Wednesday, April 11 | 3:40 p.m.
Charles Duhigg | Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
Bestselling author: The Power of Habit, Smarter Faster Better

charles duhiggCharles Duhigg was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting as a member of The New York Times staff for the series “The iEconomy,” which examined Apple’s manufacturing practices overseas and what those practices can tell us about the American economy. Duhigg is also the winner of the National Academies of Sciences, National Journalism, and George Polk awards, and a frequent contributor to television and radio, including PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Dr. Oz, This American Life and various programs on CNBC and NPR. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School and Yale College.

Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business has spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. The book contains specific strategies that can transform lives and workplaces. It details scientific studies on boosting willpower, replacing bad habits, and revolutionizing companies' productivity. Duhigg’s latest book, Smarter, Faster, Better (March 2016), applies the same relentless curiosity, deep reporting, and rich storytelling of The Power of Habit to explore the science of productivity. Duhigg illustrates his concept with compelling case studies from the U.S. Marine Corps, the FBI, and the Disney Animation team behind Frozen, among many others.

Duhigg’s inventive and practical books and his accomplishments as an investigative reporter for The New York Times have made him an in-demand speaker for organizations such as the UCLA School of Management, M.I.T., The Johnson Foundation and the Pasadena Art and Science Festival. Full of compelling narratives, Duhigg’s lectures draw on insights from the likes of Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO), Tony Dungy (Super Bowl-winning football coach), and Bob Bowman (coach of Olympic legend Michael Phelps).

Thursday, April 12 | 8 a.m.
Chris Holtmann | Head Coach, Ohio State Men's Basketball

chris holtmann buckeyes basketballChris Holtmann enters his first season at the helm of the Buckeyes in 2017-18 after spending the previous three seasons as head coach at Butler University. Holtmann became the 14th head coach in Ohio State history when he was named to the position June 9, 2017. In three seasons at Butler, Holtmann compiled a record of 70-31 as a member of the BIG EAST conference. In six years as a head coach, which includes three years at GardnerWebb (44-54), his career record is 114-85. His teams have won at least 20 games in each of the last four seasons, including a 25-9 record a year ago.

Butler advanced to the NCAA Tournament in all three seasons with Holtmann as the head coach. He was the 2016-17 BIG EAST Coach of the Year, the 2013 Big South Conference Coach of the Year and a Naismith National Coach of the Year Finalist in 2014-15. Last year, Butler advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011, tallying a 14-5 regular-season record against 12 teams that made the 2017 NCAA Tournament field. Wins over Arizona, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Vermont, and Bucknell, in addition to a pair of wins over Villanova, helped the Bulldogs to a second-place finish in the BIG EAST and a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Butler’s win over Villanova at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Jan. 4, 2017 was the second win over a No. 1-ranked team in Butler history.

Holtmann, one of only two coaches in Butler history to lead the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament in each of his first three seasons -- Brad Stevens is the other -- garnered BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors a season ago, in addition to being named a finalist for the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award. Under Holtmann’s tutelage, Andrew Chrabascz was named first team All-BIG EAST, while Kelan Martin was selected to the All-BIG EAST second team and Kamar Baldwin was voted on to the BIG EAST’s five-member All-Freshman Team in 2016-17. In 2015-16, Butler ranked in the Top 25 nationally, scoring 79.9 points per game, and ascended to as high as ninth in the AP poll after opening the season win an 11-1 nonconference record. The 2014-15 campaign, Holtmann’s first leading the Butler program, saw the Bulldogs post a 23-11 record, finish in a tie for second place in the BIG EAST and win at least one game in the NCAA Tournament for the first of three-consecutive seasons. The Bulldogs’ success in his initial season as head coach earned Holtmann a spot as a finalist for both the Naismith National Coach of the Year Award and the Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year Award.

Holtmann spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs before being named interim head coach in October 2014 and then being elevated to head coach at Butler in January 2015. Prior to his time at Butler, Holtmann was head coach at Gardner-Webb for three seasons from 2010-13, leading the Runnin’ Bulldogs to a school Division I record 21 victories in his final season after taking over a program that won just eight games in 2009-10. In his last season at Gardner-Webb, Holtmann garnered Big South Conference and NABC District 3 Coach of the Year laurels.

Before becoming head coach at Gardner-Webb, Holtmann served two seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio University under former Ohio State assistant coach John Groce, and spent five seasons, including four as associate head coach, on the staff at Gardner-Webb Holtmann, from Nicholasville, Ky., was an NAIA All-American guard at Taylor University, helping guide the Trojans to a 25-9 record, a No. 1 national ranking and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament in 1993-94. After his playing days, Holtmann spent the 1997-98 season as a graduate assistant at Taylor and the 1998-99 season as an assistant at Geneva College before returning to Taylor as an assistant coach under Paul Patterson from 1999-2003. In his last two seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Holtmann helped lead the Trojans to a 50-16 record, back-to-back conference titles and a ranking in the Top 15 nationally.

Holtmann earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Taylor in 1994 and a master’s degree in athletic administration from Ball State in 2000. He and his wife, Lori, have one daughter, Nora Jane.

