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General Session Speakers

Arthur P. Ciaramicoli
Ed.D., Ph.D.

"The Stress Solution: How Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Reduces Anxiety and Prevents Performance Addiction"

Arthur P. Ciaramicoli, Ed.D., Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist who has been treating clients for more than 35 years. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Massachusetts Psychological Association.  Dr. Ciaramicoli has been the Chief Medical Officer of Soundmindz.org and is also in private practice, Dr. Ciaramicoli has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School for several years, lecturer for the American Cancer Society, Chief Psychologist at Metrowest Medical Center, and director of the Metrowest Counseling Center and of the Alternative Medicine division of Metrowest Wellness Center in Framingham, Massachusetts.

In addition to treating patients, Dr. Ciaramicoli has lectured at Harvard Health Services, Boston College Counseling Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore as well as being a consultant to several major corporations in the Boston area. Dr. Ciaramicoli has appeared on CNN, CNNfn, Fox News Boston, Comcast TV, New England Cable News, Good Morning America Weekend, The O’Reilly Report, and other shows. He has been a weekly radio guest on Your Healthy Family on Sirius Satellite Radio and Holistic Health Today, and has been interviewed on The People’s Pharmacy, The Gary Null Show, and more than two dozen other radio programs airing on NPR, XM Radio, and numerous AM and FM stations.

Dr. Ciaramicoli is the author of The Curse of the Capable: The Hidden Challenges to a Balanced, Healthy, High Achieving Life (Wiley, 2010), Performance Addiction: The Dangerous New Syndrome and How to Stop It from Ruining Your Life (Wiley 2004) and The Power of Empathy: A Practical Guide to Creating Intimacy, Self-Understanding, and Lasting Love (Dutton 2000), which is now published in 7 languages. His first book, Treatment of Abuse and Addiction, A Holistic Approach (Jason Aronson, 1997) was selected as Book of the Month by The Psychotherapy Book News. He is also the coauthor of Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism (Bantam 2000) and founder of The Empathy and Goodness Project on Facebook and Healthy Empathic Achievement on LinkedIn.

He has also authored two award winning apps, the Anti-Anxiety app, Anti-Depression App and he wrote the  workbooks Transforming Anxiety into Joy: A Practical Workbook to Gain Emotional Freedom (2012) and Changing Your Inner Voice: A Journey through Depression to Truth and Love (2012) in collaboration with Soundmindz.org.

Dr. Ciaramicoli’s new book, The Stress Solution, was recently published in China.

Dr. Ciaramicoli lives in a suburb of Boston with his wife of 35 years. His website is www.balanceyoursuccess.com. He has over 26,000 Linkedin contacts and his twitter handle is docapc.

Dr. Ciaramicoli enjoys cycling, spinning, and other sports and his favorite activity is spending time with his wife, daughters, son-in-laws and beautiful grandchildren Carmela and Ariana along the southern coast of Maine.


Hattie Hill
CEO & President
Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF)
"Conscious Leadership: Eliminating Unconscious Bias in the Workplace"

Hattie Hill is CEO & President of Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), an organization that represents more than 300 of the largest companies in the rapidly growing food industry and many of the world’s most recognized brands. Since taking the helm in 2013, she has forged a new strategic direction for the organization and turned around two years of financial losses to drive a 25% increase in revenue.

As head of the largest national organization focused on advancing women leaders and driving parity on executive teams in the food ecosystem, Ms. Hill has deep insights into how to connect and communicate with the fastest growing consumer segment in the country: women.

A lifelong advocate for women leaders, she has invested her career in helping equip women leaders with the competencies and mindset to advance into key executive roles. She recognizes the influential role women play as consumer decision makers for themselves and their families, and how to apply that understanding through effective marketing.

Although adept at working with varied audiences, Ms. Hill specializes in helping C-level officers and board members navigate change and take decisive action. As founder and CEO of Hattie Hill Enterprises (HHE), Ms. Hill has a 30-year record of accomplishment in connecting key products and services with the audiences and markets that will most benefit from them.

