Speaking Testimonials


"We invited Adam to give a presentation to SAP Silicon Valley's executives and senior managers on new ways to engage early talent. He ended up staying at SAP for the whole day. His participation helped our team come up with new and exciting ideas for how to recruit and retain top talent."

-Scott Leatherman, Vice President, SAP Silicon Valley


"I first saw Smiley speak at Culture Summit, and knew he was the perfect person to speak to the rest of MailChimp about having a career with purpose. The office was buzzing all afternoon after Smiley's Coffee Hour talk. I was thrilled that we brought Smiley in to speak to our employees." 

-Ashley Wilson, Employee Engagement Specialist, MailChimp


“Smiley is entertaining, high energy, engaging, motivational, thought-provoking, behavior changing and an expert on millennial workplace issues. His presentation was delivered with humor and authenticity. Smiley spoke at two HR Leadership events in the SF Bay Area and had stellar reviews.”

-Gina Ayllon, CAE, SHRM Executive Director Northern California

“Smiley provided key takeaways on the cross-generational workforce and engagement for the future in a clear, actionable way. One of our best speakers on this topic!”

-Tina Marie Wehmeir, CMP, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, AMC Institute

"Smiley gave a standout keynote at our Vision 2016 Conference. The audience was very engaged and we received lots of positive feedback from our customers, partners and WorkForce employees about his presentation on millennials and the future of work.  Everyone wants meaningful and impactful work, beyond the millennial generation." 

-Denise Broady, Chief Marketing Officer, WorkForce Software

"Adam's talk on understating and retaining millennials in the workforce, as well as the impact that a mission-driven business has on its employees, was a highlight of our reunion. Many of us reflected on the inspirational and thought-provoking takeaways he left us with. Adam delivered a great talk, and is an engaging, energetic, and dynamic speaker!"

-Richard S., Harvard Business School


"Smiley was a great speaker! He was energetic, motivational, and was able to engage with a room of over 100 people of all ages and levels of experience. As a company that is scaling fast, it was great to have Smiley help us all think a little bit more about our individual sense of purpose and how we can most effectively collaborate across generational groups."

-Brett Chereskin, Chief of Staff to the Chief Revenue Officer, Affirm

Smiley was engaged by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits - West Region, HR leadership team. The focus was on navigating inter-generational differences in the workplace as our talent landscape is shifting with incredible pace and intensity. The response was overwhelming positive and the team acquired practical and tactical recommendations for immediate implementation.  We look forward to a continued relationship and remain drawn to Smiley’s ability to connect with a diverse audience through his expertise and genuine approachability.

-Suzi Potts, Director of Talent Acquisition/Diversity & Inclusion, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits


"Adam’s presentation was insightful, engaging, and very well-received by all in attendance. He customized the content and delivery to our audience and offered real life examples of ways to empower millennial talent across sectors and industries. He provided ideas and takeaways that HR professionals would be able to implement at their companies right away. He is a pleasure to work with, and I wouldn’t hesitate to hire him again."

– Diana Childs, Equity Healthcare

"Smiley's Breakthrough Speaker workshop at TED was so helpful. He's very entertaining, and he provided the TED Residents with useful tools and strategies for promoting our ideas and creative work. I'm grateful to know him and his work."

-Allison Yarrow, TED Resident, Award-Winning Journalist, Speaker, Author of 90s Bitch


"Adam's seminar on Engaging Millennials was a standout hit at PBWC 2017 Conference. Dozens of attendees said Adam left them inspired, with tangible takeways to empower their employees." 

-Stephanie Heishman, Program Director, Professional BusinessWoman of California


"After hearing Smiley’s presentation at another industry event, we invited him to join our annual RedBrick Health Client Summit. Both our clients and attending team members appreciated his fresh perspective and his energy—it was one of their favorite sessions of the day, and he was a dream to work with throughout the event."

-Manda Bertrand, Marketing & Communications Specialist, RedBrick Health


Smiley’s dynamic presentation and enthusiasm brought energy to our company's annual meeting! His message centered around purposeful culture, the theme of our meeting.  Smiley provided specific examples and tangible takeaways which our team really appreciated. We saw great value in bringing Smiley in and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.

-Rhonda Ries, President, OsbornBarr


"Adam's presentation about millennials in the workplace was incredibly popular and thought provoking for our customers, and created a lot of buzz here in Stockholm."

-Hala G. Asfar, Project Manager, IDG Stockholm


"If you’re looking for an inspirational millennial leader, don’t look any further. Smiley spoke at SAP’s biggest gathering of customers, influencers and business leaders and provided the audience with real insight and better understanding of what young people want from employers today. His work is relevant toyoung professionals seeking purpose in their careers, as well as companies looking to create positive work environments and increase their social impact."

-Robin Meyerhoff, Global Communications, SAP


"Smiley was part of an engaging panel for our Women@Pinterest speaker series, along with NY Times bestselling author Julie Lythcott-Haims. They talked about how to build a meaningful adult life, and left our packed crowd inspired and motivated." 

