Working with people from all walks of life from all over the world, Steve helps them make their ideas happen. His groundbreaking work focuses on looking at organizational metadata to advocate for employees buried deep inside large organizations. Steve led a revolution to transform the culture of the fifth largest company in the world, Johnson & Johnson. By instigating and shaping a global, grassroots movement, he engaged 23,000 of their employees and shaped countless stories of product and people development. His book Surge: Your Guide to Put Any Idea into Action is an Amazon Bestseller.
OFFICER MICHAEL McLEON
The Mark W. Michael Unit is a Texas Department of Criminal Justice maximum security men’s prison located in Anderson County, Texas. Spending almost every hour of every day astride a horse, Officer McLeon works with Field Force inmates on a program which won the 2017 State Grand Champion in the “Herb Behind Bars” competition. He assisted in the development of a self-sustaining pilot program, which incorporates hydroponic and aquaponic systems. This new method of developing crops within the prison system demonstrates the value of sustainable agriculture and its significant community benefits.
Founder and President of All Wheels Up, Michele’s interest in accessible air travel began when she realized traveling with a person who has a severe physical disability and uses a wheelchair was not safe. All Wheels Up is the only organization in the world currently crash testing wheelchair tie-down systems and wheelchairs for in-cabin use. She led her organization from a small grassroots movement to being a leader in its field. Michele is involved with working groups which include the European Union, United Kingdom and a part of an informal coalition for accessible air travel in the United States. All Wheels Up has the support of many organizations advocating for the disability community and with major stakeholders of the industry. With her commitment, what was once an impossible discussion is now an important topic of conversation based on research and facts.
With two years of experience in designing and researching nanomedical, neuroregeneration and neurosurgical techniques (such as deep brain stimulation) at Houston Methodist and University of North Texas, Nishant helped implement a leading community advocate program to focus on the social comorbidities of unfunded, Medicare and Medicaid patients in Baylor Scott & White. Currently, he is a Biology student at The University of Texas at Dallas.
The debate over construction of a wall to secure the United States border with Mexico tops the headlines. The border passes through mountains, hills, desert, plains, rivers, canals, sand dunes, cities and oceans. Every day United States Border Patrol agents risk their lives to serve their country. They spend their days in isolation traversing treacherous terrain and withstanding extreme weather. Ekansh’s photography project chronicles the fence, the culture and the people along 1,900 miles of this border during an 11-day journey with his family. More recently, he explored the border between North and South Korea. He visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the Joint Security Area and a North Korean tunnel built for the explicit purpose of attacking South Korea. Then, as a part of his Boy Scouts Eagle project, Ekansh traveled Israel’s borders with the West Bank (Palestine), Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Gaza. This global humanitarian crisis seems overwhelming, but he is committed to educating people about the cultural and political conflicts along the world’s most turbulent borders.
DAVID GREENBERG, MD
With an escalating crisis in antibiotic resistance, David focuses on innovative ways to detect and treat drug-resistant pathogens. This includes developing pathogen-specific antibiotics as well as non-invasive strategies to deal with prosthetic-related infections. An Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern, he attended Baylor College of Medicine for his medical education. After serving as Chief Medical Resident, he pursued his Infectious Diseases training at The National Institutes of Health. In 2010, David returned to Texas to join the faculty at UT Southwestern.
Inheriting both ambition and the “travel bug” from her father, Christina set out from Zimbabwe to pursue a marketing career in the bigger world outside of Africa. While collecting key chains, calories and excellent speech material from her thrilling misadventures in 20 countries, she found herself naturally drawn to mentorship and leadership. This is the best answer she has conjured up to explain how she wound up being a teacher instead! Fate, equally confused, attempted to reset her course but landed her squarely in the United States and working in the retail industry. Leveraging experience, charisma, objectivity and an incredible worldview perspective, Christina wrote Do Ask, Do Tell: Dating Guide & Workbook.
MADAME SUZELLE POOLE
A professional ballet soloist and teacher of Classical Ballet, Madame Suzelle Poole is the director of The Poole Ballet, which takes dance into many retirement and assisted living centers. In 2017, she interviewed with BBC 3 Internet for their Amazing Humans series. Madame Poole performed and taught in Toronto and Montreal, Canada; Houston, Texas; London, England; Glasgow, Scotland; Munster and Stuttgart, Germany; and Cape Town, South Africa. In Houston, she danced as a soloist in the Houston Ballet. For nine years, she taught the Advanced Children’s Divertissements for the Moscow Ballet Nutcracker. Currently in Dallas, Texas, Madame Poole teaches at the Royale Ballet Dance Academy and Tuzer’s, along with guesting at Toby’s.