Erin Merryn

Author, Activist & Force Behind Erin’s Law

As a victim of sexual abuse, Erin travels around the country giving a voice to the voiceless and shares her inspiring story, pushing for Erin’s Law to pass in every state.

Erin helps nonprofits raise funds at events by closing her message on the importance of giving back and how donations help keep the doors of these nonprofits open Which allows survivors get the healing and justice they deserve to move forward with their lives. It has significantly helped centers raise donations.

After suffering years of sexual abuse for six years of her childhood Erin broke her silence when she was 13 at a Children’s Advocacy Center. The place Erin reclaimed her voice and began her journey to healing. Erin has spoken at over 60 CAC’s.

In 2008 she began writing legislators to require personal body safety be taught to kids in school. This decision has brought her on a crusade across America to pass what is known as Erin’s Law. Erin’s Law is the first US child sexual abuse prevention education law requiring children be educated in schools. Erin has been traveling state to state testifying to lawmakers to pass Erin’s law for 7 years. It is currently passed in 31 states as of July 2017. In December 2015 President Obama signed the federal version of Erin’s Law providing federal funding for schools to use. Release of those funds is still pending.

 

PROGRAMS

A Voice for the Voiceless
Sexually abused and raped for many years as a child, Erin shares her journey through years of abuse, finding her voice, healing, forgiveness and turning tragedy into triumph. By making the decision to go after giving children the voice she never had as a child, she will share what kept her silent and so many children silent when abused, the warning signs that were missed, how we can protect kids from abuse, and finally, the decision she made to quit her job and go after passing Erin’s Law across America. She travels from one capital to the next testifying to lawmakers on the law that requires personal body safety taught in public schools pre-k through 12th grade. It has now been passed in nearly half the country.

A Resilient Life
Labeled with a learning disability as a high school student, sexually abused and raped as a child and being diagnosed with epilepsy as a young adult, Erin has shown she has bounced back time and again from the obstacles she has faced. She explains how she has not allowed adversity to play a negative role in her life and instead, it has given her the strength to show others no matter what challenges we may face, we can rise above and overcome anything. Audiences walk away inspired and empowered to achieve their goals.

 

BIOGRAPHY

Erin is a woman on a mission . Her view of the world forever changed at the tender age of six, when she went to a sleepover at a best friend’s house. There, she would be sexually abused for the first time. For the next two and a half years, she was abused and raped by an adult neighbor. He told her he would hurt her if she told anyone, so she stayed silent. Her saving grace came when she moved at 8 ½ years old. Little did she know moving was getting her that much closer to the next abuser in her life.

Merryn spent 5 years of her childhood keeping her abuse a secret. After breaking her silence, she went down a destructive path of depression, self-injury, anorexia and a suicide attempt. She was ashamed to talk about what happened to her until she confronted one of her abusers in high school, which lead her on an unstoppable crusade to end the stigma and silence around sexual abuse. She published her childhood diary her senior year of high school to give children the voice she never had.

Merryn knew by the age of 12 she wanted to be a social worker, but struggled throughout elementary and high school to do well. However, she was determined to go to college even when she was tested by a school psychologist and it was determined she had a learning disability. Although teachers and counselors told her she would amount to nothing, one thing they didn’t know about Merryn was she accomplishes what she sets out to do. Not only did she get accepted into college, she graduated with honors and 5 years out of high school, she graduated with her masters in social work.

The obstacles didn’t end there. In January 2008, Merryn suffered a grand mal seizure while driving. Neurologists were stunned when they got her MRI back to discover her left temporal lobe was gone due to a virus she got as a newborn. Even more incredible was the fact that the missing area is where speech, writing and short term memory are developed. This explained why she struggled in school with her short term memory. Doctors were speechless that she is gifted as a speaker and writer, two things that she should have noticeable challenges with.

In 2010, Merryn began a crusade to get Erin’s Law passed across America. This law requires personal body safety taught to children Pre-K to 12th grade through an age appropriate curriculum. Merryn successfully passed it in her state of Illinois in 2013 and has been traveling from one state capital to another testifying to state lawmakers to pass it. To date, it is passed in nearly half the country and pending in many more.

Merryn is author of Stolen Innocence, Living for Today, and An Unimaginable Act, both memoirs. In November 2012, Glamour Magazine named her Woman of the Year and she was honored in Carnegie Hall before 3,000 people. People Magazine named her a HEROES Among Us in April 2013 and one of fifteen women changing the world in their June 2014 issue, alongside Oprah and Hilary Clinton. She has made numerous media appearances, including on Oprah, Katie Couric, CNN, Good Morning America, MSNBC, Fox, Windy City Live, Jane Velez Mitchell, 700 Club, Montel, Al Jazeera and many more. She has appeared in Time Magazine, USA Today, London Times, Huffington Post, Cosmo Girl Magazine, among others.

 

Lisa Van Loo

Lisa is an award-winning writer and speaker who uses her words to inform and inspire others who may be experiencing a difficult period in their life.

 

SEEDS OF ABUSE:

Based on Lisa’s own traumatic life experience exiting an abusive marriage, she empowers others to focus on self-improvement and informs others about the powerful and oftentimes hidden tactics of an abuser.

Using humor, brutal honesty and detailed scene-setting and description, Lisa draws an audience in with her endearing and authentic delivery.

Lisa has been asked to speak to law enforcement groups, victim’s groups, before municipal officials and in front of advocacy groups. She has the ability to customize her message for any given group or theme.

 

Keynotes that inspire: 

  • What abuse looks like, and what an abuser looks like.
  • The stages of recovery.
  • General awareness about domestic abuse.
  • The burden of shame that comes with domestic abuse and how to overcome it.
  • Transforming from someone who was abused to someone who is empowered.
  • Defining courage, and its companion, fear.
  • Diving into life again – or for the first time.
  • Surviving Domestic Violence

 

“I don’t know much about gardening. Or farming.  And, I should. I come from a family of Michigan farmers, ones who worked until twilight, earned funky sunburns and ate every last morsel of their second plate at supper.  

