Featured Speakers

Home/Agenda/Featured Speakers
Featured Speakers 2017-10-02T18:51:36+00:00

ISAAC LIDSKY

February 26, 2018 – Convention Opening Session

“Isaac Lidsky may possess the most eclectic resume in business. Over the years, he has been a child television star, a Supreme Court clerk, and the co-founder of an internet startup. More recently, Lidsky has used his gift for logistics to build ODC Construction into one of the fastest-growing construction businesses,” transforming an unsophisticated $11 million concrete subcontractor that was hemorrhaging money into an industry-leading $150 million construction services company—in 5 years.

-Inc. Magazine, October 1, 2015.

As Inc. recently reported, “Isaac Lidsky may possess the most eclectic resume in business. Over the years, he has been a child television star [(he played series regular “Weasel” on NBC’s “Saved By The Bell: The New Class”)], a Supreme Court clerk [(for Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg)], and the co-founder of an internet startup. More recently, Lidsky has used his gift for logistics to build ODC Construction into one of the fastest-growing construction businesses,” transforming an unsophisticated $11 million concrete subcontractor that was hemorrhaging money into an industry-leading $150 million construction services company—in 5 years. Inc. Magazine, October 1, 2015.

His main stage TED Talk in 2016 was viewed more than a million times in its first three weeks, and his book, “Eyes Wide Open” (Penguin Random House, Mar. 14, 2017) is a New York Times, USA Today and Indie bestseller, and was named one of the Washington Post’s top 10 leadership books to read in 2017.

The full list of his accomplishments is far longer. Lidsky graduated from Harvard at 19 with an honors degree in mathematics and computer science. He graduated from Harvard Law School magna cum laude. As a U.S. Justice Department lawyer, Lidsky argued more than a dozen appeals in federal court on behalf of the United States and never lost a case. He founded a nonprofit organization to fund the development of treatments for blinding diseases and within 5 years grew it to a dozen cities nationwide and more than $5 million. The technology company he founded sold for $230 million.

Lidsky has been recognized for his achievements dozens of times and his leadership is routinely sought after. He is an advisor to a $1+ billion tech “unicorn.” He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the world’s premier peer network of chief executives and business leaders, and was tapped to lead the Orlando Chapter and to serve on the Regional Executive Committee for the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean. He was asked to join the Young Entrepreneur Council. He has been appointed to State leadership positions by the Governor of Florida and to a federal position by a U.S. Senator. He sits on the Board of the Florida Hospital For Children. He was named 1 of 4 Temple Bar Scholars by the United Kingdom’s Inns of Court and brought to London for a month-long idea exchange with UK Supreme Court Justices and leading barristers.

This is true in his professional life and personal life alike. Isaac married Dorothy, the love of his life, in June 2004. In September 2010 she gave birth to their triplets, Lily Louise, Phineas and Thaddeus—collectively, “The Tripskys”—and in December 2015 baby Clementine completed the family. The Lidskys 6 live in Windermere, Florida.

Unsurprisingly, Lidsky has been featured in numerous national media, including Forbes, The New York Times, MSNBC, U.S. News & World Report, 60 Minutes, CNN, Voice of America, Business News Daily, Daily Business Review, Business Insider, Men’s Health, People Magazine, the National Law Journal, and the American Bar Association Journal. He is regularly asked by the media to provide his commentary on the construction industry, leadership and/or entrepreneurship. Invariably, his story shines through his commentary, and with his story, great inspiration.

Additional Resources:

NEIL JACOBSTEIN

February 27, 2018 – Build America Awards Keynote

Neil Jacobstein is the Chair of AI and Robotics at Singularity University at the NASA Research Park in Mountain View, CA. He is a former President of the now 9 year old university, which has a mission of educating leaders about the technical, business, and ethical implications of exponential technologies that double in price performance every 18 to 24 months. He is a distinguished visiting scholar at Stanford University’s MediaX Program, where he conducts research on augmented decision environments. Neil has 25 years of AI system building and technical R&D consulting experience with a long list of industrial and government customers.

Neil Jacobstein is the chairman of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Track at Singularity University, whose mission is “to educate, inspire and empower a new generation of leaders to apply exponential technologies to address humanity’s grand challenges.” He also served as SU president from 2010–2011. He is a distinguished visiting scholar in the Stanford University Media X Program, where his research focuses on augmented decision systems.

