Philip Beale

Philip is an intrepid explorer, adventurer and leader. By the age of 21 he had participated in two expeditions in the Pacific region and Papua New Guinea, ultimately trekking solo along the north coast of Papua New Guinea and then venturing up the mighty Sepik River. In 2005 he participated in a rafting decent of the Firth River in northern Canada and the following year completed the first skiing traverse of Liverpool Land in Eastern Greenland.  He is best known for his pioneering adventures in replica ancient sailing ships, where he has sailed more miles (over 30 thousand) in the in charge of ancient type vessels than any living or historic sailors. He is driven by a passion and determination to better understand how ancient civilisations have migrated by trans-oceanic voyages.

From his trans-Indian Ocean voyage in an Indonesian double outrigger ship (2003-04) to the completion of his most recent voyage in 2019 across the Atlantic in a replica Phoenician galley, Philip has pushed himself to the very limits of endurance. He has sailed through pirate invested waters around Somalia (2009) and battled with a torn main sail in 40 knot winds off the Cape of Good Hope.

Philip is a highly experienced expedition leader. His tenacity, drive and determination kept him focussed, motivating his crew and dealing with the most challenging of situations. The experience he has gained from his incredible endeavours of planning, commissioning the building of the ships and leading three expeditions is what he shares with audiences internationally, enabling him to motivate and inspire on leadership, teamwork, overcoming adversity, negotiation and project management.

Gregoire Akcelrod

Gregoire Akcelrod, born in 1982, his one and only dream: to become a professional football player.

Unfortunately, his father banned him from playing this sport between the ages of 10 to 18 due to Gregoire not being a good enough player. He therefore had to think out of the box, and so he proceeded to build an ambitious marketing strategy to attract soccer clubs. Gregoire created a fictitious website; he snuck onto PSG’s pitch and took ‘official’ photos of himself in full football kit.

Due to Gregoire's perseverance and determination, this state of mind enabled him to join 23 professional football clubs on trial, on five continents and in over 20 countries.

Gregoire Akcelrod reveals in his programme his marketing tools to achieve the impossible.

Further to the international media maelstrom his story generated, Gregoire became an agent to help young players sign on to English football clubs. Gregoire's clients included Aurélien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Johan Abdoul (ex Aston Villa FC), Yaya Sanogo (ex Arsenal).

He is the founder & CEO of One Soccer. He also worked in motorsport with the Team RFR, as a commercial director for the Sebastien Loeb Racing Team.

Gregoire is the author of an autobiography titled "Pro At All Costs".

Pedro de la Rosa

Pedro Martínez de la Rosa is a Spanish Formula One driver who has participated in 107 Grands Prix for the Arrows, Jaguar, McLaren, Sauber and HRT F1 teams, debuting on 7 March 1999, becoming one of very few drivers to score a point at his first race. He has scored a total of 35 championship points, which includes a podium finish at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.

On 21 November 2011, De la Rosa signed a two-year contract to drive for the HRT F1 team, but he only remained with the team for one season, after HRT withdrew from the 2013 team list, leaving him without a drive for the 2013 season. On 16 January 2013, De la Rosa was announced as the Ferrari development driver for the 2013 Formula One season.

He is now the technical and sporting advisor to the Techeetah Formula E team. De la Rosa also runs a driving school and racing team called Drivex.

Vitor Prado

Vitor Mendonça Prado is a lawyer and founding partner of Mendonça Prado Advogados, founder and managing partner of CAVI Participações e Empreendimentos Ltda, businessman, speaker, mentor, advisor and investor.

Mr. Prado is a multifunctional leader with experience in market strategy and legal and commercial effectiveness. Mr. Prado develops an executive-level vision of key objectives and results, taking advantage of a structured approach to solve complex, multidimensional problems, prioritizing solutions based on impact, feasibility and time.

Mr. Prado has deep international experience in venture capital & private equity, growth strategy, sales, law, investment, due diligence, consulting, venture capital and private capital, marketing, direct to consumer business models, business strategy and research primary market, corporate structuring, multi-million dollar tax and international M&A transactions in the automotive, aerospace, information technology, general services, health, education, food and agriculture, clean technology, banking and finance and public services sectors.

