LEDx 3.0 Speakers
Vice Admiral William Lee (USCG Ret)
Vice Admiral William “Dean” Lee entered the U.S. Coast Guard in 1981 and retired in 2016 after serving nearly 36 years as a commissioned officer in various assignments along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf Coasts. He concluded his career as Commander, Atlantic Area, serving as the operational commander for a force of 21,000 active personnel conducting all U.S. Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the Arabian Gulf, spanning across five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states.
VADM Lee now serves on the Board of Directors for HELINET, a privately held aviation company in Van Nuys, California providing services to the film industry, medical transportation, news agencies, and private charters. He also serves as an Honorary Professor of Military Science at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and as an Adjunct at the University of Maryland School of Business. Admiral Lee is also a private consultant who specializes in Corporate Leadership Development. His most passionate and self-satisfying work is as a volunteer in the Heroin Addiction Recovery Program in the Chesterfield County VA jail, where he works with inmates who are victims of the current OPIOD epidemic.
Vice Admiral Lee is a native of Richmond, Virginia. He holds a Master’s Degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Alabama.
Major General Mark Dillon (USAF Ret)
Major General Mark Dillon was commissioned in 1984 through officer training school after earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Arizona State University. During his 33 year career, he has served in key staff assignments at US Southern Command, US Forces Korea, Pacific Air Forces and twice at HQ USAF Pentagon. His operational assignments include command of two squadrons, a training group, and two wings. His final assignment was at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii where he served as the Vice Commander, Pacific Air Forces and the Deputy Theater Joint Force Air Component Commander. A distinguished graduate from pilot training, he is a command pilot with more than 3,500 hours (including combat time) in the KC-10A and C-5. He has also flown the C-130J, KC-135R, C-17A, and T-38 aircraft.
General Dillon also holds Masters Degrees in National Strategic Studies from the Air War College and in Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science and Technology from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University—Worldwide.
A distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College he also attended the Joint Forces Staff College.
General Dillon is President of Mark C. Dillon, LLC, where he is a leadership, defense, and
strategic planning consultant and currently serves on three boards of directors. Retired from the Air Force in 2017, Major General Dillon’s active duty biography is available on
the Air Force website.
Technologist, business executive, and author of “Loonshots” and “Transform Industries”
Safi is the author of Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries, a national bestseller featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, Newsweek, Forbes, Bloomberg, Nature, and Scientific American; selected by Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Pink, Susan Cain, and Adam Grant for the Next Big Idea Club; and recommended by Bill Gates, Tim Ferriss, and the Nobel laureates Daniel Kahneman, Eric Maskin, and Robert Laughlin.
In 2001, Safi co-founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led its IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. In 2008, he was named E&Y New England Biotechnology Entrepreneur of the Year. In 2011, he worked with President Obama’s council of science advisors (PCAST) on the future of national research. Safi received his BA in physics from Harvard summa cum laude and his PhD in physics from Stanford.
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries
Dr. Jeff DeGraff
Professor of Management and Organizations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan
Dr. DeGraff’s mission is “the democratization of innovation.” He brings innovation to everyone, every day and everywhere through his books, his public television program (Innovation You), columns (Inc.) and radio program (The Next Idea). His articles and thought leadership on contemporary business matters have been covered by Business Week, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal, to name a few.
Dr. DeGraff is an advisor to Fortune 500 companies, a top innovation speaker, a business professor at the Ross School of Business, and a bestselling author. Jeff is also a Managing Partner of Innovatrium, an innovation center and consulting practice that specializes in teaching companies how to grow and become more innovative. He serves as an advisor to think tanks and governments. Jeff has worked all over the world, with significant experience in Europe and Asia, and in most industry and market segments.
About Jeff DeGraff
Ross School of Business
Jason W. Womack, MA, M.Ed.
Founder of The Womack Company, Executive Coach and Author of Your Best Just Got Better
With over 20 years of education and operational experience, Jason creates and transforms leadership programs, builds learning and development curriculum, and directs “think-tank” style discussions.
He was first chosen as one of “America’s top 100 thinkers in productivity” in 1997, and his 2012 book, Your Best Just Got Better achieved best-selling status within five weeks of being published. Jason is a speaker, coach, and author advising leaders worldwide. He invests his time, energy and focus serving as an agent of change. He has shared his ideas on leadership development with managers of organizations in 28 different countries.
