Available to Speak at Your Event

Alice Pettey, MFA - Speaker, Author, Brand Strategist

Speaking Topics to Engage Your Audience

  • Mourning in America
  • Caregivers – The unseen
  • Special Needs Advocacy
  • Failure of our Social Service Systems
  • Raising a Smith-Magenis Child
  • Depression is not a 4 letter word
  • What is Branding and Why Should I Care?
  • Benefits of Branding for Health & Wellness Practices

If you would like me to speak on a topic that you don’t see listed please reach out. I’ll be happy to discuss if the topic you have in mind is something that I feel I can competently speak about. 





Are you looking for a different take for your next speaking event?

Well, I may be the ticket.

I’m Alice and life has thrown a few curveballs my way.  Things that have made me grow stronger, discover the inequalities in our society, the flaws in the systems and find a passion to speak out and shine a light into the shadows.

Personal Experience

The speaking topics you see listed on this page are deeply personal.  They stem from years of experience.  I raised a child with Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS), only to have him pass away at 18, by what I can only see as a failure in our health care system.

A child with SMS

Raising a child with SMS is quite a bit different from raising a neuro-typical and developmentally-typical child. And having three children, I have raised both types. Although, all children are vastly different and lumping them together under an umbrella term really does no one any good.

Life with my youngest was definitely an adventure. From the lack of successful potty training, to inverted circadian rhythms, and self-injurious behaviors it made every day into it’s only little warfare.  I hate using that term, but it was kind of like we had a sleeper agent. He was happy, content and then he wasn’t.

Sleeper Agent

There were no identifiable reasons… just… an outburst, an attack, destruction.  Then it was over. And, back to happy… content… signing sorry mom. Until the next time.  A ticking time bomb… no timer, no visible fuse, no predictability other than it would go off, but the when & how was a mystery.

A physical attack, property destruction, launching projectiles, biological agents… it could be any of these, or all of them. And the constant unanswerable question… what causes him to do this?? Damned if I know. That’s why we went to the specialist – to GET the answers, not to keep being asked to GIVE them.

Societal Failures

Life with him exposed failures in:

  • our social service systems,
  • the constant need of advocacy and
  • the truly unseen societal position of caregivers.

Now, I don’t want you to think life was always an attack… it wasn’t, you just didn’t know when it would be.  He was funny, he loved to watch musicals with his sister & he found the strangest things on YouTube that he loved to share with us. He could figure out how to take EVERYTHING apart… only wish he could have put things back together.

A Loving Child

He was very curious, very loving.  Loved to sing – even though he didn’t really talk, he would belt out a song. I miss that.  He died the day after he was supposed to have had dental work at the local hospital (and they refused to assist us in getting him in) after a 5 month wait for a dental abscess.  He died of heart failure.  I’ve worked with too many dentists not to know untreated abscessed can result in heart failure.  That is what killed my son.


With his loss, I’ve learned the depth of grief, depression, and mourning. I’ve also discovered the obliviousness of the uninitiated. The callousness of their statements and harshness of general societies expectations. This only drives those in mourning deeper into their grief and depression – it needs to change.

In the two years that followed my son’s death, we lost my father-in-law and then my father.  As you can only truly process one loss at a time, I’ve jokingly told my therapist that I have dead people cuing up in line as I’m still working through the loss of my son.  I’ve told the rest of the family they are forbidden from dying… not that the men have listened so far.

Career Experience

As for speaking on branding – It’s been my life’s work but my focus is because of my son. I focus on health and wellness to try and fix the systems that failed him. He never liked his mom angry and the choice was anger or to try and help, I followed my son’s spirit and try to make the system better so that others may not loose their loved ones threw the cracks of a systems that just doesn’t value them.

My expertise in branding comes from over two decades practicing in the fields, the publication of my book Brand Your Practice, and providing services to countless doctors, chiropractors, dentists, therapists, and other professionals over the years.

For more information about my experience please visit Neurotic Dog Studios

Connect for Speaking Engagements

If you would like to have me speak at your event, please contact me at 804-464-3925 or through one of the options found on the contact page.

Yours truly,