Author, Motivational Keynote Speaker, Engagement and Retention & Culture Expert
Lisa Ryan's work experience and research in employee engagement and cultural transformation gives her a unique perspective for retaining top talent. She is President and Founder of Grategy® - a Cleveland based firm specializing in strategies for employee engagement, retention, and recognition using gratitude strategies (Grategies) for personal and professional development.
Lisa has 20+ years of experience in marketing, training, and sales. She has worked in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, healthcare - and executive recruiting. She is an active member of The National Speakers Association, has been featured in Speaker Magazine as an expert advisor, writes articles for numerous newsletters and online publications - and speaks regularly for several colleges and universities.
Denise Ryan is not your typical motivational speaker - she is genuine and real. Denise is an author, keynote speaker and most notably - a fire starter extraordinaire. Denise’s trademark interactive programs address workplace issues such as dealing with change, getting along with others, communication, staying motivated - and motivating others. She also offers customized training sessions. Denise’s infectious enthusiasm motivates the unmotivated - and challenges the challenged.
After earning millions for clients in the corporate world, Denise realized she had a talent for firing people up. She parlayed this gift into FireStar - a company specializing in enthusiasm. FireStar’s unique programs are relevant, uplifting and informative. Eighteen years later, Denise motivates and energizes large corporations and small businesses across North America at conferences, board retreats - and annual meetings. Her no nonsense, direct delivery coupled with her business savvy and humour leave audiences not only laughing - but with actionable tips.
Denise is a professional speaker - known as a motivational pyromaniac. She is based in Raleigh, North Carolina - and her infectious energy, humour and enthusiasm will set a room ablaze. A magna cum laude graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s degree in business, what she really specializes in is lighting fires.
Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company & Inspiring Speaker on the Future of Business
Robert Safian is one of the most sought-after speakers, moderators, and interviewers in modern business. From leadership positions at Fast Company, Time, Fortune and Money, to incisive analysis across multiple TV networks, podcasts and digital platforms, Safian has been lauded as an unparalleled source of insight on the future of the global enterprise. He is not only among the most acclaimed publishing executives in history but has deep relationships across the C-suite in multiple industries, accessing the cutting-edge developments that are reshaping our world.
For decades Safian has chronicled thousands of odds-defying organizations and leaders, uncovering their secrets of success. He synthesizes their lessons into eye-opening and thoroughly entertaining presentations filled with compelling storytelling. Whether assessing a startup in Detroit, the tech scene in Palo Alto or an iconoclast in Shanghai, Safian is constantly translating what is next and new to the mainstream. By presenting stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, he provides hope to millions of talented professionals, entrepreneurs and leaders that meaningful change is possible.
Safian has been propelled by a reputation for near-clairvoyant prediction. He was the first editor to put Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg on a magazine cover and covered Airbnb, Netflix and Uber long before they were household names. For nearly twelve years he led the influential, award-winning business magazine Fast Company, turning it into the world's leading progressive business media brand. He was named Editor of the Year by Adweek, and earned the highly coveted National Magazine Award for Magazine of the Year in 2014, beating out rivals including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine and more.
Prior to Fast Company, Safian was the executive editor for Time and Fortune and headed Money as its chief editor for six years. He is a frequent guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC and other TV networks.
His latest projects include The Flux Group, an advisory firm that is driving awareness of new business practices to both individual companies and mass-market audiences; The Flux Network, a special invitation-only community of leading thinkers, creative collaborators and idea generators; and a highly-anticipated forthcoming book on the reinvention of business that is identifying how leaders at all levels can best adapt and thrive in today’s high-flux environments and turn disruption to their advantage.
Safian has also built a reputation as one of today’s top interviewers, conducting onstage dialogues with many of the world's most intriguing leaders including the CEOs of Starbucks, Nike, Target, Ford, Pepsico, Pixar, Walmart.com, Chobani, Under Armour, J Crew, Soulcycle, Casper, Pinterest, Warby Parker and more, plus celebrities including Kate Hudson, Serena Williams, Chelsea Clinton, Princess Reema Bint Bandar of Saudi Arabia, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jordan Spieth, Jared Leto, Alicia Keys and more. He has been a keynote presenter at events ranging from SxSW Interactive to the United Nation's Global Accelerators Council, the National Retail Federation's "Big Show" to the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival, HSM Brazil to The World Congress on Intelligent Transport.
In addition to all of Safian's wide experiences, pool of knowledge, and deft storytelling skills, he is also warm, approachable, and an expert at working with event organizers to personalize his presentations for each audience.
Inspirational speaker, renowned explorer, anthropologist, author and TV personality.
Dr. Jeff Salz has translated over 30 years of personal exploration and expedition leadership into lively, inspirational keynotes and seminars that instill audience members with fresh strategies and enthusiasm for life and career. With a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and a Masters in experiential education Jeff spent 10 years as a university professor. For the last 15 years, he has been safely guiding organizations through the turbulent seas of change and facilitating enhanced teamwork in organizations by helping them build
cultures of authenticity. Jeff's best selling book, The Way of Adventure: Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and Vision, is a manual that assists organizations to keep the flame of adventure alive every day.
On stage, Jeff's humorous style combined with solid content and proven professionalism guarantee your organization an outstanding event every time. Jeff creates the foundation for adventurous thinking in any organization by presenting a unique perspective on taking risks. It's not the adventure that only occurs at rarefied air that he talks about
it's the adventure that occurs everywhere, everyday. Jeff shows audiences that our life must consist of adventure for a truly meaningful life. He gives audiences clear instructions that enable them to put the passion and commitment of adventure to work in their organizations and daily life.
International Speaker and Best-selling Author of 8 Books on Leadership Development and Team Building.
Mark Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development and turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. Mark is an international best-selling author and noted expert on leadership, team building, customer service and change. GlobalGurus.org lists Mark as one of the top leadership experts in the world.
Mark has given over 2,600 presentations in every state and 14 countries. He has authored eight books and more than two dozen videos and audio training programs. His programs are taught by Crestcom International in 90 countries and he is an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis.
