DeVrye MSc CSP
Catherine DeVrye develops ideas, delights audiences and delivers results.
Combining Gen Y energy with baby boomer experience and wisdom, Catherine has the 'street cred' to deliver the results you want at your next conference.
Always customised to your theme, Catherine's down to earth and delightfully humorous style is thought provoking yet practical and her content has earned repeat bookings on five continents.
Twice voted Australian Keynote Speaker of the Year, and named last year by the Financial Review as one of the Top 100 Women of Influence, Catherine is an entertaining communicator with proven international management experience in the private and public sectors - as both a female corporate executive and small business owner. She now speaks globally on customer service, change and turning obstacles to opportunities through resilience.
Catherine is a best-selling author of eight books and past winner of the Australian Executive Woman of the Year Award. Her memoir, Who Says I Can't? was released by Random House and nominated for the National Biography Award. On the cover Bryce Courtenay calls it a 'story of hope and perseverance', asking 'when's the movie?' Other best-sellers, translated into over a dozen languages, include Hot Lemon and Honey - Reflections For Success in Times of Change (endorsed by Sir Edmund Hillary), Hope Happens! Words of Encouragement for Tough Times, The Customer Service Zoo and Good Service is Good Business, a #1 best-seller in Australia and Taiwan. Her most recent, endorsed by Dr Edward DeBono, is Paperclips Don't Grow on Trees - Add value not cost to your bottom line.
A former IBM executive, Catherine held roles in sales, marketing, communication and leadership development, spending two years in Tokyo as Asia Pacific Headquarters Human Resource Manager. Once responsible for IBM incentive events and leadership programs, she vowed to not only deliver an entertaining and educational motivational message from stage but to be authentic and easy to work with off the platform. Thousands of testimonials from delighted clients prove she has achieved that.
Always in search of adventure and new material, she has cycled over the Andes, trekked to Timbuktu, beyond Everest Base Camp and was given the honour of carrying the Olympic Torch on the day of the opening ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. A cancer survivor, she also has an inspirational, heart-warming story of her personal journey from an orphanage in Canada, which she sometimes shares depending on your brief.
Catherine is also an Australia Day ambassador, featured in Who's Who of Australian Women, a former board member of the third largest police service in the world, past CEO of Young/Junior Achievement Australia, as well as working for Ministers of Consumer Affairs, Education and Sport, where she was involved in the establishment of the Life: Be In It fitness campaign.
She holds a Master of Science degree and has attended short courses at Harvard University and Melbourne Mt Eliza Business School... but believes the best education is common sense! She touches the head and heart to encourage action and better 'buy-in' to key management messages whether in time of complexity or disruption!
Clients include American Express, AT & T, Australian Tourism, Austrade, Bankwest, Coca-Cola, Domino’s Pizza, KPMG, Hewlett Packard, IBM 3M, Local Government, Mercedes, Neways, Qantas, Red Cross, Remax, Royal Australian Airforce, School Principals, TAFE, World Triathlon Championships...
Her versatility, experience and commitment to quality will act as a catalyst to maximise organisational and individual potential, and contribute to the success of your next event.
Real content, real fun, real life!
Client Comments for Catherine DeVrye
- Easy to listen to, witty and very wise... kept audience riveted and wonderfully amused. The team still talks about lettuce which has become the catchphrase for removing the unnecessary from our business.
- Thank you for the tremendous contribution to our business and the participative culture we have developed. Part of our success is due to your involvement and I am most grateful.
- As soon as she appeared on stage she had everyone's full attention and captivated the entire audience until the very end... remarkable presenter who reinforced our key messages and delivers beyond the expected. Professional yet relaxed style. Excellent entertainer and also touches people's hearts!
- Came top in evaluations... best thing since sliced bread... had audience in the palm of her hand... great message, a joy to work with and wonderfully normal.
British Association of Removers
- Spoke to a mixed audience ranging from junior staff to senior executives... all walked away inspired.
Bunnings Building Supplies and Hardware
- Presentation on hope and resilience in leadership, provided a personal story with lashings of good humour and helped set the tone for the conference. She wove the issues we spoke about at our teleconference into designing such an effective presentation
Catholic Principals Association
- Received a well-earned standing ovation from the 1,000+ audience... made my job easier.
- As evaluations show, our investment in having her speak was money well spent-most favourable audience response from any speaker in the history of the event.
- Played an important role in this year's direction... fantastic presentation... a waitress, a cook, a dishwasher, a CEO, an INSPIRATION.
- Response from my team has been overwhelming. The commonsense messages and ideas delivered on teamwork, service, delivery and personal attitude really struck a chord with all.
- Ideal opening conference speaker - delivering with warmth, humour and relating to personal experience.
- I didn't realise learning could be so much fun. Best presentation I've ever seen at IBM.
- The first time KPMG Singapore and Malaysia has ever given a standing ovation to any speaker since our inception in 1970s.
KPMG Singapore and Malaysia
- We had an all time record year and I'm confident Catherine contributed to this.
- Able to motivate managers to achieve the best for themselves - and for us.
