Chris Heeter

Chris Heeter was selected as a Top Ten Speaker of 2014 by MeetingsNet, and was the highest rated speaker of Meeting Professional International's 2014 World Education Congress. She is out to create a Wild revolution in the workplace. A wilderness guide since 1984 and professional speaker since 2001, Chris has led and worked with a diverse array of teams, both canine and human! Featured on The Discovery Channel's “National Geographic Today,” she brings decades of leadership experience indoors, to conferences and offices, working with teams and leaders, helping us recognize that leadership and teamwork doesn't have to be so complicated. With remarkable parallels to the work world, Chris shares hilarious stories from her sled dog team with their quirky personalities and from guiding whitewater trips, where successfully navigating obstacles (mostly) is part of the journey.

Chris believes that teamwork and leadership boil down to three simple elements: self-knowledge, compassionate presence, and courageous conversations. In other words, it boils down to being your full Wild self—having the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do.

Chris’ “Wild" life serves as the canvas for her speaking and team-building programs. She freely admits that much of what she’s learned about humanity comes from dogs and rivers--from her team of 16 sled dogs, who she helped breed, raise, and train, to her decades of guiding whitewater canoe trips. Combined, they create the perfect back-drop for memorable, easy to apply, lasting, and life-changing tools for individuals, teams, leaders, and organizations.

Not wild enough yet? Chris recently converted a 1950's rambler into a cabin in the city (Bloomington MN) with sustainable building practices, tearing out walls, using
reclaimed barn timber flooring, installing a masonry wood stove, passive solar (for now), on-going tree planting, and creating large organic gardens.

She sits on the board of the University of Minnesota's Raptor Center, is a Wilderness First Responder and a graduate of NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). She holds a bachelor's degree in recreation and social work from George Williams College, where she recently received the Distinguished Alumnae Award. She is a poet and shares her writing and Wild Dares through her newsletter, Wild Thoughts.

She shares her life with many two and four-legged loved ones, the gifts of these connections teaching her over and over again that the bumps and the beauty of life are made sweeter by daring to live and love whole-heartedly


Most Requested Programs

WILD LEADERSHIP:

  • Work with the personalities and gifts of each team member, harness their energy and
    unique skills.
  • Guide your team through change where everyone stays on board and engaged.
  • Stop managing people, start inspiring them… Be You… and help them Be Them.

WORK ON A WILD TEAM:

  • Hone your communication skills to truly support each other and gel as a team.
  • Be more of who you are to make your team more successful and responsive.
  • Get to YES together while understanding and appreciating differences.

BE WILDLY INCLUSIVE:

  • Learn how curiosity and humility pave the way to better understanding.
  • Grow beyond the Golden Rule to “Do unto others as they would like to be done unto.”
  • Build a sense of belonging and connection for all employees and customers.

CREATE A WILD WORK CULTURE:

  • Encourage innovation by tapping into the full abilities of your workforce.
  • Increase productivity and engagement by creating a culture of readiness.
  • Disrupt your industry by being agile, open, and willing to do things differently.


Testimonials

“The big thing for me is our managers connected so much with what Chris was talking about they were immediately applying what they had learned once they returned to their teams.” - Sport Clips VP of Operations

”We had a District Manager meeting the following day where the dog house and sled team were tied in frequently to what we were discussing. Awesome!” - Regional Banking, Wells Fargo

“Thank you for sharing your gift with our team. You delivered on your commitment—people are using
your language and it is helping foster a common culture.”
- Director of Advancement, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine

“If you are seeking an engaging, extraordinary keynote speaker for your event, I highly recommend Chris Heeter. Chris presented a captivating Wild at Work session to our virtual audience. She touched our hearts and made us laugh out loud. Through stories and anecdotes, Chris directly addressed how to manage, and succeed, in leading your pack when faced with every day and unanticipated challenges. Chris was innovative and open in her approach. Don’t pass up an opportunity to work with Chris Heeter. You will be blown away!” -Cindy F., AGN International

"Thank you Chris for kicking off our 1st Quarter D+I Learning Series: “Inspiring Inclusion to Ignite Growth”. You did an amazing job yesterday leading our team through the session with powerful examples of the importance of belonging, having grace, “do overs” , not having to be perfect and so many more. By providing examples from Mozul and the crew provided a non-threatening way for our employees to better understand Inclusion and the direct connection to innovation. We appreciated you doing research to better understand the AG industry as you made many significant connections to the industry and LOL!" - Philomena Morrissey Satre, Land O’Lakes Inc.