Former White House Chief of Staff, Headlines Speaker Roster for 2020 NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival

Former White House Chief of Staff and Marine four-star Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret.) will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival, which will take place March 2-3 at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

The second annual event elevates traditional thought leadership gatherings by bringing together world-renowned innovators, policy makers, trendsetters, influencers and philanthropists. By integrating luxury hospitality, culinary and cultural experiences against the backdrop of the exclusive Naples Grande Beach Resort, the event will once again offer “Big Thinking. Big Fun.” to attendees in Southwest Florida.

Registration for NaplesNEXT 2020 is now open at Each registrant receives access to both days of the festival including a midday luncheon and opening eveningreception with fellow attendees and speakers on March 2, and breakfast on March 3. A portion of each registration fee is tax-deductible and benefits the Community Foundation of Collier County and Naples Children & Education Foundation, which is partnering with the festival to present the State of the Community Summit on March 3.

General Kelly is among a group of global and national experts that will deliver their expertise and insights at the festival. David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group; Nick Schifrin, foreign affairs and defense correspondent for PBS Newshour;Maye Musk, model and dietician;Allan Golston, President, U.S. Program for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief of National Geographicare just a few of the many influential thought leaders that will share their perspectives on relevant issues impacting society today.

“Building off a successful first year, the 2020 NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival will again feature an incredibly diverse schedule of programming that will resonate with festival-goers and inspire them to innovate in their own lives and communities,” said NaplesNEXT executive director Stacey Vollman Warwick. “The assembled speakers have such impressive backgrounds, making them highly respected global, national and local experts and trendsetters in their fields. Their wealth of knowledge across private, public, military and non-profit sectors will be invaluable to the Southwest Florida community as they share “What’s NEXT?” at this year’s festival.”

A highly decorated officer with nearly 50 years of service in the United States military and government administration, General Kelly will deliver Tuesday morning’s keynote address that will focus on government, geopolitics and his real-world perspective on the current global landscape. Prior to his role as White House Chief of Staff, General Kelly served as Secretary of Homeland Security (Jan.-July, 2017) and Commander of the United States Southern Command (2012-2016) among many other distinguished roles in the Marine Corps.

Other festival highlights include:

  • NASA astronaut and photographer Terry Virts shares his experiences and photographs from his travels during the space program.
  • Bridgeway Foundation CEO and author Shannon Sedgwick Davis provides the inside story of her mission to end a murderous warlord who terrorized countries across Central and East Africa in her highly-acclaimed book “To Stop a Warlord.”
  • An exclusive evening reception with conference attendees and speakers, featuring a menu developed by Top Chef Star and James Beard Award Nominee Chef Lindsay Autry (The Regional Kitchen & Public House City Place) and a wine tasting menu curated by Jon McDaniel, named Food + Wine Magazine’s 2018 Sommelier of the Year. Other local chefs to offer their culinary expertise include Jason Goddard (Sea Salt), Vincenzo Betulla (The French) and Asif Syed (21 Spices).
  • Christine Brennan, sports columnist and commentator with ABC News, CNN, PBS Newshour, NPR and USA Today, will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.

For more information on NaplesNEXT 2020 and to register for this year’s event, please visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at @NaplesNEXT.NaplesNEXT is produced by the Leadership division of Intersport, a 20-time Emmy Award-winning innovator and event producer.

The current panel and speaker schedule can be found below:

Monday, March 2

Session and Speakers

Global Foreign Policy and Markets: 2020 and Beyond

About the Session: An unplugged discussion about the factors influencing market valuations, consumer sentiment and financial stability.

Speaker: David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group

Speaker: Nick Schifrin, Foreign Affairs and Defense Correspondent, PBS Newshour

A Celebration of Women: 100 Years Since the 19th Amendment

About the Session: Susan Goldberg will review a special exhibit of the National Geographic WOMEN Image Collection followed by in-depth discussions with female leaders who are blazing trails in various industries.

Moderator: Susan Goldberg, Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic

Speaker: Maye Musk, model and dietitian

Speaker: Olasimbo Sojinrin, Nigeria Country Director, Solar Sister

Healthcare Innovation: Scientific Advances Enabling A Longer & Better Life

About the Session: Experts and innovators share new technologies, improvements and longevity wisdom for our bodies, minds and lifestyles.

Panelist: S. Jay Olshansky, Professor, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago

Panelist: Dr. Malú Tansey, Director, Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, University of Florida

Panelist: Dr. Nir Barzilai, Director, Institute for Aging Research, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

 Author Showcase: To Stop a Warlord

About the Session: An intimate discussion with the author who helped mastermind an unconventional collaboration between private, public, military and humanitarian organizations to pilot a new way of trying to stop mass atrocities.

Speaker: Shannon Sedgwick Davis, Author& CEO, Bridgeway Foundation

Values-Based Leadership: A CEO Roundtable

About the Session: A thoughtful discussion about how values-based leaders from private, public and non-profit sectors must come together to solve our biggest challenges.

