2021 Speakers

Peter Sheahan

Best-selling Author and World Renowned Speaker on Exploiting Business Trends and New Market Opportunities and Founder and CEO of Karrikins Group 
• CEO of global consulting firm with employees in 23 cities across 7 countries  
• Advised leaders from top companies Apple, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, and Wells Fargo  
• Looks for competitive advantage by embracing change and disruption while breaking free from old business models  
• Allows audiences to let go of their industry biases and pivot towards innovation  
Peter Sheahan is the Founder and Group CEO of Karrikins Group – a global growth-oriented consulting firm focused on elevating their clients to be the obvious choice in the hearts and minds of their customers, communities, and employees. Peter is known internationally for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. With staff in more than 23 cities across 7 countries, he knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in these rapidly-changing times. Peter has advised leaders from companies as diverse as Apple, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Hyundai, IBM, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, and Cardinal Health.


Matt Lewis

Senior Columnist for the Daily Beast, Author of “Too Dumb to Fail” 
• Reputation as an “independently minded” (Columbia Journalism Review) and “intellectually honest” commentator (Newsweek)  
• Named one of the 50 “Pundits You Need to Pay Attention to Between Now and The Election” by Business Insider  
• Brings his funny, off-the-cuff journalistic style to candidly discuss the current political landscape in a bipartisan way 
Matt K. Lewis is a Senior Columnist for the Daily Beast, a CNN political commentator and author of the book Too Dumb to Fail: How the GOP Betrayed the Reagan Revolution to Win Elections (and How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots). He is also a contributing editor for TheWeek.com, and a former senior contributor for the Daily Caller. 


Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers

On November 6, 2018, the people of Wisconsin voted Tony Evers (Ē-vers) the 46th governor of Wisconsin. Prior to his election, he served as the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Public Instruction winning statewide elections in 2009, 2013, and 2017. With over three decades of public education experience, Governor Evers has dedicated his life to fighting for Wisconsin’s kids and serving the people of Wisconsin.

As a life-long educator, the governor believes in bringing people together to solve the problems facing our state and putting the people of Wisconsin first.

He began his career in 1976 and has served Wisconsin students, parents, and citizens all over Wisconsin in Tomah, Oakfield, Verona, and Oshkosh.

Born and raised in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Governor Evers graduated from Plymouth High School and earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree in educational administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, an educator. They are parents of three adult children, all public school graduates, and have nine grandchildren.


Ray Starling

Ray Starling was raised on a diversified Century Family Farm in North Carolina which laid the foundation for his career in law and agricultural policy. Ray’s experiences have taken him from clerking for Supreme Court justices to serving at the highest levels of government in the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Ray attended North Carolina State University for his undergraduate career while also keeping busy as a National FFA officer. He received his law degree from the University of North Carolina with multiple noteworthy recognitions. Before working his way to serve as the general counsel to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Ray clerked for the state Supreme Court and practiced law at an international law firm. Ray enjoyed a stint in the North Carolina legislature before heading to Washington, D.C., to serve Sen. Thom Tillis as an agricultural policy adviser, chief counsel and later as chief of staff.  


Michael Torrey

Michael Torrey leveraged his knowledge of the food and agriculture sectors and strong bipartisan relationships throughout Capitol Hill, the White House and government agencies to found Michael Torrey Associates in 2005. Under Torrey’s leadership, the firm serves many major food, agriculture and financial clients, and provides association management services for the Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau.

Torrey was raised on a diversified farming operation. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1986 with a B.S. in agricultural education and, in 2009, was named Outstanding Young Ag Alumnus. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and daughter.