Meet Ellen Leikind…entrepreneur, corporate innovator, published author, and creator of PokerDivas. Her mission: to show how you can win at the corporate game using the strategies of poker.
A Fortune 500 executive who launched over a billion dollars in health and beauty products, Ellen was intrigued when poker events began to rival golf as a popular corporate networking opportunity. Returning to the game she learned from her mom as a teenager, she noticed strong parallels among the strategies of poker, business, and life itself.
Ellen started POKERprimaDIVAS (aka PokerDivas) to help women gain entree to male-dominated networking events while honing their business skills. Her programs proved so popular that the PokerDivas mission expanded to helping both men and women boldly rise through the ranks of corporate America and prosper in their professional and personal lives.
Even if you’ve never played a hand of poker, every time you negotiate, manage people, or deal with a challenging situation, you are playing the game. Leikind’s specialty is showing how anyone can use the knowledge of poker to take charge of not only their career but also their life.
Her speaking topics include:
Leikind describes poker as a “people game you play with cards” that encourages initiative and assertiveness and rewards calculated risk-taking. Poker is about playing the people – reading the table, countering aggressive players, knowing when to bluff – the same skills that helped her succeed as a senior executive at companies such as Pfizer and L’Oreal.
An acknowledged expert on poker as a business-training tool, Leikind is a Cornell-certified diversity and inclusion authority who runs PokerDivas programs that include corporate team building, diversity and inclusion, and women’s initiative. She has authored a book: Poker Woman: How to Win at Love, Life, and Business Using the Principles of Poker, written columns on the life lessons of poker for Parade, hosted the PokerDivas podcast, and been featured in myriad news stories in Forbes, Crain’s, CNBC, ABC News, Success, and more.
Ms. Leikind is a senior marketing executive who has worked at several Fortune 500 companies including Pfizer and L’Oreal; she was also an Executive Consultant for the Direct Response infomercial industry. Ms. Leikind has an MBA in marketing from Fordham University in New York, a certificate from Cornell University in Diversity and Inclusion and is a native New Yorker and avid dog lover.
This is what people are saying about Ellen as a speaker: