Charles Plumb

A testament to the strength of the human spirit, Charles Plumb endured the most extreme hardship and used the experience to transform his life in a profound way. In an emotional and inspiring presentation, Plumb tells the story of his survival as a prisoner of war in Vietnam for nearly six years—locked in solitary confinement and routinely tortured in an 8′ x 8′ dirt floor cell. Having overcome loneliness, fear, pain and depression, he puts audiences’ difficulties into perspective and inspires them to meet their own obstacles head-on, no matter how tough they appear. Plumb is a living testimony to how overcoming adversity can propel us beyond self-imposed limits, making us stronger and more confident. He motivates audiences to see the opportunities in the challenges they face and to tap into their inner strength to live life to the fullest.


Tough Choices in Challenging Times
Charlie Plumb’s presentation deals with challenges: his . . . and yours. In an upbeat, impactful way, Plumb draws upon his POW experience of nearly six years to demonstrate how to turn adversity into assets in a highly competitive marketplace: in business or in your personal life. Adept at tailoring his message to seamlessly fit your objectives, Plumb penetrates the hearts and minds of the audience and focuses on methods people can use to break free from their own prisons . . . prisons created by blaming others, fear of failure and self-pity.


Captain Charlie Plumb has lived what he believes to be the American Dream. As a farm kid from Kansas, he fantasized about airplanes although he felt certain he would never have the opportunity to pilot one. It would be the United States Navy who afforded Plumb the opportunity to live out that dream.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, Plumb completed Navy Flight Training and reported to Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego where he flew the first adversarial flights in the development of what would be called The Navy Fighter Weapons School, currently known as “TOP GUN”. The next year, Plumb’s squadron the Aardvarks launched on the Aircraft Carrier USS Kitty Hawk with Fighter Squadron

114 to fly the Navy’s hottest airplane, the F-4 Phantom Jet. Code named “Plumber”, Charlie Plumb flew 74 successful combat missions over North Viet Nam and made over 100 carrier landings. On his 75th

mission, just five days before the end of his tour, Plumb was shot down over Hanoi, taken prisoner, tortured, and spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner Of War.

Following his repatriation, Plumb continued his Navy flying career in Reserve Squadrons where he flew A-4 Sky Hawks, A-7 Corsairs and FA-18 Hornets. His last two commands as a Naval Reservist were the on the Aircraft Carrier Corral Sea, and at a Fighter Air Wing in California. He retired from the United States Navy after 28 years of service.

To this day, Captain Plumb continues to fly left-seat at every opportunity. He has personally owned 8 airplanes, the most treasured being a World War II PT-19 Open-Cockpit Antique. He currently owns a Rutan-designed experimental single-engine Long-Eze.

and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.


Brunner has served on the Board of Directors for Make a Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island. She is a member of the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board, and was inducted into the 2017 class of the Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers. Speaking frequently at philanthropic events, Brunner’s engagement in the community has been instrumental to the success of deserving nonprofit organizations. In addition to keynote speaking engagements, Brunner continues to make TV and radio appearances as well.

A classically trained vocal performer and former high school music educator, Brunner holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Brunner has performed with the Boston Pops and at professional sporting events, among others.

Each and every person, no matter what profession or industry, needs to exude confidence, “executive presence,” and communicate effectively in all relationships in order to “seal the deal.” Liz Brunner shares her practical and proven communication tips, storytelling techniques and innovative “Brunner Method” for practicing that can be implemented immediately that will energize anyone to connect more authentically with customers, clients and colleagues in a way that resonates, engages and gets results.

With so much uncertainty in the world, leaders face multiple challenges and complexities requiring a renewed focus on what makes an effective leader today. Companies need to develop new leaders and empower them to be successful in the future. However, simply giving someone the responsibilities or title of a leader doesn’t necessarily make a person an effective nor influential leader. No one is born knowing how to be a leader. We learn how to be a leader. As a sought after authentic leader and keynote speaker, Liz Brunner offers an approach that will inspire audience members to unleash their leader within.

Your voice is an instrument. It’s the one instrument we all play, but just because you have a voice and can speak, does not necessarily mean you are using it in a way to ensure you are being seen and heard as you intend.  Each of us must find our authentic voice. As a former semi-professional singer, award-winning news anchor and executive communications coach, Liz Brunner provides actionable tools of how to find and use your authentic voice, the language required to command respect, and to be seen and heard as you intend.

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail? What would any of us do if we didn’t allow fear to stop us? Too often we don’t take the risk of stepping out of our comfort zone to create our next chapter. And, even if we want to, we don’t know how or where to turn. Liz Brunner’s inspirational career journey from music teacher in the high school classroom, to her Emmy award-winning career in the television newsroom and on the anchor desk, to being an entrepreneur, Executive Communications Coach working with other CEOs in the boardroom, will motivate you to discover what themes and patterns exist in your own journey. No knowledge is ever wasted. No experience is ever wasted. You know more than you think you know. Liz’s motivational message will guide you to connect the dots of your own experiences to create your next chapter.

Congratulations! You’ve done it. You visualized your dreams into reality. But now what? Where do you go from here? You may even be asking yourself, “Is that all there is? Have I really achieved ‘success’ or is there more? And, what is ‘success?” How do I define it for myself?’” Sustaining success does not happen by accident. It’s about “evolving.” Evolving through the tough times, handling the curveballs that life will throw at you. It takes resilience, developing an inner strength to meet those challenges head-on and to persevere. Having journeyed through four successful, at times challenging career chapters—High School music teacher, to retail, to award-winning TV news anchor to entrepreneur—Liz Brunner knows what it takes to be resilient, to persevere and she can help you not only define success for you, find your “mojo” if you’ve lost it, and tangible tactics and practices to intentionally sustain success.

Networking is essential to advancing your career — “it’s not what you know, but WHO you know,” but for many people, whether extrovert or introvert, networking can feel like many of the same pitfalls as dating! All those awkward conversations. Liz Brunner delivers her creative, customized “Pre-Game, Game-Time, and Post-Game” approach to networking with practical tips and techniques that can easily and immediately be implemented.

Two questions have been asked over and over again by generations; “What is my passion?” And, “What is my purpose?” Passion and purpose are inextricably linked, but figuring out either requires one to get out of their comfort zone, and that is not always easy! In this highly motivational speech, Liz Brunner offers guidance on how to discover your own passion and purpose, and how to break patterns that may be holding you back from following your destiny and living your best life.

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