John Odom invites his listener to think, to laugh, to feel compassion, to work hard and to make changes.

– Mary Magner, School Counselor, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dr. Odom’s reputation… is really quite exceptional… He is regarded as a person of great integrity, great independence, and great common sense… I think his reputation is so great because he is viewed as a firm and committed person who is vocal and articulate about basic American principles, yet one who can ameliorate a tense and highly charged situation… Dr. Odom’s professionalism becomes eminently clear to anybody who works with him in any capacity whatsoever. As a personality, he is engaging; as a man, he is warm and absolutely solid.

– Lee Sherman Dreyfus, former Governor, State of Wisconsin

WOW! Once again you have proven yourself as one of the premier credit union motivators and speakers in the country!

– Chris Johnson, Pres./CEO MidFirst Credit Union, Franklin, Ohio

You were a real hit! Thanks more than we can say for coming our way…

-Dr. Terrell Blodgett, LBJ School of Public Affairs, Univ. of Texas at Austin

It is indeed gratifying to work with Dr. John Odom. He is creative, imaginative, energetic, conscientious and ethical – just the traits we needed for “getting the job done.”

– Pete Crear, Pres/CEO, World Council of Credit Unions

During nearly 40 years in the public assembly venue industry, I have attended many conferences, seminars and professional development program. However, I have not had the occasion to begin such activity at 7:30 a.m. in the morning as the Certified Facility Executives did in Toronto! I thought it might be a little risky for the International Association of Assembly Managers… You surprised us all! Your talk was brilliant in every respect. It was enlightening, humorous and left many reasons to reflect on ideas and lessons that we can all use in everyday life, at work and in making those tough decisions with which we are confronted. Your material was superb and your sincerity in delivery all added to exceptional speaking skills, put you at the top of those which I would want to hear again, even at 7:30 a.m.

– Cliff Wallace, Managing Director Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Your presentation at each conference clearly reinforced the underlying theme, “Unleash Your Potential”, and was overwhelmingly taken to heart by each of our participants.

– Andrea McGrath, Kraft Foods

“John Odom knows how to enter a situation that is tense, angry, distrustful–possibly dangerous–and help everyone find a way to proceed toward their better selves. But, perhaps more importantly, he can enter where people are calm, confident, and relaxed — doing customary things — and introduce a healthy dose of information, challenging ideas and penetrating insight that precipitates discomfort, introspection and, surprisingly frequently, better thinking and acting. Surveying my 30 years of politics and international consulting, that’s mighty rare.”

– Joe Sensenbrenner, former Mayor of Madison, WI

You impressed your audience with your knowledge, spirit and style…

– Mac White, Manager, City of Plano, TX

John Odom was the keynote speaker for this event that brought together a couple hundred parents, teachers, community leaders, university experts, social service personnel, politicians, and interested citizens. He electrified the audience, not only by frankly naming the underlying tensions that manifest as low academic achievement but by galvanizing the group to return to their sites to make practical change. What impressed me most about his speech was his ability to honor and include – to talk with rather than to or about – the many different constituencies in that room, whose diversity in a way embodied the political challenges faced by the… schools. In other words, his speech enacted the very process we would have to adopt in order to make effective change. He took special care to include the interests of the mostly single mothers who were in attendance, showing deep understanding of the facts of their lives and their aspirations for their kids. Through his language, he enfranchised parents to participate fully… on equal par with teachers and professional experts. It was an amazing speech, one of the most rhetorically astute I have every heard. But it was just in a day’s work, as I would later find out, for Dr. John Odom.

– Dr. Deborah Brandt, Prof. of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison

To get people fired up; to cause in-depth ideation; and to move people into action are the hallmarks of a successful conference… clearly you met all three criteria. Thank you.

– Albert R. Barron, HR Specialist, Pomona, CA

The word around this school district is that your in-service was the best the school has had for the past 20 years… I was very proud to be the one who suggested your name.

– Dr. Harold Erickson, Brainerd Technical Institute, Brainerd, MN

What an excellent presentation!… I would like to thank you for your presentation on change management: “Ye Have Compassed This Mountain Long Enough”… we’ve receive excellent comments… on your presentation. They found the topic to be very timely, beneficial and motivating. And, of course, your presentation style was found to be very memorable with your enlightening and humorous manner.

– Michael Morgan, Wisconsin Secretary of Revenue

Your professionalism, wit and concern to gain the knowledge necessary to do an effective job paid off. … You definitely “made” the conference. The evaluations prove that.

– Harley Skjervem, V.P. Credit Union National Association

Dr. John Odom infused energy and a re-dedication of purpose to our work toward achieving full representation of all citizens on our juries. With great patience, creativity, and humor, he focused us on our realistic possibilities, while bringing our priorities into stark relief. He never missed a deadline, and presented a product that more than met our agreement. Working with him was enjoyable and highly productive.

-Judge Moria Krueger,Former Chair Dane County Jury Implementation Committee

John Odom… represented one of those passionate, understanding, and knowledgeable speakers who can make a huge difference in the mind of students. He didn’t speak at us; I really felt like he was talking to us, having a conversation about how we can make the difference in the lives of all students…. It made me think about how I treat students of different races and color. It made me think about how my influence in the classroom can influence a child’s entire life. It made me understand that I had the ability to influence a parent, to help educate the parent of a child who is struggling so they can be helped both in the classroom and at home. It reinforced my decision to be a teacher. But above all, John Odom made me think. So many speakers’ words leave my mind only moments after they’ve been spoken. I thought about what John said that morning and that evening, and every day since he came in… It’s nice to be challenged, and to be expected to succeed.

