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      Howard Behar

      Former President of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International
      • Servant Leadership
      • The secrets of extraordinary customer service
      • The importance of organizational culture
      • It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Leadership from a Life at Starbucks

      Howard Behar is the former president of Starbucks North America and Starbucks International. He joined the company in 1989 when the company had just begun to venture outside the Northwest region. Initially serving as vice president of sales and operations, he grew the retail business from 28 stores to more than 400 stores by the time he was named president of Starbucks Coffee International in 1995.

      Under Behar’s leadership, Starbucks opened its first location in Tokyo in 1996. Following this historic opening, over the next three years he introduced the Starbucks brand across Asia and the United Kingdom. 

      After a two-year hiatus, he returned to Starbucks as president of Starbucks North America until his retirement in January 2003. He was a director of the company from 1996 to 2008 and served as an advisor and coach at all levels. Since his retirement, Behar has written a book It’s Not About the Coffee that describe his leadership principles.

      A frequent speaker on the topics of organizational and personal leadership, Behar serves on several profit and nonprofit boards, including Anna’s Linens, Sterling Savings Bank, Education Elements, and the advisory boards of Anthos Capital and Roadtrip Nation. 

      His non-profit commitments are to the University of Washington Foundation, Global Compassion Council, and the Biller Family Foundation. He is sponsoring a joint educational initiative with the University of Washington School of Social Work and the Business School. He also served as the Fritsky Leadership Chair 2008 & 2009 at the UW’s Foster School of Business. 

      He has also moved into the furniture business. His sense of the customers as people, his concern for their needs, and his experience of being a part of people’s dreams for their homes and their lives helped him make the next successive moves in his retail career.


      The speaker can be booked for your next event, conference, or board meeting through Noble Speakers Bureau. To request availability for a speaking engagement, simply fill out our contact form. One of our booking agents will promptly respond to your inquiry and contact the speaker to inform them of your interest in hiring them. We’ll help you get the speaker’s costs, booking details, and confirm the top keynote speaker’s or celebrity’s availability.

      The speaking fees are determined by a variety of factors, including the date of the event, whether it is a virtual or in-person event, the duration, format, and amount of preparation required for their speech, among others. The cost of hiring any other top professional speakers or celebrities is the same.  Please fill out the contact form or email us at info@noblespeakers.com with as much information as possible if you would like Howard Behar to offer a keynote speech at your event. One of our knowledgeable and experienced representatives will contact you to discuss booking Howard Behar and provide you with a quote.

      Howard Behar is only available for paid speaking engagements, he can be booked through Noble Speakers Bureau, which will manage all negotiations, contracts, and logistics for Howard Behar to speak at your event. Throughout the procedure, we will be your exclusive point of contact. Please contact Noble Speakers Bureau immediately at info@noblespeakers.com, and we’ll put you in touch with the relevant speaker who might be interested in presenting at your event. We will be unable to assist you if you desire to contact the speaker for any other purpose because we are not permitted to disclose personal contact information.

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