Keynote Speakers


Tatanka Means

Tatanka Means is an award-winning actor, stand-up comedian and motivational speaker from Chinle, Arizona. He represents the Navajo, Oglala Lakota and Omaha Nations. His most recent movie credits include THE SON on AMC, the upcoming film ONCE UPON a RIVER based on the New York Times best seller, and THE CHICKASAW RANCHER produced by the Chickasaw Nation.

Means can be seen starring in the television movie SAINTS & STRANGERS for the National Geographic Channel, and in the AMC series THE SON with Pierce Brosnan. He can also be seen in A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, season two of BANSHEE on Cinemax, THE NIGHT SHIFT on NBC, and GRAVES with Nick Nolte. Other highlights in film and television include appearing as Crazy Horse in Steven Spielberg's TNT mini-series INTO THE WEST, and in his role as “Wolf” in TIGER EYES based upon the novel by acclaimed author Judy Blume. 

Aside from acting Tatanka performs stand-up comedy internationally throughout the U.S. and Canada. Tatanka is one of the busiest touring Native comedians performing today. You can also catch him with the hilarious Native American Comedy group, 49 Laughs. Tatanka travels Indian Country spreading laughter and messages of motivation to all ages entertaining audiences everywhere from casinos and schools, conferences and colleges to prisons and rehab centers.

Means was recognized and awarded for his comedy by being voted "Best Comedian" by Albuquerque The Magazine. This year Tatanka was honored by the National Indian Gaming Association at their National Conference and given the "Entertainer of The Year" award for 2018. 

Means has also developed and launched his own screen printing company, Tatanka Clothing. Apparel designed and created to uplift and inspire cultural empowerment.

A dedicated entrepreneur Means was awarded with the "Entrepreneur of the Year Award" by the American Indian Business Leaders.

Tatanka’s ambition and perseverance has taken him from his home on the reservation to traveling across North America. He has become a much-needed role model for all American Indian First Nations youth. Tatanka is proud to be an alcohol & drug-free sober performer.

Paul Schmitz

Paul Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact through his roles as Senior Advisor at The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside Out. He is an author, speaker, trainer, and consultant whose work focuses on leadership development, collaborative culture, racial equity, community engagement, and result-based  strategies.

Paul is the author of Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up (Jossey Bass, 2011). The book is based on lessons learned from 21 years leading Public Allies, an innovative leadership development program that helped more than 5,000 passionate and diverse young leaders across the country begin careers working for community and social change.

Paul is a faculty member of The Asset-Based Community Development Institute, and a board member of The Corps Network, Playworks, and The United Way of Greater Milwaukee. Paul previously served on the board of Independent Sector, the association of nonprofit and philanthropic leaders, and was the co-chair of Voices for National Service, which led advocacy for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. Paul co-chaired the 2008 Obama Presidential campaign’s Civic Engagement Policy Group, was a member of The Obama-Biden Transition Team, and was appointed by President Obama to The White House Council for Community Solutions.

Paul is an honors graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2014, Paul was appointed the first Innovator in Residence at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Innovation. He has also been recognized by The Rockefeller Foundation as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow, by the Nonprofit Times three separate years as one of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in America, and by Fast Company Magazine with their Social Capitalist Award for innovation. He lives in Milwaukee with his wife and five children.

Mini Plenary  Speakers


Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD

Dipesh Navsaria is a pediatrician working in the public interest. He blends the roles of physician, occasional children's librarian, educator, public health professional and child health advocate.  With graduate degrees in public health, children’s librarianship, physician assistant studies, and medicine, he brings a unique combination of interests and experience together.

An associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and is director of the MD–MPH program there as well as the medical director of the physician assistant program. Clinically, he practices primary care pediatrics, with special interest in underserved populations.  He is the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin. Dr Navsaria is heavily involved in both training and in the practice of child health advocacy — writing and speaking publicly locally, regionally and nationally on early brain and child development, early literacy, and advocacy to a broad variety of audiences.  He also has extensive involvement with the American Academy of Pediatrics at the state and national levels.

Committed to understanding how basic science can translate into busy primary-care settings via population health concepts and policy initiatives, Dr Navsaria aims to educate the next generation of those who work with children and families in realizing how their professional roles include being involved in larger concepts of social policy and how they may affect the cognitive and socioemotional development of children for their future benefit.

Sandra Gutierrez

Sandra Gutierrez is the Founder and National Director of Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors (AP). Ms. Gutierrez led the development of AP-the nation’s first evidence-based, comprehensive training program for Latino parents with children 0 to 5. She brings over forty years of experience with legal, children’s advocacy and community service organizations. Her multi-faceted career has included founding the first service organization to assist Central American Refugees, developing health education programs for the United Farm Workers of America and leading campaigns to promote the benefits of preschool to the Latino community. In addition, for seven years, she served as a founding member and State Commissioner for First 5 California where she established the Advisory Committee on Equity. In March 2014, Ms. Gutierrez was named by the White House as a César E. Chávez Champion of Change, and in February 2015 she received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.