Former Diver Takes Courage to the Business World

  • By Jonathan Harkey
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  • September 26, 2013 01:39 PM
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This is the third of a season-long series that will feature updates on WVU swimming and diving alumni, as well as getting to know members of the current team.

Bill Treasurer’s time as a diver at West Virginia University was only the beginning of his life’s journey, which has included being a member of the U.S. High Diving team, to being the founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Giant Leap Consulting, which specializes in helping people and organizations live more courageously, to writing several books.

A four-year varsity letterwinner and the first full scholarship diver in WVU history, Treasurer cemented his legacy from 1980-84. Treasurer’s numerous accomplishments include being a co-captain in 1983 and 1984, earning an Outstanding Athlete Award in 1982, qualifying for the NCAA Championships in 1982 and 1983, winning the 3-meter Eastern Diving Championship in 1982 and being a part of the 1983 team that won the East vs. West meet.

“In my time as a diver from 1980-84, we were beasts of the east. We went undefeated in 1982 and I was a part of that,“ said Treasurer. “Our coach, Kevin Gilson, made us all get lightning bolt earrings because it was tough. When we showed up we had a cockiness with us. We were a rambunctious group of folks and I loved being a member of it.”

After graduating with a degree in sport management from WVU, Treasurer became a member of the U.S. High Diving team which traveled the country performing dives of up to over 100 feet, sometimes on fire.

“Being a high diver, we were a crazy bunch of guys that were like traveling gypsies. We had a lot of fun, but everyday we still confronted this 100 foot dive,” said Treasurer. “We all knew the fear that went with that and respected the latter. We cheered each other on and had each other’s backs. I love all the divers and athletes that I’ve encountered.”

After his time performing over 1,500 dives for the team across seven years, Treasurer entered the business world. Since 1991, he has conducted over 500 corporate workshops and webinars for notable clients such as NASA, Accenture, Monster.com, CNN, SPANX, Center for Creative Leadership, Saks Fifth Avenue, Hugo Boss, Bank of America Merchant Services, UBS Bank, EarthLink, PNC Bank, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

With all of his success Treasurer still understands that his courage and drive have helped him through the hardships in his life, which includes being a cancer survivor and having a daughter with special needs.

“With any athlete, in life, you are going to meet a lot of adversity, and I think having been an athlete you learn how to bounce back and be resilient. So in my life I have hardships outside of school,” said Treasurer.

When discussing his relationship with his daughter, “Instead of taking that and being a disappointed father I try to buckle down and make that a great experience, not only for my daughter, but for me as well. I feel like it’s my job, not to help her overcome those obstacles, but how to thrive while having those obstacles.”

Treasurer is also donating 100 percent of the royalties from his latest book, Leaders Open Doors, to programs that benefit children with special needs.

“So far it’s donated $5,000, but for me, it’s my way to be constructive in the face of hardship, so it’s at least my way of being to bring some goodness to other people so that they don’t have to feel as burdened with dealing with a child with special needs, which they shouldn’t be.”

Treasurer believes that his work in courage building and his experiences could not only benefit those in the corporate setting, but college athletes as well.

“Part of what I learned about courage I learned at West Virginia. As a springboard diver, it’s not as grueling physically to be a diver, but divers constantly deal with fear,” said Treasurer. “Whether it’s being lost in the air, fear of wiping out on your back, fear of hitting the board, these are constant fears that you learn to deal with, and in that process I learned a lot about courage.

“Now I work with corporate clients, and help them be more courageous in the workplace. I would love to come back and inspire any team, fire them up with courage, and in the process be preparing those students for the point in time when they graduate from WVU and have to go into the real world. They’ll have a bigger running start.”

Treasurer still looks back though on his first day as a WVU student and recognizes how important the friendships he made and the experiences he had have influenced his life.

“First day of school at West Virginia I was on the bus going from Towers to downtown. There was this kid sitting next to me - we are both freshman and we start talking - it turns out we are both on the swim team and haven’t even been to a practice,” reflected Treasurer. “It turns out we had the same birthday, and both Dave Higgins and I became captains and great friends through college and today (he is still a United States Marine). That kind of friendship is a blessing and was forged because of athletics.”

Bill lives in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife Shannon, and their three children, Bina, Alex and Ian.

Bill Treasurer’s website: www.GiantLeapConsulting.com

His latest book, Leaders Open Doors: www.LeadersOpenDoors.com

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