2017 Summit Speakers & Presenters Bios

Denise Bober
VP, Human Resources, The Breakers Palm Beach

Denise Bober is Vice President, Human Resources at The Breakers Palm Beach. As one of the hospitality industry’s premier human resources (HR) specialists, Denise Bober evolved The Breakers resort’s highly-accomplished HR division to encompass recruitment, employment, staff relations, training and development, health and wellbeing and social impact. Since joining this luxury oceanfront resort in 1988, Denise has advanced the company’s organizational culture to make employee fulfillment and wellbeing top priority, driving best-in-class retention, guest-satisfaction ratings and financial results.

Alexia Brue
Co-Founder, Well+Good

Alexia Brue guides Well+Good’s strategic direction and leads the revenue and business development functions. Prior to founding Well+Good, Brue covered health and wellness for publications as diverse as Vogue, The New York Times, and Luxury SpaFinder. She is the author of Cathedrals of the Flesh, a travel memoir about the world’s great bathing cultures.

Gerry Bodeker, PhD
Public Health Academic & Clinical Psychologist, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford

Gerry Bodeker, PhD, researches and advises on traditional and complementary medicine and wellness. He has researched and taught in medical sciences at Oxford for two decades, and is adjunct professor of epidemiology at Columbia University. He works with the private sector, governments, and the UN advising on culturally-themed wellness. He is also an advisor on a CNN series with Dr. Sanjay Gupta about traditional medicine.

David Bosshart, PhD
CEO, Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute

Dr. David Bosshart is CEO of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rueschlikon/Zurich, an independent European think-tank that specializes in trend research, retail, economic and social issues. His expertise is in changes in consumption patterns and behavior, societal transformation, digitisation (human-machine), innovation in retailing and the service industry. He has a PhD in philosophy and political theory, and has been described as “the brains of Europe.”

Dr. Richard Carmona
17th Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Richard Carmona was the 17th surgeon general of the U.S. He is also a decorated U.S. Army Special Forces Veteran and a distinguished professor with a wide range of training and experience in health care management, clinical care and research. Currently, he is chief of health innovations of Canyon Ranch, and serves as director on several publically-traded corporate boards and private companies.


Ramesh Caussy, PhD
CEO and Founder, Partnering Robotics

Dr. Ramesh Caussy created Partnering Robotics in 2007. He is also president of Roboethics, industrial president on ethics in robotic service, by Grenoble INP. He has worked for various Fortune 500 companies (Intel, Alcatel, 3com), managing various services (R & D, product, business dev. strategy) and contributing greatly to technological breakthroughs such as the release of XDSL, connected Palmor and the Intel Connected TV platform.


Dr. Anjan Chatterjee
Elliott Professor of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Anjan Chatterjee, chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital, wrote, The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art, and co-edited, Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, Medicine, and Society, and, The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology. He received the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology as well as the Rudolph Arnheim Prize for contributions to Psychology and the Arts.

Dr. Lawrence Choy
Co-Founder & Medical Director, Elite Focus Clinic

Dr. Lawrence Choy is a Stanford-trained psychiatrist and diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, who specializes in neuroenhancement. He co-founded a psychiatric practice (Portola Wellness) and a specialty clinic (Elite Focus Clinic) that treats Adult ADHD and cognitive performance. At EFC, he serves as the medical director, combining his expertise in brain plasticity, psychotherapy and wellness approaches to develop effective cutting-edge treatments.

Dr. March Cohen
Professor, RMIT University

Professor Marc Cohen is one of Australia’s pioneers of integrative and holistic medicine. Marc is a medical doctor, board member of the Global Wellness Summit, chair of the Australasian Wellness Association and professor of health sciences at RMIT University. At the university, he leads postgraduate wellness programs and supervises research into wellness, including research on yoga, saunas, hot springs, health retreats, herbal medicine, organic food and detoxification.

Alia Crum, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University

Alia Crum, PhD, is an assistant professor of Psychology at Stanford University, PI of the Mind & Body Lab and the health director at Stanford SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions). Inspired by the placebo effect, Alia’s research illuminates the role of mindset in shaping the effects of diet, exercise and stress. She has received several accolades including the National Institutes of Health “New Innovator Award.”

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, PhD
Associate Professor of Economics and Strategy, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, PhD is associate editor of the World Happiness Report and a research adviser to the Gallup Organization. His research centers on the study of human wellbeing, which has led to new insights in the relationship between happiness and income, economic growth and inequality. His research was selected amongst “The Management Ideas that Mattered Most in 2016” by the Harvard Business Review.

