Every year, the HBA Innovation Summit features renowned speakers and forward-thinking leaders focused on driving change and catalyzing innovation. 

2019 Innovations Summit speakers image

Keynote Speaker

Scott Dikkers

Founder, The Onion

Scott Dikkers founded the world’s first humor website, TheOnion.com, in 1996. A few years earlier he helped found the original Onion newspaper. He’s served as The Onion’s owner and editor-in-chief, on and off, for much of the last quarter century.

Read More About Scott

Scott co-wrote and edited The Onion’s first original book, Our Dumb Century, a look at recent history through front pages of The Onion. It’s sold more than a million copies, debuting as a #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller. He also co-wrote and edited The Onion’s second original book, Our Dumb World, a world atlas parody, which also debuted on the New York Times bestseller list.

In the mid-2000’s, Scott headed up the creation of “The Onion News Network” web series, serving as a director and executive producer. The series gave rise to many viral videos and a TV series on IFC. The web shorts won a Peabody Award in 2008.

Scott led The Onion’s rise from small, unknown college humor publication to internationally respected comedy brand. He gathered a talented team of writers and editors over the years, working with them to develop The Onion’s culture of creative freedom and brutal honesty, its distinct comic voice, and its reliable process for generating award-winning satire, day after day.

This unique process is spelled out in Scott’s books, How to Write Funny, and the second in the series, How to Write Funnier, which are the basis of the Writing with The Onion program he created and teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago. Scott offers other courses and free resources for comedy writers on the How to Write Funny website.

His work with The Onion, its website and other ancillary products, earned Scott the #43 spot on Time magazine’s list of the Top 50 “Cyber Elite” alongside such iconic figures as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and George Lucas.

Scott began his career in the entertainment business with his self-syndicated comic strip, Jim’s Journal. The popular college cartoon, comprised of little more than stick figures, spawned a self-published book collection that became a national bestseller. Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Jim” one of America’s top ten favorite writers in 1992. Scott continues to draw and animate cartoons under the banner of the Dikkers Cartoon Company.

In addition to his other work, Scott is an accomplished voice actor who’s performed in many national commercials, video games and animated cartoons, including Saturday Night Live’s “TV Funhouse.” He’s also written and directed several award-winning short films, and two feature films, Spaceman, and Bad Meat.

Emcee + Moderator

Mark Schlereth “Stink”

Three-time Super Bowl Champ and Former Broncos Offensive Lineman

Three-time Super Bowl champion and NFL broadcasting veteran Mark Schlereth joined FOX Sports in July 2017. He spends this season as a FOX NFL analyst alongside announcer Adam Amin and reporter Lindsay Czarniak. Schlereth also contributes as an FS1 studio analyst covering the NFL.

Read More About Mark

Mark Schlereth is one of only 35 players to win a Super Bowl with two different teams, both the Washington Redskins and the Denver Broncos. Born in Anchorage, Alaska in 1966, Schlereth earned the nickname “Stink” from his Redskin teammates due to his culture that embraced stink heads, an Eskimo delicacy made from rotting fish heads. “Stink” attended the University of Idaho on a scholarship and was selected in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, whom he won his first Super Bowl with. After six seasons with the Redskins, Schlereth went on to play six seasons with the Denver Broncos, winning two Super Bowls with them, as well. Due to serious knee injuries, Schlereth underwent twenty-nine surgeries throughout the course of his professional career and could no longer endure it by his twelfth season in the NFL. Schlereth retired after playing 156 games in the NFL and starting 140 of them. Although retired from the NFL since 2000, Schlereth is currently a television and radio sportscaster. 


In the past year and a half, organizations have experienced the most incredible period of sudden, transformational change in decades. These extraordinary circumstances generated scenarios and insights that leaders hadn’t imagined, forcing organizations to embrace change at a rapid speed in order to pivot and survive.

During the Evolve & Solve panel discussion, hear from forward-thinking leaders focused on driving change and catalyzing innovation in their fields. Future leaders in all capacities can learn from the way these organizations managed unprecedented change and adapted business practices to evolve and solve through their company’s unique challenges and emerging opportunities.


Rachel Benedick headshot

Rachel Benedick

Executive Vice President of Sales & Services

Qadra Evans headshot

Qadra Evans

Director of Brokerage
Zillow Listing Services

Adam Reed Headshot

Adam Reed

Director of Operations, Innovation, & Beverage
Big Red F Restaurant Group

Register Now!

The HBA Innovation Summit is a sell-out event. Be sure to get tickets and reserve your spot now, before it’s gone!