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Almay, Ted

September 8, 2014

Global Chief Security Officer – Deloitte

Ted Almay is the Chief Security Officer for Deloitte, a accounting and tax firm with over 125,000 employees world wide. Ted is responsible for physical security, business continuity and disaster/pandemic planning, executive protection, travel security, corporate investigations and other key security programs for over 125 offices in the U.S. and overseas.

 

Prior to joining Deloitte, he was the Assistant Vice President of Security for USAA in San Antonio, Texas and also served as the Director of Security for American Electric Power(AEP) in Columbus, Ohio. Ted served over 20 years in the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, retiring as the Superintendent with responsibility for the state DNA and crime labs, criminal history records and investigative operations. He was a field artillery officer in the United States Army and holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Dayton. He is married with 2 daughters and resides near Raleigh, North Carolina.

Ariely, Dan

dan20arielyMarch 12, 2012

It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed.  Dan Ariely tells us why we, our employees and our customers are “Predictably Irrational.”
 
Despite our best efforts, bad or inexplicable decisions are as inevitable as death and taxes and the grocery store running out of your favorite flavor of ice cream. They’re also just as predictable. Why, for instance, are we convinced that “sizing up” at our favorite burger joint is a good idea, even when we’re not that hungry? Why are our phone lists cluttered with numbers we never call? Dan Ariely, behavioral economist, has based his career on figuring out the answers to these questions, and in his bestselling book Predictably Irrational (re-released in expanded form in May 2009), he describes many unorthodox and often downright odd experiments used in the quest to answer this question.
 
Dan is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, where he holds appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the School of Medicine, and the department of Economics. He is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.
 
Ariely has long been fascinated with how emotional states, moral codes and peer pressure affect our ability to make rational and often extremely important decisions in our daily lives — across a spectrum of our interests, from economic choices (how should I invest?) to personal (who should I marry?). At Duke, he’s aligned with three departments (business, economics and cognitive neuroscience); he’s also a visiting professor in MIT’s Program in Media Arts and Sciences and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His hope that studying and understanding the decision-making process can help people lead better, more sensible daily lives.
 
He produces a weekly podcast, Arming the Donkeys, featuring chats with researchers in the social and natural sciences.

“If you want to know why you always buy a bigger television than you intended, or why you think it’s perfectly fine to spend a few dollars on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, or why people feel better after taking a 50-cent aspirin but continue to complain of a throbbing skull when they’re told the pill they took just cost one penny, Ariely has the answer.”

Daniel Gross, Newsweek

Atkinson, June

April 10, 2014

NC State Secretary of Public Instruction

June St. Clair Atkinson is the first woman elected State Superintendent of the Public Schools of North Carolina and has served in this position since August 2005.

 

As State Superintendent, Dr. Atkinson understands the importance of improving teaching and learning, creating school environments that encourage student success, keeping education modern and relevant, and graduating every student career and college ready.

 

In leading the Department of Public Instruction, Dr. Atkinson is directing the groundbreaking Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE) initiative to revitalize the state’s curriculum and accountability programs. North Carolina’s landmark Race to the Top Grant is helping support this work in addition to several other key reform initiatives such as transforming low-performing schools. Dr. Atkinson also is focused on ensuring students have the opportunity to learn the technical skills that are important in today’s global economy. Thanks to partnerships with numerous corporations, North Carolina is able to advance the skills of both teachers and students, as well as transform learning, and ultimately student achievement.

 

As State Superintendent, Dr. Atkinson oversees almost 1.5 million students in over 2,500 public schools. She has more than 35 years of experience in education. During her career, she has served as a chief consultant and director in the areas of business education, career and technical education, and instructional services within the NCDPI. A former business education teacher, Dr. Atkinson has been involved in instruction and curriculum development throughout her career.

 

She has received numerous awards over the years including recent accolades such as the Champion of Children Award from the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, the State Policy Maker of the Year Award from the National Association for State Educational Technology Directors, and the North Carolina Association of Educators Inclusive Leadership Award. In addition, Dr. Atkinson has held many professional offices and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Chief State School Officers.

 

Dr. Atkinson received a bachelor’s degree in Business Education from Radford University, a master’s degree in Vocational and Technical Education from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy from North Carolina State University.

Bailey, Joe

baileyMarch 11, 2013

Managing Director, RSR Partners

Joe is Managing Partner, Global Sport Leadership Advisory Group. The Group advises on effective leadership and solving complex problems that involve vision, strategic alignment, general management/execution, and talent management. Their work is for owners, boards, companies, associations, federations and government entities – all of whom are involved in the “global sport ecosystem.”

 

Joe is uniquely qualified for this role having had hands-on experience in virtually every facet of the business of sport. Joe has held leadership roles – both global and domestic, with the Dallas Cowboys, the National Football League/World League, the National Thoroughbred Horseracing Association, and the InterCompete Group. He has served as CEO of Dolphins Enterprises, the Miami Dolphins, and Dolphins Stadium. Since May 2012, Mr. Bailey has also served as the interim Commissioner of the Big East.

