Meet our inspiring keynote speakers

Steve Vamos

Chief Executive Officer, Xero

Steve Vamos, Chief Executive Officer of Xero leads the global growth and performance of the business. With more than 30 years experience in global technology and digital media, Steve has worked in leading international businesses, including Apple, IBM and Microsoft. Steve also led the growth of Ninemsn, an online media business, from start-up to industry leader as company’s Chief Executive Officer. Steve holds a degree in Civil Engineering (with Honors) from the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Steve's keynote is at 9:10 AM on Day 1, and again at 4:00 PM on Day 2

Follow Steve on LinkedIn and Twitter

Steve Vamos

Jamie McDonald

Executive General Manager - Product, Xero

Jamie McDonald is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hubdoc, a cloud accounting application that automates the collection of financial documents where he focuses on product. Since its launch in 2014, Hubdoc has helped thousands of accounting and bookkeeping firms save time, scale their practice, and build deeper relationships with the small businesses they serve.

Prior to Hubdoc, Jamie was the co-founder of Sparkroom, a marketing analytics and lead generation platform for higher education. Previous to that, he worked as an internet 1.0 employee at Expedia in Seattle, WA. Jamie graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Economics and Northwestern University's Kellogg School with an MBA.

Jamie's keynote is at 11:35 AM on Day 1

Jamie McDonald

Maysoon Zayid

Actress, Comedian, Writer and Disability Advocate

Maysoon Zayid is an actress, comedian, writer and disability advocate. She is a graduate of, and a Guest Comedian in Residence, at Arizona State University. Maysoon is the co- founder/co-executive producer of the New York Arab American Comedy Festival and The Muslim Funny Fest. She was a full-time On Air Contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann and a columnist for The Daily Beast. She has most recently appeared on Oprah Winfrey Network’s In Deep Shift, 60 Minutes, and ABC News. Maysoon had the number one TED Talk of 2014 and was named 1 of 100 Women of 2015 by BBC. As a professional comedian, Maysoon has performed in top New York clubs and has toured extensively at home and abroad. She was a headliner on the Arabs Gone Wild Comedy Tour and The Muslims Are Coming Tour. Maysoon appeared alongside Adam Sandler in You Don't Mess with the the Zohan and has written for VICE. She walked in New York Fashion Week and is proud to be an ambassador for the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Maysoon is currently developing a comedy series with Hazy Mills Productions called If I Cancan.

Maysoon's keynote is at 3:00 PM on Day 2

Maysoon Zayid

Kelly McGonigal

Health Psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University

Dr. Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist and a lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. As a pioneer in the field of “science-help,” her mission is to translate insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support personal well-being and strengthen communities. Kelly McGonigal is the author of several books, including the international bestseller The Willpower Instinct and her latest book The Upside of Stress. Her 2013 TED talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” is one of the 20 Most Viewed TED talks of all time, with over 17 million views. Through the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism, she co-authored the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training and studies how social connection can promote health, happiness, and resilience. Dr. McGonigal has consulted for a wide range of non-profit organizations and industries to bring evidence-based strategies for well-being into the workplace, healthcare, education, technology, and community outreach. In her free time, she is a passionate advocate for animal rescue and volunteers as an adoption counselor for Best Friends Animal Society.

Kelly's keynote is at 9:30 AM on Day 2

Kelly McGonigal

Shawn Kanungo

Disruptive Strategist

Shawn Kanungo is a strategist who operates at the intersection of creativity, business, and technology. He has been recognized nationally and globally for his work in the innovation space after 12 years of working at Deloitte. Shawn's mandate at the firm was to help corporate executives to better understand and plan for the opportunities and threats associated with disruptive innovation. Now, as General Partner of Queen & Rook Capital, Shawn is focused on applying exponential technologies and new business models to mature businesses. He is a practitioner who has worked hand-to-hand with hundreds of organizations on their journey to digital transformation, and he has adopted the concepts of behavioural economics, user-centered design, crowdsourcing, artificial intelligence, drones, and film to help create world class client experiences. Shawn's work and interviews have been featured in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, CBC and CTV. In 2016, he was recognized as Avenue Magazine's "Top 40 Under 40". He spoke at TEDx in 2017, and was named to Inc's "100 Most Innovative Leadership Speakers" in 2018. His podcast, The Remix with Shawn & Wang, can be currently found on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

Shawn's keynote is at 10:00 AM on Day 1

Shawn Kanungo

Nick Houldsworth

Executive General Manager, Ecosystem

Nick Houldsworth is Executive General Manager, Ecosystem & Xero Learn. A self-described “app-a-holic” and co-host of the Xero Developer Podcast, Nick leads the team responsible for Xero’s Developer API and app marketplace. Before joining Xero, Nick was the first employee and CMO at Vend, a Xero partner, where he helped scale the business, and also led partnerships with companies including Apple, PayPal and Shopify. He holds a bachelor of Science from Auckland University of Technology, has owned several small businesses, and briefly played guitar in Scotland’s 2nd most popular folk band.

