Chantal Petitclerc speaker

Chantal Petitclerc

Canadian Paralympic champion and inspirational speaker.

 About

At the age of 13, Chantal Petitclerc lost the use of her legs following an accident. Convincing her to take up swimming in order to develop her strength and stamina, her high school physical education teacher, Gaston Jacques, would have a decisive impact on her life. For Chantal, that was her first contact with sport and training. Four years later, she would discover wheelchair athletics, paving the way for a long and very successful career which would take her to the Barcelona Games in 1992, and ultimately, to the Beijing Games in 2008.

Chantal Petitclerc returned from the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games with 5 gold medals, 2 new world records and 1 new Paralympic record, making her the most celebrated track athlete in history as well as the only Canadian athlete to have won gold medals at the Olympics, Paralympics and Commonwealth Games.

Her career in numbers:

  • Five Paralympic Games (Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing)
  • 21 Paralympic medals (including 14 gold medals)
  • 3 world records (200m, 400m and 800m)
  • Paralympic records (200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m)
  • 1 Olympic gold medal in the 800m (demonstration sport)

Chantal has received several recognitions for her sporting career, including being appointed Chevalier de l'Ordre du Quebec (2005), being named Personality of the Year by La Presse newspaper (2004) and receiving the Laureus international award (2005). Other recognition:

  • Companion of the Order of Canada
  • Lou Marsh Trophy as Canadian athlete of the year
  • Star on Canada's Walk of Fame
  • International Paralympic Committee Female athlete of the year
  • La Presse Sports personality of the year
  • Honorary Doctorate, University of Ottawa
  • 2010 United States Sports Academy's (USSA) Juan Antonio Samaranch IOC Disabled Athlete Award.

While the Beijing Games would be the last time she would be participating in track competitions, Chantal Petitclerc nevertheless continues to train as she intends to take part in road marathons over the next few years. In 2012, she tried for the first time what could be a new career path as coach and mentor of the UK track and field team at the London Paralympic Games. After her return to Canada, she was named Chef de Mission for the Glascow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Chantal Petitclerc is a highly sought after speaker, and shares her story with dozens of groups each year, both throughout Canada and abroad. She participates in projects by various Paralympic athletics and sports organizations, in addition to working as a spokesperson for Défi Sportif in Montréal and as an ambassador for the international Right to Play organization.

Jon Petz speaker

Jon Petz

Speaker on Personal performance, Author & Performer

 About

Jon Petz is the founder of Bore No More, an idea lab for increasing personal and employee engagement. As the author of several books, including the top-selling title, Boring Meetings Suck, you can be assured that his programs are uniquely different, which audiences love because they’re interactive, energetic and entertaining.

For over fifteen years, Jon has been delivering fascinating, fast-paced and funny presentations around the world that produce results. Drawing on his diverse experience as a top corporate executive, social experimenter, and professional comedy magician. His pertinent content is delivered masterfully with the engagement that is uniquely and unequivocally Jon Petz.

The USA Today, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, ABC News, Success Magazine and many other media outlets have covered the success of Jon Petz as an author, thought leader and engagement expert. American Business Journals named him a top 40 business professionals under the age of 40. He’s appeared on NBC, CBS, FOX, Food Network and has opened for groups from the American Idol Tour to Rascal Flatts.

Jeffrey Pfeffer speaker

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Management and leadership expert. Stanford University Graduate and Professor of Organizational Behavior.

 About

Jeffrey Pfeffer is the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he has taught since 1979.  He is the author or co-author of 14 books on topics including power in organizations, managing people, evidence-based management and The Knowing-Doing Gap.  His latest book, Leadership B.S.:  Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, was published in September, 2015.  Author of more than 150 articles and book chapters, Pfeffer has won numerous awards for his scholarly research, including an Honorary Doctorate from Tilburg University in The Netherlands.

Jeffrey Pfeffer has taught seminars in 39 countries and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Business School, London Business School, Singapore Management University, and IESE in Barcelona.  Prior to joining Stanford, he was on the faculty at the business schools at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois.  Jeffrey Pfeffer has served on the board of directors of several human capital software companies as well as other public and private company and non-profit boards.

Robert Piché speaker

Robert Piché

Inspiring Captain who landed Air Transat Flight 236 over the Azores with no fuel.

 About

Those who knew Captain Robert Piché instantly reacted the same way when they heard radio and TV reports that the pilot of an Air Transat Airbus A330 had just made an emergency landing in the Azores after running out of fuel - and that all 291 passengers and 13 crew members were safe and sound.

Captain Robert Piché is no stranger to turbulence and he is the first to wonder if the ups and downs of his life were a necessary prelude to the supreme test he would face on August 24, 2001. As a keynote speaker his story of adventure inspires and motivates audiences everywhere. He presents in both English and French.

The tale begins in Quebec on the snow-covered runways of the Gaspé, James Bay and the lower North Shore, and weaves its way to Vietnam and the stormy skies over Ho Chi Minh City, back to the American South and a Georgia prison, then into the pulsating night jungle of Montreal, and on the roads of Iqaluit. Until that unforgettable moment when Captain Piché finds himself at the controls of an aircraft whose engines have run out of fuel 39,000 feet up at night in the mid-Atlantic. A moment that will leave you breathless and help you understand the real meaning of courage under pressure and Leadership when it counts.

In August 2002, Captain Piché and First Officer De Jager received the Superior Airmanship Award from the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) in Washington. The Air Line Pilots Association is composed of 66,000 members in North America and 300,000 members in the world. This award acknowledged Piché and De Jagers extraordinary piloting abilities as well as the professionalism they demonstrated in extreme adversity. That November of same year Captain Piché was honored by Quebec Premier Bernard Landry at the National Assembly. He also published his biography, Robert Piché: Hands on Destiny with journalist Pierre Cayouette.

Captain Piché also received The Trans-Canada (or "McKee") Trophy, the oldest aviation award in Canada, by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute in April 2003. The Trophy is awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of air operations.

Joseph Pine speaker

Joseph Pine

Acclaimed author, management speaker and advisor to Fortune 500 companies.

