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.

Alliance Voices, South Bay Alliance Leaders Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Friday, March 02, 2018
Location: Santa Clara

The collective wisdom within the Alliance community of members is truly extraordinary. This was clearly evident at our March 2, 2018 South Bay Regional meeting when we were treated to the business and life “Alliance Voices” presentations of Alliance members Bill Barhydt of ABRA ("The New World of Crypto Currency"), John De Santis of HyTrust (true stories of two company exists, and a difficult personal journey), John Paul of VenueNext ("Virtual Currency - Changing the Sports Season Ticket Experience"), and Christy Wyatt of Dtex Systems ("Landing the Plane").

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Cara Hale Alter, Founder & President, SpeechSkills
Date: Friday, February 09, 2018
Location: San Francisco

As Founder and President of SpeechSkills, Cara Hale Alter has provided training to some of the world’s best-known companies, including Allstate, Caterpillar, Google, Intel, PayPal, Pixar, Pinterest, Salesforce, Schwab and Wells Fargo. Cara has also been a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the Hastings College of Law. She is a frequent media resource, with appearances in Forbes.com, The Globe and Mail, USA Today, and countless other media outlets. In addition to penning The Credibility Code: How to Project Confidence and Competence When It Matters Most, Cara has produced award-winning educational videos on public speaking and managing nervousness.

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Alliance Voices, East Bay Alliance Leaders Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Friday, November 17, 2017
Location: San Ramon

At our November 17, 2017 East Bay Regional Meeting, we were treated to outstanding examples of the extraordinary wisdom and experience of our community of Alliance members as three members presented their “Alliance Voices." Chris Burnley of Corefact talked about "Direct Marketing in the Age of Social Media" as we learn how an integrated omni-channel marketing strategy generates superior results. Jason Petralia of Raizlabs discussed a team-based approach to company management in his talk on "In Team We Trust." Rachel Haurwitz of Caribou Biosciences discussed how the CRISPR gene editing technology is changing the future of healthcare and food, “CRISPR: Hacking the Genome.”

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Alliance Voices, Top Team Alliance Members Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Thursday, November 09, 2017
Location: Santa Clara

During our November 9, 2017 Regional Meeting, four of our Top Team Alliance members shared insight and expertise into valuable and relevant topics to our members. Skip Hilton of Jobvite shared perspectives on young workers and how to embrace them for company success during his "Understanding Millennials, Our Future Workforce" presentation. Mike Batesole of Shaklee discussed how "The Tall Blade of Grass Gets Cut" and lessons learned while doing business in China. Jane Macfarlane of The Institute of Transportation Studies UC Berkeley talked about the pace of technology and its impact on our social and economic health, asking if "Technology is Driving Industries Towards a Utopia or a Dystopia." Arwed Niestroj of Mercedes-Benz R & D North America shared his Silicon Valley learnings as a car guy, and the "Automagic Success with Silicon Valley."

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Alliance Voices, San Francisco Alliance Leaders Share Business and Life Stories
Date: Friday, October 13, 2017
Location: San Francisco

During our October 13, 2017 Regional Meeting, in the spirit of sharing the awesome collective wisdom of our Alliance community, we were treated to hard-earned insights and expertise. Neil Chaudhari of Propane Studio discussed “The Transformative Power of Platforms” as he showcased how psychology, data and digital platforms can elevate community engagement and benefit any brand, including one that Neil is particularly passionate about, motorcycles. Ted Elliott of Jobscience discussed the “Population Bomb!” and how it will impact our labor force. Everett Harper of Truss explained how to “Move to the Edge, Declare it Center” by sharing a new framework for leading and solving complex problems. Ben Davis of Phizzle talked about “Data and Social Change” as he questioned what would happen if we collectively put the same effort into eliminating social injustices as we do using data to create and disrupt industries. Alliance Director Marion McGovern shed light on the “Myths and Misunderstandings About the Gig Economy,” and offered insights into how to capitalize on this important trend.

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Behnam Tabrizi, Managing Partner, Rapid Transformation
Date: Friday, October 06, 2017
Location: Santa Clara

Behnam Tabrizi is a leading global business consultant, bestselling author, award-winning teacher, and a respected scholar. As an advisor to many Fortune 500 companies, he has worked with CEOs and senior executives in leading change and achieving breakthrough results.  Behnam has advised over thousands of leaders in over 20 industries on their organizational transformations, including IBM, GE, Aramark, Ciba Geigy, Hewlett Packard, Gap, Intel, LexisNexis, Honeywell, Genentech, Oracle, Starbucks, Applied Material, Gymboree, Cisco, Li & Fung, Haier, China Mobile, and Li Ning. He has also served as a senior advisor to the U.S. President’s transition team, and the President’s health and technology initiatives.  He is the author of four books on corporate transformation – the latest one, Rapid Transformation: A 90-day Plan for Fast and Effective Change.

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Alfred Chuang, Co-Founder BEA Systems & Magnet Systems
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2017
Location: Santa Clara

Alfred Chuang, who founded BEA Systems in early 1995 with Bill Coleman and Ed Scott, had managed just about every aspect of BEA by the time he became CEO in October 2001. Alfred served in that capacity until BEA was purchased by Oracle in April 2008.  Chuang is currently the CEO of Magnet Systems, a company he founded in 2008 to power the next generation of mobile applications with an open architecture to enable businesses and developers to create more engaging and productive enterprise-class mobile applications.

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Thom Shea, CEO, Adamantine Alliance
Date: Friday, June 16, 2017
Location: San Ramon

Thom Shea served 23 years with distinguished Valor as a Navy SEAL and is the author of the best-selling book UNBREAKABLE: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life.  During his military career, Thom served in three wars, ultimately leading a team of Navy SEALs into Afghanistan in 2009 where he earned numerous commendations.  He served as Officer-in-Charge of the famed SEAL Sniper course and, in his final tour of duty, Thom served as Chairman for R&D on 11 separate optics and weapons boards maturing, funding and fielding five technologies.  He is currently the CEO of Adamantine Alliance, an exclusive private executive performance organization. Click here for Thom's podcast.

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Madhavan Ramanujam, Partner, Simon-Kucher & Partners
Date: Friday, June 09, 2017
Location: San Francisco

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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Jorge Titinger, Former CEO of SGI
Date: Friday, June 02, 2017
Location: Santa Clara

We were pleased to have Alliance member, Jorge Titinger, join us for this Regional Alliance meeting to discuss his lessons learned from a very successful career leading Silicon Valley companies.  Most recently, Jorge was the CEO of SGI which he sold to HPE in 2016.  Jorge joined SGI and executed a successful turnaround by transitioning the company from high-performance computing to big data analytics.  Prior to joining SGI in 2012 as CEO, Jorge was CEO of Vergigy which he led to a very successful acquisition by Avantest. Earlier, Jorge held executive leadership positions with FormFactor, KLA-Tencor, Applied Materials and HP.

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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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