Jay Guilford keynote speaker

Founder and Managing Partner at CoWorks Leadership Strategists, Creator of Cirque du Soleil's SPARK Leadership Training Program
  • Create-Ovation: Three Keys to Harnessing Creativity and Innovation among Leaders and Teams
  • Getting “Woke” at Work: New Perspectives to Refresh and Transform Your DEI Efforts
  • Not Where We Work but How We Work: Tools to Engage Employees and Maximize Results in Hybrid, Return-to-Office, or Work-from-Anywhere Arrangements
  • Walking through Walls: Discovering Your Power and Resilience. Living up to Your Highest Potential
  • WOW factor: Connecting Core Values, Leadership Behaviors, and Business Outcomes
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Jay Guilford once worked with a bunch of clowns. Literally.

Long ago, in a land far far away, Jay ran away with Cirque du Soleil. There, Jay created Cirque’s leadership training program — SPARK.

With SPARK, Jay strapped executives into circus equipment and flew them high across Cirque du Soleil’s theaters and training studios. Instead of simply talking about trust, teamwork, and healthy risk-taking, executives experienced these concepts in real time. While at Cirque, Jay collaborated with artists, creators, and technicians across all seven Las Vegas Resident Shows, as well as various tent shows with the Touring Show Division, and with Cirque’s International Headquarters.

Jay has worked with leaders and teams teams from Google, Microsoft, Mastercard, Swiss Life, SABMiller Brewery - Latin America, Club Med - Punta Cana, Kmart Australia, and other top-performing companies.

In his keynote speeches, workshops, and fireside chats, Jay draws on his experience from the '“Cirque Us” — and from his work with many top-performing leaders and teams — to help groups tap into their creative powers and live up to their fullest potential.

Jay began his career as an educator and then moved on the train other educators in various and nonprofit leaders. His interest in helping adults learn better led him to study various theories and frameworks around learning at Columbia University’s graduate school of education.

Jay is currently CEO of CoWorks Leadership Strategist, his own leadership development consultancy. At CoWorks, Jay and his team enter organizations on the highest levels of leadership — and employ a combination of data-driven insights and best and next practices in learning and development — to help leaders make positive change in their organizations.

At CoWorks, Jay has delivered solutions for executives and leadership teams from Disney, Empire State Building, Procter & Gamble, Corporate Alliances at Cirque du Soleil, R&R Partners, Graham-Windham, Milhouse Engineering & Construction, and other organizations.

Jay has a BA in Sociology from Emory University and an MA in Giftedness and Intelligence from Columbia University

Jay can host his talks virtually or in person.


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