Past ACE Summit Keynote Speakers

Rebecca Alexander

Author, Psychotherapist, Group Fitness Instructor, Disability Rights Advocate, and Extreme Athlete

As an extreme athlete, author, and psychotherapist who is almost completely blind and deaf due to a rare genetic condition called Usher syndrome (type III), Rebecca Alexander has faced many challenges in life.  Despite these difficulties, Rebecca refused to lose her drive and zest for life and rose above and beyond every challenge she faced. Day after day, challenge after challenge, Rebecca stresses how important it is to be grateful for every sound, every sight and every sense. Now, with only a sliver of sight and significantly deteriorated hearing, Rebecca is a psychotherapist in private practice with two master’s degrees from Columbia University. Rebecca greets every day as if it were a gift, with her boundless energy, innate curiosity, and a strength of spirit that have led her to places most of us can’t begin to imagine. Participating in the 600-mile San Francisco to Los Angeles AIDS Lifecycle ride, summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro, swimming from Alcatraz to shore in the San Francisco bay, skydiving, bungee jumping, and regularly competing in the Civilian Military Combine (CMC) races for extreme athletes are among her extraordinary feats. Rebecca’s critically acclaimed memoir, Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found received an Indie Book Award.

Paul Begala

Political Commentator, CNN; Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University; New York Times' Bestselling Author; and Political Strategist

Paul Begala is a political commentator, a professor of public policy, an author, and political strategist. He is a commentator for CNN, where he is part of the political team that has won both an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award. His commentary and analysis can be seen on CNN shows including AC 360, Cuomo PrimeTime, OutFront with Erin Burnett, and The Lead with Jake Tapper. He also writes an opinion column that appears on With over 200,000 Twitter followers, Paul has a robust social media presence as well.

Paul is the author of five books about politics, several of which were New York Times bestseller. He has been a columnist for Newsweek as well. In the 1990’s Paul helped his friend John F. Kennedy, Jr. launch the political magazine George and wrote the "Capitol Hillbilly" column.

Paul has taught at three universities: The University of Texas at Austin, where he taught in the School of Journalism; the University of Georgia, where he taught in the School of Law; and Georgetown University, where he has been an Affiliated Professor of Public Policy in the McCourt School of Public Policy for 18 years.

Begala burst on the political scene in 1992 as a senior strategist for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign. He served as Counselor to the President in the White House, helping coordinate policy, politics, and media. Before working for Pres. Clinton, Paul worked on Capitol Hill and advised campaigns across America. In 2016 he played a crucial role in the Obama-Biden re-election campaign.

Paul has also done campaign work overseas, including in Israel, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Former President Bill Clinton described his longtime friend and former aide as, "a witty dynamo from Sugar Land, Texas...who brought energy, focus and credibility to our efforts."

Dr. Michael Bell

Deputy Director, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

An expert in drug-resistant pathogens and hospital-acquired infections, Dr. Michael Bell’s career has focused on investigating and preventing transmission of healthcare-associated illnesses for hospital patients and staff alike. He has been instrumental in advancing programs evidence-based for prevention of antimicrobial resistance and improvements in safe medical practices. His ACE keynote addressed healthcare quality and infection prevention.

Jessica Buchanan

Humanitarian Aid Worker; New York Times Best-Selling Author

Kidnapped by Somali land pirates in October of 2011, Jessica and a colleague were held for 93 days, enduring the most harrowing and painful experiences.  Later rescued, Jessica chronicled her journey in the New York Times Best Seller, Impossible Odds: The Kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan and Her Dramatic Rescue by SEAL Team Six.

Andrew Busch

Healthcare Economist

The Affordable Care Act brought seismic change to the healthcare industry and with the new U.S. President promising to overhaul, if not repeal it, 2017 promises to be a year of uncertainty.  Leading healthcare economist Andrew Busch will discuss how these changes will impact you during his Keynote at ACE 2017. Andrew is an expert political economist focused on future growth. He was an outside economic advisor to the Bush (43) White House and to the McCain Campaign. Andy has met and advised US Treasury Secretaries including Hank Paulson and Tim Geithner.  Andy continues to meet and advise the top staffs in Congress. 