Susan Docherty CEO, Canyon Ranch

Susan Docherty has guided Canyon Ranch into its next chapter of growth with milestones including the brand’s first international foray and the launch of the brand’s 20th SpaClub at Sea offering across four cruise lines—Regent Seven Seas, Oceania, Cunard and Celebrity. Previously, she spent almost three decades at General Motors, where she was the first female in the company’s 100-year history to hold a global corporate officer title.

Debra Duneier
President, EcoChi, LLC

EcoChi, LLC, is a purposeful interior design company with a focus on sustainability and experience. With a passion for wellness and the environment, Debra Duneier created the EcoChi 180° certification and EcoChi® SCORE! for hospitality, spas, restaurants and office spaces. Debra is a LEED® GA, eco-designer and master practitioner of feng shui. She is the author of the award-winning book EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience.

Elissa Epel, PhD
Professor, University of California, San Francisco

Elissa Epel, PhD, is professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), with a research focus on how chronic psychological stress accelerates biological aging; the interconnections between emotions, eating, metabolism and weight; and the effects of mindfulness. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, she has won many awards for her research. Epel co-wrote The Telomere Effect: The New Science of Living Younger Longer, a 2017 New York Times bestseller.

Nancy Etcoff, PhD
Assistant Clinical Professor, Harvard Medical School

Nancy Etcoff, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, and a psychologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry. She researches and teaches seminars on the science of happiness, and created the first course ever taught at Harvard in Neuroaesthetics. Her book, Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty is the subject of a Discovery Channel documentary.

Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD
Senior Health & Wellness Advisor, NBC Universal

Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, is an award-winning clinician, scientist, author and broadcast journalist. She is the on-air NBC News and TODAY Show health editor and a contributing writer to Today.com. She is the author of over 100 scientific papers as well as three books, including Don’t Eat This If You’re Taking That. She’s also a clinical professor of Psychology in Medicine at the Weill Cornell Medical College.

Carolee Friedlander
CEO & Founder, AccessCircles, LLC

AccessCircles was launched in 2008 by Carolee Friedlander to enrich the health, wellness and life planning of women through informative gatherings, transformative knowledge, unique experiences, and access to preeminent thought leaders and alliance partners. Carolee is a change agent in women’s wellness and serves on several boards, including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute Leadership Council.

Jan D. Freitag
Senior Vice President, STR, Inc.

Jan D. Freitag is a senior vice president for STR, Inc., which provides clients with premium global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights. In his role, Freitag oversees a variety of projects, all charged with the accumulation and interpretation of global lodging data. He is a sought-after public speaker, and is frequently quoted in trade publications and the general news media.

Silvia Garcia
Founder, Feel : ) Logic

Silvia Garcia, founder of Feel:)Logic, gives organizations a happy place to work by training and certifying “Chief Happiness Officers” and helping organizations use the latest science of happiness to create conditions for employees and citizens to flourish. As the former global director of the Happiness Institute of Coca-Cola, Silvia had a vision of transforming lives through happiness applied to the economy, workplace, politics and education.

Mohamed Gawdat
Chief Business Officer, Google [X]

Mo Gawdat, with a career that spans 27 years, is the chief business officer for Google [X], a serial entrepreneur and author of Solve for Happy: Engineering Your Path to Joy. He joined Google in 2007, and is fascinated by the role that technology plays in empowering people in emerging communities. He has cofounded over 20 businesses in fields such as health and fitness, food and beverage, and real estate.

Melisse Gelula
Co-Founder, Well+Good

Melisse Gelula is the co-founder and chief content officer of wellness media company, Well+Good, which reaches more than 5.5 million monthly readers and was the recipient of the 2016 Webby Award for Best Lifestyle Site (People’s Voice). She’s an expert on wellness trends and natural beauty, and has been featured on CBS This Morning and The New York Times. Prior to Well+Good, she was editor-in-chief of SpaFinderLifestyle.com.

Jack Groppel, PhD
Co-Founder, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute

Dr. Jack Groppel, is co-founder of the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute and a pioneer in the science of human performance. Author of The Corporate Athlete®, he has addressed worksite wellness and performance at three U.S. Congressional Briefings and the Surgeon General’s Call to Action. Dr. Groppel is the spokesperson for the CEO Pledge for Physical Activity of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.

Wim Hof
Creator, Wim Hof Method

Wim Hof is a Dutch-born world record holder, adventurer, daredevil and researcher. Called “The Iceman,” he is best known for his preternatural ability to withstand extreme cold. Perhaps more significant is his experimentation and experience with specific and teachable breathing, mindset and cold exposure techniques. It has been scientifically proven that people are able to influence their immune system through the Wim Hof Method.

