About Ira Blumenthal
Considered a modern day business “Renaissance Man,” Ira Blumenthal is the president of CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Inc., an Atlanta-based consulting company that has counseled world class clients such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, Kroger, McDonald’s, Harrah’s, American Airlines, Disney, United Artists, Marriott, Exxon, Walmart and others in areas related to “branding,” “strategic alliances,” “change management,” “re-invention,” “customer service” and “business development.”
Ira is a published author. His successful first book, Ready, Blame, Fire! (Myths and Misses in Marketing) was followed by the nationally acclaimed Managing Brand You published by the American Management Association and printed in two languages and audio. It focuses on “personal branding” (www.ManagingBrandYou.com). Ira has also published over 200 articles on business development, change management and branding.
The former host of a popular radio talk show, “Success Talk,” Ira has interviewed “success stories” such as General Colin Powell, Mario Andretti, Tommy Lasorda and other notables. He has been a visiting university professor at The University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University and was the inaugural “Executive-In-Residence” at Georgia State University’s School of Hospitality and in 2012, was named Executive-In-Residence at Kennesaw State University. Before founding CO-OPPORTUNITIES, Ira was a top marketing executive at The Sara Lee Corporation and served as President of Rymer Foods, an organization he led to quantum leap growth from $90-million to over $200-million in three-plus years. He is the recipient of one of the highest honors in the food business, “The Key Person Award,” and has been honored with numerous civic and professional awards… and sits on a number of boards.
Delivering over 40 speeches annually (and over 1500 in his career… to over 750,000 audience members), Ira has also served as the speaking “opener” for the likes of President George Bush Sr., General Colin Powell, Lech Walesa, the late Pakistani President Benazir Bhutto, Henry Kissinger, Tommy Lasorda, Bob Dole and others… and has lectured (and consulted) on four continents. Respected as a business development and branding leader, Ira has been quoted and featured as a “subject matter expert in numerous media sources such as “The Wall Street Journal,” “USA Today,” “CNN,” “BrandWeek,” “Entrepreneur Magazine,” “Executive Excellence,” “Marketing News” and more.
Serving as the catalyst and strategist working for The Coca-Cola Company and The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in their shared commitment to making foodservice an important “industry of choice,” Ira is the co-founder and former Executive Director of the Resource Center For Workforce Solutions. He is also the architect of the NACS CAFÉ (Center for Achieving Foodservice Excellence), an educational institute operated by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) in an alliance Ira developed with Georgia State University, Coca-Cola, Georgia Pacific, Ecolab, McLane Foods, Anheuser-Busch and Kraft. Ira also worked for Ted Turner and his daughter Laura presiding over “The Captain Planet Foundation,” a non-profit organization that focuses on the development of environmental education programs for children and schools.
On a personal note, Ira is a tireless community activist and youth coach (coached both a state and national championship team). . .and in his own youth, was a “World Cup” athlete, as well as a collegiate Football and Lacrosse coach. Originally from New York, Ira lives in Hot-lanta, Georgia with his red-head Missouri bride, Kim. He is the father of two daughters and three sons… and has two grandchildren. In sync with Ira’s stellar, diverse career, his favorite quotation is “The true measure of a man is how many lifetimes he can cram into one…”
Strength In Numbers (Strategic Alliances)
Call it business development synergies, joint ventures, partnering, or strategic alliances… there is truly “strength in numbers!” This highly interactive keynote educates and motivates companies of all sizes “entrepreneurial, second tier, mid-size, multi-national” on the importance, power and viability of alliances. After all, we are fast-moving into “The Age of Collaboration.” Collaborative advantage leads to competitive advantage.
Change Is Inevitable. Growth Is Optional (Change, Re-invention)
There is one constant in life and business… change! Yet, change is not new. What is new is the incredible speed of change. Industries, companies and careers have gone from “distinction” to “extinction” because of their inability to adapt, adjust and master change. This session offers a high-content, high-energy, “hands on” approach to embracing, as well as capitalizing on change in business building. After all, change is to business what oxygen is to life.
Brand-Building For Your Future (Branding)
Products are consumed. Brands are purchased. In our branded world, we make Xerox copies, blow our nose in Kleenex, snack on Jell-O, relax in the Jacuzzi and cover wounds with Band-Aids. From Nike on our hats to Tommy on our shirts to Swatch on our watches and Starbucks in our cups, branding is critical to business development. This session focuses on the philosophy, strategy, guiding principles and “best practices” to create, build, maintain and manage brand success. After all, regardless of what your title is, everyone’s a brand manager… Great examples, provocative anecdotes and purposeful humor make this a great session, especially when customized for the industry, client and event. Everyone’s a brand manager!
Managing Brand You (Personal Branding)
What if you thought of yourself as a brand? Everyone struggles with what they stand for… or what they’d like to stand for… Each one of us is a brand. This speech focuses on the disciplines of business branding and applies them to the process of crafting, developing, extending, managing and protecting your most important brand… “Brand You!” Ideal for business executives, sales professionals, even non-business audiences… this is an interactive, high-energy, fun-filled educational and inspirational speech and workshop experience. What if you thought of you
Myths and Misses in Marketing (Marketing, Business Development)
Based on Ira’s book, “Ready, Blame, Fire!”, this energetic speech or workshop focuses on challenging conventional wisdom. Targeting the fourteen greatest “myths” in marketing ;i.e. “Bigger Is Better!”, “Close Enough Is Good Enough,” “The First One In Wins,” “It Won’t Happen Here!,” etc., participants learn from history the “misses”’ and gain a well-defined understanding of the “compelling imperatives” for success in a complex, highly competitive business climate. The focus of this session is on business development, quantum leap growth, alternative channels of distribution and marketing success.
The DNA of Success (Success)
In business and in life, success and fulfillment is not an accident. Using dynamic messages on success from his talk show interviews with “success stories” such as Colin Powell, Mario Andretti, Debbi Fields, Tommy Lasorda and others, as well as his diverse business career, Ira provides audiences with the compelling imperatives for success, fulfillment and peak performance. Filled with “best practice” examples, provocative anecdotes and purposeful humor, this is a high-appeal speech with great content. The company and career on top of the mountain didn’t fall there!
Ira was awesome. He got a standing ovation at the end. Ira was fantastic! Thank you ‘addressed to the bureau that booked Ira’ for sending us the BEST!!! He was wonderful. Everyone loved him and his style was perfect for the audience, time and theme.”
– Donna Fields, Vice-President, BellSouth
“Ira Blumenthal is a man from the future. Some people recommend out-of-the-box thinking and positioning. Ira lives out-of-the-box and is an expert in challenging conventional wisdom in both his counseling and presenting.”
– Ira C. Herbert, Former President-North American Business Sector, The Coca-Cola Company
“I just wanted to thank you for the outstanding presentation you gave at the AAdvantage “All-American Game of the Season” for American Airlines and our partners… We truly appreciated all the time and effort that went into this customized presentation.”
– Jeff Zidell, Vice-President, AAdvantage Marketing Programs, American Airlines
“Your message and the ideas you shared on creating change and building client loyalty were right on target with our audience and really made people think about the impact that can have on our business. The way you educated the audience with your examples, life experiences and passion was very educational, entertaining and something our people will remember for a very long time.”
– Scott Dougall, Senior Vice-President, Technical Support, IBM – The Americas
“We were honored to have you speak at our summit. Your presentation was astounding. It is always a pleasure to hear you speak. Your dynamic personality coupled with your outstanding knowledge base is, to say the least, inspiring.”
– John Metz, Chairman and CEO, Metz and Assoc.