Invite us to Speak
Talent GaloreMembers of the LearningTimes Speakers Bureau are available to energize your face-to-face or your online events. They are a distinguished group of learning-minded individuals that are highly respected in their fields, inspiring and interactive presenters, and skilled at working with in-person and online audiences alike. Selected members of the Speakers Bureau appear below; contact us to inquire about their availability for your next event.
Bonnie Brown is Superintendent of District 75, Citywide Special Education Programs, in the New York City Department of Education, where she spent much of her 35-year career as an educator. Bonnie began as a teacher in 1970, before moving on to become a coordinator of funded programs, assistant principal, principal and, finally, an administrator of programs for students with special needs, a position she has held since 2005. As Superintendent of District 75—which provides support for students who are on the autism spectrum, have significant cognitive delays, are emotionally challenged, sensory impaired, or are multiply disabled—Bonnie developed several initiatives that have won national acclaim. Bonnie has developed collaborations with various colleges and universities and private sector agencies to offer professional development to her staff and perform research in the areas of autism, positive behavior supports and sensory-motor integration.
Speaking topics include: Special education trends, leadership and innovation; reaching all learners with technology; building emotionally literate classrooms, schools, and districts; school leadership.
Known for: Leading the largest public schools special education programs in the United States. Vision and success in engaging even the most challenging learners through innovative technology-enhanced programs. Wit, candor, ability to execute, no-nonsense approach, and creative vision for the future.
Testimonial: “No one knows special education like Bonnie Brown. She’s led the largest special education system in the country, and every day remains deeply committed to what matters most: the needs of each and every learner. And she’s an incredibly inspiring speaker.”
Jonathan Finkelstein is the Executive Producer of LearningTimes. He is well-regarded as a pioneer and innovator in developing and leading online events and gatherings. With upwards of 25,000 hours of actual live online facilitation experience to his name, Jonathan leads the event production team at LearningTimes and ensures that partners receive a level of guidance, quality and expertise that few others can deliver. No two events are ever alike, and Jonathan loves making each unique with the LearningTimes brand of innovation.
Jonathan is author of Learning in Real Time (Wiley/Jossey-Bass), which translates fifteen years of experience facilitating online learning into a practical resource guide for anyone facilitating or teaching online. He also authored the chapter on live online outreach in the The Digital Museum: A Think Guide, published by the American Association of Museums (AAM). As the founder of the first online certification program on real-time online instruction, Jonathan shares his expertise leading effective events and building community with education professionals around the globe. The program is offered in association with Training magazine.
Prior to founding LearningTimes in 2002, Jonathan was a co-founder and senior vice president of product strategy at HorizonLive (now Blackboard Collaborate), and designed the first synchronous collaboration platforms for academia, associations and other non-profits. He also hosted a highly-acclaimed, interactive weekly live online talk show about the people, technology, and business of learning.
Jonathan can be seen as the host of the Real Time Minute, MuseumTimes, and the Online Teaching and Learning podcast series, and is the executive producer of the LT Green Room. He is the moderator and producer of countless live webcasts, online conferences and 3D virtual world events for museum and education professionals. Jonathan also serves on the board of the AAM Media and Technology committee (M&T), one of AAM’s professional networks. Jonathan, the son of two New York City public school teachers, is a Certified Synchronous Training Professional (CSTP) and received his AB degree with honors from Harvard University.
Speaking topics include: Inspirational uses of technology in learning; building online learning communities; innovative practices in synchronous communication online; the future of real-time interaction online; creating winning podcasts; inspiring approaches to kicking K-12 learning up several levels; the future of face-to-face conferences and trade shows; re-inventing museums through technology. Jonathan is also a highly-acclaimed moderator, host, emcee and interviewer and is available to lead panel sessions, conduct interviews, and host events.
Known for: His humor, energy, and ability to captivate and inspire online and face-to-face audiences. Pioneering some of the first online collaboration tools for learning in K-12, higher education, associations and museums and literally writing the book on how to use them well. Integrating magic into his presentations.
Testimonial: “Jonathan is a master of effective facilitation. Interactive, creative and responsive.”
Kenneth (Casey) Green is the founding director of The Campus Computing Project, the largest continuing study of the role of information technology in American colleges and universities. The project is widely cited by both campus officials and corporate executives as a definitive source for data, information, and insight about information technology planning and policy issues affecting American higher education.
A featured speaker at some two dozen academic conferences and professional meetings each year, Green is the author/co-author or editor of a dozen books and published research reports and more than 90 articles and commentaries that have appeared in academic journals and professional publications. He is often quoted on higher education, information technology, and labor market issues in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Education, and other print and broadcast media. Green’s DIGITAL TWEED blog is published by INSIDE HIGHER EDUCATION.
In October 2002, Green received the first EDUCAUSE Award for Leadership in Public Policy and Practice. The award cites his work in creating The Campus Computing Project and recognizes his “prominence in the arena of national and international technology agendas, and the linking of higher education to those agendas.”
