2024 Leadership Conference Speakers
Sally Jenkins, originally from Fort Worth, Texas, is an influential and widely celebrated sportswriter who has been a columnist and feature writer for The Washington Post for over 20 years. She is the author of 12 books, four of which are New York Times bestsellers. Her books include The Real All Americans, a fascinating and inspirational revival of the lost history of the Carlisle Indian School football team, led by Jim Thorpe, who were the forerunners of today’s most exciting NFL trick-play offenses, and the No.1 bestseller Sum It Up, co-authored with legendary basketball coach, Pat Summitt, winner of eight national championships. Her latest work, The Right Call: What Sports Teach Us About Work and Life, was released in June 2023. Here, Jenkins reflects on the actionable principles of excellence she has observed in interviewing the best of the best, what qualities she consistently finds in our most beloved athletes, and how we can cultivate those same qualities in our own life.
Jenkins was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2019 for her well-known work on sport as a reflection of society at its best and its worst. She has never shied away from covering difficult subjects. She interviewed Joe Paterno on the Jerry Sandusky child-predator case shortly before his death and more recently wrote columns exposing the inaction and culpability of the United States Olympic Committee in the abuse of some of our finest gold medalists. At other times, her work is deeply affectionate, as is seen through her writing on greats such as Patrick Mahomes, Peyton Manning, and Michael Phelps, as well as on her own father, Hall of Fame sportswriter Dan Jenkins. Her pieces show a deep investment in the world of sport, and its profound impact on American culture.
Prior to her years at The Washington Post, Jenkins was a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. She has also been a correspondent on CNBC and NPR’s All Things Considered. Her work has appeared in GQ, Smithsonian Magazine, ESPN Magazine, Vanity Fair and Golf Digest, among other publications. Jenkins has won the Associated Press Sports Columnist of the Year Award six times, and in 2005, she became the first woman to be inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame. In 2021, she received the Red Smith Award for outstanding contributions to sports journalism.
Jenkins is a graduate of Stanford University and currently lives in New York. She is an incredibly knowledgeable and seasoned speaker with a deep insight into the people and the events that have come to shape our view of sport and its role in the world.
Husband, father, collegiate athlete, entrepreneur and author, Inky Johnson is one of the most highly sought after speakers in the world. For over a decade, executives, professional sports teams, business owners and people all over have benefited from the raw energy of his thought provoking and inspirational presentations.
Inky earned his Master’s Degree in Sports Psychology from The University of Tennessee. He was a three year letterman and two year Captain on the Football team, where he started as a cornerback. In his junior year he was projected as a top 30 draft pick. Unfortunately, on September 9th, 2006, he sustained a life-threatening, career-ending injury that paralyzed his right arm and hand. From that day forward, Inky has had a burning desire to use his situation and experiences to add value to people’s lives.
Inky’s words have resonated all over the world— “The one thing we all have in common is that we will encounter adversity, but we have to decide how we respond to it. My arm and my hand are paralyzed but my heart isn’t, my mind isn’t, my dedication isn’t, my work ethic isn’t, my commitment isn’t.”
Inky is on a mission to serve and takes tremendous pride in what he does. In addition to hosting the Serendipity with Inky Johnson podcast, he devotes time to mentoring athletes and underprivileged youth and is one of the founders of The Inky and Allison Johnson Foundation. Inky and his wife, Allison, live in Atlanta, Georgia, with their two children, Jada and Inky Jr.
Ford Koles, Jr.
Ford Koles is one of the Advisory Board’s preeminent thought leaders in the area of health system economics and strategy. A healthcare economist by training, he is the keynote speaker at the annual meetings for Advisory Board’s strategy membership and has participated in every major Advisory Board research initiative since 1992.
Mr. Koles is well-versed in healthcare history and the many reform initiatives that have unfolded over the past three decades, including coverage expansion; vertical integration and physician partnership models; managed care and payor contracting; horizontal integration and system economies of scale; and quality-based payment.
Prior to joining Advisory Board, he was a management consultant for the Hay Group and Ernst & Young. Mr. Koles received his bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College and his master’s in economics from Johns Hopkins University.