2015 TEDxYoungstown Speakers
Jason Alan — professional magician
Jason’s interest in magic did not come from seeing a magician at a friend’s birthday party or receiving a magic kit at a very early age. Instead, it began from a chance encounter with a homeless gentleman at Venice Beach California.
Jason was visiting the beach with family when they came across someone who appeared to have nothing. Jason quickly learned this was not true and this man had power, the power of magic. He mesmerized bystanders with sleight of hand tricks such as pulling a cigarette out of his ear. That was all it took: Jason was bitten by the magic bug.
From that day forward Jason began researching and learning everything he could about magic. What started as a fun hobby quickly turned into a full time career.
Brian Alls — maker communities
A photographer, creative director and tech start-up founder, Brian Alls has spent most of his life designing and making things from assembly machine equipment to clothes. He loves showing the power of creativity through his work and firmly believes that the strength in humanity comes from our ability to make things.
Brian is the co-founder of Bravura 3D, LLC, an additive manufacturing tech company affiliated as a portfolio company with both the Youngstown Business Incubator and the Oak Hill Collaborative. He is studying Mechanical Engineering at Youngstown State University, and his professional experience includes the design work and global implementation with The United States Air Force, Delphi Packard Electric, Toyota’s North American Manufacturing Engineering headquarters, and General Motors’ Global Manufacturing Engineering division.
He has exhibited his strong support for the “Maker” movement while discussing the benefits of 3D printing while exhibiting at events like Maker City Youngstown (hosted by America Makes) and assisting in the creation of the Oak Hill MakerSpace.
Kevin Bachhuber — alternative protein
Kevin Bachhuber is the founder of Big Cricket Farms, the first urban edible insect farm in the US. His prior work has been among marginalized communities, and his current projects focus on economic revitalization in disinvested communities.
Brett Conner, Ph.D. — additive manufacturing
Dr. Brett Conner is the Director of Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiatives and an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Youngstown State University. Dr. Conner is also an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Youngstown Business Incubator. Dr. Conner has research interests in additive manufacturing and 3-D printing related to: multi-material structures, functional graded materials for shock and energy absorption applications and economic models for additive manufacturing.
Dr. Conner had fifteen years of experience in government and industry prior to joining the faculty at YSU. Dr. Conner served in the U.S. Air Force where he conducted research into materials, conducted space systems development, developed technology policy and managed programs. His assignments included Air Force Research Laboratory, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Pentagon. After the Air Force, Dr. Conner was a contractor supporting the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) Joint Program Office. There, he led teams of engineers to upgrade survivability and automotive performance of these armored vehicles used to protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Afterwards, Dr. Conner spent five years at the Alcoa Technical Center where he started in the Alcoa Defense organization and then moved into the Alloy Technology Division.
Dr. Conner received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in physics and masters and doctorate from MIT in materials science and engineering.
Dr. Ron Domen — bioethics
Ronald E. Domen, MD is currently a Professor of Pathology, Medicine, and Humanities; and, Medical Director, Histocompatibility (HLA/transplant) Laboratory at the Penn State University College of Medicine/Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania. His thirty-two year career has focused on the practice of blood banking/transfusion medicine, and HLA. At Penn State he serves on numerous institution-level committees including the Ethics Committee, the Conflict of Interest Review Committee of the IRB/HSPO, and the Equity Advisory Committee; and, from 2005-2013 he was the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education where he oversaw 58 residency and fellowship training programs with over 550 trainees. He was an elected member of the Doctors Kienle Center for Humanistic Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine for ten years. Prior to coming to Penn State fifteen years ago, Dr. Domen’s professional and academic career took him to The Ohio State University, the University of South Florida, to a regional blood center in eastern Pennsylvania where he served as the Medical Director, and The Cleveland Clinic. He is a nationally recognized expert in transfusion medicine and has also been active on the national level in addressing medical education and ethical issues in pathology, transfusion medicine, and transplantation, and has also published in these areas including co-editing the seminal book: Ethical Issues in Transfusion Medicine. Dr. Domen is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Clinical Pathology (Laboratory Medicine), and Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine. He was a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (poetry) and has been writing poetry for many years and has numerous poems published in anthologies and small press magazines including: Whiskey Island Magazine, Yarrow, Slipstream, Riverwind, Earth First!, Slant, Grasslands Review, Green Fuse, and others. He has over 60 peer-reviewed papers published in the medical literature including two scholarly papers published in The International Journal of Healthcare & Humanities entitled, “Ethics and narrative medicine: who owns the story?,” and “The Physician as Poet.” He also served as the poetry editor for The International Journal of Healthcare & Humanities. While at Penn State, Dr. Domen taught medical students for many years in the College of Medicine’s medical humanities program, and has taught and mentored numerous residents and fellows in various graduate medical education venues.