 About

B. Joseph Pine II is an internationally acclaimed author, speaker, and management advisor to Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurial start-ups alike. He is cofounder of Strategic Horizons LLP, a thinking studio dedicated to helping businesses conceive and design new ways of adding value to their economic offerings.

In 1999 Mr. Pine and his partner James H. Gilmore wrote the best-selling book The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage, which demonstrates how goods and services are no longer enough; what companies must offer today are experiences - memorable events that engage each customer in an inherently personal way.

In the summer of 2011 Mr. Pine released Infinite Possibility: Creating Customer Value on the Digital Frontier, which showcases how to use digital technology to stage experiences that fuse the real and the virtual. At its core is a new framework called the Multiverse that builds on the fundamental nature of the created universe - time, space, and matter - by showing how digital technology flips each of these dimensions on their head to create new worlds, first in our imagination and then in our experience.

In 2007 Mr. Pine also wrote with Mr. Gilmore Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want, which recognizes that in a world of increasingly paid-for experiences, people no longer accept the fake from the phony, but want the real from the genuine. This book was named one of the top ten business books of the year by Amazon.com and featured in a cover story in TIME Magazine on 10 Ideas that are changing the world.

His first book was the award-winning Mass Customization: The New Frontier in Business Competition, which details the shift companies are making from mass producing standardized offerings to mass customizing goods and services that efficiently fulfill the wants and needs of individual customers. The Financial Times chose it as one the seven best business books of 1993. He and his partner followed this up in 2000 by editing a collection of Harvard Business Review articles entitled Markets of One: Creating Customer-Unique Value through Mass Customization.

Mr. Pine has also written numerous articles for the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Worldlink, CIO, Strategy & Leadership, and the IBM Systems Journal, among many others. Prior to beginning his writing and speaking activities, Mr. Pine held a number of technical and managerial positions with IBM. He is frequently quoted in such places as Forbes, The New York Times, Wired, USA TODAY, Investor's Business Daily, ABC News, Good Morning America, Fortune, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and Industry Week.

In his speaking and teaching activities, Mr. Pine has addressed both the World Economic Forum and TED and is a Visiting Scholar with the MIT Design Lab. He has also taught at Penn State, Duke Corporate Education, the University of Minnesota, UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management, and the Harvard Design School. He serves on the editorial boards of Strategy & Leadership and Strategic Direction, is honorary editor of The International Journal of Mass Customization, and is a Senior Fellow with both the Design Futures Council and the European Centre for the Experience Economy, which he co-founded.

Joe Piscatella speaker

Joe Piscatella

Inspirational health and wellness speaker.

 About

Joe Piscatella is one of the world's most respected experts on how to live a healthy lifestyle in the real world. He knows the science of balanced living, but uniquely understands the practical application of such science from his own experience.

Picture this: you are 32 years old with a young family and a successful career. One day while playing tennis, you feel some pressure in your chest. Two days later you are having cardiac bypass surgery for aggressive coronary disease.

That's what happened to Joe. The prognosis was not good. One doctor even predicted that he would not live to age 40. But Joe didn't accept that opinion. His philosophy is You can't change the cards you were dealt, but you can change the way you play them. He concentrated on eating healthier, managing stress, exercising effectively and keeping a positive attitude. And it's worked. Joe recently celebrated the 36th anniversary of that surgery, making him one of the longest-lived survivors of cardiac bypass in the world. He is living proof of the effectiveness of healthy habits.

A high-energyspeaker, Joe is a man with a visionary message and the extraordinary skill to tell it. He uses the art of storytelling, contagious humor and decades of experience to deliver a powerful, practical message that inspires audiences to live healthier lives. Over 2 million people have attended Joe's powerful keynote speeches and breakout sessions steeped in humor, insight and practical how to tools. With his energy, sense of humor and decades of experience, Joe captivates and motivates audiences, inspiring them to take steps toward healthier living. The effectiveness and practicality of Joe's healthy-living advice is recognized nationally. He is a frequent guest on The Today Show, CNN, Good Morning America and Fox News, and is a guest expert on WebMD.

He has hosted three PBS television specials on lifestyle and health, and is in pre-production for a program on the health of children. He has served as the only non-medical member of the National Institutes of Health Expert Panel on Cardiac Rehabilitation, and is member of the Legislative Task Force on Youth Health, charged with improving fitness in children in Washington State.

Joe's work includes Don't Eat Your Heart Out and 12 other best-selling books. His most recent are Positive Mind, Healthy Heart, a book to motivate and inspire health lifestyle habits, The Healthy Heart Cookbook, straight information on healthy diet and Prevent, Halt & Reverse Heart Disease, a cutting-edge book on stress, diet and exercise.

Joe is the Founder and President of the Institute for Fitness & Health. His community and corporate wellness program - 6 Weeks to a Healthier You - is hailed as one of the most effective in the country. In one program, 650 people lost 4,200 pounds. Joe engages audiences with humor, anecdotes, the latest science and a personal perspective that makes them listen and take action.

Charlie Plumb speaker

Charlie Plumb

Inspiring story of survival from a Vietnam P.O.W

 About

Captain Charlie Plumb has lived what he believes to be the American Dream. As a farm kid from Kansas, he fantasized about airplanes although he felt certain he would never have the opportunity to pilot one. It would be the United States Navy who afforded Plumb the opportunity to live out that dream.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, Plumb completed Navy Flight Training and reported to Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego where he flew the first adversarial flights in the development of what would be called The Navy Fighter Weapons School, currently known as TOP GUN. The next year, Plumb's squadron the Aardvarks launched on the Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty Hawk with Fighter Squadron 114 to fly the Navy's hottest airplane, the F-4 Phantom Jet. Code named Plumber, Charlie Plumb flew 74 successful combat missions over North Viet Nam and made over 100 carrier landings. On his 75th mission, just five days before the end of his tour, Plumb was shot down over Hanoi, taken prisoner, tortured, and spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner Of War.

Following his repatriation, Plumb continued his Navy flying career in Reserve Squadrons where he flew A-4 Sky Hawks, A-7 Corsairs and FA-18 Hornets. His last two commands as a Naval Reservist were the on the Aircraft Carrier Corral Sea, and at a Fighter Air Wing in California. He retired from the United States Navy after 28 years of service.

