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Storyteller - Keynote Speakers

The Travel Guys

Imagine if your job were to hop a plane and travel the globe. Climbing Sydney’s Harbour Bridge? Check. Riding an elephant in Thailand? Been there, done that. One month, you’re harvesting grapes in an Italian vineyard. The next, you’re kissing the Blarney Stone in Ireland. It’s all in a day’s work for Jim Gordon and Darren Parkman, who have achieved all that and more as the stars of Shaw TV’s The Travel Guys. In nearly ten years, the duo has filmed 90 shows around the world. Both former radio personalities, they each write entertainment columns for local publications; Gordon is also a movie critic for CTV. The TRAVEL GUYS have interviewed the biggest stars in the world – including Clint Eastwood, Leo DiCaprio, Helen Mirren, Brad Pitt – and experienced strange adventures in 10 years, like: betting on coconut-plucking monkeys in Northern Malaysia; tumbling down a steep hill inside a giant ball, all for a sport New Zealanders call “zorbing”; petting a panda bear in Xian, China; drinking Guinness while singing with folks songs locals in a 500 year old Dublin pub, Ireland’s oldest; seeing the stunning sites 50 feet below the water’s surface while skitubing in Borneo; Climbing above the clouds, seeing snow, and witnessing a stunning sunset on The Big Island of Hawaii; snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef in Australia; dressing as samurai warriors in Osaka, Japan; Enjoying a true Bellini at its birthplace, Harry’s Bar, Venice, Italy.

Carol Leifer

A groundbreaking star marking her mark in the late 1970's as one of the few female stand up comedians, Carol Leifer was also a writer of many hit shows including the long-running sketch comedy "Saturday Night Live," wrote and co-produced the late night fictional talk show "The Larry Sanders Show" (HBO, 1992-98), and 75 episodes of "Seinfeld."Over the course of her career, Lefier has been nominated for an Emmy 4 times for her writing and won a Writers Guild Award in 2012 for her work as a writer on the show Modern Family. In 2009, Leifer released When You Lie About Your Age, the Terrorists Win, a collection of humorous essays about life after 40, and most importantly, the moment she discovered that she was gay and how her life changed for the better after coming to terms with her sexuality. Her latest bestselling book, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Crying is part memoir, part guide book on getting ahead in the show-biz world and laugh out loud fun.

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.

Yossi Ghinsberg

In the midst of the uncharted Amazon, after losing his 3 companions, a young Israeli traveler is tested to the extreme through 21 harrowing days of sheer survival. A riveting storyteller, Yossi Ghinsberg relives his ordeal, sweeping audiences into the depths of the primordial jungle. He draws from his rich life experiences as a daring explorer and visionary entrepreneur, breathing new perspectives into individuals and organizations worldwide. Yossi's presentations ignite the human spirit to overcome challenges and celebrate life. He brings his audiences on a journey far away from their everyday reality and gives them a different perspective on what change really is and how to use it. His insights help everyone see change in a positive way – not as an obstacle to be overcome, but an opportunity to be grasped. Jungle, based on his book, is now a major motion picture starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Alvin Law

Due to a prenatal exposure to the infamous medication Thalidomide, Alvin Law was born with no arms. You may assume that this is your typical motivational speaker who overcame a disability, but if you ask Alvin he’d say he never had to “overcome” anything because he never had arms. Rather, Alvin's insights from living through such a dynamic period in history have made him one of the foremost experts on adaptation, change, and perspective. His customized and enthusiastic presentations bring together humor and stories that are unforgettable. During his keynotes Alvin shows audiences how to put their own obstacles into perspective as he plays the keyboard and drums! Alvin not only provides an experience but changes your view of facing challenges forever.

Lance Secretan

As a speaker, retreat leader, teacher, and coach, Lance Secretan inspires executive teams with new ways of thinking. He is the former CEO of a Fortune 100 company and the author of 15 books about leadership, emphasizing the connection between high performance and the heart, the mind and the soul, and inspiration and leadership. He is pioneering the integration of corporate life and spiritual integrity. Lance's most recent bestselling business book is The Spark, the Flame, and the Torch: Inspire Self. Inspire Others. Inspire the World. In his presentations, Lance blends wisdom, timely and provocative knowledge, and awesome multimedia visual imagery and sound with just the right amount of humor, inspiration, and personal engagement He is a master storyteller who tailors his presentations to meet the needs of his audiences. In every keynote his aim is the same: to change the lives of participants and make the world a better place.

