Sweeney Agency Speakers
Entertainer and speaker on innovation, author of Advantage Play: A Manager’s Guide to Creative Problem Solving.
Educated at the University of Toronto (BA), the University of Western Ontario (LLB), and the London School of Economics (LLM), David Ben retired from practicing tax law to pursue his passion for creativity, performing and community. As a
magician, David was the sole protégé of Ross Bertram - one of the great sleight-of-hand artists of the twentieth century. David is a member of London's prestigious Magic Circle and has performed throughout the United States, Canada, England and Japan. In addition to performing magic, David acts as a keynote speaker on creativity, innovation and problem solving. A feature presenter at The Walrus Talks (Performance), IdeaCity, and a two-time presenter at the Smithsonian, David has addressed a broad range of associations and corporate clients in the United States and Canada.
David was the co-writer (along with Canadian broadcast icon Patrick Watson), performer and producer of The Conjuror (Shaw Festival, Theatre ROM, Isabel Bader Theatre) and The Conjuror's Suite (Salon ROM, Charlottetown Festival), Tricks (Artword Theatre) and Natural Magick (Luminato Festival). David has made numerous television appearances and was also the subject of an award-winning documentary film
A Conjuror in the Making that aired on Breakfast with the Arts on the A&E Network and on Adrienne Clarkson Presents on the CBC.
David is the author of four books. His first, Advantage Play: A Manager's Guide to Creative Problem Solving, examines magicians, card cheats and psychics as models of creativity and pragmatic problem solving and was published by Key Porter Books. His second, Tricks, was a how-to book for magicians published by Squash Publications. His third book was Dai Vernon: A Biography, the first volume of a long-awaited portrait of the life and times of the most influential magician of the twentieth century. The fourth, a landmark book, Zarrow: A Lifetime of Magic, a portrait and technical retrospective of one of magic's most revered arrangers, Herb Zarrow. David will soon complete the business biography of Allan Slaight scheduled to be published in 2013. David is also the author of several articles and essays published in several journals including the Canadian Literary Review, Genii, A Conjuror's Magazine and Magicol: A journal of magic history and collectibles.
David is also a consultant for a variety of film, television, print and theatre projects including The Shaw Festival's production of Ragtime, Soulpepper Theatre's production of Tom Stoppard's Travesties and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Brian Johnson's short film based on Denis Lee's book of poetry Yes/No, and Michael Ondaajte's award winning novel, Divisadero.
David is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Magicana a performing arts organization and registered charity dedicated to studying and promoting magic as a performing art. He spearheaded My Magic Hands, a program designed to use the process of learning, practicing and performing magic as an introduction to creativity and the arts for underprivileged and disadvantaged children; and Senior Sorcery an intergenerational initiative to bring live theatre to isolated seniors in their homes and community.
Walter Bond - a former professional sports figure, is known affectionately as
Mr. Accountability because of his ability to inspire, engage and entertain audiences with his stories that will motivate and touch every emotion.
Walter has catapulted as one of the world's most preeminent thought leaders on personal and corporate accountability with a presentation style that is in a class all by itself. Through his keynotes, training systems and product resources, he travels the world transforming organizations into a culture of accountability. Walter teaches how accountability creates engagement, assists in teamwork, and increases productivity which ultimately drives results.
Walter is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP). Walter has received many accolades within the professional speaking industry such as: Speaker of the Year by Minnesota Meetings and Events Magazine, Program of the Year by Meeting Professionals International's Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter and more recently listed by Meetings & Conventions Magazine as one of meeting planners' favorite speakers listed alongside speaking legends such as: Colin Powell, the late Stephen Covey and the late Zig Ziglar to name a few. Speaking.com listed Mr. Accountability in their top 5 for motivation.
In 2013 Walter appeared as the host on The Food Network's Giving You the Business. This franchise competition show was broadcast in the United States and Canada.
Before developing a training and development company, Walter enjoyed an 8 year career in professional basketball. Walter played college basketball at The University of Minnesota and professionally for the Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz and Detroit Pistons. He also enjoyed stints throughout Europe in Greece, Italy and Germany.
Walter's vast life experiences have made him an expert in the development of strong teams and personal success and development. Walter lives with his wife and business partner Antoinette and their 3 children, Wesley, Kendall and Cori. Their family splits time between Minneapolis, MN and Palm Beach Gardens, FL.
Hearing-impaired comedienne, inspiring and entertaining speaker and author.
Gifted comedienne, award-winning actress, accomplished author, and renowned inspirational speaker Kathy Buckley is a force like no other. Billed as 'America's First Hearing Impaired Comedienne', Kathy Buckley is also a five-time American Comedy Award Nominee as Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne. As an actress, she is known for her guest starring roles on shows such as Touched by an Angel, and for her critically acclaimed one woman Off-Broadway show, Don't Buck with Me/Now Hear This!. As a motivational speaker, she inspires hundreds of thousands of people around the world, sharing her story of overcoming some of the most difficult obstacles one can imagine in life, and how she met those challenges with dignity, courage, and laughter.
Kathy's book, If You Could Hear What I See, will have you laughing and crying as you experience the amazing story of her life. She has received thousands of letters and emails of thanks and praise, regarding both her book and her original PBS special, No Labels, No Limits! She was awarded the CINE Golden Eagle Award as the writer and executive producer of the special, and the Media Access Award for Outstanding Television Special. Her highly acclaimed autobiographical theater play, Now Hear This! had its Off-Broadway premiere at New York's Lamb's Theater, and not only brought the comic actress a legion of faithful new fans, but a wealth of critical praise from New York media.
