Meet Our Team
Kate S. Holgate, Founder
Originally from Charlotte, NC, Kate has a background in the advertising industry, as well as academic and professional theatre administration. She found herself in the speaking industry through a series of serendipitous twists and turns – some happy and some not so much. One of the happiest was the turn that landed Kate in the world of professional speakers when she went to work in Linda Larsen’s office for three years. Then a not-so-happy family emergency caused her to leave Florida for a while to care for a sick family member. Realizing she would need a higher level of portability, Kate decided to form Alliance for Success Speaker Management. She now looks after a wonderful and growing family of speakers (which will always include Linda Larsen). She has surrounded herself with people who allow her to do what she loves – to work with meeting planners, speakers and authors who help her make the world a better place.
When She’s Away From Her Desk:
Kate is a certified welder and also works in wood, ceramics, metal, and glass. She is a direct descendant of Charlemagne (he’s her 32nd Great Grandfather) and practically all of the other royal families of Europe. She used to compete in archery and Cowboy Action Shooting and she still enjoys shooting her two black powder rifles. She plays the autoharp and mountain dulcimer but, sadly, has been defeated by the hammered dulcimer. In her next life, she wants to be an astrophysicist … or a Dobro player (or maybe both).
KATE SAYS: I want to introduce you to my amazing team. Some work with me exclusively and some are valued allies who offer services that allow me to provide our AFS speakers with such a wide range of support. I am grateful that I have been able to surround myself with such a talented group of people, many of whom have worked with me for years. Each one is a part of AFS because of their unique skills, passion, and talents.Regina Osirus
Regina Osirus, Online Business Manager
Regina practically fell into my lap at the precise moment I needed her the most. Her post on a Facebook group page that I rarely visit said, “I am a combat-wounded retired Army Captain and now serve as a virtual assistant; how can I help you.” I reached out to her immediately and I think our first call lasted about 3 hours. She was meant to come into my life and I’m so grateful for her thought partnering; creative problem-solving, experience in project management, social media, marketing, and online seminars. In 2015 IVAA (International Virtual Assistant Association) honored her as Volunteer of the Year. She is a graduate of Marshall University where she holds a BSW and a Master of Public Administration. Her husband, as well as some of her children, have served in the military. She is more than someone who provides a service, she and her family have become a part of my husband’s and my family.
When She’s Away From Her Desk:
Regina and her husband (who is retired from the Army) are both big basketball fans. Surrounded by children and grandchildren, they currently live in Georgia. If she lived closer, I’d be at her house all the time asking her to please make me another plate of fried plantains!Taylor Hageman
Taylor Hageman, Admin & Accounting Support
Taylor has been working with speakers for several years. That’s how she came into my world – one of her speakers was applying for their CSP and they turned to me for help. I was so impressed by her that I asked her to come be a part of the AFS team. Her background in marketing, event planning, and sales make her a great asset to the team. She’s crazy smart and has extensive knowledge of QuickBooks and she created and implemented a CRM system and also has experience with HTML and WordPress. She has a BS in Business Administration from Troy University. Her husband serves in the United States Army.
When She’s Away From Her Desk: She has led a Family Readiness Group at the Army Base for the past four years and she is a Sunday School teacher.Susan Robb
Susan Robb, Sales Support
Susan originally came to me after she saw Coach Jim Johnson speak for FranklinCovey where she worked at that time. She has an extensive background in sales and she wanted to be a part of Coach’s speaking success. I’m not sure how I keep getting so lucky that such remarkable people become a part of my team! Susan makes the team international as she is originally from Scotland. Her ability to identify and understand what meeting planners need, her tenacity and creativity make her a tremendous asset. She is funny and caring and she teaches me all sorts of Scottish phrases. I can’t imagine my life or AFS without her!
When She’s Away From Her Desk:
She and her daughter live in Toronto where Susan is either thinking about buying shoes or she has just bought shoes! A girl can never have too many pairs!Brian Deckard
Website & Marketing Wizard
There is just no way that this website would exist in its current form without Brian Deckard and Deckard and Company. (Plus, I would be completely insane!). Before starting on the website for AFS Speaker Management, I had hired Brian to work on four websites for our speakers as well as a website for an external business associate. So I already knew the level of expertise that Brian possessed and I knew we would end up with the exact website I wanted. He understands what speakers need and he listened to me when I wanted some specific functionality. He never flinched when my sentences started with “Hey Brian, you know what would be great…” and even though I threw him some curves (OK, a lot of curves), he found ways to make things happen for me so that I could have exactly what I wanted. I love the fact that I can get my domains from him as well as my hosting…and my printing and my SEO and my website security and my inbound marketing and CRM resources. AND I can say that he is one of the nicest people I have the privilege of knowing.
When He’s Away From His Desk: Brian’s activities are about as opposite as possible: One one hand, he works to protect Sarasota (FL) County as a Firefighter/EMT and on the other hand you can find him on the ice playing and coaching hockey (weird, huh, hockey in Florida!). If he isn’t doing those things, you are likely to find him on his motorcycle.Michelle Joyce
Michelle Joyce, Presentation Skills Coach
What in the world can I say about Michelle that will convey how happy I am that I get to work with her? Michelle was working full-time with one of the most successful speakers in the country when she and I met at an NSA conference. As soon as I found out that she was living in my hometown of Charlotte, NC I blurted out “did you bring me Bojangles and Cheerwine?” We bonded on the spot. I’m thrilled that she decided to form her own company.
She is an experienced, proven, and trusted industry professional, whose coaching and consulting programs help individuals create stronger, more attractive brands; develop relevant seminar content and stories; polish their presentation skills; and generate more awareness for their products and services. She creates lifelong friendships with all of her clients and delivers lasting results. She is a valued ally and a treasured friend.
When She’s Away From Her Desk: Michelle and her husband (who is a wonderful woodworker) have two kids and a house at the lake. Gosh, what more is there!?
Kate Says: As I look back over these bios of the people I get to work with, I’m profoundly grateful that there is one theme throughout: while each one offers a valuable service, they all have become my friends. And it doesn’t get any better than that!