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Alex Sion

With over 18 years of experience in business, technology and marketing strategy for financial services firms, Alex Sion is poised to become one of the industry’s greatest disruptors.

As an advisor on digital strategory and disruption to global financial leaders such as HSBC, Citi, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Scotland and Barclays, Alex is one of the leading voices in the financial services industry.

Alex is a recognized thought leader, speaker and panelist in the financial services space. He has spoken at large financial services conferences such as American Banker, BAI, Finnovate, Forrester Customer Experience Form, and Association of Financial Technologies. He has also spoken at global leadership forums and executive summits for firms such as: Toronto Dominion, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Regions Bank, and BBVA.

Something You Can Bank On
5 Predictions for the Next Five Years in Retail Banking

The retail banking industry is at a key turning point. The cost of managing customers through massive branch networks is outstripping many banks’ ability to generate profits.

Meanwhile, a jaded consumer base increasingly interacts with their banks through virtual channels.

Ultimately, these two forces will lead to new distribution models, customer experience platforms, crowd-
sourced business models and other game-changing innovations that will redefine the banking industry.

In this session, Alex Sion, President of Movenbank, will share his predictions for the next five years in retail banking, and his recommendations for what financial institutions must do in order to stay ahead of the curve.

How to Gather $100B in assets over Twitter
Reaching the Next Gen Affluent

For the Baby Boomer generation, affluent service was a combination of high-touch & high class: a personal banker, exclusive events, mahogany furniture and plush carpets. For Generation X, the first group to grow up in the digital and internet age, affluent morphed to include some degree of empowered self-direction and access.
For generations growing up today where digital, internet, social and mobile are the norm…what will “affluent service” mean to them? What impact do these changing expectations have on the future of retail financial services: both banking and brokerage/wealth management?

In this session, Alex Sion, President of Movenbank, will share his perspective on the changing needs and perceptions of the affluent consumer. He’ll also explore the direct implications on the marketing, distribution, sales and service models for serving affluent customers. Answering questions like :

• Do mobile and social matter? How & Why?
• What does “financial planning” look like in a mobile and social world?
• What is the future role of the financial advisor?
• How to make money and win with the mass affluent customer?

Innovation: No Country for Old Men?

Who says that you have to be under the age of 30 and single to launch a start up? Who says that having 2 kids, a wife and a mortgage prohibits you from taking a hard left turn at the point in your career where you should begin to coast and rest on your laurels? Who says that disruption and innovation are the privileged territories of the young, brash and idealistic with little to loose?

In this session, Alex Sion, President of Movenbank, will share his experiences in launching one of the most innovative and disruptive firms in the U.S. start-up community. Movenbank is using mobile payments, social and big data to transform the way people think about money and everyday banking. But in order to launch Movenbank, Alex had to first transform his ideas about career, life, and the meaning of success. Learn about and be inspired by the story of the journey.

Why you can’t innovate your way out of a paper bag
What does it take to drive innovation in perhaps the most stubbornly conservative of all industries: Banking? First, you need a vision of the future. Second, you need the courage and confidence to re-write things that have been written in stone and to get those stones thrown at you. Third, you need to forget everything you know, then stop…look…and listen.
In this session, Alex Sion, President of Movenbank, will talk about the process of disruption and innovation within the context of the Movenbank journey. How did the idea of Movenbank “happen”? How did an idea become a concept? How did a concept organize into a team that embarked on a mission to re-invent perhaps the biggest industry of all? And how did that idea get “sold”? — to the market, to investors, to customers, and to the team itself?

André Taylor

André Taylor is an award-winning entrepreneur, strategic thinker, dynamic speaker. He’s the author of a series of books, videos and learning programs on winning, Read more

Calah Thomas

Calah Thomas

 

Calah Thomas is a frequent presenter at of Celebrate Recovery, where her story of recovery is often shared to help others through the difficulties they are experiencing in life.

In 2006, Ms. Thomas graduated with a degree in paralegal studies and subsequently worked with several family law firms in Arizona.

In 2011 Ms. Thomas established her own business, assisting people through the legal process that cannot afford an attorney.

