Former Major League Baseball Pitcher & Gold Medal Winner in the 1988 Olympics
Born without a right hand, Jim Abbott is a former MLB pitcher who led Team USA to a Gold Medal in the 1988 Olympics. He was an All-America hurler at Michigan and won the Sullivan Award in 1987. Jim threw a 4-0 no-hitter for the New York Yankees versus Cleveland on September 4, 1993. He played for 10 seasons on 4 different teams and ended his big league playing career in 1999.
Abbott has worked with The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) on several initiatives encouraging businesses to hire people with disabilities.
Today, in addition to often being a Guest Pitching Instructor during Spring Training for the Los Angeles Angels, Jim Abbott is a motivational speaker who shares his incredible story of overcoming adversity and achieving ultimate goal.
Inspiring Story of Leadership from Former Commander of USS Benfold
Mike Abrashoff has a personal tagline: “You can tell people what to do but you can’t order excellence.” When Mike was the most-junior officer in the Pacific Fleet he took command of the near-worst performing ship. Twelve months later, the USS Benfold was the best ship in the entire Navy -- using the same crew. The story of that stunning transformation has lessons for every organization: leadership matters -- and culture is everything. Mike’s written three books -- his first, It’s Your Ship, has sold over 1 million copies. His Leadership Roadmap offers clear, battle-tested, and actionable steps. Mike shows people at every level of the organization how to engage and take incremental steps toward change that can make a dramatic difference at work. Mike is clear, “I didn’t turn the ship around -- my crew did that. What I did was to create an environment where they felt safe, empowered and supported. When you do that, anything is possible.”
In many ways, what Mike was able to do with the USS Benfold was an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today. That’s why dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company have cited Mike’s story as an inspiring lesson for business. Leaders especially identify with Mike’s being accountable for the results in an environment where he couldn’t make the rules.
“When my crew came to me with a problem, I’d say ‘It’s your ship -- how would you fix it?’.” Mike focused on the one thing he could influence: his crew’s attitude, because culture is the ultimate competitive weapon for any organization.
Mike’s established a set of management principles that he calls The Leadership Roadmap. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfold was a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers with conviction and humility. “The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew. The idea is to empower every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence.”
By every measure, these principles achieved breakthrough results: turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1%; the rate of promotions tripled; and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25%. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfold won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness. This remarkable turnaround was accomplished by the very same crew that had performed so poorly just months before.
Mike is author of three books. His first, It’s Your Ship, has a timeless message: don’t use outside forces that stand in your way as excuses -- control the things you can influence and amazing results will happen. His next books, It’s Our Ship and Get Your Ship Together, showed how these principles have been put into action by business leaders in their own organizations.
A popular keynote speaker for audiences looking to ramp up organizational performance, Mike has spoken to every industry and kind of audience -- from board retreats to front line personnel; from sales groups to universities; from Fortune 500s to startups. He inspires audiences to rethink their beliefs about leadership and organizational culture and tailors the message to focus on engagement, execution, change, safety, diversity, leadership, teamwork, innovation, accountability and more.
Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Mike served as the Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; and served as the executive officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
Mike Abrashoff is the founder of Aegis Performance Group, a consulting firm that works with and supports leaders as they address leadership, talent and performance challenges within their organizations. Mike and his team prompt leaders at all levels to re-imagine their leadership thinking and create new ways to elevate individual, team and organizational performance.
Non-verbal body language communication expert for sales and marketing professionals.
Bill Acheson is an expert in nonverbal communication. Since 1985, Bill has taught communication at the University of Pittsburgh. As a keynote speaker, he uses his knowledge of nonverbal communication, body language, to teach professionals how to project themselves with greater impact. In the process they also learn to interpret the subconscious messages sent by others.
Presenting academic research with humor and an engaging personality, Bill Acheson presents a model so compelling that people use the information before they leave the room.
Bill Acheson has worked with professionals from such companies as 3M, American Express, AIG, Bank of America, Citigroup, Ernst & Young, Fidelity Investments, Finance America, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide, Smith Barney, and Van Kampen Investments.
Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, spent over a decade at Harvard University where he won numerous distinguished teaching awards for his work. Shawn's research on happiness and human potential has received attention from the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Forbes, CNN, and NPR. His keynotes help organizations to improve performance, leadership and manage change.
Shawn graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics. In 2006, he was Head Teaching Fellow for
Positive Psychology, the most popular course at Harvard at the time.
In 2007, Shawn founded Good Think Inc. to share his research with a wider population. When the global economy collapsed in 2008, Shawn was immediately called in as an expert by the world's largest banks to help restart forward progress. Subsequently, Shawn has spoken in 45 countries to a wide variety of audiences: bankers on Wall Street, students in Dubai, CEOs in Zimbabwe.
Author, Critically-Acclaimed Documentary Host/Producer, Keynote Speaker on Empowerment
Jay Acunzo is waging war on conventional thinking. As a digital media strategist at Google, he was responsible for pushing marketing executives and practitioners into the digital age more rapidly, in ways that benefited both companies and careers. He held multiple leadership positions at high-growth tech startups, including Head of Content at HubSpot, and served as Vice President of Brand and Community at the venture capital firm NextView. On the side, Jay created the award-winning podcast, Unthinkable, and co-founded Boston Content, the northeast's largest community of content creators and marketers.
Courses at Harvard Business School have cited Jay’s work, as well as writers at the New York Times, the Washington Post, FastCompany, Forbes, and more. He has been called a “creative savant” by Salesforce, and named to the city of Boston’s “50 on Fire" list.
Today, Jay is the founder of Unthinkable Media, which works with fast-growing start-ups and challenger brands to create entertaining B2B shows. In a world where “storyteller” has become a buzzword, Jay actually understands how to tell great stories -- stories that entertain, surprise, teach, and above all, push people beyond conventional thinking so they can do their best work. His book, Break the Wheel: Question Best Practices, Hone Your Intuition, and Do Your Best Work, inspires others to do precisely that.
For Jeff Adams, a wheelchair is a vehicle for success. This five-time Paralympian and six-time World Champion in wheelchair sports is living proof that focus, determination, and spirit are the keys to achieving “gold medal” dreams. Combining his unique understanding of life’s challenges with his experience as a world-class athlete, Jeff synthesises his experience in sport, government, and business into messages that show how the path to success is often the same, regardless of the goal that is being pursued.