What I do know about farming is that seeds don’t grow into anything without the nourishment they need.  You can’t just plant something and walk away and expect it to grow.   

The same goes for people. Love, abuse, trust, fear – it all grows if it is nourished.  

I remember the day he planted the seed. It’s as clear as day, even though it was in the wee hours of the morning. We had been married for weeks, maybe. I was pacing in the hallway of our house, frantic, wondering where he was. Cell phones were only for emergencies then, and it was the middle of the night. He was nowhere to be found.  

When he finally walked through the door, I burst into tears, telling him I had been so worried. Why had he been out all night, without calling? Where did he go? What was he doing? I thought the worst.   

“This is what husbands do,” he said, telling me nothing more.   

I would learn nearly two decades later, after talking with his first wife, that he did and said the exact same thing to her, at the exact same point in their relationship. He dug a hole in us, carved us out with worry and fear, and planted a seed of manipulation to fill the vacancy.  

And then he watered it. Over the course of a 15-year marriage, that seed grew tangled roots. That seed of abuse flourished, thanks to his dedicated tending. “

 

BIOGRAPHY

Lisa lost herself for nearly two decades in a marriage that thrived on control, manipulation and abuse. When it eventually ended following an explosive, life-changing altercation, she held on to her optimistic spirit and rediscovered the person she had lost for years, finding a new clarity, focus, and gratitude for the turmoil she had survived.

Lisa, a writer and mother of three, has evolved from someone paralyzed by the simplest of decisions for fear of the repercussions, to someone who balances a career, motherhood and the ongoing manipulative behavior of her ex with a new-found confidence and self-assuredness. She made a conscious decision to avoid regret, vengeance and guilt as she navigated the most terrorizing and trying year of her life, standing strong against intimidation and threats, even when the threats moved from verbal to physical. Lisa used all the tools at her disposal to protect herself and her children and now advises others on how to do the same.

She appreciates how the abusive events in her past have strengthened her resolve.  She’s sure she isn’t special – Lisa believes anyone can rise above the chaos, and everyone deserves the most of out life, once they choose to put themselves first.  Lisa lives to capture every drop of every day, and she hopes her experience allows others to see the light through the fog.

 

Jessica Cox

Jessica is recognized internationally as an inspirational keynote speaker. Born without arms, Jessica Cox could have succumbed to the low expectations that ushered her into this world. In spite of them all, she earned two black belts in Taekwondo, graduated from college, and learned to swim, drive a car, fly an airplane, surf, scuba dive, and live independently using her feet in ways others who take their hands for granted can only imagine. She holds the title of the first person without arms to get a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association and the Guiness World Record for the first pilot to fly with her feet.

However, Jessica’s greatest triumph in life stands far above any physical feat. It is her unrepentant regard for herself as a whole person, her high degree of self-acceptance that gives her freedom and power to insist that society accept her, too, just as she is.

Accolades

  • Guinness World Record: The First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License, 2011
  • AOPA LIVE Pilots Choice Award 2010: Most Watched Female Aviator
  • Filipino Women’s Network: 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the U.S., 2009
  • Published in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 2009
  • The Filipino American Journal Award of Excellence, Outstanding Filipino Award, 2008

TOPICS

When Jessica first walks on stage, the audience has no idea that she doesn’t have arms. Carefully hidden underneath a jacket, she has on her prosthetic arms. Minutes into the introduction, she removes them and begins her speech rightfully titled:

Disarming the Impossible! Corporate Keynote:
Turning “Impossible” into “Accomplishment”
What limits people in your group from attaining their highest potential? How can they push limitations aside?
Jessica believes that by combining creativity, persistence, and fearlessness, nothing is impossible. In her presentation, she digs deep into her experiences living armless in a two-handed world. She shows how these three qualities helped her achieve the seemingly impossible.
Jessica’s elements stem from answering such questions as:

  • Are you letting your fears stand in the way of your opportunities?
  • Is it easier to come up with an excuse than a creative solution to a challenge?
  • What handicaps are you-and others-creating that you don’t need?
  • How soon should you give up when confronted with a difficult challenge?

Get Ready to Turn your “I can’t” into “I can!” and “I will!” Youth Keynote: Embracing Differences
Every person on this earth is “different” in one way or another and in one form or another has endured pressure to conform under the threat of rejection and isolation. Students experience the constant pressure to “fit in.” Jessica shares the struggle of masking her difference growing up in a two-handed world but then realizing the importance of being true to who we are as individuals. In order to be a good leader, Jessica believes it is critical to stand up for who it is we are, stand out every opportunity we have, and to stand proud of our differences!

Thinking Outside the Shoe
As a person who has never viewed herself as a victim of her condition, Jessica shares in her speeches humerous stories of struggle and success living in a “two-handed” world.  She provides critical insight on how to best approach a challenge, redefining the concept of innovative thinking.  She helps people reconnect with their own inner strengths and aptitudes.  Jessica believes in combining creativity, desire, persistence and fearlessness; with them, nothing is impossible.  In her presentation, she will dig deep into her excperiences living armless in a two-handed world and share how these four elements helped her achieve the seemingly impossible.

Jessica’s points stem from answering such questions as:

  • Why is it more important to “fit in” than to stand out and be different?
  • Do students act based on what everyone else is doing?
  • Who is responsible for standing up for who we are as individuals?
  • Why are we so worried about what everyone else thinks?

Full Biography

Jessica Cox was born without arms. The doctors do not know why she was born “differently-abed.” But she does. Jessica has made achievements with her feet that most people only dream of. Now she shares her story with people around the world.