To this day, Captain Plumb continues to fly left-seat at every opportunity. He has personally owned 8 airplanes, the most treasured being a World War II PT-19 Open-Cockpit Antique. He currently owns a Rutan-designed experimental single-engine Long-Eze.

Connie Podesta speaker

Connie Podesta

Powerful Motivator and Humorist, Author, Educator,Licensed Counselor and Consultant.

 About

Connie Podesta is a top-rated professional keynote speaker, executive career/life coach and one of the industry's leading experts in sales strategies, leadership development, customer relationships, and change.

Using her talents as an author, board certified therapist,comedienne and TV/radio personality, Connie delivers customized high-energy presentations that creatively combine laugh-out-loud humor and compelling insight with real-world strategies and standout solutions.

Connie has inspired millions of people to increase sales, attract and keep more customers, build longer-lasting, healthier relationships, strengthen their leadership skills and become more profitable and successful that they ever thought possible.

If you are looking for a speaker with both substance and style at your next event, Connie is the right choice with the right message at the right time.

Vince Poscente speaker

Vince Poscente

Peak performance speaker, Olympic skier and best-selling author.

 About

Vince Poscente is the founder and CEO of the Goal Acceleration Institute. His captivating combination of high energy and humor combine for an unforgettable opening or closing corporate keynote.

His against-all odds Olympic strategy is powerful way to have your team reach BIG GOALS fast. Vince is a business guy who decided he would compete in the Olympics four years after his 26th birthday. At the age of 30 Poscente was vying for Gold, blasting down the mountain at an incredible 135 mph on skis. With his acumen for speedy goals, he soon became a prolific author, consultant and speaker, guiding corporations with a unique approach toward accelerated personal and organizational results.

While others in your industry may tend to hang-on, Poscente illustrates how to get down to business and up to speed for a competitive advantage. Through powerful examples and edge of your seat stories, your audience will be energized and ready to tackle the tough challenges ahead of them. An internationally-sought expert on goal acceleration, Vince is a weekly columnist for the 70 Second eBrief. He also has a Masters Degree in Organizational Management (2001).

Vince is New York Times Bestselling author of The Age of Speed, as well as The Ant and the Elephant, Silver Bullets and Invinceable Principles.

David Posen speaker

David Posen

Change, health, motivation and work-life balance keynote speaker.

 About

Dr. David Posen was a family physician for 17 years before devoting his time exclusively to stress management, lifestyle counseling and psychotherapy in 1985.  

As both a keynote speaker and seminar presenter, David has spoken widely to education, government, business and professional groups across North America. His clients have included Warner Bros., University of Michigan, Chevron, Verizon, American Express, Ontario Crown Attorneys Association, University of California, Allstate Insurance, Hydro One, State Farm, Rogers Communications, Pfizer, Kraft, Hilton Hotels, US Foodservice, London Life, Dun & Bradstreet (D & B), Microsoft, University of Florida Athletic Association, BC Association of Broadcasters, Canadian Home Builders Association, McKinsey, Ernst & Young, City of Hamilton, CIBC, IBM, Mohawk College, Ontario Government Centre for Leadership, Citizenship & Immigration Canada, Shoppers Drug Mart and the Million Dollar Round Table. His areas of expertise include Stress Mastery, Work-Life Balance, Workplace Stress and Mastering Change.

David is the best-selling author of four books, Always Change A Losing Game, Staying A Float When The Water Gets Rough, The Little Book Of Stress Relief (translated into seven languages) and Is Work Killing You? which was profiled in USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, The Globe and Mail & Winnipeg Free Press. His fifth book, Authenticity, is due out in January, 2018.  His magazine articles have appeared in Canadian Living and Readers Digest as well as several medical journals.  He wrote a weekly column on stress and lifestyle management for a year on the popular website www.canoe.ca. David has appeared many times on TV and radio across Canada and has been quoted in many leading U.S. media outlets such as US News & World Report, People, Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness, Women’s Health, Redbook and McCall’s,

Married with two adult children, David lives and works in Oakville, Ontario.  In addition to his busy schedule of seeing patients, writing and public speaking, he is an avid reader, musician, baseball and tennis player.  He played trombone in the Oakville Symphony Orchestra for nine years and now plays in the Oakville Wind Orchestra. 

Cheryl Pounder speaker

Cheryl Pounder

Olympic hockey gold medalist. Speaker on teamwork and motivation.

 About

Cheryl Pounder was born in Montreal into a family of hockey enthusiasts: A grandfather, who was GM of the Montreal Junior Canadiens, and her hockey-playing older brothers. The rink in the family's backyard also helped to set her on the path to excel at Canada's national sport. Upon moving to Mississauga, Ontario, she achieved the status of athlete of the year at both her high school and Wilfrid Laurier University, where she earned an honours degree in Kinesiology.

She has played on Canada's 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005 (All-Star Defenseman) and 2007 World Championship Hockey teams. Cheryl was voted the top defenceman at the 2002, 2004, 2007 and MVP at the 2005 Canadian Women's Hockey National Championship.

Without a doubt, Pounder's greatest career accomplishments are represented by her 2 Olympic Gold Medals in Salt Lake City and Torino.

Cheryl has recently worked for TSN as an in-studio analyst and now a colour commentary broadcaster.

Considering Pounder's pursuit of both educational and physical excellence, it's no surprise that her impressive sports achievements are complemented by her abilities as a motivational speaker.

William Powers speaker

William Powers

Speaker and Bestselling Author of Hamlet's Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age

 About

William Powers is an international commentator on how to live and work well in the digital age. He is also best-selling author and a research scientist at MIT.

A former staff writer for The Washington Post, Bill is the author of the New York Times best-seller, Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age (2011). The book is widely praised for challenging the idea that digital technologies are intrinsically good for productivity, innovation and creativity. Rather, Bill persuasively argues that a balanced use of technology is the path to organisational success and personal happiness. Hamlet’s BlackBerry has been published worldwide in numerous languages including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German and Russian. 

