Associate Editor and Columnist, RealClearPolitics
A.B. Stoddard is an associate editor and columnist with political news site and polling data aggregator RealClearPolitics, and a former associate editor and columnist for The Hillnewspaper. Her column with The Hill won first place Dateline Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Washington, D.C. chapter in 2010 and 2011. She appears regularly on Fox’s Special Report with Bret Baier, as well as other shows on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and CNN for her expertise as a political commentator.
Nonpartisan, Stoddard addresses elections and the political landscape of the day. Frequently meeting with sources and politicians of all stripes, Stoddard has her finger on the pulse of Washington, DC as she offers detailed and smart political and electoral analyses. Her talks cover the five biggest stories in the news, the most up-to-date happenings between Congress and the White House, ongoing budget battles and the electoral prospects for the two parties.
Journalism Journey. Stoddard had always wanted to be a reporter, and she caught the political bug watching Justice Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination hearings. She began her journalism career as a reporter for the Potomac News in northern Virginia, and she has covered the U.S. Congress since 1994 as a reporter at The Hill and a Senate producer for ABC News. She returned to The Hill as a commentator and columnist in 2006.
Chairman’s Dinner Speaker
Former Director of Communications Strategy at Harley-Davidson Motor Company
One of the most in-demand speakers and communications consultants in America, Ken Schmidt has lived a life that most can only dream about. He has toured the world on two wheels, met with presidents and royalty, partied with movie and music legends, and appeared numerous times on network news. As the former director of communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, he played an active role in one of the most celebrated turnarounds in corporate history – and got paid to ride motorcycles. He is widely known as one of the business world’s most outspoken and provocative thought leaders and has partnered with many of the world’s most successful brands. He shares stories and insights on the road to building a fanatically vocal customer base, creating a passionately loyal corporate culture, and developing leaders who inspire and motivate.
Harley-Davidson. The longtime motorcycle enthusiast’s formal association with Harley-Davidson began in 1985. As a specialist in corporate positioning and media relations, Schmidt was asked to work with the then-struggling Harley-Davidson to help restore the company’s image and create demand for its motorcycles. Within a few short years, Harley-Davidson became one of the most visible and frequently reported-on companies in the world, while sales of its motorcycles rocketed upward. Schmidt became director of Harley-Davidson’s corporate and financial communications and served as its primary spokesperson to the media and the financial communities. He appeared numerous times on network news programs and was frequently called upon by business media to share his insights on non-traditional communications, customer attraction, and brand-building.