GUEST SPEAKERS

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Poppy Harlow

CNN Anchor

Poppy Harlow currently anchors the weekday 9-11am ET edition of "CNN Newsroom" alongside Jim Sciutto. She also hosts the CNN podcast "BossFiles with Poppy Harlow" -- with guests including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Warren Buffett, Howard Schultz, Melinda Gates and more. Based in New York City, Harlow previously anchored "CNN Newsroom Weekend" on Saturdays from 3-6pm ET and 7-8pm ET and Sundays from 5-8pm ET. She was also a correspondent for CNN covering breaking news and investigative reporting. Prior to that Harlow was an anchor for CNNMoney.com, serving as the primary host for the site's video network, as well as a business correspondent on CNN covering business and economic news and how it impacts policy and people around the globe. Harlow covers major international business events including the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. She has interviewed the heads of the world's largest banks, Warren Buffett, Howard Schultz, Jay-Z, and countless other luminaries. She also focuses her reporting on female leaders in business as well as the growing income and opportunity gap through her digital and TV series American Opportunity. Harlow is a twice-Emmy nominated journalist and her reporting has won numerous industry awards, including the Gracie Award for Best online investigative feature on financial fraud, and SABEW's Best in Business award for online video. Prior to her position at CNNMoney, Harlow served as an anchor, reporter and producer for the Forbes.com Video Network and was an anchor and reporter for NY1 News Local Edition. Born and raised in Minnesota, Harlow graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Columbia University. She is a proud mother of daughter Sienna and son Luca with her husband Sinisa. She is a member of the 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.

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Erin Gruwell

Inspiring Educators Around the World

Founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation

By fostering an educational philosophy that values and promotes diversity, Erin changed her students’ lives. She and her students captured their collective journey in The Freedom Writers Diary. Erin founded the Freedom Writers Foundation, where she currently teaches educators around the world how to implement her innovative lesson plans into their own classrooms. Erin continues to fight for equality in education and inspires teachers and students all over the world.

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Robyn Benincasa

The Adventurer Who Inspires

On a regular basis, Robyn Benincasa inspires people to live beyond expectations. In some instances, this leads to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or creating an adventure racing team, in others, starting an independent business. Benincasa, a CNN Hero, three-time Guinness World Record Distance Paddler and Founder of Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!) shared her energy as keynote speaker at a reunion of 31 pioneers of their profession and a celebration for several hundred women in dentistry. “I find it really inspiring. Everyone in the room [at events where I speak] is lucky enough to have been born at a time when there is, in essence, equal opportunity if you have the drive and the desire, and work hard. But the endurance it took [for Lucy Hobbs] to bust the system, to be that breakthrough–she saw what she wanted to do and wasn’t willing to accept anything else. That’s a great example for all of us,” said Benincasa, referencing the Project’s namesake and the first woman to earn a degree in dentistry. “We should honor these people who, against all odds, said ‘I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna break this barrier.’ It is neat to be in a business environment where it doesn’t matter what your gender is; it matters what your skills are and what your drive is.”

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Robb Zbierski

Train your brain to expect the positive.

Robb Zbierski is an instructor at Freedom Personal Development, a Madison, Wisconsin-based career­ development consultancy. He frequently speaks to dental-industry groups, Seattle Study Club chapters and individual dental practices nationwide. Robb explains that to become a better dentist, you've got to train your brain to ex­pect the positive - and then seek it out as diligently as you can. "Lucy Hobbs chose not to participate in the existing mindset and skepticism. There's a lot of value in being mindful that the brain's natural tendency is to look at the negative and get sucked in. Choosing not to participate in that is a big deal. It's as if Lucy Hobbs said, 'I'm all out of damns to give.' And that stems from having clarity about what your goals are. That's your compass. When you have that clarity, it's like paddling a canoe downstream versus upstream. Things just become easier."

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Libby Gill

Identify Opportunities Hiding in Plain Sight

“What the Lucy Hobbs Celebration event does is tell women that we’re shaking things up. Women united like this have a strong voice,” said Gill, a renowned speaker who inspires established and emerging leaders to increase passion in their organizations. “Women in dentistry are healers, and they increasingly have the opportunity to go into business for themselves. There can be a lot of fear about that, but it comes with so much more freedom, flexibility and power.” After nearly 20 years in senior communications roles at media giants Universal, Sony and Turner Broadcasting, Gill is now CEO of executive coaching and consulting firm Libby Gill & Company. Her proven “Clarify, Simplify & Execute” process inspires people to maximize their “Leadership DNA.” “If you look at the women who have made it to the top of corporate America, it’s not an easy row to hoe. But the Lucy Hobbs Project gives, young women especially, a real sense that there’s hope for them as they enter the workforce,” Gill added.

