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.

Bruckner Chase

On August 24, 2010, at 4:00 AM, surrounded by a community of supporters, Bruckner Chase embarked on a 25-mile marathon swim to connect Santa Cruz to Monterey while also binding those on land with the Monterrey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Those twenty-five miles developed into an epic fourteen-hour journey in which he encountered everything from massive jellyfish to blue whales, fog to white-capped swells. Read more

Bethany Hamilton

Bethany Hamilton, at the age of 13 survived a 14-foot tiger shark attack off the shores of her hometown Hawaii was left with one arm and only 26 days later she courageously overcame all odds and began surfing again. In the wake of this life-changing event that took her arm and nearly her life, Bethany’s feisty determination and steadfast faith spurred her toward an adventurous comeback that gave her the grit to turn her loss into a gift for others. Bethany is a true champion who inspiring millions worldwide through the love of her family, her sheer determination, and her unwavering faith.

Bethany wrote about her experience in the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board. Bethany’s story has touched the hearts of everyone and her inspirational message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. In April 2011, the feature film Soul Surfer was released, based on the book and additional interviews. She has appeared on many television shows since the loss of her arm.

Known most notably for one of the biggest comeback stories of our era, Bethany Hamilton has since become synonymous with inspiration. New York Times Best Selling Author, life who’s been featured in a Hollywood movie, professional surfer, and spiritual icon, Bethany is a sought after public speaker. She is motivating audiences worldwide to live their life with more tenacity, courage and faith.

 

 

POPULAR PROGRAM TOPICS
(Bethany’s programs are frequently conducted in an interview style)

Fighting to Get Back on the Board
Bethany has already lived more than a lifetimes worth of triumph and tragedy, and she shares every poignant moment. Audiences learn how she rose once again to the challenges of competition after a life-changing event, how she dealt with the maelstrom of media attention, and how she relied on her faith and innate positive thinking to embrace changes that would undo most people. Bethany’s passion and insight, and filled with thrilling moments of the sport personify, a portrait of American heroism that will captivate audiences of all ages.

Rise Above
Bethany shares her courage and enthusiasm, inspiring audiences to face life head on and stand strong in their faith. Since losing her arm, Bethany has chosen to use her experience to become an inspiration and help others to overcome adversity, no matter how great. Bethany will inspire your audience to believe that you can do whatever they want if you just set your heart to it, and just never give up, and just go out there and do it.

Full Biography

Bethany Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of faith, determination, and hope. Born into a family of surfers on February 8, 1990, on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, Bethany began surfing at a young age.

At the age of thirteen, on October 31, 2003, Bethany was attacked by a 14-foot tiger shark while surfing off Kauai’s North Shore. The attack left Bethany with a severed left arm. After losing over 60% of her blood, and making it through several surgeries without infection, Bethany was on her way to recovery with an unbelievably positive attitude. Lifeguards and doctors believe her strong water sense and faith in God helped get her through the traumatic ordeal.

Miraculously, just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water to continue pursuing her goal to become a professional surfer. In January of 2004, Bethany made her return to surf competition; placing 5th in the Open Women’s division of that contest. With no intention of stopping, Bethany continued to enter and excel in competition. Just over a year after the attack she took 1st place in the Explorer Women’s division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships – winning her first National Title.

In 2007, Bethany realized her dream and turned pro. Bethany has since participated in numerous ASP and World Tour Events with her major highlight being a second place finish in the ASP 2009 World Junior Championships.

Since losing her arm, Bethany’s story has been told in hundreds of media outlets and she has been recognized with numerous awards, public appearances, and various speaking engagements.

In October 2004, Bethany shared her life story in her autobiography entitled Soul Surfer. Seven years later, the book was made into a major motion picture bearing the same title which released theatrically in April, and for home entertainment in August, 2011. Other books Bethany has written include “Devotions for the Soul Surfer,” “Rise Above,” A “Soul Surfer” Bible, “Ask Bethany,” and “Clash,” “Burned,” “Storm,” and “Crunch.”