Born in 1983 in Sierra Vista, Arizona, Jessica has learned to live her life with her feet. There were many questions at the time about whether Jessica would be able to live a “normal” life. However, Jessica’s father has said he never shed a tear about her birth condition. He had full confidence in her potential. With the support of her parents and family, Jessica became confident in herself as an adult and continued to explore the world with her feet.

As a child, Jessica studied dance in her home town. When the first performance arrived, she asked to be put in the back row. Her dance teacher told her there was no back row. Tentatively she took the stage with the other students and performed her routine. When she finished, the applause from the audience gave her encouragement and the confidence to continue dancing for 14 years.

Jessica’s parents eventually met a Taekwondo instructor named Jim Cunningham. His response when told of her birth condition was that she would be more than physically able and that only her attitude could hold her back. At the age of 14, Jessica earned her first Black Belt in the International Taekwondo Federation.

After graduating from high school, Jessica attended the University of Arizona where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. When talking about her degree, she frequently explains that psychology credits the way people think has a greater impact on their lives than a physical limitation.

During college, Jessica found a club of the American Taekwondo Association and resumed training in the sport. Even though Jessica already had one black belt in a different style, she had to relearn all of the color belt material. The instructors created a curriculum that would be accessible to any future arm less students. Jessica then became the first arm less person to earn a black belt in the ATA.
Jessica’s most famous accomplishment was learning how to fly. It took three states, four airplanes, two flight instructors and a discouraging year to find the right aircraft: a 1946 415C Ercoupe Airplane. She received the Guinness World Record for being the first person certified to fly an airplane with only their feet.

Jessica now works as a motivational speaker. She travels the world sharing her story and encouraging people to be creative and innovative with the mantra “Think outside the shoe.

Rita Davenport

Rita Davenport is an internationally recognized expert in the principles of success, time management, goal-setting, creative thinking, and self-esteem and confidence. Her unique background as an entrepreneur, corporate executive, author, speaker, humorist, and broadcaster sets her apart and has made her one of the most beloved and widely admired role models on the speaking circuit. She produced and hosted her own award-winning television shows in Phoenix, Arizona, for 15 years. Read more

Gary Marlon Suson

9/11 photographer Gary Marlon Suson lives in New York City. On September 11, 2001, his life, just as all American’s lives, was turned upside down by the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon. Initially, after photographing the Towers’ collapse from his rooftop, Suson returned to his studio, deciding he wasn’t going to shoot anything else having to do with this tragedy. He didn’t want the stress of being in the midst of the chaos taking pictures, and especially didn’t wish to be wrongly viewed as someone trying to exploit a situation.  Besides, he felt that trying to document something of this enormity was pointless – “Who am I to think I can capture the magnitude of all this?” he thought. However, he slowly realized he had a responsibility to try to document for future generations what terrorism was.

After creating a website called SeptemberEleven.net he posted his photos and captions, providing a pictorial commentary on what had happened. Unexpectedly appointed the Official Photographer at Ground Zero shortly after the tragedy at World Trade Center, Suson took photos on behalf of the Uniformed Firefighters Association and Uniformed Fire Officers Association. The culmination of his efforts became the Ground Zero Museum Workshop, a not-for-profit museum that houses not only his stunningly gripping images, but exhibits of relics and effects recovered from the site.

 

 

GARY MARLON SUSON ARTICLES:
International Business Times

GARY MARLON SUSON BOOKS:

 

Full Biography

Ground Zero Workshop Museum Founder Marlon Suson is a professional actor-playwright who resides in Manhattan & an Honorary Battalion Chief in the Fire Department of New York (FDNY). Just months after the attacks of September 11, 2001, he stepped away from his theatrical career after he was requested to take on a unique role: To be the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Uniformed Firefighters Association & Uniformed Fire Officers Association (FDNY). Like all New Yorkers and wanting to contribute to the relief efforts in any way he could, he began shooting on the morning of 9/11 and was appointed Official Photographer at Ground Zero in late December of 2001. He spent six days per week and approximately 17 hours per day “living” at Ground Zero, where he documented every phase of the ‘Recovery’. His work was overseen by FDNY Chief of Department Daniel Nigro. He was allowed access to every area at Ground Zero and given strict guidelines, which included:
• Not to release any of the images until the Recovery was over
• Not to shoot images of human remains.
• To share future proceeds with 9/11 charities.

In addition, he was not salaried by anyone and had to take out bank loans in excess of $8000.00 in order to finish his documentation of the “Recovery.” The FDNY first caught wind of Mr. Suson’s work in December of 2001, when the Manhattan Trustee for the Uniformed Firefighter’s Association, Rudy Sanfilippo, was receiving complimentary immunotherapy and vitamin drips at a well-known holistic clinic. Mr. Sanfilippo, a survivor of the WTC collapse on 9/11, was having lung complications. Mr. Suson had arranged the free care for several firemen who were experiencing breathing problems from September 11. It was this impromptu meeting between Suson and Sanfilippo that led the Uniformed Firefighters Association to view Mr. Suson’s award-winning website, SeptemberEleven.net, and then allow him full, unrestricted access to every area of Ground Zero. Early on, he didn’t shoot very much; choosing instead to focus on becoming friendly with the Chiefs and fixtures that ran the WTC site. Firemen were at first spooked when they saw Mr. Suson shooting and were uneasy. They feared he was exploiting the sacred site but this changed quickly as they got to know him and also noticed that none of his images were showing up in any of the daily newspapers. This spoke volumes to the many men who had lost family members and whole fire companies on September 11. Slowly, he was welcomed into the Ground Zero “brotherhood” and was even allowed to document the private Honor Guards from only a few feet away without the men so much as blinking an eye. Mr. Suson recalled, “I have to say I felt as if I was always at home there. I looked forward to seeing the men (and women) every day. It was an honor for all of us to be the ones to help out firsthand in the recovery efforts. We knew we were making a difference.” Whenever financially possible, Marlon Suson’s non-profit Museum donates to assorted charities and is particularly supportive of charities having to do with Mesothelioma research, such as the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Awareness Center (MAA Center).

