The Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit is the premier event for CEOs, Presidents and Founders who are committed to Conscious Capitalism. This is an Invitation-Only event to maintain the peer to peer alignment of participants. If you have not participated before, but would like to nominate yourself or someone to be considered for an invitation, please visit here.
Whether you have been in the Conscious Capitalism community for years or recently discovered this framework that represents your philosophy, the CEO Summit will provide you with opportunities to learn, share and connect.
The CEO Summit is comprised of dynamic keynote speakers, thought provoking fireside chats, and opportunities to walk away with tactical tools for yourself and your teams to integrate the tenets of Conscious Capitalism. But most uniquely, you’ll be surrounded by people who think and talk about business the way you do, who authentically want to support your endeavors and who are open to being supported themselves. These are your people.
CEO, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP)
CEO, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP)
Daryl is the CEO of Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) where he spearheads the effort to engage a coalition of CEOs who believe that a company’s social strategy — how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, investors, and customers —determines company success. He has 30+ years of corporate executive experience in the US and abroad, including as an officer for several Fortune 500 companies the turnaround CEO of a publicly traded company, and the head of five multi-billion-dollar business units. Daryl currently serves on several public and private company boards. He served as:
Daryl also has an extensive background in non-profits. He currently serves on the board of the RW Johnson-supported Partnership for Healthy Kids, the CIFF-Funded Mother Administered Nutritive Assistance (MANA), and the National Organization on Disability (NOD). Previously, Daryl has served on the board of the American Marketing Association and several regional nonprofits.
Chief Executive Officer, Shipt
Chief Executive Officer, Shipt
Kelly Caruso is the Chief Executive Officer at Shipt, a leading online same-day delivery service. Under Caruso’s direction, the Shipt team and its network of more than 300,000 Shipt Shoppers deliver to millions of American households each week. She is a seasoned retail professional with vast experience in retail merchandising, technology, and sourcing. She’s a purpose-driven leader, focused on the company’s strategy and developing diverse talent.
Caruso’s experience in the retail sector spans 25 years with companies such as May Merchandising, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Target. Prior to joining Shipt, Caruso was the Senior Vice President of Merchandising for Hardlines at Target. During her time at Target, she led numerous merchandising teams within Apparel, Accessories, and Home. She also led a multi-national team responsible for the global sourcing of Target’s Owned Brands in Apparel, Accessories, Home, and Hardlines.
Respected for innovative thinking, courageous decision-making, and building long-lasting partnerships, she always earns her seat at the table. Kelly currently serves on several Boards of Directors including Prosper Birmingham and Birmingham Business Alliance. Kelly’s merchandising, operations, and sourcing background – paired with product and design expertise – uniquely enable her to drive innovative customer solutions that lead to revenue and profit growth.
Caruso is an alumnus of the Studio E Entrepreneurial Leadership program in the Twin Cities and received her BA from the University of North Dakota. Kelly and her family live in Birmingham, Alabama - the Magic City.
Since September 2016, Billy has been the CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Freshpet, a fast-growing, publicly traded pet food company based in Secaucus, NJ that manufactures, markets and distributes the first all-natural, refrigerated pet food in North America and Western Europe. Since then, the market cap of the company has grown from ~$300 million to ~$7 billion.
Prior to Freshpet, Billy led the leveraged buyout of the Sunny Delight Beverages Co. (SDBC) from Procter & Gamble in partnership with JW Childs and spent more than 11 years leading that business as its President & CEO.
Before joining SDBC, Billy spent 19 years at Procter & Gamble rising through the brand management organization to ultimately become the Vice President and General Manager of P&G’s North American Juice Drinks and Global Nutritional Beverages.
Billy has served as an officer of the Consumer Brands Association and its predecessor (GMA) since 2001 and was on the Executive Committee of the American Beverages Association (ABA) for several years.
Billy is a 1985 graduate of Princeton University with a degree in History and East Asian Studies.
President & CEO, Vital Farms
Russell believes it is possible to produce ethical food at scale, and year-by-year his efforts help prove it. Under his leadership, Vital Farms has expanded its product line to include butter and ghee and launched Egg Central Station, shell egg grading and packing facility. Prior to joining Vital Farms, Russell worked with McKinsey & Company, H-E-B Grocery, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
David Escobar Arango has been the Executive Director at Comfama since 2016. Comfama is a social enterprise whose purpose is to consolidate the middle-class workforce. The organization also actively promotes the conscious capitalism movement and regenerative rural development.
David is passionate about reading, poetry, nature, art and culture. His life’s purpose is working for youth, education and sustainable development.
