Presenters

Thomas Dolby

Digital Innovator and Musical Artist known for such hits as “She Blinded Me With Science” and “Hyperactive”

The list of breakthrough innovations in Thomas Dolby's 35-year career is continuous. As an early MTV icon, he blazed a trail for electronic music with his imaginative videos. He co-wrote and produced the first ever platinum- selling rap 12" single “Magic's Wand” by Whodini; his synth playing and production graced the recordings of Foreigner, Def Leppard, George Clinton and Joni Mitchell, earning five Grammy™ nominations. [Read More]

Dr. Reed Timmer

Tornado Chaser and Star of Discovery Channel’s Hit Series, Storm Chasers

Having intercepted more than 250 tornadoes and a dozen powerful hurricanes during the last decade, Reed Timmer is well known as the most successful and extreme storm chaser in the world. Reed is one of the few people in existence to document both an F5 tornado and the most devastating hurricane in U.S. history (Hurricane Katrina). [Read More]

Howard Berger

Oscar & Emmy Award-Winning Visual Effects & Makeup Artist for shows such as “Breaking Bad”

In 1988, KNB EFX Group, Inc., was co-founded by Howard Berger and Gregory Nicotero, and over the past 27 years, they have become one of the most prolific Special Makeup Effects studios in Hollywood. [Read More]

Kari Byron

Sculptor and Co-Host of Discovery Channel’s Hit Series, “Mythbusters”

Kari Byron is an artist and sculptor by trade, which are extremely important aspects of her life. Using her preferred sculpting materials of polymer clay, wood, metals and a variety of found objects, Kari tries to create some form of art on a daily basis. [Read More]

Homer Hickam

NY Times #1 Best-Selling Author and the Story Behind the Movie “October Sky”

Homer H. Hickam, Jr., has been a writer since 1969 after his return from Vietnam where he served as a First Lieutenant, earning both the Army Commendation and Bronze Star medals. At first, he mostly wrote about the battle against the U-boats along the American east coast during World War II. This resulted in his first book, Torpedo Junction (1989), a military history best-seller published in 1989 by the Naval Institute Press. [Read More]

Emily Calandrelli

Aeronautics Engineer and Host of FOX’s Series “Xploration Outer Space”

Emily Calandrelli is currently the producer and host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. After graduating from West Virginia University (WVU) with a degree in mechanical aerospace engineering, she went on to receive a double Master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Aeronautics & Astronautics and Technology & Policy. [Read More]

Scott Siepker

Actor, Entrepreneur and “The Iowa Nice Guy”

Scott Siepker is the host of the Emmy-nominated “Iowa Outdoors” on Iowa Public Television and a professor of acting at Drake University. Scott got his acting start on stage at Iowa State University, where he also received his Bachelor of Science in psychology. Scott has gone on to act in dozens of plays, commercials and miscellaneous live events. [Read More]

Mitch Matthews

Dream Coach and Best-Selling Author

Mitch Matthews is a keynote speaker, success coach and best-selling author of Ignite. He speaks to student, corporate, nonprofit and association audiences around the world on the power of “DREAM. THINK. DO.” [Read More]

Jason Kiesau

Author & Confidence Builder

Adversity in his early 20s made Jason rethink his approach to the world and motivated him to study the characteristics of success. Within months of turning 24, he created his “By 30 Vision” and knew he wanted to spend his life teaching, training, coaching and speaking. [Read More]

Presenters

Dr. Jill Preutz

Biological Anthropologist and Primatologist

Dr. Preutz's research focuses on the behavioral ecology of wild primates, and she currently focuses on chimpanzees, which she also incorporate into models that she hopes shed light on the behavior of early hominins (members of our own lineage). In her talk, Dr. Preutz will highlight some of the behaviors exhibited by the Fongoli chimpanzee community living in southeastern Senegal, which are unique or rare compared to what we know from chimpanzees studied elsewhere. Chimpanzees in this habitat face other pressures such as seasonal wildfires that also provide us insight into what some of our earliest hominin relatives may have faced in a similar habitat.

James Ellwanger

American Artist from Des Moines, Iowa

James began his art career in the late 1990’s after many years of working in more traditional professional fields. He is known for large-scale installations including public, private and corporate works. He is currently exploring technology-driven, interactive mediums. In addition to creating art work, he also holds patents for a variety of modern furniture designs. In his talk, “An Artist’s Journey: From the Southside to the Statehouse and Everywhere In Between” James speaks of finding the courage to step out of the corporate world in order to pursue a career in visual arts.

Sara Stibitz

Business Owner and Practician of Healthy Destruction

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.” It can be a scary concept to embrace, but there are other ways of looking at it: a clearing of the way, the closing of one chapter and the opening of another. Just like fields must be razed to make way for new growth, life demands that we let go of what was before we create what will be. In her talk, How to Self-Destruct in 30 Days or Less, Sara speaks of how, sometimes, we have no control over life’s changing circumstances and we find ourselves with our lives in shambles, ripe for rebuilding. Other times, we’re stuck in our old paradigms and frameworks. So how do we break out? Whether it’s an entire reinvention of our lives or learning to destroy creative blocks, we all need a dose of healthy destruction once in a while, whatever that looks like to us individually.

Tom Henricksen

Career Coach

Tom Henricksen leads others to turn their dreams into plans. Throughout Tom’s career, he has learned firsthand how hard it can be to find a good career match. As a result of his trials, he’s created a simple process designed to help find a career that inspires passion, encourages optimal performance, and results in profit. According to a recent Gallup poll only 13% of people worldwide feel engaged at their work. This has led many people have given up on the idea that a career can rewarding and fulfilling. In his talk, Tom covers the three P's that will help you find a career match.