Testimonials from Past Speaking Engagements
"Dick Beardsley came out to speak at the Society of American Florists' Annual Convention. Dick's moving stories of his drive to become a world-class runner to his battle with Alberto Salazar in 1983 to his epic struggle to overcome drug addiction are almost beyond belief. You think to yourself “It’s a wonder he’s still alive.” But then you’re so thankful he is because his message -- delivered in his down-to-earth, easy-going style -- is heartfelt, pure and, above all, incredibly inspiring". Drew Gruenburg, Chief Operating Officer Society of American Florists
“Dick’s talk at my Senior Leaders Conference was a big success! His life story of overcoming extreme challenges, not just once but multiple times, was truly inspirational and left a very positive impression. Dick shared his experiences with a speaking style that was down-to-earth, humorous, touching, inspiring and engaging. His talk motivated us to believe that if Dick could survive, endure, and thrive then we can conquer any of our own personal challenges. I will not forget the lessons Dick shared.” Ken Wojcik, Vice President, GE Capital Retail Finance
"I have heard Bill Clinton, Lance Armstrong, and even the Dalai Lama speak. None of them meant as much to me as hearing Dick speak. His message of hope and redemption is moving and stays with you forever."Stewart Weepers, New Balance
"Passion…Persistence…Powerful are the three words I would use to describe Dick Beardsley. I met Dick when he started work with Land O’Lakes on September 12, 1988. He introduced himself by saying “Hi, I am Dick Beardsley. For the last two years I have trained for the Olympics. Obviously, I did not make the team or I would have been on a plane today headed for Seoul, South Korea.” This powerful message from a world class athlete and person is memorable because it illustrates you can be both proud and humble. Dick will help your audiences see that every setback is an opportunity for improvement; that some of the detours we take do not need to derail who we are; that being persistent and passionate about your own self-improvement is worth the effort. Help Dick see what you want to accomplish and he will help you get what you want." Dennis Gehler
“My sincerest thanks to Dick for speaking to the Running Buddies group at the Duluth YMCA! The speech was incredible. He engaged the youth from start to finish while sharing an invaluable message of perseverance and personal responsibility. I was touched and inspired by his genuine warmth. I aspire to follow his lead and radiate a calm, contagious positivity.” Brianna Hall, Running Buddies Coordinator, True North AmeriCorps Member
"Dick spoke at our annual Dairy Summit. His story had the hundreds of attendees of the edge of their seat. Dick spoke to facing life's challenges head on and dealing with adversity in a positive way. Dick's openness and transparency of his own struggles and personal battles sets an example for all of us to strive to pursue the best of our God given talents. Dick was a "featured speaker favorite" for many of us who have been long time attendees of the Dairy Summit." John Frey, Executive Director, Center for Dairy Excellence
“Dick Beardsley's inspirational talk with our students was the best we've ever had. He gave us every ounce of energy he had today; filled with laughter and tears. His piece on goal setting, persistence, and "opening doors" was important for our students to hear. He is captivating, has an unbelievable story to share, and is charismatic in his word choice and expression. I had nothing but positive feedback following our lyceum and I appreciated Mr. Beardsley's promptness, commitment, and the homework that went into knowing a little about our town and school that was built in to his presentation. The Beardsley's were easy to work with and I appreciated the organization and attention to details given by his wife in planning this event. I will be having Mr. Beardsley back in another few years.” Cory Larson, Assistant Principal, Sauk Centre Secondary School, Sauk Centre, MN
"Dick delivers powerful keynote addresses and facilitates workshops for Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon when we need someone to discuss the issues surrounding athletes and addiction. Dick’s kind demeanor and encouraging words allow him to successfully reach youth as well as adults. He continuously encourages his audiences to reach new horizons and maximize their potential in their personal development through his guidance. He truly believes "the best is yet to come" for youth, parents, families, communities, companies, and organizations because they are all reachable, teachable, lovable, and savable. The reason that Dick is such a unique, extraordinary and effective speaker and communicator about issues related to addiction use disorders is that Dick is a unique, extraordinary and effective human being that has walked this very difficult path! A true champion to me!" Adriane Deithorn, MS, Director of Development, Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon
"Powerful, motivating and entertaining! Quite simply Dick Beardsley is an amazing individual and an outstanding speaker. During his presentation to 1,000 of our students he had them laughing, crying and completely captivated. Dick’s energy and passion allow him to connect with the audience. The many challenges which he has overcome while running (and in life) makes his message of “staying the course’ very real and meaningful. Dick Beardsley is a unique individual with the ability to impact and make a difference in a person’s life. The students of Oak Bay High appreciated and benefited from his presentation." Murray Allen, Vice-Principal, Oak Bay High School, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
"Dick set himself apart from his predecessors with his ability to weave the story of his life with passion, humor and realism. Right from the start he had ALL 420 student athletes cheering loudly for a positive outcome in the 1982 Boston Marathon. As he told his unbelievable life story, the student athletes remained engaged and were following his every detail. BUT when he stated he has been a recovering drug addict for the past 14 years is was utterly and completely silent. His message wasn’t threatening, it was – this can happen to you if you are not careful. The student athletes had not been prepped on what Dick's message would be – was it inspirational, was it motivational, was it healthy behaviors, was it addictive behaviors? YES it was. They engaged with the messenger, they enjoyed the story and above all, they got the message. We are most appreciative for the time Dick spent with our student athletes. He was fabulous." Linda A. Johnson, Director of Life Skills, Oregon State University
"As a school administrator, I have had the pleasure of organizing, meeting and listening to many motivational speakers and Dick is at the top of the list! His presence and story are powerful, the students and staff took away his message and transposed it to their own experiences and are still motivated by him weeks after. On a follow up task, students have internalized Dick’s message and have described how they deal with tough situations differently. If you ever have the opportunity to meet Dick, cherish it." Joseph Boudreau, Vice-Principal Chemainus Secondary School
"Dick’s visit to the Thames Valley District was described to me as one of the most powerful messages given to our students by a motivational speaker. To capture the hearts and attention of approximately three thousand teenagers for an hour speaks volumes to Dick’s passionate message and his ability to engage an audience. Dick’s visit to the TVDSB brought a message of the importance in believing in yourself, pursuing dreams, healthy active living, addressing substance abuse and compassion. Dick's life story touches every member of his audience." Chris McCrady, Vice-Principal West Elgin Secondary School
“Dick presented in two of our Wellness classes for undergraduates, an evening lecture to community members and to our faculty, staff and students. These lectures were presented within the Simmons School of Education and the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. In the short time he was here, he made a huge impact. Dick’s story is riveting and everyone is literally on their seat listening. His authenticity keeps it real. He weaves his real life stories with the lessons learned beautifully. I think everyone at SMU felt blessed after his visit.” Lynn Romejko Jacobs, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development Southern Methodist University
Various testimonials from East Metro Crime Prevention Coalition:
**Dick Beardsley's presentation was great & incredibly moving emotional insight.
**Really enjoyed keynote speaker Dick Beardsley. His story was very enlightening and motivating.
**Dick's story was life changing. It will make me rededicate my work to supporting those who struggle with substance abuse.
**Dick Beardsley was beyond amazing. So engaging & as if it was the first time he shared his powerful story. Well done!
**Excellent keynote speaker; one of the best, moving presentations I've seen.
**Presentation by Dick Beardsley was outstanding and inspiring.
**Oh my -- Dick was riveting! His story & testimony is not only inspirational but gives one great perspective. Unbelievably moving! Thank you. Your truth is Inspiring. Keep fighting the good fight!
