The 2017 Edison Awards welcome some of the world’s most respected authorities on innovation.
Additional presenters will be added to the line-up as they are confirmed.
2017 Meet the Innovators Forum Presenters
Host, NPR's The Takeaway; Meet the Innovators Forum Moderator
John Hockenberry is the host of public radio’s live national daily news program The Takeaway. A multiple Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, he is a former correspondent for NBC News, ABC News, and NPR, and has traveled the globe reporting on a wide variety of stories in virtually every medium for more than three decades.
He has written dozens of magazine and newspaper articles, a play, and two books, including the bestselling memoir Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs, and Declarations of Independence which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Wired, The Columbia Journalism Review, Metropolis, and The Washington Post.
A skilled presenter and moderator, Hockenberry has appeared at numerous design and idea conferences around the nation including the TED conference, the World Science Festival, the Mayo Clinic’s Transform Symposium and the Aspen Comedy Festival. He has served as a Distinguished Fellow at MIT’s Media Lab.
He and his wife Alison, also an Emmy and Peabody winner, have five children and live in Brooklyn, NY.
Founder, Talent2 International, and Shark, Shark Tank Australia
Andrew Banks is one of the 'Sharks' on the television series Shark Tank Australia. An Australian entrepreneur, investor, film producer and talent & learning expert, Andrew began his career as an actor. His core business activities have been involved with building and growing companies in the recruiting, training and HR outsourcing space.
Together with Geoff Morgan, Andrew founded Morgan & Banks in early 1985 and grew the company to become the dominant recruitment force in Australia and Asia with a 17% market share before merging with TMP/Monster.com in 1999. In 2005 Andrew launched Talent2 International, which focuses on HR Outsourcing and Executive Search and Selection, with a team of 1,600 professionals operating in 20 countries; it was acquired by Allegis Group in 2014.
Spending time between the US and Asia Pacific, Andrew now focuses on advising clients around senior executive talent and Board appointments; he is a US Film Producer as Lila 9th Founder (Syrup/Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter) and an investor in a few "start-ups" leading to involvement in Shark Tank Australia on Network TEN.
Co-CEO of CoorsTek, and CEO of CoorsTek Sensors
Timothy Coors is the Co-Chief Executive Officer of CoorsTek, and Chief Executive Officer of CoorsTek Sensors. Timothy also serves on the Board of Directors of Fiskeby, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of packaging board.
Joining CoorsTek in 2001 as a Research Engineer in protonic ceramic fuel cells, Timothy has served in a variety of production, quality, and project management roles including plant manager and general manager. He is a Six Sigma Black Belt, successfully leading continuous improvement during his tenure at six plants across the United States and Europe. In February, 2016, Timothy was promoted to Co-CEO of CoorsTek Inc.
Timothy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Petroleum Refining from Colorado School of Mines, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University.
CEO, Venture2 Inc. and Author, Collective Disruption: How Corporations & Startups Can Co-Create
Transformative New Businesses
Michael Docherty brings a unique perspective on innovation, having been an entrepreneur, senior corporate executive and venture capitalist. It might explain why he's passionate about the intersection of corporate innovation and entrepreneurship. In his book Collective Disruption, Docherty reveals how the smartest corporations are learning to partner and co-create transformative new businesses with startups.
As CEO of Venture2 Inc., Docherty and his organization provide growth and innovation consulting support to leading companies globally. Venture2 clients include Cisco, Unilever, Pfizer, Jarden and other leading companies. Through V2 Colabs, Docherty and his team build digital and internet-of-things (IoT) enabled business ventures ‘on-demand’ with corporate and entrepreneurial partners.
Mike holds an MBA degree from Northwestern University's Kellogg School and BSME degree from Drexel University. He is a highly rated speaker on innovation and corporate venturing and an active supporter of the entrepreneurial community.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Black & Veatch
Steve Edwards is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Black &
Veatch. Edwards assumed this position in November 2013 and has
overall responsibility for the company’s engineering, consulting,
construction and related infrastructure businesses in the energy,
water, telecommunications, and security markets worldwide. With
revenues of $3 billion, Black & Veatch is consistently ranked in the top
ten categories for power generation, power delivery, water
infrastructure development and telecommunications in Engineering
News-Record magazine and is ranked in the Top 150 of the Forbes list
of Largest Private Companies. The company is the 12th largest
Employee-Owned Corporation in the United States according to the
National Center for Employee Ownership.
Since joining Black & Veatch in 1978 Edwards has been responsible for a variety of global projects and business lines. He was named Chief Operating Officer in March 2013 in a transition role before becoming Chairman and CEO. He was appointed to the Black & Veatch Board of Directors in 2012. Edwards is a registered professional engineer and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Missouri.
Vice President of Industry Solutions, Components & Distribution Division, Caterpillar Inc.
Gregory S. Folley is vice president of Caterpillar Inc. with responsibility for the Industry Solutions, Components & Distribution Division (ISCD), created in 2016.
Greg believes innovation drives success, both for Caterpillar and our customers, and that is at the heart of what his organization does. Since joining Caterpillar in 1995, he has held numerous positions including senior labor relations consultant, human resources manager, corporate labor relations manager, U.K. HR Shared Services director, director of Compensation + Benefits, and general manager of the Specialty Products Business Unit of Motion and Power Control Division. In 2008, the Caterpillar Board of Directors named Folley vice president of the Core Components Division. He served as the chief HR officer from 2009 through 2011, and then Folley served as vice president of the Remanufacturing, Components & Work Tools Division. In 2015, Folley was named Caterpillar’s chief analytics and innovation officer, and he worked to better capitalize on the growing importance and excitement of data analytics and drive innovation to support customers. Later that year, the Caterpillar Board of Directors named him as the vice president of Sustainable Solutions Division, which was dedicated to making sustainable progress possible for our customers by anticipating opportunities and delivering exceptional value. In 2016, Folley was named vice president of Industry Solutions, Components & Distribution Division, which designs, sources and distributes world class components and industry solutions to customers.
