August 2, 2021

Bahamian master motivator celebrates 30 years in business

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From Caribbean News Now

NASSAU, Bahamas — Bahamian born international motivational speaker, corporate trainer, bishop of motivation, customer service evangelist, talk show host and author, master motivator Spence Finlayson, is celebrating 30 years in business.

Finlayson began his career as a motivational speaker in 1987 while working as an advertising sales consultant for BATELCO’s Yellow Pages . He chose the business name of Spence Finlayson & Associates (sales training consultants) and during the first few years he concentrated on customer service training and sales training. After attending training sessions with Ron Willingham Integrity Training Systems in Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Nashville, he returned home and decided to go full time as a motivational speaker and corporate trainer, resigning from his lucrative job at BATELCO.

He became an instant hit in his native Bahamas attracting scores of Bahamians to his seminars and workshops. He created his very first motivational television show The Possible Dream at the urging of Patric Walkes, then sales director at ZNS TV 13. The show aired on Sundays at 5 pm and it quickly became a ‘must watch program‘. He subsequently created and hosted radio programs such as Mind Your Own Business, and The Essence of Success, which aired locally and was also syndicated throughout the English-speaking Caribbean.

Spence Finlayson was then hired by Carnival Crystal Palace Hotel as a motivational consultant by John Allen, the then general manager. In 1990 he received the Youth in Business Award from the ministry of youth and sports and was featured in the local newspapers. In 1988, he was named Rotarian of The Year by the Rotary Club of New Providence.

In 1993 Finlayson made a ‘leap of faith’ trip to the Cayman Islands on the invitation of his college friend Rollin Jackson. His first motivational presentation in Cayman at the Hyatt Regency Hotel was very impressive and that set the stage for future engagements in Cayman for five years. He then changed his business name to Motivation International, as he then did speaking tours of the English and Dutch Caribbean beginning in St Croix, US Virgin Islands, and ending in Aruba with much success. He was called “The Caribbean’s Number One Motivational Speaker” by a group of Toastmasters in Curacao.

It was during a low point in his life, that he changed his company name for the final time to The Phoenix Institute for Positive Development and Empowerment. Finlayson, a deeply spiritual individual, was taken by the phoenix bird from Greek and Egyptian mythology, with this bird representing being born again to the early Christians. In 2008 he created his current television show Dare To Be Great, which is broadcast in 22 Caribbean countries, in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in Ontario, Canada, and in the United Kingdom on CaribVison

Local and international celebrities have appeared on his show, such as US billionaire Michael V. Roberts of St Louis, weekend anchor Neki Mohan at WPLG Channel 10 in South Florida, Trina Robinson, anchor at NBC Channel 6 in South Florida, Bahamas consul general to Florida Rhoda Jackson, Shirley Gibson, mayor of Miami Gardens and founder of the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival, Bahamian Olympians, Tonique Williams, Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie, and Andretti Bain , former Cabinet minister Byran Woodside and noted CPA Craig “Tony” Gomez, Jamaican superstars Luciano and Shaggy and Barbadian soca queen Allison Hinds, and Billy Bannister, the touring manager for Motown’s Temptations.

As the founder and CEO of The Phoenix Institute for Positive Development, Finlayson conducts motivation, leadership, supervisory and customer service workshops and seminars in his native Bahamas and in 22 foreign countries in the Caribbean, Central America and the United States. He was nominated for the Icon Award in the category of Entrepreneurship. He is the host of Dare To Be Great radio show on ZSR 103.5FM and he has authored three books: Reach For The Stars, Dare To Be Great and Phoenix Rising.

A devoted Anglican, Finlayson thanks his God for ordering his steps for the past 30 years and for the gift of motivational speaking, that has literally made room for him and brought him into the presence of great men and women. He rose from humble beginnings in The Bahamas, his mother was a straw vendor and his father a carpenter, to become a recognized international leader in the field of personal and professional development. He is a much sought after dynamic speaker that leaves participants saying simply “wow”. For bookings, he can be reached at 242-601-6162 or by email at [email protected]

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