In addition to his current work with The Campus Computing Project, Green often serves as a consultant on campus planning, policy, and technology issues. His corporate clients and project sponsors in the information technology and publishing industries include Adobe, Apple, Blackboard, Blackboard Connect, Campus Management, Cengage Learning, CDW-G, Cisco Systems, Dell, Desire2Learn, Follett Higher Education Group, Google, IBM, Jenzabar, Lenovo, McGraw-Hill, Microsoft, NEC America, Oracle, Pearson, Perceptis, Presidium Learning, rSmart, SAS, SunGard Higher Education, and TouchNet, among others.
A graduate of New College in Sarasota, Florida, Green completed his master’s degree at the Ohio State University and earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Speaking topics include: The current and future climate for IT in higher education; the Campus Computing Survey; Anticipating The Unexpected: Campus Security, Emergency Response & Crisis Management; Learning 2.0: Making Sense of the explosion of Web 2.0 tools and their relevance and consequence in Higher Educ.; Digital Content and eBooks.
Known for: His incredible grasp of trends in education technology, informed in part by his role leading the longest running survey of IT in higher education. His data-informed predictive accuracy when it comes to understanding where IT is going.
Testimonial: “Casey is an amazing keynote speaker. He speaks with incredible authority, and has the goods to back it up. His ability to entertain and respond to audience questions is among the very best I have ever witnessed. He’s fast, sharp and spot-on.”
Denise LaBuda is a leading financial literacy expert, committed to building key money skills and habits in kids and adults. In 2008, she founded the Economic Independence Group™, which offers Money Wizdom™ workshops, products, and content licensing to support the development of money skills and habits in children and young adults. She serves as a Kids and Family expert for a new web community for young adults – lifetuner.org – sponsored by AARP which is devoted to helping build critical money skills, and she serves on the board of the Global Sufficiency Network, a non-profit that is addressing scarcity as a fundamental root cause of our current environmental and economic crises. Denise earned her MA in Education and Technology from the University of San Francisco and her BS from the University of Michigan.
Speaking topics include: The current state of financial literacy in the United States and a vision forward; financial literacy skills for children, young adults, and lifelong learners; teaching financial literacy online.
Known for: Creating successful and innovative approaches and programs to teach financial literacy. Encyclopedic knowledge of the field. Passion and wit as a speaker. Ability to field questions on the fly, even ones out of left field. Capacity to inspire audiences to action.
Testimonial: “Denise took an often overwhelming and daunting topic, and turned it into an inspirational learning opportunity for all of us.”
Adam La Faci is a field producer and host at LearningTimes. He is no stranger to producing and public speaking, having co-founded and developed the non-profit theater company, State of Play Productions Inc, in 2006. He has worked as a producer on multiple theatrical productions including a month-long off-Broadway run, multimedia arts projects, and several short films. His other roles within the theater company have included everything from project budgeting to new program development.
At LearningTimes, Adam translates his on-stage production and performing skills into the crafting of engaging online experiences that grab and hold audience attention. He works with subject matter experts to envision, produce and host memorable web-based events.
Acting is Adam’s artistic pursuit. He was a founding member of the resident acting company at Chester Theater Company in Massachusetts, taking part in the launch of their educational outreach program modeled on the 52nd Street Project in NYC. He later starred in the Massachusetts tour of State of Play’s The City That Cried Wolf which culminated in a New York Times critically acclaimed run in the off-Broadway theater, 59E59 Theaters. He has also appeared in several independent short films which screened at the Big Apple Film Festival, Asian American Film Festival, and the Shockerfest Film Festival.
Adam is a well-received speaker at education and museum conferences, such as the International Online Conference, where he was one of the keynote speakers and the American Association of Museums Annual Meeting, where he chaired an online panel on engaging millennial museum visitors. He is an emerging voice for a new generation of learners and museum-goers.
Adam received his BA cum laude from Bard College at Simon’s Rock with a concentration in psychology and theater when he was twenty years old. His educational experience extends into the teaching realm as well. Adam has worked as a teaching assistant for theater college undergraduates, taught summer acting workshops to students ranging from six to sixteen years old, and substitute taught at the high school level.
Speaking topics include: Millennials and museums; improvisation online and offline; how acting informs teaching. He is available as an engaging host and moderator for a range of learning-related events.
Testimonial: “Adam’s presence added a fresh perspective and fun twist to our event. Everyone was energized and looking at the possibilities in a whole new way. Bravo!”
Tom Peters, the CEO of TAP Information Services, a company he founded in 2003 to help organizations innovate, is a librarian by training and inclination. Tom has worked previously at the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC, the academic consortium of the Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago), Western Illinois University in Macomb, Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Minnesota State University at Mankato, and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Tom did his undergraduate work at Grinnell College, where he majored in English and philosophy. He earned his library science degree at the University of Iowa. His second master’s degree (in English) was completed at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His library experience includes reference service, library instruction, collection management, and administration. His current interests include eReading on portable devices, mobile library initiatives (e.g., www.myinfoquest.info), downloadable digital audio book services (e.g., www.unabridged.info), library services in virtual worlds (e.g., Second Life), and online programming using web conferencing software (e.g., www.opal-online.org). Maxito Ricardo is his avatar in Second Life.
