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Vice President, Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer
Piedmont Atlanta Hospital
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.
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.
General Robert B. Neller is the 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Prior to his current assignment, he served as the Commander, Marine Forces Command from July 2014 to September 2015 and Commander, Marine Forces Central Command from September 2012 to June 2014.
A native of East Lansing, Michigan, General Neller graduated from the University of Virginia and was commissioned in 1975. He has served as an infantry officer at all levels, including command of Marine Security Force Company Panama during Operations JUST CAUSE and PROMOTE LIBERTY; 3d Light Armored Infantry Battalion during Operation RESTORE HOPE; 6th Marine Regiment; and 3d Marine Division.
General Neller is a graduate of the Armor Officer Advanced Course, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, NATO Defense College, and the Armed Forces Staff College. He holds a master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Pepperdine University.
David Epstein is author of the new book RANGE: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the New York Times bestseller, The Sports Gene, which has been translated in 21 languages. He was previously an investigative reporter at ProPublica, where he covered topics from healthcare to drug cartels. Before that, he was a senior writer at Sports Illustrated, where he authored or co-authored many of the magazine’s most high-profile stories, including the revelation that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had tested positive for steroids. He was at one time a geology graduate student living in a tent in the Arctic, and likes to think this contributed to his range.
Kelly Hulsey is the Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Hulsey has 35+ years of experience in adult acute and critical care nursing, hospital operations, and people leadership.
Ms. Hulsey received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University, and a Master’s Degree in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing. She holds an advanced certification through the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
Ms. Hulsey is a member of The American Organization of Nurse Executives and the American College of Healthcare Executives. She serves on the selection committee for the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award.
As a nursing leader, Ms. Hulsey’s accomplishments have focused on the professional development of staff, leadership development, succession planning, process improvement, and change management. During her leadership tenure, Piedmont Atlanta has seen significant and sustained improvements in quality and safety, staff engagement, and nursing turnover.
Ms. Hulsey was recently recognized with the 2019 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Nurse Executive Leadership Award.
Lars N. Minns is the Chief Human Resources Officer of the NAFTA region for Mercedes-Benz, with responsibility for the USA, Canada, and Mexico. He leads the organization in designing, implementing, and executing HR strategies that directly align with the company’s strategic objectives. Mercedes-Benz manages the marketing, sales, and distribution of passenger cars in the NAFTA region.
He and his team played a pivotal role in the successful onboarding of 300+ new hires since his arrival in March 2015, including the largest single year of hiring in the company’s 50+ year history. He is now poised to lead one of the world’s most admired brands through a large-scale transformation.
Prior to joining MBUSA, he served as the Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition for The Home Depot’s Home Services division, commonly referred to as the “Do it for Me” business. He led his team in executing talent acquisition strategies for the company’s fastest-growing business segment.
As Global Director, Consumer Weather Strategy for IBM Services, Paul helps large consumer businesses reimagine how they systemically leverage weather and environmental data in both supply and demand chain systems — creating integrated enterprise processes that are more responsive and more resilient in the face of increasingly impactful weather conditions.
A leading international expert on the impact of weather on consumers and business, Paul’s observations have been regularly featured in the US on The Weather Channel and CNBC, and he’s been quoted in many global media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and The New York Times.
Before joining IBM and The Weather Company, Paul served as Senior Vice President, Business Development at Atmospheric and Environmental Research (a Verisk Analytics company), Chief Strategy Officer at Storm Exchange, Inc., and Senior Vice President, Client Services/Analytics at Planalytics, Inc.
Prior to 1997 as a meteorologist in the United States Air Force, Paul provided weather-based intelligence support to war fighters and mission planners and served as the Chief of Weather Operations for the US Army’s elite 101st Airborne Division during Operation Desert Storm.
Ameet Shetty is the Chief Data & Analytics Officer for SunTrust Banks, Inc. In this role he leads the Enterprise Data & Analytics Office, with responsibility for driving the strategic vision and effective deployment of data and business intelligence capabilities to improve efficiency, reduce risk, and enable strategic business growth. This includes deploying various analytical approaches to data management and governance programs; maintaining data operations; aligning SunTrust’s data strategy to business and IT goals; and managing business-aligned data teams.
Mr. Shetty’s additional leadership responsibilities include serving on the SunTrust Operating Council, the executive body charged with improving the client experience across business segments and channels.
Mr. Shetty’s professional awards and recognition include Oracle’s North American Big Data Leader of the Year (2016), the Technology Association of Georgia’s Creative Innovation Award for Analytics (2017) and the Celent Model Bank Award for Data Infrastructure Modernization (2018).
Former Special Forces Pararescue Commander
Tony Lesmes is a Partner of Together Good Deeds II, a small real estate brokerage and development firm in McKinney, Texas. He previously served eight years in the U.S. Air Force, where he was a Combat Rescue Officer leading Pararescue (PJ) combat search and rescue teams as far away as Afghanistan, and as close as Texas, where he was the lead officer for Hurricane Ike rescue operations. His leadership on over 200+ rescue operations was recognized in 2009 with the Company Grade Officer of the Year award for the 23rd Wing. Prior to serving, he was a track and field athlete at the University of Illinois and also holds an MBA from Cornell University.
