Since winning the Miss Junior America competition, I’ve been speaking, coaching and training at the intersections of career and leadership development, public speaking, women’s empowerment, the generations and social change. I graduated #1 in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada Las Vegas with a BA in women’s studies. Then, I attended New York University where I maintained a 4.0 GPA and earned my MA in interdisciplinary studies—focusing on gender, leadership, social change and theatre. After a three-pronged career leading professional development programming for a nonprofit; creating original theatre; and teaching public speaking, women’s studies and theatre for multiple universities, I decided I wasn’t fully embracing my purpose and making a big enough impact. I went to Coach U, got certified by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and decided to serve the world Alexia-style. In 2007 I launched my company, Catalyst for Action (recently re-organized as Alexia Vernon Empowerment, LLC), and have been living and dishing my holistic recipe for heart-centered, high impact communication and public speaking ever since.
As a communication and leadership expert, I develop and lead interactive, skill-based training for corporations, national professional associations, social enterprises and universities. I’ve gotten my gab on with media such as CNN, NBC, Wall Street Journal, Diversity Executive, Glamour.com and Forbes.com. I’ve been a featured expert for Mint.com and Women’s Health Magazine. I lead a first-of-its-kind women’s leadership training program, Influencer Academy. I co-host Las Vegas’ TEDxWomen event, TEDxFremontEastWomen. I’m the author of the books 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance (ASTD Press, 2012) and Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career (Joshua Tree, 2010). I’m proud and privileged to serve my local Las Vegas community as the President of ASTD-Las Vegas and former President of the Nevada Professional Coaches Association. And perhaps my greatest source of pride is serving on the Board of Directors of Family and Child Treatment (FACT) of Southern Nevada, a nonprofit organization that helps Las Vegas families heal from the cycle of sexual and physical abuse.
Rest assured, while I have engineered a life I am very proud of, my professional and personal life hasn’t always been rainbows and cupcakes. I’ve overcome a tongue thrust, sexual abuse and depression so debilitating I thought surely it would swallow me whole. I’ve broken my left arm three times and my tailbone twice. I’ve worn headgear. Post graduate school I owed more in student loan money than I made in the course of a year. And for much of the first quarter of my life, I was just plain ole angry and cranky.
As I have bulldozed through the good, the bad and a whole lot of ugly, I have learned that fear is the source of most unhappiness and under performance—at work and in life. The good news is that it is a habit and can be reshaped. While you can’t ever let go of it once and for all, you can keep it at bay through moment-to-moment choices to think, feel and most importantly speak with courage and integrity…or what I call, moxie. When you give yourself love and forgiveness during the hiccups to confident and inspired living and communicating, you create a richer life and serve the world at a higher level.
I know through the deepest recesses of my intestines to my innermost gray matter I was put on this equal parts wonky and wonderful earth to help people step into their power as communicators and play a bigger game in their lives and in their companies. By shifting hard work for smart work, making gratitude their attitude and reframing every obstacle into an opportunity to learn, grow and forgive, my clients and audiences don’t just become outstanding communicators and presenters. They learn how to walk into any room equal parts confident and competent. And most importantly, they know that their legacy is not what they create but what they leave behind through their words and actions.
Whether I’m working one-on-one with an emerging or evolving leader, speaking my speech on stage or under studio lights or facilitating a corporate training or retreat, I challenge my people to uphold the highest vision of success for themselves and create a powerful story of who they are – and are in the process of becoming – so that they can align their values, strengths, resources and enthusiasms to be values-driven, ethical leaders.
If you have greatness you and/or your colleagues, community or campus have yet to tap, or are ready to stretch to the next level of success, I invite you to subscribe to my Obstacles Into Opportunities. As a thank you for subscribing, I’ll send you my 7 Biggest Obstacles to Success and the Sinfully Simple Formula to Shift Them Into Opportunities so that you can start taking action now. I invite you to explore the current ways I inspire people to learn and grow. And connect with me online.
Professional Bio for Alexia Vernon
Branded a “Moxie Maven” by the White House, since winning the Miss Junior America competition as a college women’s studies student, Alexia Vernon has been empowering companies, campuses, professional associations and community organizations to build a new generation of heart-centered, high-impact communicators and ethical leaders. As a public speaking and executive coach, Alexia has worked with C-suite executives, TV and media personalities, TEDx speakers, community and business leaders, and entrepreneurs. Alexia is the creator of Step Into Your Moxie, a women’s empowerment platform that teaches presentation skills, negotiation strategies, conflict resolution and interpersonal communication and is the founder of Influencer Academy, a 9-month women’s leadership development experience. Alexia is the author of 90 Days 90 Ways: Onboard Young Professionals to Peak Performance and Awaken Your CAREERpreneur: A Holistic Road Map to Climb from Your Calling to Your Career. She has shared her advice with media such as CNN, NBC, Wall Street Journal, FOX Business News, CBS MoneyWatch, CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, Glamour.com and Forbes.com, and she has served as an expert for Mint.com and Women’s Health Magazine. When not helping people and companies shift obstacles into opportunities, Alexia stays active in the sexual abuse prevention and rehabilitation movement, lets go through yoga and meditation and drinks a lot of green juice and lavender tea. You can learn more about Alexia and receive her 7 Biggest Obstacles to Success and the Sinfully Simple Formula to Shift Them Into Opportunities at www.AlexiaVernon.com.