Speaker and Session Details


Opening Keynote Address



Session Title & Description

“Culture That Rocks: How to Amp Up or Revolutionize a Company’s Culture”

This interactive session highlights best practices to amp up or revolutionize a company’s culture and stay relevant in the 21 st century.  Keynote speaker, podcaster and best-selling author, Jim Knight will act as a thought-starter for the session. He will use the visceral backdrop of several well-known brands, including Hard Rock International, via his 21-year run with that brand as the head of Training & Development, as a platform to discuss key strategies to transform anyorganization’s culture, regardless of the current state.

Key Unique Concepts will include:

  • A clear-cut definition of Culture (finally!)
  • Enhancing Internal Communication
  • Delivering Service Differentiation
  • Creating Customer Obsession
  • Avoiding Mediocrity
  • Increasing Value Proposition
  • Developing “Rock Stars”

The time allotted is chock-a-block full of visual PowerPoint slides, out-of-the-box thinking, book quotes, videos, personal stories, industry statistics, case studies, and an interactive handout for some real “take aways”…all told through the spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Even if you’re NOT a fan of unpredictability or thinking about things differently, you should still come hear what all the buzz is about. Differentiation will be served.

Speaker Bio

Jim Knight,

Knight Speaker


A Training & Development veteran for 30+ years, Jim Knight facilitates a variety of interactive topics, including sessions around amping up organizational culture, world-class differentiated service, building rock star teams, hiring & retaining “rock stars”, employee branding, performance management and philanthropy.  Jim cut his teeth in the training field through the Hospitality industry, starting out inthe snack bar at Gatorland Zoo, as a restaurant staff-level employee for Olive Garden and then as a host & manager at Hard Rock Cafe. He eventually became the head of the School of Hard Rocks, running point on all global learning & development functions for Hard Rock International.


Although part of a small training group that supported all cafe, hotel & casino

properties, Jim Knight’s role at Hard Rock involved many facets of organizational

training, including: creating/managing all staff & management training materials &

programs, facilitating its corporate university, overseeing management training locations, producing training videos, directing company e-Learning initiatives, facilitating leadership transitions and traveling to properties to deliver on-site classes & measure standards.


Jim has put his experience and creativity to work, which has consistently developed cutting-edge training concepts. During his time with the Hard Rock brand, his team won coveted video Telly Awards (“Guest Service” in 2000, “Menu Rollout” in 2007, “Harassment & Discrimination Prevention” in 2008), garnered Training Directors Forum’s 1998 prize for “Reengineering Training” and won Brandon Hall’s Gold Best in Class Award for their “Service Recovery” e-Learning course. Jim Knight was also recognized by Training Magazine as representing one of the Top 125 training companies in the world out of all industries & businesses. Jim has since been featured in Forbes Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Nation’s Restaurant News, Business News Daily and Fox Business News.


Jim has a music degree in Vocal Performance & Education and taught in the Florida public school system for 6 years, before catching the “hospitality bug”. He is a long-time member of CHART (The Council of Hotel & Restaurant Trainers), previously sat on the Certification Governing Board of the National Restaurant Association and started a local networking group (The Training Summit: CHART’s 1st Regional Training Forum) with over 100 active members in Central Florida, to share best practices and discuss common issues with other industry professionals. Networking is a big part of his success.


Jim is the Founder & Owner of Knight Speaker, which positions him to facilitate at any association or company event, in any industry, as a keynote or breakout speaker. He is also the bestselling author of Culture That Rocks: How to Revolutionize Your Company’s Culture, now in its 2nd edition, which was featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the “5 Books That Will Help You Transform How You Do Business”.



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