Change Makers Conference logo

Change Makers Conference

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Be inspired by people who are change-makers to find your own purpose in creating positive change.

Join us for brunch, breakouts and keynotes!

WHEN | Sunday, March 5, 2023
TIME | 9:30 a.m. (doors open) Conference 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
WHERE | Trabant University Center at University of Delaware

Keynote Speakers

Sam Calagione

Sam Calagione

Brewer/Founder, Dogfish Head, Boston Beer Company

Sam Calagione has been focused on brewing beers with culinary ingredients since 1995 when Dogfish Head first opened as the smallest craft brewery in America. Today, Dogfish has grown into a 400+ person company and is one of the most recognized breweries in the country.

Dogfish Head is based in Delaware with Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats, an off-centered brewpub and distillery, Chesapeake & Maine, a geographically enamored seafood restaurant with a James Beard nominated cocktail program, Dogfish Inn, a harbor-front beverage-themed motel and Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a production brewery and distillery featuring a Tasting Room & Kitchen. Dogfish currently sells beers, spirits and canned cocktails across the U.S. In July 2019, Dogfish Head proudly merged with the Boston Beer Company.

Sam’s innovative style and collaborative spirit has earned him a reputation as one of the industry’s most adventurous entrepreneurs and brewers. Sam has authored four books and was named the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Professional in 2017. Sam, Mariah and their family reside in coastal Delaware.

Sandy Yawn

Captain Sandy Yawn

Superyacht Captain and Series Lead on Below Deck Mediterranean

Captain Sandra Yawn (“Captain Sandy”) is a leader, hero and businesswoman whose exceptional leadership style has helped her to break through every obstacle in her path – from the glass ceilings and near-fatal accidents on land to pirates and fires at sea!

As a renowned superyacht captain with over 30 years of international maritime experience, Yawn’s integrity and courage have earned her an outstanding reputation as an elite class of captain. Her unflappable leadership in the face of danger earned her recognition from the International Superyacht Society, who honored her with the prestigious Distinguished Crew Award for the bravery she exhibited in the midst of a catastrophic fire and pirate threat that occurred in 2006 off the coast of Yemen.

Tapping into her signature affinity for adventure, Yawn charted a brand new course in 2015 when she became a series lead on Bravo’s hit series Below Deck Mediterranean. Now in her fifth season with the show, Yawn is a powerful female role model and leader and one of the network’s most universally beloved personalities.

With a story of overcoming her own personal struggles, including being a cancer survivor, Yawn shares with audiences how to be resilient and persevere in the face adversity, along with her exceptional leadership principles of believing in your people, not giving up and it being ok to fail—that help build a world class crew you can trust and believe in.

Derreck Kayongo

Derreck Kayongo

Entrepreneur, Global Soap Project Founder, CNN Hero, and Former CEO of the Center for Civil and Human Rights

With his trademark panache, Derreck Kayongo tells his courageous story of survival, social entrepreneurship, and humanitarianism, and the life lessons he learned along the way.

From Ugandan refugee to successful entrepreneur, CEO, and renowned human rights activist, Derreck’s journey inspires audiences to dream big. Through personable and articulate storytelling, he shares his visionary ideas for harnessing the power of observation and creative problem solving, applicable to any organization or community. It’s all about taking responsibility while looking for opportunities to improve.

Derreck is the founder of the Global Soap Project: a humanitarian aid organization that collects discarded and unused soap from thousands of hotels worldwide, reprocesses it, then distributes it to in-need populations around the world. The project was born from his simple observation about how much soap is available in hotels, and how much is thrown away when hotel rooms are turned. This observation turned into a simple yet innovative idea that is now battling global health issues in 90 countries. Hygiene-related diseases, and the resulting deaths, have dissipated in many at-risk communities, thanks in part to Derreck’s creative problem solving.

The energy and enthusiasm levels are unmatched as Derreck brings his stories and principles to life. He identifies the key factors of his personal and professional success with the memorable acronym S.E.L.F.: Service, Education, Leadership and Faith. He calls upon his dynamic experiences to empower audiences, inspiring an entrepreneur spirit made possible only through creative problem solving. Derreck’s emotionally-packed presentations linger long after his speech, empowering audiences to invent their own self-made motto of success so they can create tangible change in the world.

