2015 Volunteer Leaders Summit

Keynote Speakers

  • Susan Ershler


    Susan Ershler tours the world speaking about her life journey and sharing with others her secrets for success, determination, and achieving seemingly impossible goals. Ershler’s record would be remarkable enough if it only detailed her business achievements. During her 23-year corporate career, she has held a series of increasingly responsible executive positions in the sales divisions of Fortune 500 companies. She led teams to sales records, beating quotas from $1 million to $600 million. Ending as a vice president of sales for a multi-national telecommunications corporation, she was responsible for their fast-growing Internet division. She also worked at US WEST, United Technologies, FedEx Kinko's and GTE (Verizon). During her business career, she earned 11 annual President's Club sales awards—the top honors awarded to the sales people in these companies. But as she was marking these achievements, she and her husband Phil, a professional mountain guide, were climbing the Seven Summits—the highest mountain on each of the world's seven continents.
    “A go-getter by nature, Ershler knew big success meant dreaming big.” —Selling Power Magazine

    That remarkable journey culminated at the top of Mount Everest on May 16, 2002. With that climb, she and Phil became the first couple in history to climb the Seven Summits together. They've written a book on their adventure, Together on Top of the World: A True Story of Love and Courage, published by Warner Books. That feat earned them world-wide media attention, including Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times and many others. As Alex Ward of the The New York Times put it, "Surmounting Everest's 29,035 feet remains one of the great mythic achievements, an undisputable display of skill and courage against ice and rock, bottomless chasms, bodynumbing temperatures and tent-shredding winds, all in an oxygen-deprived danger zone. Ms. Ershler worked hard to get there."

    ”Susan Ershler had climbed to the top of her sales profession before she ever strapped on crampons. She approaches climbing goals and sales goals the same way: setting them high and keeping them constantly in mind.” —Seattle Woman Magazine

    • Honored with eleven annual President's Club sales awards including the exclusive national award: "Regional Sales Manager of the Year"
    • Climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest on May 16, 2002 with her husband Phil becoming, "The first couple to climb the Seven Summits together" (the highest peak on each of the world's seven continents.)
    • Ershler became the 12th American woman to climb Mt. Everest and the fourth American woman to complete the Seven Summits.

    Not a professional mountain climber, Ershler trained by climbing the 35 stories in her high-rise office building on her lunch hour for a year—with a 40-pound pack on her back. Ershler tells her electrifying story to audiences with clarity and passion. She lifts her audience's ambitions by showing them how hard work, dedication, perseverance and a total commitment to excellence can pay off in reaching seemingly impossible goals. Her leadership message begins with visualizing a goal, no matter how difficult or out of reach. She continues with techniques to improve focus and discipline and shows how essential teamwork is to achievement. And she concludes with a passionate affirmation of the value of life and the thrill of celebrating your success from the top of the world.

    Ershler’s message stands apart for its credibility and power. Having climbed the mountain—in work, and in the world, Ershler is the real deal.

    Friday, November 20, 2015 - 8:30am to 10:00am
  • Bill Cates


    Bill Cates is a high-energy speaker who motivates by sharing proven ideas and strategies that work.  Bill has helped over 20,000 small business owners and salespeople build thriving referral-based businesses – where the phone is ringing with referred customers/clients. And Bill has helped large companies increase sales and cut hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing expenses at the same time! 

    Bill Cates is the author of three popular books on referrals:  Get More Referrals Now!, Don’t Keep Me a Secret!, and Beyond Referrals: How to Use the Perpetual Revenue System to Turn Referrals into High-Value Clients.  Bill is the president of Referral Coach International and the founder of The Referral Coach Academy.

    Bill Cates’ client-acquisition system has been featured in such publications as Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power, the Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.   

    Bill’s seminars are high energy, and high content.  Bill is the kind of speaker who prefers to talk with his audience instead of talking to them.  Therefore, you can expect a highly interactive session.  You can also expect to receive powerful and practical strategies that will have an immediate impact on your business.


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