Robyn Benincasa - Bio


Robyn Benincasa-Visual Map.jpgRobyn Benincasa is the founder of World Class Teams, a world champion adventure racer, a CNN Hero, former corporate sales expert and a full time firefighter who advises organizations on building World Class Teams of their own. One of the highest rated female speakers who regularly shares the stage with world leaders and business icons, her customers include many Fortune companies like Starbucks, Deloitte, Aflac, Fast Company, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ARAMARK, Siemens, 3M, Coldwell Banker, Ameriprise, Microsoft, AT&T. With a background in marketing, she was previously in corporate sales with Baxter and Allergan and is currently a full-time firefighter. World Champion Eco-Challenge Adventure Racer, CNN Hero, Founder of the Project Athena Foundation (Survivors to Athletes!), 3x Guinness World Record Distance Paddler and proud owner of 2 metal ‘bionic hips’, Robyn definitely knows a thing or two about creating Human Synergy – “that magic that allows groups of ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things together.” Her New York Times best-selling book How Winning Works, published by Harlequin has beenreviewed as “an excellent resource for all business owners on approaching challenges with a team mentality.”

For the last 20 years, she and her teammates have been competing at the front of the pack in the most unique and compelling classrooms on earth – the jungles of Borneo, the Himalayan peaks of Tibet, the rivers of Fiji, the rainforests of Ecuador and the desert of Namibia – studying the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty in extreme teamwork and mastering the skills required to inspire a group of semi-exhausted people through a seemingly endless series of checkpoints, in pursuit of a seemingly impossible goal, working against crazy deadlines, in constantly changing conditions and all in pursuit of a huge hairy audacious goal. Sounds a lot like your life as a business leader, right?

It is through these harrowing, life affirming and often hilarious experiences in the world’s most grueling challenges that she has emerged with her refreshing and truly unique perspective on what it takes to build the kind of World Class Teams that succeed against all odds, that triumph in the face of adversity and that win as one in times of great challenge and change. Whether you’re trying to beat the competition to market, scale a looming mountain of a project  or simply get your team all marching in the same direction, Robyn’s 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy will coach you to the finish line of success.

NBC, ABC, CNN, ESPN, USA Network, The Today Show, Live With Regis, Dateline NBC, The Discovery Channel, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Runners World and Outside Magazine have all featured Robyn and her teams’ amazing accomplishments. And Robyn accepts full blame for inspiring people to do insane things like climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run their first triathlon, start their own adventure racing teams, hike across the Grand Canyon with a group of Survivors, or start their own businesses.

This is, after all, who she is and what she does: Robyn Benincasa inspires people to grab life with one hand, grab their teammates with the other, and to create that special magic that makes all of us better together than we ever would have been alone!


  • #1 Marketing graduate at Arizona State
  • 7 years in sales with a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company (received Rookie of the Year Award)
  • New York Times best-selling author
  • 2014 CNN Hero (CNN article)
  • 2-time Adventure Racing World Champion (with 20 Top 5 Finishes)
  • 3-time Guinness World Record Holder (longest distance paddled in 24 hours…kayak and stand-up paddling)
  • 10-time Ironman Triathlete
  • 15 years as a professional Adventure Racer
  • San Diego City Firefighter (first all female crew in the country)
  • Guinness World Record holder (distance paddled in 24 hours)
  • Professional adventure racer
  • Founder of World Class Teams
  • Founder of the non-profit Project Athena Foundation

Why Robyn?

  • Robyn Benincasa is the Founder of World Class Teams; as a teamwork strategist she helps business leaders and companies build World Class Teams of their own.
  • Robyn addresses how to create true synergy among teammates, making them better together than any individual could ever be alone.
  • A World Champion Adventure Racer, whose teams endure great challenges and change, Robyn imparts the wisdom she learned from her extreme teammates about how to innovate, adapt, overcome and win as one.
  • Robyn’s key learning point: World Class Teams are created by both leadership and ‘followership’ skills, as well as dynamic role shifting in which strengths and challenges are shared.
  • Previously in corporate sales Robyn is a full time firefighter in San Diego, CA.
  • Robyn is the author of the New York Times best-sellerHow Winning Works; published by Harlequin, it has been reviewed as “an excellent resource for all business owners for learning to approach challenges with a team mentality.”
  • Robyn’s articles have been featured in numerous publications including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, USA Weekend, Investor’s Business Daily and Endurance Racing Magazine.
  • Top female speaker for 2014 –
  • Top 5 teamwork speaker 5 years in a row by Fortune 1000 meeting professionals
  • She is a 2014 CNN Hero for founding the 501c3 Project Athena Foundation, which trains and supports survivors in living their adventurous and athletic dreams as part of their recovery. This is one of the inspiring stories Robyn shares in each keynote to show how leaders manage adversity and setbacks.