our 2017 keynote speakers:

Haile Thomas

is 16 years old, a youth health activist, motivational speaker, teen vegan chef, and the youngest Certified Health Coach trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is also, the founder and CEO of the HAPPY Organization established in 2012.  HAPPY (Healthy Active Positive Purposeful Youth) was established to address the need for free and/or low-cost nutrition and culinary education for young people in underserved areas and at-risk communities.  At 10 years old, Haile began her journey to engage, educate, and inspire youth and families to embrace healthy habits. Her experience in the health food movement includes personally engaging well over 7000 young people in schools, summer camps, community events, and through HAPPY’s youth programs and special events.  Haile has appeared at major health and wellness conferences across the United States; and featured on the Today Show, Fusion TV, Dr. Oz, Food Network, the Home and Family Show, and The Rachael Ray Show.  Haile has also been highlighted in several major American publications including the New York Times, Fortune.com, O Magazine, Teen Vogue, and YES Magazine, and she is the first teen to be featured on the Cover of Experience Life Magazine in September 2016.

Justin Lafazan

Born in 1996, Justin has been perpetually described as having his ‘head in the clouds.’  He attended Syosset High School in Long Island, New York.  After acceptance to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, he deferred his admission to pursue his projects, and after some time, is back at Penn.

Due to his inability to sit still, he jumped at every opportunity to participate in business ventures, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations (see full bio).

In his time off and before Wharton, Justin founded Students4Students College Advisory, a higher ed. consulting firm, and Millennial Marketing Strategy, a full-service digital marketing company.

Now, he focuses on curating the Next Gen Summit, and launching Next Gen Ventures.

Justin recently launched his best-selling book – What Wakes You Up? – and decided to donate all my profits to the Next Gen Foundation, a nonprofit scholarship granting organization.

Justin has also been featured in in ForbesUSA TodayInc. Magazine, Huffington Post, and more.

Past Diamond Challenge Speakers

*Orange indicates Keynote Speaker

Sam Beard

Jefferson Awards Foundation

Alexa Curtis

Life in the Fashion Lane

Lisa Ford

Capital One

Susan Frech

Social Media Link

Dan Freeman

The Horn Program

Julie Frieswyk

The Horn Program

Trevor Geise


Megan Grassell

Yellowberry Company

Katlyn Grasso


Emma Johnson

Em John Jewelry

Elizabeth Kennedy

The Jefferson Awards Foundation

Ben Mathew


Nat Measley

The Fun Dept.

Tony Middlebrooks

The Horn Program

Sylvester Mobley

Coded by Kids

Mac Nagaswami


Shelby Newsome

Tote Magazine

Margaret O'Dwyer

Delaware Youth Leadership Network

Lori Palmer

Trellist Marketing and Technology

Jill Pante

Jill Pante

Zach Phillips

The Kitchen

Ben Rapkin


Rich Roat

House Industries

Ryan Swartz

Capital One

Jessi Taylor

Barrel of Makers

Andrea Tinianow

Global Delaware

Lindsay Yeager

Dare Women’s Foundation

2017 Workshops

Haile Thomas

Be Bold! Be Passionate! Be True!

Professor Tony Middlebrooks

Give your Creativity a Kick in the Seat of the Pants

Zack Jones

The Rise of Cryptocurrency & Bitcoin

Sally Marie Young


Mac Nagaswami

Startup Story: from Student to Startup, Carvertise story

Rich Sedmak

Strategies for Building a Company While in High School

Jonathan Maxim

Expansive Mind, Limited Budget: Make Growth Hacking Work for You

Amira Idris

Startup Story: from Student to Startup, Vibrating Therapeutic Apparel

Mike Mackenzie

Mindfulness for Innovation

Alexis Mattei

Mindfulness for Innovation

Pauline Rubin

How to Write your First Line of Code

John Himics

How to Write your First Line of Code

Ben Rapkin

10 Questions You Need to Answer Now

Types of Speaker Opportunities

Keynote Speaker


Summit Speaker

Workshop Host