Focused on effectively collaborating with clients and delivering training processes that provide maximum impact, she led a team of 30 HHE consultants to train companies to incorporate high-performance strategies to better prepare for global competition. She experienced especially strong success in serving the needs of the dynamic food industry, working with such clients as McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, Aramark and Compass.

Ms. Hill is a consummate communicator, both as an author of three successful books and a highly sought-after public speaker. She is regularly quoted in local and national news publications including The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Ms. Hill enjoys serving as both an inspirational and aspirational leader who helps teams and organizations envision larger roles with greater impact. This is well reflected in her extensive service as a director on numerous for-profit and nonprofit boards.


Adam Isaacs
Chief Executive Officer
Partners to Assist in Learning (Pal)

Adam and his wife, Melanie Isaacs, run Partners to Assist in Learning (Pal) ), a social enterprise that helps consumer-facing businesses and public venues more successfully include customers with autism and related “non-visible” disabilities. He has always used business as a tool for creating lasting, positive social change, and Adam believes Pal can revolutionize accessibility for those with intellectual and developmental differences, just as wheelchair ramps did for individuals with mobility challenges.

Prior to Pal, Adam spent eight years at Sun Orchard Juicery, where he worked in national account sales, marketing, and sustainability. He was a key contributor during Sun Orchard’s rapid growth period, when revenue jumped by more than 60% in less than five years, culminating in the company’s majority ownership acquisition. Adam earned an MBA in Marketing from the Thunderbird School for Global Management, and has also worked for the Rainforest Alliance, the National Parks Conservation Association, and Brock Publishing Company. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and their two children, Charlie (6) and Anna (4).


Alexander McCobin
CEO, Conscious Capitalism

"Doing Well by Doing Good in Business"

Alexander is CEO of Conscious Capitalism, Inc., a US-based organization dedicated to elevating humanity by improving the practice and perception of business. Alexander became CEO of Conscious Capitalism in July, 2017, after serving 15 months as co-CEO alongside Doug Rauch. Alexander joined Conscious Capitalism with experience in the nonprofit, for-profit, and academic fields. Before joining Conscious Capitalism, Alexander served as co-founder and president of Students For Liberty, a nonprofit organization that teaches the principles of a free society to young people and empowers them to make a difference in their communities; in Alexander’s last year as president, Students For Liberty was operating in over 100 countries, included nearly 2,000 student groups, organized 100 conferences for 20,000 participants, and trained over 1,500 volunteer leaders. Alexander graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 with a BA in philosophy and economics and a MA in philosophy. He began a PhD program in philosophy at Georgetown University with the intention of becoming a professor, but ended with a Master’s degree when it became apparent that his principal interests lay outside the Ivory Tower. During undergraduate and graduate schools, Alexander started and ran several other businesses in both the for profit and nonprofit realms.


Rick Van Warner
Author, Restaurant Industry Veteran

“On Pills and Needles: Inside America’s Opioid Epidemic and the Hospitality Industry’s Substance Abuse Problem”

Rick Van Warner has more than three decades of experience as a journalist, crisis management counselor and media relations expert, honing a critical eye into some of the most difficult challenges of our time. His book on the nation’s growing opioid epidemic was spurred by his family’s personal experience and his heartfelt calling to help other families wrestling with similar issues. On Pills and Needles: The Relentless Fight to Save My Son from Opioid Addiction details his son’s harrowing eight-year fight to survive Oxycontin and later heroin abuse, while providing a compelling look behind the curtains of an epidemic created by pharmaceutical industry greed and inept government oversight.

A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications, Van Warner began his career as a daily newspaper reporter. Always willing to tackle tough challenges, he also volunteered as a social worker within the New York State youth justice division, where he counseled teens confined to group homes after committing serious crimes.

