The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Motivational speaker lectures at Key Bank event

Anna Boarini | Friday, November 16, 2012

As a motivational speaker, writer and artist Joni Arredia tries to find the best in everyone.

“I reflect goodness,” she said. “I love finding the best in people, I am a creative that always follows through. I use this gift that God has given me to make the world a better place. That’s what I do.”

Arredia spoke at Saint Mary’s on Thursday night for a Key Bank event.

“I’m talking about lifestyle balance, ” she said. “Key Bank puts this event on for women business owners that are their clients.”

With all the different ventures she is involved in, Arredia said she understands the importance of lifestyle balance.

“All the things that I do … they feel that I balance life very well,” she said. “As an entrepreneur and creative businesswoman how do you keep your connection to yourself, your family and your business … [with] space in your life to balance.”

Motivational speaking was not Arredia’s first career choice. In 1982, she bought a jazzercise franchise.

“I was teaching about 500 students a week,” she said. “I really found that people were coming in and wanting to lose weight and get fit but what I found more than anything they were looking for a place that made them feel good.”

While teaching jazzercise, Arredia also became interested in the nutritional end of fitness. She studied with the ‘Fit or Fat’ method under Cover Bailey and became a speaker for the program.

Then, one day, Arredia decided to speak for herself.

“One day I thought I’ll just get on that stage and … speak about what I believe in,” she said. “It worked, it worked to the point that I got everyone crying, like 300 people.”

Arredia realized while she wanted to impact people with her words, but she needed a tutor to hone her speaking and motivating skills.

“Words are very, very powerful and you have to be very responsible [with them],” she said. “I took about another year before started speaking to motivate people [again].”

Once she began motivational speaking, Arredia said she realized she wanted to be able to offer people something to take home to continue their journey. It was then she decided to become an author. Arredia has since written a newspaper column on the East Coast and has published two books.

Along with motivational speaking and writing, Arredia is also a painter and a recent playwright.

“I moved to Chicago seven years ago and started to study [acting] ferociously for two years,” she said.

Arredia said she got interested in theatre because of her involvement in high school and she wanted to work in a team again.

Her play, ‘Resurfacing’, debuted in Chicago in 2011.

Even with all she has accomplished in her life,
Arredia said her work with Hut Outreach, a Toledo, Ohio-based organization in Haiti has been the “coolest thing in my life, other than my family.”

“I went to Haiti in January, and when I came home worked furiously on pieces [of artwork] and staged a show in my home,” she said. “In one night we raised $20,000 dollars and went back a month later … to work on some exciting outreach programs.”

Through her career, Arredia said she has been able to understand people more and realize how to motivate them.

“I just love it. It is so much fun,” she said.  “It is such a blast to watch light bulbs go off and peoples eyes sparkly. I thank God every day for this gift.”

Contact Anna Boarini at