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Joe McCormack is on a mission to help organizations master the art of the short story. In an age of shrinking attention spans, non-stop interruptions, floods of information, the messages business leaders send out are getting lost in a sea of words.

An experienced marketing executive, successful entrepreneur and author, Joe is recognized for his work in narrative messaging and corporate storytelling. His new book, Brief: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less (Wiley & Sons, 2014) tackles the timeliness of the “less is more” mandate.

He founded and serves as managing director and president of The Sheffield Company, an award-winning boutique agency that specializes in narrative message development and visual storytelling production.

Katty Kay
Katty Kay is the lead anchor for BBC World News America. From Washington, Kay covers the full gamut of American and global affairs – reporting on U.S. elections, the White House, Congress, Wall Street, and global economies. On September 11th, Kay was at the Pentagon just 20 minutes after a hijacked airplane flew into the building.  As a result, she has reported on the huge change in American policy and psyche brought on by the attacks of September 11.  Kay is a frequent guest commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press and MSNBC’s Morning Joe where she also frequently serves as guest co-host.

Katty Kay is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of two New York Times bestsellers. The latest is The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know. In it they make the case that confidence has roots in genetic hard-wiring but also comes by choice: less people-pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk-taking, and fast failure. In their first book together, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, Kay and Shipman explore how women can create a professional life that meets their needs – and in the process creates more profitable companies with happier and more productive employees.

Debra Benton
Debra Benton’s passion has been to help managers and executives take ownership of their career potential; taking their leadership style to the next level.  She has published ten business books and has worked in multiple countries with a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Benton's expertise has brought front-page coverage in publications like the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and made her a welcome guest on the Today Show,Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS where she was interviewed by Diane Sawyer.

Condé Nast Portfolio magazine wrote, "Debra Benton is one of the top five coaches to have on speed dial." TopCEOcoaches.com ranked her in the top ten coaches in the world and as the number one female coach in 2013.


Phil Ponce
Phil Ponce is host of Chicago Tonight, a nightly television magazine of news and culture on WTTW11, the most-watched PBS station in the country. Nationally, Ponce was one of Jim Lehrer’s anchors on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

Ponce is an experienced facilitator and moderator of strategic corporate gatherings.  He has been a moderator or panelist in debates including those for the Presidency, the U.S. Senate, governor and mayor. He is known for his preparation and it is his affability and professionalism that have resulted in repeat invitations from clients. 

Ponce is also an experienced speaker—particularly about current events, politics and journalism. Ponce’s awards include “Illinois Journalist of the Year”, the Studs Terkel Award for Journalism and the City Club of Chicago’s Award for Excellence in Journalism.

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