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Heather Armstrong
Recycle Florida Today

“Velma joined us for our Board Retreat and shared an activity on leadership that was intriguing and enjoyable. She has a talent forgiving takeaways to make you an even better leader.”

Noël Schiber
Vice Chair, Association of Donor Relations Professionals 2019 International Conference
If you want to start your day with a bolt of energy that blows coffee away – CALL VELMA! Within minutes of hitting the stage, she had 6—donor relations professionals on their feet and thinking differently about communication styles.
Maria Marchesi, CMP
Chapter Operations Manager, Meeting Professionals International (MPI)
We hired Velma to speak to our chapter leaders on membership and it was FANTASTIC! After our initial planning call, she reached out to a group of chapter leaders to learn more from their perspective not just the association headquarters. With knowledge from both sides she was able to present to our leaders with information that they could immediately put into action. The survey results from Velma’s session is one of our top successful programs! Thank you, Velma, for bringing your knowledge and like a true leader you also took time to learn from us. I look forward to working with her again.
Veronica Catoe
CEO, Florida Assisted Living Association
Velma – thank you for the fabulous presentation you gave to our members! They are still talking about it.
Harry Thomas
VP, Chief Marketing Officer, AAA Washington
Bennett Napier, CEO, President
Partners in Association Management
Mark McCormick
Mark McCormick, VP Marketing PR and Membership
AAA Central PennVP Marketing PR and Membership
Velma is highly experienced and knowledgeable in areas of marketing, membership and customer experience. She supported our organization’s renewed membership growth through revised strategy and the successful execution of planned activation.
Marty Busekrus
Managing Director at Ciminelli Real Estate Services of Florida, LLC
Unbelievable energy! Velma came recommended to our commercial real estate group in South Florida and the level of energy she brought was amazing. She was very good at audience engagement and had our crowd of 100 laughing often. I would highly recommend her for speaking engagements as well as working with small teams to get motivated and all rowing in the same direction.
Larry Darnell
MBA, CAE, Director Information Systems, Florida Dental Association
Velma is an exceptional speaker, insightful, and engaging. She also offered me some of the best career advice in our first 30 minutes together. Her positive attitude will rub off on you I promise.
Ashley McCollum
Chairman of Young Leaders Alliance, Division of Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance
Velma is a dynamic speaker who led a leadership summit for our organization. She was able to keep our entire group engaged while thoughtfully challenging things that may have been holding us back. I would highly recommend Velma to any organization who is looking to take their leadership to the next level!”
Lisa Thweatt, RN, MSN, MPH
Healthcare Conference Participant, Florida Assisted Living Association
Martina Brawer
Executive Director, Florida Library Association
Velma joined us for our Board retreat and shared an activity on leadership that was intriguing and enjoyable. She has a talent of bringing out the very best characteristics of professional leaders through her methods as well as giving takeaways to make you an even better leader. I highly recommend Velma for anyone wanting to offer leadership professional development, coaching, or tools to enhance communication to any organization.
Tanya Vaughn-Patterson
HR Florida State Council, HR Palm Beach – Program Committee
Her presentation was FANTASTIC! The audience was engaged from start to finish. Velma’s style is relatable and authentic. She ended on a high note that had me dancing in the aisle!
Association Conference Participant
American Society of Association Executives
I had the pleasure of hearing Velma speak during an Ignite session at American Society of Association Executive’s (ASAE) Great Ideas conference. She was an engaging and motivating speaker who was able to connect with her audience through humor, empathy, and sincerity. As a passionate birder (birdwatcher), Velma was able to transport us through her words to the bush —patiently waiting for the next colorful and intriguing bird. She was able to talk about this hobby in a way that inspired us to apply it to our work as association professionals — using the binocular to focus, having patience, and appreciating the diversity, beauty, and grand expression of it all so that we can innovate. It was a pleasure experiencing Velma’s wisdom and insight.
Chamber Member
Manatee Chamber of Commerce
I had the pleasure of listening to Velma Knowles speak and it was awesome! She provided really good tips that we should keep close to us, near and dear. Value people, value you, and Value time. That was such an amazing moment to hear Velma tell us about this. Velma is awesome; you should have her come and speak for you!
Steve Smith CEO,
NextGen Leaders
Healthcare Conference Participant
Florida Assisted Living Association
Adam Baust
Deputy Director of Operations, Florida Medical Association
The Leadership training with Velma was extremely informational and helpful. Being able to relate to other people and their different learning styles has been very beneficial. The ability to develop a better foundation, and to add more pieces to make me a better, more well-rounded employee and leader, has been invaluable. I recommend everyone take this worthwhile opportunity to learn with Velma.
Frank Rudd
President/CEO, Florida Society of Association Executives
Velma did a great job in running our Leadership Workshop we recently completed. I was so impressed with her preparation and research ahead of time, and she did a wonderful job presenting and facilitating discussions during the program. Velma is a pro and it shows through in all that she did leading up to and during our workshop.
Healthcare Professional Conference Participant
Florida Assisted Living Association
Human Resources Professional Conference Participant
HR Palm Beach Conference
Executive Director
Florida Library Association
Great Information! It really helped me frame how I can interact with staff to continue successful work plans and best ways to communicate with Board members.
Healthcare Conference Participant
Florida Assisted Living Association
CEO, President
LionCrest Leadership
How do I choose a great speaker/trainer? I am here to make that easier for you…choose Velma! I met Velma a couple of years ago and was immediately struck by her desire to serve others and live out her faith. Since then, we have had the opportunity to attend several events together across the country. One cannot help but be positively impacted by her energy, enthusiasm and friendly personality… all while coupled with engaging speaking skills and a wealth of knowledge and background in leadership and marketing.
VP of Membership
Manatee Chamber of Commerce
I had the pleasure of hearing Velma present as guest speaker at a recent Manatee Chamber of Commerce event, she echoes and amplifies many of the themes she covers in those verbal settings. Any person aspiring to be a better leader will benefit from the simple and very graspable principles she delivers. The lessons in her book are based on her own life experiences as a marketing executive and as a learner, coach and mentor.
Conference Participant
Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress
Human Resources Conference Participant
HR Palm Beach and HR Florida Council
Association Conference Participant
Florida Society Association Executives
High energy and engaging! I love the way Velma connected with the attendees and got everyone involved. Great information – useful in many ways.
Conference Participant
Meeting Professionals International World Education Congress
Technology Conference Participant
Society Information Management, Central Florida
If you want an energetic speaker to come and talk to you about leadership, using real life stories, I would highly recommend Velma. She came to an evening event with 40 people, after work and had their attention captured with her topics and what she was presenting.
CEO, President
Starfish Management
I learn something every time I attend one of Velma’s presentations or have the opportunity to talk with her. Velma is a dynamic, inspiring speaker who connects with her audience in an authentic and honest way, and who provides insightful and useful information and ideas. She has fun, and she makes sure her audience does as well. You won’t leave one of Velma’s sessions without some practical takeaways you can apply immediately. It is the same when you speak with her one-on-one. Her advice and insights are thoughtful and usually spot-on.
Leadership Conference Participant
Thrivent Financial
What an energetic and impactful speaker on leadership! If you don’t know Velma….you should!
Human Resources Professional Conference Participant
HR Florida State Council

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