Maggie Hsu
Adviser, Zappos.com

Maggie Hsu is an adviser at Zappos.com, the leading online retailer specializing in shoes and clothing. Prior to that, she was director of strategy for Brands & Commercial Services at Hilton Worldwide and a consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York. Hsu is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community. She holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Harvard University.

Lisa Ishii, MD
Associate Professor and Chief Quality Officer, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Dr. Lisa Ishii, MHS is the chief quality officer for Clinical Best Practices for the Johns Hopkins Health System and the senior medical director for Clinical Integration in the Office of Johns Hopkins Physicians. She’s also the research and quality coordinator for the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery. She serves on the board of directors for the AAO-HNS, AAFPRS and ABFPRS, and won the Triological Society 2015 Harris P. Mosher Award.

Jessica Jesse
CEO and Creative Director, BuDhaGirl

Jessica Jesse’s career has spanned over 30 years in high-end fashion retail. Her passion has been to live well everyday and to do so with great presence. In the modern era of wellness and mindfulness, she has become a change agent by combining contemplative practice with evidence-based science and fashion. Through BuDhaGirl she introduces the importance of ritual in all we do each and every day.

Katherine Johnston
Senior Research Fellow, Global Wellness Institute

Katherine Johnston has extensive experience conducting economic and industry competitiveness studies worldwide, including 17 years as a senior economist with SRI International. Since 2008, Katherine has partnered with the Global Wellness Institute to pioneer groundbreaking research on the global wellness industry and focusing on understanding and measuring opportunities in wellness economy, wellness tourism, workplace wellness and wellness communities/real estate. She holds degrees from Sweet Briar College and Georgetown University.

Director of Exercise Physiology, Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute

Chris Jordan designed the movement/exercise components of the Corporate Athlete® course, including the Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout®. He also co-authored Energy Every Day, Your Personal Plan for More Energy and Better Health, and The Corporate Athlete® Advantage. Chris has appeared on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, NPR, CNN, and has been featured in US News & World Report, Men’s Health, Shape and more.

Thomas Klein
COO, Canyon Ranch

Thomas Klein worked previously for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in San Francisco, where he directed all aspects of hotel operations for seven properties in California as regional vice president/general manager. Born in Germany, he has a wealth of international experience including previous positions with Swissötel Hotels and Resorts (Chicago) and a variety of high-end hotels and resorts in the U.S., South Africa and Australia.

Paul Leone
CEO, The Breakers Palm Beach

As CEO of The Breakers Palm Beach and its parent company, Flagler System, Inc., Paul Leone has been recognized among the industry’s most accomplished leaders. Since appointed president in 1994, he has been credited with engineering the turnaround of one of the world’s greatest resorts by creating and sustaining a unique company culture that drives best-in-class employee fulfillment, guest satisfaction, community service and financial performance.

Dr. Paul Limburg
Medical Director, Mayo Clinic

Paul Limburg, MD, M.P.H., is professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and a consultant in the division of gastroenterology and hepatology. He also holds a joint appointment in the division of preventive, occupational and aerospace medicine. He also serves as medical director for several business units that are responsible for defining or delivering health and wellbeing expertise within and beyond the organization.

Thierry Malleret
Co-Founder, The Monthly Barometer & Co-Founder, Well Intelligence

Thierry Malleret is the co-founder and primary author of The Monthly Barometer, a predictive analysis provided exclusively to private investors and today’s most influential opinion and decision makers. Previously, Thierry was a senior partner at IJ (Informed Judgement) Partners, an investment boutique for ultra-high-net-worth individuals based in Geneva. A popular speaker at industry events, he founded and headed the Global Risk Network at the World Economic Forum.

Clare Martorana
Global Digital Media Executive

Clare Martorana is currently a digital service expert at the United States Digital Service, based in Washington, D.C. Clare recently served as president of Everyday Health’s consumer business after a career as senior vice president, general manager and editor-at-large at WebMD. She’s a creative leader and big thinker, who uses innovative technology solutions to inspire teams to creatively contribute to missions of noble purpose.

Jeremy McCarthy
Group Director of Spa & Wellness, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Jeremy McCarthy is group director of spa and wellness for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, leading its internationally acclaimed luxury spa division featuring world-class spas in some of the world’s most luxurious hotels worldwide. Jeremy is also the author of The Psychology of Spas and Wellbeing, and hosts a blog about holistic wellbeing at http://psychologyofwellbeing.com.

