Ben O’Donnell

Ben O'Donnell

Moncton, New Brunswick
TEDx Speaker ,Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach And Leadership Consultant
A career executive, Ben O'Donnell has worked for many successful companies like Siemens, Bayer, Danaher, Ecolab, and Medtronic. His leadership has ranged from R&D organizations to Product Commercialization to IT and HR Functions. His diverse experience and Certification as a Change Management Professional and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt give him insights into the business world and leadership of organizations.
  • Change Management
  • Leadership
  • Mental Health
  • Associations & Unions
  • Athletes & Sports
  • Awareness Days
  • Campus & University Speakers
  • Community Engagement Events
  • Conferences & Summits
  • Consultant & Coach
  • Corporations & Businesses


Ben O’Donnell has earned his Master’s Degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Chemistry from Concordia College of Moohread, MN. Ben O’Donnell started his career at Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics in the lab purifying antibodies and antigens for use in in-vitro diagnostics. 

He earned a promotion to product developer and started his Six Sigma journey training to become a Design for Six Sigma Black Belt.  Next, Ben O’Donnell transitioned to Beckman Coulter working in production and R&D. Shortly after starting, Beckman was acquired by Danaher Corporation enabling him to learn the deep concepts of LEAN and the Danaher Business System. 

This experience led him to take a full-time Continuous Improvement role as a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) Black Belt.  He became a certified LSS Black Belt at Ecolab and then received his LSS Master Black Belt certification from MoreSteam and The Ohio State University. Ben O’Donnell is also a certified Change Management Practitioner through Prosci. 

Ben’s experience goes beyond Research and Development and Supply Chain.  He has managed and coached projects in Human Resources, Legal, Regulatory Affairs, Quality, Environmental Health and Safety, Marketing, and IT. Ben O’Donnell has deployed Continuous Improvement Programs to multiple organizations and also lead Quality functions through ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 deployments as a Director of Quality. He has deep experience with Fortune 500 companies like Bayer, Siemens, Danaher, Ecolab, and Medtronic.  

Personally, Ben O’Donnell uses his story to help transform the lives of others.  In Feb 2020, while training for his second Ironman Triathlon when he went on a business trip for a week to Colorado and Texas.  On that trip, he contracted COVID-19.  He spend 9 days at home before the state of Minnesota was able to test for COVID-19 and was admitted directly to the ICU.

Ben O’Donnell was the first critical case of COVID-19 in the state of Minnesota and the first person in North America to survive COVID-19 while requiring ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) support.  He spent 28 days in the ICU, 15 on a ventilator and 12 on ECMO.  During that time, he also suffered from Liver and Kidney failure.  

Upon discharge, Ben was sent home with a walker and supplemental oxygen.  He determined that he would still train for and compete in that Ironman triathlon.  It was 14 months to the day of coming off of ECMO life support, he completed Ironman Tulsa in May 2021.  

Ben experienced setbacks and trials as he moved to a new country with his family and started a business.  He dedicated his Ironman to the healthcare workers and community that mean so much to him.  Ben O’Donnell spends time raising funds for the Ironman Foundation IRONAID program to help non-profit organizations affected by the pandemic. 

Additionally, Ben is working to ensure that others would not have to experience what he went through.  He has testified in front of Congress on vaccine hesitancy and continues to spread his message and story.  

Ben specializes in two ways.  He can come to your organization and help to make it more efficient through people first leadership and data-based decision-making.  He can facilitate strategy workshops, train your staff in statistics or project management, or coach your staff through their projects already in flight.  He is also an executive and career coach that can help your employees and leaders take the next step in their careers.  

Ben O’Donnell can also come in and deliver a keynote speech on one of many topics, including motivation, people first leadership, and work/life balance.  His professional and personal experience along with his storytelling ability can help you take the next leap in either your personal or professional life. 