At the age of 18, Vitor founded his first company, CAVI (Unregulated Fund) in São Paulo, where he successfully evaluated and closed private equity real estate transactions in the interior of São Paulo, around strategic airports. After completing two bachelors (Business Administration and Law), at the age of 23, Vitor became a lawyer in Brazil.

At the age of 24, he founded the Prado Capital Group, a US $ 300m venture capital fund, in New York City and London and completed his master's degree in international tax law at King's College London. A year later, at the age of 25, he dropped out of his Masters in Finance at Harvard University and moved to New York City to focus on his career at the company itself, Prado Capital Group - venture capital fund / venture capital fund . He was also an M&A corporate finance professional at PricewaterhouseCoopers, structuring multi-million dollar international M&A transactions.

Mr. Prado worked as a sales consultant at an Israeli digital marketing company early in his career. He was also an intern at the São Paulo Court of Justice and at a boutique law firm, both in São Paulo, Brazil. He is proud to work for a non-profit organization, TECHO in Brazil. TECHO (Spanish word for “roof”) aims to combat poverty by supervising the construction of emergency transitional housing and implementing social empowerment programs for families in need. Mr. Prado worked for the Pajama program in New York City, offering the magical gifts of pajamas and books, bringing a careful bedtime ritual to the lives of children. He continues to support TECHO and works to increase its visibility in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe and Latin America.

He is a partner at Êxito - Latin American Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Mr. Prado is a representative, investor and mentor at FasterCapital (Startup accelerator based in Dubai). He is also a member of ANPPD® - National Association of Data Privacy Professionals, a member of Open Mind Brazil, mentor at BBX Brasil, appraiser and consultant at 100 Open Startups, member and angel investor at Anjos do Brasil, and business consultant at Methode Consultoria.

He was a speaker at the Silicon Valley Innovation & Entrepreneurship Forum and at Angel Global in Silicon Valley in 2015. In the same year he was a guest speaker at Protohack in New York City. He ran two 42 km / 21 mile marathons, one in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2013 and the other in Madrid, Spain in 2014.

He lived, studied and worked in London, New York, Boston, Palo Alto - Silicon Valley, San Francisco and San Diego; Speaks English and Portuguese fluently. Has intermediate Spanish and basic Italian. He is currently writing two books, one in the area of “Law for Startups - Brazil, Europe, United Kingdom and USA” and another in the area of investments. In addition, he teaches law courses for companies and startups, for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs.

Mr. Prado is a vegetarian and his hobbies are traveling, philanthropy, art, wine, sailing, physical exercise, reading, golf, triathlon, cooking and spending time with his family.

Alain Robert

Alain Robert is famous in many countries for climbing 143 of the world's tallest buildings with his bare hands.

His career should have been bought to a premature end when he suffered terrible injuries in a fall at the age of 19. The fall left him 66% disabled.

Against all the odds and through his sheer determination and perseverance he overcame all these challenges to become the greatest climber who ever lived and achieved global success and considerable wealth.

On the Internet there are thousands on videos that show his many climbs.  The majority of these videos have achieved millions of views.

Now famed worldwide he has become a powerful motivational and keynote speaker.

Alain speaks fluent French and English and has been working on the international corporate circuit giving motivational, keynote and after dinner talks.

His talks are spellbinding and he invariably receives standing ovations.

Alain Robert's autobiography, With Bare Hands, was first published in English in 2008. It features his development into a famous urban climber from his days as a child and gives a deep insight into his philosophy and how he managed to overcome his disabilities.


Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner is an Entrepreneur, Author, Philanthropist, and single parent whose work has been recognized by many esteemed organizations.

Always hard working and tenacious, a series of adverse circumstances in the early 1980’s left Chris Gardner homeless in San Francisco, the sole guardian of his toddler son. Unwilling to give up Chris Jr. or his dreams of success, Gardner climbed the financial industry ladder from the very bottom. He worked at Dean Witter Reynolds and Bear Stearns & Co before founding his own brokerage firm in Chicago in 1987.

