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2016 CEO Global Conference

Scott Boyer, Founder & CEO, OWP Pharmaceuticals and ROW Foundation

After almost three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Scott left Big Pharma to start a Pharmaceutical Social Enterprise designed to grow profitably in the US while supporting under-resourced people with epilepsy through education, diagnosis and treatment globally.


Mike DeLazzer, Co-founder & President, Instant Systems

Mike DeLazzer is a serial entrepreneur who has started over 8 companies In 2006 he was inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneur Hall of Fame for his work as founder of GetAMovie Inc. which later became Redbox. Redbox has since become the largest video rental company in the world, with over 45,000 locations in the U.S. and revenues approaching $2 billion. Building on past success in the DVD kiosk industry, Mike co-founded New Retail LTD. In 2009 he was given a lifetime achievement award from the Collegiate Entrepreneur Organization for his work in supporting entrepreneurship globally.



Alex Mendeluk, Co-founder, The Disruptive

In business and life Alexander Mendeluk brings a magnetic energy that cannot be forgotten. His unconventional approach to business has inspired many, led to the success of his company SpiritHoods (a multi-million dollar lifestyle brand that gives back to endangered animals) and landed him on ABC’s Shark Tank. With his new company The Disruptive, Alexander Mendeluk helps super hero entrepreneurs in the making, create successful businesses and lives that help change the world.


Jeff Vinik, Chairman & Governor of Tampa Bay Lightning, Vinik Family Office LLC

There is no clear roadmap in creating value and a great reputation. The best way to learn is to hear the experiences of someone who has a proven record of doing both. Jeff Vinik earned degrees from Duke University and the Harvard School of Business. He went on to manage investments for Fidelity as well as his own company, Vinik Asset Management. Seeing value in Tampa Bay, he purchased the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, and the team reached the Stanley Cup Final in 2015. To date, Vinik has donated more than $11 million to local charities through the Lightning’s Community Hero Program. Along with Cascade Investment, Vinik is also the owner of a planned $3 billion mixed use real estate development in downtown Tampa.


Kevin Harrington, Founder, As Seen on TV

Kevin Harrington has been a successful entrepreneur over the last 40 years. He is an Original Shark on the ABC hit, Emmy winning TV show, “Shark Tank.” He is also the Inventor of the Infomercial, As Seen On TV Pioneer, Co- Founder of the Electronic Retailers Association (ERA) and Co- Founder of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). Kevin has launched over 20 businesses that have grown to over $100 million in sales each, has been involved in more than a dozen public companies, and has launched over 500 products generating more than $5 billion in sales worldwide with iconic brands and celebrities such as Jack Lalanne, Tony Little, George Foreman, and the new I-Grow hair restoration product on QVC. Kevin has extensive experience in business all over the world, opening distribution outlets in over 100 countries worldwide. His success led Mark Burnett to hand pick Kevin to become an Original Shark on Shark Tank where he filmed over 175 segments.

Brandon T. Adams, Executive Producer/Co-Host, Ambitious Adventures

Brandon T. Adams is the co-host and one of the executive producers of Ambitious Adventures, a reality television program focused on the compelling stories of young entrepreneurs. He has crowdfunded his own TV show which will highlight other entrepreneurs and be seen on TV nationwide in 2017.


Gene Landrum, Founder, Chuck-E-Cheese

Gene is a high-tech start-up specialist who has 21 books in print. He launched five successful ventures, three of these ventures saw 100mm in revenues within two years - the most noted being the Chuck E. Cheese chain of family entertainment. Gene has also spoken at the U.S. Capitol, Harvard University, Epcot, and The University of Florida on Global Leadership to share his entrepreneurial journey. In 2011 Gene was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame by CEO – Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Sharon Bui, CEO, Frill Clothing

Faced with another huge bill for recruitment clothing, Sharon Bui became frustrated! How could the apparel worn by her and her sisters throughout the week be so expensive and unflattering? From frustration came an idea; partnering with a long-time friend, Sharon set out to fill a need for sorority members and, in the process, created a movement. Her company, Frill, has designed collections for women across the nation and has been featured on the hit TV programs Shark Tank and Beyond the Tank. The Substance of Frill, Sharon’s signature program, highlights her extraordinary journey and demonstrates the potential of one determined woman determined to solve a problem.