One Battalion Chief in particular, Stephen Zaderiko, took Mr. Suson under his wing. “He spent time educating me on different aspects of the site, which included the art of making a recovery. He literally taught me how to dig when I wasn’t shooting; showing me what to look for in the way of remains. It was an honor to be able to dig but quite frightening the first time I did it. That’s when everything got quite real for me. No more hiding behind the lens. I really looked up to him; he was always at Ground Zero, even on his days off and always stayed upbeat.” Another Chief Mr. Suson credited for his images and emotional support was Battalion Chief Jim Riches. “Chief Riches lost his son on 9-11 and God himself couldn’t pull Chief Riches away from Ground Zero. I called him the gentle giant as he never spoke much but when he did, it mattered. He was very supportive of my work and genuinely cared about everyone at the site. It was quite a day when Chief Riches finally found his fireman son, Jimmy, Jr. in the North Tower area.” One last catalyst to Mr. Suson attaining his unique images at key moments during the recovery was a volunteer recovery worker known simply as “Mike The Beard.” A bear of a man who sported a thick beard, overalls, size 14 work boots, coke-bottle thick glasses and was always covered in the trademark brown-gray, Ground Zero mud, “Beard” often drove Mr. Suson around the site in an ATV. “He’d often wake me up at two or three in the morning while I slept in St. Paul’s Church and told me to be outside in two minutes. He would do this when he thought there was something happening down in the hole that should be documented, so he’d pick me up in this muddy, Honda ATV “Gator” and whiz me down to wherever the action was happening. I attribute some of my best photographs to his being so attentive and involved in my documentation.” Mr. Suson, who stockpiled his collection of images for many months, was virtually unknown to the media until the fire union granted him permission to release the images in the last week of the recovery at Ground Zero. On May 28, 2002, the New York Times broke the story of his singular journey into Ground Zero with a feature, half-page, color photo story entitled, “From a Camera at Ground Zero, Rare Photos of an Agonizing Dig” by Susan Sachs. The morning that the story broke, Mr. Suson was contacted by every major media outlet in the world, including Fox News Channel, CNN, SKY (UK), CBS, NBC and ABC. His first major interview, a five-minute featured segment on CNN Worldwide, was shaky. “I was only a few days out of Ground Zero and suddenly I had to talk about my experiences with a camera in my face and I couldn’t do it. I got choked up every time I opened my mouth, so CNN was kind enough to pair me up with a very sensitive producer who made sure I felt comfortable, which included my not being able to see the video camera. It was a slow process, that first interview, but the final product was an accurate tale in words and images that told the story of my journey into the heart of Ground Zero. I still get choked up every time I watch that interview as I can see just how emotionally vulnerable I was during that period.” That five-minute segment remains to this day the longest taped story ever produced on CNN. Gary Marlon Suson was a guest numerous times on Fox News Channel and recently did radio interviews on INSIDE MAC RADIO and for AUSTRALIAN RADIO for the 7-Year anniversary of the W.T.C. attacks.

Book offers quickly followed and Mr. Suson, courted heavily by Judith Regan of Regan Books, signed with the smaller Barnes Noble Publishing to release, “Requiem: Images of Ground Zero”, a 200-page pictorial of Day 1 through the closing ceremonies. The book was endorsed by the most notable firemen in the FDNY, with the foreward penned by highly respected Assistant Chief of Operations Joseph W. Pfeifer, whose brother Kevin was lost on 9/11. In keeping with his promise to the fire union, he donated hundreds of autographed books to the Uniformed Firefighters Association, to FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn, to 9/11 families and to firehouses all over the New York area. In addition, he sold books and museum posters for the UFA Widows Children’s Fund. His works were featured on the FBI Training Network in Quantico for their Homeland Security and Policing videos and in 2003, 8 of his images were reviewed by the Pulitzer Prize Committee for the 2002 awards. In August of 2002, Mr. Suson was a guest of the U.S. Secret Service at The White House, where he was given a private tour and signed dozens of books for the staff. From there, he came back to New York where he was an honored speaker at the U.S. Postal Service’s “Tribute To Heroes” ceremony, moving the packed audience with an emotional power point presentation of his Ground Zero images set to music. In September of 2002, Mr. Suson was a guest on Fox News Live with David Asman and then appeared on CNN with Connie Chung, accompanied by FDNY 9/11 Family Members Lee Ielpi and John Vigiano. Says Suson,”This was an emotional segment to be a part of, to say the least. I admire both men’s incredible courage to subject themselves to such a tough interview just one year after losing their sons.” His travels also included going to England, where he accompanied British Fire Chief David O’Dwyer of the Hereford Worcester Fire Brigades to the peak of a centuries-old, mountain fortress called “British Camp”, where Mr. Suson dug a hole and buried World Trade Center glass and dirt in a secret location in memory of the British citizens who died on September 11. The dirt was given to Mr. Suson by retired FDNY Lieutenant Paul Geidel, who spent nine months looking for his missing son, Gary Geidel, of Rescue-1 in Manhattan. Since then, Mr. Suson has spoken all over Europe on his work and experiences at Ground Zero, often showing up at firehouses with historical images for people on the opposite end of the world to remember the fallen. In 2002 and 2003, he had two different museum exhibits at The New-York Historical Society. One exhibit, “9/11: Loss and Remembrance”, featured the “Band of Dads” from Ground Zero.

