2020 SPEAKERS


Tawfiq Ammari is a PhD candidate in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Jordan and, as a Fulbright scholar, a Master’s degree from the University of Michigan School of Information. Ammari studies how fathers use social media to cope with their changing social roles as parents and as men. This includes the use of different levels of anonymity on sites like Reddit, the use of online communities to find other dads facing similar challenges, and the use of do-it-yourself blogs by fathers to craft a new parenting social role, whilst still maintaining traditional masculine identities. Ammari’s future work focuses on understanding and challenging toxic masculinity online.

Creed Anthony is a genius- at least that’s how he always wanted his bio to begin. In truth, he isn’t a genius, just a mild mannered middle school teacher (of two decades) by day, writer by spare moments or night, full-time dad and husband who enjoys speaking in third person. You can find him, as The Captain, at mycaptainslog.com or on Instagram @captain_creed. He is unofficially endorsed by The Rock though he has yet to meet him. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. He’s a proud veteran member of the Dad 2.0 Community.

Jonathan Baxter, MA, MS, LMHC, is a psychotherapist and consultant based in the Boston area. He has 10 years of experience providing psychotherapy to adults and adolescents across a variety of clinical topics, with a focus on young adults and the developmental challenges of late adolescence and young adulthood. More recently he has expanded his practice to include parenting and situational consulting. Jonathan has 17 years of experience in public health analytics and the development of disease management and wellness programs, and also has experience in the fields of information technology, engineering design, and media production. Jonathan has a Master’s degree in Business and Management from the University of Maryland and a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University.

Julia Beck, founder of the It’s Working Project has been an active and engaged industry innovator for more than 20 years. Julia and her team have been on the leading edge of the conversation and challenges at the center of the parent universe as they define and refine their role as working parents, spouses, offspring and more.

Jeff Bogle is a dad of teen daughters, freelance writer, award winning photographer, soccer fanatic, and decent human being.

Taylor Calmus is a Los Angeles based actor/comedian. He started Dude Dad two weeks before his son Theo was born as way to stay creative while learning to be a father. His purpose for the channel is too entertain, educate and inspire.

Gay man in a same sex marriage, raising our teenage son who was adopted at birth. I write about our travels, entertainment, and Disney. I also write product reviews and host giveaways for my audience. With a lot of fun social media posting along the way!

Jessica DeGroot, president and founder of ThirdPath Institute, is passionately committed to helping men and women— as parents and leaders — to follow an integrated approach to work and life. For over 20 years, ThirdPath has provided one of a kind resources to individuals and families looking for better ways to support integrated success at both work and life. Jessica and ThirdPath have been featured in numerous publications including Harvard Business Review, Business Week and Fast Company. Jessica received her MBA from the Wharton School. She and her husband live in Philadelphia and practiced shared care of their children, and now aging parents

Steve Disselhorst is the Principal of Steve Disselhorst, LLC, which specializes in personal & professional leadership development for individuals and teams, and consulting on diversity and inclusion (D&I). Prior to founding his firm, Steve worked as a D&I Consultant for Genentech, where he led the development of strategies to advance historically under-represented groups for leadership positions. Before joining Genentech, Steve was an account manager, marketer, and co-founder of the Pride ERG at Abbott Labs. Steve currently co-leads the board of directors for Our Family Coalition and was appointed to the San Mateo County LGBTQ Commission. Steve and his husband have two children through adoption. Steve is currently completing his first book focused on his journey to become an LGBTQ Parent.

It’s not the 1950s anymore. A man can stay home, manage the house, take care of the kids, and do it all with grace, compassion, skill, and full-on badassery. And that’s exactly what Matt does. Homemaker? NO WAY! He’s the Domestic Specialist. Matt tries his hand at everything from silk screening cookies to backyard deck building and everything in between. He’s married to Aya, who is Japanese, and together they are raising their two daughters in a bilingual and multicultural home.

Marlon calls himself a “work-at-home” dad and is an active participant in the ongoing conversations regarding work-life integration and remote work. A former career-addicted millennial, he helps other working dads figure out how to prioritize their time with family and shift away from the traditional meaning of being seen as a “provider”. Marlon has worked remotely for the last five years and the location flexibility has allowed him and his family to travel extensively. Together, they take their 3-year old daughter on the ultimate field trips around the world. When at home in Orlando, Marlon can also be found planning dad events as a co-organizer for the Orlando City Dads Group.

Entrepreneur of the Year, Agency of the Year, Launch Campaign of the Year, Most Creative Agency, Best Place to Work, Social Media Icon, Hall of Fame – these are the accolades that Jim Joseph has amassed through his career in marketing. None are more important than being called Dad. Jim spent twenty-five years raising two children and building their self-confidence to now navigate their own lives, at a time when being divorced, single, and openly gay was not acknowledged, not accepted, and certainly not embraced. While he’s the global president of BCW and has written a trilogy of award-winning marketing books, his personal book and posts on fatherhood represent what life is all about: being an Out and About Dad.

