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Karen Baetzel      

Retired Navy Pilot & Leadership Expert

Captain Karen Baetzel, USN (ret) is a fusion of a tough-minded senior military leader, a successful corporate executive and a gifted speaker and trainer. She retired after 30 years as one of the Navy’s most senior female Naval Aviators and one of the few Naval Aviators of either gender qualified as an Aircraft Commander in helicopters, propeller, and jet aircraft. After her Commanding Officer tour, she served as an instructor on the elite Navy Leadership Training Team and then translated that success in the corporate world before founding her own business, BattleAxe Consulting Services.

Baetzel has the resume of a practitioner and built an international consulting practice, working with an international client base of corporate, government and non-profit organizations in leadership development. She was recently honored to be named one the nation’s top 101 Leadership Speakers by New York Times best selling author Kevin Kruse.

With a very grateful heart and a salty dose of Navy humor, she now dedicates herself to sharing her valuable mistakes and actionable leadership and communication lessons, both to pay it back and pay it forward.

Speech Topics


Have you felt overwhelmed (and a little scared) by the entire issue of workplace diversity and inclusion? If so, you are not alone. Make your organization greater than sum of its parts with some common sense, non-scary, tactics, tools and takeaways.

Organizational Climate

Does your organization seem stuck? Worse yet, do you need to end unnecessary drama and prevent the disaster that can emerge from a poor organizational climate? Raise the tide and make work a stimulating, engaging place to be.


Do both your leaders and followers know how to work with each other? Uncover the potential you thought you hired and get immediate relief from underperformance.

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