April 1, 2019 Catherine Abbott

Press Release


CONTACT: Catherine Abbott, 760-245-4271 ext 2523 [email protected]

U.S. Army Veteran & Winner of ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” slated as the 2019 High Desert Opportunity Summit Keynote Speaker

VICTORVILLE, CA – Best-selling author, motivational speaker, advocate, and wounded U.S. Army Veteran, Jose Rene “J.R.” Martinez will serve as the keynote speaker for the 2019 High Desert Opportunity Summit event.  J.R.’s career path has been incredible and perhaps a bit improbable. Now a highly sought after motivational speaker, Martinez shares his experience motivating and inspiring others to believe in themselves and to never quit!

Martinez enlisted in the army out of high school.  In 2003, he survived smoke inhalation and severe burns to 34 percent of his body when the left front tire of his Humvee hit a roadside bomb in Karbala, Iraq.  While visiting a burn patient during his recovery, J.R. realized he had a positive impact and decided to use his own experiences to help others.  As a result, he continues to visit patients every day, sharing his story and listening to theirs.  He learned that inspiration is often a two-way street. More of his incredible journey will be shared on October 24, 2019 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds in Victorville.

Now in its 38th year, the original High Desert Opportunity event has officially merged with the Victor Valley College Foundation’s High Desert Economic Summit.  As one brand, committee members are capitalizing on the success of 2018 and bringing back more of the same programming as well as fresh new content.  In addition to the keynote speaker and economic forecast, the Victor Valley Chamber of Commerce Expo will feature its traditional exhibitors building, offering municipalities, utilities and businesses the opportunity to display and interact with attendees. 

“The event is a favorite in the High Desert and now that it is officially under the umbrella of the Victor Valley College Foundation, sponsors and guests will know their contributions to the event will increase access to higher education for students attending Victor Valley College” said Mike Nutter, Victor Valley College Foundation Board President.