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Dave Webber

Make Progress on Purpose

We all have “Goliaths” - barriers, obstacles and challenges that try to hold us down or keep us from achieving our goals. Dave Weber  helps attendees identify Goliaths they are dealing with professionally and personally and avoid the "paralysis of analysis". His goal: to help shift vision and re-focus on the "prize".

The international speaker, author and trainer has been a guest of meetings such as The Hinman, ADA, Chicago Mid-Winter, Yankee Dental Congress, 75+ Seattle Study Clubs and dozens of state dental organizations from California to the Carolinas. His insights and applications about practice management issues get him invited back time and time again. The Marietta, Georgia resident speaks 165 times per year and has been called the "cure for the common meeting".    

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Desiree Walker

Reach your highest potential

Welcome speaker Desiree Walker, DDS, (a North Carolina dentist known for her multiple appearances on American Ninja Warrior, NBC’s extreme-obstacle competition) offered a tribute to the project’s namesake, who in 1866 became the first American woman to earn a dental degree. “Lucy Hobbs ran toward her fears. She not only transformed herself, she transformed the whole world of dentistry.”

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Carey Lohrenz

Follow Your Own Compass

As keynote speaker, Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the U.S. Navy,  described her journey of fearless leadership as a pioneer in military aviation.  Her story serves as a contemporary parallel to Lucy Hobbs, who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry. Dr. Hobbs was denied access to education based on her gender, but persevered to learn dentistry through apprenticeship, and eventually graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery. “Often times you are told no… we’ve never done it that way, it’s not going to change.  Well, you know what? Sometimes you’ve got to just keep pushing on the system. Because the system told me for years ‘There is no place for you here,’ and you have to keep pushing and saying ‘I’m going to find a way,’” said Lohrenz. “Sometimes you just need to step out and do it. You need to get your gear on and get in the cockpit. No matter how many people tell you no or that it can’t be done or we’re not doing this… go out and do it.”

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Crystal Washington

Increase and optimize your social media presence

Crystal Washington, author of One Tech Action and The Social Media Why, offers a dynamic look at social media for the dental professional. Hired by companies including Google, Microsoft and GE when they want their teams to take action online, Crystal is known for her ability to make complex Web topics accessible to the business community, As the owner of CWM Enterprises and co-founder of Socialtunities, a social media instructional brand aimed at training everyone from Gen Y’s to Baby Boomers in strategically using social media, Crystal educates consumers on the practical applications of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Crystal hosts a weekly technology segment on Houston’s Fox television affiliate and has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence and CareerBuilder.com. She has been interviewed by ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, Associated Press, and numerous radio stations and magazines around the globe as a social media expert.  

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Liz Murray

Never Underestimate your Role as a Mentor

Keynote speaker Liz Murray reaffirmed the underlying message of the event to her audience: Never underestimate your role as a mentor. The author of New York Times bestseller Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard, credited her adviser, the tenth in a string of teachers she approached for help, with empowering her to return to high school in the Bronx after a lifetime of chronic truancy. Then a homeless teen, Murray responded to a steady stream of challenges presented by her teacher to overcome paralysis by analysis and take immediate action to reach her goals and connect with those in her community.

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Helen Hunt

Blaze the Trail, Shatter that glass ceiling

Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

2019

This year's keynote speaker

Poppy Harlow

CNN Anchor

Learn More

2018

Erin Gruwell

Inspiring Educators Around the World

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

2017

Robyn Benincasa

The Adventurer Who Inspires

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

2016

Robb Zbierski

Train your brain to expect the positive.

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

Libby Gill

Identify Opportunities Hiding in Plain Sight

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

2015

Dave Webber

Make Progress on Purpose

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

Desiree Walker

Reach your highest potential

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

Carey Lohrenz

Follow Your Own Compass

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

2014

Crystal Washington

Increase and optimize your social media presence

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

Liz Murray

Never Underestimate your Role as a Mentor

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.

2013

Helen Hunt

Blaze the Trail, Shatter that glass ceiling

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Helen Hunt has enjoyed a diverse career not only as an Emmy- and Oscar-award winning actress, but also as an accomplished writer, director and producer. In addition to balancing motherhood and a busy schedule, Hunt is a successful artist and behind the scenes decision maker in a male-dominated industry. As Keynote speaker, Hunt addressed attendees as to how she continues to blaze a trail for women to shatter the glass ceiling.