March 4th Best of Leadership Summit – Speakers announced, registration now open


They will teach how to Have Smart Fights, Solve Problems Before They Happen, & Break Rules for Creativity

Registration & details now available at 

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The Leadership Louisville Center is announcing additional speakers for its annual Best of Leadership Summit on March 4, 2020. Presented by sponsor PNC Bank, the annual day of learning will feature three nationally-prominent keynote speakers and breakout sessions focused on leading self, leading others, and leading for impact & inclusion. About 500 attendees are expected, representing over 150 different companies of all sizes and from all sectors. They represent top leadership from Louisville and the surrounding region, ranging from high-potential emerging leaders to C-suite executives, with over 70% working at a director level or above.

The 2020 Best of Leadership Summit will be hosted at The Kentucky Center, 501 W. Main St., Louisville, KY. See video highlights from 2019 Best of Leadership Summit.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN at Discounted early registration is available until Friday, January 17 ($400 per ticket). After this date, individual tickets are $495 ($425 for members of the Leadership Louisville Center). Discounted group rates and sponsorships are available by contacting Jennifer Stevens, or (502) 561-5231.


Dan Heath, innovative business thought leader and New York Times best-selling author. Heath co-wrote four of the most-loved business books of the last decade: Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments. His talk will focus on his new book, UPSTREAM: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, teaching leaders how to end the cycle of putting out fires and reaction. (Heath’s visit to Louisville is made possible by speaker sponsor Humana)

Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company — the influential magazine championing creativity, innovation, and thriving workplace cultures for a new generation of business. She believes the future, increasingly, belongs to creative thinkers whose brains don’t follow traditional rules. At the Summit, Mehta will explain how to bring a rule-breaking mindset to any aspect of business, such as engineering, marketing, forecasting, or planning.

Amy Gallo, author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, co-host of the Women at Work podcast, and contributing editor at Harvard Business Review. Gallo will deliver her high-successful talk from SXSW titled “Smart Fights: How to create and navigate productive tensions on your team.” She will share how to make it OK for your team to dissent, debate, and express their true opinions.


Jim Hemerling, TED speaker and Managing Director & Senior Partner, Boston Consulting Group. Hemerling is a featured TED speaker: 5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Constant Change, and leader in BCG’s People & Organization and Transformation practices. He has widespread experience leading large scale transformation programs and cultivating high performing organizations.

Karyn Twaronite, EY Global and EY Americas, Diversity & Inclusiveness Officer. Twaronite works with clients and stakeholders around the world to oversee EY’s integrated approach to diversity and inclusiveness, which enables leaders to foster an inclusive environment, where people can better leverage their diverse skills, experiences and cultural backgrounds.

Dr. Ralph de Chabert, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity Inclusion and Global Community Relations Officer, Brown-Forman Corporation. Responsible for developing and implementing a global diversity and inclusion strategy, with an initial focus on the United States, de Chabert’s work includes Brown-Forman’s marketing efforts with diverse consumer groups, the composition of the company’s workforce, the diversity of its suppliers and the breadth of its community involvement.

Teddy Abrams, Music Director, Louisville Orchestra and Music Director & Conductor, Britt Orchestra. An unusually versatile musician, Abrams is widely-acclaimed as a music director, as well as an established pianist, clarinetist, and composer. A tireless advocate for the power of music, he continues to foster interdisciplinary collaboration with all types of organizations.

Dr. Angelique Johnson, CEO/Founder, Vissionaireum and MEMStim. An electrical and biomedical engineer whose medical technology company, uses automated manufacturing to make cochlear implants more affordable for patients. Johnson also teaches The Lean Startup methodology as a university professor and will share the benefits of leaders having an owner mentality versus a manager mentality to become an “interpreneur.”

Cynthia Knapek, President, Leadership Louisville Center. As president of the Center and chair of the national Association of Leadership Programs, Knapek has first-hand knowledge of the essential ingredients to help people find their voice. Helping your people find their voice is the most impactful way to build that sought-after inclusive leadership pipeline, and she will share the importance of building confidence, connection, and courage.

