Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Happy Holidays!!

The holidays are a time of reflection and thankfulness. A time for us to ponder the year past and to look forward to the year coming. 

All of us at AEI Speakers wish to thank those of you who have made 2014 a great year! Here's to 2015!! Cheers!



For more information on all of our Speakers, please visit us at AEISpeakers.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Commemorating Veterans' Day

The late author and icon Tom Clancy once said, "There is no truer representation of a country than the people that it sends into the field to fight for it." Clancy is certainly right: perhaps no one better encapsulates the American spirit than the courageous men and women who serve to protect this nation as part of the United States Armed Forces. Although they should be in our hearts and minds year-round, this week's holiday offers the ideal time to reflect upon and show appreciation for our US Veterans and the expertise, tenacity, and bravery they have shown in their line of work.

As a speaker's bureau, AEI Speakers is honored to represent a diverse mix of veterans who come from a variety of professional and personal backgrounds.

In 2008, General (Retired) B.B. Bell retired from the U.S. Army after nearly four decades of service. Out of the forty years he spent in the Army, General Bell spent fifteen of those years actively deployed overseas. As a high-ranking general, General Bell has commanded U.S. forces in both Korea and Europe, while also working to train and deploy thousands of Army and NATO troops for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thanks to his lifetime of experience, General Bell is currently one of the foremost experts on military defense, national security, and U.S. foreign policy. 

Prior to becoming a much sought-after motivational speaker, Carey Lohrenz was a member of the United States Navy. During her time in the Navy, Lohrenz made history when she became the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot. As a combat-mission-ready fighter pilot, Lohrenz quickly learned the importance of demonstrating excellence in situations in which even the slightest inaccuracy could have lead to catastrophic results. After leaving the Navy, Lohrenz recognized similarities between her experiences and those of individuals working in the business sector. She now uses her knowledge to help others achieve excellent teamwork and leadership in a fast-paced, high-risk world. 

After graduating from UCLA in 1957, Captain Gerald "Jerry" Coffee joined the U.S. Navy. Shortly after in 1962, Captain Coffee was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying crucial low level reconnaissance missions over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. His experience in the Navy then took a drastic turn in 1966 when his RA5-C reconnaissance jet was shot down by enemy fire over North Korea. Despite parachuting to safety, Captain Coffee was immediately captured by the enemy and kept as a POW in a Communist prison for the next seven years. Even after enduring a near decade-long ordeal, Captain Coffee returned to his active operational duties. As a speaker, Captain Coffee now shares his story of living and triumphing "beyond survival" with thousands of corporate employees a year. 

As a high-ranking and multiple award-winning colonel in the U.S. Army, Colonel (Retired) Bill Badger achieved more than a lifetime's worth in his near four decades of service. Starting as a Second Lieutenant in the South Dakota National Guard, Colonel Badger worked his way up to be Chief of Aviation Operations for the National Guard Bureau stationed in the Pentagon. Twenty years after his retirement, Colonel Badger was thrust into action once again on January 8, 2011 when attending Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords' appearance at a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona. Despite being injured in the shooting, Colonel Badger saved at least a dozen lives by tackling the shooter as he attempted to reload his weapon.
Colonel Badger, in more ways than one, is the definition of a real American hero. 

It is a testament of one's character to make the decision to join the United States Armed Forces, but it is even more telling of a person to see what they do once their service has ended. Veterans by nature innately deserve our admiration, but they deserve even more of our respect and gratitude for continuing to help the American people with their knowledge even after they leave the force. 

For more information on all our speakers - including our veterans and other international conflict experts - follow us at @aeiSpeakers and like us on Facebook!  

*originally published Nov 13, 2013

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

It is important to take time to recognize and support some of the AEI Speakers who have survived and conquered breast cancer.


Dr. Julie Silver is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She was diagnosed with cancer in her thirties and her new mission is to help others with cancer find the proper cancer rehabilitation. For more information on this speaker visit her bio page on the AEI website. 


Suzie Humphreys has been everything from a  secretary to a television  talk show host. She survived cancer in 2003 and did not let this ailment slow her down. She now focuses on helping people overcome pain and suffering through humor.  For more information on this speaker visit her bio page on the AEI website. 


Christine Clifford is Senior Executive Vice President for the Spar Group who shared her survivor experiences with 8 award-winning and humorous books on dealing with cancer, written for survivors and their families. For more information on this speaker visit her bio page on the AEI website



Linda Ellerbee is a journalist, producer, writer, anchor and author. With her many successes, she reflects on her cancer and talks about how you need to continue to laugh and live another day. She promotes happiness; despite any sort of disease. For more information on this speaker visit her bio page on the AEI website



For more information on all of our Speakers, please visit us at AEISpeakers.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
*originally published Oct 13, 2013

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AEI Exclusive Kaitlin Roig Nominated for LifeChanger of the Year Award


AEI Speakers Bureau Exclusive Speaker Kaitlin Roig has been nominated for the LifeChanger of the Year Award!! LifeChanger of the Year is an annual program that aims to honor those who are making a significant difference in the lives of students by exemplifying excellence, positive influence and leadership.


 For more information on all of our speakers, please visit us at AEISpeakers.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, August 22, 2014

The End of the August Rush





The back to school season is more palatable than ever. Chillier weather and a harvest season are walking up to our door. The discussions generated throughout the month of August brought us with more in-depth ideas than ever.



 Our first week encouraged people to follow great ideas. No one can possibly be a leader all the time, and followers are the innovators who put plans into action. Followers are the people who built the great and terrible monuments and milestones.



