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Leadership - Keynote Speakers

Howard Putnam

Howard Putnam is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines, transforming a small entrepreneurial venture into a major competitor. In three years profits increased by 200 percent. Putnam accepted the challenge of Braniff International in 1981 and became the first Chairman and CEO to successfully restructure a major airline out of bankruptcy. Earlier he spent over 20 years with United Airlines, his final position being Group Vice President of Marketing. He has also been an entrepreneur and has learned "Crisis Management" by living it. Harvard wrote a case study on his Braniff experiences called "The Ethics of Bankruptcy." Howard is a business and motivational speaker, author, consultant, commentator, and online mentor on: Leadership, Customer Service, Change, Transformation and Ethics. For nearly thirty years, Howard played a leading role in one of the most exciting and rapidly changing industries. He earned a well-deserved reputation for his capacity to think systematically, create a vision, build a team, define a niche, and design successful strategies for managing growth and crisis. An impressive entertainer and motivational speaker, Howard shares his prescription for successful management in the 21st century. Howard Putnam's ultimate objective is Bottom Line Improvement. He believes that cultures that place people as their highest priority have the greatest long term impact and success.

Mark Sanborn

Leadership speaker Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is also an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change. His current release, You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader, inspires leadership at every level, while his other bestseller, The Fred Factor, delivers an insightful guide to creating value and meaning in your work, life and the lives of those you impact. Mark helps his clients build employee competence, motivation, and commitment to excellence while adhering to core values and ethics. Mark teaches that our highest impact as leaders comes when we transcend the organization and bring leadership into our homes and communities as well.

Connie Podesta

Connie Podesta motivates audiences DIFFERENTLY by fueling them with exciting new ideas, mindsets, attitudes and solutions that will empower them to tackle even the toughest challenges in today’s crazy 24/7 world! Her humor allows her to confront the toughest issues organizations face with substance and style. Connie’s contagious sense of humor enables your audience to dig deeper and learn so she can keep those “ah ha” moments coming fast and furious. Most keynote speakers simply teach audiences WHAT to do. A few speakers show audiences HOW to do it. Connie does all that and MORE. She helps your team understand WHY it’s important to change behaviors, re-think attitudes, re-assess old ideas and get on board so they can make things happen!

David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott is a marketing strategist. His book The New Rules of Marketing & PR opened people’s eyes to the new realities of marketing and public relations on the Web. Six months on the BusinessWeek bestseller list and published in more than 25 languages, New Rules is now a modern business classic. He is a recovering VP of marketing for two publicly traded technology companies and was also Asia marketing director for Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the world’s largest newspaper and electronic information companies. David’s popular blog and hundreds of speaking engagements around the world give him a singular perspective on how businesses are implementing new strategies to reach buyers. Scott knows that sitting through a boring or off-topic speech is utterly painful. So he keeps things a bit edgy and uses stories and humor to craft presentations that are educational, motivational, and entertaining. Whenever he is front of a group he provides valuable and actionable information about the new rules of marketing and PR, online thought leadership, and reaching buyers directly with Web content.

Alan Parisse

Alan Parisse made his first million in his early twenties. By his late twenties, he lost it. To rebuild his bank account and career, Alan helped Cigna, NY Life, and other companies bring non-traditional products to market. He was instrumental in the creation, marketing and sales of investments that in today’s dollars would be valued in the billions. Alan has written and co-authored numerous books and training programs including Questions Great Financial Advisors Ask, This Is Your Time, Taking Change: Lessons in Leadership, The Great Salesperson and Power Marketing. His real-world experience leveraging client relationships to prosper and lead through cycles of change in competitive environments is what sets him apart from the field. It’s this boots in the trenches experience that is at the core of every presentation Alan delivers. Alan’s audiences gain an understanding of the new sources of leadership – the game changes that impact influence. His unique insights and ideas are immediately actionable by audiences.

