Keynote Speakers

Thursday, August 5 at 9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom

Scarlett Lewis – Choose Love Movement

Scarlett Lewis founded the nonprofit Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement in honor of her son, who was murdered during the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in December 2012. Shortly after his death, Scarlett decided to be part of the solution to the issues that we’re seeing in our society — that also caused the tragedy — and turned it into an opportunity to build a culture of love, resilience, forgiveness, and connection in our communities at a time when it is needed the most.

Scarlett became an advocate for social and emotional learning (SEL) and character development that teaches children how to manage their emotions, feel connected, and have healthy, meaningful relationships. She created the Choose Love For Schools program, a no cost, comprehensive, lifespan, next generation character and social emotional development (CSED) program that teaches children and adults how to thoughtfully respond with love in any situation by using the Choose Love Formula (Courage + Gratitude + Forgiveness + Compassionin-Action), and teaches children how to handle adversity, have courageous conversations, and to respond with love. Choose Love extends beyond the classroom through additional no-cost programs, including Choose Love at Home, Choose Love for Communities, Champions Choose Love for athletic leadership, and multiple extension programs. Through its sister company, Choose High Performance, the Choose Love Formula now available in the workplace to help teams thrive. The Choose Love programs have been accessed in all 50 states and in more than 100 countries, reaching more than 1.9 million children.

Since the tragedy, Scarlett has spoken across the US and internationally to diverse audiences sharing her empowering story and her far-reaching programs, urging everyone to become part of the solution to the issues the world is facing. Scarlett has spoken at multiple national, statewide and community-based events including hundreds of talks in schools and to educators and administrators. She was the keynote speaker at the 2018 and 2019 National Forum on Character presented by and in 2020, was the keynote speaker for the New England Head Start Association. In addition, Scarlett has presented at the Music City SEL Conference in Nashville; SXSW EDU Conference; ASCD Empower; the Nebraska Mental Health Conference; and multiple statewide Counselor Association Conferences. She has been interviewed by BBC, Fox News, CBS, the Today Show, The Guardian, and many regional papers and podcasts about Choose Love and the benefits of SEL, and has been featured in high-profile magazines, including Fortune, Strive, and Huffington Post. Scarlett also hosts a podcast, ChooSELove, speaking about the character traits that comprise the Choose Love Formula and how the formula can be used in any circumstance to promote self-empowerment, resilience, connection, and optimism. Scarlett is also a frequent contributor to other podcasts and shows.

Friday, August 6 at 8:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom

John Perricone

Mr. Perricone was a Health Educator and Psychology teacher in the Maine-Endwell School District in upstate N.Y. for thirty-one years. His love and passion for teaching have made him the recipient of local, state, and national “Excellence in Teaching” awards, and he was the recipient of Maine-Endwell’s Distinguished Teacher Award for twelve consecutive years since its inception. This award is voted on and presented by the Senior Class. He is a best-selling author and a nationally sought keynote speaker, having been invited to speak in all fifty states.