In record time, she became one of the most popular comediennes in the country with material based on, among others things, her hearing loss. That impairment, however, is only one of the many hurdles Kathy has encountered in her life. Her poor performance in second grade landed her in a school for mentally and physically impaired children. It took school administrators, psychologists, and audiologists nearly a year to discover it was just a hearing loss and not a lack of mental acuity that was impeding her speech and language development. Today, Kathy shakes her head as she quips to amazed audiences, '... And they called me slow?'
She was featured in the HBO Television Special, 'Women of the Night', shot on location at the U.S. Comedy Festival in Aspen, Colorado. She was included in the E! Entertainment Television Special, The World's Most Intriguing Women. Kathy was also the focus of I Can Hear the Laughter, an Emmy award-winning documentary.
Stand-Up Comedian, sought after entertainer and star of television’s Corner Gas and Hiccups
Born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Brent Butt discovered early that being funny was a good way to get attention. Brent honed his comedy in school, and at the age of 20 moved to the city to pursue a career in stand-up. Within months he was headlining top clubs in Toronto, and within a couple years he was touring internationally and appearing at major festivals.
Brent's television specials quickly secured his reputation as one of the funniest people in the country, but he was also busy creating his own TV series – a sitcom called Corner Gas. It became an instant hit with unprecedented ratings and numerous accolades including an International Emmy Award nomination, and was named "Funniest Show on TV" by TV Guide readers. Canada’s favourite comedy is now shown in over 26 countries, including the US. The final episode of the series was “the highest (rated) on record for a Canadian scripted series since it began keeping track in 1994”. . Brent’s follow-up series Hiccups ran for two seasons.
In 2013 Brent was honoured with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to community and country. That same year Brent’s first feature film entitled No Clue, and directed by Carl Bessai was released. Brent wrote, starred in and produced the film under his Sparrow Media banner. The highly anticipated feature film return to Dog River with Corner Gas: The Movie saw the entire beloved cast reunited to the delight of rabid fans and new fans alike, and the movie would go on to receive a special Golden Screen Award at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards. Re-imagined by creator and star Brent Butt, an all-new animated version of the iconic comedy franchise entitled Corner Gas: Animated debuted in 2018. The 13 episode animated season premiered on The Comedy Network, immediately becoming the #1 rated show in the history of Canada’s The Comedy Network. So successful in fact the series is now airing on CTV primetime, and concurrently streaming on CRAVE TV. Production is now underway on the second season of Corner Gas: Animated. With Brent performing, writing, executive producing, and even directing, there is little doubt the future holds many untold achievements for one of Canada’s brightest stars.
Author, Neurohumorist and International Business Speaker on Humor & Hope
Karyn Buxman is an international speaker, successful author, and neurohumorist (living at the intersection of the brain and humor). She is a research-based expert and pioneer in the field of applied humor - starting with her masters thesis in graduate school and now continues her partnerships with leading neuroscientists. She is masterfully funny, but her passion and calling is sharing the practical benefits of humor.
Today Karyn helps leaders - and those they serve - achieve peak performance and optimum health through the art and science of applied humor. Her mission: To improve global health, business, and peace through laughter and heal the humor-impaired.
More than 500 organizations have hired Karyn to entertain, educate and inspire. She has addressed thousands of audiences around the world, from groups of 10 to 10,000. A common thread - they love her message of laughter and leadership. In one month alone she spoke for the Million Dollar Round Table, the US Air Force, the Mayo Clinic, Pfizer, & the Association for Peri-Operative Room Nurses. Corporate, education, government, healthcare and professional associations value the transformational power of Karyn’s inspirational, entertaining, and practical message. Change is possible – and it can be fun!
Karyn is a proud recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor. She serves on the advisory boards of the Invisible Disabilities Association and the American Happiness Association. She’s the co-founder of the World Laughter Tour. That’s why Karyn Buxman is the best person to teach your team how they can lead with laughter!
Watch for Karyn's upcoming book, Funny Means Money: Strategic Humor for Influence and World Domination (ForbesBooks, Fall 2019). You'll want to set time aside for this one - no joke!
Stand-up comic, humor in the workplace expert, and author of Standup Comedy: The Book.
Judy Carter is a stand-up comic, author, and master teacher who has appeared on over one hundred TV shows. She is the author of Standup Comedy: The Book which has sold over 150,000 copies. Her latest book The Comedy Bible was featured on Oprah and Good Morning America.
Judy is the founder of Comedy Workshop Productions, which runs comedy classes nationwide. Carter also produces the annual California Comedy Conference, which is attended by top Hollywood VIPs including executives from HBO, Warner Bros, William Morris Agency and others. Her expertise at teaching others to use comedy to transform their lives and careers has created a nationwide demand for her as a corporate and college speaker. Carter has inspired thousands of people to use humor to deal with change and laugh their way out of stress.
Carter's pioneering approach to turning problems into punchlines has generated articles in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, New York Times and Success Magazine as well as features on CNN, ABC World News, Oprah, and National Public Radio, where she transformed two somber IRS agents into killer comics. She has brought her
don't get mad, get funny philosophy to Fortune 500 companies such as Boeing, Lucent Technologies, Fedex, Blue Cross and Pacific Bell. They have found her
tell-it-like-it-is (only funnier) approach advantageous when tackling sensitive issues like downsizing and layoffs.
Carter started her career as a professional magician, being one of the first women to work at the prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood and created quite a stir with her death-defying escape from her grandmother's girdle. Carter's standup career launched when United Airlines lost the baggage with her magic act and she had to go onstage without it. Since then, Carter has headlined at comedy venues such as the world famous Hollywood Improv and Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, and was nominated for Atlantic City's Entertainer of the Year.
Authority on Innovative Ideas to Handle Conflict, Reduce Stress and Motivate Employees.
