Top 9 Thought Leaders to Watch in 2014

9 Thought Leaders to Watch in 2014 badge


Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey

[su_frame][/su_frame]Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times Bestselling Business Paperback, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine BrandThey started in their laundry room in 1986 and created a nationwide bestselling wine label. With virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles and create new markets.
They pioneered “Worthy Cause Marketing” and performance-based compensation. Their comprehensive view of customer service resulted in the National Hot Brand Award for outstanding sales growth in 2003 and 2004. In 2005 they successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo. Since then, they have consulted Fortune 500’s and start-ups alike. One of their clients just made the 2013 Inc 500 list of fastest growing companies. Recently, they were the recipients of the 2014 Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Award from the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University; and were chosen as the keynote speakers at the World Entrepreneurship Conference in Dublin, Ireland on June 11th.
Michael & Bonnie now share their experience and innovative approach to business as consultants, authors, speakers, and workshop leaders. They are sought-after workplace culture experts in both print and broadcast media with hundreds of interviews and articles in professional and national publications. They co-author weekly, no-nonsense, business blogs at &
Their book, The Barefoot Spirit, which chronicles the history and lessons learned building the popular Barefoot Wine brand, is now required reading at more than twenty universities teaching entrepreneurship.

Michele Ruiz

[su_frame align=”right”][/su_frame]Michele has journeyed from a rough childhood dealing with abuse, racism, and poverty to become an Emmy award-winning TV news anchor, an entrepreneur and role model. She has been honored as both Business Woman of the Year and the 2014 Enterprising Woman of the Year by Latina Style magazine.
Michele Ruiz is a bi-lingual entrepreneur and public speaker whose passions are entrepreneurship, empowerment, and technology.  She is focused on educating, inspiring and empowering business owners. She shares her experiences via social media with her tens of thousands of followers by blogging and content messaging as well as public speaking. She also represents Fortune 1000 companies as a brand ambassador wanting to harness the power of her influence.
Michele is also President & CEO of Ruiz Strategies, a communications firm that develops and executes transformational content marketing strategies for world class companies, large professional services firms, government entities and C-level executives leveraging the power of social media, new media, traditional media and virtual technologies.
You can keep up and connect with Michele here on her website

Farnoosh Torabi

[su_frame]Farnoosh - cropped[/su_frame]Farnoosh has used her personal experience as a young twenty-something struggling with crushing debt to help young people deal with their personal finances in a fun and relatable way. As she begins her married life, she is looking forward to working through the same transitions as her audience is experiencing.

Farnoosh Torabi is a personal finance expert, author, TV personality, and sought-after speaker whose mission is to help people take control of their finances so they can live their richest, happiest lives. A frequent financial contributor to Yahoo!, The Today Show and contributing editor at Money Magazine, she has personally coached a wide range of audiences, from college students, to couples, to executives at Fortune 500 firms. Her latest book is When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women.

Nadya Andreeva

[su_frame align=”right”][/su_frame]Nadya’s goal is to help women stop the internal struggle with themselves and create a loving harmonious relationship with their only life-long partner – their body. She does this by helping them restore their digestion because it is the core of life energy, intuition, and longevity. Happy Belly = Happy Life
Nadya Andreeva is a certified wellness coach specializing in digestive health, author & modern Ayurveda girl. Professionally trained in mindful eating, yoga, and positive psychology, Nadya helps women create a pleasure and freedom based relationship with food that honors their body’s unique chemistry and eliminates bloating and irregularity.
Nadya’s book, Happy Belly: A woman’s guide to feeling vibrant, light, and balanced is a go-to resource for women to prevent and eliminate bloating and constipation.
Nadya has been featured in various media including Huffington Post Live, Yoga Journal Russia, Glamour Magazine, Veria Living, and Ted Talks. Read more about Nadya on her website

Leanne Grechulk

[su_frame][/su_frame]Leanne wants you to lead a wicked life, where your health and business are both booming. She exemplifies this lifestyle, with a coaching business that allows her to balance her business growth with her spiritual growth.
Money and lifestyle expert, Leanne Grechulk is the founder of HealthyGirl™ and the author of the amazon best-selling book 30 Days to Wealth. Leanne has her B.Sc. in Biomedical Toxicology and her MBA. While pursuing a career in Sales and Marketing with several fortune 500 companies (including Johnson & Johnson, Nike, DuPont, and L’Oréal), she was driven to create her own vision to promote entrepreneurship, wellness and financial independence to women around the globe.
She is also the creator of Wellspot™ (a wellness symposium for women) featuring some of today’s leading entrepreneurs. Her seminars and speaking engagements have been featured on television, radio and magazines across North America. She is also a certified pilates and yoga instructor, 8-time marathon runner and certified health and nutrition coach. Leanne speaks regularly at events globally on wellpreneurship, financial independence and conscious leadership. Know more about her at

