Keynote speakers

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Johnny Earle

If you dream of inspiring cult-like brand loyalty—the kind that involves mile-long queues and even permanent tattoos—Johnny “Cupcakes” Earle is for you. The founder of the world-renowned t-shirt brand Johnny Cupcakes, Johnny’s known for helping other people create blueprints for building brand loyalty, creating memorable experiences, and inspiring innovation.

With global store openings, thousands of customers with his logo tattooed on themselves, people who camp out for his products, and high-profile collaborations with giants such as The Simpsons, Power Rangers, and Nickelodeon, Johnny was named America’s #1 Young Entrepreneur by Business Week, Top Innovator in Retail by The Boston Globe, and featured in Inc. Magazine as the CEO of one of the world’s fastest-growing independent businesses.

Despite being in one of the most difficult product categories to stand out in and a founder of a brand when he was just 19 years old, Johnny’s solution to his business challenges was to create such a unique brand experience that his customers would loyally line up around the block, time and time again, just to be able to sport his logo on their clothing.

Since then, through his talks and creative consulting, Johnny has shared his strategies with clients that include Apple, L’Oreal, Disney, IBM, Audi, Harvard University, Wieden+Kennedy, Marriott, and Proctor & Gamble.

Also a TEDx speaker, Johnny has been featured in media such as MTV, NPR, Forbes, WIRED, Newsweek, and as a case study in several branding and business books.

Heather Younger

Heather Younger gets it. As a bestselling author, international TEDx speaker, podcast host, facilitator, and Forbes Coaches Council coach, she has earned her reputation as “The Employee Whisperer.” Her experiences as a CEO, entrepreneur, manager, attorney, writer, coach, listener, speaker, collaborator, and mother all lend themselves to a laser-focused clarity into what makes employees of organizations and companies—large and small—tick.

Heather has facilitated more than 150 workshops, reaching more than 100 employers and their employees. Her motivation and philosophy have reached more than 20,000 attendees at her speaking engagements on large and small stages. Companies have charted their future course based on her leading more than 100 focus groups. In addition, she has helped companies see double-digit employee engagement score increases through implementation of her laws and philosophies. She has driven results in a multitude of industries, including banking, oil and gas, construction, energy, and federal and local government.

Heather brings a tenacious and inspirational outlook to issues plaguing the workforces of today. Her book, The 7 Intuitive Laws of Employee Loyalty hit Forbes’ must-read list and is a go-to source for human resources professionals seeking insight into their organization’s dynamics.

Heather’s writing can also be found on her blog at, as well as articles in Forbes, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, American Express Open Forum, and more. Coupled with her Leadership with Heart podcast, weekly videos, and employer newsletters, Heather stays connected to organizations long after she leaves their stage or conference room.

When all the emails are returned and the mic is turned off, Heather acts as comanager of her busy household in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband, where they oversee their four children.

Michelle Poler

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, to a family of Holocaust survivors, Michelle was accustomed to living with fear. But when she moved to New York to pursue a Masters in Branding at the School of Visual Arts, Michelle quickly realized that NYC was not for the fearful.

In efforts to rewrite her definition of fear, Michelle set out to face 100 fears in 100 days. Halfway into the journey, the project was discovered by media and became an instant viral phenomenon.

Michelle completed her hundreth challenge on a TEDx stage. This helped her turn a personal project into a global movement, allowing her to quit her job as an art director in advertising to pursue her passion.

Michelle discovered that inspiring others to go after their fears was her new calling. She is now touring the world speaking at companies, schools, and organizations—teaching audiences how to step outside their comfort zones as a way to tap into their full potential.

She is also the founder of Hello Fears, a platform aimed at making the world a braver place through a mix of live events, video series, podcast interviews, user-generated content, and daily inspirational posts.