Christine Cashen has people across the globe raving about her - and her refreshing take on everyday life. For 20 years Christine has shared her expertise in a humorous manner - on such topics as conflict resolution, stress management, and cultivating a healthier, happier more productive workplace. Audiences have related so much to her experiences, struggles, and lessons that listeners have wanted to take her back with them to the office.
Author of the award-winning books THE GOOD STUFF: Quips & Tips on Life, Love, Work and Happiness and It’s YOUR Business: Good Stuff for Your Personal, Professional, and Funny Business. Christine holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Adult Education. In 2016, she was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from Central Michigan University.
Christine is one of the few individuals to meet the rigorous induction criteria of the National Speakers Association, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, and there’s no question that she deserves that honour; her effortless ability to pull in any audience with her remarkable insights on commonplace situations make her and her messages unforgettable.
Before embarking on her journey as a speaker, she worked as a university admissions officer, corporate trainer, and broadcaster. She is a mother of two, wife of a “hottie engineer,” and caregiver of Murphy, a chocolate lab.
Speaker and Author on Using Humor to Excel Personally and Professionally
A contributing author of the bestseller A Carrot A Day, co-author of The Levity Effect, a regular columnist for Workplace HR and Safety magazines and a distinguished consultant on recognition, Scott Christopher travels the world speaking to leadership groups at conferences, conventions, and on-site customer meetings.
With a background in radio, television, and film, Scott offers a presenting style that is upbeat, witty, and unforgettable. His sessions are typically “standing room only” and receive the highest commendations and evaluations.
In his rare spare time, Scott is a professional voice over artist, emcee and actor (SAG), appearing on the network television series Everwood and Touched by an Angel and in several Disney Channel movies.
While at Brigham Young University, Scott was honored with the United States’ most prestigious acting scholarship, the Irene Ryan Award, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
After achieving success as an executive for a real estate company, ascending the corporate ladder from top sales person to that of a top management person, Simon Cotter set his sights on a new profession: Comedy. It didn't take long for Simon to become one of the most popular and highly requested comics on the college circuit. For four years straight Cotter was entertaining over 50,000 students a year across the country with his unique comedic style. Inevitably, due to his immense popularity within the college market, Simon quickly became a success off-campus as well. Simon then discovered the conference market, or it discovered him. Now, Simon performs as a corporate comedian and keynote speaker worldwide, receiving rave reviews from everywhere he goes.
Winner of Canada's Comedian of the Year award, Simon Cotter's comedic talents have landed him on the Comedy Network, Evening at the Improv, the Just for Laughs comedy festival, his own comedy special on CBC, and guest appearances on a number of shows including Open Mike with Mike Bullard, and CBC's Comics.
In 2010, Crow founded Dark Horse Institute (DHI), an accredited, for-profit academy to teach Audio Engineering, Film Production and Music Business to young entrepreneurs. The programs have experienced explosive growth while offering dramatic solutions to the challenges faced by traditional schools. DHI accelerates the learning process in an affordable, experiential learning environment, and in the process is changing the way education is conducted. Their goal is to create the most compelling educational model of the 21st century.
Robin Crow is a business veteran who has been exceeding customer expectations for decades. He is the founder and CEO of three customer-driven companies, which have all achieved sustained success. He has delivered over 2200 keynote speeches and is the author of seven books including USA Today bestseller Evolve or Die, and divides his time between Tennessee & Colorado.
Corporate stand up comedian, improviser and actor. A star of Comedy Inc. on CTV & The Comedy Network.
For over 20 years Roman Danylo has been an
entertainer, MC and keynote speaker for some of biggest names in the corporate world. He has entertained for companies like Glaxo Smith Kline, Hewlett Packard, BMO, Manulife Financial and hundreds more. Often invited into the stuffy world of AGMs, sales conferences, or company awards nights; Roman uses his comedy improv skills to team-build, brain storm and break the ice. Roman gathers info about whichever company he is working for and trades that inside information for a currency usually foreign to the corporate world, big laughs. His message is team building and thinking outside the box and the result is tons of fun.
Originally from Calgary and now living in Vancouver, Roman has been performing professionally for the past 25 years. He is one of only a handful of comedians to have performed at the prestigious Aspen's HBO Comedy Festival and Montreal's Just for Laughs Festival in the same year. In Hollywood he starred in the UPN Series Off Limits, and has been featured on NBC's Late Friday. He has appeared in the Feature Films Duets with Gwenyth Paltrow, and Happy Birthday with John Goodman. Roman hosted a talk show pilot produced by fellow Canadian David Steinberg, and appeared in a live sketch review show with Martin Short. Roman has appeared as a dramatic actor in television shows like Jeremiah, Outer limits and Sliders.
Back home Roman recently guest hosted several episodes of CBC Radio's The Debaters and was featured in the TV series for the show. Roman's second Comedy Now special for CTV aired in 2011. Roman has appeared or starred in several Canadian TV series including CTV's Corner Gas, CBC's Made in Canada, CTV's The Holmes Show and on The Comedy Network's Just For Laughs Improv Championships and many more. For five years Roman starred in his own sketch comedy series on CTV and Spike TV called Comedy Inc. In 2004 Roman won a Leo Awards for his performance in CBC's Western Alienation Comedy Hour and has been nominated twice for a Gemini for performance in Comedy Inc. Roman hosted a Gala at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival on CBC and has performed two gala sets for The Halifax Comedy Festival also on CBC. Roman enjoys, water sports, raisins and some humans.
Harry Freedman is perhaps the only individual ever to have been profiled in the business sections of The New York Times, Miami Herald, Newsday, and the International Herald Tribune. Harry Freedman will create the perfect fake industry expert for your group; and he'll have everyone fooled until they are roaring with laughter. With nearly three decades of professional
comedy experience, from the clubs of Las Vegas to the corporate boardroom, Harry Freedman is a comic you can trust. As a speaker, he has performed for hundreds of Fortune 1000 companies, and is frequently rated "best speaker" at conferences. Harry's presentations promote friendship and
teamwork. Strangers instantly connect, co-workers come closer, and barriers of rank take a break. There's a glow that remains and fosters better communication and cooperation.
