Keynote Speakers

Sharon Epperson
CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent

New.EppersonSharon Epperson not only covers how people manage, grow and protect their money, but has expertise in saving and investing for retirement, paying for college, managing mortgage, student loan, credit card and other debt and building a financial legacy through estate planning. Epperson was named one of the “Best Personal Finance Experts of 2014.” Epperson hosts the weekly original CNBC Digital video program,”Retire Well” and appears regularly on the On the Money and Nightly Business Report. Epperson is a regular contributor on NBC’s Today, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC and NBC affiliates nationwide. Her book, The Big Payoff: 8 Steps Couples Can Take to Make the Most of Their Money-and Live Richly Ever After, was a finalist for the Books for a Better Life Awards, honoring works that have “changed the lives of millions.” She also was a contributing writer for The Experts’ Guide to Doing Things Faster. Her personal finance expertise has been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, USA Weekend, Self, Essence, Ebony and TIME. She is the winner of the Alliance for Women in Media’s 2014 Gracie Award for Outstanding Online Host for her “Financial Advisor Playbook” video series on She has received the Vanguard Award for her distinguished career in business and personal finance reporting from the National Urban League Guild, and the All-Star Award from the Association of Women in Communications. She also has won awards from the New York Festivals, the New York Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. She is committed to improving financial literacy, particularly in underserved communities.

Cal Ripken Jr.
Baseball All-Star MVP, Hall of Famer, Author

Cal.Web.HeadshotCal Ripken Jr. is baseball’s all-time Iron Man.  He retired from baseball in October, 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore’s own – Orioles.  His name appears in the record books repeatedly, most notably as one of only eight players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits.  His many accolades include AL Rookie of the Year (’82), two time AL Most Valuable Player (’83, ’91), two time Gold Glove recipient (’91, ’92), two time All-Star MVP (’91, ’01), a world record 2,632 consecutive games and 19 All-Star Game selections. On July 29, 2007 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ripken’s name has become synonymous with strength, character, perseverance and integrity. Ripken is also a best-selling author and a highly sought after public speaker.  His books have all landed on various best seller lists including The Only Way I Know; Play Baseball The Ripken Way; Parenting Young Athletes The Ripken Way; The Longest Season and Get In The Game: 8 Elements of Perseverance That Make The Difference. Ripken has always placed a strong focus on giving back to the community.  In 2001, he and his family established the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation that uses baseball as a hook to get in front of underserved youth nationwide to make a positive impact on their lives.

Eric Maddox
Corporate Intelligence Systems/Mastermind Behind Saddam Hussein’s Capture

Maddox headshot

After having conducted over 2,700 interrogations, Eric Maddox has mastered two things: adapting to new situations and environments and gathering the most accurate information so that the best decisions can be made. In his speech, he walks the audience through how he did (and does) both. Every industry is constantly having to adapt to the changes around them. When he landed in Iraq in 2003, the interrogation methods he had been taught were no longer appropriate to the kind of war the United States was fighting. They were obsolete. He was forced to find a new way to effectively and efficiently work with his “clients” (the prisoners) and make his bosses (the commanders) happy with what he was doing. And he did. Maddox walks the audience through this truly “edge of your seat”, exciting story and how he and collected the intelligence which directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. As a result, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Director’s Award and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement.

> Learn more about effective negotiating, the power of listening and how it relates to financial planners from the July 10 Questions Journal of Financial Planning article with Eric Maddox.

Brian C. Rogers, CFA, CIC
Chairman of the Board, Chief Investment Officer of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.


Brian Rogers, Chairman of the Board and Chief investment officer of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.  is the former portfolio manager for the Equity Income Strategy and previously managed the Value Strategy as well as several institutional equity portfolios. His other responsibilities include serving on the Equity, Fixed Income, and International Steering Committees, as well as the Asset Allocation Committee.



Eliza De Pardo
TD Ameritrade Institutional

Eliza De Pardo 2016In 2008 Eliza De Pardo co-founded industry research and consulting firm FA Insight where she served as a Principal and the Director of Consulting. In May of 2016 FA Insight was acquired by TD Ameritrade Institutional. De Pardo now works exclusively as a Consultant for TD Ameritrade Institutional. With 17 years of financial services experience, De Pardo has worked closely with shareholders and executives or some of the industry’s largest advisery firms and financial institutions to address some of their most challenging business management needs. Focused on supporting firms in achieving superior performance, De Pardo led FA Insight’s strategic planning and human capital offerings. She is a co-author of the annual FA Insight Study of Advisory Firms. Prior to FA Insight, Eliza was a part of the Moss Adams Business Consulting Group where she served as a senior consultant to the U.S. financial services industry, delivering advice to the RIA and independent broker-dealer markets. Previously De Pardo worked as a management consultant with MLC, the wealth management division of the National Australia Bank Group.