Keynote Speakers

Tom Deierlein
Keynote Speaker and Facilitator

Travel: Tom travels from New York, New York.

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Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership

Tom explores the necessary elements of becoming a successful business unit leader and entrepreneur. This includes sharing his own business and leadership journey as well as some lessons learned and shared by other successful business professionals and Veteran Entrepreneurs along their paths as well. His latest start up went to $220 Million in sales in less than 5 years and was named a 2012 "Entrepreneur of The Year" for Greater Washington by Ernst&Young.

Persistence and Overcoming Adversity

Having been shot by a sniper and told he may never walk again, Tom shares his story of recovery, rehabilitation, and giving back to the wounded warrior community. He discusses the importance of grit and persistence in business and in life. This includes exploring failures and set-backs that we all face in our lives. The ability to overcome adversity is in all of us and Tom helps us understand how to unlock this important power within all of us. We are all competing in a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) faced with many challenges and crisis each day. Explore how to not just to survive, but thrive in this fast paced world. "Persistence alone is omnipotent" (President Coolidge). "If you want to succeed, double your failure rate" (Thomas Watson, IBM).

Leadership and Importance of Values

Tom facilitates a group discussion on the definition of leadership, the characteristics of great leaders, and the importance of values. He shares his own leadership journey which describes the values and experiences that have helped him along the way. It includes an exploration of The Army's 11 Principles of Leadership, still taught today and unchanged since 1948. It closes with an overview of how to develop and live your own personal leadership philosophy.

Non-profit Leadership

Tom explores the critical elements of leadership in the non-profit world from strategy, vision, and recruiting, to fund raising. He discusses his own TD Foundation and shares the stories of some other small and grassroots organizations including a 13 year old girl who changed generations of Africans in a small village. This includes a discussion on the role of a "servant leader". We will also explore Peter Drucker's classic "Five Questions" as well. What is Our Mission? Who is Our Customer? What Does the Customer Value? What Are Our Results? And What Is Our Plan? For those already involved or perhaps looking to make a difference for a cause, movement, or charity this is a great opportunity.

Sales 101 for Non-Sales Professionals

Tom walks non-sales executives through the basics of the B2B sales process including prospecting, 60-second elevator pitch, sales cycle management, objection handling, the sales funnel, and closing the sale. This overview is meant to demystify the process of selling so that business professionals see it for what it truly is—a well-defined and repeatable process with predictable and forecast-able results. Tom has been selling successfully for over 20 years including medical instruments, mission critical technology, media, research, and professional services. His latest start up went to $220 Million in sales in less than 5 years. He shares some insights into what it takes to be successful.

Leadership Lessons from the Military

"Military work is risky, pressured, and fast-changing. It calls for seemingly contradictory capabilities: absolute clarity about the mission at a high level, extraordinary adaptability on the ground, and a knack for managing complex, technically precise systems. These are the same skills that companies today need to prevail in a climate of intense economic uncertainty." (Harvard Business Review)

The United States military is the most highly respected and trusted organization in America. Their mission is nothing less than protecting our overall freedoms, principles, and people. They are leadership factories who begin building leaders the very first day a private or newly commissioned lieutenant begins basics training. We are all competing in a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) faced with many challenges and crisis each day. Learn how to survive and even thrive in this fast paced world using the values, principles, and characteristics of combat leaders. It includes a review of The Army's 11 Principles of Leadership still taught today and unchanged since 1948. We will explore the Army's BE, KNOW, DO leadership approach and discuss how to apply it to business and life.


Tom Deierlein, a 1989 graduate of West Point, is a successful serial entrepreneur, Airborne Ranger, Wounded Warrior and angel investor. He is passionate about leader development, business ethics, sales, overcoming adversity, and helping others less fortunate both locally and globally.

Tom was recently named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year, Greater Washington and is the co-founder and current CEO of a major systems integrator that specializes in data center solutions for the Federal government. Although started only 8 years ago, the company is already ranked #66 on the VAR 500, has over $400M in annual revenue, spent 5 years in a row on the Inc 5000, and was named by Forbes one of "America's Most Promising Companies". He has been a single digit employee and C-level executive at many successful start-up and early stage companies. Tom started his career in sales working for Johnson & Johnson and Parametric Technology Corporation in the mid-90's and is currently a partner in a real estate investment firm Bull Run Properties based in Kansas City.

A Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, Tom is a retired U.S. Army Major and Operation Iraqi Freedom Vet. Following graduation from West Point he initially spent five years on active duty first earning his Airborne Ranger qualification and then onto various leadership positions with the prestigious Berlin Brigade. In 2005, Tom was recalled to active duty and after graduating from the JFK Special Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, his Civil Affairs A-Team helped manage over $290 million in reconstruction and economic development projects in Sadr City. In September 2006, he was shot by a sniper and critically wounded. Originally told he may never walk again he has since completed the Army Ten-Miler and two triathlons.

He has been quoted and featured in Forbes, The New York Times, NBC Nightly News, PARADE, FOX News, and

In the Fall of 2006 he co-founded the TD Foundation which provides aid to children of wounded warriors and fallen heroes. They help American Veterans’ families in crisis. Tom is a Certified Peer Mentor with Wounded Warrior Project, and mentor with USSOCOM Care Coalition. He is a founding Board of Advisors member of Troops First Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of the Joseph Riverso Foundation.

Tom earned a Masters of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1993 and an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business in 2000. He lives with his wife Mary Beth and their three sons in Garden City, NY.