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John Foley received a degree in mechanical engineering from the US Naval Academy. During which he played defensive back for the Midshipmen in a team that had one of the best records in its history. He was rated in the top ten carrier pilots six times; he then became a Marine Instructor pilot and finally fulfilled his childhood dream of joining the Blue Angels display team. After leaving the service Foley gained three Masters degrees, in business management and in international policy studies, both from Stanford University, and in strategic studies from the Naval War College.

Foley is now one of the most sought-after speakers on the conference circuit, with more than a hundred keynotes delivered a year. He is founder and CEO of CenterPoint Companies, a training organization that focuses on the how to achieve high performance. Additionally he founded the “Glad To Be Here Foundation,” facilitating charitable donation from its clients.

Bringing the lessons of teamwork and high performance he learned in the military, added to his experience as an entrepreneur, Foley provides an inspiring program based around three essentials. Firstly, he exhorts his audiences to be grateful for what they have, an attitude he calls: Glad To The Here. Secondly, Foley infuses his program with his incredible energy, encouraging High Performance, and lastly he gives a workable model for using the precision team working learned in the Blue Angels into more earthbound workplaces.

What Foley offers is best summed up in his own words: “What I learned most from being with the Blue Angels had nothing to do with flying itself. I learned that the process of engaging at this high level, when my very life depended on successful communication, accurate information, trust and follow-through, is the same process leaders and successful individuals use to achieve excellence.”

Full Profile

John Foley has spent nearly a decade sharing practical and inspirational messages on High Performance with audiences around the world. The former lead solo pilot for the famed Blue Angels flight-demonstration squadron is among the most sought after conference speakers, presenting keynote messages at more than 100 events a year. He also is the founder and CEO of CenterPoint Companies, which provides in-depth training on the How of High Performance. And he is the founder of the Glad To Be Here® Foundation, which administers a giving-forward program that partners with clients to make donates to worthy charities.

Foley’s personal path to High Performance began as a child, when he stood alongside his father at an air show featuring the Blue Angels. From that moment, Foley knew deep in his heart that someday he’d be carving up the skies as a member of the Blues. Eventually, he lived that dream, but getting there wasn’t easy. In fact, Foley’s journey from an awe-struck child at an air show to the cockpit of the Blue Angels’ F/A-18 Hornet is a study in persistence, hard work and the will to overcome obstacles and setbacks.

Those ideals fit within three overriding traits that mark Foley’s presentations: First, a contagious attitude of thankfulness that he calls Glad To Be Here®. Second, an energizing delivery that inspires High Performance and service to others. And, third, a practical model for living out his message that works in other organizations as well as it works for the Blue Angels.

The model and the message are byproducts of Foley’s ongoing pursuit of continuous improvement. As a Blue Angel, Foley was part of a team that consistently performed in intense, high-stakes environments. With thousands of hours as a carrier pilot and hundreds of hours as an instructor pilot, Foley was an elite aviator when he joined the Blues. But to perform with this team—flying at speeds of more than 500 miles per hour and in formations as close as 18 inches from his teammates—Foley had to improve his performance by 300 percent!

Foley’s post-Navy experiences as a Sloan Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and as an entrepreneur put him in a unique position to reverse-engineer the culture of team excellence found in the Blue Angels and create a model that helps others on their journeys toward High Performance.

“What I learned most from being with the Blue Angels had nothing to do with flying itself,” Foley says. “I learned that the process of engaging at this high level, when my very life depended on successful communication, accurate information, trust and follow-through, is the same process leaders and successful individuals use to achieve excellence.”

Foley graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in mechanical engineering. He also was a defensive back for the Midshipmen, playing in two bowl games and helping Navy to one of the best four-year records in its football history. As a pilot, Foley was a “Top Ten Carrier Pilot” six times before becoming a Marine instructor pilot and a Blue Angel. He holds master’s degrees in business management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (as a Sloan Fellow); in international policy studies, from Stanford University; and in strategic studies, from the Naval War College. He makes his home in Sun Valley, Idaho.


John Foley Speaker Videos Back to top

John Foley Demo Video


“How do you reach that level of teamwork, excellence and performance, and probably more important, is that important to you?" asks Foley. Foley demonstrates through his inspirational talks how any individual can reach the highest levels of performance if they want it enough.

Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Foley brings his experience as Lead Solo pilot of the Blue Angels to helping his audience see how they can achieve similar levels of teamwork. He focuses on the development of trust and respect within teams as an essential, and shows how this can be achieved.

Foley is a committed advocate of gratitude and appreciation as a driver of workplace performance. His Glad to be Here philosophy demonstrates that a culture of thankfulness can reap dividends both for employee well-being and the balance sheet.

Interweaving his energetic no-nonsense presentations with footage of his time with the Blue Angels, Foley's keynote presentations are not only informative, but entertaining. Audiences leave his presentations energized, excited and feeling that they too can shoot for their highest goals.

High Performance Climb®
Every organization depends upon the performance of their people and their teams. There are few examples where this is more dramatically demonstrated than with the Blue Angels. John Foley draws upon his experience as Lead Solo of the Blue Angels to inspire audiences and show them how to achieve substantially higher levels of performance.

Foley demonstrates a simple, systematic, yet exciting approach for how to develop the clarity, focus, commitment, and trust that are necessary to achieve ever-higher levels of performance. He shows how to create buy-in and commitment for a team’s vision and goals, leading to clarity that drives execution decisions. He demonstrates how learning to focus prepares individuals for action and increases successful outcomes. In this insightful program, he emphasizes the development of trust and respect among team members as essential to execution, and demonstrates proven ways for teams to achieve deep levels of trust. He also explains a process that he believes is the primary key to continuous improvement and exceptional growth.