The amazing story of Christopher Gardner’s life was first published as an autobiography, The Pursuit of Happyness, in 2006, and became a New York Times and Washington Post #1 bestseller. The book spent over twenty weeks on the bestseller list and has been translated into more than forty languages. Chris Gardner was also the inspiration for the movie The Pursuit of Happyness.

The film starred Will Smith as Gardner and he received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations for his performance. Gardner was also an associate producer on the film. In his second New York Times bestselling book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, published in 2009, Gardner shared his philosophies and crucial steps behind creating a fulfilling, successful life. Since Chris Gardner's remarkable transformation from homeless single father to millionaire, he has been inundated with two questions: "How did you do it?" and "How can I do it too?" Chris Gardner’s aim, through his speaking engagements and media projects, is to help others achieve their full potential.

His practical guidance and inspirational story have made him a frequent guest on CNN, CNBC and the Fox News Channel. He has also been featured on The CBS Evening News, 20/20, Oprah, Today Show, The View, Entertainment Tonight, as well as in People, USA Today, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Jet, Reader’s Digest, Trader Monthly, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, amongst other publications. Christopher Gardner’s childhood was marked by poverty, domestic violence, alcoholism, sexual abuse and family illiteracy. Gardner published his autobiography out of a desire to shed light on these universal issues and show they do not have to define a person. Gardner never knew his father, and lived with his beloved mother when not in foster homes. Gardner joined the Navy out of high school and after discharge, moved to San Francisco where he worked as a medical research associate and scientific supply distributor.

In 1981, as a new father to son Christopher Gardner Jr., he was determined to find a career that would be both lucrative and fulfilling. Fascinated by finance, but without connections, an MBA or even a college degree, Gardner applied for training programs at brokerages, willing to live on next to nothing while he learned a new trade. Chris Jr.’s mother left and Gardner, despite his circumstances, fought to keep his son because, as he says, “I made up my mind as a young kid that when I had children they were going to know who their father was and that he wasn’t going anywhere.” Gardner earned a spot in the Dean Witter Reynolds training program but became homeless when he could not make ends meet on his meager trainee salary. Today, Gardner is involved with homelessness initiatives assisting families to stay intact, and assisting homeless men and women who are employed but still cannot get by. As a single parent for 25 years, Chris Gardner has demonstrated his concern for the well-being of children through his work with and on behalf of organizations such as the National Fatherhood Initiative, the National Education Association Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. Gardner is still very committed to Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, where he and his son received assistance in the early 1980’s. Gardner has also been honored by the NAACP Image Awards; Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women, The Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce, The Glaucoma Foundation, The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), Covenant House, Common Ground and other organizations committed to combating violence against women, homelessness, and financial illiteracy – issues of the utmost importance to Gardner.

Chris Gardner resides in Chicago.

Maickel Melamed Trujillo

Maickel Melamed was born on April 27 of 1975 in Caracas, Venezuela. Melamed was diagnosed at birth with "motor delay" (a state of general hypotonia of the body) due to asphyxiation with umbilical cord and the doctors did not give him long life. What defines Maickel Melamed, from the beginning of his life, has been his self-motivated and courageous everyday bet against adversity, the fullness of his existence and his transcendence.

Maickel Melamed is passionate about HUMAN POWER; he is an economist, psychotherapist, Life Management coach, author, speaker, communicator and high performance athlete. All this defines his areas of action, from which he builds with tools and methodologies to facilitate his vocation: expansion, productivity, development and human growth. From his integral vision of the human being, he shows through the most diverse forms, that we all have the ability to build, through our talents and passions, a fantastic story worth living, enjoying and sharing.

Transforming the impossible into reality has been his signature, conveying his message of possibility, effectiveness and humanity. For more than a decade, he has been a speaker, facilitator and workshop director for organizations in Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States.

He is a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations in Venezuela and a member of the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum. His purpose in life is to help others be better, beyond what they think they can be, through the discovery of their true potential and its later usage. Maickel Melamed has practiced extreme sports such as paragliding, parachuting, diving, and mountain climbing. He is currently dedicated to athletics. He climbed the highest mountain in his country Venezuela, the 5007m high Bolívar Peak.

