Top Ten Speakers Who Give Back
Fortunately, for all of us, there are speakers whose primary focus is giving back and sharing the joy found in doing so. During the holiday season there is particular emphasis on philanthropy and heart-based action resulting in toy drives, food drives, and days such as Giving Tuesday. Executive Speaker’s Bureau proudly represents some of the nation’s top speakers whose mission and message is to not only give during peak seasons of celebration and thanksgiving but to give all year round. For these speakers, who lead by example, the term “do as I say” does not apply. They are indeed a “do as I do” group of revolutionary philanthropists changing our world one joy-filled moment at a time. Here are the first five of your top ten:
Lauren Bush Lauren is a World Food Programme honorary spokesperson. She founded FEED in 2007, which uses its product sales to help eradicate world hunger. FEED’s signature bag collection is among its most popular and lists how many meals are provided to those need around the world following purchase. Lauren’s fashion line, Lauren Pierce Atelier, includes pieces made by women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with sales supporting the betterment of their lives. In 2010 she was given the Accessory Council’s Humanitarian Award. When asked the question “What do you love about what you do?” Lauren replied, “I love the combination of design and philanthropy- every piece is a reflection of that.”
Chad Pregracke, CNN’s 2013 Hero of the Year, is committed to restoring the beauty of America’s rivers one cleanup at a time. He has also recruited thousands of others to do the same, sharing inspirational messages filled with humor and enthusiasm to garner support that has so far seen the removal of more than 8 million pounds of garbage from our country’s rivers. Through his Living Lands & Waters organization and MillionTrees Project, Pregracke has been a prominent force behind the beautification and restoration movement aimed at giving back to our environment- which has given so very much to us.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to discuss the concept of giving back and helping others without also making mention of speaker Jeremy Park. President of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, whose entire focus is on enriching communities and elevating the lives of their respective residents, Park has dedicated both his personal and professional life to making a difference and creating gateways for positive change. His books Giving Back with Purpose: fueling growth through community involvement and Giving for Growth: Achieving Success through Giving Back commit 100% of proceeds to literacy programs in the Mid-South region. His LPBC radio show and television show “The SPARK” feature individuals and organizations that are making incomparable differences in the lives of others. Park is a highly sought-after speaker whose presentations on corporate philanthropy and collective impact define what it means to be a catalyst for social change- and enjoy the process of doing so.
Leaving his high profile position as Director of Business Development for Microsoft Greater China to establish a nonprofit dedicated to improving global youth literacy is one reason why speaker John Wood makes our Top Ten list. Founder of Room to Read, Wood used his passion to fuel a greater purpose and in the process created one of the fastest-growing nonprofits in history. He was named one of the world’s 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs and has spoken multiple times at the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2014 Wood was nominated as a World’s Children’s Prize Laureate for his extensive humanitarian work, which includes the building of almost 1,700 schools and over 15,000 school libraries in some of our world’s most impoverished countries. It was his visit to a school building in Nepal and its empty library that ignited the desire to create much-needed change. Woods has spent his life since implementing that change.
Chris Bashinelli has spent his entire young adult life seeking ways to showcase the best in and of humanity. His television series Bridge the Gap currently airs on PBS and the National Geographic Channel. In it, Bashinelli travels around the world to show that even with large cultural differences, we all have the means to “bridge the gap” through our empathy and willingness to embrace change. He was the youngest male ever to moderate the United Nations International Day of Peace, doing so at the age of 24. Leaning into his global experiences, Bashinelli delivers memorable presentations that are equally thought-provoking, compassion-centered and humorous. He seeks to engage the hearts and minds of those he addresses by referencing his own personal journey to cross-cultural enlightenment. In the process he demonstrates that by putting others first, we strengthen the human ties that bind.