Keynote speaker Bert Jacobs is co-founder and CEO (Chief Executive Optimist) of Life is Good, which spreads the power of optimism through inspiring art, a passionate community, and groundbreaking nonprofit work.
Bert and his brother John launched their business with $78 in their pockets, selling T-shirts in the streets of Boston. Today, Life is Good is a $100 million positive lifestyle brand sold by over 2,000 retailers across the US and Canada.
Bert worked as a ski instructor and pizza delivery guy in Vail, CO before teaming with his brother John to design and sell T-shirts in college dorms up and down the East Coast. After five years traveling in their van together, the brothers officially launched Life is Good with the mission to spread the power of optimism.
Early on, Bert and John were inspired by stories of people, mainly children, facing great adversity. These stories illustrated that optimism is most powerful in the darkest of times and inspired the creation of a fully integrated business model dedicated to helping kids in need. Life is Good donates at least 10% of its annual net profits to the Life is Good Kids Foundation to positively impact over 120,000 kids daily facing poverty, violence, and illness.
Bert focuses his energy on guiding overall vision and creating the art and message for the brand across categories. He enjoys live music, travel, and surfing. His shoes do not always match.
To inspire others to choose optimism and grow the good in their lives, Bert and John wrote Life is Good: The Book/ How to Live with Purpose and Enjoy the Ride, published by National Geographic in September 2015.
Bert has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities for entrepreneurship, business innovation and philanthropy. He and Life is Good have been featured on CNNMoney, CNBC’s Business Nation, ABC News’ Nightline, NBC’s The Today Show, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine, among others.
Bert and John are the youngest of six siblings from Needham, MA. They credit their mother as the first powerful optimist in their lives, and the inspiration for Life is Good.