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Chasing the Sun Keynote Speeches and Workshops Deliver Relatable and Practical Accountability

Inspiring and Empowering Attendees To Act With Confidence and Intention.

 
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Experience in speaking and hosting workshops of all shapes and sizes.

From delivering conference keynote speeches to running hour-long workshops with 200 public relations leaders, to leading a five-part series with a group of healthcare communicators, I inspire people to prioritize their wellbeing and equip them with the tools to take immediate action.

Case Studies

Global Team Case Study: Amazon Web Services

Project: Wellness Accountability Story Workshop Series with Communications Team

Activities: Four Two-hour workshops with teams in North and South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Impact: "Mark’s program provided much-needed practical and relatable inspiration for our global communications team to take that first step on their wellness journey.” -- Erin Tsang, Senior Business Operations Manager, Public Relations, Amazon Web Services

 

Long-Term Program Case Study: Bloom Communications

Project: Six-Week Accountability Program

Activities:

  • Two-hour workshop
  • Weekly 3-5 minute videos
  • Follow-up workshop discussion

Impact: "Bloom Communications had the privilege of participating in a month-long series with Chasing the Sun that brought sustainable change and renewal to our communications team. Mark's contagious energy and positivity sparked excitement around small changes that we could immediately implement to drive big results. He delivered catered, weekly content that addressed challenges most pertinent to our team in a way that was motivational and inspired action. The greatest gift came in Mark's ability to empathize with the stresses of working in a fast-paced agency environment and the impact on our physical and mental well-being. Mark's prescriptive guidance and partnership have been instrumental in ensuring we prioritize self-care to show up as the best version of ourselves not only for our clients but also for the people we love most. I am so grateful for our time with Mark and will never treat a last-minute canceled meeting the same again." -- Leigh Havelick, Managing Director

 
 

Team Offsite Meeting Case Study: DH

Project: Supporting company-wide offsite meeting. 

Activities: Hosting a virtual two-hour wellness accountability workshop.

Impact: “I appreciated how Mark built his curriculum around examples he pulled out of our team to make his points tangible for us. I appreciated the research he cited to position wellness as a performance optimizer; that speaks to me. He’s also just a personable guy and solid speaker. I appreciated how he was real and offered some humor and humility without being overly self-deprecating.” -- Tyler Tullis, senior director of communications strategy

 

Keynote Speech and Workshop Topics

Designing Your Wellness Accountability Story

Summary:

What is our story? To grow as professionals, we must not only advocate for ourselves and have a voice in major business decisions; we also must do something often neglected: take care of our mind and body. Mark Mohammadpour, APR and certified personal trainer and health coach who lost and kept off 150 pounds more than 10 years ago, will lead a discussion on the state of our wellbeing in our industry and work with us to develop our personal 2021 accountability plan. This plan will prove pivotal as we establish how we show up for ourselves, our team, and our stakeholders.

Objectives:

  • Gain insights based on survey results from peers on their experiences with health and the workplace.
  • Apply traditional business planning techniques to create customized fitness and wellness goals.
  • Learn practical health, wellness, and fitness tips that are tailored to busy professionals.
  • Create a personal fool-proof wellness accountability plan.

Designing a Workplace Charter in the Hybrid Office Era

Summary:

As business leaders, we are evolving how we manage and support teams in a virtual environment. We’ve learned new techniques to communicate with our teams, give more grace, and redefine how we balance our personal and professional lives. We are consistently striving to balance our employees' health and wellness with the business's performance expectations. The development of a team charter that emphasizes the benefits of an equitable work environment and establishes agreed-upon expectations with your teams will demonstrate clear leadership, empower employees to care about their wellbeing, and ultimately reduce employee burnout and turnover.

In this session, we share practical tools to help keep our minds motivated, our teams feeling inclusive, and our bodies fueled and prepared to lead in this new era.

Objectives:

  • Gain insights based on survey results from peers on their experiences with health and the workplace.
  • Learn practical recommendations for designing a team workplace charter.
  • Learn how a team workplace charter empowers employees and managers to partner in decisions impacting their work/life balance effectively.
  • Learn how to incorporate your team charter during the employee hiring and onboarding process.

Feeling Good As Hell: Thriving in the Hybrid Work Era

Summary: 

The way we work has changed. The new hybrid work experience requires a new approach to managing the rest of our lives, particularly our mental and physical health.