As a stand-up comedian, Harry is often opening for Ray Romano; has appeared on
Everybody Loves Raymond; and was a staff writer for
Caroline's Comedy Hour. Harry has also written and directed a short film,
30 Minutes, which received terrific acclaim at the NY Independent Film Festival.
Bringing in Harry to play the part of an industry expert or newly hired executive. He starts off for real, but after a few minutes of his outrageous quips, everyone realizes they've been had - and they love it!
Each of Harry's put-ons is completely customized to the client's need and situation. Sometimes the
spoof takes the form of poking fun at a general topic you agree on with Harry; sometimes it's poking fun at specific people that you and Harry select. In either case, you can rest assured it will be a hit with your group.
Nothing refreshes a group better then laughter - as everyone emerges re-energized, ready to tackle new challenges. From planning to implementation, from completion to beginning, or from work to relaxation, it's the perfect way to refocus a group on new goals or activities.
In addition, Corporate Audiences enjoy Harry;s video shorts, where he interviews selected attendees (in character), to create a hilarious 8-10 minute piece played following his speech, as well as his humorous videographies of whole conferences. So when you think of finding the right performer to give your people a laugh-fest they will love and thank you for, two key words make all the difference: Harry Freedman!
Motivating Speaker on Using Humor as a Sales Tool, to Improve Service, Communicate and Improve Management.
Scott Friedman speaks on a variety of topics including employee and customer engagement, branded customer service, and personal branding. He's an inspirational speaker who also specializes in humor as a tool in sales, improving service, public speaking techniques and change management.
Scott's varied experience has brought him success in many industries including: hospitality, meetings, real estate, insurance, health care, education, government and just about any Association. Scott's greatest strength is his ability to customize the perfect program to fit the needs of any particular group. His improvisational comedy training, quick wit, and engaging material make Scott's valuable programs a bunch of fun to listen to.
Author of three books and co-author of four others, Scott's latest book, The Celebration Factor, is a practical handbook on how to bring more celebration into both your organization and your life. Based on Scott's extensive global research, interviews, and years of speaking around the world, this book offers strategies and examples from leading organizations that are successfully creating cultures of celebration in their workplaces.
Scott's book, Punchlines, Pitfalls and Powerful Programs - Ten Surefire Ways of Adding Humor to Your Presentations, is the perfect resource for those looking to connect with their clients. Scott outlines effective methods for engaging and educating an audience through humor and story telling. His book Using Humor for a Change is chock-full of great ideas to lighten-up the workload. The book proves to be the perfect remedy for stress and burnout.
In addition to speaking all over North America, Scott spends 20% of his time speaking throughout Asia and other locations around the globe. His international clients include Singapore Airlines, the Singapore Government, Gold Fields of South Africa, Young President's Organization, Hyatt Asia, and many of the Fortune 1000 companies. He offers to all of his clients a global and culturally sensitive perspective on how to get more out of work and out of life. He is always sure to do his homework to ensure that all groups feel at home no matter where they might be.
Tim Gard, CSP, CPAE, is a tears-in-your-eyes-laugh-out-loud speaker who teaches people to be more resilient and resourceful, and coaches businesses on how to enhance productivity and employee enthusiasm.
Talented, innovative, and memorable, Tim provides amazing take-home value delivered with his one-of-a-kind presentation style.
As a keynote speaker, he ensures every event starts with a bang and/or concludes with everyone sharing a renewed, positive sense of purpose. Tim is also available as an outstanding emcee facilitating the day's activities or hosting an evening awards banquet.
As a business speaker, Tim shows leaders how to enhance productivity and employee enthusiasm using his humour-stress diffusion tactics in everyday situations. He facilitates an unforgettable experience that improves the quality of interactions. At the same time, he's instilling an enthusiasm for non-malicious mischief that no one should live without!
For two decades, Tim has provided hilariously entertaining, fast-paced, and informative programs from Texas to Tasmania. His universal message translates to a diverse range of audiences of every size.
An internationally recognized authority on stress reduction and conflict resolution, Tim's easy-to-implement techniques provide audiences with ways to diffuse, deal with, and even avoid intensely stressful encounters. When relating to business leaders, Tim 'walks his talk' as a successful business owner himself for more than 20 years. Prior to starting his business, he worked in the sales industry, as well as State and Federal Governments in Human Services, as a fraud investigator - and he's also a navy veteran.
Tim has achieved the highest honours and recognition in his industry, including:
- CPAE (Council of Peers Award for Excellence): Speaker Hall of Fame Member - an elite recognition shared by fewer than 150 speakers worldwide
- Selected by Meeting Planners Magazine as one of the Best Speakers Ever Seen or Heard on the Main Stage
Tim's down-to-earth style and real-life humour leaves a lasting impression that audiences will benefit from for years to come. His skillful use of ordinary items in extraordinary ways and extraordinary items in everyday ways make him one of the most popular main stage speakers on the platform today.
Becoming more resilient is not about telling jokes or laughing at everything. Instead of making light of serious issues, Tim shines a light on unseen possibilities for solutions to difficult situations. He demonstrates how to be professional, yet light-hearted throughout all his programs.
Without a doubt, Tim's keynotes consistently deliver on these two promises:
- A hilarious shared experience
- Take-home value that improves performance and workplace attitude
Author of Just Plane Funny and My Official Policy Manual and co-author of Motivational Leaders and Humor Me, Tim also offers his own line of 'stress buster' tools that are marketed worldwide.