A rare breed of athlete, Jeff successfully transitioned from sport to business. Over the last decade, he founded and sold two companies, Marvel Wheelchairs and Icon Wheelchairs, raising over $6 million dollars in private equity funding for the startups. Marvel underwent an acquisition in 2010, and Icon was acquired in 2015. Jeff is currently the Executive Director of the ArtsGames Foundation.
Jeff started using a wheelchair at nine years old; the radiation therapy that saved his life while battling cancer in infancy had, by nine, permanently damaged his spinal cord. Since then, he has faced this monumental challenge admirably, competed in six consecutive Summer Paralympics, from 1988 to 2008, and winning a total of three gold, four silver, and six bronze medals.
Jeff has appeared in television commercials, acted as a global spokesperson for multinational corporations, and worked as a journalist and commentator for media. He served as Chair of the Accessibility Committee for the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid Committee, and is Chair of the Ontarians with Disability Advisory Council. He is a recent inductee into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame.
Fighter Pilots who Teach Leadership, Teamwork, Culture & Motivation Skills
Afterburner, Inc. trains global organizations to accelerate their performance and ensure a higher success rate for their strategic objectives. Afterburner’s full client list includes more than 150 U.S. Fortune 500 companies from which over 1.7 million business leaders have experienced an Afterburner program - and rated their experience an average of 9.2 out of 10. Afterburner specializes in strategic and agile planning and continuous improvement through building a culture of learning, accountability and proven execution - in accordance with a simple, scalable improvement process model, Flawless Execution. Afterburner’s Flawless ExecutionTM framework provides the necessary structures, collaboration, and teamwork to close the Execution Gap – the gap between what an organization plans to do and what it actually achieves. Founded in 1996 by former U.S. Air Force fighter pilot James “Murph” Murphy, Afterburner has ranked among Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies” three times - and has been featured in leading publications like the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Financial Times, Newsweek, and Meetings and Conventions Magazine. Afterburner has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox News, and Bloomberg News, among others.
The Flawless Execution model:
- Plan - The plan starts with an objective that is clear, measurable and achievable and supports your company's overall strategy
- Brief - You communicate the plan. It is essential that people on the front lines know exactly what is expected of them. Businesses ignore this, often at their peril
- Execute - Even with a solid plan and a good brief, a mission can still fail due to task saturation or task overload. Task saturation is the reality or perception of having too much to do without the time or resources to accomplish it. Even with the resources people still have to manage conflicting priorities. We know that as task saturation increases, performance decreases; therefore, at Afterburner we help teams combat task saturation by identifying resources and managing priorities
- Debrief - The last step is the debriefing. After each mission, fighter pilots hold a nameless, rankless debrief. Each person, without fear of reprimand, rehashes what worked, what did not work and why both the good events and the bad events happened. We then take the key lessons learned from the debrief and apply them to the next plan. Debriefing speeds up learning. It lets us fine tune the processes that ensure success
- Win! - Our goal is to win by aligning your team around a disciplined, scalable process in order to achieve business results
About Dirk Ahlborn – Entrepreneur and Innovation Speaker, CEO of Hyperloop Technologies, Founder of JumpStarter
Dirk Ahlborn is an entrepreneur keynote speaker and the founder and CEO of JumpStarter Inc. JumpStarter is a web portal that creates smarter and more successful companies by using crowdsourcing to fund ideas from initial conception to final product. Dirk is also CEO and Co-Founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. It is JumpStartFund’s well-known undertaking to make the Hyperloop become reality, by using its crowd collaboration concept.
Dirk started his career in 1993 as an investment specialist in Berlin, Germany. After moving to Italy in 1997, he founded several companies in the alternative energy and interior design space. In 2006, he successfully sold one of these companies to a global alternative energy conglomerate.
He is a serial entrepreneur with experience in almost every element of business. His careers have taken him through management, product design, development, manufacturing, production facility design and set up, production cost control, marketing, product distribution, customer service, and sales.
Before co-founding Jumpstarter, he was at the Girvan Institute of Technology, an incubator-accelerator for early-stage high-tech companies. At Girvan, beginning in 2009, he was instrumental in the development of several startup companies, most notably Advanced Turbine Designs, a developer of natural-gas-fueled gas turbine generators for combined heat and power. In the course of his multi-faceted activities at Girvan he also managed mobile and web application developments as well as search engine optimization and online marketing.
Prior to 2009, his activities were centered in Germany and Italy. Dirk is fluent in German and Italian and proficient in conversational Spanish. He holds the credential in banking and insurance from the Organization of German Industry and Commerce.
A Technology Visionary, Entrepreneur and Leading Speaker on Innovation & The Global Strengths Movement
Paul Allen is a mission-driven entrepreneur, tech visionary, and lecturer on entrepreneurship and innovation, technology, strengths psychology, workplace culture, and human potential. Paul has founded 8 companies in his 29-year career in tech.
He is best known for co-founding Ancestry.com in 1997. He was its original CEO and created the content subscription business model and marketing strategies. He served in many executive roles as Ancestry became the leading genealogy company in the world.
From 2012-2017 Paul was Global Strengths Evangelist for Gallup, helping lead a worldwide movement to bring strengths psychology into schools and workplaces. The StrengthsFinder 2.0 customer base grew from 7 million to 16 million during that time.
Paul taught entrepreneurship and marketing at the university level for 4 years. He serves on the National Advisory Board for the Utah Valley University School of Business. He is a director of the Human Justice Foundation, which aims to change the emphasis in the criminal justice system from punishment and retribution to compassion and rehabilitation.
Paul has travelled extensively and has spoken around the world about how to unlock potential in individuals and build positive, strengths-based cultures. From Canada to China, Hong Kong to Hawaii, and in Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia, Paul has spoken to CEOs, global HRDs, entrepreneurs, educators, managers, and students.
Paul was the keynote speaker for Gallup at the inaugural CliftonStrengths Summit in Omaha, Nebraska in July 2016. In 2017, he was a main stage presenter at the CliftonStrengths Summit, along with keynote speakers Deepak Chopra and best-selling author Tom Rath.