Mark’s book, The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary is an international best-seller and was on the New York Times, Business Week and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. His other books include 1) You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference, 2) The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do, 3) Up, Down or Sideways: How to Succeed When Times are Good, Bad or In Between, 4) Fred 2.0: New Ideas on How to Keep Delivering Extraordinary Results and 5) The Potential Principle: A Proven System for Closing the Gap Between How Good You Are and How Good You Could Be and his newest 6) The Intention Imperative: 3 Essential Changes That Will Make You a Successful Leader Today (anticipated release, Oct 2019).
Mark is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, a member of the exclusive Speakers Roundtable representing 20 of the top speakers in the country today and a past president of the National Speakers Association.
Mark’s list of clients includes Costco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, FedEx, Harley-Davidson, Cisco, KPMG, Morton’s of Chicago, New York Life, RE/MAX, ServiceMaster, ESPN, GM, IBM, Avnet, Sandvik and John Deere.
“We each know how good we have become,” Mark says, “but none of us knows how good we can be. One of the most exciting opportunities we get each day is to pursue our potential.” Mark Sanborn challenges his audiences with this message and provides insights for extraordinary living.
He lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with his wife Darla and sons Hunter and Jackson.
Renowned Communication and Leadership Speaker, Author of The Likeability Factor
Tim Sanders is the Vice President of Customer Insights at Upwork, driving their customer-centric approach to help businesses solve their talent gap problems. As a strategic consultant for leading global brands, government agencies, and trade associations - he has helped individuals and organizations tackle marketing innovations, sales performance, talent management, leadership development, and organizational culture. He’s served on advisory boards for several startups, including the social reading website Goodreads - which was purchased by Amazon.
Tim is the author of five books, including the New York Times best-seller, Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends. His publications have over one million copies in print - with best-seller status in India, South Korea, Italy, Brazil, and Denmark.
Throughout his career, he’s been on the cutting edge of innovation and change management. Fresh out of graduate school, he was deeply involved in the quality revolution - which disrupted manufacturing in the 1980’s. He joined the cellular phone industry the year it debuted in North America. He was an early stage member of Mark Cuban’s broadcast.com - which had the largest opening day gain in IPO history. He went to Yahoo! when they acquired Cuban’s company for almost six billion dollars - and rose to the Chief Solutions Officer position and later was named the company’s leadership coach.
Tim credits his passions of research, critical thinking, and public speaking to his high school days - where he was the captain of the debate team, and then later in college, a national champion. He points to his years of fronting a rock band as the epicenter of his innovative approach to marketing.
Today, his mission is to bring all of his life experiences and his unconventional, disruptive - yet inspired strategies and perspectives to thousands of people every year, helping them to boost their leadership effectiveness, human connection, and business performance.
Critically Acclaimed Film Director and Producer, Author, Speaker and Storyteller
Eric Saperston is a critically acclaimed film director and producer, successful author, as well as an award-winning speaker and storyteller. A prolific public speaker, Eric has inspired people the world over.
Eric is Chief Creative Officer of Live In Wonder, a global lifestyle company on the cutting-edge of communication, film and interactive events designed to cause and create wonder in the world. Live in Wonder celebrates eco-friendly practices, social entrepreneurism and global citizenship.
Eric's audiences include Nike, Million Dollar Round Table, Coca-Cola, Wachovia, General Mills, Kaiser Permanente, Hilton, Toyota - as well as Harvard, MIT, Emory, Georgia Tech, Duke, Stanford, UCLA, Miami of Ohio, San Diego State and Notre Dame.
He's been a featured guest on The Today Show, CNN, CNN Headline News, PBS - and interviewed and published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Spin Magazine, Fast Company and National Geographic.
Inspiring speaker, extreme endurance athlete and sports psychology consultant.
One of the most diverse and accomplished extreme ultra-endurance athletes, Terri Schneider translates her athletic experiences into an epic adventure that will enthrall audiences while inspiring your entire company to explode past perceived limitations and deliver breakthrough performances. Terri uses her experiences as an inspiring keynote speaker on teamwork, adventure, and motivation.
Terri's competitive record in multi-sport and endurance events spans over 65 countries and is as impressive as it is endless. Here are some of the highlights: In the first stage of her athletic career, Terri achieved the ultra-elite status of 2nd ranked woman in the international field of Ironman Triathlon competitors. She completed an unbelievable 22 Ironman Triathlons, which, among other outstanding finishes, included three top 5 finishes at the sport's most prestigious event, the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championships.
In 1995, Terri put her years of physical and mental conditioning and her expert motivational and team-building skills to the ultimate test in the extreme sport of adventure racing. A multi-sport and often multi-day endurance event, adventure racing blends a variety of sports such as kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, trekking, mountaineering, canoeing, and rafting. The events chosen are dependent upon the venue. Non-stop wilderness navigation, lack of sleep, and constant physical and mental strain requires tremendous team strategy; teams must finish the race together.
Terri has competed in seven Eco-Challenge Expedition competitions, the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest in China, the ESPN X-Games Adventure Race, and the Raid Gauloises in Tibet and Nepal. She has also raced La Ruta de Los Conquistadores a multi-day mountain bike race across Costa Rica as well as many 50 to 100-mile endurance runs and several seven-day running stage races in Costa Rica, the Gobi Desert in China and the Sahara Desert in Egypt. She has climbed peaks on four continents, while sharing the fruits of these experiences with others. In her various athletic endeavors as a world class triathlete, elite adventure racer, and ultra runner, Terri regularly engages in physical, psychological, and emotional challenges that most people can only imagine. She thrives in the extremes of deserts, jungles, and mountains and finds comfort in the uncomfortable life lessons those landscapes offer.
Terri has persevered through challenging team dynamics and hardship on all levels. She offers her insight gained from these experiences, as well as her expertise achieved through her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and her M.A. in Sports Psychology, with an emphasis on team dynamics and risk taking, to help others push through and past pre-constructed finish lines.
Creator of Rainforest Cafe & Speaker on Sales and Innovation.