He has completed undergraduate studies in Engineering at EAFIT University and has an MA in Public Administration from The Kennedy Government School at Harvard.
He worked several years in the public sector at a local and regional level. He was director of Interactuar,an organization that promotes and supports entrepreneurial development in Colombia.
Co-Founder, The Seat of the Soul Institute
Linda Francis is an internationally known speaker, teacher and best-selling author. Her warmth, passion, and love for people have made her a globally popular speaker for people looking to create lives of meaning, purpose, and joy. After a career in the healing arts as a registered nurse then a doctor of chiropractic, she turned her attention to supporting people around the world in creating authentic power – the alignment of the personality with harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life – that is necessary to human evolution. She is passionate about helping people create and experiment with the new relationship dynamic that creating authentic power requires – spiritual partnership: partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth. These messages have resonated in the hearts of millions of people.
Linda Francis has been practicing the creation of authentic power since she read The Seat of the Soul in 1989. In 1993 she met Gary Zukav and they created a spiritual partnership. During this time, she co-authored two New York Times bestsellers with Gary Zukav, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness and The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice. They also co-authored Thoughts from the Heart of the Soul and Self-Empowerment Journal: A Companion to the Mind of the Soul.
Linda Francis is the co-founder with Gary Zukav of the Seat of the Soul Institute, the premier organization dedicated to assisting individuals in the alignment of the personality with the soul - creating authentic power – and the Foundation for the Universal Human, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable educational organization dedicated to supporting emerging Universal around the world.
President, Banfield Pet Hospital
As president of the industry’s leading provider of preventive care, Brian’s top priority is creating a high-performing, inclusive culture for Banfield Pet Hospital’s 19,000+ associates at 1,000+ hospitals across the country. Since Brian became president in 2017, Banfield has achieved the lowest turnover in its history while simultaneously averaging double-digit year-over-year growth. Over Brian’s time with Banfield, the multi-billion organization has grown by over 50 percent.
Brian believes that pets, people and society are all connected and is passionate about ensuring Banfield is
making a positive impact on the world. This philosophy is behind the launch of the company’s Student Debt Relief Program, making Banfield one of only eight percent of organizations offering such a benefit. To date the program has contributed nearly $15M to pay-off debt for veterinary professionals while helping to refinance more than $16M in student loans. In addition, Banfield launched the first suicide prevention training designed specifically for veterinary professionals as part of its holistic commitment to the health and wellbeing of all Banfield associates. The training is also available for free to the entire veterinary profession. Brian joined Banfield in 2015 as chief operating officer, bringing more than 20 years of healthcare leadership to the organization. Prior to joining Banfield, Brian served as an area vice president at CVS Health where he was responsible for more than 600 stores covering 17 states with 15,000+ associates.
Beginning his career stocking store shelves at Walgreens, Brian has never sat in a corner office or followed a traditional trajectory. This unique path has pushed him to think differently, leading with empathy, impatience and impact.
Brian is committed to ensuring the voice of Banfield’s associates dictates the vision of the organization. With 75% of Banfield’s workforce being Millennial or Gen Z, Brian connects directly with associates on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to listen, engage and transform the organization.
President & CEO, T.D. Jakes Foundation
Hattie Hill is a senior executive and transformational leader with more than 30 years of experience in diversity and inclusion strategy, board governance, profit and loss management, and risk mitigation for multinational industries.
Currently, Hattie Hill serves as the President & CEO of the T.D. Jakes Foundation. Launched in January 2020, the foundation provides the skills, education and training to lift communities, increase diversity and inclusion, and gender equity, and power the modern global economy through science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) jobs. Ms. Hill is leading those efforts through a $100 million fundraising campaign while utilizing her experience as a connector of people and opportunity to focus the foundation’s strategy on bridging the gap between human potential and companies seeking talent.
Recognizing the challenges of hosting an in-person summer camp due to COVID-19, Hattie led the efforts to build, from the ground up in just 45-days, a no-cost, online, STEAM summer camp for students. STEAM Academy 2020, which was offered to more than 5,000 students from across the globe – 23 countries in all - was a fully virtual learning experience that provided 3-4 hours of online STEAM activities, such as coding courses, virtual field trips to museums and engineering
companies, musical performances from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and exposure to people and
jobs that students may not have known even existed, every week for five weeks.
