Nura Maznavi is an attorney, writer, and Fulbright Scholar. She has worked with migrant workers in Sri Lanka, on behalf of prisoners in California, and with a national legal advocacy organization leading a program to end racial and religious profiling. Nura is the co-editor of the groundbreaking anthologies "Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women" and "Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy." She is an alumna of VONA/Voices of Our Nations writersí workshop. She lives in Chicago.
Ovetta Sampson has held many titles. Journalist, author, editor, publisher, programmer, business owner, coach, daughter and friend; these are just some of her salutations. But, by far, her favorite title is Ironman.
A self-proclaimed non-athlete, who spent years overweight and obese, in December 2013, Ovetta completed the grueling ultra distance triathlon Ironman Cozumel, a race that has a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and finishes with a marathon. She revamped her diet, lost 100 pounds and transformed her perception of what it means to be an athlete.
Since then she’s been helping others find their inner fitness fierceness through Faith Inspired Triathlon Training located on Chicago’s South Side. When she’s not coaching swimming sessions, cycling, running or doing a half-marathon, Ovetta is a Communication Analyst at DePaul University. As a M.S. candidate in human-computer interaction, Ovetta seeks to create technology products that help people discover their undiscovered athletic abilities.
Dionna Griffin-Irons is a writer, alumnus of Second City Detroit and current director of Outreach & Diversity at the legendary comedy theatre, Second City. She is a champion of empowering students, actors, women, inmates and professionals to own their “voice” and give themselves permission to play and be heard wherever they are. In her current role, she mentors, cultivates and produces new voices in comedy and improv.
For 15+ years, she has used her stage experience and life lessons from a women’s minimum security prison camp as the catalyst for her diversity and inclusion work. As one inmate reminded her, "We're all the same, only different." She has taught 200+ workshops at colleges, women’s shelters, South Side Chicago public schools, corporate board rooms, and worked with the United States Embassy to introduce improv workshops in countries Norway and Latvia as a tool for social change. You can follow her at @dionnaGIrons or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom Sosnoff is the founder and co-CEO of dough, Inc., which includes tastytrade, the fastest growing online financial network and dough, a financial technology content aggregator. Tom is a recognized online brokerage innovator and sought-after financial educator. Tom founded thinkorswim in 1999 (which was sold to TD Ameritrade in 2009 for $600 million), and tastytrade in 2011. Leveraging over 20 years of experience as a market maker for the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Tom pursued a vision to educate retail investors in options trading and to build a superior software platform at a brokerage firm that specialized in options. His efforts ultimately changed the way these instruments were traded by individual investors.