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GDA Gold Star Speakers

The GDA Gold Star Speakers is comprised of individuals who have been recognized as elite speakers that GDA works with consistently. The program was created in honor of GDA's 20th Anniversary, which was celebrated in 2019. Future inductees will be reviewed and inducted into Gold Star Speakers annually in February.

Selection criteria considerations include:

Excellence on the stage both with content and presence

History with GDA

Association to the GDA brand

Impact on and valuable contribution to audiences and clients

We welcome and celebrate our inaugural GDA Gold Star Speakers inductees. These 14 men and women truly represent the foundation that GDA Speakers has been built on.


Keynotes: 1 Books: 1 Videos: 7

Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry

Mother-Daughter Duo; Addiction Recovery Specialists; Authors of "The Lost Years"

Kristina and Constance are the authors of The Lost Years; Surviving and Mothers and Daughters worst nightmare. The Lost Years is a brutally honest and gritty story of Kristina’s dramatic descent into addiction and her mother’s desperate attempt to save her.

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Keynotes: 5 Books: 6 Videos: 5

Shawn Achor

New York Times Bestselling Author and Positive Psychology Expert

Shawn Achor has is one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success and the NYT best-selling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential. His Happiness Advantage training is one of the largest and most successful positive psychology corporate training programs in the world.

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Keynotes: 4 Books: 3 Videos: 5

Joan Brock

Author of More Than Meets the Eye

Joan shares her inspiring story of the sudden loss of her sight then the loss of her husband to cancer. Joan will captivate your audience while sharing the importance of making positive and productive choices in this world of change and challenge.

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Keynotes: 2 Books: 2 Videos: 10

Kevin Brown

Author; Branding, Culture, and Leadership Expert

Kevin is passionate about helping people and organizations embrace a philosophy that separates world-class organizations and high-performance people from everybody else - he calls it The HERO Effect®. Kevin inspires and challenges people to show up every day and make a positive difference at work and in life!

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Keynotes: 4 Books: 1 Videos: 19

Jeff Civillico

Entertainer & Emcee; Las Vegas Headliner; TV & Live Event Host; Philanthropist

Jeff Civillico is a former Las Vegas Headliner, TV & Live Event Host Personality, and Philanthropist. Jeff is also the Founder and Chairman of Win-Win Entertainment, a national non-profit that creates opportunities for professional entertainers, athletes and celebrities to share their time and talent with children in need. 

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Keynotes: 2 Books: 9 Videos: 4

Ankit Fadia

Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company; Artificial Intelligence Expert; Former MTV India Host

Ankit Fadia is an accomplished Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, with first-hand experience of helping organizations accelerate the adoption of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to unlock business value.

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Keynotes: 3 Books: 0 Videos: 4

Andy Fastow

Former CFO of Enron; Risk Management, Ethics, and HR Expert

Enron’s former CFO will make observations about how the ambiguity and complexity of laws and regulations breeds opportunity for problematic decisions and will discuss what questions corporate directors and management should ask in order to ensure that their companies not only follow the rules, but uphold the principles behind them.

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Keynotes: 9 Books: 1 Videos: 10

Eric Maddox

Negotiator; Author; Consultant; Army Veteran

Eric Maddox collected the intelligence which led to the exact location of Saddam Hussein. Eric is a consultant and author who delivers empathy based listening as the number one tool for building trust and maximizing influence in all areas of life.

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Keynotes: 7 Books: 4 Videos: 20

Leslie Morgan Steiner

New York Times Best-Selling Author; Columnist for The Washington Post; Former Corporate Executive; Domestic Violence Survivor

Leslie Morgan Steiner is a master of engaging men and women in today's most important women's leadership issues -- parenthood, relationships, and work/family balance.

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Keynotes: 4 Books: 1 Videos: 8

Liz Murray

Inspirational Speaker and Bestselling Author, Breaking Night

Formerly homeless, Liz Murray transformed her life of despair into an inspiring journey of determination, hope and hard-won success.

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Keynotes: 2 Books: 1 Videos: 16

Nando Parrado

Survivor & Hero of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571; NYT Best-Selling Author; Portrayed in Oscar-Nominated Film "Society of the Snow" and "Alive"

His is a story that many will recognize, but few have an opportunity to hear first hand. Nando Parrado recounts the extraordinary tale of how he and 15 of his teammates survived for 72 brutal days after their plane crashed into the frozen Andes Mountains 50 years ago.

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Keynotes: 3 Books: 4 Videos: 4

Peter Sheahan

C-Suite Advisor and Entrepreneur

Peter Sheahan is known internationally for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. With staff in more than 23 cities across 7 countries, he knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in these rapidly changing times.

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Keynotes: 4 Books: 6 Videos: 1

Tom Sullivan

Blind Entertainer, Author, Athlete, Actor & Producer

Tom Sullivan lives and works by “Sullivan’s Rules.” Invented by his dad, Porky Sullivan, so young Tommy could play baseball with the neighborhood kids, “the rules” became the cornerstone by which the adult Tom came to live his life.

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Keynotes: 1 Books: 3 Videos: 21

Ron White

Memory Expert, U.S. Navy Veteran

Ron White is without question one of the top Memory Experts in the world. As a two-time national memory champion, Ron will teach audience members techniques to triple their memory, build relationships by recalling names and faces and much more!

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Retired Gold Star Speakers

Rex Lewis-Clack and Cathleen Lewis

Inspirational Mother and Son Featured on 60 Minutes

While Cathleen and Rex are no longer actively speaking, they played a crucial role in building the GDA legacy with 50 bookings since our nearly 20 year partnership began in 2005. The mother-son duo reside in California where Rex continues to showcase his unique musical talent at prestigious performances and lead his non-profit Foundation Rex and Friends, supporting musical education for individuals who are blind or autistic, which has merged with Arts Up L.A. - a larger non-profit who believes in "changing lives one performance at a time." We are thankful for their partnership and wish them continued success.