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Keynote Speakers

Photo of Oz Sanchez
Oz Sanchez

Friday | October 20, 2017
9:00am – 10:15am | Oz Sanchez

While growing up in the Los Angeles area, Oz’s early life was crippled with abuse and family dysfunction. His late teens were riddled with drugs, misdirection and the all too common street life for a youth in the city. In 1996, he opted for a different life and joined the Marine Corps. After 6yrs of service and following two deployments to the Middle-East, Oz decided to make a career of military service. He also decided to transfer branches into the Navy, to serve as a Navy Seal. In 2001, during the period of his transfer, Oz’s life took a tragic turn when he became the subject of a hit-and-run accident while riding his motorcycle. He suffered a spinal cord injury that left him with near complete paralysis of the lower extremities.

Following the accident, Oz fell into deep depression and had seemingly lost all hope for any version of a fulfilling life. He spent the better part of the next 5 years in a state of deep depression, simply going through the motions of day-to-day life, and held little faith in being happy again…but the mind is a resilient entity.

After some soul searching, Oz made a choice to redefine himself and began to move forward in life. He enrolled in school, devoted himself to his studies, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a minor in Communications from San Diego State University. He also actively pursued sports and is now a three-time Paralympian; winning a combined total of six medals in the past three games! A 5-time world champion, Kona Ironman finisher, and now motivational speaker, Oz takes great pride in his role as a mentor for the wounded warrior community and being a source of inspiration for anyone suffering from depression or struggling with life’s many challenges. He is of the belief that with passion and purpose, there is no obstacle that can stop us.

His message, “Know No Limits”!

 

Photo of Nina G
Nina G
Saturday | October 21, 2017
12:00pm – 1:20pm | Nina G

Nina G is the San Francisco Bay Area’s favorite female stuttering stand up comedian. She is also a disability activist, storyteller, author and educator. She brings her humor to help people confront and understand social justice issues such as disability, diversity, and equity.

When she isn’t performing at comedy clubs like the San Francisco Punchline or the Laugh Factory, she is playing colleges and presenting as a keynote speaker to children with disabilities and training professionals! Nina is part of the comedy troupe The Comedians with Disabilities Act, which brings laughter and awareness to audiences of all ages across the country.

She is the author of a children’s book titled, Once Upon An Accommodation: ABook About Learning Disabilities, that helps children and adults advocate for their rights as a person with a disability. Nina’s one person show, Going Beyond Inspirational, which is a comical exploration about growing up with Learning and Speech Disabilities debuted in 2015 and was featured on CBS San Francisco Local.