Heidi Marble

It has been 12 since Heidi was diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Her original prognosis was 18 months - a death sentence. At 34 years old, mother of a two year old son and wife of a devoted husband, Heidi fought with unflinching determination. The sacrifices were many: loss of both breasts, a full hysterectomy, burns from radiation, hair loss from chemotherapy, coupled with years of hormonal injections/pills. After a few miracles, Heidi crawled back with a heart full of purpose. Her metamorphosis from near death to life is documented in her book, WAITING FOR WINGS, which chronicles Marble’s journey through diagnosis, treatment, survival and healing. It includes poetry she has written as well as personal journal entries, illustrations and photographs. Her second book TAKING FLIGHT explores life after cancer. Additionally, her team has created a unique form of art called the DONATE & CREATE PROJECT. Thousands of pieces of unwanted jewelry, button, buckles, watches and bling have been donated to create life size art pieces. The art is used for auction, display and community projects to raise money for research. Apparel patterned from the art is now available in the form of shirts, men's ties and silk scarves. As Heidi states, "Healing is a gritty, messy and exhausting series of ups and downs, what matters is that we find our own way."

Melissa Wandall

With the delivery of their daughter a few weeks away, Melissa Wandall’s husband, Mark, was killed in a tragic car accident when another driver ran through a red light, leaving her family with an uncertain future. Melissa’s determination for a better life for her and her daughter compelled her to accept this hardship and make the choice to be happy. Her willpower resulted in founding two foundations and assisting in the passing of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, to establish uniform standards for use of Red Light Safety Cameras in Florida. Melissa uses her talent as an inspirational insurance speaker to educate and influence insurance professionals regarding the priceless value of planning so that they can provide protection and financial assurance to clients. Hearing Melissa’s story first-hand will transform the way your employees sell insurance by enabling them to connect with potential customers to sell them on the necessity of life insurance.

Jay Jacobs

Jay Jacobs lost an amazing 181 pounds in 8 months as a contestant with his daughter, Jennifer, on NBC's hit show, The Biggest Loser. He was the only guy standing in the Final 4 at the Season 11 finale. Since then, Jay has become a health and wellness ambassador. He has appeared on TV and radio programs such as Today, Good Morning America, and Fox & Friends. Plus, he has appeared in Time, The New York Times and Readers Digest. Jay's journey and message inspires individuals to embrace healthier lifestyles. Healthier lifestyles lead to better overall corporate health and greater productivity for organizations. Jay's personal journey motivates others to tackle their own health challenges and live the rest of their lives as the best of their lives! When Jay’s not inspiring others through his speaking engagements, he is an active managing partner of Shurn Group: Wellness Matters, his family-owned, health and wellness branding and marketing firm.

Matt McFadyen

Record-breaking polar adventurer, sailor, and inspirational speaker Matt McFadyen takes audiences on powerful leadership adventures. After a dangerous and storm-riddled 54-day ocean voyage to Antarctica at age 22, Matt learned the true meaning of perseverance and teamwork. This harrowing experience and the raw power of nature inspired and motivated Matt to further adventures and formed the foundation for his leadership journey. Matt has since become the youngest Australian to ski to the North Pole and even returned on two more occasions as an expedition leader. Using the latest in interactive technology, Matt's presentations engage audiences by asking them to make critical decisions as they vicariously live through his unique and compelling journey. Pushing toward the ends of the earth, Matt led his team--just as he now leads his audience--through the emotional highs and lows and to the extremes of human potential. His presentations inspire audiences to challenge themselves and their teams to think differently and push for success both personally and professionally.

Patrick Lencioni

Patrick Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement. He advises audiences that instead of trying to become smarter, leaders and organizations need to shift their focus to becoming healthier, allowing them to tap into the more-than-sufficient intelligence and expertise they already have. He defines a healthy organization as one with minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of morale and productivity, and low turnover among good people. He is the author of eleven best-selling books with nearly five million copies sold. Named in Fortune magazine as one of the ‘ten new gurus you should know,’ Pat and his work have been featured in USA TODAY, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Harvard Business Review, to name a few. Pat shares his insights and inspires his audiences through his accessibility, humor and story-telling.

Mike Jaffe

Mike Jaffe is a nationally-recognized speaker, seminar leader, business and personal coach, and author of WAKE UP! Your Life is Calling. Why settle for FINE when so much more is possible? A 9/11 survivor who has transformed his life, Mike Jaffe serves as The Human WakeUp Call™ by using his own brush with tragedy as a message of self-discovery and empowerment. As a result of his own wakeup call, Jaffe radically changed directions in his career, leaving a secure corporate job in Manhattan and reinventing himself as an entrepreneur. He is the founder of the Mike Jaffe Company, whose program helps individuals and organizations unlock their potential and create new possibilities for growth and success. Mike has appeared as a featured expert on CNN, Fox News, New England Cable News and has been published and quoted in the Wall Street Journal, MSN, US News & World Report, Crain’s NY Business, Entrepreneur Magazine Radio and other national and regional media outlets. Mike is ready to benefit your company by providing your executives, managers and teams a powerful, life-changing, success-oriented wakeup call of their own.