Dynamic speaker makes technology clear to lay audiences. Jacobstein delivers a thoughtful, easy to understand, and up-to-date view of the future of technology. He addresses how it will impact a variety of tasks and industries. He explores technology innovation, disruption, and the real-world applications of AI and Robotics. Energetic on stage, he provides powerful visuals and jaw-dropping insights, addresses business, technical, and ethical issues, customizes his talks to his audiences’ industries, and enjoys interactive Q&A.

Sought After Technical Expert. Jacobstein has 25 years of AI system building and technical R&D consulting experience with a long list of industrial and governmental partners. He served as a technical consultant on AI research and development projects for NASA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Science Foundation, NIH, EPA, DOE, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force, GM, Ford, Boeing, Applied Materials, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and more. He was also CEO of Teknowledge Corporation, where he worked on AI applications systems for industry and government. Jacobstein chaired Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence’s 17th Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference, and continues to review technical papers on the Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Technical Program Committee. Since 1992, he has served as Chairman of the Institute for Molecular Manufacturing, a 501c3 nanotechnology R&D organization focused on the development of atomically precise robotics. He was appointed in 2016 to the Founding Editorial Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) Science Robotics journal.

Integration of Technology, Business, and Ethics.  Jacobstein is deeply interdisciplinary, and has a keen sense of how the arts and sciences can integrate. He was appointed by the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to the Earth and Life Studies Committee for the period 2015-2018. Jacobstein is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He has moderated several Aspen Institute Socrates Seminars on the technical and ethical implications of advanced technologies, and he coaches Socrates Program moderators. Jacobstein has given invited talks worldwide on the technical, business, and ethical implications of AI and exponential technologies. He has served in a wide variety of executive and advisory roles for industry, startup, nonprofit, and government organizations.

LT. GENERAL RUSSEL HONORÉ

February 27, 2018 – Constructon Safety Excellence Awards Keynote

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré helps organizations develop a culture of preparedness and problem solving with strategies for transforming individuals into take-charge leaders. As the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, he became known as the “Category 5 General” for his striking leadership style in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans. A decorated 37-year army veteran and global authority on leadership and emergency preparedness, Gen. Honoré now shares his no-nonsense approach to getting the job done by showing organizations how to successfully lead and execute a mission.

Lieutenant General Honoré is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College, an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Stillman College, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Stillman College.

Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina – leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana – General Honoré served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense.

As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honoré’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense.

For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense planning and response for Hurricanes Floyd in 1999; Lilli and Isidore in 2002 (both hit the Gulf Coast); Isabel in 2003; and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004.

General Honoré also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Department’s planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honoré participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.

PHIL DOWNER

February 27, 2018 – Contractors Prayer Breakfast

Phil Downer serves as President of Discipleship Network of America (DNA). DNA is a nationwide network of people committed to following Christ’s life of winning and discipling others to become disciple makers. The spiritual reproductive ministry of DNA flows out of the lives of people focused on Christ in their work, marriage, family, neighborhood, and church.

Phil Downer serves as President of Discipleship Network of America (DNA). DNA is a nationwide network of people committed to following Christ’s life of winning and discipling others to become disciple makers. The spiritual reproductive ministry of DNA flows out of the lives of people focused on Christ in their work, marriage, family, neighborhood, and church.

Phil is a popular national speaker at men’s events such as Iron Sharpens Iron and Promise Keepers and speaks to all branches of the U. S. military at voluntary chapels on leadership, core values, and the truths he has learned that have transformed his life. Phil also speaks at couples events with his wife, Susy, and at family conferences. He has been featured twice on Focus On the Family and, along with Mike Wilkins, is the subject of Day of Discovery’s 2010 documentary, “The War Within: Finding Hope For Post-Traumatic Stress.” He is the author of Eternal Impact: Investing in the Lives of Others, A Father’s Reward – Raising Your Children to Walk in the Truth, Optimize Your Marriage, Just An Ordinary Man: Principles of Godly Leadership, Brave, Strong, and Tender, and a coauthor of From Hell To Eternity: Life After Trauma. He and Susy are coauthors with David and Teresa Ferguson of Unlimited Partnership: Building Intimacy & Teamwork Into Your Marriage. Phil is also the editor and coauthor of Effective Men’s Ministry, published by Zondervan.

A former machine gunner who served in Viet Nam with the United States Marine Corps in 1967 and 1968, Phil received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University in 1972 and a Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law in 1975. Phil was a successful lawyer before being led to Christ and discipled by fellow professionals. He left his position as senior partner of a 50-attorney law firm, with offices in Atlanta, Washington, Dallas, and San Diego, to serve as President of CBMC for a decade. Phil is on the Steering Committee of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries, a former elder of his church, and a member of CBMC.