Previous Speakers


"Key Skills for Today's Change Agents: Entrepreneurism and Agility" 

• Virgnina 'Gina' Drosos, CEO, Signet Jewelers, Ltd
• March 20, 2018

When it comes to the business of beauty, Gina Drosos shines.  For over 30 years, Gina has been at the forefront of the consumer goods, beauty and health-care industries, innovating e-commerce retail and reinventing product categories to increase sales and profits of brand recognized worldwide.  As CEO of Signet Jewelers since 2017, Gina is focused on delivering a world-class experience to customers of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples, Piercing Pagoda and  With 25 years at Procter & Gamble, she most recently served as Group President for Global Beauty Care, a $6 billion unit with over 20  brands and 6,000 employees.  Named one of Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, EY's Entrepreneur of the Year, and Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year.  A long history of philanthropy includes her role on the Board of Back2Back Ministries, an international non-profit organization that cares for orphans and vulnerable children.

Bill James

Never Meant for that to Happen: How My Career Accidentally Disrupted a Market

• Bill James, Historian, Statistician
• April 6, 2017

The Man Behind The 'Moneyball' Sabermetrics  
James is a prominent author on the subject of baseball from a statistical perspective. Though not a statistician by trade, he pioneered the field of saber metrics with his insightful, articulate, creative, knowledgeable, occasionally comical and always idiosyncratic writings on a plethora of baseball-related subjects. He is credited with coining the term sabermetrics, and is considered by most to be the father of the sabermetric movement. While many subsequent authors have refined and expounded upon James' theories, which often lacked citation and statistical rigor, it would be hard to argue that anyone has done more than James to advance the field of sabermetrics. He is currently employed by the Boston Red Sox as a Senior Baseball Operations Advisor.

Leadership, "How to Get 'From Here the There' Through Technology, Experience, and Hard Work." 

• Bill Hemmer, Journalist, News Anchor
• April 13, 2016

Bill Hemmer used his journalism degree from Miami University to kick-start his career as a weekend sports anchor for WCPO-TV in Cincinnati, but he quickly rose through the ranks, working at CNN as a correspondent and co-anchor for both morning and evening shows and earning an Emmy along the way.  In 2005, he joined FOX News Channel and now serves as co-host of America's Newsroom in New York City.

As one of the network's top breaking news anchors, Hemmer has covered major stories, including the Boston Marathon bombing, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the 2010 earthquake from Haiti, the Fort Hood shooting and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In addition to monitoring election night results, he also reported from the last two presidential elections, interviewing Mitt Romney in 2012 and then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008. Most recently, he co-anchored a GOP presidential debate in August that garnered the third largest number of viewers of any of the network’s primary debates.


"Why Don't They Just Get a Job - Leading Our Communities Out of Poverty"

  • Dave and Lianne Phillips, Co-Founders, Cincinnati Works
  • March 12, 2015

    Cincinnat Works was founded in 1996 by Dave and Liane Phillips as their 'second careers'.  Using a holistic approach, they assist those in poverty (more than 600 families a year) to find employment and become economically self-sufficient.  Their research based program model has won numerous awards and other cities are replicating their design.  They sincerely believe that "even the most troubled person could soar if you gave them wings."

"How to Make Tea Hot - Begin with Passion"

  • Arsen Avakian, Founder and CEO Argo Tea
  • November 19, 2014

Avakian grew Argo Tea into the largest tea cafe concept in the world.  His entrepreneurial drive, research into quality ingredients and focus on how to introduce tea to millions of American coffee drinkers has led to the opening of more than 40 Argo Tea cafes globally in cultural centers of world-class cities, including Boston, New York City, Doha, Kuwait City and Dubai.


 "Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability at P&G"

  • Len Sauers, PhD, VP for Global Sustainability                                                         
  • September 10, 2014

Sauers leads P&G's overall sustainability program, where he is responsible for developing and ensuring the company delivers its long-term sustainability vision and short-term goals.  He has been at P&G for 28 years and has a PhD in toxicology and is a diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology.

"Business as a Vocation: A Positive Force for Changing the World?

  • Lawrence J. Blanford, Retired, Green Mountain Coffee
  • March 18, 2014

As president and Chief Executive Officer of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Larry Blanford emphasized the importance of sustainable practices in the products it produces and the communities where it does business. His concern for the environment and sustainability earned him recognition as the Responsible CEO of the Year by Corporate Responsibility Magazine in 2009 and 2010. 

"Reinventing Fire: The Business Led Transition Beyond Fossil Fuels?