Steven Schussler, well-known as the creator of the Rainforest Cafe®, is an innovator with the passion and artistic vision for conceiving concepts which appeals to the masses. Embracing imagination, Steven and his team create restaurants, retail stores, theatrical venues, attractions, and experiences unlike any other! A master at multi-juggling, Steven is a World’s Premiere Branding Expert™, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Restaurateur, Teacher, Motivational Speaker and National Best-selling Author of It’s A Jungle In There, Inspiring Lessons, Hard-won Insights and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring.
Starting his entrepreneurial career early with a paper route at nine years old, Steven reinvented himself many times with more than a dozen jobs before his sixteenth birthday. As an executive in the television and broadcast industry, he learned to sell intangible concepts. His career in the restaurant industry began with Jukebox Saturday Night, a nostalgic restaurant and night club with 8 locations in Des Moines, IA; Springfield, MA; San Francisco, CA; Minneapolis, MN and (four in) Chicago, IL.
Steven created one of the most successful themed restaurants in the world, Rainforest Cafe®. Opening the first at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota in October 1994, Rainforest Cafe® became the first restaurant to go public with only one unit open. Steven and his public company built and operated 45 Rainforest Cafe® restaurants in seven years, on three continents and sold the chain to Landry’s Restaurants in 2000.
Steven Schussler’s Rainforest Cafe® received 40 awards in six years which include: Fortune Magazine’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.A. (for two consecutive years), Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 100 entrepreneurs in the country, and The National Retail Federation’s National Retailer of the Year.
Steven Schussler is the author of the national best-selling, It’s A Jungle In There, Inspiring Lessons, Hard-Won Insights, and Other Acts of Entrepreneurial Daring, published by Sterling Publishing, a Barnes & Noble company. As a columnist for Minnesota Business Magazine, Steven educates readers with new and fascinating stories, advice and experiences from nationally and internationally recognized business leaders. Steven has also taught an entrepreneurial class for the Carlson School of Business Management at the University of Minnesota.
Schussler donates 100% of his book profits to Smile Network International, an amazing organization that surgically repairs cleft lips and palates of impoverished young people around the world. He has been involved with charitable and civic organizations that include the Leukemia Society, American Lung Association, Minneapolis Youth Connection, Life Skills Center for Leadership, Special Olympics, Neighborhood House, and the Animal Humane Society.
As a founding member of Smile Network International, Steven continues to be a lifetime advisor of the Board of Directors. He is on the Board of Directors for Kona Grill, Inc. which owns and operates 27 upscale casual dining restaurants in 17 states, in the United States. Steven is also the Chairman of the Board of Schussler Creative, Inc.
Founder, president and CEO of The Energy Project, leadership and management expert.
Tony Schwartz is founder, president and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus and productivity by harnessing the science of high performance.
Tony's most recent book, Be Excellent at Anything: The Four Keys to Transforming the Way We Work and Live, was published in May 2010 and became an immediate New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. His previous book, The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy Not Time, co-authored with Jim Loehr, spent four months on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 28 languages.
Tony is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and is one of HBR.org's most popular bloggers. His most recent HBR article, The Paradox of Productivity: How Sony Pictures Gets More Out of Employees By Demanding Less, was published in May, 2010. He also writes for numerous other publications, including the New York Times.
Beginning his career as a journalist, Tony has been a reporter for the New York Times, an editor at Newsweek, a staff writer at New York and Esquire, and a columnist for Fast Company. He also co-authored the #1 worldwide bestseller The Art of the Deal with Donald Trump, and wrote What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America.
Tony has delivered keynotes to audiences around the world and has worked with leaders at dozens of organizations including Google, Sony, Ford, Barclays Capital, Wells Fargo, Ernst and Young, Intel, Oracle and Kraft, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department, the Cleveland Clinic and the National Security Agency.
HuffPost calls Greg Schwem, “Your boss’ favorite comedian.” That’s because Greg’s clean, razor-sharp wit and family-man stage presence has made him a favorite for corporate audiences worldwide, whether performing live or virtually. More than just a speaker, Greg is also a best-selling author, nationally syndicated humor columnist for the Chicago Tribune and award-winning greeting card writer. What, you’ve never heard of the prestigious Louie Awards?
As a business humor speaker and corporate emcee, Greg’s clients have included Microsoft, McDonald’s, Southwest Airline and even the CIA. During the pandemic of 2020, businesses in need of humor and motivation for their stressed-out workforces turned to Greg and his uplifting virtual keynote, You Can’t Quarantine Laughter.
When Greg travels, he often stays at Airbnb and other “home sharing” properties, treks that have resulted in a hilarious, ongoing web series, A Comedian Crashes Your Pad, winner of a Telly Award honoring outstanding broadcast content in the Television/Travel&Tourism category. The series is available on Apple TV, Amazon and Roku.
Business Growth Strategist, Entrepreneur, VC Strategic Partner, WSJ Best-selling Author of Eleven Books, Latest is Fanocracy
David Meerman Scott acknowledges that “The shift from merely selling a product or service to building a Fanocracy is a powerful one. It starts by changing the way you think about your customers.” David’s ideas have captured the attention of respected firms and organizations all over the world - having spoken in over 40 countries and on all seven continents. His groundbreaking strategies don’t just slap new tools onto dusty old strategies – they reinvent the way to engage the marketplace.
David helps companies and organizations generate attention and grow business in a real-time world. He spotted the online content revolution in its infancy and wrote five books about it including The New Rules of Marketing & PR, the definitive book on the topic, translated into 29 languages. Now, there’s a new inflection point. The pendulum has swung too far, creating a world of digital chaos. Tech-weary and bot-wary people are longing for human connection. There are businesses and organizations who have learned to win by tapping into this mindset by creating a Fanocracy. David’s eleventh book, Fanocracy (coming January, 2020 from Portfolio), proves that creating fandom is not something reserved just for celebrities, athletes, and authors. Creating a Fanocracy is rocket fuel used by forward-thinking companies and organizations of all sorts - including those from the most unlikely industries - to inspire and nurture true fans.
