2017 TEDx South Lake Tahoe Speakers

Amy Wilkinson

CEO and Founder of Ingenuity

Amy Wilkinson is CEO and founder of Ingenuity, Lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business and author of The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs. She advises executives and emerging leaders around the world on how to master the skills that underlie entrepreneurial success.

Wilkinson’s career spans leadership roles at McKinsey & Company, J.P. Morgan and as founder of Alegre, a foreign-based export company. She has also served in the White House as a senior policy advisor to the United States Trade Representative and a White House Fellow.

Fascinated by how leaders must reinvent their approaches to excel in an entrepreneurial age, Wilkinson interviewed 200 of today’s top entrepreneurs including the founders of Airbnb, LinkedIn, eBay, PayPal, Yelp, Dropbox, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Chipotle, Under Armour, Spanx, Jetblue, and Revolution Foods to distill what it takes to go from start-up to scale in our rapidly changing economy. She conducted this work while a senior fellow at Harvard University and public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. The Ewing Marian Kauffman Foundation awarded Wilkinson a grant for her groundbreaking research on high growth entrepreneurs.

Wilkinson has been a keynote speaker for corporations, institutes, and universities around the world. Recent speaking events include the World Economic Forum at Davos, Consumer Electronics Show, NASSCOM (India’s Leadership Forum), Microsoft, IBM, TD Ameritrade, National Governor’s Association, and Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

She is an expert for The Wall Street Journal. Wilkinson and her work have been featured by CNN, Fox News, CNBC, Bloomberg TV & Radio, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, Inc. TIME, The Washington Post, and USA Today.

Wilkinson earned BA, MA, and MBA degrees from Stanford University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Eisenhower Fellow.

Terry Jones

Travelocity Founder

Best known for founding Travelocity.com and serving as founding Chairman of Kayak.com, Terry Jones has become a powerful voice in the world of entrepreneurship through his numerous speaking engagements and the publication of his book, ON Innovation. His career path has established him as a thought leader on innovation in our increasingly digital world. 

A graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Jones, began his career as a travel agent, spent 24 years at American Airlines in marketing and information technology, capping his career as Chief Information Officer of its SABRE division. While at SABRE he led a team of six working on a project that became Travelocity.com. Jones served as CEO of Travelocity for seven years transforming it to a public company with three billion dollars in travel sales.  

He left Travelocity when the company was taken private and became part of the founding team at Kayak.com, a company that yet again revolutionized how travel was purchased. He served as Chairman of the company from its founding until it was sold to Priceline for $1.8 billion dollars in 2013.  

Today he is the Chairman of WayBlazer and managing principal of ON Inc, a consultancy he founded to help companies in their transition to the digital economy.  

He serves on the boards of Boingo, Smart Destinations and Camping and Education Foundation.  He has previously served on the boards of Entrust, Overture, La Quinta Hotels, Luxury Link and EarthLink. 

He is a venture capitalist with General Catalyst and Sierra Angels.

Barbara Annis

Founding Partner of Gender Intelligence Group (GIG)

Barbara Annis, Founding Partner of Gender Intelligence Group (GIG), is a world-renowned expert on Inclusive Leadership through Gender & Cultural Intelligence, advocating the value and practice of this new type of leadership in Fortune 500 companies and numerous organizations worldwide. Her insights and achievements have pioneered a transformational shift in cultural attitudes across the globe on the importance of gender unity to organizational success.

Barbara began her career as the first women in sales at Sony and became the first woman Sales Manager with 14 Outstanding Sales Achievement Awards and Sony’s MVP Award.  Over the past 27 years, Barbara Annis and her 51 global associates have facilitated over 8,000 corporate workshops and conducted thousands of leadership assessments and executive coaching sessions. GIG has introduced breakthrough research on the practice and benefits of inclusive leadership and gender diversity.  Additionally, GIG offers diagnostics, workshops, and coaching sessions both onsite and online.

Barbara Annis is chair emeritus of the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard Kennedy School and was recently conferred the International Alliance for Women, Lifetime Achievement Award. Her extensive studies have included work with exceptional thinkers such as famed psychologist Dr. Virginia Satir, Dr. Fernando Flores, Director of the PhD program in Linguistics at Berkeley University, and Dr. Willis Harman, Founder and President of the Noetic Sciences Foundation.

Barbara has produced four transformational books:

Her latest book, Gender Intelligence: Breakthrough Strategies for Increasing Diversity and Improving Your Bottom Line (May 2014) co-authored with Dr. Keith Merron, represents the culmination of twenty-seven years of gender-based research and global practice that uniquely apply cutting-edge brain-based research to the workplace.  It offers leaders the mindset and systemic changes needed to transform their organizations, bridge the gap between men and women at all levels of leadership and management, and in the process, create more inclusive and productive organizations.

Dewitt Jones

Motion Picture Director and Top Photographer

Dewitt Jones is one of America’s top professional photographers. Twenty years with National Geographic photographing stories around the globe has earned him the reputation as a world-class photojournalist. As a motion picture director, he had two documentary films nominated for Academy Awards before he was thirty.