In this workshop, we discuss relatable, practical, and actionable tools to feel as "good as hell" to tackle one of the most stressful jobs in the world: public relations executive.

Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Taking control of your physical activity in the hybrid era: use practical tools to incorporate exercise into your work and personal life.
  • Curbing those comfort food and candy cravings through the winter season: together, we’ll work on approachable and practical methods to a mindset that allows you to stay satisfied throughout the day and curb snacking so that you’ll sleep better.
  • Making remote team management an energy builder, not a zapper: working remotely isn’t going anywhere. But how can you be more effective, active, and engaging with your team without sacrificing all your waking hours? You’ll learn tips on building trust and rapport with your team that give time back to you and allows you and your team to grow.

This session is designed for professionals at all levels.

Objectives:

  • Gain insights based on survey results from peers on their experiences with health and the workplace.
  • Learn what the paradigm shift to a hybrid work model will look like in our industry.
  • Understand the positive impact that increased self-confidence plays in our career.
  • Learn how to apply traditional public relations planning techniques to creating fitness and wellness goals that work for anyone and set themselves and their teams up for success.

10 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career

Summary: 

Starting a new career is a special experience. There is a lot to take in as you start your journey. But it can also come with some challenging moments that are sometimes difficult to learn until you’re on the job.

These moments are ones you experience with your new boss, new colleagues, new clients, or anyone else you will be working with throughout your career.

This session is designed to help students, and new professionals reduce pitfalls, feel empowered and confident heading into a new career.

Objectives:

  • Learn how to act as a trusted advisor and establish rapport with your manager and colleagues.
  • Understand the power of your personal and professional network.
  • Learn how to brand yourself in a way that will set you apart during the start of your career.
  • Identify the most important soft skills to keep in mind when starting your career.
  • Learn how to ensure you’re using your employee benefits to support your health and wellbeing.

Testimonials

Video testimonial from a PR Professional, Professor, and new parent who attended a Chasing the Sun workshop!

 

Video testimonial from a Chief Development Officer and PRSA Chapter President!

 

Ann Smith, President, A.wordsmith

Mark at Chasing the Sun is an incredible resource for professionals working to balance their lives, careers, and health.  The workshop he led for our team was exactly what we needed at this time of quarantine when it’s easy to fall into a rut, work tirelessly and forgo the things that bring us joy and feelings of self-worth. It sounds basic but we all need reminded that it’s not just ok, but critical, to put ourselves first so that we can show up most effectively for everyone else around us. Thanks Mark for being such a source of motivation and inspiration for us all!

Taylor Long, Corporate PR Manager, Autodesk

I attended the 2019 PRSA International Conference and joined Mark’s workshop on how communication professionals can prioritize health and wellness. His personal health journey was inspirational to hear, and he gave specific, actionable tips we could incorporate into our busy lives. I liked how the session was interactive and we got to hear from other attendees about how they will commit to living a better life. Mark’s energy and enthusiasm are uplifting and I highly recommend his workshop to anyone looking to build health and wellness into their daily routine.

Lindsay Leszczynski, Senior Account Executive, Edelman

We invited Mark from Chasing the Sun to speak at a PRSA event about prioritizing health and wellness during Stress Awareness Month. This event came at a perfect time, when PR professionals continued to grapple with the pandemic – facing isolation, unmanageable workloads, and stress. During the session, Mark shared surprising industry data, inspiring personal anecdotes, and tangible ways pr professionals can put their health first. Mark’s energy was infectious, he was incredibly engaging, and we received nonstop compliments from our members about how well the session resonated with them. From the planning process and beyond, Mark lead with kindness was incredibly responsive and collaborative. Thank you for Mark, for sharing your wisdom and teaching us how to become the best version of ourselves!

Lily Gordon, Public Relations at Coursera and former University of Oregon PRSSA President

Mark is an empathetic, engaging, and seasoned speaker. During his presentation to the University of Oregon’s PRSSA chapter, he met students where they were at the moment and will be in the near future. Through personal anecdotes, hard numbers, and interactive solutions, Mark gave the students a wake-up call to the health dangers of entering the communications world while simultaneously making it clear there are realistic ways to maintain fitness and wellness in an incredibly stressful world. After Mark’s talk, students felt empowered to pursue their professional dreams without sacrificing their personal well-being.

William Careri, TEDx speaker and former PRSSA member at Temple University

Mark’s session on living your best PR life resonated with me and my colleagues. With Chasing the Sun, he has truly captured the struggles we communicators face on a daily basis. His grasp on not only the communication industry but health and wellness has made for an invaluable resource. I find it impossible to listen to him and not take away something valuable that you can then include in your everyday life.

