Lisa Honig Buksbaum, MBA, MAPP, CEO & Founder, Soaringwords
Lisa is a passionary: a visionary driven by great passion and action. She is an intuitive healer and well-loved inspirational speaker, workshop leader and master teacher who has shared her wisdom with thousands of people throughout the world. Three experiences with death and illness in her family during a ten-month period motivated her to launch Soaringwords, a not-for-profit organization she founded to inspire millions of ill children and their families to “Never give up!” Since 2001, Lisa has shared her SOARING into Strength success strategies with over 500,000 people through Soaringwords. She’s been featured as an expert on ABC News, Fortune Small Business, USA Today, and Delta Sky Magazine.
Lisa has been a keynote speaker, moderator, and panelist at dozens of professional and scientific conferences including the International Positive Psychology Association, European Conference on Positive Psychology, Canadian Positive Psychology Association, and International Positive Education Network. Lisa has led workshops for Health & Human Services Agencies, housing projects, community centers, Universities, Medical Schools and Nursing Schools including University of Pennsylvania, UVA School of Medicine & School of Nursing, Tecmilienio University, NYU, and Columbia, She has led professional development workshops at dozens of Fortune 50 companies such as Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase, New York Life, and Verizon. Lisa graduated with honors from The University of Pennsylvania; holds an MBA in Marketing from Columbia University Graduate School of Business; and a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from The University of Pennsylvania. She has a certificate from the American Institute for Mental Imagery and a certificate in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is the author of SOARING into Strength. Lisa lives in New York City with her husband, Jacob, and has two grown sons, Jonathan and Joshua, and gets her energy from swimming each day and connecting with people in meaningful ways.
Michel Azoulay, MD, MBA
Michel brings 25 years of senior management, drug development consulting and business development experience, involving both domestic and international entities. Dr. Michel Azoulay is the Chief Operating Officer at Aurora Biopharma and is in charge of the corporate strategy and the business development. He was previously the CEO for nine years at Biotech MedPartners, an international consulting firm where he advised senior executives of both Fortune 500 and specialty pharmaceutical companies on a range of issues such as licensing, mergers and acquisitions, research and development strategy and pharmaceutical lifecycle management.
Michel was the Oncology Leader and Engagement Manager at IMS Health and has a broad experience in consulting services for more than fifteen years and has managed over 100 consulting engagements.
Prior to IMS, Dr. Azoulay had a successful career at Amgen, where he has worked for nine years in strategic and business development of oncology drugs.
Michel holds an executive MBA with high honors from ESCP and earned his M.D. from Montpellier University of Medicine, France. He has served on many advisory boards of various life science companies and scientific review panels. He is also the author of Valuation in Portfolio Management and the founder of the Biotech Investment Group.
Karen A. Garman
Dr. Garman, is currently a Director of Education and Engagement at the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. With a doctorate from the University of Southern California in adult/higher/professional education, along with certifications as a human performance improvement expert and board certified coach, Dr. Garman has over 35 years of experience in the delivery of a variety of professional development training programs to public and private healthcare organizations. In addition to the large-scale healthcare systems work that she designs and implements, she also professionally coaches healthcare individuals on how to become better leaders and clinicians at the local, state and national healthcare levels. Dr. Garman was one of the first graduates of the Masters in Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania completing her capstone in her field of medical education entitled – Broadening and Building Medical Students Clinical Performance: An Action Research Study. This study showed that positive psychology interventions practiced by medical school faculty actually improve the clinical performance of their students. Now as a 10 year specialist in positive psychology in healthcare, Dr. Garman was recently recruited as a co-director of a NIH consortium of 16 academic medical centers around the country that are addressing the cultural changes and interprofessional education required to positively implement professional change as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Her professional and personal goal is to collaborate and implement the best positive psychology practices being developed throughout the country that will make successful healthcare providers more successful, while improving patient satisfaction with every clinician-patient encounter.
Dr. Sharon Herzfeld
Dr. Herzfeld is a pediatric neurologist specializing in alternative, holistic neurology. She is board certified and a Diplomate of The American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Herzfeld completed residency training in general pediatrics and adult neurology and a fellowship in child neurology at the New York University School of Medicine where she currently serves as a faculty member. After fellowship training, she practiced traditional child neurology for four years. When her own children became seriously ill, she discovered the effectiveness of alternative medicine including homeopathy and was inspired to use what she learned from their success to help others.