Vinh Giang (pronounced Jang) is first and foremost a businessperson and entrepreneur. While in his 20s, he started an online business with two good friends; all of them had decided to leave their careers in accounting and pharmacy, to pursue their dream of building a successful business. Their online platform, Encyclopedia of Magic, now teaches magic to almost 50,000 students around the world. For this innovative, entertaining and successful business idea, Vinh and his friends were awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
"The strength of your victories in business is based on the people that work for you. This is why it’s so important that you connect with your people, you inspire them and you motivate them – that’s what I help you do in my presentations.“ Vinh Giang
Vinh’s mission in business and life is to share the psychology of illusion. He has devoted himself to understanding the ways in which people are fooled by illusions and by the tricks we play on ourselves. During his presentations, he demonstrates how this occurs.
Coming from the humble beginnings of a Vietnamese refugee family, Vinh has worked with companies from all over the world. Mentored by internationally recognized experts in innovation and success psychology, such as Matthew Michalewicz, he shares fresh, cutting-edge topics with his audience.
Hearing Vinh will open your mind to new possibilities, as he takes you on an unforgettable journey through stories, remarkable insights into human psychology, business and the wonderful art of magic.
“I believe that magicians are salespeople; they sell one of the most difficult products in the world. They sell magic – they sell the illusion. The way they’re able to sell magic is by working ridiculously hard. It takes thousands and thousands of hours to be able to sell the illusion, to be able to really sell the magic. Imagine if you applied the same mindset to your company – imagine if you applied the same dedication to your business – think about what you could achieve.” - Vinh Giang.
Entertaining and humorous speaker, teaches audiences how to train their memories for business.
A recognized authority on memory systems, Bob Gray has spent the last twenty years traveling the globe entertaining and training corporations, governments and associations to adapt memory systems for their particular needs. He has developed a series of sales oriented personal development keynotes and workshops, which have been popular on four continents, as well as writing the best selling book Right Brain Rapid Recall.
Bob Gray discovered his first memory technique when he was seven. He was given a magic book that showed him how to remember a twenty-item list. Shortly thereafter he was called on to
do the memory trick at family parties and gatherings. Encouraged by praise at home, he began to find memory techniques could have a valuable role in other aspects of his life. With a little ingenuity, he adapted the
memory trick to help him with his work at school. The reward was a significant rise in his grades.
Traveling and entertaining under the stage name of
Backwards Bob the Memory Man, Bob demonstrated the unique abilities that have netted him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records and a recent appearance on Ripley's Believe It Or Not.
Some of Bob's clients include General Electric, TD Bank, Kodak, General Motors, Ford, Mackenzie Financial, Andersen Consulting, Investors Group, Bell Canada, and many more.
For almost 20 years Adam Growe has been performing in radio, television and on stage. He has distinguished himself as a talented comedian and host in the club, corporate and multimedia markets.
Currently, Adam is the Host of Discovery Channel Canada's Cash Cab and is touring theatre venues with his Comedy & Quiz Showe. He is one of Canada's most accomplished stand-up comedians, starring in his own Just for Laughs Gala, as well as Comedy NOW!, on CTV and CBC's, COMICS!. Adam was also featured on Comedy Central's, Premium Blend in New York and CBS's, Star Search in Los Angeles. Adam has performed at the Montreal, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Sudbury Comedy Festivals.
Adam appeared in two seasons of YTV's, Monster Warriors, as well as numerous acting roles in TV movies such as, Shades of Black, the Conrad Black story. For many years Adam was the Host and Producer for TVO's live, on-air Membership Campaign.
Working for over a decade as an FM Radio Announcer, Adam continues to contribute humour segments to Laugh Attack, XM 153 and CBC Radio One's, Definitely Not The Opera.
Two times TED speaker, Charles Hazlewood is a British conductor of international renown. He has conducted some of the greatest classical repertoire with some of the best orchestras in the world. But Charles Hazlewood is more than a conductor, he is a visionary with a mission to bring the ever modern joy of orchestral music to a new audience and in doing so, change lives and communities for the better.
Dubbed, the 'British Bernstein' by the New York Sun, Hazlewood believes that music can overcome barriers of language, class and culture and has proved this over his career: an opera company recruited from black townships in South Africa that won the Golden Bear Award for best film, a pay-what-you-can orchestral music festival attended by 1000’s of people who had never heard an orchestra live before, and the world’s first orchestra of disabled musicians, who played alongside Coldplay at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 paralympics and continue to tour, world demonstrating the incredible creative talent of disabled people to new audiences all over the world. And these are just the headlines.
Hazlewood is not only well known for what he has achieved but how he achieved it. Eschewing the model of conductor as dictator; he has evolved a creative leadership style that has won the hearts and minds of many in the world of arts, business, education, sports, medicine and industry.
Hazlewood guest-conducts orchestras around the world and is a familiar figure on British TV and radio.
Entertaining & Motivating Speaker on Goal Setting and the Engagement Experience
Jason Hewlett’s speaking career began following the performance of his popular One-Man Show at a corporate event. The client was so impressed with the powerful messaging Jason included in his act that he was asked to be the keynote speaker for their Management & Leadership Conference the following year. Jason’s customized presentation and content, combined with music and comedy, was so well received it has turned into multiple speeches for nationwide clients.
While Jason has received awards in the arts and entertainment industry, he has been hired for some of the largest corporate events in the world. His reputation has transformed from someone who delivers an incredible, standing ovation show worthy of Las Vegas praise, AND a keynote speaker sharing practical business principles applicable for leadership, entrepreneurship, and cultural impact.
