Devon Harris

Location:
New York, United States
My Fee Ranges

    Fee range: 10k to 25k

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About Devon Harris

Born on Christmas Day, 1964, Devon Harris was raised in the violent ghetto environment of Olympic Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica. The greatest gift he ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger. A graduate of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, Devon Harris received a Queen’s Commission in December 1985 and served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force until December 1992 when he retired as a Captain.

Companies who hire inspirational keynote speakers for their corporate events love Devon Harris. He has positively impacted thousands at corporate events for fortune 100 companies (including Microsoft, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Charles Schwab), non-profits, governmental organizations, schools, and universities.

At the heart of his message are the lessons he has learned of the power of persistence over all sorts of obstacles in order to live one’s best life. Whether he is speaking at corporate events, or just interacting one on one, his mission is the same—to bring this message of how everyone can keep on pushing and working for their dreams every day of their professional as well as personal lives.Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team which competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. Their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings.

The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities around the globe by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated.Through the Keep On Pushing Foundation, Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador, supporting Right to Play’s efforts in using sport and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.

As an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf and around the country.He is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-autobiographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.

Most recently Devon has assumed responsibility for developing the next generation of Jamaican bobsledders.

He lives in NY and is married with 5 children



My Specialist Subjects

Hot Lessons from Cool Runnings - Coaching for Personal and Professional Success

In this program Devon Harris skillfully weaves the real life improbable inspirational story of the Jamaica bobsled team with the entertaining portrayal of the Disney blockbuster Cool Runnings. He highlights some of the powerful life lessons he and his teammates learned along the way - lessons the audience can immediately apply to both their personal and professional lives.
Suitable as an opening or closing keynote.
The audience will learn how:
To conquer fear through courage
To use the extraordinary power of visualization to achieve success
To build self esteem and confidence and reach your goals
To define success on your own terms
To persist in the face of insurmountable odds

The Power and Magic of Teamwork

In this inspiring message, Devon draws on his personal experiences as the Captain of the Jamaican Bobsled Team and a former Sandhurst-trained Captain in the Jamaica Defence Force, to show how working collaboratively facilitates success personally and professionally as well as collectively as a group. The key ingredients from Devon’s perspective are: defining and owning a clear vision, empowering leadership, a process of self-evaluation and persistence. Using humor, engaging stories and powerful insights, Devon easily translates the challenges and triumphs of being in the military and competing in the Olympics into easily applicable lessons and insights that will inspire your team to perform at peak levels.

Suitable as an opening or closing keynote.

The audience will learn how:
A clear vision allows the team to remain motivated, become remarkably efficient and control the direction of change.
To identify their noble purpose-the far reaching benefits of the mundane things they do daily.
To transform their organization by growing their capacity to lead.
To use the process of self-evaluation to help them move towards the full potential

Out of many; One: An Olympic Athlete's View of Diversity in the Workplace

A fresh look at how diversity in the workplace is not just a legal mandate or corporate ethic - it is fundamentally practical, and brings the best teams to the international playing field. Devon Harris brings a creative and inspiring look at how at work, as in the Olympics, what really matters is performance, attitude and teamwork. With humor and understanding that comes from living what he believes, Devon delivers a compelling inspirational message to groups of all sizes about how to be more bottom-line successful by embracing and applying the innate strengths of a diversity philosophy.
Suitable as an opening or closing keynote.

The audience will learn how:
A clear personal vision will exceed the associations and assumptions that society makes about you.
Attracting the best talent regardless of labels and creating an environment for them to perform at peak levels will allow the team to soar.
Differences when maintained and valued instead of discarded create a more fulfilling, powerful experience.

Keep On Pushing™: An Olympic Athlete's Message of Persistence

Devon brings his entertaining and effective message of how to 'keep on pushing', how persistence is a key catalyst in any success formula. Devon's presentation blends the need for every part of an organization to have the ability to persist, but not without good doses of wisdom, preparation, talent, teamwork, humor, passion, hard work and smart planning. Devon illustrates his presentation with his improbable story of a road that took him from the violent ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica; to Sandhurst; to the Olympics; to the hit Disney film Cool Runnings. Entertaining, motivational, with humor, compassion and real-life how-to guidance, Devon Harris inspires the audience to 'keep on pushing' - his distinctive phrase when asked how he gets that bobsled down that run.

Suitable as an opening or closing keynote.

The audience will learn how:
Investing some time to clarify both your personal and team vision will give them the edge and keep them motivated.
To embrace change.
To demonstrate faith in their teammates abilities and create a more synergistic environment.
To persist. Be relentless in finding the solutions to their challenges.

Testimonials

"Devon Harris was really fantastic today at our recognition event. Not only did he engage the crowd and keep them laughing, Devon also wove in a few key messages that we mentioned in our prep call. Good speakers come and inspire – GREAT speakers understand the objective of the meeting and personalize their message to fit. The extra work Devon put in customizing his presentation really reinforced the goals of the meeting and went a long way in making sure our guests could relate it to their own lives. After his presentation, Devon stayed for photos and was a real pleasure to meet and work with. I highly recommend him!"

Jennifer Wolter

“We have had guest speakers in the past, but none have delivered a message of such significance as yours. It was simple and pure but at the same time profound and extremely moving. Your words motivated and inspired all of us to focus on our dreams and that giving up should never be an option. I personally have your five key principals (Dream, Motivation, Discipline, Faith and Perseverance) embedded in my mind and on my heart. They are applicable in any area of life. You are an example of someone who has taken your role in life seriously and uses it to help others along the way.”

Tony Vernaci

“You are one AMAZING individual. Your story of personal achievement and accomplishment sets you miles apart from any other so-called ‘inspirational’ speaker because you truly lived the experience and, through your presentation, we travel that road with you. Working with you was a breeze – your grasp of our company, our culture and our business, and the ease in which you worked with the production group and emcee, all resulted in accolades, not just for you, but for me as well. You are generous in spirit and in heart and the time you gave us off-stage was immeasurable. Just about every attendee has a ‘Devon’ story – you managed to leave them begging for more.”

Barbara Blumhof

“Devon was the perfect complement to our national sales meeting. He brought elements of sincerity, inspiration, motivation and relevance; in a manner that aligns with any sales organization. In addition, he perfectly aligned his message to our team in a manner that inspired everyone to keep forging forward to achieve their goals…..and his message continues olive well beyond our meeting and drives our team today!”

Mike Larrain

“Exceptional! That is the first word that comes to mind after you exceeded our high expectations. Your sincere words of hope of hope, encouragement, and humor in the midst of personal anguish were heartfelt and will provide a lasting memory for the Court Employees. In my almost twenty years at the Court, I can honestly say that you received the first standing ovation that was given speaker.”

Diana Durkee August

“Devon Harris had everyone on their feet. Our entire workforce gained from his experiences and insights. I received nothing but praise for booking Devon - from our company president to the folks in the mailroom. We look forward to working with him again.”

John K. Tiene

Clients I've Worked For

  • American Express
  • Charles Schwab
  • Johnson& Johnson
  • Merck
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Gruman-Northrop
  • Proctor and Gamble
  • General Motors
  • Volvo
  • McDonalds
  • Coco Cola

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