She has spent the last few years researching and studying alternative treatments for many common and chronic conditions that can be treated with homeopathic remedies successfully and less intrusively than with traditional pharmaceuticals.
Her academic achievements include teaching courses in Developmental Pediatrics, Child Neurology and Adult Neurology at The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and served as preceptor in The Child Neurology Clinic at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. In addition to ongoing search for new, safe and effective therapeutic modalities, Dr.Herzfeld is a member of the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Neurology and The Child Neurology Society. She is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Herzfeld lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.
Chris is Manager of Research and Consultative Services as well as Senior Grants Development Consultant for Grants Office, LLC. In his role at Grants Office, Chris is responsible for providing and overseeing innovative grants development services that enable corporations, municipalities and nonprofit organizations to maximize their grant initiatives. He has a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management with a Health Concentration and a Master’s in Health Administration from Cornell University. Chris was initially drawn to the healthcare field through an emotional connection as a teenager, as he grew up in a family on a fixed income and witnessed his father choose to feed his family over purchasing life-saving heart medications. Chris developed a passion to understand the healthcare system from all angles, whether it be policy or the direct provision of care in the hopes of making a positive impact for patients and families that experience difficulty accessing and navigating the system.
Chris previously worked as a legislative aide for the New York State Assembly Committee on Health. He has also served in a project management capacity for a variety of healthcare organizations ranging from healthcare clinics to major academic medical centers. In his time working for a Medicaid Managed Care insurer, Chris was able to work with safety net practices to transform the delivery of care in a way that improved outcomes for the most at risk patients. As a post-graduate fellow at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Chris oversaw the creation of a “One Call Does All” Transfer Center to expedite incoming emergent transfers from surrounding providers on Long Island. In his time at a Federally Qualified Health Center, Chris was able to oversee the implementation of electronic medical records as well as a grant-funded community-led health assessment for immediate catchment area of the facility. Chris was introduced to Soaringwords through Cisco, one of its corporate supporters. He has been volunteering for Soaringwords since 2015 since his greatest satisfaction comes from helping healthcare organizations and other non-profits fund important projects that improve the care and overall well-being of vulnerable populations.
Chris resides in the Greater Rochester, New York area with his loving wife and Bugzy a spoiled 7-year old Beagle. Chris is an avid sports fan that also enjoys nature walks, non-fiction books, documentaries and spending time with his large extended family.
Caren has more than 16 years of experience in Structured Trade Finance with a strong focus on International Trade. She has been the President of Corporate Funding Partners since its inception in 2000.Corporate Funding does approximately $200 million in sales arranging Port to Port financing on letter of credit transactions for clients who import product. CFP caters to high-level apparel groups; as well as commodities such as food, petroleum, and steel. Caren has developed a number of marketing, sales and management tools that have become the basis of the company’s continued success and growth over the years. Currently she oversees the development of a global network of representatives in Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America, Central America and North America.
Before Caren began her foray into Finance in 1999, she worked in the art world for fifteen years, as a prolific artist selling her artwork in galleries, as well as teaching art to children and adults. Caren worked for the Montclair Art Museum, where she taught adult painting and drawing classes as well as the children’s classes. She developed projects for school and local community programs, incorporating the visual content of the Museums’ main exhibits. In addition, Caren worked for a few years with the Studio in the Schools program in New York City where she provided art education to thousands of students in over 100 NYC public schools. Caren also spent a few years teaching and developing the art program for Manhattan High School for Girls. She is the proud mother of two children and lives in Manhattan with her husband and kids.
Paul is the President of Rupert & Company, Washington, D.C.-based flexibility and management development consultancy. The firm is the premier provider of strategic consulting services and management training on flexible leadership and workplace flexibility to Fortune 1000 companies, professional service firms and major hospitals. Its principals have provided comprehensive services to over one hundred organizations whose goal was to become more flexible employers. Those ranged from Aetna and Amgen to Wal-Mart and Xerox.
