Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), with over 11,000 members worldwide, and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” held at MIT, a program in which he still teaches today. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 180 partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies grow. Today, over 40,000 organizations, for-profit and non-profit, use his firm’s tools and techniques to scale.
The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for Fortune magazine. Verne is the author of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. His latest book Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0) has won seven major international book awards including the prestigious 2015 International Book Award for Best General Business book.
Verne also chairs, in partnership with Fortune, annual ScaleUp and Growth Summits and is an investor in over a dozen scaleups around the globe. He has his MBA and BS Mechanical Engineering degrees from Wichita State University. www.scalingup.com
Randy Nelson is a 2001 graduate of the EO/MIT Birthing of Giants program as well as Advanced BOG in 2007. He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and served as an officer in the Navy Nuclear Power Program; completing three years on the submarine USS James Madison.
Randy co-founded his first company, Orion International, which has placed over 36,000 exiting military personnel into industry and has grown to become the largest military recruiting company in the US. Randy also co-founded NSTAR Global Services, which he grew to be on Inc. 500 Inc. list of fastest growing privately held companies in the US.
Randy has served on the General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center Advisory Board, since its inception and was a founding member of the Raleigh, NC chapter of EO (Entrepreneur’s Organization. His day-to-day focus now is coaching and mentoring entrepreneurial executives, speaking about his book, The Second Decision, the first book in his Decision Series for Entrepreneurs™.
David Meerman Scott is an internationally acclaimed sales and marketing strategist whose high-energy presentations are a treat for the senses. That he’s spoken on all seven continents and in 40 countries to audiences of the most respected firms, organizations and associations underscores the value he brings to audiences.
David serves as an advisor to select emerging companies who are working to transform their industries by delivering disruptive products and services. His advisory clients include HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS), where he also serves as Marketer in Residence. He began working with HubSpot in 2007 when the company had a handful of customers and fewer than 10 employees, helping the HubSpot team with rapid sales and marketing strategies that have grown the company to 15,000 customers in 90 countries. His current portfolio of advisory clients also includes Mynd, Expertfile, RISEcx, Set The Set, SlapFive, VisibleGains, Foxtrot Systems, and GutCheck as well as non-profits including the Grateful Dead Archive at University of California Santa Cruz and HeadCount.
In past advisory work, he contributed to successful companies as a member of the board of directors of NewsWatch KK (sale to Yahoo Japan) and Kadient (merged with Sant) and served on the board of advisors of Eloqua (IPO in mid-2012 and sale to Oracle in early 2013) and GrabCAD (sale to Stratasys in mid-2014).
David’s books and blog are must-reads for professionals seeking to generate attention in ways that grow their business. He is author or co-author of ten books - three are international bestsellers. The New Rules of Marketing & PR, now in its 5th edition, has been translated into 27 languages and is a modern business classic with over 350,000 copies sold so far. Scott also authored Real-Time Marketing & PR, a Wall Street Journal bestseller, Newsjacking, and his newest hit The New Rules of Sales & Service. He is co-author of Marketing the Moon (with Rich Jurek) and Marketing Lessons from The Grateful Dead (with HubSpot CEO Brian Halligan).
Innovator, Scholar, Harvard Innovation Fellow
For the past decade, Dr. Ricketts, together with his colleagues at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center (TECH) at Harvard, has taught the next generation of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergs how to create disruptive innovations. His keynotes share those insights and, through entertaining real world examples, he helps leaders and front line innovators understand how to develop disruptive innovation in their organizations.
Dr. Ricketts has worked with some of the world’s leading organizations, such as General Motors, Disney Research and the U.S. Military. His innovations have been featured in: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News as wells as ESPN, Smithsonian Innovation and Popular Science. With an engaging and down to earth style, David works easily with organizations and individuals on many aspects of business and technology. His driving passion is to understand how individuals create new value—and how to harness that understanding—for increased business growth.
Before joining academia, Dr. Ricketts was a former head of R&D in the semiconductor industry, where he lead front-line innovators in product development and research departments, from initial concept and intellectual property (IP) development through to testing and customer service. His work on identifying and developing high-value products in the corporate environment provides a real-world context for his research into innovation, and his process for discovering high-impact problems.
Seeking to innovate and solve difficult problems, Dr. Ricketts is an award-winning academic researcher. He has held appointments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and North Carolina State University. He is the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the U.S. Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Investigator Award. His work has appeared in the prestigious scientific journal Nature as well as many other leading engineering journals.
Jim’s mission is to help leaders improve their business performance and personal satisfaction. Jim speaks to a wide variety of audiences about leadership and business excellence -‐ he motivates people to achieve Breakthrough Results.
Jim is a Certified Gazelles Coach, a certified “WHY Guy” and also serves as an Executive Coach for Duke Leadership Program. Each year, Jim’s clients create dozens of jobs, millions in new revenue, and win prestigious awards such as Fast 50 and Forty Under 40.
Jim received his B.A. degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an M.B.A. from Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University. He has completed numerous other personal and professional development programs and is committed to lifelong learning.