We started in a garage.  Things have gotten a bit better since then.


The Premiere Difference

You have a lot of options, and we don't take your business for granted. Premiere Speakers is the constant pursuit of ways to make your event smoother, easier and better. Here are just a few things that set Premiere apart:

  • Full Service ― at No Cost to You!

    We provide our "turn-key" service to you at no charge because we are paid by the speakers. Why would speakers pay us rather than take your call directly? Speakers do it because it's good business ― we handle all the details. It is very difficult for a busy speaker to return your calls when traveling between speaking engagements. It is even harder for them to promptly mail demo tapes and press kits. They know if they are a good speaker, we will recommend them to our other valued clients.

  • We Specialize in Speed

    One thing that we at Premiere pride ourselves on is our speed and efficiency to handle all last-minute needs. Need a speaker for a last-minute event? No problem. Our online proposals, access to speaker calendars and efficient staff give us an edge to solve your needs as soon as they arise.

    Want to learn more about our commitment to speed? Check out our video on The Four-Minute Booking.

  • We Handle Emergencies

    Because the speed and efficiency that we just mentioned, we are always ready to resolve emergencies. The thought of a speaker's plane being delayed, a traffic jam on the way to the convention center or, even worse, a speaker who cancels at the last minute, haunts meeting planners. Flights do get canceled (our speakers always have back-up flights), roads do get iced and a speaker could get sick. However, this is when we really shine. All of our resources, our knowledge and our contacts can be put together to find a replacement speaker ASAP.

  • We Do All the Dirty Work

    At Premiere Speakers Bureau®, we first listen to your needs and objectives. We then provide you a proposal with bios, photos, topics and fee information for the best candidates that meet those needs. You only have to look through one packet to find just the right speaker. And then once you make your choice, we will check availability, take care of pre-event details ― EVERYTHING! We will send you a Premiere Flight Plan, which contains all of details that you need to ensure a stress-free event.

  • Online Access to Everything

    We understand the you're busy, and we want to provide you the best information whenever and wherever you are. Our online tools such as our digital catalog and online proposals ― both of which are iPhone compatible ― allow you access to Premiere in the manner that works best for you. We even offer web events for event planners looking for something less traditional. Of course, if you prefer to do business the old-fashion way, pick up the phone and give us a call!

  • Exclusive Access to World-Class Speakers

    Although Premiere can book an event with nearly any speaker you want, we are the exclusive bureau for some of world's best, most compelling speaker. From politicians like Mike Huckabee to education gurus like Ron Clark to best-selling authors like Andy Andrews, Premiere is your exclusive bureau for world-class speakers of all kinds. View all of our exclusive speakers.

20 Years: Constant Innovation
Our Story

Meet Our Team

The people that help define Premiere's excellence.

Duane
Founder and CEO
Duane Ward
Founder and CEO
Duane Ward
(615) 261-4000 1015 | EMAIL

Duane Ward, founder of Premiere Speakers Bureau comes to this profession from many years in public relations and marketing. Raised in Florida, schooled in Missouri, and holding positions in Michigan, Texas, and Virginia before moving to Nashville to begin Premiere, Duane loves the challenge of building a loyal client base for the bureau. "Great Speakers and Customer Service are the keys," he says of the future of Premiere and the industry. Duane and Kathy have two children and five grandsons who have the full attention of their doting grandparents!

Shawnh
President
Shawn Hanks
President
Shawn Hanks
(615) 261-4000 1011 | EMAIL

Shawn Hanks, President of Premiere Speakers Bureau, brings experience in various fields. Over the course of fifteen years in the event industry, he has gained valuable experience advising corporate, association non-profit events. In addition, he provides direction to speakers in the Premiere roster. Shawn is an avid football and basketball fan. He is a frequent reader and a musician, and he is active in the International Association of Speakers Bureaus (IASB). As native Texans, Shawn and Heather have enjoyed living in Southeast and Central Texas and, currently, Middle Tennessee. They are the proud parents of Mia (11), Ethan (10), Ella Kate (8) and Ava (5.)

