Published On: Wed, May 7th, 2014

TEDxBOCARATON Ramps Up For The First Event On May 9th At Florida Atlantic University

TEDx FlyerTEDx, a program designed with the mission “ideas worth spreading”, announced its complete line-up of speakers for the Boca Raton conference, taking place on May 9th at the University Theatre at Florida Atlantic University campus from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The conference is a suite of short, carefully prepared talks, demonstrations and performances on a wide range of subjects that provoke interesting conversations and ideas.

TEDx Boca Raton will connect attendees with a unique collection of expert speakers who will stimulate dialogue, engage the audience and develop ideas at the local level. The event will offer a variety of topics to foster learning, inspiration and wonder. Brace yourself for enriching stories that will trigger your own ideas and motive good in the world. From a philanthropic beauty queen with an entrepreneurial spirit to award winning cardiologist with a passion for healing the world, these speakers are knowledgeable, interesting, and worth listening to.

  • Susan Hill Skemp: Executive Director for the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC).  Led by Ms. Skemp the SNMREC engineers, faculty and students are making a unique contribution to a broadly diversified portfolio of renewable energy for the nation’s future.
  • Mace Horoff: Author of the book “The Sex in Sales.” Mace’s mission is to help everyone realize that they are salespeople, whether they like it or not and that selling effectively isn’t difficult if you use the skills you already have.
  • Krystian Leonard: Krystian Leonard is a junior in high school with an adventurous spirit. She dedicates countless hours volunteering for numerous charities annually. She has written her first children’s book Shining Scars as a way to reach out to children healing with visible scars. Krystian is also developing her own non-profit organization Shining S.C.A.R.S. as an outreach to help others healing from visible scars.
  • Melissa Gonzales: Melissa Gonzalez, a student at the University of Central Florida, has been acting since the age of five when she debuted as the back of a horse in Cinderella. Most recently you may have seen her in The Tarantino Variation at UCF as Ms. Mauve and The Laramie Project at Baggy Pants Theatre. Though she has always had a passion for the arts, she is also an avid speaker against bullying and hate. Melissa is very excited to be a part of TEDxWomen. As a young child, Melissa suffered from the harsh words and rumors of classmates and found herself subjected to many a bully. Though it was hard, she found a way to fight back and she hopes that her talk will help others like her to find their way as well.
  • Brad Short: Brad Short started his journey with parkour at the age of 14. After seeing a film about parkour, he became fascinated and knew it was what he wanted to do. Spending his teenage years studying the mechanics of the human body, he became a fitness enthusiast. He started his own YouTube channel in 2011 dedicated to showcasing his parkour abilities and became recognized for his intense ability and daring stunts. He has built a name for himself within the parkour community ad quickly reached a point of training with the most recognized and talented parkour athletes in the world.
  • Michelle Bazargan: Michelle Bazargan is a strategic technology leader that specializes in helping businesses drive strategy and transformation through innovation. Adept at understanding business needs, developing strategy and collaborating with teams to execute the vision. Michelle has a strong passion and commitment for leadership, building effective teams as well as promoting and driving innovation. Michelle has extensive knowledge in technology services, application development, and product & project management. Strengths in marketing, communications launch of new products to internal teams, and external clients. She has a successful track record for overseeing and delivering multi-million dollar initiatives.
  • Kevin Heatley: Kevin Heatley has over 25 years of experience in the environmental sector with an extensive background in ecosystem characterization, integrated vegetation management, invasive species suppression and community-based forestry.  As a senior ecologist at Bio habitats, Mr. Heatley is responsible for technical and logistical oversight of restoration projects across the continental United States. His work has primarily focused upon the urban/rural interface and on incorporating green infrastructure into sustainable land use planning and management. An expert in the field of invasive species suppression, Mr. Heatley designed the first fully integrated invasive treatment prioritization model in the United States for Fairfax County, Va. He has successfully integrated resource valuation modeling into strategic and budgetary management plans for a variety of land management entities.
