Monday Keynote Speaker
National Editor of the Cook Political Report & Host of WNYC’s The Takeaway Fridays
For more than 20 years, Amy Walter has built a reputation as an accurate, objective, and insightful political analyst with unparalleled access to campaign insiders and decision-makers.
Walter is national editor of the Cook Political Report and a frequent on-air analyst. She appears weekly on “Politics Monday” on the PBS NewsHour and hosts WNYC’s nationally syndicated public radio news program, “The Takeaway Fridays.” In addition, she is a regular Sunday panelist on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’s “Face The Nation” and appears frequently on “Special Report with Bret Baier” on FOX.
Since 1998, Walter has provided election night coverage and analysis. She is the former political director of ABC News and the former editor-in-chief of The Hotline. Named one of the “Top 50 Journalists” by Washingtonian magazine, Walter was dubbed one of the most powerful people in politics in George magazine. She also won The Washington Post’s Crystal Ball Award for her spot-on election predictions.
Walter graduated summa cum laude from Colby College, honored with an honorary PhD and as a Trustee Emeritus. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.
Tuesday Keynote Speaker
Americus Reed, II
Whitney M. Young Jr., Professor of Marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Professor Americus Reed, II, is the Whitney M. Young Jr., Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he has served on faculty since 2000.
He brings 25 years of research, teaching and consulting experience in leveraging deep social psychological analysis on how the topic of “Identity” and the complexity of how a person, organization, brand, or service creates self-expression and how this interfaces with various domains of business (Accelerating Growth, Creating True Loyalty, Work Identity and Organizational Culture and Calling, Persuasion and consumer targeting, and Brand Crisis). As a part-time entrepreneur and full-time fitness enthusiast, Professor Reed co-founded Persona Partners — (http://personapartnersltd.com/) a consulting firm that focuses on strategies to create “Identity Loyalty” He has consulted with such companies as Americhoice, The Philadelphia Eagles, The Department of Education, Vistakon (a Johnson and Johnson co.), NIKE, the American College of Physicians and others related to the marketing and development of products associated with health and fitness.
An avid musician and athlete, he is a tireless educator with infinite energy. Drawing upon the super powers of both right brain left brain, Americus relentlessly motivates, inspires and engages his audiences with humor, wit and creativity, but importantly infused with science, data and evidence.
He has authored more than 50 articles, book chapters and cases on the topic. He also has been featured on CNN, CNBC, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, New York Times, NPR, the Hidden Brain Podcast, and Knowledge at Wharton.
Reed hosts a podcast called Marketing Matters, which airs live on Wednesdays on Wharton’s Sirius XM Channel 132 Business Radio. He teaches customer analysis, branding, and consumer psychology to undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and executive students.
Wednesday Keynote Speaker
Shawn T. Wooden
Connecticut Office of the State Treasurer
Shawn Wooden was elected State Treasurer on November 6, 2018, following a successful 21-year career as an investment attorney specializing in public pension plans. He was sworn-in as Connecticut’s 83rd State Treasurer on January 9, 2019.
Most recently, Treasurer Wooden was a Partner in a major law firm where he led its public pension plan investment practice and was a member of the Investment Section of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys.
Early in his legal career, he worked in the AFL-CIO’s Office of Investment in Washington, D.C. From 2011 to 2015, Treasurer Wooden served as President of the Hartford City Council. He also was a member of the Connecticut Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board, which interprets and enforces the state’s ethics laws and oversees the Connecticut Office of State Ethics.
Treasurer Wooden’s passion for public service began at home. He was born and raised in the north end of Hartford as the youngest of six children. From a young age, his parents taught him the importance of a good education, hard work and giving back to your community. His father owned a television repair and record shop. His mother was a teachers’ aide in a program to prepare preschool-aged children for school, and later worked at the Community Renewal Team as part of their lead poison prevention and energy assistance programs for low-income families.
As a child, Treasurer Wooden participated in a de-segregation busing program and attended Manchester Public Schools, where he graduated high school with honors. He went on to earn a four-year academic scholarship to Trinity College in Hartford, where he now serves as a member of its Board of Trustees. Upon college graduation, Treasurer Wooden worked for the Mayor of Hartford and then as Connecticut Director of Project Vote, a national voter registration and education program. He also served as a key aide for the Connecticut Commissioner of Social Services. He later attended New York University School of Law before beginning his career at Day Pitney.
Super Lawyers magazine designated him a Connecticut Super Lawyer for Securities and Corporate Finance, Business/Corporate. Pensions and Investments named him one of the “Twenty-Five Investment Professionals to Watch.” Savoy magazine named him as one of the most influential black lawyers in the country.
Treasurer Wooden is the proud father of two boys.