Nick's keynote is at 10:05 AM on Day 2

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Keri Gohman

These are our inspirational speakers for Xerocon San Diego 2019

Keep checking back to see new speakers

About Kerry

Kerry helps lead the Partner Consultant team in Canada, ensuring that we provide our Partners with the best Xero experience. Whether that be in providing expert tips and tricks, conversion support, Practice implentation, and all things Xero related. Prior to joining Xero, Kerry was a manger with Deloitte Canada in their Accounting Services Group and helped manage and craft their cloud bookkeeping initiative. With almost 20 years of experience in Public Accounting Kerry has taken those past experiences to better help our Partners on their cloud journey.

Kerry's breakout is at 2:50 PM on Day 1

About David

David is a Xero Ambassador and brings 15 years of experience to the role. He has a passion for working with his small business clients to develop a best-in-class accounting experience. His love for small business owners and technology has come together perfectly in his role as a Xero Ambassador. He has always felt that great advising is a product of collaboration between the business owners, their business information and their advisors. For the past 15 years David has had a passion for working with his small business clients and his team to develop a best in class accounting experience. Having had a passion for technology for the past 20 years his experience with small business owners and cloud based solutions have come together perfectly in his role as a Xero Ambassador. He has always felt that great advising is a product of collaboration between the business owners, their business information, and their advisors."

David's breakout is at 12:35 PM on Day 2

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About Rebecca

Rebecca is the Director of People and Performance for Australia and Asia at Xero. With a background in management consulting, Rebecca has developed a deep interest and passion for everything people and culture related. With great people and teams being so important at Xero, Rebecca loves her role, where she can have a firm focus on enabling people to do the best work of their lives. Rebecca leads a team that develops Xero’s leaders, and grows and supports highly effective teams that collaborate at pace and scale. She strives to push the dial on the people experience that we provide not only our employees, but our partners and small business customers as well.

Rebecca's breakout is at 2:45 PM on Day 1

About Aaron

Aaron is the head of the Security Risk team responsible for ensuring Xero remains secure and compliant and that your data is protected. Prior to joining Xero, Aaron was based in the Silicon Valley looking after fortune 500 companies security programs.

Aaron's breakout is at 11:30 AM on Day 2

About Mary

Mary leads the Financial Partnerships Team in the Americas, working closely with the banks, payments companies, and other fintechs. Her team focuses on improving the Xero experience related to bank feeds, payments, and lending. Prior to joining Xero, Mary worked for over 20 years in banking and fintech, holding leadership roles in finance, strategic partnerships, and risk & compliance.

Mary's breakout is at 4:00 PM on Day 1

About Jamie

Jamie Shulman is the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hubdoc, a cloud accounting application that automates the collection of financial documents. Since its launch in 2014, Hubdoc has helped thousands of accounting and bookkeeping firms save time, scale their practice, and build deeper relationships with the small businesses they serve. Prior to Hubdoc, Jamie was the co-founder of Sparkroom, a marketing analytics and lead generation platform for higher education. Previous to that, he was a practicing attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto and Torys LLP in Toronto. Jamie graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in International Relations and also holds JD & MBA degrees from the University of Toronto.

Jamie's breakout is at 4:00 PM on Day 1

About Nigel

As an entertainer, Nigel Mead’s list of credits are significant, with performances for everyone from Steven Spielberg, Paul McCartney, Tom Hanks and Robert DeNiro to over 40 Kings & Queens around the world, including Queen Elizabeth II. He’s appeared on stages across the globe as well as having over 100 television appearances to his name, with shows for Channel 4, the BBC and ITV all on his CV. As a writer and producer, Nigel co-created three series of ITV's award winning magic show TRICKED (both in the UK and Canada), as well as producing content for The Royal Variety Performance, Britain’s Got Talent, and Mad Magicians in the USA. Nigel is also a member of the Inner Magic Circle – one of only 250 magicians worldwide to have attained that honour – working regularly with Google, YouTube and American Express to create surprising and memorable live experiences at their events year after year.

About Jessica

Jessie has been with Xero for over a year and based in Denver. She and her team focus on making sure partners have a beautiful and great experience with transitioning to Xero, specifically around our HQ products. If you ever wanted to know more about XPM and how it can change your business, just ask her!