Previously, Ms. Hill was President & CEO of Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), the premier leadership
development organization for the foodservice industry accelerating the advancement of women and
gender equity. After taking the helm at the ailing organization in 2013, she set a new strategic direction
focusing on stronger overall organizational performance. She is credited with driving up WFF’s revenue by 25 percent, increasing its membership by 20 percent, and growing attendance for the organization’s
flagship events by 20 percent.
In 2017, Ms. Hill helped leading food service companies around the world—representing both billions of dollars in revenue and millions of women employees—by spearheading the first-of-its-kind partnership between WFF and the gold-standard Women in the Workplace Study conducted by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org. This unprecedented collaboration resulted in cutting-edge research and solutions essential to retaining top talent, gaining targeted consumer insights and increasing profits by empowering women. During her prior career as founder and CEO of Hattie Hill Enterprises, Ms. Hill served as a strategic growth and development consultant for many of the world’s largest multinational companies such as IBM, McDonald’s and Southwest Airlines, among others. Her influential work spanned across more than 70 countries worldwide.
Ms. Hill is a celebrated author and highly sought-after speaker who is often quoted in top-tier media
outlets such as Oprah, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, Ms. Hill has received numerous awards and honors, including being named to Forbes’ Top Texas Women in Business, selected as EY’s Inclusiveness Champion of the Year and featured on National Restaurant News’ 2018 Power List as well as receiving Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award, the Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Maura Award and Working Woman’s Working Woman Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.
Ty Hookway is the founder and president of CleanCraft, a commercial cleaning company based in Rochester NY, and covering upstate NY. CleanCraft was founded in 1995 and currently employs over 300 people. The company’s guiding tenet is that there is infinite power, dignity, and healing provided by work and that gainful employment adds impressive and positive benefits to the human experience.
The mission of CleanCraft is to create quality of life and peace for all. Ty is certain that the mission statement and running a successful, profitable enterprise are not mutually exclusive. Ty, and CleanCraft, support a conscious capital model and continually strive for a win/win relationship with all stakeholders.
Ty is a serial entrepreneur with successful ventures in consulting and other small business enterprises. He is a member of various boards and active within his church. Ty has a math degree from Holy Cross College; he grew up in Rochester and resides there with his wife Elizabeth and their children. He enjoys golf, reading and is an ardent lifelong learner.
President, Jackson Healthcare
Shane Jackson serves as president of Jackson Healthcare and is the primary guiding force for its mission of improving the delivery of patient care and the lives of everyone it touches. Since assuming this role in 2014, he has consistently led the organization of 16 healthcare staffing, executive search and technology companies to growth of more than double the industry average, crossing the billion-dollar annual revenue mark in 2018. Prior to his current position, he was president of LocumTenens.com, Patient Placement Systems and NextStart Capital.
Shane is an advocate for the power of business leaders as a positive force for people and the community. He is a speaker on the conference circuit and frequently writes on the topic of intentionally nurturing a values-based culture. In 2018, he published Fostering Culture: A Leader’s Guide to Purposely Shaping Culture, his first book chronicling his philosophy on workplace culture.
Over the past four years, Shane has been recognized on Staffing Industry Analysts’ Staffing 100, a list of the top North American leaders shaping the industry and influencing the workforce solutions ecosystem. In 2020, he received the distinguished Jerry Noyce Executive Health Champion Award from HERO, the Health Enhancement Research Organization, for his contributions in advancing employee health and wellbeing – as well as the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Corporate Citizenship Award.
At Jackson Healthcare, Shane also champions the organization’s LoveLifts community impact platform that focuses on improving access to healthcare and the wellbeing of young people. In 2016, he spearheaded the launch of the non-profit venture Connecting Kids With Care, aligning volunteer doctors and nurses to deliver free, tech-enabled healthcare to thousands of global orphans.
Shane serves on the boards of Junior Achievement of Georgia, 3DE and King’s Ridge Christian School. He also is chair of the Health and Wellness Policy Committee for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and vice chair of the leader-led goBeyondProfit business initiative that promotes the belief that giving back is good for business and good for Georgia. He earned an MBA from Emory University and BBA from Harding University.
Co-Founder & CEO, Life is Good
Bert is the co-founder of the $100 million lifestyle brand Life is Good. When he and his brother John started the company in 1994, they had $78 in their pockets, lived out of their van, and sold t-shirts on the streets of Boston. Was this their way of avoiding the “real world”? You betcha. Did it turn into something much bigger? Absolutely.
It has been 25 years since they sold their first t-shirt, but Bert and John champion the same mission: to spread the power of optimism. On their journey, they’ve been inspired by a vibrant community of resilient optimists—people from all walks of life who identify deeply with the brand and who constantly demonstrate the depth and meaning behind the three simple words “Life is Good.”