In 2004, Mr. Suson, feeling unfulfilled in his mission to educate people as to what transpired during the Ground Zero Recovery, began writing his next Off-Broadway project, AMERICAN BROTHER – a ground zero-themed play. Mr. Suson recently penned a feature screenplay based on his own experiences at Ground Zero as the Official Photographer of record during the Recovery. Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis has offered to act in the project when it comes to fruition. Mr. Suson travels to different fire expos around the USA to sign books & museum posters for 10 assorted charities, including Artists 4 Hope, NYC Fire & Police Widows Fund, The FDNY Chief Raymond Downey Memorial Fund, The UFA Widows & Children’s Fund, HugsAcrossAmerica.net, Firefighter Ralph Geidel 9/11 Fund and the Brian E. Sweeney Memorial Fund. In 2004, Mr. Suson participated in a Ground Zero chemical detoxification program designed by the Church of Scientology and campaigned by actor Tom Cruise. Mr. Suson continues to raise awareness of the courage of the Ground Zero firefighters, police and volunteers through his unique and singular images. Most importantly, these images keep the memory alive of all those who perished on the fateful day of September 11, 2001 . Mr. Suson has often stated, “Time has a way of dulling our memories and so I hope these photographs will keep people from forgetting how we need to consistently fight the war on terrorism.” Mr. Suson, in 2005, opened the Ground Zero Museum Workshop in the Meat-Packing District of New York, which conducts daily, guided tours for tourists from all over the world, as well as hosting 9/11 families and survivors groups. Mr. Suson speaks around the world about his experiences as the Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Uniformed Firefighters Association & Uniformed Fire Officers Association. Mr. Suson’s role as Official Photographer at Ground Zero for the Fire Unions (UFA & UFOA) was a one-time position that ended when the Ground Zero Recovery ended and he no longer shoots photography for either union. His affiliation was with the 2001-2002 UFA administration from the Ground Zero Recovery period and not the current UFA administration, whose members were not elected officials nor were in office during the events of September 11 or during the “Recovery” at Ground Zero.

Mehmet Oz

One of the most accomplished heart surgeons in the world, Dr. Mehmet Oz shares his guidelines for good health and health care that, if adopted, can change your life and save others’ lives.

Given the title “America’s Doctor” by Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Mehmet Oz is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University. Dr. Oz also directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Mehmet Oz’s research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine, and health care policy. He has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents. Dr. Mehmet Oz performs over 350 heart operations annually.

Mehmet Oz, M.D., is a renowned New York Times best-selling author. In 2008 he was listed as one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.” Host of the nationally syndicated Dr. Oz television show, Oz is the resident health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show, is a regular guest on Good Morning America, Larry King Live, and has a regular column in Esquire magazine. He educates audiences about the inner workings of the human body and promotes well-being in a fun, interesting way that motivates audiences to live better.

TOPICS

A Healthier YOU
Based on his five best-selling books, including YOU: The Owner’s Manual, Dr. Oz shares with audiences his philosophies on living better and ways to achieve optimum health. His common-sense, inspiring presentation includes quizzes, trivia, and facts that are informative and amusing. Audiences leave feeling not only empowered to take charge of their health in small, everyday ways, but able to make life decisions toward healthier lifestyles.

Other topics include:

  • You: The Owner’s Manual
  • You: The Smart Patient
  • You: On a Diet

Full Biography

Although he’s pioneering new ways of thinking about medical care, Dr. Mehmet Oz, an award-winning heart surgeon with an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a joint MD and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Wharton Business School, wasn’t always sure medicine was his calling. “As a child I wanted to be either a pro athlete or a heart surgeon,” says Oz. “I failed at the former, so I pursued the latter. In reality, they are scarily similar professions. You have to deliver the goods every day. And no one cares how well you performed yesterday.”

Today, Dr. Oz is Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University and host of The Dr. Oz Show. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where his research interests include heart replacement surgery, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, complementary medicine, and health care policy. Dr. Oz has authored over 400 original publications, book chapters, and medical books and has received several patents. He performs over 300 heart operations annually.

For over five years and 55 episodes, Dr. Oz was a featured health expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show; he also served as chief medical consultant to Discovery Communications, where his Transplant! series won both Freddie and Silver Telly awards. In addition, Oz has appeared on Good Morning America, Today, Larry King Live, and The View, and was a guest host on the Charlie Rose show.

The author of four New York Times bestsellers – You: The Owner’s Manual, You: The Smart Patient, You: On a Diet, and You: Staying Young – and the award-winning Healing from the Heart, Oz also has a regular column in Esquire and Reader’s Digest. His article “Retool, Reboot, and Rebuild” was awarded the 2009 National Magazine Award for Personal Service.

His approach incorporates both traditional Western techniques for treating disease and alternative ideas about healthy lifestyle choices that contribute to overall wellness. He has successfully treated patients – some of them famous celebrities – with a combination of cutting-edge Western techniques and alternative Eastern therapies such as acupuncture and yoga. He encourages patients to become partners with their doctors.

In addition to belonging to every major professional society for heart surgeons, Dr. Oz was elected as a Global Leaders of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, and won the prestigious American Association for Thoracic Surgery Gross Research Scholarship. He was voted “The Best and Brightest” by Esquire magazine and was elected one of the Doctors of the Year by Hippocrates magazine and one of the Healers of the Millennium by Healthy Living. He is annually elected as one of the best physicians in the USA by the Castle Connolly Guide as well as other ranking groups. In 2006 he was honored as one of The Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni in 02138 Magazine. In 2008, Dr. Oz was honored as one of the Top 100 influential people in Time magazine for his work.

Mike Frank

“Little Ideas Pay Big Dividends in Sales”

While Mike Frank speaks on a number of business related topics, sales is his background and his strongest suit. He worked his way up from a fledgling salesman to vice-president of sales for an international company – he did this within four years and by the age of 26. His strength is in customizing the presentation, based on the client’s requests. He provides a high energy style, yet with solid practical, real life sales information.