David’s high-energy presentations highlight the strategies and success stories using bold images and video to energize audiences. David inspires people to set old ideas and fear aside and use new tools to achieve measurable, no-cost results to turn customers into fans and fans into customers.
The top-selling book by David is The New Rules of Marketing & PR, a Wall Street Journal best-seller in its 6th edition with over 400,000 copies sold. It is used as a text in hundreds of universities and business schools worldwide. Real-Time Marketing & PR and The New Rules of Sales and Service have each broken new ground with fresh ideas. David is co-author of Marketing the Moon (and contributing producer of the 2019 PBS documentary it inspired, Chasing the Moon) and Marketing Lessons from The Grateful Dead. David’s next book is co-authored with his daughter, Reiko, and reveals how the power of fandom - long understood in the celebrity world - can be harnessed by business.
David is the pioneer of Newsjacking, a business growth strategy so successful that it is now listed in the Oxford English Dictionary: “In the space of a few short years, newsjacking has gone from an experimental technique to a staple in every social media-savvy marketing department’s arsenal. Its contemporary iteration, however, dates from the early twenty-first century, as first popularized by marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott.”
David is a globalist with real-world experience building businesses and a sharp eye for the bigger marketplace. He moved to Tokyo at age 26 to establish the Japan office of a Wall Street Real-Time economic advisory firm. He worked for global Real-Time media companies in Tokyo for seven years and Hong Kong for two. David was Asia marketing director for Knight-Ridder in the mid-1990s before moving to the Boston area where he was marketing VP for two publicly-traded U.S. companies. Losing his job following the sale of NewsEdge to Thomson Reuters delivered David the gift of reinvention as a strategist advising organizations on the new realities of agile, Real-Time business.
David is a co-founder and partner in Signature Tones, a sonic branding studio. Signature Tones works with clients to create sonic logos and original music for use perfectly in tune with their brand. Sonic branding includes original music that is used in videos, podcasts, products and services, as walk on music for speaking engagements, in TV and radio commercials.
David is an advisor to emerging companies who are working to transform their industries by delivering disruptive products and services. Besides delivering success as a member of the board of directors of NewsWatch KK (successfully sold to Yahoo Japan) and Kadient (successfully merged with Sant), and on the board of advisors of Eloqua (successful IPO in mid-2012 and sale to Oracle in early 2013) and GrabCAD (successfully sold to Stratasys in mid-2014), his current portfolio of advisory clients includes HubSpot, where he has served since 2007, (successful IPO in 2014), digital selling firm Vengreso, Mynd, Harmony, YayPay, SlapFive, ExpertFile, and InstaViser as well as non-profits including the Grateful Dead Archive at University of California/Santa Cruz and HeadCount. He is also a strategic limited partner and advisor to Stage 2 Capital, a go-to-market venture capital fund investing in and advising companies scale sustainable revenue and healthy growth.
Tom Searcy is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and the foremost expert in large account sales. His methods of unlocking explosive growth were developed through years of real-world success. By the age of 40, Searcy had led four corporations, transforming annual revenues of less than $15 million to as much as $200 million in each case. Since then, Searcy founded Hunt Big Sales, a fast-growth consultancy and thought leadership organization. With Searcy's guidance, Hunt Big Sales clients have landed more than $5 billion in new sales with 190 of the Fortune 500 companies, including 3M, Disney, Chase Bank, International Paper, AT&T, Apple and hundreds more.
Searcy's revolutionary ideas are now more accessible than ever. He is the author of RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business and co-author of Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company. Searcy writes a daily blog called Sales Machine for CBS' Money Watch, and a weekly blog for Inc.com, which have a combined monthly readership of 16 million. He is also a regular blog contributor for SalesCrunch's SalesSchool and Alltop. Searcy's expertise has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times UK, and Inc. Magazine.
Searcy has also established himself as a nationally renowned speaker. He is a regular contributor to the Inc. Magazine conferences, the Inc. 500/500
Conferences, and Vistage International, the leading organization for CEO thoughtleadership, where he is ranked in the top 1% of speakers. He's also a member of the Million Dollar Speakers Club for the National Speakers Association. Searcy has spoken to more than 5000 CEOs internationally about explosive growth sales.
British Adventurer, Television Presenter, Author and Motivational Speaker
Debra Searle MVO, MBE is a truly inspirational woman; a professional adventurer, author, BBC presenter and gender equality advocate, Debra is also a keynote speaker par excellence who is trusted by the world’s top organisations such as IBM, Unilever, HSBC, UBS, Microsoft, Google and Pfizer. She has over 12 years’ experience and has addressed more than 800 corporate audiences, so you can be confident that your audience will be in safe hands.
Debra first hit the headlines when she set out to row across the Atlantic with her husband. Unfortunately he had to be rescued so Debra, a novice rower, continued alone and rowed 3000 miles from Tenerife to Barbados. It should have taken them six weeks but, to achieve her goal, Debra ended up spending 3 ½ months at sea alone, encountering 30' waves, sharks, and force 8 squalls in her 23 foot plywood boat. Since returning from this adventure, Debra has gone on to undertake solo & team expeditions across the globe, including canoeing the Yukon River for a BBC documentary with Bruce Parry, sailing the Southern Ocean, and racing in the Monte Carlo Rally in a 1957 Alfa Romeo.
Yet Debra is more than your usual sports speaker. She graduated from university with 1st Class Honours, starting her first company, a dot-com, at the age of 23 and second at 27. More recently Debra founded a diversity consultancy and training company, which specialises in innovative corporate programmes, such as the LeasePlan Women’s Arctic Challenge. She is a founding member of the Women’s Business Network Forum, which gathers together Heads of Women’s Networks from across major corporations in order to share best practice in D&I.
Debra’s spirit of adventure gained her an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen and she was delighted to be appointed a trustee of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 2003, the youngest and only female trustee working alongside His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex. Debra has been appointed a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) for her services to the Award.