OJ Oleka, President, Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU). At Oleka will share from his experience the importance of leading self through the power of personal narrative. In his current role, he advocates for higher education policies at the state and federal level and previously served as Deputy Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Michele Shelton, international speaker, author and consultant. Shelton draws from her 20 years of experience in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to help HR and business leaders understand the importance of embracing the human spirit of their employees to unlock potential and maximize performance and innovation. She will share how to confront and conquer the issues that divide us, limit productivity, and threaten the bottom line.

Additional speakers still to be announced. Visit for updates.


Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank;

Speaker Sponsor Humana;

Gold Sponsors EY and Farm Credit Mid-America;

Silver Sponsors Anchorage Middletown Fire & EMS, Business First of Louisville, The Lane Report, Louisville Public Media, Splendid Events, Texas Roadhouse; and

Bronze Sponsors Archdiocese of Louisville, CBRE, GE Appliances, a Haier company, Northwestern Mutual, MCM CPAs and Advisors, MPI Printing, Portland Investment Initiative, and University of Louisville College of Business.




Dan Heath, is a senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center, which supports entrepreneurs who fight for social good, has been named to Thinkers 50, a ranking of the world’s most influential management thinkers, and named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business. All four business books he co-authored with his brother Chip Heath (Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments) were New York Times best-sellers and together the Heath brothers’ books have sold over two million copies worldwide and been translated into 33 languages. Heath’s new book will be released in March 2020 and will be the focus of his keynote talk at the Best of Leadership Summit. The title is UPSTREAM: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen, and in this talk, he will reveal how some leaders have learned to spot problems in advance and how we can shift our energies upstream to uncover and address the source of problems. Heath will share the three forces that push us downstream, as well as the powerful levers we can use to start preventing problems before they happen.



Stephanie Mehta brings over twenty-five years of experience in business journalism to her role as editor-in-chief at Fast Company, the publication that businesses all over the world turn to for inspiration and guidance. Whether she’s investigating the prodigious rise of Silicon Valley, the domino effect of technology on our lives, or what makes a workplace truly innovative, Mehta has her finger on the pulse. Prior to Fast Company, Mehta was deputy editor at Vanity Fair, where she coedited the influential New Establishment ranking, curated the New Establishment Summit, and oversaw the Founders Fair conference for women entrepreneurs. Previously, she was editor of Bloomberg LIVE, and Bloomberg Media’s global conference division. Mehta spent 14 years as a writer and editor at Fortune magazine. Her talk at the Best of Leadership Summit will be Rules are Meant to be Broken: Secrets of the Most Creative People in Business. Drawing on 10 years of Fast Company’s reporting on the Most Creative People in Business, Mehta explains how to bring a creative, rule-breaking mindset to any aspect of business, from engineering to marketing to forecasting and planning.


Amy Gallo is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She combines the latest management research with practical advice to deliver evidence-based ideas on how to improve relationships and excel at work. She is the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict, a how-to guidebook about handling conflict professionally and productively. In her role as a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, Gallo writes frequently about a range of topics with a focus on interpersonal dynamics, communicating ideas, leading and influencing people, and building your career. She has contributed to numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others. She is on the faculty of the Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification program, recently launched by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence. Her topic at the Best of Leadership Summit will be Smart Fights: How to Create and Navigate Productive Tensions on Your Team. In this interactive talk, participants will learn about how teams can smartly tackle uncomfortable conversations and disagreements and how, as managers, they can make it okay for people to dissent, debate, and express their true opinions.




The Leadership Louisville Center is the region’s most valuable resource for leadership development and civic engagement. With a purpose to inspire and equip leaders to be better and do better, it has graduated over 10,000 through its civic programs since 1979. The Center is recognized as a national best practice and is known for its dynamic programming and strong community connections. Programming includes five social impact leadership programs (Leadership Louisville, Focus Louisville, Ignite Louisville, Bingham Fellows and Encore Louisville), leadership skills training courses presented through the Leadership Green Room, and events designed to connect leaders and motivate positive change. Learn more at

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