Mary Lemmer is a creative impact-driven entrepreneur, consultant, humorist, author, and global speaker helping leaders and companies innovate, navigate change and thrive in an unpredictable world. She is the founder of Improve, and designs and delivers engaging keynotes, offsites, trainings, and conference sessions.
Mary gave the TED Talk “How improv can improve your leadership and life” and has spoken at The Social Innovation Summit, TED Women, TechCon, The Positive Business Conference, multiple years at the Agile Alliance conference, among speaking and leading interactive and empowering sessions for hundreds of companies around the world.
Mary has helped startups she’s advised raise over $50 million and played a key role in several startup teams that have collectively raised over $3 billion, gone public and been acquired (one by Facebook, another by Lawgix). In the trainings she’s designed and delivered, participants report improving communication skills by 22%, listening skills by 25%, with a 94% NPS score and a 5/5 enjoyment and 4.8/5 learning experience rating. She was a Director of a philanthropic fund that deployed over $500,000 across 28 nonprofits, and has been part of venture investing teams investing in dozens of startups.
Mary is a graduate of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, completed The Human Side of Entrepreneurship, Organizational Leadership, at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and studied improv comedy at The Second City, The Groundlings, and the Upright Citizens Brigade among other improv theatres. She wrote, directed, and performed in the award winning short film Dating Apps In Real Life, she associate produced award winning documentary Act Social featuring Colin Mochrie. She created and hosted Startup Late Night, a late-night comedy show featuring business leader guests, and has performed improv and comedy all over the country, including at Gilda Radner’s Laughfest, The Punch Line in San Francisco, and the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival.
Uniquely customized to your company or event, I deliver an engaging, energizing keynote, empowering imagination, impact, all while laughing and having fun! Invite me to captivate your audience with my ability to speak on a range of topics including managing change and uncertainty, entrepreneurship, improvisational leadership, improving team collaboration and belonging, employee wellbeing, and overcoming difficult challenges. I inspire audiences with my storytelling, humor, and engaging presentation style. I have spoken on global stages from major conferences to corporate events at Fortune 100 companies, at startup accelerators, top universities, fast growing startups, and on the same stages as comedy legends.
Take a peek below to see some speaking highlights...
International Leadership Association 2020 Conference (Virtual)
TED Women 2020 (Virtual)
TechCon 2020 (Virtual)
TED Women 2019
The University of Michigan Positive Business Conference 2019
Agile 2018, 2019
The University of Michigan Entrepalooza 2015
The University of Michigan Guest Lecture "The Art of Leading"
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For longer versions (30 minutes+) please email me
What people are saying
Here's what people are saying about me...
New York Times
“If every time I go for a run I stub my toe or twist my ankle, I’m probably not going to be excited to go for a run again,” Ms. Lemmer said. “To have those conversations go so poorly — that really created a fear.”
Prioritize your health, always. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing we need. As a part of our series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mary Lemmer. Mary brings the worlds of wellness and humor together, to empower individuals and teams to improve their lives...
Late night comedy show Startup Late Night was created to bring the world of technology to the late night comedy scene. Up until the pandemic, the group held live shows in New York City. Now, all of the group’s content is produced and shared online.
If you want to read more, just "Google" me :)
Interested in collaborating?
People usually reach out to me when they want to launch their business, grow their business, improve their teams, improve their lives, entertain a corporate crowd, entertain a non-corporate crowd, commission an illustration or writing, have some other creative idea or business they want to bring into the world,
or otherwise want to say "hi"
Please send me a message!