Maureen Zappala, an award-winning speaker, author, and founder of High Altitude Strategies, works with highly educated and smart people to show them how to overcome the hidden self-doubt of the Impostor Syndrome. A native of NYC, she has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and she spent more than 13 years at NASA’s Lewis Research Center in Cleveland (now Glenn Research Center) conducting aircraft engine research. Yes, she’s a “rocket scientist!”
She became the youngest and first female manager of NASA’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory, a jet engine test facility. Despite stellar credentials and accomplishments at NASA, the annoying Impostor Syndrome was her constant companion, causing her to think, “I’m not as smart as everyone thinks I am, and they’re going to figure it out!” This led to her passion of helping successful and smart people silence those condemning voices that stand in the way of embracing their success and advancing in their world. She teaches them to match their confidence to their competence so they have more influence. Audience members have called her strategies “game-changers.”
In 2009, she was in the top 10 of 30,000 contestants in the Toastmaster International World Championship of Public Speaking contest. As a presentation coach, she works with people who want to launch their speaking skills to the next level. She is the author of 4 books, including her most recent one “Pushing Your Envelope: How Smart People Defeat Self-Doubt and Live with Bold Enthusiasm.” She co-authored (with Jack Park) “Buckeye Reflections: Legendary Moments from Ohio State Football” (yes, she’s an Irish Buckeye!)
Her hobbies and interests include fitness, college football, decorating, and sewing. After 35+ years in Ohio, Maureen moved to Las Vegas in 2019. She has two college-age children, a son at U of Cincinnati, and a daughter at UNLV.