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Maria Ross    

Dynamic Brand Strategist, Author & Brain Aneurysm Survivor

Maria Ross is a storyteller: She's a brand strategist, author, and speaker who believes cash flow, compassion and creativity are not mutually exclusive.

Maria helps your audience understand the art and science of branding, the keys to irresistible storytelling, the mindset of customer delight...and uses her own harrowing health experiences to share how they can overcome adversity, stay focused and reignite passion. All with actionable advice, humor, and inspiration.

A champion for small businesses, startups, fast-growth businesses and entrepreneurs. Maria is the author of Branding Basics for Small Business: How to Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget, 2nd Edition (Norlights Press), which shows organizations and entrepreneurs a proven process to align on strategy, articulate a unique brand story and accelerate growth. She is also the author of the The Juicy Guides for Entrepreneurs eBook series,and a personal memoir, Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life.

Her latest book, THE EMPATHY EDGE: Harnessing the Value of Compassion as an Engine for Success (A Playbook for Brands, Leaders, and Teams) hits shelves in fall 2019 (Page Two Publishing)

As the founder and chief strategist of Red Slice, a branding and marketing consultancy, Maria Ross revels in helping small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs translate captivating stories into irresistible brands that stand out. With focused listening and vigorous research, Maria ferrets out the features that make each of her clients "irresistible" - and then translates those qualities into messaging, positioning and strategies that stick.

Prior to founding Red Slice, she crafted brand and marketing strategies for Silicon Valley start-ups, global software firms, Internet companies, entertainment powerhouses and consumer businesses -- including Business Objects (an SAP company), Discovery Networks and Monster.com - and created communication and training strategies for Fortune 1000 clients at Accenture.

In addition, Maria is a unique entrepreneur because she is a survivor. In 2008, a mere six months after satrting her own consulting firm, she nearly died from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Against the odds, she made it through recovery, got back on her feet, relaunched her business and today successfully advises clients, blogs weekly and speaks on both business and inspirational topics. Maria now shares valuable lessons full of humor and heart on how others can also overcome adversity and get back on their feet, speaking about her experience at large healthcare and medical conferences, survivor groups, and even business events.

She serves on The Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery's advisory board (SF Bay Area), as well as being a patient advisor for University of Washington Medicine. In this capacity, she has spoken to new hires, departmental clinicians, symposia attendees and more than 500 medical leaders at a leadership training event. Maria speaks about the patient experience and health literacy, and inspires by sharing the key ingredients she used to get back on her feet: patience, acceptance and humor.

A dynamic speaker, Maria delights audiences of all sizes, and happy clients notably include:

The New York Times Small Business Summit, Society for Information Management (SIM) Women, various Chambers of Commerce, Western Region of Chamber Executives, BlogHer, Ladies Who Launch, University of Washington Medical Center, Content Marketing Strategies Conference, CRAVE Urban Campfire, Institute for Healthcare Advancement, NAWBO Silicon Valley, Women in Consulting (San Francisco Bay Area), Women Business Owners (Seattle), Women in Communications (Seattle), Puget Sound Business Journal

Maria has been featured in numerous media outlets, including MSNBC, ABC News, NPR, Entrepreneur Magazine, Seattle Business, Columbus CEO and countless podcasts and talk radio shows. She currently writes for Entrepreneur.com and The Huffington Post.

When she's not speaking or helping clients boldly tell their stories, Maria is a wife and mom who enjoys Crossfit, red wine, trivia games, romping with her dog, football, and crime dramas. Her mission is simple: Engage, inform and delight.

Speech Topics


THE EMPATHY EDGE: HOW LEADERS + BRANDS CAN HARNESS THE POWER OF COMPASSION AS AN ENGINE FOR SUCCESS

Sexism. Ageism. Deep-seated, mind-clouding prejudices. Furious customers and failed business launches. Partnerships abandoned out of fear, projects destroyed by misunderstanding. Every problem that exists in the business world can be traced back to a single, common origin: Lack of empathy. When we are unwilling to place ourselves in someone else's shoes-unwilling to talk, listen, or understand another point of view-we remain paralyzed. Instead of finding solutions, we repeat the same mistakes. This impacts our professional reputation, team's productivity, customer's experience and organization's performance.

This presentation explores the value of compassion as an engine for success. Learn how you as individuals and leaders can amplify empathy through your work and bring your organizations along with you to create a better world.

With fascinating stories from company founders, change-makers and brands we know and love, Ross reveals exactly how empathy makes organizations stronger and more sustainable. ?

My book THE EMPATHY EDGE hits shelves in Fall 2019. I've already delivered this speech to hungry audiences clamoring to align their values with their work and make the world a better place, at least in the workplace. If your audience or team is struggling to do good while still doing WELL financially and don't see a clear way to combine both, this is the program to choose.

BRANDING BASICS: HOW TO CREATE AN IRRESISTIBLE BRAND ON ANY BUDGET

?I've delivered this dynamic program in short form (keynote) presentations as well as expanded it into 2-3 hour interactive workshops/team meetings for more than 10 years to delighted crowds, conferences and teams, and have evolved the content to stay fresh and relevant. Attendees always walk away with renewed focus, practical action steps, creative rejuvenation and better alignment with their team and company. If your attendees feel overwhlemed or uninspired by marketing, if your team is struggling to make a million different random marketing tactics work, or if you're looking to better connect with the RIGHT target audience more efficiently with less effort but more payoff, this is the program to choose.

REBOOT + REFRAME: HOW A FREAK ANEURYSM FLIPPED MY ENTREPRENEURIAL SWITCH

Shortly after moving to a new city and starting her own business, Maria Ross was struck down with a brain aneurysm and hemorrhage at the age of 35. Doctors dubbed her recovery "miraculous" - and after several healing months, she re-booted her brain and kick-started Red Slice, her branding consultancy, back into high gear. She's now got multiple books under her belt and her business is thriving.

But how did she make such a comeback? And what lessons can you apply to your own business, brand and life?

Helping clients re-position their companies through irresistible stories and messaging, Maria learned that the strategies that healed her body and soul were equally applicable to business, branding and entrepreneurship.

Come hear Maria's inspirational- and humorous - journey back to strength and success, and get inspired by her hard-won insights into work/life balance, company branding, business moxie and personal growth.

STAND OUT: 3 KEYS FOR DIFFERENTIATING YOUR BRAND FROM THE PACK

The business world is more challenging today than it was even two years ago-filled with "me-too" competitors and an overwhelming number of marketing options. Prospects are too busy and the market is too crowded for them to figure you out. So how do you stand out? How do you tell your story and convey your value?

Strategist and author Maria Ross will help you become crystal clear about your brand, your story, and your target audience. She'll show you how to craft an irresistible brand and share it with the right people at the right time, dramatically impacting your bottom line and separating your from the pack.

THE 7 DEADLY SINS OF BRANDING: HOW TO AVOID ETERNAL STAGNATION

Discover and learn how to avoid the Seven Deadly Branding Sins that most organizations commit so you can engage, inform, and delight more clients and customers - and keep them coming back for more.

REBOOTING MY BRAIN: SEVEN LESSONS A FREAK ANEURYSM CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT BOUNCING BACK FROM CRISIS

Come hear Maria's inspirational- and humorous - journey back to strength and success, and get inspired by her hard-won insights into life balance, work stress, gratitude, time management and focus. Her story will have you laughing and crying as she offers practical lessons you can apply to your own everyday adversities right now....rather than waiting for a life-threatening crisis to hit.

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