A letter from Carol Fetzer, CEO, Forte Speakers
It is my pleasure to tell you a little bit about Forte Speakers, where we’ve come from, and the reasons we’re excited about what we do.
Forte’s expertise in the professional speaking field began with an event production business that I launched in Hawaii in 1983 – Milestone Events. Together with my team of committed associates, we produced a number of major conferences and events annually, contracting top speakers and expert seminar leaders to inspire, motivate, educate and/or entertain sold out audiences. Some of the presenters that we have helped to launch including Tony Robbins, Robert Kiyosaki, Marshall Thurber, Stephen Covey, and Eric Jensen, among others.
In 1990, I joined the Walt Disney Company, Disney University in Orlando, Florida, and gained a wealth of experience and knowledge from “the masters” about exceeding expectations, excellence in customer service, attention to detail, impeccability, and great presentations. I also had the opportunity to travel and keynote for Disney, and gained first-hand experience of the speaker’s world, which is invaluable to me now.
Not too many years later I headed to the Rocky Mountains of Utah to work for Dr. Stephen Covey at the Covey Leadership Center. There I became the producer of CLC’s and, later, FranklinCovey’s annual International Symposium, client Executive Dialogues, and user group meetings around the country, and had the opportunity to work closely with speakers bureaus to find, select and contract top speakers. My last two years at FranklinCovey also included managing their speakers’ bureau.
A year with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) in Alexandria, Virginia, co-planning some of their national meetings, provided an even greater understanding of the expectations, needs and concerns of meeting and events planners, and introduced me to education leaders across the country as I worked with them to improve their services to their associate members. Since 2002 I have also consulted with Quantum Learning, a global education company dedicated to leading edge professional development in teaching and learning. This work has taken me to many states across the U.S. as I’ve worked with school districts and education associations, providing consulting and professional development for educators at all levels. It has also afforded me the opportunity to recommend and place keynote, plenary and featured speakers in state and national education conferences across the country.
Our partnership includes my husband, Col. Dan Fetzer (U.S. Air Force Retired), and myself. Dan earned his MBA with a focus on systems management and project planning (talk about attention to detail!). He’s a former fighter pilot and chief adviser to General Norman Schwarzkopf in nuclear, biological and chemical warfare defense. He is the Chief Operations Officer at Forte Speakers, and oversees contracts and all speaker related logistics. Dan has been instrumental since we founded Forte Speakers in 2002 in creating precise, highly effective administrative systems that make it possible for us to give our clients excellent service.
Dan and I have a small core team of associates including Sue Pepe, Copyeditor; Amanda Helding, Administrator; and Geoff Nelson, Website Manager. The rest of our great Forte team include speaker consultants across the country. We are all excited to work for you. We partner with corporations, small businesses, professional associations, school districts, universities, schools, hospitals, government and military organizations, non-profits, and many other types of trade and industry organizations to provide the most relevant, dynamic, and engaging speakers and workshops leaders for their meetings and events. Our services for you include a discovery conversation to learn your specific needs and interests for your event, the make up of your audience, current initiatives and issues, budget, other events that will be happening during your meeting, any frustrations with past meetings, and anything else we can learn that will help us to make the best recommendations of possible speakers for your meeting. Then we partner with you all along the way to relieve you of some of the stress you might normally have regarding arranging your speakers. We take care of any necessary speaker travel and logistics so that you don’t have to!
We love the energy, vision, and creativity that go into planning excellent events and making a difference in the success of companies, organizations, non-profit associations, and people. And we can’t wait to work for you!
Carol Fetzer, Co-Founder and CEO, Forte Speakers
Sue Pepe, Copyeditor
Forté provides editorial support (for a fee) including copyediting and proofreading services for speakers’ for their biographies, profiles and speech topics. She also supports us with our marketing materials and other written communication. Our chief copyeditor is Sue Pepe. Sue earned her BA in Communication and her MA in Speech. She has been writing, editing, proofreading and correcting grammar in hundreds of kinds of documents and communications for 20+ years. Sue has an impressive track record in sales, conference direction, training, speaker recruitment, program management, and strategic partnership development.
Amanda Helding, Administrator
Amanda Helding is our bureau administrator. She manages the speakers’ presenter packets and logistical information, documentation on speaking engagements, communications, and general record keeping. She also assists with our social media marketing, research, and event planning. Amanda has worked with Forte Speakers for over 10 years.
Geoff Nelson, Systems Administrator
Geoff Nelson has maintained highly available web infrastructures for over 10 years. He specializes in Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure and the LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL, PHP) web stack. Geoff maintains our corporate network, web presence, and security.