James "Jay" Guilford is a seasoned team-building and leadership coach with over a decade of experience working with organizations to bolster culture and engagement. As the Creative Content Strategist for Cirque du Soleil’s SPARK corporate training program, Jay led the buildout of the organization’s B2B corporate offering. He worked with teams across Cirque’s Las Vegas-based Resident Shows – as well as teams in Montreal, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic – to build Cirque inspired curricula centered around collaboration, communication, innovation, and healthy risk taking. He also designed the curricula for Club Med’s Creactive corporate sessions for their Punta Cana resort.
In the first year of operation, SPARK garnered both patronage and A+ ratings from companies such as Google, MGM Resorts International, Uber, LifeTime Fitness, Kmart Australia, Gensler, and Hewlett Packard. When speaking of Jay’s work, Michal Lev-Ram of Fortune magazine wrote, “[Jay Guilford] is helping transform a quirky, bohemian circus founded by street performers into an optimized, monetized, strategically managed global entertainment brand.”
In addition to keynote speaking, one-to-one coaching and training modules are two other staples of Jay’s approach. Jay has advised partners, C-level executives and VPs. His consulting services have included coaching senior leaders on issuing critical feedback, unlocking their capacity for inspirational leadership, and addressing conflict in ways that go beyond mediating disputes to bolster teamwork and engagement. In his training sessions, Jay goes beyond trite “people bingo” activities and employs original content to help organizations explore topics such as issuing critical feedback, positively engaging conflict, and managing up and across. He has delivered keynote for the Bolder Innovation Forum, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Proctor & Gamble, Keenan, and others.
Jay holds a BA from Emory University and an MA from Columbia University. In addition to working as a change agent for organizations, Jay is a gym-a-holic and an ice cream fanatic.
THEMES + TOPICS
In energetic keynote, workshop, and roundtable sessions designed to bridge the gap between business, technical, and creative thinking, Alma delivers provocative, thought-provoking, and practical insight into brand building, customer engagement, innovation, and the intersection of commerce, creativity, and technology.