About Us

Engage an enthusiastic, entertaining, and straight-talking "Strength & Conditioning Coach" for your audience or business



"Gary is our strength and conditioning coach..."

A long-time client introduced Gary in this way to his organization, and it stuck. It really does describe best what he does for his clients and audiences in his primary roles as a professional speaker, trainer, and performance coach.

"I don't choose the players and call the plays within an organization," says Gary about his role, "that's for the owners, VPs, or managers. But as their business strength and conditioning coach, I am hired by my clients to help people figuratively jump higher, run faster, and leap more tall buildings. In other words, I'm here to help kick up their games and give them the steps to sharpen their skills. I play an important role in putting them in a better position where they can be more successful, and I don't take my responsibility lightly."

Gary founded Training for Winners after 18 years in the hospitality business, where he developed valuable business savvy and a wealth of experience in many areas including sales, negotiation, managing others, customer care, leadership, project management, opening a business, training, forecasting, creating budgets & action plans, hiring, and teamwork.

As such, he brings a real-world approach to his training programs and speaking presentations. He uses humor when appropriate, and strives to move his audiences to ACTION!


Why the Eagle as a Brand?

"I flat-out enjoy speaking to groups and helping people dial in a sharper focus," says Gary about his passion for his work. "I ask people to challenge their status quo, to try and see things a bit sharper, like eagles do, as they have great vision. I take them on a journey to explore and expose how things could be done differently, or better. I also rail against mediocrity and being average, something I call twisting the familiar. There is nothing average about an eagle."

Because he admires the entreprenurial spirit and the traits of eagles, Gary chose an eagle flying out of a circle as his firm's logo. As a personal brand, many people refer to him as "the eagle guy."

"Eagles soar above the rest of the crowd," Gary states, "they have great vision, superior hunting abilities, are loyal to each other, have a regal bearing, and they can't be constrained by boundaries. I think the eagle symbol plays well with the messages I try to convey to my audiences. Those same traits drive me, too. They are terrific traits for people to aspire to."

See more about eagles in our workshops on the Eagle Sightings page of this website.


Why We Do What We Do... And How Success Can Sometimes Be Overrated

When organizations enlist Gary and his associates they get a spirited partner who is committed to their success. They come away with tools to put into immediate use, making it easier to find new business, take better care of customers, and work better with each other.

Yet, some organizations only think about engaging trainers and speakers when their numbers are down or flat. Although the up-side of ongoing adult learning has proven itself time and again, spending for such programs can sometimes be mistakenly thought of as simply a line expense item. BIG MISTAKE!!!

When times are good and people get busy, they fall under the spell of the arrogance of success (Please allow us a great book recommendation here: "Who Moved My Cheese?" by Dr. Spencer Johnson). Thus, thinking about improving a team while the cash is flowing can get lost in the shuffle. These companies feel that they're too busy "being busy" to get their group together to face key issues, address things that need to be fixed, get ready for the next wave, and hone their skills.

In fact, NFL Hall of Fame and Super Bowl winning coach John Madden said it best: "Winning is the great band-aid. It hides things that need to be addressed." Short-range thinking leads some companies to ask "Why do any training now, the phones are ringing and the customers are plenty!"

Nothing could be more dangerous to a business these days.

This is where Gary and Training for Winners can really help. He has learned the lessons that come with bountiful economic times and scary recessions, too. Over the decades, he has been through (and coached through) countless upturns and downturns in business cycles. He has seen clients' customers come and go with the times. As such, he can work with his clients to take advantage of the good times, and also prepare for the leaner times as "shift happens."

He helps teams get ahead of the wave, rather than be taken where the wave wants to go when it hits the beach. Thus, whether in good, bad, or in-between times, there is always good reason to do adult skills training or presentations.

To sum it up, one of Gary's favorite quotes about this came recently from one of his his Twitter followers -- Bill Gates (yes, that Bill Gates):

"Success is a poor teacher. It seduces otherwise smart people into thinking that they cannot lose."