Out of the water, Bethany has grown from a young teenage girl with aspirations of becoming a professional surfer into a twenty-year old professional surfer with aspirations of becoming a beacon of inspiration and hope. Through the platform of professional sport, Bethany has been able to touch a large number of people with her message, charitable efforts, and overall spirit. Bethany just launched her own foundation, Friends of Bethany, which supports shark attack survivors, traumatic amputees, and serves to inspire others through her life story, and is involved in numerous other charitable efforts.

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.

James Mapes

James Mapes is a recognized expert on the psychology of imagination who helps leaders apply their imagination to take individual and organizational performance to new levels.

 

Even in a challenging world—there is great possibility. Coaching and empowering leaders past what they knew to be possible, James Mapes skillfully stretches people’s perceptions to see new possibilities and experience the power of their imagination. A dynamic speaker with energy and humor, he captures and holds his audience’s attention with fascinating demonstrations that leave no doubt—“You Achieve What You Imagine.” Participants leave with a clear understanding that the powerful mental pictures we all carry around with us—the opportunities we see—are forces that can lead organizations to break through performance. They learn how to recognize and embrace self-limiting fear and apply the imagination in ways that engage followers and help them achieve their goals. Perhaps, most importantly, they leave with practical skills they can put to immediate use and the motivation to apply their own imagination with the clarity and power to create their own successful future—at work and in their personal lives. As a recognized performance coach, best-selling author of Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind and founder of the Transformational Coach Program™, Mapes has spoken to more than 2,000 organizations in 70 countries. His practical insights have been included in numerous training manuals and textbooks of companies, associations, universities and business schools. His upcoming book is entitled The Elephant and the Rider: Living an Exceptional Life.

PROGRAMS

IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance
Do you view the future with hope and possibility? Or do you allow fear to cloud your thinking, creating insecurity and stress?
Do you know how to apply your imagination to generate creativity, motivation, happiness and hope?
In these uncertain, challenging and complex times, success literally depends on the importance of knowing how to manage your thinking. As Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. It is a preview of life’s coming attractions.”
In this cutting-edge, practical and entertaining program, James captures and holds the audience’s attention with dynamic, compelling stories and inter-active demonstrations that leave no doubt that you can achieve what you imagine.
Exceptional individuals in all walks of life are distinguished by their capability to think creatively and perceive new opportunities for innovation. They have mastered the skill of “visualization” and can clearly communicate a dynamic, compelling, optimistic vision of the future.
James Mapes, the world’s foremost authority on the psychology of “applied imagination” and creator of Quantum Leap Thinking™,” demonstrates how success can be achieved by understanding and applying these concepts. James skillfully stretches perceptions to see new possibilities. He guides his audience to recognize how the powerful mental pictures we all carry around definitely impact the opportunities we see and the choices we make.
The audience leaves this thought-provoking, interactive, fascinating and inspiring journey having learned:

  • How to replace old beliefs with a compelling new vision that energizes at every level.
  • How to recognize, break through and let go of fears that sabotage success.
  • How to reduce negative stress and become more mindful.
  • How to motivate and propel to action by identifying core values.
  • How to improve productivity using ‘stretch goals’ and applied imagination.

 Program Length: 45 minutes – 90 minutes
MIND OVER BODY: Harness Vision to Create a Wellness Strategy
Brain science studies prove that how we think impacts our health.
As a speaker, performance coach, medical facilitator, clinical hypnotist, writer and performer, James Mapes knows first-hand the importance of managing our thinking and reducing negative stress.  He integrates lessons learned from more than three decades of experience and his own open-heart surgery. He is truly a speaker who lives what he preaches.
In MIND OVER BODY, audiences gain a fresh, unique perspective on health, wellness and productivity.   James simplifies the latest research in brain science into easy and enjoyable solutions.  James projects an amazing, positive energy, radiating passion about the elegance of the imagination and the incredible power of the human mind and spirit.
The attendees will leave this interactive, thought-provoking and inspiring program having learned:

  • How to influence the subconscious with optimistic, affirmative suggestions.
  • How use mental imagery to reduce anxiety.
  • How to “reframe” negative thinking to instill hope and confidence.
  • How to create a personal vision to inspire wellness and achieve goals.
  • How to meditate in five minutes for mindfulness.
  • How to recognize and break through the fear that impedes wellness.

