Solar Eclipse & Out of This World Speakers
For the first time since 1979, those living in the contiguous United States will experience a solar eclipse. The anticipation that has built up around this event is much like that which builds up near the date of a phenomenal leader’s keynote address. And we know there will be but a small window of time in which we can catch a glimpse of history in the making; a short span of time during which we will be part of circumstances that will create lasting lessons impressed upon our lives.
Though this eclipse (when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, blocking all or part of the sun) will last for just about two minutes and forty seconds, preparation for it has been ongoing for weeks, if not months. It is exciting to be part of such a rare occurrence, just as it is exciting to hear from speakers who once navigated our solar system and now share their principles of great leadership, albeit now from a podium rather than from the controls of a space shuttle. Here are seven leaders and astronauts proudly represented by Executive Speakers Bureau.
Alan Bean was the fourth person to walk the moon and pulls from his eighteen years of working with NASA to inspire audience members whom he believes are already dreamers and doers: “we were born that way.” With a focus on teamwork and creativity, Bean customizes each presentation to build upon leadership qualities his clients inherently possess, using some of the same formulas he did as an astronaut who, along with his team, accomplished a record 150% of their pre-mission goals.
We have been warned by those who made mistakes to properly prepare for the eclipse by wearing proper eyewear. In much the same way, Col. Eileen Collins shares that which she has learned from both her successes and failures over the course of 872 hours spent in space. As the first female commander on the 1999 Columbia shuttle flight and commander of the Discovery’s 2005 “Return to Flight” mission, Collins knows what it takes to achieve seemingly impossible goals and over the course of her career earned “a reputation for coolness under pressure.”
When retired NASA astronaut and humanitarian Ron Garan speaks, people listen. With 3.5 million followers on social media and named to Kred’s “Top 1% Influencer List” he uses his platform to show how we can all be part of improving life- and lives- on Earth. Just as countless schools and organizations have collaborated to enable as many as possible to safely see today’s eclipse, Garan encourages collaboration amongst organizations through his various businesses and start-ups to fund humanitarian projects, such as water treatment intervention, in developing countries.
Colonel Mike Mullane’s diverse background allows for him to address audiences from all walks of life, translating his experiences as an astronaut into that of a leader who understands the importance of teamwork in the accomplishment of difficult missions. A West Point graduate, Mullane completed 134 combat missions Vietnam as a member of the United States Air Force before being selected in 1978 as a Mission Specialist and part of the first group of Space Shuttle astronauts. He completed three space missions before retiring in 1990 and has since written an award-winning children’s book, space-fact book, and memoir.
With his extensive travel portfolio as a doctor, astronaut, and honorary captain of the 2010 United States Olympic Luge team, Dr. Scott Parazynski has arguably been to more places than will be part of the eclipse’s path (which is a lot considering the eclipse will be seen by residents of North America and parts of South America, Africa, and Europe!) Throughout his 17 years as an astronaut Parazynski was appointed to numerous leadership positions, paving the way for his induction into the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center in 2016. His list of prestigious awards is lengthy and he undoubtedly is one of today’s most memorable leadership speakers.
One of Tennessee’s most celebrated women, Dr. Rhea Seddon was inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame, the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame and the 2015 Astronaut Hall of Fame following a 19-year career as an astronaut with NASA. She teaches and speaks to audiences around the country on the importance of “patient safety, quality of care and team effectiveness,” based on the initiative she led for eleven years as Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville, Tennessee.
As an American astronaut, medical doctor and electrical engineer, David Alexander Wolf is no stranger to overcoming adversity and has used the skills and wisdom picked up along the way to teach others as only he can. He has spent more than 4,040 hours in space, totaled 41 hours and 17 minutes on 7 spacewalks, has received 17 United States patents, over 20 Space Act Awards and has a bridge named after him in Indianapolis. Wolf’s accolades and accomplishments number many more, serving as a backdrop to his unique way of engaging and inspiring audiences around the world.
Be sure to check the NASA website for eclipse viewing times in your area and don’t forget to wear proper eye protection.