But here’s the thing: While Bert and John believe life is good, they also know life isn’t perfect, which is why Life is Good donates 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Kids Foundation. Through its signature Playmaker Program, the Life is Good Kids Foundation helps over 1 million kids overcome the impact of poverty, violence, and illness each year. In making their company a fully integrated for-profit/ non-profit model, the brothers hope to use their business as a vehicle to do good in the world.
As the co-host of the Life is Good Ping Podcast, Bert interviews some of the world’s most influential thought leaders about using optimism as a practical way to overcome adversity and lead a fulfilling life—all over a game of ping pong. Naturally. Guests include Ringo Starr, Katie Couric, Scott Avett, and more.
Because of his unique perspective that ties rational optimism to business, Bert has been asked to share his transformative message at a wide range of corporate and thought leadership conferences including Inc 5000, Morgan Stanley, SAP Sapphire, Discover, and more. He and John have been featured in Forbes, NPR’s How I Built This, CNNMoney, CNBC’s Business Nation, ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine, among others.
President & CEO, Greyston
Joe Kenner was named president and CEO of Greyston in April 2020. His innovative leadership, experience, and expertise in collaborating with diverse stakeholders ensures our ability to deliver the best services possible to our neighbors in Southwest Yonkers (NY).
Joe joined our executive team in 2018 as the vice president of programs and partnerships, responsible for directing Greyston Workforce Development and Community Wellness strategies and activities. Since then, Greyston has delivered millions of dollars in economic impact through job placements, and expanded employer and service provider relationships.
Kenner previously served as deputy commissioner at the Westchester County (NY) Department of Social Services, and spent 14 years in corporate America, working in insurance underwriting/risk management, capital markets, and sales strategy. He holds an MBA (financial management) from Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, is a graduate of Williams College (MA), and attended Oxford University (Exeter College). As leader of one of the country’s most well-known social enterprises, Joe frequently shares his expertise on purpose- driven business, and building a more inclusive economy through employment, workforce development, and social service. He also has been featured in a variety of media, including CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Forbes, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Quartz.
Co-Founder, Arborview Capital
Co-Founder, Arborview Capital
Karl is the Co-Founder of Arborview Capital, an impact investment firm formed in 2008 that partners with mission-driven management teams to build a more environmentally sound, resource-efficient future. At Arborview, Karl co-leads the investment team and co-manages the operations of the firm. Karl has been a board member for several current and past Arborview portfolio companies including Vital Farms (NASDAQ:VITL), Drexel Metals (Acquired by Carlisle Companies), and Soupergirl, and he an observer to the boards of Arborview portfolio companies Shenandoah Growers, TemperPack, and Copper Cow Coffee.
Prior to co-founding Arborview, Karl served as a partner with Columbia Capital, a sector-focused venture capital firm with over $2 billion under management. In his 12 years with Columbia Capital, Karl invested in 13 companies with a primary focus on enterprise and communications software, security, and managed IT services. Prior to Columbia Capital, Karl worked at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in New York and San Francisco where he specialized in corporate finance and capital markets for technology and communications clients.
In addition to his work as an impact investor, Karl is a board member for Impact Capital Managers, a network of 50+ leading market-rate impact investors, and he is on the Board of Trustees of Levine Music, an independent music school based in Washington, DC.
Karl received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Lehigh University and lives with his wife and three daughters.
CEO, Salary Finance, Inc.
CEO, Salary Finance, Inc.
Dan Macklin is the CEO of Salary Finance Inc, partnering with over 600 of the world's leading employers to offer financial wellness solutions to their employees. Salary Finance is driven by an ambitious mission in the US: To help 10 million Americans out of debt and into savings.
Previously, Dan was a Co-founder and VP Business Development at SoFi, valued at more than $12 billion after going public in the summer of 2021.
Dan is a graduate of the University of Durham in England and the Stanford Graduate School of Business and has been interviewed by publications including Bloomberg, CNBC, Forbes and Wall Street Journal. Dan was named as one of the 25 Inspiring Entrepreneurs to Watch by Inc and, much to the amusement of his kids, was selected as one of the 40 Coolest People Under 40 in Silicon Valley by Business Insider.
CEO, Scribe Media
CEO, Scribe Media
JeVon McCormick was born the son of a black pimp father and a white orphan mother. Today, he’s the CEO of a multi-million dollar publishing company that was recently ranked the #1 Top Company Culture in America by Entrepreneur Magazine.
