HarperCollins Speakers Bureau

Joan Bolzan

Leadership and Inspirational Speaker


  • Whatever Life Brings, Look for Opportunity (with Scott Bolzan)
  • Inspiration and Change Through Leadership
  • Harnessing Life's Defining Moment



Life has defining moments. Joan Bolzan wholeheartedly understands defining moments but she enlightens us how it really changes in an instant. Through uninvited real life experiences, she transformed from the supporting role of wife, mother, staff RN, and marketer in her husband's company, to the lead role in the family and family business in an instant. Scott's memoir about his brain injury and amazing recovery, My Life, Deleted: A Memoir (HarperOne) is co-written by Joan. Through her entertaining and inspiring story, Bolzan explains how she continually challenged herself to overcome and preserve through these unique and unexpected obstacles by using her insight and applying leadership skills into action steps. In her talks, Bolzan applies a mixture of humor and passion to motivate listeners to grasp the importance of preparing for the lead role.

Sought after keynote speakers, Scott and Joan Bolzan have shared their amazing story and how their life lessons apply to a variety of groups, including business organizations, athletic associations, educational institutions, and brain injury associations. Some of their speaking clients include Business Clubs of America, Tucson Medical Center, Sprint, CBS Outdoor, Udall Law Firm, the University of Phoenix, and The Ken Blanchard Executive MBA. The Bolzans can be booked together or separately. Their custom-tailored talks are interactive, filled with humor, and leave audiences inspired and spellbound.

On December 17, 2008, 46-year-old Scott Bolzan awoke in a hospital with no memory of who he was or how he got there. He did not know that the pretty blond woman at his side was his wife of more than 20 years, Joan - or even what a wife was. He could not remember the births of his two teenage children, the daughter he'd lost, his time playing football in the NFL, or his successful career as an entrepreneur.After slipping and hitting his head in his office bathroom, Scott had suffered profound retrograde amnesia, one of the most severe cases on record. My Life, Deleted is the inspiring story of one couple who faced a real-life nightmare, and then picked themselves up and started anew. With unflinching candor, the Bolzans describe the day they learned that, contrary to initial medical opinions, the amnesia was likely irreversible. My Life, Deleted tempers tragedy with stories of enormous love, and even humor. Through moments of indescribable pain emerges - against all odds - an enviable love story, as Scott and Joan fall in love a second time.

Bolzan has professionally and personally maintained a supportive role as a wife, mother, nurse, and executive director. She adapted to moving from city to city, overcoming personal and financial situations while her husband played professional football for several teams and later grew his various businesses. Over the years, she gained practical knowledge through education, employment opportunities, and real life experiences that helped her to master her leadership qualities. She continually challenged herself to grow on the edge of chaos with each role. Her unlimited personal initiative, experience, and drive have laid the foundation to make key transitions to move forward through adversity and crisis.

Working as an RN for most of her professional years, Bolzan specialized in emergency, school and perioperative nursing in Illinois and Arizona. After earning her master's degree in 2006, she transitioned into the business world as the Director of Marketing and Charter Sales for a private jet aviation business that was owned and operated by her husband Scott. During Scott's injury she challenged herself yet again by taking the reign and successfully growing a grassroots nonprofit organization as the Executive Director of a hospice foundation. She currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the ASU Art Museum and is actively supporting Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Phoenix Children's Hospital Neuro NICU with fundraising efforts.

On February 27, 1988, Bolzan and Scott buried their first born daughter, Taryn, when she was still born, full term on the day of her birth. After the loss of their daughter, Bolzan has fought with her own depression. She later struggled through her son's battle with a drug addiction. Recently, her husband and best friend lost his entire 46 years of memory with retrograde biological and historical amnesia after a head injury in December of 2008. This event launched her into the lead role of the family, sole financial supporter, and primary decision maker. She draws on her experience, faith, and winning strategies to move herself and her family forward. She speaks with a unique mixture of humor and passion while having a sense of purpose to inspire others to prepare for the lead roles in their lives.

Bolzan graduated from Victor J. Andrew High School in 1981. She attended and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1988 from the Northern Illinois University School of Nursing earning a BSN. At NIU, she was a competitive gymnast in 1981 and the Head Cheerleading Coach from 1987-88. Bolzan met and married her college sweetheart, Scott Bolzan.

Joan and Scott have been happily married since 1984 and reside in Gilbert, AZ. They have one son, Grant, and one daughter, Taylor.

Praise for the Bolzans' Presentations:

"I listened to Scott and Joan recount their journey and challenges with passion, a sense of humor, but also with great insight into their lives and future. I came away with an abiding sense of purpose and a renewed dedication to my own life and family to live in the moment and take nothing for granted. A true life lesson from Scott and Joan is that as good as you have it now, everything could change in an instant. Therefore, one of the messages that we learn listening to Joan and Scott is that even after all has been taken away, if you have built a life based on sound moral values, you can and will pull through because your foundation is rock solid. Finally, even though Scott 'took the fall,' the story would not be as compelling without the strength of character, love and support that Joan gives to Scott daily. Their story is an inspiration for love, courage and hope, to which we should all aspire."
-- Thom Cope J.D SPHR, Udall Law

"Because of your story, before I was able to pull out of the parking lot today I called my wife and told her that I loved her. Three words that should be so easy to say but I never say it first. I think because of your message I will be able to do this easier. We never know the situation that we will be faced with next in life. I am looking forward to your book release next year. Thank you for telling your story and I am sure that several people walked out of that room today with a little different perspective on life. I know that I did."
-- Eugene Moore, Marketing Representative, Stewart Title & Trust

"Having the privilege of being in the audience as Scott and Joan Bolzan delivered their heart wrenching saga was indeed one of the more profound experiences of my adult life. Seldom does one get to hear a first hand account of such an incredible journey. Hearing this from the Yin and the Yang of Scott and Joan's perspectives was absolutely captivating. I have had the great fortune of hearing many of the more prolific public speakers of our time, including sports heroes as well as industry, government, and religious leaders. Seldom have I been as moved, inspired, and entertained in one sitting. The adventure that Scott and Joan took me on with their words and emotions leads me to believe in the indomitable human spirit and the power of true love. So much that I may have taken for granted, I never shall again."
-- Aaron R. Gersh, Ph.D.

"Your compelling personal story of your accident and how you have had to adapt your life, the lives of your wife and children to your memory loss, were hard to comprehend and heart rending. We at the Center for Neurosciences wish you well and truly hope you are able to find continued strength to share your inspirational story with others."
-- Ted L. Eazer, MBA, CMPE, Chief Executive Officer, Center for Neurosciences

"It was the first event that we have attended where the audience was completely captivated and motivated to make their lives better whether it be personal, professional or both. I strongly recommend Joan and Scott Bolzan to become a keynote speaker for almost any event. Whether you need an audience to laugh, think, hope or believe that anything is possible you cannot go wrong with these amazing people."
-- Michael J. Duran, J.D, Vice President and Chief Development Officer, TMC Foundation and Lori Banzhaf, Director, Major Gifts, TMC Foundation

"It was inspirational for me to learn about your journey. I look forward to following your success in the future."
-- Judith Rich, CEO, Tucson Medical Center