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

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.

Roger Crawford

For more than 25 years Roger Crawford has energized audiences with specific peak performance strategies enabling them to break through self imposed limits. He delivers high impact presentations filled with cutting edge ideas that inspire others to sustain a positive mindset and maintain prevailing motivation.

Crawford is the first and only person in American history to be a United States Professional Tennis Association athlete and play a Division I college sport with a severe disability.

He knows about determination, optimism and defying the odds because he has lived it. His compelling story of becoming an NCAA Division I tennis champion communicates and demonstrates that adversity can be an inspirational, dynamic, and useful tool in our lives. Sports Illustrated has recognized Roger as “one of the most accomplished physically challenged athletes in the world”

Roger Crawford is a highly sought after speaker for his remarkable ability to encourage, enlighten, and equip others. He not only talks the talk, he lives it. Roger’s presentations bring long term positive influence because he lives his powerful story everyday. Achieving success today requires a laser-like focus and positive attitude to cultivate courage. In our ultra-competitive world, how we respond to change and our inner determination to pursue goals with a sense of urgency is what makes the difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary performance.

PROGRAM TITLES

How High Can You Bounce
Capture the Possibilities of Change
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’ll be a lot more optimistic when things get back to normal.”? The truth is, what may have been successful yesterday may not be successful tomorrow. This powerful program teaches the attitudes and actions needed to bounce forward, equipped to conquer change and triumph over trials. Learn to bounce to new heights and achieve extraordinary results.

With these proven success principles, it doesn’t mean you won’t get knocked down, but it does mean you won’t get knocked out!

  • Discover there is no limit to how high you can bounce!
  • Learn to bounce forward despite the obstacles.
  • Dispel the myth of predictability to become a change-ready peak performer.
  • Dramatically improve your personal bounce-factor to catapult above and beyond your competition.
  • Be equipped to prevail when you fail.
  • Discover the secrets of resilient leadership.

Playing From The Heart
Turn Adversity Into Possibility!
Most handicaps that prohibit us from reaching our potential are not seen, often they are self-imposed. These disabling limitations are frequently the negative beliefs held by an individual or an organization about their abilities and possibilities. This dynamic program provides the inspiration and strategies needed to blast through these perceived barriers with the strength of purpose, perspective, and perseverance.

Audiences are equipped with a new tools and ways of thinking to unleash untapped possibility in your organization.

  • Playing From The Heart will touch your heart in a profound way!
  • Break through self-limiting thinking to discover you possibility potential.
  • Discover how clarity of possibility will increase enthusiasm, efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Learn how choice not chance determines content and quality of thought.
  • Distinguish between fear and anxiety.
  • Reshape the vision of what is possible.

Think Again
Discover Possibilities Hidden In Plain Sight
What is the difference between those who realize great possibilities and others who achieve mediocrity? Is it a matter of time, natural talent, or years of training? In this groundbreaking keynote presentation, audiences discover their most powerful resource is not simply aptitude or ability, but their chosen attitude towards aptitude and ability that create possibilities. The most successful people and organizations think again or think differently from those less successful. Much too often, we believe we are incapable of making the necessary change in our thinking and therefore are unable to achieve the success we really desire. Everyone encounters circumstances that are uncontrollable and unchangeable, but we can learn to control and change our mindset. When you put the Think Again! skills into practice, your productivity increases, performance is enhanced and new possibilities emerge!

Some actionable ideas your organization can use to establish a competitive advantage are…

  • Learn the language that leads to discovering new possibilities
  • Dispel the familiar myth that talk is cheap
  • Find the remote to utilize your personal mental TiVo
  • Identify and develop your unique possibility zone
  • Increase your productivity as you concentrate on what you procrastinate
  • Cultivate the thinking patterns needed to meet peak performance demands
  • Our ability to Think Again! and discover what is truly possible can be our greatest asset!

Full Biography

Roger Crawford is an inspirational speaker who can help shape new beliefs that stimulate change and lead your organization to victory.

For over 20 years, Roger Crawford has been serving up grand slam programs to audiences throughout the world. As a professional speaker, he works with organizations that want to achieve success despite the obstacles, in order to inspire a winning attitude towards work and life. Sports Illustrated calls Roger one of the most accomplished physically challenged athletes in the world. Besides being a tennis pro, he has been inducted into three separate halls of fame because of his amazing accomplishments.

Roger uses a unique blend of humor, savvy and experiential wisdom to inspire audiences to reach new levels of achievement. His material is flexible and customized for your group. By using information from a pre-program questionnaire and prior telephone discussions with you, Roger ensures an effective and energizing presentation that everyone will long remember.

In the past sixteen years, Roger Crawford has traveled the globe receiving standing ovations from audiences as small as 25 and as large as 25,000. His client list reads like the Who’s Who of corporations, associations, educational and government agencies. He has made appearances in all fifty states and seventeen foreign countries and is a recipient of the prestigious CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame Award.

This is a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism bestowed by the National Speakers Association.

Roger Crawford became the first and only athlete with four impaired limbs to compete in an NCAA Division One college sport, and to be certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association. As a result of his athletic accomplishments, he was inducted into the Loyola-Marymount University Athletic Hall of Fame.

As a professional speaker, Roger was awarded the distinguished CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame designation. This is a lifetime honor for speaking excellence presented by the National Speakers Association. And, for achieving outstanding success regardless of the barriers, Roger was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for Persons with Disabilities.

Roger’s life affirming story was featured in the original Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He has also been interviewed on Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and has been featured in well known publications such as USA Today, Tennis magazine, and Men’s Fitness magazine. He was also featured in the Emmy Award winning television movie, In a New Light.

As a successful author, Roger Crawford’s inspiring road to victory is detailed in his autobiography, Playing from the Heart. And in his second book, How High Can You Bounce, he demonstrates the power of resiliency.

A recognized champion on and off the tennis court, Roger is a living example that all of us have the capacity to achieve success despite the obstacles.

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

Mellanie True Hills

Mellanie True Hills

Mellanie offers electrifying programs that energize attendees and provide them with tools and techniques for creating permanent changes. We look forward to providing you with a program that attendees will never forget and that will make a permanent change in their lives.

As you get ready for your event, what messages do you want attendees to take away with them? That our hurried and hyperbusy lifestyles can put us at risk, but that they have the power to make changes that will protect them? That they need to put themselves first so that they will be there for others? 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

W Mitchell

Having overcome two life-threatening and life-changing accidents-the first a fiery motorcycle accident and the second an airplane crash-Mitchell says:”It’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do about it.”

Undefeated by a blazing motorcycle accident and then a paralyzing plane crash four years later, W Mitchell learned to take responsibility for the countless changes in his life. Whether coping with devastating burns over 65% of his body or being sentenced to life in a wheelchair, this once robust Marine firmly held on to his feisty nature and quick wit. Read more

Richard Roundtree

Richard Roundtree

Don’t believe the hype: breast cancer doesn’t discriminate. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2009 about 1,910 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed among men in the United States. After an early diagnosis, actor Richard Roundtree, better known as the world’s beloved Shaft, thought he might become a statistic before he became proactive in his treatment. Fast forward 16 years later and you’ll find the Hollywood vet quite vocal about his breast cancer survival story as he encourages others to pay attention to their health. Read more

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