Opening Keynote

A swimming champion turned author & competitive performance expert, Deborah Gardner helps companies and organizations professionals advance to new levels of success with a new competitive mentality - streamline your goals for maximum winning results. Better known by many Fortune 500 companies as the Pit Bull in a Skirt, Deborah is rising to international prominence with a captivating, entertaining and humorous sassy presentation style.

With a lifetime of competitive experience, Deborah has a wealth of practice being a Marine Brat, an Olympic Trial swimmer, currently a 2-time National Sr. Games gold medalist, a ground-breaking leader as one of the first female broadcasters with CBS Sports and a 25 year hospitality sales veteran. Deborah's talents, knowledge and experiences for identifying untapped potential continues to prove results by helping hundreds of her clients worldwide to discover their competitive spirit. Along with a laundry list of awards, Deborah was just honored with the 2017 Top Influential Woman by Smart Meetings Magazine, Convention Industry Council’s Top 30 Influential Meeting Professionals and, Meetings & Convention Magazine recent poll by meeting planners voted Deborah as one of the best speakers heard in the last 2 years, putting her in the category with Bill Clinton, General Collin Powell, Barbara Corcoran, Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Magic Johnson and Tom Brokaw.

Deborah believes in mastering her craft on the platform by doing television commercial work as an actor, conducting voice-overs and runway modeling. Deborah lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and her lover boy, Chief, the dog that makes special program appearances. For more information, go to or just Google, you’ll find her. 

Deborah Gardner, CMP


Do you ever wonder how to make an incredible difference for yourself and others? Looking to achieve your goals, dreams and passions? Maybe thought about the one thing to change in order to be more successful in your job and life but don’t know what it is? Well, if you want to make working and living in the fastlane easier – WAKE UP GOVERNMENT MEETING PROFESSIONALS!

No matter what role or title you have in the meetings industry, join in this high energy, fast paced, content-rich, humorous program that will prove you can win while working and living in the fastlane. Whether it’s to provide better meetings or customer solutions, enhancing relationships, reach a higher end result, crush it when selling or leading, get ready to grasp new innovative ideas while shaping YOU in a more powerful and constructive manner. Learn how making a difference is more than just having a goal. The time has come to put YOU into action. Up for the challenge?