Devon Harris

Member of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team; Founder of children's foundation to educate disadvantaged kids

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Born on Christmas Day, 1964, this future motivational keynote speaker, Devon Harris was raised in a violent ghetto environment in Kingston, Jamaica. The greatest gift Devon ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die » Read Full Bio

Born on Christmas Day, 1964, this future motivational keynote speaker, Devon Harris was raised in a violent ghetto environment in Kingston, Jamaica. The greatest gift Devon ever received was the belief that a positive attitude and a never say die philosophy would carry him farther than a sense of injustice and a heart filled with anger. A graduate of the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England, Devon received a Queen’s Commission in December 1985 and served in the officer corps of the Jamaica Defence Force until December 1992 when he retired as a Captain.

At the heart of Devon’s message are the lessons he has learned of the power of persistence over all sorts of obstacles in order to live one's best life. His mission is to bring this message of how everyone can keep on pushing and working for their dreams every day of their professional as well as personal lives.

Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team which competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. Their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings. Devon also competed in and was captain of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.

The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities around the globe by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated. Through the Keep on Pushing Foundation, Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador, supporting Right to Play’s efforts in using sports and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.

As an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf. He is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-auto-biographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.

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Media files by Devon Harris

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Speaker Programs (Click on each program to view the description)

Hot Lessons from Cool Runnings, Coaching for Personal and Professional Success
Suitable for an opening keynote or closing presentation, this motivational program draws from the powerful experiences of the real life Jamaican Bobsled Team as immortalized in the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings. This dynamic presentation is as poignant as it is light hearted. The audience will leave laughing, inspired and with a better understanding of what it takes to achieve the impossible.
The Power and Magic of Teamwork
This program is suitable as an opening keynote and addresses the powerful role teamwork plays in both your personal and professional life. A high level of team work has been responsible, in part, for a great home environment, miracle drugs, breakthrough technologies, Olympic medals, and conquests of space and sea because these teams have the ability to synergistically harness their members' talents and energy. As the Captain of the Jamaican Bobsled Team and a former Sandhurst-trained Captain in the Jamaica Defence Force, Devon knows what it takes to develop, inspire and direct a winning team and translates the challenges and triumphs of the first Jamaican Bobsled Team into easily applicable lessons for today's managers and tomorrow's leaders.
Out of many; One, An Olympic Athlete's View of Diversity in the Workplace
A fresh look at how diversity in the workplace is not just a legal mandate or corporate ethic - it is fundamentally practical, and brings the best teams to the playing field. Devon brings a creative and inspiring look at how at work, as in the Olympics, what really matters is performance, attitude and teamwork. With humor and understanding that comes from living what he believes, Devon delivers a compelling message to groups of all sizes about how to be more bottom-line successful by embracing and applying the innate strengths of a diversity philosophy. This program is suitable for an opening keynote or closing presentation.
Keep On Pushing, An Olympic Athlete's Message of Persistence
Suitable for an opening keynote or closing presentation, Devon brings his entertaining and effective message of how to 'keep on pushing', how persistence is a key catalyst in any success formula. Devon's presentation blends the need for every part of an organization to have the ability to persist, but not without good doses of wisdom, preparation, talent, teamwork, humor, passion, hard work and smart planning. Devon illustrates his presentation with his improbable story of a road that took him from the violent ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica; to Sandhurst; to the Olympics; to the hit Disney film Cool Runnings. With humor and compassion and real-life how-to guidance, Devon inspires the audience to 'keep on pushing' - his distinctive phrase when asked how he gets that bobsled down that run.
Half-Day Seminar "Get In, Sit Down"
This half day seminar is suitable for all levels. Through open discussions and team building exercises, participants will be entertained, educated and motivated. They will emerge with a renewed sense of purpose and thorough understanding of the techniques which they can draw upon in their work environment. They will be equipped with the essential tools necessary for them to truly function as an Olympic caliber team.
Master of Ceremonies
As an accomplished speaker with a naturally effusive stage personality, Devon can add a professional flair to your meeting by serving as your Master of Ceremonies. In this role, Devon will allow you to relax and let your hair down as he establishes a consistent tone for your meeting, ensures continuity and manages timelines, fills in those awkward dead spots that can occur between sessions, introduces your speakers and sessions graciously and professionally, and simply makes everything flow better and more fun for everyone!!

Topics

  • Motivation
  • Olympians
  • Overcoming Adversity
  • Sports
  • Teamwork/Team Building

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For more information about Devon Harris please call 1.877.8TALENT or email us.