Debra is renowned for her ability to tailor her speeches to clients’ needs. Having spoken across every major industry including banking, consultancy, direct sales, education, healthcare, franchises and retail she has the expertise to understand the specifics of your industry and to craft her speech accordingly. Debra powerfully illustrates her message with slides and stunning video footage, leaving her audience in no doubt of their own ability to achieve the extraordinary.
NASA Astronaut, Doctor, Author and Speaker on Leadership & Teamwork
Dr. Rhea Seddon is a woman of many firsts, was one of only six women in a class of 100 in medical school - and the first woman ever accepted to her General Surgery Residency Program. As one of the first six women accepted into the Astronaut Corps, her marriage to fellow Astronaut Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson produced the first astronaut couple - and the two of them produced the first official “astrotots.” She was the eighth woman accepted to the Astronaut Hall of Fame. Besides her space career, Rhea’s life experiences have led her from surgeon to licensed private pilot, to healthcare executive, entrepreneur, business owner, author and now inspirational public speaker.
Dr. Seddon spent 19 years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1978 she was selected as one of the first Astronaut classes to include women. She served as a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle flights in 1985 and 1991 - and as Payload Commander in charge of all science activities on her final flight in 1993. This brought her total time in space to 30 days.
After leaving NASA in 1997, Dr. Seddon was the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville for 11 years. There she led an initiative to improve patient safety, quality of care, and team effectiveness by the use of an aviation-based model of Crew Resource Management. She then helped to found LifeWings Partners, LLC which teaches this concept to healthcare institutions across the United States.
A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in physiology - Dr. Seddon received her M.D. degree from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis, where she completed her residency in General Surgery.
She was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005, the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2016 she was awarded the National Football Foundation Nashville Chapter’s Fred Russell Distinguished American Award, the Independent Book Publishers Association Ben Franklin Gold Award for Best Autobiography/Memoir Go For Orbit: One of America's First Women Astronauts Finds Her Space and the Athena International Leadership Award (Rutherford County) and a University of Tennessee Centennial Top 100 Alumni Award. She was the co-recipient of the Great American Leadership award - which was presented to her along with her husband Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson at Awakening 2017.
Rhea and her husband currently reside near Nashville, TN. They have four children and three grandchildren.
Over the years, Dr. Ed Seifried has touched the hearts and minds of almost every director and CEO of community banks across the nation. While recognized for his keynote speeches, Dr. Ed is a valued educator for community bank directors, CEOs, senior management, and up and coming community bankers.
Carrying on his tenure as Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business at Lafayette College, Dr. Ed has led the educational programs as Dean for the West Virginia Banking School and the Virginia School of Banking. He has been on the faculty of many banking schools, including Stonier and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.
Most recently, Dr. Ed is the Executive Director of the Sheshunoff Affiliation Program. This highly acclaimed program provides high performance education and idea exchanges for community bank CEOs, Lenders, and Technology/Operations Officers.
Having served as a community bank director, Dr. Ed believes that one has to experience the dynamics of being a community bank director to fully understand their needs to create the bank's strategic plan, assess risk, set risk parameters, monitor risk, and to be thoroughly educated.
Consultant in technology, healthcare, AI, entrepreneurship, social innovation, big data, and disaster response.
Dr. Joel Selanikio bridges the worlds of healthcare, global health and technology to illustrate opportunities in the application of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, and mobile technology to health, healthcare, and social challenges. A former CDC outbreak investigator and Ebola clinic director, he also frequently speaks about the challenges of providing clinical services in “the hot zone”, and the role that technology (and humanity) can play in emergencies.
A recognized innovator in global health, technology, and social enterprise, his broad career has allowed him to observe and leverage the great technological changes of our time – including the worldwide shift from personal computers to mobile, the adoption of cloud technologies, and the growing application of big data to healthcare – as few others have done. Named in 2009 as one of Forbes’ “most powerful innovators”, he is a recipient of both the $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainable Innovation and the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for Healthcare for his work in healthcare technology. A TED speaker, he has spoken at or provided consultation to organizations including the Royal Society of Medicine, Harvard, Stanford School of Business, DARPA, the World Economic Forum at Davos, and Google – and been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, NPR, Economist, CNN, Fox News, and the BBC, among others.
Dr. Selanikio is a graduate of Haverford College and the Brown University School of Medicine, and he continues to practice pediatrics at Georgetown University.
Best-selling author of Authentic Happiness, Psychologist and speaker on happiness and well-being.
Martin Seligman, Ph.D., is well known in academic and clinical circles and is a best-selling author.
He has written twenty books and 200 articles on motivation and personality. Among his better-known works are Authentic Happiness, Learned Optimism, What You Can Change & What You Can't, The Optimistic Child , Helplessness and Abnormal Psychology with David Rosenhan. His most recent book is Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. Dr. Seligman works on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, and on optimism and pessimism. He is currently Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Seligman's research and writing has been broadly supported by a number of institutions including The National Institute of Mental Health (continuously since 1969), the National Institute of Aging, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. His research on preventing depression received the MERIT Award of the National Institute of Mental Health in 1991. Dr. Seligment is also the recipient of two Distinguished Scientific Contribution awards from the American Psychological Association, the Laurel Award of the American Association for Applied Psychology and Prevention, and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
Since 2000 his main mission has been the promotion of the field of Positive Psychology. This discipline includes the study of positive emotion, positive character traits, and positive institutions. As the science behind these becomes more firmly grounded, Dr. Seligman is now turning his attention to training Positive Psychologists, individuals whose practice will make the world a happier place, in a way that parallels clinical psychologists having made the world a less unhappy place.
While serving as the Director of Mental Training for the St. Louis Cardinals, Dr. Jason Selk helped the team win their first World Series in over 20 years, and in 2011 he assisted the Cardinals in the historic feat of winning their second World Championship in a six year period. Dr. Selk is a regular contributor to Forbes, ABC, CBS, ESPN, and NBC radio and television and has been featured in USA Today, CNBC, Men's Health, Muscle and Fitness, Shape and Self Magazine. Dr Selk's second book, Executive Toughness, is a best-selling business book and his first book, 10-Minute Toughness, is on pace to be one of the best-
selling sport psychology books of all time.
