CHICAGO, Sept. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- If you haven't attended one yourself, you know you have a friend that has; seminars, business coaching conferences, and motivational speeches. From the late Jim Rohn to Zig Ziglar, there are countless organizations that fill rooms with thousands of people looking to take their lives and businesses to the "next level." In an industry that often requires internal passion to get to the finish line, negative reviews are something that come with the territory. What does someone do when they get hit with an onslaught of negative reviews without any warrant? That is a question that famed Internet Marketer and Corporate Coach Stephen Pierce has been asking himself for months.

Many people face reputation challenges in life, but you would not expect it to happen the way Stephen Pierce and his "Stephen Pierce International" brand faced in the last year. Pierce, one of the top internet and network marketing coaches in the world, often stood proud with his A+ Better Business Bureau rating and countless positive testimonials. One day Stephen came into the office with multiple F ratings and negative testimonials that manifested overnight. Then the balances on his online bank and paypal accounts seemed to not add up. Then the phone started ringing with complaints from customers he had never met. Come to find out, Stephen's ex-wife had started an all out attack to hide a trail of embezzlement and fraud that added up to millions of dollars in losses.

"It was like a ton of bricks hit me all at once. I know what it is like to be heading down the right path after starting your life over, but I did not expect it to end up like this," commented Pierce from his Texas based offices. "We started looking into it and we could not believe what we found and even more disturbing, how long it has been going on."

Pierce and his team tried to address every complaint head on, but when things were not adding up he had no choice but to take it to the authorities. After a long investigation process to gather evidence, the Texas civil court system identified almost $4,000,000 of actual damages in favor of Stephen Pierce and his organization. "It appears that my ex-wife had cleverly manipulated our customers to thinking I was a scammer so she could start her own business using my company resources. In addition to that, she even manipulated a group of people to join her on this destructive path, even attempting a class action lawsuit. I guess she figured that if she destroyed our brand and reputation that it would cover the tracks of her embezzlement. It didn't." continued Pierce.

Instead of focusing his energy and vast resources on trying to "sell" his loyal fan base on the truth of the situation, Pierce decided to raise the bar for all speakers and business coaches in the industry. First, Pierce dedicated the majority of his court awarded damages to develop a fund to handle legal and reputation management for the unjustly accused. Second, Pierce sat down with Chicago based charity minded communication strategy firm, Christopher Foltz & Company, to develop the "Speakers Pledge". A legacy piece to prevent professional speakers and coaches from misleading the millions of trusting followers and fans globally. The goal of Speakers Pledge is twofold – it provides standards for speakers that the audience can trust and it serves to constantly remind speakers of their obligation to their audience.

"Anybody can be the number one person or brand in their industry. It is those that change their industry forever that leave a mark on society. Stephen Pierce is one of those people," commented Chris Foltz, Founder of Christopher Foltz & Company and a renowned speaker and coach himself. "We believe reputation management in its traditional sense is obsolete. True leadership comes in the form that Stephen Pierce is showing all of us in the industry."

With the official roll-out of SpeakersPledge.com set for September 15th, Pierce has already brought in commitments from industry leaders like: America's Business Expert Bill Walsh of Powerteam International, Mike Muhney, Founder of VIPorbit and Co-Founder of ACT! Software, Famed Celebrity Reinvention Expert and Coach Lisa Lockwood, and multiple international renowned motivational speakers and success coaches. With a complete list of 2012 commitments on the SpeakersPledge.com website, Pierce has been fielding request from around the world to take the pledge. "We couldn't be more excited by the early reaction we are getting. When you do things for the right reasons, they won't end for the wrong reasons," said Pierce. For more information of the Speakers Pledge visit www.SpeakersPledge.com or call 312-772-4865

The Speakers Pledge logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=14583

Chris Foltz