Inspirational Speaker

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Speaking Topic:

Overcoming Crisis on Top of Crisis to Come Out Stronger

& Why

Marketing Matters 

As the former Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board for thirteen years,  we led a multi-billion dollar seafood industry through two of our nation’s largest natural and manmade disasters, Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill.  

At times it felt like we were moving mountains.  It took everything we had, then some.  Each time we rebuilt a brand to save $2 Billion dollars in annual retail sales that evaporated with each crisis.  Literally, 98% of American consumers stopped eating our seafood after Katrina. Then again after the BP well sank.  I ask you, what would you do if you lost 98% of your customer base overnight?  How might that impact your job? Your business?

What we learned…marketing matters. Big time!

We weren’t just pitching a product anymore. Rebuilding the brand was and still is critically important because, at the end of the day, what we were really fighting for was to save and preserve our fishing communities with a legacy of eight generations of fishermen.  Great marketing absolutely matters; it promotes and impacts lives. 


What do I speak about to help your team?

I answer the question above regarding losing your customer base. How do you turn that around to the positive?  Losing your customer base may an extreme scenario; however, it drives home the points I make for normal day to day business.

My goal is simple.  I want to bring surreal levels of crisis management, business,  marketing and PR experiences to life for your team.  I’ll address the Achilles heel most companies and small businesses share, communications. That is absolutely critical to making it through a crisis. It’s critical to everyday business.  Especially sales and marketing.

Your Outcome:  To provide your team insights and actionable steps to overcome challenges that help them excel and better leverage day to day business opportunities to be more productive.


Meeting Planners

Planning my speaking engagement is very simple and easy to execute. All that is needed is a microphone, powerpoint, and a projector.  We will debrief the purpose of your meeting well in advance and I will integrate your message into my presentation.  I love Q and A and meeting and greeting your team. Contact me here to check availability.

Relevant work:

Louisiana Seafood Board  & Great American Seafood Cook-Off     Gulf Seafood Institute

Sample Past Speaking Engagements

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Speaking at the International Association of Business Communicators in Houston


  • WMI Animal Health Annual Meeting  – New Orleans, LA
  • Sysco Corporate Headquarters – Houston, TX
  • Shell Oil Company – New Orleans, LA and Wilmington, NC
  • Fruche Seafood Annual Conference – Dallas, TX
  • Seafood Expo North America Marketing Panels – Boston, MA
  • Powerhouse Gym Annual Franchise Meeting – Las Vegas, NV


  • National Fisheries Institute’s Annual Meetings – DC
  • The Society of International Business Fellows – New Orleans, LA
  • American Seafood Processors Association Annual Conference – Biloxi, MS
  • Destination Marketing Association International – Travel South Conference -Richmond, VA
  • International Association for Programs of Agricultural Leadership – Houma, LA
  • International Association of Business Communicators – Houston, TX
  • National Restaurant Association Crisis Panel for national media – Chicago, IL
  • Louisiana Restaurant Association Crisis Panel for national media – New Orleans, LA
  • Wild American Shrimp Annual Conference – Charleston, SC
  • Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation – Anchorage, AK
  • Gulf and South Atlantic Seafood Fisheries Development Foundation – Biloxi, MS
  • Public Relations Society of America – Austin, TX
  • National Sea Grant –  Aquaculture and Fish Tech 101 – New Orleans, LA
  • New Orleans Mission Gala
  • Louisiana Oil & Gas Association – Rally for Economic Survival – Lafayette, LA
  • Louisiana State University Agricultural Leadership Development program – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Gulf Oyster Industry Council
  • American Culinary Federation – New Orleans, LA
  • Louisiana Shrimp Association Annual Conference
  • Louisiana Blue Crab Task Force
  • Louisiana Oyster Task Force
  • Gulf Seafood Marketing Coalition – Destin, FL


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Emceeing the the Great American Seafood Cook-Off on PBS

  • Congress – Testifying on Crisis Events
  • Emcee/Executive Producer – Great American Seafood Cook-Off seen of Food Network and PBS
  • Over 1,000 media interviews


Contact me here to check speaking availability.  

ewell smith talks recovery efforts after katrina

Ewell Smith talks recovery efforts with the Ready 4 TakeOff Coalition (Superdome – New Orleans)



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