Moderator: David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, The Carlyle Group

Panelist: Allan Golston, President, U.S. Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Panelist: Sarah Kauss, Founder & CEO, S’well

Earth Day Turns 50: The Past, Present and Future

About the Session: Panelists will take us behind the scenes of the progress we have made protecting our environment and the work still left to do.

Speaker: Susan Goldberg, Editor in Chief, National Geographic

Speaker: Solomon Goldstein-Rose, Climate Change Researcher and former Massachusetts State Rep.

Photography Showcase: View From Above

About the Session: A former International Space Station commander, Virts will share his fascinating stories and breathtaking images from his combined seven months spent in space.

Speaker: Colonel Terry Virts, NASA astronaut and photographer

Monday Night Reception

Attendees will enjoy a regionally curated menu developed in partnership with Lindsay Autry, Top Chef Star and James Beard Award nominee, and an exclusive wine tasting menu curated by Jon McDaniel, named Food + Wine Magazine’s 2018 Sommelier of the Year. Highly acclaimed local chefs Jason Goddard (Sea Salt, Barbatell, Dorona, Grappino), Vincenzo Betulla (Bar Tulia, Osteria Tulia, The French) and Asif Syed (21 Spices) will offer their inspired signature dishes during the evening.


Tuesday, March 3

Session and Speakers

Keynote Address: Gen. John F. Kelly, USMC (Ret.)

State of the Community Summit: Child Advocacy

About the Session: Speaking for and protecting our community’s most vulnerable children is a priority for communities across the country. Foster care, the dependency system and childhood hunger are important elements that impact our youth today and must be considered as part of childhood development.

Panelist: Christine Greider, Retired 20th Judicial Circuit Judge,Unified Family Court

Panelist: Richard LeBer, President and CEO, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida

Panelist: Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, Collier County Sheriff’s Office

State of the Community Summit: Early Learning and Education

About the Session: High-quality educational programming provides children with the tools for academic and social success. It is incumbent on our leaders to guide our youth through the education process, from early learning to high school graduation and preparing students to be ready for the future.

Moderator: Elisa Villanueva Beard, CEO, Teach for America

Panelist: Susan Block, CEO, Early Leaning Coalition of SWFL

Panelist: Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent, Collier County Public School System

Panelist: Dr. Phil Poekert, Director, Lastinger Center for Learning, University of Florida

State of the Community Summit: Pediatric Healthcare

About the Session: Essential medical and healthcare services are vital for children to grow and thrive. The many facets of pediatric healthcare, ranging from primary care to specialties including mental health and ophthalmology, will be discussed among leading professionals.

Moderator: Dr. Thomas Shanley, President and CEO, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Panelist: Dr. Eduardo Alfonso, Director, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute

Panelist: Scott Burgess, CEO, David Lawrence Center

Panelist: Armando Llechu, Chief Administrative Officer, Golisano Children’s Hospital

About NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival

The NaplesNEXT Ideas Festival, launched in 2019, is inspired to produce an unparalleled, engaging, interactive, cultural and social experience that features dozens of national experts and trendsetters discussing “What’s Next?” in our world. Each year, the festival creates meaningful programming aimed to educate, entertain and motivate attendees to help improve the lives of those in their communities through thought-provoking content from leading global business, medical, philanthropic, political, law and cultural experts. The festival is held in partnership with Flexjet, Lee Health, BMW, Arthrex, Community Foundation of Collier County, Naples Children and Education Foundation, Gulfshore Life Magazine and WGCU. For more information on the festival, please visit or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at @NaplesNEXT.

 About Intersport

Intersport is an independent media and marketing agency, specializing in property creation, content production and robust marketing services that span digital, sponsorship experiential and hospitality. This Chicago-based agency has been creating innovative, world-class entertainment platforms centered on passion points for 33+ years using a distinctive model that powers BOLD marketing solutions from scratch. With expertise in culinary, esports, leadership, lifestyle and sports, Intersport partners with brands who want to connect with passionate audiences in original, lasting ways. To learn more about Intersport, visit, and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

As part of a sustained investment in Southwest Florida, the Sports Properties division of Intersport is producing the Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off early season college basketball tournament, which will air on FS1 and is played in November each year at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers.


Drew Russell, Intersport, (312) 661-0616,

Dan Mihalik, Intersport, (312) 883-3998,


Volunteer of the year Awarded to Dorrie Karnis with Award Sponsor Ray Harman

Naples Senior Center, a nonprofit organization that supports and enriches the lives of seniors and their families in Collier and southern Lee counties, has named Dorrie Karnis as its first Volunteer of the Year. The award was presented to Karnis at the Naples Senior Center’s 8th Annual Evening for Better Tomorrows, “Motor City Magic – Memories of Motown,” on January 11th at a private country club in Naples.

Naples Senior Center opened its doors in January 2014 and is the only human services agency of its kind in our community. The center provides comprehensive programs and social services for seniors, giving them the tools to address life’s challenges. Beginning with just 80 initial members, the center has expanded to more than 1,400 members today.