He’s made millions in the stock market (even though he didn’t go to college), he was the President of a software company (even though he can’t code) and he’s currently the CEO of a publishing company (even though he can’t spell).
JeVon is the President and CEO of Scribe Media, a publishing company that helps individuals from a variety of backgrounds write, publish, and market their books. Scribe Media has worked with more than 1700 authors, including members of The Nobel Peace Prize Committee, Nassim Taleb and David Goggins, whose blockbuster book Can’t Hurt Me has sold over 2 million copies.
In addition to his role at Scribe, JeVon is an author and highly sought after keynote speaker, delivering the message that “Everyone Has A Story” to enthusiastic audiences across the country. His book, I Got There: How a Mixed-Race Kid Overcame Racism, Poverty, and Abuse to Achieve the American Dream, tells the harrowing story of his struggle to succeed despite the overwhelming odds stacked against him.
JeVon is passionate about conscious entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for at-risk youth. He has mentored young men and women in the juvenile justice system, as well as those in lower economic communities.
JeVon currently serves as a board member for Conscious Capitalism and the StartEdUp Foundation. His story and work have been featured on CNBC, and in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and Inc. magazines. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, Megan, and their four children Ava, Jaxon, Elle and Jace.
CEO, Dallas Mavericks
CEO, Dallas Mavericks
Cynt Marshall has been a dynamic force for inclusion and diversity within the Mavericks organization and over a 36-year career at AT&T. When Cynt was hired as new the CEO of the Mavs in March 2018, she set her sights on a culture transformation. Her vision was for the Mavericks organization to become the NBA standard for inclusion and diversity, and brought transparency, trust and her values-based leadership style that evolved the company culture in her first 100 days.
Prior to her joining the Mavs, Cynt founded Marshalling Resources, a consulting firm specializing in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, Culture Transformation and overall optimization of people resources. Upon the company naming its first Chief Inclusion Officer in June 2017, Cynt worked with The Dow Chemical Company to develop and implement a strategy for institutionalizing an inclusive culture.
Cynt’s notoriety began many years ago as a young Officer at AT&T and grew exponentially when she served as Senior Vice President – Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T. There she was responsible for identifying and developing leaders, aligning employees with the company’s vision and priorities, overseeing major business unit HR support, performance development, employee engagement, skills transformation initiatives, EEO and Affirmative Action. Cynt also led the team that created a world class Diversity and Inclusion culture, landing AT&T in the top 3 on Diversity Inc’s 2017 Top 50 list of companies. She also spearheaded the work that for the first time placed AT&T on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list in 2017, one of only two Fortune 50 companies.
Before her SVP-Human Resources and Chief Diversity Office roles, Cynt served as President-AT&T North Carolina where she became the first African-American chair of the North Carolina State Chamber of Commerce. Prior to her North Carolina appointment, Cynt held a variety of executive line and staff, technical and non-technical positions at AT&T and its predecessor companies.
Widely recognized for her visionary leadership and ability to get things done Cynt is the recipient of several honors and awards. In March 2021, Forbes named Cynt one of 15 of the world’s most inspiring female leaders. Cynt received the 2020 Girl Scouts of America Lifetime Achievement award and was touted as one of Adweek’s 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports. In 2019, Cynt was honored with the Women of Power Legacy Award by Black Enterprise and was the recipient of the National ATHENA® Leadership Program Award. This annual award is presented by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities worldwide. In 2017, Cynt was honored by The Network Journal as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Business and was honored with the ATHENA® Leadership Program Award by the Dallas Regional Chamber, which recognizes exceptional women who excel in their careers, contribute to their communities and develop women leaders. In March 2020 and several times prior, Cynt was selected as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America” by Black Enterprise magazine and named to Ebony magazine’s 2016 “Power 100” list. In 2014, industry analysts and members of the press conferred on Cynt the HR Executive of the Year - Best in Biz Award. For her efforts on behalf of the people of North Carolina, in 2013 Cynt received the prestigious Leadership North Carolina Governor’s Award, which honors just one citizen each year for lifetime achievements.
Cynt graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with degrees in Business Administration and Human Resources Management and holds four honorary Doctorate degrees. She has chaired a variety of non-profit boards and is currently on the board of Dallas CASA, Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas Women’s Foundation, Texas 2036, T.D. Jakes Foundation, and a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). She is also on the Board of Directors of BGSF Staffing, JELD-WEN, and Blinkcns, Inc.
The fourth of six children, Cynt grew up in Richmond, California, and lives in the Dallas area. She and her husband, Kenneth Marshall, have four adult children.
