After being diagnosed with muscle wasting disease Muscular Dystrophy (MD) aged just 18 in 1984, Michael made history 20 years later by becoming the first disabled person to lead expeditions to the North and South Poles.
The journey gave rise to a new life plan, inspiring Michael to embark on a career as an internationally recognised motivational business speaker. He has built an enviable list of clients, providing carefully tailored speeches for organisations including HMRC, PwC, Shell, Barclays, Virgin and the NHS.
Leadership, courage and trust combined with resolute self-belief, confidence, teamwork and a singularly focused obsession towards achieving desired outcomes were critical success factors – Michael draws on these experiences, giving wider business and life lessons.
Michael also used his Arctic adventures as a launch pad for The Muscle Help Foundation (MHF), a unique national family charity that delivers highly-personalised experiences, known as Muscle Dreams, for children and young people with MD. Michael is affectionately known as the Chief Muscle Warrior; he is a Founder and the CEO.
This multi-award winning charity has delivered more than 280 transformational Muscle Dreams, helping children realise cherished ambitions, including interviewing Al Pacino, inspecting an Airbus A380, hanging out with Lewis Hamilton and training with the England football team at St George's Park. MHF’s profile continues to grow - in 2017, the charity announced a new three year partnership with family-protein drinks brand Upbeat and in 2015, the charity was named the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team’s official Charity Partner for 2015/16.
Michael’s work was recognised in the Queen’s Speech 2004, when Her Majesty praised his “contribution to national life”.
In 2005, Michael received the prestigious Business Traveller of the Year Award presented to him by Kate Adie in Dubai.
He was also a Paralympic Torchbearer in 2012 and four years later, he was named in the Power 100 list as one of the most influential disabled people in Britain - he was featured in 2018, 2017 and the Power 100 2016.
Prior to Michael’s expeditions to the North and South Poles, he was an influential figure in hospitality with a particular interest in revenue generation, accessibility and the purple pound. He served as a disABILITY Ambassador for Hilton Hotels for four years. Since 2009, he has volunteered as a Cateys Judge, described as the hospitality industry's equivalent of the 'Oscars'. Recipients are nominated, selected and awarded by the industry via The Caterer magazine. Winners are the business leaders, innovators and household names in the hospitality industry. Entries are judged by expert panels of senior industry figures ensuring that The Cateys remain the most sought-after accolades in UK Hospitality.