No Canned Approaches Here -- Gary's Recipe For Success Since 1995

Gary works one-on-one with his clients in advance of a presentation or program, diligently preparing the customized scope and direction of the task at hand. He makes sure that he understands the client's goal for the program or presentation. He asks about the overall theme and the rest of the program, so that his component makes sense. He makes sure that he aligns his work with the organization's goals and plans moving forward. His clients constantly applaud him for this element of his work.

He views himself as part of the client's team, not just an outside vendor. He interviews the players, finding out such things as: What keeps them up at night, what are the demons that they face, what areas do they want to learn more about, what do they need help in, and what do they want to accomplish from the event.

His clients overwhelmingly compliment him on his ability to apply the message to their specific audience, using timely information, current and future trends, and buzzwords that are appropriate for that organization. This is no "canned" approach. It's really quite a simple formula that he promises his audiences: If you pay attention and apply the tools and ideas, you WILL get better!


Gary addresses a question from one of his audience members during a Meeting Professionals International session he presented.


Topics, Background, and Highlights... Including starting a successful business from the ground up. Literally.

Gary's most popular speaking & training topics include sales, negotiating, personal branding, customer service, buyer-seller forums, management/leadership, action-planning, personality styles, and 1-on-1 coaching. His clients hail from varied industries such as Hospitality, CVB/DMOs, National/Regional Associations, Credit Management, Wineries, City Government, Club Management, High Tech, and Fortune 500 companies.

One of his toughest yet most rewarding career highlights was pre-opening and then sustaining for 11 years a new 1,005-room luxury hotel (with no immediate brand recognition) in a tough, established hotel market (San Francisco) as director of a 12-person sales team. The hotel was a hole in the gound when he came on board. He was charged with building a successful sales account base from ZERO, and also managing his own market responsibilities in addition to managing the sales team.

No magic beans or pixie dust, he and his team did it with sweat equity and hard work. Together, they out-hustled and out-serviced their competition. No new idea was off the table. They turned over more rocks. They took on the big boys until they became one of the big boys, in one of the world's most competitive travel destinations.

That same work ethic and creative energy to "twist the familiar" is what drives Gary in his role today. SELLING POWER magazine profiled his unique sales retreat program. His re-booking rate is 90+%.

Clients compliment Gary on his ability to motivate people with different levels of expertise and backgrounds, from owners/upper management to mid-level supervisors and front-line teams.

Gary also welcomes the tough assignments. One such client challenged him to develop a program to improve customer service scores for their large organization. It seemed rooted in its past, with many moving parts and a largely tenured staff. He worked to build better consistency, greater trust, increased accountability, and also to tear down silos and build seamlessness among the business units. The result? They improved their customer service marks to achieve their highest levels ever.

Professional & Educational Achievements

Gary earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University. He was recently presented with its "Distinguished 75th Anniversary Year Alumnus Award", and in 2010 he was also honored with its "Emerging Alumnus of the Year" award.

He is a member of MSU's School of Hospitality Business Appointed Alumni Board of Directors. As an Honorary Faculty Member he returns to the campus each year to address classes and mentor upcoming graduates to help prepare them for the business world.

Gary's hotel career included 18 years in both operations and sales management for successful hotels such as the Westin Renaissance Center in Detroit, the Westin St. Francis, Fairmont Hotels, and Park Lane Hotels International (Parc 55) in San Francisco.

  • In addition to his program being featured in Selling Power magazine, Gary has been interviewed on ESPN Radio, KCBS-San Francisco, and WXYT-Detroit on selling and customer service topics as they related to major events such as Super Bowl XIX Host and the 1989 "Earthquake" World Series headquarters.
  • Contributing author to the American Society of Association Executives' Selling to Associations curriculum
  • 2-term president for the Northern California Chapter of PCMA (Professional Convention Management Association)
  • 5-year member of ASAE's Associate Member Advisory Committee, and 3 years on the ASAE Foundation Committee
  • Past member of the CIC (Convention Industry Council) APEX Contracts Panel and Education Committee
  • Member of the San Mateo County CVB and the Visit Tri-Valley CVB, where he also served as Ambassador and co-chair of its initial Sports Commission
  • Repeat speaker at the national conventions/conferences of ASAE, MPI, PCMA, IACVB, and HSMAI
  • Past member of the American Society of Training & Development's Program Committee
  • Affilliations have included: National Speakers Association, PCMA, ASAE, MPI, HSMAI

Gary resides in northern Califonia, and lists his hobbies as playing golf, following his favorite sports teams, studying US military history (especially the Civil War and World War II), reading, writing articles, photography, travelling, swimming, and biking. He also enjoys creating a tasty meal on his bar-b-que. As an alumnus of MSU he is a passionate Spartan sports fan. While his sons were growing up and involved in youth sports, he was a youth coach in CYO basketball, baseball, and flag football for over 15 seasons.