In 2012 Bill created and directed The Crowdwire, a data project sponsored by Bluefin Labs that analysed the use and effect of social media during the US presidential race. In 2014, he joined the Laboratory for Social Machines, a new research group at the MIT Media Lab. The group was founded in the belief that while the social media revolution has dramatically disrupted old business and social structures, it has not yet been successful at building new structures that solve problems for organisations and society at large. As a research scientist, Bill is working on a number of projects aimed at doing just that.

He has spoken at South by Southwest, the Aspen Festival of Ideas and other high-profile conferences. In addition to The Washington Post, his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times and many other major publications. His work has been covered by The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, USA Today, Wired and The Guardian, among others. Bill is also a two-time winner of the National Press Club’s “Rowse Award” for best American media commentary. 

Lewis Pugh speaker

Lewis Pugh

Ocean Advocate, Pioneer Swimmer, and Keynote Speaker

 About

Lewis Pugh goes to extremes. He’s been to the world’s most inaccessible places. He’s put his body through unimaginably difficult conditions. He’s learned how to harness the energy that comes from overcoming extraordinary odds. And he knows how to inspire audiences to rise to their own internal challenges. His talks make a difference, to individuals, and to organisations.

His dream is that they will make a difference to the world.

Over 5 million people have viewed Lewis’s TED talks, and countless others have followed him on BBC, Good Morning America, CNN, Jon Stewart, National Geographic, Sky News, Al Jazeera, Jay Leno and more. His 2 books “Achieving the Impossible” and “21 Yaks and a Speedo” were both bestsellers.

Lewis has received a number of awards including France and South Africa’s highest honours, as well as the Freedom of the City of London. In 2010, the World Economic Forum named him a Young Global Leader for his “potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world through inspiring leadership” and in 2013 the United Nations Environment Program appointed him “Patron of the Oceans.”

Howard D. Putnam speaker

Howard D. Putnam

Former CEO of Southwest Airlines. Inspirational leadership speaker.

 About

Howard Putnam led the visioning process at Southwest as well as further developing the fun culture and excellent customer service that Southwest is still known for today. Southwest has been profitable every year for over thirty years, a record unsurpassed by any other airline.

Howard was raised on an Iowa farm and learned to fly out of a pasture in his Father's J-3 Piper Cub. He entered the airline business as a baggage handler at Midway Airport in Chicago for Capital Airlines at age 17. Capital was soon merged into United and Howard held thirteen different positions in sales, services and staff assignments in several cities, before being named Group Vice President of Marketing for United Airlines, the world's largest airline, in 1976.

In 1978 he was recruited to become President and CEO of fledgling Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX. While at Southwest Howard and his team tripled the revenues and tripled profitability in three years. They also successfully guided Southwest through airline deregulation and Southwest was the first air carrier to order the Boeing 737-300, which later became the largest selling aircraft ever for Boeing.

In 1981, Howard was recruited by the board of directors of Braniff International to come aboard as CEO and save and/or restructure the financially failing airline. He was the first airline CEO to successfully take a major carrier into, through and out of chapter 11. Braniff flew again in 1984.

He is the author of The Winds of Turbulence on leadership and ethics. Harvard University wrote a case study on his experiences at Braniff, The Ethics of Bankruptcy as a model as to how to handle stakeholders in crisis.

Erik Qualman speaker

Erik Qualman

Author of Socialnomics and Speaker on Digital Leadership

 About

Called a Digital Dale Carnegie and the Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is the author of Socialnomics. Socialnomics made Amazon's #1 Best Selling List for the US, Japan, UK, Canada, Portugal, Italy, China, Korea and Germany. His book Digital Leader helped him be voted the 2nd “Most Likeable Author in the World” behind Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is being adopted by the top universities and global brands and is nominated for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize!

He is no stranger to the executive suite, having served as the Head of Marketing at Travelzoo (TZOO). Yet, he may be best known for writing and producing the world’s most watched social media video. His work has been highlighted on 60 Minutes,The New York Times, WSJ, USA Today, ABC News, Financial Times, Forbes, CBS News, and The Huffington Post. He also helped achieve the Guinness Book of World Record for the longest continuous podcast. Socialnomics was a finalist for the ”Book of the Year.” Fast Company lists Professor Qualman as a Top 100 Digital Influencer.  He made Forbes Top 50 Power Influencer list. Qualman was Academic All-Big Ten in basketball at Michigan State University and been honored as the Michigan State University Alum of the Year. Qualman has an MBA from the McCombs School of Business. A proud husband and father, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Austin.
Nido Qubein speaker

Nido Qubein

Business entrepreneur, change and communication speaker.

 About

Nido Qubein is a proven business leader who's also an effective speaker - not a speaker who knows something about business! He serves on several boards, including a Fortune 500 company with $100 billion in assets.

Nido Qubein stands clearly above the crowd as a dynamic business resource, for corporations and associations. He combines the superb communication skills that have propelled him to the forefront of America's speakers with the solid business acumen that has made him a trusted source of management expertise. He not only shows people what to do; but also, more importantly, teaches them how to think.

His life is an amazing success story: Refugee comes to America with no English, no income, and no connections. Goes on to become successful, wealthy, and widely acclaimed for his many achievements including Ellis Island Medal of Honor and Doctorate of Laws.

Nido Qubein is president of High Point University, an accredited undergraduate and graduate institution with 3,000 students from 50 countries and 44 states. He has written numerous books and recorded scores of audio and video learning programs including a bestseller How to Communicate Like A Pro. He is an active speaker and consultant addressing more than 100 business and professional groups around the world each year.

Dr. Srikumar Rao speaker

Dr. Srikumar Rao

Best-selling Author and Business Speaker on Happiness at Work

 About

Dr. Srikumar Rao has helped thousands of executives and entrepreneurs all over the world discover deep meaning. His methods have enabled them to achieve quantum leaps in effectiveness. Graduates of his workshops have become more creative and more inspiring leaders. Above all they have developed an inner serenity, born of the knowledge that they will be able to appropriately handle whatever comes their way be it a small wave or a tsunami. They become resilient and bounce back nonchalantly from reverses that would floor most peers. 

