public service

Leon Panetta – “Dodging Nuts and Greatest Influences”

by Bernie Swain
As an American statesman, Leon Panetta has served in various public service roles—Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA and White House Chief of Staff to name a few. Here he explains how his Italian immigrant parents, and a few other factors, had an everlasting influence on his life. I’m the son of Italian immigrants who, like millions of others, made their way to the United States in the early 1930s. My parents, who came from Calabria, Italy. They spoke … Continue reading "Leon Panetta – “Dodging Nuts and Greatest Influences”"

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Dot Richardson – Girls Can’t Play Ball

by Bernie Swain
I knew as a young child that God had given me the gift of athletic ability. Whether I was throwing a ball, racing around on my bike, or climbing a tree, I felt completely alive, filled with a spirit that was larger than myself. In school, girls weren’t allowed to try out for the teams, but I played pickup games of baseball, basketball, and kickball after school. Sports just came naturally to me, and I felt the Lord’s pleasure when … Continue reading "Dot Richardson – Girls Can’t Play Ball"

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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"

chief of staff reagan

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?"