Wayne Sotile

Dr. Wayne Sotile is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers and consultants today. A pioneer in the field of health psychology, he combines common sense explanations of cutting-edge research with compassion, humor, and targeted advice that empowers audience members to let go of what's holding them back, take charge of themselves, and make a difference at work and home. Dr. Sotile has consulted with over 400 organizations, corporations, medical practices, and health care systems. He has delivered over 4,000 addresses to professional and lay audiences worldwide, including invited addresses to the Million Dollar Roundtable, the Entrepreneurship Institute, the National Wellness Institute. His topics include: The New Stress Management: Practical solutions for busy people, Understanding and Managing our Differences; and Are We In This Together? Keys to Shaping Collaboration and Collegiality.

David Stillman

David Stillman is a generational expert and best-selling author who shows businesses how to connect with four generations in the workplace and marketplace and how to get ready for the newest generation - GenZ. He is co-author of two best- selling books, When Generations Collide and The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation Is Rocking the Workplace. Because of David’s creative communications work, he has received rave reviews from Fortune 100 companies, in addition to numerous accolades including gold medals at the NY Film Festival and the much coveted CLIO Award. He was named to the prestigious list of “Forty Under 40” movers and shakers by The Business Journal and most recently as one of 200 to Watch. David’s energetic and insightful presentations will help all audiences appreciate and understand generations differently.

Ian Percy

Ian Percy challenges and inspires corporate and association audiences in numerous industries around the world. His unique ability to help people believe in their full potential, to challenge themselves when they need to be challenged and to stimulate courageous innovation will bring significant advantage to your organization. An organizational psychologist, Ian is a renowned business speaker and respected author of six books. As a speaker Ian has the rare honor of being inducted into both the US and Canadian Speaker Halls of Fame. Ian's writing includes the breakthrough book on leadership titled "Going Deep"; an inspirational book called "The 11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team" and his most recent "The Profitable Power of Purpose". He writes a regular column on performance improvement for Human Capital magazine read by over 40,000 HR leaders and is a frequent contributor to the online publication RetailWire. With limitless humor, he encourages, provokes, guides, coaches and lifts organizations to a place filled with unifying purpose and passion. Topics include: The "Yearning Organization", Putting Fire Back in the Fireplace, From Information to Wisdom: The New Face of Leadership, Corporate Courage in the Post Re-engineering Era: The Four Strategic Challenges Facing Every Organization Intent on Success, and, The 11 Commandments for an Enthusiastic Team.

Mark Thompson

Mark is an expert on executive leadership, business strategy, and innovation who has spent over 25 years leading teams and building companies from the ground up. He delivers actionable, valuable and practical advice for leaders at all levels of an organization. He is also a New York Times bestselling author whose books include: ADMIRED: 21 Ways to Double Your Value; Now Build a Great Business; and Success Built to Last - Creating a Life that Matters. He brings insight from decades of experience with great leaders and research on the culture of companies and brands that achieve the highest levels of employee engagement, customer loyalty and continuous sales growth. He brings his messages of change and innovation to life with clarity, humor, passion, and energy.

Joel Weldon

As a former construction worker who turned down a four-year college scholarship because he thought he wasn't "smart enough" to go to college, Joel Weldon is living proof that human potential can be tapped, and your entire life transformed, when even one good idea is accepted and acted upon. For the past 37 years he's been one of the most highly respected and sought-after corporate speakers in North America, and has been an Idea Consultant, Sales Trainer and Executive Speech Coach for many of the world's leading organizations and businesses for over three decades. Joel is a Charter Member of the National Speakers Association. He’s earned the distinguished CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame designation, as well as The Golden Gavel Award from Toastmasters International in 1989, "for his profound impact on Corporate America." In 2006 he was named “Legend of the Speaking Profession.” His unique corporate logo is known worldwide—it’s a heavy 8-ounce can that sits on the desks of over half a million people as a reminder to think in CANS, not in cannots!

