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Marilyn Tam

Business Leadership & Diversity Expert

With the experience of a global business leader and the communications skills of a best selling author and global speaker, Marilyn Tam offers you the tools, experience and perspective needed to excel and be successful and happy in today’s fast-changing world. If you want the motivation, wisdom, and success principles from a renowned self-made immigrant woman business leader, Marilyn is the speaker for you.

Santa Barbara, California, USA


The Happiness Choice: 5 Decisions that Take You From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
Happiness is a choice. In 2012 Gallup’s research showed that in the USA, $550 billion worth of productivity was lost due to unhappiness and poor wellbeing. People want contentment, love, and happiness derived from meaningful work. They want healthy personal relationships, a healthy mind and body, a spiritual core, and a reason for living. But with only 24 hours in a day and the competing demands of modern life, how can you achieve all of this?

The author of The Happiness Choice, speaker Marilyn Tam shares what she learned from being an unwanted, neglected, and abused child in Hong Kong to becoming an international business success and humanitarian who is happy, healthy, and at peace with herself. In this presentation, you will learn the principles, tools, and philosophies Tam and others have used to achieve a productive, healthy, and joyful life. You’ll learn what will help power your organization, employees and yourself to greater creativity, productivity and happiness.

How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want – Leadership and Personal Excellence: How You Can Achieve It
Whatever qualities you have, no matter how limited or broad that they may be in your own mind, global corporate executive, entrepreneur and humanitarian Marilyn Tam will show you how to use what you’ve got to achieve your dreams. What seemed to be disadvantages in Marilyn’s life were in fact her keys to personal and professional success and freedom.

As someone who has broken the glass ceiling, she will share the leadership skills and character traits that really work. Starting from where you are now she leads you to assess your own inherent talents and skills and how to utilize them to your benefit. Hear motivational real life stories, determine your life mission, learn the four key Principles, and then apply the action steps to achieve your dreams. She will show you how to maintain Life Balance and personal peace and happiness while achieving professional success.
You will learn from someone who has actual experience and can show you how to develop your assets and apply them effectively to your life mission. The talk/session(s) are engaging and timely; and the results are immediate and inspiring.

Diversity: How to Reap the Rich Harvest of Culture, Creativity and Community
Learning how to benefit from diversity and to be a leader in a more diverse and global world is a challenge and an opportunity. Indeed, embracing and leveraging diversity is the only way to prosper and grow in the 21st century. Hear stories, learn principles, and apply action steps from Marilyn Tam’s global business, humanitarian and consulting experience to become a more successful global leader.

A key focus is on helping leaders and employees understand how to adapt and grow their leadership styles to foster a multicultural workplace and attract and engage employees from across the cultural spectrum. As Marilyn Tam is a self-made immigrant woman of color, you will learn from someone who has actually “walked the walk”.

Women in the Workplace and Marketplace
In today’s highly competitive and interconnected world, women are invaluable to any enterprise. Yet cultural biases and structural obstacles hinder women’s progress This is a loss, for the company, as much as it is for the women. For a business to succeed and continue to thrive today, it needs to fully utilize all the resources available.

Marilyn Tam will discuss her personal experience as a corporate leader, woman, business consultant, and humanitarian and share the key factors that helped her become a successful woman in business. You will learn the elements needed to attain success and happiness as a woman in business, and how to support and foster the development of women in business. Included in the presentation will be how to deal with “glass walls” as compared to glass ceiling.

Leadership Excellence, How You Can Achieve It
To be a successful Leader in the 21st Century takes new skills and awareness. Fresh managerial tools and talents are needed to deal with today’s global business and the tighter and more visible connections between all aspects of the development, production and consumption cycle. Learn from Marilyn’s international business and humanitarian experience on how to be the more effective and productive in business and life while creating collaborative and lasting relationships.

She will discuss how to define your mission and the principles and actions steps to ensure a cohesive, productive and energized team. Strategy and outlook into how to plan and lead in today’s tumultuous and interconnected business environment will be covered. Marilyn will help you review your personal leadership style and how to enhance it to increase effective communication and maximum sustainable profitable growth and development of your organization.


Inc. | Top 100 Leadership Speakers in the World

  • Her presentation and her principles are what we believe in and how we need to operate and live to succeed. She expressed so powerfully and eloquently our mission and standards in a way that we can all understand and use to achieve our mission. Her experiences are indicative of her commitment to promoting and enhancing cross-cultural awareness and diversity throughout the world. Her achievements reflect great credit upon her, global leaders, and the United States of America.

