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2015 Featured Speakers

  • Future
  • Caroll Spinney
    Big Bird & Oscar the Grouch
    SESAME STREET
    Caroll Spinney Info Events
    Big Bird has captivated children around the world for almost 50 years. A puppeteer since he was eight years old, Caroll Spinney has been the man inside the bird from the beginning. Also playing Oscar the Grouch, his characters have been seen on more than 3,900 shows in 148 countries.

    Jim Henson, who was working to develop characters for a new educational children’s television show, saw Spinney perform a combined puppetry and animation show at the Puppeteers of America Festival in Salt Lake City in 1969. Henson persuaded Spinney to come to New York to join the cast of Sesame Street, which premiered later that year.

    Spinney is the author of The Wisdom of Big Bird (And the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch): Lessons from a Life in Feathers, an inspirational memoir in which he shares the wisdom that he has gleaned over the years from his work creating and portraying one of the world’s most beloved characters.

    Spinney has earned four Emmy Awards, two Gold Records, and two Grammy Awards.
  • Greg Holden
    Singer/Songwriter
    Greg Holden Info Events
    Singer and songwriter Greg Holden has earned recognition as an independent artist for the past several years, though he is perhaps best known for writing the massive hit “Home” — the debut single for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips that sold five million tracks in the U.S. and earned Holden an ASCAP Pop Award. He’s also found success with “The Lost Boy” — a poetic rumination inspired by a Dave Eggers’ novel about a Sudanese refugee that raised over $50,000 for the Red Cross. Within two weeks of being featured on Sons of Anarchy, “The Lost Boy” sold 30,000 downloads in the U.S. and debuted at No. 36 on Billboard’s Rock chart. Holden’s current album, Chase the Sun, was released April 2015 and features purpose-driven rock songs, “Hold On Tight” and “Save Yourself”. Produced by Greg Wells (Adele, OneRepublic), the music is modern, yet timeless, brimming with tough, vibrant energy that thoroughly showcases Holden’s lean, literate songwriting.
  • Jonathan Karl
    Chief White House Correspondent
    ABC NEWS
    Jonathan Karl Info Events
    Jonathan Karl was named ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent in December 2012. He regularly contributes to all broadcasts, including "Good Morning America," "World News Tonight with David Muir" and "Nightline." In addition, he reports for all of ABC's digital properties, including the popular political blog "The Note" and hosts a weekly digital show for ABC News/Yahoo! News.

    Karl has broad experience covering U.S. politics, foreign policy and the military. His reporting drives news cycles and has been recognized with some of the most prestigious honors in journalism, including the 2013 Walter Cronkite Award for National Individual Achievement in election cycle reporting, the 2011 Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based reporting and an Emmy Award for his coverage of the 2009 Inauguration of President Barack Obama. In 2001 he won the National Press Foundation's Everett McKinley Dirksen Award, the highest honor for Congressional reporting.

    A regular contributor to "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Karl also serves as a guest anchor for the program. In February 2010 he secured an exclusive interview with Dick Cheney for the Sunday morning program.

    Prior to his current post at the White House, Karl served as ABC's Senior Political Correspondent, covering national political news, including presidential politics and Congress. In 2012, Karl was often on the campaign trail. His well-sourced reporting gave viewers an inside track on the veepstakes as the Romney campaign whittled down its list of candidates.

    In his 15 years in Washington, Karl earned a reputation as a fierce government watchdog for his aggressive investigations of government waste. His reporting on Congressional junkets led to changes in the rules for the travel costs of members of Congress and their staffs, and his reporting on vacant federal buildings led to a new effort to sell off unused government real estate.

    Bringing a creative approach to covering politics through the "Subway Series," Karl has interviewed dozens of Senators they travel underground from their offices to the Capitol. He has also brought the series outside the beltway, interviewing New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the Lexington Avenue line of the New York subway, Representative Michelle Bachman on the trolley in downtown Des Moines, Iowa and Representative Kristi Noem on horseback at her ranch in South Dakota. Karl has had news-making interviews with leading figures from the political, international and entertainment worlds including Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Elton John, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Ross Perot, John Kerry, John McCain, Nancy Pelosi, Garry Kasparov, Ted Kennedy, Jeb Bush, Robert Mugabe, David Petraeus, Dick Cheney, Paul Ryan, Pete Townshend, Michael Bloomberg, Dalai Lama, Rudy Giuliani, Robert Gates, Jesse Jackson, Jimmy Carter, Bob Dole, Donald Rumsfeld, Louis Farrakhan, James Taylor, Yoko Ono and George Clooney.

    Karl joined ABC News in January 2003 as the network's Senior Foreign Affairs correspondent covering the State Department. He traveled around the world with Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. In 2004 he spent several months on the campaign trail covering the Bush-Cheney campaign, and he also co-anchored election night coverage on ABC News NOW – anchoring for more than 14 straight hours.

    In December 2005 Karl was named Senior National Security correspondent. He has traveled the world for ABC News, reporting from more than two dozen countries on five continents. He reported more extensively on the situation in Darfur, Sudan, than any other network correspondent, visiting Sudan three times in 2005. He also broke several stories on Iran's nuclear program and covered the 2004 presidential elections in Russia. Before joining ABC News, he served as a congressional correspondent for CNN. In his eight years with CNN, he covered Capitol Hill, the White House and the Pentagon. While there, he reported on two Presidential elections, President Clinton's impeachment, the NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia, and congressional reaction to the September 11 terrorist attacks.

    During his time on Capitol Hill for CNN, Karl was the first to report on two of the most significant congressional stories in recent years: Sen. Jim Jefford's decision to leave the Republican Party and Trent Lott's decision to step down as Senate Majority Leader. In 1998 he was the first reporter to obtain the Starr Report, one of the most sought-after political documents in recent years.