Paul Vitale

By following his dream of helping others find their niche in life, expert Paul Vitale has become one of America's most sought-after motivational speakers and trainers. With a range of topics that include leadership, customer service, sales, and achievement, Paul brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the stage. His abundance of enthusiasm, passion for life, and unparalleled ability to relate to individuals through his own personal experiences empower his audience to act on the ideas and lessons he offers. Paul is also the author of the best-selling books, Are You Puzzled by the Puzzle of Life?, Sell With Confidence, Pass It On, and Discover the Now. His presentations will rejuvenate your organization and motivate your group to perform at their very best.

Paul Tieger

Paul D. Tieger is an internationally recognized expert on — and the author of five breakthrough books — about Personality Type. His credits include "The Art of SpeedReading People", "Nurture by Nature", "Just Your Type", "The Personality Type Tool Kit", and the 750,000 copy best-selling career guide "Do What You Are". The Founder and first director of The New England Type Institute, Paul has personally trained thousands of managers, team leaders, HR professionals, career consultants, psychologists, attorneys, and educators. He has developed innovative programs in such areas as team-building, management, sales training, career development, succession planning, conflict resolution, and communication enhancement. Paul has appeared on scores of radio and television programs, including Geraldo Live and CNN’s Business Unusual, and has been profiled in The New York Times. As a result of his jury consulting experiences, Paul wrote The Art of SpeedReading People – a system for helping all people quickly size others up and speak their language.

Brandon Steiner

Brandon Steiner’s career has seen many twists and turns, and many self-reinventions, but has always centered on his two sharpest skills: managing people and providing services. His career with the Yankees began when he was manager of the Hard Rock Café in the 80s. He started meeting many of the team’s athletes and later represented them professionally and began Steiner Association (later named Steiner Sports). Brandon is frequently utilized as an expert commentator on sports and marketing on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, and ESPN, and in newspapers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Brandon speaks on a wide variety of skills and entrepreneurial values that have made him successful. Whether it is regarding change and all the opportunities it brings, or how to handle risk, Brandon brings “outside of the box thinking” to life!

Richard Whiteley

Richard’s extensive knowledge of current business challenges and dynamic presentation style have brought him acclaim as a powerful speaker. Mr. Whitely is a successful entrepreneur, former CEO, consultant and award-winning author. He is the Principal of The Whiteley Group, an international speaking and consulting firm. Mr. Whiteley's first book, “The Customer-Driven Company” , was recently cited by “Human Resource Executive Magazine” as one of the top ten books of the decade. He is all the author of “Customer-Centered Growth”, “Love the Work You’re With: How to Find The Job You Always Wanted Without Leaving the One You Have”, and “The Corporate Shaman, A Business Fable”. Mr. Whitely argues that sales forces across corporate America are in need of a new playbook. First and foremost Richard considers the audience members to be his primary customers and tailors each presentation to create high impact, take-home value for every participant. Topics include: Customer Centered Growth, Respiriting Work, How to Create the Branded Customer Experience, High Impact Leadership, and Selling through Service.

John Medina

DR. JOHN J. MEDINA, a developmental molecular biologist, has a lifelong fascination with how the mind reacts to and organizes information. He is the author of nine books including the New York Times bestseller "Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School" -- a provocative book that takes on the way our schools and work environments are designed. His latest book is a must-read for parents and early-childhood educators: "Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five." Dr. Medina has the rare gift of making science fun and accessible. He is an extraordinary speaker -- perhaps one of the most energetic and engaging speakers you will ever encounter. And he has a message that every leader needs to survive and thrive. In a keynote presentation or dynamic workshop, Medina guides you through his 12 Brain Rules, things you should know about how the brain works. With fascinating stories and his characteristic sense of humor, he'll explain: why multi-tasking is a myth—and what happens when you try to type an e-mail and talk on the phone at the same time; that every employee and every customers’ brain is wired differently; how exercise, sleep, and stress affect the brain; just what makes PowerPoint presentations so very boring that we have a Jennifer Aniston neuron. Really!

