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.

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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Marcia Fine

Marcia Fine inspires audiences with her wit and savvy observations. Her satirical series, particularly relating to women who do too much, gives audiences a chance to laugh at the absurdity of the tech world we live in.

As an award-winning author she delves into the roots of family stories and searches for meaning in Jewish history. Both historical novels dealing with post-Holocaust lives and the Spanish diaspora make audiences take a closer look as to where their families started. Read more

Clint Longenecker

Clinton O. Longenecker has been a business leader for the past twenty years, as an award winning professional business educator, as a business researcher and best selling author, as an executive coach and management trainer, as a consultant and practitioner of cutting edge business practices, and as a community servant and advisor. He wears a variety of hats that stimulate entrepreneurship and business success and he has a local, regional and national reputation as a leader who helps both organizations and individuals realize their potential for success in both the private and public sector. He has helped numerous organizations create high performance business practices that are being used across the country. Read more

Kitty Chappell

Kitty Chappell

We’ve all discovered that where there is life, there is pain. As we struggle to gain coping skills to help us endure, survive, and overcome our past and present pains, who among us is satisfied with clichés—sugar-coated admonitions to “just pray and the pain will go away”? Kitty Chappell is an accomplished “where the rubber meets the road” international speaker who offers meat for the soul—something the mind can chew on. She is an award-winning author of three non-fiction books, I Can Forgive If I Want To: Forgiving the Unforgivable, Read more

The God Squad

Monsignor Hartman and Rabbi Gellman, two of America’s best known and best loved clergymen, are The God Squad. Their many lectures around the country appeal to huge crowds of people from all faiths, drawn by their deep friendship, their absolutely unique blend of humor and pathos, and their simple message that, at this stage of our cultural and religious history, we know enough about how we are different and not enough about how we are the same. The authenticity and power of this message of interfaith harmony comes in great measure from the fact that they are not media figures, but working clergymen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOPICS:

Culture and Religion: Looking Beyond Our Differences

An Evening with The God Squad

How Do You Spell God?

The Search for Meaning

Interfaith Harmony in a Civil Society

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan

Never one to pull any punches, Pat Buchanan articulates the conservative cause, analyzing today’s issues with deftness and passion. Perhaps one of the country’s most outspoken leading conservatives, Pat Buchanan is a political analyst and regular contributor to MSNBC. A three-time presidential candidate, Buchanan also served as co-host of CNN’s Crossfire for almost 20 years and is now a regular panelist on The McLaughlin Group. A former White House speechwriter, he analyzes the day’s top political and cultural headlines including the current Congress, the Obama Administration and the 2012 elections. Read more

Willie Jolley

Willie Jolley is a world-class, award-winning speaker, best-selling author and media personality. Mr. Jolley was named “…One of the Outstanding Five Speakers in the World” by Toastmasters International! Only 50 speakers worldwide have been bestowed that honor! Former winners include Colin Powell, Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher! Mr. Jolley has also been inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame. He speaks to major companies and organizations around the world… and has developed a reputation for results! Read more

Juan Ortiz

Juan Ortiz is a man who has discovered the blessings in adversity. As a child, each day he would face the challenges of his father’s verbal and physical abuse, fueled by the use of drugs and alcohol. As the eldest of six children, Juan became a support for his mother and a father figure to his siblings. Desperate and filled with despair, Juan looked at life as a teenager with no hope for the future. He decided it was not worth going on with life. If it were not for the example of courage and strength of his mother, and the leadership of a few good friends, Juan would not be alive today. Read more

Duane Chapman "Dog the Bounty Hunter"

Duane Chapman

Dog the Bounty Hunter is Duane Lee Chapman, owner of Da Kine Bail Bonds in Honolulu and known as the “greatest bounty hunter in the world.” Six thousand-plus captures over the past three decades have earned this highly intense, charismatic ex-con such a distinction. Now a born-again Christian and on the right side of the law, Dog is tireless in his efforts to bring in the bad guys and encourage them to turn their lives around. Star of the hit A & E TV show, “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” Duane “Dog” Chapman is also the king of the comeback. Read more