Impact Entrepreneur, CEO, Investor and Former Chairman & CEO of Ashley Stewart
James Rhee is an impact investor, founder, CEO and educator who empowers people, brands and organizations to fulfill their true potential by marrying capital with purpose and truth across multiple systems. The acclaimed story of the remarkable transformation and re-imagination of Ashley Stewart, one of the country’s largest brands serving Black women, under his leadership as chairman, CEO and investor (2013-2020) has served as proof to millions of people, as well as the world’s leading businesses and organizations, that one can do better by being better. The reinvention of Ashley Stewart, which was facing almost certain liquidation in 2013, is proof of how trust and joy, grounded in math and amplified through digital excellence, can overcome impossible odds and fuel individual and enterprise-wide innovation. It is a tangible example of the power of diverse ecosystems, as well as a commentary on a potential way forward for achieving multi-stakeholder goals. At its core, it is also the story of an unlikely friendship between a son of Korean immigrants (who raised his hand to become the self-described “least qualified CEO”) and a predominantly Black female employee group who placed their mutual trust in each other, learned from one another, and then proceeded to quietly shock the world.
As a client of United Talent Agency, he is a frequent speaker on impact and ESG investing, multidimensional transformation, DEI operationalization through Kindness & Math™, principled leadership and the future co-existence of capitalism, humanism and technology. As a senior leader of two Boston-based private equity firms, Rhee helped manage billions of dollars of growth and distressed capital before ultimately founding FirePine Group, a platform that has stewarded the capital of some of the world’s most sophisticated investors.
Rhee is at the vanguard of making knowledge, opportunity and capital accessible to all. He holds appointments at both MIT Sloan School of Management and Duke Law School as a senior lecturer, where he teaches future leaders about organizational systems and deconstructed investment principles relating to money, life and joy. On March 31, 2021, Howard University announced that James would serve a three-year term as the Johnson Chair of Entrepreneurship, a Professor of Entrepreneurship and senior adviser to the newly endowed Center for Women, Gender and Global Leadership, beginning with the 2021-22 academic year. Rhee is exploring the intersection of impact investing, ESG and financial literacy through a new venture called Red Helicopter.
Rhee connects seemingly disparate leaders and organizations that are unified in their goal to make investments and forge relationships that catalyze purposeful growth. He serves alongside global difference makers as an Advisory Council member of JPMorgan Chase’s Advancing Black Pathways, a member of the Governing Committee of the CEO Action for Racial Equity and a Board Director of Conscious Capitalism. He is also a former member of the board of the National Retail Federation, where he served as chairman of the Innovation Advisory Committee.
His inspirational story has been featured in media outlets such as the Good Business Issue of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Thrive Global, USA Today, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Women’s Wear Daily, Morgan Stanley’s Access and Opportunity Podcast, ABC News, National Urban League’s State of Black America, and the Huffington Post.
Rhee is a regional winner of the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the winner of one of five 2016 Power Player Awards granted by the National Retail Federation, and the recipient of the 2017 Black Retail Action Group Business Achievement Award, the 2018 Temple Fox School of Business Information Technology Innovator Award, the 2018 Essex County Urban League Centennial William M. Ashby Award for community building and a 2019 One To World Fulbright Award.
Rhee received his A.B. with honors from Harvard College and his J.D. with honors from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He lives outside Boston with his wife and three children. He is a former high school teacher. He is working on a book.
Founder & CEO, Fair Trade USA
Founder & CEO, Fair Trade USA
Since launching the Fair Trade Certified™ label in 1998, Paul has helped establish Fair Trade as one of the fastest-growing segments of the food and apparel industries. To date, Fair Trade USA has partnered with over 1,400 leading companies, including Green Mountain, Nespresso, Whole Foods, Costco, Sam's Club, Kroger, Chobani and Target. Fair Trade USA now certifies coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, coconut, fresh produce and fish. Recently, through groundbreaking partnerships with Patagonia, Athleta, West Elm and J. Crew, Fair Trade has begun certifying apparel and home goods, improving the lives of factory workers.
In 2020 consumer recognition of the Fair Trade Certified label hit 63% and U.S. retail sales of Fair Trade products grew to $8 billion. As a result, to date, Fair Trade USA and its partners generated over $830 million in additional income for farmers and workers in 70 countries, allowing them to care for the environment and steadily improve their livelihoods.