Dave McCaughan
Chief Strategy Officer, Ai.agency

For three decades, Dave McCaughan has led the communication strategies of a variety of brands with global advertising agency, McCann. For the last two years, he has worked as an independent consultant, who’s researching how demographics and marketing tools apply to brand story development. He is now a partner at Ai.agency using artificial intelligence tools to discover and track the key narratives driving brands and category opportunities.


Dr. Matthew J. Mitchell
Associate Professor in Health and Human Performance, Palm Beach Atlantic University

Dr. Matthew J. Mitchell teaches in a variety of areas, including clinical physiology, cardiovascular physiology, exercise and nutrition. Also, as director and founder of the Human Performance Laboratory, he oversees research with various patient groups, student-athletes and individuals in the surrounding community. His current research includes cancer-related fatigue, anemia in female athletes, hydration during exercise and genetic factors in depression.

Ali Mostashari, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, LifeNome Inc.

Dr. Ali Mostashari is the CEO and co-founder (together with Dr. Raya Khanin) of LifeNome, a revolutionary wellness personalization AI platform, headquartered in NYC. Dr. Mostashari is among the top 20 cited scholars in complexity science in the world, and has authored several books and more than 100 papers on the topic. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Steve Nygren
Founder, Serenbe

Steve Nygren is the president and founder of Serenbe, a wellness community created as a model to demonstrate that preserving 70 percent of green space, interlaced with agriculture, housing and retail, is not only economically viable, but the future of community wellbeing. Steve currently serves on multiple national boards, including The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Children & Nature Network, The Biophilic Institute and Wholesome Wave.

Dr. Dean Ornish
Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute

Dr. Dean Ornish was the first to prove that comprehensive lifestyle changes—eat well, move more, stress less and love more—can reverse the progression of coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, early-stage prostate cancer and other chronic conditions. He is clinical professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco and was recognized by Forbes magazine as “one of the world’s seven most powerful teachers.”

Mehmet C. Oz, MD
Professor of Surgery, Columbia University

Mehmet C. Oz, MD, is professor of surgery at Columbia University and has won seven Daytime Emmy® Awards for The Dr. Oz Show. He directs the Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital; participates in 50 heart surgeries a year; has authored over 400 publications, including seven New York Times’ bestsellers; has received numerous patents; and hosts the internationally syndicated Daily Dose in 134 radio markets.


Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD
University of Brescia, Professor

Sergio Pecorelli, MD, PhD is an OB/GYN, previous Chancellor (the University of Brescia), adjunct Professor at Yale, and the Italian EU representative for healthy ageing. He is president of the Houston Lorenzini Medical Foundation. With over 300 scientific papers published, he is propagator of the “First 1,000 Days” paradigm, directing an international scientific board, with Mount Sinai School of Medicine, on Prevention education and interventions.

Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine

Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, MD, is clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona and UCSF. There, he is director of the Corporate Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a collaborative research program with 15 of the Fortune 500. He is chairman of the American Health Association; consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization; and the author of 13 books and over 300 professional articles.

Andew Pleasant, PhD
Director, Canyon Ranch Institute

Andrew Pleasant, PhD has led and participated in hundreds of presentations and trainings around the world on the topics of health literacy, science, risk and environmental communication. He has taught at Cornell University, Brown University and Rutgers University; has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and technical reports; and is co-author of the book Advancing Health Literacy: A Framework for Understanding and Action (2006).

Paul Price
Digital Marketing Leader

Paul Price is an award-winning digital marketing leader with extensive experience guiding some of the world’s leading brands through the challenges of 21st century digital marketing. As CEO of several successful digital marketing companies, he has acquired a unique perspective on the convergence of technology and marketing. His thought-leadership on digitally-enabled customer experiences has earned him regular keynote addresses around the world.


Lorena Puica CEO & Founder, IamYiam ltd

Lorena Puica is passionate about leveraging the best that science and technology have to offer to make staying healthy simple, fun and motivating. Lorena, a scholar, writer, extreme athlete, investment veteran and meditation aficionado, aims to enhance the health and well-being of 1 billion people by 2025.

Laurie Racine
CEO & Founder, Lifesquare, Inc.

Laurie Racine is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and investor. She is passionate about startup culture and driven by the constant change and shift that the digital era is having on business, education, healthcare and media. She has founded, led or served on the boards of companies like littleBits, Open Road Integrated Media, DotSub, Lulu Publishing, Thunkable, WowMedia, Road Trip Nation and TheSkimm.