  • Heather Coltman: Pianist Heather Coltman has performed as a soloist and collaborative musician across five continents. She made her debut in her native country of Zambia at the age of five, and immigrated to the United States in 1966. A top prize-winner in numerous major international competitions, she holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas, a Master of Music degree from the Mannes College of Music in New York and Bachelor of Music degree from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati.
  • Randi Fishenfeld: Randi discovered the violin when she was 6 years old.  As a small child, she accompanied her parents to performances of the NY Philharmonic and fell in love with its beauty, grace and expressiveness.  At 7 years of age, Randi was selected as the only violinist to study privately with Julliard professor, Sylvan Schulman.  He told her parents that she was going to become “quite the violinist” someday. He was right.  Her eclectic, improvisational style motivated her to experiment with and freely improvise in many genres, such as, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Salsa, Klezmer, and Gypsy Swing, etc. Randi is a soloist and core member of the “Klezmer Company Orchestra” and performs locally and nationally with her own band “Blue Fire”.
  • Heidi A. Olinger:  Heidi is a social entrepreneur whose mission is to create learning experiences through which girls can build confidence and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM.  She is the founder and CEO of Pretty Brainy, a social enterprise that specializes in project-based STEAM learning (STEM with an “A” for art) to help educators excite students about learning and prepare them — especially girls — to pursue the broadest of career options.
  • Wendy Steele:  Wendy Steele launched and led an innovative pass-through foundation called Impact 100 which brings transformational grants to the communities it serves across five broad focus areas: Culture, Education, Environment, Family and Health & Wellness. This concept has been replicated in many cities around the globe and featured in numerous books, magazines & news stories including the CBS Evening News & People Magazine.
  • Pascal Depuhl: Pascal Depuhl filmed ‘On Wings of Hope’ in Afghanistan in early 2012. He is a still commercial photographer, who began filming 2 years ago. “On Wings of Hope” is his first documentary. Pascal was raised in Germany and lives in Miami, with his wife Jacomina and their two daughters Raphaelle and Gabrielle.
  • Dr. Megan Davis, PHD: Megan Davis, Ph.D., Associate Executive Director and Director at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute has worked in the field of aquaculture and marine science for over 35 years. Her interests include development of aquaculture species for food and stock enhancement using economically and environmentally sustainable methods and providing training to advance the aquaculture industry.
  • Chalmer Brothers: Chalmer Brother is a certified personal & executive coach. His ongoing focus is helping people become more powerful and more competent observers of themselves.
  • Dr. Paula Bloom: Dr. Paula Bloom connects with clients and audiences in an engaging and down-to-earth style, and has been described as a compassionate truth-teller. She now focuses on her passion for helping others find a greater sense of productivity, purpose, and meaning in their relationships and lives.
  • Kevin Wagner, Ph.D.: Dr. Wagner received his J.D. from the University of Florida and worked as an attorney and member of the Florida Bar in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He left the full-time practice of law and returned to the University of Florida to earn an M.A. and PhD in political science. He is the director of graduate studies in political science at FAU. His research and teaching interests include American politics, campaigns and elections, legislative behavior, American political development, media and politics, and American political thought. His work has been published in leading journals and law reviews including American Review of Politics, Willamette Law Review, The Journal of Legislative Studies, The Political Chronicle, and Politics and Policy.
  • Lynn Min: Lynn Min is an architect and entrepreneur with a passion for envisioning and launching multi-disciplinary projects. Currently, as the Executive Director of the Michael Graves Foundation, Inc. (MGF), she dedicates her time and many talents to being a catalyst for social change through designing integrated cultural-technological ecosystems. Ms. Min has a particular concern for finding solutions to grass-roots problems through promoting cultural and bio-diversity, as well as community engagement. Her holistic approach to design includes programs for disadvantaged youth and communities, curriculum-related after school enrichment programs for K-12, and college level credit-earning service-learning programs. Her vision coalesces around the theme of environmentally sensitive design.
  • Teri Catlin: Born in Flint, MI and given up for adoption at birth, Terri’s never known her biological parents.  But always felt that her mother was a hero for having the strength and courage to give her life, especially in 1968. Unfortunately, she endured physical abuse at the hands of her adoptive family. Throughout these years of abuse Terri began playing instruments. At 7,she began playing the violin and practiced 9 hours a day. At 12, she played in the Flint Youth Symphony Orchestra, and then studied with the Wisconsin Symphony School of America, winning a Silver Medal in the Worldwide Orchestra Competition in Ottawa, Canada. Terri believes in giving the gift of music to heal and uplift people.
