IHRSA 2013 | 32nd Annual
International Convention & Trade Show
GENERAL SESSION SPEAKERS
Optimism Can Take You Anywhere
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 | 11:30am-12:30pm
Sponsored by SPRI
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Optimist, Life is good®
Bert Jacobs is co-founder and Chief Executive Optimist of The Life is good Company. A privately held business based in Boston, Massachusetts, Life is good® spreads positive vibes through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories and through its social mission to help kids overcome poverty, violence and illness. Jake, Life is good’s iconic hero with the contagious smile, teaches men, women and children that optimism is fun, healthy, and empowering.
In 1994, with a combined sum of just $78 in the bank, Jacobs and his brother John officially launched Life is good®. Today, their products are sold by over 4,500 retailers nationwide. The Jacobs brothers are living proof that “Optimism can take you anywhere.”
Believing that consumers are overwhelmed by too much 'advertising noise' in the marketplace, Life is good® focuses on forging meaningful, emotional connections, and relies heavily on consumer word-of-mouth to build its brand. Because Life is good® considers children its ultimate source for inspiration, the company is committed to helping kids through the work of the Life is good Playmakers. Fusing the interests of children facing life-threatening challenges with the interests of its business at every touch-point, Life is good® presents a powerful and inspiring model for seamlessly integrating a for-profit and a non-profit.
After graduating from Villanova University in 1987 with a degree in Communications, Jacobs enjoyed stints as a ski instructor, pizza delivery man, and substitute teacher. Jacobs focuses his energy on where the Life is good® brand is going next. When not overseeing the business, he enjoys live music, travel, surfing and a full-tilt game of Ultimate Frisbee. His claim to fame . . . he once jumped into the Boston Marathon with zero training and finished in less than four hours.
Jacobs has appeared on CNN’s "Tips from the Top", CNBC’s "Business Nation", and "The Donny Deutsch Show". Life is good® has been featured on "ABC News Nightline", NBC’s "The Today Show", in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Body + Soul, among others.
Jacobs is the second youngest of six siblings from Needham, Massachusetts, and he credits his mother with teaching his brother and him to face the bumps in the road with a smile. The Jacobs brothers see simplicity, humility, and a sense of humor as the three keys to Life is good’s continued success.
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks & How They Shape Our Lives
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 | 8:30am-9:30am
Sponsored by Technogym®
Nicholas Christakis, M.D., Ph.D., MPH
Author, and Professor, Harvard University
Nicholas A. Christakis is an internationally recognized authority on how social networks affect our behavior and well-being. One of less than ten people in the U.S. trained as both a sociologist (Ph.D.) and a physician (M.D.), he specializes in health and social networks and other social factors affecting health, health care and longevity. He is the co-author of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, which describes the profound influence social networks have on who we are, what we do, and how we feel. Dr. Christakis was recently listed on Foreign Policy’s "Top 100 Global Thinkers" list and his work has appeared on the front pages of The New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and other major media, repeatedly in the past three years.
Science magazine has dubbed co-authors Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler the 'dynamic duo'. Connected is the winner of a "Books for a Better Life Award" and has been translated into nearly twenty languages. It was named an "Editor's Choice" by The New York Times Book Review, and was featured in "Wired", Oprah's Reading Guide, BusinessWeek's "Best Books of the Year", GOOD's "15 Books You Must Read", and featured as a cover story in the New York Times Magazine.
In Connected, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, Connected overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm -- that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.
Dr. Christakis is an internist and social scientist who conducts research on social factors that affect health, health care, and longevity. He is Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School; Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; and Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. He is the Master of Pforzheimer House in Harvard College.
For the past decade, Dr. Christakis has focused on how social networks form ("connection") and how they influence behavior ("contagion"). For this groundbreaking work, Dr. Christakis was named to the "TIME 100" in 2009 and was named "Most Original Thinker" of the year in 2008 on "The McLaughlin Group". His research on social networks was featured in "TIME's Year in Medicine" in both 2007 and 2008, and in Harvard Business Review's "Breakthrough Ideas of the Year" (2009).
Dr. Christakis' lab is currently focused on the relationship between social networks and health. People are interconnected, and so their health is interconnected. This research engages two types of phenomena: the social, mathematical, and biological rules governing how social networks form ("connection"); and the biological and social implications of how they operate to influence thoughts, feelings, and behaviors ("contagion"). Other ongoing investigations in the lab consider the effects of neighborhoods on people's health, the biodemographic determinants of longevity, the widowhood effect ("dying of a broken heart"), and the genetic bases for human behaviors.
He has conducted widely cited research in numerous public health topics, and has published over 100 scientific articles and chapters, edited medical textbooks, and contributed occasionally to editorial pages at The New York Times and other major media. He is the author of three books besides Connected, focused on palliative care and prognosis, and has given invited talks all around the world.
PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo From Maslow
Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 8:30am-9:30am
Sponsored by Matrix Fitness
Author, and Founder, Joie de Vivre Hotels
No hotel executive in the world has overseen the development and creation of more boutique hotels than Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre, California’s largest independent hotel company and America’s second largest boutique hotelier.
At the age of 26 with no industry experience, Conley transformed a seedy 1950s 'no-tell motel' into the world-renowned Phoenix Hotel, a legendary Rock 'n Roll hotel that catered to the likes of David Bowie, Linda Ronstadt, and Nirvana. Inspired by the French expression for 'joy of life', Conley created Joie de Vivre with the intention of developing what USA Today called "the most delightfully schizophrenic collection of hotels in America". Building on an innovative design formula that inspires guests to experience an 'identity refreshment' during their visit, today Joie de Vivre consists of over 40 unique and award-winning hotels, restaurants and spas across the California, over 3,000 employees, and annual revenues approaching $250 million. In a feature article on the growing proliferation of boutique hotels in the U.S., TIME magazine suggested that "few boutique hotels are as genuine as those run by Joie de Vivre". Conley and his company’s time-tested techniques and transformational leadership practices have been featured in Fast Company, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal.
Also a best-selling author, Conley shares his unique prescription for success in, PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow. Based on noted psychologist Abraham Maslow’s iconic Hierarchy of Needs theory, PEAK illustrates how a business’s three key stakeholders –- Employees, Customers and Investors –- are ultimately motivated by peak experiences that address their higher, unspoken needs, and he demonstrates how to create such experiences using real-world examples from his own company and other peak-performing organizations. Conley credits this theory for helping Joie de Vivre triple its annual revenues between 2001 and 2008. PEAK is now being taught in business schools and in hospitality management programs around the country. Conley’s latest book is the New York Times bestseller, EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success. A leading practitioner of emotional intelligence in the workplace, Conley takes us from emotional intelligence to emotional fluency in this book that Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh calls, "An invaluable operating manual for life".
A popular speaker and innovative leader, Conley is regularly consulted by corporate, civic and academic institutions for his opinions, guidance and wisdom on building and maintaining a successful and transformative enterprise –- involving areas such as organizational leadership, creative business development, corporate social responsibility, and creating unique culture. Conley has delivered keynote presentations and leadership seminars to hundreds of corporate audiences from Google to Merrill Lynch to Banana Republic. He was invited to collaborate with Whole Foods Market founder John Mackey to organize his annual Conscious Capitalism Conference and he spoke at TED2010, one of the world’s most exclusive annual gatherings of thought leaders. Conley’s previous books include The Rebel Rules: Daring to be Yourself in Business (with a foreword by Sir Richard Branson) and Marketing That Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business and Change the World, co-authored with Eric Friedenwald-Fishman.
Conley has been honored with the top awards in hospitality including the "2012 Pioneer Award", the highest accolade in the industry. The San Francisco Business Times named him the "Most Innovative CEO" among business leaders across all industries –- and Joie de Vivre the "2nd Best Place to Work" in the entire San Francisco/Silicon Valley region.
Conley is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the Global Business Network and the Social Venture Network. He was a board member of San Francisco’s Glide Church for a decade and he founded the city’s annual Celebrity Pool Toss, which has raised millions for inner city youth programs that now thrive in the troubled neighborhood where he launched his first hotel. He is an active board member for the Esalen Institute, Burning Man, and Youth Speaks and he is the founder/producer of ArtPadSF. Conley received his BA and MBA from Stanford University, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Psychology from Saybrook University where he is the 2012 Scholar-Practitioner in residence.
FL!P: Creative Strategies for Turning Challenge into Opportunity, and Change into Competitive Advantage
Friday, March 22, 2013 | 11:30am-12:30pm
Sponsored by MYZONE
Author, and Founder & CEO, ChangeLabs™, AUSTRALIA
Peter Sheahan is known internationally for inspiring innovative business thinking and creating lasting behavior change. He has established himself as a highly successful entrepreneur with his international thought leadership practice and as the CEO of ChangeLabs™, a global consultancy building and delivering large-scale behavioral change projects for clients, such as Apple and IBM. Sheahan has worked with some of the world’s leading brands, including Google, News Corporation, Harley Davidson and GlaxoSmithKline.
He has delivered more than 2,000 presentations to over 300,000 people in 15 different countries. In 2006, Peter was voted the National Speakers Association’s "Keynote Speaker of the Year" and has since been named one of the "25 Hottest New Speakers in America", and one of the "25 Most Influential Speakers in the Industry".
He is the author of six books, including international bestsellers Fl!p and Generation Y. As a global thought leader, Sheahan’s insights into business trends and the changing needs of customers and staff have made him a regular presenter on "Fox Business", with appearances on ABC and BBC as well. In 2008 Sheahan was a featured expert in a five-part global series on innovation on CNBC, and he has been written up in the Washington Post and Fast Company magazine. His newest book Making It Happen unpacks his insights on the execution of ideas through focused business growth, understanding buying behavior and compelling market positioning.