Joe Quaglia, President, Tech Data

Joseph H. (“Joe”) Quaglia was appointed President, The Americas at Tech Data Corporation in November 2013. In this role, Quaglia leads the company’s sales, marketing, logistics, purchasing operations and strategy throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. Previously, Quaglia served as Tech Data’s Senior Vice President, U.S. Marketing. In February 2012, Quaglia was appointed to the additional role of President, TDMobility, the company’s mobility offering that is now known as Tech Data Mobile Solutions. Quaglia joined Tech Data in 2006 as Vice President, East and Government Sales. He is a 28-year IT industry veteran, and holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Indiana State University and an M.B.A. from Butler University. Quaglia served on the Board of Directors of CompTIA, the IT Industry Trade Association, from 2013 to 2015. He was named to CRN’s annual list of Channel Chiefs, which recognizes the most influential leaders in the IT channel, in 2009, 2012, and 2013. Quaglia currently serves as a National Trustee for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.


Craig Burris, Founder & CEO, Media

For more than 15 years, SmartCEO has combined a robust print, event and digital media platform to serve local decision makers. The SmartCEO community is a powerful group of top decision makers along the east coast. Our mission is to educate you and inspire you in the daunting task of growing a business. Each year, nearly 400,000 offensive-minded, growth-oriented CEOs turn to to find ideas and inspiration to help them grow their businesses. The award winning content includes behind-the-scenes looks at local success stories, columns written by key opinion leaders and other resources to help the region’s middle-market CEOs conquer the daily challenges of running a business.



2017 CEO Global Conference

Brett Culp, Filmmaker, Rising Heroes Project

Brett Culp is an acclaimed filmmaker whose work has inspired audiences around the world. He is the personal cinematographer for Hollywood stars, music icons, beloved authors, hall of fame athletes, and royal families. His films are featured on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and other top digital platforms. Brett has been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, WIRED, The LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Lifetime, WEtv, and many more. He is the co-founder of The Rising Heroes Project, a 501c3 that supports charitable organizations and empowers community leaders.



Crawford Ker, 
CEO & Founder, Ker Management Enterprises, LLC | Wing House

Mr. Ker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of immigrant Scottish parents. At the University of Florida that he was drafted in the 3rd round with the Dallas Cowboys. Mr. Ker made the Dallas Cowboys All Decade Team and later started for the Denver Broncos. After football, he founded Ker’s WingHouse Bar & Grill where he built his one unit brand into a multi-million dollar estate, later selling it for tens of millions of dollars. Mr. Ker currently owns a hotel on Clearwater Beach in Florida and focuses his interests on developing the other businesses in his portfolio.


Braydon Moreno, Co-Founder, Robo

Braydon started 3 businesses, one fashion brand called SWAE Watches, one service company in cell phone repairs called iGeeks, and one emerging tech hardware company in 3D printing called Robo 3D. Each has taught me different aspects of business, but my current 3D printer business started on a dining room table 4 years ago with $1200 invested and is now a public company on the Australian Stock Exchange. I was honored to be named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in manufacturing.



Scott Peeples, President, COO & Co-founder of Peerfit

Scott Peeples, MBA, is President, COO and Co-Founder of Peerfit, a digital platform that makes it easy for insurance carriers, brokers and employers to offer boutique fitness classes to their clients and employees. A serial tech entrepreneur with both a strong finance background and over a decade of experiences as a professional musician, Scott brings a unique mix of creativity and compassion to the business of peerfitting. Scott holds an MBA from the University of Florida and is founder of SuggestASong.


John S. Shegerian, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, ERI

Shegerian co-founded Homeboy Tortillas and Homeboy Industries, which continues to serve as a paradigm for urban renewal in America and was awarded the New York Stock Exchange Building for the Future Award. Shegerian is also the creator of the popular Bulldog Root Beer brand, which he launched in 1997. Shegerian is the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of ERI, the United States’ leading recycler of electronic waste and the world's largest IT asset disposition (ITAD) and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company. Shegerian is also host and founder of "Green is Good," the world’s leading environmental podcast. Shegerian continues to develop and launch businesses and concepts that disrupt multiple industries in the name of positive social change.


Garret Weber-Gale, CEO, Acton School of Business

Garret is a two-time entrepreneur that started the first company at age 12 and ran both companies cash-flow positive, growing revenues and cash every single month. He is a TEDx speaker and has also spoken at the White House, universities, and countless private events.Garret is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, World and American record holder. In addition, an ESPY winner for "Greatest Moment".