  • Sam Zietz: Sam Zietz is the founder and CEO of the financial technology company TouchSuite® and its affiliated companies.   Since its inception in 2003, the company has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the esteemed Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500” list of the fastest growing private companies in America – with 2013 marking its fifth time on the prestigious list. TouchSuite was also recently named the #1 Fastest Growing Technology Company in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal.
  • Corrine Lasmezas, D.V.M., Ph.D.: Ms. Lasmezas obtained her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and Diploma of Aeronautic and Space Medicine at the University of Toulouse, and her PhD in Neurosciences at the University of Paris, France. She started studying the neurodegenerative diseases caused by prions at the French Atomic Energy Commission when mad cow disease appeared in the United Kingdom. In 1996, her research provided the first experimental proof that mad cow disease had transmitted to humans. She established experimental models to study the disease, in particular the propagation of the infectious agent in the organism, the role of the immune system and the neurodegenerative process. Parkinson’s and prion diseases, and on the search for drugs to cure these diseases.
  • Lucas Handwerker: Lucas Handwerker uses Hypnosis, Neurolinguistic Programing, and psychological suggestion to guide people to the part of their mind where there are no limits. A place where everyone is capable of anything. Lucas gives interactive presentations, and crash courses on how to use your brain to its full potential. Lucas has worked with people on everything from, money management, stage fright, depression, anorexia, phobia release, to life planning and goal realization. Lucas facilitates techniques and strategies within people, so that they can make lasting change and faster breakthroughs. Lucas works to help people overcome their internal obstacles and realize their life’s full potential.
  • Kyle Prescott: Kyle Prescott is the Director of Bands and Coordinator of Winds and Percussion at Florida Atlantic University.  His responsibilities include conducting the University Wind Ensemble and Chamber Winds, teaching the graduate instrumental conducting sequence and coordinating all aspects of FAU’s comprehensive university bands program. In 2013 he was named one of four ‘Master Teachers’ in the Dorothy F Schmidt College of Arts and Letters at FAU. He holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Idaho, and the Master of Music and the Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin, where his principal conducting teacher was Jerry F. Junkin. Additionally, he has studied with exemplary conductors through fourteen international conducting symposia.
  • Emile Allen, M.D. : As an accomplished surgeon who specialized in urologic oncology, Emile Allen, M.D. not only built three successful private practices but also was the Chief of Urology and Vice Chairman of Surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. While operating on a patient, he was electrocuted and nearly died. This profound event redirected his personal and professional life, leaving Emile without a career and struggling to find a new purpose. With fears deeply etched on his psyche for over a decade, Emile overcame his insurmountable odds through his resilience and has become an award-winning author and internationally recognized Crisis Management Expert.  Emile holds nothing back when sharing his life experiences and expertise in order to help people transform their lives.
  • John Englander: Oceanographer, Author, Sea Level Expert John Englander is an oceanographer, consultant and author and a leading expert on sea level rise.  His diving expeditions under the polar ice cap, in research submarines and visits to Greenland and Antarctica allow him to see the big picture on climate change and the societal impacts. Englander served as CEO of The Cousteau Society and The International Sea Keepers Society. He now works with businesses and government agencies to understand the financial risks as increasing severe storms and sea level rise challenge us to adapt to a changing shoreline. His best-selling book, High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis, was published exactly one week before Hurricane Sandy. Prophetically it described just such as event hitting New York City, as an example of what might occur. Englander is a top-rated speaker and has appeared in media worldwide. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, and The Explorers Club and a member of numerous scientific organizations. 

For detailed speaker biographies, information about the event and to purchase tickets, please visit: or 

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