Motivational Speaker. World Class Pianist. Funny.

Get like Gumby, Reap the Rewards

Are you all stressed up with nowhere to go? Do your co-workers consist of five generations with a ‘know-it-all’ attitude? Are you a whiner or a winner?

One of the coolest things about being a motivational speaker is I get to meet all kinds of diverse sections of the workforce in different industries across the country. After sixteen years of hearing complaints about bosses, co-workers, policies and pay checks, I’ve noticed some common threads of discontent: they all involve people, communications and attitude.

I don’t know about you, but I used to be one of those people with the mindset: “my way or the highway!” If people of another age group had a new idea how to do things, I would automatically dismiss them based on the mere fact they were older or younger than I was, so they didn’t know what they were doing. When there was a set schedule of things to do within a certain time frame at a meeting, I would get all bent out of shape if it went awry (and I don’t mean in a cute Gumby fashion) The end result was always the same: frustration, stagnation and stress for me, resentment, negativity and stress for everyone else.

Most of us want things to go our way most of the time. The problem is: other people don’t think the world revolves around us. (Really?)

The ugly truth behind workplace issues and personal challenges is that it all starts with our own attitude. Things can work out smoother for everyone when we’re flexible. Just like Gumby….go with the flow, chill ‘n’ hang, be more rubbery 🙂

Recently I was the closing keynote for a conference of 400 women in Alabama. The agenda was set, my start time confirmed and I was well prepared to give the 90 minute high energy speech I had customized for this group. I was to go on after lunch and end up their event with an uplifting BANG! Halfway through lunch the meeting planner sitting next to me said: “We’re running half an hour late, can you cut 30 minutes from your presentation?”


Wondering if I would make any sense doing a quick edit, I plunged into my program from the top and worked in the interactive games, played piano to emphasize points, organized multi-generational teams to participate in exercises, told my stories, engaged the millennials (whew!) and cut short the last half hour. Wait, what? Did they realize I chopped the entire last point of the program?

No, they didn’t know there was more. No, they didn’t care. They gave me a standing ovation.

The point was about being flexible with a smile.No whining, no excuses, no attitude. The results? Happy audience, happy client.

Gumby rocks.

Kick It in the New Year Using This!

Bye Bye 2016 with the same ol’ habit of me, me, me.  Hello 2017. The theme is thoughtful. The point is change. Speaking at the December meeting of the International Right of Way Association (IRWA) in Houston,was a lesson in how much the workforce has changed. Although Baby Boomers commanded a strong presence, they took… Continue Reading

The Myth about Motivational Speakers (like me)

So you’re at the company conference. It’s fun to be away from the office norm for a few days and besides, it’s a great chance to swap the scoop with different people in the same industry. The hotel is buzzing with attendees, you’re pumped for the experience and the food doesn’t suck. And then you… Continue Reading

Leaders that Listen have Teams that Work

With employee engagement at an all time low across the US, what’s it going to take for managers to wake up and smell the coffee? How much more productivity has to be lost to get their attention?  Oooops! Are they checking out Facebook? Why are there so many unhappy employees? A few months ago I gave the… Continue Reading

Passion, Politics & the Power of Words

If ever there was a two-ringed circus surely the current political stage is ‘it’ on steroids. Two high profile people passionate about power with totally opposite perspectives on everything makes for sensational TV and heated discussions across the country. And it’s not about keeping up with the Kardashians. What it IS about proves how destructive… Continue Reading

Learn from The Beatles: Leadership that Motivates creates Rock Star Teams & Raving Fans

It seems Strawberry Fields do go on Forever ‘coz everyone on planet earth knows who The Beatles are regardless of age, culture or geographic location.  Speaking to an association of accountants recently, I was amazed, once again, at how their legend lives on. There was a 20 year old woman in the audience who knew all… Continue Reading

Lasting Impressions of the Worst Kind

The 2016 Summer Olympics are over. America won 100+ medals. World records were smashed, spirits were high and Rio rocked. And then the ugly happened. Ryan Lochte and his three swim team mates downed the drinks, trashed a public bathroom and twisted the truth about being robbed at gun point. What a shame for these… Continue Reading

Why You Should Engage in Office Olympics to get Cake by the Ocean

With the world’s eyes on Rio and all the buzz around the athletes, there’s lots to talk about around the proverbial water cooler. There’s also a risk that employee engagement can decrease even more beyond the current 32% resulting in lost productivity. What to do?  Think like Michael Phelps. Despite his initial fear of putting his… Continue Reading


I thought your program was terrific! A great reminder of the healing power of music.


I really liked how you connected to our group by using several of us in your presentation. Playing live music made you very unique …motivational and entertaining at the same time!


Your program is wonderful and your message goes along with our customer service guarantee. I also bought your CD and it is just beautiful!


Your presentation was wonderful! Your humor is delightful, your music magnificent and your message is profound!

FIVE STAR QUALITY CARE – After dinner residents program

Thank you for such an uplifting energetic program! I am still receiving compliments on what a fun after-dinner presentation this was…inspirational, entertaining, funny yet informative!”

ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL HOSPITAL – Volunteer Appreciation

This type of program was perfect for our Volunteer Appreciation luncheon!

TEXAS HEALTH CHOICE – Staff Development Day 

Dynamic, extremely upbeat and personable! The laughter, reflection of self and interaction with our group was exceptional. Uplifting & fun! Sparkling humor, great energy! What an inspiration! Our staff not only remembered your message but they’re still laughing at your stories!

 MEMORIAL HERMANN HOSPITAL – Nurses Appreciation Dinner

Theresa’s presentation provided enlightenment with entertainment, LEARNING with LAUGHTER and motivation with music.  Her ability to FULLY ENGAGE THE AUDIENCE of nurses in the very timely topic was demonstration of her expertise as an outstanding speaker. Comments from evaluations:  “The best we’ve had!” “Great uplifting program!”


I was blown away with your presentation! I particularly liked the way you mixed music, humor, content and motivation while having active audience participation.  Your content put things in perspective for what’s going on in our lives right now. Thank you for keeping us INVOLVED and ENGAGED the entire time!

– Gina Ebers, The Alzheimers Gathering Place

I cannot remember a time when our entertainer has been more engaging and fun!  The laughter in that room was infectious and I loved how you just “went with it!”   We were surprised by many of our  Care Partners who normally are very passive but participated in your program  in ways we’ve never seen. How you play that piano  was something to behold! 

– Sherry Menger, Chapelwood Church, Ladies Luncheon

Theresa was fabulous!!!  She is so very talented as a pianist, she knows exactly what to play for the crowd and she was a beautiful smiling addition to our ladies luncheon. Everyone loved her!!!

– Kerry Ream, Sugar Creek Country Club

Outstanding job for our members wine dinner! It was the first time I’ve ever seen them crowd around the piano watching anyone play. We want you back for ALL our special events.

– Christine Keegan, The Hallmark Senior Living

Our residents LOVED you! They were fully engaged the whole time and it was so wonderful to see the joy on all their faces as they sang along to songs they knew. We want you back as often as possible!

– Jason Luther, Houston TX

“Theresa is an exceedingly talented pianist and added a touch of extra style to my event. All who attended our dinner party commented on the quality of her performance, yet there was nothing intrusive about her presence. I will definitely book her again in the future!”

– Cathy Lightfoot, The Buckingham

Our seniors asked me to book you more often because they enjoyed you so much. Thanks for making me look so good!