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Sean Barnard
Speaker & Bestselling Author 


Leaders want to be the best version of themselves and retain team members who genuinely want to be a part of a success story. How they recruit is only the beginning of a long journey that is often cut short by simply not knowing – what they don’t know. Leadership is an art that can be learned - where internal conflict can be navigated without losing sleep.

This motivating keynote is based on a 40-year journey that took me from behind the scenes pressing shirts at a dry cleaner shop in England to running a $250m revenue business with over 1500 team members in Kansas City Missouri and most recently as the COO of a privately held Dental Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. I share the glorious victories that lead to success and the incredible self-taught blunders that will keep you safe from making the same mistakes.

Learning Objectives

1. Find out how you build a culture that makes you an ‘Employer of Choice’.

2. Learn the differences of managing and leading people and why it matters.

3. Recognize the winners on your team and the 3 easy steps to keep them.

4. Discover the true value of your own leadership style and how it can inspire others.

5. Walk away with the confidence to fearlessly lead your teams with credibility.

About Me

Sean Barnard serves as Chief Operating Officer for privately held North Carolina

based Smiles Ahead LLC. His role oversees 5 brands of dentistry that include:

  • Burrow Welchel & Culp Orthodontics

  • White & Johnson Pediatrics

  • Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry

  • Signature Smiles Orthodontics

  • Dogwood Family Dentistry. 

With international experience, his career spans from Europe and the Caribbean to

the U.S. and includes C-Level suite positions in gaming, hospitality, manufacturing,

and healthcare.  


Sean’s first book, "Intentional Retention" was published by Advantage Books in 2023 and rose to bestselling status in just 3 weeks. 

Starting his career as a casino dealer in England in 1979, Sean moved into junior management before emigrating to the Bahamas in 1984. In 1991 he was recruited to join a management team opening one of the first casinos in North America to be built outside Las Vegas or Atlantic City. 

As Senior Vice President of one of the largest casinos in the U.S., Sean was responsible for over a million square foot resort with 1500 employees, close to $250,000,000 in annual revenues, and over $85m in EBTIDA. Sean served as President of the Missouri Gaming Association and on several non-profit boards before ‘retiring’ in 2014.  

In 2016, the introduction to Dr. Dustin Burleson led to Sean creating a successful consultancy company that grew in reputation and size with a range of clients across the US with an emphasis on human resources, team building, and retention.  Sean has been a frequent keynote speaker with presentations that challenge how we all think of leadership and building a company’s ability to be an employer of choice. 

Sean is a Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional.

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