Wednesday, April 11 | 8:30 a.m.
Karen Martin | President, The Karen Martin Group Inc.
Author, The Outstanding OrganizationClarity First

karen martinKaren Martin, president of the global consulting firm The Karen Martin Group, Inc., is a leading authority on business performance and Lean management. Known for her keen diagnostic skills and rapid-results approach, Karen and her team have worked with clients such as AT&T, Chevron, Epson, GlaxoSmithKline, Goodwill Industries, International Monetary Fund, Lenovo, Mayo Clinic, Prudential Insurance, Qualcomm, and the United States Department of Homeland Security to develop more efficient work systems, grow market share, solve business problems, and accelerate performance. As a thought leader and skilled teacher, Karen has shaped how leaders and improvement professionals approach business performance in over 45 countries.

Karen’s broad understanding of work system design and business management stems from her experience building and managing operations for several rapid-growth organizations that each grew into multi-billion-dollar companies. She developed a keen understanding of customer value while serving in sales and marketing roles, and has extensive experience mitigating legal and compliance constraints. While she has worked with clients in nearly every sector, her healthcare-rich background includes clinical, administrative, and regulatory work in hospitals, post-acute care settings, payer services, medical research, clinical laboratories, physician practices, integrative medicine and behavioral healthcare.

Karen’s award-winning book, The Outstanding Organization, addresses the missing fundamentals that drive outstanding performance: Clarity, Focus, Discipline, and Engagement. Once instilled into an organization’s DNA, they open the door to sustainable growth and profit. Her latest book, Clarity First - a follow-on to The Outstanding Organization - reveals how to use clarity to unleash potential, innovate at higher levels, and solve problems more effectively. It’s her most provocative book to date and is garnering deep praise. Karen is also the co-author of Shingo Award-winning Value Stream Mapping, and two other books on business performance

An in-demand global speaker, Karen wows her audiences with high-energy presentations containing practical takeaways. Audiences giving her high ratings have included groups such as MassMutual, Lenovo, Young Presidents’ Organization, Society for Human Resource Management, and the Association for Manufacturing Excellence. For more information, please visit

Thursday, April 12 | 11:30 a.m.
Bradley Staats | Associate Professor of Operations, University of North Carolina
Author, Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive (spring 2018)

brad staatsBrad Staats examines how individuals and organizations learn and improve in order to stay relevant, innovate and succeed on an ongoing basis. His teaching focuses on learning and analytics. In addition to teaching on these topics at UNC Kenan-Flagler, he works with many companies around the world on their learning and analytics strategies.

Dr. Staats integrates work in operations management and human behavior to understand how and under what conditions individuals, teams and organizations can perform their best. His field-based research in such settings as health care and software services, consulting, call centers and retail, uses archival data and field experiments to provide an interdisciplinary perspective to improve both operations’ theory and practice. He publishes frequently in both leading academic journals and practitioner-focused journals. He is an associate editor at Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management and Production and Operations Management.

Dr. Staats leads the Business of Health Care Initiative (BOHC), a cross-disciplinary initiative targeting some of the biggest health-care challenges of our time, at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Although the business school is leading efforts to establish and grow the BOHC Initiative, it is by design a pan-university effort that draws upon the wide health sciences strengths across campus including our top-ranked schools of pharmacy, public health, nursing, dentistry, arts and sciences, medicine and business. By building on this collaborative powerhouse of resources and talent through the BOHC Initiative, UNC Kenan-Flagler seeks to distinguish both itself and the University as one of the leading national voices in education, research and thought leadership in the business of health care.

He received his DBA in technology and operations management and MBA from Harvard Business School. He received his BS with honors in electrical engineering and his BA with high honors in Plan II and Spanish from The University of Texas at Austin.

Past keynote speakers

  • 2017

    Don Sull, faculty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; co-author, Simple Rules

    Debra Jasper, CEO, Mindset Digital

    Urban Meyer, Head Football Coach, Ohio State Buckeyes

    Chris Yeh, entrepreneur/investor; co-author, The Alliance

  • 2016
    • Ben Cook, Program Director, Performance Instruction & Training
    • Francesca Gino, Professor, Harvard University; author, Sidetracked
    • Joe Murli,  Founder, The Murli Group
    • Todd Henry, author, Louder Than Words, Die Empty
  • 2015
    • David Marquet, ret. U.S. Navy Captain; author, Turn the Ship Around!
    • Huggy Rao, professor, Stanford University; co-author, Scaling Up Excellence
    • Rich Sheridan, CEO, Menlo Innovations; author, Joy Inc.
  • 2014
    • Chip Heath, co-author, Switch, Made To Stick, Decisive
    • Cameron Mitchell, CEO, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
    • Helen Turnbull, Founder/CEO, Human Facets
  • 2013
    • Charles Duhigg, author, Smarter Better FasterThe Power of Habit
    • Craig Morrison, CEO, Hexion
    • Susan Moffatt-Bruce, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer, Wexner Medical Center


Have questions? Need more info?

Matt Burns
Associate Director, Marketing & Communications