In 2013 Ms. Thomas received her BA in paralegal studies.

Calah is a substance abuse survivor who connects with audiences, both young and old, about substance abuse and the road to recovery. She draws on her own history to convince audiences that it is never too late to follow your dreams, overcome their setbacks and start making the right choices.

Because of her desire to “fit in”, the choices she made had a daunting effect on her life for many years. By the age of 13, drugs and alcohol were permanent fixtures in her life. By the age of 22 she had been arrested and charged with four felonies for possession of dangerous drugs. She lived on the streets and lost every material possession she owned. The loss of her older brother to an accidental drug overdose seemed to awaken something in her and she made the decision to get “sober”.

Through legal issues, graduating from college and many other accomplishments, something was still lingering…addiction.

Calah made a decision 13 years ago to be sober. But that decision was not put into action for many years. Drugs are not just found on the street…they are readily available everywhere . In her presentation, Calah relates how making a decision and taking action on that decision are completely different things – how she has transformed through heartache and feelings of complete desperation into a voice of hope and encouragement.

“Society often presents an unrealistic vision of reality. Addiction is sneaky…and it can happen to anyone. Social use is not only accepted, it is expected. Recognizing future consequences, both good and bad, are key to painting the canvas of your life as you desire, and it all begins with the understanding the importance of acting on a decision.”

Calah Thomas - article

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Full Biography

Full bio coming soon

Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper

Cynthia Cooper – named one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year for her role in unraveling the fraud at WorldCom Read more

Dave Weber

Dave Weber

Dave Weber is an internationally recognized speaker, with a track record of success. He is an honors graduate from Mercer University with a B.A. in Communications. He simultaneously captained the university’s NCAA Division I soccer and volleyball teams for three years and received All-Conference honors in both sports. As a Sales Representative for Motorola, Dave received over fifteen outstanding sales awards, including the prestigious “Top 10” award each year. In 1987 he started his own speaking and training firm. His high energy and fun entertaining style quickly made him a highly sought after speaker. Read more

Delia Passi

Delia Passi is a nationally recognized and highly regarded businesswoman in marketing and business development who is considered a leading authority on selling to women. As president and Founder of Women Certified Inc, the home of the Women’s Choice Awards, she supports companies in their efforts to gain market share of women consumers and target markets.

Delia will help you learn how to sell more to women, and build customers for life!


Delia is also a regular on Fox Business Network and Lifetime’s morning show The Balancing Act. Her expertise centers on how women shop and buy, what motivates them to select one provider over another, and how sales and service professionals can provide the best experience to women so that they choose to do business with them. Passi advises her corporate clients on how to better understand their female customers, and supports them in becoming the very best when it comes to increasing sales, improving customer service, and retaining the loyalty of these hard-earned consumers.

As a consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies, Passi has experienced great success in creating unique programs that have measurably increased their brand visibility, strengthened product positioning, created greater credibility, and delivered a larger percentage of coveted female customers. Client companies have included Harley-Davidson, Microsoft, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Toyota, Trek Bikes, Wells Fargo, UPS, Xerox, Office Depot, HP, Merrill Lynch, Ameriprise, TD Ameritrade, Omnicom, Carlson Companies, Mass Mutual and UBS. Passi is also the author of Winning the Toughest Customer, The Essential Guide to Selling to Women (Kaplan, 2006)

PROGRAM TITLES:

• 7 Successful Steps to Selling to Women

• Winning the Toughest Customer

• New Economy, New Rules when Selling to Women

• Winning Strategies for Selling to Women & Couples

• Converting Marketing to Sales

• Engaging, Educating and Empowering the Family Gatekeeper for Retirement

• Healthy Communications to Build Customers for Life in Healthcare

• Gender Communication – the Key to Success among Patients

• Selling to Women Online – The Do’s and Don’ts to Drive Conversion

• Boomerang Sales: The Five-Step Approach to Yield Big Returns with Boomer Women

• Building Your Business Through Networking & Referrals Networking Defined

• Recruitment & Retention of Women & Diverse Candidates Training

• Winning Strategies for Marketing & Selling To Women Business Owners

• Winning Strategies for Marketing & Selling to Multicultural Markets

• Creating Organization Transformation: Surpassing the Expectations of Your Customers

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Complete Biography

Delia Passi is CEO of Women Certified®, the voice of the female consumer and home of the Women’s Choice Award. Delia is the nation’s leading authority on building sales and loyalty among women and the nation’s leading female consumer advocate. Her most recent launch of the Women’s Choice Awards allows consumers to identify businesses that are meeting the needs and expectations of their female clients.

