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July 21–24

Hugh Hewitt

Keynote and General Sessions


Keynote Speaker: Andy Andrews

Speaker and Author

Monday, July 22 • 8:30 am–9:30 am

Opening Keynote: The Traveler’s Gift—Seven Decisions That Work 100% of the Time

Join Andy Andrews on a fast-paced exploration of the seven decisions that determine personal success. These life-changing truths are based on excerpts from his international bestselling book, The Traveler’s Gift. In this address, Andrews pokes fun at our perception of ordinary themes and explains these seven principles in a way you have never heard before. He doesn’t merely encourage you—he clearly paves the way for the inner change we all long for. The power of this presentation is in the indisputable proof Andrews provides … these seven decisions will work in your life 100% of the time.

Thank You to the Keynote Session's Sponsor:

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About the Speaker

Hailed by a New York Times reporter as "someone who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America," Andrews is an internationally known speaker and author. Among his New York Times bestsellers are the classic novels The Traveler's Gift and The Noticer. Leaders from the world's top organizations—including four U.S. presidents—regularly seek him out as a trusted resource for unlocking extraordinary results.

His bestselling books—including his latest release, The Little Things—have been translated into over 40 languages and transformed millions of readers' lives worldwide.

Andrews coached our nation’s Special Operations Command for eight years and was a part of nine consecutive College Football National Championship teams. He works as a consultant to Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, and sometimes, entire communities who hire him to create a starting point for extraordinary results.

Arguably, there is no single person on the planet better at using the power of storytelling to reveal life's greatest principles for success.

Ron Insana

Senior Analyst, CNBC; Financial Industry Expert

Monday, July 22 • 10:00 am–11:00 am

The State of Fortress America

For several years, Ron Insana has been touting the rise of “Fortress America,” even as others have heralded the emergence of the Asian Century. The Fortress appears to have some cracks, as radical shifts in U.S. foreign, fiscal, and regulatory policies could make it less impregnable than ever before.
With the gutting of the U.S. diplomatic corps, the American withdrawal from, or renegotiation of, key multilateral agreements—from the Paris Climate Accord to TPP to NAFTA—the United States is risking its leadership position in the world, its ability to aid its allies, and its credibility in admonishing its adversaries. While the elimination of costly regulations has been a boon to businesses and stock prices, the long-term consequences of these changes are not yet known.
What happens if the pillars of Fortress America—energy independence, manufacturing, technological innovation, and demographic and political stability—begin to weaken? Ron explores how the shifting domestic and global political environments could strain the economy, disrupt certain industries, and affect financial markets in the relatively near future.


Thank You to this Session's Sponsor:

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About the Speaker

Ron Insana is a contributor to CNBC and MSNBC, where he discusses the most pressing economic and market issues of the day. He is the editor of Insana’s Market Intelligence, a subscription-based newsletter. He also delivers The Market Scoreboard Report to radio stations around the country. He has written for Money magazine and USAToday and has hosted two nationally syndicated radio programs. Insana has authored four books on Wall Street and is a highly regarded lecturer on domestic and global economics, financial markets, and economic policy issues.


In addition to his work as a business journalist, Insana was the CEO of Insana Capital Partners from 2006–2008, which, at its peak, managed the $125 million Insana Capital Partners' "Legends Fund." Insana was named one of the "Top 100 Business News Journalists of the 20th Century" and was nominated for a news and documentary Emmy for his role in NBC's coverage of 9/11.


Insana is well known for his high-profile interviews, including those of Presidents Clinton and Bush; billionaire investors Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Julian Robertson; numerous captains of industry, such as Bill Gates, Jack Welch, and the late Steve Jobs; top economists and analysts; and global heads of state, such as former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Jordan's Queen Rania.


Hugh Hewitt

Acclaimed Radio Talk Show Host, The Hugh Hewitt Show; Political Analyst and Contributor, NBC News and MSNBC; Contributing Columnist, The Washington Post; Lawyer; Professor; and Author

Monday, July 22 • 11:15 am–12:15 pm

A Flock of Black Swans: A Breakdown of American Politics and Modern Journalism

How is polarization making it harder to be an American president? What is the media’s role in electing a president? What is happening to the culture in Washington? Should people be afraid? What do you need to do to get things done? Why are what were once highly regarded institutions being swallowed up and collapsing right in front of us? Widely acclaimed talk radio host Hugh Hewitt brings an extensive background in government and politics to offer a thoughtful and stimulating analysis of these hard-hitting questions. As the landscape and environment of journalism and the media have undergone extraordinary change and transformation, Hugh explores many of the modern paradigms of reportage and the impacts of perpetuated bias and lack of transparency in the media. He also takes an in-depth look at the longstanding social and political impacts of modern journalism on our society today.