Breakout Sessions

The Bumpy Road of Leadership: How Understanding Conflict and Restorative Practices Can Smooth the Ride

Gina Donato and Vincent Jackson

All great leaders have faced conflict. Conflict in an organization can cause stress, discomfort and heightened emotions, but it can also result in group transformation and strengthened relationships. Community Standards & Conflict Resolution at UD uses various approaches to helping students resolve conflict, including restorative practices. Participants in this session will be introduced to several restorative practices, gain an overview of resolution options that can be used to challenge assumptions and the impacts regarding conflict, as well as. discuss how they can lead their organization to resolve the conflict together. This session will focus on restorative practices as a way to build relationships and grow stronger as an organization. Participants will leave with increased confidence and strategies in restorative practices and resources they can use at UD and beyond.

Empathy, Innovation, and the Entrepreneurial Leader

Emerson Marine and Siegfried Leadership Fellows

Before you can run, you must first learn to walk…in another’s shoes! Empathy is key to effective leadership as it is the foundation of positive relationships. But empathy is also a building block of entrepreneurial thinking. In this session, you will learn to care about the problems of others, and then see those problems as possibilities. Explore the intersection between empathy and the entrepreneurial mindset, and learn how to build better relationships to cultivate creative thinking and yield better solutions for lasting change.

Women’s Leadership in Action: Change Agents in Our Midst

Dafina Diabate, program director of Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), and WLI alumNae and student leaders

You don’t have to look far to find female leadership in our midst. The Blue Hen flock has some dynamic women leading on campus, whether it’s a student organization board member, residence hall assistant, athletic team lead, or in the classroom. This session will feature some key elements women use to grow along their leadership journey.  Student leaders will share their tips and techniques for juggling their student responsibilities and thriving as leaders.

Attention Leaders: How Single Moments Can Turn a Team

Nat Measley

The average human attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds – 25% less time than the average in 2001. Life’s fast. Single moments matter – especially for leaders. In Attention Leaders participants will explore the impacts their decisions and actions “in the moment” can have on those around them when building their own leadership capacities, a team or a culture.

Leading With Impact: How Can Leaders Really Do Good in the World?

Stephanie Raible

Many leaders are drawn to their roles for their ability to have an impact on the world. However, as the saying goes, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Leading for impact requires a careful balance of knowing how to view the situation at hand. This session is helpful for all who want to have an impact through their work. How can leaders make ethical decisions in complex environments? What are some considerations leaders need to think about when trying to have a social or environmental impact? Participants will leave with increased an understanding of some of the common frameworks of ethical leadership and how to navigate situations when transitioning into leadership roles.

How to SOLVE any problem

Matthew Weis and Jacob Herz,
University of Delaware Collegiate Leadership Competition Co-Coaches

Want to create positive change? Learn the SOLVE methodology (Set roles, Outline the Problem, List Multiple Strategies, Veer into Consensus and Evaluate the results). This problem solving strategy can be implemented in a multitude of situations and can prove useful especially when facing a problem without an obvious solution. After introducing this concept, presenters will split the participants into teams and then give the teams a timed challenge to see how well they used the SOLVE strategy. After the challenge, the group will reflect and discuss what went well and what could have been improved.

True Colors

Blue Hen Leadership Program Presentation Team Members

The first step in effectively leading is to know yourself well. Take a quick and fun assessment that identifies your preferences, leadership style, and areas of comfort level behavior you may want to develop. Use your increased self-awareness to develop your personal mission and vision statements.

Thank you for attending the 2023 Change Makers Conference!

2022 Change Makers logo

Full Schedule

9:30–10 a.m.

Check-in or on-site registration

10–10:15 a.m.

Conference Welcome

10:15–11:15 a.m.

Opening Keynote, Sam Calagione

11:15–11:55 a.m.


noon–12:40 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 1

12:45–1:30 p.m.

Afternoon Keynote, Derreck Kayongo

1:35–2:10 p.m.

Breakout Sessions 2

2:15–2:30 p.m.

Cookies and coffee break

2:30–3:15 p.m.

Closing Keynote, Captain Sandy Yawn

3:15–3:30 p.m.

Conference Wrap-Up and Call to Action

3:30–4:00 p.m.

VIP Sponsor Meet and Greet with select Keynote Speakers


Diamond ($10,000 or more)

  • Blue Hen Leadership Program
  • University Student Centers

Platinum ($5,000 – $9,999)

  • Student Involvement Office – Programming

Gold ($1,000–$4,999)

  • Horn Entrepreneurship
  • Office of Equity & Inclusion

Silver ($500-$999)

  • Women’s Leadership Initiative
  • Insomnia Cookies
  • The Crew

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