DRIVING OUR PASSION FORWARD

This year Western Growers is proud to once again bring diverse and innovative keynote speakers to the stage, combining different backgrounds from the world of entrepreneurialism to entertainment. With views and insights both from within our industry (as well as out) it is sure to be an informative and fun afternoon for everyone!

Arthur B. Laffer

Founder / Chairman, Laffer Associates

Arthur B. Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an institutional economic research and consulting firm, as well as Laffer Investments, an institutional investment management firm utilizing diverse investment strategies. Laffer Associates’ research focuses on the interconnecting macroeconomic, political and demographic changes affecting global financial markets. Laffer Investments’ investment management strategies utilize some of the economic principles and models pioneered by Dr. Laffer, as well as other unique offerings managed by the firm’s portfolio management group. The firms provide research and investment management services to a broad range of clients including institutions, pension funds, corporations, endowments, foundations, individuals and others.

Dr. Laffer’s economic acumen and influence in triggering a world-wide tax-cutting movement in the 1980s have earned him the distinction in many publications as “The Father of Supply-Side Economics.” One of his earliest successes in shaping public policy was his involvement in Proposition 13, the groundbreaking California initiative that drastically cut property taxes in the state in 1978.

Dr. Laffer was a member of President Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board for both of his two terms (1981-1989). He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Reagan/Bush Finance Committee in 1984 and was a founding member of the Reagan Executive Advisory Committee for the presidential race of 1980. He also advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on fiscal policy in the UK during the 1980s.

He was formerly the Distinguished University Professor at Pepperdine University and a member of the Pepperdine Board of Directors. He also held the status as the Charles B. Thornton Professor of Business Economics at the University of Southern California from 1976 to 1984. He was an Associate Professor of Business Economics at the University of Chicago from 1970 to 1976 and a member of the Chicago faculty from 1967 through 1976.

Daymond John

CEO / Founder, FUBU

An entrepreneur in every sense of the word, Daymond John has come a long way from taking out a $100,000 mortgage on his mother’s house and moving his operation into the basement. John is CEO and Founder of FUBU, a much-celebrated global lifestyle brand, and a pioneer in the fashion industry with over $6 billion in product sales. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, and he has received over 35 awards including the Brandweek Marketer of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, and Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

His marketing strategies and ability to build successful brands has made him a highly influential consultant and motivational speaker today. His marketing firm Shark Branding offers advice on how to effectively communicate to consumers through innovative means and connects brands with the world’s top celebrities for everything from endorsements to product extensions. John is also an author of two best-selling books Display of Power and The Brand Within. In 2009, he joined the cast of ABC entrepreneurial business show the Shark Tank by acclaimed producer Mark Burnett. Millions of weekly viewers tune into the show as John demonstrates his marketing prowess and entrepreneurial insights.

John Wee & Owen Morse

The Passing Zone

Jon Wee and Owen Morse have been educating and entertaining audiences together for over 20 years; they have one of the longest standing partnerships in corporate entertainment, a true demonstration of The Power of Partnership. The message they deliver has such impact that they were inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame (CPAE).

Owen Morse and Jon Wee met in 1986 at a juggling convention and instantly knew they were destined to be a team. But they decided to graduate from college first, which they both did. Rather than pursue careers in Economics and Psychology, they lit some torches, and started throwing stuff into the air. Two weeks after their first performance together they won the Silver Medal at the International Juggler’s Association Teams Competition. The next year they won the Gold.

They have appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show and were finalists on America’s Got Talent.

They are at the top of their craft, with performances at the White House and in London for Prince Charles. Their first feature film was “The Addams Family Movie,” where Jon and Owen doubled for Gomez (Raul Julia) and Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) in the climactic Mamushka dagger-passing scene.  The also appeared in the award-winning comedy documentary, “The Aristocrats.”  Recently they were seen on CNN’s Road Warriors, The Mike Hucakbee Show on Fox and made a special guest appearance with Gordon Ramsay on Hell’s Kitchen.

Add the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, The Great American Comedy Festival, MADtv, AOL’s “TV’s Top 5,” The Wall Street Journal, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, four Guinness World Records, their own theater show, “The Passing Zone Saves The World!” and you have one of today’s top comedy acts in the world.