About the Speaker

Hugh Hewitt is the host of The Hugh Hewitt Show on the Salem Radio Network, heard nationally every weekday morning. In addition, Hewitt is an NBC News and MSNBC political analyst; a professor of law at Chapman University Fowler School of Law in Orange County, California; and a contributing columnist at The Washington Post. Prior to joining NBC in 2016, Hewitt was a regular on Sunday shows such as Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, and State of the Union.

Hewitt’s first job out of college was as a research assistant for David Eisenhower. He then joined the staff of former President Richard Nixon as an editorial assistant, working on two of his books, The Real War and Leaders. Following his stint with Nixon, Hewitt graduated from Michigan Law School and then clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then served as special assistant to Attorneys General William Smith and Edwin Meese, assistant counsel in the White House, and general counsel to two federal agencies before ending his time in the Reagan Administration as deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, a position for which he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate at the age of 32.

Since leaving the federal government, Hewitt has served as Governor Pete Wilson’s appointee to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, as the Speaker of the California Assembly’s appointee on the California Arts Council, and as a member of the Orange County Children & Families Commission, which annually spends more than $25 million in tobacco tax revenue on the needs of the county’s children aged 0 to 5.

Hewitt is a native of Warren, Ohio, and has been married for 34 years to “the fetching Mrs. Hewitt,” as he refers to her on air. They have three children and divide their time between Washington, D.C., and California.


Susan L. Donegan

Chief Regulatory Officer at the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)

Monday, July 22 • 2:15 pm–3:15 pm

NCCI: Your Workers Compensation Partner

The session will offer a high-level view of the important role that the workers compensation industry plays for both employees and employers.

Data is critically important to the workers compensation industry. You’ll learn how data is collected and used to create rate filings that drive the primary goal of insuring rate adequacy to protect the insureds.

The role NCCI plays in supporting the workers compensation industry and stakeholders in addressing today’s top of mind issues will be examined.


About the Speaker

Susan L. Donegan is Chief Regulatory Officer at the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), in Boca Raton, FL. She oversees the External & Government Affairs, Regulatory & Legislative Analysis, Residual Markets, Regulatory Business Management, and Regulatory Operations functions. Ms. Donegan and her team are responsible for developing companywide strategies to secure timely approvals of filing requests and workers compensation pricing programs in order to achieve loss costs and rate adequacy, cost containment, and residual market operating loss, and provide regulatory support.

Most recently, Ms. Donegan served as commissioner at the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, the state agency that supervises the insurance, captive insurance, and banking and securities sectors. Her career includes various leadership positions including counsel to the Commissioner of Insurance in Massachusetts as well as positions in the private practice of law in Boston and Amsterdam.

Ms. Donegan has served on numerous insurance regulatory committees at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors. She graduated from Vermont Law School with a JD and holds an LL.M. degree in banking and financial services law from Boston University School of Law and an LL.M. degree in European Union and international trade law from Amsterdam Law School at Universiteit van Amsterdam.

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Brad Hurtig

Motivational and Workplace Safety Speaker

Tuesday, July 23 • 8:30 am–9:30 am

Find A Way

Brad’s Find A Way message is both personal and inspiring. After a manufacturing accident in high school that left him with no hands, Brad had to find a way to move forward and learn a new way of life. His story about how he changed his mindset, adapted to his new reality and persevered has inspired thousands of people to not only survive their own life’s setbacks but to thrive.

About the Speaker

Brad Hurtig was a student-athlete in a small town in Northwest Ohio. Only days after finishing his sophomore year of high school, a devastating workplace accident resulted in the amputation of both of Hurtig's hands.

Through hard work and determination Hurtig was able to rejoin his high school football team. In his senior year, he led his team’s defense, recording 111 tackles and receiving all-state honors, all while playing with no hands. Hurtig's inspirational story of triumph quickly captured national headlines.

Now Hurtig is taking his powerful message of workplace safety to businesses and organizations across the country.

Sam Quinones

Journalist and Author

Wednesday, July 24 • 8:30 am–9:30 am

Dreamland: America's Opiate Epidemic and How We Got Here

A discussion of all the factors that combined to create the deadliest drug scourge in the nation's history, including the pharmaceutical market, changes in our heroin market, and more. The session also covers the situation as it stands now.

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About the Speaker

Sam Quinones is a former reporter with the Los Angeles Times, where he worked for 10 years from 2004–2014. He is a veteran reporter on immigration, gangs, drug trafficking, and the border. Now a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, Quinones is the author of three books of narrative nonfiction. His latest book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury, 2015), for which he traveled across the United States. Dreamland recounts twin stories of drug marketing in the 21st century. A pharmaceutical corporation touts its legal new opiate prescription painkiller as nonaddictive. Meanwhile, immigrants from a small town in Nayarit, Mexico, devise a method for retailing black-tar heroin like pizza in the United States and take that system nationwide, riding a wave of addiction to prescription pills from coast to coast. The collision of those two forces has led to America's deadliest drug scourge in modern times.


