Eight presenters have 5-minutes each to get their audience excited about a big idea they can’t wait to share. 

Theo Edmonds

Founding Director, IDEAS – A  Chamber of Commerce for Creatives

REDEFINE artist. Change the WORK of art.

Theo Edmonds

Theo Edmonds

When a group of artists assume leadership of a chamber of commerce, a legacy of break-the-mold programs at the nexus of culture and marketplace begin to take shape.

Bio: Theo Edmonds is an innovator and strategist who has been in the arts from a very young age, Mr. Edmonds work is dedicated to establishing new value paradigms and mutually-beneficial relationships between artists, communities, entrepreneurs, corporations and emergent philanthropic structures.  He was named by Southern Living Magazine as one of “50 People Changing the South in 2015”.


Shawn Gardner

President, 2NOT1 Fatherhood & Families, Inc.

Learning to Overcome Adversity

Shawn Gardner

Shawn Gardner

Learn how to overcome adversity when you don’t know how.

Bio: With more than a decade of problem solving experience and a Master of Science degree in Conflict Management, Shawn Gardner has developed a keen insight on how to analyze problems and develop ways to solve them. Shawn has used his drive and passion for community to start a non-profit organization, 2NOT1: Fatherhood & Families, Inc. Under Shawn’s leadership, various entities were brought together to improve neighborhoods and strengthen families.


Natalie Harris

Executive Director, Coalition for the Homeless

Change is Hard, But it’s the Only Way to Make the World Better

Natalie Harris

Natalie Harris

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then it’s time we step back, look at how well we meet the needs of our community, and find a better way.

Bio: Natalie Harris joined The Coalition for the Homeless in April of 2010. Since then, she helped Louisville initiate a 100K Homes Initiative called Rx: Housing and a community-wide education campaign about homelessness.  She serves as Co-Chair of the Kentucky Interagency Council on Homelessness and Secretary for the Homeless and Housing Coalition of Kentucky and was just named Compassion Laureate by Compassion Louisville.


Kasey Maier

Director of Program Development, Waterfront  Botanical Gardens

A visit with the future Waterfront Botanical Gardens

Kasey Maier

Kasey Maier

From landfill to chlorophyll: Learn why it’s important to bring a former landfill site full circle with the proposed Waterfront Botanical Gardens. What can this new attraction and educational venue mean for Louisville? See the plans, envision the experience, understand the need.

Bio: Since 2013, Kasey Maier has been working with Botanica to raise awareness, raise money and develop programs. Kasey was one of the founders of Kentucky School of Art at Spalding University, building the school from just an idea to a fully functional BFA program at Spalding.


Kent Oyler

CEO, Greater Louisville Inc.

Comfortably we slide toward the ash heap

Kent Oyler

Kent Oyler

Greater Louisville’s economic leaders must seize control of our region’s destiny, and evolve it decisively, lest we continue our deceptively comfortable slide towards the ash heap of relative metropolitan competitiveness.

Bio: Kent Oyler joined Greater Louisville Inc. in June 2014.  He leads GLI, the metro chamber of commerce, in accelerating regional economic growth, job creation, workforce development and business competitiveness. Prior to GLI Kent served as founder and managing partner of OPM Services, Inc., a financial-services and investment firm and has launched 19 new ventures in a variety of industries.


Izaak Prats

Founder, IJVP, Yeti Agenda

High Schools Should Use Floppy Disks

Izaak Prats

Izaak Prats

Education is lagging behind on innovation and technology and the result is astonishing.

Bio: Izaak Prats is currently a freshman at the University of Louisville studying Physics, an intern at Interapt, and the founder of Yeti Agenda. He has a passion for theoretical physics and technology. Although the physics doesn’t help much, his love for technology sparked a lifelong interest in entrepreneurship and education. During high school, he started an initiative to bring Google Glass into the class room. Now, duPont Manual High School is now the first school to use Google Glass as an educational tool. This evolved into Yeti Agenda with a goal to revolutionize education.


Gil Reyes

Co-Artistic Director, Theatre [502]

Better Dead Than Read

Gil Reyes

Gil Reyes

Theatre as the art of collaboration and communal imagining has the power to challenge, empower, and inspire – but if theatre doesn’t change your world, it’s time to change theatre.

Bio: Gil Reyes is Director of Development at StageOne Family Theatre and Co-Artistic Director of Theatre [502], effectively allowing him access to Louisville’s entire theatre-going community. Recent directing credits include: Mr. Burns, a post-electric play ([502]), Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood (StageOne), The 13th of Paris ([502]) Gruesome Playground Injuries. Gil worked for Congressman John Yarmuth in the local, DC, and campaign offices between 2007 and 2013 where he handled grants and arts (among many other responsibilities.) He is a Co-Coordinator for the Fairness Campaign, a Business First Magazine 2011 “40 Under 40,” and an active member of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.


Charlotte Stites

Pediatrician, Smoketown Family Wellness Center

A Vision for Health and Wellness

Charlotte Stites

Charlotte Stites

The Smoketown Family Wellness Center will create a model for innovative health care delivery based on integrated care, community engagement and caregivers as community health advocates to build a culture of wellness.

Bio: Charlotte Gay Stites, MD is a board certified general pediatrician with 15 years of clinical experience in Louisville. She enjoys working with families to improve their health and find balance in their lives. She is developing an integrated wellness center to serve as a model for a new healthcare delivery system to improve the health of our community.