In the business community, Dewitt’s work is also well known. He rose to the forefront of creative marketing by photographing national advertising campaigns for organizations such as Dewar’s Scotch, Canon, and United Airlines.

Dewitt has published nine books including California! and John Muir’s High Sierra. His most recent book, The Nature of Leadership, was created in collaboration with Stephen R. Covey.

Dewitt is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Drama and holds a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from the UCLA.

Recently Dewitt started a web and Facebook site called “Celebrate What’s Right” (www.celebratewhatsright.com and www.facebook.com/celebratewhatsright). The sites affirm his deep belief that we choose the lens through which we view the world and that a lens of positive celebration is sorely needed today in our society.

Golbie Kamarei

Founder of BlackRock Meditation Program

Golbie is currently a Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where she is earning a masters degree in business management with a focus on organizational behavior.  Her mission is to help multinational organizations and their employees reach higher levels of performance and purpose through the systematic integration of personal development and wellbeing practices into human capital strategies.  She is a frequent speaker at international conferences on the topics of wellbeing, culture, and mindfulness in business. Golbie is currently working on her first book related to finding meaning and balance at work.

During her eight-year tenure at BlackRock (~$5 trillion in AUM), Golbie held several roles in both investment and organizational development capacities including: Founding Member and Global Program Manager for the Global Client and Sales Excellence Program; Founding Member, Knowledge Strategist, and Business Manager for the BlackRock Investment Institute; and member of the Real Estate Debt Portfolio Management Group. She held key leadership roles in the creation and management of several global human capital initiatives at BlackRock including the Investment Excellence Program, Investment Research Development Program, and Human Capital Innovation Committee. She also served as a Vice Chair for BlackRock's Women's Initiative-NY and BlackRock's People and Culture Committee-NY. Prior to BlackRock, Golbie worked in real estate development for three years in Honolulu, Hawaii.


In response to a growing need for wellbeing practices by her fellow colleagues, Golbie founded the BlackRock Meditation Program in April 2013, which offered education, training, and support to nearly 1500 employees in 17 countries. For over two years, Golbie led employees in guided meditations twice a week, as well as developed resources for employees to apply self-management skills within a high-performance work environment. She has led guided meditations and workshops at various multinational firms as well as at the U.S. House of Representatives. In June 2015, Golbie was recognized as a Corporate Culture Champion by Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center and Delivering Happiness. 

She earned her BA in Psychology with honors from Stanford University.

Adrian Ballinger

Mountaineer and Business Leader

Adrian Ballinger is a world class mountaineer, skier, and business leader. As founder and head guide of the internationally acclaimed Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian envisioned a more holistic climbing experience for his clients than the status quo.

This vision, with a focus on small groups and client education, continues to change the way big mountains are climbed. What started in 2004 with three trips on one continent with one lead guide has grown into a thriving company running 30 trips annually on 5 continents with six lead guides. In 10 years, Alpenglow has helped more than 100 clients successfully summit Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in the world), Manaslu (8th tallest), and Cho Oyu (6th tallest).

As a professional athlete first and foremost, Adrian is the only American who has skied two 8,000 meter peaks, was the first person to ski Manaslu, the 8th tallest mountain in the world, and in 2011 became the first person to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certifications and has achieved more than 10 summits of 8,000 meter peaks (including 6 summits of Mt. Everest). Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Kaenon, Goal Zero, Hypoxico and Alpenglow Sports.

Paul Shapiro

Vice president of Policy for The Humane Society of the United States

Paul Shapiro serves as the vice president of policy for The Humane Society of the United States, the world’s largest animal protection organization. In 1995, Shapiro founded Compassion Over Killing as a high school club, building it into a national organization over the next decade. An inductee into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame, Shapiro has published dozens of articles about animal welfare in publications ranging from daily newspapers to academic journals. He’s also the author of a forthcoming book on the clean meat movement (Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books).


Nick Exline

Founder of the Lake Tahoe Climate Change Network

Nick Exline is the Chairman of the South Tahoe 100% Renewable Committee, founder of the Lake Tahoe Climate Change Network and Senior, AICP Land Use Planning Consultant for Midkiff and Associates.  Nick’s interest in sustainability and renewable energy led him to receive his Master’s Degree in Land Use Planning Policy from the University of Nevada and his recent work with the City of South Lake Tahoe (and other communities) to transition to 100% renewable energy to fight climate change.  Nick’s passion for travel and adventure sports led him to explore the world, seeing the impacts of climate change firsthand, and to work tirelessly to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy all the adventure opportunities that exist in the world.  

James Cross

Director of Strategy at Workday

James has spent a decade at the intersection of people and technology — and is is passionate about how new technologies that help people to learn, grow, and fulfill their potential. James is a former high school teacher, was a leader at a successful video learning startup, and is currently Director of Strategy at Workday.

Stewart Bittman

Internationally Acclaimed Speaker and Teacher

An internationally acclaimed speaker and teacher, Dr. Stew Bittman has lived in Lake Tahoe for over 25 years. It is here that he has slowly recovered from his over-educated, uneventful mid-baby boom New York City upbringing and lives the life he always dreamed about. He has a deep love for the land, discovering God in the many flowering meadows and sun-kissed mountain lakes