Celebrating 20 Years- Part 6: Gratitude

Gail Davis, 11 June 2019

As I look back on 20 years, I want to acknowledge some important groups of people. 

At the risk of being overly simplistic, the three-legged stool analogy seems so appropriate to pull out here. We must have great SPEAKERS, or we have nothing to offer our clients.  We must have loyal CLIENTS who use our services, or we would never book our speakers. And without talented EMPLOYEES, we could not serve either our clients or our speakers.

With that image in mind, I want to acknowledge all of the speakers we work with.  In most instances we work directly with the speaker or their office. Sometimes we partner with other agencies in our industry, while other times we work with management companies.  To all, thank you for being our partners. Thank you for being responsive, showing up, not missing sound checks and making us look good on site—we can’t do it without you. 

As we have been promoting our 20th anniversary, we’ve had two recent reach outs that show the bond we have with our speakers.  One was Tony D’Amelio, a long-time friend and mentor of GDA, who recently sent us 20 roses—one for each year we have been in business. Tony represents some of the best in this industry. Take a look https://www.damelionetwork.com/

The second was Daymond John, of Shark Tank fame. He took the time to send us this video. Of course we weren’t surprised, as Daymond never misses an opportunity to keep our connection alive or show his support.

In our 20 year history we have booked over 3,834 speaking engagements.  We have loyal clients that have been with us since the very early years, including:

  • Crystal Cruise Lines, a client since 1999
  • Virtuoso Travel, a client since 2000
  • TML/TCMA, a client since 2001
  • Ensemble Travel, a client since 2001
  • HR Houston, a client since 2002 

We are forever grateful for two decades of partnership. Also, this is brings me to a good point to do a special shout out to the Young Presidents Organization, as this organization represents 25% of our total bookings!

Speaking of partners, we also want to acknowledge John Way and the team at Innovative Way, Julie Lancaster who has been our CPA for 20 years, and Kevin Ortman, AKA “The IT Guy.”   You guys have been an amazing part of our success.

There are many former GDA employees that I must acknowledge—too many to call out in the space of this blog, in fact, but know that I’m grateful and that you made your mark on GDA. Many of you were there in the early days when I was learning and trying to figure things out. Thank you for remaining friends, followers and fans.

And finally, we come to the current GDA team, who represent the talent and the future of our organization.  This past year, they kept the ship afloat while I remodeled a condo, took care of my father who was out of state in hospice, and planned my son’s wedding.  Based on the way they handled things, I can say with confidence that I have never felt so supported and positive about the future.

In humble gratitude, thank you all. Here’s to another amazing 20 years!