August is one of the most popular vacation months. Therefore, it’s important to understand that other countries pick on each other too. Half the bonding experience abroad is finding out which of your country’s stereotypes are accurate enough to laugh at.



Finally, we point out the elephant in the room of back to school season, letting education debates flare up for the rest of the year. However, with so many needs to meet, controversies surrounding which method is best allow for better options.



Keep coming back for September! Our speakers and ideas are not going anywhere!


 For more information on all of our speakers, please visit us at AEISpeakers.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Why Education Controversy Can Be Good




The August sun has a chilly undertone. The days seem a little shorter, and millions of teens rush to start their summer reading. This can only mean that the brisk fall months are approaching. Both kids and adults look forward to and dread the days when September crawls in and the school year begins once more. With kids and teachers entering the classrooms, anxious parents are never too far behind.


With education being a hotly debated topic, different possibilities for schooling, and millions of students physical and emotional needs at large, there is no way everything can be done one way. A learning style for one student will intensify problems for another. One teacher cannot possibly reach every student. Fortunately, we have long since passed the days where one teacher taught all ages in a single room. Across one’s life, a student has many teachers. Sometimes the person one learns the most from is not a formal schoolhouse instructor.

This is why so many philosophies and educators are both warranted and necessary. It’s easy to write off one subject or method of teaching as destructive for one reason or another, when stepping into other areas helps understanding too, similar to last week’s blog post regarding traveling.

 Going off on the traveling example, bilingual students use more areas of their brain, so they are said to have an advantage balancing all subjects. A New York Times article reveals a study that there is a heightened sense to monitor the environment when a student knows more than one language.

 Plus, being bilingual often means having an understanding of more than one culture, promoting a deeper understanding of people. For a student who wants to travel and get a job abroad, this social and cognitive need would have to be met.That student would also need to be skilled in other subjects to match up with foreign standards.

There is also often dispute between religious and science teachings. It is easy to write one of them off, though in truth, both have their place. Though contradictory explaining creation, science and its various branches can explain how the world works, while religions give one a deeper sense of how a moral world is shaped. 

Science feeds into art, as a technical understanding of the physical helps put projects together. For example, knowing light and color and human perception will build a successful computer design or a theater show. Meanwhile religious teachings help students to better understand literary themes, such as those in Shakespeare, which often have biblical motifs or references.

With those basic examples laid out, it translates to a greater purpose in education. Differing and contradictory subjects both have their place for teaching. One problem is that often times, the assumption arises that one way of teaching is best, and that one type of educator will be a one-size fits all type of arrangement whether that be the increased focus in science and math the US enacted a few years ago, or the ongoing debate about sex-education in schools. 

Though humans like to organize and simplify, student situations come in so many forms that no one style of teaching can possibly reach everyone. Different teachers and styles of education reach different students. This is why we have public, private, charter, Montessori, home schooling etc and a richer variety of courses available. Combining pieces of information and experience and opening up to contradictions will allow students to get a richer knowledge base. It’s better to allow for controversy than to be a prodigy in one side of thinking.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Why Should You Travel Now?



The United States is such a big country that there are many lifetimes worth of history and culture within the various regions. Some parts of the country say “freeway,” others say “highway.” New England has a reputation for having a very fast paced lifestyle, while the West Coast is thought to be more relaxed and leisurely, compared to the South where there’s a more of a polite hospitable culture. We may as well be a bunch of separate countries. 

Countries abroad pick on each other too. The Danish and Swedes have a rivalry. The Germans and Swiss can’t understand each other’s dialects, and Japan personalized countries stereotypes and history within the television show Hetalia. Europeans love to pick on Americans for our lack of geographical skills and our inability to tell the difference between an Irish and a Scottish accent. Asians and Asian-Americans point out general cultural insensitivity over and over again for failing to recognize someone born in America versus someone from countries like Korea, Thaiwan, China, Japan or the Philippines. 

Since this is American Adventures Month, it’s necessary to recognize our own ideas about our country and how we interact with people abroad. While our education gives us knowledge for how to hopefully get a job and contribute to society, (focusing less on languages,) the best way to learn is through experiencing other types of environments, both in the United States and abroad. There are infinite experiences out there that we know nothing about. Fortunately, AEI is lucky to hear from speakers who have had such a cultural experience. 

People like Neal Petersen are great examples. Petersen overcame racial prejudice in apartheid South Africa. Wanting to be a sailor, he designed and built a yacht himself, and spent 9 months alone at sea through tumultuous weather, just for the opportunity to compete in yacht races amongst other sailors. His story, the embodiment of personal experience inspires people all over the world to turn baggage into a treasure chest. 

Within our own country, we can learn a lot from Brian Unger, who hosted a television show, How the States Got Their Shapes. He studied the history of the United States. State by state, the show focused a little more about how the country formed, how each state came to be little by little from the original 13 colonies of the 1700s, to Hawaii joining the country, only becoming a state in 1959.

It is an adventure in itself listening to different accents and dialects across the country and the globe. It also leads to hilarious moments when Americans and English try to mimic each other. While not everyone needs to sail around the world, or could possibly know every piece of trivia about the states, a few miles or kilometers travel often leaves some impact. 

Traveling gives one a richer experience beyond the borders of a school classroom. If we were to know everything through media and perceptions, we’d have a flat one-dimensional view of most of the world’s population, turning away interesting complex individuals and potential friends and spouses. Though a thorough trip takes some planning, take American Adventures month, or the last official month of summer vacation to visit someplace new.


 For more information on all of our speakers, please visit us at AEISpeakers.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!