  • Amory Lovins, PhD
  • October 16, 2013     

Physicist Amory B. Lovins is Cofounder and Chief Scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, an independent nonprofit think-and-do tank that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources.  In 2009 Time named him one of the world's 100 most influential people, and Foreign Policy, one of the 100 top global thinkers.  His latest book is Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era.

"The Right Thing to Do: How Successful Leaders Use Ethics at Work and Beyond?

  • Bruce Weinstein
    The Ethics Guy®
  • March 7, 2013

Dr. Bruce Weinstein wants to enrich your appreciation of ethics in everyday life and help you make the best decisions possible.  He writes the column, "Ask the Ethics Guy" for and and appears as an ethics analyst regularly on cnN.  He is the author of 5 books and has been quoted or featured in USA Today, The New York Observer, Investor's Business Daily and others.

"Honesty and Leadership: Why the Best Leaders Must Possess Both Qualities"

  • Michael Woodford
    Former President and CEO, Olympus Corporation
  • January 17, 2013

Two weeks after being appointed CEO of Olympus Corporation, Michael Woodford, who was also the company's president, was fired.  His crime? discovering $1.7 billion in accounting fraud and blowing the whistle on his employer.  After 30 years at Olympus, he exposed company executives for hiding huge investment losses.  Woodford has been recognized for his bravery and honred by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners "For Choosing Truth over Self"  TIME recognized him as one of the "People Who Mattered" in 2011. 

"Domestic and Global Economic Challenges for Post-Election America"

  • Greg Ip
    U.S. Economics Editor, The Economist
  • October 3, 2012

Greg Ip is U.S. Economics Editor for The Economist, based in Washington D.C. He covers the economy, financial markets, monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy. He contributes to The Economist?s blog, Free Exchange. He has commented frequently on radio and television, including CNBC, BBC, CNN, MSNBC, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, and National Public Radio. He is the author of The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World (Wiley, 2010). He joined The Economist in July, 2008. Prior to his current job, Mr Ip was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, most recently as chief economics correspondent in Washington. He created Real Time Economics, the Wall Street Journal?s online blog of Fed and economic news. He joined the Journal in 1996 as a reporter covering financial markets in New York.I

"Tricked Again: How Financial Crises Provide the Pretext for Preposterous Government Expansion"

  • Amity Shlaes
    Author and Economic Historian
  • March 13, 2012

Amity Shlaes is a senior fellow in economic history at the Council on Foreign Relations, a syndicated columnist at Bloomberg, and the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (named by Wall Street Journal as one of best books to read during a financial crisis). She has written for The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, where she was an editorial board member, as well as for the New Yorker, Fortune, National Review, The New Republic, and Foreign Affairs. A sought after keynote speaker, she has given a wide range of talks about the economy and the historical perspective of the Great Depression at corporations, financial institutions, universities, and historical societies. She has appeared on PBS, The Daily Show, FOX News and Good Morning America.

"Lessons Learned: Monetary Policy and its Role in Addressing the Financial Crisis of 2008 and the Recovery from the Great Recession"

  • LaVaughn Henry, PhD
    Vice President and Senior Regional Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Cincinnati Branch
  • October 19, 2011

Dr. LaVaughn M Henry joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as vice president and senior regional officer for the Bank?s Cincinnati Branch Office, in August of 2009.

As the leader of the Cincinnati Branch Office, Dr. Henry is responsible for building and maintaining a strong presence and reputation for the Bank throughout the central and southern Ohio, and eastern Kentucky region. He works closely with key stakeholders, including the board of directors of the Cincinnati Branch, business advisory councils, depository institutions, business and civic leaders, and the public.

Dr. Henry has diverse experience in the private and public sectors. Prior to joining the Fed, he served as senior director of market economics and risk analysis at PMI Group, one of the nation?s largest mortgage insurers. He previously held positions as director of regional communications at Fannie Mae and assistant regional manager for government affairs, at Ford Motor Company.


"Discovering & Executing on Purpose"

  • Jack Cassidy
    President and CEO, Cincinnati Bell
  • February 16, 2011

As President and Chief Executive Officer of Cincinnati Bell Inc., Jack Cassidy leads the greater Cincinnati region's first choice for communications services. Cincinnati Bell provides wireless, wireline, long distance and broadband services and produces $1.3 billion in revenue.

He is responsible for developing, establishing and executing the company's strategic and operational plans for all Cincinnati Bell companies including Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Cincinnati Bell Telephone, Cincinnati Bell Entertainment, Cincinnati Bell Any Distance, and Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions.