Having delivered thousands of corporate presentations for front-line motivation and management instruction, Jason’s talks combine message, authenticity, humor, music, and impersonations. His talks feel like a show with a message, or a keynote speech with entertainment, while remaining a G-rated, family-friendly, corporate ready experience. Few performers can match the level of laughs, energy, and appropriate material for any audience. Jason Hewlett is constantly brought back again and again by his clients.
In addition, combining his ability as a seasoned speaker, entertainer, and behind-the-scenes event advisor, Jason has become one of America’s top Master of Ceremonies/Emcees for the largest corporate and charity events. Whether a 3-day convention or an awards gala, Jason keeps the energy, laughs, and excitement going throughout, while allowing executives to take a back seat and enjoy the conference rather than stress about running it.
With over 2,000 presentations for Fortune 500 companies and clients such as American Express, Delta Airlines, the Salt Lake Olympics, Experian, NuSkin, Younique, Coca~Cola and Wells Fargo, Jason Hewlett is your go-to solution for a keynote, entertainment and emcee.
Motivational Speaker and Author on how to cultivate positive working environments
Keynote speaker Vicki Hitzges connects with her audience. She’ll give your group the skills to create a productive, positive work environment. You’ll notice a change in employee morale, increased teamwork and improved customer service. That means you’ll enjoy higher profits. Having happy employees could be the MOST significant factor in your organization’s success!
Vicki had a dream first job working in the Dallas Cowboy’s front office. That job led to a career in television in Dallas where she had the privilege of interviewing U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, both George Bush and George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. She attributes her ability to talk to audiences today because she had to think fast and speak to everyone from political figures to business moguls to movie stars and athletes, under the pressure and bright lights of a television studio.
Later, as a publicist, she worked to get clients featured in the news. One of her clients, motivational guru, Zig Ziglar, admired Vicki’s creativity and urged her to speak. In fact, she became one of only a few speakers he personally mentored. Within three months, she’d spoken around the world.
Due to that rich background, Vicki learned to craft stories, use humor, share practical content and involve her audience. In 2004, she earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation. CSP is the highest earned designation awarded by the National Speakers Association to recognize proven expertise and experience. Fewer than ten per cent of speakers worldwide hold the title.
She’s authored two books that enjoy five-star reviews and have sold more than 10,000 copies within the first year of being printed (rare for business books), Attitude is Everything and Stuck on Stop – How to Quit Procrastinating.
She’s spoken across the U.S. and as far away as Qatar, New Zealand (twice), Panama and Thailand.
Powerhouse clients include Microsoft, Allstate, Cisco, Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, New York Life, Chase Bank, GTE, EDS, Bell Helicopter, M&T Bank, the US Marines, the FBI, Baylor Hospital, Safeway, Victoria’s Secret, Deloitte & Touche, Merck, Abbott, and the CIA.
Your group will enjoy Vicki. (And if they want to hear behind-the-scenes scoop from her years of reporting about celebrities including President Bill Clinton, singer Better Midler or actor-director Ron Howard…have ‘em ask!)
Speaker, Actor, and Satirizer rolled into an unusual ball of corporate messaging and humor.
A Professional Speaker and an Actor and a Satirizer rolled into an unusual ball of corporate messaging and humor. With Paul you can expect anything and get everything you want for your conference. Hilariously funny, smart, motivating, inspiring and memorable, Paul creates conference summaries and keynotes tailored exactly to the needs of your audience.
Described by many as indescribable, he’s one of the most unique voices in the speaking industry. Paul’s talks are an adventure in content and laughter and song. He delivers his lessons and your messages with energy, passion, and fun.
Paul offers a range of funny keynotes, break-out sessions, and facilitates workshops focussed on workplace resilience, change, personal excellence, team building and recognition. His most famous keynote, The Ultimate Ending / Paul’s World Famous Conference Ending Summary, is a closing session he creates from each day’s presentations and activities. At the end of the conference, the audience is treated to an instant replay of their convention. They leave laughing, sometimes humming, and always remembering what you want them to remember most.
He’s a trained actor with degrees in Management and Theatre, a diploma in Career Counselling, training in Adult Education, has worked in an insurance firm, and has sung with the Canadian Opera Company. This strange wide and varied background and 16 years of professional speaking experience collide to give Paul a one-of-a-kind style and the ability to understand how to promote learning and excite every audience. This skill has just been recognized by his peers, and he’s a recent inductee into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame. His words and talents put him in front of large corporations, small businesses, associations, governments, and his favourite charities. He works across Canada, the United States, Europe, and right around the globe to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Paul performs in English, French, and occasionally Japanese.
Dale Irvin is one of a kind. He is an author, actor and widely televised comedian, but speaking is where he excels.
Dale is the world's only Professional Summarizer. He attends your meeting, paying attention to every word spoken by every speaker and noticing every detail of the event. Then, throughout the day, he will
summarize the event with a comedy monologue written on the spot. One of his clients best described his performance when she said,
What Billy Crystal brings to the Academy Awards, you brought to our meeting.
Dale's monologues keep the audience fully engaged, wide awake, and paying more attention so that they will get the jokes they are about to hear. It also gives them another connecting point and becomes a topic of conservation during the breaks.
In addition to over 100 national TV appearances, Dale has appeared in concert with Jay Leno, Paul Anka, The Four Tops, and The Temptations. Dale is the author of eight books including Laughter Doesn't Hurt and Insurance As A Second Language. He also produces The Friday Funnies, a free weekly video and written recap of the odder stories in the news.
Diana Jordan is "healing the world one laugh at a time..." Having entertained over a million people live and on television, she came to realize that by making people laugh - she could help them deal with life’s stresses, motivate them, and teach them what she has learned over the past 25 years - how great laughter is in nourishing yourself and changing your outlook on life.
Diana has toured the country many times over as an extremely successful stand-up comedian and author. She is also a cancer survivor and speaks about her journey to many cancer organizations and events nationwide.