Despite his condition, Melamed has participated in several marathons and has been able to conclude successfully. In 2011 he participated in the New York marathon, subsequently in Berlin, Chicago and Boston in 2015.

Putting what he believes in into action, both personally and professionally, is his contribution to the planet he wishes for future generations, a world in which success is too small a goal and human transcendence comes to take its place.

Mark Gallagher

During the course of a 30-year career Mark Gallagher has held senior roles in the high-performance environment of Formula 1 motor racing. Today he is an author, broadcaster and industry analyst who continues to work with drivers and teams at the forefront of this global sport. He is also a renowned public speaker and since 1998 has provided keynote presentations and insights to organisations worldwide.

Mark’s executive management career in Formula 1 included more than a decade on the management board of the successful Jordan Grand Prix team, running the world-famous Cosworth engine business and helping establish the commercial arm of Red Bull Racing.

Mark has been a member of the technical working groups within the sport’s governing body, the FIA, tasked with tackling challenges including environmental sustainability and safety, the latter being central to the sport’s regulatory environment. He spent two years working on the energy efficiency regulations adopted by Formula 1 in 2014.

His expertise covers the commercial and operational management of Formula 1 teams, and includes the sport’s regulatory, business and technology landscape. Since 1994 he has introduced some of the world’s leading technology companies to the sport, playing a key role in the digital transformation of Formula 1.

Mark’s career in Formula One commenced in 1983, working in media and communications before joining the start-up Jordan Grand Prix team in 1990. Mark joined the management board of Jordan in 1998, the team challenging for the World Championship in 1999.

In 2004 he was invited to join the Jaguar Racing organisation as it transitioned into becoming Red Bull Racing. In 2010 Mark was appointed head of the world-famous Cosworth Formula 1 engine company, supplying one-third of the teams in Formula 1 with engines and associated technologies.

Beyond Formula 1 Mark was the co-founder and owner of Status Grand Prix, competing in lower formulae and international sports cars racing.

Since 2012 Mark has focused on his Formula 1 consulting business, Performance Insights, working with a range of clients across the sport. He is also a columnist, feature writer and broadcaster for GP Racing Magazine and Autosport, part of the global Motorsport Network.

He has published three books, Grand Prix - The Last 25 Years (WH Smith, 1999) and two editions of The Business of Winning (Kogan Page, 2014) with a fully revised, 2nd edition published on 3rd October 2021. His fourth book The Future Business Formula, co- authored with business coach Adrian Stalham, will be published in May 2023. Mark also collaborated with David Coulthard on his Sunday Times Best Seller The Winning Formula (Blink Publishing, 2018). Between 2005 and 2010 Mark was a consultant to Pixar on its CARS and CARS 2 movies.

Perry McCarthy

Perry McCarthy (born 3 March 1961) is a British racing driver, who drove in Formula One in 1992 before moving into sportscars, including driving in the 24 Hours of Le Mans five times between 1996 and 2003.

Born in London, McCarthy grew up to work for his father’s company servicing North Sea oil rigs. Unlike most Formula One drivers, McCarthy did not start racing in karts. He worked his way through the junior categories of motor sport in Europe, such as Formula Ford, Formula 3, eventually F3000 and various touring and sports car races in America, including drives for Spice Engineering.

In 1991, McCarthy was chosen to test for the Footwork Formula One team. Although he impressed the team, his break did not come until the eve of the 1992 Formula One season, when he was signed by the independent Andrea Moda team run by Andrea Sassetti who thought that entering Formula 1 would be a good way to advertise his shoe business. The team was uncompetitive, disorganized and poorly managed, and after a lengthy battle to gain an FIA Super Licence the season soon descended into farce. McCarthy, frequently denied more than a handful of laps in which to prepare, failed to qualify for any Grand Prix. The team folded before the end of the season in controversial circumstances and McCarthy was left without a drive. McCarthy never raced in Formula One after 1992, but tested for both Williams and Benetton teams during the 1990s. He was denied a permanent role as test driver at Benetton because he was covering for their normal test driver, who was unwell. He had little success at Williams because he did not see eye to eye with the engineers and the position was then given to a young David Coulthard.