From appearances on The Larry Kudlow Show to Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, Andy’s objective research helps audiences and clients understand the political economy and how it impacts future growth.  As a realistic optimist, Andy sees potential good economic solutions coming out of bad political problems. By using a combination of humor, anecdotes and stories, he helps audiences understand the political economy and what changes will mean for businesses, jobs and lifestyles. As a journalist, an author and researcher, Andy does a deep dive on research to bring you an objective view into this world. Andy has spoken and advised the US Treasury, top Congressional committee staffs, and Fortune 500 companies. From healthcare to energy to technology, Andy has the unique ability to see broader trends and bring them into your world.

Joe Colonna

Vice President of Supply Chain, Piedmont Healthcare

Joe Colonna serves in the role of Vice President of Supply Chain for Piedmont Healthcare, an 11 hospital healthcare system in Atlanta, GA.  At Piedmont, the Supply Chain Team works closely with Piedmont's executives, clinician and business partners to ensure they are supporting the organization's goals of Quality, Safety and Service, aligned with Stewardship of their resources.  Joe is proud of the fact that the Supply Chain Team plays a significant role in the strategic plans of the organization and is seen as a valued partner by their customers.  Piedmont's Supply Chain has been recognized nationally for the Team's role in supporting Piedmont's mission, including being named the 2018 Supply Chain of the Year by Healthcare Purchasing News.  Joe started his Supply Chain career with United States Air Force in 1985 and his unique blend of healthcare experience comes from working for over 30 years in different aspects of the healthcare supply chain industry, including roles in provider, consulting, distribution and group purchasing organizations.

Brett Culp

Filmmaker and Cinematographer

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.

With his uplifting documentary film Legends of the Knight, Culp pioneered a groundbreaking approach to community building and relationship-driven engagement. Instead of launching this feature film through normal distribution channels, he offered anyone in the world the opportunity to screen it in their local movie theater with proceeds benefiting the charity of their choice. This unique plan gave individuals the freedom to use the movie as an open-source tool for bringing people together to make a positive impact.

Without a single dollar spent on marketing or advertising and no paid staff, the feature film successfully screened in theaters in over 110 cities across the globe raising $100,000 for charity. Each showing was hosted by local volunteers who took the initiative to organize and promote the event. Culp inspired thousands of people, many of whom had never planned a community event, to become leaders engaged in a passionate mission.

For Culp, this experience reframed leadership as an art form that invites people to connect with a noble vision and make a difference together. Rather than thinking as a traditional filmmaker, his projects are collaborative efforts, pulling diverse groups of people into dialogue and ultimately leading to stronger communities and greater impact. Culp has developed an expertise for creating 'mini-movements' that inspire the heroic spirit in everyone.

His work as a filmmaker has built more than a fan base of followers. He empowers people to find their own path to leadership.  Culp's uplifting keynote at the ACE Summit will deliver practical methods for aligning teams behind a meaningful mission and creating growth through trust and genuine connectivity. His high energy program is filled with touching moments, extraordinary filmmaking stories, humor and insights about developing rewarding relationships through generosity and authenticity.

Culp's work is on Netflix, iTunes, Hulu, and other top digital platforms. He has been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, WIRED, The LA Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Lifetime, WEtv, and many more. The newest edition of the college textbook Documentary Storytelling devotes an entire chapter to Brett’s production style.

He is the co-founder of The Rising Heroes Project, a 501c3 that supports charitable organizations and empowers community leaders.  The ACE Summit audiences will leave his speech with a renewed sense of hope for the future and belief that their efforts can make an impact. 

