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The KVCC Foundation Announces the 2016 OFE Speaker Robyn Benincasa

New York Times best-selling author and world champion adventure racer Robyn Benincasa will be the keynote speaker at the Opportunities for Education dinner on May 19, 2016. The annual event, which is the main student scholarship fundraiser for the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, will be held at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites in downtown Kalamazoo beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Benincasa has inspired people to do “insane” things like climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run their first triathlon, start their own adventure racing teams, or start their own businesses. This is, after all, who she is and what she does: Robyn Benincasa inspires people to do amazing things.

Benincasa has made an art form of extreme performance by competing and winning at the highest levels of sport and business. Revered as one of "California's Fittest Women", she spent her youth competing at the state and national level in gymnastics, diving, cross country, and judo in which she became a national champion. Soon after earning a marketing degree from Arizona State University, Benincasa earned a prestigious "Rookie of the Year" award from her employer, a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company.

While consistently achieving top sales in her day job, she completed six Ironman races, with two podium finishes. Then the adventure race bug bit. In her 15-year career as a professional adventure racer, Benincasa has competed in close to 40 expedition-length events—gnarly, multiday, multisport killers such as Primal Quest and Eco-Challenge. She has biked through jungles in Borneo, climbed Himalayan giants in Nepal, trekked across lava fields in Fiji, rafted rapids in Chile—and racked up multiple world championship titles along the way. In her spare time, Robyn, is a full-time firefighter in San Diego, on the nation's first all-female crew.

NBC, ABC, CNN, ESPN, USA Network, Discovery Channel, Outdoor Life Network, PBS and FOX have all featured Benincasa and her accomplishments. Add to those network credits editorials in Fast Company, Sport Illustrated, Vogue, Corporate & Incentive Travel, The New York Times, Outside, and Harper's Bazaar.

Benincasa launched World Class Teams and its sister company Flashover Seminars to bring her unique and inspiring perspective on teamwork to the corporate world via keynotes, seminars and teambuilding programs. Starbucks, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Aramark, Honda/Acura, Tony Robbins, Allianz, Wal-Mart, Timberland, Napster, AT&T and Earthlink rely on Robyn's "Extreme Performance: Why Winners Win," "High Performance Leadership," and her signature program "The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy." Her unforgettable presentations have taught countless high-performance leaders all over the world about "Building World Class Teams" and the skills necessary for dynamic role shifting and true teamwork.

Benincasa founded the Project Athena Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women who've endured medical setbacks achieve their athletic dreams, whether it means climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or running a local 10K. Her goal is to encourage survivors not just to survive - but to thrive in the wake of their diagnoses.

"The biggest, strongest, and fastest competitors are not guaranteed a successful finish. It's the teams that truly understand interdependence, have empathy for one another, share common ideals, manage adversity well, and check their egos at the start line that win these races. In my experience, the same is true in the corporate world," Benincasa says.

The annual OFE dinner benefits Kalamazoo Valley Community College students with financial needs. The number of financial aid applications continues to increase each year and the Foundation’s scholarship fund is one way the college works to meet student needs.

The pre-event reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner and the program which concludes at 8:30 p.m.

Reservations for the event are $160 for individuals and $75 each for students. Sponsor tables that seat eight are available for $1,600. For more information about the event and the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation, contact Executive Director Stephen Doherty, 269-488-4442 or email: sdoherty@kvcc.edu.



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Student - $75:
General Seating - $160:
Corporate Table (8) - $1600:
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