First Blind Executive to Complete the Harvard Leadership Program, Creator of Software Silicon Valley Thought Impossible, Blind Black Diamond Skier and Author of Blind Ambition

Chad E. Foster
Speaking Fee: $10,000 to $20,000

Travels From: Available Upon Request

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Chad E. Foster At A Glance:

As an award-winning business leader, international keynote speaker, and author of Blind Ambition™, Chad explains the anatomy of resilience—providing tried and tested tools that empower people to emerge from setbacks stronger, sleeker, and resolute to succeed. Connecting inspiration to implementation™, Chad shares the insights gained from going blind at 21, and bouncing back to build massive enterprise value—enabling your team to embody the mindsets for success, adopting narratives that change the meaning of the challenges they face. They’ll learn how to get comfortable with discomfort, equipping your organization to turn disadvantages into advantages, and obstacles into opportunities — creating a more resilient leadership culture and inviting diversity to drive business innovation.

Chad E. Foster believes he is successful not despite being blind, but rather because of it. He embraced his problem and turned it into a solution.

Can you imagine going blind just as you’re getting ready to go to college? When most people were preparing for the adventure of adult life, Chad was watching the world he grew up in fade to black. But that didn’t stop him from becoming the first blind person to graduate from the Harvard Business School leadership program. Or from climbing the corporate ladder as a highly successful finance and sales executive “rainmaker.” Or from developing the first customer relationship software for the visually impaired. Or from becoming an avid black diamond skier.

The author of the book Blind Ambition: How to Go from Victim to Visionary (HarperCollins Leadership, 2021), Chad’s remarkably active, positive approach challenges traditional ideas of peak performance and inspires audiences to lean into the disadvantages that make them strong and unique. In entertaining, high-energy presentations, his tough-minded, matter-of-fact lessons and outlook motivate teams and individuals to overcome their perceived limits, change the story, stop the excuses, see the possibilities and achieve any goal.

Currently, Chad works at Red Hat, one of the most innovative technology companies and the world’s largest open-source software company. Chad’s story has been featured in Forbes, the Atlanta Journal ConstitutionUSA Today, and Chief Executive Magazine. The Atlanta Opera has commissioned an opera inspired by his life story.

  • Blind Ambition™: How to Go From Victim to Visionary

    In this signature keynote, Chad will entertain, inspire, and move your audience, while teaching them how to shift their mindset from being a victim to a visionary. Going blind at 21-years-old and facing a life with seemingly limited opportunities, Chad had to reinvent himself before even having had a shot at success.

    Turning obstacles into opportunities, he became a Harvard-educated business “rainmaker,” created countless jobs for others with a software tool he developed, and now he teaches teams how to cultivate resilient mindsets, adapt and thrive in change, and set ambitious goals—and he gives them the right mindset and the practical tools they can use to implement and achieve them.

  • No More Comfort Zones: Growth Through Adversity

    Life without obstacles removes opportunity for growth. For any of us to grow, we need to step outside our comfort zones. In this powerful keynote, Chad teaches how the obstacles that lie in front of us can propel us towards our goals.

    Every organization finds itself face-to-face with problems that can seem insurmountable. Beyond Chad’s personal path of overcoming overwhelming odds, his business track record for moving through challenges and improving results gives a unique perspective on how comfort zones hold us back.

    Chad will talk about how he’s not successful in spite of being blind. He is successful because he’s blind. He embraced his problem and turned it into a solution. In this session Chad will teach your teams how to realize exponential growth through adversity.

  • Diversity: The Engine for Innovation

    Chad was born part of the mainstream majority, but after going blind in college, he was treated differently as a disabled person. After living over 20 years in both groups, his unique experience of both worlds allows him to equip your teams to think differently about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

    Chad goes beyond just valuing each person. He shows audiences how diversity drives business innovation. We know that plurality of thought creates change, and when harnessed correctly, change drives innovation. How can we create a culture that invites diversity of thought to be welcomed with a seat at the table, so that every individual feels emboldened to contribute? This session shows how you can unlock the value of diversity in your workplace to power the innovation your business needs to thrive.

What an inspirational speaker and person! Thank you Chad for the inspiration, reality check, and reminding us to reframe our world. “Use your disadvantages to your advantage”

— G.G. | Director, Sales

Exceptional presentation yesterday! You were the talk of the company leaving the event, throughout the evening, and on calls this morning. The best public speech I've ever heard. Well Done!

— S.M. | Sales Specialist, Sales

Got to say that Chad gave one of the most inspirational talks I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Great messages delivered with humor and style.

— R.B | Account Manager, Sales

I’ve heard Chad talk about the choice to be happy, and how it has nothing to do with circumstances… Personally, I was transformed.

— Tomer Zvulun | The General and Artistic Director of the Atlanta Opera

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