Michael Roizen, MD
Chief Wellness Officer, Cleveland Clinic

Michael Roizen, MD serves as chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic, the first such position at a major U.S. healthcare institution. He’s also chairman of the Wellness Institute there; has published 175+ peer-reviewed scientific papers, 100 textbook chapters and four medical books; received 13 U.S. (and many foreign) patents; and hosted six PBS specials. His RealAge and YOU series of books have resulted in four #1 New York Times’ bestsellers.


Veronica Schreibeis Smith
CEO & Founding Principal, Vera Iconica Architecture

As CEO and founding principal of Vera Iconica Architecture, Veronica Schreibeis Smith specializes in Wellness Architecture, the art and science behind designing built environments that enhance human health and wellbeing. Veronica has practiced architecture on four continents, and continues to work, speak and lead think-tanks internationally. She chairs the Wellness Architecture Initiative for the Global Wellness Institute.

Louie Schwartzberg
Founder, Moving Art

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer, whose career spans more than four decades using time-lapse, high-speed and macro cinematography techniques. Louie’s recent theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic and the documentary Wings of Life for Disneynature. Louie’s three TED talks have gone viral with almost 50 million combined views.

Ted Souder
Head of Industry, Retail, Google

Ted Souder is one of Google’s first employees, and has had the opportunity to participate in Google’s growth both in the U.S. and Europe as a sales leader. Currently, he is the head of industry, retail, where he leads a team that is tasked with helping some of the world’s largest retailers leverage Google’s wide ranging digital products, services and expertise.


Agapi Stassinopoulos
Author & Speaker

Agapi Stassinopoulos is a best-selling author and speaker. In her new book, Wake Up to the Joy of You: 52 Meditations and Practices for a Calmer, Happier Life, she inspires readers to let go and create the lives they really want. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Global, a company founded by her sister, Arianna Huffington, to help change the way we work and live.

Deborah Szekely
Co-Founder, Rancho La Puerta

Deborah Szekely co-founded Rancho La Puerta in 1940 with her husband Edmond Szekely, and founded the Golden Door in 1959. Deborah also has served as president of the Inter-American Foundation, a federal agency, from 1984-1990. Other public service includes founding Eureka Communities, New Americans Museum and WellnessWarrior.org. In 2012, she was awarded “Order of the Aztec Eagle” — Mexico’s highest honor bestowed upon non-Mexicans.

Frits Dirk van Paasschen
Author & Investor, Disruptors’ Feast LLC

Frits Dirk van Paasschen wrote The Disruptors’ Feast, which became a bestselling new release on Amazon. The book draws from his experiences, among others, as CEO of Starwood Hotels, CEO of The Coors Brewing Company and as President of EMEA for Nike. He spent eight years as a consultant at McKinsey and BCG, and is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Amherst College.

Jie Wang
Chairman, Hakone Hot Spring & Thermalism Industry Development Group, China

With decades of experience in the planning and development of thermal projects, Jie Wang has served hundreds of premium cases. He has led and worked on the drafting and formulation of four national and industrial hot spring and spa service standards. In 2012 and 2016, he was awarded a Certificate of Merit by FEMTEC to honor his work promoting thermalism, health spas, hydrotherapy and climatotherapy in China.

Andrew Weil, MD
Program Director, Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

Andrew Weil, MD, is founder and director of (and clinical professor of medicine) at the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. He has appeared in numerous PBS programs, and is the founder of the Weil Foundation, Healthy Lifestyle Brands and True Food Kitchen restaurants. An expert on medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and medical education reform, he’s authored many scientific articles and 15 books.

Edie Weiner
President & CEO, Future Hunters

Edie Weiner was given the World Future Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Formed as Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc., in 1977, The Future Hunters has helped over 400 clients, from national governments to Fortune 500 companies, identify opportunities in strategic thinking, product development, marketing, investment, human resources and change management. Edie has lectured at the World Economic Forum in Davos and wrote Future Think, an international bestselling book.


Jared Weiner
Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, The Future Hunters

Jared Weiner is executive vice president and chief strategy officer of The Future Hunters. Jared evaluates the implications of emerging trends for leaders at several of the most influential Fortune 1,000 companies, trade associations and public sector clients. He frequently keynotes at leading industry events, and he serves on the board of directors of the World Future Society and American Express OPEN’s Digital Advisory Board.

Ophelia Yeung
Senior Research Fellow, Global Wellness Institute

Ophelia Yeung has extensive experience leading research and strategy development for business, nonprofit, multilateral and government organizations, including 20-plus years at SRI International. Since 2008, she has co-authored several research studies for the Global Wellness Institute, including The Wellness Tourism Economy 2015, The Future of Wellness at Work 2016, and The Global Wellness Economy Monitor 2017. Ophelia holds degrees from Smith College and Princeton University.