Robert Wiedemer – Managing Director, Absolute Investment Management
Robert A. Wiedemer is a Managing Director with Absolute Investment Management, an individual money management firm with over a quarter billion dollars in assets. He wrote the landmark book that predicted the downturn in the economy in 2006, America's Bubble Economy, published by John Wiley. Kiplinger's chose it as one of the best business books of 2006. Mr. Wiedemer's following book, Aftershock, was published by John Wiley in November 2009. It was chosen by Smart Money magazine as one of the five best investment books of 2009. Aftershock Second Edition was published in August 2011 and became a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller. Both editions have sold over 700,000 copies. His fourth book, The Aftershock Investor, was released in September 2012 and is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller. He is a frequent commentator on CNBC and Fox Business News.
Lynn J. Osmond – President & CEO, Chicago Architecture Foundation
Lynn Osmond assumed the position of President and CEO of the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) in 1996. She is responsible for overseeing CAF's comprehensive program of architecture tours, exhibitions, public programs, including lectures and special events, youth and adult education programs. With Osmond's strong leadership in organizational development, CAF has realized 300% in organizational growth, has consistently ranked among the top ten Chicago cultural institutions, and has grown its audience to more than half a million visitors. CAF's docent program has also thrived during Osmond's tenure, becoming internationally recognized as the leading program of its kind in the world. Osmond also spearheaded the launching of the Association of Architecture Organizations and the Architecture + Design Education Network.
Grant Achatz – Chef and Restaurateur
Grant Achatz grew up in the restaurant industry where both his parents and grandparents were restaurateurs. He realized early on that he wanted to become a chef, and upon graduating from high school he immediately enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. Excelling at the Culinary Institute, Achatz graduated and began working at the famous French Laundry in Napa Valley. After two years of working closely with Thomas Keller, he became sous chef. In 2001, he accepted the Executive Chef position at Trio, a four-star restaurant outside of Chicago.
Known worldwide as a leader of the forward-thinking movement, Achatz realized a lifelong dream by opening his restaurant Alinea in Chicago in May 2005. Under Chef Achatz's leadership, Alinea has received worldwide attention for its hypermodern, emotional approach to dining. In October 2006, Ruth Reichl of Gourmet magazine declared Alinea the "Best Restaurant in America" and in 2011 the restaurant received 3 Michelin stars. In April 2011, Achatz opened his next restaurant, Aviary Cocktails, in the West Loop area of Chicago. That same year, Achatz released his memoir entitled "Life, on the Line."
Camisha L. Simmons, Esq. – Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P.
Camisha, a member of the Bankruptcy & Insolvency practice group of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P., focuses her practice on the representation of debtors and creditors in complex restructuring and bankruptcy matters. Camisha is in high demand as a speaker and has authored numerous published articles on various bankruptcy topics, including her most recent article titled "Code Doesn't Address Health Care Privacy Concerns," published in the Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review. Since 2007, she has served on the Editorial Board of the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal where she currently serves as Coordinating Editor of the Journal's "News at 11" column. She holds a J.D., magna cum laude and an M.B.A. from Texas Tech University, an M.Ed. from the University of Maryland, College Park and a B.B.A. from Campbell University. Prior to beginning her legal career, she served on active duty in the United States Army from 1999 to 2003.