After a brief retirement, McCarthy returned to sports car racing, appearing at Le Mans in 2002 and numerous other events. In 2002, he released his autobiography entitled Flat Out, Flat Broke, in which he spoke candidly about his time in Formula One and his work for the BBC’s Top Gear motoring show as The Stig, a masked, anonymous, racing driver who evaluated the latest high performance cars. McCarthy was the original, black-suited Stig, who left after the first two series. He provided commentary on F1 races for BBC in 2009.

McCarthy now spends his time working as a corporate ambassador and after dinner speaker for large and small corporations all over the world.

McCarthy wrote an autobiography, titled Flat Out, Flat Broke: Formula 1 the Hard Way!, in (2002); it detailed his career, and the hardships he faced while trying to break the ranks of Formula One.

Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer is a creative, on-the-edge, writer and speaker whose expertise on sales, customer loyalty and personal development is world renowned. Known for presentations, seminars and keynote addresses that are funny, insightful and real, Jeffrey Gitomer gives audiences information they can take out in the street one minute after the presentation is over and turn it into money.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The New York Times best sellers The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Black Book of Connections, and The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude. All of his books have been number one best sellers on, including Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Patterson Principles of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, and The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching! Jeffrey Gitomer's books have sold millions of copies worldwide.

Jeffrey Gitomer gives public and corporate seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts live and Internet training programs on selling, customer loyalty, and personal development.

Jeffrey Gitomer's customers include: Coca-Cola, D.R. Horton, Caterpillar, BMW, AT&T Wireless, MacGregor Golf, Ferguson Enterprises, Kimpton Hotels, Hilton, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, AmeriPride, NCR, Stewart Title, Comcast Cable, Time Warner Cable, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo Bank, Baptist Health Care, BlueCross BlueShield, Carlsberg, Wausau Insurance, Northwestern Mutual, MetLife, Sports Authority, GlaxoSmithKline, AC Neilsen, IBM, The New York Post, and hundreds of others. Jeffrey Gitomer's syndicated column, Sales Moves, appears in scores of business journals and newspapers in the United States and Europe, and is read by more than four million people every week

. Jeffrey's weekly e-zine, Sales Caffeine, is a sales wake-up call delivered every Tuesday morning to more than 350,000 subscribers. Sales Caffeine allows Jeffrey Gitomer to communicate valuable sales information, strategies, and answers to sales professionals on a timely basis.

Chester Elton

Called the "apostle of appreciation," by the Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper, and "creative and refreshing" by the New York Times, Chester Elton is co-author of several successful leadership books and is an in-demand speaker the world over.

Elton’s books have been translated into over 20 languages and have sold over half a million copies worldwide. The Carrot Principle by Simon & Schuster has been a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, and 24-Carrot Manager has been called a “must read for modern-day managers” by Larry King of CNN.

In 2006, The Invisible Employee, from John Wiley & Sons also made the New York Times bestseller list. As a motivation expert, Chester has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Fast Company magazine and the New York Times. He has also been a guest on CNN, Bloomberg Television, ABC’s Money Matters MSNBC and on National Public Radio. A sought-after speaker and recognition consultant, Chester is the senior vice-president of Carrot Culture with the O.C. Tanner Recognition Company. Chester has spoken to delighted audiences from Seattle to Singapore and from Toronto to Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2005 he was the highest rated speaker at the national Society for Human Resource Management annual conference (Bill Cosby was the number-two rated speaker). He serves as a recognition consultant to Fortune 100 firms such as DHL, KPMG, Wal-Mart and Avis Budget Group.

Rebecca Stephens

Rebecca Stephens MBE (born 1961) was the first British woman to climb Mount Everest and went on to become the first British woman to climb each of the highest mountains of the world’s continents.

She is an outstanding speaker on both motivation and teamwork and draws from her personal experiences she inspires the audience into seeing that they may well have underestimated their own personal capabilities both individually and collectively.

