|Amy Gray and son, June 2012|
AMY GRAY (back)
FOUNDER, OWNER AND MANAGING MEMBER
New Leaf Speakers serves successful speakers who are ready to ‘turn over a new leaf’ in the way they handle requests for speaking appearances world-wide. As the internet brings famous writers, business people and celebrities into ever closer contact with their supporters, New Leaf is there as the friendly and effective extension of their trusted team to explore all appearance queries on their behalf.
New Leaf’s representation model offers:
- transparency over secrecy,
- warmth over ‘arms length’,
- tactful dialogue over blunt replies,
- speed over delay,
- detailed information over vague response.
We offer calm, capable and kind representation in a crazy world.
Our speakers are very well known and they are also highly professional and absolutely obsessed with doing a great job each time they are hired. They trust New Leaf to handle every inquiry with utmost respect and kindness, to negotiate effectively and fairly on their behalf, and to offer a gracious and polite decline, when needed. In return, we trust that our speakers will treat all hosts and co-brokers with respect and professionalism and deliver an on-site experience that delights the heck out of attendees.
Above all, we genuinely like each other and, if we lived close enough, we’d be hanging out at each others’ backyard barbecues.
New Leaf also plays well with others. We actively encourage co-broker work for our speakers and believe strongly that a broader net that generates more qualified inquiries and confirmed appearances is good news for everyone.
We are in this industry for the long haul and look forward to seeing its continual transformation.
New Leaf’s founder, Amy Gray, is a native of Bangor, Maine, and a 1994 summa cum laude graduate of Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in women’s studies and entrepreneurship.
Since 1994, Amy has held a variety of executive level positions in the conference and seminar industry and most recently served as Director of US Events at Giga Information Group (now part of Forrester Research). In that position, Amy worked with many celebrity speakers and drove nearly $7,000,000 in annual events revenue. She also led an amazing team of fifteen talented people who specialized in sponsorship sales, marketing, registration, operations, program development and audio/web-based seminars.
Amy resides on the north shore of Massachusetts with her family, which includes Oscar, the lovable pit bull, and Chachi, the one-eyed chihuahua.
P.S. For an early look at Amy, the budding entrepreneur, at age 11, click here. The photo strip, courtesy of the SpacePort arcade in the Bangor Mall, was destined for flyers to promote Amy’s babysitting skills to unsuspecting neighbors. One look at the self-inflicted ‘haircut’ and mug-shot style of the finished product convinced Amy to she should post the flyers without the photo. Smart move.
VICE PRESIDENT (back)
Seamus joined the New Leaf Speakers team in January of 2012. During his more than ten years in the speaker industry, Seamus held several different senior leadership positions, including most recently, Vice President of Business Development at International Speakers Bureau.
While his experience includes exclusive speaker recruitment and representation, celebrity brand management and digital marketing, his primary area of focus over the past several years has been content positioning and distribution via speaking, training and licensing for business and technology thought leaders.
In that role he has sourced and secured speakers and branded content for Fortune 500 companies, universities, governments and non-profit organizations. Additionally, he has structured deals in over twenty-five countries.
Seamus lives in Burlington, Vermont with his wife and son. He is a 1993 graduate of Boston College with a degree in English and minors in Theology and Irish Studies.
Before entering the crazy world of speaker representation, Seamus had an early fascination with cars (check out this image of Seamus atop the family station wagon- SWEET) and hockey (here’s Seamus as a star player for the Burlington Bobcats – nice game face!).
PART-TIME ACCOUNTING MANAGER (back)
Jennifer came aboard in mid-March 2012 at a time when the office was running on all cylinders and then some. Amy Gray was just about to depart on maternity leave, Seamus had begun his work at New Leaf just a few months earlier and the volume of work coming through the office had almost doubled over its level in 2011. All in all, it was an extremely fast-paced entry into the world of celebrity representation for Jennifer and she handled it extraordinarily well. Her calm, organized, efficient and effective work style is a welcome complement to the work we do.
Before coming to New Leaf, she spent five extremely interesting years working in Boston at a funeral home (which she will someday write a novel about!), and another five years working at a travel agency/dot-com start up that planned destination weddings. New Leaf offered her the family friendly, supportive and positive environment that is so rare in the job market these days, and she couldn’t be happier. The skills she honed planning funerals and weddings, calming frantic brides and grooms, managing pushy vendors and a juggling a myriad of shifting priorities are highly prized by all of the staff at New Leaf.
