Mathew Knowles, MBA, Ph.D
Mathew Knowles, MBA, Ph.D., is the founder of Music World Entertainment Corporation. He is widely recognized in the entertainment industry for facilitating more than 100 award-winning, platinum and gold albums and for working with award-winning artists such as Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, Solange, the O’Jays, Chaka Khan and many others. Knowles has had a distinguished 20-year career in sales and marketing with Fortune 500 companies such as Xerox, Phillips and Johnson & Johnson, and he holds an MBA in Strategic Planning and Organizational Culture, as well as a Ph.D. in Business Administration.
Knowles is a visiting professor at Prairie View A&M University, and he has lectured in more than 25 colleges and universities around the world, including Harvard, Howard, UCLA, Cornell and the University of Cape Town, to name just a few. Knowles is an award-winning author with five books to his credit, including “The DNA of Achievers," "Racism from the Eyes of a Child," "Public Relations and Media," "The Emancipation of Slaves Through Music" and "Destiny’s Child: The Untold Story."
Daniel García Ordaz
Daniel García Ordaz, a.k.a. The Poet Mariachi, is a writer and educator from Mission, Texas. He is the author of "You Know What I'm Sayin'?" and "Cenzontle/Mockingbird: Songs of Empowerment." He is also a founder of the Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival.
García, whose parents emigrated from México, is an Eagle Scout, a U.S. Navy veteran, a former newspaper journalist and a former migrant farm worker. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas — Pan American and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Texas — Rio Grande Valley.
García's work has been taught at colleges and universities. His forthcoming book, "Read Until You Bleed," is a collection of children's poetry. His work also appears in several anthologies, including "Twenty," "Poetry of Resistance," "Juventúd!" and "Living Beyond Borders," among others. García's work has also appeared in several journals, and he has been a panelist, featured poet or guest author at AWP, the Texas Book Festival, the Dallas International Book Fair, the Texas Library Association and Gemini Ink, among others.
Gaby Natale is a three-time Emmy award-winning media personality, entrepreneur and influencer. She is the executive producer and host of the TV show "SuperLatina," which airs nationwide on VME TV, a member of the PBS family. Gaby is also one of the few women to own a production studio. This unique situation has allowed her to combine her passion for media and her entrepreneurial spirit. In 2017, Gaby became the first Spanish-language TV host to win back to back Daytime Emmys in the "Outstanding Talent Category." In May 2016, Gaby and "SuperLatina" won two Daytime Emmy awards, for "Outstanding Daytime Talent in a Spanish Language Program" and "Outstanding Entertainment Program in Spanish," respectively. This was a first for an independently produced Spanish-language show. In the digital world, Gaby has developed a thriving fan base, with over 52 million views on YouTube and over 200,000 followers on social media. She is also the co-founder and president of AGANARmedia, a marketing company with a focus on Latino audiences. AGANARmedia's clients include such Fortune 500 companies as Hilton Worldwide, Sprint, AT&T, Ebay and Amazon, to name a few.
Tara Peters, Ph.D.
Dr. Tara Peters is the founder and managing director of Peters Consulting Group (PCG). She's a gifted educator who believes there is no greater calling than educating our future generations. A professional educator for more than 24 years, she currently serves as the Texas Campus Academic Dean and as a professor in the DeVos Graduate School at Northwood University. Peters earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership and Systems, and she has been invited to teach on multiple occasions in Northwood's international programs.
Peters also consults internationally, and she has worked with several companies in the DFW Metroplex, including Coca-Cola Bottling, Allstate Insurance, Walmart Distribution Center, Medical Center of Plano and Ocwen, to name a few. Her scholarly work has been presented at regional and national conferences.
Jason Ryan Pointer
Jason Pointer is the director of pastoral care and counseling at the largest state psychiatric hospital in Texas. He is a certified instructor for Mental Health First Aid and trained alongside police officers, earning a Mental Health Peace Officer certificate. A gifted speaker, teacher, writer and thinker, he has presented for seminars, conferences and organizations, including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Jason also has certifications in critical incident stress management, crisis response, disaster spiritual care and de-escalation techniques. As an ordained minister and professionally trained hospital chaplain with a specialization in mental health care, he has served in the emergency room, during disasters and alongside first responders, and he has been recognized multiple times for his passion and exceptional patient care.
Ryan Romano (USAW, FNS, PN-1) is a high performance and wellness expert, writer and speaker. He is also the CEO of the Warehouse Performance Institute, a Birmingham, Alabama-based sports and human performance training center. For almost a decade, Ryan has worked with 15,000 individuals and 3,000 families around the country, providing physical, mental and emotional training. He specializes in building an individual's confidence and self-esteem, as well as providing mentoring and coaching to help the individual discover and align their true value and worthiness.
Matthew truly believes that when all people begin to push themselves and search for their "why," the world will be a better place. He enjoys talking with people and getting to know them on a deep personal level. While earning his master's degree, Matthew had the opportunity to complete an internship at a children's advocacy center in North Texas, where he provided mental therapy to victims of abuse of all ages. It was at the center that he began to recognize his "why" and develop the belief in his purpose to help and inspire others to discover their mental grit and push their personal limits — physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Matthew has two daughters, Bella and Sheridan, ages 13 and 8. He continually seeks to reinforce his purpose with them by having discussions about quotes to help them discover more about themselves, and he encourages physical boundary tests by coaching them in soccer and basketball. Matthew seeks to ignite hope in and inspire people to realize that they can do more than they believe.
Shani Scott was born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Dallas. She graduated from David W. Carter High School in 1994 and began her radio career in August of the same year. She is a published author, actress and spokesperson for various organizations. In June of 2013, she became the first black female programmer of a radio station in the east Texas market. She is also the owner of The Media Room and handles bookings for Lavish Wink & More, DJ Big Bink, multi-platinum recording artist Beyoncé's father, Mathew Knowles, and various other national artists. Additionally, she works with such organizations as the Texas Black Women's Coalition for HIV/AIDS and the American Stroke Association. Shani has four children, Carlie, Cailie, Amaria and K.J. She believes that with faith, all things are possible.
Frances West is an internationally recognized thought leader, speaker, strategy advisor and women-in-technology trailblazer known for her work in innovation, technology and business transformation. She is the author of "Authentic Inclusion™ Drives Disruptive Innovation" and the founder of FrancesWestCo, a global strategy advisory company focused on operationalizing inclusion as a business and technology imperative. Her insightful knowledge and "human first" approach come from her personal journey as a first-generation, non-English speaking immigrant and her career as a technology executive, which includes becoming IBM's first Chief Accessibility Officer.
Frances' expertise has been highly sought after by governments, businesses, nonprofits and startups. She was invited to be the sole IT expert witness to testify before the U.S. Senate on the need to pass the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. She also was recently appointed as an instructor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and she holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Massachusetts in Boston in recognition of her work in accessibility, research and digital inclusion.
Frances was born in Taiwan and educated in Hong Kong and the U.S. She is married with two sons and currently resides in Newton, Mass.