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In 2005 Rob and Jo Gambi became the first married couple to achieve the ultimate adventurer’s ambition when they climbed the ‘Seven Summits’ (the highest mountains on all seven continents) and skied to both the North and South Poles together. Jo is also the first female, and Rob the first Australian, to have achieved this feat.
What makes their story even more remarkable is that they achieved all this while Rob was in remission from his second bout of cancer. Having been warned that his cancer could reoccur, Rob and Jo both left their jobs in order to spend as much time together as they could, and embarked on what was to become an incredible adventure. In spite of setbacks and facing death high in the Himalaya, they persevered and fulfilled their dreams (while unwittingly setting a string of records). They experienced and endured more together during several challenging years than most couples would in a lifetime, overcoming illness and living with an intensity few people ever know.
In 2005 Jo entered the Guinness World Records for the fastest female ascent of the ‘Seven Summits’ and still holds this record and Jo was the second British woman to climb Everest’s more difficult and daunting North Ridge.
Rob and Jo’s story has received broad national and international media coverage and Jo’s book ‘Holding On’ has been recently featured on GMTV LK Today and in feature articles in The Daily Telegraph, The Observer and The Express. Their story is not just an enthralling account of mountaineering and polar achievements; it is a powerful and emotional story of love and survival against the odds.
Areas of Expertise
As a dynamic husband and wife team, Rob and Jo Gambi bring a unique and refreshingly new perspective to the speaking circuit. They are unassuming, yet inspirational characters with an extraordinary story that has enormous popular appeal. No mountaineering knowledge is required to be captivated and inspired by their experiences and observations.
Rob and Jo’s story is global in its reach and touches people in all walks of life. They are passionate about encouraging others who are facing obstacles in their personal or work life, and also inspiring and challenging everyone to embrace change & reach beyond what they believe is possible. The Gambi’s generously share from their difficult times when they were confronted with the fragility of their own lives and also from the highs and lows of what they experienced in extreme environments, making their presentations gripping as well as entertaining and rich in insight.
Rob and Jo are also able to draw on their wealth of experience not only in the world of high altitude climbing and polar travel but also in the business world and health profession. Rob has worked in the Asset Management business for 22 years and is now an MD with UBS Global Asset Management & Jo worked in management with M&S buying teams before becoming a Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor.
Instead of ‘teaching’ lessons, Rob and Jo allow the audience to extract what they find valuable from the multitude of key messages that are encompassed within their story. They are able to do a certain amount of fine tuning, however, their presentations naturally touch on many issues that are fundamental to life whether in a personal or business context. Some of their themes include: dealing with obstacles, change management, motivation, team work & relationships, leadership, strategy, risk assessment, goal setting & attainment, mental strength and personal development.
With Rob’s Antipodean no-nonsense approach and Jo’s warm and vivacious style, they tell their engaging story with humility and humour. Their presentation is accompanied by stunning audio visuals to provide a powerful and unique keynote or after dinner speech that affects lives long after the message is heard.
“Thank you both for delivering an amazingly professional presentation – we were all affected by it. You managed to engage the audience and present an entertaining account of your extraordinary experiences in a way that enabled us to relate to them. We really feel we know what you went through and what it must be like to test yourself beyond the limit.”
Ian Buckley – Chief Investment Officer, Henderson Global Investors
“Rob and Jo presented an inspirational insight into their expeditions across some of the most severe terrain in the world. The insight although brief, given how much both had achieved in such a short period of time was fantastic.”
John Nestor – Business Head EMEA, Managing Director, Citigroup Asset Management
“Thank you so very much for your talk. The audience was mesmerized. It was not only the subject but also the quality of the presentation. You should take up public speaking for a career.”
Robert Thomas - Master of The Worshipful Company of Actuaries
“Thank you seems so inadequate but it really is heartfelt. Your presentation yesterday was so fascinating – and so professionally done – I don’t know if you realise how much you touch people”
Jenny McInerney - President of the Australian Women’s Club, London
“Thank you so much for making the reason we all fundraise come so alive for our supporters. The feedback received has been amazing. They all really loved hearing about your climbing challenge and all the conditions that you faced. And to do all that having recovered twice from cancer, can only give real hope to others. The human spirit is truly amazing and no better exemplified I think than in all you have both achieved.”
Elizabeth Melvin - Cancer Research UK Fund raiser, Oxford Region
“Jo is a natural communicator: her talk was inspiring and fascinating. It was also beautifully illustrated by first-class slides. Jo captivated the audience and left them wanting more.”
Charlotte Hindle - Wanderlust Career Break Theatre Co-ordinator/Travel Journalist
“Thank you both so much for the presentation. Everybody thought it was absolutely amazing. It was extremely obvious why you are in such high demand. All your achievements seemed so understated and yet it was clear that even in our wildest imaginations we could not grasp the enormity of what you have both been through and achieved together.”
Kath Williams - Doctor, Hammersmith Hospital
“Thank you so much for coming today and treating us to such a memorable Yew Tree occasion. Your story is one the members will certainly recall with enjoyment and admiration.”
Maureen Horne - Chairman, Yew Tree Luncheon Club
“A million thank you's to you for last night. You are both such inspirational individuals and I know so many of the supporters I spoke to last night were really delighted that you shared your story with them. Thank you again.”
Louise Wadley - Host, Cancer Research UK Annual London Supporters Conference