2017 Speakers

Keynote speaker Shaquille O'Neal

Keynote Speaker: Eric Saperston

Eric Saperston is chief creative officer of “inspire-tainment” company Live In Wonder Entertainment, a forward-thinking lifestyle brand on the cutting edge of communication including film, literature, live events, spoken word, music and performance art to ignite, inspire and enliven the world. Live In Wonder celebrates eco-friendly practices, social entrepreneurism and global citizenship.


Saperston’s first feature film “The Journey” was based on a trip he took around the country cold-calling the nation’s most successful CEOs, entertainment icons, authors, artists and global leaders, and taking them out for a cup of coffee and an inspired conversation. The film received a development deal from Walt Disney Studios, went on to win numerous film festival awards, and was played in movie theaters around the country to sold-out shows and standing ovations. Saperston’s second feature film project “The Note,” a story of forgiveness and second chances, recently sold to Warner Bros. Currently, Saperston is shooting a television series and has a new book coming out this fall called  “Jumpstart Your Journey: A Traveling Companion to Anyplace Worthwhile.” His motto is: Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.

How Return on Emotion (ROE) With CSR Can Take Employee Engagement to the Next Level

Planners get asked about ROI from CFOs all the time to assess the value of items on the meeting agenda. As a supplier, planners are looking to you to see how your destination, property or product can help with their CSR project. Be prepared the next time you’re asked about ROI of CSR events by learning about how ROE increases employee engagement and adds value to your events, and how you too can add these ideas.


Presenter: Alan Ranzer

Alan Ranzer, managing partner and co-founder of Impact 4 Good, is a leading voice in the corporate social responsibility movement. Utilizing his M.A. in international development from American University in Washington, D.C., and years working for community-based nonprofit organizations, Ranzer has built a successful career and business focused on bettering communities in need worldwide.


Under his leadership, Impact 4 Good has created and implemented hundreds of community service teambuilding programs for major corporations, which have contributed immeasurably to local charities in the United States and abroad during meetings and events. As a meetings industry CSR spokesman, Ranzer has presented at conferences for corporate meeting, incentive, and association industry executives and meeting planners, and has been a panelist on many webinars on the topic of CSR.


Ranzer has worked for respected domestic and international nonprofit organizations specializing in the field of community service.

Master Class Session: Planners Are From Mars, Suppliers Are From Vienna

Technology and the changing face of the events industry have shifted the roles of planners and suppliers. Planners are strapped for time; meanwhile, suppliers experiencing increased sales goals face the challenge of being heard in an ever-increasing pool of marketing noise. In this interactive session, teams will discover the most effective methods for creating win-win interactions.


Presenter: Crystal Washington

As CEO of CWM Enterprises, Crystal Washington works with organizations that want to leverage technology to increase profits and productivity. Washington is known as the “technology translator.” She takes complex social media, app and web topics and makes them easy to understand and accessible for everyday people.

Washington’s clients are Fortune 500 companies including Google, Microsoft and GE. As a sought-after keynote speaker, she has entertained and educated audiences in North America, Africa and Europe.


As a recognized authority on practical technology, Washington has appeared in Entrepreneur, Bloomberg Businessweek and The Associated Press. She is regularly called on by major television networks as a tech expert, and she is the former weekly technology guest on Houston’s Fox television affiliate.


Washington is the author of the books “One Tech Action: An Efficiency Guide for Busy Nontechie Professionals to get More Done, Build Better Relationships, and Enjoy More Free Time” and “The Social Media Why: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business.”

2017 Partner Sponsor

© 2016 Connect. All Rights Reserved.