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Published:February 15th, 2006 13:01 EST
Judyth Piazza sits down with Norma Thompson Hollis, a professional speaker and owner of Speakers Etcetera

Judyth Piazza sits down with Norma Thompson Hollis, a professional speaker and owner of Speakers Etcetera

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

As founder and CEO of SPEAKERS ETCETERA and Black Speakers Online, Norma Thompson Hollis values the Power of Voice. She assists speakers to find their voice and express it, and assists meeting planners to find speakers who share the voice of their organizations and speak it. Founded in 1996, SPEAKERS ETCETERA is the largest African American owned speakers bureau in the country. Representing notable speakers such as Alice Walker, Tavis Smiley, Judge Mablean Ephraim, Yolanda King, Patricia Russell-McCloud, and Mother Love, the company is a one-stop shop for meeting planners who are seeking speakers for their events.

Norma has constructed this one-stop speakers bureau to meet a variety of speaker needs. The speaker services division provides training and marketing services to assist new and aspiring speakers to navigate their way through the speaking industry. Her conferences and seminars feature her book The Process To Become a Professional Speaker " and are a valuable asset for speakers. The company`s Black Speakers Online division offers an online directory of Black Speakers from various topics, fees and geographic locations with a current listing that exceed 150 speakers. The company is known for its exceptional customer service, integrity and professionalism.

Prior to opening SPEAKERS ETCETERA, Norma was a giant in the field of early childhood education. She was known for reversing long-standing fiscal and programmatic deficits in large urban Head Start programs, including a $10 million, 1500 child program in Los Angeles CA. Prior to moving to Los Angeles in 1979, Norma designed an early intervention program for preschool children and operated it in Detroit and Southfield Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio. This innovative program assisted parents to identify potential learning disabilities in their young children and provided activities to enhance development. After leaving Head Start in 1995, Norma was the early childhood consultant for the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese, where she assisted religious instructors to understand and meet the spiritual needs of preschool children. She is a certified spiritual director and presented a seminar at the first International Conference on Children`s Spirituality on the topic When Children Walk The Labyrinth " (the labyrinth is a walking meditation tool dating back to 2500 BC). During this period she also wrote the book Teach Your Child To Honor God ".

Norma received her B.A. from Michigan State University, Masters from Walden University, attended Wayne State University and was a management fellow at UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is a member of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB), Meeting Planners International (MPI), National Speakers Association (NSA) and the National Head Start Association (NHSA).

For a brief time Norma hosted her own talk radio show Managing Life`s Mazes " where she interviewed guests on ways in which they navigate their way through life. She is a columnist for Turning Point Magazine and Black Meetings & Tourism. Her articles have appeared in Rhythm of the Drum Magazine, Child Spirit, Verititas Newsletter, the Black Business Association Magazine and others. She is an unparalleled coach who mixes her pragmatic management and entrepreneurial experiences with a reliable intuitive nature to get at the heart of client needs. Her trademark, Power of Voice TM, assists people to become legends within their community by blending their intuitive nature with their life experiences and creating their authentic voice.

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