Prior to founding Fair Trade USA, Paul worked for 11 years as a rural development specialist in the mountains of Nicaragua, where he founded and led the country's first Fair Trade, organic coffee export cooperative. Paul's rich, first-hand experience over the last 30 years in the fields of sustainable agriculture, grassroots economic development, global supply chain transparency and consumer activation is unique in the certification world. He is now a leading advocate of “impact sourcing” as a core strategy for both poverty alleviation and sustainable business.
Paul has been named Ethical Corporation’s 2019 Business Leader of the Year and is a four-time winner of Fast Company magazine’s Social Capitalist of the Year. Paul is also the recipient of the prestigious Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and has spoken at the World Economic Forum, Clinton Global Initiative, Skoll World Forum, TEDx and numerous universities and conferences around the world.
Co-Founder, Salary Finance
Daniel Shakhani is a British-born inventor, social entrepreneur, financier and philanthropist ranked Business Insider 100 most influential people shaping British technology in 2019. He is the founder and CEO of RDS Capital, Co-founder of Salary Finance and strategic advisor to Global Reach Investments, and is based in London.
Mr. Shao is a co-founder and Chairman of Evolve, a philanthropic investment firm composed of a foundation, Evolve Foundation, and an impact investment firm, Evolve Ventures. With an initial capital of $100 million from the Shao family, Evolve aims to support organizations that relieve inner suffering and facilitate inner transformation.
Prior to Evolve, Mr. Shao was a founding partner of Matrix China, a leading technology venture capital firm in China, which manages over $7 billion dollars and has funded over 500 companies, 50 of which have become unicorns. Mr. Shao is also a serial entrepreneur and co-founded EachNet, BabyTree, NovaMed, Nuance Biotech, and Parent Lab. EachNet became the dominant consumer e-commerce company in China under his leadership and was acquired by eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) in 2003 in a landmark transaction. BabyTree (HKSE: 1761) was the leading parenting community in China with over 100 million monthly visitors.
Mr. Shao was born in China and was a winner of national mathematics competitions over a dozen times during high school. He left China when he was 17 years old for Harvard College on a full scholarship, one of the first such scholarships Harvard granted to a person from mainland China. After receiving a BA, summa cum laude, in physics and electrical engineering from Harvard College, he worked for the Boston Consulting Group and Goldman Sachs, and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Mr. Shao is a recognized young business leader in China and the recipient of awards in China and abroad, including Young Global Leaders 2005 of the World Economic Forum and Entrepreneur of the Year 2003 by Asian Venture Capital Journal.
CEO, J-Crew Group
Libby Wadle is the Chief Executive Officer of J.Crew Group, overseeing J.Crew and Madewell brands, as well as serving on the board of directors. She has a proven track record of leading companies through periods of significant growth with a focus on customer-centric retail and building purpose-driven brands.
With over 25-years of experience in the retail industry, during her tenure at the J.Crew Group, she has held executive leadership roles across each of the brands, J.Crew, Factory and, most recently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Madewell. As a member of the Madewell launch team, Wadle has been an integral part of the brand’s growth, bringing it from start-up to a leader in denim retail.
She has dedicated herself to ambitious sustainability and social impact strategy for the Group. She pioneered a partnership with Fair Trade USA partnership, working with them to certify their first denim product. Her commitment to sustainability and building responsible brands has been a key focus for her. This October Madewell launched its first sustainability report which detailed their work so far and plans for the future.
Wadle is often looked to as a thought leader in the industry. She was named Fortune 40 under 40, Rivet 50 for denim leadership and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. She graduated from Boston College with a degree in Literature and now lives in Brooklyn with her family and two dogs.
CDO, Salary Finance
CDO, Salary Finance
Anita Ward is an Applied Cultural Anthropologist whose PhD and career have been dedicated to culture, purpose, and the growth and transformation of organizations.
Considered a corporate shaman, Anita has led organizations and change initiatives in JPM Chase, American General, Occidental Petroleum, and the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. She currently serves as CDO leading the US growth and business development of the UK-based fintech, Salary Finance, which partners with employers to help millions of working Americans achieve financial happiness and wellbeing, Named among the Top 100 Fintech Influencers for Sustainable Development Goals, she has been recognized as a leader who is leveraging the power of technology to create a positive impact on the future.
Anita hosts a podcast entitled, Working on Wellbeing, with an episodic series, People On Purpose, in which she shares the untold stories of leaders, wellbeing, and the challenges people face to authentically lead with purpose. Her work has been featured in Real Change Leaders, Leading Outside the Lines, Fast Company, Computerworld, CIO Magazine, and Forbes ASAP.
