Headshots of Rainn Wilson, Kendra James-Anderson, Jeanne Lam, and Mark Donovan

Get Ready To Be Inspired by Our Vena Nation Week Speakers

May 13, 2021 Marisa Iacobucci  
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Looking for inspiration to navigate your business through a changing world? Or maybe you’re a finance or operations professional seeking to motivate yourself or upgrade your skills to the next level. Well, this year’s Vena Nation week keynote speakers, industry experts and thought leaders have something unique to share with each and every one of you.

Our world-class lineup of speakers were carefully selected with you in mind. They’re bringing their industry expertise, best practices, unique perspectives and resilience stories to share so you can learn, ask questions and confidently power your plan to grow.

Get all the inspiration you need—right at your desk and in the comfort of your home. Starting June 14, be a part of Vena Nation week to learn something new from every one of our featured speakers. Here’s a glimpse of who’ll be eagerly waiting to speak to you.

Rainn Wilson

Award Winning Actor, Comedian, and New York Times Best-Selling Author

Keynote Title: The New World of Work With Rainn Wilson

Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 10:30 AM ET

For nearly a decade, Rainn Wilson endeared himself to millions on the hit NBC sitcom, The Office, earning three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of fan favorite Dwight Schrute, an eccentric paper salesman with big dreams of being #2. As a speaker, Rainn channels the offbeat brilliance behind his on-screen characterizations, showing audiences that creativity isn’t just for artists. It’s for everyone.

With notable roles on both the silver and small screen—think Juno, Star Trek: Discovery, Six Feet Under—Rainn Wilson is also set to star in Amazon’s buzzed-about revival of BBC4’s cult classic, Utopia. But acting is just a part of this versatile artist’s creative output: also an entrepreneur, Rainn and two of his friends created the digital entertainment company SoulPancake. Taking a different approach in a web full of negative clickbait, SoulPancake’s slogan—“We make stuff that matters”—really resonates. It’s a positive, uplifting space where people from all walks of life question what it means to be human: a place to connect with the spiritual and creative journey we’re all on. Today, SoulPancake boasts over four million cross-platform fans, spawned the eponymous New York Times bestselling book and presents vibrant live events: putting out timely, topical content with a philosophical twist, no matter the channel. 

In his hilarious, insightful talks full of anecdotes and warmth, Rainn touches on subjects he knows well—like creativity, connection, and of course, office culture. How do you inspire employees with different talents and ambitions? What will stoke their creativity? What will suppress it? Rainn proves an amiable guide through the corporate struggles, teamwork challenges, human triumphs and the very real “personalities” that inhabit your world. Relatable and illuminating, he finds universal lessons in the specifics of his fascinating (and sometimes fictional) life.

Also an author, Rainn's memoir, The Bassoon King: Art, Idiocy and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room, details his interesting upbringing, years as a band and drama geek, his time as a struggling stage actor in New York, to his eventual rise to The Office fame—and the spiritual reflection and reconnection that came with it. Called “an unsurprisingly funny and surprisingly poignant entry in the cavalcade of celebrity memoirs" by BookPage, Rainn’s writing perfectly captures his endearing quirks and oddball humor. Rainn and his wife, writer Holiday Reinhorn, also founded LIDÈ, an educational initiative that uses the arts and academic support to build resiliency and empower at-risk adolescent girls in rural Haiti.

In his Vena Nation keynote, Rainn will be discussing how creativity and self-expression create a more meaningful and collaborative hybrid work model.

Frame 3-2Mark Donovan

President of the Kansas City Chiefs

Keynote Title: How To Build Winning Teams With the Kansas City Chiefs

Friday, June 18, 2021 at 10:30 AM ET

With five straight division titles, back-to-back AFC championships and a huge comeback victory in Super Bowl LIV, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of the most dominant teams in the NFL. But Chiefs’ President Mark Donovan knows that helping the organization succeed is about more than just winning football games. 

Entering his 22nd season in the National Football League and his 12th season in Kansas City in 2020, Mark Donovan was named the fifth president in Chiefs history in January 2011 after serving two years as the club's Chief Operating Officer. As President, Donovan is responsible for all aspects of the club's business operations and reports directly to Chiefs’ Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt.

