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Sports - Keynote Speakers

Dean Karnazes

An internationally recognized endurance athlete and New York Times bestselling author, Dean Karnazes has pushed his body and mind to inconceivable limits. He has run 350 continuous miles (foregoing sleep for three nights) as well as a run across Death Valley in 120 degree temperatures and a marathon to the South Pole in negative 40 degrees. In 2006, Dean accomplished the (seemingly) impossible by running 50 marathons--one in each US state--in 50 consecutive days. As a speaker, Dean has captivated and inspired audiences all over with his stories of persistence and perseverance. His dynamic, engaging, and rousing presentations focus on going beyond perceived limitations to be the best that you can be. He examines and discusses the essential ingredients necessary for high-achievement and developing the ability to prevail and preserve against staggering odds. In addition to his athletic achievements, Dean is an accomplished businessman who has worked for several Fortune 500 companies and startups and is uniquely able to demonstrate how the lessons learned from athletics can be applied to business. He is also the author of five books, including his most recent release, Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss.

Brian Pavlet

In 1993, the golf world familiarized itself with a new prodigy in Brian Pavlet. After launching a 435 yard blast in Salt Lake City, Utah in a regional competition, Brian went to the National Long Drive Championship and won it all. Since winning he has not looked back. He has made a record eight “Final 8” appearances in the RE/MAX World Long Drive Championship and has been the LDA’s most consistent performer the past decade. He held the #1 ranked position for more than 20 months and was featured in Golf Digest for having one of the best power swings in golf. Brian has performed more than 1,200 shows worldwide and even entertained the troops in Iraq with the USO. His engaging personality and performance make him one of golf’s premier showmen.

Neal Petersen

With his help as a business coach, Neal Petersen has driven thousands of people to overcome their insurmountable barriers. As a motivational speaker Neal has changed the lives of many through his enthralling life story of growing up in poverty with a physical disability and excelling in a single-handed yacht race around the world with a boat he built. Neal alters people’s attitudes by sharing his powerful message that, “in life there are no barriers, only solutions!” In today’s business world people feel like a solo sailor, alone with all their problems but after listening to Neal’s keynotes they no longer feel abandoned but are empowered to be triumphant in their journey.

Tommy Lasorda

Lasorda's ability to speak to motivation, leadership, loyalty, team building and his love for this great country are rivaled by none. Tommy incorporates personal anecdotes that make the audience roar in laughter, cry and feel like they are in the locker room while riveted on this American Icon. Lasorda says "there are times when everyone in this country needs to be motivated...from the President of the United States on down to the working person on the street". He has led his teams to World Series Championships and Olympic Gold by getting his players to believe they're the best and motivates them to beat the competition. Like Van Gogh, this Hall of Famer, will paint a canvas through his words that will leave you and your colleagues with a lifetime of inspiration and memories.....sure to change some lives.

Dan Boever

Dan Boever ranks among the most popular performers on the golf exhibition circuit. Known for his quick wit and amazing repertoire of trick shots, Boever can light up an audience like few others in the golf entertainment business. There’s a bounce in his step, a sparkle in his eye and impish grin on his face as he works his magic through the bag. Whether Boever’s blasting his driver nearly 400 yards or his putter nearly 300 yards, he keeps the one-liners coming. His showmanship is infectious – and unforgettable. He’s sure to keep the gallery in stitches and fans on his side. Dan Boever never met a stranger he didn’t convert into a fast friend. That explains why hundreds of corporations and charities, when booking a headliner for their golf outings, borrow a page from old-time television: They leave it to Boever.

Peter Hillary

With great adventures comes great stories, and with great stories comes Peter Hillary the ever inspiring motivational speaker. Like his father, Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter has climbed Mt. Everest and has reached the South Pole overland. Through his dynamic public speaking he takes his audience “with him” on one of his many extraordinary experiences: the summit of Mt Everest; traversing Antarctica to the South Pole; feeding a pod of sharks; or making a terrifying descent in a vicious storm on K2. His presentations combine humor and heart-stopping excitement with practical applications, relevant to the client’s requirements. Re-live Edmund’s adventure and be inspired to have your own.

Brian Holloway

Brian Holloway is more than "just another" professional athlete. He is an inspirational speaker and an expert futurist. A former All-Pro football player, Brian understands how to attain optimum results and, most importantly, he can communicate it. Brian excels at providing transformational outcomes for organizations and companies who must break through to an extraordinary future. A Stanford All-American and five-time NFL All-Pro, Brian Holloway, excelled as the team captain of the 1985 New England Patriots, AFC Championship Team. In 1986, at age 26, Holloway was one of the principal architects of the NFL's growth strategy that produced a landmark $18 Billion TV contract in 1998. Brian is direct, frank, and does not waste words. He brings a level of "intensity" and "focus" to the table - that moves, inspires and changes people.