As a consultant to numerous Fortune 500 companies, Delia advises her clients how to better understand their female consumers, supporting them to increase deals closed, improve customer service, and gain the loyalty of these hard-earned customers. Her expertise centers on how women shop and buy, what motivates them to select one provider over another, and how sales and service professionals can provide the best experience to women. Delia’s engaging speaking approach combines humor, practicality and “Aha!” moments, leading her to captivate audiences at events including the Microsoft Global Marketing Conference, Ameriprise, Wells Fargo, General Motors, Toyota, and Harley-Davidson Summer and Winter Dealer Meetings.

Prior to founding WomenCertified, Delia was the Group Publisher of Working Woman and Working Mother Magazines. She began her career in sales with the Xerox Corporation and quickly became one of the company’s top producers, becoming known internally as “The Closer.” It was when she made the switch to selling advertising that she recognized how a specialized approach proves to be more effective when it comes to selling to women, who dominate the publishing environment. Passi is also the author of Winning the Toughest Customer, The Essential Guide to Selling to Women (Kaplan, 2006)

Delia earned her B.A. in Psychology/Business and a certification in education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the College of New Rochelle in NY.

Denise Shull

Denise Shull translates the latest brain science into real-world competitive advantages.

Denise’s company ReThink is known for its un-traditional approach. The name ReThink even refers to the value of rethinking thinking altogether. To that end, we believe that the most effective mental skills coaching will go beyond the ideas of mental toughness and positive thinking.

Market and athletic performance improves, even from already high levels, when one learns to recognize and comprehend all of one’s emotions.

Too many people repeat the mantra “control your emotions” when all that matters is NOT what you feel but what you do! When you realize that all types of feelings have all kinds of information in them, it radically alters what you are capable of.

The problem is that we were all taught to try to set emotion aside. It even looks – on the surface – that doing so works. What most don’t notice though is that the calm confidence we all desire is also a feeling!

Denise teaches you how to understand the meaning in your emotions, how to avoid just automatically acting on the energies of emotion and how to capitalize on your unconscious pattern recognition, intuition and instincts which come from experiential learning.

Additionally, as Founder of The ReThink Group, a consultancy specializing in advanced risk and behavioral intelligence, Denise teaches hedge funds, bank and independent investment managers the strategies in her 2012 book, MARKET MIND GAMES, A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk. Among its many accolades, Larry Tabb of The Tabb Group described the book as “a must read for those who want to make their livelihood as a professional investor, trader or algorithmic trading developer”.

Shull’s thought leadership explains how to capitalize on the brain’s ability to unconsciously recognize patterns while simultaneously avoiding the thinking mistakes of Behavioral Finance. She is known for discovering that decision makers also bring a fractally-patterned perceptual skew to risk decisions.

Profiled by the WSJ, The Financial Times, Bloomberg Magazine and Risk Professional, she has appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box in the US and Asia, Bloomberg’s Market Makers, PBS and The Discovery Channel. She currently writes for Psychology Today and Business Insider.

A former head trader and member of CME Group, Shull holds a Master’s degree in Neuropsychology from The University of Chicago. Shull also graduated from Harvard’s “Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance” executive class and recently compiled a chapter for Wiley’s 2014 book Investor Behavior edited by Victor Ricciardi and Kent Baker.

Shull belongs to the Association for Psychological Science and The Society for Neuroeconomics.

 

STRATEGIC DECISION

Private equity or venture capital firms engage ReThink to add a factor of emotion knowledge to a mathematical analysis. As success lives or dies with human execution, an “EQ” assessment offers a distinct advantage in correctly predicting outcomes.

