Martha LaGuardia-Kotite photo frame

Martha LaGuardia-Kotite

Keynote Speaker, Award-winning
Author & Ghostwriter

Join Martha LaGuardia-Kotite at the Emerald Coast Theatre on February 13, 2019 as she tells one of the fourteen true and inspiring stories of some of the bravest men and women you’ll ever meet!

Motivational Speaker & Harvard Trained Writer

Martha served 29-years in the U.S. Coast Guard at sea and ashore. A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Harvard University she rose to the senior officer rank of captain earning many awards. An  experienced spokesperson for corporate clients like IBM and crisis manager for significant national events to include Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and numerous hurricanes like Sandy and Maria, Martha's adventures enabled her to live in Manhattan, Connecticut, Boston, Seattle, Astoria, Oregon (homeport for her first ship assignment), San Francisco and Key West (where she spent some time at sea as second in command of a 110' patrol boat.) Martha resides in Florida with her family.

Motivational speaker: empowers and inspires corporate leaders, students, and teams to dream bigger. Keynote speaker for graduations, national and regional events - let’s fire them up!

  • My presentations include these topics:
    • Leadership
    • Changing Tomorrow by Seizing Today - Dream Bigger
    • Our Ocean's Health - Why We Should Care
    • The Aftermath of Suicide - Why This Matters
    • Resilient Crisis Management
  • I can also: bring stories of extraordinary people, coupled with my own life and leadership experiences to your audience, no matter their age or phase, encouraging them to take action.
  • I enthusiastically share the steps needed to achieve their mission, their dream, sprinkling in inspirational stories from my career and from those I have written about in my books.
  • Why we should talk: I deliver life-changing stories. I create relatable presentations that shares hard-earned wisdom, teaching the audiences – no matter your age or experience – that we can be bold, we can achieve our daring dreams, having fun along the way.

My books: I’ve authored and co-authored five books, capturing the adventures, wild environments, trials and survival of women and men.

  • What I can do for you: I like making a difference. Helping people overcome their fears, take risks to achieve their bigger dreams by giving them tools to discover their own beyond. This is a great way to spend the day.
  • I deliver memoirs and magazine features. I am an empathetic interviewer, discreet – let me help you tell your story. This is my talent and focus.
  • Ready to go:  Achieving a senior officer rank in the U.S. Coast Guard taught me a thing or two about getting along with people from all sorts of places and points of view, managing their different leadership styles and, being always ready to go, even if it meant deploying for a national disaster or shipboard patrol – that said, I can travel to work on your story or speaking event.
  • One of the greatest joys I have received from my career in the US Coast Guard and my award-winning books are invitations to lend my experience to talk about leadership, sharing steps to achieve a bigger dream and talking about my own crisis management and resilience experiences dealing with major national events.


Martha LaGuardia Kotite is an exceptional author and speaker who brings her passion and mastery of storytelling to each project she undertakes. She has the uncommon ability to tackle grand themes with unforgettable human details that take readers and audiences into the moment while opening their minds to the big picture. I enthusiastically recommend Martha's books and encourage anyone looking for a dynamic speaker to get her onto their stage.

Jeff Carter

Director of Corporate Communications, Defense Finance and Accounting Service

…In addition, Martha has dynamic oratory skills, that clearly captivates an audience in the same manner as she does in her writings. A true patriot - outstanding person, and someone who has served her country with pride and professionalism in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. I would recommend her for any position of responsibility, as well as any opportunity for her to speak in forums, conferences and workshops on any topic.

Vince Patton

Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, ret., Senior VP for Leadership Development NewDay USA

If you have not had the honor of hearing her speak, you have missed the proverbial "Coast Guard Boat". She will have you on your feet celebrating her story and the stories of those she has served with. She is a "hero" in every sense of the word! She doesn't act like a hero or trumpet her accomplishments. She doesn't have to. Martha is captivating and her humility and her courage. She is an inspiration to every person at every level in life! If your corporation or organization is in the market for the most dynamic speaker of our time, Martha LaGuardia Kotite is your Keynote!

