Alliance Keynote Speakers

The Alliance of Chief Executives brings CEOs together. In order to allow our members to interact with other successful CEOs, we are proud to have had the following Keynote Speakers share their experiences with us. For media and public relations questions, contact us.

Madhavan Ramanujam, Partner, Simon-Kucher & Partners
Date: Thursday, March 09, 2017
Location: Santa Clara

Madhavan Ramanujam is partner at Simon-Kucher & Partners, the world’s largest pricing consultancy, and co-author of Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price.  Madhavan spoke about what’s arguably the most important question in business, but one that’s often overlooked by CEOs and their teams, "will customers actually pay for our products?" Madhavan says CEOs spend time designing “perfect” products and not enough time monetizing them. They slap on a price at the end of product development and expect the product to sell -- and then it doesn’t. Madhavan has led more than 125 monetization projects for startups, internet, software and technology clients.

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Drayton Boylston, Founder & CEO, The Executive Coaching University
Date: Friday, February 17, 2017
Location: San Ramon

Drayton Boylston is the Founder and CEO of The Executive Coaching University. Drayton is considered a pioneer in the field of Executive Coaching and Personal Development, and widely thought of as a Leadership Visionary. He is a former CEO and Fortune 100 executive and has established and led a $100 million startup and forged joint ventures with leading Wall Street firms. He is the author of the bestseller, A Whisper From Your Soul, as well as Coming UnScrooged™- a highly acclaimed book on corporate rescue and redemption. Drayton has also been selected by Harvard University to engage in a worldwide research project on executive coaching and has been a featured presenter at the World Business and Executive Coach Summit. Click here to access Drayton's resource page.

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Geoffrey Moore, Managing Director, Geoffrey Moore Consulting
Date: Friday, February 10, 2017
Location: San Francisco

Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker, and advisor who splits his consulting time between start-up companies in the Mohr Davidow portfolio and established high-tech enterprises, most recently including Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Box, Aruba, Cognizant, and Rackspace.  Moore’s life’s work has focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations. His first book, Crossing the Chasm, focuses on the challenges start-up companies face transitioning from early adopting to mainstream customers. It has sold more than a million copies, and its third edition has been revised such that the majority of its examples and case studies reference companies come to prominence from the past decade. Moore’s most recent work, Escape Velocity, addresses the challenge large enterprises face when they seek to add a new line of business to their established portfolio. It has been the basis of much of his recent consulting.   

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Kevin Surace, Founder & CEO, Appvance
Date: Friday, February 03, 2017
Location: Santa Clara

Kevin Surace is a well known Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a disruptive innovator. He has been awarded Inc. Magazine‘s Entrepreneur of the Year, listed as one of the top 15 innovators of this decade by CNBC, awarded Tech Pioneer by World Economic Forum – Davos, nominated as Innovator of the Year by PlanetForward and inducted into the Innovation Hall of Fame. He has been awarded 24 patents and is credited with pioneering work on the first human-like voice user interface, the first cellular data smartphone, the first mass produced high R-value windows, the first soundproof drywall, and many other innovations which have become commonplace today.

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Mike Robbins, Author, "Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken"
Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
Location: San Ramon

Mike Robbins is an expert in teamwork, communication, and the power of appreciation. He empowers people and organizations to work together effectively and be more successful. Mike is the author of three books, Focus on the Good Stuff, Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken, and his latest, Nothing Changes Until You Do. Mike has inspired thousands of people to reach new levels of awareness and success, both personally and professionally. Prior to his speaking and coaching career, Mike played baseball at Stanford University. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals and played three seasons of professional baseball with the Royals before arm injuries ended his playing career.

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Curt Carlson, Founder, The Practice of Innovation
Date: Friday, November 11, 2016
Location: San Francisco

Prior to founding the Practice of Innovation, Curt Carlson was President and CEO of SRI International. During Curt's 16-year tenure at SRI, its revenue more than tripled and SRI became a global model for the systematic creation of high-value innovations. Carlson is widely sought as a speaker and thought leader on innovation and global competitiveness. He advises U.S. governors, prime ministers, economic ministers, and education ministers around the world on innovation, competitiveness, and educational reform. His book, written with William Wilmot, called Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want was selected by BusinessWeek as one of the top 10 business books for 2006. He is finishing a new book of “next-generation” innovation best practices, called Creating Abundance:  Prosperity and Meaningful Employment Through Innovation Across Society.