Dr. Selk is considered to be one of the premier performance coaches in the United States. He helps numerous well- known professional and Olympic athletes as well as Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 executives and organizations develop the mental toughness necessary for high-level success.
Dr. Selk utilizes his in-depth knowledge and experience of working with the world's finest athletes, coaches and business leaders to help individuals and organizations outperform their competition. Dr. Selk works with such clients as professional athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, PGA, LPGA, MLB and NASCAR. In addition, he works with such business clients as UBS Financial, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo, Northwestern Mutual and Enterprise Holdings, to name a few.
Emmy Award-Winning Network Talk Show Host, Best-selling Author, and Hilarious Change Expert
Ross Shafer has the most peculiar background of any speaker on CHANGE. He has authored nine business books - yet also won international stand-up comedy competitions. He’s earned six TV Emmy's as a network talk and game show host - yet credits his success to re-selling bicycles at age 13. He flipped cars at 15 - and flipped homes at 18. After college at 21, he started buying and selling companies. The common denominator - a burning pursuit of excellence that has driven Ross to the top of every field he’s entered.
Today, Ross is one of the most sought after keynote speakers and seminar leaders on the subjects of Customer Urgency and Empathy, Personal Motivation, Reinvention, and Market Relevance. He coaches leaders and teams on how to cross-pollinate innovative ideas about emerging trends, shifting buying habits - and the motivation of your workforce during mergers and acquisitions.
Ross grew up in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he studied business management - and played varsity football (linebacker). After college, he took a job as a training manager for a department store (Yard Birds) - and was able to save $10,000. He launched his life as an entrepreneur - and became the owner/manager of America’s only Stereo and Pet Shop in the small town of Puyallup, Washington (population 5,000 at the time).
Since his early teens, Ross has been obsessed with understanding “Who succeeds? Who fails? And Why?” His confidence flourished when he discovered there were specific blueprints for success in every job - and every industry. That understanding led to his noteworthy achievements in business, television broadcasting, book writing, professional speaking (CPAE) - and even stand-up comedy. His wildly diverse career choices have allowed Ross to communicate complex ideas with great fun - and an “everyman” quality.
His clients include 73 of the Fortune 100… as well as a broad array of Associations. What most people don’t know is that Ross may have sparked the explosion of the entertainment cooking channels when he wrote a funny best-selling book, Cook Like a Stud (38 recipes men can prepare in the garage using their own tools). Not bad for a guy who played college football (pre-concussion-era helmets) - and who still aspires to get his hair right.
The father of Adam, Ryan and Lauren - Ross lives in Denver, Colorado.
Leadership Development Expert, Speaker and Author on Diversity
Rebecca Shambaugh is the Founder and President of SHAMBAUGH Leadership, a global leadership development organization - known for its best practices, strategies and innovative solutions for creating inclusion in today’s workplace. She is Founder of Women in Leadership and Learning (WILL) - one of the first executive leadership development programs in the U.S. dedicated to the research, advancement, and retention of women leaders and executives - and is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review.
Rebecca is known for her pioneering and compelling vision for a unified voice - one that includes men and women together creating a better place for organizations and their employees to thrive and succeed in today’s new world.
Rebecca’s message has resonated with many audiences - based on her provocative style and storytelling that challenges conventional wisdom, overturning assumptions about the business imperative for inclusive leadership. Through her engaging presentations, she helps companies and leaders disrupt old narratives that no longer align with the new world of leadership.
Rebecca has been showcased on CNBC, TED Talks, Fox News (New York), NPR, Washington Business, ABC, and numerous syndicated radio talk shows.
Expert Negotiator, Sports Agent, Attorney, Educator, New York Times Bestselling Author, and Civic Leader, Ron Shapiro a graduate from Harvard Law School founded Shapiro, Robinson & Associates in 1976, a sports management firm that developed a national reputation through its holistic approach to contract negotiation, sound financial management, and commitment to community involvement on the part of its clients. In 1995 he founded Shapiro Negotiations Institute, a negotiation seminar and consulting firm that has trained over 350,000 professionals in the art of negotiation, dealing with difficult personalities, and enhancing preparation and listening skills. In addition, he is the Founder and Creator of an annual business conference, the Butler Conference of Leaders, which brings together over 100 CEOs, and other business, professional and non-profit leaders to address economic, investment, philanthropic and social issues, and to network.
one of baseball's most respected agent-attorneys, by USA Today, Ron Shapiro's impressive list of clients includes more Hall of Famers than any other agent, including Cal Ripken, Jr., Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Kirby Puckett, and Eddie Murray, and 2009 AL MVP, Joe Mauer.
Mr. Shapiro's book, The Power of Nice: How to Negotiate So Everyone Wins - Especially You!, was named one of the
Top Ten "On the Job" Business Books of the Year by the Library Journal. His second book, Bullies, Tyrants & Impossible People: How to Beat Them Without Joining Them made the Wall Street Journal's Best Seller List. His third book, Dare to Prepare: How to Win Before You Begin, made the New York Times, Business Week and the Wall Street Journal's Best Seller Lists, was named the winner in two categories in the National Best Books 2008 Awards by USA Book News, and was named Gold medal winner of the Success & Motivation category of the 2009 Axiom Business Book Awards. Mr. Shapiro's fourth book,Perfecting Your Pitch: How to Succeed in Business and In Life By Finding Words That Work was released in November, 2013.
Mr. Shapiro has authored more than 20 law journal articles, co-authored books on corporate and securities law, founded Maryland's major bar review course, and began a legal publishing company. He taught at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland School of Law, the University of Baltimore School of Law where he was honored for teaching excellence, spoke in the Harvard Law School Traphagen Distinguished Alumni Speaker Series where he was honored for his
multifaceted and fascinating career and was named the 1996 Edward B. Shils Lecturer in Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. A charismatic and creative individual, Ron Shapiro appeared as a negotiations expert on Good Morning America, Power Lunch, The Larry King Show, Morning Edition, Talk of the Nation, and Nightline.
