Host: Rachel Cooke, COO, Brandon Hall Group

Guest: Bonnie St. John, Paralympic Ski Medalist, Rhodes Scholar, former White House Official, Corporate Leadership Expert, and Best-Selling Author

We had the honor of having Bonnie St. John as our keynote speaker earlier this year at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference 2016. Bonnie captivated our attendees and inspired everyone so much, that we are delighted that she will rejoin us Jan. 25 at HCM Excellence Conference 2017, held at the PGA National Resort and Spa, Palm Beach Gardens Florida. shutterstock_462328885

Bonnie has risen to the highest standards of achievement in a variety of endeavors throughout her life.  Despite having her right leg amputated at age five, she became the first African-American to win Olympic or Paralympic medals in ski racing, taking home silver and two bronze medals in downhill events at the 1984 Paralympics. Bonnie continued to focus on her academics, graduated from Harvard University, and Oxford. Later, she was appointed Director for Human Capital Policy on the White House National Economic Council, and became a successful author, speaker, and consultant.

In this HCMx Radio episode, Bonnie talks about her personal and professional journey, a new book that will be released soon called, Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts for Major Boosts in Focus, Drive, and Energy, which she co-authored with Allen Haines, and the sessions that she will lead at our conference.

I’m thrilled to kick-off the first day of our conference (Jan. 25) with an intimate interview with Bonnie and her daughter, Darcy Deane, as we dive into some of the interesting conversations they had captured from incredible women leaders from around the world. Bonnie co-authored the bestseller, How Great Women Lead, with her then-teenage daughter, Darcy, in 2012. Together they traveled around the world on an extraordinary mother-daughter journey into the lives, and life lessons, of fascinating women leaders including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, fashion designers, CEOs, women rights activists, and much more.

Following the session on How Great Women Lead, Bonnie will deliver an exciting interactive workshop, Micro-Resilience: Illuminating Insights into High-Performance Leadership and Engagement, where she will introduce the framework based on extensive research in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and physiology. Attendees will leave the workshop with powerful new tools to conquer key stressors that impede their ability to lead and perform at a high level. The workshop will:

  • Explain why Micro-Resilience leads to high performance in ways that other techniques cannot.
  • Teach the five frameworks of Micro-Resilience: Refocus your brain; reset your primitive alarms; reframe your attitude; refresh your body; renew your spirit.
  • Help set priorities and actionable commitments to integrate micro-resilience into your professional and personal life.

I invite you to listen to our two-part series with Bonnie St. John. The first episode focuses on the Micro-Resilience workshop. You can download the podcast anytime at the HCMx Radio site. Then check back Dec. 7 to access Part 2 — a sneak preview of interesting takes-aways that Bonnie will cover during HCM Excellence Conference 2017 on How Great Women Lead.

Rachel Cooke, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Hall Group



PART 1 of This Two-Part Series

PART 2 of This Two-Part Series


Rachel Cooke

Chief Operating Officer Rachel Cooke Rachel is responsible for business operations including overseeing client services, research events and project management. Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Rachel was the Chief Operating Officer Co-founder of AC Growth. Rachel has over 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, and sales performance management. Prior to AC Growth, she held several senior management roles and was on the leadership team at Bersin & Associates, a pioneer analyst firm in e-learning and now industry leading HR and talent Research Company. In her Senior Director role, Rachel developed the strategy and led the commercial execution of the solution provider vertical, and grew the vertical into the company’s largest market segment. In her role as Director of Sales, Rachel developed and led a team of senior account executives focused on acquiring global strategic accounts. Rachel was solely responsible for developing key business relationships with over ninety companies including industry icons, such as: Adidas, Hewlett-Packard, Toyota, Oracle, Starbucks, Avnet, Boeing, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway Inc., Wells Fargo, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Clorox and Affiliated Computer Services. Rachel began her career in the banking, media and hospitality industries. In these industries, Rachel held several key senior management and executive sales positions. Rachel received a BA in social science and interdisciplinary studies with honors from Florida Atlantic University. Rachel continued her postgraduate education by completing a series of executive management education courses from American Management Association.