Meet Michael

Mission Statement

To empower people with practical knowledge, real life examples, and realistic tools to assist them in leading themselves beyond their own comfort zone. So they can achieve their goals, aspirations, and dreams which will raise the quality of their lives and careers.

Michael Bortolotto

As President and owner of Michael Bortolotto & Associates, Michael possesses rare talent’s, skills, and abilities for instilling inspiration within each of his audience members. He encourages everyone he comes in contact with to believe “There are no limitations to the mind, except for those you accept”.

Michael has been “walking the walk” for his entire life and “talking the talk” for the past nineteen years. Born with Cerebral Palsy, Michael has spent his life rising above both the internal challenges caused by poor coordination within his large and small muscles, and the unnecessary external barriers put on him by society. He has learned to lead and teach people of all walks of life to do the same.

Raised in a small logging camp on Vancouver Island, Sayward/Kelsey Bay, Michael had what he considered a “normal” childhood. He participated in many outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, biking, ice skating, and cutting firewood with his Dad and two younger brothers until his parents decided to move his family to Campbell River when he was twelve years old. As soon as he started in his new school, Michael realized that his Cerebral Palsy was going to present him with some new challenges of mainstreaming himself into the social fabric of society.  His challenges of making his body, work became the least of his problems. 

As an avid learner and a real passion for life, Michael became a positive rebel and has used this frame of mind to overcome all the challenges put in front of him by his body and society.  He graduated from Southgate Secondary School in 1981 and continued on to Malaspina University earning a Diploma in Recreation and Sciences in 1987. Even with a post-secondary education, society still considered him disabled, devalued, and unemployable to work and the only alternative to avoiding a life of poverty was to start a business and hire himself. He began his own company as a recreation consultant and was offered a chance to speak publicly on the importance of providing therapeutic recreation to people with disabilities. It was the “Aha” moment in Michael’s life and led him into the world of professional speaking and talking about the importance of everyone having a positive rebel’s frame of mind.

His past gives him the unique ability to be sensitive to the distinctive needs and circumstances of each person he has the privilege of working with or presenting too.  His life stories address real life issues, which impede personal growth and the ability to adapt to change.  He inspires and leads his audience by weaving topics and issues through his life stories resulting in an action that moves his audience and takes them on an emotional roller coaster ride that will not soon be forgotten.

Michael takes the time to understand the exact issues, themes or topics that the client needs addressed.  This enables him to collaborate and work with a variety of different clientele within the corporate, financial, private business, public and non-profit organizations, and associations of our society. “What makes Michael unique and special?” He is a genuine person who cares deeply and wants to see those around him succeed.  When you meet Michael, you are meeting a “pure soul” with a message that every person can use.  Michael’s message is one of determination, courage, persistence and action. “After hearing Michael speak you will be a better person!”

Michael married his beautiful partner Dorothy and adopted Dorothy’s wonderful daughter Natasha. On Tuesday, May 12, 2009, Michael became a father for the first time in his life, that was the day Dorothy gave birth to their son Quintin Raymond Bortolotto. Although Quintin is only three years old, he has challenged his father to push beyond many different challenges and obstacles. Which could be seen as potential limitations that could prevent Michael from completely participating as a father and care giver.

Michael has been the recipient of various awards such as the Paul Harris Fellowship award presented to him by the Rotary International in 2002, he was inducted into his High School’s Wall of Fame in 2003, voted as the top citizen in the history of Nanaimo in 2006, and was chosen as one of the top entrepreneurs with a disability in British Columbia by Community Futures and Western Canadian Diversity Corporation in 2009.

Michael is or has been a member of The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Italian Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Association of Professional speakers and Toastmasters International. Since 1987 he has involved himself in the local community of Nanaimo, working with Child Development services, as a Board member in the Nanaimo Citizen’s Advocacy group, and Board of Directors for Youth Services in Nanaimo. He has been a Vancouver Island regional representative for the B.C. Coalition for People With Disabilities. As one of his first endeavors Michael led the development team of the Nanaimo Independent Living Centre, a project designed to promote the empowerment of individuals with disabilities. He chaired the Cowichan Valley United Way fundraiser drive. He speaks regularly at local fundraisers and for youth and other non-profit organizations.



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