As a funny motivational speaker in Diana’s keynote speaker address, messages ring loud and true about how you can make the choice to be happy, find the funny in your life, take responsibility for your own health, and bust stress. Just these four things can make a happier, healthier, and more productive you! And she’s funny too!
Diana has been nominated by the American Comedy Awards as a Top Five Female Comedian in the country. She has been seen on Showtime, Showtime Specials, HBO, ComedyCentral, VH1, and more.
Diana has also been featured on Oprah for her talent as a comedian and writer. Her hilarious, best-selling book called, A Wife’s Little Instruction Book, Your Survival Guide To Marriage Without Bloodshed! has sold over 500,000 copies.
Being a funny motivational speaker was a natural transition for Diana. She realized her gift and talent for comedy was much needed around the country.
A world traveler, Diana has lived in Greece, Hawaii, Chicago, Atlanta, Las Vegas, and even ‘starved’ while working as a waitress in New York to get a job on Broadway. She never gives up! For the last two decades, Diana has headlined America’s top comedy clubs and entertained our troops overseas.
For over a year she performed her widely popular one-woman-show, “Female, Fertile, and Frustrated!” which she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in at the world famous Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California. “Female, Fertile, and Frustrated!” is still the longest running one person show in the forty year history of The Ice House. No longer FERTILE, Diana makes light of getting older and using humor to cope with being a breast cancer survivor.
“When my Reconstruction Surgeon asked me if I wanted to go up a cup size or two I told him, ‘let me put it this way, when I fly I want to be the flotation device!’ “
Diana studied improv comedy in “off the wall” classes with classmate Robin Williams (whom she also dated). She has been under contract to CBS Network and Twentieth Century Fox for her self-written sitcom and is a member of SAG, AFTRA, The National Speakers Association, and The Writers Guild of America.
As a talented comedian and singer, she has opened in concert for major stars at The Kennedy Center, Garden State Arts Center, and Radio City Music Hall. She has also been the Master of Ceremonies for gala events with prestigious speakers such as Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell and Yolanda King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King.
On screen, Diana co-starred in “Loretta’s Surprise,” featured at the Sundance Film Festival, and was handpicked by director Cameron Crowe to be in the Oscar nominated movie “Jerry Maguire” with Tom Cruise. You’ll see her sitting next to Cruise during the now famous “You complete me” and “You had me at hello” scenes!
Cruise says, “Diana is funny and smart, she had me at her first joke!”
Entertainer and speaker on health, reducing stress, and using humor in the workplace.
Michael Kerr, Speaking Hall of Fame member, is an award winning,
Certified Speaking Professional and the author of six
books. He is known as one of North America's leading authorities on
how to create more productive, less stressful, more creative, and
inspiring workplaces. His
humorous, inspiring and thought provoking
programs are often rated as having the greatest impact of
any presentation at a conference. Michael Kerr's message of injecting humor into the workplace helps build strong
leaders by encouraging a new kind of
Michael has delivered his captivating keynote presentations and
training workshops to more than 800 audiences, from Iran to Texas,
from Austria to Honolulu. Michael's programs offer relevant,
practical ideas delivered with his memorable brand of high-energy,
incredibly relevant and timely content, are phrases clients
repeatedly use to describe the impact of his presentations.
One of Michael's books, Putting Humor to Work, has been described
bible of humor in the workplace, while his book Inspiring
Workplaces - Creating the Kind of Workplace Where Everyone Wants
to Work has been called
an inspiring blueprint for workplace success.
Michael lives in Canmore, Alberta in the Canadian Rockies.
Second City veteran and humorous speaker on change and communication.
Whether on the page or on the stage, Deborah Kimmett is one funny lady. This witty and wise woman has been using humour to open minds and heal hearts for over 30 years. A Second City veteran, a regular performer on CBC radio and television show The Debaters and sought-after
motivator on the speaker circuit, she engages her audiences with stories and killer humour that ignite,
inspire and energize. Clients that ask her back: Microsoft, Corrections, Bell Canada, RBC, Health Canada, IBM, and countless health care organizations.
Deborah is an accomplished author of three books, Reality is Over-Rated, That Which Doesn't Kill You Makes You Funnier and Out Running Crazy. She was nominated twice for the National Magazine Award for Humor. She is a well-known playwright and has been nominated for the Governor General Award for her play Miracle Mother in 1984. Having written 52 episodes of TV, a feature movie about female prison guards, she has also written and produced a compassionate care video called, Walk a Mile in my backless gown. Since Deb's passion is mentoring the creative soul in folks so through her company, Chip off The Old Writers Blocks, she hosts one day creative writing retreats and on line writing boot camps.
Performing Artist and Performance Strategist for Top Leaders & Brands
Victoria Labalme helps people perform at their highest levels by unlocking their hidden genius and unleashing their unique creativity.
With more than 20 years in the Performing Arts - from Broadway to comedy clubs, landmark films to high-profile television - Victoria’s electrifying, custom-crafted Keynotes awaken innate talents in individuals and teams.
Her proprietary systems and strategies have been embraced by C-suite executives at Starbucks, Microsoft, PayPal, as well as Hollywood celebrities, best-selling authors, and top teams in over 700 organizations.
With breathtaking stage skills, gripping stories, and comedic highlights, Victoria takes audiences through a profound experience they'll never forget. Along the way, she shows people how to distinguish their brand, gain competitive advantage, focus their communications and achieve sustainable growth through a surprising blend of art and business.
Her creative projects have been recognized by The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, BBC, and ABC Good Morning America.
A graduate of Stanford University, Victoria is also a director and critically acclaimed film producer, the creator of two online learning programs, and an inductee into the Speaker Hall of Fame.
International consultant on stress management. Keynotes and workshops that are both hilarious and practical.
