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Beth Comstock, former vice chair of GE, to take the stage at ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference

May 8, 2018
Beth Comstock

USDA Under Secretary Bill Northey and nationally recognized neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi join ONE18’s all-star list of speakers

Register at for the May 20–22 conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA


[LEXINGTON, Ky.] – Former vice chair of General Electric Beth Comstock, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Bill Northey and groundbreaking neurologist Dr. Majid Fotuhi have been added to ONE: The Alltech Ideas Conference (ONE18)’s high-impact mainstage lineup of speakers. Four thousand attendees from more than 70 countries are expected to attend this year’s 34th annual conference in Lexington, Kentucky, USA, from May 20–22.

Twice named one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes, Comstock was the first woman to serve as a vice chair at GE. Over nearly two decades, she led efforts to accelerate new growth and innovation, helping to transform a process-heavy, top-down culture to a faster, agile and inventive one.

Comstock initiated GE’s digital and clean energy transformations, developed new businesses, increased GE’s brand value and sales, and partnered to enhance its inventive culture. She led the creation of Current, an intelligent environments business, GE Ventures Licensing, FastWorks, ecomagination and healthymagination, and oversaw GE Lighting. She was responsible for the sales, marketing and communications functions and served as the company’s first chief marketing officer in 20 years.

As president of integrated media at NBCUniversal, Comstock oversaw ad revenue and the company’s digital efforts, including early development of She held a succession of marketing and communications roles at GE, NBC, CBS and Turner Broadcasting/CNN.

Having recently stepped down from her position as vice chair of General Electric (GE), she is now exploring a path as an author, instigator and connector.

Her first book, "Imagine It Forward," offering lessons from a life of continual transformation, will be published Sept. 2018. She is currently a director at Nike and a trustee of the National Geographic Society.

Comstock replaces Jack Welch, who has cancelled his engagements due to an injury.

As under secretary of the USDA, Northey leads the Farm Production and Conservation Mission Area, which includes oversight of the National Resources Conservation Service, the Risk Management Agency and the Farm Service Agency. Northey was formerly the Iowa secretary of agriculture from 2006 to 2018.

A fourth-generation farmer, Northey has also served as president and chairman of the National Corn Growers Association and president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

A Harvard- and Johns Hopkins-trained neurologist and neuroscientist, Fotuhi is widely regarded as an authority in the field of memory, Alzheimer’s disease, concussion, ADHD and increasing brain vitality in late life. He has had numerous publications in major peer-reviewed journals, which have been cited by thousands of scientists around the world. National media such as The Washington Post, CNN, ABC and the "Today" show have interviewed him about his research and innovative “Brain Fitness Program.” Fotuhi is also the author of three books, including the recently released "Boost Your Brain: The New Art and Science Behind Enhanced Brain Performance."

Fotuhi has 25 years of teaching, clinical work and neuroscience research experience at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University. He is currently the medical director of NeuroGrow Brain Fitness Center, an affiliate staff member at Johns Hopkins Medicine and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School, where he is one of the most popular

instructors due in part to the two 5-foot-tall brain models he designed for his students in neuroanatomy classes.

Also featured on ONE18’s mainstage will be Dr. Robert Wolcott and Dr. Rodolphe Barrangou.

Wolcott is the author of "Grow from Within: Mastering Corporate Entrepreneurship and Innovation" and is a clinical professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He won Teacher of the Year from Kellogg’s EMBA program in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017. He is also a managing partner with Clareo, a foresight and growth strategy consultancy serving global corporations.

Wolcott is a regular contributor to Forbes on the impact of technology on business, society and humanity. His work appears in MIT Sloan Management Review, strategy+business, the Harvard Business Review (online), The Wall Street Journal, Advertising Age, Businessweek, the Financial Times (European Edition), The New York Times and numerous overseas publications. He is an angel investor, and he currently serves on advisory boards for ZF, a $40 billion German automotive supplier, and H-Farm, the leading technology ecosystem in Italy.

Barrangou is the T. R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Scholar in Probiotics Research in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University, where his work focuses on the evolution and function of CRISPR-Cas systems and their applications in food manufacturing.

Recently, he received the 2016 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, the 2016 Canada Gairdner International Award, the 2017 NAS Award in Molecular Biology and the 2018 NAS Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. He is also the former chairman of the board of directors of Caribou Biosciences, a co-founder and member of the scientific advisory board of Intellia Therapeutics, and a co-founder and chairman of the scientific advisory board of Locus Biosciences.

The transformative power of ideas is the underlying focus of over 100 topics slated for discussion at ONE18. Twelve sessions, covering all major agriculture sectors, as well as business, health and wellness, and brewing and distilling will set the stage for an epic exchange of ideas between thought leaders and knowledge seekers.


ONE18 extends beyond an all-star speaker lineup and thought-provoking content to an experience that engages all the senses; the entertainment, including the world’s largest harp, will leave attendees breathless. They will also tour the Bluegrass, enjoy first-class cuisine in the city that Zagat named one of the “30 Most Exciting Food Cities in America in 2017” and dance the night away at the Alltech Arena at the world-famous Kentucky Horse Park.

Learn more and register at Join the conversation with #ONE18 on Twitter, and follow the ONE18 Facebook event page for updates. ONE18 is approved for 16 CEUs by the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists, and ONE18 is registered with the Kentucky Department of Education as a program available for professional development credit hours.