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  • Feb. 9, 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the debut of The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. We celebrate our ongoing representation (25 years and counting) of Canada's top Beatles tribute band THE CAVERNERS.    

     

     

  • Mental Health remains a vital issue in 2024. One of our most requested mental health speakers is MICHAEL LANDSBERG. One of the most moving & authentic presentations you'll ever experience. All companies & associations should have him.

Emily O'Brien

Social Entrepreneur; Founder-Comeback Snacks;
Prison Reform Advocate

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Bio

Speaker & Entrepreneur Emily O’Brien is the founder of the booming social enterprise Comeback Snacks. Her evolution from prison to a successful small business startup is a story that helps individuals and organizations find inspiration to transform challenges into opportunities. Emily’s keynotes recount her struggles and wins, addressing painful lessons, resilience, determination, forgiveness, and the ability to find strength within oneself to build positive opportunities from hardship.

While in Federal prison, Emily’s entrepreneurial spirit motivated her courageous decision to make a powerful comeback. Inspired by the unique seasonings her fellow inmates used on their popcorn, she founded Comeback Snacks (Cons & Kernels). Relying on hand-written letters to communicate with people who would assist her with market research, branding and business strategy, Emily laid the foundation of Comeback Snacks while still in prison.

After her release, she hit the ground running, building her social enterprise by offering her popcorn snacks at various events and networking with local business owners to boost sales. Comeback Snacks is now available at major groceries, independent stores, and online retailers across North America.

Emily uses her business and voice to advocate for prison reforms and eliminate the stigma attached to people with prior convictions. She provides formerly incarcerated persons and those in need of a second chance with employment and mentorship opportunities to lead them down a new pathway of confidence and new opportunities.

Emily partners with several organizations, including the Elizabeth Fry Society, a non-profit social service agency in the Canadian justice system. She has raised funds through her business to support great causes like The Yonge Street Mission to help at-risk youths. Emily was recognized for her efforts by receiving the 2020 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Business Leadership & Entrepreneurship, The 2022 Women Empowerment Award as the Entrepreneur of the Year, and also the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Community Service Award in 2022.

Emily O’Brien has been featured on Global, CTV, CBC, Vice, SiriusXM, CHCH, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, and many more.

Topics & Categories
  • Business Management & Strategy
  • CEOs & Business Leaders
  • Change | Change Mgmt.
  • Communication
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Food
  • Leadership
  • Marketing & Branding
  • Most Requested Speakers
  • Motivational Speakers
  • Resiliency
  • Social Media | Internet of Things

Emily O'Brien's Speaking Presentations:

The Comeback Blueprint

It’s easy to be told to recover or rebound after a difficult circumstance in life, but this is far easier said than done. Join Emily O’Brien, CEO and Founder of Comeback Snacks, as she walks you through her own ‘comeback blueprint’ that she has designed after successfully navigating the criminal justice system and the world of entrepreneurship.

Business Success and Emotional Profit

Starting a small business is tough. Can you imagine what it’s like starting one behind bars? Join Emily O’Brien as she takes you through the trials, tribulations, and life lessons acquired after starting her successful business in federal prison and elevating it to new heights after her release. From forgiving one’s past mistakes to helping others in need, Emily discusses how the real ‘profit’ needed to succeed in business and life is not simply financial, but emotional.

Resilience is More than a Buzzword. It's a State of Mind.

As a female entrepreneur in the male-dominated food retail industry, Emily O’Brien has learned how to survive in a tough market while facing constant pressure. From starting her own business in federal prison to navigating the peaks and troughs of Canada’s food industry, Emily’s experience and lessons learned while successfully growing her company, Comeback Snacks, are shared through two crucial components of successful entrepreneurship today: kindness and resilience.

To inquire about Emily O'Brien's speaking schedule & booking Emily O'Brien, contact us.

What Clients are Saying

Emily O'Brien is a visionary leader and an inspiring entrepreneur. Her journey with Comeback Snacks is a powerful story of resilience. During the NLOWE International Women's Day Event, Emily shared her compelling story of overcoming adversity and turning a personal challenge into a thriving business that also gives back to the community.

Comeback Snacks is more than just a business; it's a mission-driven enterprise that supports second chances and creates opportunities for those who need them the most. Emily's commitment to employing formerly incarcerated individuals and helping them reintegrate into society is truly commendable. Her story resonated deeply with our attendees, showcasing how one person's determination and vision can drive meaningful change. She discussed the hurdles she faced, and the lessons learned along the way, providing invaluable insights into entrepreneurship, social impact, and personal growth. Her authenticity and passion were inspirational.

I highly recommend Emily for future speaking engagements and applaud the impactful work she continues to do.

–NLOWE (2024)(Booked by K&M Productions)

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Emily O'Brien is a visionary leader and an inspiring entrepreneur. Her journey with Comeback Snacks is a powerful story of resilience. During the NLOWE International Women's Day Event, Emily shared her compelling story of overcoming adversity and turning a personal challenge into a thriving business that also gives back to the community.

Comeback Snacks is more than just a business; it's a mission-driven enterprise that supports second chances and creates opportunities for those who need them the most. Emily's commitment to employing formerly incarcerated individuals and helping them reintegrate into society is truly commendable. Her story resonated deeply with our attendees, showcasing how one person's determination and vision can drive meaningful change. She discussed the hurdles she faced, and the lessons learned along the way, providing invaluable insights into entrepreneurship, social impact, and personal growth. Her authenticity and passion were inspirational.

I highly recommend Emily for future speaking engagements and applaud the impactful work she continues to do.

–NLOWE (2024)(Booked by K&M Productions)

Emily O'Brien has a story like no other I have heard before. She speaks from the heart with passion, humour, and grace.She shows audiences
how they too can be resilient, and come back from what may appear to be insurmountable challenges. While her trials are unique to her story, everyone can apply her grit and determination to build a business and life to be proud of, while creating stronger communities for all.

–Stacey Smith / Program Manager/ Industry Events - Farm Credit Canada

I recently recommended Emily to a friend of mine looking for a keynote speaker for a major event around Women's Empowerment Day. Incredible reviews! Interestingly, I did this without ever having seen Emily speak. Why was I so confident? Well, she's charismatic, interesting, funny, authentic, different and a great story teller. A winning formula!

–David Chilton

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