Meet Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam

Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is a Speaker, best-selling Author, Consultant, Board Certified Executive/Corporate Coach, CEO of Marilyn Tam & Co. and Founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation.

Leadership & Business Excellence:

Formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group; Vice President of Nike Inc. Marilyn is also a successful entrepreneur. She has built four profit-making companies, including a corporate consulting & training company, a web portal company, an online supply chain software company and an integrated health and wellness company.

Marilyn was a two terms (maximum) director on the national board of SCORE Association, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, (SBA). SCORE provides entrepreneurial education and helps in the development, growth and success of over 500,000 small businesses/year nationwide.

"You were amazing! You were so well received, our post event surveys all gave you a 5 – which was the highest score, and in fact we sold every book."
Terri Neil
National Women’s Business Owners Corporation

Personal Experience of the Importance of Diversity & Inclusion

Marilyn has had an extraordinarily diverse life, from her beginnings in a traditional Chinese family in Hong Kong to her rise through the executive ranks of the international business to become an influential corporate leader, speaker, author, corporate consultant, leadership coach, and respected humanitarian.

Having experienced the triple challenges of being a woman, of color and an immigrant, Marilyn have used what she learned on her path to global success to build organizations and coach leaders on how to leverage the benefits of diversity and inclusion in their organizations and in their products and marketing.

As President of Reebok Apparel & Retail group, Marilyn mentored and promoted a few of the first women and diverse Vice Presidents in the athletic industries. These leaders led the development of Weebok, the Reebok children’s shoe brand and also successful global marketing campaigns, including for the Olympics.

Marilyn’s understanding of the different communication and management styles in cross cultural and global business enabled the company she led to expand distribution to 120 countries profitably. Her leadership enabled the development of some of the first labor laws for apparel workers in manufacturing countries. This resulted in improved relationships and profitability for the company, their suppliers and attracted consumers who are increasingly interested in corporate social responsibility.

“Thank you for your outstanding participation as moderator and plenary speaker for Minority Enterprise Development Week Conference. Your insight into the strategies, tactics and tools critical to building a successful business through deal making was particularly helpful. Thank you for your excellent contribution.”
Ronald Langston, National Director
United States Department of Commerce,
 Minority Business Development Agency, Washington DC
“Thank you for being our Keynote Speaker at the event. You inspired and informed our audience. We value the diversity in our customer base and thank you for helping us reach them. I will certainly reach out to partner on further initiatives when we see opportunity.”
Fernando Molinar, Director Consumer Marketing
Verizon Wireless

Recognized by & Featured in

Inc Magazine ranks her as one of the top 100 Leadership Speakers in the world.

Named as one of the Top 10 inspirational business speakers by renowned professional speakers’ bureaus.

Her NPR (Net Promoter Score), the industry standard for measuring customer satisfaction, from her clients is among the highest rated of all speakers.

Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally.

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs in the USA by Fempreneur magazine.

Featured in the best selling book, “Fearless Women, midlife portraits” by Alspaugh, Kentz, and Halpin; Daryn Kagan, former CNN anchor spotlighted Marilyn as one who dared to dream that they can make a difference, in her book, “What’s Possible”.

Marilyn is featured several inspirational documentary movies including The GLOW Project, The Compass, Tapping the Source and FEMME for her accomplishments and inner wisdom.

Awards & Honors

Artemis Award for business by the Greek government and the Euro American Women’s Council 2007.

Lifetime Achievement Award 2006: eWomenNetwork presented her with their Lifetime Achievement Award. “This award recognizes a lifetime of sustained success and service. This dynamic leader has modeled the eWomenNetwork Foundation philosophy of “lifting as we climb.”

The Reebok Human Rights Award 1994: Awarded by Reebok for her humanitarian and human rights work.

The Tara Boddhisattva Award 2017: Conferred by the Living Saint of Thailand Venerable Mae Chee Sansanee at the Sathira Dammasathan in Bangkok for her compassion and humanitarian work.

Honored with a Ph.D. in Humane Letters 2009 by Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA.

Certificate of USA Congressional Recognition 2015 for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

U.S. Army Aviation and Mission Life Cycle Management Command Certificate of Recognition 2011 for Diversity, Leadership, Empowerment and Beyond.

T Rowe Price - Diversity Champion 2018.

SCORE Award of Appreciation 2012 for tireless dedication, unwavering commitment and exceptional contribution to support SCORE’s mission.

Toastmasters International Award 2015 - in appreciation for presenting to the Toastmasters International Convention.

California Legislative Assembly Certificate of Recognition 2015 - Women of Achievement for Communications Award.

California Senate Certificate of Recognition 2015 - Women of Achievement for Communications Award.

American Rivera Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016 - in recognition of tireless dedication to worthy causes and willingness to share wisdom and experience with others.

DeVry University, Keller Graduate School of Management 2014 - in appreciation of commencement address.

Best-selling Author & Feature writer

Marilyn is a contributing writer to Thrive Global, Medium and Noteworthy on how to live a happy, healthy, successful, and dynamically balanced life.

Marilyn’s book, “The Happiness Choice”, was the top 3 most read book by businesses according to 800 CEO Read, the leading business book supplier. The book won the Silver Medal of the Global eBook Awards. The book shows how and why happiness is crucial for business productivity and success, and for your physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health.

Her book, “How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want”, is available globally in six languages. And, “Living the Life of Your Dreams” was eBook of the Year in the Inspirational category.

Philanthropic & Humanitarian Work

Us Foundation

Marilyn is the founder and Executive Director of the Us Foundation, whose mission is to facilitate global action plans and dialogue to address social, economic and environmental issues. Us Foundation is one of the partners for United Nations Habitat-II, and was nominated as a candidate for the “Best Practice Award” from the United Nations’ Habitat II.

Whether Marilyn was directly improving the lot of workers in her contract factories around the world, or speaking, coaching and conducting seminars in business leadership programs internationally, Marilyn always gives back. Marilyn is committed to the belief that philanthropy is integral to and provides an essential balance and relevance to her work.

Project: The Reebok Human Rights Awards

Marilyn has served on the international board of The Reebok Human Rights Awards, along with former President Jimmy Carter; renowned musicians Peter Gabriel, and Sting, Rafer Johnson, Chairman of the Special Olympics; and Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center, and Paul Fireman, Chairman of Reebok International Ltd. The Reebok Human Rights Award is annually awarded to outstanding youths who have significantly supported human rights with non-violent action to serve their country and the world.

Project: Bhutan in the 21st Century

As an advisor to the country of Bhutan, she worked with the Ministers and government officials to transition the country into the 21st Century while retaining their cultural and environmental heritage.