About Cheryl Pounder - 2 x Olympic Gold Medalist, Motivational Speaker, Broadcaster:
Cheryl Pounder brings her high energy and effervescent personality to each and every event, large or small. With her warmth and friendliness, Cheryl immediately makes guests feel like they have a new friend. For fundraising events, Cheryl encourages giving and supports the cause with inspirational personal stories. With galas and award presentations, Cheryl is professional, yet down to earth. There’s never a dull moment with Cheryl. With her experience as a sports commentator, radio host and motivational keynote speaker, Cheryl keeps the energy moving while focusing on the goal of the event she’s at.
Success in one field doesn’t necessarily translate to another area. In the case of former Canadian Women’s hockey player, Cheryl Pounder, who has made the transition from ice to stage, the move has been a triumph.
In the sports world where accomplishments are measured by medals and titles, there aren’t many who can claim a list of achievements as glowing as Cheryl’s.
Her run of success began early in the 1990s when her ice hockey team won the Under-18 Canadian National championship. In 1994, she won Gold for the first time at the 1994 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championship, and during her illustrious career with the National Women’s team, Cheryl won two Olympic Gold medals (2002 and 2006) and was crowned IIHF World Champion six times.
The shining on-ice achievements aside, it’s been Cheryl’s varied experiences on international stages that have made her an in-demand speaker, with keynote clients such as Tim Hortons, Maple Leaf Foods, CIBC, TD Bank, Manulife, Women in Leadership Groups, Girl Guides of Canada, Western-Ivey-Executive MBA and the City of Toronto, to name a few. She believes that her approach, one that is interactive, passionate and positive, has a lot to do with her ability to cross over to diverse audiences.
“When I speak to people, I want them to connect with material that they can identify with, that stimulates a thought process,” she says.
For Cheryl, everything is rooted in self-confidence, something that was instilled in her as a child. ”My family had a huge impact on my personal goals as an athlete. My grandfather was the GM of the Montreal Junior Canadiens and my grandmother was a prominent softball player in the 1940’s. Along with my parents, they taught me to ‘believe’, ‘finish something you start’, and persevere through adversity.” Adversity can be a learning experience and according to Cheryl, “It is important that we learn not only from our successes but also from our failures. Change is the key to ultimately staying on the path toward excellence.”
It is all part of a journey that we must be willing to take – a journey that must be inspired to take for ourselves and those we work with...our TEAM. To this point, she adds, “When the team goal is met, the individual goals take care of themselves. Seize the opportunities, get outside your comfort zone, trust yourself, and engage in your life, don’t just participate. Most importantly, listen to your strong side, even when your weak side is louder.”
The journey continues for Cheryl – her varied background and knowledge were major factors for TSN & CBC choosing her as a colour commentator for the coverage of the women's hockey tournament at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. In her sporting life and in her life off the ice, Cheryl continues to motivate with a passion that comes across in all her worlds.
Cheryl’s keynotes are perfect for: non-profits, corporations, youth, women.
What Cheryl Pounder Talks About:
Pursuit of Excellence: “Growing for Gold” – Self-Awareness, Leadership and Teamwork
How does one grow and get gold, no matter their situation?
Cheryl’s enlightening keynote is interactive, engaging and entertaining. She discusses the importance of building a vision while focusing on participation vs engagement and the importance of seizing every opportunity.
Cheryl also focuses on the character dimensions of leadership, the importance of collaboration and how one individual can affect and impact the culture and mission of a group. By sharing information, understanding the importance of inclusivity and recognizing value, we build culture and efficiency. Growing for Gold involves trusting the process, tough conversations and clarity of the common goal.
Thinking differently is essential to excellence.
Pursuit of Excellence: “Breaking the Barriers” – The Courage to Overcome Adversity
How do you take what cards life has dealt you and turn them into a win?
Cheryl discusses adversity as it applied to her journey and how being ‘abnormal’ and taking chances helped her succeed in a world where many believed she couldn’t.
Finding strength in vulnerability and having the courage to embrace change, leads to incredible opportunities. Cheryl takes you on a journey, discussing how she developed resiliency and how she has overcome her personal fear of failure in order to break barriers and prove to herself and others that she has what it takes to win.
Pursuit of Excellence: “End the Stigma” – Understanding Mental Health
Can you recognize the signs of mental illness?
Are you doing what you need to do to take care of your own mental wellness?
Cheryl talks about the pressures of leadership, being in the public eye and the importance of taking care of your own mental wellness in order to reach your goals and lead a fulfilling life.
She also talks about the importance of encouraging your team and those around you to put mental wellness on their list of personal goals.
Pursuit of Excellence: “Women in Leadership” – The importance of finding your voice, rising up and collaborating
As a professional hockey player and sports broadcaster, Cheryl Pounder will share her journey as a female in a male-dominated community. She discusses the courage needed to find your voice and how to find the strength to ‘stand on top of your story’.
She will reinforce the importance of joining the conversation, and how women can rise up to any challenge in any circumstance. She encourages the audience to talk about their own personal barriers while recognizing their role within a community. Cheryl also talks about the need for collaboration as women in leadership and how teamwork really does make the dream work.
Wow, what a first class, inspiring message - everything from preparation, to overcoming obstacles, to staying focused. The focus was on what coaches can say, and what players hear that resonates to motivate a team and how a team comes together to attain world class performance. It is an outstanding investment of time for any leadership team to hear.
Doug Bugler, Regional Vice President - Niagara Market, Royal Bank of Canada
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