Murray has been a speaker and trainer since 1984 creating a niche with custom tailored presentations. While all speakers aspire to personalizing their presentations, Murray developed that skill as an educator, teaching at every level from grade school to graduate school! His ability to identify the needs of each person and zero in on best practices for their learning have served him well for researching an organization, reading his audience and creating an interactive presentation.
Murray was a passionate teacher. In 1982 he was honored as Vermont’s Teacher Of The Year for Physical Education and in 1983 received the Outstanding Educator Award from the national association, EDA/AAHPEHRD. He taught in a city school district, a small rural school and a major university; coached teams that won state championships and teams that never won a game; and 40 years later is still coaching youth sports in his community.
At the same time he was achieving educational honors, Murray was winning his first of four National Championships in the Triathlon. He took a sabbatical in 1984 to train and race internationally, work on an advanced degree in educational leadership and co-author a textbook. Two times he has been one of the top finishers in the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii. This break from public education enabled Murray to blend two passions – racing at the highest levels and teaching outside the structure of a classroom. His audiences now get the best of both worlds… a dynamic, interactive teaching style and focused, world class mindset.
As his speaking career became more demanding, Murray retired from triathlons but kept his hand in athletics with ski racing. In his 50’s and 60’s, racing the finest skiers from Europe, Scandinavia and North America, Murray won numerous National and World Championship in cross-country skiing. Janie, his wife and best friend for 48 years, grew up in the 60’s when athletic opportunities for girls were limited. When their sons were young, Janie got her chance… within a few years she won a marathon in 3:13, won a national championship in triathlon, was 8th in her division at the Ironman Triathlon World Championship and coached young girls to find their talents in sports. She followed her 3 guys into ski racing and in her 50’s and 60’s earned her own national and world championship titles.
Janie and Murray live in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont in the summer and in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the winter. As they have for 40+ years, they continue to volunteer in their communities mentoring and coaching young rising stars.
Their sons are now elite mountain guides based in Chamonix, France and Crested Butte, Colorado. Jeff and Steve are among a handful of Americans with the IFMGA/UIAGM international guiding certification and license. Murray’s ski mountaineering expeditions with them have taken him to Iceland, Norway, Japan, Canada and the Alps and those adventures find their way into his presentations. The elements of risk, adaptability, toughness and a joy for the mountains and are natural connections to Murray’s message. Winter is a season to most of us… but is also the name of Janie & Murray’s granddaughter.
Successful speakers are skilled storytellers. Murray draws on his teaching skills, athletic success and business savvy to engage every audience at an intimate level… a leadership training for 20 or a keynote to 2000, it’s more like an inspirational conversation than a speech.