Keynote Speakers 2018

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront
November 15-16



TED DINTERSMITH, Ph.D., one of America's leaders in innovation, entrepreneurship, and education

More about Ted Dintersmith, Ph.D.

TED DINTERSMITH, Ph.D. is one of America's leaders in innovation, entrepreneurship, and education.

Ted's professional experience includes two decades in venture capital, including being ranked by Business 2.0 as the top-performing U.S. venture capitalist for 1995-1999. He served on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association, chairing its Public Policy Committee. From 1981 to 1987, he ran a business at Analog Devices that helped enable the digital revolution. In the public sector, he was a staff analyst in 1976-78 for the U.S. House of Representatives, and was appointed in 2012 by President Obama to represent the U.S. at the United Nations General Assembly. Ted earned a Ph.D. in Engineering from Stanford University and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary, with High Honors in Physics and English.

Ted has become one of America's leading advocates for education policies that foster creativity, innovation, motivation, and purpose. He knows what skills are valuable in a world of innovation, and how we can transform our schools to prepare kids for their futures. His contributions span film, books, philanthropy, and the hard work of going all across America. He's funded and executive produced acclaimed education documentaries, including Most Likely To Succeed, (Sundance, AFI, and Tribeca). With co-author Tony Wagner, he wrote Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era. During the 2015/16 school year, he went to all fifty U.S. states, meeting with governors, legislators, educators, parents, and students, and encouraging communities to work collectively to re-imagine school and its purpose. Learn more about his work from his website or by following him on Twitter @dintersmith.

Ted speaks frequently at major events and conferences, delivering a vision of what our schools could - and need to - be. Drawing on inspiring examples garnered during his fifty-state tour, he can articulate the conditions required to let our students, teachers, and schools race forward. Recent keynotes include state superintendent meetings in Virginia and North Dakota, the annual meeting of the Coalition for Access (several hundred top college admissions officers), the annual Jobs for America's Graduates conference, and a plenary session of the Finnish parliament. In addition to his keynotes, Ted is often asked to also screen his film and lead a post-film discussion.

To learn more about Ted Dintersmith, click here.


DON YAEGER, nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, longtime Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated, and author of over 30 books, eleven of which have become New York Times Best-sellers

More about Don Yaeger

DON YAEGER is a nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, longtime Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated, and author of over 30 books, eleven of which have become New York Times Best-sellers. He began his career at the San Antonio Light in Texas, and also worked at the Dallas Morning News and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville before going to work for Sports Illustrated.

As an author, Don has written books with, among others, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden, baseball legends John Smoltz and Tug McGraw, and football stars Warrick Dunn and Michael Oher (featured in the movie The Blind Side). He teamed with Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade to pen the 2013 best-seller George Washington’s Secret Six, a look at the citizen spy ring that helped win the Revolutionary War and then again in 2015 for Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History, and in 2017 for Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny.

Don left SI in 2008 to pursue a public speaking career that has allowed him to share stories learned from the greatest winners of our generation with audiences as diverse as Fortune 10 companies to cancer survivor groups, where he shares his personal story. More than a quarter-million people have heard his talks on “What Makes the Great Ones Great.” He collaborated with the Florida State University School of Business’s Continuing Education Program to build a corporate webinar program focusing on lessons building a culture of success within an organization. This naturally led to another keynote speech on “What Makes the Great Teams Great.” The release of his tenth New York Times best-seller, Teammate, was the inspiration for his newest keynote on “What Makes a Great Teammate: Becoming Invaluable Without Being Most Valuable."

To learn more about Don Yaeger, click here.


MAX VENTILLA, Founder and CEO of AltSchool

More about Max Ventilla

MAX VENTILLA is Founder and CEO of AltSchool. Max's career has focused on creatively using technology to enrich daily life. He founded Krypteian Systems (acquired in 2001) and the social search company Aardvark (acquired by Google in 2010). At Google, he was part of the founding team of Google+ and then served as the Head of Personalization across Google products. Max earned a bachelor’s degree in Math and Physics and an MBA from Yale University.

To learn more about Max Ventilla, click here.


JOY PURDY, News Anchor, WJXT

More about Joy Purdy

JOY PURDY was born and raised outside Trenton, N.J., where her parents nurtured her inquisitive nature by having her watch and relay to them the morning weather report from the Today Show as they prepared for work each day. Joy's television career began shortly after graduating from Villanova University with a B.A. Degree in Mass Communications and a minor in Education.

With an internship at Philadelphia's "Channel 6 Action News" under her belt, Joy joined public TV's New Jersey Network News producing and airing news updates on the radio. Joy quickly became one of NJN's main TV news reporters, helping cover big stories like the inauguration and new administration of New Jersey's first female governor (Christine Todd Whitman), and interviewing prominent figures like the late Civil Rights leader Coretta Scott King, then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and then tennis superstar Pete Sampras.

Joy's strong journalistic reputation and contagious energy led her to Jacksonville, Florida as a Weekend News Anchor and "Police Beat" Reporter for then CBS-affiliate WJXT from 1995 to 2000. For five years, Joy tenaciously covered countless big stories on the First Coast including the $20 million Loomis Fargo robbery (considered the largest robbery in U.S. history), Jacksonville's first black sheriff (Nat Glover), and the Jaguars historic inaugural NFL season. She even flew with the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels. Joy was awarded the Associated Press' Individual Achievement Award for her work in Jacksonville.

Her talents quickly took her to the bright lights of the "Magic City" in 2000, trading her Jaguars jersey for a Dolphins decal. Before long, bigger markets began calling and Joy accepted a noon and 5 p.m. anchor position with CBS-owned WFOR in Miami; a position she maintained during her nearly seven years. Known in the news biz as the nation's breaking news capital, Miami TV coverage sharpened Joy's journalistic skills. She reported from the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas as Category 4 Hurricane Frances passed directly over her. She traveled to the Kennedy Space Center to cover the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. She also reported on the infamous 2000 presidential election from downtown Miami, when she would find 'hanging chads' stuck to her shoes at the end of each day.

After getting married in the spring of 2006, Joy returned to Jacksonville in September of 2007 to be with her new husband; what she calls part of God's perfect plan for her life. Joy left WTLV early in 2013 shortly after giving birth to their second child to spend time with her young children. At the end of the summer, she was ready to get back into the professional world and was happy to return to her first family in Jacksonville at WJXT.

Joy, her husband and children enjoy going to the beach and Jags games, and they all love to travel.