 

Earlier in his career, Joe spent 10 years in executive search consulting where he built and led the Media, Sport and Entertainment practice of a global search firm. During his tenure, he was the Partner in charge of the flagship New York office and completed more than 150 assignments and special projects. His overall experience in building, starting, or turning around complex entities brings a unique insight, perspective, and value.

 

Recognizing Joe’s deep understanding of what is required to build peak performance organizations, the Sporting News called him the most influential recruiter in sports, and included him on its list of The 100 Most Powerful People in Sports. Joe is a frequent media guest speaker on the “Future of Global Sport.”

 

Joe serves on the advisory board of Duke University’s Fuqua Business School’s Center of Leadership and Ethics, is an adjunct professor at Duke Sports Medicine Center, is on the advisory board of Beyond Sport, serves on the Task Force for Diversity for the USOC, and is the relationship partner for the International Academy of Sport, Technology, and Science in Lausanne, Switzerland.

 

Joe attended the University of North Carolina where he earned his AB in Political Science. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Christensen, Rob

robchristensenbioRob Christensen, Columnist

News & Observer

 

Rob Christensen has been writing about North Carolina politics as a reporter and columnist for The News and Observer for 43 years. He has also appeared on more than 550 TV and radio programs to comment on politics including the CBS Evening News, MSNBC”s Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS, CNN’s Crossfire and Happening Now on Fox News. In 2008, UNC Press published his history of 20th century politics, The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics, which won the award for the best work of non fiction that year by the N.C. Literary and Historical Association. He is currently finishing a book on the Scott family political dynasty. He has also contributed to four other books on Southern or North Carolina life or politics.

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Clark-Sellers, Lee

lee-clark-sellers1May 14, 2012

Chief Innovation Officer Ply Gem Industries 

Lee Clark-Sellers recently joined Ply Gem Industries as Chief Innovation Officer. In this role, Ms. Clark-Sellers will be leading the effort to to help take innovation from merely a concept or catch phrase to a resourceful approach to how Ply Gem does business overall and transitions to a culture that’s rooted in innovation. This role will be heavily externally focused as Ply Gem strengthens its strategic partnerships.

 

Prior to Ply Gem, Ms. Clark-Sellers was the Executive Program Director for Executive Education, based in North Carolina State’s Poole College of Management. Ms. Clark-Sellers established and facilitated the Innovation Management Executive Series: Managing Disruptive Innovation. She also consulted with companies in Pharma and Advanced Chemicals to establish innovation programs.

 

Ms Clark-Sellers spent over 20 years with Nortel Networks, involved in all aspects of research and development, from product development to IP commercialization. As an innovative engineering leader, Ms. Clark-Sellers led the CTO’s 2010 Vancouver/London Olympic Innovation program, established software labs and partnerships in Asia and Eastern Europe while based in Mumbai India, and developed a software development platform implemented throughout Nortel.

 

She is also the Founder and Chair of “Innovation in RTP,” and serves on the Industrial Board of Directors at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. She is an Industrial Fellow with the Center of Innovation Management Studies (CIMS), based in North Carolina State University’s Poole College of Management. Ms. Clark-Sellers sits on the Advisory Board of NCSU Executive Education. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Eleoctrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in the Management of Technology, both from NC State University.

Colopy, Joe

joecolopy2Sept. 14, 2015

Joe Colopy, Founder & CEO – Bronto Software

Joe Colopy is Founder and CEO of Bronto Software. Bronto provides a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform to mid-market and enterprise organizations worldwide. Bronto is the number one ranked email marketing provider to the Internet Retailer Top 1000, with a client roster of leading brands, including Armani Exchange, Timex, Samsonite, Theory and Vince Camuto.

 

In 2002, Joe founded Bronto out of his house with Chaz Felix and grew it to employ over 280 people in its headquarters in Durham, North Carolina and across its offices in London, Sydney, New York and Los Angeles. In June 2015, Bronto was acquired by NetSuite (NYSE: N) for $200 million, making it one of the largest acquisitions ever of a bootstrapped cloud-based company.

 

Joe is a past winner of Triangle Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for the Carolinas. Earlier in his career, he was an online marketer for Red Hat and a teacher in the U.S. Peace Corps (Seychelles Islands). He earned an AB in Computer Science from Harvard University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cowell, Janet

janelcowell2May 12, 2014

North Carolina State Treasure

Janet Cowell is North Carolina’s popularly elected Treasurer and is the first woman to hold the office. With over 20 years of private and public-sector financial leadership, Cowell oversees more than 80 billion dollars in pension investments for the more than 875,000 teachers, firefighters, and public employees in North Carolina. As Treasurer, she manages the 32nd largest public pension in the world.

 

While many public plans are struggling to meet financial obligations, North Carolina’s pension system is ranked 2nd in the nation. In 2013, Treasurer Cowell was named one of the top 25 public pension executives in the world by Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, and is one of only two United States fund managers to rank in the top 25 globally.

