LeRon L. Barton is a writer from Kansas City, MO currently living in San Francisco, Ca. A graduate of Paseo Academy of Fine Arts, LeRon is the author of two books, “Straight Dope: A 360 degree look into American Drug Culture” and “All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationships, Heartbreak, and Marriage.” In addition to the books, LeRon is an essayist; whose topics cover racism, mass incarceration, politics, gender, and dating. These works have appeared in Black Enterprise, Salon, The Good Men Project, Your Tango, Media Diversity, Raconteur, Elephant Journal, East Bay Times, and MoAD.
As a young man, LeRon has had to live with a stutter. At times it was debilitating and confidence hindering, but he has learned to manage the stutter and not let it stop him taking on another passion: public speaking. LeRon has also given talks and speeches at TEDx Wilson Park about overcoming the fear of stuttering, University of San Francisco on Black and Asian Solidarity, Glide Methodist Church on collective liberation, been a guest of Al Jazeera’s The Stream, Story Corp, Dr. Vibe’s Do You Know What Time It Is podcast, and has participated in panel discussions on race and prison recidivism. In his spare time LeRon mentors young men in San Francisco and loves to backpack around the world.
- Overcoming obstacles and personal struggles
- Writing and encouraging people to write
Alex Quian is the Executive Director of 30 Days of Service, a non-profit led by college students he helped create with his mentor, Greg Weatherford. Over the course of July 2019, Quian completed 30 different service projects in 30 days as part of the organization’s efforts to inspire other young people to give back to their community.
A senior at Cornell University studying Information Science graduating in Fall 2019, Quian is naturally drawn to servant leadership and is passionate about helping young people find ways to use their passions and skills to impact their community in positive, rewarding ways. He has a strong passion for entrepreneurship (specifically social entrepreneurship), which began when he was selected for an intensive but lifechanging entrepreneurial internship the summer before starting college, during which he gained a greater love for service and learned invaluable skills relating to communication, program and team development, project management, and more.
Since this transformative experience, Quian has gone on to oversee the development of a multitude of proposals, projects, programs, and businesses for Fortune 50 companies, national community organizations and non-profits, internationally leading educational institutions, and entrepreneurs.
Quian’s current projects include writing a book for children and young adults about his Summer 2019 service project experiences, creating a formal service program that will be shared with K – 12 schools, universities, companies, and other groups, and speaking about his 30 Days of Service experience.
Philip J. Romano is an investor, entrepreneur, artist and nationally-renowned restaurateur.
Involved in the restaurant business for over fifty years, he has created over twenty-five concepts with six of them national concepts: Fuddruckers, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Spageddies, Cozymel’s, Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ and eatZi’s Market & Bakery.
Romano currently owns and operates eatZi’s Market & Bakery, Nick & Sam’s Steak & Fish House, Nick & Sam’s Grill and Coal Vines Pizza. Romano’s creativity expands beyond restaurants to art. He began painting 30 years ago and never sold a piece of art until 2008. To date he has sold over $1 million of his own artwork. He partnered with Reflectionist Movement Artist, JD Miller of Dallas, opening Samuel Lynne Galleries. The Gallery features both Romano’s and Miller’s works and an ever expanding list of additional artists, focusing on art of the 21st Century.
He was principal in EGP, a partnership that held the licensing rights to the Palmaz-Schatz Stent, purchased by Johnson & Johnson, Inc. It is said to be one of the most successful medical devices of its time and is considered one of the patents that has changed the world. This was the original stent and has become a $6 billion a year industry.
Philip Romano and his family established a charitable foundation, The Food Foundation, which operates as Hunger Busters and has been in operation for 16 years. Hunger Busters provides food to the hungry and serves over 450,000 meals per year to school children in Dallas.
Romano’s latest venture is Trinity Groves, with approximately 90 acres at the foot of the Calatrava Bridge in Dallas. Fifteen of those acres are a restaurant concept incubator creating brands for the millennials and to induce entrepreneurs to start businesses and create jobs and tax revenue for the city of Dallas.
Philip Romano’s most recent concept is the Network Bar – a “first of its kind” members only establishment where people can network, connect, socialize, have dinner and do business all in the same place. The Network Bar opened in October 2017 in Trinity Groves.
Romano wrote his first book entitled Food for Thought in 2005 that made the CEO Best Sellers List. His latest book, The MAD Entrepreneur, was released in March 2019 and shares his secrets
to success, how he took ideas and turned them into nationally-recognized businesses, and insights into how he’s making a difference in business and in life. A native of New York State, Mr. Romano presently resides in Dallas, Texas.