Brian
Senior Vice President, Director of Sales
Brian Lord
Senior Vice President, Director of Sales
Brian Lord
(615) 261-4000 1005 | EMAIL

Since January 2000, Brian has served as Senior Vice President. Prior to PSB, Brian was with the William Morris Agency. He's been interviewed on the BBC, quoted in the Wall Street Journal and Huffington Post, and was chosen for Nashville's 40 Under 40. He and his wife Krista and daughters Brooklyn and Sydney live in Franklin. Brian coaches girls softball, competes in triathlons and runs NonBoardBoard.org, whose leaders serve people in 32 countries. Brian has a political science degree from DePauw University.

Rgiffen
Vice President
Ryan Giffen
Vice President
Ryan Giffen
(615) 261-4000 1018 | EMAIL

I was born and raised in Dallas, TX... enough said. Danica and I have THREE amazing sons: Will (7), Eli (3), and Jad (1). My best days will likely include wrestling with the boys, eating Chicago style pizza (or any pizza) and enjoying some good ESPN highlights. An interesting fact about myself is that I have traveled to 24 countries and once lived in a thatched roof mud hut for 3 weeks... on purpose.

Brianelliott
Vice President
Brian Elliott
Vice President
Brian Elliott
(615) 261-4000 1010 | EMAIL

Brian comes to Premiere Speakers Bureau after spending twelve years in the entertainment industry in Nashville. His experience as an event planner for a major music industry trade association as well as a booking agent for national touring artists & bands, gives him a unique ability to relate with clients, having been on both sides of the booking process.

Carl
Vice President
Carl Ware
Vice President
Carl Ware
(615) 261-4000 1045 | EMAIL

Carl began his time at Premiere in 2009 and enjoys growing his relationships with professional event planners and non-profit organizations to better assist them in finding the perfect speaker for their event. With a love for food and real estate, he also assists groups in these industries with finding speakers for their annual conferences. He married his childhood sweetheart and is the proud father to an adventurous toddler. When outside the office, Carl is often found working on home remodeling projects.

Jordan
Vice President
Jordan Smallwood
Vice President
Jordan Smallwood
(615) 261-4000 1030 | EMAIL

Jordan comes to Premiere having previously worked in politics, public accounting, and business development. Jordan graduated cum laude from The University of Tennessee where he studied accounting and finance. Jordan sits on the Communications Committee for International Association of Speakers Bureaus. In his free time Jordan enjoys playing golf, finishing middle of the pack in local 5k's, and spending time exploring New York City with his wife.

Brandon.edmondson
Vice President
Brandon Edmonson
Vice President
Brandon Edmonson
(615) 261-4000 1002 | EMAIL

Brandon joins Premiere with 6 years of experience as a Booking Agent in the music market. He specializes in finding clients the perfect speaker or talent for their event. Before he became an Agent, he was a Sales Director for a technology company. Brandon was born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas and lived there until 2000 when he moved to Nashville on a college soccer scholarship. He and his wife Becka reside in Franklin, TN with their three children Brooklyn, Gabriel, and Ethan. Brandon enjoys staying active by playing golf, soccer, basketball, running, and keeping up with three kids.

Lisa
Event Guru
Lisa Borquez
Event Guru
Lisa Borquez
(615) 261-4000 1007 | EMAIL

As an Event Guru, Lisa works with both clients and speakers in handling the details and logistics of their events, helping to ensure that each event booked will be a success for everyone involved. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and their kids, reading, playing board games, and traveling as often as she can.

Heatherb
Event Guru
Heather Brett
Event Guru
Heather Brett
(615) 261-4000 1013 | EMAIL

Heather comes to Premiere Speakers Bureau with over ten years in the event planning industry. She has worked for venues helping clients coordinate their event logistics as well as booking and executing events for Dave Ramsey. In her free time, Heather enjoys running, reading, playing with her dog and time in the great outdoors.

Heather
Event Guru
Heather Edwards
Event Guru
Heather Edwards
(615) 261-4000 1017 | EMAIL

Heather has been praised by many top CEOs, Presidents of Universities, and industry leading meeting planners around the world for her dedication toward making sure each event is a success and every expectation of both speaker and client are accurately communicated to every party involved.

