Jo entered the Guinness World Records for the fastest female ascent of the Seven Summits. She is also the second British woman to ever climb Everest's North Ridge. Jo Gambi and her husband Rob, became the first couple to climb the 'Seven Summits' in record time and ski to the North and South Poles. Jo is the first woman to achieve this. Remarkably they achieved these records not only while Rob was in remission from his second bout of cancer, but also in spite of facing death along the way, while stranded high in the Himalayas.
As a talented and keen photographer, Jo has captured images from some of the most remote and wild places around the globe and in addition to contributing to the prestigious Nikon Owner Magazine, she is currently working on her second, photographic book. Her first book titled 'Holding On' is a story of love and survival.
Jo developed a real passion for the outdoors from an early age while on family holidays where sailing, camping and hiking were the norm. Although Jo competed successfully throughout her school years in numerous athletics disciplines, she excelled in her academic studies too, going on to be awarded the highest grade and a first class honours degree in 'Business Management and Clothing', as well as a 'Diploma in Biblical Studies'. After this Jo was accepted on the acclaimed graduate management programme at Marks and Spencer which led to her career as a Product Technologist in the men's and women's wear buying teams.
Jo's university summer vacations saw her love for travel and adventure develop as she worked overseas extensively in Kenya, Romania, Bolivia, US, Greece and Malaysia. With roles varying from sailing instructor and lifeguard to community, hospital and church based projects. Jo's career changed direction as she wanted to pursue a profession more dedicated towards helping people something she had always enjoyed throughout her ten years of church youth work. After gaining a degree in Physiotherapy she worked at University College London Hospitals (UCLH), one of the country's leading NHS trusts as well as working privately for the London Welsh Rugby Club and teaching Clinical Pilates.
Jo's warm and gregarious personality combined with her dynamic and engaging speaking style enables her to inspire, challenge and motivate any audience. She brings fascinating insights as a result of her experiences, but her reflections both as a female and a wife are also unique.
While Jo's achievements may seem out of reach for most people, audiences are often delighted and relieved to discover she is from a 'very ordinary background' without any of the potential advantages of a privileged upbringing or education. By tenaciously overcoming personal obstacles, Jo has discovered that so many of life's answers are within reach of us all. Jo loves to inspire people to be the best they can be, maintain perspective, and passionately pursue their dreams. Jo lives in west London with her husband Rob, who is now an MD for a major financial institution.
On behalf of The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in WomenÃ¢Â€Â™s Health 2009 Conference Organising Committee I would like to give you our tremendous thanks for a truly inspirational after-dinner talk on Friday evening. It is a unique gift to render over one hundred physiotherapists completely speechless and to hear them still discussing your achievements the following day at lunch is testimony to the impact you had on us all!
- Jane Lofts MCSP COC Secretary
Jo gave us a tremendous taste of the experiences she has had and the challenges she has conquered. We asked her to come to inspire our team of outdoor instructors and they went out not just inspired but transformed - the buzz afterwards was quite amazing. Jo really is an outstanding speaker and engaged the team at all levels in away which was really down to earth and fun.
- Mark Heasman Chief Executive Ã¢Â€Â“ Rock UK
Not only was Jo an inspiring speaker at our national launch, showing us the power of determination and discipline within the world of the outdoors; but also she related her experiences to the skills required to operate at the top of your game and the commitment to training necessary to achieve your dreams. Sadly we cannot have a launch every year to have such an uplifting experience again, but we will certainly be thinking about how we can harness her talent to meet our aims, to motivate more people to gain the right skills and qualifications in the outdoors.
- Florence Orban CEO, National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure