He is respected as a subject matter expert on helping corporations, associations and individuals create a brighter future in the midst of changes, challenges, even chaos. His customizable speech title says it all…Your Best is Next!
After serving as the CMO of a division of Sara Lee, then the President of a $300-million food company, Ira founded and presided over CO-OPPORTUNITIES, an Atlanta based consulting company that advised companies such as Nestle, Tyson, Kroger, Harrah’s, American Airlines, Disney, United Artists, Exxon, Walmart and more. Noteworthy, Ira is the single longest continually retained consultant in the 134-year history of the Coca-Cola Company as a lead consultant for 26 years. He is the recipient of the highest honor in the food industry, “The Key Person Award.” His expertise? Branding, Change Management, Strategic Alliances and Business Development.
Having published over 200 magazine articles and three books, “Ready, Blame, Fire!” (Myths and Misses in Marketing)…“Managing Brand You” (best seller)… and “Your Best Is Next”… Ira is a respected author who received “The George Washington Honor Medal for Literary Excellence” (Freedoms Foundation). Ira has been featured and quoted in media such as CNN, The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, BrandWeek, USA Today and more.
He has hosted a radio talk show (“Success Talk”)… served as a visiting professor (Michigan State University, the University of Notre Dame, Kennesaw State University, etc.)… was the “Executive In Residence” at Georgia State University… presided over a foundation (Ted Turner’s “Captain Planet Foundation”)… is on the board of Blaze, The Legacy Paralympic Organization… and with his friend, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), co-founded and serves on the Executive Council of Janie’s Fund, an organization that raises money for programs for “at risk” and “abused” girls.”
Delivering over 2500 speeches on 5 continents as well as serving as the “opener” for the likes of both President Bushes, General Colin Powell, Mikhail Gorbachev, Henry Kissinger, Lech Walesa, Cal Ripken Jr., Tommy Lasorda and others… Ira is a high-energy, high-content, passionate public speaker with a motivational flair. He customizes his speeches which are both onstage (live) and online (virtual). As well as serving as a speaker, Ira is a dynamic emcee and panel moderator. From Australia, Brazil, Canada, Dubai, England, France and throughout the U.S., Ira is a respected, profound thought leader.
On a personal note, Ira is a tireless community activist and youth sports coach (with a state and national championship to his credit). Ira was both a member of a collegiate national championship team and a “World Cup” athlete as well as a college Football and Lacrosse Coach (1974 US “Coach of the Year”). Originally from New York, Ira lives in Atlanta with his bride of 39 years, Kim. He is the father of 5 children and has 10 grandchildren. Another of Ira’s favorite quotations is Mark Twain’s “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you found out why…” Renaissance Man, Ira Blumenthal, surely found out his why.
- Your Best is Next
Whether it’s corporations, associations or even individuals, you can’t have a better tomorrow if you continue thinking about yesterday. Looking back over last year, we’ve seen chaos, a pandemic, economic challenges, business uncertainty and greater changes than ever before. We’re confused, overwhelmed, frustrated and often impatient. This is NOT business as usual. This is business as UN-usual.
And so, the threshold question for us all is simple… “What’s next?” It’s clearly time for RECOVERY and pushing the RESET button on our businesses and lives. It has been said, “If you want to predict the future, create it!” This customizable program (onstage OR virtual) YOUR BEST IS NEXT, is precisely about creating the future and teaching your organization how to ensure that their BEST IS truly NEXT.
- Balancing High-Tech and High-Touch Business Building
In the words of Bill Gates, "Technology is a tool, an enhancement, an enabler. It can be an enormously helpful servant but a dangerous master..." Although the benefits of technology are vast, we depend too much on "high tech" communication with employees, customers, consumers, suppliers and distributors and depend too little on "high touch" communication. This interactive, action-packed, fun-filled, highly relevant speech is focused on strategies, tactics, tips and techniques designed to help business professionals connect, engage and grow mutually beneficial enterprise through dynamic interpersonal relationships.
- Managing Brand You (Personal Branding)
What if you thought of yourself as a brand? Everyone struggles with what they stand for… or what they'd like to stand for… Each one of us is a brand. This speech focuses on the disciplines of business branding and applies them to the process of crafting, developing, extending, managing and protecting your most important brand… "Brand You!" Ideal for business executives, sales professionals, even non-business audiences… this is an interactive, high-energy, fun-filled educational (and inspirational) speech (and workshop) experience. What if you thought of yourself as a brand?
- Myths and Misses in Marketing (Marketing, Business Development)
Based on Ira's book, "Ready, Blame, Fire!", this energetic speech (or workshop) focuses on challenging conventional wisdom. Targeting the fourteen greatest "myths" in marketing (i.e. "Bigger Is Better!", "Close Enough Is Good Enough," "The First One In Wins," "It Won't Happen Here!," etc.), participants learn from history (the "misses") and gain a well-defined understanding of the "compelling imperatives" for success in a complex, highly competitive business climate. The focus of this session is on business development, quantum leap growth, alternative channels of distribution and marketing success.
- Brand-Building For Your Future (Branding)
Products are consumed. Brands are purchased. In our branded world, we make Xerox copies, blow our nose in Kleenex, snack on Jell-O, relax in the Jacuzzi and cover wounds with Band-Aids. From Nike on our hats to Tommy on our shirts to Swatch on our watches and Starbucks in our cups, branding is critical to business development. This session focuses on the philosophy, strategy, guiding principles and "best practices" to create, build, maintain and manage brand success. After all, regardless of what your title is, everyone's a brand manager… Great examples, provocative anecdotes and purposeful humor make this a great session, especially when customized for the industry, client and event. Everyone's a brand manager!
- Change Is Inevitable. Growth Is Optional. (Change, Re-invention)
There is one constant in life (and business)… change! Yet, change is not new. What is new is the incredible speed of change. Industries, companies and careers have gone from "distinction" to "extinction" because of their inability to adapt, adjust and master change. This session offers a high-content, high-energy, "hands on" approach to embracing, as well as capitalizing on change in business building. After all, change is to business what oxygen is to life.
- Strength In Numbers (Strategic Alliances)
Call it business development synergies, joint ventures, partnering, or strategic alliances… there is truly "strength in numbers!" This highly interactive keynote educates and motivates companies of all sizes (entrepreneurial, second tier, mid-size, multi-national) on the importance, power and viability of alliances. After all, we are fast-moving into "The Age of Collaboration." Collaborative advantage leads to competitive advantage.