Paul combines more than thirty years’ general leadership, research and consulting experience with expertise in the development of flexible and remote management skills. From 1992 until the fall of 2000, he founded and served as Practice Leader of Boston-based WFD’s Flexibility Consulting and Training Practice. For five years before that he directed New Ways to Work’s national EquiFlex Project, the first corporate advocacy group promoting workplace flexibility. From 1972-85 he developed and led a series of start-up or turnaround medical, legal, publishing, mediation, counseling and consulting firms which he managed with increasing use of flexible management skills and flexible work arrangements.
A leader in innovation and continuous improvement, Rupert & Company was a pioneer in developing a business-beneficial process for negotiating flexible arrangements that maximize individual control and measurable productivity. It created the FlexWise™ online guidelines and online training tools to assure best practice flexibility systems. It has developed Team Self-Scheduling systems for hospital workforces and Leading through Mutual Respect initiatives for hospital administrators and doctors. And it has pioneered the Collaborating through Chronic Conditions initiative to enable companies to provide support to employees with a range of challenging medical conditions, and the managers and HR staff who support them.
Mr. Rupert speaks widely on the topic of the flexible workplace and is quoted regularly in the national media, including the Wall Street Journal, CBS News, National Public Radio, Newsweek, BNA HR Report, Washington Post, Marketplace and others. He received his B.A. in History from Stanford University. Paul lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two sons.
Hana is an Accounting Manager at MacAndrews & Forbes a top private equity firm. She is finance professional with an exceptional track record leading business development initiatives that drive savings and enhance productivity. Hana is a strategic problem solver, change agent and respected manager. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from the National Liberal Arts and Engineering School, Paris, France and will be embarking on her Executive MBA starting in the Fall, 2016.
Hana’s childhood experiences inspired her to join the Soaringwords Board where she chairs the Finance committee. Her sister suffered with Crohn’s Disease and her mother’s outstanding positive attitude and coaching helped the family overcome the debilitating challenges of this illness. Because of this life-changing experience, Hana is committed to using words to make a difference helping people step into a positive frame of mind. Hana is excited to share Soaringwords’ unique “pay-it-forward” positive psychology interventions with millions of children and families.
Hana was the Assistant Controller at Forrest Solutions Group where she developed and automated financial reporting systems and led all areas of accounting operations. As Senior Accountant/Assistant Controller at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, she managed all aspects of a $52 million budget and 42 departments/state chapters. She was the General Accountant for the Benelux Region for LOGIX-IBM in Courbevoie, France.
Hana lives in New York City and enjoys yoga, scuba-diving, marine conservation, skiing, hiking, mountain climbing and relaxing with her friends.
Shawn Dawson Troutt, Esq.
Shawn is the Legal Director, Cloud & Services Legal Team for Cisco’s global go-to markets and products teams who support Cisco’s service providers and largest enterprise customers. Shawn is responsible for negotiating deals in the virtual network space, internal operational processes, resolving privacy and security issues, advising senior executives on all strategic, structural or negotiation matters that impact on Cisco’s business offerings and managing a team of senior attorneys. She’s been a leader at Cisco since 2005.
Shawn earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School where she was the Managing Editor of the Black Letter Law Journal and a member of the Volunteer Income Tax Association. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from University of California, Berkeley with a concentration in Accounting and Real Estate Finance. She distinguished herself as a University of California Regents’ and Chancellor’s Scholar; Alumni Scholar; Black Alumni Scholar, AICPA Scholar and Golden State Minority Scholar.
Shawn discovered Soaringwords at Cisco while she and her two daughters were enjoying the Annual Take Your Child to Work Day program where employees and children decorated SoaringQuilts and SoaringPillows with inspirational messages and artwork to donate to hospitalized kids.
Prior to her current role, Shawn was Senior Corporate Counsel for Cisco’s Collaboration Architecture Legal team. Shawn worked with Cisco’s Large and Complex Deal Teams in the U.S. and Europe to identify and promote best practice standards for cloud collaboration offers. Before this position, Shawn was Senior Corporate Counsel for the Global Enterprise Theater Legal Team where she was the legal leader for Cisco sales teams in complex transactions with U.S. and European global financial institutions. Shawn also served as General Counsel of Random Walk Computing; and corporate associate at Bryan Cave LLP and Rogers & Wells, LLP.
Shawn and her family live in New Jersey where she enjoys knitting, reading, being a big football fan and Middle Eastern dancing.