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lessons from old country

Donna Shalala – Lessons from the Old Country

by Bernie Swain
I was a Kennedy Kid.  I was a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio when John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960. JFK was young and charismatic, energetic and idealistic. In his inauguration speech in January 1961, he famously said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I felt as if he was speaking directly to me, and I took his challenge to heart. Peace … Continue reading "Donna Shalala – Lessons from the Old Country"

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Sam Donaldson – Knowing Your Worth In Life

by Bernie Swain
I was born in El Paso, Texas, in 1934 and grew up on our family farm in New Mexico. My father, also Sam Donaldson, had bought the farm in 1910, two years before New Mexico became a state. My mother, Chloe Hampson Donaldson, was a schoolteacher. I went to the New Mexico Military Institute and then to Texas Western College in El Paso. I’ve always been fascinated by broadcasting. My mother bought a radio after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor … Continue reading "Sam Donaldson – Knowing Your Worth In Life"

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Wharton Business School Interviews Bernie Swain

by Bernie Swain
I had the fortune of being interviewed by Wharton Business Radio recently. Host Mike Useem and I discuss my journey building the Washington Speakers Bureau with no experience and turned it into the largest and most respected speaker's agency in the world. I also delve into my book What Made Me Who I Am and the first-hand accounts and defining moments in the lives of 34 of the speakers from Terry Bradshaw to Colin Powell. Click Here to Listen on Soundcloud. 

what made me who I am

What You Find When You Start Cutting Corners In Life

by Bernie Swain
Two years after starting our company (in a stationary closet), we were having some success. Nothing earth shaking mind you, just enough success that I knew what it was like and wanted more. But success, especially when you have not experienced it before, often breeds temptation. “What corners could I cut?” I thought. “How could I make this happen faster?” All sorts of ideas went through my head. Around the same time, we were interested in representing football coach Lou … Continue reading "What You Find When You Start Cutting Corners In Life"

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James Baker III – Did I Make Them Proud?

by Bernie Swain
James Baker III is an American statesman and attorney. He served as White House Chief of Staff and the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, and as U.S. Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush. He is the best of what we want in a public statesman. He is the man who made Washington work. He is what Donald Trump can use now. I’m a product of Texas. … Continue reading "James Baker III – Did I Make Them Proud?"