This presentation can be tailored to your organization’s specific needs as either a keynote or workshop.
Program Length: 60 minutes – 1/2 day
TRUE LEADERSHIP: The Neuroscience of Effective Leaders
What is a leader?   Have you assessed your leadership skills lately?
The business world is awash with leadership philosophies, how-to books and training institutes that can leave even the savviest manager perplexed as exactly how to encourage employees to develop their own leadership style.
In 2017’s confusing and complex business world, it is important to push aside the clutter and get back to a fundamental understanding of why “true” leadership traits are essential for success.
The adage “leaders are born, not made” is questionable, since it takes hard work to craft a leadership style that works for each individual.
In this provocative, lively and interactive presentation, renowned “evangelist of the imagination,” brain researcher, break-through thinking coach and best-selling author, James Mapes, incorporates his legendary humor with an array of audience exercises to reveal:

  • The five “culturally and morally neutral” traits of all successful leaders.
  • Why morality, a nice disposition and power do not necessarily make a great leader.
  • A guide to transform and enhance a personal leadership style.
  • How to craft an emotionally charged, clearly compelling and realistic future vision.

Program Length: 60 – 90 minutes

Full Biography

Speaker, expert on the psychology of “applied imagination,” for extreme success, peak performance coach, and author: Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owner’s Guide to the Mind and Imagine That! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance.

An extraordinary keynote speaker for the uncertainty of 2017, James Mapes defies categorization.   When philanthropist/Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen quizzed Mapes as to how one person could do so much during his life, James’ answer was simple: “Because no one told me I couldn’t.”

A true Renaissance man, James is considered the world’s foremost authority on applied imagination, having studied human behavior for more than 30 years.  Since childhood, James wanted to make the impossible into the possible.  This has led to a life-long fascination with the subconscious and the power of the imagination.

Speaker, coach, best-selling author, clinical hypnotist and performer, Mapes is recognized for his ability to inspire, motivate, educate and guide others to develop and enhance the unlimited potential of their creative imagination and incalculable powers of the mind.   His programs address creativity, motivation, leadership, change, wellness and peak performance.

As creator of Quantum Leap Thinking™ and the Transformational Coach™, James Mapes is one of the most sought-after international speakers in the corporate industry today.  He has worked with hundreds of public and private companies in more than 70 countries.

His clients include financial institutions, software companies, the military, the healthcare industry, major non-profit organizations, along with training & development divisions of large corporations. Companies, associations, universities and business schools including – IBM Corporate, U.S. Coast Guard, Lockheed Martin, The Pentagon and The Princeton Center for Leadership Training – have quoted Mapes in training manuals and textbooks.

In addition, Mapes has ignited audiences with his critically acclaimed hypnosis show, Journey Into the Imagination.  More than two million people have marveled at this unique presentation at Performing Arts Centers and universities, plus Manhattan’s Town Hall and Lincoln Center – winning praise from the media, including the New York Times, Variety and the New York Daily News.  He is branded as “The Imaginologist.”

His engaging, enlightening new book, IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance is the first web-enhanced volume of its kind.  A provocative adventure of the mind, IMAGINE THAT! is a cutting-edge roadmap showing readers how to lead an exceptional life by learning to apply their imagination for productivity.

Mapes delves into hot-button topics like reframing thinking patterns, shattering limiting myths, self-hypnosis, transforming fear into love and forgiveness.  The beauty of this ground-breaking book is not only the relevant information but also how it rides the wave of technology by giving the reader access to 21 short video clips of James Mapes’ demonstrations and coaching.

His previous book, Quantum Leap Thinking: An Owners’ Guide to the Mind has been published in ten languages.

James is a weekly contributor to The Huffington Post and The Good Men Project.

Mallory Weggemann

2012 Paralympian Mallory Weggemann had her life changed on January 21, 2008. A routine epidural to help treat back pain left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down. Having been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven, and still coping with her new disability, she found one thing unchanged – her love for swimming. On April 8, 2008, Mallory returned to the pool, and has been breaking national and world records ever since. Mallory is currently ranked first in six of the seven Paralympic events and has her eyes set on nine gold medals in London.

