The Entrepreneurial Excellence Sessions (EES) showcase top entrepreneurs, as they share their life lessons and unique perspectives on dedication, opportunity and perseverance.

Saturday: Candy Chang
| Sunday: Sara Critchfield
Monday: Chef John Besh

Candy Chang

Candy Chang uses art to explore the relationship between public spaces and the people who live there. Drawing from her own experiences, Chang’s project started when she stenciled the words “Before I die I want to_____” onto a chalkboard wall on an abandoned house. The idea grew from there, and the interactive installation has been installed 400+ times all over the world. Her projects speak to how we use public spaces, what matters in life and the way we organize our communities. This revitalization of public space has been collected in her book, Before I Die, and she continues the conversation in the Morial Convention Center with interactive walls and conference-related fill-in-the-blanks for you to experiment with.

Session Date/Time
Saturday, November 8, 11:00am-12:00pm

This event is included with Premier Access and Saturday One-Day registrations.

Sara Critchfield

Sara Critchfield is a founding staff member and Editorial Director of Upworthy, the fastest growing media company of all time. Her innovative approach to marketing utilizes big data and emotional resonance to find “the human algorithm” for directing decisions and helping ideas go viral. Her approach to social media optimization and contrarian theories has earned her recognition across a spectrum of business, government and media groups. Critchfield’s message will resonate with content creators and marketers looking to reinvigorate digital media.

Session Date/Time
Sunday, November 9, 1:30pm-2:30pm

This event is included with Premier Access and Sunday One-Day registrations.

Chef John Besh

Chef John Besh is the chef/owner of 10 restaurants, seven of which are in New Orleans, and a native son dedicated to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. Besh is an entrepreneur, author, philanthropist, TV host and has won all the major food awards, including the coveted James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast and Food & Wine’s Best New Chef. He hosts two national public television cooking shows, Chef John Besh’s Family Table and Chef John Besh’s New Orleans, based on his award-winning books.

9:00am-10:00am: Chef Besh puts on his entrepreneurial experience hat and shares what makes him successful in this lively session.
10:30am-11:15am: Chef Besh moves to the expo floor and puts on his chef hat to demonstrate a few of his favorite dishes—samples may be available!
11:15am: Chef Besh puts on his author hat and signs copies of his cookbook.

Session Date
Monday, November 10

This event is included with Premier Access and Monday One-Day registrations.