Christine Koh is a music and brain scientist turned multimedia creative. She spent a decade in academia, during which time she was awarded prestigious fellowships from the National Institutes of Health to fund her Ph.D. research at Queen’s University and joint-appointment postdoctoral fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Institutes of Technology. Christine was about to become a professor when she decided to hang up her academic spurs in favor of more flexible and independent ventures. Since leaving academia in 2006, Christine has forged a career focused on creating content to help people move from chaos and overwhelm to relative calm. Christine wears a lot of professional hats, including: founder and editor of Boston Mamas.

Dan Kois is a writer and editor at Slate and a co-host of Slate’s parenting podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting. He’s the author of three books, most recently How to Be a Family: The Year I Dragged My Kids Around the World to Find a New Way to Be Together.

Krause is a published book author, award-winning blogger, and content creator. She wrote a pregnancy and parenting blog- BabyRabies.com- for over a decade before pivoting to JillKrause.com, where she focuses on life after stepping out of the baby-years. Krause lives outside of Austin, TX with her husband and 4 children.

Alec Lace is a father of four who, in 2018, launched the now popular podcast, First Class Fatherhood with a vision to change the narrative of fatherhood and family life. The show quickly became one of the top parenting podcasts in America due to Alec interviewing some of the most famous fathers in the world including Dean Cain, Deion Sanders, Tony Hawk, Tito Ortiz & Kurt Warner. Alec was invited to be on the field for Super Bowl LIII media day in 2019 to interview dads such as Tom Brady, Julian Edelman & Bill Belichick. Alec has also interviewed legendary servicemen Dads such as Navy SEALs Rob O’Neill and Marcus Luttrell, “Black Hawk Down” pilot Mike Durant, Medal of Honor recipients Ed Byers, Dakota Meyer and Michael Thornton. Alec was interviewed live on Fox & Friends for Father Day

James is a father of 3 boys and a technology entrepreneur based in NYC. His mission is helping dads live their best life and helping brands connect to real fathers. He is the founder of the #FatherhoodIsLit initiative via his organization Cool4Dads LLC and co-organizes events with the NYC Dads and City Dads Group. He believes a Father’s presence never has to be boring and showcases it via Cool4Dads.com. His work has been featured on Good Morning America, NY1, USA Today, Black Enterprise, Tech Crunch, Fast Company, Blavity and many more. #FatherhoodIsLit #PresenceOverPresents

Aaron McGee is the Founder of the 501c3 non-profit Fatherhood ID. He and his wife Terece reside in Antioch, TN [Nashville] with their daughter Journey. In June of 2017 Aaron created the blog site Fatherhood Is Dope, the blog is dedicated to entries about the adventures of fatherhood. In Spring of 2018 Aaron created a devotional series for fathers titled Tune Up Tuesday’s. The devotional is now used as a life group resource. It is Aaron’s hope that men who are blessed with children will answer “The Call” to their rightful position of fatherhood! In March of 2019 Aaron created and produced a podcast solely dedicated to sharing the stories of fathers from all walks of life called Fatherhood Is Dope The Podcast.

Deborah Moebes is a writer, designer and relentless optimist. She’s the founder of Whipstitch, an online platform for connecting folks who sew into deeper community. Trained as an archaeologist and an educator, Deborah now divides her time between two membership sites, the Murder Mystery Quilt and the League of Dressmakers. She’s the author of two best-selling books and built Atlanta’s first retail sewing lounge, voted Best of Atlanta every year it was open. Deborah and her husband, Michael, live with their three children in Atlanta, where they plot exotic travels around the globe, cook from scratch, watch documentaries, see as much live music as possible, and avoid weeding the garden.

Husband. Father. Storyteller. Casey Palmer is a thirty-something Canadian Dad from Toronto, ON looking to raise his multiracial family of four in an urban environment that never quits. Writing on parenting, racial identity, tech and more, he’s out to prove that well-crafted words really can change the world! Casey‘s always sought to create content that speaks to others’ souls, not just simply retelling events. As a blogger, his unique style has caught the eye of brands like TELUS, Netflix and Apple. Published in The Huffington Post, Metro Toronto and The Globe and Mail. Invited to CBC’s Metro Morning, CTV’s Your Morning and Global TV’s The Morning Show. But he’s still the same kid that Mama Palmer raised, and nothing’s going to change that.

