Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk was nine years old when his brother changed his life by giving him a blue fiberglass Bahne skateboard. By fourteen he’d turned pro, and by sixteen he was widely considered the best skateboarder on earth. World Champion for 12 years in a row, Hawk continues to skate demos and exhibitions internationally, making him the most recognized action-sports figure in the world. According to some marketing surveys, Tony is the most recognizable athlete of any kind in the United States. In 1999, he teamed up with Activision to create the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game. His life would never be the same. In a stroke of good timing, at the X Games that same year, Tony became the first skateboarder to ever land a 900, the holy grail of vert skateboarding.

Today, his business skills have helped create a Tony Hawk brand that includes a billion-dollar video game franchise, successful businesses such as Birdhouse Skateboards, Hawk Clothing, and the Tony Hawk Signature Series sporting goods and toys. A savvy marketer with social networking, Tony’s fan base numbers in the millions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. His video game series has surpassed $1.4 billion in sales with the most recent version, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, released in the Fall of 2015. ?He regularly appears on television and in films, and hosts a show on Sirius XM radio’s Faction channel. His autobiography, HAWK—Occupation: Skateboarder, was a New York Times bestseller, and in 2010 Wiley Publishing released How Did I Get Here? The Ascent of an Unlikely CEO. In 2012, in partnership with Google, Inc. Tony’s film production company, 900 Films, launched the RIDE Channel and has since grown into the biggest skateboard destination on YouTube.

Tony is a role model for fans of all ages. His Tony Hawk Foundation has given away over $5.5 million to 572 skatepark projects throughout the United States. Tony’s foundation helps finance public skateparks in low-income areas in all 50 states and other parts of the world through their partnership with Skateistan, providing a safe place to skate, and helping to build the self-confidence of youths from Marathon, Florida to Sitka, Alaska. Skateparks that received financial assistance from the Tony Hawk Foundation currently serve over 5-million kids annually.

Biz Stone

Christopher "Biz" Stone is an American entrepreneur who is best known as the co-founder of social media platform Twitter, blog-publishing platform Medium, and search engine Jelly. A progenitor of social media, Biz has been developing large-scale systems that facilitate the open exchange of information for nearly two decades.

Biz is also an active angel investor, board director, public speaker, and a prominent philanthropist. Most recently, Biz sold Jelly to Pinterest and returned to Twitter, full time.

Biz has been honored with the International Center for Journalism Innovation Award, Inc. Magazine named him “Entrepreneur of the Decade,” TIME listed him as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World,” and GQ named him “Nerd of the Year.” In 2014, The Economist recognized Biz with their annual Innovation Award. In 2015, Biz's Twitter won an Emmy and Biz received CIPR’s most prestigious accolade for his leadership at the forefront of developing new forms of media.

Biz's philanthropic efforts are focused in the areas of animal rights, environmentalism, and education. He is an advisor and contributor to DonorsChoose, a nonprofit that helps classrooms in need. He and his wife also founded and operate the Biz and Livia Stone Foundation, which supports education and conservation in California.

In addition to being a technologist, Biz is a Visiting Fellow at The University of Oxford, an Executive fellow at UC Berkeley, a filmmaker, and an author. Stone’s book is titled, "Things A Little Bird Told Me," a sometimes humorous memoir in the business category. Having started out as an artist, Biz stresses creativity, learning from mistakes, and celebrating the triumph of humanity with a little help from technology.

Ashton Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher is an actor, philanthropist, entrepreneur, investor, and producer.

Kutcher has been named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and earned a place on Vanity Fair's New Establishment List, which identifies the top 50 of an innovative new breed of buccaneering visionaries, engineering prodigies and entrepreneurs. Twice, Kutcher was named one of Forbes magazine’s “World’s Most Powerful Celebrities,” as well as one of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People.”

In 2011, Kutcher co-created a venture fund, A-Grade Investments, with Ron Burkle and Guy Oseary. To date, A-Grade has invested in multiple notable tech companies including Airbnb, Spotify, Uber, Flipboard, Oscar Health, Warby Parker, Nextdoor, and Houzz. In 2014, Kutcher and Oseary created another fund, Sound Ventures, which has invested in  Zenreach, Handy, Gusto, Acorns, Mark43, and more.