Swimming Career:

Current member of the US Paralympics National Team;
2009, 2010 and 2011 USA Swimming Disabled Swimmer of the Year (Trischa L. Zorn Award);
2009 and 2010 Swimming World Magazine Female Disabled Swimmer of the Year;
Five gold medals 2009 IPC Swimming World Championships 25m in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;
Eight gold medals and one silver medal 2010 IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands;
2011 ESPN ESPY winner – Best Female Athlete with a Disability;
USA Swimming Central Zone Athlete Representative;
USA Swimming Disability Committee;
USA Swimming Athlete Executive Committee;
Currently holds 34 American Records; and
Currently holds 15 World Records:

Personal Story:
Everything Happens for a Reason. (Includes moving anecdotes from personal journal).

You’re the Best, you can make a Difference, and you can Change the World.

Full Biography

On January 21, 2008, Mallory Weggemann received an epidural injection to help treat back pain; however by the time it was finished she was forever changed. Complications with the procedure left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down.

Weggemann has been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven. After her injury at the age of 18, Weggemann chose to return to the pool. In April 2008, her older sister found an article in the local newspaper discussing the Paralympic Swimming Trials. The meet was being held at the University of Minnesota Aquatics Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Still coping with her new disability, Weggemann found one thing unchanged, her love for swimming.

While attending the meet as a spectator with her sister, she met several of the US National Team coaches as well as her current coach, Jim Anderson. The following Monday, Weggemann returned to the pool and has been swimming since. She touts her Paralympic trials experience as life changing. “I have always loved the sport but when this happened I thought my days of swimming were over and when I realized I could still do it, well I will never forget that moment.”

Weggemann broke her first set of world records at the Can Am Speedo Para Swim Meet held in Edmonton, Alberta Canada in July 2009. Weggemann set world records in the 50m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 100m butterfly.

At the 2009 Short Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in November 2009, Weggemann broke six more world records (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 20 point 4x50m freestyle relay) and took home five gold medals.

In August 2010 at the Long Course IPC Swimming World Championships in Eindhoven, Netherlands, Weggemann proved herself again in the pool by taking home eight gold medals (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 100m breaststroke, 50m butterfly, 200m individual medley, 400m freestyle relay, 400m medley relay) and one silver (100m backstroke). Weggemann finished the meet with nine World Records. The IPC wrote the following regarding Weggemann’s performance. “USA’s Mallory Weggemann (S7) was the most successful athlete of these World Championships, winning eight gold medals and breaking nine world records“.

Weggemann was ranked number one in the world in six of the seven paralympic events.

Weggemann is currently on leave from the University of Minnesota – School of Journalism until after the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, UK

Naomi Judd

Grammy Award winning singer Naomi Judd makes up half of country music’s most famous mother/daughter duo, The Judds. Over the course of her stunning career, Naomi won 5 Grammy Awards and an array other music awards and honors. After receiving Hepatitis C diagnosis, Naomi retired from music, but continues to inspire others through humanitarian activities and awareness campaigns. Naomi’s meteoric rise to country music superstar and American icon – from her humble beginnings as a single mom in a small Kentucky town – is an inspiring story of overcoming the odds through optimism and hard work. Read more

Svetlana Kim

Svetlana Kim is an International Speaker, Spokesperson for the 2011 Macy’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, and Community Advocate.

She is the author of White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee, which chronicles her journey from Russia to the United States, where she arrived with only one dollar in her pocket and a few words of English at her disposal; today, she is a leader among her peers in the business world, and has been honored with numerous awards citing her commitment, skill, and integrity. Read more

Claudia Stevens

To be an artist is one thing. To be a successful artist is quite another. What separates the two? Often it is simply entrepreneurship-the drive and know-how to turn your artistry into an art career.

Claudia Stevens, pianist, singer, musicologist, and composer, whose work has been performed on national stages, lectures on the topic of entrepreneurship and reveals key strategies for artists to undertake. Her presentations address topics such as self-management, marketing, and crossover careers.

As a scholar and performer she encourages listeners to consider both thoughtfully and creatively the importance of developing entrepreneurial skills. Stevens’ interdisciplinary presentation will benefit students and community members interested in pursuing the arts or a business career. She has created some 15 solo plays for her own performance as a musician and monologue artist, many of which were published or presented by leading universities and arts centers. Among her honors as a creative artist are a dozen touring grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and numerous residencies at cultural institutions.

