Speakers

    Previous Speakers & Storytellers
    Jason Alexander
    Actor
    Jason Alexander is an actor, director, producer, writer, singer, and comedian. He is best known for his role as George Costanza on Seinfeld, appearing from 1989-98.
    Jon Samsel
    SVP Global Marketing
    Verimatrix
    Jon Samsel, SVP Global Marketing for Verimatrix, a leader in protecting digital content, applications and devices with intuitive, people-centered and frictionless security.
    Gideon Pfeffer
    Managing Partner
    The GSH Group
    Gideon Pfeffer is Managing Partner at the GSH Group.
    Alex Epstein
    Real Estate Investment Banking Associate
    LEX Markets
    Alex Epstein is an Associate on the Real Estate Investment Banking team at LEX Markets, where is responsible for shepherding LEX’s deals through the IPO process.
    Daniel Malka
    Vice President of Loan Originations
    Dwight Capital
    Daniel Malka is the Vice President of Loan Originations at Dwight Capital LLC, one of the largest commercial real estate finance companies in the United States.
    Michael Poris
    Principal
    McIntosh Poris & Associates
    Michael Poris, AIA, Principal of the internationally acclaimed McIntosh Poris & Associates and has spent much of his professional life championing the revitalization of his hometown of Detroit.
    Sarah-Jane Murray
    Award-Winning Writer & Producer
    storyRstudios
    Dr. SJ (Sarah-Jane) Murray is an EMMY-nominated and award-winning writer & producer and the founder of storyRstudios, a cutting-edge non-fiction and fiction IP studio based in Austin, TX, with strong presence in both NYC and LA.
    Robert Mattler
    Michigan Market Leader
    Green Portfolio Solutions
    Robert Mattler is the Michigan market leader for Green Portfolio Solutions, llc (GPS), a leading PACE consulting company and recent national award winner of the 2021 PACENATION Summit for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI).
    Tom Dakich
    Managing Member
    Digital Crossroad
    Tom Dakich is an Indianapolis real estate attorney, owner of GEMCO Constructors LLC and Digital Crossroad managing member.
    Scott Goodman
    Founding Principal
    Farpoint Development
    Scott Goodman serves as the founding principal of Farpoint Development.
    Milco Cipriani
    Managing Partner
    Hyde Park Commerical
    Milco Cipriani is Managing Partner at Hyde Park Commercial, a privately owned real estate investment firm based in Houston.
    George Harabedian
    Acquisitions Director
    The GSH Group
    George Harabedian is Acquisitions Director for the GSH Group.
    Alex Goldfarb
    Chief Financial Officer
    The GSH Group
    Alex Goldfarb is the Chief Financial Officer at the GSH Group.
    David Shore
    TV Panelist
    David Shore is Creator of HOUSE, Doubt, and more in the works at Shore Z Productions with an overall deal at Sony Studios. From camper with a line in “Meatballs” to lawyer to writer/producer/showruner.
    Deborah Pratt
    TV Panelist
    Deborah Pratt is a true visionary showrunner and 5x Emmy nominee and Golden Globe nominee and Co-Executive Producer & Head Writer of Quantum Leap & EP of The Net.
    Cynthia Gibb
    Actress
    Cynthia Gibb is an actress and former model who has starred in film and on television.
    Anthony McCarten
    Main Headliner
    Anthony McCarten is an internationally acclaimed writer & producer, known for The Theory of Everything, Death of a Superhero, Via Satellite & The English Harem. Anthony is also a fiction writer, playwright, and poet.
    David Madden
    TV Panelist
    David Madden is President of Fox Television Studios, which develops and produces programming for US broadcast and cable networks, and international broadcasters.
    Jim Pasternak
    Director
    Jim Pasternak, director of Certifiably Jonathan, directed the comedy feature, One Hell of a Guy. His short films, In a Train Station and The Wayfarer, were featured at the Whitney Museum in NYC.
    Valerie Landsburg
    Actress
    Valerie Landsburg is an actress, television and film director, screenwriter, and singer-songwriter.
    Charlie Rubin
    Television Comedy Writer
    Charlie Rubin is a television comedy writer, producer, and humorist. He has written for National Lampoon, The Carol Burnett Show, In Living Color, The Jon Stewart Show, Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, and Law & Order:.
    Susan Shapiro
    Journalism Professor
    Susan Shapiro, an award-winning journalism professor, has written for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Nation, Salon and Psychology Today.
