May 11, 2013 Letter of Appreciation Virginia Commonwealth University Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute (seven years of participation)
It is with great appreciation that I write to you to express my sincere thanks for taking the time each year to interact with the participants of HIGHER Ground. We are so grateful that you were willing to share your time with us, and I am glad you were able to see our participants this year! Your presentation, Leading With Courage, was very motivational, and your ability to encourage a room full of women from diverse backgrounds and professions is such a value to our program.
Our participants raved about how fantastic you were! It is nice to be reminded that we all face challenges and everything can be overcome with courage. Your remarks have empowered us to incorporate courage into our lives.
We look forward to continuing our relationship with you. Thank you, again, for your generosity on behalf of the Institute and HIGHER Ground.
Nakeina E. Douglas-Glenn, Ph.D. Director, Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute Virginia Commonwealth University
Karen M., Executive Director
“Sandra Walston is an engaging and thought provoking speaker and workshop leader. Her books on Courage are a must read for organizations. Sandra’s style is direct, focused with a good dose of humor and her clients appreciate her ability to address their critical issues quickly which ultimately increases their bottom line results.”
Carolyn Keyes, Former Newfield Network Coach, October 7, 2012
Excerpt from letter of recommendation, Donna Evans, CEO, Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, July 17, 2012
The Women’s Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to create an environment and resources to help women to succeed and we host monthly luncheons featuring inspiring female speakers. Our goal at the luncheons is to introduce and recognized women leaders, hear about their lives and learn their success strategies. Sandra’s expertise in courageous behaviors; her business experiences; and her speaking style culminated into a presentation that received enthusiastic feedback from many of our members who found Sandra to be both enlightening and entertaining.
Sandra demonstrates an outstanding ability to convey her expertise in a manner that is both profound and relatable. Her personal stories made the audience feel comfortable and connected and demonstrated the immediate applications of courageous thoughts and behaviors. One of our members commented, “I especially enjoyed her supportive style and the sense of community in the room”.
I highly recommend Sandra as a speaker for anyone interested in educating, entertaining and empowering people. Her ability to bring together and entertain an audience is truly remarkable. Sandra’s lessons about courage are applicable and empowering to all.
President & CEO
Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce
Kara Stafford Lindahl (client) Kara hired you as a Speaker in 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Expert, High Integrity
“Sandra is passionate about courage especially when it comes to making sure every woman exudes her own unique courageous style. She is a true example of a courageous woman and she shares from her heart and with an inspiring spirit. In a former job as the Manager for Women’s Leadership, I was responsible for the annual women’s leadership conference, including the theme and speakers. I decided the 2012 conference theme would be “The Courageous Leader.” When I found Sandra’s website, I was very excited as she appeared to be a perfect fit since she was known as “the courage expert.” I read about Sandra and her work before I spoke with her so I had a lot of excitement and anticipation before our call. As I spoke with Sandra, I could actually feel her heart and spirit across the phone line, across many miles, as she was in Denver and I was in Cleveland. We had a connection and I felt that she was the right woman to be the keynote at the Cleveland YWCA’s 7th Annual Women’s Leadership Conference. Fortunately, though no longer in my role at the YWCA, I had the opportunity to attend the conference as a participant and hear Sandra speak. She did not disappoint, and she received a standing ovation. She made a great impact on the nearly 350 women in attendance helping us all see the courage in ourselves that we call upon on a daily basis in our work life, home life, and relationships. I highly recommend Sandra if you are looking for an expert speaker on courageous leadership who has an important message to share and who does it with heart and spirit, engaging the audience and helping them to discover and learn more about who they are.” March 27, 2012
Loretta Shaffer, CDME, Director of Marketing and Internet, Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council
“Wow, talk about a fantastic keynote speaker with amazing information and fantastic delivery! I was so honored to have the opportunity to meet Sandra after one of her keynote presentations and was so impressed with both her professionalism and knowledge. I would highly recommend Sandra in any professional setting as her passion for Courage in professional and personal settings is admirable!” April 6, 2012
Gary Namie, PhD, Workplace Bullying University, Workplace Bullying Institute’s training for professionals (colleague)
“For nearly a decade, I’ve admired Sandra’s work on Courage. I believe she is tapping one of the key underlying aspects of human behavior that distinguish positive from negative experiences. When a person languishes with the “coulda, woulda, shoulda” philosophy, she or he could have used a dose of courage. Sandra can show individuals through her coaching that positive outcomes are not only accessible more readily than the negative ones, but that the risks anticipated are overestimated. Courageous decisions are actually easier and less stressful to make than the over-thought and postponed ones. Only with the help of her expertise can someone discover the paradoxical ease of not only doing the right thing but the most personally beneficial things for oneself.” February 15, 2012
Taylor Mallory Holland, Little PINK Book Editor, PINK magazine (business partner)was with another company when working with you
“Sandra Walston is a positive, cutting-edge thinker whose message about the power of courage could change the world. Her philosophies were a regular inspiration to me when she blogged for the PINK magazine website, which I formerly managed. Her immense kindness and optimism are contagious and inspirational. I’m lucky to have worked with her and proud to call her my friend!” March 16, 2010
Linda Devonish-Mills, CMA,CPA, MBA, Director, Corporate Development and Advocacy, Institute of Management Accountants
“The Institute of Management Accountants conducts a webinar series monthly for members of the organization to inform them of issues that impact the management accounting profession. During December 2007 and December 2008, I had the pleasure of moderating webinars where Sandra served as our guest speaker. Her topics were on Communication and Time Management skills. Sandra is a dynamic speaker who was able to emphasize the impact that effective communication and time management skills has in both professional and personal settings. She was very successful with encouraging dialogue with me as the moderator, which is an important component of making a webinar successful. The setup of our webinars does not allow for participation from attendees. However, based on evaluations received, I think that there would have been strong participation from attendees if given that option. Feedback received from participants through inquiries indicated that there was an interest in taking notes on points that Sandra made reference to during the webinar on time management skills that were not illustrated in an accompanying power point presentation. It should be noted that participants would not take notes if there was not an interest in the subject matter. I would highly recommend Sandra Ford Walston to serve as a guest speaker at any forums that encourages professional development among individuals employed at corporations/organizations.” August 5, 2009
Rowena Morais, Programme Director, Flipside and Editor, HR Matters Magazine
“I am very happy to have gotten to know Sandra. Researching the area of courage, I came across Sandra’s profile. She very happily agreed to contribute an article on this topic area, in HR Matters Magazine, some time back. Sandra is warm and generous of spirit and is doing truly valuable work in the area of courage leadership. Her vision of what it means to be courageous in all aspects of our lives will be enriching to all those fortunate enough to meet her or access her work.” April 13, 2009
Connie Evans, Project Manager, Jones/NCTI
“I met Sandra many years ago at a training program she conducted on women and courage for Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT). During her presentation about “Courage” she used a standard ladder to represent an analogy about how we become stuck on a step (“He who hesitates before each step spends his life on one leg.”). That depiction of her standing on a lower step of the ladder is such a vivid memory that I always relate it to Courage in my own life. The “Courage” presentation revealed the 12 “Behaviors of Courage.” This insight was so informative for me, I knew I had to find a way to get to know this powerful woman. At the event I purchased her book, COURAGE, which she graciously autographed, and then I met her several times over coffee to discuss training opportunities, how I could become more courageous, and later she interviewed me for her second book. Sandra came into my life quite unexpectedly. Her vision, knowledge and most of all, her Courage has helped me become a much better leader, manager and person.”