22, Feb, 2017

Marti MacGibbon, Closing Keynote Speaker for the Indiana Criminal Justice Association’s Annual Conference

Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, ACRPS, is a nationally renowned humorous inspirational speaker and bestselling author who entertains as she inspires, informs and motivates. Ms. MacGibbon delivered the keynote speech, and the capacity audience responded with a standing ovation. Marti also presented two breakout sessions, one on human trafficking and trauma, the other on strategies for building and maintaining emotional resiliency.

The client says it best:

“The conclusion of the conference was a huge success thanks to your keynote presentation. Your talent to share an extremely personal, heartbreaking yet inspirational story is amazing. Your story of survival mixed with humor had attendees in tears and laughter…You certainly know how to pack a room!”

Kellie J. Bittorf, Executive Director, Lake County Criminal Corrections

ICJA

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27, Nov, 2016

Marti MacGibbon Keynotes National Recovery Month Event at MCC Chicago

Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, ACRPS, is a nationally renowned humorous inspirational speaker, an internationally known author, and an expert on addiction recovery and trauma resolution. Marti delivered the keynote speech at a National Recovery Month Event in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, a federal penitentiary in downtown Chicago. This event was the first of its kind in the federal prison system. Her talk focused on recovery, resilience, and hope, and included strategies for strengthening recovery, maintaining a positive mental attitude, and managing stress. Marti is a dynamic speaker and storyteller who encourages and educates as she entertains and creates laughter. Ms. MacGibbon is a survivor of human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse, severe PTSD, homelessness, and hard-core drug addiction. Her powerful personal comeback story, combined with her background in professional standup comedy, make her an excellent presenter for any event that focuses on overcoming adversity, healing, and building a new lifestyle. The event included inspiring testimonials from inmates.

Staff and Assistant Warden of MCC Chicago with Marti MacGibbon. Inmates presented Marti with a plaque in appreciation.

Staff and Assistant Warden of MCC Chicago with Marti MacGibbon. Inmates presented Marti with a plaque in appreciation.

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26, Nov, 2016

Inspirational Humorist Marti MacGibbon Speaks at Iowa State University

Humorous inspirational speaker, author and standup comic Marti MacGibbon delivered a keynote speech at Iowa State University Memorial Union on September 13th. The event, “An Evening of Healing and Hope: Laughter is the Best Medicine, was part of National Recovery Month, and the University’s lecture series, and was organized and sponsored by Youth Shelter Services, a mental health provider in Ames, Iowa. Marti’s talk focused on hope, resiliency, and empowerment when overcoming adversity and challenges. She provided down to earth strategies for self-empowerment and motivation, and personal insights into mental health, trauma recovery, and addiction recovery, using stories to illustrate talking points. In the face of the current addiction epidemic which has claimed the lives of so many young people, Marti’s message is especially important. Ms. MacGibbon also signed copies of her nationally award-winning memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom.

Event planner Jill Hill, Associate Director of Addiction Services at Youth Shelter Services, provided this testimonial:

“Marti delivered an excellent presentation, which included heartfelt messages, sharing her personal tragedies and how she overcame those life events. Marti used humor to send an excellent message to the audience. The response from the audience was overwhelming and the feedback was amazing. A huge thanks to Marti MacGibbon.”

The event was covered in the Iowa State University press.

Marti MacGibbon, at ISU/YSS book signing with audience members.

Marti MacGibbon, at ISU/YSS book signing with audience members.

Marti MacGibbon with event planner Jill Hill of Youth Shelter Services, at ISU.

Marti MacGibbon with event planner Jill Hill of Youth Shelter Services, at ISU.

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4, Sep, 2016

Marti MacGibbon Delivers Dynamic Keynote to HHS Agency Self Sufficiency Services Division

Marti MacGibbon delivered a funny, inspiring, and informative keynote speech and workshop at the Health and Human Services Agency, Self Sufficiency Services Division of Napa, California on June 10th. Administrators hired Marti to speak to social services and behavioral health professionals during their annual Staff Appreciation Day. Marti touched upon her powerful personal story, and provided insights into and sure-fire strategies for stress management, having more fun, getting and connected and staying connected to your authentic self and a positive support network. The client says it best:

“Our goal was for staff to feel inspired, rejuvenated, to laugh a lot and enjoy the day. Marti produced those results with her energy and humor. The audience laughed out loud and even cried with laughter at times. Not only was she funny, but her story of how she overcame barriers in her life was inspirational. Marti presented her “game changers” to give us real exercises we can practice to stay energized, refreshed and give us the strength the sustain ourselves in the difficult work we do each day.”  – Shelly Todd, Staff Services Analyst, Health and Human Services Agency, Napa, California

The event took place in the breathtakingly beautiful California wine country town of Yountville, in Napa County. Marti also signed copies of her funny and dramatic, bestselling and nationally award-winning memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom. 

