Keynote Speakers

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Lorena Ochoa was born on November 15 in the city of Guadalajara, Jalisco. She is an athlete, mother, entrepreneur, and unbreakable promoter of golf in Mexico. She was the best player in the world for 157 consecutive weeks (April 2007–April 2010).

Ochoa began her professional career in May 2002; she conquered 27 tournaments in the LPGA, including 2 majors. She was named one of the World’s Most Powerful People in 2008, same year she was listed as one of the 100 Most Influential People by TIME.

In 2010, Ochoa paused her professional career as a golf player to focus on her foundation, which started in 1998 focused on the education of low-income children. It currently supports 360 students through altruistic activities.

In March of 2012, she became the host of the TV show Vive el Golf, which airs on CNN en Español with a rating of 34 million people. It’s a 30-minute show that shows how golf is growing and getting more popular in Latin America.

Mother of three kids, Pedro (9), Julia (7), and Diego (5), she is happily married with Andres Conesa and lives in Mexico City.

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Born in 1964 in Barletta, Italy, Francesco Lotoro is a pianist, composer, and conductor in addition to being a piano professor at the “U. Giordano” Music Conservatory, in Foggia. He obtained his piano diploma at the “N. Piccinni” Music Conservatory in Bari, then continued his piano studies with Kornel Zempleny and Laszlo Almasy at the “F. Liszt” Music Academy in Budapest, and he fine-tuned his studies with Viktor Merzhanov, Tamas Vasary, and Aldo Ciccolini.

For the past 30 years, he has tirelessly been involved in recovering, studying, revising, archiving, executing, recording, and promoting thousands of works of concentrationary music. He has recovered over 8,000 scores—often produced in a condition of deprivation of the most elementary human rights—in concentration, extermination, and civil and military imprisonment camps all over the world from 1933 (opening of the KZ Dachau) to 1953 (death of Joseph Stalin and amnesty for Gulag prisoners).

He is the author—as pianist, organist, and conductor—of the KZ Musik, a CD encyclopedia in 24 volumes (Musikstrasse—ICML) containing 407 works written in civilian and military captivity during the Second World War, and of the Anthology of Concentrationary Music.

Currently he is working on the edition of the Encyclopaedia Thesaurus Musicae Concentrationariae, a monumental multivolume work dedicated to music written in concentration camps and to all related composers.

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Sharon Leslie Morgan is a writer and genealogist. She is the founder of Our Black Ancestry (OBA), an online community dedicated to providing resources for African American genealogical research, preserving historical materials and properties, and promoting healing of wounds that are the legacy of slavery. OBA is a partner with FamilySearch on the ROAR (Reclaiming Our African Roots) project.

Morgan is the coauthor of Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade (Beacon Press, 2012). She is also a contributor to Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation (Rutgers University Press, 2019) and The Little Book of Racial Healing: Coming to the Table for Truth-Telling, Liberation, and Transformation (Good Books, 2019).

In 2019, she received the James Dent Walker Award from the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society (AAHGS). It is the highest award that can be bestowed “upon a person who has exhibited distinguished accomplishments through a significant and measurable contribution to the research, documentation, and/or preservation of African American history.”

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International motivational speaker and New York Times best-selling author Nick Vujicic was born in 1982 in Melbourne, Australia. Without any medical explanation or warning, Nick came into the world with neither arms nor legs.

Throughout his childhood, Nick dealt with the challenges of school and adolescence, such as bullying, self-esteem issues, depression, and loneliness, as he questioned why he was different from all the other kids.

As Nick grew up, he learned to deal with his disability and gradually went on to tertiary education, obtaining a double Bachelor’s degree, majoring in accounting and financial planning. By the age of 19, Nick started to fulfill his dream of encouraging other people through their struggles.

Nick is now a highly sought-after motivational speaker traveling the world, speaking and coaching others to overcome their obstacles. He has visited over 65 countries, met with 16 presidents, addressed 9 governments, and spoken to over 6.5 million people live! He is an accomplished author with 5 titles, including the New York Times best seller Unstoppable, and is published in over 30 languages.

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Sunetra first came to prominence as a teenager, playing Nisha Batra in Channel Four’s cult soap Brookside. Over the ensuing three decades she has become a BAFTA member and a stalwart of British television, appearing in regular roles in No Angels for Channel Four, in Informer for BBC/Amazon Prime, in Safe House for ITV, and as Dr. Zoe Hanna in BBC 1’s Casualty for nearly a decade. Recently, she filmed a new role in the second series of The Bay for ITV, airing in late 2020 and early 2021, and can be seen in the latest series of Cold Feet, also for ITV. She has won much praise for her pioneering role of Kaneez in Channel Four’s hit drama Ackley Bridge and is currently filming the fourth series.

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Diego Alfredo Lugano Morena is an Uruguayan former professional footballer who played as a central defender.

Nicknamed “Tota,” Lugano played for a number of clubs in South America and Europe, including Plaza Colonia, Club Nacional de Football, São Paulo, Fenerbahçe, Paris Saint-Germain, Málaga, and West Bromwich Albion, before finishing his career with a second spell at Brazilian club São Paulo, where he now works as an administrator.

Lugano made 95 appearances for the Uruguay national team, captaining his country at two FIFA World Cups. He was named best captain at the 2010 tournament.

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Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez (pronounced too-MEE-nez) was appointed the seventh president of Utah Valley University in 2018. Born in a farming village in the Philippine province of Iloilo, she moved with her parents and siblings to the slums of Iloilo City when she was 2 years old, her parents seeking better educational opportunities for their children.

Her pursuit of education eventually took her to the United States, where she graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Russian literature from Brigham Young University (1986). She later earned a master’s degree from Harvard University in Soviet studies (1988) and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science (1996).

Before UVU, President Tuminez was an executive at Microsoft, where she led corporate, external, and legal affairs in Southeast Asia. She also served as vice dean of research at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. She has worked in philanthropy and venture capital in New York City and is a permanent member of the Council of Foreign Relations. She is the author of Russian Nationalism since 1856: Ideology and the Making of Foreign Policy and many other publications. She and her husband, Jeffrey S. Tolk, have three children. In her spare time, she enjoys running, dancing, and traveling.

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Erick Avari has consistently turned in finely crafted performances, from grand opera to soap opera, with stops on and off Broadway and regional theaters and in some of the highest-grossing films in Hollywood, hit television series, and award-winning independent films.

New York stage appearances include Rasputin (New York City Opera), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (director Tony winner A.J. Antoon), ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore (director Joanne Akalaitis), A Map of the World (writer/director David Hare) at the Joseph Papp Public Theater, and The King and I on Broadway.

Regional theaters include the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Goodman Theater in Chicago, Cleveland Playhouse, Dallas Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare and Company, and the Portland Grand Opera.

Avari has been a trailblazer for a generation of South Asian actors in Hollywood. In his fight against stereotypical casting, he has played more than two dozen different ethnicities with authority and believability.