2019 CEO Global Conference

Tony DiBenedetto, Co-founder & CEO, TriBridge

A 30-year executive, serial entrepreneur and thought leader, Tony is the former CEO and founder of technology company Tribridge, where he led the strategic direction, development and vision for 19 years. He was also CEO of Concerto Cloud Services, a subsidiary of Tribridge. He currently serves as a board member for several companies, including A-LIGN, CCG Analytics, CFO Alliance, Global Safety Management, MyArea Network and Unilog, and is Executive Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Tampa Bay Wave, where he mentors growth-stage companies. Tony is the founder of Think Big for Kids, a non-profit organization that helps underprivileged youth ages 12-18 discover their potential by bringing them exciting opportunities for career exploration, mentorship and skills development.



Jules Pieri, Co-founder & CEO,The Grommet

Jules Pieri is Co-founder & CEO of the The Grommet (, the product discovery platform which has launched more than 3,000 consumer products since 2008. Many of of these innovative products have become household names, including FitBit, Food Should Taste Good, GoldieBlox, IdeaPaint, Lovepop, OtterBox, PopSocket, SimpliSafe, SodaStream, S’well, and others. 

Jules completed her undergraduate degree summa cum laude at the University of Michigan and people tell her she is the first designer to graduate from Harvard Business School, where she is an Entrepreneur in Residence Emeritus. Jules is an investing partner with XFactor Ventures and serves on the board of the University of Michigan Alumni Association.


Steve Sheetz, Chairman, Sheetz

Brandon Steve Sheetz is a native of Altoona, Pennsylvania, home to family owned and operated Sheetz, Inc. convenience stores.  Sheetz operates more than 600 locations in six states:  Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina and employs more than 20,000 people, with revenue of over $7.5 billion for fiscal 2019.
As a teenager, Steve began working in his brother Bob’s first Sheetz convenience store in 1960.  Upon graduation from college, Steve served in the management of the Sheetz organization, held the position of President of Sheetz, Inc. from 1984 to 1995, Chairman of the Board from 1995 to 2013 and Chairman of Sheetz Family Council since 2013. 



Thad Tarkington, Co-founder & CEO, Second Nature

Thad Tarkington is the co-founder and CEO of Second Nature (formerly FilterEasy), a subscription service for homes and businesses. Prior to founding Second Nature, Thad spent three years attending NC State University where he was the President of the CEO Chapter. In 2012, at the CEO Global Conference, Thad purchased his first domain name which was the start to his success today. He later left NC State during his Junior year to focus on building Second Nature full time. Thad built and scaled Second Nature to 100+ employees from launch.


Kyle Taylor, Founder & CEO, The Penny Hoarder

Kyle Taylor is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the founder & CEO of The Penny Hoarder. Under his leadership, The Penny Hoarder was named one of the fastest-growing private media companies in America by Inc. 500/5000 three years in a row. The website has helped millions of people transform their finances, providing editorial and video programming with the sole
purpose of helping people stress less about money. The Penny Hoarder has remained self-funded and profitable since its inception in 2010. With a focus on journalism and creative storytelling combined with innovative revenue-generation that puts the audience first, Kyle and his team are revolutionizing the digital media model. Before founding The Penny Hoarder, Kyle spent six years on the road as a campaign worker crafting messages, directing field strategy, and raising millions of dollars for important causes. A proud resident of St. Petersburg, Florida, Kyle is active in his local community. He supports a number of local groups and initiatives, and speaks nationally about entrepreneurship, alternative career paths and mission-based work.


Virginia EdwardsProfessional Development Coach

Virginia Edwards is a national etiquette coach, consultant, and public speaker working with private clients, universities, government agencies, and businesses.  Ms. Edwards' broad experience in varied industries provides the real world knowledge of the interpersonal skills critical to success in the local and international markets.  Prior to starting her own consulting business, Ms. Edwards served as Special Staff Assistant to the Under Secretary for Health, Department of Veterans Affairs.  Additionally, she held positions in sales, manufacturing, hospitality, private equity, and non-profit organizations.  She has published articles in numerous business journals and has appeared as an etiquette expert on various news programs.  Using customized programs, Ms. Edwards’ goal is to entertain while educating.

Geoff HaynesPresident, RA Power Pro

Geoff Haynes is a serial Entrepreneur and current President of Ra Power Pro, an award winning US Portable Solar Company. Geoff has built and exited 4 successful start-ups. At each venture Geoff leveraged nascent technology to shatter adoption curves, challenge conventional thinking, and effectively communicate to broad audiences. Prior to Geoff's entrepreneurial career he oversaw the launch of the successful marketing campaign "The Ultimate Driving Machine" by BMW.


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