Gail Blanke is founder, president, and chief executive officer of Lifedesigns, LLC, a company whose vision is to empower men and women worldwide to live truly exceptional lives.
A celebrated motivational speaker, renowned personal life and executive coach and best selling author, Gail’s fifth book, THE MONDAY MORNING MOTIVATOR…How Good Could You Make It? has been published on Amazon.com. The book is a collection of Gail’s “Monday Morning Motivators” blogs read by over ten thousand loyal fans for nearly six years. The motivation blog – sometimes funny, sometimes moving, but always filled with practical ways to move forward with chutzpah and optimism, has inspired segments on the Today Show and was named by More magazine as one of their all-time favorite blogs. Gail’s mission is nothing less than to change the world’s focus from “How bad could it get?” to How good could I make it?”…one Monday, one person at a time. “Okay,” she admits, “it’s a ‘stretch goal’ but I’m gaining on it…”
Gail’s last book, Throw Out Fifty Things – Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life, winner of the prestigious “Books for a Better Life” award from the Multiple Sclerosis Society, has been featured frequently on The Today Show, CNN International and CBS Sunday Morning. Her book. Between Trapezes, Flying into a New Life with the Greatest of Ease, about thriving on change and mastering the art of self re-invention, was included on the oprahselects.com list of “must have” books and her book In My Wildest Dreams, Living the Life You Long For appeared on Amazon.com’s Best Selling Books list the New York Times Business Best Seller List. Gail was the sole guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show where she used concepts from her book to help empower audience members to create the lives of their dreams.
A highly sought after executive coach, presentation skills trainer and expert in executive presence, Ms. Blanke, who majored in acting at the Yale Graduate School of Drama, has advised CEO’s, presidential candidates, college presidents – a jazz musician and a stand-up comic. Current clients include executives at GE, HSBC, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Merck, TIAA-Cref, Bank of America, McGraw Hill Financial, Feeding America and Gannett. A presidential candidate remarked, “You’ve enabled me to find qualities in myself I didn’t know I had and express myself with power, grace and persuasion. What a difference you’ve made…If I’d met you 10 years earlier, I’d be President by now.”
Considered one of the finest female motivational speakers in the country, she has delivered keynote addresses and leaderships workshops for scores of corporations including GE, MasterCard, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, AXA Financial, Citigroup, Bank of America, Merck, American Express, Harvard Business School Women’s Alumnae Association and the National Federation of Women Legislators. She’s also delivered keynotes for students at Beijing University, the University of Virginia, the Stern School of New York University and Columbia, among others. Articles about Ms. Blanke and her books have appeared in Newsweek, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook and Self. O, The Oprah Magazine, refers to Gail as “The Motivational Maven.” She frequently gives keynote addresses for the American Heart Association and is a member of the board of the New York Chapter. She describes her own “Surprise! You Need Heart Surgery!” story on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, on AOL in a segment called, “Living Forward” and in a column for Real Simple entitled “Follow Your Instincts.”
Ms. Blanke has won numerous prestigious awards including the Matrix Award presented by New York Women in Communications, the International Women’s Forum “Women Who Make a Difference Award,” and the Star Award from the New York Women’s Agenda. She’s a past president of the New York Women’s Forum, a past chairman of the board of Fashion Group, International and was among the first wave of women to be inducted into te YWCA Academy of Women Achievers.
Ms. Blanke was one of the youngest female senior vice presidents of Avon Products, Inc., where, in addition to her responsibilities as head of global communications, she motivated and inspired Avon’s millions of sales representatives to live the lives of their wildest dreams. She launched the widely acclaimed Avon Breast Cancer Awareness Crusade, which has raised nearly $1 billion to date. Prior to her experience at Avon, Ms. Blanke held numerous executive positions at CBS including manager of special promotions for the New York Yankees.
Married to the writer, F. James Cusick, whose most recent book is, Death of An Anchorman, Ms. Blanke has two grown daughters, Kate and Abigail and lives in New York City. She’s related to the orator and presidential candidate, William Jennings Bryan and the beloved stripper, Gypsy Rose Lee…