Keynote Speakers

2021 Keynote Speaker


Opening Speaker



Amy Thelen brings a unique perspective to Bitwise. She was born and raised in Bakersfield, then spent a decade living in San Diego, Utah, and Austin gaining key experience in software sales, before moving back home to put down roots and help her hometown thrive. Today she is in charge of shaping the Bitwise ecosystem to fit Bakersfield’s personality. She oversees the Bitwise Bakersfield campus, managing multiple projects while ensuring we’re creating a space that is diverse, inclusive, and progressive. Amy helps cultivate relationships between Bitwise and the people of Kern County. This includes nonprofits, educational institutions, residents, private partnerships and all other public entities. She helps ensure all lines of business are working together to best benefit the company and the community.

In addition to her professional bonafides, Amy is known for making killer salsas and cooking for her family and friends as often as possible. Until recently, you could find Amy and her wife Michelle on the golf course a few days a week but since the arrival of their girl and boy twins, their time for that activity has significantly decreased.

Her confession: “My dream job would be as the starting forward for the Women’s National Soccer team,” but since that train has likely passed, the next best thing would be to create possibilities for people here at home in an industry that is shaping the future.” Amy holds a Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University and has won top salesperson on numerous occasions. Her work in both the public and private sector has led to a vision for more collaboration between the two industries. By integrating these the two sectors more closely, she believes it will have an impact on members of the community for generations to come.


We are thrilled to announce that Jillian Michaels, foremost fitness expert in the world and a renowned life coach, will be our BWBC2021 Luncheon Keynote Speaker.

Committed to helping people to be the best versions of themselves and to live their happiest and healthiest lives, Michaels has dominated the health and wellness space with hit televisions shows, extensively successful fitness DVDs, the foremost exercise streaming platform, 8 New York Times best-selling books, an award-winning podcast, live speaking engagements, her App, My Fitness, that provides personal training and nutrition plans, popular social media channels and her personal website Through her platforms, she has built an international community of followers 100 million + strong.

In 2008, Jillian launched her company, Empowered Media, LLC, with her business partner Giancarlo Chersich. Over the past decade, Empowered Media has become a monumental wellness empire dedicated to total-life solutions comprising all aspects of living well, including nutrition, fitness, self-help and overall lifestyle. The company has invested in like-minded companies including Thrive Market, Lucky Jack Coffee, AQUAHydrate, and Alaya Naturals.

Jillian’s overwhelming success and unique connection with her audience was born from her own personal journey toward health and happiness. Having been an overweight child, Jillian’s passion for fitness stems from its transformative powers. She trained for 17 years in the martial arts practice of Muay Thai and Akauri-Do, in which she holds a black belt, and four personal training certificates from the leading certification programs in the United States and Canada: the National Exercise Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), CanFitPro, and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is certified in Kettlebell Concepts and as a nutrition and wellness consultant with the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA). Jillian has also created JILLIAN MICHAELS BODYSHRED™, a continuing education program with AFAA for trainers and an intense group fitness class that is currently taught in numerous gyms across the United States and Canada.

Jillian’s current projects include the launch of her new clothing line and fitness equipment line at retailers nationwide, a signature wellness retreat experience to be announced in Fall 2019, and she is currently working on her next book set to release January 2021.

Furthering her commitment to help as many people as possible, Michaels is an avid activist who works closely with a variety of charities including the UNHCR and has taken multiple missions on behalf of this organization to help raise awareness and funds for refugees around the globe. She’s also is involved in a variety of charities including the NFL’s Play 60, Stand Up to Cancer, Hope for Haiti, and Dress for Success. Michaels also devotes time to animal welfare causes, and is a PETA ambassador.

Closing Speaker



  • 3-time wrestling All-American and the 2011 NCAA Division I National Champion

  • Two Time ESPY Award Recipient, Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and Best Male Athlete with a Disability

  • Nationally renowned motivational speaker to Fortune 500 companies

  • 2012 Inductee, National Wrestling Hall of Fame

  • ESPN College Wrestling Expert and Analyst

  • Pac 12 Network Wrestling analyst

  • 2013-16 member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

  • Member of the Presidential Delegation to the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games

  • Featured in a 2014 prime time TV special on TBS in Japan and viewed in 15.5M homes

  • Published Author, Unstoppable

  • Nike Athlete

  • Two-time guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno

  • 2015 National Wrestling Media Association’s Broadcaster of the Year award

  • 2017 Inductee, Arizona Sports Hall of Fame

  • 2018, Guinness World Record Title Holder for pull-ups in one minute with 62

  • The movie script on his life is completed and filming is scheduled for Q1, 2020