SPEAKERS: Keynote Speakers

Be inspired by some of the most recognized leaders in the world. Our keynotes deliver unique perspectives that will capture your attention, build momentum for learning and deepen your understanding of leadership, motivation, and success.

Mike Abrashoff
Former Navy Commander
& Bestselling Author

Thursday, May 12, 2016
12:00 P
A Tale of Organizational Transformation

At the age of 36, the Navy selected Mike Abrashoff to become Commander of USS Benfold—at the time, the most junior commanding officer in the Pacific Fleet. The immediate challenges that faced him were staggering: Exceptionally low morale with unacceptably high turnover. Few thought that this ship could improve. In many ways, the USS Benfold was actually an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations today.

The solution was to establish a system of management techniques that Abrashoff calls “The Leadership Roadmap”. At the core of his leadership approach on Benfold was a process of replacing command and control with commitment and cohesion, and by engaging the hearts, minds, and loyalties of workers—with conviction and humility. "The most important thing that a captain can do is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew." According to Abrashoff, “The Leadership Roadmap” is a practice that empowers every individual to share the responsibility of achieving excellence. "It's your ship," he was known to say. His former sailors to this day still remind him of it.

By every measure, these principles were able to achieve breakthrough results. Personnel turnover decreased to an unprecedented 1 percent. The rate of military promotions tripled, and the crew slashed operating expenses by 25 percent. Regarded as the finest ship in the Pacific Fleet, Benfold won the prestigious Spokane Trophy for having the highest degree of combat readiness.

Prior to commanding USS Benfold, Abrashoff served as the military assistant to the Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Dr. William J. Perry. He also helped draft the air defense plan for naval forces in the Persian Gulf in 1990, coinciding with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait; and served as the executive officer of the Cruiser Shiloh, where he deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.


Marcus Buckingham
Expert on Outstanding
Leadership and Management
& Bestselling Author

Thursday, May 12, 2016
6:00 P

Fuel Engagement. Accelerate Performance.
Leader by Leader. Team by Team.

Keynote speaker Marcus Buckingham has taken the corporate world by storm with his Strengths Revolution, a strategy arising from his two decades as a Senior Researcher at Gallup Organization. A tremendous resource for leaders, managers, and educators, his keynotes show the link between engaged employees and productivity, profit, and customer satisfaction.

Marcus Buckingham's Strengths Revolution is not about fixing weaknesses, but identifying and building upon one's strengths. Buckingham proves time and again that companies that focus on cultivating employees' strengths dramatically increase efficiency while allowing for maximum personal growth and success. In his talks, Buckingham draws on his consulting experience and outlines the strategies he has developed in his texts for practical, real-world applications of his "Strengths Theory."

You can't argue with results. Buckingham has developed his own extraordinarily successful consulting business and has been the subject of in-depth profiles in The New York Times, Fortune, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. He is routinely lauded by corporations such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, and Disney as an invaluable resource in informing, challenging, mentoring and inspiring people to find their strengths and sustain long-lasting personal success. His work has translated into four international bestselling books First, Break All the Rules ; Now, Discover Your Strengths ; The One Thing You Need to Know, Go Put Your Strengths To Work, The Truth About You, and his latest, Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women do Differently, will be released at the end of September.

With his help, audiences learn to identify and develop what they're good at and to recognize that building on these increases both productivity and personal satisfaction in the workplace. Unconventional, dynamic, and highly entertaining, he is, quite simply, one of the world's best business speakers.

Robyn Benincasa
World Champion Adventure Racer & Bestselling Author

Friday, May 13, 2016
9:00 A

Leadership Through Challenges and Change
World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, New York Times Bestselling Author, Founder of the 501c3 Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!), 3x Guinness World Record Distance Paddler, Proud Owner of 2 Metal 'Bionic Hips' and Full Time San Diego Firefighter Robyn Benincasa definitely knows a thing or two about creating Human Synergy---or as Robyn puts it, "that magic that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things together."

For the last 20 years, she and her teammates have been competing at the front of the pack in the most unique and compelling classrooms on earth--The jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia, studying the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty in Extreme Teamwork and mastering the skills required to inspire a group of semi-exhausted people through a seemingly endless series of checkpoints, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal, working against crazy deadlines, in constantly changing conditions and all in pursuit of a huge hairy audacious goal (sounds a lot like your life as a business leader, right?!).

It is through these harrowing, life affirming and often hilarious experiences in the world's most grueling challenges that she has emerged with her refreshing and truly unique perspective on what it takes to build the kind of world class teams that succeed against all odds, that triumph in the face of adversity and that win as one in times of great challenge and change.

Robyn Benincasa inspires people to grab life with one hand, grab their teammates with the other, and to create that special magic that makes all of us better TOGETHER than we ever would have been alone!