Finance | Insurance Speaking Summary

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Lee Ellis, CSP*

Nationally-Recognized Leadership Coach, Award-Winning Author, Certified Speaking Professional, & Colonel USAF (Ret)

Industry Experience

Here are just a few of the following finance/insurance groups that Lee has worked with in the past –

  • BankSouth
  • BankSouth Mortgage
  • Humana®
  • Northwestern Mutual®
  • Farm Bureau Insurance® Corporate and four State Agencies
  • Georgia Farm Bureau
  • GE Capital
  • Hamilton State Bank
  • Prudential Agricultural Investments
  • USAA®
  • State Farm® – CPCU
  • Oppenheimer and Co. Inc.
  • Wells Fargo Advisors
  • DTCC – Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation
  • Atlanta Estate Planning Council
  • QBE North America

Sample Video Clip

Speaking Fees

Lee’s virtual presentation fees range from $5,500-10,000, his on-site presentation fees range from $10,000-20,000 (inquire about adjusted rates for military, government and first-responders). In addition to determining Lee’s availability for your event date, we will also evaluate the purpose and scope of your event.

Biographical Information 

Lee Ellis is Founder and President of Leading with Honor® and FreedomStar Media®. He is an award-winning author, leadership coach, and expert presenter in the areas of leadership, teambuilding, and human performance. His past clients include Fortune 500 senior executives and C-Level leaders in telecommunications, healthcare, military, and other business sectors.

For his wartime service in Vietnam, he was awarded two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Purple Heart, and POW Medal. Lee resumed his Air Force career, serving in command of a flying squadron and leadership development organizations before retiring as a colonel.

Lee has a BA in History and a MS in Counseling and Human Development. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Air War College. He has authored or co-authored six books on leadership and career development.

Lee and his wife Mary reside in the Atlanta GA area and have four grown children and six grandchildren.

View his full-length biography.


Leading with Honor brings forth the characteristics of leadership like no other. No matter how successful one may become, there are always internal questions about leadership. Lee’s book [and message] not only strengthens my beliefs about leadership, it lifts my vision even higher through the examples of leaders under extreme circumstances. To me leadership under these extremes illustrates the epitome of ‘great leadership.'”

        – Thomas (Tom) Crawford, CEO of Crawford Corporate Coaching; Chairman of the National Organization, CEONetweavers; past President and CEO at Prudential of America, Crawford & Company, and Southern Heritage Insurance Company  

“One of the primary objectives of a presenter is to make the event organizer look good. This you did with spades yesterday. I have received numerous thanks and expressions of appreciation for inviting you as a speaker. You have added positive value to the reputation of our organization, and your message is an excellent melding of actual events and principles that can be applied to leading a business. An organizational psychologist friend of mine is fond of the expression, ‘There are theories of action and there are theories in action.’ Your presentation was about leadership in action, courage in action, honor in action; lessons today’s executives can apply it to their everyday leadership. You spoke from the heart with knowledge and conviction. You were superb.”

– Dan Davies, Executive Director, National Association of Chief Executive Officers

“Col. Ellis spoke about his experience as a POW and the lessons he learned.  His bravery, courage and determination are inspiring. His thoughtful connection between his experience and what he learned about himself and what makes up a good leader made his insights real for his audience. He left us all with much to think about, both professionally and personally. What an inspiration.”

– Virginia Cartmell-Martin, Commercial Leader, G.E. Capital

“I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Col Lee Ellis (ret.). His ability to take the horrific tale of his imprisonment during the Vietnam War and transform it into invaluable lessons in leadership is nothing less than remarkable and inspiring. Whether you are looking to help guide your family, business or community, the stories Col Ellis told us from his experience in Vietnam illustrated that high character, clarity and commitment to mission, and an unyielding devotion to members of your team are vital to your success as a leader. I was particularly impacted by Col Ellis’ poignant explanation of how effective and continuous communication between organization members is the mortar essential to building a great team. When he explained how the prisoners at the Hanoi Hilton courageously overcame life-threatening obstacles to keep in touch with one another, building the trust and the esprit de corps essential to their survival, I realized that any obstacles that I might face in communicating with my colleagues or family just pale in comparison. I am certainly a better organization leader and father for having spent time with Col Ellis and reading his book.”

        – Christopher A. R. Brice, Chief Marketing Officer, Northwestern Mutual – Louisville

Some comments from Lee’s presentation at a national financial services firm –

“Thank you for your wisdom, [and] I was able to get a lot from your presentation that I will use every day and for the rest of my life. Your presentation was not only exceptionally presented but encouraging in many ways. [It] informed us and highlighted some valuable characteristics such as courage, perseverance, honor and leadership.”Sonny C.

“I attended the event and thought it was definitely an eye opening experience. It made me realize that no matter how hard you think your situation is there is always a way to get through it if you fight hard enough. [He] was very inspiring and I wish we were able to hear more about his incredible and heroic story.”  – Tanya C.

“The presentation was amazing. The life experiences that [he] has gone through is something that I cannot even imagine.  The way he spoke, the integrity he reflected and career that he has led is beyond admirable. I took away that when we are faced with challenges in our work, our home and/or our community, [there is no comparison] to the sacrifices that many, including Colonel Lee Ellis, have [endured].”Mark H.

“Lee Ellis’ presentation was the best event I have ever attended at my organization. He is a true American hero whose story is very inspiring.  I completely agreed with his point about the accountability that is embedded in veterans and how that is an attribute that translates very well into the corporate world. His ideas on leadership were tremendous and he has inspired me to be a better person and a better leader.”Joe D.

View all endorsements.


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