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Marti @ Yountville

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19, Aug, 2016

Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, ACRPS, Keynotes 2016 MECAM Conference

Marti MacGibbon, CADC-II, ACRPS, is an award-winning recovery advocate and a leading humorous inspirational keynote speaker on addiction and recovery. Her nationally award-winning, addiction memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom, is an Amazon bestseller in two categories: Memoirs of Women and Feminist Theory. Ms. MacGibbon is an expert on trauma resolution and addiction. In her own life, Marti overcame being trafficked to Tokyo and held prisoner by Japanese organized crime, domestic violence, severe PTSD, homelessness, and hard-core drug addiction. Marti’s years of experience as a professional standup comic enable her to add light humor to any presentation. The Meth + Other Drugs Conference is a dynamic symposium created to support, educate, and inspire addiction treatment professionals, criminal justice professionals, social workers, therapists, and others whose work confronts, treats, and helps to prevent the disease of addiction.

Keynote Speaker Marti MacGibbon with MECAM Conference Committee.

Keynote Speaker Marti MacGibbon with MECAM Conference Committee.

Marti MacGibbon signs copies of Never Give in to Fear for two amazing addiction treatment professionals.

Marti MacGibbon signs copies of Never Give in to Fear for two amazing addiction treatment professionals.

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Marti MacGibbon Speaks on Resilience & Mental Health at IJM-NEI-AHEC Event

Marti MacGibbon is an internationally known speaker and nationally award-winning, bestselling author. She has triumphed over human trafficking, domestic violence, adolescent sexual abuse/assault, PTSD, homelessness and addiction to lead a happy and purposeful life. Marti is an expert on trauma resolution and addiction recovery. Her background in professional standup comedy, combined with her clinical training and experience, make her a lively and dynamic presenter, able to both entertain and educate listeners.

Ms. MacGibbon delivered the keynote speech at an event on Ball State University campus that focused on human trafficking, its effects on mental health, and how to create positive change globally, locally, and in one’s own life. Audience members included students, faculty, medical and mental health professionals, social workers, and local citizens. When Marti’s funny, informative, and inspiring speech ended, the audience gave her a standing ovation that lasted several minutes.

The event was organized and produced by the BSU Chapter of International Justice Mission, Northeast Indiana Area Health Education Center, and Ball State University.

Marti MacGibbon speaking at the IJM - NEI-AHEC event on BSU campus.

Marti MacGibbon speaking at the IJM – NEI-AHEC event on BSU campus.

Marti MacGibbon with IJM Ball State Chapter student activists. This IJM team rocks!

Marti MacGibbon with IJM Ball State Chapter student activists. This IJM team rocks!

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3, Mar, 2016

RecoveryExperts.com – A Marti MacGibbon Interview: A Humorous Motivational Speaker

With all the drawbacks associated with substance abuse, the stigma of drug and alcohol use continues to rise. These days, the problem – rather than the solution – is being highlighted, which makes it that much harder for someone to not only admit they have a problem but actually take that first step to getting the help they need.

Luckily, Marti MacGibbon has found her own solution to this rising problem. With her humor, genuine heart to help, and down-to-earth style, she’s sharing the message of hope and inspiration to people who have been touched by addiction, whether they are a user themselves or a family member.

Here to share with you her experience in the field of addiction treatment is the humorous motivational speaker, Marti MacGibbon.

  1. What is your role as an advocate of addiction recovery?

    I’ve experienced both addiction and recovery firsthand. I was a hard-core drug addict for nearly ten years and turned my life around in 1995. This year, in 2015, I celebrated twenty years of continuous recovery. I do a lot of things to promote recovery and to break away the stigma surrounding the disease.