    Robin Burgess
    Speaker
    Hollywood Literary Retreat Seminar: How to Compose Film Music with Curt Sobel, Joe LoDuca, Terence Blanchard, Bruce Broughton, Ken Hertz, and Joel Roman
    Joel Roman
    Speaker
    Hollywood Literary Retreat Seminar: How to Compose Film Music with Curt Sobel, Joe LoDuca, Terence Blanchard, Bruce Broughton, Ken Hertz, and Robin Burgess
    Ken Hertz
    Talent Representative
    Ken Hertz is a Senior Partner in the Los Angeles law firm of Hertz Lichtenstein & Young LLP. Ken and his partners specialize in representing talent and new media companies in the sports and entertainment industries.
    Bruce Broughton
    Composer
    Bruce Broughton is a film, video game, and telsion soundtrack composer who has composed several highly acclaimed soundtracks over his extensive career, including American music classics such as Homeward Bound.
    Terence Blanchard
    Composer
    Terence Blanchard is a jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger, and film score composer.
    Joe LoDuca
    Composer
    Joseph LoDuca is a television and film score composer best known for his work writing television scores.
    Curt Sobel
    Composer
    Curt Sobel is a composer. In 1992 he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the song “Why Do I Lie?” from the HBO movie Cast a Deadly Spell.
    Adam Belanoff
    Producer
    Adam Belanoff is a producer and writer, known for Major Crimes, The Closer, Cosby, and Murphy Brown.
    Carolyn Caldera
    Producer
    In a career spanning over fifteen years in the entertainment business, prominent Latina producer Carolyn Caldera has truly made a name for herself.
    Scott Rosenfelt
    Featured Storyteller
    Scott Rosenfelt is one of Hollywood’s most successful independent producers. On the strength of such films as Smoke Signals, Home Alone, Mystic Pizza, and Teen Wolf, Scott has garnered international acclaim.
    Jim Suave
    Featured Storyteller
    Hollywood Literary Retreat Seminar: How to Write for Multi-Media Entertainment with Jon Samsel, Carl Bressler, and Scott Rosenfelt
    Jon Samsel
    Featured Storyteller
    Jon Samsel is a seasoned marketing strategist known for his ability to fuse storytelling, data analytics and design into winning strategies that help companies acquire & retain customers,
    Carmen Agra Deedy
    Featured Storyteller
    Carmen Agra Deedy is an internationally known, award winning author of children’s literature, storyteller and radio contributor.
    Gioia Timpanelli
    Featured Storyteller
    Often called the ‘Dean of American Storytelling,’ she is today considered one of the world’s foremost storytellers – widely respected as both a master and scholar of the ageless art.
    Milbre Burch
    Featured Storyteller
    An award-winning, internationally known performer and recording artist, playwright and teacher of her craft, Milbre Burch is a storyteller in every sense of the word.
    Judith Black
    Featured Storyteller
    Judith Black is a professional storyteller, who has toured internationally, telling stories to a wide ranging audience in the United States, Europe, and the Near East.
    David Novak
    Featured Storyteller
    “Storyteller David Novak is an on-stage wizard, spinning his tales with wild creativity, intelligence, and wit.” Rapid River Magazine. Highly prized for his ability to use his voice, facial expressions & body.
    Jay O’Callahan
    Storyteller
    Jay O’Callahan is a prominent storyteller for people of all ages. He has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in theaters worldwide, and on the radio.
    Donald Davis
    Storyteller
    Donald Davis is a storyteller, author and minister. Davis had a twenty-year career as a minister before he became a professional storyteller. He has recorded over 25 storytelling albums and written several books.
    Lauren Weissman
    Guest Speaker
    David S. Ward
    Film Director
    David S. Ward is a film director and screen writer. David is known for The Sting, Sleepless in Seattle, and Major League.
    Christopher Vogler
    Executive
    Christopher Vogler is a Hollywood development executive best known for his guide for screenwriters, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers.
    Kevin Smokler
    Writer & Performer
    Kevin Smokler is a writer, performer and public speaker based in San Francisco. He writes about culture and technology, tells stories onstage and likes people a lot.
    Tom Schlesinger
    Story Consultant
    Tom Schlesinger was the story consultant on the HBO documentaries “Prom Night in Mississippi” with Morgan Freeman and “A Small Act,” both premiering at Sundance.