Cary Mullen

Former Olympic athlete, World Cup Ski Champion, author, and serial entrepreneur, Cary Mullen’s unique presentation transcends the world of sports and helps organizations succeed at a higher level. Motivating and entertaining, Cary provides a talk that energizes your event and inspires different thinking. His "5 Winning Secrets" leave your team with concrete tools that will move any organization forward and beyond any adversity they may face. In addition to his engaging and energetic delivery, Cary challenges attendees to innovate systems and processes and get new results through “team captain” leadership.

Mark Allen

Since retiring from racing as a professional triathlete in 1996, Mark Allen has become a highly regarded inspirational speaker. The Ironman Triathlon is the most difficult one-day sporting event in the world. Mark’s first six attempts, all losses, were casualties of everything from flat tires to internal bleeding. Yet each defeat served to galvanize his commitment to fulfilling his dream of becoming the Ironman Champion. Finally on his seventh attempt Mark won, beating Dave Scott in triathlon’s greatest race ever. Allen went on to win a total of six Ironman titles in six attempts. Mark completed a 15-year career in the world of elite athletics with a 90% top-three finish record and going undefeated in 20 races over a three year span from 1988-1990. He was named “Triathlete of the Year” six times, and after retiring in 1996 was called “The World’s Fittest Man” by Outside magazine. Mark was recently awarded the highest ranking any speaker ever receives from the Northwestern Financial Network for a keynote address he gave to their advisors. Mark is also an award winning author for the recently released book titled Fit Soul, Fit Body: 9 Keys to a Healthier, Happier You that he co-authored with Brant Secunda. They received the prestigious Nautilus Book Award in the category of Health, Healing and Energetic Medicine in 2010.

Rocky Bleier

Rocky Bleier's life story - a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam - has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century. With the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were his trademarks as a Pittsburgh Steelers running back, Rocky Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way...lessons that we all can benefit from. His message consistently brings audiences to their feet and re-energizes them for personal and work challenges ahead. His advice is not only about avoiding life's twists and turns but conditioning one's self to lean into them and to incorporate the resulting energy in realizing goals. Once they have heard Bleier's message, audiences understand why he is able to move so easily from one challenge to the next.

Bobby Bowden

Bobby Bowden is known as much for his affable charm as he is for his championship teams and is an icon of college football. Having coached young men in seven decades, he is the second-winningest coach in major college football history. Bowden guided Florida State University to more than three hundred victories, two national championships, twelve Atlantic Coast Conference titles, finishing in the top five in the country in fourteen straight seasons, and he also led the Seminoles to Bowl Games in twenty-eight consecutive seasons during his thirty-four-year tenure. The patriarch of college football’s most famous coaching family, Bowden remains heavily involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, annually awarding The National Bobby Bowden Award to a student-athlete for achievement on and off the field, including his conduct as a role model in the community. Bowden was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006, one of only two coaches who have ever been inducted while still coaching. His memoir, “Called to Coach” was published by Simon & Schuster in August of 2010.

Ross Bernstein

The best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books, Ross Bernstein is an award-winning peak performance business speaker who has been featured on CNN, ESPN, Fox News, and “CBS This Morning,” as well as in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today. He’s spent the better part of the past 20 years studying the DNA of championship teams and his program, “The Champion’s Code: Life Lessons of Ethics and Accountability from the Sports World to the Business World,” not only illustrates what it takes to become the best of the best, it also explores the fine line between cheating and gamesmanship in sports as it relates to values and integrity in the workplace. There are reasons certain teams win consistently, whereas others come up short, and Ross explains why — in an engaging and visually entertaining style that’s designed to improve productivity, morale and bottom-line profitability.

Terry Bowden

Known for his outstanding ability to build champion college football programs, Terry Bowden shares with his audiences the leadership lessons he has learned through his exceptional career as a football coach. Over his career he has compiled a career record of over 150 wins as a head coach. He has turned four losing football programs into winners, and continued a winning tradition at a fifth. This past season, Coach Bowden led the Akron Zips from being one of the weakest programs to being a Bowl Game winner. Terry also has 10 years of experience as a college football broadcaster for ABC, ESPN, Westwood One, as well as writing for Yahoo! Sports. Terry shares his knowledge and insights into building a winning team or organization through motivation, leadership and teamwork. Using a balanced mix of his unique humor, relatable and entertaining stories, Terry leaves his audiences with real world skills to implement in their own businesses, careers, and lives.

Jim Abbott

Famed baseball pitcher Jim Abbott uses his past experience of battling the odds to be an inspirational motivational speaker. Born with only one hand, Jim had to adapt to his own style of baseball in order to play. With his determination he was able to exceed by winning the Sullivan Award in 1987; was the pitcher for the Gold Medal Olympic Team in 1988; and threw a 4-0 no-hitter for the New York Yankees versus Cleveland in 1993. Through his stories and anecdotes Jim motivates people with his ADAPT acronym to relate to every type of audience. Jim inspires people to overcome adversity and limitations so they can reach their dreams.