Jacque Coe, APR

As a business owner and PRSA leader, I’ve seen a lot of workshops and speakers that promise to motivate, inspire and provide concrete tools, but fail to deliver. Mark nails this in the first ten minutes. Mark connects with everyone in a very genuine, human way, then helps each to develop a unique plan that’s realistic and measurable. He does so because he marries his impressive experience as a communicator with tremendous energy and passion that ensures everyone walks out the door with a solid plan for a better life. Bottom line, Mark inspires me to achieve my goals for my health, so I can achieve them for my family and my clients.

Christy McGee, APR, Director of Communications, Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8, Colorado

Working with Mark was an invaluable investment in myself and my professional well-being. I was able to take away tangible tools that I continue to use to help myself set health goals and meet them. Mark’s workshop totally revamped the way I thought (and think) about health and reaching those goals, too! And the fact that Mark comes from the PR profession was the icing on the cake! Knowing this about Mark helped me connect with him from the beginning. Throughout the workshop, he was able to use vocabulary and professional examples that solidified our relationship, as it demonstrated his understanding of my industry and the stressful situations I had probably found myself in. Overall, I appreciated Mark’s time and approach and I made a new professional friend, too! I would highly recommend Mark for group workshops for anyone in public relations and also to consider him for professional coaching too!.

Dave Thompson, APR

Mark Mohammadpour, APR is showing us how to do something many of us woefully neglect—take care of ourselves. Mark has figured out through his unique life experience that we can’t take care of others’ needs until we have our own in balance. His mindful, nuanced approach to self-care is neither naïve nor simplistic. It is instead wonderfully strategic—just as our work must be. Mark is the PR health guru most of us needed long, long ago. Thank goodness he’s here now!

Marie Van Rysselberghe, Revere, a DJE Company

I’ve always prided myself on being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle, no matter the circumstances. It wasn’t until I transitioned to my first post-grad PR job that I realized how challenging it can be at times to make time for your personal health and well-being while working in this industry. Especially in agency life, where things move a mile a minute and there’s always more to be done, it can be easy to let work seep into all hours of your day. Fortunately, Mark knows this, and he knows it well. He has been an incredible resource, advocate and role model for me when it comes to finding a healthy balance between work and well-being. Mark’s workshop not only contextualizes the crucial importance of prioritizing health in your everyday life but also provides actionable tips that are easy to incorporate into any routine. Mark’s guidance has helped me to realize that many of my day-to-day stresses are common across the profession, and they are manageable. With the right perspective, prioritizing your health will make you happier, healthier — and a better communicator.

Sara Defibaugh, Bloom Communications

Working through Mark's Chasing the Sun workshop was such a rewarding experience. His advice provided me with some much-needed clarity and confidence. I now feel much more confidently autonomous in the balancing of my mental and physical health with my work. It also helps so much to have had this experience with my work family, as it shows we are all willing to collectively work towards a workspace of the future, where your personal life and wellbeing are seen as priorities over the day-to-day responsibilities of work. For any organization looking to enhance their employees' quality of life and provide them with the skills to balance work and life, Mark is your guy.

Public Speaking Events

2021:

  • Advanced Learning Institute
  • Arizona School PR Association
  • Colorado School PR Association
  • Indiana School PR Association
  • Minnesota PRSA Chapter
  • National School PR Association
  • Oregon School PR Association
  • Portland Business Alliance
  • PRSA Central California Chapter
  • Portland State University
  • PRSA National
  • SEMpdx
  • ThinkNW
  • University of Portland
  • Washington State University

2020:

  • Colorado School PR Association
  • Healthcare Communicators NW
  • The Link
  • Minnesota PRSA Chapter
  • Portland Business Alliance
  • PRSA Central Ohio Chapter
  • PRSA Health Academy
  • PRSA Independent Practitioners Alliance
  • PRSA Oregon Chapter
  • PRSA Pikes Peak Chapter
  • PRSA Puget Sound Chapter
  • ThinkNW (formerly Portland Ad Fed)
  • University of Washington PRSSA Chapter
  • Washington State University

2019:

  • PRSA International Conference
  • PRSA Oregon Chapter
  • PRSA Western District Conference
  • University of Oregon PRSSA Chapter
  • University of Portland

*Does not include private workshops hosted with companies or organizations.

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