Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason is the most visible national figure in the fight against cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of 30,000 children and adults in the United States.
Throughout his career in professional sports and the media, Esiason has been a committed and active participant in many charitable causes, but he began focusing on cystic fibrosis in 1993 when his son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with the disease.
In 1994, Esiason launched the Boomer Esiason Foundation, a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure. Since its inception, the Boomer Esiason Foundation has raised more than $90 million to support research toward a cure for CF, as well as programs directly benefiting the CF community.
As the median age of survival for CF patients has increased to more than 37, and many are living well into their adult years, Esiason has turned his focus to bridging the gap between pediatric and adult CF care. The Boomer Esiason Foundation has led the charge to create state-of-the-art facilities for those adults afflicted with the disease. This effort began when the Foundation granted Columbia University Medical Center $6 million to establish the Gunnar Esiason Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Lung Program -- a top adult CF care center that opened doors in 2009. Esiason and his Foundation have also instituted several educational, awareness and compliance programs aimed at the adult CF population.
Esiason continues to attack the disease head-on and helps bring CF to the forefront of policy discussions throughout the country. He has traveled to Capitol Hill on multiple occasions and to various states to speak on behalf of the CF community.
After an All-America career at the University of Maryland, Esiason enjoyed a 14-year career in the NFL as a quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. He became a four-time Pro Bowl quarterback and one of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history, including being named the NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1988. Esiason ended his career with 2,969 completions in 5,205 pass attempts (57 percent completion percentage) for 247 touchdowns and 37,920 yards.
In 1995, the NFL honored Esiason with the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in recognition of his excellence on the football field as well as his charitable work through the Boomer Esiason Foundation and other organizations.
Upon retiring from the NFL after the 1997 season, Esiason headed straight for the broadcast booth. He made his debut as a commentator for ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football" and called "MNF" games for two years. For almost two decades, he called games for Westwood One Radios' "Monday Night Football" broadcasts with Marv Albert, Howard David, Dave Sims and Kevin Harlan. Esiason joined CBS Sports in 2002 as a studio analyst for "The NFL Today," the CBS television network's NFL pregame show. In 2007, he debuted as host of WFAN's national weekday morning radio show, now called "Boomer and Gio." The show is simulcast nationally on the CBS Sports Television Network. Three years ago, Boomer added Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” to his media portfolio, as a co-host.
Esiason, and his wife, Cheryl, have two children, Gunnar and Sydney. They reside in Manhasset, NY.
Andy Slavitt has decades of private and public sector leadership in health care. Over his career, Andy has shaped some of the most significant and successful initiatives in health care impacting millions of Americans and the direction of the health care system. From 2015 to 2017 he served as the Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) under President Obama, overseeing the Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. Under his leadership, the U.S. health care system saw record reductions in the uninsured rate, nationwide improvements in quality, record low cost growth, and a major upsurge in value-based payment models.
Andy currently serves as Board Chair of United States of Care, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to quality, affordable health care, and that policies to make progress toward that goal are politically feasible and fiscally responsible. Andy is also the senior partner in a venture firm focused on investments in the most under-served parts of health care. In addition, he is a Senior Advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center, and co-Chairs the BPC's Future of Health Care effort, and serves on a number of health care boards.
Andy lives in Minnesota with his family. He is a graduate of the Wharton School and The College of Arts &
Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Meetings & Conventions magazine lists Allison Massari as one of the top 10 best speakers for “motivation” in the United States. She teaches the secrets she discovered to triumph despite tragedies, thrive in turbulent times, and forge your own path to success. Allison is a trusted business coach, personal development expert, international speaker and artist. She has been featured on ABC News, NBC, FOX, and in Family Circle Magazine.
Allison assists people at deep levels, equipping them with tools to better manage their lives, to be in the world vital and grounded. She has become a fiery voice for the potent power of compassion, kindness, and indestructible perseverance.
Massari’s professional career began with diverse achievements as an entrepreneur. She created four successful businesses over the course of 25 years. It began with a thriving fine arts business and jewelry line, Massari Fine Arts, LLC. Among her accolades were commissions for Fortune 500 companies including Lockheed Martin, General Mills and US Airways. With characteristic vigor, she launched her coaching and speaking career. Within months she was coaching CEO’s, and was preparing to appear in an international documentary focused on overcoming challenges. Within a year and a half, she was invited to give a TEDx talk in Spain on “The Future of Happiness”. And within two years she was voted the “#1 Rising Star in Speaking” by the National Speakers Association, and was traveling internationally, speaking and coaching full-time.
Her more serious credentials come from her life experience. Allison Massari found peace, purpose, and happiness after overcoming two extraordinary personal tragedies. In 1998, she survived a 60 mph car crash where she was trapped and burned alive; conscious the entire time. Just three years later she was hit again at 60 mph and sustained a closed-head brain injury. Allison has always believed in the miraculous. Her fiery determination and the love of family and friends helped bring her to a full recovery years later. She says, “I didn’t want to just heal. I wanted to feel peaceful. I became relentless in my pursuit to find the answers to life and to master it in totality.” The triumph of her physical and emotional recovery inspired Allison to propel her business to pinnacle achievements. She revived her art business with a 100% increase in sales and was awarded placement in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL.
Allison has dedicated her speaking career to wellness, well-being, change, adversity and success– inspiring people with tools to more effectively manage their lives. Her mission is to bring transformation to individuals, businesses and communities. She also enjoys delivering keynotes to healthcare audiences for CE credits – to heal burnout in medical workers and to enhance patient-centered care. Her message focuses on the power of the human connection. In her own words, “Compassion heals the places that medicine cannot touch.”
As a sought-after private coach, her highly effective methods have enabled her to form bonds as a trusted confidante to CEOs, executives and entrepreneurs. Allison captures the hearts of audiences and clients as she demonstrates how to move forward with speed and grace. She is one of ten people in the world chosen to teach how to successfully overcome challenges in the international documentary film “ReSolve” by Polaris Global (release date soon). The film is hosted by the Head of Special Forces for the U.S. Military in Afghanistan and focuses on solutions to come through post-traumatic stress. Massari is also the founder of revolutionary programs for teenagers with severe burn injuries that continue to transform young people’s lives at the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, Colorado.
“I’ve come to a place where my heart pounds with excitement instead of fear. I learned how to transform my pain and how to take control of my life. If I could do this with my own life and under such extreme circumstances…imagine what you can do with yours.”
Allison holds a Masters of Arts degree from School of Visual Arts in New York City and a Bachelor of Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as being the recipient of an adventurous award to study in Brugge, Belgium and La NaPoule, France.
Micaila Ruiz, PharmD, chief pharmacy officer of Amber Pharmacy and Hy-Vee Pharmacy Solutions, provides leadership and oversight for all operational functions of both companies, including the Centers of Excellence, all pharmacy locations (Omaha, Nebraska; Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; Dallas, Texas; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Bernardino, California) and clinical operations. In this role, Dr. Ruiz oversees the development of clinical management programs for patient populations that need the exceptional, high-touch care that specialty pharmacies provide. She previously worked at Hy-Vee, Inc., starting as a pharmacy manager in 2011; she was quickly promoted to pharmacy supervisor in 2014. Before her career with Hy-Vee, Dr. Ruiz was a regional supervisor for Health Mart. She received her doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and is currently pursuing a master's degree in public health from Creighton University.
*Subject to change