Meet the speakers
Day one’s theme is " fighting for unity in faith and work.” Speakers include:
- Tim Tebow: Former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow is a Christian speaker and advocate for faith-based causes. He is known for his outspoken faith and his commitment to living out his beliefs in his work and personal life.
- Jordan Raynor: Raynor, author of bestselling books and host of the Mere Christians podcast, has empowered Christians globally to intertwine faith with work. Additionally, he's the executive chairman of tech startup Threshold 360.
- Love & The Outcome: Love & The Outcome, the duo of Jodi King and Chris Rademaker, draw inspiration from their shared journeys and California sunsets. With a musical history dating back to 2013, they blend ‘80s pop and contemporary sounds, sharing tales of faith, hardship and joy, influenced by their new journey into parenthood with the birth of their son, Milo, in 2016.
- John Mark McMillan: A platinum-selling artist known for his unique genre-blending style, McMillan uses poetic metaphors to encapsulate the human experience. With albums like "Mercury & Lightning," McMillan draws inspiration from various influences, from ‘80s rock to ‘90s R&B, while addressing themes of identity, introspection and the quest for understanding in a rapidly changing world.
- Vanessa Van Edwards: A bestselling author of "Captivate" and "Cues," Van Edwards is known for her science-backed approach to interpersonal communication and leadership, which has attracted over 50 million viewers on platforms like YouTube and TEDx. Collaborating with diverse businesses and featured by major media outlets, she's transformed "soft skills" into actionable frameworks, empowering countless students through her courses and dynamic workshops.
- Patrick Lencioni: A world-renowned speaker, Lencioni has been described by the Wall Street Journal as "one of the most sought-after speakers in America."
- Dr. John Delony: Dr. Delony is a mental health expert who offers guidance on relationships, anxiety and wellness.
- Jon Acuff: Acuff is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including his most recent, “Soundtracks, The Surprising Solution To Overthinking.”
- Chris Meroff: Based in Austin, TX and Machiasport, ME, Chris Meroff is a successful serial entrepreneur and the owner of multiple small businesses. With over 25 years of experience in business management, he excels in navigating diverse relationships with clients, employees, and competitors. Meroff is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a renowned speaker.
- Benjamin Sledge: Sledge is a renowned author, veteran, graphic designer and communicator, with his work featured in NYT Best-Selling books and various online publications.
Q&A with DCX Conference founder Chris Meroff
In this Q&A with Community Impact, DCX Community founder Chris Meroff discusses the evolution of the conference, highlighting its shift from internal professional development to a broader audience focus, with high-profile speakers and a strong emphasis on personal development.
Could you share the journey and transformation of the DCX Conference from its inception to its current format?
Meroff: The DCX Conference was initially conceived as an extension of my venture capital firm, primarily for internal purposes. Its key objective was to offer professional development to employees across all the businesses I owned. The evolution over time has been significant. The overarching theme is now centered on personal growth, fostering connections and experiencing collective transformation. What began as an inward-facing initiative has expanded outward. While our employees continue to benefit from the conference, we've broadened our horizons to welcome the public as well.
How have you designed the conference to offer a more intimate experience with the speakers and to promote networking among attendees?
Meroff: There are a couple of things to note. First, we aimed to keep in-person attendance numbers modest. Instead of accommodating 3,000 attendees, we capped it at about 600. This allows for greater interaction with the incredible speakers, giving that genuine live event feel. Personally, I want the experience of being in the same room with the speaker. I've been to many conferences with 2000-3000 attendees and often found myself watching live speakers on a screen from the back. It's just not the same.
Secondly, we emphasize multiple engagement modes. We don't want attendees to just sit and listen. By incorporating breaks throughout the day, attendees have opportunities to network, recognizing this gathering as their tribe. Our aim isn't just to provide a fleeting high; we want attendees to leave with actionable insights. More than just imbibing knowledge, we hope they'll apply it within a supportive community.
How has the speaker selection for the conference evolved over the years?
Meroff: Initially, the event was presented exclusively by our internal leaders. However, with each passing year, we've welcomed external speakers. Past lineups have included notable names like Bob Goff and Dr. Caroline Leaf. This year, I'm particularly thrilled because we'll have Patrick Lencioni, someone who's profoundly influenced my leadership approach. Other speakers include Vanessa Van Edwards, Jon Acuff, Dr. John Delaney and Tim Tebow. It promises to be an impressive lineup this fall.
How do attendees stand to benefit from the DCX Conference's blend of personal/professional development, community engagement and transformational experiences?
Meroff: I believe attendees will benefit greatly if they come ready to learn and to be introspective. Admittedly, introspection isn't my strong suit, and I've worked on developing it. If you truly grasp where you stand, there's nothing wrong with that. It'll be eye-opening for many to realize their potential. This notion of improvement is a primary focus for us. We emphasize it because we genuinely believe people possess innate greatness. They just need guidance to unlock it, and that's the conference's purpose.
It's designed for attendees to confront personal challenges, enabling them to unite with others they meet at the event to overcome them. The conference aims to provide tangible solutions to real-life issues. We steer away from abstract themes targeted only at top-tier executives. This year, our spotlight is on the significance of unity and the profound strength drawn from it. In essence, we're addressing crucial, universally relatable aspects of the human experience.
Why did the conference organizers decide to offer attendees the option to choose between a full two-day experience or individual days?
Meroff: We recognize that people are incredibly busy. In the post-COVID era, conferences, in general, have seen a slight dip in attendance. Therefore, we aim to offer ample flexibility around attendees' schedules, incorporating both evening and daytime events. This way, regardless of your work schedule, we hope you can find a way to engage with and connect to the conference.
Why did you choose Austin as the primary location for your organization and the conference?
Meroff: Austin serves as headquarters for us. The city holds a special significance; as Austin thrives, so does the world due to its potential for international and global impact. What's more, the majority of leaders in the city are collaborative, fostering a spirit of unity. With this conference, our hope is to attract individuals from diverse sectors to come and enjoy the conference. Not only for personal development but also for professional development and even city development as we think about working together for what's best for Austin and eventually the world.
Given the conference's actionable approach toward fostering unity, how do you envision participants carrying these lessons forward in their personal and professional spheres?
Meroff: Every time we gather, the primary thing we emphasize is focusing on three key takeaways that attendees can immediately implement. While some aspire to be thought leaders, I view myself as an action leader. I want participants to not just contemplate our discussions but to determine three actionable steps they can implement the very next day. These should be steps that foster unity, both in their workplaces and homes. Our conferences present a wealth of information across the two-day experience. However, the challenge for attendees is to distill this information into three transformative actions that can make a genuine difference in their lives and the lives of those around them.
3 key takeaways attendees can immediately implement:
- Personal and professional development for teams
- Connect with community
- Experience transformation
The above story was produced by Multi Platform Journalist Holly Galvan with Community Impact's Storytelling team with information solely provided by the local business as part of their "sponsored content" purchase through our advertising team.