Keynote Speakers


Portrait of Liz Murray.Liz Murray

Inspirational Speaker & Best-Selling Author

Formerly homeless, Liz Murray transformed her life of despair into an inspiring journey of determination, hope and hard-won success. The child of drug-addicted parents who routinely ate from dumpsters and sought refuge at all-night subway stations to survive, Liz Murray was homeless at age 15—and fending for her life. Determined not to be defined by her circumstances, she recognized education as the key to a fresh beginning and a whole new way of living. She earned her high school diploma in just two years and won a scholarship to Harvard University that would turn her bleak circumstances into a future filled with limitless possibility. With sincerity, maturity and graciousness, Murray takes audiences along on her personal journey from street smarts to classroom triumphs, instantly becoming an inspiration to both student groups and business audiences alike in need of the motivation to overcome their own obstacles. The subject of Lifetime Television’s Emmy-nominated original film, Homeless to Harvard, Murray graduated from Harvard, and went on to receive her Masters in the Psychology of Education at Columbia University. Today, as co-founder and Executive Director of The Arthur Project, Murray is a passionate advocate for underserved youth, working to end generational poverty through relationship-based learning.

Portrait of Johnna Hayward.Johnna Hayward

Head of Strategy & Partnership Marketing, New York Liberty (WNBA)

Johnna Hayward is the Head of Strategy and Partnership Marketing for the New York Liberty where she works diligently with the team’s 30+ corporate sponsors to develop collaborative marketing plans and activations. Additionally, Hayward leads renewal negotiations and oversees partnership strategy, inclusive of creating strategic brand campaigns and crafting custom sponsorship proposals tailored to each brand’s goals. Prior to joining the Liberty, Johnna was a Partnership Strategy Coordinator for BSE Global (the Liberty’s parent company) where she worked to identify partnership opportunities for Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Liberty to drive business through dynamic presentations and creative storytelling.

As the Liberty’s partnership activation lead, Hayward has brought numerous innovative activations to life at Barclays Center, most notably, the WNBA’s first-ever gaming inspired secondary basketball court in collaboration with Xbox. Throughout her tenure, Johnna has garnered several prestigious awards for her work including Hashtag Sports’ 2023 Best Women’s Sports Partnership of the Year, Sports Technology Awards’ 2023 Best Sports Partnership of the Year, as well as four Clio Sports Awards for creative effectiveness, branded content, partnerships, and sponsorships. Additionally, she was named to Front Office Sports’ Rising 25 Class of 2023 – honoring emerging leaders in sports and entertainment age 25 and under.

Hayward attended Penn State where she served as the Smeal College of Business’ Student Council President and Women in Business’ THON Director, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.

Portrait of Angela Shakur.Angela Shakur

Executive, ALDI, Inc. & Entrepreneur

Angela is an accomplished senior business executive, deeply experienced at inspiring teams with cross-functional leadership. She has an outstanding track record in the retail and food industries and is known for leading through engagement, empowerment, and empathy. Her 20+ year, experience has been multifaceted in supply chain, finance, accounting, human resources, store operations, diversity and inclusion, and project management. In her current role, she leads various supply chain functions, oversees her division’s budgeting, and financial reporting. Her team is number one in the company, producing industry leading inventory turnover metrics. She recently orchestrated the development of her company’s first regional diversion HUB and oversees its’ operations.

Angela is a driven, strategic, resilient, effectual leader that is motivated by amplifying and supporting others. To her, “believe in you, means recognizing and embracing that you are equipped with all you need to succeed. You have what it takes. It’s knowing that if you don’t quit, and you have the courage to exercise faith and trust yourself, you will win. Now is the time to tap into your skills, abilities and talents and claim what is destined for you.”

A first-generation college student, Angela earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business Management with high distinction from Penn State University, graduating with the highest grade-point-average in her program. She received her Executive MBA from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, where she was selected as the Poets & Quants Best and Brightest EMBA Student and was nominated by her peers as Class Representative.

Angela is passionate about senior well-being, and with her husband is the proud co-owner of a home care agency, Executive Care of Montgomery County, PA. They have two beautiful daughters. Angela is keen on continuous development and growth for her family. She is a voracious reader, fitness enthusiast, and enjoys real estate and entrepreneurial projects. She is committed to raising her daughters to be compassionate, well-rounded, responsible leaders.

Angela serves on the Board of Directors of White Horse Village, a senior Life Plan community. She is a member of professional and civic organizations including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She is a member of Second Baptist Church of Germantown and serves as an Ambassador for Abington Friends School, where her daughter attends.