MONDAY GENERAL SESSION
Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle, The Book of Fate, and nine other bestselling thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (History Decoded), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.
With the launch of I am Amelia Earhart and I am Abraham Lincoln in his children’s book series, Brad set out to teach his own kids that there are better heroes in this world than the realty stars on television. The result is what has been called one of the most successful launches of a series in children’s picture book publishing. Today, kids read I am Rosa Parks, I am Albert Einstein, I am Jackie Robinson, I am Lucille Ball, I am Helen Keller, I am Martin Luther King, Jr. – and the newest books, I am George Washington and I am Jane Goodall, recently hit the New York Times bestseller list simultaneously at #3 & #4. Embraced by teachers and librarians across the country, the series is now at the one million book mark, which means Meltzer is now teaching more kids of this age about history than anyone.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Watson/Catchlight Group.
Andy Roddick was nine years old when he realized what he was born to do: play tennis. These days, he’s devoted his life to recreating that moment, over and over again––but not for himself. It turns out that one of the greatest tennis players of all time was born not just to pursue his own passion, but to help others discover theirs. He accomplishes that mission through the Andy Roddick Foundation, his Austin, Texas-based non-profit working to take the time children spend outside the classroom and turn it into real opportunities. Through an innovative and acclaimed six-week summer program, investments in collaborative out-of-school time activities, and other joint initiatives with key groups throughout the city, the Foundation is creating new chances for underserved kids to grow in literacy, STEM, art, and sports––all during months and times of day when statistics show they’re typically most at risk and falling behind.
“Let’s expose these kids to everything, and let’s hope something sticks with them,” Roddick says. “That moment I had at nine, when I picked up a tennis racket and it clicked with me––it built my self-esteem and gave me a sense of self-worth at a young age because I could do something well. That’s the moment we’re trying to hit with these kids. We’re going to give them every chance to find it.”
Upon graduating from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA with his MBA, Matthew Emerzian became a prominent SVP of a major music marketing company, working with the biggest artists in the world. He was “on the top of the heap” as they say, but felt like he was at the bottom of the world. He was empty. Realizing he spent his career focused on everything that didn’t matter—fame and fortune—he set out to change it by creating a life focused on making the world a better place. This new purpose not only transformed his life, but it became the inspiration for his 2007 book, Every Monday Matters – 52 Ways to Make a Difference.
Today, Matthew is the Founder and CEO of Every Monday Matters (EMM), a not-for-profit organization committed to creating a new normal where individuals and organizations understand how much and why they matter. Through their YOU MATTER™ Education Program in 45 states and 7 countries, their YOU MATTER™ Corporate Program in major corporations across the country, national speaking engagements, and grassroots campaigns, EMM is transforming the lives of hundreds-of-thousands of people and positively impacting the world—one Monday at a time.
Dr. Calvin Mackie is an award-winning mentor, inventor, author, an internationally renowned speaker, and a successful entrepreneur. A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Dr. Mackie graduated from high school with low test scores requiring him to undertake special remedial classes at Morehouse College. He completed his degree in Mathematics at Morehouse in 1990, graduating Magna Cum Laude and a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.
Dr. Mackie founded STEM NOLA, a non-profit organization founded to expose, inspire, and engage communities about the opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEM NOLA designs and delivers activities, programs and events that bring inspiration, motivation and training to all STEM stakeholders (especially students) across entire communities. Since December 2013, STEM NOLA has engaged over 7,000 K-12 New Orleans students in hands-on project based STEM activities. Dr. Mackie’s is the author of two award winning books: A View from the Roof: Lessons for Life and Business and Grandma's Hands: Cherished Moments of Faith and Wisdom.
Popularly known as “Dr. G,” Deborah Gilboa, MD, is a family physician and youth development expert. With regular appearances on The Today Show and Good Morning America, Dr. G shares her passion for raising kids with character with techniques that are easy to use and resonate with youth. A mom of four boys, she inspires audiences with relatable stories and easy tools to develop crucial life skills in youth ages 2-22.
Dr. G is a board certified attending family physician at Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill Health Center, caring for diverse patients from 100+ countries, speaking 47 different languages. Her work with the deaf community has received national recognition and was the focus of her service as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.
Dr. G is the author of multiple books including Teach Resilience – Raising Kids Who Can Launch and Get the Behavior You Want, Without Being the Parent You Hate!