Becoming Great Starts Here.

We wanted to bring in people who have had to fight for their ideas to get adopted - ideas that ended up having a huge impact on their organization. These speakers have stumbled on, and overcame, every possible obstacle on their way to success. Many developed the perfect solutions along the way. Whatever questions you may have in the future...these are the people with the answers. If you want to learn how to start a project that can help an entire company or community grow, you should start by getting to know the people who've already done it.


Erin Gamble

OCO (Online Communications Officer), World Bank

Michele Watley

Fmr Media Relations, Political Director, African American Outreach, Bernie Sanders for President

Magda Cura

Business Change (Innovation) Lead for the state of NY, Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Phyllis Harris

Global SVP and General Council, Walmart

Lesa Mitchell

Managing Director, Techstars KC

Leah Moschella

Founder of Boston GLOW, Award winning process innovation specialist

Willetta Willis-McGhee

SVP & Partner, Fleishman Hillard Global Communications | PR | Marketing

Lee Redwood

Senior Specialist, Formerly of Merck Pharmaceuticals & Ethicon: Johnson & Johnson

Jeff Czernicki

Operational & Organizational Consultant, former Sr. Executive Mgmt, UPS

BJ Stabler

Manager of Player Engagement, Kansas City Chiefs

Jabbar Wesley

Government Affairs Lead, The Laclede Group – Missouri Gas & Energy

Debby Ballard

Director of Community Affairs, Sprint; President, Sprint Foundation

Tru-Kechia Smith

Director of Regional Health Equity, American Heart Association

Wayne Powell

VP Membership & Contracting, Blue Cross Blue Shield

Portia Kibble Smith

President, PKS Executive Search & Consulting

Denzil Ross

Associate COO, HCA Health Systems

McClain Bryant

Policy Director, Office of Mayor Sly James

Rick Usher

Assistant City Manager, Kansas City, MO

Rachel Merlo

Community Manager, Google

Carlos Ayala

Brand Development Leader, Hallmark Cards

Naz Rogers

Agency Recruiter, State Farm

Quentin Jennings

Partner, Polsinelli

Bryan Meyer

COO, Dowel Bars and Baskets

Kenneth Cheadle

Medical Process Specialist, Life Coach

Tom Carignan

SVP of Investor Solutions, UMB Bank

CicI Rojas

Central Exchange

A Sample Schedule From The Rise Fast Summit

We are providing an action-packed day that will train those attending on the mindset required to be more successful, and then uncovering the skills and knowledge that the best-and-brightest are using to rocket up the corporate ladder.

10:00 - 12:00
Company Showcase, Registration and
12:00 - 12:20
Welcome (Event Host Introduction, Expectation Setting & Sponsor Talk)
12:20 - 12:50
RISE Talk 1: Design Thinking - Solving Hard Problems Better
12:50 - 1:00
Active Thinking Intrapreneurship Exercise
1:00 - 1:25
RISE Talk 2: The Mentality Secrets of the Most Successful
1:25 - 1:40
Guided Exercise 
1:40 - 1:55
Audio Visual Fusion Performance
1:55 - 2:25
RISE Talk 3: How To Make Your Idea Sexy To Your Boss- The Presentation
2:25 - 2:55
RISE Talk 4: Finding, Cultivating & Activating Mentorships
2:55 - 3:10
Break with Snacks & Coffee Provided
3:10 - 4:45
Executives Panel / Q+A
4:45 - 4:55
Networking Break & Snacks
4:55 - 5:25
Fast Rising Young Professionals Panel / Q+A
5:25 - 6:00
Dinner Break
6:00 - 7:15
Breakout Sessions 1
7:15 - 7:25
Break & Snacks
7:25 - 8:40
Breakout Sessions 2
8:40 - 8:45
Transition to Main Room
8:45 - 9:00
Inspire Talk 1
9:00 - 9:15
Inspire Talk 2
9:15 - 9:30
Closing Remarks