    As a humorous inspirational speaker who keynotes conferences and events for behavioral health, medical professionals, and addiction specialists, I share my personal story to illustrate how even the seemingly hopeless cases — and I was one — can and do recover. I also talk about the connection between trauma, addiction, and stress, and how they intersect. My years of experience as a professional standup comic taught me how to bring a message with humor.

    When audiences can laugh, they retain a lot more of what they hear, and are less likely to become overwhelmed by the issues that we face in the addiction field today. And laughter is an equalizer, it can bring people together.

  2. Which areas of substance abuse counseling do you work on?

    I am a recovery speaker with five professional certifications in addiction treatment. However, I do not currently work with clients one on one, but in the past, I have worked as a program counselor to homeless veterans. I have worked in outpatient, inpatient, and transitional housing situations.

    As a speaker, I do presentations that promote prevention, and presentations that help to raise public awareness about addiction. I also speak to groups of people currently in treatment, and to the service providers that engage with those populations.

  3. You are known as a humorous motivational speaker, where do you get your inspiration?

    I am continually inspired by the fact that recovery is possible and help is available.

    I celebrate the process of recovery in my daily life and continually refresh myself by looking back at all of the things I have overcome: having survived being trafficked to a foreign country and sold to organized crime figures, adolescent sexual abuse, complex PTSD, domestic violence, addiction, and homelessness.

    I’ve lived through nightmarish experiences, but today, I am happy and successful. My life is filled with purpose, and as I travel around the country speaking to associations and businesses, I meet and talk with audience members — amazing, inspiring people who tell me things they have overcome.

  4. What challenges does a substance abuse patient face? And how do you help them handle it?

    When I was working with clients as a program counselor, I educated them about the disease and also about the recovery process. Education is very important.

    When one suffers from addiction, one’s environment is full of stigma, blame, and shame. 

    It’s essential that patients/clients can learn the facts about this disease, as shame and fear fuel addiction. I also encourage clients to inventory their strengths, so they can build self-confidence, self-esteem, and be empowered. I do the same things today as a speaker — I speak on overcoming adversity, emotional resiliency, and self-empowerment.

    Co-occurring disorders, such as mental illness, present major challenges for clients new in recovery. Many of my clients were dually diagnosed. In addition, many had a severe trauma history and it’s a fact that trauma and addiction intersect. This is something that we need to recognize and understand as trauma affects behavior; if it is not taken into account, the trauma may be repeated, or in the least, misunderstood and interpreted as non-compliance, etc.

  5. Where do you stand in today’s stigma of substance addiction?

    I stand as one who has recovered from addiction and my life is a stance against the stigma. I celebrate recovery every day and I live in a place of empowerment: I am stronger, better, smarter, kinder, andbraver today, not in spite of the things I have lived through and overcome, but because of them.

    There is nothing to be gained by shaming those who suffer from this disease. Stigma works against the solution. Education breaks away stigma.

  6. Of all your accomplishments, what do you consider the most remarkable?

    My most remarkable accomplishment as an individual has been learning how to forgive and how to love. It’s remarkable because I have lived my way through some terrifying, awful places, and I have lifelong physical injuries from some of the trauma. Forgiveness of self and others can be transformative and in my life it’s been essential.

    Love is a very powerful transformative force, and it begins with loving yourself, accepting yourself and being brave enough to take action to make your own life better and more meaningful.

    You learn how to love and appreciate others fully once you learn to love yourself. In addition, self-loathing comes naturally. In recovery, love appears. When you live in love, forgiveness, and gratitude, you live in endless possibility.

  7. From everything you’ve been through, what lesson have you learned?

    I’ve learned that courage is not the absence of fear; it is the conscious decision to move through the fear to the objective. And courage, combined with love, is unstoppable.

  8. Laff-Aholics is a brilliant charity and event you’ve created. How did it start?

    I started Laff-Aholics in 2011, with my husband, Chris Fitzhugh, who is also in recovery. We wanted to create an event that would celebrate recovery and since I did professional standup for a number of years, we figured standup comedy would be an excellent way to go. After all, I am a standup comedian, so I open the show with a 15 minute set each year. Then we have two excellent headliners, each comic does about an hour, with a 25 minute intermission between.

    We give one hundred percent of the profits from the show to transitional housing facilities that provide access to addiction treatment and mental health services. We benefit non-profits that will take people who are the most vulnerable in the recovery community — people working their way back from addiction who have little or no resources.

