2018 Confirmed Speakers
Michael Rutledge is not your average speaker. As a former Navy SEAL, and Army Special Operations Aviator, his sixteen combat deployments and 28 years of military service provide the backdrop for a unique and engaging event with your team. His humble, but passionate theme of perseverance, and leadership with compassion is told using stories from a lifetime in special operations. Your group will be captivated as Michael uses personal examples of hardship, leadership challenges, and solutions he learned under the most demanding conditions. Whether it’s imagining the fortitude it takes to endure the world’s toughest military training and missions as a SEAL, or leading a formation of black helicopters through the smoke filled mountains of Afghanistan at night pursuing the world’s most wanted terrorists, you’ll walk away understanding what’s required to accomplish the impossible.
Michael’s numerous contingency deployments while in the SEAL Teams, taught him the value of teamwork, the importance of critical thinking, and the role positive attitude plays in successful execution. He later spent thirteen years as an assault helicopter pilot flying the MH-47G for the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment carrying our Nation’s premier special operations forces into the most hostile and heavily denied areas in modern warfare. Michael’s final military assignment was the commanding officer of the Executive Flight Detachment at the United States Military Academy at West Point. Michael was singularly responsible for planning and executing no fail air movements of our most senior military and elected officials, to include former Presidents. He also served as a leadership instructor and mentor for Cadets prior to receiving their commissions as Army Officers. West Point is recognized as the preeminent leadership development institute in the world. Michael brings the same key insights taught to our military’s future leaders as he relates practical, time proven methods to strengthen your team and develop individual leaders of character within your organization.
Beyond the military Michael is an aviation themed author, lecturer, aerial applicator, and flight instructor specializing in WWII airplanes. As a safety specialist, his emphasis is preparedness, risk mitigation, and aeronautical decision making.
A highly decorated officer, leader, and unapologetic Patriot, Michael’s message is laser focused through an energetic, humorous, and self-depreciating theme-nothing is impossible. He has been in-demand as a motivational and team building speaker for NCAA Division 1 athletic teams, veterans groups, youth, and business audiences. His presentations are tailored specifically for your goals, but his experiences are relatable to any audience seeking to develop cohesiveness and affect change. He will have your group proud to be Americans, wanting to dream bigger, and ready to accept any challenge.
Heidi Kemner is a native of Leesburg, Virginia, and has been around aviation all her life. It seems she was destined for her career. She took her first flight when she was just a baby as her father would take the family flying around the Shenandoah Valley on weekends. While still a student at Loudoun County High School, Mrs. Kemner started flying lessons at age 15. She flew her first solo flight at age 16, and earned her private pilot license when she was 17.
After high school she applied to world renowned Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. She was accepted in fall of 2006, and began attending school at the Daytona Beach, Florida, campus in the fall of 2007.
As Heidi worked toward earning her Bachelor's degree in Safety Science, she would fill her summers with flight lessons at Leesburg Airport and interning at the National Transportation Safety Board.
Heidi completed her Bachelor's degree at ERAU in 2010 and took a full-time internship with the National Transportation Safety Board as an investigative assistant. She also holds an FAA commercial pilot certificate with a multi-engine rating.
During her time at the NTSB, she has participated in over 30 aircraft accidents investigations all over the East Coast and has traveled to more than 50 aircraft accident scenes in fifteen different states. Type your paragraph here.