Our Vision & Our History
How did we start? Where are we heading?
Let’s start with our vision for today – and the future.
Our vision: NSA/Colorado is the resource destination for the professional communicator. The Colorado chapter of the National Speakers Association serves professional – and aspiring – speakers, workshop leaders, trainers, corporate consultants, business coaches, life coaches, authors, and other thought leaders.
We help professional communicators grow their speaking business by offering a variety of programs to hone the skills, integrity, and values needed to succeed. Plus, NSA/Colorado is the premier resource for meeting planners looking for top-notch professional speakers.
Why and how did NSA/Colorado get started?
In 1981, Joe Sabah had just completed a 6-month assignment booking Cavett Robert, founder of the National Speakers Association. Cavett had asked Joe to move to Phoenix temporarily, and instructed Joe to make calls to set up speaking engagements. The goal? Book Cavett to speak 5 days a week. Note that Cavett was 73 years old at the time! Often, Joe traveled with Cavett as he spoke around the country.
In 1981, Joe and Judy Sabah were new members of the National Speakers Association – and newlyweds. Thanks to their shared speaking passion, they founded a speaking business and presented classes, which inspired attendees to become accomplished speakers. Over the years, Joe and Judy Sabah presented to thousands of aspiring speakers. In fact, Joe is still teaching his class, “How to Speak for Fun and Profit.”
In early 1982, the National Speakers Association floated the idea of creating local chapters. At the NSA convention in Chicago that year, Joe and Judy learned what it would take to start a chapter – and were inspired to found a chapter in Colorado.
Fueled by their passion for NSA and for speaking – coupled with a database of speakers as a result of the classes they had been teaching – Joe and Judy Sabah scheduled the first meeting of the Colorado Speakers Association.
The program was held July 24, 1982, at a conference room in the American Motel in Denver. Joe Sabah was elected founding president, with Judy Sabah and Lee Shelton elected as members of the leadership team. The founder of the National Speakers Association, Cavett Robert, was the keynote speaker for the event, with 52 guests attending.
Just two years later – in 1984 – NSA/Colorado was chartered.
We’re proud to continue the decades-long tradition of being widely regarded as a premier chapter of the National Speakers Association. In fact, several of our chapter leaders have stepped up to serve as National Presidents of NSA: Scott Friedman, CSP, CPAE; Ruby Newell-Legner, CSP; Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE; and Laura Stack, MBA, CSP.