Baldrige Conference Keynote Speakers
Co-Author of Four NYT Bestsellers: Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments. Senior Fellow at Duke University's CASE Center
Dan Heath is the co-author, along with his brother Chip, of four long-running bestsellers: Made to Stick, Switch, Decisive, and The Power of Moments. The Heath Brothers’ books have sold over three million copies worldwide and have been translated into 33 languages. Dan’s new book Upstream: The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen was an instant Wall Street Journal bestseller, and it was included on “best books” lists from Apple, Amazon, the Financial Times, and others.
Dan is a Senior Fellow at Duke University’s CASE Center, which supports entrepreneurs who fight for social good. He is an entrepreneur himself, having founded Thinkwell, an innovative education company that next year will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Dan was named in 2013 to the Thinkers 50, a ranking of the world’s 50 most influential management thinkers, and also to Fast Company magazine’s list of the Most Creative People in Business. He has spoken to teachers, police chiefs, U.S. senators, interior designers, Navy admirals, healthcare leaders, marketers, ministers, and countless executive teams, across 26 countries on 6 continents. (He’s still waiting for that invitation from Antarctica.)
Dan has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from the Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin. One proud geeky moment for Dan was his victory in the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest, beating out 13,000 other entrants. He lives in Durham, NC.
Founding President and COO of Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Philanthropist, and Author of Excellence Wins
A legend and leader in the hotel world, Horst Schulze's teachings, and vision have reshaped the concepts of service and hospitality across industries.
Mr. Schulze's professional life began more than 65 years ago as a server's assistant in a German resort town. Throughout the years he worked for both Hilton Hotels and Hyatt Hotels Corporation before becoming one of the founding members of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in 1983. There Mr. Schulze created the operating and service standards that have become world-famous.
During his tenure at The Ritz-Carlton, Mr. Schulze served as President and COO, responsible for the $2 billion operations worldwide. It was under his leadership that The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company became the first service-based company to be awarded the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award — twice.
In 1991, Mr. Schulze was recognized as "corporate hotelier of the world" by HOTELS magazine. In 1995, he was awarded the Ishikawa Medal for his personal contributions to the quality movement. In 1999, Johnson & Wales University gave him an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree in Hospitality Management. Most recently, Mr. Schulze was honored with the “Legacy of Innovation and Inspiration Award” by Historic Hotels of America.
After leaving The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Mr. Schulze went on to found The Capella Hotel Group. This luxury hotel company managed some of the most elite properties worldwide and gave Mr. Schulze the opportunity to further define the luxury hotel industry, receiving countless awards and recognitions.
Today, Mr. Schulze serves as Expert in Residence at Arch + Tower, a boutique, organizational strategy consulting firm. He serves on numerous boards and is a sought-after keynote speaker. He also recently completed his first book, titled “Excellence Wins.” In 2022, Auburn University announced its school of hospitality would forevermore be named The Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management.
Bryan K. Williams
Keynote Speaker, Consultant, and Bestselling Author of Work Like You Own It, How to Serve a VIP, Lift Me Higher, and the Inspiration Collection.
Dr. Bryan K. Williams is a keynote speaker, consultant, and author, who is a noted authority on service excellence and leadership effectiveness. His passion is to serve others so they may better serve the world. Over the past several years, Bryan has provided training and consulting expertise to hundreds of organizations in over 20 industries ranging from Healthcare to Luxury Hotels. His work with clients has taken him throughout North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Bryan’s keynote speeches and seminars have helped organizations create a memorable service experience for their customers. He is a high-energy, dynamic speaker, who educates and inspires professionals to be consistently exceptional. Bryan is the founder of the BW Leadership Academy, the Strong Leader Institute, and the Manager Skills Workshop. He is also a bestselling author of six books, including Work Like You Own It, How to Serve a VIP, Lift Me Higher, and the Inspiration Collection.
Prior to this current venture, Bryan worked with the world-renowned Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company for over ten years. In his last role, he was the Global Corporate Director of Training & Organizational Effectiveness. Before his corporate assignment, he held over 17 roles with the Ritz-Carlton, beginning as a busboy at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas.
Dr. Williams has earned degrees in Business Administration, Hotel/Restaurant Management, and Adult Education, including a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership.
Bryan was a member of the Board of Examiners for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The Baldrige program administers the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which is the highest recognition that a U.S. organization can achieve for performance excellence. It is awarded annually by the President of the United States to businesses from all sectors.
Bryan lives with his wife and two children in the Washington DC Metro Area.
Communities of Excellence Speakers
Senior Advisor at The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside Out, Author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up
Paul Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact through his roles as Senior Advisor at The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside Out. He is an author, speaker, trainer, and consultant whose work focuses on leadership development, collaborative culture, racial equity, community engagement, and result-based strategies.
Paul is the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up (Jossey Bass, 2011). The book is based on lessons learned from 21 years of leading Public Allies, an innovative leadership development program that helped more than 5,000 passionate and diverse young leaders across the country begin careers working for community and social change.
Paul is a faculty member of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, and a board member of The Corps Network, Playworks, and The United Way of Greater Milwaukee. Paul previously served on the board of Independent Sector, the association of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, and was the co-chair of Voices for National Service, which led advocacy for AmeriCorps and other national service
programs. Paul co-chaired the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign’s Civic Engagement Policy Group, was a member of The Obama-Biden Transition Team, and was appointed by President Obama to The White House Council for Community Solutions.
Paul is an honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2014, Paul was appointed the first Innovator in Residence at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Innovation. He has also been recognized by The Rockefeller Foundation as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow, by the Nonprofit Times for three separate years as one of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in America, and by Fast Company Magazine with their Social Capitalist Award for innovation. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife and five children.