Mr. Shapiro has chaired over 25 boards of charitable and community organizations, including PeacePlayers International, the Johns Hopkins Children's Center, the Baltimore Jewish Community Relations Council, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Partnership for Homecoming Campaign, the University of Maryland Cancer Center Advisory Board, and the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust, as well as serving on numerous others.
In 2013, Mr. Shapiro was the recipient of The American Red Cross Lifetime Achievement Award which recognizes an individual whose philanthropic contributions, whether they be time, talent, or treasure, span a lifetime; inducted into the Baltimore Jewish Hall of Fame, which celebrates Jewish Baltimoreans who have made a difference in the field of medicine, science, politics, law, education, business, community service, arts and entertainment, and beyond. Mr. Shapiro was also named as a member of "The Champions: Pioneers and Innovators in Sports Business" by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, which recognizes his distinct and sustainable impact on the sports industry, his record of achievement, and for being a mentor and leader to so many throughout the world.
Distinguished Geopolitical Analyst and Speaker on International Affairs
Complex global issues require new approaches and alternative ways of thinking. That’s why Jacob L. Shapiro founded Perch Perspectives, a political and business consulting firm that offers our clients a different, more comprehensive perspective of the forces that shape the world and impact business decisions.
As founder and chief strategist, Jacob work with companies in the energy, technology, agriculture, and aerospace industries to solve key business issues and provide insight that decision-makers can build into business and political strategies.
With more than a decade of experience as a political analyst and writer, Jacob believes in the power of new ideas, and that, with the right information, humans have the agency to influence their own outcomes.
Perch Perspectives is a human-centric political and business consulting firm operating under the premise that every person has agency when armed with the right information and perspective. It advises business executives, corporations, policymakers, governments, and NGOs on past, present and future international affairs, with additional expertise in global aerospace, agriculture and energy markets. Perch Perspectives and its team of researchers, writers, and advisers bring a distinctly human perspective to their best-in-class writing and analysis. They provide clients with a more holistic understanding of the historical, cultural, geographic, political, and economic forces that define the nature of power, shape the world, and impact business decisions.
During the past twenty years, his message to hundreds of thousands of people in over 40 countries around the world has focused on how to enable innovation by bringing together divergent points of view in an efficient manner.
Over the years, Stephen Shapiro has shared his innovative philosophy in books such as 24/7 Innovation, The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas and Goal-Free Living. He led a 20,000 person process and innovation practice during his 15 year tenure with Accenture. And his Personality Poker - system has been used by more than 50,000 people around the world to create high-performing innovation teams.
His latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out Innovate the Competition (Portfolio Penguin), has been featured on ABC News, CBS Interactive's BNET, Southwest Airline's Spirit Magazine, Investor's Business Daily, and more. It was selected as the best innovation and creativity book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ. And it is an international #1 best selling business book.
His work has been featured in Newsweek, Entrepreneur Magazine, O-The Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. His clients include Nike, Microsoft, Staples, GE, NASA, BP, Johnson & Johnson, The United States Air Force, Fidelity Investments, Pearson Education, Nestle, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Global Managing Director of Achieveblue, Author and Speaker on Leadership and Talent Development
Dr. Linda Sharkey is a HR Executive and Business Strategist who is an internationally recognized author and expert on leadership development and talent management. Her primary focus is coaching and developing leaders and teams and driving talent and workforce planning initiatives that support productivity and company growth. She is Managing Director of Tomlin Sharkey Associates, a boutique consultancy focused on leadership, cultural and organizational transformation. She is a Founding Member of the Marshall Goldsmith Group a premier executive coaching organization. Linda is widely recognized as a no nonsense coach who helps great leaders get even greater results.
Linda was Chief Talent Office and VP of People Development for HP where she was responsible for executive development, succession planning, talent management, performance management, and workforce planning and organization improvement. Before joining HP she held Executive Human Resource positions at GE. She designed a high impact leadership development initiative named a best practice by Jack Welch.
Dr. Sharkey is a frequent speaker and widely published in the area of leadership and organization development, culture change and executive coaching. Her most recent book, which she co-authored , The Future-Proof Workplace: Six Strategies to Accelerate Talent Development, Reshape Your Culture and Succeed with Purpose, is your “survival guide” for the new (and often chaotic) reality of business. Winning with Transglobal Leadership: How to Develop Top Global Talent to Build World Class Organizations which she co-authored has been recognized as one of the top 30 business books for 2012 by Soundview. She has co-authored an acclaimed books on talent development and data analytics entitled Optimizing Talent: What Every Leader and Manager Needs to Know to Sustain the Ultimate Workforce and it's companion Optimizing Talent Workbook: Building an Unbeatable Talent Brand. Her clients include such companies as NetApp, Genetech, Bell Canada, Sodexo, Boeing, HCHS, Reckett Benckiser, Corning, Jones Lang LaSalle, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Lexis Nexis and Sun Products.
Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist by trade, and combines research in psychology, behavioural economics and neuroscience - to reveal the forces that shape our decisions, beliefs and inaccurate expectations of the future and how those can be altered (or sustained).
Why do people discount bad news (a tendency that contributed to the 2008 financial downfall, enhances ill-preparedness in the face of disaster - and reduced medical screenings)? Why do we have unrealistic expectations of the future (underestimating our chances of divorce and expecting our kids to be uniquely talented)? Why is it so difficult to change a decision after it is made?
Sharot, a Visiting Professor at MIT, is also an Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London - where she directs the Affective Brain Lab. Her team is dedicated to answering such questions - with an aim at identifying ways to encourage behavioural change that enhance well-being.
Sharot is the author of The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain; The Science of Optimism and The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals about Our Power to Change Others. She has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, The Science Channel, the Today show, BBC - and many publications around the world. Sharot also co-presented BBC’s Science Club (BBC2). She wrote TIME magazine’s cover story The Science of Optimism (May, 2011) - as well as cover stories for The Observer Review, The Guardian, The Washington Post Health Section and a New York Times Op-Ed (Major Delusions, 2011).
