Internationally-acclaimed speaker and bestselling author D.J. Vanas is a powerhouse speaker for Fortune 500 companies, hundreds of tribal nations, and over 7000 audiences nationwide. He has also spoken at the White House.
Why do these audiences seek him out?
What does D.J. know about leadership and personal development that is exceptional and unique?
D.J. captivates audiences by introducing them to the Native American warrior spirit. The tribal principles that led the first cultures in America can be applied today to lead organizations with courage, find clarity in chaos, and serve at their best regardless of circumstances. Organizations such as Intel Corporation, P&G, Subaru, Accenture, USAA, Walt Disney and NASA have relied on D.J.’s unforgettable stories, humor and practical, easily-implemented lessons. His specialty? Creating a valuable experience for audiences of any size or background, from youth in poverty to senior leaders in national associations and Fortune 500 companies.
The best example of the power of the warrior spirit is found in D.J.’s own success story.
A tribally-enrolled member of the Odawa Nation of Michigan, he was born to impoverished teenage parents. He went from sleeping in a drawer for the first three months of his life to becoming a proud graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, a decorated Air Force captain, a renowned member of the tribal community, a bestselling author, and a revered motivational speaker. A true warrior, who is successful in both business and life, he credits these personal triumphs to traditional teachings and ceremony, his service as a military officer and his upbringing by his selfless and hard-working parents.
“Warriors fight for something bigger than their own
personal welfare. They fight with all they have to improve the world around them and the people in it.”
Over the past 25 years, D.J. has served hundreds of tribal communities, learning from elders in all of them. He is a role model for Native youth and promotes leadership engagement and outstanding service across Indian Country. He’s also a veteran Sun Dancer and was honored with the name Mato Wanbli (Eagle Bear). D.J. believes that his tribal culture holds the keys to better work practices, to leading and living with courage, and to healing the planet–– for all of us.
Spend even a few moments with D.J. and you’ll see why those he’s worked with love him the way they do: he’s down-to-earth, approachable, funny, and full of positivity and always aims to bring out the best in those he’s around. All of this shines through in his presentations.
“D.J. not only leads by example, but leads
by the right example”.
LtCol. Kevin Basik,
USAF, Retired / Professionalism & Ethical Leadership Development,
Air Force HQ
D.J.’s bestselling book, The Tiny Warrior, is printed in six countries and sold around the world. When he’s not writing, traveling or speaking, D.J. is a belted Krav Maga self-defense practitioner, gardener, and talented cook (as verified by his beloved wife and their two daughters!)
D.J. resides in San Diego - and airport gates everywhere.
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