Dr. Rao received his Ph.D. in Marketing from the Graduate School of Business, Columbia University. He has a degree in Physics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

Dr. Rao is the author of Are You Ready to Succeed: Unconventional Strategies for Achieving Personal Mastery in Business and Life. The book is an international bestseller and has been translated into many languages and distributed in all continents. His latest book Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated and Successful - No Matter What, is also a business bestseller and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. He is also the creator and narrator of The Personal Mastery Program audio course.

Dr. Rao conceived the innovative course Creativity and Personal Mastery. Students found it so overwhelmingly powerful that it remains the only business school course in the world to have its own alumni association. 

Dr. Rao’s work has been extensively covered in the media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, the Independent, Time, the Financial Times, Fortune, the Guardian, Forbes, Business Week and dozens of other publications.

He is a powerful speaker and his talks are hosted on many sites including INC.com,TED.com and Thinkers 50 Interview. He has conducted workshops for and spoken before executives of Microsoft, Google, Merrill Lynch, McDonald’s, Chubb, IBM, United Airlines, Allstate, Johnson & Johnson and dozens of other companies.

Michelle Ray speaker

Michelle Ray

Sought-after keynote speaker on change, communication and leadership.

 About

Born in Australia and now residing in Vancouver, Canada, leadership expert, Michelle Ray is an award-winning speaker and founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute. Michelle began her career in the media industry with one of Australia’s leading broadcasting networks. She worked her way up the management ladder and was responsible for the sales revenues of 25 radio and television affiliate stations. She was subsequently hired by one of the world’s largest cinema advertising contractors to lead the company’s sales team and was also responsible for successfully generating record–breaking revenues during a severely depressed economic climate.

In addition to her corporate background, Michelle broadened her leadership experience during her tenure as a program director with Junior Achievement, an internationally renowned non-profit organization committed to educating future generations about business. She secured financial commitments and volunteer support from an array of corporations, facilitating enduring partnerships between youth, entrepreneurs and educators.

As an in-demand business conference speaker for the past twenty years, Michelle has delivered her powerful messages on leadership, accountability and engaged workplaces to the “C-Suites” of global corporations, academia, diverse associations, government groups, as well as front-line staff. Her client list includes notable brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Shell, Xerox, PayPal, Qantas Airways, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Playboy Enterprises and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Having addressed thousands of audiences across five continents, Michelle’s combination of wit, masterful humor, practical content and an engaging, interactive style resonates with a diverse clientele seeking to inspire, educate and captivate the imagination of their leaders and teams.

Michelle is the author of Lead Yourself First! Indispensable Lessons in Business and in Life. She has appeared as a guest on numerous news and current affairs programs including CBC Radio, CTV, Global TV and was featured in esteemed publications such as Investor’s Business Daily, The National Post, Huffington Post, BC Business and Inc Magazine. Michelle is a regular contributor for the Globe and Mail’s Leadership Lab Column.

Why Michelle Ray can add value to your conference:

  • Proven track record as a seasoned presenter at corporate and association meetings throughout North America as well as internationally since 1995
  • Renowned business motivational speaker for numerous annual conferences and professional development day events
  • Qualified as a “Certified Speaking Professional”, the National Speakers Association’s highest – earned designation held by less than 10% of members
  • From thousands of entries received, Michelle Ray reached the Top Ten Finals of “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” Contest.
  • Undertakes due diligence with in-depth research prior to every engagement
  • Consistently engages audiences with humor, passion and a powerful message
  • Delivers a return on investment with solid content; tailored for each client

Mike Rayburn speaker

Mike Rayburn

Guitar virtuoso, inspirational, comedic and entertaining performer.

 About

As a Hall of Fame international keynote speaker, author, comedian, and world-class guitarist, Mike Rayburn is an inspirational thought leader and one of the most indemand and un-conventional keynote artists in the world. Drawing from his success as an entrepreneur as well as a Carnegie Hall headliner, Mike is a master at increasing profitability and impact by inspiring your team to become possibility thinkers and virtuoso performers… all by daring you to ask the question, “What if…?”

The “What If…?” Experience is Mike’s transformational, hilarious keynote presentation. In it Mike uses his amazing guitar work and hilarious comedy as a metaphor, to illustrate three tools designed to turn your team into an army of innovators with the peak performance skills to transcend the status quo to stop managing change, and lead by creating change. Oh… and they’ll laugh so hard it hurts!

The measure of any speaker is the results they produce. Mike is consistently cited as “the hit of the conference,” and “what we needed and didn’t even know it.” More importantly, businesses regularly attribute significant, sometimes exponential increases in sales, impact and morale to the application of Mike’s keynote tools and breakout session content.

Also, in the same way a great song gets stuck in your head, Mike’s “What if…?” message gets repeated over and over, imprinting his most powerful tool in their memories and affecting immediate results and permanent improvement.

Always on the cutting edge, international keynote speaker Mike Rayburn is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Hall of Fame speaker (CPAE), two-time TEDx presenter, has performed more than 4,000 presentations and his comedy remains in heavy rotation on Sirius/XM radio. Mike has been featured in USA Today, Newsweek, Billboard, American Entertainment, Gig, and Successful Meetings magazines.

Frederick Reichheld speaker

Frederick Reichheld

Business management and customer loyalty speaker.

 About

Fred Reichheld is a Bain Fellow and founder of Bain & Company's Loyalty Practice, which helps companies achieve results through customer and employee loyalty. He is the creator of the Net Promoter system of management.

His work in the area of customer and employee retention has quantified the link between loyalty and profits. Fred's books, The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits, and Lasting Value (HBSP 1996); Loyalty Rules! How Today's Leaders Build Lasting Relationships (HBSP 2001), and The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth (HBSP, 2006) have each become best sellers.

In his latest book, The Ultimate Question 2.0: How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer Driven World (HBR Press-Sept. 2011), Fred reveals how NPS practitioners including Apple Retail, Philips, Schwab, Allianz, American Express, and Intuit, have utilized the Net Promoter System (NPS) to generate extraordinary results. He explains how NPS helps companies become truly customer-centric, unleashing profitable growth through systematically converting more customers into promoters and fewer into detractors.