His production company, Katalyst, was named one of the “Top 50 Most Inspiring Innovators” by Ad Age and one of the “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company.

Kutcher is also the co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children (www.wearethorn.com), which drives technology innovation to fight the sexual exploitation of children.

Kutcher stars in the Netflix original series, "The Ranch." He also serves as the show's executive producer. Kutcher first gained recognition as Michael Kelso on the Fox series "That 70’s Show," and from 2011 to 2015 Kutcher starred in the CBS comedy series "Two and a Half Men." Kutcher went on to star in a variety of box office hits on the big screen – including "What Happens In Vegas" with Cameron Diaz, "The Guardian" with Kevin Costner, "No Strings Attached" with Natalie Portman, and the cult hit "Dude, Where’s My Car?"

Peter Shankman

An author, entrepreneur, speaker, and worldwide connector, Peter is recognized worldwide for radically new ways of thinking about Customer Service, Social Media, PR, marketing and advertising.

PR Week Magazine has described Peter Shankman as “redefining the art of networking,” and Investor’s Business Daily has called him “crazy, but effective.” Peter Shankman is a spectacular example of what happens when you harness the power of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and put it to work for you. Peter Shankman is recognized nationally and globally for doing PR (and everything else) differently—not only to get attention, produce great results, and create great companies, but also to have a lot of fun while at it every day.

Peter Shankman is the founder and CEO of The Geek Factory, Inc., boutique marketing and PR Strategy firm located in New York City, with clients worldwide. His blog, PR Differently, which he launched in 2004, both comments on and generates industry-related news and conversation. Peter Shankman founded AirTroductions, the world’s first social network for business travelers after a particularly brutal inter-continental flight. Launched in 2005 to instant media attention and growth, AirTroductions was acquired in mid-2007 and relaunched in January of 2008 as TripLife, (www.triplife.com) the largest social networking and connections website for all travelers.

In 2008 Peter Shankman launched Help A Reporter Out (HARO) which connects journalists with the sources they require using a social media platform. HARO is already over 250,000 members. Peter Shankman‘s PR and Marketing clients have included the Snapple Beverage Group, Walt Disney World, Vantage Point Venture Partners, American Express, Discovery Networks, New Frontier Media, OpSec Security, Napster, Juno, GenuOne, Dream Catcher Destinations Club, Prstore, Weblo, and many others, and he sits on the board of both Scott-e-Vest, the world’s first technologically enabled clothing line, as well as TripLife.

Peter is the author of four books: Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans (2015) Nice Companies Finish First: Why Cutthroat Management is Over, and Collaboration is in, (2013,) Can We Do That?! Outrageous PR Stunts That Work--And Why Your Company Needs Them (2006,) and Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (2010) and a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at conferences, shows, marketing summits, corporate events, and public relations and marketing industry meetings, including Saatchi and Saatchi, Home Town Suites Hotels, NAB, Comdex, CTIA, CTAM, CES, PMA, The Next Gen Asia Advertising Conference, Mobile Marketing Asia 2007, Advertising Week, and the Direct Marketing Association.

Peter is an adjunct professor of Marketing at New York University, and sits on the advisory boards of several companies, all visible on the Advising/Investing page, and is honored to sit on the NASA Civilian Advisory Council, appointed to his position by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. He’s also an angel investor, specializing mostly in very early stage tech and social media companies.

To punctuate his full-throttle schedule, Peter Shankman is a marketing pundit for the Fox News Channel Program The O’Reilly Factor and he has been a guest on many other major US and International news channels. He was featured in Men’s Journal, MSNBC, and The New York Times, and he is frequently quoted in major media and trade publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, and USA Today.

A proud Boston University graduate, Peter started his career at America Online as a Senior News Editor, helping found the AOL Newsroom and spearheading coverage of the Democratic and Republican 1996 conventions, which marked the first time an online news service covered any major political event.
Born and raised in New York City, Peter Shankman still lives there with his wife and daughter. In the few hours of spare time Peter Shankman has per month, he’s a frequent runner, with 13 completed marathons and an Olympic distance triathlon to his credit, an amateur boxer, and a “B” licensed skydiver.