Return on Creativity: The Future Workforce Speakers

The Future Workforce


Workforce Speaker Lineup


Calaneet Balas

Calaneet Balas, CEO and President, The ALS Association
Calaneet Balas leads all three mission areas including global research, public policy and care services, which work in an integrated fashion to find a cure, advance treatments and enhance the quality of life for people living with ALS.




Carleigh Berryman

Carleigh Berryman, Founder, Viva Vita
Carleigh is an international virtual reality expert in healthcare. She is recognized for her work and history in delivering virtual reality to hundreds of seniors across the country for better mental health.



Laura Briggs

Laura Briggs, Author, Six Figure Freelancer
Laura Briggs is a former teacher turned entrepreneur, speaker, and author. Freelancing since 2012, Laura's an expert on the future of work and has delivered two TEDx talks on how freelancing is changing the economy and workforce. Her second book, Six Figure Freelancer, was released in 2020.



Mary-Claire Burick

Mary-Claire Burick, President, Rosslyn Business Improvement District
Mary-Claire Burick is a strategic leader who focuses on building engagement and leading change. As President of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, she spearheads efforts that define, enhance and continually improve Rosslyn for those who work, live, visit and do business there.


Samia Byrd

Samia Byrd, Chief Race and Equity Officer, Arlington County
Samia leads the County’s work to advance racial equity. She joined Arlington County as a Principal Planner in the Department of Community Planning, Housing and Development in 2007 and was promoted to Deputy County Manager in 2017.



Alex Cooley

Alex Cooley, Administrator, Economic Development at Northern Virginia Community College
Alex currently leads labor market information services and strategic projects for the Corporate Engagement & Workforce Innovation division of Northern Virginia Community College.




Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper, Founder, NextUp Solutions
Steve founded successful startups Perspective Technology, Excella Consulting, NextUp Solutions, and Exelaration. The top-ranked Exelaration Center is changing the tech workforce landscape by delivering world-class software using teams of experts paired with top university software engineers.



Liza Durant

Liza Durant
Liza Wilson Durant serves as the Associate Provost for strategic initiatives and community engagement at George Mason University and Professor and Associate Dean for strategic initiatives and community engagement in the Volgenau School of Engineering.



Brittany Greer

Brittany Greer, Executive Director, Rosie Riveters
Brittany Greer is the Executive Director and founder of Rosie Riveters, a non-profit that provides a fun space for girls ages 4­-14 to imagine, create and play while developing their skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).



Cathy Hackl

Cathy Hackl, Author
Cathy Hackl is a leading tech futurist and globally recognized business leader specializing in augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), & spatial computing. She is one of LinkedIn's top technology voices (the highest honor on the platform) and a champion for diversity.



Dr. Megan Healy

Dr. Megan Healy, Chief Workforce Advisor to the Governor of Virginia
As the Commonwealth’s highest-ranking workforce officer, Secretary Healy oversees a range of regional, state, and federal programs that connect Virginians to the skills, training, and opportunities they need to thrive in the 21st century.



Shelli Holland

Shelli Holland, VP of HR, Phone 2 Action
Shelli has expertise in leading and developing staff, recommending solutions to improve performance  processes, and implementing effective training programs to streamline business productivity.



Karen Jolly

Karen Alice-Lipang Jolly, Project Manager, Strategist
Karen is a mission-driven PM based in the Bay Area, and a specialist in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging [DEIB] in Education and Technology. Her experience managing projects and programs for UNFPA, UNHCR and International Planned Parenthood Federation drives her commitment to level social inequities in education and the media. Her passion lies in music composition, visual storytelling and people. 


Ashish Kaushal

Ashish Kaushal, Founder, Consciously Unbiased
A rare combination of chief technology officer and human resources leader, Ashish Kaushal is on a mission to connect the hearts and the minds of people across organizations and industries to spark behavior change and drive inclusion.



Greg Kihlstrom,

Greg Kihlstrom, Co-Founder, CareerGig
Greg is a best selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur.




Kate Kirkpatrick

Kate Kirkpatrick, Studio and Brand Design Practice Leader, Gensler
Kate is a Studio and Brand Design Practice Leader at Gensler whose fascination with people and why they do things the way they do has fueled her career in marketing, communications and brand strategy.



Sharon Koifman

Sharon Koifman, President, DistantJob
Sharon Koifman is an author, speaker and entrepreneur who used his 15+ years of experience in the tech, recruitment & HR industries to pioneer the remote recruitment model.



Robb Lee

Robb Lee
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership.




Charlie Oliver

Charlie Oliver, CEO, Tech 2025
After years in the trenches of old media include working in advertising in New York at such media goliaths as BBDO Worldwide and Condé Nast Charlie launched Tech 2025 — a community and platform for professionals to learn about the next wave of disruptive, emerging technologies and to facilitate discourse about the impact of these technologies on society with an emphasis on problem-solving.


Josh Olson

Josh Olson, Head of Experience Sales, Global, VMware
Helping business executives realize meaningful business transformation in Customer and Employee Experience to achieve their Reason for Being.



David Remick

David Remick, Executive Director, Alexandria/Arlington Regional Workforce Council
The Council oversees approximately $1 million annually of federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act services to the region’s two American Job Centers, Alexandria City’s Workforce Development Center and Arlington County’s Employment Center.



Louise Salas

Louise Salas, MISSING LINK
MISSING LINK is podcast media company dedicated to connecting people to intelligent, engaging and informative content. Our mission is to develop experiences that truly connect with our listeners, which in turn, creates marketing opportunities for advertisers to authentically engage with their unique audiences and build effective brand awareness that delivers measurable proven results.


Michelle Silverthorn

Michelle Silverthorn, Founder, Inclusion Nation
Michelle Silverthorn believes diversity and inclusion needs a new voice for a new generation. She is an in-demand speaker on race in the workplace, recognized organizational diversity expert.



Paula Sorrell

Paula Sorrell, Associate Vice President of Innovation & Economic Development, George Mason Universit
She oversees the Office of Technology Transfer, the Virginia Small Business Development Center state headquarters, the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, four business incubators, the maker spaces, entrepreneurship programming at Mason, and placemaking across Mason’s three campuses. 



Javier VasquezJavier Vasquez, General Manager, Solutions & Technology
Javier is responsible for leading sales and technology for Microsoft’s U.S. Federal business. He leads an organization advising, architecting and integrating technology to meet the mission and needs of Government customers. For over 20 years, Javier has been responsible for driving product innovation into Federal, State & Local government agencies to enable their full potential. 


DeShaun Wise Porter

DeShaun Wise Porter, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement, HILTON
strategic thought leader and internal consultant responsible for developing and executing holistic and integrated strategies that are aligned with Hilton’s shared values and contribute to the building of a diverse, engaged, and high-performing organization.



Tom Wells

Tom Wells, Author
Tom Wells is an online author writing for some of the biggest brands in the tech industry.



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