Donna Hartley

Donna Hartley

  • Survivor of three near-death experiences: a commercial airplane crash, Stage III Melanoma cancer and open heart surgery
  • Inspirational author and keynote speaker
  • Has been featured in two Chicken Soup for the Soul books

Travels from: California

Keynote Fee: Contact Forte Speakers


Donna Hartley electrifies her audience.

  • On March 1, 1978, she survived a fiery DC-10 plane crash which transformed her life in seconds and inspired her to testify and successfully alter airline safety regulations.
  • On March 1, 2002, she was diagnosed with stage III melanoma and today is cancer free. She is an active spokesperson for skin cancer awareness.
  • On March 1, 2006, she triumphed over unexpected open heart surgery to replace a faulty aortic valve. Today she is an advocate for women’s health programs.

Donna will amaze you with her survival stories which all occurred on a March 1st. Her audiences are motivated and inspired by her dynamic and unique keynote presentations.

During her life-threatening and life-changing- events, Donna experienced other types of hardships and setbacks that threatened to stop her in her tracks. When her goal of being an Olympic skier racer was cut short, because of her health, she bounced back by becoming a surfer on Oahu’s North Shore. She has been broke, raised a daughter on her own, at one time contemplated taking her own life; but she overcame these challenges with her relentless energy and unbreakable spirit. Faced with insurmountable odds and with the tools gained from a master teacher she met at a crucial point in her life, she learned to be persistent during challenging times and evolve from ordinary to extraordinary. From these experiences Donna was inspired to help others, and developed Fire up Your Life! – a transformative presentation about how to triumph over trials and conquer change. She delivers an inspirational message with a twist of drama and humor. You will laugh, cry, and become energized to ignite your Firepower! Her style is entertaining, memorable, and impactful.

A former Miss Hawaii and television actress, Donna Hartley has shared her compelling story on NBC, ABC, PBS, and in The New York Times. She is a sought-after expert on surviving challenges and developing heart centered leadership. Donna is a member of the National Speakers Association and Screen Actors Guild. In addition, she is the author of Fire Up Your Life!, Fire Up Your Intuition!, Fire Up Your Healing! and the Healing Meditation CD with accompanying Insights workbook. She has published six stories in the Chocolate for a Women’s Soul series and two stories in the Chicken Soup series.

Donna graduated from University of Hawaii and Won Miss Hawaii on the 5th Try in 1970


Fire Up Your Life!   A Journey to Transformation

Fire Up Your Heart!   A Journey to the Knowing

Fire Up Your Healing! A Journey to Restore Relationships and Health

Fire up Your Speaking! Dynamic Presentation Skills

Fire Up Your Attitude! Standout Customer Service

Healing Meditations: Mindfulness and Relaxation

  • All Keynote presentations are tailored to the specific audiences, and presentation titles can be changed to fit your conference or meeting theme.



“You were outstanding – just what our sales team needed during these challenging times. Motivation and strategies blended together.”   James W. Wright President/CEO Century 21 All Islands

“Donna is a dynamic speaker and the audience was engaged and connected. My community is still a buzz! Donna Hartley has an amazing story.”  
Diane Raymond American Heart Association Medford, OR

“I have heard nothing but praises on your presentation. Your message was well presented and intermingled with the real life experiences.”  
George Hilliard Executive Director Myrtle Beach Area Golf Course Owners Association

“Great job – out of a ‘4’ you got a ‘3.8’. Way above the average score for speakers
”   Heidi Shaffer National Convention Program Chair American Health Information Management Association

“You presented your programs in a realistic and humorous manner sharing your own experiences, leaving our members with nine strategies of ways to survive change.”
Ruth Cordeiro MassCAP Program Chair Massachusetts Council of Activity Professionals

“It was nearly 90 minutes after you concluded before I had a chance to approach you for my own one-on-one “connection” – the line was just that long. Oh, and as you saw in the evaluations, you were a hit.”  
Harold Pumford, CEO Association of Governmental Risk Pools

“You were a smashing success at our 20 year Royalty. You tour throughout Australia and New Zealand made a powerful impact. Thank you.”
   Graeme Clegg Company Chairman New Image International Georgia Bowman-Gunstream President/CEO Nampa Chamber of Commerce

“I have heard so many positive comments about both of your presentations at our conference last   week, probably the most I’ve heard from any keynote speaker we’ve had for this conference!   Your storytelling really touched people and made them think about their own life situations.”  
Karen O’Donnell Executive Director

“Donna is a remarkable speaker and a remarkable person! She was such a pleasure to work with and a huge success with the Oregon Health Information Management Association’s (OrHIMA) members. I would highly recommend her to any organization looking for a memorable keynote speaker, Donna will not disappoint.”
Angie Miller Convention Chair Oregon Health Information Management Association

“Your compelling story was very impactful in getting the audience engaged and motivated. It was particularly well received as the opening message! As you know I’ve been in two of the presentations and was thrilled each time, I’m ready to get fired up again!“
Deb Howard NAR Director & National Association of Realtors Chair of the Resort and 2nd Home Committee

“We were thrilled to bring Donna Hartley to the Portland Go Red for Women Luncheon in October. Donna energized the room as she shared her powerful personal story and truly helpful – and easy – health tips in an engaging and humorous fashion. We received positive feedback immediately following the event and highly recommend Donna for other events!”
Christina Fisher, Development Director, Social Events American Heart Association