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Alliance Voices, South Bay Alliance Members Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Friday, November 04, 2016
Location: Santa Clara

During our November 4, 2016 Regional Meeting, in the spirit of sharing the awesome collective wisdom of our Alliance community, we were treated to hard-earned insights from six Alliance CEOs. As Gene Banman of DriveScale described, it takes 60 VC meetings to get a term sheet. Gene shared his experiences and lessons learned in raising 3 different A Rounds of funding. Alain Harrus of Kateeva spoke about “Persistence and Flexibility” in the area of fundraising and keeping a company alive to fight another day. Cal Lai of Ask.Vet shared the "Democratization of Early Stage Capital” and how the new Reg A/A+ equity crowdfunding will change the landscape for early stage capital. David Matheson of SmartOrg talked about the "Head and Heart of Decision Making” and how Sony Pictures taught him to make recommendations really land, by nearly being fired. Stan Schneider of Real-Time Innovations (RTI) shared the amazing opportunities presented by the rise of smart machines and its embodiment in the Industrial Internet of Things. Mihir Shukla of Automation Anywhere discussed the “Countdown to the Digital Workforce,” and previewed the foundational shift in the way people will work within the next five years.

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John Chambers, Executive Chairman, Cisco
Date: Thursday, September 08, 2016
Location: Santa Clara

We were honored to welcome the recently retired CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, to the Alliance of Chief Executives.  John was voted one of the best performing CEOs in the world by the Harvard Business Review in 2014 after growing Cisco from $70 million when he joined in 1991, to $47 billion in 2015. We enjoyed having a conversation with John, not only about his brilliant career and lessons learned at Cisco, but his vision for the exciting future ahead.

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Alliance Voices, East Bay Alliance Members Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Friday, August 19, 2016
Location: San Ramon

At this Regional Meeting, four of our East Bay Alliance members shared 8-minute presentations about topics of interest and value to members. Jans Aasman discussed “Cognitive Computing” as it relates to clinical predictions, probabilistic inferences in criminal networks, product similarity in e-commerce and the Panama Papers. Using the 5 Olympic Rings as a symbol of success, Peter Hill outlined the major milestones CEOs must meet to reach RIO gold. Ian McLean shared a heartfelt story about his grade school best friend and a special filly named “Runninforhoody,” both of whom are raising awareness of ALS. Paul White described the When, What, and How of selling a business in order to meet one’s life balance needs, and how to navigate a “perfect landing.”

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Patti Sanchez, Chief Strategy Officer, Duarte Design
Date: Friday, August 12, 2016
Location: San Francisco

Patti Sanchez is the Chief Strategy Officer for Duarte. Patti has led transformative communications initiatives for brands including Cisco, Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard, LexisNexis, Nike, Symantec, VMware, and Compassion International, and taught hundreds of leaders to become more empathetic and effective communicators.  Her work has been honored by IABC, BMA, and Vital Speeches of the Day and her writing has been featured in Harvard Business Review. Patti's recent book, Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies, and Symbols, was co-authored with Nancy Duarte.

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Russ Harrison, Founding Principal, The Leadership Group
Date: Thursday, June 09, 2016
Location: Santa Clara

Alliance Director Russ Harrison joined us for this Regional Alliance meeting.  During his 40+ year career, Russ has led both Fortune 100 and entrepreneurial organizations.  Russ was one of the early employees at EDS with Ross Perot, the first CIO at McKesson, developed Bank of America’s international banking systems, and was the founding President of American Airlines’ Information business.

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Eric Kaufmann, President & Founder, Sagatica
Date: Friday, May 20, 2016
Location: San Ramon

Eric Kaufmann's diverse and varied life is a commitment to understanding and teaching wisdom. His book, Leadership as a Hero’s Journey, shares practical ideas and tools that deepen a leader’s ability to be efficient, effective and deliberate; a leader whom people are drawn to follow. The crucible of Eric’s journey contains 13 years of leadership consulting, management at Fortune 100 firms, degrees in business and psychology, a quarter century of Zen practice, living in Israel and South Africa, teaching as a Master Scuba Diving instructor, and working as a certified hypnotherapist.

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Alliance Voices, San Francisco Alliance Members Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Friday, May 13, 2016
Location: San Francisco

At this Regional Meeting, six of our San Francisco Alliance members shared 5-minute presentations about topics of interest and value to members.  James Kilpatrick talked about “Motion and Emotion” and how the two are inextricably intertwined.  Peter Koshland spoke on “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” and how our bodies are not designed to handle chronic low to mid-level stress.  Chris Mittelstaedt shared his company’s “5 R’s Customer Promise” and how having a unifying theory of doing business is important.  Ebbe Altberg told us about the “Future of Virtual Reality” and how this technology will influence our lives.  Cat Lincoln spoke about “Influencer Marketing” and where this social media strategy fits in the marketing mix, and Lisa Dyson talked about “The New Carbon Currency” and what that might mean for the future of our planet.

