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Keynote Presentation 1

Turning Disadvantages into Advantages: The Power of Challenging Ourselves and Ensuring Success 

Presented by:

 Dr. Hoby Wedler

Chemist, Educator, 
Sensory Expert, &

Session Description:

In this presentation, Dr. Hoby Wedler, who has been completely blind since birth, will give an account of his professional journey including challenges he's had to face and how he has overcome them. We will touch on chemistry, entrepreneurship, and the power of a positive and abundant mindset. Hoby will share some thoughts about the power of mentorship and developing positive, lasting professional relationships. Finally, Hoby will share his five ways to overcome any challenge and ensure success. This presentation is intended to be both entertaining and educational and should provide conference attendees with tools to overcome challenges both for themselves and their students and mentees.

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About Dr. Wedler

Hoby Wedler smiling happily in front of a backdrop of summer grass and flowers.

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Presentation Materials

Dr. Hoby Wedler is an insightful, disarming, and passionate thinker who loves to bring people together to help them see new possibilities. With the heart of a teacher, Hoby helps turn dreams into realities. Hoby has been completely blind since birth. He is a chemist, an entrepreneur, and a sensory expert, driven by his passion for innovative, creative, and insightful thinking. Hoby is remarkably attuned to his surroundings and has frequently chosen to walk the unbeaten paths in life over known territories.  
In 2016, Hoby earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from UC Davis. In 2011, Hoby founded a non-profit organization to lead annual chemistry camps for blind and visually impaired students throughout North America. In the same year, he began opening doors to the world of wine aromas by developing Tasting in the Dark, a truly blindfolded wine experience, in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola. He has since expanded the program to a global market in a variety of industries and special projects. Hoby uses his highly-trained palate and acute sensory insight of his surroundings in his work as a sensory expert and product development consultant. Over the years, Hoby has become a motivational speaker, a mentor, and an educator committed to making the world more inclusive and accessible for all. Hoby also co-founded a gourmet seasonings company, Hoby’s Essentials, and is co-founder of Senspoint, a Marketing firm that works with anyone committed to creating a positive impact. 
In Hoby’s work, you will find a unique trilogy between sensory awareness, scientific knowledge, and a love for sharing his insights. Numerous people and organizations have recognized Hoby’s work over the years. To name a few, President Barack Obama recognized Hoby by naming him a Champion of Change for enhancing employment and education opportunities for people with disabilities. Also, Forbes Media named Hoby as a leader in food and drink in their 30 under 30 annual publication. In 2021, Hoby was named a 40 under 40 Tastemaker by The Wine Enthusiast. Hoby is dedicated to impacting everyone he works with by unlocking doors, overcoming challenges, increasing awareness, and expanding their horizons.

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