Jay DeMerit

Jay DeMerit

Vancouver, British Columbia
Professional Soccer Player, Pursuit of Reaching Goals Expert
Jay DeMerit is a Philanthropy & Youth Development Expert. He is a professional soccer player. Formerly of the USA National team, Watford FC & the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. A United States international that played in every match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He is a professional in youth development, philanthropy, and hand-crafted speakers.
  • Change Management
  • Leadership
  • Mental Health
  • Peak Performance
  • Personal Growth
  • Resilience & Adversity
  • Teamwork
  • Adventurers
  • Athletes & Sports
  • Career Development
  • Executive Leadership & C-Suite
  • Inspirational
  • Most Requested
  • Motivation
  • Philanthropy & Giving Back


Jay DeMerit is a professional soccer player. Formerly of the USA National team and the former Captain of Watford FC & the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The start of his career was unconventional, to say the least. He was not on any professional league’s radar and took a large risk is going overseas to try out for different clubs. Impressing Lewington during that pre-season friendly between the Hornets and Northwood, DeMerit earned a trial and later a one-year contract at Vicarage Road.

DeMerit spent six seasons with England’s Watford FC, where he served as club captain & scored one of three goals in the 2006 Championship playoff final that saw Watford FC promoted to the English Premier League. Jay was also named man of the match for this game.

Demonstrating leadership qualities with and without the captain’s armband, DeMerit stayed at Watford after relegation and continued a formidable partnership with Danny Shittu in defence.

Following his departure from Vicarage Road in 2010, DeMerit represented the US Men’s National Team at the World Cup in South Africa, topping a group containing England, Slovakia and Algeria. From there, he became captain for Vancouver Whitecaps’ inaugural season in Major League Soccer before retirement in 2014.

Outside of the soccer field, DeMerrit took the lessons he learned and the leadership skills he developed to apply them to his career in business and the media. He owned a high-end Bluetooth stereo speaker business, “Portmanteau Stereo Co,” where he and his partner pitched and successfully made a deal with one of the Dragons.

Then came the product Rokit Logs, which are audiophile speakers handcrafted from recovered acoustic quality soft tone woods. Canadian design company Portmanteau Stereo Co. created stunning speakers called Rockit Log, made out of upcycling abandoned wood. The wood used to create a Rockit Log is sourced from abandoned logging operations in a beautiful valley along British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Corridor, Canada, where logging is widespread, and much waste exists.

Jay DeMerit was a part of three films, “Perfect Addiction”, “Katch-Up (2013)” and “Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story (2011)”. Rise and Shine is a movie about his incredible story of how he triumphed against the odds to make it as a pro Soccer player. DeMerit initially funded the movie with a Kickstarter campaign, and he says he feels a responsibility to pay that generosity forward.

Thus came the foundation of the same name, which he co-founded with his wife, Ashleigh, an Olympic gold medalist in ski cross. Rise and Shine “Captains Camps”, a proven holistic youth program that has been hosted in 5 cities and featured more than 70  professional coaches and inspirational mentors since 2016.  The Rise and Shine Foundation not only improves the proposed retreat grounds but to begin a scholarship fund. Hence, underprivileged players from across North America have access to their camps.

Jay DeMerrit embarked on a journey to empower younger generations through a free mobile app he developed in collaboration with Electronic Arts (EA), “Rise+ShineApp”, which was the evolution of his youth retreat. The app helps develop youth through gamification techniques to support youth in their personal and professional lives. The app promotes self-development through a wide range of campaigns to develop creativity, knowledge and life skills to manage challenging situations, better understand their abilities and create habits for success.

In addition to his work with his foundation, he is also an owner/partner of an interactive digital media company called ‘Songwhale’, which is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and part owner of two clothing companies called SECT Wear and Sasha Moon.

Most recently, he made his first foray into the broadcast booth to help with Whitecaps coverage on TSN while the Women’s World Cup was in Canada. A man of many interests, DeMerit enjoys painting and playing bass guitar when not concentrating on his soccer career.  Born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, DeMerit attended and completed a degree in industrial design at the University of Illinois in Chicago.




Game Plan


Underdog Story of Positivity That Fuel

Jay DeMerit Topic Presentations

rise & shine - pursuit of reaching goals

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Jay DeMerit talks about growing up wanting to play soccer in the biggest league in the U.K. and not having the opportunity to. It is not an easy journey for an American-born player to get a contract overseas. Jay had to start from the bottom of the league, sleeping in a friend’s family attic, practicing every day in the courtyards to reach his goals, putting himself out there, showing up everyday and strategic networking to find an opportunity.

    Through a journey of taking risks, never giving up on his dreams and being persistent, Jay DeMerit shows how anyone can apply themselves through hard work and grit to make their goals a reality. No matter where you are on your journey, the ability to apply yourself will depend on your mindset. Jay will define the roadmap for success through a resilient and unbreakable mindset that is focused on the steps it takes to achieve anything you put your mind to.

men who take baths - locker room talk

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • There’s no better place than the bath to discuss what it takes to be a “man” in an ever-changing world… We’re all in this together & communication is key to providing a better future for our community.

