Professional Speaker, Award-winning Author & Ghostwriter
Captain Martha J. LaGuardia-Kotite is a motivational speaker delivering keynotes for corporations like GE, Jacobs and Astellas Pharma US, presentations at leadership symposiums & gatherings of all ages about leadership, resilient crisis management, saving our oceans, overcoming fears & taking risks to achieve bigger dreams while balancing life’s demands. Passionate about living a life to make a difference she shares heart-felt insights and personal stories from her 29 years in the Coast Guard and award-winning books to drive change, build awareness, giving light and tips for business and team solutions to reach success. Topics include inspirational insights on leadership, increasing diversity, resilient crisis management as well as overcoming and facing difficult challenges like suicide prevention.
An award winning author of five books, including So Others May Live Coast Guard Rescue Swimmers Saving Lives, Defying Death and Changing the Rules of Engagement Inspiring Stories of Courage and Leadership from Women in the Military. A journalist, she published stories in The Boston Globe, regional magazines and US Naval Institute Press.
A wife and mother of two sons, Martha served 10 years on active duty with two tours at sea as one of the first woman leading teams on missions aboard a ship sailing the Pacific Ocean and as executive officer and the only woman aboard a 110-foot patrol boat patrolling the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. Assignments include law enforcement, search & rescue, joint operations, contingency planning in Alaska, across the West Coast of North American, Hawaii, Key West, Pacific Northwest and New York. Transitioning to the reserves in 1999, she moved from Seattle into New York City working for a public relations technology firm for clients like IBM. As a reserve officer, her part-time duties for the Coast Guard included as Sector New York’s Enforcement and Governmental Affairs Officer then contingency planner after 9-11. Hand-picked to work in Washington, D.C. as the Commandant’s Press Secretary, the bookends of this tour were the Haitian earthquake and 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill responses. Other tours include senior leadership roles in Mobile, AL, Boston and Cleveland, Ohio.
After growing up in Destin, Florida, Captain LaGuardia-Kotite’s professional studies began with a Bachelor of Science in Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and a Masters of Liberal Arts degree in journalism from Harvard University. An Emergency Preparedness Liaison to FEMA she earned the highest national incident management certifications as a Type I Public Information & Liaison Officer. She is a trained in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills. Awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, six Commendation Medals, three Achievement Medals, numerous service and team awards.
- Changing Tomorrow by Seizing Today - Dream Bigger
- Our Ocean's Health - Why We Should Care
- Resilient Crisis Management
- The Aftermath of Suicide - Why This Matters