Fred is a frequent speaker at major business forums and his work on loyalty has been widely covered in The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Fortune, Business Week and The Economist. He is the author of eight Harvard Business Review articles on the subject of loyalty.

Consulting Magazine chose Fred as one of the "25 Most Influential Consultants" in its 2003 annual survey. According to The New York Times, "[He] put loyalty economics on the map."The Economist refers to him as the "high priest" of loyalty.

Reichheld graduated with Honors both from Harvard College (B.A., 1974) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A., 1978).

Brendan Reid speaker

Brendan Reid

Executive, Author, and Keynote Speaker on Corporate Culture

 About

Brendan Reid is an accomplished executive, career management expert and author of Stealing the Corner Office. He is the Senior Vice President at Ceridian, a global human capital management technology company serving more than 50 countries. He has built his career by breaking with corporate convention and questioning long held management truisms. For nearly 20 years he has studied the too-often-ignored human side of corporate dynamics that create the imperfect world we work in.

Unlike most business authors and experts who focus on the conventional side of business and career management, Brendan delves into the unconventional tactics people use to get ahead and stay ahead. In his speaking engagements and in his book, Brendan draws on his experiences as a struggling middle manager and the startling revelations about success that became the foundation for the career strategy that took him into the executive ranks. 

Brendan lives in Toronto, Canada with his partner Aya and their three dogs.

Don Reynolds speaker

Don Reynolds

Speaker on international economy and finance, former chairman of the Investment Advisory Board.

 About

Don Reynolds is not just a great economist, he is a gifted storyteller capable of explaining real world trends and how they impact corporations, individuals and associations. He has given over 1000 speeches, won numerous speaking awards, and been described as 'passionate, motivational, charismatic and mesmerizing.'

Having served eleven years as Chairman of the Investment Advisory Board of a $22 Billion trust fund, his success resulted in his being appointed by George W. Bush as Pension Board Chairman with oversight of $120 Billion in Pension & Trust Funds. He understands how important personal accountability and bottom line performance is, and the need for decision makers to have a clear vision of future trends and events in order to make successful long term strategic decisions.

Don Reynolds has developed a track record of success and is constantly being invited back by clients for updates on specific economic and industry trends. Clients and media have described him as 'near clairvoyant, uncannily precise and brilliant.' He has lived 14 years overseas, visited over 50 countries, has lectured on Free Market Systems at the University of Moscow, spoken about the Global Economy for the Saudi Arabian Central Bank, keynoted the Australian IT Summit, advised the Heavy Equipment Industry in Rome, Keynoted for international correspondents in Indonesia and spoken on the impact of global warming in Santiago.

Don developed the nation's first graduate business course on the 21st Century. He has a Masters Degree in Public Administration/Planning, a Doctoral background in Economics, and is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute of the Wharton School. He has an honorary degree from the University of Moscow and was the first American member of the Moscow Center for Consulting Scientists.

Peter Ricchiuti speaker

Peter Ricchiuti

Investment expert, professor of finance and keynote speaker.

 About

Peter Ricchiuti (Ri-Shooty) is the business school professor you wish you had back in college! He teaches at Tulane University's Freeman School of Business where his insight and humor have twice made him the school's top professor.

Peter started his career with the investment firm of Kidder Peabody and later managed over three billion dollars as the assistant treasurer for the state of Louisiana. In 1993 he founded Tulane's highly acclaimed BURKENROAD REPORTS student stock research program. Peter also hosts a popular weekly business show on National Public Radio in New Orleans called Out To Lunch and recently published his first book Stocks Under Rocks.

He has been featured on CNN and CNBC as well as in The New York Times, Barron's, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. Over the past twenty years Peter has addressed more than 1,000 groups in 47 states and several countries. He has presented to a wide variety of audiences including workshops for the New Orleans Saints.

Robert Richman speaker

Robert Richman

Culture Strategist, Speaker, Co-creator of Zappos Insights

 About

Robert Richman is a culture strategist and was the co-creator of Zappos Insights, an innovative program focused on educating companies on the secrets behind Zappos’ amazing employee culture.

Robert built Zappos Insights from a small website to a thriving multi-million dollar business teaching over 25,000 students per year. Through his work, Robert has been helpful for improving the employee culture at hundreds of companies like Google, Toyota, Eli Lilly, and Inuit.

As one of the world’s authorities on employee culture, Robert is a sought after keynote speaker at conferences around the world and has been hired to teach culture in person at companies like Google, Toyota, and Eli Lilly. He has pioneered a number of innovative techniques to build culture, such as bringing improv comedy to the workplace.

His new book, The Culture Blueprint, is a systematic guide to how a workplace can help people grow, inspire amazing service, and ultimately drive revenue through amazing culture.

Robert graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in film, as well as from Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program. He is a member of the Transformational Leadership Council, and he is the chair of the business program at American Jewish University.

Sam Richter speaker

Sam Richter

Author and speaker on sales, marketing and innovative technology.

 About

Sam Richter is an internationally recognized expert and speaker on sales, marketing and technology. His award-winning experience includes building innovative technology, sales and marketing programs for start-up companies and some of the world's most famous brands.

Sam has been featured in thousands of television and radio programs, national and online publications, and he presents his customized Know More! keynote and training programs to audiences around the globe. He is the author of the top-selling and award-winning book, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling, considered the preeminent publication on finding information online and using it for sales success.

Sam is founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More! and SVP/Chief Marketing Officer at ActiFi, a software and solutions firm serving the financial services industry. For more than six years, Sam was president of the James J. Hill Reference Library in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he led the transformation of an eighty-five-year-old private, non-profit business research organization into a nationally renowned institution serving entrepreneurs and small businesses via cutting edge online resources.