David Allen is an author, consultant, international speaker, Founder and Chairman of the David Allen Company. He is widely recognized as the world's leading authority on personal and organizational productivity. His thirty years of pioneering research, motivation and education of some of the world's highest-performing professionals, corporations and institutions - has earned him Forbes' recognition as one of the top five executive coaches in the United States, and as one of the
Top 100 thought leaders by Leadership magazine. Fast Company hailed David Allen
One of the world's most influential thinkers in the arena of personal productivity, for his outstanding programs and writing on time and stress management, the power of aligned focus and vision in the face of change - and his groundbreaking methodologies in management and executive peak performance. Time Magazine labeled his first book, Getting Things Done, as
the defining self-help business book of the decade.
David Allen is the author of three books; the international best-seller, Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity (
GTD - as the method is popularly known), Ready for Anything, and Making It All Work: Winning at the Game of Work and Business of Life. Getting Things Done has been a perennial business best-seller since it's publication in 2001, and is now published in 28 languages.
Getting Things Done has spawned an international movement of devoted adopters from executives, techies, soldiers, entrepreneurs, university professors, musicians, students and the clergy. It has given rise to a thriving
GTD industry of web sites, blogs and software applications. Internet searches bring up tens of millions of references. David Allen is a rarity in the twitter world - as one of the few non-celebrities with over a million followers hanging on his wit and inspiration.
Piloting a productivity seminar for a thousand managers at Lockheed in 1983, David has continued to test and refine the techniques and principles we now know as GTD - a powerful method to manage commitments, information, and communication. This pioneering and proven system is the result of those twenty plus years of David's consulting, private coaching and organizational programs with over a half million people internationally. GTD has well earned its recognition as the gold standard in personal management and productivity for many of the world's best and brightest people and companies.
Sophisticated without being confining, the subtle effectiveness of GTD lies in its radically common sense notion that with a complete and current inventory of all your commitments , organized and reviewed in a systematic way, you can focus clearly, view your world from optimal angles and make trusted choices about what to do (and not do) at any moment. GTD embodies an easy, step-by-step and highly efficient method for achieving this relaxed, productive state. It includes:
- Capturing anything and everything that has your attention
- Defining actionable things discretely into outcomes and concrete next steps
- Organizing reminders and information in the most streamlined way, in appropriate categories, based on how and when you need to access them
- Keeping current and
on your gamewith appropriately frequent reviews of the six horizons of your commitments - purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, projects, and actions
Implementing GTD alleviates the feeling of being overwhelmed, instills confidence - and releases a flood of creative energy. It provides structure without constraint and managing details with maximum flexibility. The system rigorously adheres to the core principles of productivity - while allowing tremendous freedom in the
how. The only
right way to do GTD is getting meaningful things done with truly the least amount of invested attention and energy. Coaching thousands of people, where they work, about their work - has informed the GTD method with the best practices
of how to work (and live), in that most efficient and productive way. GTDs simplicity, flexibility, and immediacy are its attraction. Its ability to enliven, enlighten, and empower is its magic. What, indeed, is GTD? More than meets the eye...
First American Woman to Climb Mt. Everest, Author and Inspirational Speaker.
Stacy Allison has climbed the world's most famous mountain. Now she's helping organizations across the globe scale their own monumental challenges. She combines her business acumen and her spirit for adventure to show her audiences how to thrive in their organizations through courage, leadership, vision, teamwork, risk taking, and personal accountability. Stacy's high content, tailored, dynamic presentations will encourage and inspire you to take a visionary look at opportunities and move beyond your limits. The future will never look the same!
Stacy brings a vast range of experiences and knowledge to her energetic and dynamic presentations. She is best known as the First American woman to summit Mt. Everest. She is also president of Stacy Allison General Contracting, a residential building company. She and her team of builders specialize in high end restorations, where they steadfastly preserve the charm and integrity of classic old homes, while achieving financial success.
At the age of 21, Stacy began major alpine climbing in earnest and achieved rapid success. Within a year, Stacy reached the top of Alaska's Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America, and was part of the first successful women's ascent of Ama Dablam, the 22,495 foot peak known as Nepal's Matterhorn. These accomplishments provided the groundwork for much greater accomplishments.
Stacy was the first American woman to top Pik Communism (now known as Ismoil Somoni Peak), at 24,600 feet, the tallest peak in the Russian Pamir Range. On her first attempt on Mt Everest, Stacy did not summit, but she returned to Mt. Everest with the Northwest American Everest Expedition. On September 29, 1988, after twenty-nine days on the mountain, Stacy became the first American woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the world's highest mountain at 29,028 feet. Stacy then went on to become the leader of a successful K2 expedition, the world's second highest mountain, considered to be the most difficult peak on Earth to climb. Three of the team of seven made it to the top; after an accident to the third, in keeping with her view of teamwork and leadership, Stacy and the others descended. “In any endeavor, leaders should inspire members of the team with a passion for success,” Stacy says, “but within the framework of team effort. One of the most crucial things to realize, feel and remember is that when one team member succeeds, the entire team succeeds.”
Stacy's first book, Beyond the Limits: a Woman's Triumph on Everest, is a suspenseful, triumphant adventure story. Her second, Many Mountains to Climb: Reflections on Competence, Courage and Commitment, is an exciting anecdotal account of climbing challenges practically applied to help you plot your way more surely to professional and personal success. Stacy also contributed a chapter on Leadership in the book, Upward Bound.
Stacy serves on the Board of Trustees of National University and is the Chairperson for The American Lung Associations fundraiser - Climb for Clean Air. Remarkably, among all of her accomplishments, she proudly is a committed mother of two.
Bestselling Author and Speaker on Sales, Marketing and Strategic Business Growth
Business leaders call on Ian Altman to accelerate revenue growth with integrity. Organizations around the world have relied on Altman’s guidance and inspiration to double their business growth with an integrity-based approach from his new best-selling book, Same Side Selling. He is considered an expert on how to stand out from the competition in sales, marketing, and business development. If you Google search "business trends" his annual trends article likely comes up at the top of the results.
