Michael Hingson, blind since birth, was born in Chicago to sighted parents who believed in raising their son with a can-do attitude. Treated like all other children in his family, Michael rode a bike did advanced math in his head and learn to read and write - Braille that is! Michael's family relocated to the warm Palmdale area of California when he was five years old. It is here that Hingson had his first adventure with Guide Dogs for the Blind and received his first guide dog. He later went to college receiving a bachelor's and master's degree in Physics along with a secondary teaching credential from the University of California at Irvine.
Michael then enjoyed a nearly-30-year career working for high tech companies spending most of his time in management roles.
Michael Hingson's life changed dramatically on September 11, 2001 when he and his guide dog, Roselle, escaped from the 78th floor of Tower One in the World Trade Center moments before it collapsed. Soon after, Michael and Roselle were thrust into the international limelight where Michael began to share his unique survival story and 9-11 lessons of trust, courage, heroism, and teamwork.
Mike has served as The National Public Affairs Director for one of the largest Nonprofit organizations in the nation: Guide Dogs for the Blind; He serves as the vice president of the National Association of Guide Dog Users; Michael holds seats on other agency boards including the Fort Worth Lighthouse for the Blind, the Earle Baum Center for the Blind and the Colorado Center for the Blind; Michael is The National Ambassador for the Braille Literacy Campaign of the National Federation of the Blind. He is the Founder of the Roselle's Dream Foundation - helping the blind obtain the technology they need to not only excel in school and at work, but to live out their dreams!
Until October 2019 he worked as the CEO of the Do More Foundation, the non-profit arm of Aira Tech Corp, a manufacturer of assistive technology which makes a revolutionary visual interpreter for blind people.
He is the author of the #1 New York Times Best Seller: "Thunder dog -The True Story of a Blind Man, a Guide Dog & the Triumph of Trust" - selling over 2.5 million copies Worldwide. In 2014 Mr. Hingson published his 2nd book "Running with Roselle"- which Is the first of its kind- A story for our youth shedding light on one of Americas Darkest Days.
Aside from his talents and advocacies, Mr. Hingson has traveled the Globe from Japan to New Zealand, the Netherlands to his hometown, Chicago. Speaking to some of the world's most elite: from former President, George W. Bush to Larry King, to Fortune 500 companies and colleges and Universities Nationwide. After sharing his story of survival on hundreds of TV and Radio programs, Michael is now an Expert hired by many of today's major corporations and organizations. Speaking and consulting on the importance of Teamwork and Trust, Moving from Diversity to Inclusion, as well as offering Adaptive Technology Training - spearheading innovation for ALL! - Thus, bringing organizations to the forefront of the ever-changing competitive modern world.
Currently, Michael lives in Victorville, California with his wife, Karen, a professional quilter, Alamo, Michael's eighth guide dog and their rescue feline, Stitch.
More information on Mr. Hingson is available on his website.
Featured Keynote Programs
TURNING THE TALES ON TERROR IN OUR UNCERTAIN AND SCARY WORLD
Lessons from the Twin Towers
As a survivor of the 9/11 tragedy as well as person who lives without sight, Michael Hingson enthralls audiences worldwide with his unique perspective on life and relationships. He guides us to explore how we may sabotage our own efforts, and how fear, courage, denial, trust, beliefs and philosophies have a tremendous impact on our personal lives, on our organizations and our world.
Mike weaves the life lessons he has learned into an enthralling story of survival and perseverance that can help us all see that we can be much more than we are. Not only will he discuss his escape from the World Trade Center on 9-11, 2001, but he will also describe his life journey which brought him to the Twin Towers on that fateful day. Your audience will learn how to keep fear in check and survive even under the most adverse circumstances possible.
THE INVALUABLE POWER OF THE HUMAN-ANIMAL BOND
Lessons from a Guide Dog Team
Millions of Americans enjoy the love and companionship of their pets. Medical research is proving that the human/animal bond can also have a measurable effect on our physical well-being. As the human half of a guide dog team, Michael Hingson describes his own experiences growing and learning from seven guide dogs, and explores our responsibilities for socializing and caring for our wonderful animal friends. He shows us how to establish closer relationships with our pets and how those relationships can grow into human-animal teams that can even save our lives.
Audiences learn from Michael how love and commitment to our animal friends will take each of us further than we ever thought possible. Mr. Hingson’s successful experiences with guide dogs span more than 50 years. In this talk he uses the joys, sadness, successes and challenges of his own journey with guide dogs to teach us all how to enrich our lives by learning to understand and work with creatures who live, think, and communicate in different ways than we do.
"THINKING OUSIDE THE BOX” ISN’T ALWAYS THE BEST APPROACH
Preparing Your Life-skills Toolbox
What tools do we already possess that when used creatively in tandem with the strengths of others make us more effective? Most of us seldom take the time to look at ourselves to analyze the gifts we bring to our lives and to the world around us.
Drawing on a lifetime of experience developing the skills needed to navigate through a sighted world, Michael compels his listeners to believe teamwork is so easy to make happen. He shows us that each one of us can turn our strengths and weaknesses into opportunities for creative adaptation and team-building partnerships and success. He demonstrates how to look at our actions and learn how to better ourselves through a bit of critical thinking and self evaluation. As Mr. Hingson says, “it is hard for each of us to look at ourselves especially in the way that others see us, but through a willingness to open our minds to self evaluation with input from the outside we will become stronger and better”.
Mike shows how his own on-going self examinations helped him survive the terrorist attacks on 9-11 and how he was able to move on and become a successful international lecturer and a #1 New York Times Bestselling author.
THE REAL BOTTOM LINE FOR SUCCESS IN LIFE
Bringing Principles Back
During Michael Hingson's more than 30 years in sales and senior management positions he was confronted many times by ethical choices concerning doing what was best for the customer and doing what would maximize profits for his companies, including companies he owned personally. In this talk Mike discusses ethics and how our basic life principles should always be the guiding light that determines our actions.
Your audience will learn how Michael Hingson developed the strength to sometimes make unpopular decisions in the eyes of company bosses and how and why those same choices propelled Mike into those same senior positions later in his career. Your audience will learn how they to can make decisions based on their own basic ethical principles and they will learn how and why those decisions can be the most important and best ones they ever make.