Michael Hill Jewellers
- First time in 10 years that anyone received a standing ovation. Her plain speaking and terrific sense of humour was appreciated by a country crowd that can see through non genuine people.
- Great person to have as a last speaker - gave delegates the gift of high spirits to leave the conference.
- Fantastic presentation... spot on the brief and captivated the audience.
- Motivational, uplifting and fun! Couldn't have had a more inspiring keynote speaker!
- She sowed the seed of change... the quality program developed from these beginnings will result in a 40-50% improvement in productivity.
Westpac Financial Services
- Catherine was very personable and had the audience engaged at all times during the evening. This speaking engagement was out of her comfort zone as she was asked to talk more specifically about her own personal life story. She delivered a very inspiring and well thought out speech on a sensitive and private topic. Her ability to draw on other's interests as well as her experience was remarkable. She had done plenty of research on our participants which was much appreciated and contributed to her presentation.
Catherine was a delight to have as our guest speaker and I would highly recommend her.
Perks Chartered Accountants
- Catherine was terrific – she liaised with me a number of times, stayed within her brief, was on point and her presentation was excellent.
Maliganis Edwards Johnson
- Catherine was the keynote speaker at our 2016 National Conference and I can't thank her enough for the excellent job she did. Good keynote speakers are not difficult to find but often ensuring good brief understanding and relevance are. Catherine delivered in spades in both these areas. Our initial conversations on the phone were very positive with her asking a range of relevant exploratory questions making 100% sure she understood us, our business and the objectives we wanted to achieve through her presentation. She attended the Conference early mingling easily with delegates which was special and her presentation itself was outstanding. Relevant, funny, emotional, uplifting, thought provoking and educational. Most importantly delegates left with a range of tools they could put into practice to improve their own businesses and lives. I would not hesitate to recommend Catherine to anyone looking for a world-class keynote who gets it.
CEO Top 10
- Comments included...
- Catherine was just fabulous on our campus and impressed the complete scene of our international executives... full of inspiration and a great deal of laughter too.
- You were a resounding success at IMD.
- Brilliant! You knocked it out of ballpark.
IMD (International Management Development), Lausanne, Switerzland
- Catherine was just great and her presentation was enjoyed by all.
Go Vita Distributers Limited
- Catherine was informative, entertaining and thought provoking. She took care to ensure that she was well briefed and listened to our needs and expectations. The whole experience from booking to debriefing was enjoyable and satisfying.
- I have just completed our conference evaluation summary and have some feedback for you. Out of the 189 evaluation forms that were completed you scored a 4.82/5. A number of respondents even gave you a 6 so you can rest assured that your presentation was a great success.
Some of the comments included...
- 'Catherine was the highlight of the day';
- 'Catherine is an excellent speaker with a great message';
- 'Catherine's talk was both motivational and exceptional';
- 'Catherine was brilliant! She gave me ideas about how to promote change within the organisation I work';
- 'Catherine delivered an excellent presentation';
- 'The credibility of the speakers brings a lot to the conference. It's amazing to hear their insights and experience';
- 'The quality of presenters was excellent. All well prepared and very informative';
- 'Catherine was a fantastic speaker to end with'; and
- 'Catherine ended the conference well and ensured we were all awake.'
Thank you very much for your time and effort. You're a super star.
RiskCover Insurance Commission of WA
- Thank you so much for your thought-provoking presentation at our RMT Conference. You captured the minds of our senior executives and forced them to ponder the meaning of a customer service culture within our organisation. Your drive for exceeding expectations was well and truly met when you filled in for a speaker who was running late for his presentation later in the day. Not only did you engage an even bigger audience than your original presentation, you managed the last minute request with grace, flexibility and quick thinking. For that, in particular, I am most grateful. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as our attendees did, and I look forward to working with you again in the future.
- Catherine was exceptional with attendees saying 'all local businesses should have been here to listen and learn'.
- Participants enjoyed the session. But, even better, they felt what they learned would be useful in their own job situations.
Australian Institute of Management
- I have only received positive feedback and I felt that my objectives of being entertaining and educational were met and individuals all appear to have taken valuable elements with them.
- Dynamic presentation-content, style and enthusiasm were wonderfully in keeping with our philosophy and mission statement.
Baxter Health Care
- Feedback from customers was great - they all got a lot out of your talk.
- Stunning contribution! Exceeded all expectations that we could have dreamed of. My team was stunned by the way she took them on a journey unlike any other.
Brambles Industrial Services
- Delivered more than I anticipated - an action packed presentation that had the audience in fits of laughter... and also managed to deliver a business message on change with real life examples.
- Took customer service to a completely new height. Thanks for accommodating our changes to the schedule and for such a dynamic wonderful presentation.
- Excellent... it was obvious she had researched our company... would use again.
Coca-Cola South Pacific
- Entertaining and pertinent... certainly gave us insights and tips for our strategy.
Department of Employment, Education and Training
- Gave our partner's conference a flying start and our client service objectives a great boost. Also great to have autographed books, as a handy reminder.