Sharot has given keynote addresses to a diverse collection of private and public companies/groups - including those in the field of insurance, financial management, marketing, gaming, social entrepreneurship, arts, health and safety, mental health and academia. She has also delivered many public talks including at TED 2012.
A Global Thought Leader, he was voted one of the World's Top 25 Speakers and one of the Top Five Technology Futurists in polls conducted by Speaking.com. Jack has shared his insights and advice with nearly 300,000 of the world's top leaders and professionals.
Having a sensible, practical approach to how tomorrow's new technologies will drive change and spur innovation - Jack has advised key decision-makers at such Fortune 500 organizations as Mercedes Benz, Bosch, GE, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, IBM, Oracle, and SAP.
Jack integrates his executive experience in industry, technology, and consulting to speak on Innovation, Change Management, and Transformational Leadership - and, he has decades of experience designing, developing, and implementing emerging technologies and how these will impact business and society.
This experience enables him to speak with unique perspective and a deep understanding of such current leading edge technologies as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, 5G, and the Internet of Things.
Jack has delivered over 1,000 keynote presentations and executive forums in 26 countries and every state across the U.S. He is a Yale University graduate - and he holds a Kellogg MBA degree specializing in Finance and Marketing.
Founder & Group CEO of Karrikins Group, Peter Sheahan is known internationally for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. After decades of standing in the fire with leaders of high-performing organizations, Peter has come to believe that an organization will only go commercially where its leaders first go personally.
Having grown his own companies by accelerating the growth and transformation for clients that include: Apple; Chick-fil-A; DeBeers; and AT&T -- Peter will provoke you to get bigger, by getting better! When leaders are true to their purpose, they gravitate towards doing work that matters and solving higher-order problems. The journey to get there requires that they have the courage to tell themselves the truth, take intelligent risks, and assume ownership for driving the alignment necessary to build an organization which behaves in ways worthy of its leadership position.
In being true to his own ambitions and relentless pursuit of growth, Peter has published seven books, built three global companies and delivered more than 2,500 presentations in 40+ countries. Today he and his team at Karrikins Group are focused exclusively on inspiring leaders to do the hard work required to accelerate growth and transformation.
Founder of ‘because I said I would’, a Humanitarian, Social Entrepreneur, Leader and TEDx Speaker
Alex Sheen is the founder of because I said I would, an international social movement and non-profit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by a tragedy in his life, Alex created a concept called the Promise Card, and began mailing cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. Since 2012, over 9.81 MILLION Promise Cards have been distributed to over 153 countries. In 2013, Alex left his Corporate Strategy Lead position at a leading software company to dedicate himself entirely to the non-profit.
Alex authored his first book because I said I would (Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press), released in January 2019. Noted as an Amazon best-seller in Philanthropy & Charity.
Alex’s unique perspective on accountability, leadership, commitment, and self-control developed both from his responsibilities in leading a global effort about keeping promises -- and his personal experience fulfilling his own promises.
Alex’s personal promises include:
- Walking 245 miles across the entire state of Ohio in under 10 days to fulfill a promise to the three Cleveland women who were held captive for 10 years
- Volunteering at 52 different non-profit organizations in a single year
- Promising children with cancer trips to Disneyland and personally delivering 100 tickets
Alex’s work has been featured on CNN, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, TODAY Show, Good Morning America, NPR, Fox News, Los Angeles Times, CBS Nightly News, and many other programs. He has been featured on the cover of Spirit Magazine, and honoured as a Steve Harvey “Harvey’s Hero”. Alex’s efforts in social media have been featured in BuzzFeed’s annual “Most Important Viral Videos”, and his viral posts have made the #1 spot on the front page of Reddit.com over 10 times. As a nationally respected thought-leader who has been featured at multiple TEDx conferences, Alex has spoken at over 527 events since 2013.
Author of The Sales Lion Blog, and Expert of Inbound and Content Marketing
Marcus Sheridan is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker known for his unique ability to excite, engage and motivate live audiences with his simple, yet powerful transformational business approach. Within his speaking company, Marcus Sheridan International, Inc., Marcus gives 70 global keynotes annually where he inspires audiences in the areas of sales, marketing, leadership, and communication. Marcus has been dubbed a “Web Marketing Guru” by the New York Times and in 2017 Forbes names Marcus one of 20 “Speakers You Don’t Want to Miss.” Not one to be limited to the stage, Marcus is most often found walking through the crowd, calling audience members by name, and bringing them into his presentation.
As author of the content marketing guidebook, “They Ask, you Answer,” Marcus has not only inspired thousands to achieve their potential but has given them the tools they need to get there. Mashable rated his book the “#1 Marketing Book” to read in 2017. Forbes listed it as one of “11 Marketing Books Every CMO Should Read.” Marcus has been featured in the New York Times, Inc., The Globe and Mail, Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, and more. He has inspired thousands of audiences and helped millions of people from all over the world to achieve their own success with his “They Ask, You Answer” philosophy.
But Marcus’ story didn’t begin on the stage. It started with a business created and run out of the back of a beat-up pickup truck. Marcus’ experience of saving his swimming pool company, River Pools and Spas, from the economic collapse of 2008 has been featured in multiple books, publications and university case studies from around the world. From its humble beginnings as a three-man company to one of the largest manufacturers and installers in the country, River Pools and Spas has the most visited pool website in the world, with over 750,000 hits a month.
Marcus’ experience as an entrepreneur and business owner who had successfully saved his company led him to opportunities to share his story and help others. What started as speaking from the stage quickly turned into a Sales and Marketing consulting agency, The Sales Lion. Using his marketing principles, Marcus and his team led clients step-by-step through the process of growing and even transforming their companies. In early 2018, The Sales Lion merged with IMPACT, establishing one of the most successful digital sales and marketing agencies in the country.
While Marcus is passionate about his roles as co-owner of IMPACT, River Pools and Spas, and full-time professional speaker, he admittedly loves his role as husband and father even more. When not on the road, Marcus is with his high-school sweetheart and wife, Nikki, and their four children. A boating and fishing enthusiast, Marcus also takes advantage of any opportunity to have a fishing rod in hand!