    Jacqueline Suskin
    Guest Poet
    Jacqueline Suskin operates a performance/poetry piece informally referred to as Poem Store: a project that consists of exchanging on demand poetry about any subject.
    Steve Wilson
    Publishing
    Steve Wilson is President of FastPencil/Courier. FastPencil powers publishing by enabling authors, publishers & enterprise customers to write, design, publish and sell books through their SaaS platform.
    Ken Stern
    Asset Planning
    Ken Stern is a CFP, as well as President and Founder of Asset Planning Solutions, Inc. and Ken Stern & Associates. Mr. Stern also sits on the board for the QEM.
    Lindsey Rudnickas
    VP & Digital Marketing Manager
    Lindsey Rudnickas is VP & Digital Marketing Manager at NetGalley, an innovative, easy-to-use online service and connection point for book publishers and professional readers.
    Thom Kephart
    Publishing
    Thom Kephart has worked within the independent publishing industry for over seven and a half years, initially working with CreateSpace to develop professional editorial offerings for authors.
    Lynn Isenberg
    Writer & Author
    Lynn Isenberg is an Author/Screenwriter & Literary Brand Manager. Her work includes the trilogy comedy novels “The Funeral Planner”
    Bill George
    Estate Planning Attorney
    Bill George is an Estate Planning Attorney at Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP. BKCG Law specializes in providing legal services for small to medium size businesses and high net worth individuals.
    Jean-Luc DeFanti
    Film Panelist
    Jean-Luc DeFanti is co-founder of Hemisphere Capital Management which financed: WORLD WAR Z starring Brad Pitt, The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun, The Smurfs 2 & 3.
    Frank Beddor
    Marquee Transmedia Storyteller
    Frank Beddor is the producer of the hit movie “There’s Something about Mary” turned YA novelist and Transmedia Storyteller Extraordinaire, literary sleuth and world creator.
    David Beebe
    Guest Speaker
    David Beebe is an Emmy Award winning Executive and Producer, – well respected for his collaborative approach and successful track record of building and leading digital content studios.
    Jill Sobule
    Guest Performer
    Jill Sobule belongs to a rare breed of artists. Her work is at once deeply personal and socially conscious, seriously funny and derisively tragic. Her songs cover a huge amount of ground.
    Roger Lowenstein
    Guest Storyteller
    Roger Lowenstein is a lawyer (Harvard ’68) and former professor of constitutional law. He is the founder and Executive Director of a social justice-themed charter school in Lincoln Heights.
    John Woldenberg
    VP Think Tank Moderator
    John Woldenberg is a producer and actor, known for The Visitor (2007), Smart People (2008) and Silent Partner (2010).
    Carl Bressler
    VIP Think Tank Moderator
    Carl Bressler is a Media Advisor. Tech-Humanist Carl Bressler inherently understands the intersection of media and technology and consults businesses worldwide on growth.
    SJ Hodges
    Panelist
    SJ Hodges is an eleven time published writer who completed her MFA in Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She’s received a MacDowell Colony residency.
    Stephen Nemeth
    Panelist
    Stephen Nemeth is President of Rhino Films, Executive Producer, Artivist and Hollywood Literary Retreater! His credits include:Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.
    Mike Menchel
    Panelist
    Mike Menchel is President of Evolution Entertainment for film and television. Mike came on board as Evolution’s President in 2011. Prior to that, he spent more than 20 years as an agent.
    Gerard Bocaccio
    Panelist
    Studio executive, Network executive, Media consultant, Producer and University Professor, Gerard Bocaccio has had a diverse career in film and television hat has spanned 25 years.
    Robin Schwartz
    Panelist
    Robin Schwartz is President of Television of Brillstein Entertainment Partners, a Los Angeles production company. She oversees the development and production of television series.
    Judy Carter
    Guest Speaker
    Judy’s message of using humor as a transformational tool led to her being featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and CNN.
    Michael Rossato-Bennett
    Guest Speaker
    Michael Rossato-Bennett studied film at Temple University and studied lighting with family friend Vilmos Zigmond. In 1982 he shot Street Dance documentary on the emerging Break-Dance.
    David Wolpe
    Main Headliner
    Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California.
    Steve Parrot
    Guest Speaker
    Steve Parrott is President of Legacy.com. Founded in 1998, with over 40 million unique visitors per month, Legacy.com is an innovative media company that collaborates with more than 900 newspapers .
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