Ana Maria Sanchez

[su_frame align=”right”][/su_frame]Ana Maria used her past sufferings and pain to start healing the world. Her book was a launching pad for her to gain international exposure as an expert on women’s issues. Ana Maria spoke at the United Nations recently, and was asked back to testify as an expert.
A Spiritual Guidance Counselor and Reiki Master Practitioner, Ana Maria Sanchez used the same techniques she teaches to overcome a past troubled with abuse and addiction. The founder of Free the Light Within, she holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Cal State Hayward and a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from San Francisco State University. A licensed Heal Your Life Teacher and Workshop Facilitator, she seeks the truth as she connects with the spirituality that calls her to serve others in their quest for peace and healing.
Ana Maria received her Reiki Mastership from Reiki Master Teacher and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Geneveive Vulser, M.A. She has studied with internationally renowned healer Master Stephen Co and is certified in Pranic Energy Healing. Her book, Girl from the Hood Gone Goodis an and East West bookstores bestseller. To learn more, please visit her page here.

Kris Gilbertson

[su_frame][/su_frame]Kris is changing the world, by making podcasting accessible to everyone. Her passion and intellect are evident as she guides her clients in establishing and growing their online presence.
Kris Gilbertson — Podcasting and iTunes expert, founder of the Lifestyle Academy and host of The LifestylePreneur Podcast, a podcast for lifestyle entrepreneurs featuring interviews with the world’s leading entrepreneurs and experts from all around the world.
She is also the author of Podcasting For Promotion, Positioning & Profit and The Lifestyle Entrepreneur Book: How To Create a Business that You Love with Top Lifestyle Entrepreneurs, founder of the Podcasting Pro System and a leading expert in how to create your own podcast.
Today, her goal is to help, inspire, and kick as many entrepreneurs butts in line (in the most fun way possible of course!) and to Show you How to STEP up and OWN YOUR Expertise and Create the Lifestyle of Your Dreams!

Yolanda Mangrum

[su_frame align=”right”]Yolanda Mangrum[/su_frame]Yolanda Mangrum-Walsh, DDS and Jennifer Chevalier co-founded Virtual Training Innovations (VTI) with the simple mission to streamline training. They came together to improve the training process for not only the business owners but for everyone involved in the process. Their upcoming book, Hire to Inspire: What Great Leaders Do to Consistently Achieve Winning Results (Publishing 2014,) will help employers embrace working with their employees, instead of dreading it.
Yolanda Mangrum- Walsh, DDS has been a practicing dentist since 1997 and practice owner since 1999. The need to create Virtual Training Innovation came from her desire to stop repeating herself. She says “Keeping my team on track with training, culture, goals and protocols has seemed like a never-ending frustrating task. I needed to create a way to stop this cycle and win.” Throughout her practicing years, she has striven to create protocols that would achieve  repeatable systems and lay the groundwork for inspiring individual growth. Dr. Mangrum opened her first dental practice in 1999 in Sonoma from scratch, one patient at a time. Ten years later she purchased her second practice, Petaluma Dental Group. She has built a team of dedicated health care professionals in both practices. Being a strong leader is important to her and she enjoys unlocking greatness in every individuals. It is her belief that individuals have limitless potential for growth.

Nicole DeAvilla

[su_frame]Nicole sm[/su_frame]Nicole’s 2 Minute Yoga Solution is a daily answer for people who need to relax, but just can’t seem to find the time. By sending out a 2 minute exercise, it allows people to find their center no matter where they are.

Always practical, Nicole DeAvilla looks to science and research, and asks the question, “So what does it mean to us, in our everyday lives?”  Her knack for taking the complex and making it simple is evident in her writing, teaching, and public speaking.Nicole has taught yoga and wellness at Kaiser Permanente.  She is currently teaching and training instructors for Being ADEPT’s (a drug and alcohol prevention program for tweens and teens) Yoga, Science and Stress Reduction curriculum. She is also the Executive Director of the PEG (Parent Education Group) of Marin, California 16th District Parent Education Chair and parent representative for the Stanford University’s Challenge Success program at Saint Ignatius College Prep, where she speaks on a variety of parenting and stress reduction topics for parents and students.


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