Susan Dentzer

Senior Policy Advisor, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Susan Dentzer is Senior Policy Advisor at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy focused on US health and healthcare, and is also one of the most respected healthcare journalists and thought leaders.

Dr. Sheri Fink, MD, PhD

Award-Winning Author

Dr. Sheri Fink is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of the book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital (Crown 2013).  A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Dr. Fink has won the National Magazine Award and the Overseas Press Club Lowell Thomas Award, among other journalism prizes.

Diane Garrett

Senior Sourcing Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Diane S. Garrett, C.P.M., is a Senior Sourcing Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). She is responsible for sourcing medical equipment for the VUMC clinical enterprise, which is comprised of six acute care hospitals, five ambulatory surgery centers, and >200 clinics across a wide geographical footprint. She represents VUMC Supply Chain Services to both VUMC departments and external suppliers. Diane began her full time Supply Chain career with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute before joining VUMC. She was a member of the 2014 Healthcare Supply Chain Department of the Year (VUMC). She is active in the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Nashville Chapter, currently serving as Immediate Past President, having previously served as President, Vice President, and Director on their Board of Directors. She received the Leadership Person of the Year Award for 2016, and the William J. Burns Award (highest award bestowed) for 2014 from the ISM-Nashville Chapter.

Mark Haney FACHE, EDAC

Senior Vice President for Real Estate, Facilities and Development, WellStar Health System

Mark Haney, FACHE, EDAC is Senior Vice President for Real Estate, Facilities and Development for Wellstar Health System. Over his 40 years with WellStar, Mark has held several Senior Executive positions from Hospital President to Corporate Executive. During his tenure with WellStar, Mark has had oversight of Real Estate, Construction and Facilities for over 15 years. As President of WellStar Paulding Hospital, Mark led the WellStar Paulding Hospital Replacement Hospital Project as a Pebble Project member and as an inaugural member of the Joint Commission Resources/Herman Miller Safe Health Design Pilot.  Mark has a Master of Health Administration, Master of Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Therapy from Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia. Mark is a Past-President of the Georgia Association of Healthcare Executives and has served as a member on several ACHE Regents' Advisory Councils.  From a community perspective, Mark is on the Board of Directors and Chairman for Chattahoochee Technical College, and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Paulding County Economic Development, Inc., a not-for-profit public-private economic development effort in Paulding County.  Mark and his wife, Vickie, live in Marietta, GA and have 4 children, and 6 grandchildren.

Suzen Heeley

Executive Director, Design/Construction, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Suzen L. Heeley is the Executive Director, Design+Construction at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) in New York City. She is responsible for design of an ongoing $2 billion capital program, comprised of new construction and renovation projects in over 30 locations throughout the New York tri-state area.  Her past work in architectural/design consulting and as an Owner's representative, includes innovative healthcare, environmental, interior, and exhibit design for Fortune 500 corporations and healthcare organizations. She has been honored with achievements from The Center for Health Design, Modern Healthcare, Pioneering Women, Contract Healthcare Environment Awards and Interior Design Magazine's Best of Year in Healthcare.  An activist for forward-thinking, patient-centered healthcare design innovation, she has served on The Center for Health Design Environmental Standards Council, lectures nationally to advocate for healthcare design, and is a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards for Healthcare Design and Contract Magazine.  As a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional, Suzen is an active participant in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative's Market Transformation Group, Healthy Building Network and MSK Green Team, promoting sustainable, environmentally responsible design that responds to the connection between health and the built environment.  MSK has been named by Practice Greenhealth as one of the Top 25 sustainable hospitals in the nation.

Samantha Jacques, PhD, FACHE

Vice President, Clinical Engineering, McLaren Health Care

Samantha Jacques, PhD, FACHE, is the Vice President of Clinical Engineering at McLaren. She manages Services throughout the McLaren system including 14 hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, and Michigan’s largest network of cancer centers. Prior to McLaren, she was Director of Clinical Engineering at Penn State Health. She has more than 10 years of experience as a healthcare director, is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is a board member for the American College of Clinical Engineering. She is active in the creation of AAMI standards, works with the AAMI Foundation on Alarm Management and Healthcare Technology and works with CHIME on healthcare policy.  Prior to joining Penn State Health, she was the Director of Clinical Engineering at Texas Children’s Hospital.  She has a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.