In 13 years of active coaching, Denise has worked with numerous portfolio managers and traders and well known coaches who have tried the traditional approaches. She consistently receives inquiries from Portfolio Managers, Traders and now a new group of athletes that have been failed by the approaches of cognitive-behavioral, positive thinking and emotion control. Denise knows how to help you understand yourself and can teach you how to work with your emotion in a way that is unparalleled.

 

Full Biography

Denise Shull translates the latest brain science into real-world competitive advantages.

Founder of The ReThink Group, a consultancy specializing in advanced risk and behavioral intelligence, Denise teaches hedge funds, bank and independent investment managers the strategies in her 2012 book, MARKET MIND GAMES, A Radical Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk. Among its many accolades, Larry Tabb of The Tabb Group described the book as “a must read for those who want to make their livelihood as a professional investor, trader or algorithmic trading developer”.

Shull’s thought leadership explains how to capitalize on the brain’s ability to unconsciously recognize patterns while simultaneously avoiding the thinking mistakes of Behavioral Finance. She is known for discovering that decision makers also bring a fractally-patterned perceptual skew to risk decisions.

Profiled by the WSJ, The Financial Times, Bloomberg Magazine and Risk Professional, she has appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box in the US and Asia, Bloomberg’s Market Makers, PBS and The Discovery Channel. She currently writes for Psychology Today and Business Insider.

A former head trader and member of CME Group, Shull holds a Master’s degree in Neuropsychology from The University of Chicago. Shull also graduated from Harvard’s “Investment Decisions and Behavioral Finance” executive class and recently compiled a chapter for Wiley’s 2014 book Investor Behavior edited by Victor Ricciardi and Kent Baker.

Shull belongs to the Association for Psychological Science and The Society for Neuroeconomics.

More!

►  Stories from traders, athletes, poker players… and how emotion really works.

►  Why Positive Thinking is Dangerous.

►    Don’t feel bad because it doesn’t work for you!

In the past 5 years, neuroscience has delivered numerous insights into how important our social environments are. The findings apply most definitely to the influences of family on each of our own perceptions of risk and good judgment. Since the time of Greek philosophers, Western Society has focused on the individual but this is proving to be wholly inadequate in understanding human decision making. In fact, this is so true that at least one neuroscientist is calling for our brain science research to be designed to study no less than two people at one time. This talk outlines the highlights of the latest in building the true and more powerful understanding of human psychology through the understanding of familial and group influences.

Denise Shull, MA, is an expert of human motivation and behavioral finance. As a Neuroeconomist, her ideas on fractal psychologies, emotion analytics and the leverage of what academics call mind-body cognition has been adopted by clients around the world. Shull bridges the gap between Wall St. and academic neuropsychology and connects non-traditional idea’s to the psychology of risk and human performance. She is known for her unconventional ideas and proprietary techniques that leverage human emotions in high-pressure decision making profess

A former commodities trader, she has worked with hundreds of market professionals to improve their performance under pressure. She uses her theory of emotional-social context to turn behavioral finance, neuroeconomics and emotion science into measurable results and competitive advantages.

Shull’s book, Market Mind Games: A Radical New Psychology of Investing, Trading and Risk unravels the human mystery of the markets and offers a revolutionary prescription for benefiting from the intuition and emotion typically suppressed in market decisions. She is also a contributing author for the ‘Surprising Realities of Trader Psychology’ chapter in the 2014 Wiley book Investing Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing.

Shull has appeared as a guest on CNBC, PBS Nightly Business Report, Marketwatch, Cavuto, ABC News Now, Fox Money for Breakfast, and the Discovery Channel. She has also been profiled by the Financial Times, Bloomberg Business Week, and the Wall Street Journal. The Huffington Post has recently invited Shull to be a contributing blogger.

 

  PROGRAMS:

  • Team Coaching

Denise coaches teams on using the emotional competencies of knowledge, recognition and understanding to make better risk decisions and work more easily as a group. This kind of coaching is much more like exercise than lecture type learning – i.e. it provides the most results when regularly worked on. Emotional sophistication includes what is called interoception – or bodily awareness – and as such is indeed a skill of body and mind.