Robert Tucker

Robert B. Tucker is president of The Innovation Resource (TIR), and an internationally recognized leader in the field of innovation. Formerly an adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, Tucker has been a consultant and keynote speaker since 1986. His pioneering research in interviewing over 50 leading innovators was published in the book “Winning the Innovation Game” in l986. Since then, he has continued to publish widely on the subject, including his international bestseller “Managing the Future: 10 Driving Forces of Change for the New Century,” which has been translated into 13 languages. And in his latest work, Innovation Is Everybody’s Business, Tucker interviewed 43 innovation-adept individuals from multiple industries and all levels of organizations, and teaches the personal skills necessary to become an innovator in this hyper-competitive world. Tucker is a much sought after keynote speaker at conventions, company management meetings, and industry conferences.

Erik Wahl

As an internationally recognized graffiti artist, and a #1 bestselling business author, Erik Wahl redefines the term “keynote speaker.” Pulling from his history as both a business strategist and an artist, he has grown to become one of the most sought-after speakers available today. Erik’s on-stage painting seamlessly becomes a visual metaphor to the core of his message, encouraging organizations toward profitability through innovations and superior levels of performance. In the past ten years, Erik has shared his high-energy onstage performance and incredible message with the largest and most influential companies in the world, leaving behind his prized artwork as a reminder of his passion for breakthrough thinking. Organizations proclaim his presentation to be the single moment when their team finally “got it”. The responses received have been nothing short of incredible, with standing ovations to prove it.

Desi Williamson

Desi Williamson beat the odds! Despite growing up in a world surrounded by poverty, drugs, and violence, he overcame a myriad of obstacles to realize his dreams of becoming a successful businessman, professional speaker, and author. The former scholar-athlete at the University of Minnesota, transforms 25 years of sales, sales/management and marketing experience into high content programs that deliver results. Desi has been on the front line, building multi-million dollar businesses, managing multi-million dollar budgets, and developing the potential in people for powerhouse companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Rain Bird Sprinkler Mfgr., PepsiCo, and Cadbury-Schweppes. Although Desi had achieved success in the business arena, there was something more compelling that he wanted to do with his life. With a burning desire to help others, he founded Impact! Seminars Unlimited, Inc., a company dedicated to helping organizations increase sales, increase customer service, and increase their bottom-line through empowered people. His fast-paced programs- customized for your organization -both inspire your people to take action, and give them the tools to do so. Your people get a fun, energetic program with content, and your organization gets immediate increase in productivity from your people. Desi brings results to your organization.

Marvin Zonis

At Chicago Booth, Zonis has taught courses on International Political Economy, Leadership, and E-Commerce. He was the first professor at the Business School to teach a course on the effects of digital technologies on global business. He also consults to corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them to identify, assess, and manage their political risks in the changing global environment. Zonis has a unique awareness of the intersections of politics, economics, emergent technologies, emotions and leadership. In the face of current global challenges, business leadership, and a true understanding of what defines leadership, is more essential than ever. Zonis has written extensively on globalization, digital technologies, emerging markets, Middle Eastern politics, the oil industry, Russia, and U.S. foreign policy. He is a leading authority on the Middle East, and has spent the last 50 years studying the volatile mix of Islam, terrorism, and the Middle East. He has lived in Iran, hitchhiked through Afghanistan, studied Islam in Iraq beginning in 1964, and traveled extensively throughout the region. His latest book is Risk Rules: How Local Politics Threaten the Global Economy (May 2011). Zonis has appeared on numerous television news programs, including Nightline and CNN's Larry King Live. He was the International Editor of WBBM-TV, Chicago and was the Middle East Consultant to ABC/Capital Cities television.

Bruce Weinstein

Bruce Weinstein is the author, TV personality, and national speaker known as The Ethics Guy. He is a contributor to the Huffington Post and Bloomberg Businessweek’s Management Blog, and his latest book, Ethical Intelligence: Five Principles for Untangling Your Toughest Problems at Work and Beyond, was awarded a Silver Medal Book of the Year Award by ForeWord Magazine. He is also the author of the acclaimed book on ethics for young adults, Is It Still Cheating If I Don’t Get Caught. He has appeared numerous times on such national television programs as The Today Show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, The O’Reilly Factor, Fox & Friends, and many others. He lives in New York City.

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