Kathleen Kinslow

Chief Executive Officer, Aria-Jefferson Health; EVP & Chief Integration Officer

Kathleen Kinslow, CRNA, EdD, MBA, is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Aria-Jefferson Health and was also appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Integration Officer of Jefferson Health in July 2016.   Kathleen joined Aria in November 2010 as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  Before joining Aria, she served as CEO and Executive Director of Pennsylvania Hospital, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.  Kathleen's tenure at Pennsylvania Hospital began in 1992 as Director of the School of Nurse Anesthesia, and she subsequently held progressive management and leadership positions, including Vice President of Clinical Services/Chief Nursing Officer, and Chief Operating Officer, before ultimately serving as CEO and Executive Director.  A Philadelphia native with more than 35 years of experience in health care, Kathleen began her career in nursing.  A Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Ottawa University, Kansas City, a master's degree in education from St. Joseph's University, Philadelphia, a master's degree in nursing from Temple University, Philadelphia, a doctorate in education from Widener University, and a master's degree in business administration from St. Joseph's University.    In 2016, Kathleen was appointed Chair, Board of Directors, for The Hospital and Health system Association of Pennsylvania (HAP).  In addition, she has been honored as one of the Top Fifty Business Women in Pennsylvania (2009) and is active in a variety of healthcare and nursing societies and organizations.

Alan Lieber

President/VP, Overlook Hospital/Atlantic Health System

Mr. Lieber has been the president of Overlook Medical Center (OMC) since 2003. At OMC, he is the executive leader for an emerging Integrated Delivery System providing care to 600,000 people in Union, Essex and Somerset Counties in New Jersey. Overlook has been recognized as a Top 100 Hospital in the United States by Healthgrades, Beckers and Project Green Health. AHS has been included in the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work For, ten years running. AHS and Overlook are the sole Healthcare System partner of the Optimus ACO which is one of a handful of ACOs that have earned Medicare shared savings every year since its inception in 2012.  Mr. Lieber serves on several Boards – the Atlantic, Optimus (Vice Chair) and Health Quality Partners ACO boards, Summit Atlantic Surgical Center (largest Ambulatory Surgery Center JV in NJ), AHA Regional Planning Board, Cornell Sloan Program Alumni Association and BD Advisory Board.

Ed Lovern

Chief Operating Officer, Piedmont Healthcare

With more than 20 years’ experience in the healthcare industry, Ed Lovern is a seasoned executive who has succeeded in a variety of leadership roles. In July 2013, Lovern was named chief operating officer for Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, the 488-bed tertiary care hospital that is the flagship of Piedmont Healthcare, a $2.8 billion health system. From 2008 to 2013, he served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Piedmont Healthcare which has six hospitals and two large integrated physician groups across north Georgia. Lovern also served as president and CEO for Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Jasper, GA, for four years. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and served as the chair of the editorial board for Healthcare Executive magazine. Lovern currently serves on the Boards of Odyssey Family Counseling Center and Jewish Home Life.

Dr. Marty Makary, MD, MPH

Gastrointestinal Surgeon, Researcher and Associate Professor of Health and Policy Management, Johns Hopkins University

Dr. Marty Makary is the New York Times best-selling author of Unaccountable, a 2012 Library Journal Book of the Year.  Unaccountable details how transparency is revolutionizing medicine and empowering patients.   Dr. Makary is a medical commentator for CNN and FOX News and speaks on a wide variety of current health topics.

Michael Massimino, Ph.D.