Altman draws on decades of experience as a former CEO of technology businesses that he founded, sold, and ultimately grew to over $1 billion in value. This business success backed by years of research that Altman conducted to understand how customers make decisions, makes him a leading authority to help people become more successful in business. Through his energetic, humorous, and interactive talks, Altman engages audiences of sales professionals, subject matter experts, and executives alike from beginning to end with proven methods to help modernize their business, marketing and sales approach to align with today’s customers.
Altman is a best-selling author and his latest book, Same Side Selling, has been named “one of two intriguing books you should read on B2B consultative selling,” according to business luminary, Seth Godin. You can read Altman’s columns on Inc. and Forbes.com. Altman also records a popular weekly podcast called, "Grow My Revenue Business Cast," which is available on iTunes or wherever you get your favorite podcast.
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Our Sales Speakers have used their knowledge to adapt and create actionable and engaging presentations on how organizations can pivot to embrace the opportunities presented by the pandemic.
Ranging from Virtual Keynotes to Fireside chats, all with interactive elements, let our Sales Speakers help your 2021 Sales Conference.
We work with some of the best Sales Speakers in the speaking world and asked them all the same question:
What is your number 1 sales tip?
Here’s how they answered:
Saying “yes” implies a course of positive action. The predictable expletive, “No!” can fill up our time and energy because saying “no” is
frequently a commitment to an unproductive struggle that reinforces helplessness and inertia.
Responding positively to problems is the prerequisite to overcoming bad things that occur so we can break down our challenges and move forward.
People thrive on challenges, and are the winners who get things done.
Some great advice we received from Tim Sanders, VP of Customer Insights for Upwork just after starting The Sweeney Agency:
“Don’t think about sales or closing deals, just position yourself so that whenever you can help someone you help them, without any expectations. 20% of the people you help you’ll never hear from again, but that won’t matter because you will certainly hear back from the other 80%. They will remember you and your incredible help and that will create such great relationships
that you will build both a great business and a great life.”
Communicating compassionately, consistently, confidently and courageously is precisely what is required during a crisis. Our research has found that two of the biggest drivers of engagement and commitment from employees are confidence in their senior leadership and confidence in the future of the
Now is the time to model scenarios to create a long-term plan and vision for your business, fully aware that you will be agile enough to adapt when new information is available or the landscape suddenly changes.
At the climax of Indiana Jones & The Holy Grail, the Nazis are turned to dust after selected a gem studded chalice they believe to be the Holy Grail. Indy chooses a simple wooden cup that is in fact the true Holy Grail.
In the context of business, most of us scramble to have the “right” message on social media or want to make things look a certain way. The same optics that make the false grail so beautiful.
This is a powerful lesson: the substance of something, is ultimately infinitely more important than what it looks like. Optics may present a short term gain but will always lose in the long run and at a macro level.
Your customers’ natural inclination is to be nice, not honest. Open-ended questions give your potential customers the option to respond very honestly and to fully explain the problems they’re
facing (that your product may or may not solve).
Ask leading questions that broadcast the answer you want to hear, such as:
- “Are you…”
- “Will you…”
- “Won’t you…”
- “Didn’t you…”
- “Can’t you…”
Out-of-the-Box Thinker, Forbes Columnist, Innovation Keynote Speaker, Experiential, Interactive & Engaging
Book Scott Amyx to learn how to systematically and consistently create profound innovation. Break through traditional thinking. Inspire and challenge your audience. Scott delivers actionable insights in an energizing, experiential and engaging manner that creates an environment for real learning and lasting change. His impactful keynote speeches are practical and applicable on the most pressing business challenges of today.
Scott Amyx received a standing ovation for his 2017 TEDx talk on Strive: How Doing the Things Most Uncomfortable Leads to Success. He was voted Top 10 Global Innovation Keynote Speaker and keynotes at major international conferences and Fortune 500 companies.
Scott Amyx is the Chair & Managing Partner at Amyx Ventures, Forbes New York Business Council Member, Singularity University/ Smart City Accelerator mentor and startup board member and SXSW Pitch (formerly SXSW Accelerator) judge. Scott is a Tribeca Disruptor Foundation Fellow, a disruptive innovation awards program of Tribeca Film Festival. Scott is a national Sloan Fellow/Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has spoken at TEDx on exponential technologies, Fourth Industrial Revolution & success. Scott is a global thought leader on breakthrough innovation, voted top global innovation keynote speaker, and author on smart cities, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and winner of the Cloud & DevOps World Award for Most Innovative and was voted Top Global Exponential Technologies Expert by Inc. Magazine, HP Enterprise, and Postscapes & Top 10 Global Innovation Keynote Speaker by Speaking.com. Scott has been nominated to the World Economic Forum as a committee member for the Future of the Internet. The Republic of Korea nominated Scott to present at the ITU Telecom World, United Nations. Sovereignties, governments, multinationals, and international consulting & research firms look to Scott for unrivaled insights and pulse on the changing landscape.
Scott was voted the Most Influential Leader in Smart Cities and awarded the 50 Most Impactful Smart Cities Leaders by Inc. Magazine, Internet of Things Institute, HP Enterprise, World CSR Congress, and numerous institutions. Scott is enabling the realization of a global network of smart, sustainable cities through his partnerships with the United Nations, United Smart Cities, United for Smart Sustainable Cities, Smart Cities Council, and ASEAN Smart Cities Network, family offices, and institutional investors.
Scott has been featured on New York Times, TIME, Forbes, The Washington Post, WIRED, TechCrunch, Inc., Pew Research, Chicago Tribune, InformationWeek, Forrester, Gigaom, ReadWrite, Shots Magazine, Business News Daily, IBM Big Data & Analytics, Intel, Geektime, Examiner, TechBeacon, EE Times, IEEE, El País, Costco Magazine, and television and radio programs. He has spoken or scheduled to speak at TED, European Commission, World Economic Forum, ITU Telecom World (United Nations), International CES, SXSW, IBM Insight, IBM Amplify, IBM Watson IoT, IBM InterConnect, PTC LiveWorx, AMEX, SAP, CRM Evolution, THINK!, NED, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud & DevOps World, KAIST, Samsung SDS, ArabNet Dubai & Riyadh, Internet Summit, JCK Las Vegas, Customer Service Experience, Razorfish Tech Summit, Location & Context World, Internet of Things World, K-Global Startup, and more. Scott is the co-author of Internet of Things and Data Analytics Handbook, an academic publication by John Wiley and Sons and The Advances in Information Security, Privacy, & Ethics (AISPE) Book Series: Managing Security Issues and the Hidden Dangers of Wearable Technologies, an academic publication by IGI Global.
