Ceremony Speakers to be Announced Soon!



Last Year's Ceremony Speakers

Adam Braun Founder & CEO, Pencils of Promise

Adam founded Pencils of Promise with a "For-Purpose" approach to blending nonprofit idealism with for-profit business principles. Adam speaks on global education, finding one's passion and purpose, youth empowerment, and international development. He has been featured at the Clinton Global Initiative, Google Zeitgeist and Wired Magazine's 2012 Smart List of 50 People Changing the World.

Tiffany Persons Founder & Director, Shine On Sierra Leone

Currently celebrating Shine on Sierra Leone's fifth anniversary, Tiffany's passion and commitment for empowering the communities of Sierra Leone through innovative initiatives and strong cultural partnerships is stronger than ever. Since Shine on Sierra Leone's inception, she has overseen the six cornerstone programs that have contributed to the phenomenal growth and success of the region. With each of SOSL's initiatives and upcoming campaigns, Tiffany's essential philosophy that "We are all meant to shine, thrive, evolve" is ever present. Tiffany has been honored by the United Nations as a Woman Of The World and Sustainopia 2011, selected as a moderator for the Opportunity Collaboration conference, and featured in various popular domestic and international publications including Elle, Vibe, Emirates Woman, and People.com.

Akiyu Stella Mistica Ugandan Tour Manager, Invisible Children

Akiyu Stella Mistica serves as Invisible Children�s Ugandan Tour Manager in the States, responsible for the success of hundreds of volunteers who advocate for an end to Africa�s longest-running conflict. For two years, Stella has been at the forefront of this movement, touching thousands with her experiences growing up in the LRA-affected area. �She has toured the country, been featured in IC documentaries, and interviewed by Anderson Cooper. Stella also serves as a mentor in IC�s Uganda-based Legacy Scholarship program supervising the academic and psychosocial development of countless beneficiaries since 2006.

Adam Garone CEO & Co-Founder, Movember

Adam served as an officer in the Australian Army, and has a corporate background in developing and marketing emerging web & mobile technologies. Adam's corporate and military experiences have given him the perfect skill set for his role as CEO of Movember. In 2008, Adam won the Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award in Australia.

Chris Helfrich Director, United Nations Foundation's Nothing But Nets Campaign

Christopher Helfrich is the Director of the UN Foundation's Nothing But Nets, a global, grassroots campaign to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria, a leading cause of death among children in Africa. In his role as Director, Mr. Helfrich oversees all campaign fundraising, advocacy, constituency-building, and grant-making efforts, as well as strategic partnerships with organizations such as Disney's The Lion King, The United Methodist Church, the Union for Reform Judaism and many others. Before joining Nothing But Nets, Mr. Helfrich served as the Director of Development and Marketing at Public Citizen and helped lead several public radio stations.

Creators of The Buried Life Stars of MTV's Reality Documentary Series

Jonnie, Ben, Duncan and Dave started The Buried Life in their parent's garage in 2006. They made a list of '100 things to do before you die' and for every list item they accomplished, they helped a stranger do something on their list. Since then, they've crossed off 'Make a TV Show (MTV)', 'Write a #1 NYT Bestselling Book', 'Play Ball with Obama' and have encouraged millions to believe that anyone can do anything. Penni came onboard to help build The Buried Life movement. She's the girl in the photo.

Darian Rodriguez Heyman Co-Producer & Head of Community Partnerships,
Social Media for Nonprofits

After 5 years, Darian recently stepped down as Executive Director of Craigslist Foundation. His new book, Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals, includes practical tips and tools from 50 recognized experts across 35 topics, and he recently launched a global Social Media for Nonprofits conference series. He also blogs for the Huffington Post and Skoll Foundation's Social Edge.

Doug Ulman President & CEO, LIVESTRONG

Doug is ultimately responsible for the strategic vision and direction of LIVESTRONG. Doug is a three-time cancer survivor and nationally recognized cancer advocate. After overcoming chondrosarcoma and malignant melanoma twice during college, Doug and his family founded the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, a nonprofit organization to provide support, education, and resources to young adults, their families and friends who are affected by cancer. He served as Executive Director of the Ulman Cancer Fund for four years before joining LIVESTRONG as director of survivorship in 2001. Doug was named to the Non-Profit Times Power and Influence Top 50 for 2009, an honor bestowed to the top 50 Non-Profit executives and holds numerous civic and charitable board positions across the country.

Jake Wood Co-Founder & President, Team Rubicon

Jake served four years in the United States Marine Corps, where he was awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" for valor in the face of the enemy. As a leading veteran advocate, Jake speaks around the country on the issues facing returning veterans. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, Veteran Innovation Center Executive Operating Committee and the VA Emergency Response Committee. In 2011, Jake was awarded GQ Magazine's 'Better Men, Better World' Award for his work with Team Rubicon, and was recently nominated as a 2012 CNN Hero.

Jeff Shuck President & CEO, Event360

Jeff has led the production of more than 200 fundraising events involving hundreds of thousands of participants, which have collectively raised more than $600 million for charity. Prior to Event 360, Jeff was the VP of Productions for Pallotta TeamWorks, where he was responsible for event production for large-scale fundraising events. Jeff serves on the boards of the ACLU of Illinois, the Giving Institute and the Giving USA Editorial Review Board.

Jim Gibbons President & CEO, Goodwill Industries International

Prior to serving as president and CEO of Goodwill, Jim served as the president and CEO for the National Industries for the Blind as well as Campus Wide Access Solutions. Jim has received the National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged, the SmartCEO EcoCEO Award, the Young Presidents' Organization Social Enterprise Leadership Award, and was appointed by President Obama to serve two years on the White House Council for Community Solutions.