He drives home his message with dynamic videos of his adrenaline-pumping performance with the Blue Angels. His charismatic and enthusiastic presentations stimulate audiences emotionally and intellectually with a whole new perspective on their ability to excel. They leave the event not only transformed, but also with a set of concrete tools to immediately begin a high performance climb.

Team Oneness
The importance of teams being in sync is a concept that John Foley understands profoundly. The Blue Angels must be closely aligned in thought and action in order to accomplish their mission. Through their interdependence as a team, members are also challenged and stimulated to achieve higher levels of individual performance. In his dynamic presentations, Foley addresses the essential elements of exceptional team performance and makes them relevant, simple, and immediately actionable. He shares how to center a team around shared goals, strengthen relationships, and create unity that leads to consistent and effective results.

Employee Commitment
When people are deeply engaged in their work and feel valued, they are more productive and effective, leading to a positive impact on the bottom-line. John Foley shares how management can stimulate performance by creating a culture that values expression of gratitude and appreciation—for opportunities, co-workers, and clients. With his signature “Glad to be Here”™ mantra, Foley discusses the power behind gratitude as a way of thinking, working, and living. He shows how a culture of thankfulness engages employees on an intellectual and emotional level to create deeper commitment and raise levels of performance.



John Foley Speaker Testimonials Back to top

    “John’s presentation was more relevant than any other speaker we’ve had because he took the time to understand what we were trying to communicate. He made it real. He really connected.”
    Paul Clayton, CEO, Jamba Juice

    “John Foley did an awesome job for us. His skills in preparing a relevant presentation are fabulous. The feedback from my field force was absolutely incredible."
    Hugh O’Toole, Senior Vice-president of Sales and Client Management, MassMutual Retirement Services Division

    “John’s presentation was exceptional! He hit the mark on the issues we are dealing with. Our entire group is using the Glad To Be Here® approach since we’ve returned."
    Jeff Moody, CEO of Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust

    “The presentation was a hit. My whole team got back and immediately put the Debrief ideas into practice. And we’ve adopted the Glad To Be Here motto."
    Bob Reiff, Senior Vice President, The Hartford

    “John’s presentation was exceptional! He hit the mark on the issues we are dealing with. Our entire group is using the Glad To Be Here® approach since we’ve returned."
    Eric Murphy, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Ingenix




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    “John’s presentation was more relevant than any other speaker we’ve had because he took the time to understand what we were trying to communicate. He made it real. He really connected.”
    Paul Clayton, CEO, Jamba Juice

    “John Foley did an awesome job for us. His skills in preparing a relevant presentation are fabulous. The feedback from my field force was absolutely incredible."
    Hugh O’Toole, Senior Vice-president of Sales and Client Management, MassMutual Retirement Services Division

    “John’s presentation was exceptional! He hit the mark on the issues we are dealing with. Our entire group is using the Glad To Be Here® approach since we’ve returned."
    Jeff Moody, CEO of Subway Franchisee Advertising Fund Trust

    “The presentation was a hit. My whole team got back and immediately put the Debrief ideas into practice. And we’ve adopted the Glad To Be Here motto."
    Bob Reiff, Senior Vice President, The Hartford

    “John’s presentation was exceptional! He hit the mark on the issues we are dealing with. Our entire group is using the Glad To Be Here® approach since we’ve returned."
    Eric Murphy, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Ingenix


High Performance Climb®
Every organization depends upon the performance of their people and their teams. There are few examples where this is more dramatically demonstrated than with the Blue Angels. John Foley draws upon his experience as Lead Solo of the Blue Angels to inspire audiences and show them how to achieve substantially higher levels of performance.

Foley demonstrates a simple, systematic, yet exciting approach for how to develop the clarity, focus, commitment, and trust that are necessary to achieve ever-higher levels of performance. He shows how to create buy-in and commitment for a team’s vision and goals, leading to clarity that drives execution decisions. He demonstrates how learning to focus prepares individuals for action and increases successful outcomes. In this insightful program, he emphasizes the development of trust and respect among team members as essential to execution, and demonstrates proven ways for teams to achieve deep levels of trust. He also explains a process that he believes is the primary key to continuous improvement and exceptional growth.

He drives home his message with dynamic videos of his adrenaline-pumping performance with the Blue Angels. His charismatic and enthusiastic presentations stimulate audiences emotionally and intellectually with a whole new perspective on their ability to excel. They leave the event not only transformed, but also with a set of concrete tools to immediately begin a high performance climb.

Team Oneness
The importance of teams being in sync is a concept that John Foley understands profoundly. The Blue Angels must be closely aligned in thought and action in order to accomplish their mission. Through their interdependence as a team, members are also challenged and stimulated to achieve higher levels of individual performance. In his dynamic presentations, Foley addresses the essential elements of exceptional team performance and makes them relevant, simple, and immediately actionable. He shares how to center a team around shared goals, strengthen relationships, and create unity that leads to consistent and effective results.

Employee Commitment
When people are deeply engaged in their work and feel valued, they are more productive and effective, leading to a positive impact on the bottom-line. John Foley shares how management can stimulate performance by creating a culture that values expression of gratitude and appreciation—for opportunities, co-workers, and clients. With his signature “Glad to be Here”™ mantra, Foley discusses the power behind gratitude as a way of thinking, working, and living. He shows how a culture of thankfulness engages employees on an intellectual and emotional level to create deeper commitment and raise levels of performance.


John Foley Demo Video


“How do you reach that level of teamwork, excellence and performance, and probably more important, is that important to you?" asks Foley. Foley demonstrates through his inspirational talks how any individual can reach the highest levels of performance if they want it enough.

Keynote Speech