World Renowned Superyacht Captain, Keynote Speaker, and Star of Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean
Captain Sandy Yawn continually uses her experience and life’s trials and tribulations to educate and help others. She survived a life-threatening motorcycle accident, a fire onboard a super yacht in the Red Sea, pirate invasion, and cancer. You may know her from her numerous television appearances including The Steve Harvey Show, and the Emmy Award-winning talk show The Doctors. She has come to share her personal experiences and to inspire you on and demonstrate how to navigate the many challenges that life presents.
Below Deck Mediterranean
Yawn’s current role is as Captain Sandy on the hit reality show Below Deck Mediterranean, on the wildly successful Bravo Network. Yawn’s unique life experience and spirited style of overcoming adversity embracing “teachable moments” help her to continuously improve her circumstances in life, train and educate her crew and earned her distinction and acclaim in a male dominated industry. Sandy Yawn is a hands-on Captain who leads by example and is not above doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
In her book, Be the Calm or Be the Storm: Leadership Lessons from a Woman at the Helm, Captain Sandy shares the leadership skills and critical thinking inherent to being a captain that can empower anyone to navigate their way to a successful life. Woven throughout her keynotes and stories are Captain Sandy’s optimism and abiding faith that, given the right tools and opportunities, individuals are capable of so much more than they realize, especially when they can find someone to believe in them.
Captain Sandy’s resilience and drive has not only propelled her to the top of the super yacht industry allowing her to focus on philanthropic causes including ocean advocacy and projects near to her heart like children’s education, and programs for children with learning disabilities. Fifty percent of all sales from the Captain Sandy merchandise line is donated to The Jacksonville School for Autism, a non-profit organization that Yawn’s sister founded for the captain’s nephew, Nicholas.
Navigating Troubled Waters in Changing Times: Servant Leadership Lessons From Captain Sandy
Captain Sandy captured our attention as the first female superyacht captain on Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean, and her fascinating stories of servant leadership are captivating today’s in-person and virtual audiences. In her 30+ years of international maritime experience, Captain Sandy has broken glass ceilings, survived near-fatal accidents on land, and faced fires and even pirates at sea. Most business leaders will never have such life-or-death challenges in their daily work. But surviving stormy seas taught Captain Sandy invaluable lessons that she shares with audiences about character building, acknowledging failure, inspiring a crew, and empowering them to win as a team “in the same boat.” Commanding a 154-foot vessel requires knowing when to be tough enough to stay the course or flexible enough to navigate toward calmer waters – decisions all leaders face every day. Throughout her career, Captain Sandy has lived up to her mantra: “Wake up, show up, kick ass, repeat!”
Charting Your Own Course — Despite the Obstacles
Captain Sandy shares her remarkable story of overcoming addiction and cancer to become a world-renowned superyacht captain and lead on the popular Bravo reality show Below Deck Mediterranean. With her story of strength, resilience and resolve that led her to the top of a male-dominated field, Captain Sandy inspires audiences to overcome all obstacles and not let fear get in the way. Her survivorship story, blended with her Below Deck leadership escapades, makes for a wildly entertaining keynote experience.
Port of Call: Teamwork Lessons from the High Seas
Imagine the leadership and teamwork challenges you would face if the bulk of your staff turned over every week. How do you inspire your crew to work together when most of them meet just hours before setting out to sea? How do you instill a sense of teamwork and mission to flawlessly execute under these conditions? As one of the world’s first female professional yacht captains, Sandy discusses how she practices servant leadership while navigating these workplace and human capital challenges. From the beginning of a voyage to the final port of call, Sandy uses vivid storytelling to impart valuable teamwork lessons and character-building insights learned from her three decades on the high seas.
On Deck: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
With three decades of yachting experience, Captain Sandy is the first female captain featured on Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean, and one of only a handful of female captains in the yachting industry at large. As such, Captain Sandy has had to overcome both personal and professional obstacles that have made her one of the most respected captains in the industry, one of television's most beloved personalities and an icon of women's leadership. A champion of gender equality and proud member of the LGBTQ community, Captain Sandy’s talk not only offers empowerment and inspiration from her wildly and vastly diverse life experiences, but as a leader she makes a compelling case for the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion in any organization.