FEATURED Speakers

Hear from these renowned leaders during our keynote and general sessions.

Leave with tangible takeaways from industry experts who will cover organizational design and development, best practices in hiring, integrating and developing human capital, world-class leadership principles, and exit strategy best practices.

Boris Groysberg
Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration

Boris Groysberg is tenured faculty in the Organizational Behavior unit at the Harvard Business School. He has taught extensively in the MBA and Executive Education programs, such as the “Owner/President Management” program. Professor Groysberg's research investigates how a firm can be systematic in achieving a sustainable competitive advantage by leveraging its talent and how individuals can achieve stardom.

Professor Groysberg is the author of Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance (Strategy + Business magazine’s top book pick in the Human Capital category for 2010), and co-author of Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations and Wall Street Research: Past, Present, and Future. Professor Groysberg has also published more than 100 articles, notes, and case studies on how firms develop, hire, retain, and utilize their talent. Professor Groysberg has won numerous awards for his research on managing human capital and was inducted as a fellow into the National Academy of Human Resources in 2016.

 

Mike Abrashoff
Naval Commander, New York Times Best Selling Author, Leadership & Teamwork Expert, Keynote Speaker

Mike Abrashoff is at the center of one of the most remarkable modern-day stories of organizational transformation.  

At 36, he was selected to be Commander of USS Benfold and was the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific fleet.   The challenges of this underachieving destroyer were staggering, with low morale and the highest turnover rate in the Navy.  Few thought the ship could improve. Yet, 12 months later it was ranked #1 in performance — using the same crew.  How did Mike do it?  By replacing command and control leadership with commitment and cohesion. The lesson was clear:  Leadership matters and culture is everything. 

Since leaving the Navy, Mike has worked with over 1200 organizations instilling leadership initiatives at every level – achieving phenomenal change in unexpected places.  Leaders especially identify with Mike being accountable for results in an environment where he couldn’t make the rules.  He focused on the one thing he could influence: his crew’s attitude, because culture is the ultimate competitive weapon for any organization.  That’s why Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and others have cited Mike’s story.  It’s also why Mike is so popular with such a wide range of audiences. 

As a keynote speaker, Mike has spoken to every industry and kind of audience – from board retreats to frontline personnel, from sales groups to universities, from Fortune 500s to startups.  He tailors his message to focus on engagement, execution, change, safety, diversity, leadership, teamwork, innovation, accountability and more.

Steve Kincaid
Ph.D., Principal

Steve is a Principal at ghSMART. He consults on selecting, developing, and utilizing leadership capital within the context of positional demands, strategic goals, and organizational culture. He also explores the links between organizational culture and financial performance (particularly during M&A), and predicting potential. He integrates his psychological background with a pragmatic, goal-oriented perspective, providing leaders with actionable insights and strategies. He has served a broad spectrum of clients across his career, and currently works with global corporate, private equity, and financial services firms.

He provides executive coaching to select clients, focusing primarily on the transition to C-suite or senior leadership roles. Prior to ghSMART in 2006, Steve consulted with the senior leaders of Global 1000 companies as part of the Leadership Consulting practice of Heidrick & Struggles International and when heading the Executive Assessment practice for the Southeast region of Right Management Consultants.

Steve completed his undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. He is a past-President of the Society of Consulting Psychology, and a member of the American Psychological Association. Steve and his wife live just outside Charleston, SC.

Sean Craig
Principal, ghSMART

Sean Craig is a Principal at ghSMART. He advises private equity investors, hedge fund managers and Fortune 500 companies on their most pressing leadership challenges, including talent assessment, top team effectiveness, and organizational change initiatives.

Prior to joining ghSMART, Sean was an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company, where he advised CEOs and senior executives of Fortune 500 companies and government organizations on the issues of business strategy, organizational change, operations, and M&A. Sean served clients across 10 different industries, including major corporations in media, technology, financial services, oil and gas, electric power and natural gas, renewables, healthcare, aerospace, defense, and consumer products.

Sean started his career as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of captain and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal following his deployment to Iraq. Later he joined ExxonMobil Development Company where he served as a project engineer, leading the execution planning for a mega oil and gas while living abroad in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Sean holds an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. degree in General Management and Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He currently resides in Brighton, Michigan with his wife and their two children.

Mark Wiskup
Communication Advisor to Private Equity Portfolio Companies

Mark Wiskup is recognized as an international leader for communication strategy and presentation coaching for the private equity industry. His global practice is 100% devoted to private equity and investment banking clients. A variety of international funds hire Mark yearly to develop content and to coach speakers for annual investor conferences.  He has worked on hundreds of private equity coaching assignments globally for  middle market funds, including 205 exit coaching processes.

Mark is a lifelong professional communicator, starting his post-college years as an award-winning television business reporter and anchor in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota and Arkansas. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and an M.S.J. in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University. Mark’s three books on communication have been published in five different languages.