Jennifer lives in Hudson, MA with her fantastic husband and they welcomed their first child in late 2012. She is also very grateful for her supportive family, especially her father and sister, who have always been by her side.
CONTRACTS MANAGER (back)
Melissa joined New Leaf in September of 2008 and quickly became an indispensable member of the team. What a wild ride it has been since then! Melissa was born and bred in Massachusetts (ask her to say “Worcester” and “Leominster” sometime) and graduated with honors from Framingham State College with a BA in English. She’s a double-threat since she can recite Shakespeare AND knows how to properly use a semicolon. Prior to becoming a celebrity speakers’ agent, Melissa worked in the music business for over 10 years, where she organized massive music festivals attended by more than 80,000 people and managed the careers of world-famous rock stars. Currently, she lives in the woods of North Central Mass with her young son, around whom her world revolves.
For a look at Melissa’s introduction to the personal computer, click here. She’s the cute blonde in the lower right. Fashionable AND technologically adept– she’s the whole package.
LOGISTICS MANAGER (back)
Michelle joined the New Leaf team, part-time, in late April 2013, after impressing Amy Gray with her calm, capable and kind persona. A perfect match for New Leaf! After demonstrating that she is a highly capable and quick study, she was promoted to full-time employment in June. Michelle spent more than a decade in the fast-paced and challenging world of hotel group sales for a property in Needham that was part of a well-respected national chain—and it prepared her well for the wild world of appearances. Her past clients included Major League Soccer, the US National Men’s and Women’s Soccer teams and a variety of other tour groups, sports teams & academic groups from colleges throughout the United States. Learning to roll with the punches and think fast on her feet—all while staying calm, tactful and working harmoniously with the operations staff—serves her well with her responsibilities at New Leaf. In addition, those skills sometimes give her the upper-hand in negotiations with her two daughters!
Michelle grew up in Framingham, MA, the oldest of three sisters: She is the stunner on the left and graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelors degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies. We like to tease her about this major, so please feel free to have a chuckle over it yourself. Her minor was in Advertising and Public Relations. She resides in Marblehead, MA with her two beautiful children.
GRATITUDE LIST: (back)
This list is Amy’s way of acknowledging several of the wonderful people and companies who have helped New Leaf in significant ways since we got our start in September 2001:
Walter Angoff, retired Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP (www.NixonPeabody.com) Walter was a fantastic sounding board for ideas and a wonderful guide through the creation of New Leaf and the issuance of our first major contract. Without his knowledge, help and expertise, New Leaf LLC would not have been possible.
Charlene “Charlie” Drisko: Amy’s beloved mother who passed away at 45 years old from complications related to her Multiple Sclerosis. It was her return to college in 1986 and her college paper from July of 1991 on the Women’s Empowerment Network that really got Amy thinking about what she’d like to do with her own career.
Andrew and Kelly Gray: Amy’s incredible sister in law and awe-inspiring younger brother, the true entrepreneur in the family. Kelly and Andy welcomed Chachi and Amy into their home for nearly a year when New Leaf was just getting off the ground. New Leaf’s first office was in their basement in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
Barbara and Brian Hutchings: Amy’s cigar-smoking brother in law and hilarious older sister who is the best damn dental hygienist in Utah, or so Kevin Spacey says!
Judge Baker Children’s Center: www.JBCC.Harvard.edu
This organization makes a dramatic difference in the lives of children and their families– specifically working with kids who’s emotional and psychological challenges threaten to limit their potential. After working with them on the Camille O. Cosby World of Children Awards in October 2005, New Leaf became a huge fan.
Kevin Mitnick, CEO and Founder, Mitnick Security Consulting (www.MitnickSecurity.com)
Since 2000, Kevin and Amy have been close friends and staunch supporters of one another. Here’s to many, many more years of mutual success!
Dr. Dorothy and Stephen Weber: Amy’s surrogate family in Boston and close friends and mentors since May of 1992. They hired Amy as their live-in cook and nanny for their daughter, Meredith, and they joke that she has never left. Their financial and emotional support in the early years of New Leaf were nothing short of a miracle.
Alfred, Al and Laura Wilson: Amy’s fantastic husband and his amazing ‘oldest’ kids.