Keynote Speakers

New to the 2020 Municipal Special Events Summit, keynote speakers have been added to the schedule which include Burning ManAccessible Festivals and the inspirational Susan Christian, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events in Houston, Texas!

Burning Man Speaker:

Megan Miller is an accomplished communications professional with experience in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She’s a skilled leader, writer, editor, public speaker, and strategic adviser. Megan is passionate about the art of sharing information in creative and impactful ways, and believes in the power of ideas and authentic self-expression to change the world for the better.As Director of Communications for the nonprofit Burning Man Project, Megan oversees media and public relations for the hub of the growing global phenomenon that is Burning Man. Megan helps to set priorities for the organization, shape the perception of Burning Man in the public eye, and guide the growth and impact of Burning Man culture.

Accessible Festival Speakers:

Austin Whitney is the Founder and President at Accessible Festivals & Ten Fifty Entertainment. At the age of 18 he was in a car accident that put him in a wheelchair. In the aftermath of this tragedy he found the positive impact that live entertainment events could have on people going through traumatic events. He thanks festivals for getting him through the toughest time of his life. With this experience and his education at UC Berkeley School of Law, he founded Accessible Festivals/Ten Fifty Entertainment with his childhood friend Oren, to increase the standards of accessibility at live events. Through Accessible Festivals, ADA compliance programs have been developed and managed for over ninety events each year, including many of the largest events in the country. Austin personally serves as the ADA Compliance Director for Coachella, EDC, and New York Comic Con among many other events. He is usually accompanied by his loyal service animal Ophelia.

Oren Shani is a co-founder of Accessible Festivals and Ten Fifty Entertainment, and a long time friend of Austin Whitney. With a business degree at California State University, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a passion for activism and social equality, he has helped catapult Accessible Festivals and Ten Fifty Entertainment into a leader in providing exceptional accessibility services for live events, providing education and knowledge to the public on the true nature of disability, and bringing together like-minded organizations, causes and individuals to create a global impact.