Karnis has volunteered with the Naples Senior Center since the beginning six years ago. She has served in almost every program that the center offers from the weekly Lunch and More to the Dementia Respite Support Program. The Volunteer of the Year Award is a new recognition by Naples Senior Center and was generously sponsored by Ray Harman.

“We are all impressed and grateful for the dedication that Dorrie has shown the Naples Senior Center, and we look forward to having her as a part of our family for many years to come,” said Dr. Jaclynn Faffer, President/CEO of the Naples Senior Center. “I cannot think of a better recipient for our first annual Volunteer of the Year Award.”

Naples Senior Center provides critical programs and services addressing the emotional and social needs of seniors in Collier and southern Lee counties. All services are provided by licensed and credentialed professionals in the field of aging. They include Structured Dementia Respite Support; Geriatric Case Management and Senior Outreach Programs; and Emotional Support  Services as well as a “choice” Food Pantry.

An average of 40 different social, educational and wellness programs are also offered each week thanks to a dedicated corps of over 200 trained and vetted volunteers. Among the programs are a “Hot Lunch and More;” classes in art, music and film; brain fitness and educational seminars; courses in computer science; physical health; and card games.

For additional information on the Naples Senior Center and its comprehensive program and social services for area seniors and their families, visit

Naples Children & Education Foundation Sets Sights on the Future

Naples Children & Education Foundation Sets Sights on the Future with a Vision for Funding All Seven Strategic Initiatives at 2020 Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) today announced that its annual Fund a Need at the 2020 Naples Winter Wine Festival will celebrate the past 20 years of accomplishments and lead the way for the next 20 years and beyond. The vision for “Fund the Future” is that every dollar raised during a special call to action auction lot will go to support NCEF’s seven strategic initiatives focusing on the well being of the whole child.

Founded by NCEF, the Naples Winter Wine Festival enters its 20th year and ranks as the most successful international charity wine auction in the world raising more than $191 million for children’s causes. At the 2020 Festival, guests will have a chance to show their support through a live auction on Saturday, January 25th, while supporters across the country who are unable to attend the Festival will be able to participate in an online auction starting Monday, January 20th.

“Each of our collective impact models and initiatives provides underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County with the chance to succeed and grow into strong and resilient adults,” said Joe Masterson, NCEF Trustee and Grant Committee Chair.“Our Fund the Future call to action will help us continue NCEF’s blueprint for success and transform the local community.”

Research shows that children’s experiences in their earliest years affect how their brains work, the way they respond to stress and their ability to form trusting relationships. During these years, the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth, setting the stage for social and emotional development. Meanwhile, children begin to understand their own feelings and those of others.

Since its inception, NCEF has become the single largest source of funding for essential services for at-risk and underprivileged children in Collier County. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted more than 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing 275,000 children with the services and resources to live happier, more fulfilling lives.

NCEF has broadened its role over the years from traditional grant-making to local charities on an annual basis by adding seven strategic initiatives to fill gaps in basic children’s services and develop long-term, collaborative solutions. These strategic initiatives address gaps in the areas of early learning, healthcare, hunger, mental health, oral health, out-of-school time and vision.

“Emotional, cognitive, social and physical development are interrelated and influence each other, which is why all our initiatives are so necessary to provide children with the opportunities that physical and mental health afford,” said NCEF Chief Executive Officer Maria Jimenez-Lara.

Here are some examples of how contributions to “Fund the Future” can last a lifetime:

  • $25,000 provides eight mobile food pantry distributions to areas of the county considered “food deserts” for 1,100 children;
  • $25,000 puts 90 at-risk high school students on target for on-time graduation;
  • $10,000 provides mental health assessments for 80 children in need;
  • $10,000 provides 50 children with complete health screenings;
  • $5,000 provides literacy materials for an early childcare center;
  • $5,000 provides 75 children with dental sealants to prevent decay;
  • $1,000 provides 4,000 meals for families in need;
  • $1,000 provides 20 children two pairs of eyeglasses (one for school/one for home).

For more information or to make a donation, please visit


About Naples Children & Education Foundation

The Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF), the founding organization of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, is improving the educational, emotional and health outcomes of underprivileged and at-risk children. Through its annual grants and strategic initiatives, NCEF has impacted more than 45 of the most effective nonprofits in the community, providing 275,000 children with the services and resources they need to excel. NCEF’s unique approach, which emphasizes collaboration between organizations and bridges public and private resources, has become a blueprint for how to transform a community, one issue at a time.

About Naples Winter Wine Festival

The Naples Winter Wine Festival (NWWF), one of the world’s most prestigious charity wine auctions, offers a weekend of unforgettable memories. Guests enjoy world-class food and wine during intimate dinners in private homes and are invited to bid on once-in-a-lifetime travel and wine experiences during an electrifying live auction. Since its inaugural event in 2001, the NWWF has raised more than $191 million, making a profound difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of children.

For additional information on the Naples Children & Education Foundation or the Naples Winter Wine Festival, contact Lisa Juliano at or 239-514-2239.


January 2020 Life In Naples Magazine Flipbook