"Anyone needing a message of Inspiration and hope should schedule Dick Beardsley. You and your team will experience a story with Olympic level highs and real world lows with an ending that will bring you out of your chair! Dick is a humble servant leader whose message will truly motivate all who hear him. " Joe Schuch, Patient Affairs Liaison - Rare Disease at Pfizer
"Dick was our featured speaker at our recent appreciation luncheon. Our appreciation luncheon includes our staff, customers, suppliers, professional services and non-profits. Everyone that I spoke to was absolutely blown away how Dick was able to persevere through all of the things that have come at him in his life. He is a master story teller. Everyone was focused on Dick as he told the story of his life. We all left that luncheon inspired and motivated to be a better person. I have never heard a better speaker then Dick. He combines inspiration, drama and humor in such a way that it touches the heart of every listener." Mike Patterson, President of King Solutions
“Dick came to speak at the Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge Annual Banquet and Silent Auction. His message was very impactful and inspiring, not only for our men in the program, also for everyone in attendance. Addiction can rear its ugly head in many people’s lives, and Dick explained how it has affected his life and how he was able to work through it. We were all blessed to meet and hear his story.” Keith A Johnson, Development Director, MN Adult and Teen Challenge – Northland Campus
"Dick is an inspiring and eloquent speaker who mixes humor, personal anecdotes and factual material in an entertaining and highly motivating talk. He is versatile and has a range of delivery styles that match the audience. His life story as an athlete, a personality and a recovering addict is riveting and instructional. I highly recommend Dick as a motivational speaker to everyone from kids to retirees. His life story is authentic and relatable." John Conley, CEO Conley Sports Productions, LLC
"Dick came out to speak at the Bemidji Covenant Church. It was a very impacting week. That night we had a visitor who came into our church for the first time. She had been tempted to go back to a destructive lifestyle but that night but Dick's talk reminded her to stay on a healthy path. She has since gotten into a small group of women and her faith in God has helped guide her well." Pastor Dean Nelson, Bemidji Covenant Church
"I had Dick speak to my Procter and Gamble teams in Geneva in 2005. Having brought in a range of top-rated speakers over the years, I can say unequivocally that Dick is absolutely one of the finest speakers I have ever witnessed. His story of personal excellence, of falling, and redemption is uplifting and simply breathtaking. His personable style, his humility and honesty, and his ability to weave a wonderful story ensures he leaves an audience deeply impacted and spellbound. I would highly recommend Dick to any professional organization. His message is NOT a running message. It is a story of the power of the human spirit." James Lafferty, CEO Fine Hygienic Holding
"We were very fortunate to have Dick Beardsley speak to our full student body at Yarmouth High School. He kept the students captivated with his story for 75 minutes by simply walking back and forth across the stage with a microphone and his life story. I spoke to many students after Dick's talk and without exception, the students said it was the best assembly they had ever experienced. After the talk, students waited for more than an hour to have the chance to talk to Dick directly and shake his hand. Dick has a gift for telling a story to young people that is timeless and extremely relevant." Ted Hall, Principal, Yarmouth High School, Yarmouth, ME
"We had the pleasure of having Dick speak to my staff of approximately 150 people and the impact was huge. His story of growth, reaching the pinnacle of running and then overcoming even greater challenges left our team inspired and motivated to tackle any of life’s obstacles. A message not just for runners, Dick’s personable style, humor and honesty makes him a presenter that I am happy to recommend to any and all." Michael Hoffort, Senior Vice-President Farm Credit Canada
"Dick came out to speak and the impact of his visit was amazing. Dick is such a wonderful person, so nice, kind and approachable with such an incredible message that he has an impact on all he meets. I have heard so many positive comments from people who heard Dick speak from high school students to senior citizens. He has a true gift to span the generations with a message that resonates with anyone regardless of age or where they are on their life’s journey. I took our daughter a college visit and tour over the weekend and we spent about 4 hours in the car and much of our conversation centered around your talk and the lessons, interesting stories and messages we both received. We were all blessed to meet and hear your story." Blaine Lewis, Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke, VA