Loretta LaRoche is an international
stress management and
humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, 'Get a Life'. As a speaker, Loretta leaves audiences feeling,
inspired, and with renewed passion for living a juicy life!
Loretta is founder and president of The Humor Potential, Inc., a company offering programs and products for life style management. Her special brand of optimistic psychology has an incontestable positive effect on the health of all that are exposed to her. Organizations worldwide use Loretta's prescription for laughter to manage stress in the workplace and improve morale.
Loretta's energetic meeting openings, trainings and keynotes serve to improve learning skills and put a room in an enthusiastic frame of mind. Clients such as IBM, The New York Times, Fidelity Investments, Microsoft, the U.S. Dept. of Labor, and NASA, just to name a few, have used her material to defeat stress in the workplace. She is also a well-recognized TV personality on PBS and best selling author. She has had six one-woman television specials air on 80 PBS stations across the country. She has been nominated for local and prime time Emmy Awards, has appeared on CNN, ABC and NBC affiliates.
She has authored 7 books, The Joy Journal, Happy Talk, Relax: You May Only Have a Few Minutes Left, Life is Not a Stress Rehearsal and, Life Is Short- Wear Your Party Pants, Squeeze the Day, Kick Up Heels Before You're Too Short to Wear Them and her newest book, Lighten Up was published in the spring of 2009.
Wayne Lee is a motivational keynote speaker and versatile entertainer. If there's one thing peak performance experts like Wayne agree on, it's that the mind is capable of leading us anywhere. He also knows that for many of us, our minds are littered with detours, potholes and accidents waiting to happen. Fear, self-doubt, inhibitions of all kinds, these beliefs reside in our subconscious and prevent us from reaching our conscious goals. But if you set your GPS (Great Programmable Subconscious) for success, you can achieve anything while taking the ride of your life.
Wayne's own journey to excellence was fuelled with an unrelenting passion for entertaining and empowering people. From a childhood fascination with magic and visualization, Wayne's gift for seeing and acting on what's possible has grown to international proportions: He is one of North America's premier corporate presenters, a veteran of thousands of successful shows, a published author, and peak performance coach to professionals of all walks of life. And he's practiced what he preaches. Wayne is a former five-time Canadian amateur wrestling champion, who also served as a beloved classroom instructor before taking the stage in the corporate world. More recently, he was named
Entertainer of the Year for the Canadian Events Industry.
Which brings us back to the power of the mind. Wayne Lee is an unrelenting advocate for individuals and teams looking to turn potential into performance. Through humor and hypnosis, he helps people drop their defenses and access their GPS. Once in there, Wayne shows how what you put in - beliefs, attitudes, goals and vision - acts as coordinates that absolutely determine whether or not you reach your destination. Get it wrong and you're stuck in traffic. Get it right and you'll get to your goal faster and more directly than you ever thought possible.
Many people find it difficult to make the connection between the inner goings-on of the
mind and outward action and performance, yet it's crucial to any success.
That's why Wayne Lee's work is so special. He can break down the barriers of even the
most cynical and resistant individuals through laughter and hypnosis, in the process
showing them how to access their own subconscious. Once people realize what's
possible when they program their GPS for success, it's as if they become a new
person - the person they were always meant to be. For employers, that means
productivity, teamwork, and a great attitude at work. For employees themselves,
it's like being handed the keys to the ride of their lives.
Damian Mason speaks on the two subjects he knows best: Business and Agriculture. Since 1994, he has spoken to over 2,000 audiences in all 50 states and 7 foreign countries. Damian understands change and innovation in the business of food, fuel, and fiber production -- because he’s lived it. He had his first job at age eight, bottle-feeding calves on the Indiana dairy farm where he was raised. Like many children of agriculture, he was involved in FFA and was a ten year 4-H member.
Damian is a graduate of Purdue University, holding a degree in Agricultural Economics. He also studied comedy writing and improvisation at The Second City, Chicago. Damian is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the National Speakers Association.
Damian released his first book Do Business Better: Traits, Habits, and Actions to Help You Succeed in April 2019 (Wiley).
When he’s not traveling for work, Damian can be found on his Indiana farm with his wife Lori or escaping from winter at their Arizona residence.
Corporate Comedian, Emcee and Speaker on Communication & Change
It’s pretty simple what Mark Mayfield does: he talks about very serious stuff in a very funny way. He is one of the rare individuals in the world who is equally adept at performing comedy shows or high content speeches. Compelling content with genuine humor, he will motivate your audience as a keynote speaker or emcee.
Mark is author of several business books and two joke books including his latest Morph, a guide to accepting and managing change, and has spoke to a “Who’s Who” list of corporations, conventions, and trade associations over the past four decades.
Mark has one of the most diversified backgrounds in the speaking industry having owned and operated several businesses ranging from livestock production to nightclubs to golf instruction - and also spent ten years as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and in thirteen state legislatures for a Fortune 500 company. That business experience combined with his work as a nightclub performer allowed him to create truly unique presentations. His tagline is simple: Solid business wisdom in a brilliant comedic style.
He has received rave reviews sharing the stage with a wide variety of celebrities like Bob Newhart, Rachel Platten, Andy Grammer, and Colin Powell, and has introduced a President of the United States on a live, nationwide television broadcast.
He was raised on a farm, received two degrees magna cum laude from Kansas State University, and taught school before he began his lobbying, business, and speaking career.
From comedy shows to seminars, Mark’s philosophy is simple...say it with humor and people will take the message home. A national convention planner recently called Mark “one of the very few, really funny, inspiring men in America today”.
Mark’s Mom also said that once after a small bribe.
He is happily married (although his wife is not) and is the proud father of two daughters. He is also the most annoying Grandpa on the planet.