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About the Founder


Don't Die Dreaming blue shirt IMG_6340bc



     Michelle Ballard is a native of Wilson, NC. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at
Greensboro, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Western Carolina University, and
BB&T’s Leadership Development Program. Michelle has experience as a Commercial Banker, a Portfolio
Risk Manager and a Regional Credit Officer for a Fortune 500 company, and she has spent years working
to help small and mid-size business owners achieve economic success and financial security.


    Michelle is a workshop presenter and a conference speaker with an emphasis on practical principles for
achieving financial success, as well as personal and professional development. Her passion is to educate
and empower people from all walks of life to achieve financial success and to live a life filled with
purpose and power.

     Michelle released her first book, Don’t Die Dreaming: 10 Keys to Living the Life of Your Dreams, in 2015.
Don’t Die Dreaming chronicles Michelle’s journey from an Administrative Assistant to Vice President of a
Fortune 500 Financial Institution, as well as her journey to complete the book while overcoming many
obstacles and delays along the way. 

     Michelle is the Founder and CEO of The Dream Academy. Her passion is to create a Center of Excellence where students from all walks of life are given the tools necessary to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. Her goal is to change a generation one brilliant mind a time.

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