Lauren Veach

Manager, Tiara Project

Personally and since 2014, I have witnessed Captain LaGuardia-Kotite’s talent as a motivational, inspirational speaker, comfortable and captivating on both the large stage such as Joint Women’s Leadership Symposium with over 800 veterans or on the corporate and training environments or breakout rooms. A collaborative leader, Martha is highly respected and she was asked to Chair the symposium, leading us through a vacancy and transition of planning team to great success. Captain LaGuardia-Kotite served as the Symposium Committee Chair in Norfolk, VA. The positive reception from that Symposium resulted in many of the same attendees returning the next year. The Assistant Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard was so impressed by last year’s Symposium, she requested our assistance in holding a similar event in Canada.

John Dittmer

VI Sea Service Leadership Association, VP

As a freelance journalist and author, Martha's writing continuously covers topics with an emotional connection and a detailed eye. Her works are insightful and indicative of her love for the military, her country, and her fellow citizens and their stories.

This same passion portrayed through her writing can be equally witnessed through her dynamic speaking skills. She is enthusiastic and expressive about her works and dedicated to enlightening others on the subjects that she presents.

Through her writing or speaking, know that with Martha you will get indepth coverage on the subject matter illuminated in a manner which is detailed, emotional, and heart-felt. It is unquestionable to me that this is her true passion.

Kim Guedry

Ceveal Solutions CEO

Long before Martha wrote her books, she was an inspiration to me and others at TSI, a large New York PR agency where we both worked. Her shining spirit, strong ethics, and open, warm nature made it clear to us that she was going places. It’s wonderful to see all she's done with her talents.

Gary Baker

Global Communications Director at The Hackett Group

I had the privilege of meeting Martha several years ago at the U.S. Coast Guard base in Portland, Oregon where she came to give a talk on her book, "So Others May Live" on Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers. As the wife of a Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer, I was thrilled that someone had at last written a book that paid tribute to these courageous Guardians who risk their lives to save others. ….

Not only is Martha a fine writer, researcher, and public speaker, but she also proudly served as the U.S. Coast Guard Commandant's Press Secretary. I am honored to be acquainted with Martha and I have the highest regard for her.

Amy Goodpaster Strebe

Author, Editor and Historian

Thank you so much for a wonderful memorial service last night at my church!
I wanted so badly to say thank you and to introduce my daughter to you- she is 15 1/2. You are a true inspiration for young women to strive to be like you! You are a true patriot. Thank you for all you do! Including and not limited to raising children. Your family and children are very blessed to have you in their lives!


New Life Church CT (9/11 Keynote Event)

You made us laugh, you made us cry, you gave me a renewed sense of hope.

T.J. Joncy

Incredible! You hooked me from the start and I was a little sad when it was over! I wanted to hear more!!

Sara Carrillo

Sometimes with daily activities and schedules, you forget your value and worth and abilities. Listening to Martha is a reminder to remember your power, your potential and your purpose.

Tiffany Morrell




The Ocean’s Forests – How We Can Win One for the Corals and Why We Need to Care

The Ocean’s Forests – How We Can Win One for the Corals and Why We Need to Care

BY MARTHA J. LAGUARDIA-KOTITE After graduating from college, Todd Barber and his father nearly died crossing the Atlantic, from Miami...
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Cover Story: Community Groups Take On Human Trafficking Along the Emerald Coast

Cover Story: Community Groups Take On Human Trafficking Along the Emerald Coast

By Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite The 12-year old girl came from a troubled home where she suffered abuse at the hands of...
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Boston Globe Cover Story – Chatham Lighthouse hitting the big screen

Boston Globe Cover Story – Chatham Lighthouse hitting the big screen

By Martha LaGuardia-Kotite | GLOBE CORRESPONDENT -- OCTOBER 16, 2012 CHATHAM — A few steps from Chatham Lighthouse, on the...
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