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Experts in three fields to address summit

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Three speakers known in the fields of education, commerce and health care will address people attending the Aug. 28-30 business summit and annual meeting of the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce.

Elliot Washor, Ed.D., is the co-founder and co-director of Big Picture Learning. He is also the co-founder of The Met Center in Providence, RI.

Big Picture Learning describes itself as a nonprofit organization dedicated to a fundamental redesign of education. Its vision is "to catalyze vital changes in K-adult education by generating and sustaining innovative, personalized learning environments that work in tandem with the real world of their greater community," according to its website.

His website's biography states that Elliot has been involved in school reform for more than 30 years as a teacher, principal, administrator, video producer and writer. He has taught and is interested in all levels of school from kindergarten through college, in urban and rural settings, across all disciplines.

"Elliot is deeply committed to imagining Big Picture Learning as a ‘do-think-do' organization, and persistently pushes the boundaries of its design in order to continually innovate practice and influence in the world of education," the website states.

Jon Huntsman Jr. is a former ambassador to China and Singapore and a former governor of Utah. He has run for president in Republican primaries. Currently he is chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Huntsman's political career began in 1987 when he was a White House staff assistant in the Ronald Reagan administration. President George H.W. Bush appointed him deputy assistant secretary for trade development and commerce in East Asian and Pacific affairs. He was appointed U.S. ambassador to Singapore in 1992.

Huntsman was elected governor of Utah in 2004. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed him ambassador to China.

Late last year, Huntsman became co-chairman of No Labels, a nonprofit that works across party lines to reduce gridlock and create policy solutions.

Huntsman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

William Winkenwerder Jr., M.D., is chief executive officer and president of Highmark, a national diversified health and wellness company based in Pittsburgh, serving 34 million Americans.

According to the Highmark website, Winkenwerder is a prominent expert on national health policy and the economics of health care.

From 2001 to 2007, he was the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs with responsibility for a $40 billion annual budget, 132,000 personnel and 9.2 million beneficiaries worldwide. Before that he served in senior leadership positions at Blue Cross of Massachusetts, Prudential Healthcare and Emory University. He also practiced primary care internal medicine.

Before joining Highmark, Winkenwerder served as chairman and chief executive officer of The Winkenwerder Company, a national health care consulting firm based in Alexandria, Va.

Winkenwerder has been an advocate for preventive health care, evidenced-based medicine and electronic health records, and he has worked with many major employers on their health cost issues. He also brought innovations and improved business practices to government during his tenure at the Department of Defense. Winkenwerder advocates for engaging individuals and consumers in their health care and for improving public health. He has been an adviser to two presidential candidates and he has been a regular contributor to various news and media outlets.

Winkenwerder is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine. He received his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.