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John Quiñones

ABC News Veteran and Host of What Would You Do?


Combining a moving life story, an exceptional career, incomparable insights, and a powerful presence, John Quiñones has emerged as one of the most inspiring keynotes in the speaking world today. His moving presentations focus on his odds-defying journey, celebrate the life-changing power of education, champion the Latino American Dream, and provide thought-provoking insights into human nature and ethical behavior.

A lifetime of “never taking no for an answer” took Quiñones from migrant farm work and poverty to more than 30 years at ABC News and the anchor desk at 20/20 and Primetime. Along the way, he broke through barriers, won the highest accolades, and became a role model for many. As host and creator of What Would You Do?, the highly-rated, hidden camera ethical dilemma newsmagazine, Quiñones has literally become “the face of doing the right thing” to millions of fans. It’s a role that he has enthusiastically embraced off camera, with a popular book and keynote presentations that challenge both business and general audiences to examine the What Would You Do? moments we face every day.

Known for truly connecting with audiences and leaving them uplifted and inspired, Quiñones delivers a powerful message of believing in one’s self, never giving up, and always, always doing the right thing.


From the Barrio to Network Television: John Quiñones’ Inspiring Journey

John Quiñones has never forgotten the day when, on their way to harvest cherries in Michigan, his family was separated from their caravan of migrant farm workers. The family ran out of food. With nothing else to eat, John, his mother, father and two sisters had to survive on a gallon can of green beans and a loaf of bread until they landed in Traverse City two days later. It was that hardship and hunger, Quiñones says, that gave him the determination to turn disadvantages into assets and achieve his ambitions. With drive and perseverance, Quiñones relentlessly pursued his vision to become a television journalist, while building a lifelong reputation for hard work and integrity. The lessons he learned about overcoming challenges, believing in oneself and defying the negative messages that society often sent inspire all of us to reach for our highest potential.

What Would You Do? Words of Wisdom about Doing the Right Thing

John Quiñones’ millions of fans have often said, “The world would be a better place if we all thought John Quiñones was in the next room – watching our behavior. Because we would then all be on our BEST behavior.”

Quiñones tailors his What Would You Do? talks to any and all audiences. Having filmed more than 500 different WWYD scenarios, John takes on just about any form of ethical dilemma under the sun. Everything from spousal abuse to the shortcomings of America’s foster care system to discrimination and racism. Who sounds the alarm? Who simply looks the other way? John fascinates the audience with clear cut descriptions about the type of people who get involved as well as those who don’t. And, very often, the “everyday heroes” captured on hidden camera are not the persons one might expect.

These thought-provoking presentations often end with spirited Q & A discussions about ethics and morals in today’s America – a time when a show like WWYD is more valuable and necessary than ever before.

What Would You Do?: Business Edition

The chances of getting caught on hidden camera by What Would You Do? are tiny compared to the everyday dangers of the digital age – especially in the business world. We live in a time when the boundaries between our personal and professional selves are blurred, reputations can be lost in an instant, and mistakes live on forever. In this highly topical keynote, John Quiñones explores the dilemmas that leaders, employees and organizations face in this brave new world of transparency. Sharing scenarios from What Would You Do? and years of observing the best and worst of human nature, Quiñones tailors themes and examples to address your organization’s areas of interest or concern. Flexible in focus, his inspiring and thought-provoking presentations leave audiences with a timeless takeaway: No matter how advanced we become, it all still comes down to doing the right thing.

Opportunity through Education: John Quiñones’ American Dream

John Quiñones’ accomplishments defy the destiny that too many predicted for him. As the child of migrant farm workers who entered school not speaking English, Quiñones later found himself railroaded into a vocational track, despite his dream of going to college. In high school, he finally found a helping hand: an English teacher who recognized that the talented young man was meant for a lot more than auto and wood shop. By believing in Quiñones and entering him into the federal Upward Bound program, one teacher put him on the path to college and literally changed the trajectory of his life. In this moving presentation, John Quiñones inspires all of us to believe in our own potential, the transformative power of education, and how one person can make a difference in the future of a child.

A 20/20 Vision for America: Building Bridges, Not Walls

According to John, “I love it when people ask me, ‘John Quiñones, you’re Mexican-American, when did your family come over from Mexico?’" With his signature warmth, John responds that his family has been in Texas for seven generations. “The Quiñones family never crossed the border. The border crossed us!” In this uplifting presentation, John views a greater, stronger America built upon our dynamic cultural diversity. With a call to “build bridges, not walls,” he celebrates our differences as a powerful force and a proud part of our shared American character.

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