Let's Move Forward Together


Mental Health Awareness

Ben O’Donnell Topic Presentations

grit: an icu to ironman journey

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • While training for his second Ironman Triathlon, Ben contracted COVID-19 in Feb 2020.  He was one of the first cases in North America and was the first person in North America to survive COVID-19 while requiring ECMO life support. Ben O’Donnell tells his story of being in the ICU and recovering to complete another Ironman Triathlon 14 months later. 

living a full life: lessons learned from the icu bed

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • There is nothing like forced perspective.  For Ben, that time came while on life support in an ICU bed with COVID-19.  Ben O’Donnell shares his learning from this time so that you can leverage his learning in your life without having to go through the same experience.

compassionate leadership: people first leadership in the modern climate

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • People are an organization’s most important asset, yet when it comes to leadership, we always look at the KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) of the business first.  It is not always easy for employees to see that we are also looking at the people responsible for them and their well-being.

    Good leadership comes from authentic relationships, empathy, and understanding that the people in the organization come first.  It is about shifting from the goal of people first and putting it into action that every person can see.

    Through this, you will be creating a safe environment where people feel welcome, respected, and free to be whomever they are without the need for a corporate mask.

motivation: don't stop, don't quit, keep moving forward

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Ben uses his story of recovery to guide and motivate you through your journey. His story starts in an ICU bed suffering from COVID-19. He was on a ventilator and ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation). His journey took him to an Ironman finish line just 14 months later. His determination and grit are infectious as he takes you on a journey of not just recovery, but self-reflection and triumph.

    Success is not a single event, and progress is made slowly. It is about the little things we do every day that help us towards a better tomorrow. Just don’t stop, don’t quit, and keep moving forward.

work/life balance: lessons learned from the icu bed

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Ben had a very successful professional career. He worked as an executive for more than one Fortune 500 company before he was 37. He climbed the corporate ladder with the best of them. Then, when he was forced to reflect on his life and career from his ICU bed, he found the things that mattered in his life and career.

    Ben takes you through this thought process and how he found the items that truly mattered in life and work. He wants you to learn from his experience. He talks about how the village and people that you surround yourself with are so much more important than the title and compensation you receive. He is not blind to the monetary needs to survive in the world, but rather looks at how you can balance the financial need with the personal fulfilment we all need.


I’ve coached a lot of speakers — from corporate executives to TEDx Talk Speakers. Yet, the moment I met Ben O’Donnell – I knew he was differentiated — in both his leadership capability and his voice as a storyteller. He was connected — connected to the gravity of his story, its impact, and the indelible connection he’d make with anyone who heard it. Ben’s leadership in and of itself is a courageous act.  He’s a true champion in so many ways.

Lisa-Marie J. Hanson

Chief Learning Officer
Talent Telligent & Lead Speaker Coach/Board Member - TEDx Minneapolis

Ben O’Donnell’s story is that of a true victor. Surviving an extreme Covid case, completing the Ironman triathlon, and fanning the flames of victory inside his listeners as he encourages each of us: “Don’t stop. Don’t quit. Keep moving forward.” Ben speaks directly to those moments in each of our lives when we’re tempted to give in and give up. He speaks to our fears, our desperation, and our despondency. And he empowers us to get back in the game and strive for more. Ben’s...

Drew Bekius

Speaker, Coach and author of Your Next Life Now

Articles & Media

These Athletes Had the Coronavirus.

New York Times

These Athletes Had the Coronavirus. Will They Ever Be the Same?


Coming Soon!

How to book Ben O’Donnell for an event?

Ben O’Donnell keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Ben O’Donnell delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Ben O’Donnell from Moncton, New Brunswick for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in booking Ben O’Donnell for an event?

Are you looking to hire Ben O’Donnell for your event? Ben O’Donnell Moncton, New Brunswick is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Ben O’Donnell is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Ben O’Donnell is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Ben O’Donnell from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Ben O’Donnell to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Ben O’Donnell creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Ben O’Donnell from Moncton, New Brunswick offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Ben O’Donnell is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Ben O’Donnell focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Ben O’Donnell will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Ben O’Donnell’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Ben O’Donnell speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Ben O’Donnell for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Ben O’Donnell is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Ben O’Donnell speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Ben O’Donnell to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Ben O’Donnell for your event. As Ben O’Donnell's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Ben O’Donnell and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

Ben O’Donnell Disclaimer
Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Ben O’Donnell for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Ben O’Donnell, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Ben O’Donnell we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Ben O’Donnell about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Ben O’Donnell, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

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