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General Session Speakers

Join us for exciting general sessions, with keynote speakers chosen for their ability and experience to motivate, inspire and encourage you. Enjoy and benefit from keynote addresses designed to open the ends of your thinking about what is possible for you and your organization. The addresses will offer discussions of a broad range of topics, including social media, technology, data management, marketing and communications, and fundraising. They will complement the educational breakout sessions, offering a broader view to contrast with the practice-specific sessions. 

Monday, June 4, 8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.  

Laura Howe, Vice President, Public Relations
American National Red Cross

Laura Howe is the Vice President of Public Relations for the American National Red Cross.  Laura is responsible for planning and executing the Public Relations and overall corporate media strategies for the Red Cross. In that role she serves as one of the primary Red Cross spokespeople and oversees day to day corporate media relations and crisis communications efforts. In addition, she manages specialized communication teams for Disaster Services, International Services, Biomedical Services, Services to Armed Forces and Chapter Operations.

Laura also manages the team responsible for all Red Cross social media efforts and has led the organization’s effort to use of social media as means to get information to disaster victims. She often appears at conferences and on panels promoting the use of social media during disasters.

Prior to coming to Red Cross National Headquarters, Laura worked as the Communication and Government Relations Officer for the Southeast Service Area, assisting more than 100 local Red Cross chapters with their media training, capacity building, and communications efforts. An experienced disaster communicator, Laura led the Southeast Service Area Public Affairs response during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma.

Laura is a long time disaster responder and corporate spokesperson and frequently provides interviews for national media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, Good Morning America and the Today Show. Laura began her Red Cross career nearly eight years ago as the Public Relations Director for the Birmingham Area Chapter in Birmingham, Alabama.

Laura learned the media trade while spending more than eight years a television news reporter and anchor in stations across the South.  She is a proud graduate of the University Of Missouri School of Journalism.


Tuesday, June 5, 2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. 

Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple Computer, Inc. / Chief Scientist, Fusion-IO

Steve Wozniak

A Silicon Valley icon and philanthropist for more than 30 years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products, the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer, Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry.

In 1981, Wozniak went back to UC-Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. For his achievements at Apple Computer, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by the President of the United States in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators.

In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy, and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.

Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning and encouraging creativity for students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment. He founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet, and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose.

Wozniak currently serves as Chief Scientist for Fusion-IO and is a published author with the release of his New York Times best-selling autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon, in September 2006. He has appeared on such television shows as Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and The Big Bang Theory.

To mark the announcement of Steve Wozniak speaking at AFP TechKnow, anyone who registers now thru Friday, March 30, will be entered for a chance to win a new iPad (3rd generation) just like the one Woz stood in line to buy on Friday. And if you already registered for TechKnow, no worries...we will be raffling away a new iPad (3rd generation) on site! So what are you waiting for...register today!