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MIKE SIELSKI | SPORTS COLUMNIST | THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, PHILLY.COM
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: A Delicate Balance: The Value of Perspective and Authenticity in 21st Century Coaching
Mike Sielski has been a sports columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com since 2013. In 2015, The Associated Press Sports Editors voted him the top sports columnist in the country, and his work has been anthologized in the annual Best American Sports Writing series. The author of two books, he previously spent three years as a reporter with The Wall Street Journal, and he has established a recognizable presence on local and national television and radio, including on ESPN, The NFL Network, and National Public Radio. Within the Philadelphia market, he has appeared regularly on the region’s two top-rated sports-talk stations, 94.1 FM and 97.5 FM, and on NBC Sports Philadelphia. He lives in Bucks County, Pa., with his wife and two sons.
CLOSING KEYNOTE SPEAKER
CRISTA SAMARAS | CEO & FOUNDER | BRAVE ENTERPRISES
KEYNOTE ADDRESS: A Confidence Boom: How to Practice Brave Action
Crista Samaras is the founder and CEO of Brave Enterprises. A graduate of Princeton University, Crista was selected Rookie of the Year, was a three-time All American, three-time All Ivy League pick, two-time Ivy League Player of the Year and held all of her scoring records for 18 years! Crista was on the US Women’s Lacrosse Team from 1995-2007 and competed in both the 2001 and 2005 World Cup Games winning gold and silver medals. In 2005, she was twice named Player of the Match (vs. Canada and England).
Crista coached at Yale University before she started her own lacrosse companies in 2004, which focused on empowering female players. Over the next ten years, Crista would coach thousands of junior women before selling her teams in 2014. In 2012, she was the interim Head Women's Coach at the University of Richmond and led the team from a #33 national ranking to a #13 national ranking in just three months.
In 2016, Crista started Brave Enterprises, a firm that researches, develops and facilitates programming for kids through adults. Brave has worked with nearly 3000 people in the last year including women's and men's collegiate teams at Georgetown, Ohio State, Princeton, Towson, Tufts, US Naval Academy, and Wagner. Brave Enteprises has partnered with the Women's Professional Lacrosse League to supply all personal and professional development programming to its Professional Players. Crista hosts a popular podcast called Brave Your Fear and can be found on ESPN as an Analyst for Division I college women's lacrosse. Crista lives in New York City.