Jessica's breakout is at 12:35 PM on Day 2

About Craig

Craig is a co-founder of Xero. As the founding Chief Technology Officer, Craig was responsible for translating the company’s vision into technical reality. Craig was recognized in 2007 as New Zealand’s Hi-Tech Young Achiever of the Year, before moving to San Francisco where he established the company’s first US office in 2011. He is now based in New York as part of the Business Platform team, working on the next generation of invoicing and billing workflows.

Craig's breakout is at 4:00 PM on Day 1

About Kaye

Kaye Harding is responsible for attracting and growing Xero integrated app partners in her role as GM Partner Experience. Before joining Xero she held a number of strategic and commercial roles in telecommunications, utilities and IT companies in NZ and the UK but has since learned to love a casual corporate dress code. Kaye’s passionate about delivery excellence and building high performing teams, with a strong focus on coaching others. She holds an MBA from the University of Auckland.

Kaye's breakout is at 11:30 AM on Day 2

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About Amanda

Amanda is a Xero expert with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting software industry. Skilled in Xero integrations, conversions, bookkeeping, royalties and contracts, and operations.

Amanda is presenting Client Conversion at Day Xero.

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About Matt

Matt is the CEO at Bizink and helps busy accountants and bookkeepers grow their firms by marketing smarter. They work with some of the leading Xero Partners globally, providing them with websites, content and online marketing tools.

Matt is presenting Marketing Your Practice at Day Xero and is also running a breakout at 12:35 PM on Day 2

About Liz

Liz is a CPA by day and an adventurer by night. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree with majors in Accounting and Finance (in 3 years because, why not). Liz also went to Arizona State University for a Master’s degree in Information Management to satisfy her continued curiosity of technology and innovation. Throughout her career she has worked for national firms, a local firm and now focuses on running High Rock Accounting as Founder and CEO. Liz sits on a bunch of boards, speaks locally and nationally frequently, and is always active, especially in the technology startup community in Phoenix. When not in Phoenix, you can find Liz traveling the world and enjoying different cultures. She spends her free time with her husband and young son finding all the adventures and visiting anywhere she has never been before.

Liz is presenting Owning Automation at Day Xero

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About Tate

Tate has always been obsessed with problem-solving. It led him to major in mathematics at the University of Georgia, which led him to Polay+Clark. Whether it's helping design a proprietary royalty database, integrating a cloud-based merchandise fulfillment system for a Grammy-Winner, or running a Net Present Value calculation on a contract proposal for a NBA All-Star, he's yet to come across a problem he can't solve. He brings this love of efficiency to the cloud accounting landscape via custom-curated ecosystem's for his clients. This results in additional free time for his passion in music and quality time with his wife and two young daughters.

Tate is presenting Key Performance Indicators at Day Xero

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About Shelly

Shelly Lingor is a Partner at GunnChamberlain, P.L., a Jacksonville, FL-based boutique accounting firm that prides itself on using technology and community relationships to help clients accomplish their goals and grow their businesses. With 25 years of experience in the accounting industry and a long-standing passion for the growing field of cloud accounting technology. As the Director of the firms GCT Technology & Accounting division that offers virtual accounting services are the clear path to growth, not just for the firm, but also for its clients. Bringing their business books online and collaborating with an accountant in real time, clients are able to gain critical business insights, make smart decisions on the fly, and find sustainable ways to grow their businesses—all without losing the human touch that has been the hallmark of GunnChamberlain’s client service. She also serves as Treasurer on the board for Women’s Business Owners of Northeast Florida, am a mother of two teenage sons, and love sport.

Shelly is presenting Succession Planning at Day Xero

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About Joshua

Joshua Lance is the founder and Managing Director of Lance CPA Group, a virtual CPA firm that focuses on providing accounting and consulting services to craft breweries and digital agencies. A licensed Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Global Management Accountant, Josh is also a family man who calls Chicago home. Before venturing on his own with a mission to help small businesses, Josh spent his early career at Crowe LLP before working as a Controller at an ultra high net worth family office. Josh is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL teaching accounting in the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and McCormick School of Engineering. He enjoys making wine and beer at home, cooking, traveling, and cheering on his favorite football and soccer teams. Josh was honored by being selected to the 2017 class of the AICPA Leadership Academy and was named as one of the 40 under 40 in 2017 and 2018 by CPA Practice Advisor. Josh was recently appointed to the Illinois CPA Society Board of Directors.

Joshua is presenting Key Performance Indicators at Day Xero

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About Jeff

Jeff Phillips is CEO of Accountingfly, the career center to the Accounting profession. Previously, Jeff was with Monster.com, where he advised Fortune 500 clients such as H&R Block, Walmart, and Exxon on their recruitment strategy. Accountingfly is changing the way accounting firms hire talent. In 2014 and 2015, Jeff was named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Accounting Today for his team's work in helping firms hire better accountants for less cost.

