Conference keynote speakers

The Capital Conference consistently features an outstanding lineup of keynote speakers that will inspire, inform and enlighten attendees. Keynote speakers are featured at both General Sessions during the conference as well as during the following ticketed events: the Monday Conference Luncheon and Tuesday Conference Luncheon.

First General Session, Nov. 11, 3:45 p.m. – Alex Banayan

millennial thought leader and venture capitalist

Instead of studying for his college finals, Alex Banayan went to audition for “The Price is Right.” It turned out to be the best decision he ever made.

The college freshman sold the sailboat he won on the show and invested in his real fascination — the key to success. He set out to uncover how the world’s most successful people launched their careers.

Banayan, one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and Business Insider’s Most Powerful People Under 30, spent years nagging celebrities and business moguls for interviews. Ultimately, he sat down with Bill Gates, Lady Gaga, Maya Angelou, Steven Spielberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett and many others.

Banayan’s book, “The Third Door: The Wild Quest to Uncover How the World’s Most Successful People Launched Their Careers,” chronicles his unbelievable journey tracking down the world’s most successful people and uncovering how their careers began.

Their secret? They all took the third door.

Sponsored by CompManagement Health Systems, Ennis Britton Co. LPA, Pepple & Waggoner Ltd., Ross Sinclaire & Associates LLC and Scott Scriven LLP.

Tuesday General Session, Nov. 13, 10:30 a.m. – Geena Davis

Academy Award-winning actress and advocate for women and girls

Geena Davis has achieved remarkable success actress and a tireless advocate for women and girls.

Davis, who received an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in “The Accidental Tourist,” is the founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. The nonprofit, research-based organization works with the entertainment industry to reduce gender stereotyping and increase female roles in media made for children.

In 2014, the institute released the first-ever global gender and media film study, Gender Bias Without Borders. It found only about 23% of the evaluated films had a woman as a lead or co-lead.

Davis may be best known for her performance in “Thelma & Louise,” alongside Susan Sarandon. She also co-founded and chairs the Bentonville Film Festival, which champions women and diverse voices.

Sponsored by Baird Public Finance, CompManagement, Ohio School Plan and Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP.

Monday Conference Luncheon, Nov. 12, 12:15 p.m. – Cedric Jennings

from inner city to Ivy League; District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council director

Cedric Jennings grew up in one of Washington, D.C.’s, most dangerous neighborhoods, where the dropout rate was well into double digits. However, he was an honor student at Frank W. Ballou Senior High School.

Jennings, who heads a social service agency in the nation’s capital, overcame the challenges of inner-city life and went on to earn several Ivy League degrees.

His personal story of struggle and triumph is recounted in Pulitzer-Prize winning author Ron Suskind’s best-selling book, “A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey From the Inner City to the Ivy League.” The book follows Jennings from high school, through his demanding first year at Brown University and to his ensuing success.

After completing his graduate studies at Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of Michigan, Jennings returned to Washington, D.C., and dedicated his life to helping others. In January 2011, Mayor Vincent C. Gray appointed him to serve as director of the District of Columbia Youth Advisory Council.

Doors open at noon. Registration is $55; contact your treasurer to register. Please indicate any special accommodations needed. Sponsored by CompManagement and Ohio School Plan.

Tuesday Conference Luncheon, Nov. 13, 12:15 p.m. – Eddie George

NFL Rookie of the Year, Heisman Trophy winner, and Tennessee Titan and OSU football star

Ohio State University (OSU) and NFL star Eddie George ended a legendary football career with a Heisman Trophy, numerous NFL Rookie of the Year awards and many pro football records. He’s only the second NFL running back to rush for 10,000 yards while never missing a start, joining the Cleveland Browns’ Jim Brown.

But, George didn’t want his legacy to end there. After earning a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, he remains focused on businesses that help improve the quality of life for all Americans. His vision of “healthy people and healthy places” is brought to life through George Enterprises, whose companies include EGX Lifestyle and EDGE, a planning and design firm that helps create healthy communities.

George also has discovered another talent — acting. In 2016, he made his Broadway debut in “Chicago” as the charming lawyer Billy Flynn. He also has appeared in movies and TV shows, including CBS’ “NCIS: Los Angeles” and HBO’s “Ballers.”

Doors open at noon. Registration is $55; contact your treasurer to register. Please indicate any special accommodations needed. Sponsored by CompManagement Health Systems and GradyBenefits.

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