– Rebecca, Education major, Edgewood College

The response to Dr. Odom’s Diversity Workshops has been overwhelming. He… takes a sensitive, intimidating subject and delivers it with knowledge, sensitivity, and humor that facilitate learning.

– Jo Ann K. Day, V.P., Famous Footwear

What a special privilege it was to once again work with you at a credit union planning session. The Atlanta Teachers Federal Credit Union received tremendous benefit from your leadership, your motivation and insight. It was particularly enjoyable to see you at work with this minority credit union of 5 million in assets, and what is more particularly enlightening is that I know that you did an equally good job earlier in the week when you worked with the 300 million plus military all white credit union board of directors in facilitating their planning session. You are truly gifted.

– Ralph Jones, Sr. V. P., Georgia Credit Union Affiliates

As you’ll see by the enclosed summary sheets from our attendees’ evaluations, you “hit the top” with a score of 8.68 on a 9-point basis. (Yes, we even had quite a number of 9+ notes!)… The only major problem you leave me with is “how do we top this?”

– R. J. Simon, South Dakota Credit Union League

…all of us were very impressed with your professional skills and level of expertise… your participation brought tremendous value to our credit union…

– C. Alan Peppers, Denver Public School Employees’ Credit Union

Thanks for the great job you did facilitating our planning meeting. We are excited about the future as we continue to build on the plan.

– Nancy Pierce, Pres. Federal Employees Credit Union, Kansas City, MO

You made an outstanding presentation at our Extension Conference and the content of your presentation was right on target for our needs. Your unique ability to blend humor with content made an exceptional presentation.

– Daniel B. Smith, Clemson University

Your prior engagements have been excellent. I look forward to going at it once again.

– Mark Humphries, 66 Federal Credit Union

…thank you for your inspirational, dynamic, and extremely relevant talk to the Annual Conference at Kansas Sate University… Your thought process was challenging, yet easy to follow, your points were compelling, and your delivery was superb.

– Prof. Fred Schwenk, Head, Department of Plant Pathology

This is the first time the World Council had a facilitator for our planning sessions. The two separate sessions you facilitated with the Board, Management Team and Staff were intense, fun, positive, candid, participative, stimulating and productive. Without exception, the participants highly rate the outside experienced facilitation as extremely positive… it was the most enjoyable and productive staff planning in 10 years.”

– Chris Baker, past CEO, World Council of Credit Unions

 

ACTING

“The narrator, also called El Gallo, is played by the versatile John Odom, who can spit sparks or weave silk as he chooses. He is a commanding presence. Through his songs and gestures he draws the audience into the story as easily as he controls the characters on stage. He impressively conquers the part’s mile-wide vocal range and sings Harvey Schmidt’s beautiful “Try to Remember” with fresh simplicity. Odom handles Harvey Schmidt’s poetry with an originality that gives it a powerful crackle.

– The Capital Times on “The Fantasticks”

“John Odom as El Gallo takes vocal honors for pure vocal quality, strength and versatility. Odom plays the refined hustler, exuding a casual, hypnotic quality that draws confidence from all and makes young women swoon.”

-The Wisconsin State Journal on “The Fantasticks”

The sole character who streams with his own words is Carlton (played by John Odom)…whose hot utterance springs across the gap from ecstatic African-American preaching to the Welshness of Wright’s ancestry and Mr. Muldoon’s ‘Madoc’. It is Carlton who, on the plot level, is responsible for the culminating catastrophe, the burning of Taliesin…”

-The New Yorker on The World Premiere of the Opera “Shining Brow” about the life of Frank Lloyd Wright

John Odom narrated the two highlights of the program, Joseph Schwantner’s “A New Morning for the World,” featuring the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Aaron Copeland’s “A Lincoln Portrait.” Odom’s clear, emphatic voice carried King’s words with the eloquence and musicality for which the words themselves seem to call… One can fairly say Odom captured both, his delivery giving a life to the famous words that most in the audience had likely never expected to hear in person… Odom’s performance throughout was striking and at its climax stirring…

– Beloit Daily News re: The Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra

Nor could anybody enact the Wiz better than John Odom, whose powerfully rich voice sends chills down the spine when he challenges his visitors with “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard.”

– Wisconsin State Journal

The title role demands this kind of high-level theatricality, and John Odom often carried the whole production on his shoulders with his frenzy of a performance.

– The Isthmus on “The Wiz”

Ever-charming John Odom… was the master of ceremonies, and he maintained the attention of the audience throughout the evening with his witty, comical quips… John Odom smoothly guided the audience through the evening’s events and set the tone with his captivating personality.

– Wisconsin Free Press

When Odom sings, he puts his heart into every word. His acting showed a fine sense of time and subtlety and he gets a laugh by the perfection of his double take or a raised eyebrow.

– The Capital Times on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”

John Odom’s Joseph, with his compelling voice, was a rock of nobility in the shifting sands of farce.”

– Isthmus on “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”