He is the author of Strive: How Doing the Things Most Uncomfortable Leads to Success, which has been endorsed by Tony Robbins, Forbes, Singularity University, Tribeca Film Festival, and other global influencers. Scott's upcoming book The Human Race is slated for release in 2020.
Scott has a master’s degree in applied microeconomics & public policy from the University of Chicago. He was a national Sloan Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University.
Founder of Venture Foresight, Futurist, Award-winning Author and Global Speaker on Trends & Technology.
Simon J. Anderson is an Applied Foresight speaker and consultant. He helps leaders and organizations be more future resilient - and has shared his compelling message with thousands of senior executives and other leaders in a variety of industries from coast to coast in the United States, as well as internationally. In 2013, he founded Venture Foresight, a company dedicated to helping leaders recognize opportunities in emerging technologies and trends. The world is changing faster than ever, and every industry is being transformed. Find out how Simon can help you spot the opportunities created by all this change before they become challenges.
Simon co-authored the 2014 Bellwether Award winning book Foresight 20/20: A Futurist Explores the Trends Transforming Tomorrow with fellow global futurist Jack Uldrich. With two new chapters and hundreds of updates, the 2015 “Updated & Expanded” edition broadens the focus to include new industries, insights, and advancements. Watch for Simon's upcoming book to be released Fall, 2019 - in progress with the working title Outrunning Automation: How to Create Value in a Fast-Changing World. This too will be a must-read!
As a key member of the international organization Communities of the Future, Simon works to promote and facilitate “future’s thinking’ in communities around the world. His work as a futurist also informed his roles as an advisor to several technology startups and a multinational educational non-profit organization.
Having traveled to more than 25 countries, Simon brings a global perspective to his work, which has been featured in numerous publications including the World Future Society’s monthly newsletter, “The Futurist” and the Austrian management magazine the “Hernsteiner.”
Simon and his wife Helena Cruz Sanchez live in Minneapolis, MN.
Former Professor and Dean at the University of California, Author & Speaker on the Brain Science of Success
Dr. Britt Andreatta is an internationally recognized thought leader in leadership and learning. Drawing on her unique background in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, education, and the human sciences, she has a profound understanding of how to unlock the best in people - helping organizations rise to their potential. As the former Chief Learning Officer for Lynda.com, her research on the brain science of success has transformed the talent/learning industry.
She is the CEO and President of 7th Mind Inc. providing groundbreaking research and science-based solutions for today's workplace challenges. Britt has published several titles on learning and leadership including her books Wired to Connect: The Brain Science of Teams and a New Model to Create Collaboration and Inclusion, Wired to Grow: Harness the Power of Brain Science to Master Any Skill and Wired to Resist: The Brain Science of Why Change Fails and a New Model for Driving Success. Britt is currently writing her next books on the neuroscience of purpose and the conscious evolution of organizations.
Britt is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of experience consulting with businesses, universities - and nonprofit organizations. Corporate clients include Fortune 100 companies like Comcast and Apple as well as companies such as Ernst&Young, Avvo, LinkedIn, Franklin Covey, AlterEco Foods, DPR Construction, and 15Five. Dr. Andreatta has also worked with major educational institutions like the University of California, Dartmouth University, and the University of New Mexico - as well as non-profit organizations like the YMCA and Norton Healthcare.
She has received over 8 million views worldwide of her courses on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. Titles include The Neuroscience of Learning, Creating a Culture of Learning, Organizational Learning & Development, Leading Change, Having Difficult Conversations, and Leading with Emotional Intelligence.
A highly sought-after and engaging speaker, Britt delivered a TEDx talk called “How Your Past Hijacks Your Future” - and she regularly speaks at corporate events and international conferences receiving rave reviews like “best speaker of the conference” or “best keynote I’ve ever heard.”
Dr. Andreatta has served as professor and dean at the University of California, Antioch University, and several graduate schools. She regularly consults with executives and organizations on how to maximize their full potential.
Author and speaker on growth and innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism.
Scott Anthony is a senior partner at Innosight, a strategy and consulting firm. He has led Innosight's expansion into the Asia-Pacific region as well as its venture capital activities (Innosight Ventures). In his more than a decade with Innosight, Scott has advised senior leaders in companies such as Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Singtel, Kraft, General Electric, LG, the Ayala Group, and Cisco Systems on topics of growth and innovation. He has extensive experience in emerging markets, particularly in India, China, and the Philippines. In 2017, Scott was awarded the Thinkers50 Innovation Award, which recognizes the world’s leading thinker on innovation.
Scott is one of Harvard Business Review’s most prolific contributors and is the coauthor of the new book Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future, a blueprint for how successful companies can leverage disruptive change to fortify today’s business and create tomorrow’s growth engine. He was the co-author of the HBR article “Build an Innovation Engine in 90 Days” as well as dozens of digital articles for the magazine.
Scott’s previous books are The First Mile: A Launch Manual for Getting Great Ideas Into the Market. Seeing What’s Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change (with Innosight co-founder and Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen); The Innovator’s Guide to Growth: Putting Disruptive Innovation to Work; The Silver Lining: An Innovation Playbook for Uncertain Times; The Little Black Book of Innovation: How It Works, How to Do It; and Building a Growth Factory. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles on innovation and strategy for a variety of publications.
Scott is a featured speaker on topics of innovation and growth. He has delivered keynote addresses on five continents, and has appeared on Good Morning America, Channel News Asia, CNBC, and FOX Business.
Scott received a BA in economics summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.
A poor upbringing from one of the roughest areas of Chicago didn't stop Victor Antonio from earning a B.S. Electrical Engineering, an MBA - and building a 20-year career as a top sales executive and becoming President of Global Sales and Marketing for a $420M company. As Vice-President of International Sales in a Fortune 500 $3B corporation at the time, he was selected from over 500 sales managers to join the President’s Advisory Council for excellence in sales and management.
