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April 20th, 2022    
9:00 am - 10:00 am

Event Type

Ever wonder what it feels like to fly? Learning to “fly” in any career or endeavor requires many hours of hard work and diligence – and sometimes, you need to change your flight plan in midair.

Through Captain Barbara Bell’s experience as one of the first women to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, she learned how leadership and persistence are built one step at a time, and her experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly – helped her survive and thrive. In our April program, she’ll share some of those experiences and how we, as communicators can learn to fly high too. She’ll also share insights from her just-released book Flight Lessons: Navigating Through Life’s Turbulence And Learning To Fly High.

Part memoir, part call-to-action, the book is her way of passing along that knowledge to anyone who’s charting a course for success. In this engaging presentation, you’ll discover how to:

  • grit it out
  • navigate turbulence
  • earn your “wings” … and soar!

About the speaker

Barbara-Bell-500px.jpegCaptain Barbara Bell, U.S. Navy (ret.) is an inspiring speaker, author and leader who empowers women, men, and teens, encouraging and teaching them to fly high in their personal and professional lives.

Growing up in small-town Michigan, Barbara Bell, Ed.D., Capt. U.S. Navy (ret), had her head in the clouds. “As a kid, lying on the grass, seeing planes go by, I wasn’t thinking about being a pilot, because there was no context for that for women in the 1960s,” she remembers. “When I dreamed of flying, I was always the airplane.”

An accomplished student and athlete, she received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy at a time when only six percent of the student body was female. (“While the law said we could be there, most of our experience said we could not,” Bell explains.) After becoming one of Annapolis’ first woman graduates, she continued on to a distinguished career as an aviator and Naval Flight Test Officer, during which she flew more than 1,600 hours in 35 different types of U.S. and Allied aircraft. In 1992, she and fellow aviators went to Capitol Hill to successfully repeal the combat exclusions laws, opening up combat aircraft and ships to women in the services. She is happy to report that women now fly unrestricted in the services.

Today, Bell draws upon the skills she developed throughout her trailblazing years of service to help others find the courage to test new and innovative ways of thinking and doing. “Leadership can be taught,” she says. “Who are we? What behaviors demonstrate our values? Those answers come from deep within.” Using those principles of values-based leadership, she’s become known for her empathy, as well as her ability to ignite the spark people need to envision their dreams and chart a path forward.


Questions? Contact