Former NASA Astronaut, Columbia University Engineering Professor

Duke Ellington once said, “A problem is your chance to do your best.” This quote certainly applies to Dr. Michael Massimino as he faced life-threatening challenges performing the most intricate repair ever attempted in space during the last servicing mission of the Hubble Space Telescope. Dr. Massimino’s career has led him to view Engineering as an Art, which he teaches at Columbia and to work on engineering projects that view design and engineering in a socially responsible manner. His unique life experiences combined with a natural gift of storytelling allows him to convey his scientific and engineering thoughts in a captivating manner. 

Michael Massimino, a former NASA astronaut, is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University, and the senior advisor for space programs at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Columbia and Master of Science degree in both Mechanical Engineering and Technology and Policy, as well as his Doctor of Philosophy.

Massimino is author of Spaceman: An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe (October 2016), where he tells the inspirational, unlikely, and often humorous story of his 18 years at NASA, including his four spacewalks to service the Hubble Space Telescope and his public relations work in telling the story of space. Massimino’s account gives readers a first-hand look at the incredible legacy of the Hubble and the modern history of space travel in the final years of the shuttle era, including the tragedy of the 2003 Columbia disaster. It also offers an insider’s take on the storied past and exciting future of manned space flight.

Kyle Maynard

Motivational Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Entrepreneur, and Award-Winning Extreme Athlete

Kyle Maynard is a motivational speaker, best-selling author, entrepreneur, award-winning extreme athlete, and the first man to crawl to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Despite being born with a rare condition known as congenital amputation, that has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees, he learned early on, and with the support of his family, to live life independently and without prosthetics. 

In 2012, Kyle became the first quadruple amputee to climb – actually bearcrawl – the 19,340 feet to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro without the aid of prosthetics. His 10-day ascent was widely covered by the press, followed on social media, and raised money and awareness for wounded veterans as well as Tanzanian schoolchildren. Upon his return, Kyle won his second ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly) award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability.

Kyle has not let his success be defined by anything or anyone but himself. He has lived his life striving to do more, learn more, push harder, go further – and to inspire others to do the  same by sharing his story and living by example.

Kyle proudly serves as a board member of K2 Adventure Foundation, and as an ambassador of No Barriers USA, Wounded Warrior Project, the USO, the Travis Manion Foundation, the U.S. Special Forces’ The Honor Foundation (THF), and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF).  At age 19, Kyle authored his account of his life experiences in The New York Times bestselling book, No Excuses (2005), which is still in print and in demand today.

Lance Mendiola

Vice President of Facilities Management and Construction, CHRISTUS Health

Lance Mendiola is the Vice President of Facilities Management and Construction at CHRISTUS Health.  Lance started his career in healthcare and construction in 1991.  He is responsible for CHRISTUS Health's Facilities Management, Construction, Real Estate, and Emergency Management.  Lance graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Technology with a concentration in construction management and a Master of Science in Public Safety with a concentration in Emergency Management from Capella University.   He is a veteran of the United States Army with a 26-year career.  He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer III with multiple combat tours.  In this career, he was a Power Generation, HVAC, and Engineer Warrant Officer.   Lance currently manages a portfolio of facilities in seven states and internationally (Chile, Mexico, and Colombia).  With over 20 million square feet of facilities, over $650 million in active construction and nearly a billion in construction planning, he relies on a solid team of facilities and project management professionals.  Lance is married, a proud dad, a new grandpa and resides in Trophy Club, TX.

Scott Mortensen

Operations Officer, McKay-Dee Hospital & Systems Med/Surg, Intermountain Healthcare

Scott Mortensen currently serves as Operations Officer for McKay-Dee Hospital and Med/Surg Operations for the Intermountain system.  In this role, he leads Med/Surg, Oncology, Cardiovascular, Rehab and Sports Medicine, Imaging, Laboratory, Environment of Care, Food and Nutrition, and other key services at McKay-Dee Hospital. Scott is a third-generation healthcare leader with an extensive background in healthcare and business. He has worked in insurance for United Health Group and in consulting at Carlson Ventures Enterprise, Intermountain Medical Group, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic and Intermountain Healthcare. Scott lectured for Utah Valley University, BYU, BYU-I and has advised companies such as the high-growth healthcare startup company, Orca Health.  Scott has a dual-degree University of Minnesota alumnus with an MHA from the School of Public Health and an MBA from the Carlson School of Management.

