Lawrence Gunther is considered one of the best consultants and motivational speakers in the country on such topics as competitive fishing, marine conservation, and outdoor accessibility. In these roles, Lawrence uses his love of outdoor adventure, communication, and multi-media technology to educate and entertain others on the wonders of nature and the environment. This is despite the progressive loss of his sight since the age of eight which today has left him unable to perceive light.
Christine Ha, a best-selling author and prolific writer, is also known as the first-ever blind contestant and season 3 winner of the competitive cooking show, Master Chef. She is also author of numerous published fiction and non-fiction stories and essays. She is the recipient of the 2014 Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award from the American Foundation for the Blind, a recognition formerly bestowed upon Ray Charles, Patty Duke and Stevie Wonder among others.
Ray Kurzweil has been described as “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes Magazine for his wide range of innovations. He was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, and the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind. In addition, he is inventor of the Ray Kurzweil reading machine for the visually impaired which has profoundly impacted the BVI community. Ray is also a prominent author, computer scientist, futurist, and currently a director of engineering at Google.
Dean Kamen is founder of DEKA Research & Development Corp. As an inventor, he holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide, such as the iBOT battery-powered wheelchair and the Segway. He is also widely known for founding the exciting science outreach program known as FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to inspire kids in science, engineering and technology.
Oscar Salazar is a co-founder of Uber and currently Chief Product Officer and a co-founder of Pager, an app that allows New Yorkers to request at-home visits from doctors and nurses. While at Uber, Salazar served as that company´s founding CTO and its third co-founder alongside Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick. He also helped build Uber´s first prototype. In addition to his current position at Pager, he is also Chief Technology Advisor at Ride, a new ride-sharing app for commuters, as well as CEO and Co-Founder of CitiVox, a message board social platform for the mobile web designed to bring communities together.
Jacob Sapochnick is recognized as one of the most innovative, up-and-coming immigration lawyers in the nation. Founder and Managing Attorney of his firm, the Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick, he devotes 100% of his practice to immigration law, representing Corporations, Hotels, Restaurants, and other organizations, as well as, entrepreneurs, and individuals worldwide. Jacob is also an Aira investor. He earned his Masters of Law degree from California Western School of Law and his Bachelors of Law from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Erik Weihenmayer, considered among the most accomplished blind athletes in the world, is perhaps best known for being the first person without sight to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. His successful mountain climbing efforts included scaling the tallest peaks on all the continents, known as the Seven Summits. His achievements as a blind extreme athlete, motivational speaker, author and co-founder of the No Barriers movement have made him an inspiration among blind and sighted admirers alike.