Green Bay on Feb. 7, 2014. Prior to his appointment with the Buccaneers, Van Pelt spent four seasons (2006-09) on the offensive coaching staff of the Buffalo Bills.
Melissa Painter is the Executive Producer at 5D Global Studio where she helps clients think about the intersections of their industries and emergent technologies. Painter is an award-winning filmmaker who has directed three features, and produced two. Her films have premiered at Sundance, Cannes, The New York Film Festival, SXSW, and Telluride. She was a writing and directing fellow at the Sundance Lab, and a recipient of a Warner Brother Fellowship. She holds a BA from Columbia University in Ancient Greek and an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts in Film. She is co-author of the book Edie Sedgwick, Edie: Girl on Fire. Previously to working at 5D Global Studio, Melissa served as Managing Director of a contemporary dance company, and worked at WONDROS in content strategy and as co-director of short form documentaries for clients such as the NRDC, The Teaching Gardens, Gladstone Institute, The Gates Foundation, The California Endowment, and Columbia Journalism School.
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.
Author, The Captain Class: The Driving Force Behind the World's Greatest Teams
Sam Walker is The Wall Street Journal’s deputy editor for enterprise, overseeing the paper’s in-depth page-one news features and investigative reporting projects. A former sports columnist, Walker founded the Journal’s prizewinning daily sports pages in 2009 and oversaw the paper’s global coverage of sports news and major events across all print editions and digital platforms. He is the author of Fantasyland, a bestselling account of his attempt to win America’s top fantasy-baseball expert competition (of which he is a two-time champion). Walker attended the University of Michigan. He lives in New York with his wife, Christy Fletcher, and their two children.
Chief Creative Officer
Brandon Oldenburg is an award-winning illustrator, designer, sculptor and film director. After co-founding Moonbot Studios he won an Academy Award® for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an animated short film about the curative powers of story. He also received an Emmy Award for his directorial work on film and game experience The Scarecrow. As well as winning a Webby Award for his work on The Numberlys picture book app, Brandon co-hosted TCM Movie Camp. His forthcoming projects include a brand new company, Flight School, and a new animated short world premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in April.
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