He is the author of 13 books on sales and motivation. His most recent publication, "Sales Ex Machina: How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the World of Selling" examines how AI is altering the world of sales. He is also the founder of the Sales Mastery Academy - a learning platform for today's salesperson.
He has shared the stage with top business speakers: Rudy Giuliani, Zig Ziglar, Paul Otellini (CEO, Intel), and John May (CEO, FedEx Kinkos), and has spread his sales message around the world: Europe, Asia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Latin America, Middle East, China, United Arab Emirates and South Africa.
Victor is also bilingual, adding the option of presenting in Spanish.
America’s First Black Female Combat Pilot, Former Marine & Cop, Author and Consultant to Business
Combat tests you. Being a beat cop tests you. Life tests you. Three brothers and being the only girl...tests you. Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour has been tested her whole life. A gutsy trailblazer, her resume is an impressive collection of “firsts” including America’s first Black woman combat pilot. She served two tours of duty in Iraq as a Marine. She was also a diversity liaison officer to the Pentagon for Headquarters Marine Corps. After her military service, FlyGirl revved up her career in the private sector as an entrepreneur, consultant to business, and author of Zero to Breakthrough, The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. As a speaker, FlyGirl unleashes hard-hitting advice and amazing anecdotes from her adventures on the battlefield and in business. She helps individuals and organizations Get Gutsy and build a sustainable inner force and conviction, that results in accomplishing significant goals.
In 2007, FlyGirl launched VAI Consulting & Training, LLC. Through that work, she helps individuals and organizations make gutsy moves and create breakthrough results by applying her “Zero to BreakthroughTM” Success Model –a mindset that helped to propel her career and kept her safe in air combat. FlyGirl regularly takes her message to premier meetings and conferences worldwide and is a Gutsy Confidence Mentor for elite senior executive Women in Tech.
As her newest business venture, in 2020 FlyGirl started FlyGirl Construction, a General Contracting Firm in the Atlanta, GA area.
As a Black gay woman and single mom, FlyGirl brings vital experience to her role as a member of the Forbes School of Business & Technology Board of Advisors and COMCAST/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Council.
FlyGirl has two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards as a pioneering pilot, including honors for her commanding role in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour’s story has been featured in the media including on CNN, MSNBC, The View, FOX News, Oprah Winfrey and many more, along with being a running back for the San Diego Sunfire professional women’s football team and two-time title holder of Camp Pendleton’s Strongest Warrior Competition.
She is currently working on her next book, The Gutsy Move.
Leading Global Expert on Customer Experience & Customer-Centric Transformation
Lior Arussy is hailed as one of the leading global authorities in the fields of Customer Experience, Employee Engagement, and Strategy Execution. He is a Corporate Culture expert, a ‘success accelerator’ - and a proven, passionate change agent. Called a “triple threat of transformation” by William Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine - Lior has helped many of the world’s top brands achieve unprecedented goals in customer satisfaction, growth - and profitability. Among these are Mercedes-Benz, Johnson & Johnson, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Thomson Reuters, HSBC, E.ON, FedEx, SAP, and the University of Pennsylvania - to name a few.
His insights and methods have been successfully put into practice in over 200 corporate transformations worldwide, making Lior not only a forerunner in the field - but a proven practitioner. And that’s what truly sets him apart - where other speakers simply talk of change, Lior makes it happen time and time again. As inspiring as he is passionate, Lior’s unique and critical voice continues to drive people across the globe to achieve their ultimate success.
Lior spent the first part of his career in various executive positions at world-leading firms, such as Hewlett-Packard. It was at this stage that he recognized the old, traditional methods of change management were flawed - and simply didn’t work for most companies. Lior took it upon himself to create a different methodology - one which recognizes the key to truly driving a company’s change for success, is in putting its most important resource at the center of its transformational efforts: its employees. The idea being that, in order for customers to choose your product and get the most out of it, you not only have to have an exceptional product - but a great, dedicated, happy team that stands behind that product’s success.
Lior’s methodology enabled Mercedes-Benz to reach the much-coveted #1 position in customer satisfaction. Another client, a European logistics corporation - leapt from 3% annual organic growth to 44% annual organic growth in just two years!
In 2003, Lior founded the Strativity Group - a strategy firm specializing in customer experience consulting, employee engagement programs, journey mapping, and business growth. In addition, he has written seven books on business strategy, customer experience optimization, and achieving the ultimate success. Lior's latest book Next is Now: 5 Steps for Embracing Change - Building a Business that Thrives into the Future (May 2018, Simon & Schuster), and his self-published Exceptionalize it! (2015) - which has sold over 30,000 copies to date. He has also written over 300 articles for publications around the world, including the Harvard Business Review, and Chief Executive media - for which he is a regular contributing author. As well, a multitude of magazines and media outlets have cited his work including MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg TV, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, CRM Magazine, Smart CEO Magazine, Inc. magazine, Financial Times, The Times of London, and ABC.
Lior currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and five children. He completed his undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University - and received his MBA from Weatherhead School of Management.
He is a self-professed chocoholic.
Speaker on economic trends and award winning author of Crossroads: The Great American Experiment.
If you're looking for indicators for the quality of a speaker, how does being invited to speak at the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty sound? This is exactly what happened to Dr. Barry Asmus; it's just one of the many prestigious events to which he's been invited in the course of his more than 25 years of speaking experience.
Dr. Asmus is Senior Economist at the National Center for Policy Analysis, so he doesn't just speak on policy; he implements it, both at home and worldwide. He has given testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee on income tax and was invited to speak to Western European leaders at a privatizing Social Security conference. In his travels around the world he has spoken to government leaders at the highest level in places as diverse as Romania, Albania, China and Peru. He uses these opportunities to spread his key message of a free market, low tax, protected property rights and free trade.
Dr. Asmus has published nine books, including Crossroads: The Great American Experiment that received an HL Mencken Award nomination. He has also received the Freedom Foundation Award at Valley Forge for Private Enterprise Education. When teaching as a Professor of Economics he was twice voted University Professor of the Year.
Featured regularly in prestigious media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, Dr. Asmus has also co-hosted a syndicated radio show, “Perspectives on the Economy." USA Today stated that he is one of the five most requested speakers in the United States.
The Youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in History, Speaks on Personal Achievement, Leadership, Sales & Strategic Communication
Ryan Avery’s keynotes are about improving communication and showing leaders and their teams how to go from A to THE® in their industry. Known for being one of the Millennial generation’s most profound voices on strategic communication and achievement, Ryan’s keynotes present you and your team with the actionable strategies you can use to 'Go From A Leader to THE Leader®' in your industry. Working with Fortune 500 companies, organizations, and associations on every continent in the world, Ryan uses his experience as Marketing Director, World Champion and Entrepreneur to show leaders and their teams how to reach their goals with lightning speed, communicate their message with absolute clarity and turn their ideas into measurable, momentum-building action!
His keynotes are jammed-packed with takeaways that you can start using immediately to improve yourself, your team, and your business! From the moment Ryan steps on the stage to the moment he leaves, people will be saying, “I learned more in Ryan’s one-hour keynote, than I have learned all year!” Ryan is the leader’s GPS to success and uses his proprietary 4D Success Model™ to take you to the next level in sales, leadership, and strategic communication. He shows you the turn-by-turn guidance every step of the way from helping people decide what they want, design the plan to get there, develop the skills needed to make it happen and deliver the results that make customers satisfied yet wanting more!
In 2012, Ryan Avery competed against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries to claim the World Championship title and to become the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history. In 2015, Ryan and his wife, Chelsea, set the World Record for being the Youngest Couple to Professionally Speak on All Seven Continents.
Ryan is a best-selling and international author with more than 500+ keynotes and trainings delivered world-wide. Ryan’s latest book Motivating Millennials: How to Recognize, Recruit and Retain the Next Generation of Leaders (2017) was published by Avery Today, Inc.
Ryan is an avid scuba diver and will eat anything except olives. Born and raised in Texas he say’s “all y’all” way too many times a day and currently lives with his wife Chelsea in Colorado. They have been together for over ten years, and share life with their beautiful daughter Atlas.
Best-selling Author & Inspiring Speaker on Leadership, Creativity and Diversity
John U. Bacon is the New York Times best-selling author of ten books on sports, business leadership, health, and history. He free-lances for The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, and others, appears often on TV, including HBO, ESPN, Fox Business, MSNBC, and the Big Ten Network, and delivers weekly essays for Michigan Radio and occasionally NPR, which awarded him the PRNDI prize for the Nation's Best Commentary in 2014.
His books include Walgreens: America’s Corner Store, Cirque du Soleil: The Spark, Bo’s Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership, which hit the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal’s Business Best-Seller lists. He then researched and wrote a trio of books covering big time college football from the inside out: Three and Out: Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines in the Crucible of College Football, Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football, Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football. All three were New York Times best-sellers.
His book, Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope, co-authored with ESPN’s John Saunders, tells Saunders’ life story in dramatic detail.
John delivers speeches on the themes in his books -- including leadership, creativity, and diversity -- to corporations, universities and other groups around the country and the world. In 2011, the Michigan Chapter of Meeting Planners International (MMPI) named him “Speaker of the Year.” In addition to writing and speaking, he teaches at the University of Michigan, where students awarded him the Golden Apple in 2009.
John is also a decent Spanish speaker, an average hockey player, and a poor piano player, but he still enjoys all three! He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife and son.
Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker and Best-selling Author on Customer Experience, Customer Service, Business Growth, and Marketing, and Event Emcee & Host
Jay Baer has spent 20 years in digital marketing, consulting for more than 700 companies during that period, including 30 of the FORTUNE 500. His current firm – Convince & Convert – provides social media and content marketing advice and counsel to leading companies such as Oracle, Salesforce.com, California Tourism, Billabong, Hardee’s, DOLE and more.
His second book, Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype, was #3 on the New York Times business best-seller list, and a runaway #1 Amazon best-seller. Jay speaks numerous times per year world-wide, often with lessons about how business people can use today’s shifts in technology and consumer expectation to make their companies more useful.
Jay’s Convince & Convert blog was named the world’s #1 content marketing blog by the Content Marketing Institute, and is visited by more than 200,000 marketers each month. Jay also hosts and produces the Social Pros podcast, which is downloaded 25,000 times monthly.
Jay is a renowned business strategist, and a popular emcee and event host. A fixture in social media, he draws attention to interesting and useful articles, videos, blog posts and events via following on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google Plus, which number more than 100,000. Jay is also an active venture capitalist, and is an investor or advisor to more than a dozen early stage technology and social media companies.
Convince & Convert is the fifth multi-million dollar company Jay has started from scratch. Before his move into digital marketing in 1994 he was a brand marketer and a political consultant, with major roles in state, federal and presidential electoral campaigns.
Jay is a New York Times best-selling author of six books, including Hug Your Haters, and NOW Revolution. His latest book Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth, is the definitive, practical guide on how to use bold operational differentiators to create customer conversations. (And when customers talk…new customers follow.)
As one of the world’s foremost speakers on motivation and vision, Eric Bailey draws on his successful careers in professional sport, executive management and sales. His life experiences have enriched his endeavors and given him a unique perspective that he is now offering to the world. While he had a difficult start growing up in South Central Los Angeles, he has gone on to deliver powerful and inspiring keynotes that speak to every group and gender. In fact, Eric has spoken to more than 3 million people worldwide and is Google ranked No. 1 Activational Speaker. In 2015, he was voted as on of the Top 22 Motivational Speakers in the world.
With over 20 years’ experience inspiring and motivating millions of people, Eric commands a room like no other, leaving his audiences in awe. Whether delivering his message to corporate teams or student groups or conducting personal mentoring and coaching, he is the spark that ignites the passion in each of us.
Eric holds the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, conferred by the National Speakers Association and the International Federation for Professional Speakers. The CSP label has strict standards and a rigorous five-year certification process during which time speakers must demonstrate both experience and expertise. Less than 10% of all speakers worldwide have this certification and it represents one of the highest achievements possible for a speaking professional.
As a professional basketball player, Eric’s versatility and his ability to do it all made him shine and stand out from the crowd. As a speaker, his wisdom and insight have helped him rise to the top. Two worlds come together to form one being. Eric’s ability to crossover and connect with audiences of all ages and backgrounds makes him one of the world’s most dynamic speakers.