Jim Moriarty CEO, Surfrider Foundation

Jim is the CEO of Surfrider Foundation. He brings to the position a love of environmental awareness and action sports, along with a wealth of fundraising and team-building experiences and innovative business approaches that translate to leading the Surfrider Foundation into the future. His vision at Surfrider Foundation is clear: create a global movement of coastal environmental awareness and action.

Katya Andresen CSO, Network for Good

Katya is a speaker, author of Robin Hood Marketing: Stealing Corporate Savvy to Sell Just Causes and blogger about nonprofit marketing, online outreach, social media and fundraising. She is an adjunct professor of communications at American University's Key Certificate Program and serves on the board of NTEN. Previously, Katya worked as a foreign correspondent for Reuters News in Asia, for the AP and major US newspapers in Africa.

Lee Hirsch Writer & Director, BULLY

Known for creating change through his documentaries, Lee Hirsch wrote and directed BULLY. He was inspired to make the film by his own experiences of being bullied throughout his childhood. Following five kids and families over the course of a school year, the film confronts bullying's most tragic outcomes. In addition to the film, Hirsch invites supporters to join "The Bully Project," a social action campaign to end bullying that started as a result of BULLY. Through this movement, Hirsch has created 1 Million Kids, in an effort to bring the film to one million young people across the U.S. and Canada in order to improve school climate and promote caring. So far 100,000 kids have seen the film for free. This movement is creating an impact that is affecting all walks of life including the White House and Congress.

Lindsay Avner Founder & Executive Director, Bright Pink

After graduating college in June 2005, Lindsay Avner was told she had a lifetime risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She opted to have a bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. During her experience, Lindsay realized the lack of resources for young women who didn't have cancer but wanted to take a proactive approach to their health. In 2007, Lindsay founded Bright Pink, the only national organization focusing on the prevention and early detection of breast and ovarian cancer in young women while providing support to high-risk individuals. In 2010, Bright Pink was named the #1 Charity in Chicago by Chicago Scene Magazine. Lindsay was named "A Woman to Watch" by the Chicago Sun Times, an "Action Hero" by Women's Health magazine, and a "Woman Doing Good" by Self magazine. She's been profiled in the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Glamour, Women's Health, Shape, Today Show & CNN.

Ranjana Clark Senior Vice President & CMO, PayPal

At Paypal Ranjana is focused on global marketing, insight and customer experience. She is responsible for the customer insights, analytical capabilities and brand development that are essential to PayPal's business. Ranjana has 26 years of extensive business and payments experience including leadership positions at Western Union, Wachovia and Wells Fargo. Most recently, she served in a dual role as president of Western Union's global payments business and head of global strategy. As the chief marketing officer at Wachovia, she developed a fully integrated marketing division focused on insight, innovation, brand development, customer loyalty and acquisition. She has been recognized repeatedly as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Finance by Treasury & Risk Management magazine, as well as U.S. Banker magazine's 25 Women to Watch list.

Richelle Parham CMO, eBay

Richelle Parham brings deep expertise and nearly 20 years of passion for improving the ways customers interact with leading brands to eBay, the world's largest online marketplace and a mobile commerce leader. At eBay, Richelle leverages her background in consumer and digital marketing to develop strategies to reach the millions of shoppers and sellers on eBay.com and drive measurable engagement with them. Leading a team of 170 people, Richelle has purview for all areas of eBay's North American marketing activities, including consumer product marketing, loyalty programs, Internet and relationship marketing, global citizenship, search optimization and search marketing, seller marketing, market research, social and eBay's global partner network.

Ritu Sharma Executive Director, Social Media for Nonprofits

Ritu spearheads the efforts of the only social media for social good conference series in the world, Social Media for Nonprofits. Under her leadership, they organized seven of eight sold out programs in 2011, all focused on sharing practical tips and tools for fundraising, marketing, and advocacy. The program is now expanding globally, including 14 programs in four countries this year. In addition to heading the programming, marketing, and event logistics for the series, Ritu is also a frequent public speaker at social media conferences across the country, as well as a seasoned consultant for select projects. Sharma is passionate about supporting and connecting young leaders, and currently sits on the board of the United Way of the Bay Area's Emerging Leaders Society.

Yael Cohen Founder, F Cancer

Yael founded F Cancer after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She set out to create an organization that activates Generation Y to engage with their parents about early detection, and teaches supporters how to look for cancer instead of just find it. Yael went to the White House and UN to talk about the charity's unconventional methods and success and has attended the Clinton Global Initiative, TEDWomen, TEDMED, and spoke at TEDx Vancouver 2010.

Yasmin Dolatabadi Principle at Google Ideas

Yasmin Dolatabadi is the Principal at Google Ideas responsible for driving the think/do tank's strategy and operations. Yasmin also oversees the team's work on counter-radicalization and weak/failed states. She recently led a cross-discipline coalition to launch the world's first network of former violent extremists and survivors of terrorism, to connect them to each other and to the private sector.

Zach Wahls Marriage Equality Advocate & Author of My Two Moms

Zach Wahls is a sixth-generation Iowan, an outspoken advocate for marriage equality and a commentator on youth and LGBT issues. Since a video of his testimony about his family before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee became YouTube's number one political video of 2011, he's continued to share his story and advocate for full equality under the law. He has appeared on The Daily Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell and other media outlets. Zach is the author of the national bestseller My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength and What Makes a Family. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

Ben Rattray Founder, Change.org

Charles Best Founder, DonorsChoose.org
Maria Shriver Journalist, Author & Activist

...and the voice of the CLASSY Awards

Ted Williams Man with the Golden Voice