Chris Edwards is a creative advertising executive who has pioneered the work of countless high-profile businesses. A transgender male, Chris is also a prominent advocate for LGBT and has worked tirelessly to improve the representation of LGBTQ in advertising and the media. With an inspirational tale to tell, Chris is highly sought as a public speaker, enriching audiences with the lessons learnt in his creative career and his advocacy for LGBT, diversity and inclusion.Book Chris Edwards Today!
Chris Edwards first began his illustrious creative career as a junior copywriter for Arnold Worldwide. During his early career, Chris struggled with his identity and ultimately transitioned to male during a time when the vocabulary ‘transgender’ did not exist. Nonetheless, Chris’ transition was accepted and embraced by those around him, forging a reputable name and career as a transitioned male. Chris worked his way through the ranks of Arnold Worldwide, holding various roles such as Senior Copywriter, Associate Creative Director, VP Creative Director and SVP Creative Director before ultimately holding the title of Group Creative Director.
During his 19-year tenure with Arnold Worldwide, Chris was an instrumental figure in the branding and advertising of many prominent companies. He helped to develop print, radio, video and digital content for clients such as Monster, Southern Comfort, Coors Light and Apple. He was also at the helm of the creative director’s team, expanding from 4 to 14 members. With Arnold Worldwide, Chris was able to build an extensive skillset, dealing with customers on a daily basis and developing trusting relationships with each and every client of the business. Working on a range of large business pitches, Chris knows what it takes to perform under pressure and deliver peak performance.
After having an incredible impact on countless businesses, Chris ultimately left Arnold Worldwide in 2012 embarking on a freelance journey and focussing on his own creative outlets. In his own personal ventures, Chris now dedicates his time to acting as a keynote speaker, transgender marketing consultant, creative copywriter and brand strategist. One of his most prominent passions is working as a transgender marketing consultant. As a transgender male, Chris is an advocate for helping others to smoothly transition and so pushes the importance of authentic representation of LGBT in both the media and by corporate companies. A pioneer in the world of diversity and inclusion, Chris has helped numerous corporate clients to be more inclusive towards their transgender employees.
Now highly sought as a motivational keynote speaker, Chris travels the country delivering a range of talks to different clients. Empowering all who attend his speeches, Chris tells the tale of his transition to male and the course of his illustrious creative career. From leading teams to orchestrating campaigns that earned recognition on the Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century, there is little that Chris does not know in the world of marketing. Author of BALLS: It Takes Some To Get Some, Chris delivers powerful speeches surrounding the subject of his memoir and pushes the importance of LGBT acceptance. A passionate and eloquent speaker, Chris Edwards is the perfect speaker with a broad range of knowledge guaranteed to be a hit at your next event.
"It takes extraordinary courage to pursue your dream of claiming your true self, especially when that self is a different gender than what you were assigned at birth. Chris tells a brutally honest and moving story about his emotional and physical journey of transition. Suffused with humor and pathos, it’s a story everyone would benefit from hearing. Our audience of 800+ responded with a standing O!"- Mary, The Ad Club of Boston
"After seeing Chris keynote at a conference, I made it my mission to get him to come speak at the agency. In the days after his talk at least 50 people told me he was the most inspirational speaker they’d ever heard"- Beth, The Martin Agency
"When I introduced Chris to the audience at our Talent Revolution Summit, I didn’t mention his gender transition specifically–only that he worked in advertising and would be sharing a story of diversity. To say the audience didn’t see it coming would be an understatement. The way he shared his personal story was so impactful and filled with a balance of humor and raw emotion he had everyone riveted. We all walked away more informed about what it’s like to be transgender and how to be better allies both in and out of the workplace. I highly recommend him to anyone looking to enhance their diversity initiatives with a real-life and relatable perspective"- Stephanie, Director of Agency Development, Google
"Chris Edwards was a featured speaker at a recent Diversity Dialogue offered by Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. In this forum, Chris shared an array of stories about his gender transition that touched both the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to attend. He spoke about his transition with humor and courage and helped our community to better understand the many issues that surround the transgender journey. The response from participants was overwhelmingly positive (Chris was the only speaker to ever receive a standing ovation from this audience), and we are grateful to him for sharing his experience with us"- Chris, Associate Dean for Human Resources Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences
"Shire had the great honor to welcome Chris Edwards for a lunch & learn at our campus in Lexington, Massachusetts. He is a truly inspiring and engaging speaker with an important message: Being your authentic self is the key to happiness and success! He shared valuable advice on how to be a supportive Ally of the LGBT+ community. In addition, Chris gave helpful food for thought on how self-branding affects the ways we are perceived by the world. Thank you Chris for helping us grow as a corporate community and for being a role model for every employee"- Christoph, Global Executive Lead B-Equal Business Resource Group
"Chris is a fireball!” “He is a dynamic speaker and his message was perfectly crafted, offering an unfiltered look into his extraordinary and brave journey. His story is REAL and resonated immensely with everyone at Deutsch"- Val, CEO, Deutsch NY
"As a conference organizer, I can’t give higher praise to Chris as a speaker–nor could the attendees who gave him the highest rankings in our exit survey. Chris’ story is so interesting to people, especially the way he explains how he used branding principles from advertising to rebrand himself during his gender transition. He’s personable, funny, relatable and someone you feel grateful to know and eager to hear more from. Simply put, he’s a fascinating person"- Kat, Founder and CEO 3% Conference
"When I first heard Chris speak I thought, I have to have him talk to my students. I don’t think they knew what to expect. I don’t think they expected so much honesty. Or so much humor. Or so much inspiration to come from such a very, very personal story. They came away awed and inspired. As does anyone who meets him"- Helayne, Director, VCU Brandcenter
"From the minute Chris started speaking he had the entire 2nd year Harvard Medical Students captivated by his stories that are peppered with wit and charm. He is a gifted public speaker and charismatic man who presents a powerful message"- Jeremi, Medical Director Gender Management Services, Boston Children's Hospital
"Chris is a fantastic and inspirational speaker who captivated the attention and hearts of our medical students. Hearing Chris’s story in the genuine and heartfelt manner in which he told it, including the unimaginable challenges and obstacles he faced, is an educational experience that few medical students encounter, but ironically the very kind that most students find the most valuable, rewarding, and memorable. Our Harvard Medical Students learned more about the human aspect of medicine and the patients they will one day treat in the one hour Chris taught them then they could have in days of “traditional” teaching"- Anand, Director Endocrinology and Reproductive Pathophysiology Course Harvard Medical School
Speaker Topics :
Diversity & Inclusion
Inclusion of Transgender Employees
Inclusion in the Workplace
Authentic Representation of LGBT
Author of BALLS: It Takes Some To Get Some
Creative Director for Arnold Worldwide
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology at Colgate University
Certified LGBTBE by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Recognised in the Top 15 Ad Campaigns of the 21st Century