He has been a straight commission salesperson his entire life. Mike is one of the very few people that Zig Ziglar asked to provide outside input in his best selling book, SECRETS OF CLOSING THE SALE. Several years ago, ENTREPRENEUR Magazine featured him in an article on several of the top sales trainers in America.

Mike speaks with authority, credibility and experience. Mike believes that is the little things we do or don’t do that makes the difference in sales success. He focuses on that concept and unless the client prefers a different title, he calls the program, LITTLE IDEAS PAY BIG DIVIDENDS – whether he is speaking for one hour or four hours. Mike is just as effective with retail salespeople as he is with ‘outside’ salespeople.

Among the pieces of the sales process that he can address are:

  • Prospecting skills
  • Working effectively with the gate keeper
  • Building rapport/positive relationships with clients
  • Organization/time management
  • Qualifying the prospect…the effective use of questions
  • Making an effective presentation
  • Overcoming objections
  • Closing the sale
  • Follow up after the sale or missed sale
  • Marketing ideas
  • Getting and using testimonials
  • Going the extra mile in customer service
  • Using creativity to the utmost, even if you’re not creative

PROGRAM TOPICS/TITLES

SALES, MARKETING, BUSINESS

Mike can speak for:

  • Outside Sales
  • Retail Sales
  • Trade show sales

Among the topics he can include in any sales or marketing directed presentation are:

  • Prospecting skills
  • Building rapport/positive relationships with clients
  • Organization/Time Management
  • Qualifying the prospect
  • Making an effective presentation
  • Overcoming objections
  • Closing the sale
  • Follow up after presentations
  • Marketing goes way beyond selling
  • Getting and using testimonials
  • Creative marketing and sales concepts

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP

  • Managing Change
  • Leadership by Example
  • Ethics in Today’s Business World
  • Creative Management and/or Marketing Concepts
  • “Entrepreneurism…Today and Tomorrow
  • Excellence in Entrepreneurship
  • Managing Time
  • Finding, Hiring, Motivating, Training and Retaining Good People
  • Enhancing Productivity

CUSTOMER SERVICE

  • You Can’t Separate Effective Customer Service from Effective Sales Skills
  • Effective Customer Service Starts at the TOP
  • Every Department is the Customer Service Department
  • How to Avoid Customer Complaints
  • How to Deal with Customer Complaints
  • Building Strong Client Relationships

EFFECTIVE SPEAKING AND PRESENTATION SKILLS

  • Speaking Skills for the Amateur
  • Speaking Skills for the Professional Speaker
  • Speaking Skills for Business Executives and/or Salespeople

MOTIVATION AND ATTITUDE

  • Coping with Change
  • Realistic Thinking and Positive Doing
  • Teamwork Makes the Difference

COMMUNICATION

  • Communicating Effectively
  • Communicating with Confidence

Full Biography

Mike worked his way up from salesman, to manager, to district manager, to regional manager, to national sales manager, to vice president of sales of an international corporation – within 4 years and before he was 26 years old.

He has spoken to over 3000 audiences in the United States, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Mexico and co-authored two books. In 1995, Mike published his first solely authored book.

He was the 1980-81 President of the 4000 member, National Speakers Association. He has made over 19,000 “cold-call” field sales presentations and has “field trained” over 100 salespeople.

Mike has been featured in many corporate “in house” video tape training programs. In 1980, he received the CSP designation (Certified Speaking Professional) from the National Speaker’s Association. Fewer than 8% of the membership has received this distinction. In 1990, Mike was the first speaker to ever receive both of the National Speakers Association’s highest honors in the same year:

• The CPAE Hall of Fame Award (Council of Peers Award for Excellence), presented to him by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (only 135 other speakers have received this prestigious award)

• The CAVETT AWARD, the most cherished honor in the speaking industry
Mike attended the University of Georgia where he attained his BBA in Insurance/Real Estate.

Suze Orman

Foremost financial advisor, host of The Suze Orman Show on CNBC and New York Times bestselling author Suze Orman is a world-renowned motivational speaker who speaks annually to over 100,000 people in the United States, South Africa & Asia. In 2007, Business Week named Orman the top female motivational Speaker in the U.S., and in 2010, she was named one of the world’s most powerful women by Forbes magazine. Suze has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today.

She is a two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world.

Just like a good mutual fund, Suze Orman keeps getting better over time. Her speech to over 3,000 working women in Denver was the show stopper of the day. She exceeded our expectations as we watched our audience feverishly write everything Suze had to say. Without a doubt, she changed the way these women used to think about money and risk. Unlimited The Empowerment Seminar for Women Suze is the contributing editor to “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Costco Connection Magazine and the host of the award winning Suze Orman Show on CNBC.

Over her television career Suze has accomplished what no other television personality has before; Not only is she the single most successful fundraiser in the history of Public Television (PBS) but she has also garnered an unprecedented six Gracie Allen Awards, more than anyone in the history of this prestigious award. The Gracies recognize the nation’s best radio, television, and cable programming for, by and about women.

TOPICS

9 Steps to Financial Freedom: Practical and Spiritual Steps So You Can Stop Worrying

The Road to Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Money

You’ve Earned It, Don’t Lose It : Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make When You Retire

The Courage to Be Rich

Full Biography

Suze Orman has been called “a force in the world of personal finance” and a “one-woman financial advice powerhouse” by USA Today. A two-time Emmy Award-winning television host, New York Times mega bestselling author, magazine and online columnist, writer/producer, and one of the top motivational speakers in the world today, Orman is undeniably America’s most recognized expert on personal finance.

Orman is the contributing editor to “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Costco Connection Magazine and for the last nine years host of the award winning Suze Orman Show, which airs every Saturday night on CNBC. Over her television career Suze has accomplished that which no other television personality ever has before. Not only is she the single most successful fundraiser in the history of Public Television, but she has also garnered an unprecedented seven Gracie awards, more than anyone in the 35-year history of this prestigious award. The Gracies recognize the nation’s best radio, television, and cable programming for, by, and about women.