Under Cowell’s executive leadership, North Carolina is one of only nine states in the country to earn a AAA bond rating by all three rating agencies – the ultimate good housekeeping seal of approval for fiscal strength. North Carolina also has the most AAA-rated local governments of any state, which keeps borrowing costs for taxpayers low for schools, roads, and other needed infrastructure.

 

Cowell is a member of the State Board of Education and a champion for improvements in education, including financial education. Because of her efforts, North Carolina’s Kindergarten through 12th grade students began receiving financial education as part of their curriculum in 2012.

 

Recently, Cowell stepped up to oversee the State Health Plan, ensuring access to affordable health care for more than 650,000 North Carolina families. The perfect spokesperson for the healthy, active lifestyles that the Health Plan promotes – when she’s not in the office, Janet can be found running, biking on our state’s beautiful trails, or occasionally completing military-style endurance trainings for charity.

 

Cowell is a Wharton School of Business alumna, the Chair of the State Banking Commission, and recently chosen as an Aspen Institute Fellow. Over the past year, she has been featured on CNBC, FOX Business, Bloomberg TV and others for her solid fiscal leadership, and for North Carolina’s unique financial successes among the national picture.

 

Now in her 10th year of elected office, and with the nation facing unprecedented economic challenges, Cowell continues the conservative debt management practices and solid economic development policies that keep North Carolina in secure financial standing.

 

She is proud to serve the citizens of North Carolina as State Treasurer and remains committed to working each day to build and maintain a fiscally strong and prosperous North Carolina, and a brighter future for all who call North Carolina home.

Curran, Valerie Paige

valeriecurranAfter stepping into that first dance class at the age of 6, Valerie knew that dance would be an important part of her life for a long time. Before attending NC State University to major in chemical engineering, she danced with the Land of the Sky Civic Ballet and Tap Company at Fletcher’s School of Dance in Asheville, NC where she performed lead roles in the Nutcracker as well as danced competitively in tap and jazz. At NC State, Valerie was a dancer and captain of the NC State Dance Team for 4 years.

After college, she danced professionally for the Carolina Cobras Arena Football team and then moved to Philadelphia to cheer professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team. While an Eagles cheerleader for 4 years and captain of the team for 2 years, she performed in the Super Bowl, in Bosnia and Kosovo for the troops stationed there, in Hong Kong in the Chinese New Year Parade, on tv shows such as Cold Pizza and Good Morning America, and was featured in publications such as FHM, Fantasy Football Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.

Valerie also has a knack for planning. While in Philly, she worked for Max and Me Catering at the National Constitution Center as a sales manager and wedding specialist.  There she planned weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and corporate events for clients such as Comcast, HBO, Subaru, KPMG, GSK, and Dikembe Mutombo.

Now back in Raleigh with her husband, Eric, and 3 dogs, Nuala, Sulley, and Cocoa Bean, Valerie is excited to combine her two passions and “Elevate” events with live performances!

About Elevate

Elevate was founded in 2010 on the idea of bringing together talented dancers in the Raleigh area to create an exciting and entertaining atmosphere at any special event. What started out as a shared dream and passion between director/choreographer Amy Bates and performer/planner Valerie Curran has quickly become a flourishing performance company providing entertainment to an array of events such as corporate meetings, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, concerts, nightclubs, trade shows, grand openings, festivals, and many other special events.

We can be seen performing most often in Raleigh, NC, Charleston, SC, and Charlotte, NC but our clients have hired us to perform at events all over the East Coast and beyond including Asheville, New Orleans, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, New York, Tampa, Atlanta, Columbia, Arizona, Aruba, Punta Cana, and Grand Cayman to name just a few.

Decker, Sharon Allred

January 13, 2014

NC State Secretary of Commerce

Sharon Allred Decker was appointed Secretary of Commerce by Gov. Pat McCrory in January 2013.  She brings more than 30 years of experience in business and commerce to the position.

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Decker spent more than 17 years with Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. She began with the company in consumer services and moved rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest and first female vice president in Duke Power’s history. Her work at Duke Power led to the creation of its 24-hour customer service center, an organization that still serves as a model for the industry.

 

Decker left Duke Power as Chief Communications Officer to become the founding president of The Lynnwood Foundation, which was created to restore the Duke Mansion in Charlotte as a conference center, and to begin the William States Lee Leadership Institute. While at Lynnwood in 1998, she also served as the chair of the Charlotte Chamber and was named Charlotte Woman of the Year. She moved to Rutherfordton in 1999 to serve as president of the Doncaster division of Tanner Companies.

 

In 2004, she created and served as the CEO of the Tapestry Group, a non-profit that helps individuals lead healthy lives in body, mind and spirit. In addition to her work with Tapestry, Decker is wife to her husband, Bob, a mother of four, a lay pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a student at the Christopher White School of Divinity, completing her Master of Divinity Degree with a concentration in Spiritual Formation. She completed an internship last year as Director of Graduate Ministries for the Center for Christian Study in Charlottesville, Virginia where she served as chaplain to students at the Darden School of Business and the UVA School of Law. She remains a member of the Board of the Center for Christian Study. Decker has served on the boards of three Fortune 500 companies