Keynote speaker Robyn Benincasa

Robyn Benincasa will present "World Class Teams" an inspirational keynote full of inspired ideas about how to raise your team to the next level (against all odds), both personally and professionally. There is an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

With a background in marketing, Robyn was previously in corporate sales with Baxter and Allergan Robyn Benincasaand is currently a full-time firefighter. world champion eco-challenge adventure racer, CNN Hero, founder of the Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!), 3x Guinness World Record distance paddler and author of the New York Times best-selling book How Winning Works.

For the last 20 years, she and her teammates have been competing at the front of the pack in the most unique and compelling classrooms on earth – the jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia – studying the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty in extreme teamwork and mastering the skills required to inspire a group of semi-exhausted people through a seemingly endless series of checkpoints, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal, working against crazy deadlines, in constantly changing conditions and all in pursuit of a huge hairy audacious goal.

It is through these harrowing, life affirming and often hilarious experiences in the world’s most grueling challenges that she has emerged with her refreshing and truly unique perspective on what it takes to build the kind of world class teams that succeed against all odds, that triumph in the face of adversity and that win as one in times of great challenge and change. Whether you’re trying to beat the competition to market, scale a looming mountain of a project  or simply get your team all marching in the same direction, Robyn’s 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy will coach you to the finish line of success. Robyn is a highly rated speaker for companies like Starbucks, Deloitte, Aflac, Fast Company, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ARAMARK, Siemens, 3M, Coldwell Banker, Ameriprise, Microsoft, AT&T.

Read a review of How Winning Works on the HBA blog.


  • 7 years in sales with a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company (received Rookie of the Year Award)
  • New York Times best-selling author
  • 2014 CNN Hero
  • 2-time adventure racing world champion (with 20 top five finishes)
  • 3-time Guinness World Record holder (longest distance paddled in 24 hours…kayak and stand-up paddling)
  • 10-time Ironman Triathlete
  • San Diego City Firefighter (first all female crew in the country)
  • Founder of the non-profit Project Athena Foundation