Dr. David S. Nilasena, MD, MSPH, MS

Chief Medical Officer, Region VI
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Dr. David Nilasena is the Chief Medical Officer of thhe CMS Dallas Regional Office and serves as the regional lead for the agency's Value-Based Purchasing initiatives, including quality reporting and pay for performance programs in hospitals, ASCs, and ambulatory care settings.

Jill Pearsall

Senior Vice President, Texas Children's Hospital

Jill Pearsall is the Vice President of Facilities Planning & Development and Real Estate Services at Texas Children's Hospital.  She has leadership responsibility for real estate strategy, transaction and acquisition, facilities planning, project management and on-going support programs of artwork/signage, interiors/logistics, space management, and facilities information.  Jill is a licensed architect in Texas and California and holds a certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB).  Jill joined Texas Children's Hospital in 2002 and has remained intimately involved in planning, developing, and executing over 5 million square feet of new construction and managing over $2.4B of work.  She serves on several organizational committees, including Environmental Safety, Emergency Management, Facilities Executive, Executive Space Management and Capital Management.  Jill is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Architecture.  Prior to switching to facilities management and joining the healthcare industry, she practiced commercial and institutional architecture in both California and Texas.

Rob Perez

Entrepreneur and Investor in People, DV8 Kitchen

Rob Perez, has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry and is the co-owner of two restaurant brands, Saul Good Restaurant & Pub and DV8 Kitchen, in Lexington, KY. As an Entrepreneur and Investor in People, he has seen first-hand how to build restaurant brands and how prevalent addiction is in the industry he loves. Before founding the two restaurant brands in Lexington, Rob served as Director of New Openings and General Manager at Hard Rock Café, Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney Company, and Regional Vice President at Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill.

In 2017, Rob and his wife, Diane, founded DV8 Kitchen as a social enterprise focused on giving second chance employment opportunities to people in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. DV8 Kitchen focuses on providing top-quality food, service, and atmosphere for every guest. By providing “a better-than-expected” dining experience, the hope is to build a new standard for the second chance employee to live by and to change the way the guests perceive people in addiction recovery.

Freddie Ravel

Composer, Pianist and Educator

Inspiring others is a gift that can enrich the lives of everyone to whom you are connected. Grammy-Nominated Performer, Freddie Ravel will inspire the ACE Summit audience with his ‘Keynote Concert’ as he engages you with the Four Foundations of music – Melody, Harmony, Rhythm and SCORE. Freddie will leave you inspired, ready to overcome obstacles, with a better understanding on how to connect with others and a new understanding of the power of song to increase your productivity. An executive attendee from Morgan Stanley remarked about Freddie’s talk, “We implemented his valuable lessons immediately.”  We feel certain ACE attendees will do the same. 

Bridging his distinguished career from music icons to the visionary business leaders of our time, Rhythm of Success founder Freddie Ravel has emerged as a global force for transforming personal and professional growth through the performance, science and communicative powers of music.

Utterly captivated by music since age five, the award-winning composer, pianist and educator began performing worldwide with Brazilian master Sergio Mendes by the age of 23. Shortly thereafter, Universal Music released his three chart-topping solo albums, including the #1 hit in America, Sunny Side Up.

Admiral (Ret.) James Stravidis

The United States has been forced into a global leadership position in waging a fight against extreme terrorism and in many respects this is unlike any struggle we have ever faced. Adm. (Ret.) James Stravidis has been a strategic leader in this fight.  Adm. Stravidis spoke to ACE Summit attendees about how to understand this complex struggle and what it means for the world, the United States, their organization and for them personally. 

