UNK- Motivational speaker and UNK alumnus, Ron “Gus” Gustafson will speak at the University of Nebraska at Kearney at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 in the Ponderosa Room of the Nebraskan Student Union. His presentation is sponsored by the UNK collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA).

Gustafson’s presentation, titled “Turning Setbacks into Comebacks,” is a reflection of his own life. He was raised in Lyons, Neb., where he was involved in a tragic childhood farm accident that left him without his right arm and shoulder. Despite the injury, he was a standout basketball player in high school, earning Honorable Mention and All-State honors. He also went on to play collegiate basketball until a knee injury ended his career. Today he has a successful business career as president and founder of Ron Gustafson–My Story in Omaha. In addition, the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame established the Ron Gustafson Inspirational Award to be given to individuals who have excelled in high school athletics while overcoming obstacles. Gustafson was the first recipient of this annual award.

His message urges audience members to process the garbage in their lives, to never give up and to have the courage to face the next challenge.

Melissa McGranahan, president of the UNK AMA, said Gustafson’s message is one that everyone can enjoy.

“His inspiring message will benefit the whole campus,” she said. “And his story of overcoming obstacles is a great example for anyone in the business world.”

“The three main points of his presentation relate well to the AMA mission, and we think that he will inspire others through his business and life experiences,” she said.

Gustafson travels nationwide, sharing his motivational presentation. He has spoke for organizations and schools including Principal Financial Group, American Express Travel Services, National Life of Vermont, Millard South High School in Omaha, and Greenville Senior High School in Greenville, S.C.

Gustafson’s presentation is taking place at UNK in conjunction with National AMA Week, Feb. 21-25. The purpose of AMA week is to educate the general public about the importance of marketing in everyday life.

The presentation is free and open to the public.