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Geoffrey Moore, Managing Director, Geoffrey Moore Consulting
Date: Friday, May 06, 2016
Location: Santa Clara

Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker, and advisor who splits his consulting time between start-up companies in the Mohr Davidow portfolio and established high-tech enterprises, most recently including Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Box, Aruba, Cognizant, and Rackspace.  Moore’s life’s work has focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations. His first book, Crossing the Chasm, focuses on the challenges start-up companies face transitioning from early adopting to mainstream customers. It has sold more than a million copies, and its third edition has been revised such that the majority of its examples and case studies reference companies come to prominence from the past decade. Moore’s most recent work, Escape Velocity, addresses the challenge large enterprises face when they seek to add a new line of business to their established portfolio. It has been the basis of much of his recent consulting.

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James White, Former CEO, Jamba Juice
Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Location: Santa Clara

James White is the recently retired Chairman & CEO of Jamba Juice.  James' impressive career includes senior management positions with iconic companies, including Safeway, Gillette, Nestle Purina Petcare and Coca-Cola prior to joining Jamba Juice 2008.  He has successfully transitioned to “retired CEO”  and is actively serving on four major boards (including Panera). James will talk about the lessons he learned from his executive career and the value of diversity in the executive suite and the board room – diversity from every dimension (industries, skill sets, age, ethnicity, gender, etc.) to enable fresh perspectives and to challenge conventional thinking.

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Adam Leipzig, CEO, Entertainment Media Partners
Date: Friday, February 19, 2016
Location: San Ramon

Adam Leipzig is the former Senior VP with Walt Disney Pictures and President of National Geographic Films who oversaw some of the most financially successful and iconic films ever – including March of the Penguins, Dead Poets Society, Good Morning Vietnam and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.  Now, as the CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, Adam provides informed guidance, dealmaking intelligence and relevant connections for corporations and prestige media companies to garner greater success in the marketplace.

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Eamonn Kelly, Chief Strategy Officer, Deloitte
Date: Friday, February 12, 2016
Location: San Francisco

Eamonn Kelly, author of "Powerful Times" and Chief Strategy Officer of Deloitte, advises senior leadership at leading corporations across multiple sectors, key global and national public agencies, as well as major philanthropic foundations. He also develops and delivers programs to help current and future leaders acquire the knowledge, judgment and skills required to succeed in a complex and unpredictable future. Prior to joining Deloitte, Eamonn served as CEO of Global Business Network (GBN), the pioneering scenario planning consultancy and futures think-tank where he led GBN's thought leadership about the future and the development of insights, tools and methodologies for mastering change and uncertainty.
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Curt Carlson, Founder, The Practice of Innovation
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2015
Location: Santa Clara

Prior to founding the Practice of Innovation, Curt Carlson was President and CEO of SRI International. During Curt's 16-year tenure at SRI, its revenue more than tripled and SRI became a global model for the systematic creation of high-value innovations. Carlson is widely sought as a speaker and thought leader on innovation and global competitiveness. He advises U.S. governors, prime ministers, economic ministers, and education ministers around the world on innovation, competitiveness, and educational reform. His book, written with William Wilmot, called Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want was selected by BusinessWeek as one of the top 10 business books for 2006. He is finishing a new book of “next-generation” innovation best practices, called Creating Abundance:  Prosperity and Meaningful Employment Through Innovation Across Society.

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Fonta Hadley, Communication Educator, Eloquence
Date: Friday, November 20, 2015
Location: San Ramon

Fonta Hadley is a verbal and nonverbal communication educator. Using perceptual and behavioral tools, she teaches a rich mix of logical and emotional communication for professional development. Her research focuses on the relationship between what you are saying (verbal) and how you are saying it (nonverbal) with particular emphasis on cleaning up any discrepancy between the two (mixed messaging). Fonta has taught executive trainings for Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Google, Ebay, Microsoft & Amazon. She is a voice and communication instructor for the San Francisco Bar Association and has worked with editors and journalists from the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The New Yorker, Wired and Forbes.

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Joe Abraham, Founder, BOSI Global
Date: Friday, November 13, 2015
Location: San Francisco

Joe Abraham is the founder of BOSI Global – a group of entrepreneurship initiatives including bosiDNA.com, BOSI Fast 50 and The BOSI Growth Fund.  A professional entrepreneur himself, Joe has started up, grown and exited three companies of his own and invested in over 20 small businesses.  He is author of Entrepreneurial DNA: The Breakthrough Discovery That Aligns Your Business to Your Unique Strengths.

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