Chris Herndon

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Chris Herndon brings to his speaking engagements a wealth of experience amassed over more than two decades in the realms of service and leadership development. Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, Chris's early lessons in service were instilled by his mother, a dedicated teacher with nearly four decades of service in the Kansas City School District. Her influence emphasized the value of giving back to the community and leaving it better than before. This foundational understanding of service became the driving force behind Chris's remarkable journey.


Chris's journey into leadership commenced with his enrollment at the United States Military Academy at West Point. This experience further sharpened his commitment to service, leading to his commissioning as a Second Lieutenant in 1999. His initial assignment took him to Germany, where he embarked on a subsequent peacekeeping deployment to Kosovo as a platoon leader. As a Captain, Chris undertook a second deployment, this time to Iraq, where he shouldered the immense responsibility of being a Battery Commander overseeing the lives of over 100 soldiers. After dedicating six and a half years to the military, Chris concluded this chapter with an honorable discharge.


His transition to the private sector saw him assume leadership positions at major corporations such as United Airlines and Walmart. Nevertheless, Chris's unwavering call to service persisted. In 2011, he ventured into the world of politics by running for Denver City Council. In an astonishing victory during his first-ever campaign, he secured a position that marked the beginning of three successful campaigns over 12 years. During his tenure on the Denver City Council from 2011 to 2023, including a noteworthy two-year term as council president, Chris left a positive and lasting impact on his district, city, region, and state.


Committed to his mission of service, Chris founded the Herndon Leadership Institute in 2022. Through this venture, he provides professional coaching, inspiring keynote speeches, and leadership development training, sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience he has accumulated.


In addition to his extensive practical experience, Chris has furthered his education with a Master's Degree in Management from Webster University, a Master in Public Administration from the University of Colorado-Denver, and an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


Chris is a proud father of two children and, in his leisure moments, takes great joy in cheering them on, indulging in movies, engaging in pickleball matches, and participating in various sports. Chris's passion, compelling stories, and sense of humor make him a captivating speaker who can inspire, motivate, and encourage others to become the best versions of themselves.

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"I have seen Chris speak a few times now, and have always left feeling uplifted and inspired. When it came time for the CWCC Associate Board to find speakers for a personal branding event, my first instinct was to reach out to Chris. Despite his busy schedule, he got back to me right away and without hesitation agreed to speak at our event. Throughout the planning process, he was very organized and timely and I know I speak for everyone when I say that his speech hit it out of the park. He has a knack for making even large group settings feel like he is speaking to you one-on-one and we couldn't have asked for a better keynote. Thanks again for everything you've done for the CWCC and Denver community!"

Erica Owens (Rutledge) ,Senior Marketing Manager, Lifecycle