In October 2010 Forbes honored Orman as one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women”. In May 2010 Orman was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Commercial Science degree from Bentley University. In that same month, Orman received the Gracie Allen Tribute Award from the American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT); the Gracie Allen Tribute Award is bestowed upon an individual who truly plays a key role in laying the foundation for future generations of women in the media. In October 2009 Orman was the recipient of a Visionary Award from the Council for Economic Education for being a champion on economic empowerment. In July 2009 Forbes named Orman 18th on their list of The Most Influential Women In Media. In May 2009 Orman was presented with an honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Illinois. In May 2009 and May 2008 Time Magazine named Orman as one of the TIME 100, The World’s Most Influential People. In October 2008 Orman was the recipient of the National Equality Award from the Human Rights Campaign. In April 2008 Orman was presented with the Amelia Earhart Award for her message of financial empowerment for women. Saturday Night Live has spoofed Suze five times during 2008-2010.

Orman who grew up on the South Side of Chicago earned a bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Illinois and at the age of 30 was still a waitress making $400 a month.

Ariane de Bonvoisin

Walking away from a successful corporate career Ariane de Bonvoisin transformed her life, believing that from any change something good will come.
In her best selling book The First 30 Days, Ariane outlines the nine principles of change that successful people know in order to navigate transitional times. De Bonvoisin shares with audiences her unique background; she grew up and worked in over a dozen countries, distinguished herself with degrees from the London School of Economics and Stanford and worked for companies including BCG, Bertlelsmann, Sony, TimeWarner and Charlie Rose, but she wasn’t happy until she was able to balance her goals with her passion to help others.

Now with a successful book, her Change Nation show, a magazine column, weekly appearances on radio and TV, and through her own upcoming TV series, de Bonvoisin is determined to help others make or face any life change with optimism. Authentic, passionate and capable of touching audiences the world over, she is truly a next generational force with a foot in both worlds- one who can talk to peoples minds and touch their souls. Ariane de Bonvoisin’s amazing journey from corporate darling to entrepreneur, author and ‘transformationalist’ can inspire and help anyone contemplating or experiencing any life change.

 

TOPICS

The 9 Principles of Change
Change is the most important life skill and survival tool for the next decade. After interviewing thousands, Ariane de Bonvoisin reveals the nine habits of people who successfully navigate change, whether it is personal or professional. In a lively, and engaging manner, de Bonvoisin gets her audience to look at change differently, to evaluate their own ‘change quotient’, how to handle emotions such as fear, doubt and impatience and multiple ways to strengthen their ‘change muscle’. She discusses what makes the difference in people and companies who can handle any change. Companies are inspired to look at how good they and their employees are at navigating change and how this is rapidly becoming a core competency. She leaves her audiences with optimism, practical tools and ways of making any change easier.

Living Healthier – How to Transform the Health of Your Employees and Your Company
Tough times inevitably lead to bad habits and health challenges. Having healthy employees is rapidly becoming a competitive advantage and a core value for companies. Founder and CEO of the First 30 Days, Ariane de Bonvoisin helps de-clutter all the information about health, offering a dozen steps that really make a difference. She shares information from over 50 health experts she met and interviewed, from traditional doctors from Harvard to the Dalai Lama’s physician. Audiences will learn tips not often talked about, from food combining, to acid/alkali balances in the body, to cleansing, to building the body’s natural immunity. She is bold, bright and funny when it comes to discussing her research on health leaving audiences laughing, being amazed, and motivated by a sense of possibility based on real facts and simple daily changes to incorporate into their lives.

A Foot in Both Worlds – Combining Business and Spirituality
For so many, ambition and living spiritually– money and meaning– don’t go together. They require a difficult choice. Companies can’t do good, contribute and be profitable. Individuals can’t live spiritually, have a corporate job and a great relationship. Ariane shows us the misconception of this either/or framework so many companies/people have and inspires us to consider a new model. She reveals a new lens for us to look through in how we make important choices, what it means to live consciously in everything from relationships, to work to how we treat our health. She gives practical examples of how to combine the material and spiritual calling in day to day choices and how to live in this ‘real’ world. In a world where more people and companies are wanting to live consciously and have a sense of meaning, Ariane’s discussion will leave anyone with a sense of possibility, inspiration and clarity.

Full Biography

Ariane de Bonvoisin is the Founder, CEO and Chief Change Optimist of First30Days, a New York City-based media company focused on guiding people through all types of changes, both personal and professional and social or global. The company, which launched its web site, first30days.com, in February 2008 currently features

60 life change subjects, including those relevant to our times such as losing a job, selling a home, starting a

business, dealing with depression, smart investing,

reducing debt and getting divorced. She also hosts a popular on-line show, ChangeNation, where she interviews experts and thought leaders on all aspects of life changes. With a degree in economics and international relations

from the London School of Economics at the age of 19, Ariane began her professional career at The Boston Consulting Group and worked in over a dozen countries during her tenure. After receiving an MBA from Stanford

University, she moved to New York, working with media companies Bertelsmann and Sony.

In 2000, she joined Time Warner as the Managing Director of a new $500 million digital-media venture fund. The

Fund’s mission was to take equity stakes in early-stage, potentially strategic, technology companies. Prior to her launch of First30Days and time at Charlie Rose Productions, Ariane spent a year as a Senior Advisor on a

Humanitarian Project, A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AFRICA.

The project involved the top 100 photojournalists placed in the 53 countries of Africa on a single day. Ariane had a monthly column in Redbook magazine and AdAge, is currently MSN’s Life Change Expert, a contributing editor to BusinessWeek.com, a Life Balance expert for Health Magazine and has appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows, including NBC’s Today Show, the CBS Early Show, CNN Radio and ABC News Now. She is a Huffington Post contributor and has written articles for media outlets including Yahoo, Town & Country, Advertising Age, the New York Daily News, Reader’s Digest, MSN and Media Bistro, among others. She has also been written about in Oprah magazine and USA Today.