When Eric Bailey’s towering 6'5" frame steps onto the stage, he gives his audiences more than just a presentation; he connects with them on an intense emotional level. Clearly, he is a powerful force both physically and motivationally. Eric customizes all his presentations for the group to whom he is speaking. He immerses himself in his audience’s culture. Using positive energy and wit, he fills the room with an excitement that can be felt immediately and never fades during the course of a talk. His inspirational stories, along with actionable takeaways, make a real difference. Eric has the ability to touch everyone in the room with his openness, authenticity, and passion.
Eric Bailey has participated in many charitable activities and personal areas of public interest. Among them, he is the ambassador of three non-profit organizations including White Ribbon, dedicated to preventing men’s violence against women, Adopt Change, which transforms attitudes and laws affecting adoption, and Nourish Children, that addresses childhood hunger around the world. Together with these accomplishments, Eric has recently been featured in the highly acclaimed World Class Magazine. He has just released his much anticipated first book – Bring Your A Game.
Stratfor’s Vice President of Strategic Analysis, Speaker on Geopolitics and International Affairs
Rodger Baker leads Stratfor's strategic thinking on global issues and future trends. As the firm's senior analyst, Mr. Baker guides the company's analytical process, to include the development of international analyst teams to refine their understanding and application of Stratfor's proprietary methodology grounded in the study of applied geopolitics and intelligence analysis.
Mr. Baker is one of the world's leading experts on North Korea and has dedicated extended periods of time living and working in and around the Korean peninsula. He also spearheaded the firm's early forecasts on China, making Stratfor one of the first organizations to identify growing challenges to the Chinese economy contrary to widely accepted views at the time. His core emphasis is the multidisciplinary approach to geopolitics and the evolution of international relations to develop mid- and long-term forecasts to assist companies, governments and other globally engaged organizations make informed decisions.
Mr. Baker often provides expert insight on developing situations around the globe for international news media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Economist, CNN, BBC, CBC, CNBC International, CGTN America, Reuters and The Associated Press. In addition to his published work on Stratfor Worldview, Mr. Baker's commentaries are frequently featured within international publications, including Fortune Magazine, Forbes and Asia Times.
Mr. Baker joined Stratfor in 1997 and holds a master's degree in military history from Norwich University, the oldest private military university in the United States. He has studied and worked in South Korea and graduated with honors from Southampton College, Long Island University. Mr. Baker regularly holds exchanges with academic institutes and research groups around the world and frequently travels to brief executives and corporate boards as well as deliver keynote addresses to a wide range of industry groups.
John Baldoni is a globally-recognized leadership educator, certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, and author of 14 books that have been translated into 10 languages.
John’s books include GRACE: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us, MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership, Lead with Purpose, Lead Your Boss, and The Leader’s Pocket Guide. John’s books have been translated into 10 languages.
In 2018 Inc.com named John a Top 100 speaker and Trust Across America honored John with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Trust. In 2019 Global Gurus ranked John No. 9 on its list of Top 30 global leadership expert, a list John been on since 2007. In 2014 Inc.com listed John as a Top 50 leadership expert. John is also a member of the renowned Marshall Goldsmith 100 coaches, a group of executive coaches and thought leaders from the worlds of business, academia and social service.
John established a career as a highly sought after executive coach, where he has had the privilege of working with senior leaders in virtually every industry from pharmaceutical to real estate, packaged goods to automobiles, and finance to health care.
John has authored more than 700 leadership columns for a variety of online publications including Forbes, Harvard Business Review and Inc.com John also produces and appears in a video coaching series for SmartBrief, a news channel with over 4 million readers. John is also the host of LinkedIn Live’s Grace under pressure interview series. John’s leadership resource website is www.johnbaldoni.com
Inspiring adventure speaker, deep sea explorer who discovered the RMS Titanic.
Best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship BISMARCK, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier YORKTOWN (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy boat, PT-109.
While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and black smokers in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.
In addition to being a National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Dr. Ballard is the president of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET).
Ballard was born June 30, 1942, in Wichita, KS but moved to California at a very young age and grew up exploring the shore in San Diego. Dr. Ballard has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island. He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop telecommunications technology to create "tele-presence" for his education initiative, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year. In 2001, he returned to the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he is presently a tenured Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration.
Dr. Ballard has 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He was also a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving in the Navy from 1967 to 1997. He received the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for extraordinary accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the world's oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science. In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers, and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. Dr. Ballard also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking Secrets of the TITANIC.
His discoveries also include sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea; two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel, the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water; and four 1,500-year-old wooden ships, one almost perfectly preserved in the Black Sea. Dr. Ballard's Black Sea project seeks evidence of a great flood that may have struck the region thousands of years ago.
His 1997 best-selling book, Lost Liners, tells the story of the great transatlantic liners through memorable wrecks he has visited. Dr. Ballard was also a special advisor on Steven Spielberg's futuristic Sea Quest, DSV television show.
An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard's fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea.
Author and Globally Celebrated Expert and Motivational Keynote Speaker on Culture and Leadership
Jason Barger is a New York Times-celebrated author, motivational speaker and expert on leadership and culture. He delivers over 70 keynote speeches around the world annually and is a dynamic storyteller. He has spoken for iconic brands such as Nationwide Insurance, Discover, Deloitte, Ultimate Software, Wendy’s, Caribou Coffee, SHRM, TEDx, as well as at Global Leadership Conferences around the world.
His books have been celebrated by the global media and as Founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting LLC, he works as a collaborative partner with teams and organizations to develop compelling leaders, culture and visions for the future. Through his books, leadership consulting, culture-shaping and motivational keynote speeches, he strives to make an impact in the world. Every presentation and engagement he does is tailored to meet the unique needs of the audience and maximize the message for each event.
For 10 years, Jason led thousands of people to build 125 houses internationally for families living in poverty and developed a program to serve the homeless on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. In 2004, Jason received a Jefferson Award, a national award given to “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things.” In 2014, Business First named him one of their "40 Under 40 Award" winners.
Jason is passionate about making a difference in the world through the way we lead and serve every day.