MICHAEL SWANSON is an agricultural economist and consultant for Wells Fargo, the largest commercial agricultural lender in the U.S. Based in Minneapolis, his responsibilities include analyzing the impact of energy on agriculture, forecasting for key agricultural commodities. Additionally, he helps develop credit and risk strategies for Wells Fargo’s customers and performs macroeconomic and international analysis on agricultural production and agribusiness.
JOE SCHMIT is an author, award-winning broadcaster, community leader and popular keynote speaker. As a sports broadcaster, he has covered every major sporting event in the past four decades and has interviewed many of the biggest names in sports. He joined KSTP-TV in 1985 and has won 18 Emmys from the National Television Academy. Schmitt is a past president and board member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities. He has raised more than $3 million for the organization through the Joe Schmit Celebrity Golf Tournament in a 16-year run.
DONNA BRAZILE is the former chair of the Democratic National Committee and a fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. She has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 to 2000, when she served as presidential campaign manager for former Vice President Al Gore. Brazile is also founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy and training firm. Author of the best-selling autobiography “Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics,” Brazile is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University where she shares her passion for encouraging young people to vote, work within the system to strengthen it and run for public office.
MIKE MURPHY is one of the Republican Party’s most successful political consultants, having handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns, including 12 wins in “blue” states that have consistently voted Democratic in presidential elections. A partner in the Washington, D.C. based Revolution Agency, Murphy works as a strategy and communications consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and leading trade associations. Murphy is also a well-known opinion journalist — both in print and as a longtime panelist on NBC’s “Meet the Press”. He’s written for TIME Magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and the Weekly Standard.
PETER ZEIHAN is a geopolitical strategist, with a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines. He combines an expert understanding of demography, economics, energy, politics, technology, and security to help clients best prepare for an uncertain future. Over the course of his career, Zeihan has worked for the U.S. State Department in Australia, the Washington, D.C. think tank community, and helped develop the analytical models for Stratford, one of the world’s premier private intelligence companies. He founded his own firm — Zeihan on Geopolitics — in 2012 in order to provide a select group of clients with direct, custom analytical products. Today those clients represent a vast array of sectors, including energy majors, financial institutions, business associations, agricultural interests, universities and the U.S. military.
JEFF SZYPERSKI is the current chairman of the American Bankers Association, and chairman, president and CEO of Chesapeake Financial Shares, Inc. and Chesapeake Bank, a $785 million institution based in Kilmarnock, Virginia. He is also chairman of Chesapeake Wealth Management. Szyperski is a past chairman of the Virginia Bankers Association (2012–2013) and currently serves on the VBA’s board of directors and is chairman of the VBA Education Foundation. He is also a past chairman of ABA’s Audit Committee, and currently serves as chairman of ABA’s Membership Council. He is a former senior manager for KPMG Peat Marwick in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is chairman of the Lancaster County Economic Development Authority.