Chance Wilson is the Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of The WGI Group, Inc., an international organization that is educating people around the world to stop illiteracy. Mr. Wilson directs the strategy, operations, and corporate governance across WGI's global network in seven countries.
Mr. Wilson founded WGI four years ago at 14 years old, after being presented with a perplexing issue: Many of his friends at school were unable to read and write. This opened a Pandora's Box for him that would change his life, and potentially the world, forever.
After coming to terms with this serious issue, Mr. Wilson turned his imagination to action. He decided to start WGI (Wilson Global Initiative) and do whatever he could to help people learn to read and write. Over these last four years, this drive and determination has built WGI into a leading player in the fight against illiteracy.
Today, at 18 years old, Mr. Wilson continues to lead WGI while balancing his academics. He graduates high school in May 2018 and will begin college in 2019. Mr. Wilson resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and counts John F. Kennedy as his hero.
A powerhouse in the communications industry, Deanne Yamamoto knows how to keep companies relevant. This makes her the perfect fit for our Global Advisory Board. Ms. Yamamoto uses her 20+ years of experience to help WGI stay engaged in this digital world.
Ms. Yamamoto is a Managing Director at Golin, a PR giant with 50 offices around the world. She runs the Los Angeles office of Golin, which houses about 100 employees. Ms. Yamamoto, a graduate of USC, previously worked at Ketchum for over ten years.
Peter Haarmark is an accomplished entrepreneur and business leader. At only 34 years old, he leads a multinational digital agency based in Asia. Mr. Haarmark helps companies and brands find their place in this increasingly internet based world.
Hailing from Denmark, Mr. Haarmark has a proven track record in building and leading business. This includes 13+ years of experience in tech start-ups as well as marketing, sales and leadership in international companies.
Mr. Haarmark has lived in Europe, the United States, and Asia. He is truly a global citizen; with perspectives that are invaluable to our Global Advisory Board.
Neil Johnson has been an executive in the logistics industry for over twenty years. He has led, invested in, and founded numerous companies with within his sector.
Mr. Johnson, hailing from Birmingham, began his career as a financial analyst in the industry. He then went to lead a logistics business in the Former Soviet Union after its collapse. Mr. Johnson eventually moved to the Asia Pacific in the late 90s, and has remained there since.
Mr. Johnson's global career have made him passionate about making the world a safer and more prosperous place. He is an avid traveler, family man, and runner. He recently completed a race through the Namib desert in support of girl's education.
Naveed Irshad is a life insurance expert with over two decades of industry experience. A Canadian hailing from Montreal, Mr. Irshad has a track record of innovation and success. This includes transforming the Singapore subsidiary of insurance giant Manulife.
Prior to moving to Singapore, Mr. Irshad spent years in senior leadership roles in Canada. This includes stints at RGA and John Hancock. These were formative years for Mr. Irshad, solidifying his expertise in the insurance business.
Mr. Irshad was recently appointed Head, North America Legacy Business for Manulife. He was also appointed to the company's Executive Committee. This promotion sees him returning home to Canada after years in Asia. Mr. Irshad is married with two sons.
A native of Ohio, Gary Kelly began his career as a college marketing rep at Sony Music; working in various positions across the New York, mid-Atlantic and Los Angeles regions.
Mr. Kelly eventually joined Interscope Geffen A&M Records in April 2010 as Head of Sales. He was then promoted to Head of Revenue & Digital and ultimately rose to his current position as Executive Vice President & Chief Revenue Officer.
In this position, he leads the revenue, digital marketing and production departments at Interscope Records. Mr. Kelly is the first person in the music industry to hold the title Chief Revenue Officer. Mr. Kelly is married with two sons.
Retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness has a lifelong record of providing dedicated service to the nation. He made the decision at 17 years old to enlist in the United States Air Force and serve his country.
Over the next 32 years, Colonel Maness would build a decorated military career that would see him command bomber squadrons in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, serve as a nuclear operations officer in The Pentagon, and lead thousands of airmen as Commander of the 377th Air Base Wing.
Colonel Maness retired from active duty service in 2011 and went on to work as an executive at a Fortune 500 energy company before founding the Iron Liberty Group.
Michael Haggen brings more than 20 years of academic experience, having served as a teacher, principal, chief academic officer and direct report to superintendents in three school districts where his hands-on approach led to change. Under his leadership, schools significantly increased their academic performance. In St. Louis, Mr. Haggen helped lead the district to its first accreditation in more than a decade.
Mr. Haggen is currently Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic Education, where is supporting schools across the country through instructional materials for literacy achievement, professional learning programs for teacher effectiveness, family and community engagement initiatives, etc.
Mr. Haggen will apply his experience to ensure WGI can educate people around the world to stop illiteracy. Mr. Haggen will also provide oversight to ensure our programs are effectively structured and executed to achieve educational success.
Jonathan Adashek has spent the last 20 years telling stories and shaping messages around the world. From the Presidential Campaign of John Kerry to technology giant Microsoft, Jonathan has used his talents to communicate in a fast changing world.
Today, Jonathan serves as Alliance Global Vice President, Communications, at Renault-Nissan-Mitsibushi. In this role, Jonathan leads communications for the largest automotive group in the world. The Alliance is active in nearly 200 countries across many iconic automotive brands.
Jonathan, who hails from Wisconsin, is married with two children.