Alan Bean

Alan Bean

Captain Alan Bean, the fourth man in history to set foot on the moon, knows about reaching for the stars, both organizationally and individually. In 1973, he was the Commander of Skylab Mission II (SL III), where he lived 59 days in space, orbiting 270 miles above Earth, leading his crew to accomplish 150% of their pre-mission goals – a record unsurpassed before or since. Captain Bean shows why human beings are the most extraordinary creatures in the universe. We are unique because as far as we know we are the only beings in the universe whose only limits are those we place on ourselves. Read more

Bob Dole

Bob Dole

Since leaving public elective office, former Presidential candidate and Senator Bob Dole continues to take an active leadership role in a wide range of public policy and charitable causes. Recent projects include serving as Chairman of the National World War II Memorial, which was completed and dedicated in 2004; serving as Chairman of the International Commission on Missing Persons, and co-chairing, with Former President Bill Clinton, a foundation to assist the spouses and children of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack; and serving as President of the Federal City Council. Read more

Charlie Plumb

Charlie Plumb

A testament to the strength of the human spirit, Charles Plumb endured the most extreme hardship and used

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Dan Holdridge

Dan Holdridge

In April 2001, Mr. Dan Holdridge was one of the youngest Program Directors at General Dynamics Corporation in Needham, MA. Dan oversaw computer engineering operations for General Dynamics and was sent to the United States Pentagon to support the construction of the newly renovated section of the Pentagon. On September 11th, 2001, Dan’s life almost ended when he was injured in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Recovered physically, Dan dedicates his time speaking to people across the country about his experience that day, what helped him heal and how he became an even stronger person than ever before. Read more

Eric Foner

Erik Foner

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, is one of this country’s most prominent historians. He received his doctoral degree at Columbia under the supervision of Richard Hofstadter. He is one of only two persons to serve as president of the three major professional organizations: the Organization of American Historians, American Historical Association, and Society of American Historians, and one of a handful to have won the Bancroft and Pulitzer Prizes in the same year. Read more

Gary Marlon Suson

 

9/11 photographer Gary Marlon Suson lives in New York City. On September 11, 2001, his life, just as all American’s lives, was turned upside down by the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. Initially, after photographing the Towers’ collapse from his rooftop, Suson returned to his studio, deciding he wasn’t going to shoot anything else having to do with this tragedy. He didn’t want the stress of being in the midst of the chaos taking pictures, and especially didn’t wish to be wrongly viewed as someone trying to exploit a situation. Read more

Greg Gadson

 

Lieutenant Colonel Greg Gadson has survived the very worst of war, but this highly decorated American soldier has not been defeated by unfortunate circumstance; instead, his life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. Gadson understands that hard work and determination are key factors in overcoming life-altering setbacks. His biggest challenge happened in Iraq when an IED attack led to both of his legs being amputated above the knees. For anyone else, this might have been a defining moment, but he refused to be defined by the proverbial “hail of bullets.” Read more

Jerry Gay

Jerry Gay

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jerry Gay has spent a lifetime capturing the nature of man throughout the United States. Over the past 4 decades he has driven 500,000 miles of America’s back roads and highways to pursue his ongoing research of everyday life. With humor and acute philosophical perception, Gay’s highly animated motivational presentations bring his visual insights to every audience he touches. His pictures and philosophy convey a positive and persuasive analysis to help others find hope and see solutions to the unique challenges they face. Read more

Joe Castillo

Joe Castillo

Keynote Speaker and Artist Joe Castillo is one of the first and foremost sand artists in the world who tells stories with his sand art projected on a big screen, creating a powerful and moving experience. Drawing with his finger through a screen of sand, Joe Castillo makes fluid lines that cohere into characters that become stories. Joe Castillo is the originator of a form of storytelling art that he calls the SandStory. Drawing his hand across the medium, he makes simple, fluid lines that expose light from under dark sand, telling stories and sharing life lessons. Read more

John Edward Hasse

John Edward Hasse

 

Dr. John Edward Hasse’s books, presentations, and speeches move and inspire leaders, associations, educators, and audiences around the world. As the biographer of Duke Ellington, the creator of Jazz Appreciation Month, the founder of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, a Grammy-nominated writer on music, and an accomplished musician himself, John Edward Hasse is a global voice for American jazz music—and a leader himself in the search for creative achievement. Called “Ellington’s best biographer” by The Washington Post, Hasse is a recognized curator and expert on American music, has been interviewed on CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC and is the contributor on American jazz to the Wall Street Journal. As a speaker on leadership, American music, and jazz presentations in 20 countries on six continents, Hasse has also been sent by U.S. State Department to 10 countries to highlight American jazz and culture.  Read more