Michelle ‘Mo’ Barrett (Col. USAFR – Ret)
Michelle “Mo” Barrett started her military career at the Air Force Academy. After graduation, she launched her career as a successful failure, becoming the first member of her pilot training class to receive an “Unsat” on a training flight. As a new Air Force pilot, she flew the Alenia C-27A and 2 years later, moved to Northern California to fly the Lockheed C-5. After 9/11, Mo deployed with a small team to a bare base in Uzbekistan, converting it from austere airfield to airlift hub for support missions to Afghanistan.
Mo spent her 25-year career using hard work and authenticity. Her ability to view the world through lenses of humor, optimism and perspective have guided her through the challenges of life and career. Her unique presentation style and contagious energy will capture your attention, make you think and help you refresh common sense!
Aerospace Division Director – To The Stars (TTS) Academy
Steve Justice is the Director of the TTS Academy Aerospace Division, tasked with leading the effort to examine the possibilities of emerging sciences and technologies. This team will work to define advanced systems exploiting radical technologies, prototypes promising concepts, and develop operational systems that shatter conventional thinking.
He entered the defense aerospace industry in 1978 after graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology. After 31 years, Stephen is the recently retired Program Director for Advanced Systems from Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs – better known as the “Skunk Works”. Mr. Justice’s industry experience brings to TTS Academy a deep understanding of strategy definition, breakthrough technology development, advanced concept design, prototyping, system fielding, and program planning and execution using a leadership style that inspires innovation.
To The Stars Academy
Founder of the GET MOMENTUM Leadership Academy, Author of Get Momentum
Jodi Womack, M.A., is filled with abundant enthusiasm and expansive vision. Her natural leadership is evident in the way she pulled her own community together during the economic slide of 2009. Watching entrepreneurs struggle to stay afloat, Jodi invited business owners to join together once a month to combine resources, share ideas and become empowered to stimulate their own economy. The result has been tremendous; jobs have been created, services exchanged and hope renewed. Jodi created of the Women’s Business Socials to bring women in business together to have vibrant and meaningful connections in person and online. She also founded The GET MOMENTUM Leadership Academy with her husband, Jason. Her firsthand experience in business management, marketing, and customer service shines through their training and coaching firm. Jodi delivers innovative ideas with integrity and an authentic desire to see everyone succeed. Jodi turns “best possible scenarios” into everyday success.
Founder, Impact Training and Consulting
Nicole Pinkham is a leadership innovator whose work has impacted thousands of government, corporate, and industry leaders across the world. Her unique approaches to individual and team performance have led organizations to achieve greater efficiency, maximize cost savings and create a more engaged workforce. As both a thought leader and practitioner, Nicole Pinkham ignites leaders to examine their practices and challenges them toward a more intentional and authentic approach to leading others.
After serving in public education for over 20 years and retiring from Auburn University at Montgomery, Nicole founded Impact Training and Consulting where she has the opportunity to live her purpose of inspiring and equipping leaders to achieve their individual and corporate visions. Her enthusiasm and expertise in leadership development moves people and organizations to embrace the positive changes needed to drive personal and organizational results. At home, church and in the community, Nicole is passionate about creating courageous cultures filled with leaders worth following.
Founding Partner of Capacity7, Professional Certified Life Coach
Working with top leaders in business, military, entertainment and the non-profit world, Andy has a multi-industry and forward-thinking awareness most business advisors don’t bring to the table. This unique knowledge base has led him in successful partnerships with organizations like Coca-Cola, The U.S. Air Force, Chick-Fil-A, Newell Rubbermaid, The Mattress Firm, LabeLive Events, Points of Light, Team Novo Nordisk and Northwestern Mutual.
Andy is also the author of The 40/40 Principle, a book that reveals the purpose and power of strategic mentoring relationships in the post information age. He is an Honorary Professor of Leadership at Air University, USAF, holds a BBA of Finance from Kent State University, M.Div. from BTCP, PCC Professional Certified Coach from CoachU and a CLC Certified Life Coach from ILCT.
Founder, CEO and Executive Coach, The Leadership Podcast
Jim Vaselopulos is a C-level business advisor with a proven record as a leader, strategist, rainmaker and new business development expert. With a reputation for principled leadership, strategic vision, and effective execution, Jim has built successful new enterprises and turned around underperforming organizations. Jim has been a consultant to many companies across nearly every industry.
As the founder of Rafti Advisors, Inc., Jim helps early stage companies get off on the right foot, growth stage companies push through plateaus and mature companies with strategic shifts and complex challenges. Jim teaches sales and professional development, is a frequent speaker on leadership and innovation and volunteers regularly with veterans groups and business incubators.