Laureen Tanner

President and CEO, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Hospital

Driven by her passion for better health care, Lauri Tanner is a pioneer who led the development of a revolutionary model of care that continues to achieve amazing results for the sickest 1% of children while costing far less than traditional hospital care.  Today, Ranken Jordan is renowned as a bridge from acute care to home, taking referrals from all over the Midwest and as far away as South Africa.  With lower costs and strong results, Ranken Jordan represents the future of medicine as well as an important step forward for children facing complex medical challenges. Over the course of her leadership, Lauri has increased organizational assets ten-fold.  A new expansion doubling the space will open in February 2018.  Lauri received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1982 and her Master of Science in Nursing Administration in 1996 from St. Louis University.  Lauri has 35 years of nursing experience, 34 years of which she has held leadership roles.

Lauri’s health care experience also includes membership and leadership positions in the following professional and community organizations: Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) – Finance and Budget Committee (since 2011) and Board of Trustees (since 2016), Executive Advisory Board for the St. Louis University School of Nursing - Currently President-elect, St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors and Health Economy Advisory Panel, Missouri Chamber of Commerce – Board of Directors; Executive Committee (effective 1/17), National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), American College of Healthcare Executives – Fellow, American Hospital Association (AHA) – Region 6 Policy Board (2013-2016), Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) and Illinois Hospital Association (IHA).

When not at work, Lauri grew up with and continues to have a passion for animals, is an avid golfer, and a loyal fan of the St. Louis Cardinals.  

Dr. Hassan Tetteh

Board-Certified Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon 

Dr. Tetteh is a board-certified surgeon specializing in thoracic surgery, critical care, heart and lung transplantation, research and education. Dr. Tetteh is a member of the Washington Regional Transplant Consortium, and serves as a cardiothoracic staff surgeon at both Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and MedStar Washington Hospital Center. He also has academic appointments as an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

After receiving his M.D. from the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) Downstate Medical School in 1998, Dr. Tetteh completed his general surgery residency at Downstate and Kings County Hospitals in Brooklyn, New York. Following his residency, he then served as the Director for Surgical Services aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN70). In 2007, Dr. Tetteh received the Alley Sheridan Award from the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education (TSFRE), and that same year was selected as a fellow for the Society for Black Academic Surgeons Leadership Institute. In 2008, he received a National Institute of Health (NIH) / National Medical Association (NMA) travel grant for young clinical investigators and completed his thoracic surgery fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Tetteh went on to complete an advanced cardiac surgery fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Chris Van Gorder, FACHE

President and CEO, Scripps Health

In his first book -- The Front-Line Leader: Building a High Performance Organization From the Ground Up -- Chris shared his incredible story, from police officer to CEO, and the leadership philosophy that drives all of his decisions and actions:  people come first.  

Lee Woodruff

Best-Selling Author and Communications Consultant

As co-author of the New York Times best-selling In an Instant, Lee Woodruff garnered critical acclaim for the compelling and humorous chronicle of her family’s journey to recovery following her husband Bob’s roadside bomb injury in Iraq. Appearing publically and on national television since the February 2007 publication of their book, the couple has helped put a face on the serious issue of traumatic brain injury among returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, as well as the millions of Americans who live with this often invisible, but life-changing affliction.

They have founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation to assist post-9/11 injured service members, veterans and their families heal from the physical and silent wounds of war. To date, the non-profit foundation has invested more than $20 million, funding and shaping innovative programs across the country that are helping veterans successfully integrate back into their communities. Her best-selling book Perfectly Imperfect – A Life in Progress, was followed by her first novel Those We Love Most, which became a New York Times best seller.

A freelance writer, Woodruff has penned numerous articles about her family and parenting and she ran a public relations and marketing consulting business for 16 years. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her husband and four children.