Michelle “Mace” Curran, Former USAF Thunderbird Pilot, to Present Keynote at NVLA 2024 Conference

MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Michelle “Mace” Curran, famed fighter pilot and the only female pilot for the Air Force Thunderbirds, will be presenting the keynote address October 17 at the 2024 Annual Conference of the National Vehicle Leasing Association (NVLA). The conference will be held October 16-18 at the Wyndham Grand in Clearwater Beach, Florida.

During her 13 years in the United States Air Force, Michelle, also known as “Mace”, was a combat proven fighter pilot completing missions across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including a combat tour in Afghanistan. From 2019-21, she flew as the only female pilot for the Air Force Thunderbirds and performed for millions across the country and internationally. She has a passion for pushing her limits, inspiring others, and changing lives.

“We are excited to bring Michelle and her inspiring story to NVLA,” Tarry Shebesta, NVLA President said. “We know our conference attendees will benefit from hearing how she struggled to overcome her fears and not just succeed, but excel in one of the most challenging fields imaginable. We are honored to have her at our conference.”

Sponsored by 1st Source Bank, Michelle’s keynote address, entitled Flying Through Fear: How Vulnerability Fuels Success, will take the NVLA audience on a surprising and compelling journey through her career as a fighter pilot, culminating in her role as the Lead Solo Pilot for the Air Force Thunderbirds. She will share her stories of how she overcame her biggest adversary, her own voice of self-doubt. Her evolution from struggling with a crippling fear of failure to fly inverted only inches from other aircraft at 500 mph will inspire audiences to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Drawing on over a decade in high-performance aviation and her own transformation, she teaches audiences what they are capable of when they let go of fear, lean into vulnerability, and make bold choices.

“We are thrilled to partner with NVLA to bring Michelle “Mace” Curran, as our special keynote speaker,” said Kirk Browning, Vehicle Fleet Division President of the Specialty Finance Group at 1st Source Bank. Chris Craft, President & COO of the Specialty Finance Group added, “Be prepared to be inspired by Mace’s incredible journey. It is loaded with relatable business and personal growth insights!”

Michelle was also named the Distinguished Alumna of the Year by the University of St. Thomas in 2021. She has been featured on CBS Evening News and The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Founded in 1968, NVLA is a 501(c)6 that provides educational opportunities, promotes responsible legislation, and communicates with members regarding developments and trends in vehicle leasing. NVLA promotes the leasing concept while encouraging the highest ethical and professional standards. For more information and to register for the NVLA Conference, visit www.nvla.org or www.nvla.org/2024conference.


Suzanne Fedie, CAE, Executive Director

Office: (414) 533-3300 ext. 1106

e-mail: sfedie@nvla.org

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