W Mitchell

Undefeated by a blazing motorcycle accident and a paralyzing plane crash four years later, W Mitchell learned to take responsibility for the countless changes in his life. Whether coping with devastating burns over 65% of his body or being sentenced to life in a wheelchair, this once robust Marine firmly held on to his feisty nature and quick wit. It was "his" uphill journey and he was determined to maintain control, cope with the changes, and prosper. Without a doubt, Mitchell understands what it takes to rebuild and eventually reach the top. His life clearly illustrates his philosophy -- that most limitations are self-imposed. Step by step, Mitchell moved forward with his life. He became an internationally acclaimed mayor "who saved a mountain," a successful businessman who put thousands of people to work, a congressional nominee from Colorado, and a respected environmentalist and conservationist who repeatedly testified before Congress. Mitchell captivates and stuns audiences with his story and then empowers them to accept challenges, embrace change, and take action – not only at work but in everyday life. His tenacity and credibility are indisputable as he so obviously lives his message. Mitchell proves that unexpected changes can become exciting new starting points.

Garrison Wynn

With talents that established him as a Fortune 500 leader and professional stand-up comedian, Garrison Wynn, CSP, fuses comic timing and research to show how anyone can help create a culture of safety. He is authentic – a guy who's been there. Wynn is a chemical plant explosion survivor with a background in industrial instrumentation. For 20 years, he has given keynote presentations to clients such as Exxon, BASF, the National Safety Council, Behavioral Science and Technology (BST), the NFL, and NASA. In his teens, he debuted the world’s first video gaming system with baseball legend Hank Aaron; and as a young man, Wynn spent six years touring comedy clubs with the top names in the business before going on to create industrial products still being sold in 30 countries.

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.

Calvin Trillin

Trillin Calvin is acclaimed in fields of writing that are remarkably diverse. He has published pieces in The New Yorker for forty years and his wry commentary on the American scene and his comic novels have earned him renown as "a classic American humorist." His books include three comic novels (most recently, "Tepper Isn't Going Out") and a collection of short stories, a travel book and an account of the desegregation of the University of Georgia. Three of his antic books on eating "American Fried", "Alice, Let's Eat" and "Third Helpings" were compiled in 1994 into a single volume called "The Tummy Trilogy". He lectures widely and has appeared often as a guest on such television programs as "Good Morning America", "The Today Show" and "Latenight with David Letterman". He has written and presented two one man shows at the American Palace Theatre in New York- both of them critically acclaimed and sell-out. In reviewing the second show, The New York Times called Trillin "the Buster Keaton of performance humorists".

Bill Stainton

As a dynamic leader, a multiple Emmy Award-winning TV producer, writer, and performer, an author, a business humorist, and an internationally-recognized Beatles expert, Bill Stainton offers insight that is guarenteed to inspire and motivate. He blends the business smarts he gained from twenty years in corporate management with the show biz sparks he gleaned from working with people like Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, and Jay Leno to create entertaining and enlightening presentations enjoyed by audiences from around the world!

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.

Daymond John

Daymond John has evolved from a man who sold his own hand made hats to his neighborhood friends into a well-known fashion designer and one of the most sought after branding experts and motivational speakers in the country. Daymond shares his knowledge and vast experiences as author, creator of FUBU clothing, and cast member of ABC’s entrepreneurial business show, Shark Tank, with his audiences to inspire and motivate them to overcome their challenges. Daymond tells his stories with the desire to transform people’s lives and help them succeed and reach their goals either personally or as an organization.

Charles Gill

Connecticut Superior Court Judge Charles Gill is no Judge Judy! He is an experienced trial judge of 25 years who hears everything from corporate disputes to divorces to murders. Judge Gill is an internationally known public speaker who tackles many subjects—both legal and social—and who is an expert on issues that affect children. He has testified in Congress, spoken in the UN General Assembly, and appeared on major TV shows such as 20/20 and Good Morning America. Judge Gill's presentations have earned praises and awards from two U.S Presidents and dozens of professional and civic organizations. He has delighted audiences in Canada, Europe, and Asia—most recently at a meeting of Chinese Judges. This well-rounded and knowledgeable judge offers his insights and expertise with a highly entertaining and crowd pleasing style. Judge Gill refers to himself as an "informational speaker" rather than a "motivational speaker," but his many audiences believe he is both!

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