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Kyle is a Canadian hockey executive who is currently serving as the General Manager of NHL side, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to his transition to General Manager, Kyle held the role as Assistant GM, whilst also operating as the General Manager of the Toronto Marlies, the Leafs AHL affiliate. Kyle was hired as Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014, at the age of 28, and at the age of 32, becomes one of the youngest General Managers in NHL history.
Former Program Manager
Dr. Amy Kruse is the Chief Scientific Officer of the Platypus Institute. Before joining the Platypus Institute, she served as the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cubic Global Defense, where she oversaw the company’s research and development (R&D) programs. Prior to her work at Cubic, Amy served as a government civilian program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where she created and oversaw the Agency’s first performance-oriented neuroscience program. Her efforts at DARPA generated scientific breakthroughs in areas including augmented cognition, accelerated learning, cognitive enhancement, team neurodynamics, and brain stimulation.
Senior Artistic Director
As protector of the creative concept, it is Pierre Parisien’s responsibility to ensure that the artistic creation of Cirque du Soleil resident shows under his authority stay true to their form. Before joining Cirque du Soleil in 1994, he worked as a director, artistic director, stage manager, production manager and coach for different theatre companies. In 2005 to 2011, Pierre was promoted to Senior Artistic Director for the Resident Shows of Cirque du Soleil. He actually works with many performers, as well as the artistic, coaching and medical staff to preserve the creativity and artistic integrity for which Cirque du Soleil is known.
Christophe is the Executive Chef of the world famous Joël Robuchon restaurant based in Las Vegas. Alongside the accolade of 3 Michelin Stars, the restaurant has also been the recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award and Forbes Five Star. Christophe first joined Joël Robuchon as a Sous Chef where he remained in the role for four years, becoming one of the leaders in the kitchen as he trained the next generation of cooks in the kitchen. In 2014, Christophe left the kitchen to become Chef de Cuisine at the James Beard award winning restaurant SAGE. Within a year, he returned to Joël Robuchon as Chef de Cuisine, a move predetermined to position him as the Executive Chef of the celebrated restaurant only a few short months later, at the ripe age of 27.
Jay holds the position of Director of Sports Performance and Head Athletic Trainer for the Vegas Golden Knights. In his directorship role, Jay oversees the governance, practices, orientations and quality assurance related to player healthcare and performance management services. Jay came to the Golden Knights with 17 years of experience working with international athletes and international coaches.
In his role with Cirque du Soleil, as the Director of Performance Medicine, Jay held the responsibility to oversee the care, prevention, and rehabilitation services for over 1300 athletes and 45 staff. Before becoming a sports medicine professional Jay was an active duty member of the United States Air Force where he was the recipient of the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and the National Defence Service Medal.
Vice President of Performance
Duncan has over 20 years of experience working with elite professional and Olympic athletes. Prior to joining the UFC, he was the Director of Performance Science at the University of Notre Dame, USA. Before residing in the US, Duncan was a Technical Lead for Strength & Conditioning at the English Institute of Sport. He has worked three full Olympic cycles, and has been the national lead for strength and conditioning to both Great Britain Basketball and more recently Great Britain Taekwondo’s Olympic program. For 3 seasons he served as the Head of Strength & Conditioning at Newcastle United Football Club. French has authored or co-authored 60 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts and seven book chapters.
Veronique currently operates within the mental performance team at Cirque du Soleil, where she supports artists to optimise their performance and ensure their wellbeing. Additionally, she is an associate researcher at the National Circus School in Montreal, working on several social innovation projects.
A large focus of Veronique’s research concentrates on the effects of creativity enhancement on motor performance and psychological adaptation, and she has designed a program to stimulate creativity combining movement improvisation, creative problem-solving and collective ideations with organisations around the world such as Cricket Australia and NXT WWE.
Author - The Ego is The Enemy
Ryan is a world-renowned writer and media strategist. At the age of 19, he dropped out of college to apprentice under Robert Greene (author of The 48 Laws of Power) before going on to become the Director of Marketing for American Apparel. Through his own creative agency Brass Check, he has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors. He has authored seven books, including The Obstacle Is the Way, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic and most recently Conspiracy. The Obstacle Is the Way and Ego Is the Enemy in particular have been incredibly popular with world-class coaches and athletes.
Learn from the most senior and knowledgeable global performance practitioners and gain valuable intelligence that is applicable
Engage in discussions around peak performance, showcasing ideas and uncovering hidden opportunities
Hear innovative new ideas and strategies to enhance your results on the field of play
Meet with 300 of sports most elite coaches, managers, sporting directors, technical directors and performance directors
Each attendee is vetted to ensure they are the right level, with the right knowledge and relevant to each other
Network with relevant professionals who you might not cross paths with otherwise