2013 Keynote Speakers

James Malinchak

James Malinchak has delivered over 2,200 motivational presentations for events worldwide, and was named Consummate Speaker of the Year by Sharing Ideas professional speakers’ magazine. He has appeared in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and several hundred other publications.

James began his sales career right out of college as a stockbroker with a major Wall Street Investment Firm and was awarded Most Outstanding Performance (twice) and #1 in New Account Openings (twice). While in his twenties, James became a partner in a company that handled the investments for many famous entertainers, authors and professional athletes.

Currently, James owns six businesses, has authored 16 books, and has read and researched over 2,500 books on personal and professional development.

He is a Contributing Author to, and serves as Associate Editor for, the #1 New York Times Best-selling book series Chicken Soup for the Soul,® with his own personal stories published in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul. James is the Co-author of the Best-Selling book Chicken Soup for the College Soul and the upcoming book, Chicken Soup for the Athlete’s Soul.

James mixes enthusiasm and humor with motivational stories to deliver a high content message that will have you “laughing, learning and inspired!”

To learn more about James, visit: www.Malinchak.com

AndyTAndy Thibodeau

Since 1992 Andy has been to over 2000 junior & senior high schools, conferences, universities & colleges in every Canadian province and 38 states!  Every year, over 105 schools, over 40 youth leadership conferences, plus 50 or more university, college, camp, and community organizations are inspired by Andy! He has appeared at all 10 provincial student leadership conferences & 34 state conferences! Andy has appeared at two US national youth leadership conferences and eight Canadian national student leadership conferences.

Through his hilarious comedy and true-life stories, Andy delivers a message that everyone can relate to. His presentations are unique due to his international experience and high-energy style. His message is complemented by his experiences as a leader in high school & university, as a past director of a leadership camp, and his active community involvement.

Active in the London, Ontario community with organizations such as the Terry Fox Run to beat cancer, Easter Seals for disabled kids, South London Neighbourhood Community Centre, Cystic Fibrosis Society, the University of Western Ontario, King’s College, Laurier SS, Hugh O’Brien Youth Foundation, Rotary Youth, the Clan Ross Scottish Society and Chalmers Presbyterian Church.

Andy talks about leadership, caring and community involvement because he is a caring leader involved in his community!

He married his best friend Elizabeth in 1998. She is a high school French teacher now on extended leave. She is taking care of the loves of their life, their girls Torry & Isla.

To learn more about Andy, visit www.andypresentations.com

KantisSKantis Simmons

Growing up with 7.25 fingers, feeling inadequate, insignificant, unworthy, and feeling like a complete “Loser,” Kantis learned how to overcome and defeat the mental battles that so many students and young adults go through; the ones that quietly tell them “you can’t, you won’t, and you’ll never.”

Meet Kantis Simmons / the Academic Success Speaker. While sharing his tear-jerking finger jokes and his “School Success System,” Kantis Simmons empowers students to get better grades, improve on standardized tests, stay enrolled in school and totally succeed in life. As the leading strategist for academic success, every school he works with sees a 15 to 23% improvement in their students’ academic performance and test scores.

In his live events he shares how he almost failed to graduate from high school while on the honor roll, how Kantis legally cheated on tests and never got caught, and how he earned 3 college degrees with honors and more than $317,000 of scholarship money.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Norfolk State University (Norfolk, VA), a Master of Science degree in Polymer Science & Engineering from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA) and a Master of Science degree in Textile and Fiber Engineering from Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA), he developed new products for Mobil Chemical Company, created new contact lenses for CIBA Vision, and improved aircrafts for NASA Research Center.

For more information about Kantis, visit www.kantissimmons.com.

Jonathan Sprinkles

Jonathan Sprinkles was voted Speaker of the Year (APCA), Mentor of the Year (Disney/Eastman Kodak) and Marketer of the Year (JMI, Inc).

Here’s why: he’s funny; his energy keeps audiences fully engaged, and he “keeps it real” about how anyone willing can achieve the success and lifestyle they deserve. Throughout his 10 year career, Jonathan has been consistently recognized as a well-respected and sought-after expert on elevating morale and Leading Beyond the Meeting™. The author of several books, his writings have been published internationally and are frequently quoted by industry experts. Jonathan shares his message as the featured speaker in meetings of 60 people in a conference room to 6,000 in a standing-room-only hockey arena.

Jonathan’s passion for helping people perform at their best stems from the agony that he felt when he lost his father to cancer at the age of 15. Attempting to mask the pain, he gave into peer pressure and the low expectations that surround many African-American men. However, Jonathan’s spirit wouldn’t allow him to stay down. Refusing to settle for life’s second best, he graduated college from the fourth-ranked marketing program in the country. At graduation, he was awarded the two highest leadership designations given to any student out of an enrollment of over 53,000.

After college, Jonathan enjoyed a thriving career as a top salesman at Dell, Inc. Jonathan was hand-picked by senior management to join an elite group of Senior Account Managers who were responsible for acquiring new business in the fastest-growing segment of the company. Because of the leadership, customer service, and team-building skills that he developed within a high-stakes sales environment, Jonathan was bestowed with the coveted title as the “Significant Achiever” among a pool of 400 of the corporation’s best sales reps.

After just a few minutes with Jonathan, his quick wit and down-home style of “teaching beautiful people to act like it,” will make you feel like you’ve known him your entire life. He inspires corporations, association members and students to aim high and reject excuses. Jonathan Sprinkles’ life is one that we can all celebrate as proof that success isn’t about where you start, it’s where you choose to finish!

To learn more about Jonathan, visit: www.GetandStayMotivated.com

KenK2Ken Kragen

A graduate of Harvard Business School Ken Kragen’s illustrious career far transcends the music and entertainment industries where he has spent many incredibly successful years. He has managed some of the world’s most important entertainers, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Trisha Yearwood, Olivia Newton John, The Bee Gees, Burt Reynolds, The Smothers Brothers and many others. He was the creator and organizer of “We Are the World”, “Hands Across America”, and Cisco System’s “NetAid”. Amazingly over 95% of the acts he managed have become stars, and 90% of the projects he created and spearheaded have achieved success.

During the past few years, Kragen has devoted an increasing amount of his time to speaking and writing as well as consulting work for leading corporations and many non-profit organizations.  He has done work for Cisco Systems, New York Life Insurance, Eastman Kodak, The Hollywood Reporter and the Country Radio Broadcasters Association to name a few. His newest project is called “The Ultimate Music Success Summit” and brings together the top people in the music and career consulting industries as well as several experts in the hot field of social media. The three day event will give aspiring artists and others incredible skills with which to maximize their opportunities to be a success in a career in music.

He has lectured at Harvard Business School, USC, Loyola, the University of Tennessee and many other schools. For years, he taught courses at UCLA’s Extension Program based on his unique concepts of career development and formulas for advancing projects to a higher level of excellence. Kragen is most proud of receiving the United Nations Peace Medal for the creation of “Hands Across America”, and “We Are the World”, making him one of a mere handful of private citizens to receive this honor.

Among dozens of awards Ken Kragen has been celebrated by the NAACP, the Los Angeles Advertising Women, and the Boys and Girls Club of America. He received two MTV Awards, An American Music Award, several Emmy nominations, EBONY’s American Black Achievement Award, Manager of the Year Award from the Conference of Personal Managers and the International Citizen of the Year Award from the International Visitors Council. He was Alumnus of the Year at his Alma matter, the University of California, Berkeley. He is the only individual ever elected President of both the Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music. He serves on several charity Boards including The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Community in Schools and USA for Africa.

For more information about Ken, visit www.kenkragen.com.

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