Folley, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and from the same University in 1984 with a Juris Doctor. Prior to that he served in the U.S. Navy. Folley has also completed the Executive Program at Stanford University in 2005.
Folley, a father of nine children, served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Central Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross in Peoria, Illinois. He is a member of the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Texas State Bars.
Chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Electric
Jeffrey R. Immelt is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of General Electric. He is the ninth chairman of GE, a post he has held since September 7, 2001. Mr. Immelt has held several global leadership positions since coming to GE in 1982, including roles in GE's Plastics, Appliances, and Healthcare businesses. In 1989 he became an officer of GE and joined the GE Capital Board in 1997. A couple years later, in 2000, Mr. Immelt was appointed president and chief executive officer.
Mr. Immelt has been named one of the "World's Best CEOs" three times by Barron's, and since he began serving as chief executive officer, GE has been named "America's Most Admired Company" in a poll conducted by Fortune magazine and one of "The World's Most Respected Companies" in polls by Barron's and the Financial Times.
Mr. Immelt was the chair of President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. He is a member of The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Mr. Immelt earned a B.A. degree in applied mathematics from Dartmouth College in 1978 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1982. He and his wife have one daughter.
James M. Phillips
Jim Phillips is the Chairman and CEO of NanoMech, Inc., the nano-engineering leader providing revolutionary nanoscale innovations in machining and frictionless lubrication, advanced coatings,
specialty chemicals, energy efficiency and performance, and strategic military applications. He serves as
a Member of the American Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Technology Leadership Council and the
U.S. Manufacturing Competitive Initiative Steering Committee. Throughout his business career, Jim has
founded and co-founded many successful corporations and earning prominent leadership positions with
Motorola, SkyTel, iPix, Telular, and The FedEx Institute of Technology, while inventing and introducing
many products used by millions worldwide.
He is internationally credited with being very instrumental in launching instant messaging, the PDA, the Cable Modem, PCS, Fixed Cellular, Time Magazine’s Medical Invention of the Year- the VeinViewer, and iPix.
Jim holds BBA and MBA degrees from the University of Memphis, graduating with academic honors, and attended Jet Fighter training in the USAF earning distinguished military graduate and aerospace awards.
Captain of Moonshots (CEO) of X, formerly Google [X]
Dr. Astro Teller currently oversees X, Alphabet's moonshot factory for building magical, audaciously impactful ideas that through science and technology can be brought to reality. Before joining X (formerly Google[x]), Astro was the co-founding CEO of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, an investment management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founding CEO of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company. Prior to starting BodyMedia, Dr. Teller was co-founding CEO of SANDbOX AD, an advanced development technology incubator. Before his tenure as a business executive, Dr. Teller taught at Stanford University and was an engineer and researcher for Phoenix Laser Technologies, Stanford's Center for Integrated Systems, and The Carnegie Group Incorporated. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the Hertz fellowship. Though his work as a scientist, an inventor, and as an entrepreneur, Teller holds many U.S. and international patents related to his work in hardware and software technology. Astro is also a successful novelist and screenwriter. And he makes a mean margarita and other memorable potions.
2017 Edison Awards Gala Presenters
Comedian; Edison Awards Gala Master of Ceremonies
Named one of Rolling Stone’s Five Comics to Watch with standout appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Late Late show, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central, and Showtime, he’s establishing himself as one of the nation’s favorite stand-ups.
He’s impressed industry insiders by racking up a remarkable number of national competition wins and festival appearances, including winning The Great American Comedy Festival and Sierra Mist’s America’s Next Great Comic Search. He’s also a regular performer at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festivals with several international television performances including The Muppets Gala in Montreal and the Sydney Opera House International Comedy Gala.
He’s often lauded for being a clean comedian, although his audiences span a broad spectrum. One review said, “His stories and delivery are so funny, it doesn’t even cross your mind that he works completely clean. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. When he talks about his experience skydiving or taking a hot-air-balloon ride, you’re too busy laughing to notice he’s not like the others.” (from Vancouver Georgia Straight “For Comic Ryan Hamilton Getting Clean Laughs Just Comes Naturally”)
Growing up in Idaho and making his home in New York City he’s far from his small-town roots, but the contrast suits him. He’s currently headlining comedy clubs across the country building a following of enthusiastic fans.
Danielle Teller (formerly Morse, nee Dyck) grew up in Canada, where she and her two brothers were raised by the best parents in the world. As a child, she was a bookworm who dreamed of being a writer, but she chickened out and went to medical school instead. In 1994, she moved temporarily to America, and she has been living temporarily in America ever since. Danielle attended Queen's University during her undergraduate years, and she received her medical training at McGill University, Brown University and Yale University. She has held faculty positions at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University, where she investigated the origins of chronic lung disease and taught in the medical intensive care unit. In 2013, Danielle quit her job to pursue her childhood dream of being a writer. She lives with her husband, Astro Teller, and their four children in Palo Alto, California. She is currently working on a novel about the life of Cinderella's stepmother.