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Biographical Sketch

Gladys E. Edmunds

President, Gladys E. Edmunds Programs



More than forty years ago, Gladys Edmunds was a sixteen-year-old single mother faced with the challenges of earning a living to support herself and her child. A series of door-to-door selling ventures paved the way for what was to become her lifelong calling. Determined to succeed, Gladys launched her own travel company from a card table in her living room and owned her travel company for more than 35 years. She sold Edmunds Travel Consultants January 2000

Gladys has made a commitment to sharing her success and philosophy with other entrepreneurs and professionals. She travels the country as a public speaker, addressing conferences, conventions, corporate clients and other interested groups. Convinced that anyone can draw from the strength and creativity that's already within them, Gladys enthusiastically encourages others to do what she did - start and succeed in their lives.

 Viking/Penguin published her book "There's No Business Like Your Own Business". The book is designed to help entrepreneurs and professionals master six steps to holistic living that leads to success. In the book Gladys recounts the experiences she encountered in her quest for economic independence and the lessons learned from them.


She currently is the owner of Gladys Edmunds Entrepreneurial Programs, a business development consulting company designed to help entrepreneurs reach success.


Each week, thousands of reader enjoy her inspirational, motivational and informational USA Today column, The Entrepreneurial Tightrope

Gladys' achievements have been honored with many accolades both national and local including the national coveted Avon Woman of Enterprise Award. She was also recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce as one of the Top 25 Women-Owned Businesses in Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of Carlow College's Woman of Spirit Award. Her name was added to the Pennsylvania Honor Roll of Distinguished Women and WPTT television and Magee Women's Hospital honored her for Women's History Month.

Despite a busy schedule, Gladys still finds time to remain actively involved in numerous community activities. Some of her current and past involvements are:



  • Board member of Magee Hospital Foundation

  • Board member of Project Sunshine in New York

  • Advisory Board of the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council

  • Board member of Port Authority Transit of Allegheny County

  • Founding board member of the "I Have a Dream" Foundation

  • Member of Brain Trust Committee for the Enterprise Corporation

  • Appointed by former Governor Tom Ridge as a delegate for the White House Conference on Small Business

  • Appointed by former Gov. Tom Ridge as delegate for White House Conference on Travel and Tourism

  • Appointed Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Television Network by former Gov. Tom Ridge

  • Committee member of Money Magazine Small Business Roundtable

  • Advisory board of the Ellis Private Girls School


When she finally does slow down, Gladys relaxes by studying philosophy. listening to music, and writing both fiction and nonfiction. She also enjoys walking and hiking. Her daughter Sharon Jackson has made Gladys the grandmother to two beautiful granddaughters.


Featured Appearances

Gladys' success has been featured on the following programs.


  • The Oprah Winfrey Show

  • ABC-TV-Good Morning America

  • The Susan Powter TV Show

  • The Virginia Graham syndicated Radio Show

  • CNN-TV Business Unusual

  • Money Magazine's Money Guide

  • Good Housekeeping Magazine

  • Entrepreneur Magazine

  • Woman Now Magazine

  • Upscale Magazine

  • Ebony Magazine

  • Career Focus Magazine

  • Hair Tress Magazine

  • National Enquirer

  • Philadelphia Tribune

  • Pittsburgh Post Gazette

  • Boston Globe


Keynote Speaker


She has also served as keynote speaker, commencement speaker or seminar leader for many enthusiastic audiences, among which have been:


  • Mellon National Bank - Seattle

  • Mellon National Bank - Philadelphia

  • Mellon National Bank - Boston

  • Mellon National Bank - Florida

  • National Association of Women Business Owners - Mid-Atlantic Region

  • National Association of Women Business Owners - Hampton, VA

  • YWCA - Boston

  • Ohio State University - Women's Conference

  • PA. Dept of Commerce

  • Woman Power Conference - Pittsburgh

  • Erie Minority Trade Fair

  • Roselia School Commencement Address

  • Minnesota State Women's Conference

  • Allegheny Policy Council Conference

  • Carlow College

  • Ellis Girls School

  • Women In Transportation Conference

  • The Enterprise Corporation

  • YWCA - Pittsburgh

  • YWCA - Boston

  • Clemson University

  • Carnegie Library

  • Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development

  • University of Wisconsin

  • First Union Bank 

  • Suburban Hotels of America Annual Convention

  • Rockville Chamber of Commerce

  • PNC Bank - Erie

  • National Women's Network Association of California

  • NAWBO ' Washington/Delaware/Richmond 

  • The Sage Corporation

  • Wells Fargo


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