John O’Leary to Speak at Third Annual Business Breakfast

by | Feb 4, 2020

Location:  Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, IA
Date and Time: October 2, 2020, 7:00 am to 9:00 am
Organization:  Many Hands for Haiti (Many Hands)
About the Speaker:
Event Website::

John O’Leary delivering a keynote address (Picture credit:

Des Moines, Iowa – In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, he created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body. He was given less than a 1% chance to live.  Today, O’Leary uses his epic story of survival to inspire over 50,000 people at 100+ speaking events each year, where people consistently describe him as “the best speaker we’ve ever had.”

Many Hands is proud to bring John O’Leary, #1 Bestselling Author and Speaker, to Des Moines as the keynote speaker for the third annual Many Hands Business Breakfast on October 2, 2020.  When Tim Brand, Many Hands Executive Leader, was first introduced to John O’Leary, he quickly realized he was the clear choice as the keynote speaker for the Business Breakfast.

 “Many Hands serves those who daily overcome vast obstacles just to survive,” said Brand. “John’s story reflects those same qualities and inspires us to continue to walk day-by-day to help others. It is with tremendous excitement we bring John to Central Iowa to share the gift of his story with us.”

You can’t always choose the path you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk

O’Leary is the author of the instant #1 National Bestselling book, On Fire, and host of the top-rated Live Inspired Podcast, which has over 2,000,000 downloads. He has shared his message in 48 states, 11 countries, and at 1,600 events for clients including LEGO, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, Pepsi, MetLife, St. Louis Cardinals, and more. His second book In Awe: Rediscover Your Childlike Wonder to Unleash Inspiration, Meaning and Joy will be published by Penguin Random House in May 2020.

John O’Leary on stage (Photo Credit: Wyld Photo and Film)

This year’s theme, “The Power of One,” will encourage leaders to embrace the power of their own leadership, especially through the lens of positivity, gratitude, and purpose. O’Leary believes one person can make a profound difference in the lives of others and will encourage leaders to use their personal and professional challenges to strengthen their vision.

Great leaders are authentic individuals and meet people where they are. There is something that moves people when a leader can stand up and own the adversities they have walked through,” said O’Leary.  “What great leaders know is this: You can’t always choose the path you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk.”

(Picture credits:

Because of the year-to-year growth of the event, the Business Breakfast will be moving to the Iowa Events Center. Last year’s numbers for the event doubled, with an attendance of 275 people, representing over 20 businesses and organizations. In two years, the event has been able to raise $75,000 to support sustainable poverty alleviation and community development work in Haiti.

 “In a time when negativity is all around us, the need to lead from a position of hope is critical. John’s engaging storytelling, along with the insights from local guest speakers, will make this year’s Business Breakfast another transforming experience,” said Brand.

The Many Hands Business Breakfast will be co-hosted by corporate sponsors BHFO, Inc., Cellular Advantage, and Vander Haag’s, Inc. at the Iowa Events Center.

BHFO Inc., which is based in Cedar Rapids, is one of the largest and most trusted sellers of clothing, shoes, and accessories on eBay. Cellular Advantage is one of Iowa’s largest wireless service providers, with 25 stores across four states. Vander Haag’s, Inc. is a recognized leader nationwide in the Used Truck Sales, Parts, Service, and Equipment Industry, with seven locations across four states.

Last year’s keynote speaker, Jon Gordon, speaking at the 2019 Many Hands Business Breakfast

Proceeds from this event support the work of Many Hands. Individual and table registrations are available. For more information or to register visit

 About Many Hands:

Many Hands is an Iowa-based nonprofit creating local and global life-transformation by strengthening families.  Established in 2008, the organization focuses on six key areas for transformation, including education, agronomy, leadership development, safe homes, medical assistance, and economic development. Each year, the organization reaches at least 25,000 people through their Haitian operations, IMPACT trips, and Many Hands Thrift Markets located in Grimes, Iowa and Spencer, Iowa. 

Many Hands is called to transform together, to be love in action, in a broken world. 

Video – John O’Leary