Recent projects include a solo play cycle about animal rights and the librettos for a short chamber opera, A Very Large Mole, and for a new chamber opera, Riddle Me, created in collaboration with Allen Shearer.

Stevens holds degrees in music from Vassar College and University of California, Berkeley, as well as a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano from Boston University, under Leonard Shure. She has held academic, conducting and performance positions at Brandeis University, Williams College, the College of William and Mary.

PROGRAM INFORMATION:

  • Lecture: “Breaking Some Eggs: Strategies in Career Advancement for the Entrepreneurial Artist”.
  • Lecture: “Revelation: an artist talks about her discovery of Jewish identity and Holocaust past.”

“An Evening with Madame F” was created by Claudia Stevens for her solo performance as a musician and actor, with additional original music by Fred Cohen. The work has been presented at the national and international levels for two decades. It is widely praised by critics, audiences, and the Holocaust survivor community as a uniquely authentic and profound artistic expression of the Holocaust. Drawing on first-hand accounts – those of her own family members and of several concentration camp musicians, Stevens depicts and mirrors the struggle of women who survived Auschwitz as entertainers. In an enthralling virtuoso performance, she incorporates music that was played and sung by concentration camp inmates. And, as the daughter of victims of the Holocaust, she also meditates on the complex ethical and artistic dilemma of expressing unspeakable horror through art. An Evening with Madame F was produced for television by PBS affiliates WCVE and WHTJ.

“An Evening with Madame F” has been programmed in New York, Toronto, Houston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Palm Beach, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Omaha, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Salt Lake City, St. Paul, Louisville, Baltimore, Boston, and many other cities. Presenters have included Holocaust centers, Jewish Federations and Foundations, JCC cultural arts series and lectureships in Jewish Studies. Additionally, the piece is being presented by many leading educational institutions. Recently these include: Dartmouth, Stanford, Brandeis, UCLA, Lehigh, Southern Methodist, the Univ. of Calif. at Santa Barbara, Cornell, Swarthmore and many others. A major article about Claudia Stevens, her unique personal story and artistic contributions, appeared in a recent issue of Reform Judaism magazine.

Full Biography

Claudia Stevens creates and performs her unique and complex solo plays throughout the United States. A number of her solo plays and musical compositions for piano are published in leading music and poetry journals. She also has become a recognized thinker and sought-after speaker about the Holocaust, great women of science, and entrepreneurship in the arts.

Classically trained as a pianist, singer, conductor and composer, Claudia studied piano with the master teachers Leon Fleisher, Leonard Shure and Arie Vardi. She holds degrees in music from Vassar College (summa cum laude), the University of California at Berkeley and the DMA from Boston University. Her academic positions have included Williams College and the College of William and Mary as an Assoc. Professor of Piano, where she now is a Visiting Scholar. As a pianist she was the featured artist on a number of “Performance Today” on National Public Radio and PBS television broadcasts.

When Claudia Stevens developed a new career as an innovative performance artist and playwright, her creative work came to national attention. She is the recipient of grants from the International Theater Institute, the National Endowment for the Arts, and twelve consecutive grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and has been an artist in residence at the MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Baltimore Theater Project, and RS9 Studio Theater in Budapest. She also was in residence at the Gitameit Art Center in Rangoon, Burma at the invitation of the American diplomatic and arts community to address the suppression of artists in Burma. Most recently, Claudia has become a librettist, collaborating with San Francisco composer Allen Shearer in several works of chamber opera: “The Dawn Makers,” which premiered at Herbst Theater, San Francisco in 2009 to national and international acclaim, and a new opera, “Middlemarch, a Love Story,” currently in progress. Claudia lives in the Bay Area in California.
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Marilyn Van Derbur

 

Marilyn Van Derbur, crowned Miss America 1958, stood tall and beautiful as she possessed looks, wit, and intelligence. She also had deep down within her, a devastating secret – one secret that even she did not speak or admit. From the age of 5 until she was 18, Marilyn’s wealthy and prominent father, sexually molested her. As a coping mechanism, Van Derbur processed the tragic nightlife by dissociating herself from the abuse. She did this by creating two people or personalities within her – a daytime child and a nighttime child. Read more