2019 Keynote Speakers
Ever wonder what it is like to hurdle down a mountain on two skis at speeds up to 70 MPH virtually blind, relying on verbal cues from your guide a few feet in front of you? This is what Danelle Umstead does every day.
At the age of 13, Danelle was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a genetic eye condition where the retina progressively degenerates and eventually causes blindness. She has no central vision and is losing her peripheral vision. Currently, her spotted vision limits her sight to less than five feet without any detail.
Danelle’s father Peter, first introduced her to adaptive skiing in 2001, in Northern New Mexico. He promised to be her eyes on the slopes. Danelle was in a horrible place at that point in her life- having just lost her mom, sight, and essentially her will to live. She was hesitant to ski, feeling as if blind people couldn’t do anything, let alone ski down a mountain. But, from the moment she felt the rush of the mountain air against her face and the snow underneath her skis, she was hooked. She had a new vision for her life and began training to overcome her disability and focusing on all of her abilities.
Skiing not only gave Danelle her life back, it also led to meeting her husband, Rob, while skiing in Taos, New Mexico in 2005. Within a year, the two moved to Park City, UT to start a life together. Danelle and Rob would later marry at the top of the mountain in Utah and ski down in their wedding clothes. Little did they know that it would all lead to careers as a dynamic alpine skiing team.
Shiza Shahid is an entrepreneur, technologist, investor and impact leader.
Shiza co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and led the organization as founding CEO. She focused on creating access to high quality education for all children around the world.
Shiza launched NOW Ventures in Silicon Valley, in partnership with AngelList, the largest Venture Capital Platform in the world. She invests in mission-driven technology startups, that are solving the world’s most pressing challenges through technology, innovation, and high-growth business models.
General Session Speaker
Melanie Spring is a brand storyteller, international keynote speaker, and speaker trainer with a drive to make sure you become unforgettable. Melanie is one of those people who can walk into a room and light it up. She’ll make you want to be her best friend, yet when she gets to know enough of your story, she’ll find the perfect way to push you outside of your box.