2022 Get Started Rhode Island

Meet Our Workshop Leader

Peter George
Peter George, Public Speaking Coach & Trainer

Peter George has over 30 years of experience in speaking with a wide array of audiences at a variety of evens, both nationally and internationally, including several TEDx events.   He has helped develop people into confident public speakers who are able to deliver presentations that engage, persuade, and inspire.  He’s also recently released his book:  “The Captivating Public Speaker; How to Engage, Impact and Inspire Your Audience.”

For more about Peter, visit https://petergeorgepublicspeaking.com/

Meet Our 2022 Moderator

Mike Ritz

Mike Ritz (LRI ’07), Executive Director

Training language instructors from multiple cultures while studying applied psycholinguistics in Mexico City sparked Mike’s lifelong interests in human behavior and communication.

After more than 12 years serving as the Executive Director of Leadership Rhode Island (LRI), Mike shifted to a national focus in July 2022. Taking on the position of Executive Director in Gallup’s public sector partner group, he leads a newly launched strengths-based development initiative for the federal government to make our nation stronger.

Under Mike’s leadership LRI received numerous accolades, including the Excellence in Public Service Award by Common Cause RI, two National Innovation Awards from the Association of Leadership Programs and three Community Outreach Awards from the RI Press Association for public forums in partnership with The Providence Journal and Rhode Island College. LRI’s innovative Make RI Stronger social enterprise, launched in 2014, was recognized by Gallup as an inspiration for the global strengths movement. As E.D. Mike also secured the largest single donation in LRI’s 41-year history.

And in 2020, he launched the National Leadership Network representing 700,000+ community leadership program alumni across the country. Mike currently serves as President on the board of FORGE, a national nonprofit focused on decreasing veteran suicides through The Overwatch Project, and leads the Board Development Committee of the Girls Scouts of Southeastern New England. His Top Five Strengths are COMMUNICATION – ACTIVATOR – FUTURISTIC – STRATEGIC – MAXIMIZER

Meet Our 2022 Judges

Tino Chow of Giant Shoulders
Tino Chow, Founder, Giant Shoulders

I help mission-driven companies build powerful brands and websites that communicate the importance of their work and why you should get behind them.

1. Brand Strategy and Design – Using our tried and tested design thinking methodology, we distill a leader’s vision into a sticky and memorable brand.

2. Leadership Branding – Building systems and habits to operationalize a leader’s vision, mission, and values to help everyone in the organization make autonomous mission-driven decisions.

3. Communication Design – Designing websites and marketing campaigns that help spread the word, but more importantly, build lasting relationships.

We only work with mission-driven companies and leaders who are trying to get bigger and do more good. Signal Works Architecture, Arctura Wind, New Trail Cycling, SeaAhead, and SpringTide Venture Capital are just a few of our happy clients.

“The brand that Giant Shoulders built helped lend us credibility, and going through their design process helped me clarify my own thinking about our company. Tino and his team are wonderful to work with: calm, collected, competent, and all-around great people.” – Austin Walters, Founder of the SpringTide, a Med Tech VC

“Giant Shoulders is a design agency that solves business problems. Their Minimum Viable Branding approach helped us realigned our company by applying our brand to express our mission, consolidating our process, managing and leading our employees, and our external communications.” – Eric Army, Founder of SignalWorks, a Mission-Driven Architecture Firm

“The methodology and the tools used by Tino and the Giant Shoulders team certainly made our work truly engaging and collaborative.” – Danielle Baron, Board Member of FIRN

I am a former military officer turned designer who combines operations with creativity to help companies leverage the power of brand and design. I spent over a decade building creative cultures and teams with New York agencies and Silicon Valley startups. I hold a design degree from Rhode Island School of Design, where I now teach. I also frequently give talks on branding and design thinking and is a TED Fellow.

Arnell Milhouse
Arnell Milhouse, Co-founder/CEO, CareerDevs Computer Science University

is a Co-Founder and CEO of the CareerDevs Computer Science University and Dracōdess Software Engineering. Arnell is also the founder of IntraCity Geeks, a STEM education startup that was recognized by President Barack Obama and was the recipient of an American Innovation “50 on Fire” award.

CEO/Co-founder – CareerDevs Computer Science Institute | Dracodess Software Engineering
2020 Entrepreneur in Residence – Brown University, Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship

“Much like the Homebrew computer club, we tinker. We tinker a lot… especially with the future. Software engineering within most companies is not revolutionary. Quarterly performance, dictates that corporations play it safe. At CareerDevs and Dracodess, we get to experiment, fail, breakthrough, iterate and innovate. Rapidly. We’ve built an army of full-stack developers, conversant in ML, AI, Enterprise/Internet software development, mobile (Apple, Android), e-Sports Analytics and most importantly… the future. It’s fun, silicon satisfaction at its best.”

“Code/Technology without passion is useless”

2017 TEDx Speaker | 2017 Talks at Google Speaker | 2018 American Innovation Award Recipient – Innovation in Education | 2015 Barack Obama White House Demo Day Recognition

TEDx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=silWG2dDRg0
Talk at Google: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYv_tQDG3H4

Karl Wadensten
Karl Wadensten is the President/CEO of VIBCO Vibrators, an industrial manufacturing company serving over 360,000 customers worldwide.
  • Global operations and business development executive with an outstanding profitability-growth leadership record oversee operations of 1800 vibrator products with 46 US Patents and many more worldwide, to over 360k customers.• Lean Executive with proven results streamlining operations, new product development, recruiting & building lean and highly effective management teams, developing and maintaining strong customer relationships, and supervising major product development projects.• Passion for gaining and sustaining dramatic improvements in inventory, lead times, SMED, quality, and implementing employee ideas to gain operational effectiveness.• Member of the National Speakers Bureau, lecturer on culture change, Lean Operations,  strategic utilization of Lean Tools regarding 5S, Kaizen, Poka-Yoke, Pull Planning, and Hoshin Kanri as well as Learnings from Joint Venture with VIBCO & GE Digital.

    • Keynote Speaker
    • War on Waste
    • YPO /WPO Member

Shannon Shallcross
Shannon Shallcross, Co-founder and CEO, BetaXAnalytics

Shannon Shallcross is the co-founder and CEO of BetaXAnalytics and Head of Client Services for Pinpoint Predictive. An executive leader in the insurance and data tech industries for over a decade, Shannon Shallcross is a true believer in the power companies have to use data to make a meaningful impact on their bottom line profitability.

She has advised numerous Fortune 500 clients on analytics strategy, first as head of Client Management for a national health tech company, and continuing as the Co-Founder of BetaXAnalytics, a company that pioneers emerging data science techniques using artificial intelligence to remove the barrier to actionable and transparent data for providers, payers and employers. Prior to this, Shallcross spent 12 years running branch sales and service operations across the country for Amica Insurance, a $5 billion insurance company.

Shallcross serves as an appointee for the State of Rhode Island’s HIE Advisory Commission which oversees technology that connects data across health care providers throughout the state. She has a Master of Science degree in Insurance Management from Boston University.

A TEDx speaker, Shannon has coached dozens of high potential leaders, data and InsurTech startups as an Entrepreneur in Residence for Brown University’s prestigious Breakthrough Lab Accelerator, a business mentor at RIHub, and a judge for the Cox Business Get Started Rhode Island pitch competition.

Cox Business


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