Prior to joining the Hill Library, Sam spent more than eighteen years in the advertising, public relations, and e-commerce/e-marketing industry. Sam has created programs for clients including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball, Northwest Airlines, Kraft/Nabisco, Polaris Industries, National Geographic, 3M, Brunswick, and other large and small firms. He has won numerous regional, national and international marketing awards including Best of Show and Gold Awards, Webby Awards, and a Gold Award at the International Film Festival. He's also won a Retail Vision Award and a Codie Award - the Oscars of the software industry - for Best E-commerce Software.

Sam received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Mass Communication and was twice named Scholastic All-American while also a four-year player and a letter winner on the University of Minnesota varsity football team. Sam is a member of the Business Journal's Forty Under 40 list honoring the top Minnesota business leaders under the age of forty. He also was a finalist for Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year and he's one of the more highly recommended persons on LinkedIn.

Sam lives in Minnetonka, Minnesota with his wife and two children, serves on the board of a number of for-profit companies, and volunteers his time to numerous non-profit organizations.

Jeremy Rifkin speaker

Jeremy Rifkin

Prolific futurist, best-selling author and speaker on economic changes and trends.

 About

Jeremy Rifkin is an American economic and social theorist, writer, public speaker, political advisor, and activist. Rifkin is the author of 20 bestselling books about the impact of scientific and technological changes on the economy, the workforce, society, and the environment. The books have been translated into more than 35 languages. His most recent books include the international bestsellers, The Zero Marginal Cost Society (2014), The Third Industrial Revolution (2011), The Empathic Civilization (2010), The European Dream (2004), The Hydrogen Economy (2002), The Age of Access (2000), The Biotech Century (1998), and The End of Work (1995).

Jeremy Rifkin has been an advisor to the leadership of the European Union since 2000. He has advised three presidents of the European Commission - Romano Prodi, Jose Manuel Barroso, and the current President, Jean-Claude Juncker - as well as the European Parliament, and numerous EU heads of state, including Germany's Angela Merkel, on the ushering in of a smart green Third Industrial Revolution economy.

Mr. Rifkin’s New York Times bestselling book, The Third Industrial Revolution, provided the blueprint for the economic transition to a post-carbon ecological society across the European Union. According to The European Energy Review, "perhaps no other author or thinker has had more influence on the EU's ambitious climate and energy policy than the famous American 'visionary' Jeremy Rifkin." In the words of Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister of Germany, Sigmar Gabriel, Jeremy Rifkin "is the economic and ecological worldwide ambassador of the energy transition… Rifkin presents a grand scenario for the future: a visionary approach unlike anyone has dared to put forward in the last fifty years that will boost our thinking and help with our orientation.”

Mr. Rifkin is also advising the leadership of the Peoples Republic of China on the build out and scale up of the Internet Plus Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure to usher in a sustainable low-carbon economy. The Huffington Post reported from Beijing on October 29th 2015 that "Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has not only read Jeremy Rifkin's book, The Third Industrial Revolution, and taken it to heart. He and his colleagues have also made it the core of the country's thirteenth Five-Year Plan..." The Huffington Post goes on to say that "this blueprint for China's future signals the most momentous shift in direction since the death of Mao and the advent of Deng Xiaoping's reform and opening up in 1978."

According to EurActiv, "Jeremy Rifkin is an American economist and author whose best-selling Third Industrial Revolution arguably provided the blueprint for Germany's transition to a low-carbon economy, and China's strategic acceptance of climate policy."

Mr. Rifkin is a principal architect of the European Union’s long term Third Industrial Revolution economic vision and development plan to usher in an Internet of Things digital infrastructure across the European Union and its partnership regions to create a smart post-carbon economy, ecological society, and the world’s largest single integrated economic marketplace. The plan is called "Smart Europe."


On January 31st 2017, the European Union launched the digital Third Industrial Revolution Smart Europe economic modernization plan with a conference hosted by Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, called “Into the Future: Europe’s Digital Integrated Market.” Mr. Rifkin delivered a keynote address on transforming the European Union into a smart Third Industrial Revolution paradigm.


The Third Industrial Revolution Smart Europe long-term economic development plan was formally announced by Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the European Commission, Markku Markkula, President of the Committee of the Regions, and Jeremy Rifkin on February 7th 2017. Mr. Rifkin is currently advising the European Commission on the deployment of the Smart Europe initiative and will be working with the 350 formal regions of the EU in the creation of road maps to deploy the new economic narrative and vision across Europe.


Mr. Rifkin is the President of the TIR Consulting Group, LLC comprising many of the leading renewable energy companies, electricity transmission companies, engineering companies, construction companies, architectural firms, ICT and electronics companies, transport and logistics companies, advanced manufacturing companies, and economic modelers. His global economic development team is working with cities, regions, and national governments to develop the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure for a Collaborative Commons and a Third Industrial Revolution. The TIR Consulting Group LLC is currently working with the regions of Hauts-de-France, the Metropolitan Region of Rotterdam and The Hague, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the conceptualization, build out, and scale up of a smart Third Industrial Revolution infrastructure to transform their economies.


Mr. Rifkin is ranked 123 in the WorldPost / HuffingtonPost 2015 global survey of "The World's Most Influential Voices." Mr. Rifkin is also listed among the top 10 most influential economic thinkers in the survey. The survey was prepared at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and used collective intelligence to correlate the rankings.


Since 1995, Rifkin has lectured at the Wharton School’s Executive Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania where he instructs CEOs and senior management on transitioning their business operations into sustainable economies.

Steve Rizzo speaker

Steve Rizzo

Corporate comedian, motivational speaker, author and entertainer.

 About

Steve Rizzo is a speaker who will wake your group up with his straightforward New York attitude, motivate them with his life-changing personal growth strategies and of course, regale them with laughter. In addition to providing hands-on tools to help audiences achieve individual and team success in the face of change, Steve showcases why he was so successful as a national headline comedian with opening acts such as Drew Carey, Rosie O'Donnell, and Dennis Miller.

After being told by a guidance counselor that he didn't have the intelligence for college, and having been saddled with the dubious high school honor of Least Likely to Succeed, Steve Rizzo didn't give himself much of a chance to emerge as anything special, much less a world-class comedian or motivational speaker. Years of negativity had led Steve to believe that dreams were the luxury of only a fortunate few.

