CU Accelerate

Speakers

E. J. Dionne, Jr.
E. J. Dionne, Jr.

NPR commentator and syndicated
Washington Post columnist

Syndicated Washington Post columnist and NPR commentator E.J. Dionne Jr. is author of several books that are essential to understanding the 2016 election and the Trump era, including One Nation Under TrumpWhy The Right Went Wrong, and Our Divided Political Heart. 

Widely admired for his insights into the alarming polarization of our national politics, Dionne regularly debates David Brooks of The New York Times on NPR and appears frequently on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and MSNBC.  Other books include Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious RightStand Up, Fight Back: Republican Toughs, Democratic Wimps, and the Politics of Revenge, and They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate The Next Political Era. 

Dionne began his now twice-weekly op-ed column for The Washington Post in 1993. In 1996, it was syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group, and he now appears in more than 100 newspapers in the United States and abroad. Before joining The Post in 1990 as a reporter covering national politics, he spent 14 years with The New York Times, reporting on state and local government, national politics, and from around the world, including stints in Paris, Rome and Beirut. The Los Angeles Times praised his coverage of the Vatican as the best in two decades.

Sundeep Kapur
Sundeep Kapur

Founder
Digital Credence

Sundeep Kapur is an educator who has helped brands define and implement a powerfully effective OMNI-channel strategy. His specialty lies in helping brands adopt digital by focusing on fundamentals - reduced cost, security, and driving revenue – all towards improving lifetime consumer value.  His focus over the past five years has been keenly focused on research to help financial institutions compete effectively against FinTech. He is actively involved in researching “everyday transactions” and how these transactions are reshaping the role of a financial institution.  In addition to direct work with clients, he writes articles for magazines, teaches yoga, and is invited to speak at a number of industry conferences.  Sundeep has taught email marketing to more than 1000 brands and continues to receive great reviews on his workshops that focus on providing practical and innovative ideas on improving consumer engagement.

Carolyn Rivera
Carolyn Rivera

Consultant
ath Power Consulting

Transform your life and change your destiny! Carolyn J Rivera, speaker, author, leadership expert/trainer, radio show host, and reality TV star, develops future leaders by teaching individuals to harness their own potential and navigate themselves to achieve their goals. Her personal mantra, “Believe, commit, achieve,” breaks down the transformational process into bite-sized chunks that are less intimidating and more attainable, bridging that fearful gap between goal-setting and goal-accomplishing and fostering the opportunity to embrace change. Carolyn draws from her own unique and diverse experiences to bring passion and purpose to her message. As a corporate expert in leadership and as a contestant on the CBS hit series Survivor, where she placed second after proving resilient in both mind and body during her 39 days in the Nicaraguan jungle, her ability to endure and thrive through change, no matter how uncomfortable, is a true testament to the power of our own minds, and she brilliantly uses her own journey to exemplify what we are all capable of.

Carolyn grew up in the concrete jungle of New York City, where she began her career in corporate leadership. Years later, and after unrelenting attempts to become a contestant on Survivor, her dreams came true and she was sent to the real jungle to compete amongst younger and more survivalist-savvy opponents. Despite the odds, Carolyn had a secret advantage. Her ability to believe in herself, fight through challenges, form alliances and anticipate danger shocked the world and catapulted her to her second-place finish. Carolyn has proven that adversity is inevitable. How we face it is optional. And what we create is ours. 

Chris Skinner
Chris Skinner

Founder
The Finanser, Ltd.

Chris Skinner is known as an independent commentator on the financial markets and fintech through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling books Digital BankValueWeb and its new sequel Digital Human.  He is Chair of the European networking forum, The Financial Services Club and Nordic Finance Innovation, as well as being a Non-Executive Director of the Fintech consultancy firm 11:FS.  He is on the Advisory Boards of many companies including B-Hive, Bankex, empowr, IoV42, Innovate Finance, Life. SREDA, Moven, Meniga, Pintail, Project Exscudo and the Token Fund, and has been voted one of the most influential people in financial technology by The Wall Street Journal’s Financial News and Thomson Reuters.  He has recently been voted Game Changer of the Year and Financial Markets Advisor of the Year by Finance Monthly, CEO of the Year by CV Magazine, FinTech Speaker of the Year by TMT Global and has been an advisor to the White House, the World Bank and the World Economic Forum.

John Waupsh
John Waupsh

Chief Innovation Officer
Kasasa

 John Waupsh leads the team that architects the company’s ever-evolving product offerings. Innovations under John’s leadership have earned Kasasa® four Finovate “Best in Show” titles, recognition in Fast Company’s “10 Most Innovative Companies in Finance,” and standing in the FinTech Top 100. From 2012 to 2015, John held the title of Chief Creative Officer, during which time Kasasa’s national marketing campaigns received three Platinum and six Gold MarCom Awards. His first book, Bankruption: How Community Banking Can Survive Fintech, was published by Wiley in Winter 2016. John received his BA in Marketing Communications from Columbia College Chicago.

Chris Westfall
Chris Westfall

Principal
Westfall and Associates, LLC

How's your elevator pitch? Chris Westfall has created multi-million-dollar revenue streams for companies on four continents, with innovative new strategies on leadership communication. As the US National Elevator Pitch Champion, he's helped clients to land on Shark Tank, Dragon’s Den, and Shark Tank - Australia. A consultant to financial leaders and Fortune 100 companies, he’s helped entrepreneurs to launch a broad array of businesses, and successfully re-branded products and services around the globe.  Working with thousands of business leaders, he's helped launch over 50 companies, while raising nearly $50 Million in investment capital.  He’s coached teams to victory in the Intel Global Capital Conference, the Harvard Executive MBA Pitch Competition, and the Rice Business Plan Competition 2016 (the largest and most lucrative pitch competition in the world).  Chris' clients include HP, Cisco, Unilever, DISCOVER Card, Great American Insurance, The Jewish Federations of North America, American General Insurance, Transwestern, EY and many more. Focused on the leaders of tomorrow, Chris has worked with a number of universities across North America, including SUNY, The University of Pennsylvania, SMU, The University of Chicago, and dozens of others.  An award-winning MBA instructor, his latest book is called Leadership Language (Wiley, 2018) the follow-up to the best seller, The NEW Elevator Pitch.  He’s the publisher of six other books.