On every climbing expedition Rebecca demonstrates endurance, courage and a determination to succeed. Time and time again she has driven herself to new limits to achieve her goals.

It was while working as a journalist that in 1989 she visited Everest for the first time to report on an expedition climbing the North East Ridge. Just four years later, in 1993, she returned to Everest and became the first British woman to successfully reach the summit.

In addition to her mountaineering exploits, Stephens has sailed the Southern Seas to the South Magnetic Pole and Antarctica and crossed the South Atlantic island of South Georgia. With explorers Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Dr. Mike Stroud OBE she took part in the gruelling Eco Challenge race across Canada. This included transport by horses, swimming, climbing, canoeing, white-water rafting and mountain biking across different types of terrain.

With a passionate belief that every individual can achieve goals far beyond their wildest dreams, Rebecca lectures to corporate audiences and schools around the world. She also contributes articles to a number of national newspapers and has regularly appeared on television, most notably on Tomorrow's World.

She has written a compelling account of her ascent of Everest, 'On Top of the World',  a Dorling Kindersley book on mountains, entitled 'Everest', and most recently 'The Seven Summits of Success', co-written with management guru Robert Heller.  She's also been a judge on the Man Booker award for contemporary literature.

Alain Prost

Alain Marie Pascal Prost, Order of the British Empire and the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur is a French racing driver, born 24 February 1955.

A four-time Formula One Drivers' Champion. Only Sebastian Vettel (four championships), Juan Manuel Fangio   (five championships), and Michael Schumacher (seven championships) have equalled or surpassed his number of titles. From 1987 until 2001 Prost held the record for most Grand Prix victories. Schumacher surpassed Prost's total of 51 victories at the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix.

Prost discovered karting at the age of 14 during a family holiday. He progressed through motor sport's junior ranks, winning the French and European Formula Three championships, before joining the McLaren Formula One team in 1980 at the age of 25. He finished in the points on his Formula One debut and took his first race victory at his home Grand Prix in France a year later, while he was driving for Renault's factory team.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Prost formed a fierce rivalry with Ayrton Senna and Nigel Mansell. In 1986, at the last race of the season, he managed to pip Mansell and Nelson Piquet of Williams to the title. Senna joined Prost at McLaren in 1988 and the two had a series of controversial clashes, including a collision at the 1989 Japanese Grand Prix that gave Prost his third Drivers' Championship. A year later at the same venue they collided again, but this time Prost, driving for Ferrari, lost out.

His time at Ferrari had further controversy, as his antics caused Mansell to become disgruntled and quit, and Prost was fired after a dismal 1991 season when he publicly criticized the team. After a sabbatical in 1992, Prost joined the Williams team, prompting reigning drivers' champion Mansell to leave for CART. With a competitive car, Prost won the 1993 championship but he retired at the end of the year rather than be teammates with Senna who signed for 1994.

In 1997, Prost took over the French Ligier team, running it as Prost Grand Prix until it went bankrupt in 2001. In 2006, Prost started his fourth year in the Andros Trophy, which is an ice racing competition.

Prost employed a smooth, relaxed style behind the wheel, deliberately modeling himself on personal heroes like Jackie Stewart and Jim Clark. He was nicknamed 'The Professor' for his intellectual approach to competition. Skilled at setting up his car for race conditions, Prost would often conserve his brakes and tyres early on in a race, leaving them fresher for a challenge at the end of the race.

Motor sport journalist Denis Jenkinson described Prost as "a very warm and uncomplicated man who doesn't rely on passion or inspiration. Nor does he indulge in showmanship or bullshit. He is capable of a level of mental discipline beyond the comprehension of most people."

Michelle Mone

Michelle Mone OBE, born 1971, is the co-owner of MJM International and founder of Ultimo, the UK’s leading designer lingerie brand. Honoured by the Queen with an OBE for her contribution to business, Michelle is regularly listed as one of the UK’s top female entrepreneurs and has built a hugely successful career on an incredibly simple concept: giving today’s women what they want.