Examine some of the benefits your organization can realize by enlisting Gary and Training for Winners for your audience or team:

  • Increase your people's sales performance and professionalism: Better prospectors, better negotiators, better closers --- Better sales & R.O.I.
  • Enhance your customer service levels and consistency of delivery that keeps your customers yours and not somebody else's
  • Utilize new creativity that leads to fresh ideas and rewards thinking, improving workplace performance and results up-line, side-line, and down-line
  • More effective supervisors and team leaders who can communicate better, plan better, and manage better, allowing for a more efficient operation
  • Stronger teamwork and communication skills among individuals and departments that create seamlessness and increase your repeat business
  • Improved morale and sense of accomplishment and commitment by your team members and participants that helps reduce turnover and improve customer satisfaction
  • Discover new ways to tackle old problems that are holding the team back, and to challenge the status quo, as ALL WINNERS MUST DO, if they want to stay in the game. No one should think that either success or failure will last forever

In terms of "dollars and sense" it may help to think about it this way: Rather than just considering programs/presentations as a line item expense, it's really more of an investment in your people's skills and abilities, and that translates to tangible increased sales and customer retention, as illustrated below:

With Training for Winners, you get a partner that works as if on your own team to help invigorate, inspire, educate, and challenge people to fly like eagles!

The beautiful Monterey coast and Pacific Ocean served as the backdrop for Gary's sales education event with the Monterey County CVB (pictured here along with the panel of meeting professionals). The event was a combination training workshop for the CVB sales team plus a hotel partners/CVB straight-talk session with the panel of seasoned professionals, with the ultimate goal for both buyers and sellers to "kick up their games" to do better business together. The event drew over 50 people, and was held at The Monterey Tides Hotel.


David Buckenberger, VP of Business Development, and Jack Schripsema, President & CEO of the Greater Lansing CVB greet Gary with a new baseball cap for his 3rd sales education event with the destination team and its hotel partners (held at Cooley Law Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts). The program drew over 40 hotel partners and was named "Sales Double-Header" since it encompassed 2 sections: One, on ways to help hotel revenue managers and salespeople work better together, and second, involving a panel of hotel gneral managers, on ways for internal operations teams to support the hotel's sales efforts.


Gary is greeted before his keynote address at the California Hotel & Lodging Association Northern CA conference by CH&LA's President & CEO Lynn Mohrfeld, CAE, and Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the Asian-American Hotel Owners Association. Gary's straight-talking yet humorous session was titled "All Hands on Deck -- Making Everyone in the Hotel a Member of the Sales Team."


As part of Gary's sales training retreat for the Hinton & Grusich organization themed "Driving Sales", the H & G team put their race car driving skills to the test at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Another day of "life in the fast lane" in the sales business!


The Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Authority and the Resort at Squaw Creek sales teams show off their personalized TFW Sales Funnels, used to capture notes from the training workshops. They make a useful souvenier as they are designed to be kept after the sessions as reminders of specific tools and reference points from the training. Gary hears from many people who keep their funnels in their office for inspiration long after the training.


      A typical sunny January day at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego was the beautiful setting for the RBI and Temecula Creek Inn (JC Resorts) sales teams as they gathered for their Training for Winners sales workshop. After the learning portion of the day, the teams held a fun Office Golf tournament, utilizing the resort's ballroom and outside function areas. Who says you can't combine work and play?


Explore our site for customized training programs/presentations, and professional speaker topics available today!

Phone 925-736-9392  email: gary@trainingforwinners.com

Follow us on Twitter (@Gary_Hernbroth), Facebook, and LinkedIn

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