As a history-making mountain climber, business executive and author, Susan Ershler inspires audiences to challenge their perceived limitations and reach new heights of business and personal success. Ershler has won worldwide renown for climbing the Seven Summits—the highest mountain on every continent—while leading sales organizations at some of the nation's largest corporations. Throughout her career, she has excelled at building and leading teams that achieve exceptional, sometimes life-changing goals. Today, she dedicates herself to applying the life strategies she honed in corporate America to benefit others seeking to realize their dreams.
In her first acclaimed book, Together on Top of the World; The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits, Ershler shared her remarkable Everest adventure and the life lessons she learned on the mountain. Her next book, Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales: From Everest to Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance (HarperBusiness), Ershler examines the habits of success anyone can master to achieve peak performance in selling, business and leadership, using the same techniques and determination that empowered them to climb the world’s highest mountains.
In her popular keynotes, Ershler shares her Project ∙ Prepare ∙ Persevere® methodology, which can transform any business organization into a dynamic force for revenue growth. Having risen through the ranks to corporate leadership, Ershler keenly appreciates the challenges business professionals experience at every stage in their careers. She “walks the talk,” explaining the Seven Summits principles that everyone must master to reach Peak Performance and illustrating how to apply these techniques to overcome real-world work/life challenges. Whether focusing on leadership, achievement, sales performance or meeting personal goals, Ershler inspires her audiences to take the next step in achieving their own vision of success. While her themes have universal appeal, Ershler tailors the content of her keynote presentations to meet each organization’s particular needs.
Ershler has been honored with eleven annual President’s Club sales awards including the exclusive national award, “Regional Sales Manager of the Year.” She climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest on May 16, 2002 with her husband Phil, making them the “first couple to the climb the Seven Summits together.” Additionally, Susan became the 12th American woman to climb Mt. Everest and the fourth American woman to complete the Seven Summits. Ershler graduated Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. She now resides in Seattle, Washington.
Praise for Susan Ershler:
"Sue's presentation was an outstanding story where we share the excitement of her journey to the summit and how this experience is related with our business, specifically in terms of setting goals and teamwork. Sue performed flawlessly and the team was pleased and really motivated by this absolutely great keynote. She is truly an inspiration for all of us!"
--Business & Marketing Officer, Microsoft
“Motivational and engaging, Sue weaved a captivating story of reaching summits and exceptional sales goals that inspired our customers and partners to take on bigger challenges and face them head on. She gained instant credibility with the audience, having walked in our shoes. And she provided valuable tools to help all of us reach our goals.”
--Kim Hawley, CEO, Attenex Corp.
"For those of you who have not hired Sue to share her story of climbing the seven summits with husband Phil, you're missing a chance to inspire and motivate sales and client professionals… Sue then joined Phil and shared her saga climbing the seven summits with 300 brokers that we hosted when I was serving as regional CEO for United Healthcare. President George HW Bush even got a signed copy of their book that night. Looking for a different and accomplished speaker, look no further than Sue."
--Regional CEO, United Healthcare
“Susan delivered her inspiring presentation to over 300 of our sales managers and the results were outstanding. Her accounts of courage and determination definitely put our challenges as a sales force in perspective. Susan’s message proves that any goal, no matter how difficult it may be, can be achieved through proper planning and determination. I recommend Susan as a speaker for any company that wishes to motivate and build teamwork within their organization via a very interesting story that is exciting and “outside the norm” of traditional motivational/business speakers.”
--Marketing Director, Aflac, Inc.
“Susan was able to relate to our organization through her experiences in sales while also inspiring us with her resolve to climb all 7 summits. The team used her speech as a catalyst to reach beyond what you thought was possible. Susan has demonstrated that achieving goals requires teamwork, resolve and a plan. A true inspirational story and person. Employing Susan’s story as metaphor, we used "Climbing to the Summit" as our theme to our Sales Meeting and had charts built to look like mountains which we used to track our progress on our climb to the summit through the year. She was the inspiration that motivated us to achieve the profit plan and exceed our sales goals.”
--President of Wholesale, Yankee Candle Company
“Susan Ershler was inspiring! Energizing! Motivating! The most useful idea that I took back to work: Write down the goal and share it with the team so everyone buys into it. Look at it every day!”
--Director of Sales, Courtyard Marriott
"I've had the pleasure of hearing Susan share her wisdom and experience in the secrets to conquering the seven summits and the lessons learned to aid in the personal achievement of peak performance. Now Susan and her co-author have put these ideas into a book that we can all share. I recommend it to anyone who wants a better view on how to instill commitment and success in your personal and business life."
--Ritchie Straff, Vice President Strategic Planning, Daikin America, Inc.
Praise for Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales:
“Learn some of the most effective sales strategies based on the rare experiences of Susan and John, who have not only climbed the tallest mountains but made it in corporate America. In this simple, easy to read, and entertaining book, you’ll sell more and reach your full potential faster!”
--Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself
“Climbing high, in business or on mountains, is risky but great fun. One needs skill, perseverance and a little bit of luck to reach the top. Ershler and Waechter can’t help you with luck but they clearly explain what it takes to overcome obstacles and reach the highest summits of both the Earth and global business. Great analogies and well done.”
--Jim Whittaker, First American to summit Mt. Everest, 1963, and former President and CEO, Recreational Equipment, Inc.
“Susan and John truly know what it takes to succeed in business and life and this book will inspire you to reach new heights. Susan’s ability to connect with everyone she speaks with comes through loud and clear. I am certain you will find renewed strength in your approach to tackling adversity and persevering on your way to achieving your most important goals”.
--Sam Reese, CEO, Miller Heiman, Inc.
“Sue and John have taken their amazing accomplishments of climbing the seven summits and applied the principles that helped them achieve that success to their business and personal lives. Business is about serving the customer. They have provided meaningful suggestions that are fundamental to anyone in business.”
--Blake W. Nordstrom, CEO, Nordstrom, Inc.
“A fantastic read, that both thrills and teaches. Being able to transform all the experiences and death defying moments, into clear and deep lessons for business, has never been done before, with this clarity and perfection. A must read both for the thrill seeker and the responsible businessman, who needs some insight, when things turn sour and business survival is at stake”.
--Nando Parrado, Survivor of the 1972 plane crash in the Chilean Mountains and best-selling author of Miracle in the Andes