-Annie Ha, Product Manager, Pinterest


"Smiley’s message reaches a diverse student population. He brings a purpose driven, inspirational view to the challenges of life after college while staying grounded, peppering his talk with humor and sound advice on how to get there. Our students responded positively as what he shared buzzed around our campus in the days following. Smiley’s passion and love for helping young people obviously left an impact on everyone in the room."

-Elke Hardt, Director of Career Services Center, La Sierra University


"Smiley spoke directly to feelings and thoughts about 'what happens next' that most GSB students sit with on a daily basis."

-Alex Lofton, MBA Student, Stanford Graduate School of Business


"Our group of Novas--Stockholm's most talented students and young professionals-- gave Smiley the most amazing reviews. He brings his true stories and learning which are valuable for everyone to find a meaningful job and create their impact on the world. He's honest, authentic and fun, and will for sure give you something to think about and inspire you to chase your dreams! 

-Johanna Kvissberg, Event Manager, Nova Sweden


Smiley moderated and convened an inspiring and diverse group of Bay Area millennial women leaders on the impact of millennials shaping the future of technology. The panel was incredibly engaging for our spring 2016 partner meeting and Smiley was excellent at steering an engaging and thought-provoking discussion.

-Julian S. Green, Inclusion Guidance, Anita Borg Institute (ABI)


"When Smiley is on stage, you can feel a tangible burst of energy in the room. He offers practical tools that help young professionals find meaningful work and build careers with purpose."

-Evan Walden, President,  ReWork


"Smiley brings both excitement and genuine care to his speaking and teaching practice. He is able to get everyone in the room engaged and motivated, and he is able to deepen into supporting each person in their unique purpose during his workshop. His strengths lie in allowing each person to fully consider their own potential and find accountability towards the larger goal of a meaning-filled life."

-Laura Reddick, Senior Program Manager, California Institute for Integral Studies


"Smiley brought an authentic energy to CreativWeek and shared his enthusiasm and zest for life with the Downtown Las Vegas community. His story is honest, impactful, and inspiring."

-Christine Lai, Chief of Staff, Delivering Happiness


"Wise beyond his years, Smiley finds a way to ask provocative questions, help people think about their next life step, and, in a humorous way, confirm that breakthroughs at any stage of life are much more about exploring and savoring one's journey, not just about achieving an end goal."

-Denise Benatar, Teaching Team, Stanford University


"Smiley is a gifted mentor and speaker. He's spoken at the StartingBloc Institute multiple times, and helped our Fellows find greater clarity and purpose for themselves. His style is at once honest, humorous, and deeply authentic. I couldn't recommend him more highly--as a speaker, as a mentor to young change leaders, and as an activator of community."

-Cesar Gonzalez, CEO, StartingBloc


"The top two aspects of Smiley's keynote that pleasantly surprised me were 'accountability partners' and 'maintaining the hustle'. These are both cornerstone components of my life personally. Smiley was a very engaging speaker, and I would recommend him and his book to high school students and college students alike. His message is relative to both, as I found upon presenting my notes to my Pathfinder students. I would bring him back at least once a year for incoming students to hear the same presentation!"

-Cecilia Saucedo, Student, La Sierra University


"Smiley is an eloquent, impassioned and creative leader. He created a curriculum at Bold Academy that allowed 15 high-achievers to reach even greater heights. I find him to be an extraordinary resource around identifying and pursuing goals that really matter." 

-Deepa Subramaniam, Director of Product, charity: water


"Smiley's openness and vulnerability on stage reels you in. His enthusiasm is palpable, leaving audiences with the energy and tools to create meaning in their own lives. If you're looking for a speaker to bring purpose to a millennial audience, Smiley is your guy."

-Amber Rae, Creator, The World We Want & Author of Choose Wonder Over Worry

Praise for The Quarter-Life Breakthrough


“Fresh and engaging, this book will inspire the next generation to lead with purpose.”

-Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com and New York Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness


"'The ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?' for the millennial generation."

-Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy and CEO of Imperative


"Smart stuff. Smiley moves past simplistic slogans and offers instead practical and nuanced strategies for succeeding in the noble task of crafting a working life that matters."

-Cal Newport, author of Deep Work and So Good They Can't Ignore You


"Our generation never settles for careers they aren't passionate about. The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is the ultimate field guide to living life on your own terms and creating meaning in your work."

-Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author of Promote Yourself and Me 2.0


The Quarter-Life Breakthrough is chock full of smart, practical, relatable, and timely tips for hungry young meaning-makers of the world who are looking to make a bigger impact in others’ lives (and find fulfillment their own)."  

-Jenny Blake, author of Life After College


"This book helps you create a life of meaning and purpose." 

-Christine Hassler, author of 20 Something, 20 Everything and 20 Something Manifesto