Adventurer - Author - Green Beret
Jan Rutherford entered the U.S. Army at age 17 (weighing 114 pounds), and spent six years in Special Forces as a Green Beret medic and “A” team executive officer, and three years as a military intelligence officer. Jan has over 25 years of business experience and has held executive roles in business development, marketing, sales, training, product management, and as a CEO. He is the founder of Self-Reliant Leadership, LLC, leads Crucible® expeditions with executives and transitioning military veterans, and is the author of “The Littlest Green Beret: On Self-Reliant Leadership.” As a professional speaker, Jan was recognized as one of “The Top 100 Leadership Speakers for 2018” in Inc, and presented “Suffer Everything – Dare Everything: Why Difficulties Matter” on the TEDx stage. Jan also serves on numerous boards, and invests time with select DOD units and veteran organizations. He is also a LinkedIn Learning author, University of Colorado Denver instructor, and co-host of The Leadership Podcast.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/JanRutherford, https://twitter.com/JanRutherford, https://www.facebook.com/SelfReliantLeadership, https://www.instagram.com/selfreliant_leadership/,
The Leadership Podcast
Self-Reliant Leadership, LLC
Mr. Akerele is a project consultant for the Placer project, an online platform connecting students to work experience and tackling social mobility. He is the founder of East London Connect, an organization to help young people in East London to fulfil their full education and employment potential. His organization planned and coordinated various careers days at schools including STEM, apprenticeships and higher education reaching 270 pupils in Stratford. East London Connect also successfully started a university mentoring network which works with Black and Minority Ethnic students and disadvantaged backgrounds to provide guidance on applying to Russell group universities. The Russell group is an organization of 24 top-ranked universities in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Akerele earned a Bachelor’s Degree in German and Business Studies from the Warwick Business School – University of Warwick. He also has a Master’s Degree in Social Innovation from the Cambridge Judge Business School – University of Cambridge.
Lt. Col. Mary Big Mountain (USAF)
Lieutenant Colonel Big Mountain serves as the Director of Operations, Detachment 028, Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and as an Associate Professor of Aerospace Studies, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona where she uses her doctorate in Applied Leadership to instruct and mentor our next generation of military leaders. She leads staff actions for a team of 10 overseeing actions of a cadet wing consisting of over 330 cadets; the fourth largest cadet detachment in the United Statesour nation. Prior to her duties in Air Force ROTC, she served as a C-130 pilot supporting missions in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Prior to her current position with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, she was activated as the Deputy Division Chief of Analysis and Assessments and a founding member of the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence (PACE).
Dondi Costin, Ph. D. (Maj Gen USAF – Ret)
Dondi E. Costin, Ph.D., serves as the President of Charleston Southern University, Charleston, South Carolina. A retired major general, he most recently served as the eighteenth Air Force Chief of Chaplains, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
As Chief of Chaplains, he established guidance and provided advice on all matters pertaining to the religious and moral welfare of Air Force personnel and their families. He led an Air Force Chaplain Corps of 2,000 chaplains and Religious Affairs Airmen and was the senior pastor for more than 664,000 personnel. As chairman of the Armed Forces Chaplain Board, he advised the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on religious, ethical and quality-of-life concerns for the entire U.S. military.
Doctor Costin retired from active duty in the summer of 2018 and began serving as Charleston Southern’s third President on 1 July 2018. He leads a team of more than 500 faculty and staff members serving 3,400 students pursuing bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. He is a trustee of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities board, and serves on the board of directors for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance.
Tim is passionate about helping established companies develop and nurture ‘in-house’ entrepreneurs so that they can innovate more like a start-up and respond to disruption more effectively.
Tim is an experienced intrapreneur, and social intrapreneur, in his own right, who now finds himself as a globally recognised speaker, lecturer, author, and theorist on the topic of intrapreneurship; using his own experiences to help others.
Tim co-founded the Circle of Intrapreneurs; now the world’s largest network of intrapreneurs – which grew from a LinkedIn group to a global movement with over 6000 members, from over 80 countries, representing most of the world’s biggest companies - within three years. Through this, Tim has advised the likes of PwC, Fidelity, EY, Westpac, BCG and Thompson Reuters on how to become more intrapreneurial and 1000s of intrapreneurs on how to deliver.
He has also been selected as a One Young World Ambassador on 4 occasions; the world’s leading forum for young leaders and is currently studying for a masters in social innovation @ Cambridge University. Tim is a guest lecturer on both the Cambridge and CASS MBA courses.