    Prior to joining CNN, Karl worked as an investigative reporter for The New York Post, covering Rudy Giuliani's City Hall and the 1994 Cuomo-Pataki gubernatorial race. He has also worked as a researcher and reporter for The New Republic, where he covered a variety of issues ranging from international affairs to American politics to education.

    A prolific writer, Karl's work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, The New Republic, Reason, The Christian Science Monitor and The San Francisco Chronicle. In December 1995, his non-fiction book, "The Right to Bear Arms: The Rise of America's New Militias," was published by Harper-Collins. Karl graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1990, where he was editor-in-chief of The Vassar Spectator.

Partners

ABC
ABC provides viewers with the most sought after, engaging programming throughout the day - from Good Morning America to Jimmy Kimmel, Dancing with the Stars to Modern Family, Scandal to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and live events like the Oscars. ABC Digital enables that great content to move with viewers wherever they are - on ABC.com, Hulu, ABCNews.com or through Watch ABC across a growing number of tablet, phone and connected TV apps. Reaching one of the largest audiences available in premium content across platforms, ABC provides marketers with a unified solution for reaching their best and most engaged consumers.
Adobe
Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. Our tools and services allow our customers to create groundbreaking digital content, deploy it across media and devices, measure and optimize it over time, and achieve greater business success. We help our customers make, manage, measure, and monetize their content across every channel and screen.
AOL
AOL's Mission: To simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code.
AT&T Adworks
AT&T AdWorks is a leader in advanced TV advertising focused on reinventing how advertisers target and engage audiences across screens. AT&T’s data advantage enables AdWorks TV Blueprint to provide a more efficient national TV media buy and its superior IPTV platform delivers superior engagement beyond the :30 TV spot.

We find, target and engage audiences on TV and where they consume TV content – regardless of platform. We apply our proprietary data, technology and analytics to make TV advertising more efficient and effective.

Essentially, we help advertisers reach more of their audience for less. And we believe we are the most efficient way to buy targeted TV advertising at scale today.
Facebook
Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.
Google
Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Since our founding in 1998, Google has grown by leaps and bounds. From offering search in a single language we now offer dozens of products and services—including various forms of advertising and web applications for all kinds of tasks—in scores of languages. And starting from two computer science students in a university dorm room, we now have thousands of employees and offices around the world. A lot has changed since the first Google search engine appeared. But some things haven’t changed: our dedication to our users and our belief in the possibilities of the Internet itself.
LinkedIn
Our mission is simple: connect the world's professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.
NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.

NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.
Yahoo
Yahoo is focused on making the world's daily habits inspiring and entertaining - whether you're searching the web, emailing friends, sharing photos with family, or simply checking the weather, sports scores or stock quotes.
Acxiom
The skills and dedication of our associates transformed Acxiom from a small data processing company into a market leader.
 
Founded in 1969, Acxiom (Nasdaq: ACXM) is headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., and serves clients around the world from locations in the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific and South America.
 
Acxiom is an enterprise data, analytics and software as a service company that uniquely fuses trust, experience and scale to fuel data-driven results. For over 40 years, Acxiom has been an innovator in harnessing the most important sources and uses of data to strengthen connections between people, businesses and their partners. Utilizing a channel and media neutral approach, we leverage cutting-edge, data-oriented products and services to maximize customer value. Every week, Acxiom powers more than a trillion transactions that enable better living for people and better results for our 7,000+ global clients.
ADARA
ADARA leverages global travel data to drive business performance.

Our marketing and insights platform, Magellan, transforms loyalty, search and booking data into actual knowledge to help companies architect their products and understand and reach customers.

Our unique data platform delivers actionable knowledge you can’t get anywhere else and fuels programmatic media buying.
Amazon Media Group
Millions of people come to Amazon to find, discover and buy products every day. We’re obsessed with making their shopping experience the best it can be, and advertising is part of that experience. Our advertising program is based on more than 17 years of personalization experience and informed by billions of observed shopping behaviors. This results in advertising that is more precise and more relevant for our customers, enhancing their experience on our sites.
Getty Images
Getty Images is the world’s leader in visual communication, with over 170 million assets available through its premium content site www.gettyimages.com and its leading stock content site www.istock.com. With its advanced search and image recognition technology, Getty Images serves business customers in more than 100 countries and is the first place creative and media professionals turn to discover, purchase and manage images and other digital content. Its award-winning photographers and content creators help customers produce inspiring work which appears every day in the world’s most influential newspapers, magazines, advertising campaigns, films, television programs, books and online media. Visit Getty Images at www.gettyimages.com to learn more about how the company is advancing the unique role of digital media in communications and business, and enabling creative ideas to come to life. For company news and announcements, visit press.gettyimages.com, and for the stories, innovation and inspiration behind our content, visit Stories & Trends http://stories.gettyimages.com. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gettyimages, Twitter at https://twitter.com/GettyImages, Linked In, or download Stream, our free consumer app, to view and share the world’s best imagery.
Mashable
Mashable is a leading source for news, information & resources for the Connected Generation. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world. Mashable's 34 million monthly unique visitors and 14 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged digital networks in the world.
MLB Advanced Media
New York's largest born-and-bred high tech company, MLBAM is the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball. Its proprietary technology infrastructure manages live multi-platform video content for dozens of clients. It captures, encodes and distributes 25,000 live video events annually.
NCC Media
NCC Media is an advertising sales, marketing, and technology company that harnesses the enormous reach and consumer power of cable television programming, new interactive technologies, and online products in every US market. We work on behalf of virtually all of America’s leading regional and national advertisers. NCC is headquartered in The Chrysler Building in New York City with over 450 employees across 17 offices nationwide.