Anita's purpose is to champion people, inclusion, and empathy as centric to every organization, initiative and conversation.
President & CEO, Texas Restaurant Association & Foundation
President & CEO, Texas Restaurant Association & Foundation
In May 2019, Dr. Emily Williams Knight was appointed CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association & Foundation and officially assumed this leadership role on August 1, 2019. With more than 50,000 restaurants employing 1.3M Texans and posting sales of 70B in 2019, in her first year, Knight was at the forefront of leading one of the most important industries through the COVID 19 pandemic. Knight was recognized as a fierce and effective leader, quickly securing several waivers from Governor Abbott while also lobbying and securing federal support to help the restaurant and foodservice industry survive. Without a playbook for leading Texas’s second-largest private employer through a pandemic, Knight went to her roots, leading from the front, empowering those around her to act, and bringing honest, empathetic, and transparent communication into every interaction. Knight leveraged her passion and empathy for others to drive change at the state and national level and quickly rose to become a key thought leader with local and national media.
Dr. Knight took the pain of the pandemic and its devastating impact on the restaurant industry to Texas’ 87th legislative session where she and her team passed 6 priority bills that were signed into law including alcohol-to go, liability protection, third-party delivery protections, and securing the ability for restaurants to sell bulk food. The results of the session provided the Texas restaurant industry with a clear path to rebuild and is regarded as one of the most successful sessions ever delivered by the Association.
Knight is the daughter of military veterans and a former military spouse. She has held executive leadership positions across the globe in several multi-national companies and her success is driven by building high-performing teams, a passion for winning, and a tireless work ethic. Prior to leading the TRA, Knight served as Managing Director of Higher Education North America at Study Group, a leading provider of international university education. Knight worked with top university leaders across the U.S. and Canada to build international student recruitment and education pathway programs. Her career includes senior leadership roles at Laureate and serving as President of Kendall College, a leader in hospitality and culinary arts education. During her time as Kendall’s president, Knight expanded access to culinary and hospitality education throughout the U.S., Latin America, and the Middle East. She worked closely with the Illinois legislature to advance the industry and partnered with the Mayor of Chicago, Choose Chicago, and the Illinois Restaurant Association to drive Chicago visitors to a record 50 million per year.
Knight led student recruitment for two of the top five hospitality schools in the world located in Switzerland. She has partnered with private equity firms, associations, and the U.S. government to build veteran and at-risk training and certification programs and is a fierce advocate for the importance of career and technical education. Knight has extensive experience working with industry, workforce investment boards, and community colleges to create skills training programs designed to fill the growing number of restaurant and hospitality job openings.
Co-Founder, The Seat of the Soul Institute
Co-Founder, The Seat of the Soul Institute
Gary Zukav for years has conveyed the most complex insights in language all can understand. Over and over, he challenges us to see the depth of our potential in the world…and act on that awareness. His gentle presence, humor, and wisdom have inspired millions to realize their soul’s greatest potential. A master teacher and author of four consecutive New York Times bestsellers, Gary is dedicated to the unprecedented transformation of human consciousness – an entirely new threshold in the human experience.
In 1979 The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics plumbed the depths of quantum physics and relativity, winning the American Book Award for Science. In 1989 the celebrated The Seat of the Soul led the way to seeing the alignment of the personality with the soul as the fulfillment of life and captured the imagination of millions, becoming the #1 New Times bestseller 31 weeks and remaining on the New York Times bestseller list 3 years. In 2000, Gary wrote Soul Stories, another New York Times Bestseller, and then co-authored two more bestsellers with his spiritual partner Linda Francis, The Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness (2002) and The Mind of the Soul: Responsible Choice (2003). In 2007 he wrote Soul To Soul: Communications from the Heart, and in 2010 his revolutionary book Spiritual Partnership: The Journey to Authentic Power revealed the profoundly new relationship archetype of partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth. His latest book, Universal Human (2021), guides us toward a human species beyond even the emerging multisensory human species.
Gary is the co-founder of the Seat of the Soul Institute with Linda Francis, a Harvard graduate with a degree in International Relations, a former US Army Special Forces (Green Beret) officer with Vietnam service, a member of the Club of Budapest, recipient of the World Business Academy Pathfinder Award for his Contribution to the Ongoing Evolution of Knowledge and Consciousness within the Global Business Community, and the Einstein Award from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for his Contributions to the Psychosocial Growth of Humanity.
His insights, warmth, and contagious enthusiasm have endeared Gary Zukav to millions of viewers through his 36 appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Six million copies of his books have been published in 32 languages.