Below was our 2021 speaker lineup. As the event was postponed, we anticipate many of these speakers joining us in 2022; however, with revised topics relevant for the day. We will continue to update as appropriate
Managing Partner & Global Diversity Practice Leader
Diversity Practice Group
Dwain Celistan is a member of the Consumer and Industrial practice groups and the global leader of the Diversity Practice Group. Mr. Celistan has conducted searches across a range of firms and industries. This includes Fortune 500 firms and private equity backed firms. His consultative approach and significant corporate leadership experience have helped clients refine their position specifications and better clarify the “right” candidate
Prior to recruiting, he held senior Marketing, Sales and General Management positions in the US and UK, for large firms in the consumer, industrial and retail arenas. His experience includes roles of VP Marketing and Sales with a staff of nearly 100 professionals and budget of $100MM, and as a SVP of Marketing for a $1B division. Importantly, during his career he has reversed declining businesses and accelerated the growth of businesses in multiple roles.
Dwain has published four books, including “A RECRUITER’S GUIDE TO HIRING DIVERSE LEADERS”, “You’re Hired! Actions to Get and Keep the Job You Love” and numerous articles regarding careers and business building.
Dwain is a graduate of Loyola University and has an MBA from Atlanta University. He has done postgraduate work at both Cornell and Stanford universities.
He supports young people on many levels. This includes speaking to groups of students from middle school to graduate students, and he also actively supports high school students through Link Unlimited.
Lastly, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Hinsdale, IL
National Bestselling Author & Speaker
The Power of One
John O’Leary, was expected to die. Now he teaches others how to truly live. In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body. He was given 1% chance to live. This epic story of survival was first showcased in his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds, in 2006. Originally printing 200 copies for friends and family, his parents have sold 70,000 copies, most in back-of-room sales at John’s speaking events. It was this book that first invited John to embrace his miraculous recovery and share it with the world. John inspires nearly 75,000 people at 100+ events each year. He speaks to companies and organizations across industries, such as: sales, healthcare, business, safety, marketing, financial services, faith, education and insurance. Consistently described as “the best speaker we’ve ever had,” John receives nearly 100% of his engagements from referrals. His schedule is a testament to the power of his message and who he is as an individual. His emotional story-telling, unexpected humor and authenticity make each of his presentations truly transformational. John considers his greatest success to be his marriage to his wife Beth, their four children and his relationships with friends and family.
THE POWER OF ONE: How One Attitude, One Action, and One Person Can Change the World. Expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live. John was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his garage and was burned on 100% of his body. Given less than 1% chance of survival, John is proof of the power of the human spirit. His unlikely recovery meant a journey of pain and loss that could have easily been insurmountable. However, far from being an example of someone who simply endured tragedy, John is a luminous example of thriving through adversity. Surprisingly, this “survivor” story isn’t focused on John – rather, it is a celebration of heroes who intimately served him and his family. From a dedicated Hall of Fame sports announcer to a visionary burn nurse (and countless others), every individual involved in this 1987 fire teaches us this truth: one person can make a profound difference in the lives of others. With emotional storytelling and unexpected humor, John reminds audiences of the significance of daily attitudes, the power of gratitude, and the impact of serving others with courage. He reawakens audiences to realize the gift of today and the possibility of tomorrow. His book, On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life was an instant #1 national bestseller in Spring 2016.
OBJECTIVES: John illustrates this truth: one attitude, one action and one person can absolutely change the world.
Employee Engagement: 70% of the workforce is not engaged.* John dramatically “wakes people up” to realize their role and responsibility is significant. *2012 Gallup poll
Culture: John helps organizations build a positive atmosphere to increase creativity and productivity. Audiences learn how to reignite an environment built on shared goals, values and focus.
Communication: John outlines unconventional communication methods to dramatically (and positively) impact relationships.