    - Commanding General, U. S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Redstone Arsenal, Ala
  • The conference attendees LOVED the program, the content: Fabulous, dynamic speaker. Really practical application. She was dynamic and flexible to cater to audience’s needs. She was fabulous, very inspirational & uplifting. A breath of fresh air - great content - personal plus professional value.

    - Conference coordinator, Women in Technology International Annual Conference
  • You were just fantastic – great story and presentation. Such a perfect close to our Symposium. I would not change a thing – the authentic real you is about as good as it gets. Keep doing what you do - we are all better for it

    - Lead Faculty of the SEER Certificate Program, Graziadio School of Business, Pepperdine University
  • I found her real, very inspirational and, despite her achievements, quite humble.

    - Executive Director Simmons School of Management Leadership Conference
  • Your ability to take your current experiences in Asia and translate those into ethical dilemmas for the students was simply wonderful. You did a great job laying out the problems, presenting the significance of our globalized society and asking them to address the real issues. Additionally, you present such a great role model of an ethically sensitive, ethically competent and successful business person, accomplishing so much against so many obstacles, that is particularly valuable to hear what you are thinking about.

    - Professor Ethics, Enterprise & Leadership, University of California at Santa Barbara

Summary Profile

Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is an author, consultant, board certified executive coach. and founder and executive director of Us Foundation. She was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group; Vice President of Nike Inc. and also a successful entrepreneur who has built four companies.

Inc Magazine ranks her as one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world. She is one of the top 100 leadership speakers in the world according to Inc Magazine. Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally.

Marilyn is a contributing writer to Huffington Post on how to live a happy, healthy, successful, and dynamically balanced life.

She has had an extraordinarily diverse life, from her beginnings in a traditional Chinese family in Hong Kong to her meteoric rise through the executive ranks of the international business world to become an influential corporate leader, speaker, author, corporate consultant, leadership coach, and respected humanitarian.

She has developed and built four companies in fields as diverse as a corporate consulting & training company, a web portal company, a supply chain software company and an integrated health and wellness company.

Marilyn speaks and consults globally with Fortune 500 companies, governments and non-profit organizations and on Leadership, Life Balance, Gender & Diversity, Change Management and how to integrate social & environmental concerns into businesses profitably. Her NPR (Net Promoter Score), the industry standard for measuring customer satisfaction, from her clients is among the highest rated of all speakers.

She is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Us Foundation whose mission is to facilitate global action plans and dialogue to address social, economic and environmental issues. Us Foundation is one of the partners for United Nations Habitat-II, and was nominated as a candidate for the “Best Practice Award” from the United Nations’ Habitat II.

She was a two terms (maximum) director on the national board of SCORE Association, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, (SBA). SCORE provides entrepreneurial education and helps in the development, growth and success of over 500,000 small businesses nationwide.

She served on the international board of The Reebok Human Rights Awards, along with former President Jimmy Carter; renowned musicians Peter Gabriel, and Sting, Rafer Johnson, Chairman of the Special Olympics; and Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center, and Paul Fireman, Chairman of Reebok International Ltd. She was awarded The Reebok Human Rights Award for her humanitarian work.

Whether she was directly improving the lot of workers in her contract factories around the world, or developing and conducting seminars to train other entrepreneurs in business leadership programs internationally, Marilyn always gives back. She is committed to the belief that philanthropy is integral to and provides an essential balance and relevance to her work.

Marilyn was an advisor to the country of Bhutan, working with the Ministers and government officials to transition the country into the 21st Century while retaining their cultural and environmental heritage.

Marilyn was recognized as one of the Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs in the USA by Fempreneur magazine. Jack Canfield detailed her work in his book on the strategies for success, “The Success Principles”. She is featured as in the best selling book, “Fearless Women, midlife portraits” by Alspaugh, Kentz, and Halpin; Daryn Kagan, former CNN anchor spotlighted Marilyn as one who dared to dream that they can make a difference, in her book, “What’s Possible”.

She was honored with the Artemis Award for her business and humanitarian work by the Greek government and the Euro American Women’s Council in Athens, Greece, with her likeness on a Greek postage stamp. eWomenNetwork presented her with their Lifetime Achievement Award. Marilyn is featured several inspirational documentary movies including The GLOW Project, The Compass, Tapping the Source and FEMME for her accomplishments and inner wisdom.

Marilyn is a lifetime member of Who’s Who World Wide and is listed in Who’s Who in American Women.