Hero- Speakers


BrandStorm Speakers


Dr. Todd Dewett

Dr. Todd Dewett is one of the world’s most watched leadership personalities: an authenticity expert, best-selling author at LinkedIn Learning, a TEDx speaker, and an Inc. Magazine Top 100 leadership speaker. He has been quoted widely, including the New York Times, BusinessWeek, and TIME.

After beginning his career with Andersen Consulting and Ernst & Young he completed his PhD in Organizational Behavior at Texas A&M University and enjoyed a career as an award winning professor and scholar.

Todd has delivered over 1,000 speeches and created a body of educational work enjoyed by over 20,000,000 professionals around the globe. His recent clients include Microsoft, ExxonMobil, Pepsi, Boeing, General Electric, Caterpillar, and hundreds more.


Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer, SXSW

Forrest was named "Austinite of the Year" in 2012 by the Austin Chamber of Commerce (along with fellow SXSW Directors Roland Swenson, Louis Black and Nick Barbaro). In 2014, Forrest and these other SXSW Directors were named Austin Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young. He recently received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Kenyon College, his alma matter.

In addition to his work at SXSW, he has previously served on of the National Advisory Board for the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is currently part of the Board of Directors for Austin Habitat for Humanity and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Austin-based accessibility company Knowbility. Additionally, he is a trustee for the Austin Awesome Foundation.

Before joining the SXSW team in the dark ages of 1989, he founded a small monthly alternative publication called The Austin Challenger. He also wrote for several other newspapers and publications, including the Austin Chronicle, the Texas Sports Chronicle, the West Austin News, Willamette Week and the Seattle Weekly.


Liz Caselli-Mechael, Digital Corporate Communications Lead, Nestle

Liz Caselli-Mechael leads Nestlé’s digital communications in the U.S., immersing audiences in a broad range of dynamic content from coffee rocket-launches, to live coverage of community volunteer events. She can also handle a troll or two when she needs to! Previously, she worked to promote food and agriculture innovation as the Director of Issues Management at FoodInsight.org. Liz began her career working on public-private partnerships in agriculture and farmer communication across Central America and East and West Africa.

Outside of Nestlé’s digital channels, Liz also coaches executives on content and thought leadership strategy and serves as a proud board member at Miriam’s Kitchen, which works to end chronic homelessness. She holds a degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from the Georgetown University, along with an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University and an MBA in Agribusiness from the Indiana University. 


Jefferson Davis, President, Competitive Edge

Jefferson Davis is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author with 33 years exhibiting experience. Davis has executed exhibits at over 200 tradeshows and has developed his practical, workable processes that address critical exhibiting success factors.

Since 1988, Davis has been studying how to make tradeshows more productive and profitable. In 1991, he wrote his first seminar “The Seven Secrets of Successful Tradeshow Selling” and marketed it to tradeshow organizers as a way to help exhibitors get better results. In 1991, Davis founded Competitive Edge, an exhibitor education and training consulting firm. Competitive Edge provides clients with the latest and best ideas, information, knowledge and skills through multiple media, at the right time frames in the show execution cycle.

Competitive Edge has become the most prolific and successful exhibitor educational and training firm in North America. Show organizers and exhibitors of all sizes, in all industries, utilize Davis’ experience and knowledge to help improve their exhibit program to gain maximum ROI and provide more valuable experience for show attendees, including over 50 of the TSNN Top 250 Tradeshows.