Body Language Expert and Published Author
Body Honesty, Credibility and Detecting Deception
Called the "Gold Standard" of Body Language by the Washington Post and credited in the New York Times for bringing the topic to national attention Patti Wood, is a true expert. She creates high energy interactive programs, filled with humor, cutting edge information and valuable "Take Aways". She is the author of nine books, and she speaks and consults to Fortune 500 companies and associations. You see her on National TV shows like Good Morning America, CNN and FOX news, The History Channel and the Today Show. She is quoted every week in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Bloomberg Business Week, Fortune, Good Housekeeping, and USA Today.
A client says he ready to buy and rubs his nose. Your employee tells you he can get it for you at the end of the week then sweeps his upper lip with his tongue. Your team members leans forward and gestures wildly as she speaks enthusiastically about the third quarter, Your client says nothings wrongs grimaces and swings his or her foot toward the exit... Who is telling you the truth? Can you read body honesty? You can send and receive up to 10,000 nonverbal cues in less than one minute of interaction. That is an enormous amount of information that can be available to you if you read all the nonverbal signals people give you in every single moment of interaction.
You need to be aware of what others are saying to you and you need to be closely "monitoring" for honesty and deception cues given non-verbally with voice cues and body language. Research on deception confirms that these cues give the most accurate indication of people truest emotions and can reveal most accurately when someone is lying.
In this course you will not only learn to watch for cues but also to use questioning techniques and special “monitoring” cues of your own to check for honesty. In addition, you will learn how to be credible in your business and personal relationships.
Knowing and using body language can do so much for you. It is like being given a "people" microscope, magic "night" vision in dark goggles and high-tech hearing device. You will suddenly see and understand things you have never seen and heard before. Whatever skills you have now, these insights can make you much more confident and more successful. This workshop is filled with very specific and practical tools to help you read body honesty.
Nationally Acclaimed Inspirational Speaker
Longtime Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated, and New York Times Best-Selling Author
Connect: The Power of Storytelling
Don Yaeger is a nationally acclaimed inspirational speaker, longtime Associate Editor of Sports Illustrated, and author of over 30 books, eleven of which have become New York Times Best-sellers. He began his career at the San Antonio Light in Texas, and also worked at the Dallas Morning News and the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville before going to work for Sports Illustrated.
As an author, Don has written books with, among others, Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden, baseball legends John Smoltz and Tug McGraw, and football stars Warrick Dunn and Michael Oher (featured in the movie The Blind Side). He teamed with Fox News anchor Brian Kilmeade to pen the 2013 best-seller George Washington’s Secret Six, a look at the citizen spy ring that helped win the Revolutionary War and then again in 2015 for Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History, and in 2017 for Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle that Shaped America’s Destiny.
Don left SI in 2008 to pursue a public speaking career that has allowed him to share stories learned from the greatest winners of our generation with audiences as diverse as Fortune 10 companies to cancer survivor groups, where he shares his personal story. More than a quarter-million people have heard his talks on “What Makes the Great Ones Great.” He collaborated with the Florida State University School of Business’s Continuing Education Program to build a corporate webinar program focusing on lessons building a culture of success within an organization. This naturally led to another keynote speech on “What Makes the Great Teams Great.” The release of his tenth New York Times best-seller, Teammate, was the inspiration for his newest keynote on “What Makes a Great Teammate: Becoming Invaluable Without Being Most Valuable.”
Facts and stats off the internet won’t separate you from your competition. The words you say, how you say them, and how often you practice them will pour directly into your success. And, you won’t do it alone, this training will map out how to create deeper and greater connections through trust, impact, and the power of telling your authentic story. Whether you’re speaking to an audience of one, or 1,000—on a sales call or a stage, a talk show or around a meal—those who CONNECT with their listeners best do so through great story telling.
Don has been called “one of America’s best storytellers” by many of today’s great business and thought leaders. Through decades of work in this space, Don has discerned 10 Elements for telling a Great story. He structured those elements into a hands-on workshop that takes you through a journey from scribbled down ideas to a well-delivered story that provides lasting impact. These teachings will fine-tune your ability to:
The elements, examples, tips and messages in this workshop can be applied to you or your team’s story immediately and effectively.