An internationally recognized author, Grisham has written several bestsellers for his novels including The Firm, The Pelican Brief, etc. Nine of his books have been adapted into successful films. Prior to his career as a writer, Grisham practiced criminal law for nearly a decade and served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1984 until 1990. Grisham also serves on board for the Innocence Project, which campaigns against the unjust conviction of people on the basis of DNA evidence.
Inventor, Robticist, and Entrepreneur
Paul Perrone is an inventor, entrepreneur, and pioneer of software for driverless cars and intelligent mobile robots. His journeys so far have brought him to historic Pentagon-backed races of self-driving vehicles in the Mojave Desert, work with rocker Neil Young to robotize a 1959 Lincoln Continental electric vehicle conversion, and to the launching of Perrone Robotics’ which is forging a path for the proliferation of driverless cars and intelligent robots based on Mr. Perrone’s trailblazing and patented general-purpose robotics operating system known as “MAX”. Perrone Robotics is venture-backed and based outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Author, Former Defense Attorney, and Stockbroker
John Hart is the author of five New York Times bestsellers and the only author in history to win the best novel Edgar Award for consecutive novels. A former banker, stockbroker, and criminal defense attorney, Hart now writes full-time. His novels have been translated into thirty languages and can be found in over seventy countries. Hart has now started his sixth novel, The Hush, a sequel to The Last Child.
Dr. William Winter
Neurologist, Consultant, and Sleep Medicine Specialist
Dr. William Winter has been involved in sleep medicine and research since 1993. He currently owns Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine clinic and has recently published The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It. Dr. Winter’s current research focuses on sleep and athletic performance. He has served as a consultant for many MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL teams. He enjoys not only studying athletics but is an avid triathlete himself.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville
Rosensweig leads Habitat of Humanity to provide opportunities for affordable homeownership in Charlottesville. Beyond this, Rosensweig has also been a member of the Charlottesville Planning Commission, where he had a role of advising the Charlottesville City Council on matters related to land use and urban planning.
Former Charlottesville Chief of Police
Longo is a 25-year veteran of law enforcement, police ethics and professional standards. Having been the Chief of the Charlottesville Police Department since 2001, Longo has guided the department through a transition from a traditional reactive force to a more effective and accountable institution, targeting community partnership and instituting a proactive problem-solving model.
Director of Curriculum & Academics at WorldStrides
Amato strives to teach others about effective leadership in a school environment. With her experience teaching at UVA, as a youth group leader, and mission trip leader in Honduras, she is a master in the study and application of leadership. Before her doctoral work, Dr. Amato served as a teacher and administrator in a K-12 school.
Co-Founder of C'ville Coffee, C'ville Central, and Community Investment Collaborative
Nguyen is passionate about using his business knowledge to implement social change. In 2011, he founded the Community Investment Collaborative (CIC) that provides education, capital, and mentoring to minorities and formerly incarcerated individuals. In 2013, he founded an organization called C’ville Central, designed to help small, women, and minority-owned (SWaM) businesses by connecting them with residential and institutional markets.
Dr. James Coan
Director of the Virginia Affective Neuroscience Laboratory at UVa
Coan researches the neuroscience surrounding social relationships and emotion. He has written more than fifty scientific articles and has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times, BBC News and Washington Post.