Dr. Helena Kim
Dr. Helena Kim is a recovering academic: a former professor at the University of Virginia and currently a coaching psychologist who enjoys working with contrarians, dreamers, and wanderers. She specialises in “doing” anger, empathy, and conflict the right way. Her clients are leaders from various sectors, including Amazon, PNC, JP Morgan, Baxter, UBS, USAF, Royal Mail, and Fujitsu. Dr. Kim is a Californian living and working in England, where she runs her leadership consultancy and a personal effectiveness program for MBA students at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School. She is finishing up her book titled, Soft Skills for Hard People due to launch in autumn of 2020.
Dr. Helena Kim LinkedIn
Col. Jason Lamb (USAF)
Colonel Jason B. Lamb is Director of Intelligence, Analysis, and Innovation, Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio Randolph, Texas. He is responsible for developing and integrating a deep understanding of the operational environment into MAJCOM and AF force development strategy, plans, programs, and operational concepts to support the AF mission, and for defining and developing innovation competencies within AETC. Colonel Lamb also oversees intelligence support to AETC wings, and advises the AETC Commander and other senior leaders on strategic issues affecting the 60,000-member workforce responsible for U.S. Air Force recruiting, training, and educating USAF Airmen.
Prior to his current assignment, Colonel Lamb commanded over 650 Airmen assigned to the 544th ISR Group at Peterson AFB, CO. He has served in a variety of intelligence staff, planning, and command assignments.
He is commonly known for a series of essays on officer professional development and talent management published on the ‘War on the Rocks’ blog, originally published under the pseudonym ‘Ned Stark’. These essays spurred discussion across the U.S. Air Force on the validity of existing practices used to measure and evaluate officer performance and potential.
Abigail Manning is an innovative voice in enhancing mental health fitness and thriving workplace cultures. Her unique workshop and speaking content was developed by combining her Indiana University Double Major in Cognitive, Social & Behavioral studies, extensive mental health research, certifications in trauma prevention and her own personal experience of overcoming childhood abuse and domestic violence.
In a positive approach, she simplifies counterproductive behaviors and unhealthy environments so they are more easily recognized, pro-actively addressed and successfully transformed into thriving individuals and prosperous cultures. Providing a new language and deeper self-awareness, individuals learn self-empowerment over the Adverse Spiral: depression, addictions, cycles of abuse, PTS and thoughts of suicide. The workplace environment enhances its ability to work together to end toxic culture including harassment, bias and Insider Threat.
As a proud mother of a U.S. Marine daughter and son, she is also keenly aware of military culture.
Tim Pachasa (CMSgt USAF – Ret)
Founder, CAPE Lead
Chief Master Sergeant Timothy "Chachi" Pachasa is a 24 year Air Force veteran, and spent the majority of his career calling in air strikes for Army units. Throughout his career, he filled a myriad of roles including additional-duty First Sergeant and is a master rated parachutist with over 200 static line and military free fall jumps. Most notably, Chachi served twice as a Wing Command Chief for both the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, and the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, Southwest Asia.
Chachi created CAPE Lead as a way to bring a modern, common-sense approach to emerging leadership styles, and wants to help leaders go home at the end of the day knowing five things: That they did what they could, with what they had, at that time, regardless of the environment, and whether they wanted to or not. He hopes that leaders can gain some peace of mind by acknowledging those questions, and he wants to spend his life helping others become even better leaders!"
Jon Rhone (Col USAF – Ret)
Jon “BigDogg” Rhone is the founder and owner of Rhone Coaching & Consulting Group (RCCG). He is a retired United States Air Force Colonel with 24 years of service leading diverse organizations which included Squadron and Group command. Jon’s experiences, personality, reputation and passion for building leaders and solving complex problems foster a unique experience for Rhone Coaching & Consulting clients and teammates.
“BigDogg” served in tactical and operational command and control leadership positions in the Combat Air Forces, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and on staff at Air Combat Command. While on active duty he served as an Air Battle Manager, USAF Weapons School Instructor and led the Combat Operations Division at an Air Operations Center. Jon also as 3,000 hours as an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) crew member.
“BigDogg” founded RCCG to continue serving; he teaches and coaches leadership readiness and development principles that build world-class leaders and teams.
Becki Saltzman is an idea trafficker, assumption buster, and Applied Curiosity Lab’s founder and Chief Curiosity Seeker. She travels the world helping forward-thinking companies harness curiosity to illuminate and navigate the future.