Robyn Benincasa

Robyn Benincasa is the founder of World Class Teams, a world champion adventure racer, a CNN Hero, former corporate sales expert and a full time firefighter who advises organizations on building World Class Teams of their own. She is the author of the New York Times best-seller, How Winning Works, and has been honored multiple times as a top speaker by Fortune 1000 meeting professionals and MeetingsNet.com. It is through her harrowing, life affirming and often hilarious experiences in the world’s most grueling challenges that she has emerged with her refreshing and truly unique perspective on what it takes to build the kind of World Class Teams that succeed against all odds, that triumph in the face of adversity and that win as one in times of great challenge and change. Robyn inspires people to grab life with one hand, grab their teammates with the other, and to create that special magic that makes all of us better together than we ever would have been alone!

Walter Bond

Walter Bond is called “Mr. Accountability” because as a leadership and motivational speaker he forces each of his listeners to learn to be responsible for whatever situation they are in. Through his programs, workshops, and books he teaches that personal accountability, confidence, and success are possible for all who desire it. Walter will captivate your audience through his unique and memorable personal stories, teaching them the lessons learned from his experience in selling, as an entrepreneur, and being an NBA team player. He helps his audience see how they can transform challenges into opportunities, obstacles into testimonies, and that success is a matter of personal choice. In 2013, Walter became the host on the Food Network's Giving You the Business – a new reality show featuring exceptional employees who vie for the chance to win their own food franchise.

Roger Crawford

Roger Crawford impacted the game of tennis and does the same as a motivational speaker when he instills passion into each of his audience members. His compelling storytelling skills tell the journey of becoming an NCAA Division I college athlete despite having four impaired limbs. Sports Illustrated calls Roger one of the most accomplished physically challenged athletes in the world and he holds certification from the United States Tennis Association. Roger’s speaking skills are perfect to motivate and captivate any audience and help them realize they can achieve goals they never thought possible. With Roger as your keynote speaker you have the opportunity to break through your industry’s barriers and revolutionize the way your company does business.

Paul Assaiante

Coach Paul Assaiante knows how to motivate teams for success. As the current coach of the Men’s Squash team at Trinity College and the former Men’s Tennis team coach, Paul has motivated top athletes from around the world. He is known for his unique achievement as the “winningest coach in college sports history”, winner of 16 NCAA Championships titles, and 22-year dedication as squash coach. Paul’s core belief is the need to embrace fear in order to remove obstacles blocking success. He shares his experience and lessons on building teams of champions in his book, Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear. Paul brings together the best players from around the world and demonstrates how teammates from diverse cultures, religions, and ethnicities can unite as a winning team year after year. He uses his experiences to help leaders in any field embrace collaboration, cultural diversity, and leadership models that encourage employees to give everything they have- every day, and build winning teams.

Pat Croce

Pat Croce graced the cover of Success magazine as the first person to ascend from the training room to the boardroom of a professional sports team. His remarkable success as a physical therapist and pioneer in the sports medicine field, to the colorful leader responsible for the resurrection of the Philadelphia 76ers as a NBA championship contender, has been defined as one of the most amazing stories in sports history. Through his business savy, dynamic personality, and emphasis on customer service, Croce created Sports Physical Therapists, a sports medicine empire of 40 centers in 11 states. Croce continues to fill requests as a nationally-renowned motivational speaker, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "I Feel Great and You Will Too!", the motivational tome and the business book "Lead or Get Off the Pot!" Croce was the proud recipient of the “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award and was featured on the cover of Inc magazine as “The Dale Carnegie of the 21st Century.”

Dennis Conner

Dennis Conner is the only living four time winner of the America’s Cup. Winner of more than 100 America’s Cup Trial races, Conner won the America’s Cup in 1974, 1980, 1987 and 1988. He also made it to the America’s Cup finals in 1983 and 1995. Though the Cup is the symbol of his victories, Conner has captured many other awards. Having represented the United States in international events since 1963, he has been selected United States Yachtsman of the Year four times and San Diego Yachtsman of the Year seven times. As an author and publisher, Conner has recounted the motivation, teamwork and commitment to winning on and off the water in his books Learn to Sail, No Excuse To Lose, Comeback, The Art of Winning, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1987, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1988, The Official Record of Stars & Stripes 1992, Sail Like a Champion and Life’s Wining Tips. He is also the co-author of The America’s Cup: The History of Sailing’s Greatest Competition in the Twentieth Century, published in July 1998. In 1987, Conner combined his passion for sailing with his talent for business by starting Dennis Conner Sports, Inc. Over the years, he has worked with hundreds of major corporate clients on product endorsements, sailing events and sponsorships.

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