UNPLUGGED: Man with a message

“You never know who might be one step from walking off the ledge.”

That’s the driving thought for Ronnie Guest when he gets in front of an audience. Ronnie, a member of our Customer Response Unit, is a motivational speaker who found his confidence in front of people years ago when one of his teachers coerced her students to speak by making them pick topics from a jar. Ronnie was always eager to participate. That jar would hold possibilities later that he could have never known growing up.

Years later, the former basketball player found himself sharing encouraging words to motivate a high school basketball team before a game. Through this experience, he discovered he had the ability to move people.

Word traveled fast around Topeka, Kansas, and people sought out Ronnie to speak at other schools. Before long, he also was visiting youth detention facilities to counsel young people preparing to start a new life.

“It’s all about the message. The power is in the words,” he says.

Helping others live their best life

Today, he continues to speak at schools and youth centers or events around the country delivering thought-provoking messages.

“I just have a passion to help someone navigate a part of their life,” he says. “You can live your best life once you figure out what drives and motivates you – what fuels your fire.”

Young people, from basketball teams to cheerleader squads, fuel Ronnie’s fire. The former athlete has become a cheerleader himself, promoting teamwork, leadership, education and more through his interactive events and positive words. Watch Ronnie in action

“When I have the opportunity to get in front of students, I don’t do it for me. I do it for them,” says Ronnie, who doesn’t accept payment for speaking at youth events. “Maybe one thing I share might be enough for them to realize how valuable they are and turn them in a new direction. That’s my passion.”

Ronnie’s cheerleaders

Ronnie’s relatives have often been his biggest cheerleaders. After knee surgeries put his public speaking on hold several years ago, his aunt encouraged him to write a book. In 2012, My Granny, My Leader, was published, inspired by his grandmother’s life lessons and leadership and geared toward professional growth through motivation, customer service and giving back to your community.

Today, Ronnie’s biggest fan remains his mother. She calls him “Dr. Guest” – he’s working to complete a doctorate in organizational leadership while serving our customers and motivating others.

“If someone is struggling and something I say can help them, then I’ve done my job,” he says.

CPS Energy Unplugged highlights what members of our team do beyond the workday – their community and volunteer efforts, unique interests and hobbies, or personal accomplishments.


Scott Wudel

Scott was part of the Corporate Communications team at CPS Energy.

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