Becki’s the author of Arousing the Buy Curious and Living Curiously: How to Use Curiosity to be Remarkable and Do Good Stuff. She’s a content specialist for LinkedIn Learning on Applied Curiosity, ideation, judgement and decision making, and critical thinking.
She’s the host of Applied Curiosity Lab Radio, the podcast for the relentlessly curious.
Becki received her graduate degree in applied behavioral science from Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Neil Stott
Faculty (Reader level) in Management Practice, Director of the Master of Studies in Social Innovation Programme, Co-Director of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, Bye Fellow of St Edmund's College, Fellow of Lucy Cavendish College
Dr. Neil Stott is the co-director of the Cambridge Center for Social Innovation hosted at the Cambridge Judge Business School. He was Chief Executive of Keystone Development Trust until April 2015. Keystone is one of the largest development trusts in the United Kingdom delivering, community development, social enterprises and property development.
Previously Neil was Head of Community Development at Canterbury City Council, Principal Officer (Community) at Cambridge City Council and a youth and community worker for a number of children’s charities including Mencap, Elfrida Rathbone and Contact-a-Family in London.
Neil graduated from Bradford University with a BA (Hons) in Peace Studies (1983). More recently Neil completed a Post-Graduate Certificate in Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University in 2003, a Masters in Community Enterprise at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School in 2005 and a Doctorate in Professional Studies at Middlesex University (2012).
Neil is a Senior Associate of Locality’s consultancy. Neil is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), Senior Fellow of the Institute of Place Management (SFIPM) and Visiting Fellow of Anglia Ruskin University.
Neil has contributed to numerous policy and academic publications as well as mentoring and lecturing at Anglia Ruskin University and the University of Cambridge.
Master of Studies in Social Innovation Programme
Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation
Dr. Brian E. A. “Beam” Maue
AFWERX Mission Lead
Beam leads a talented, nationally dispersed, mission team who connect innovators and create accelerated technological and cultural agility for the United States Air Force. He first joined the Air Force as an officer, and served 21 years in primarily strategic deterrence roles—ICBM launch officer, nuclear budget analyst, treaty officer. He also journeyed with the talented future leaders of the Air Force by instructing at the U.S. Air Force Academy for two tours of duty.
Prior to becoming the AFWERX Mission Lead, Beam’s civil service duties involved developing new hypersonic and ICBM weapon options. Beam’s formal educational experiences include earning a doctoral degree at RAND, an MBA and B.A. (Political Science-Pre Law) at Michigan State University, a certificate in Design Thinking from the University of Virginia, and—currently—a graduate certificate in Organization Development from Penn State. His informal teachers are many, including an amazing wife and inspiring children.
Anthony Brinkley (CMSgt USAF – Ret)
CEO, On The Brink Consulting
Anthony Brinkley is a recognized leadership, expert, inspirational speaker, and change agent. Currently he is the CEO of On The Brink Consulting, a leadership development firm providing groundbreaking forums that inform, inspire, challenge, and leave each participant better equipped to make a lasting impact in their respective fields. His leadership capabilities have been cultivated over the last 30 years.
Anthony has served in highly selective leadership positions while in the United States Air Force during his 28 years of service. He led over 100,000 troops from all services in challenging environments, from stateside, to overseas, to war zones. His leadership expertise spans all levels of organizational development to include: facilities, infrastructure, human resources, logistics analysis, enterprise development, national security, and staff development. Anthony’s leadership attributes have been forged in the crucible of the most demanding assignments. He is a sought after resource for military, governmental, civic, religious, as well as professional athletics.
Anthony has also published over 80 articles on leadership, and has three books in circulation, Words to Live By, You Can’t Run Away From You, and You Better Enjoy Life all of which have received positive and strong support.
Aleta Hayes is a choreographer, performer, lecturer, and Coordinator for Dance in the Department of Theater and Performance Studies at Stanford University. Prior to teaching at Stanford, she taught for eight years at Princeton University and spent 15 years choreographing and directing in New York City.
Ms. Hayes has been facilitating Embodied Leadership Workshops for 8 years at conferences, companies and design boot camps such as the Stanford University d.school, X Development (formerly Google X), FRED Forum, and Kaiser Permanente. The content and the methodology for Embodied Leadership was developed from her experiences as a seasoned performer, choreographer, director and her longstanding interest in applying, tailoring and adapting the ideas about charisma, presence and performing leadership for different demographics, professions, and cultures.
LEDx 4.0 will be streamed live on Facebook and YouTube (see links below)
LEDx 4.0 will be streamed live on YouTube:
Air University’s YouTube Site