Speaker From

United States


Las Vegas

State | County | Province


Speaker Bio

Michelle "MACE" Curran grew up in a small town in Northern Wisconsin and, believe it or not, was a super shy kid. From my humble beginnings, the importance of hardwork and encouragement to chase my dreams was bestowed upon me at a young age.


Always a thrill seeker, the desire to seek out something greater drove me to leave my small town and join the military. This structured and challenging environment allowed me to thrive, and I rapidly focused in on becoming a fighter pilot as my ultimate goal. Years of work focused on this singular goal culminated in the night I found out I would be going to fly F-16s.


From Asia, to Europe, to the Middle East it was one unforgettable experience after another. The challenges were tough, but the rewards were greater. The pinnacle of my career, and what led me here today, was the last 3 years of my career as a Solo Pilot for the Air Force's elite demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds.


I served as only the second woman ever to fly in the Lead Solo position, since the team began in 1953. The honor of serving in this position empowered me to do whatever I could to inspire others.


When asked about the best part of the job people are often surprised when my answer does not involve the flying. While challenging and exciting, it was nothing compared to the feeling of knowing you are inspiring someone to chase their dreams.


As my time on the Thunderbirds came to a close, I sought out ways to still leave this impact on others, and here we are! I have many stories to tell and weave into them lessons of grit, perseverance, determination, and teamwork.


Inspiring Your Team


After 8 years flying combat aircraft in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, I spent the last 3 years of my career in the Air Force on the elite demonstration team, The Thunderbirds.


Upon joining this high performing team, I rapidly discovered the best part was not the flying, but the opportunity to inspire others. As only the fourth woman to fly in the Thunderbird demonstration since the team’s creation in 1953, I had the privilege of being in a unique position to empower women of all ages.


Let me share my stories of unbelievable flying, facing fears, and unwavering trust with your team. I will bring real world experience and inspiration to both the men and women of your organization.

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  • Royal Bank of Canada
    07/14/2022 at 11:30 am

    That is exactly what my team needed to hear! You are so inspiring. The quote of the day was, “If MACE can do that, I can go make that sales call I’ve been avoiding.”

    -Senior VP, Royal Bank of Canada

    Keynote Talk - Live

  • Microsoft CELA Team
    06/09/2022 at 2:12 pm

    I have gotten so many emails or people stopping me to thank me for bringing you to campus, they LOVED it… amazingly well received, I am so happy about that since you were a departure from the speakers we usually have.

    -Microsoft CELA Team

    Keynote Talk - Live

  • St. Mark's School of Texas
    05/28/2022 at 12:36 pm

    The very honest, poignant, and personal stories you shared provided important and meaningful perspective and inspiration for all of us.

    -Headmaster, St. Mark’s School of Texas

    Keynote Talk - Live

  • Microsoft
    04/08/2022 at 9:37 am

    Your messages around trust, inclusion, imposter syndrome, allowing failure to happen and be ok, really resonate with our workforce.

    -Leader, Microsoft

    Keynote Talk - Live

  • Davidson Day School
    03/17/2022 at 11:00 am

    I want to thank you again for your presence and remarks. I’ve been hearing accolades all day… things like, “best speaker ever!” You were magnificent.

    -Headmaster, Davidson Day School

    Keynote Talk - Live

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