A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.
How can a businesswoman and mom outperform the U.S. Navy Seals? Here’s how: through grit, determination, and resilience. With two decades of executive experience in the highly competitive fitness industry, and a triumphant finish in the world’s most grueling endurance challenge, Yvonne Camus shows us how the principles of teamwork, diversity, and perseverance create high-performance success—even in the most unlikely conditions.
Yvonne Camus was the sole female member on the first rookie team to ever complete the Eco-Challenge: the world championship of adventure racing conceived by Survivor’s Mark Burnett. The single mom and senior executive trained obsessively for an expedition that, up until then, even the U.S. Navy Seals hadn’t been able to complete. Their odds of finishing were placed at a disheartening zero, but that didn’t stop Camus and her team from rising to the challenge. Punchy, deeply moving, and often quite funny, Camus draws on her experience of training, preparation, and execution to illustrate the value of perseverance. In the process, she helps us realize the potential for grit and greatness in ourselves, in our co-workers, and in our entire organization. Her talks help us understand how we can recreate high-performance outcomes, even when the odds are stacked against us.
Camus served as the COO of SPINCO, Canada’s largest indoor cycling brand, where she handled day-to-day operational management and implements enterprise-wide procedures. Previously, she was COO of the fitness club World Health, where she oversaw more than 600 employees, and World Health’s sister companies, Orange Theory Fitness and Fresh Fit Foods.
Yvonne was amazing. She was perfect for our group—great personality fit, and her story and business acumen aligned perfectly with what we were looking for. We had covered so much the day before and it was starting to all sound the same, but when Yvonne came, she put things into a different perspective and really helped our team see things differently and identify our challenges.Finexio
She was inspiring, engaging, fun and really set the tone for the rest of the retreat on the importance of working together and putting our work challenges into perspective. She is an amazing speaker and we feel very lucky to have had her attend and speak at our retreat, so please pass along our huge thanks to Yvonne for her time and inspiration.PwC
Excellent speaker. Very energetic. This was probably the most amazing motivation session I ever attended, with examples which were linked to business. Yvonne was so captivating ... it would be great if we could summarize and circulate her list of key messages. Yvonne was very effective in relating her experience to business. This made a very effective and meaningful message. Very energizing, dynamic speaker with lots of great practical advice.Sun Life Financial
Yvonne did a spectacular job at drawing in her audience. You went through a whirlwind of emotions starting with complete awe (at what the Eco challenge entails and how a woman (and man) can undergo such mental and physical fatigue to get it done), ew (at all the bug and leech stories ), empathy (at all the sore feet and physical hurting stories), hope (at the sail being added to the boat and especially her dad’s email saying, “I am so proud of you” … made me tear up), relief (when she and her team completed the challenge), triumph (when her Canadian team placed 3rd!), and touched (when she ended up marrying one of her team members!!). Yvonne was truly the best. What a professional and electrifying speaker! Hopefully we can do business with her again because she would be a sensational keynote.GLC Asset Management Group
Yvonne’s ability to take her experience and deliver it in such a way that she understood the character profile of the group and that she needed to move fast and be entertaining yet motivating, was sensational. Her talent in paralleling many of her experiences to some very key issues that the dealers are facing today was also quite brilliant.GM Canada
Yvonne was fantastic! She spoke with enthusiasm, dedication and endurance, everything that I am sure she applies to her races. She inspired and motivated the entire team. So much so, that most of us were crying by the end and many of our guests said it was the highlight of the week. Thank you to your team for recommending her and arranging all of the details. I would recommend The Lavin Agency to any of my contacts moving forward and hope to include another great speaker for next year.MDS Nordion
Yvonne was an absolute home run. It was a fairly large room with big double viewing screens for the entire audience and Yvonne's presentation content and style were exceptional. She drew so many parallels between so many of their team’s almost impossible challenges back through to challenges companies face at the corporate level ... a great link that definitely resonated with the audience.Canadian Association of Independent Life Brokerage Agencies
I would like to thank you for your incredibly inspiring and motivating presentation to our staff. I am still hearing comments a week later as to how insightful and powerful your presentation was to the participants. You have an excellent presentation style and you kept the audience on the edge of their seats. People appreciated your lessons learned as well as your sense of humour. I can’t wait until we bring you back!Halifax Regional Municipality
Wanted to let you know that we have received wonderful reviews on Yvonne Camus. The clients thought she was amazing and very motivating. She made them laugh, cry and end being inspired. She was worth every penny! Thank you for the recommendation!Putnam Investments
The best expression I have to capture the audience reactions to Yvonne's presentation last week is WOW! Yvonne and I spent about an hour and a half together a few weeks prior to her presentation and she totally captured the message which, combined with her presentation style, was a tremendous start to our one-day shareholder meeting.Farm Mutual Financial
I just want to say WOW! Yvonne Camus was absolutely fascinating and her presentation kept the audience captivated. She was amazing! The audience loved her presentation and gave her a standing ovation at the end. As I was driving Yvonne from the airport and back I realized that she is also a great friend we hope to see again in the near future. We loved her!FundEX Investments Inc.
The feedback we have received since your appearance has been excellent. Your presentation on “Lessons for Survival in Life and Business” was very motivational, powerful and entertaining. You touched so many people’s hearts with your inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it with us.Small Business Club Niagara
You rocked our world. Perfect messaging. Incredible imagery. Powerful content. Dramatic and authentic delivery. One of the best I have ever attended or had the pleasure to watch in person.The Dial Corporation
Defined by preeminent psychologist Angela Duckworth as the “perseverance and passion for long-term goals,” the concept of grit has become a focal point in our culture. Doctors, researchers, teachers, parents, leaders, and organizations are all desperately trying to understand this characteristic, which appears tightly correlated with success. But what is even more imperative than understanding grit, is putting it into practice.
While the research around grit is fascinating, few of us truly know what it means to be gritty. Yvonne Camus is one of the few, and one of the very best. A single mom, a senior executive, and a successful competitor in the grueling adventure race known as the Eco Challenge, Camus has proven herself as a paragon of strength, courage, and determination. In this talk, she shares the most important characteristics of grit, and how to cultivate them. Relentless practice is certainly part of the equation—Camus put in hours and hours of excruciating, backbreaking preparation for the Eco Challenge—but more than that, it’s about an ability to confront the possibility of failure head-on. Camus and her team had non-existent odds of finishing the race, but they pushed through to the very end. With humility and grace, Camus shows us not only how she developed the physical endurance necessary to compete, but the emotional resilience needed to survive—and one of the qualities of grit that allows us to dare greatly.
“We can’t do it alone, and thank goodness we don’t have to,” says Yvonne Camus. The only thing that got her through the world’s toughest 24-hour/day, 300-mile adventure race, was the power of the people who supported and worked alongside her. In this inspiring talk, the athlete and COO discusses how her team prepared for the inevitable hardships they were going to face along the way. It was one of the most powerful, and most effective, conversations they had throughout the entire journey. Together, they came up with a bulletproof strategy for success. By committing to an all-hands-on-deck mentality, the group created an equal, shared sense of ownership; where each person felt a sense of responsibility, without the weight of the entire operation on their shoulders.
Camus takes these insights outside of the jungle, revealing the leadership, execution, and team-building that allowed four ordinary people to reach an extraordinary, unprecedented team finish—beating even the U.S. Navy Seals. She leaves us with a deep understanding of how to build a solutions-focused organization, underpinned by a collaborative approach to problem-solving and a willingness to work together.
During The Eco Challenge, teams from around the world race 24-hours a day, covering over 300 miles, to cross the finish line. It is the world’s ultimate expedition. Originally conceived by Survivor’s Mark Burnett in the 1990s, The Eco Challenge returns this year with the help of adventurer Bear Grylls as host and executive producer. The rules remain the same: the only way to win the challenge is with your entire team still standing. If you lose a player to injury, exhaustion, or disagreement, the entire squad is eliminated. Yvonne Camus is the only woman on the first ever rookie team to complete the challenge. So, how did this team—with their odds placed at zero—triumph in the face of adversity? In this motivational talk, Camus takes us into the world of Eco Challenge, sharing the stress, fatigue, adventure, athleticism, and teamwork that she experienced on her road to victory. She teaches us how we can apply those survival lessons to our own life, cultivating a sense of grit, determination, and ambition necessary for achieving our dreams.
When we’re feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, we become unable to live and work at our full potential. How can we navigate workplace pressures, stress, and the noise of living in a digitally connected world? An athlete and COO, Yvonne Camus is uniquely experienced in high-performance living. In this talk, she shares lessons for how we can avoid burnout, pursue health, and optimize our success in a way that’s sustainable over the course of the long-term. She combines her knowledge on nutrition, exercise, relaxation, and mindset with the lessons she learned from competing in the Eco-Challenge (the punishing 12-day adventure race conceived by Mark Burnett) to show us how we, too, can live a high performance life.