In 2008, Forbes Magazine hailed Mr. Cassidy as "the most honest man in Telecom." Mr. Cassidy was named the Clay Pigeon Magazine's Shooting Sportsman of the Year for 2003. He was awarded an Honorary PhD from Cleveland State University in 2006.

"Inclusion and Diversity in Business: A Journey of Lessons Learned"

  • Karen Wells
    Vice President of Strategy and Menu, McDonald?s USA
  • March 25, 2010

Karen Wells has more than 20 years of leadership experience in Fortune 50 companies. She is currently vice president of strategy and menu for McDonalds USA. She is responsible for developing and communicating fully integrated, cross-functional plans to drive long-term growth while overseeing a talented and innovative team that develops and helps shape the McDonald's menu for the more than 27 million U.S. customers served every day.

Beginning her career with McDonald's in 1992 as a marketing supervisor, Karen moved through the ranks to become regional marketing manager for the Raleigh region. In 1997, she was selected for the McDonald's Executive Training Program and continued her career in many roles such as vice president of operations, regional vice president and general manager.

"Values-Based Leadership"

  • Bob McDonald
    President and Chief Executive Officer, Procter & Gamble
  • February 2, 2010

Bob McDonald is president, chairman and chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble. He has nearly 30 years of brandbuilding, market development, global business unit and global operations leadership experience across the company and throughout the world.

In his previous role as Vice Chair of Global Operations, he was a member of the team that created the company's low-cost business model, which has helped drive developing markets to more than 30 percent of company sales and company-average margins. As P&G's chief operating officer, he played a pivotal role in the integration of Gillette and led P&G's "go-to-market" reinvention.

"Cultural Dexterity: The Critical Skill for Success in a Globalized Economy"

  • Janet Reid
    Principal Partner and Co-Founder, Global Lead Management Consulting
  • April 24, 2009

Before co-founding Global Lead, Janet B. Reid held a series of progressively more responsible positions during her 10 years at Procter & Gamble ? from research chemist to brand manager. She taught chemistry at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va., and earned a Ph.D. in BioInorganic Chemistry from Howard University. Reid has worked with Global Lead across the continents of Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia ? with expertise in developing effective leadership strategies for American companies doing business in China. She is also an expert in shaping corporate strategy and developing quantitative and qualitative measures of bottom line benefits.

Reid's extensive board service includes being the first woman and first person of color to be Chair of the Board of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. She is a trustee of Xavier University and member of several Xavier committees.

"Competing to Win in Today?s Global Steel Business"

  • James Wainscott
    President and CEO, AK Steel Corporation
  • March 23, 2006

Jim Wainscott is chairman, president and CEO of AK Steel. Under his leadership, the company has become globally competitive, prompting Fortune magazine to name AK Steel one of "America's Most Admired Companies."

Wainscott began his career with the former National Steel Corp., holding a number of positions at the plant and corporate levels. In 1995, he joined AK Steel as Vice President and Treasurer, advancing to Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He was named President and CEO in 2003 and Chairman in 2006.

He also serves as vice chairman of the American Iron and Steel Institute and vice chairman of the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation. He is a board member of the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, the Anthony Muñoz Foundation and the Cincinnati Zoo. He is a member of the Washington, D.C.?based Business Roundtable, the Ohio Business Roundtable and the Cincinnati Business Committee. He and his wife, Darla, serve as co-chairs for the Children's Home of Cincinnati "Building on a Legacy of Excellence" campaign.

"Ten Important Decisions Over 50 Years in Business"

  • Richard Farmer
    Founder and Chairman, Board Cintas Corporation
  • April 18, 2008

"The Role of Leadership in Driving Transformation"

  • Sara Mathew
    President and COO, Dun & Bradstreet
  • March 12, 2008

"Kroger: What?s In Store For You"

  • David Dillon
    Chairman and CEO, The Kroger Company
  • November 8, 2007

"The Adobe Story: Lessons Learned in Building a Software Company"

  • Charles Geschke
    Co-Founder, Adobe Systems
  • February 15, 2007

"Confronting America?s Retirement Challenge"

  • Ellyn A. McColgan
    President, Fidelity Brokerage Company
  • November 30, 2006

"Power to the Consumer: Media in the Digital Age"

  • Kenneth W. Lowe
    President and CEO, E.W. Scripps Company
  • September 20, 2006

"The Business and Sports Dimensions of the Cincinnati Reds"

  • Robert H. Castellini
    CEO, Cincinnati Reds; Chairman, Castellini Company
  • May 3, 2006

"Leadership in a Global Environment"

  • A. G. Lafley
    Chairman of the Board of Directors, President and Chief Executive Officer, Procter & Gamble
  • March 23, 2006