Executive Sessions

Jim Bowen

Jim Bowen portrait

James A. Bowen, a graduate of Wheaton College, is CEO of one of the fastest growing money management firms in America, First Trust Portfolios L.P., and its affiliate, First Trust Advisors L.P.  He is responsible for the strategic direction of the firms and putting teams in place to meet the many demands of the marketplace with the products and services the firms offer. Mr. Bowen has over 30 years of experience with packaged products for the financial services marketplace. Prior to forming First Trust, he held executive positions at various financial institutions. Mr. Bowen is  known as a champion of free markets and enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurial problem solving.


The Actors' Gang Prison Project

Jeremie Loncka portrait

Jeremie Loncka serves as the Director of Prison Programming for The Actors' Gang Theatre, where he works closely with actor and director Tim Robbins. He has spent the last decade teaching and developing theatrical techniques intended to unlock human potential and foster self-esteem, empathy, and non-violent expression. Currently, he oversees programming in twelve California state prisons, two reentry centers, and one juvenile facility. In 2019, he orchestrated California's first arts-based pilot program for Correctional Officers. Loncka will be joined by Terri Lynn Scrape and Richard Loya, alumni of the Actors’ Gang project.



John Rollins

John Rollins portrait

John Rollins is an attorney and award-winning travel, nature, and wildlife photographer from Kansas City, MO. He was chosen as one of National Geographic's Travel Photographers of the Year in 2016 and has been named one of the Top 10 Travel Photographers in the World. His striking image of a mother polar bear and her yearling cub on an Arctic iceberg received an Honorable Mention in the Nature category of the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Competition and was featured in the National Geographic story "Pristine Seas.” His photos have been featured on travel and expedition websites and in publications throughout the world. An attorney practicing in Kansas City since 1991, Rollins enjoyed photography for many years, but has only been a serious photographer for about a half-dozen. He will address the importance of finding our creative potential by telling his story of finding his own “inner artist.” He will also discuss ways that his photography has both expressed and deepened his connection to the natural world.

Mia Eastman

Mia Eastman Portrait
Mia Eastman, age 18, has organized events and campaigns around the nation while showing dedicated involvement alongside leaders at the forefront of social justice issues, spanning March for our Lives, Black Lives Matter, the Women's March, The Youth Climate March Zero Hour and more. Her presence in these, seemingly separate, movements has built her personal understanding of the interconnectedness of all the different obstacles that people face around the globe. Through this awareness, her focus shifted to the critical state of the planet and, more specifically, how we are directly contributing to it with our current lifestyles and dependency on fossil fuels. By providing opportunities to turn her aspirations into action, Earth Guardians has assisted Mia in facilitating the organic growth and amplification of her passion to create a more rejuvenative future for all people. In Earth Guardians she works to further educate and inspire youth, and adults, to generate safe spaces for sharing the stories of people affected by climate change with the intention of finding solutions to the most pressing issues of today.

Dr. James Hansen

James Hansen Portrait

Dr. James Hansen is Professor Emeritus of History at Auburn University, where he began teaching in 1986. Professor of History, Department Chair, and Director of the Auburn Honors College, Hansen has received numerous awards for teaching excellence. Also a former historian for NASA, Hansen has been writing about aerospace history for over 30 years and has published twelve books on the subject. Among his many awards are the History Book Award, the Eugene Emme Prize from the American Astronautical Society, and two Pulitzer Prize nominations. Hansen served as co-producer for the major motion picture First Man, which is based on his New York Times bestseller biography of Neil Armstrong. In addition to his passion for aerospace, Hansen is also a scholar of golf course history and architecture.



Beth Houf

Beth Houf portrait

Beth Houf is the principal of the Fulton Middle School in Fulton, Missouri. She is the co-author of Lead Like a PIRATE: Make School Amazing for Your Students and Staff. Houf also serves as a facilitator for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Leadership Academy, providing monthly training to state educational leaders, and she is active in her local, state, and national elementary principal associations. Houf has receive numerous recognitions for her work as a principal, including being named a Missouri Exemplary New Principal in 2011, the Missouri National Distinguished Principal for 2016, and the NASSP 2019 Digital Principal of the Year. In training teachers to use technology, she created FMS Passionate Learning, which focuses on personalized learning for each child. She will talk about harnessing technology in healthy and creative ways to benefit teaching and learning.

Derick Dailey

Derick Dailey Portrait
Derick Dailey is an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Delaware in Wilmington, DE. As a federal prosecutor, Dailey manages complex litigation matters which range from financial, tax and healthcare fraud, to civil rights violations, affirmative action litigation, and public corruption. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Dailey was a corporate litigation associate at a national law firm where he focused his practice on white collar and government investigations, complex litigation, public policy and civil rights matters in both state and federal courts. Dailey is graduate of Fordham University School of Law in New York City; Yale University; and Westminster College. After graduating from Westminster, Dailey served as a Teach for America Corps Member in the Mississippi Delta teaching 5th and 6th grade. Dailey's philanthropic involvement has been focused on issues relating to hunger, poverty, and justice; has served on boards of Bread for the World, Justice Revival, and the Yale Black Alumni Association.

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen

Dr. Ellen Jorgensen Portrait
Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is a molecular biologist known for her devotion to scientific literacy. In 2009 she created Genspace, the first nonprofit community biotech lab that promotes a grassroots approach to scientific research; at Genspace, amateurs and professionals collaborate on a wide range of research projects. In 2017 Jorgensen founded Biotech without Borders, which offers hands-on experience to communities lacking access to biotechnology. Of particular interest to Jorgensen is the impact of DIY (do-it-yourself) biotechnology on genetic engineering. Currently, she is also adjunct professor at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.