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Keynote Speakers & Presentations

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Keynote Speakers & Presentations

Accomplished keynote speakers and unique presentations that are altogether educational, entertaining, life-changing, and inspiring.

Many of our training programs can also be offered as a 30- to 90-minute keynote.

We also offer emcee services for your gala or other special events.

Delivered by David D. Knapp, PhD

To celebrate turning 50 years old in 2014, Dr. David Knapp ran 52* full marathon races (1,362.40 miles) during the calendar year as a fundraiser for the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Chasing Windmills” chronicles that incredible experience for audience members. Based on the imagery of Cervantes’ classic novel Don Quixote and Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, this presentation will both inspire and entertain audience members – while encouraging them to undergo their own heroic journeys to wisdom and service. During that journey, they will discover their own windmills to chase…even if everyone else calls them crazy for doing so.

* Dr. Knapp originally planned to run 50 full marathons but ran two extra marathons to honor Alzheimer’s caregivers, who “have to go the extra mile each and every day.”

Delivered by David D. Knapp, PhD

Robert K. Greenleaf introduced “Servant-Leadership” in his seminal 1970 essay, “The Servant as Leader.”  Both a broad leadership philosophy and a specific set of leadership skills and practices, servant-leadership is based on a service-first – not a leader-first – mentality.

This means servant-leaders focus first and foremost on sharing power, developing people, and meeting the needs of others, rather than initially focusing on gaining power, prestige, and material wealth.  It also means servant-leaders see others as partners in a transformational process that develops both leader and followers – with the ultimate goal of creating more servant-leaders, who will repeat the process.

In this highly engaging and entertaining keynote, Dr. Knapp will challenge audience members to summon the courage to serve.  But he will always provide tips and techniques to make that challenge easier.

Delivered by Tara Powers, MS

Leadership is not about titles or the corner office. It’s about the willingness to step up, put yourself out there, and lean into courage. As a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator (CDTLFs), Tara Powers is trained to teach the skills, practices, and tools that underpin the four skill sets of courage: Rumbling with Vulnerability, Living into Our Values, Braving Trust, and Learning to Rise. 

Delivered by Tara Powers, MS

Emotional Intelligence is widely recognized as a key factor in professional – as well as personal—success. Emotional skills are integral to decision making, empathizing with co-workers and friends, communicating vision to staff, overcoming challenging workplace situations, and staying resilient.

Key takeaways:

  • Identify areas where they can apply emotional intelligence
  • Evaluate their own emotional strengths and opportunities for growth
  • Generate action steps for improving emotional and social abilities

Delivered by David D. Knapp, PhD

Although we’re now in the second decade of the 21st-century, far too many leaders still run their organizations from a 19th-century perspective. This outdated approach prevents those leaders from effectively dealing with a host of complex challenges, including: a volatile global economy, significant changes in workplace demographics, increased shareholder expectations, and an accelerated rate of technological change that is unparalleled in world history. Deeply profound, but also highly practical, Dr. David Knapp’s “From Managing a Machine to Leading in a Living System” encourages audience members to re-examine – and ultimately reframe – their entire mindset and approach to leading their organizations.

Presented by Jake Norton

Whether you’re a climber or a CEO, a Sherpa or a secretary, we all have Everests in our lives and careers. Jake Norton, a seasoned keynote speaker, has inspired hundreds of organizations and thousands of people to identify – and then climb – their Everests. With humility, stunning images and video, and engaging stories from his 8 Everest expeditions, Jake takes audiences out of their seats and onto the mountain with him, where they laugh, cry, and learn the keys to success on all of life’s mountains.

Why? Most of us believe we are climbing to reach a summit, meet a deadline, or earn a paycheck. But, these are mere products of our efforts. The true reason why we climb must be something deeper, a purpose that transcends personal self-interest, forcing us to dig deeper, push harder, and make better decisions on the slopes of our mountains.

  • FEAR: We must learn to transition fear into focus, and use its power to break the job at hand into manageable pieces and move forward on our mountains.
  • INSTINCT: In these dynamic times, we often must make quick and effective decisions, trusting our instinct to tell us the right course of action.
  • TEAMWORK: None of us can climb our mountains all alone. Rather, we must rely on – and be a selfless member of – a strong, dedicated team.
  • TENACITY: No Everest is without setbacks and challenges. Only those who push on, striving day after day, will ever reach the summit.

Delivered by Debbie Scheer

Oftentimes society wants our grief experience to be tidy and quick, but the reality can be very different which leaves people feeling at a loss with what to do or how to cope because the way we grieve is as unique as our individual fingerprints.

An overlooked tool in dealing with grief is humor.  People tend to avoid humor because they feel it dilutes the seriousness of the topic when in reality using humor in your grieving process can help elevate the entire experience. 

Debbie Scheer infuses humor and heart into a topic that society would rather overlook, but one that is critical to changing the narrative around the grief process. 

Delivered by Polly Letofsky

Polly Letofsky left her home and headed west across 4 continents and over 14,000 miles – by foot – to become the first woman to walk around the world.

As an awareness campaign for breast cancer, survivors and well-wishers around the world came to walk with her. Every day strangers welcomed her into their homes. But is was never an easy road; Polly struggled with earthquakes, muggings, languages, even religious riots. The ultimate challenge came in the middle of Polly’s journey when September 11 flung us all into a crossroads in world history. Polly suddenly found herself embedded in a vastly changing world and realized she could never retrace her steps home – they’d vanished in a tide of world events.