Dreamland won a National Book Critics Circle Award for the Best Nonfiction Book of 2015. It was also selected as one of the Best Books of 2015 by,, The Daily Beast, Buzzfeed, Seattle Times, The Boston Globe, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Entertainment Weekly, and Audible, and in The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Business by Nobel economics laureate Prof. Angus Deaton, of Princeton University.


Quinones’ two previous highly acclaimed books grew from his 10 years living and working as a freelance writer in Mexico (1994–2004). True Tales From Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx was released in 2001, and Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration came out in 2007.


Heather Abbott

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor

Wednesday, July 24 • 10:00 am–10:45 am

Disabilities in Today’s Workforce—How Trauma Shaped One HR Executive’s Business Practices

At the time of the Boston Marathon bombing, Heather Abbott enjoyed a high-powered career as a human resources executive with a Fortune 50 company. Key to her job responsibilities was a focus on equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and ensuring the hiring and retention of women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Little did Heather know that one day she would become the very kind of employee she was entrusted to protect. Learn how Heather’s professional views changed as a result of her traumatic injury, and how all businesses today can benefit from her experience.

About the Speaker

On April 15, 2013, Marathon Monday in Boston, 38-year-old Heather Abbott set out on an annual tradition with several of her friends. They would attend the Red Sox home game and then walk over to Boylston Street to watch the marathoners cross the finish line.

Little did Abbott know that this day would change her life forever.

Two bombs exploded in the crowd of well-wishers that afternoon. Abbott was impacted by the second blast and literally blown into the entrance of a nearby restaurant. Former New England Patriots lineman Matt Chatham and his wife, Erin, saw Abbott in the bloody aftermath and carried her to safety.

After three surgeries in four days, Heather was faced with an agonizing decision—face a lifetime of agonizing pain from her injuries or allow doctors to amputate her left leg below the knee. With the counsel and comfort of amputees who came to visit her in the hospital, and after much soul-searching, Abbott made the difficult decision to live as an amputee.

Her recovery—as it is for so many other victims of traumatic injury—was a journey through pain, anger, fear, disbelief, self-doubt, and questioning. For Abbott, the ability to move forward came through the support of family and friends, fellow amputees, and the countless strangers who not only sent her cards and letters of encouragement, but also generously donated to a special fund to help her transition and receive the customized prostheses she needed to live the life she once knew. Today, Abbott is once again doing everything she loves to do, including paddle boarding, running, and even wearing high heels!

Through it all, Abbott has remained a model of strength and perseverance. Her determination and passion to help other limb-loss victims is evident in everything she does. As a certified peer counselor for the American Amputee Coalition, Abbott is able to provide hope and emotional healing. As a nationally known motivational speaker, she reminds audiences of the power of positive thinking and the real impact compassionate giving can have on the life of someone in need.

For Abbott, The Heather Abbott Foundation is both an obligation and an opportunity to “pay it forward”––to give other amputees who have suffered limb loss through traumatic circumstances the chance to live their lives—again.

Alex Sheen

Founder of Because I Said I Would

Wednesday, July 24 • 11:00 am–12 noon

Because I Said I Would

We live in a society that often does not respect the importance of a promise. It’s too easy to say “I’ll get to it” or “tomorrow.” In many ways, we have become numb to the disappointment from broken commitments, and this numbness can enter our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our communities…
But Alex Sheen believes that every individual has the strength to become a person of their word. Learn more about the importance of honoring your promises and the viral social movement of “Because I Said I Would.”

Thank You to this Session's Sponsor:


About the Speaker

Alex Sheen is a four-time TEDx speaker and the founder of “because I said I would,” an international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sheen is also the author of the recently released book because I said I would.

Sparked by a tragedy in his life, Sheen created a concept called the Promise Card and began mailing cards at no cost to anyone who requested them. Since 2012, over 9.81 million Promise Cards have been distributed to over 153 countries. In 2013, Sheen left his corporate strategy position at a leading software company to dedicate himself entirely to the nonprofit.

Sheen’s unique perspective on accountability, commitment, and self-control developed both from his responsibilities in leading a global effort about keeping promises and his personal experience fulfilling his own promises. Sheen’s personal promises include:

  • Walking 245 miles across the entire state of Ohio in under 10 days to fulfill a promise to the three Cleveland women who were held captive for 10 years.

  • Volunteering at 52 different nonprofit organizations in a single year.

  • Promising children with cancer trips to Disneyland and personally delivering 100 tickets.


Sheen’s work has been featured on CNN, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, The TODAY Show, Good Morning America, NPR, Fox News, and CBS Nightly News, among many other programs. He has been featured on the cover of Spirit Magazine and honored as a Steve Harvey “Harvey’s Hero."

Andy Andrews
Ron Insana
Brad Hurtig
Sam Quinones
Heather Abbott
Alex Sheen
Susan L. Donegan
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