  • Economic and Future Trends

A revolution is brewing in the way intentional risks like investing are analyzed. The relatively new field of neuroeconomics is demonstrating for example that predicting other investor’s intentions is more germane to success than mathematical or probabilistic analyses. Emotion is also getting a whole new rap. Instead of being the opposite of reason and logic, human feelings are turning out to be an asset in risk decision making. Literally, it’s time to rethink thinking itself.

  • That Illusive ‘Je ne Sais Quoi” in Business Success

Why can two people with equal experience, education and dedication produce such radically different results? They appear to have the same skills but one consistently outperforms the other and neither talent nor their network explain it. Do the brains of the super-successful contain a mystery particle that somehow works its magic on clients and colleagues? More importantly, can those who seek it, find it?

Denise Shull answers YES to both. The illusive factor lies in integrating all of the intelligences we possess. It’s the qualitative data rarely analyzed in business school. Cutting- edge perception and judgment research demands that we rethink how to systematically use our senses, feelings and emotions. Furthermore, did you know that science demonstrates how complex decisions are best made NON-deliberately? Learn how to do this and more in an illuminating, engaging address.

  • Behavioral Finance and Beyond

Behavioral Finance makes it clear that human beings tend to repetitively make crucial thinking mistakes. Examples include how we overweight our recent experience and mistakenly relate completely irrelevant pieces of data like the last four digits of our telephone number when quizzed on the year of an historical event. As Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman notes, no coherent theory exists as to why we make these mistakes. Denise Shull explains what the latest brain science has to say about how these mistakes develop and how they can be unlearned. Audiences come away more aware of the behavioral catalog of common mistakes but more importantly, they gain effective strategies and tactics for avoiding such mistakes in the future.

Audiences learn: Why the “soft” context insidiously colors decisions How to think about systemically analyzing psychological factors How to identify valid intuitions or unconscious pattern recognition – what the human brain is really good at.

Program appropriate for C-Suite, Senior Executives, ‘Rising Star” managers, Athletic and Sports Management and any Wall St. related Audience.

  • The Real Causes of the 2008 Market Meltdown

It’s fashionable to blame the bankers’ greed for the global financial crisis, but to do so only sets us all up for another crisis. Blaming bankers is at least as old as pre-Christian times and yet financial crises still continue to occur at regular intervals. Could it be that the ideas of greed and even of rationality should be replaced? The economists and their mathematical models can’t accurately portray how we really think. It is time to literally ReThink Thinking itself. Understanding what neuroeconomists know as “Regret Theory” shines a much brighter light on what really happened. Adding in the latest from “embodied cognition” or how we think with our bodies adds the punch line to a much more enlightened view of what really happened. This program will enlighten audiences as to the real psychological and structural causes of the crisis and in turn create a much more sophisticated view of these critical events.

Audiences learn:

  • How complex markets, like those at the core of the crisis, actually work – think Musical Chairs
  • Why accounting rules played a major role in the crisis
  • How “decision-fatigue” contributed
  • The value of analyzing potential regret as a way to more optimal decisions
  • What Wall St. and Washington should be doing to improve risk management.

Program appropriate for any general business audience but particularly applicable outside Wall St. Excellent program for Government and Regulatory audiences.

  • Fractal Geometry Meets the Human Psyche Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how in nature, simple patterns repeated in specific ways create larger patterns that are similar to the original. These so-called fractal patterns are now showing up in and being applied to how the brain handles thinking and judgment. Denise Shull reveals how these patterns are similar to what Freud originally identified as “the compulsion to repeat” or our unconscious tendency to repeat patterns of behavior and responses in our professional and personal lives. Identifying these mental fractals, which originate in our personal histories, and disengaging them improves decision making in a wide variety of contexts—from management decisions to decisions involving financial risk.

Audiences learn:

  • How our brains lead us unconsciously to make the same mistakes
  • How to make our own patterns explicit
  • Tricks to hire the right star and avert creating the same manager-talent conundrum yet-again
  • Marvels of the human psyche

Program applicable to all levels of Management, Human Resources, Talent Management, Hedge funds, Athletes, Coaches and Owners of sports teams.