Catch Mark at his fireside chat at Vena Nation week where he’ll be sharing what he’s learned about finding success on and off the field and how it all starts with building a winning culture organization wide.   

big-Frame 6Darrell Cox

Vena’s Chief Financial Officer

Keynote Title: The Evolution of the Strategic CFO

Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 10:30 AM ET

With more than 15 years of senior leadership experience in finance and business development and knowing firsthand that storytelling is a crucial skill for high-performing CFOs, Darrell Cox has witnessed the evolution of the CFO’s role into chief data storyteller. Prior to Vena, Darrell assembled, directed and managed knowledgeable, dynamic finance teams for Fortune 500 companies such as Virgin Mobile and Rogers Communication.

Darrell joined Vena in 2014 at the very early stages of its growth journey. As Vena’s chief finance storyteller, he designs the forward-looking business strategies and long-range financial plans that sustain Vena’s growth. 

When it comes to CFO thought leadership, Darrell is one of the finance world’s ardent voices and is frequently invited to share his views at industry events and on podcasts. He has also authored numerous articles on the agile CFO. In his Vena Nation week keynote, he’ll be discussing how the strategic office of finance is evolving to connect the dots across the business to power growth while mitigating risk in an ever-changing world.

Frame 2-2Kendra James-Anderson

Virtual CFO and Business Owner 

Keynote Title: Life and Business Hacks With Finance Femme

Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Could your business use help organizing your finances, gaining clarity and increasing your profits? If so, Kendra James-Anderson is your “right hand”. Together with a team of problem solvers at thefinancefemme.com, a premier financial consulting firm Kendra founded and runs, she helps busy and successful business women take their businesses to the next level.

Kendra is an experienced financial planning analysis manager with a demonstrated history of working in multiple industries. She enjoys using her 15+ years of corporate experience, extensive entrepreneurial knowledge and business finance and strategy skills to help small and startup businesses build structure and financial strategies to help them flourish.

As a busy mom and business owner herself, she knows a thing or two about how to achieve work-life balance. In her Vena Nation keynote, she’ll be sharing business tips—and the occasional life hack—to help you grow your business and find more time to live life.

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Jeanne Lam

Chief Business Officer (Platform) Wattpad

Keynote Title: A New Era of Storytelling With Wattpad

Date: Thursday, June 17, 2021 at 4:00 PM ET

Jeanne Lam is all about scaling and accelerating high-growth consumer and platform businesses. She loves working in industries that are pioneering a radically different business or technology and growing people and organizations to do what’s never been done  before. With more than 17 years experience across different functions, Jeanne leads tech companies through strategic growth and transition.

Currently the Chief Business Officer of Wattpad, the world’s leading storytelling platform used by over 90 million people around the world each month, she is responsible for the global team and strategy that drives user and revenue growth. 

Prior to Wattpad, Jeanne led growth and user acquisition at Shapeways, the world’s largest 3D printing service. She also worked at Yahoo as Director of Platform Strategy and at GoPago as Head of Marketing & Business Intelligence. Before her startup career, she spent three years as a management consultant at Accenture.

Passionate about helping young professionals find fulfillment in their careers, she’s looking forward to sharing In her Vena Nation keynote address how Wattpad is elevating the voices of authors globally and disrupting traditional publishing industries by leveraging technology.

Liam Bastick

Director of SumProduct

Keynote Title: Effective Data Storytelling in Excel

Date: Friday, June 18, 2021 at 3:00 PM ET

Looking for financial modeling and strategic advice from a global industry expert? Liam Bastick, a fellow chartered accountant and fellow chartered management accountant, has worked in the U.K., Europe and Australia specializing in financial modeling, strategy valuations, M&A and quantitative analysis. He is also an experienced facilitator with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA) and a regular presenter with the Certified Practising Accountants (CPA) accounting body.

Liam is currently the Director of SumProduct, a business providing financial modeling services, strategic advice, decision analysis support and training to corporate, banking and service delivery clients nationally and internationally. He has also been recognized as a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Excel by Microsoft for the past 11 years, one of less than 100 professionals credited with this distinction worldwide.

During his Vena Nation keynote, you’ll get to work alongside Liam as he walks you through his tips and tricks on how to master power storytelling in Excel with qualitative and quantitative data.

Register Now To Find Your Strength in Numbers

In addition to our keynote sessions, Vena Nation week is also jam-packed with live training sessions, peer-led panel discussions, interactive roundtables and more. Register now so you can connect with other business planning professionals and Vena customers, gain insights from your network of peers, unite with other Excel nerds and earn CPE/CPD credits too. 

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