© 2016 — Top Story Leadership

Ria Story

Like many, Ria faced adversity in life. Ria was sexually abused by her father from age 12 – 19, forced to play the role of his wife, and even shared with other men. Desperate to escape, she left home at 19 without a job, a car, or even a high school diploma. She started her career working as a waitress, earned her GED, started community college, and went on to earn an Associates degree in Office Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management, and an MBA, all with a 4.0 GPA. 

Today, Ria is an author of 11 books, a TEDx Speaker, and has nearly 20 years of experience in leadership and management.  Ria’s background includes more than 10 years in administrative healthcare with several years working as the Director of Compliance for a large healthcare organization.

Ria is a certified leadership speaker and trainer and has been selected three times to speak on stage at International John Maxwell Leadership events. In 2013, Ria served with John Maxwell in Guatemala, training 20,000 Guatemalan leaders as part of the Cultural Transformation Initiative. Ria is a Leadership Lee County Alumna and was invited personally to share the stage with motivational speaker Les Brown in 2014.

Ria is an active member of the Georgia Statewide Taskforce on Human Trafficking where she serves helping human trafficking survivors learn to thrive. Ria created Fearfully and Wonderfully Me, and she shares powerful leadership principles and tools of transformation from her journey to equip and empower women, helping them maximize their potential in life and leadership.

Here’s what others have to say…

  • “You influenced me big time in following my dreams! So I just wanted to say than you so much! Success can come from tragedy and I am grateful for your journey teaching me that!”

    Katiee
  • “….Ria, I really enjoyed your class this morning. It provided some new perspectives for me and several ideas from which I can benefit….I will look forward to joining you for another class!

  • “Ria was very inspiring. She gave the 2015 Graduating Class quality and truth at their Baccalaureate Service. Even though her past was one of tragedy, she delivered with such grace and poise. She sent out a clarion call for the students to be tenacious and have a positive attitude.”

  • ….it was awesome! Ria has a real gift. I came away with so many helpful tools! Thank you Ria.

  • “You gave me wings and I will fly! Thanks my friend!”

  • “Your story is so inspiring, and I find it so amazing to see what you have done with your life! You are truly an inspiration to me, and for other young women like me who have also overcome struggles…You are living proof that no matter where you come from, or what has happened in your past, it does NOT define you, and it does not define your future.”

    Emma A.
    PR/Marketing
  • You don’t know me but reading your story has changed my life forever and though it has been a slow on going process, I am seeing it was much needed !!

    I just wanted to say thank you !!

    Lisa M.
    Blog subscriber
  • “Ria, I am using your material to empower myself and my female clients. Thanks for sharing your story and a wonderful journey of growth.”

  • Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us to do the right thing for the right reason for the right people.

  • Thank you Ria for bringing our conference to a close. You were definitely an inspiration to all of us! Awesome Job!

    Melinda, President
    Alabama Gerontological Society
  • “(Working with you in the Storyteller Program) ….It is one of the smartest things I have done for myself – personally and professionally! Thank you!”

    Sherina Hill
    Author and Speaker
  • “My first words are, GET SIGNED UP! This training is not, and I stress, not your everyday leadership seminar! I have never been a part of anything like it. After 30 years in technology and two years in Concrete Construction, I have attended dozens and sent hundreds to the so-called ‘Leadership-Training.’ I can tell you that while all of the courses, classes, webinars, and seminars, had good intentions, nothing can touch what Mack and Ria Story provide. I just wish I had it 20 years ago…I could go on-and-on…100% of the team that attended said that they were ‘blown-away, they did not see that conviction and passion coming.’ Many thanks, Mack and Ria!”

    Sam M.
    VP & COO, CMP
  • It’s possible you will change the world!

    Donovan Weldon
    Owner, Donovan Industrial
  • “Too much to write here. Absolutely phenomenal. PLEASE give us more of (Mack and Ria) them and leadership training!”

    West Georgia Technical College
    Adult Education Program Instructor
  • “We SOOOO  enjoyed your testimony Tuesday night.  I saw several people at church last night that made a point to stop and tell me how much they enjoyed you and your inspiration!!”

  • “Thank you for coming to speak to Christian Women’s Job Corp. You have a winning personality and thank you for the strong influence you have been in my life.”

    Clarice
    CWJC Lee County
  • I truly enjoyed the encouraging words you had to share. I admire you so much and you are such a dynamic and motivational speaker. You are a true inspiration.

    Laura, attendee
    Auburn Women's Club
  • Thank you for making a difference!

Connect with Ria on LinkedIn