Joe Gerstandt

Senate to-do list:
1. Abolish the filibuster and pass COVID-19 relief for our communities.
2. Convict Trump.
3. Legislate like Democrats control the White House, Senate, and the House of Representatives. Because we do.

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Joe Gerstandt brings new clarity and fresh practices to diversity and inclusion work.

Joe has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, small non-profits, and everything in between. He speaks at numerous conferences and summits annually. He also blogs at, sharing insight and advice.

He is a featured contributor for the Workforce Diversity Network Expert Forum, and his insights have been published in Diversity Best Practices, Diversity Executive, HR Executive, Diversity Factor, American Diversity Report, Corporate Recruiting Leadership Journal, Associations Now, and other publications, as well as and online journals. He co-authored the book “Social Gravity: Harnessing the Natural Laws of Relationships” with Jason Lauritsen.

Joe’s Journey to Keynote Speaking

Joe grew up on a family farm in NW Iowa, served four years in the United States Marine Corps, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He attended Iowa State University and then spent 6 years working in management and business development for technology and communication companies. Joe then made a career change and went to work for a grassroots non-profit organization doing HIV and STD prevention work. This work is where he found himself drawn to issues related to diversity and inclusion..

Today, Joe believes that we cannot afford to continue applying a 20th century approach to an increasingly critical set of 21st century issues. A strong advocate for resetting the diversity and inclusion conversation, Joe sees diversity and inclusion as poorly understood — and often misunderstood. His keynote messages and interactive workshops bring greater clarity, energy, and application to diversity and inclusion work.

Joe lives in Omaha, Nebraska (the middle of everywhere) with his patient, kind, patient, loving and patient wife, two daughters, a son, a dog, and a guinea pig.



“I had the privilege of spending a weekend participating in a retreat facilitated by Joe. The sessions were always interesting, entertaining, and pushed us to the next level. Joe is a dynamic and articulate speaker who does a wonderful job of helping his audience ‘connect all the dots’.”

-Valda Ford-Center for Human Diversity

“You always wonder when you take time away from the office to attend a workshop if it will be worth it. Joe’s session absolutely was! It is grounded in research and interspersed with interactive and though-provoking exercises. Joe’s presentation made the topic of diversity a relevant, personal, and business focused issue. This is the best content I have seen on diversity.”

-Dennis Bole-Principal Financial Group


“Our experience working with Joe Gerstandt was amazing. Not only was his presentation engaging and thought provoking, but he was able to truly reach an audience of people who have mostly been in a leadership role for over 20 years and still teach them something new. Joe gave unique, practical strategies for embracing diverse perspectives in the workplace and disagreeing the right way. Even though he tackled some complex topics, he was able to simplify it in a way that I believe our members truly appreciated and benefited from.

Joe also spent time talking to us before the conference to truly understand audience he’d be speaking to. He did a great job tailoring his message to our members and listening to the advice we had about messaging they respond to.”

Education Specialist
Association for the Healthcare Environment

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