Sherry
Chief Financial Officer
Sherry Olson
Chief Financial Officer
Sherry Olson
(615) 261-4000 1014 | EMAIL

Sherry came to Premiere Speakers in 2004 after working for 16 years in the entertainment industry. Originally from Michigan, Sherry has also lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles, California. She now oversees all accounting functions for Premiere. Sherry and her husband, Steve, live in Franklin, Tennessee. They have two sons, Eric and Craig.

Jeanne
Accounts Manager
Jeanne Bergstrom
Accounts Manager
Jeanne Bergstrom
(615) 261-4000 1008 | EMAIL

Jeanne came to Premiere Speakers in August of 2005. She brings several years of accounting experience in the convention, exhibit & health care industry with her. She loves outdoor activities,traveling and being with family & friends. She is a Nashville native and now lives in Franklin.

Milly
Accounting Assistant
Milly Quillin
Accounting Assistant
Milly Quillin
(615) 261-4000 1008 | EMAIL

Milly came to Premiere Speakers in 2011 after working 10 years for her previous company. Milly is now the Accounting Assistant for Premiere Speakers. Orginally from Kentucky, Milly spends her free time with her husband and daughter on a golfcart. Not playing golf, just riding on the golfcart.

Krista
Operations Manager
Krista Albright
Operations Manager
Krista Albright
(615) 261-4000 2009 | EMAIL

Krista has taken hobnobbery to an art form of the highest calling (so she tells herself...). Her old fashioned southern roots means everyone is a friend, and her often-used imagination grants her the power to turn any routine into an adventure. Her current favorites? Sending out emails to Premiere’s Agents styled as though they came straight from the desk of James Bond’s beloved M, and past-bedtime pajama dance parties with her two boys, Miles and Simon. Krista is a lifelong fan of goofy laughs and creating positive environments wherever she can. The desert-loving reader may be pleased to know that her first word was “Bee Bo”, for Blue Bell’s ice cream.

Josh
Josh Smallbone
Josh Smallbone
(615) 261-4000 1040 | EMAIL

Josh has been traveling for many years domestically and internationally. His traveling experience helps Premiere Speakers when planning logistics for speakers. Josh's expertise in book publishing also assists in making books a part of most speakers events.

Chris
Chief Information Officer
Chris Yount
Chief Information Officer
Chris Yount
(615) 261-4000 1016 | EMAIL

Chris was born on the East Coast of the US, traveled extensively, saved a puppy from a runaway train and then (the only obvious follow up to saving a puppy) joined the Premiere family as a designer and developer. Chris runs the Creative and IT/Development departments, and spends his free time searching for new adventures with his wife Chrystal (and yes, they are well aware of how confusing it is being Chris and Chrys Yount).

Travis
Director of Marketing
Travis Franklin
Director of Marketing
Travis Franklin
(615) 261-4000 1024 | EMAIL

Travis was born and raised in Nashville, TN, and briefly sojourned to Chattanooga where he studied Advertising and Communication at Lee University. Travis' parents were missionaries traveling and speaking in all 50 states and over 35 foreign countries, so it only makes sense that he joined Premiere Speakers Bureau with its many national and international connections.

Rclark
Web Developer
Ryan Clark
Web Developer
Ryan Clark
(615) 261-4000 | EMAIL

Ryan was born and raised in Franklin, Tennessee, and is proud to be a part of the Premiere team. He spends his free time reading, listening to and playing music, learning how to draw, and being married to his wonderful wife, Tiana.

Woodie
Marketing Manager
Eric Woodie
Marketing Manager
Eric Woodie
(615) 261-4000 | EMAIL

Eric hails from the land of crab cakes and football (Maryland for those who may not know) but made the move down to Nashville at the tender age of 17 to study marketing in the music business. He received his degree and decided to wait to use it once his band in a van life finally hit the wall, which go figure, it did. Eric then gathered experience working in social media and youth ministry leading up to his nuptials with Premiere Speakers Bureau in 2014. Now he finally gets to put that marketing degree to good use.

Shruthi
Marketing Coordinator
Shruthi Lapp
Marketing Coordinator
Shruthi Lapp
(615) 261-4000 | EMAIL

Shruthi joined the Premiere family in 2014, bringing her creativity and a penchant for all things visual and social to the marketing team. When she isn’t engaging the multitude of Premiere’s fans via Twitter or Facebook, she’s most likely styling her home, drooling over a food blog, or lost in a travel magazine.