Speaking topics include: Trends and innovations for information service professionals; portable eReading; librarianship in virtual environments; downlodable digital audio books; other digital library services, such as SMS-based text reference.
Known for: His knowledge of the information services industry; perspective from experience in nearly every aspect of the library field; direct and fun presentation style; responsiveness to the audience; ability to spot, create and share innovations and trends.
Testimonial: “Tom Peter’s keynote presentation was spot-on. Lively, eye-opening, and interactive.”
Paul Stacey is Director of Communications, Stakeholder and Academic Relations and BCcampus.ca.
With over 25 years as an educator in adult learning, Paul has delivered high-tech educational programs in the private and public sector around the world. Working with BCcampus, Paul leads initiatives to forward shareable online learning resources, online communities, and professional development for educators in all of BC’s public post-secondary institutions.
Before coming to BCcampus, Paul led and managed the training for mission critical air-traffic control programs in Switzerland, Indonesia, and China. He also worked at Simon Fraser University’s eLearning Innovation Centre and before that spent four years helping create the Technical University of British Columbia.
Paul has three undergraduate degrees, and at the age of 50 completed a 100 percent online graduate program in Adult Learning and Global Change with a cohort of learners from around the world. He also serves as Associate Faculty member at Royal Roads University where he co-developed and taught an online International and Global Distance Education course for the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology program.
Paul’s research work includes global perspectives on open educational resources, sustainability in the use and reuse of learning objects and online community quality of life indicators as part of a SSHRC funded Community University Research Alliance (CURA). He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, a webcast and workshop facilitator, and an award winner for his innovative work with educational technology.
Speaking topics include: Global perspectives on open educational resources, sustainability in the use and reuse of learning objects, and online community quality of life indicators for small cities.
Known for: Envisioning, fostering and implementing Innovation in higher education at all levels, from national and regional initiatives down to classroom practice. Ability to frame and structure concepts and new ideas with perfectly designed visuals and organizing maps. Interactive and engaging style.
Testimonial: “Everyone loved Paul’s talk. We all walked away with a clear picture of the educational technology landscape, and were inspired to try something big.”
Dr. Sivasailam “Thiagi” Thiagarajan is the Resident Mad Scientist at The Thiagi Group, an organization with the mission of helping people improve their performance effectively and enjoyably. Thiagi’s long-term clients include AT&T, Arthur Andersen, Bank of Montreal, Cadence Design Systems, Chevron, IBM, Intel, Intelsat, United Airlines, and Liberty Mutual. On a short-term basis, Thiagi has worked with more than 50 different organizations in high-tech, financial services, and management consulting areas. For these clients, Thiagi has consulted and conducted training in such areas as rightsizing, diversity, creativity, teamwork, customer satisfaction, human performance technology, and organizational learning.
Thiagi has published 40 books, 120 games and simulations, and more than 200 articles. He wrote the definitive chapters on simulations and games for ISPI’s Handbook of Human Performance Technology, ASTD’s Training & Development Handbook, and the American Management Association’s Human Resources Management and Development Handbook.
Thiagi has been the president of the North American Simulation and Gaming Associating (NASAGA), International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI), and Association for Special Education Technology (ASET). He has received 17 different awards and Presidential Citations from ISPI, including the society’s highest award, Honorary Life Member. He also received an Honorary Life Member award from NASAGA as well as its highest award, Ifill-Reynolds Award.
Speaking topics include: Rapid Instructional Design; Interactive Strategies for Improving Performance; Creating a Motivating Environment; Team Building; Conflict Management; Performance Needs Analysis; Game-based Learning, and more.
Known for: His engaging, irreverent approach, quick wit, and infinite supply of creative approaches to jazz up or revolutionize your training. Author of numerous best-selling books on training and designing instruction. Equally well-received by in-person and online participants, all of whom request encore performances.
Testimonial: “Great presentation. I was in the session next door and heard how much fun you were having, so I had no choice but to come and check it out for myself. It was well worth it! Thank you.”
John Walber is Chief Executive Officer of LearningTimes and leads the sales, marketing and finance teams. John is LearningTimes employee #2, joining in 2002, and has a diverse background in high-tech management and operations.
Prior to LearningTimes, John served four years as Chief Operating Officer of HorizonLive (now Blackboard Collaborate) where he oversaw all aspects of the start-up e-learning platform company, including Product Strategy, Software Development, Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Customer Support and Finance.
John began his professional life as a television producer and developed the first educational programming for the City of Boston’s Municipal Cable TV Channel, where he produced live and on-demand events for Boston Public Libraries, the Massachusetts Department of Corrections, and the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly, where he was the executive producer of ElderUpdate, a weekly TV news magazine for Seasoned Citizens, and long-term care providers.
Speaking topics include: 3-D virtual worlds for learning; building online learning communities; facilitating live online events; the future of face-to-face conferences and trade shows.
Known for: His whirlwind style and ability to pack in a oodles of great illustrations and examples in a short amount of time; irreverence and sense of humor; leading technology and media organizations; entrepreneurship; predicting technology trends.
Testimonial: “After John Walber’s talk, I felt like I had just gotten off an amusement park ride that I will not soon forget. Fun, informative and inspirational, all at once.”