Ernst and Young
- Spoke to a team who had just seen the company downsized. Her research insured the message was targeted and in context. 12 months later the team still quote her.
Hodder Headline Publishing
- Great entertainer as well as educator - worked well with audience.
- Amazing presentation! Messages really hit their target... a true inspiration who will continue to make a huge impact on many lives for years to come.
Invernell Business Awards
- We had such a great response to the breakfast, the accolades continue from customers in the form of additional orders - which is terrific. We experienced record months.
- Feedback from advisers in the field has been nothing short of remarkable. Motivational session left many re-thinking the way they add value and provide service.
- Feedback from our staff has been excellent and beyond our expectations.
Merck Sharpe and Dohme
- Great - it's a relief to know her presentations are always so well received.
Melbourne Mt Eliza Business School
- Felt such energy after yesterday's session, I've already put some ideas into practice.
New Zealand Olympic Federation
- Enthusiastic and entertaining delivery enjoyed by all and promoted many ideas for improvements.
- Excellent... even the cynics thought she was terrific!
- It is indeed rare to find a guest speaker so in tune with our philosophies. It was an absolute joy to have a speaker of her calibre upholding our core beliefs.
Ray White Real Estate
- Thank you for doing such a good job and making me look good.
Retirement Village Association
- Her lecture was so inspiring that even now my students keep telling me about it.
Rikkyo University Business School Japan
- Feedback was amazing-the energy, enthusiasm and genuine care shared... women are pretty good at picking a fake and they could tell Catherine was the real deal.
Roads and Maritime Services
- I doubt that we could have progressed as far as we have, or as quickly, without her involvement.
Royal Australian Air Force
- The audience truly appreciated her delivery and message - hit the ball out of the park.
Self Storage Association of America
- Inspiring address, finely honed for our profession, was the best opening keynote we could have had... highest rated session of entire conference.
Solus Medical Imaging
- The standing ovation at the end summed it up! Hip, hip hooray! We'll see you in India again.
The Seminar Company India (for I-Flex Solutions India)
- Inspiring messages, all providing motivation and direction.
World Triathlon Championships
- You certainly hit a chord with everyone and the standing ovation was both genuine and heart felt as our leaders were impressed. It was very evident that you had done your homework to ensure your presentation worked for your audience. We could not have been happier with the success. Your talks are both heart felt and inspirational which connects you with your audience... not everyone can do that.
- Good Service is Good Business
- Shift Happens - Conquer the Challenge of Change
- Resilience for Results: Turn Obstacles to Opportunities Through Hope & Humour
- Complacency is the Curse of Success
- Paperclips Don't Grow on Trees: Add value - not cost - to your bottom line
- Resilience = Results: Be empowered to turn obstacles to opportunities through hope and humour
- Service: To customers, colleagues, community and self
- Stronger United Teams Through Professional and Personal Leadership
Topic SynopsesEvery presentation is customised to your needs for the results you want. Select one or a mix of messages from Catherine's most frequently requested topics:
Good Service is Good Business
From the #1 best seller of the same name, in this session delegates will learn how to learn how to:
- Use service to differentiate you from your competition
- Gain market share through exceeding customer expectations
- Increase brand loyalty by turning complaints into opportunities
- Combine the high tech and high touch
- Many players and divisions-but one united team
- Eliminate waste & stimulate value-minor improvements for major impacts
- Boost the bottom line and staff morale without increasing cost
- Create customers for life-and a life for yourself!
Shift Happens - Conquer the Challenge of Change
From another best-seller, ‘Hot Lemon & Honey…Reflections for Success in Times of Change’ helps individuals cope with personal and professional change. The late Sir Edmund Hillary said: ‘information in this book can lead you on the road to success’ and Jack Canfield, co-author of ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’, comments: ‘full of vitamins for the mind.’ Attendees will see that:
- The 7 most expensive words in business are…’We have always done it that way’
- Change is inevitable. Learning from change is optional
- Winners become victors from change-rather than victims of change
- As stakeholder expectations change, differentiate between adding value or adding cost
- Turn common sense into common practice
- Fight complacency.... Success today does not equal success tomorrow
Resilience for Results: Turn Obstacles to Opportunities Through Hope and Humour
From the bestsellers Who Says I Can’t/Hope as My Compass and Hope Happens!…Words of Encouragement for Tough Times, attendees hear how to be more optimistic - but remain realistic-as Catherine shares an inspirational personal story, which can be applied to our working lives.
From early days in an orphanage in Canada-to an education in the USA-to her parents dying of cancer the year she graduated from university-to arriving in Australia jobless and near penniless-to an international career with IBM in Japan-to carrying the Olympic torch, the former Australian Executive Woman of the Year outlines:
- We can’t always control circumstances - but we can always control our attitude
- Focus on what you can do-rather than waste energy on what you can’t do
- Focus on the positive to produce professional and personal success
Incorporating analogies from working with street kids in Vietnam, trekking to Timbuktu, cycling over the Andes, sailing to the Antarctic and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, participants are reminded not to make mountains out of molehills.