Kristin Smedley

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Kristin Smedley

I never expected to launch a worldwide organization. Never ever thought I'd have to know about braille, or retinas, or genetic mutations. And I had no idea I would be dealt a double dose of darkness....

It was a one-two punch to the gut: both of my boys were diagnosed as blind when they were each 4 months old. I had never even met a blind person, yet I quickly learned how to find the tools blind children need and got them in the hands of my boys, literally. With the right foundation and a multitude of resources, they have become accomplished athletes, high achieving students, talented musicians, and social butterflies. Oh, and international Braille competition finalists too.

In May 2011, I connected with other families living with the same rare disease my boys have, and launched a mission to fund a cure. No advanced degree. Never created a website before. Had no idea about grants, or IRB's... the list goes on.

I learned how to build a team, nearby and remote, of people that know how to do the things I don't. I spend nearly every minute of every day networking with people that can help either medically, financially, or otherwise. No connection is too small, as I have found some of the greatest resources in the oddest places.

In just six years, I've led our Foundation to make progress we thought would take much longer and people are calling on us daily to be a part of a miracle that seemed impossible less than a decade ago. We've raised over one million dollars, made history in the US Congress with the first ever rare eye disease resolution submitted in Braille, and have skyrocketed our little rare disease to the top of mind of many industry leaders - and I am just getting started.

If you can help my mission to give options and resources to CRB1 LCA/RP patients, or if you need a dynamic speaker for your event, email me at curingretinalblindness@gmail.com or smedtalk@gmail.com

kristinsmedley.com
twitter.com/KristinSmedley
www.facebook.com/thrivingblind/

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Laura Ries

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Laura Ries

Laura Ries is a leading marketing strategist, bestselling author and television personality. In 1994, Laura founded Ries & Ries, a consulting firm with her father and partner Al Ries, the legendary Positioning-pioneer. Together they consult with companies around the world on brand strategy. In addition, they have traveled to over 60 countries from Chile to China and India to Indonesia teaching the fundamental principles of marketing. With Al, Laura is the co-author of five books on branding that have been worldwide bestsellers. Her first solo book, Visual Hammer will be released in March 2012. Visit Ries.com for more info.

Laura is a frequent marketing analyst on major news programs from the O’Reilly Factor to Squawk Box. She regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, CNN, HLN, and is frequently quoted by the Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and other news outlets. In addition, Laura writes her own popular blog RiesPieces.com.

A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois Laura earned her degree “with highest distinction” from Northwestern’s School of Speech, finishing in the top 2% of her class.

Along with her father Al Ries, the two have co-authored five books together: The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding (1998), The 11 Immutable Laws of Internet Branding (2000), The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR (2002), The Origin of Brands (2004), and War in the Boardroom (2009).

In 2008, the Atlanta Business Chronicle named Laura a top 40 under 40. In 2009, the readers of Advertising Age voted The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding as the third most important marketing book of all time. (The number one book was Positioning written by her father.) In 2002, Business 2.0 magazine named Laura a “management guru” and issued trading cards with her picture and statistics on them.

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Doug Johnson

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Doug Johnson

Founded in 2002, Valor Partners is a true search firm - our clients are software and technology companies ranging from the innovative startup to the established market leader -who rely on us to find and attract talent that is hidden; the candidates that are too difficult and time consuming to find or recruit without us. We have over 15 years of dedicated technology search expertise focused on building leadership, sales, and marketing teams for our clients; it's all we do. However, we don't view our service as simply providing candidates to our clients; our true value is in the deep insight we can share: about the candidate, the search strategy, the market, about how we can succeed together.

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Andrew Weinreich

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Andrew Weinreich

I've spent the past 15 years starting and building businesses. With Andrew's Roadmaps, I run intensive educational boot camps for startup founders. We've had more than 200 CEOs come through our program in the past 18 months.

  • Founder & CEO of sixdegrees: Original social networking site of 3.5 million members. Sold in December 2000.
  • Founder & CEO of Joltage, Inc: First company to provide operational support system to wireless networks.
  • Founder & CEO of I Stand For, Inc. Full service technology ASP to political campaigns and non-profits. Sold in March 2006.
  • Co-Founder & Chairman of Xtify. Location-based services platform that allows any web site to location-enable their service. Acquired by IBM in 2013.
  • Founder & Chairman of MeetMoi. The first location-based mobile dating service available across all major carriers in the United States that matches users based on preferences and proximity. Acquired by Match.com in 2014.
  • Co-Founder & Chairman of Indicative.
  • Founder of Andrew's Roadmaps. A comprehensive crash course for Internet startup founders.
  • Advisor to Lenddo
  • Advisor to WayBetter
     
  • www.andrewsroadmaps.com
  • twitter.com/andrewsroadmaps
  • www.facebook.com/andrewsroadmaps

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Matt Johnner

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Matt Johnner

Bank Labs is a combination of seasoned executives with deep expertise in community banking, bank technology and alternative finance techniques. We have been founders/leaders in banks ranging from $200 Million in assets to $1.5 Billion in assets in addition to leading multi-billion-dollar technology companies. Our principals are local business leaders, board members, founders and technology and real estate investors.

We experienced first-hand how traditional community banking has evolved; clients now access accounts, apply for loans and pay bills via the Internet. True mobility tools to make bankers jobs more productive have not kept pace. Bank Labs mission is to change that.

We create cloud-based solutions that target noisy, spreadsheet-based processes. Bank Labs helps community bankers become more efficient so that they can get back to banking, improve productivity, and allow more time to build relationships. This includes providing technology-based marketplaces to help our community bank clients gain access to new markets and defend against internet startups going direct to your clients.

We hope to have the opportunity to visit and share what we are doing for the best community banks in the country.

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