After high school Steve would go on to surprise everyone, including himself, by excelling with honors at the university and post-graduate levels. Eventually Steve even taught at his old high school, proving once and for all that guidance counselors are not fortune-tellers.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of Steve's career was the stellar degree of success he achieved as a performer, sharing the stage with Jerry Seinfeld, Rodney Dangerfield, Eddie Murphy, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Of course, the surprises don't stop there. What is the next step for a comedian in the prime of his career? For Steve, it was to trade the two drink minimums and standing ovations for maximum fulfillment and well, more standing ovations. After walking away from a promising career as a headline comedian to become a professional speaker, Steve offers a unique and insightful perspective on the journey that brought him to where he stands today.

Steve's quest to remove the boundaries that were keeping him from the life he truly desired has brought his work full circle and he now understands that all of his past experiences were necessary to prepare him for his true calling: To help people learn to be happy and successful no matter what their current circumstances are.

Steve spent much of his own life learning how to pursue and achieve his own definition of success. Luckily for audiences worldwide, that definition has evolved to include showing others his blueprint for realizing their dreams and achieving personal excellence and professional satisfaction.

As a professional keynote speaker and motivational speaker, Steve Rizzo has made appearances across the United States and Canada. You may have seen Steve in venues such as: New York, Austin, Dallas, Texas, Las Vegas, Nevada, San Diego, California, Phoenix, Tucson, Arizona, Atlanta, Georgia, Chicago, Illinois, Nashville, San Antonio, Denver, Colorado, Canada, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

James Robbins speaker

James Robbins

Adventurer and Management Consultant, Speaks on Leadership and Motivational Strategies

 About

James Robbins is a rare mix of management consultant, adventurer and motivational speaker. He has been teaching leadership and peak performance for the last 17 years. James is also the author of Nine Minutes on Monday; The Quick and Easy Way to Go From Manager to Leader, which gives managers a simple solution to motivate and engage their staff even when things are crazy and hectic.

James also created the web show Help Me Lead to help managers find creative ways to lead their staff. He is always creating video content on the topic of leadership and often use them in his presentations.

James first career was in ministry before founding the The Robbins Group to help organizations increase their productivity and lower their employee turn over. He has given over 1,000 presentations in the last 10 years and has been teaching, training and coaching leaders since 1995.

James combines stories of his adventures with practical truths that help audiences make simple changes that stick. He is a thought leader in the field of human motivation and its role in leadership, the workplace, and our personal lives. James has a way of inspiring people to raise their game, persevere in the face of difficulty, and bring their best on a daily basis.

Mel Robbins speaker

Mel Robbins

Award-Winning CNN Commentator, Co-Founder of Inspire52, and Motivational Speaker

 About

Mel Robbins is a powerful motivational speaker who is trusted by global brands to design and deliver multi-media, interactive keynotes that inspire change, challenge thinking and accelerate personal and business growth. Mel is best known for creating “The 5 Second Rule” and Her TEDx Talk on "How To Stop Screwing Yourself Over" which has over 3 million views, Her book on the brain and productivity, Stop Saying You’re Fine, is a business bestseller that has been translated into four languages. 

She started her career as a criminal defense attorney and went on to launch and sell a retail and internet technology company. Mel has led multi-year coaching programs at: Johnson&Johnson, AG Edwards, Bear Stearns and Partners Healthcare. The media has tapped Mel to host award-winning shows for FOX, A&E, Cox Media Group and now CNN. Mel is currently one of CNN’s most popular on-air commentators and opinion writers; her articles on human behavior drive tens of millions of page views for CNN.com. Mel has an extensive television résumé as an expert on human behavior and motivation for Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Oprah, The Today Show and Fox News. She was named America's Outstanding News Talkshow Host at the 2014 Gracie Awards. 

Mel is a speaker, TV personality and coach with the credibility and experience to deliver the goods for audiences of all shapes and sizes: men and women; small to massive; technical sales training to innovation summits. She will work with you to design an unforgettable, high energy and motivating event that reinforces brand and sponsor objectives, delivers fresh, actionable content and engages and entertains your attendees with music, original videos and interactive leadership exercises. 

Mel is a Dartmouth College and Boston College Law School graduate and a serial entrepreneur that’s on a mission to help us all thrive at work and in life.   She and her husband of twenty years have three young kids and live outside of Boston.

Mike Robbins speaker

Mike Robbins

Former Baseball Player & Speaker on Teamwork and Leadership.

 About

As an expert in teamwork, leadership, and emotional intelligence, Mike Robbins delivers keynotes and seminars that empower people, teams, and organizations to work together effectively and be more successful. He has inspired tens of thousands of people around the world to reach new levels of awareness and productivity, both personally and professionally. Through his speeches, seminars, and writing, Mike teaches people important techniques that allow them to be more grateful, appreciative, and authentic with others and themselves.

Mike Robbins is the author of three books, Focus on the Good Stuff, Be Yourself Everyone Else is Already Taken, and Nothing Changes Until You Do, which have been translated into fourteen different languages.

His clients include some of the top organizations and institutions in the world, such as: Google, Wells Fargo, Microsoft, Charles Schwab, Twitter, and many others. 

He has been featured on ABC News, the Oprah radio network, in Forbes, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and many others. Since 2008 he has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Mike is the host of his own radio show, “Nothing Changes Until You Do,” on Hay House Radio.

Prior to his speaking, writing, and consulting career, Mike was drafted by the New York Yankees out of high school. He turned the Yankees down and instead chose to play baseball at Stanford University, where he pitched in the College World Series. He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals out of Stanford and played three seasons of professional baseball with the Royals organization before arm injuries ended his playing career while still in the minor leagues.

After his athletic career was cut short by injuries, Mike worked in sales and business development for two Internet start-ups. When the dot-com bubble burst in 2000 and he was laid off, it allowed him to follow a deeper passion – empowering and inspiring people – and opened the door for him to start working full time as a speaker, author, and coach.

In addition to earning a degree from Stanford in American Studies with a specialization in race and ethnicity, Mike has continued to educate himself. He has extensively studied many disciplines of both personal and professional development, and received training from the Coaches Training Institute.