"Dick possesses a strong Midwest work ethic which he employs very innately in virtually all aspects of his professional interactions. This approach to his work life is a testament to both his self-reliant upbringing and his relentless pursuit of perfection (which began early in his adolescence as an accomplished distance runner). Over the years, as Dick’s prowess in marathon running elevated his performances to world-class status, he never lost sight of a genuine humility that defines who he is as a human being and is an engaging component to his personality. Dick, in effect, epitomizes that age-old adage, “You can judge a person’s character by the way he/she treats others who can do nothing for him.” Whether he’s speaking in front of a spell-bound audience or signing books at a marathon expo, Dick Beardsley gives everyone he connects with a rare glimpse of his humanity by making each individual feel very good about who they are when they’re around him. In my life, I’ve never noticed anyone who can match Dick Beardsley’s effectiveness at interacting with complete strangers and leaving them with a sense of thinking that they’ve known him their entire lives. In all truth, the world would be a better place with more men like Dick Beardsley." Jeff Bostow, Lead Analyst, Century Link
"Dick Beardsley came to Martinsville, VA to speak before the YMCA’s annual Martinsville Half Marathon & 5K. He gave two very powerful and compelling talks the day before the race. First, he addressed area citizens on prescription drug addiction and recovery. Then he spoke to the running community on achievement in the face of adversity. The drug talk had us crying and the runner talk had us ready to start training for our next marathon. Then, on Saturday, he ran the Half Marathon and endeared himself to the entire area running community. He ran hard and suffered, just like the rest of us. He griped about the weather and the hills, just like the rest of us. He talked about how his race went, just like the rest of us. He engaged everyone he met and was encouraging to all, making the race winner as well as the back of the pack runners all feel like a million bucks! His visit will be remembered for a long time. Wow, what an honor and a privilege to have a runner…no, a human being of his stature as part of our event!" Joe Philpott
"I have to believe--existentialist that I am--that Dick's struggles and difficulties were a gift given to him so that he could reach out and touch others who need him. His speaking ability is astounding and it is so evident to me that God has worked through this incredible man (and his wife) to make a difference in the lives of others." Janie E. Black, PhD, Licensed Clinical and Pediatric Behavioral Psychologist Texas Child Study Center and Dell Children's Medical Center
"If you want to be inspired and moved by a speaker, Dick If you want to be inspired and moved by a speaker, Dick Beardsley is the person for your school, business or company. Dick spoke at SAVE’s Annual Suicide Awareness Memorial, always a difficult place to speak with such profound grief shared by attendees. However, Dick shared his very personal stories of tragedy and triumph interspersed with a genuineness and ability to find humor throughout that made him relatable and human to everyone in the audience. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room and there was also laughter shared by everyone as you walked in Dick’s super amazing shoes. There are few people who travel this earth that can give a message of hope that gives you reasons to see humanity, Dick is one of them and his stories should be heard by all." Linda Mars, SAVE. Suicide Awareness Voices of Education
On behalf of the Indian Head Track Club, Dick did an amazing job! All kinds of positive comments about his presentation have been received.
Dick is an exceptional “story teller.” He is a gifted public speaker. People were engaged throughout the entire hour. It was very much appreciated that he talked to everyone in the room including non-runners. His message was well received. He is a genuine, caring, humble person. People were laughing and at times in tears. Very moving. Mary Beth Clark
Every student and every teacher at our school said this about Dick Beardsley's presentation:
**"This is not what I expected."
**"This was the best speaker ever."
**"He was praised by our school security office director and our assistant superintendent and they didn't attend the event. But they sure heard about it. The word got out faster than the first mile of the 1982 Boston Marathon from those that were captivated by his story.
He held the audience rapt with his equal parts comedian, rock star, and wordsmith orator.
**I heard him speak to adults on a Sunday night and three separate performances for middle schoolers that were enthralled by him on a Monday morning. I laughed and cried all four times.
**The easiest question for me to answer since his appearance....Who is the best speaker that you have ever heard? Dick Beardsley"
Paul Beckwith, Angola Middle School