  • Why Sports Teams with more High Fives Win More Games

“Chemistry” is power. From the cutting edge of performance analysis and neuroscience, Denise explains what research is telling us about how our social environments determine our performance. Explaining complex neuroscience in terms that management can actually use, Denise brings a provocative, entertaining and bankable perspective to audiences used to hearing the world’s most desired speakers.

  • No One Decides in a Vacuum      Risk Reflects One’s Group      Your First Bike Ride & Your Risk Profile

 

Derrick Coleman

Derrick Coleman

Seattle Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman is deaf, but you’d never know it on the football field. He’s embraced the challenge and perfected the art of lipreading to succeed in the sport he loves.

Read more

Don Thoren

Don Thoren

For over 25 years, Don Thoren has provided clients in North America and Western Europe with creative ideas and communication skills for solving problems and capturing opportunities. Don’s topics are based on learning to value the creative potential of conflicting opinions for sparking greater innovation. The key is channeling inevitable anger and frustration into a search for creative 3rd Ideas. Don focuses on change through insight vs. training since he believes there can be no real growth in any of us until our basic perceptions of reality are re-examined and updated where necessary. Read more

Donna Brazile

Donna Thoren

 

Don Thoren works with organizations and helps people explore what their future “could be” , and develops plans and skills in its pursuit. In his beginning, he grew up on a cattle ranch in Wyoming, gave his first speech in a Future Farmers of America contest, and held many student leadership positions in high school and college. As an Army training officer, he participated in establishing standards and conducting innovative training to achieve high operational readiness scores.

 

General Electric gave Don the opportunity learn personnel practices and then sent me into manufacturing to achieve results with the people he hired. First as a shift foreman and later manager, he learned the importance of integrating systems with leadership skills to achieve exemplary results. At American Salesmasters he learned to make 20 street sales calls a day to sell communication and sales training seminars.

 

Looking back on 30 years of speeches, consulting and organization change initiatives, Don is grateful to those clients who allowed him the opportunity to help them on their way, and to employees who came to work with him as they sought to practice and teach, “Maximizing Joint Productivity.”

 

Today, Don is a seasoned practitioner who specializes in:

 

  • Mentoring leaders
  • Showing how conflicting opinions can lead to break through thinking and break out results
  • Delivering unique speeches for special occasions
  • Coaching project teams
  • Teaching others to speak more effectively and persuasively
  • Helping resolve alignment issues
  • Improving the results of technical sales people
  • Teaching creative problem solving
  • Conflicting opinions, turf wars, customer demands, confusing technological choices and the assignment of responsibility are the issues most likely to cripple organizations.

 

The solution to all this chaotic change and attendant conflict is embracing the commitment to “Let Ideas Compete—Not People!” The skillful collision of ideas CAN create new and better “3RD IDEAS.” Learning to view passionate conflict as an invaluable engine of creativity is key to organizational and personal success.

Full Biography

Full Biography

Veteran Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile is an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, and the vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation at the Democratic National Committee.

Brazile began her political career at the age of nine when she worked to support the campaign of a city council candidate who promised to build a playground in her neighborhood. Four decades and innumerable state and local campaigns later, she has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she served as presidential campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore.

Author of the bestselling autobiography Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics, Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. In the media, she serves as a political contributor on CNN, consultant to ABC News, regularly appearing commentator on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and frequent contributor to National Public Radio. In print and online, she is a columnist for Roll Call and Ms magazine.

Washingtonian named Brazile one of the ‘100 most powerful women’ and Essence named her one of the top 50 women in America. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation has bestowed upon her its award for political achievement.

Prior to serving as vice chair of Voter Registration and Participation, Brazile dedicated herself to strengthening the American democratic process as chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Voting Rights Institute, established in 2001 to help protect and promote the rights of all American citizens to participate in the electoral process. Her passion is encouraging young people to vote, work within the system to strengthen it and run for public office.

Former Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco appointed Brazile, a New Orleans native, a member of the board of directors of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, the guiding agency charged with leading the state s rebuilding process in the aftermath of two catastrophic hurricanes.

Brazile is founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy, and training firm based in Washington, D.C.