State Assembly Introductions

On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar introduced mountaineers into the State Assembly of New York who were responsible for bringing forth legislation for New York State to recognize May 29th at Mt. Everest Day. May 29th was the first day Mt. Everest was summitted by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and represents what one can achieve through hard work and discipline while also reminding us what we stand to lose if we do not respect or care for it.


Roger Härtl, M.D. talks about 7 traits of an explorer and chooses Vanessa O’Brien as an example for perseverance at The Grolier Club.

The Importance of Team Work

“It was imperative that we start the year off right – with a new management team focused on the customer.  Vanessa’s presentation demonstrated how different people can come together to make the impossible happen, as long as they stay focused on the goal and avoid behavioural traits that undermine team dynamics. As we seek to reach our own summit (or marketing vision), focusing on what one can control vs what one cannot was a poignant message for the team, especially in light of rapidly changing internal and external environments.”

— Tyrrell Schmidt, Chief Marketing Officer, TD Bank, US

April 5, 2022

What Expeditions Teach Us About a Crisis

“Thank you so much for presenting at our virtual fiscal year meeting to our 1,500+ colleagues from around the world. Your presentation was very motivational and contained great examples of how a crisis, just like an expedition, does not happen in normal times. However, through leadership, truthfulness and decision making, an organization can ensure success rather than failure.”

— Silke Ehmann-Cotichini, Team Manager Brand Positioning, International Marketing Division

Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH
April 1, 2022
Links: Website

Exploration Through Heritage

“Using Zoom, Vanessa O’Brien charmed our audience and engaged us with a story fuelled with determination and wit about how she left a successful career in finance for the adversity of the highest mountains on the planet. During her numerous expeditions, she skilfully weaves in personal reflections from her life – triggered by events on the journey. It is a testament to her character, that she reveals one of the subtitles of her book is, “Finding Humility”. Vanessa’s electrifying story of endurance, perseverance, athleticism, and courage is both inspiring and riveting.”

— Matthew F. Culen, VP Slovak-American Cultural Center

Slovak-American Culture Center 2021 Webinar Series
February 25, 2021
Links: Website | Press