Jeff is presenting Engaging and Retaining Talent at Day Xero

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About Matthew

Matthew May is the Founder and head of Sales and Marketing of Acuity, a virtual outsourced cloud accounting department. Acuity assists miners, hedge funds, and utility token issuers in developing their blockchain accounting infrastructure. Matthew led the development of the cryptocurrency practice at Acuity to helps retrofit cryptocurrency issues into the rules and systems of the fiat world.

Matthew's breakout is at 2:50 PM on Day 1

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About Paul

Paul Churchman is a Chartered Accountant from New Zealand. He started his career with Curtis McLean while there the firm decided to migrate all 3,000 of their clients to the Xero platform. He then completed his qualification at Deloitte where he led their cloud Xero team. He then transitioned to Xero following a passion for helping others and a love of technology. He has helped many firms transition to the cloud and gets the best out of the teams he works with. Paul is currently the National Account Manager for Xero Canada.

Paul is presenting Change Management: Aligning your staff at Day Xero

About Allison

Fifty percent super accountant, 50% design maven, Allison is the woman behind the Hawkins & Co brand and the talent that make up this firm’s winning profile. With solid experience at PWC, Prudential Life and Pensions UK, Ernst and Young, (UK and Toronto) and Direct Energy, she has built business models to help clients obtain financing, as well as reviewed business processes across a wide range of companies. Since 2007, she has focused on start-ups and owner managed businesses across Canada, helping them develop and finance their business plans, and set up their accounting and POS systems.

Allison is presenting Accelerate at Day Xero

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About Jay

Jay Kimelman, CPA, CITP is founder and Chief Technologist of the digital CPA, a technology focused accounting firm. A CPA Since 1996, Jay mixes his love for technology with his accounting background to develop cloud based solutions for SMBs. Jay has served in the role of CFO, CIO and business owner. Jay’s passion is helping other bookkeepers, accountants and CPA firms utilize technology to support themselves and their clients do beautiful business. In 2016, Jay was awarded the Xero MVP award and now serves as a Xero Ambassador.

Jay is presenting Key Performance Indicators at Day Xero

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About Jeff

Jeff leads the Americas (US and Canada) product strategy, and his team defines and prioritizes new feature enhancements for Xero and Xero partner products. Jeff has worked over 25 years in the banking and FinTech sector. Previously he designed D&B’s online credit automation software, launched a start-up lending business at Intuit QuickBooks, and most recently built a POS lending platform for CIT Bank to support small businesses buying Apple products.  Jeff’s passion is making FinTech software that is easy and fun to use.

About Adrian

Adrian G. Simmons, CPA is on a mission to help create strong entrepreneurs for what truly matters. As Chief Creative Designer at his firm Elements CPA, he works with his team and customers to step through the transformations that will enable stronger, more focused businesses. In addition to activities at his firm, he's also a Practicing Fellow at the Verasage Institute (the revolutionary think tank for professional knowledge firms), and an avid imaginer of how to make business more imperfectly human. Some of the topics he's written and spoken about include: business model design, value pricing, firm process models & tools, innovation methods, succession planning, change management, cloud software, firm marketing, and the future of the accounting profession. He enjoys tech, uses Field Notes (canvas - plain), prefers dark over milk chocolate, and is happy to recently achieve a long-time goal of completing a sprint triathlon (and enjoying the approach to the next)

Adrian is presenting Succession Planning at Day Xero

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About Will

Will is an open and transparent accounting leader with experience in high growth ventures across Australia and North America. Will’s passion for entrepreneurial success comes from seeing the impact business owners can have on their community.
Always working towards having a positive impact on the world, Will believes in bringing diversity of thought to the decision-making process for the purpose of creating more inclusive and meaningful outcomes.
Will is currently the Director for Xero in Canada, and a sitting member on the Technology Advisory Council at CPA Canada.

Will's breakout is at 2:50 PM on Day 1

About Daniel

Daniel helps lead the Partner Consultant team in the United States, ensuring to provide our Xero Partners with the best Xero experience. Prior to joining Xero, Daniel worked in public accounting as a CPA and has taken those past experiences to better help our Partners on their cloud journey.

Daniel's is presenting Client Conversions at Day Xero

About Ashley

Ashley developed his accounting expertise in the construction industry. Then in 2012, he joined Xero in the Customer Experience team. Today, he combines his accounting and AAT lecturing experience within the Xero Education team – and delivers best-in-class educational content to a wide range of Xero customers. He has a passion for technology and loves helping users make the most of their Xero experience.

About Myles

Myles is an experienced Sales Consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Skilled inFinancial Accounting, Analytical Skills, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Accounting Operations. He has a passion for client relationships and work closely with clients to help them execute an online growth strategy for their business.

Myles' breakout is at 2:50 PM on Day 1, and 12:35 PM on Day 2

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