A proud native of Philadelphia, PA, Donte has 10 years of video production, non-profit management, and education experience including his time as a character leadership teacher at Somerset Preparatory Academy in Jacksonville, Florida. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Media Production from Indiana University at Pennsylvania. At the start of his career, he spent 6 years with Global Media Production, sharing his gift of video production around the world. Donte now serves as the CEO/Founder of his nonprofit, Squat For Change. He also served as a program director at Sanctuary on 8th and led the startup of the arts afterschool program, JAMS, Jacksonville Arts and Music School. Donte is happily married to his wife, Lakeisha and has three amazing sons, Isaiah, 13, Taylor, 8, and Liam 2.

Whitney is the Legislative Director at Paid Leave for the United States: PL+US, the campaign to win high quality paid family and medical leave for everyone in the United States. Previously, she has led federal legislative strategy on work and family issues at ZERO TO THREE. She has also led legislative oversight of Ohio’s incarcerated youth and other vulnerable populations. Whitney also served in AmeriCorps and has experience as an Early Head Start Teacher. She is a proud Appalachian Ohioan and granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant.

Angel is a DC native, who recently relocated to San Antonio, last year’s DAD 2.0 host city. He is not shy to tell anyone willing to listen how much the conference changed the course of his life and the lives of his three young children and wife of 13 years. Before the conference, Papi Preschool was simply a place to see what Angel was doing with my kids after altering his career path. Shortly after the 2019 conference, Angel began hosting #PapiTribeLive, an Instagram Live show featuring parents (tribe members) and stories that inspire him. Everything changed! The work-from-home dad, Event Host/DJ/Producer and now Vlogger, remains determined to keep building the #Papitribe that came into form at DAD 2.0. Catch up on Season One of #PapiTribeLive on IG at @papipreschool under IGTV

When I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, I felt my life change. A sense of responsibility rushed over me. I looked for resources on how to be a better dad, but I found brands for moms, dad memes, and plenty of negative media portrayal of fathers. I decided to embark on a journey to build a brand that would empower dads to take on the challenge. Actidad was born. I created a website, social media presence, podcast, and YouTube channel. Most dads won’t read a book, but they might listen or watch a show about dadlife. I question myself regularly, but the daily messages I receive from dads lets me know I’m on the right path. My wife, 3 year old daughter, and 6 month old son live in South Florida. I believe the future is bright for dads. Stay awesome Actidads!

Aaron Sheldon is a photographer, social media consultant, stay-at-home-Dad and creator of photography projects including “SMALL STEPS ARE GIANT LEAPS” in which he has documented the last three years as a stay-at-home dad to his son “Astronaut” Harrison. Between school drop-off and pick-up, Aaron helps local creatives, businesses, and non-profit organizations document and share their experiences on social media though his company Documentary Dads. Aaron loves sharing his experience to help others tell their story in unique, informative, and entertaining ways.

Jason R.L Wallace was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser to serve as the Executive Director of the Commission on Fathers, Men and Boys in December of 2018. Wallace leads the vision for the agency to address the disparities that adversely impact men and boys of color in the District of Columbia. He ensures that through advocacy, community engagement and information sharing; a solution-oriented approach is developed that addresses the issues of fatherlessness, educational disparities, economic opportunity, health and well-being as well as rehabilitation and reintegration.

Bud Ward is first and foremost a father and husband. He is also a writer, speaker, consultant, and physical therapist with over 25 years of experience in health, wellness, and leadership. Bud has had more than 50,000 interactions with patients and clients. He has worked in a variety of settings including corporate, home health, private practice, and the Johns Hopkins Hospital. Bud has a holistic approach that focuses on helping people improve their well-being and create space for the important things in their lives. He consults with individuals and organizations to help them create effective, ergonomic workspaces. Bud has written on topics of health, wellness, personal development, and leadership for blogs and a national industry magazine.

Jeff “fuzzy” Wenzel is a co-founder of Woodshed Agency, an S.E. Michigan based digital media company that has established themselves as crowd-funding pioneers with over 300 successful campaigns to their credit. eff also seeks out and maintains collaborative relationships for his digital properties between companies, sponsors and clients. Credits include Volkswagen, Moncur, Detroit Design Center, Motor City New Year’s Eve, Camp Casey and North Star Media.

Danielle is the founder and CEO of Sway Group, an agency that supports a large community of influencers and connects them to the right brands for high-impact marketing campaigns. Prior to founding Sway, Danielle ran social strategy for Edelman’s Chicago-based digital group. Between working on the social campaigns for household-name brands and channeling her passion for cooking into a food blog, she realized there was a need to professionalize and streamline the process for connecting influencers with brands. She launched Sway in 2011. With nearly 25 years of industry experience, Danielle is widely recognized as an industry leader. Danielle currently lives in Marin County, California with her husband and two children.