2019 Speaker Lineup

Jennifer Finkelstein

Jennifer Finkelstein spent the first 18-years of her professional career in Healthcare Sales. Ms. Finkelstein has served as President and Founder of 5 Under 40 Foundation for the last eight years. In April 2005, she was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer at the age of 32, weeks before her wedding. She found herself unable to connect with anyone, personally or professionally, who shared a similarly shocking diagnosis. The critical peer support and information network she desperately sought was non-existent to the under 40 patient population. She was told her diagnosis was extremely rare. Over the course of her treatment, it was recommended she see a mental health therapist, nutritionist, acupuncturist and physical therapist none of whom were covered by insurance. As a result,
she took a leap of faith and quit her job. She created the first and only ecosystem featuring a network of leading cancer experts. These medical, beauty, and wellness thought leaders serve young women facing breast cancer under the age of forty in NY and NJ. Ms. Finkelstein resides in NYC with her husband, Dr. Robert Fafalak, and their bulldog, Lexi.

Swati Jagetia

Swati Mittal Jagetia helps individuals live with purpose, and on purpose. She is the founder of Purpose Squared, a boutique provider of mental health counseling and executive coaching. Swati spends most
of her days counseling, coaching and supervising her team. You may also find Swati on campus, teaching as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University; at Google NYC, where she counsels individuals on-site; and in all corners of the Upper West Side of NYC, chasing her three little kids — each likely running in a different direction.

Shana Kennedy

Shana Kennedy is the Executive Director of Circadium, the first higher-education program for circus in the United States. Along with her husband, Greg Kennedy, she had an active earlier career touring as a juggler and aerialist and began teaching when she settled down with her
3 children. She founded the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts in the year 2000, running recreational circus classes for kids and adults. Now, both the recreational and the professional schools reside at Circus Campus, a hundred-year-old church property in West Mt. Airy. With over 500 students training every week, circus education is becoming an important part of the city’s cultural fabric.

Maria Morukian

As president of MSM Global Consulting, LLC, I provide consulting, training, and coaching to leaders, facilitate strategic initiatives, and enact organizational change. I specialize in diversity and inclusion, intercultural competence, resilience, and well-being in the workplace. I coach leaders and executives during times of transformation and turbulence, to gain clear perspectives on their vision for the future and develop creative processes to achieve their goals. I have served in leadership positions for Management Concepts, the U.S. Department of State, Federal Executive Institute, and the International Multicultural Institute. I have facilitated
training programs for leaders, ranging from one-day workshops to multi-year, multi-phase leadership development initiatives. I have trained individual contributors, front line supervisors, managers, and senior executives in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. I earned a Master’s in International Communication from American University and Bachelor’s in Organizational Studies and Spanish from the University of Michigan.

John Nagl

Dr. John Nagl is the Ninth Headmaster of The Haverford School. He was previously the inaugural Minerva Research Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and also taught at West Point and Georgetown University. Dr. Nagl was a Distinguished Graduate of the United States Military Academy Class of 1988 who earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Nagl is also a Senior Fellow at the
Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He served in the Army for 20 years, leading a tank platoon in Operation Desert Storm and serving as the operations officer of a tank battalion task force in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dr. Nagl is the author of Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War and of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife.

Linda Ricci

Linda Ricci is the founder of Decahedralist Consulting, a boutique strategy & innovation firm. With a passion for the intersection of business, technology and innovation, she works with brands to define their future where emerging technologies are transforming markets. Clients have included the smallest of start-ups to blue-chip brands including TDK Electronics, British Telecom, Canon Professional, Hewlett Packard, Fisher-Price, Hampton Inn, and Kraft. A Mass Communication graduate of Boston University, Linda received her MBA from the Rotterdam School of
Management, Erasmus University in 1991. When not pondering the future of technology and its impact on humanity, she is usually making art – glass, precious metal, textiles. She also works in CAD and 3D art. Inspiration comes from regular jaunts to far flung countries where she’s never happier than when on a motorcycle and a dirt road, dodging chickens and water buffalo.

David Shade

David Shade is a disabled combat veteran, an entrepreneur, a CEO, and a professional Dog Trainer. He served a tour overseas in 2007 with the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne. During the tour, he was awarded with an Army Commendation Medal (with Valor Device) and
The Purple Heart. After struggling for years with Post Traumatic Stress, he found that the power of healing that dogs can bring is remarkable. Since then, he has dedicated his life to helping animals and humans. He is now the CEO of At Attention Dog Training, where he and his team train dogs every day in an effort to keep happy dogs in happy homes.

Heather Smith

Heather Smith has worked in healthcare since 1989. A lifelong animal lover, in 2015 she bid on an African safari on a whim and won! Heather returned knowing she wanted to make an impact in conservation. After meeting conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert that same year, she decided to focus on the rhinoceros because of the crisis facing them. In 2016, she founded the nonprofit PA Rhino Conservation Advocates (PARCA), Inc. based in Media, PA. Heather continues to lead the organization with
a mission to fund the relocation and protection of wild rhinos, fund the care of young rhinos orphaned by poaching, and raise public awareness about their plight. PARCA has funded the move of two rhinos from South Africa to Botswana, funds the care of a rhino orphan in South Africa, and has funded other anti-poaching activities in Kenya.