Entrepreneurial spirit was prevalent from an early age in Michelle, who grew up in the east end of Glasgow. Michelle left school at 15 with no qualifications to find full-time employment, after her father was struck down by an illness leaving him confined to a wheelchair. To support her family Michelle took on a job at Labatt Brewers’ and quickly climbed the ranks from office junior; at just 22years old Michelle was appointed as Head of Sales and Marketing for Scotland.

But it was in 1996 when her idea for Ultimo was born. Whilst attending a dinner dance with her husband Michael, Michelle was wearing a very uncomfortable cleavage enhancing bra and, as a result, had a ‘light bulb’ moment; Michelle decided to invent a bra that was more comfortable, more innovative, more attractive and more cleavage enhancing than any other bra on the market. MJM International was set up in November 1996.

Since launching the business Michelle has established herself as one of Scotland’s biggest exports; in 2000 Ultimo was catapulted into the media limelight when Hollywood actress Julia Roberts wore an Ultimo plunge-bra to enhance her cleavage in Erin Brockovich. Later that year Michelle won the coveted ‘World Young Business Achiever Award’ at the Epcot Centre, Florida, and then ‘Business Woman of the Year’ at the Corporate Elite Awards in London.

In 2001 Prince Charles invited Michelle to join the Board of Directors for The Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and more recently his Board of Main Council, confirming her status as one of the UK’s leading female entrepreneurs. Michelle also won ‘Best Newcomer’ at the British Apparel Export Awards, presented by HRH the Princess Royal, adding to her long list of awards, accolades and recognitions.

In October 2005 Michelle attended a speaking engagement with former US president Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev, and went on to support the Sultan of Oman in setting up women’s enterprise in the Middle East. Michelle has since become a high-profile guest at speaking engagements and corporate events all over the world.

Over the years Michelle’s business has gone from strength-to-strength, developing beyond the original umbrella of Ultimo to encompass Ultimo D-G Cup, Ultimo Black Label, Ultimo Shapewear, Ultimo Swimwear and partner lines including Diamond Boutique for Tesco, Adore Moi for Debenhams.

As well as designing fashion lingerie, Ultimo boasts eight worldwide patented inventions including the Ultimo ‘Miracle’ backless body. In addition to its jointly owned brands, MJM International currently supplies Tesco, Debenhams, ASDA, Next, Figleaves and, along with a number of independent lingerie stores throughout Europe.

In 2012, after 3 years of intensive research Michelle expanded her portfolio and launched into the world of beauty with a range of tanning products – Utan.

Michelle is divorced and lives on the outskirts of Glasgow with her three children. Michelle has achieved a remarkable level of success to date, juggling the demands of her business, together with motherhood, but – in her own words – ‘this is only the beginning’.

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis is one of the greatest Olympians of all time. During his career as an Olympic athlete, Carl Lewis won 10 medals.

These medals consisted of nine golds, which came from winning four long-jump events, two 100-meter races, two 400-meter relays, and one 200-meter race. He also received one silver medal that came from finishing second in a 200-meter race.

Because of his impressive track and field performances, Carl Lewis has earned himself international respect and a place in history as one of the truly great athletes of all time.

Carl Lewis went on to win medals at a total of four Olympic Games, and he would have been at five, but the 1980 Olympics were boycotted by the United States. In the 1984 Olympic Games at Los Angeles, California, Lewis tied Jesse Owens’ Record of winning four gold medals in one Olympics. Lewis won two gold medals in Seoul in 1988; two gold medals in Barcelona in 1992; and one gold medal in Atlanta in 1996.

Carl devotes a great deal of his time and energy to charity. He founded “The Carl Lewis Foundation,” which serves as an umbrella for the many charities that Lewis supports including the College Fund (formerly known as the United Negro College Fund), The Wendy Marx Foundation (for organ donor awareness) and the UNCF Walkathon in Houston. He is also involved in the “Best Buddies,” program as a Board Member; “Best Buddies” integrates people with special needs into society.

In 2011 Lewis appeared in the short documentary Challenging Impossibility which features the feats of strength.