A natural storyteller, since her return Polly has been speaking to rapt audiences around the country. She richly details her journey with humor and honest reflection, the good times and the hardships. Sometimes serious, sometimes funny, always inspirational, Polly’s inspiring keynote personifies the spirit of commitment and perseverance that will compel your audience to take on life’s biggest challenges – one step at a time.

Your audiences will walk away with a renewed commitment to achieve the seemingly unachievable, determined to move past the unexpected obstacles and embrace a new spirit towards their lives and work.

Delivered by Tara Powers, MS

Engaged employees do everything that is expected of them and comply with policies and procedures to the letter. Then there are passionate employees. They don’t just stick to the rulebook – they do whatever it takes to delight customers. These emotionally committed employees are passionate about their work, and the organization they work for. Employee engagement is just the starting point. Passionate employees take your organization to the next level.

Key learning takeaways:

  • Discover how well your organization is doing at creating a passionate team
  • Learn about The Passion Index and the five employee needs that ignite passion; assess how well the organization satisfies these needs
  • Identify the eight Values that Build Trust and how important they are to employees personally

Delivered by Tara Powers, MS

Remote work isn’t the future of work – it’s the present. It’s easy to see why – higher productivity, lower costs, better recruitment and retention, improved work-life balance, and reduced carbon footprint — nothing but upside, right? Yes, but here’s the issue: Organizations are opting for virtual work teams without considering the unique challenges of remote work. The truth is many remote teams are struggling to connect and achieve their full potential. Let Tara Powers teach your teams and leaders the inside revolutionary secrets to building a strong remote team culture and how to inspire success even when you’re not face to face.

Delivered by Tricia Downing, MS, MA

Life is unpredictable. Have you ever been blindsided by a major change or roadblock in your personal or professional life? Had your heart set on a particular outcome, only to see it fall through your fingers? Felt overwhelmed and burned out?

It would be an ideal world if we could control when and where we take on challenges in our lives. But in the real world, challenge and change usually take us by surprise. Your reaction and ability to deal with these occurrences may be the difference between prospering or letting life get the best of you. How can you become more resilient in the face of adversity?

Let keynote speaker Tricia Downing take you on a journey of self-discovery as she shares the tactics she has learned through decades of athletic training and competition, as well as the skills she learned to rebound from her tragic and paralyzing accident. Learn practical tips for dealing with your own adversity, so you are able to bounce back more quickly and get back on the road to success.

Delivered by Tricia Downing, MS, MA

Tricia quotes a saying she learned from her grandmother, “never judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Yet every day, people with disabilities are judged and typecast in a societal role without opening their mouths or being given an opportunity to display their thoughts, talents or a glimpse of life from where they stand (or sit). How are common misconceptions and low expectations detracting from the abilities and assets of those who may navigate the world in different ways? What talents are we leaving on the table when we don’t include people with disabilities in mainstream activities or our greater society? Are there things you could be doing within your organizations that would make your workplace, products or services more accessible?

Diversity is a topic prevalent in our media and conversations today, but disability is often neglected as we look to a more inclusive society. Learn how you can begin to understand the experience of disability and become inspired to think differently. Invite Tricia to share her strategies with your team today.

Delivered by Michael Gropper, MA

With insight, humor, and awareness, entrepreneur Michael Gropper takes audiences on his personal journey – embarked with compassion and hope – of concurrently launching two massive ventures to support his charitable mission of helping homeless veterans in transition.

Not only do audiences get to travel along the ups and downs of his journey of building and running his nonprofit and for-profit ventures, they gather takeaways from Michael’s knowledge about the various channels and resources they can navigate as they explore the steps of developing a business plan, funding their capital investments with grants and loans from agencies that support the development of small business startups, and networking with others to form a base of support and resources necessary for their success.

Key takeaways:

  • The importance of developing a fluid and flexible business plan that serves as a guide to an entrepreneur’s business creation
  • Illusion vs. the reality of a business plan
  • Understanding the Business Model Canvas (BMC) tool and how entrepreneurs can use it to develop their own business ideas
  • How to determine a company’s value propositions
  • The importance of mentorship and building a supportive team
  • Developing constructive attitudes about adapting and overcoming obstacles

Delivered by Tara Powers, MS

What is necessary now is a Connection Revolution. These days “connection” seems to be less about relationships between people and much more about reliable wifi. But connection to other people is one of our most basic and primitive needs. Research shows that authentic human connection is essential to address the loneliness epidemic at work, create more meaningful relationships and forge stronger bonds between people based on trust and value.

In this keynote, Tara Powers shares data and thought leadership on how to bring more conscious and intentional connection into the workplace. It’s time to rethink your priorities around people and culture and focus time and energy on systems and process that drive human connection. Because for every person in your organization, significance, belonging and nourishment matter.

Delivered by Debbie Scheer

Difficult conversations are part of what makes up the landscape of our lives and so it is not a matter of IF we will have to deal with them, but WHEN.

Because we want to avoid feeling uncomfortable we do everything but sit in the discomfort and can sometimes find ourselves bulldozing through it or bypassing it completely.

In this presentation, keynote speaker Debbie Scheer shows you how to wield humor as a powerful tool when it comes to navigating difficult conversations. You’ll learn how to adjust how you communicate and in doing so create new opportunities for positive outcomes. 

Types of Keynotes

Here are some of the topics our keynote speakers can present to your organization:

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