Mel Soria

Mel Soria is an award-winning music video, commercial, and film director, best known for his work with Fall Out Boy, Train, and Panic! At The Disco. Born in the Philippines, Soria immigrated to the US at the age of five and grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He studied architecture and
design at Virginia Tech and then earned an MFA in Film Production from Florida State University. In 2015, he co-directed the music video for Fall Out Boy’s single, “Uma Thurman”, which won the MTV VMA for Best Rock Video. In 2019, his video for Panic! At The Disco’s “High Hopes” won his second MTV Best Rock video music award.

Diana Spalding

Diana believes we all have a job to do on this earth — hers is to help women feel powerful. She is a certified nurse-midwife and pediatric nurse, with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology (Emory University) and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing (New York University). She is the Digital Education Editor at Motherly and the founder of Gathered Birth. Crossing things off her bucket list is (one of) her favorite things: In 2016, Gathered Birth, a motherhood wellness center in Media, PA was born. She wrote a book! The Motherly Guide to
Becoming Mama; Redefining the Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Journey
(April 2020). And now she gets to speak at TEDxRoseTree. It feels like a dream. Diana is mama to three silly children, wife to a tall graphic designer, and is much better at taking care of babies than she is of plants (even though she tries really hard).

Lyonzo Vargas

Lyonzo Vargas is a Social Entrepreneur, Community Architect, Urban Wellness Advocate, and Urban Maestro on an unstoppable mission. Lyonzo currently resides in Philadelphia, however he entered the world in the melting pot of the Bronx, NY. Living in a culture filled with people suffering from stress and anxiety due to poor mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional diet motivated Lyonzo and his two co-founders to create an entertainment and wellness company called GLBL VLLG (Global Village). Lyonzo dedicated his life to people from all walks of life, focusing primarily on millennials, encouraging the incorporation of wellness
through interactive entertainment and wellness events into daily lifestyles. He is creating this new social form of community connection through the rapidly growing Vllg Jam. Lyonzo is on his way to building/manifesting a mainstream platform encouraging holistic healing for marginalized communities, inevitably changing the world.

Kelly Yiadom

Kelly Elaine Hines Boakye Yiadom is an educator who believes in being solution oriented for the greater good of communities. This approach has manifested in a multitude of ways throughout her career including, but not limited to, successfully teaching underserved middle schoolers in a Philadelphia charter school and teaching upper elementary students in the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District. It is here that she incorporated the Responsive Classroom methodology to ensure the social and emotional growth of her students. Most recently, Kelly founded a parent diversity group within a Delaware County, Pennsylvania School District, called the Melting Pot; focused on creating diversity awareness among students, teachers and administrators. In addition to her 15 years as an educator, she is also a graduate of Swarthmore College, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, with a special major in Education. Kelly is a mother of three children, married to her Swarthmore sweetheart, and a New York City native.

Photo Credit: Pink Melon Media

Cookie Diorio

Cookie Diorio is a Philadelphia-based drag performer, a classically trained vocalist, a songwriter, an activist, a husband, mama to the cutest little Yorkshire Terrier ever, a music teacher and lover of all things sparkly. She mastered walking in 5 inch stilettos in the night clubs of Boston, achieved her hair fantasy by studying vintage videos of Grace Bumbry, and founded the giving project Art of the Heel. Cookie grew up in historic Auburn, NY with gospel in her ears, civil rights in her blood, and many songs in her heart. She trained at Ithaca College in the voice studios of Angus Godwinm, Carol McAmis in vocal pedagogy, Lawrence Doebler in choral arts, Dana Wilson in composition, and Patrick Hansen in opera coaching. While Cookie has been in and out of the drag scene since 2002, she began performing regularly in the Philadelphia area as host of the Art Song Repertory Theater Company’s salon series “Saturday Afternoon Drinking Songs” in 2013. Since, she has self-produced the shows “Fire In My Bones: A Gospel Jubilee” (which also premiered off-Broadway at the Kraine Theater in NYC), “Beauty From Our Sorrows”, “Telling Herstories”, “Forces of Nature”, “Music: The Food of Love”, and “I, Too, Sing
America”. She has appeared as a featured artist in the Bearded Ladies Cabaret 2018 production “Do You Want A Cookie”, as “The Wind” in the Opera Philadelphia production “Queens of the Nights”, and most recently in concert at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and as host/performer in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival cabaret show “Late Night Snacks”.

V. Shayne Frederick
Nicholas Krolak

V. Shayne Frederick

V. Shayne Frederick is a vocalist and pianist with performances spanning two decades at illustrious venues in both the New York and Philadelphia circuits, and beyond. Cited by the Broad Street Review as “one of the region’s busiest and best jazz singers,” V. Shayne has been appointed “one to watch” and a “shining light” by All About Jazz, a jazz website. V. Shayne’s debut album, Lovesome, was released Spring 2019, followed by a subsequent EP, “Gleaming”.

V. Shayne will be performing with bassist, Nicholas Krolak, a young veteran of the Philadelphia jazz scene who has spent the last decade studying with the masters. He is also the host of the Voice = Power Podcast in which he interviews visionaries of the Jazz world, pursuing the question: How does an artist find their voice? His debut album, Chicory Root, was released Spring 2018.