  9. What future plans do you have for Laff-Aholics?

    I’d like our annual event to become a time-honored tradition in the city of Indianapolis and that’s not an impossible dream. I know comics, and they know comics, so I will not likely run out of headliners for the show – comedians who are sympathetic to the cause of recovery. The venue continues to sell out days before the event, so we’ve got a following.

    Each year, I meet young people in recovery who tell me about the positive impact that Laff-Aholics has had on their lives. If the show continues to fill seats, maybe someday we can do it in a neighboring city to Indianapolis such as Detroit or Chicago. Time will tell. In the meantime, one Laff-Aholics a year provides both me and my husband with plenty of work and challenges.

  10. Tell us about your nationally award-winning memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom.

    I wanted to write the book for all addicts, both those in active addiction, and those in recovery. I was still doing standup when I began writing it and I wanted to tell my story with humor, even if it was dark humor. I didn’t want it to be boring or a sob story…I wanted readers to know about addiction firsthand and to know that even the seemingly hopeless cases can and do recover. Since its release in 2012, the book has earned a national award, critical acclaim from Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Review, Foreword Clarion, and other honors.

    The book is not a self-help book or a how-to.  It’s merely my story, the story of a hard-core addict who ultimately recovers. Stories can be so helpful on the journey of recovery. I think people in recovery like it because it’s real and gritty and funny and scary and sad all at once — and that’s what life — and recovery — is like.

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21, Feb, 2016

Marti MacGibbon is Guest Speaker at the Museum of Tolerance in L.A.

Humorous inspirational speaker and award-winning advocate Marti MacGibbon returned to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on February 14th, 2016. Marti is an annual guest speaker at the MOT, a world-renowned Simon Wiesenthal holocaust museum that provides education and interactive exhibits that inform visitors about current and past human rights abuses and issues, and provides information about how to combat these injustices. Ms. MacGibbon spoke as an empowered survivor of international sex trafficking, and provided inspiring insights into overcoming adversity and trauma.

Marti MacGibbon is an annual guest speaker at the Museum of Tolerance in LA.

Marti MacGibbon is an annual guest speaker at the Museum of Tolerance in LA.

Marti MacGibbon is an empowered survivor of human trafficking and a guest speaker at the MOT.

Marti MacGibbon is an empowered survivor of human trafficking and a guest speaker at the MOT.


Marti MacGibbon Speaks at Women in Successful Enterprises Fundraiser

Humorous inspirational speaker, human trafficking survivor/advocate and nationally award-winning author Marti MacGibbon delivered a dynamic and uplifting keynote speech at an event organized by Women in Successful Enterprises (WISE). The event, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was a fundraiser benefiting the Manasseh Project, an anti-trafficking organization that serves victims and survivors in West Michigan.

Ms. MacGibbon is a national survivor leader and advocate who has lobbied at the White House and State Department on policy and mental health services for human trafficking victims and survivors.

Marti is a certified mental health professional with years of experience doing professional standup comedy. Her presentations are fun, humorous, and informative.

At the event, Marti signed copies of her critically acclaimed, bestselling memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom. 

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Marti MacGibbon signed copies of her award-winning memoir, Never Give in to Fear

Marti MacGibbon signed copies of her award-winning memoir, Never Give in to Fear

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22, Jan, 2016

Marti MacGibbon Speaks at Mentari U.S.A. Events in NYC

Marti MacGibbon is a human trafficking survivor, a humorous inspirational speaker, an award-winning author and advocate, and an expert on trauma resolution and addiction recovery. January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and on January 15th, Marti delivered a keynote speech to survivors and advocates in New York, New York. The event, at the Unitarian Church All Souls, 1157 Lexington Avenue in NYC, celebrated Mentari U.S.A., a non-profit founded and led by survivors Shandra Woworuntu and Ima Matul. Mentari Human Trafficking Survivor Empowerment Program provides support and services to survivors of diverse forms of trafficking, and their clients hail from many different countries. After her keynote speech, Marti signed copies of her nationally award-winning, critically acclaimed memoir, Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up from Rock Bottom.

Marti also delivered an inspirational talk on January 16th, at a related Mentari event attended primarily by students, and featuring a student panel. Ms. MacGibbon also signed books at that event. Marti donated 30% of the profits from book sales to Mentari.

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