    Men are in a place right now where they need to be in touch with their feminine side. It’s essential for men to lead by example. Bridging that gap as a man and an athlete is sometimes more difficult than people might think because men are forced to uphold a macho look, be strong, manage their relationships with themselves and their loved ones. and take the pressure. As a man, it’s getting harder and harder, dealing with high pressure and often with no outlets to be able to express their emotions.

    Jay DeMerit, helps redefine what “being a man” means. How you create that messaging matters; how to be a good teammate, a good boy, a good man. Being a man is about being responsible for your behaviour and actions. Jay DeMerit breaks down the barriers of what it means to be a man in this world and how men can get in touch with their emotions to be able to be the person their loved ones and peers need, instead of being the person they thought they need to be.

rise and shine - leading your change

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • As leaders manage more pressure and often do not have time for themselves to reflect, they are forced to make quick decisions, and their people depend on those decisions to be the right ones. As a Captain in soccer and a leader in business, Jay DeMerit understands the true meaning of pressure and what that means for a leader. Good leaders show up every day, are able to nurture the feelings and emotions of their team and have the ability to prepare for what may come ahead.

    Great leaders do all this, and some. Great leaders are able to access the values and principles they have within to assist them in every situation under high pressure. They put their thoughts into their words and their words into action through a compassionate lens. Jay DeMerit teaches the principles of leadership he learned that kept his team motivated, and himself focused in the face of uncertainty.

    Through less talking and more doing and by being the foundation of the collective unit. The leader’s role is to lead from the front and back, show the right way, and pick up the pieces of any stone left unturned. Jay DeMerit teaches how to lead teams and themselves through complexity and to keep focused on the goals ahead.

teamwork - the circle mentality

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Jay DeMerit has been in the middle of some pretty incredible team talks as a Captain of both Premier League & MLS clubs. His leadership across the globe during a 10-year International soccer career has been counted on by many.

    The Circle Mentality goes into the details of the Premier League promotion winning season for Watford Football Club. After every game during that season, the next day, the team would come into the meeting room and sit in a circle to discuss what happened. The circle for this group was place of understanding, communication, accountability & growth. The power of the circle was what got this team promoted to the biggest soccer league on the planet. Jay goes into the details of how he and his team were able to achieve the impossible.


  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training

youth development

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Since retiring from professional soccer five years ago, former Vancouver Whitecaps captain Jay DeMerit has been using his passion to empower youth on and off the field.

design mind - how the product designer became the product.

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Step inside the mind of a professional athlete trained in Industrial Design. Not only are the steps to becoming the best product you can be on the field explained, Jay DeMerit shares his own creative process in how his Degree in Product Design helped him become a better player & Captain both in the locker room & in the community.

inspire - rise & shine - the jay demerit story.

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Based on the success of the Kickstarter funded documentary – Jay takes you behind the lens of his journey from being a college walk-on to moving to England to try and make it as professional soccer player, to playing every minute of the 2010 World Cup. Sleeping on attic floors & playing for 60$ a game in the 9th Division, Jay climbed the “football” ladder to make 1st Division team Watford FC (famously owned by Elton John).

    Jay DeMerit goes on to become the first American Captain of the Club as well as winning MOTM in their promotion run to being a Premier League team. He touches on what got him there and also divulges into leadership tactics that helped him represent the US Men’s National Team at the World Cup in 2010, as well finishing his career as Captain of the Vancouver Whitecaps. The RISExSHINE message is built off 4 pillars, BELIEF, RESPECT, WORK ETHIC & POSITIVITY.


Jay Demerit was my favorite player in that team, gutted when he left but equally proud of what he achieved in his career

Anthony Packer

Just a simple example of how to shine like a star. Good job Man. Respect from Armenia.

Tigran Harutunyan

I don’t know how to explain this scenario but anyway let me say it i am really and seriously motivated by this journey and it has given me a kind of extra boost to really work hard inorder to achieve my dreams of playing professional football at the highest level in world of Football Insha Allah Allahumma Salli Ala Muhammadun Muhammadun Wassalim.

Abdulkadir Yusuf

Articles & Media

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How to book Jay DeMerit for an event?

Jay DeMerit keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Jay DeMerit delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Jay DeMerit from Vancouver, British Columbia 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 Jay DeMerit for an event?

Are you looking to hire Jay DeMerit for your event? Jay DeMerit Vancouver, British Columbia is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Jay DeMerit is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit 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, Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit from Vancouver, British Columbia offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Jay DeMerit is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Jay DeMerit speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Jay DeMerit for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Jay DeMerit for your event. As Jay DeMerit'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 Jay DeMerit 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.

Jay DeMerit Disclaimer
Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Jay DeMerit for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Jay DeMerit, 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 Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit 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 Jay DeMerit, 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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