Ariane’s most recent book entitled, “The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier” was published by Harper Collins in May 2008 and reached the bestseller list on Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Ariane embarked on a national media and speaking tour for the book. A Spanish edition was published in December 2008 by Spanish by Rayo, a division of Harper Collins and the book has now been translated in over a dozen languages. She is currently finishing her next book, A Foot in Both Worlds; Walking a spiritual path while fully being in the world.

Ariane speaks frequently around the country and abroad on issues of personal and professional change and the topic of consciousness and spiritual life. She has spoken at events including Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, the Pennsylvania’s Governors Conference, the Houston and Boston Leadership Conferences, the Health Conference in NYC, the IDB in Washington and international conferences. She also loves speaking to kids and youth of all ages.

She is also an accomplished athlete, having been a competitive swimmer, a ski instructor, and a runner in a series of marathons and triathlons. She also reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in January 2001, accompanied a group of students to Antarctica in December 2002. She was most recently part of a documentary movie called The Highest Pass (www.thehighestpass.com)- a motorcycle journey through the highest roads in the Himalayas, that premiered in August 2011; a journey to discover that our Highest pass is always within the heart and beyond the mind.

The Three Waiters

Everyone is raving about The Three Waiters® singing waiters!! They are one of the world’s most successful corporate and private event surprise acts. With nearly 10,000 shows in 77 countries, they are arguably the most popular act of any kind for corporate events, fundraisers, private parties and colleges! The Three Waiters® takes the concept of singing waiters to a new level, adding elements of sophistication, spontaneity, humor and audience interaction. They will help you accomplish your goals – educate, reward and inspire your audience to achieve new heights.

The Three Waiters® is made up of the best performers that opera and musical theatre has to offer. Each artist is chosen after an extensive audition process and not only must be vocally outstanding but must also possess a dynamic personality, with a flair for character acting, timing and comedy. It is not a slap stick or improvised waiters show. Everything that happens in The Three Waiters® could and does happen in real life, which is why the audience reacts with complete amazement to the comedy and vocal theatrics.

do all the things you expect waiters to do: helping people to their seats, serving where appropriate, and generally being helpful and charming so that throughout the evening the guests completely accept them as part of the service staff. So now the stage is set, and one by one, events begin to unfold… and The Three Waiters® bring a show to life before your guests’ eyes, without them even knowing it’s a show!

PROGRAM

The Three Waiters®
Sophisticated, spontaneous and loads of fun, The Three Waiters® involves three talented singers posing as “real” waiters at your event, hoaxing and amusing your guests before revealing themselves as singing waiters in a thrilling operatic performance a la The Three Tenors. The three singing waiters do all the things you expect waiters to do: helping people to their seats, serving where appropriate, and generally being helpful and charming so that throughout the evening the guests completely accept them as part of the service staff.

Each singing waiter is unique but believable: Alfredo, the Italian, poses as the banquet manager; he is well mannered and meticulous. Jean-Marc, the French waiter, is busily offering drinks to the guests, while the third waiter dresses exactly as the other catering staff and neatly blends into the food service.

With the stage set, one by one events begin to unfold… and The Three Waiters® bring a show to life before your guests’ eyes, without them even knowing it’s a show! First, the moments are subtle ones, such as a brief announcement by the banquet captain, just doing his job. Then after awhile a bit of “spontaneous” singing, but for a very understandable reason. No one suspects what is to come.

Later, another song, and another, as each character reveals themselves to the surprise and amazement of the audience. The show is so interactive that the audience gets drawn in so that they are actually part of the action! When the three performers are revealed, The Three Waiters® then becomes a Three Tenors singing extravaganza, with the singing waiters doing everything from Verdi to Elvis.

It is only at the finale that their true identities are revealed, and The Three Waiters® leave your guests cheering with napkins waving in the air!

Full Biography

The Three Waiters was established in Australia in 1998 by Mark Bradley and Darryl Lovegrove, and after performing over 6,000 shows in 55 countries, it remains one of the most sought after acts on the national and international corporate entertainment circuit.

The concept of The Three Waiters involves three talented and highly entertaining opera singers dressing and hoaxing as “real” waiters before grouping together to take the audience through a very amusing, yet sophisticated show. The Three Waiters brings an unbeatable combination of surprise, humor, and amazing voices to any gathering.

As an important part of the act, each performer actually works the floor as a waiter for some time before the performance begins. They also dress and act the same as the “real” waiters, thus giving no clues of what is about to come. They cover as much of the floor as possible while interacting with the guests, and as a result, the guests feel like they are part of the act as opposed to watching a staged show.

Picture your next corporate function where the evening is running according to plan with the usual mixing and mingling of invited guests and clients. Suddenly, one of the food or beverage waiters burst into an aria from well-known opera songs, from Pavarotti to Dean Martin or Andrew Lloyd Webber to Puccini, culminating in a performance of true “Three Tenors” style.

The Three Waiters are made up of the best performers that opera and musical theatre have to offer. Each artist is chosen after an extensive audition process. Not only must they be vocally outstanding, but they must also possess a dynamic personality, with a flair for character-acting, timing and comedy.

Often described as “An Event Planner’s Dream”, The Three Waiters has changed the way Event Planners and their Guests view live entertainment, whether at an intimate dinner for 12 or a gala function for 1200 or more.

Lately, several “Singing Waiters” acts have imitated our original concept of Singers masquerading as Waiters (or Guests, a Chef, a Security Guard, a Guest Speaker, etc). But with well over six thousand shows under our belt, offices in Sydney, London and New York, a long list of awards and a great creative team working tirelessly to keep the act polished and fresh, The Three Waiters is still your best option for Surprise Entertainment!