After working for many years as a journalist and editor in New York City, Van Warner shifted to an executive role in corporate communications and crisis management to create more time for his four children and coaching various youth sports. In addition to his writing endeavors, he remains active in both areas as a consultant and speaker.

Van Warner is founder of The Parquet Group, a crisis management and strategic communications firm. He is a former Darden Restaurants executive and previously spent several years as the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Nation’s Restaurant News.  Van Warner serves on the board of directors for Tijuana Flats Burrito Co., a 130-unit fast casual chain, and the non-profit Opportunity Jobs Foundation. He also serves on the advisory board for FSTEC and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s marketing council.

Van Warner and his wife Maria currently reside in Florida.


Don Yaeger
New York Times Best-Selling Author and Speaker

"Every winning team has an MVP. Every MVP has teammates. What makes a good teammate?"

As an award-winning keynote speaker, business leadership coach, a seven-time New York Times Best-selling author and longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, Don Yaeger has fashioned a career as one of America’s most provocative thought leaders. As a speaker, he has worked with audiences as diverse as Fortune 500 companies and cancer survivor groups, where he shares his personal story.

He is primarily sought to discuss lessons on achieving greatness, learned from first-hand experiences with some of the greatest sports legends in the world. Additionally, Don has been retained by companies and organizations to coach their leaders, management teams and employees on building a culture of greatness by looking at Great Teams in sports and discerning the business lessons we can learn from them. Throughout his writing career, Don has developed a reputation as a world-class storyteller and has been invited as a guest to every major talk show – from Oprah to Nightline, from CNN to Good Morning America.

In the two decades since he accepted his first newspaper job in Texas, the breadth of his assignments has been astounding. He has traveled the world in pursuit of stories as diverse as:

Walking into Afghanistan with the Mujahadeen as they fought the Soviets
Going into Baghdad with the victorious Iraqi soccer team as the battle between insurgents and the US Military waged around them
Visiting China in pursuit of underworld characters counterfeiting American golf clubs
Heading to Damascus to find the last living terrorist from the 1972 Olympics
Living with football legend Walter Payton and his family as Payton was dying
Roaming around Europe and the Middle East interviewing Iraqi athletes tortured by Saddam Hussein’s son Uday, chairman of the Iraqi Olympic Committee
Traveling with candidates from both parties during Presidential campaign
Chronicling the high-profile Duke Lacross scandal

Yaeger began his career as a reporter for the San Antonio Light where he rose through the ranks to pen investigative features for the daily. He later moved on to the Dallas Morning News. Following his stint in Dallas, Yaeger worked as a political editor for the Florida Times-Union.

After four years, he decided to dedicate himself to the pursuit of writing books. Yaeger’s first book, Undue Process: The NCAA’s Injustice For All, was published in 1990. In the 22 years since, he has penned 23 more books, including seven New York Times Best-sellers.

After several years of freelancing for Sports Illustrated, Don joined the magazine’s staff full-time in July 1996. Two years later he was promoted to Associate Editor, where his work was to cover not just sporting events but the off-the-field happenings which affect the world of sports. He took an early retirement from full-time work at SI in 2008 and continues to freelance for the magazine.

Yaeger and his co-author William Nack were finalists for a 2000 National Magazine Award in the public interest category for their cover story “Who’s Coaching Your Kid?: The frightening truth about child molestation in youth sports.” This important piece triggered follow-up reports by programs such as Dateline, 20/20, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. It also resulted in changes to the law in several states and several youth sports organizations, including Little League of America, changed rules to require background checks of coaches and volunteers.

Born and raised in Hawaii, Yaeger has traveled extensively. The Dominican Republic, Honduras, Japan and Great Britain can be counted among the countries in which he has resided. A 1984 graduate of Ball State University, Yaeger currently lives in Tallahassee, FL. He also owns a political consulting business and a public relations firm. He and his wife Jeanette have a son and a daughter.


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