Dr. Domen was born in rural Dennison, Ohio, in Tuscarawas County, and grew up in Warren, Ohio. He graduated from Warren Western Reserve High School in 1968 and entered Youngstown State University that fall as a physics major. After landing jobs as a veterinary assistant and then as a hospital orderly (at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren), he realized that the art and science of medicine was more to his liking and he changed his major. For various logical and illogical reasons he decided to pursue his medical studies in Guadalajara, Mexico. At the end of his first year of medical school he returned to YSU to complete two summer courses so that he could obtain his AB degree in September 1972. Fortunately, he was able to quickly learn Spanish, and in June 1975 he graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara with the MD degree and returned to the United States for residency and fellowship training.
Chris Jennings — high school journalism
Chris Jennings is a Youngstown resident and teaches English and journalism at Canfield High School in Canfield, Ohio. Chris has advised two award-winning student news organizations, The Rampage at Mineral Ridge High School and The Cardinal at Canfield High School.
Dr. Jamie Marich — trauma
Dr. Jamie Marich's friends and colleagues describe her as a renaissance woman. A dancer, musician, performer, writer and clinical counselor, Marich unites these elements of her experience to achieve an ultimate mission: bringing the art and joy of healing to others. Based in Ohio, Marich is the founder of the Dancing Mindfulness practice, and she actively trains facilitators on using this practice in both clinical and community settings. She is the author of Trauma Made Simple (2014), Creative Mindfulness (2013), Trauma and the Twelve Steps (2012), and EMDR Made Simple (2011). Marich began her career in human services while working as an English teacher in post-war Bosnia; she is fast becoming respected as a voice to listen to in the mental health and addiction recovery communities because of her candidness.
Says Marich, “I really just see myself as someone who is calling for a back to basics approach, which means carrying ourselves with person-centered common sense and not being afraid to help people work with their own sense of creativity.”
Kristopher North — LGBTQIA youth
Kris is a resident of downtown Youngstown, where he is the Artistic Director of YOUnify Theatre Company. YOUnify is the Mahoning Valley's first LGBTQIA Youth Theatre, and focuses on serving and empowering queer youth, as well as youth in underprivileged regions and neighborhoods through the arts. Kris has been involved in the performing arts since an early age, and only discovered his passion for queer youth theatre in 2012, when he was invited to begin working with YOUnify. YOUnify has received funding from the Mukti Foundation, the Youngstown Foundation, and several private donors over the past several years, and is only growing thanks to the dedication of devoted teaching artists and the youth involved with the program. YOUnify is also a member of the Pride Youth Theater Alliance, a growing network of nearly 30 queer youth theatres across the US and Canada. Kris serves on the Finance Committee for the alliance. Today, the YOUnify troupe consists of about a dozen queer and allied youth from Youngstown and the surrounding area. In addition to serving with YOUnify, Kris also works for NYO Property Group, an organization dedicated to revitalizing Youngstown and its’ community. Kris has also served on Board of Directors for the Oakland Center for the Arts, where YOUnify originated.
Wilson Okello — Our personal stories
Mr. Wilson Okello was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. He attended Youngstown State University where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Education, with certification in Integrated Social Studies Education. Wilson accepted the IRT Fellowship to attend the University of Rhode Island, where he earned his Master’s of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies—College Student Personnel. While in Rhode Island, he served as a Coordinator with the Center for Excellence and College Readiness, at the Community College of Rhode Island.
Currently, he works as a First Year Adviser and Resident Director at Miami University where he advises first year students on their transition to college, decisions about their educational paths and personal and career goals. His vocation focuses on assisting and inspiring youth and college learners, especially those from underrepresented groups, to not only achieve educationally but also to develop as authentic leaders in their professional work, families and communities. He believes in the power of storytelling and spoken word poetry as a platform for education, liberation, and resilience. His exercise of imagery, cadence, and intentionality is inspired by the felt need he believes we all have to authentically tell our stories.
His message, the direct dividends of his life experience, reinforces the fact that your presence, position, and voice are equal in both legitimacy and importance. The strength of his delivery is in the ways in which he pushes us to complicate the myth of single story narratives. Among his most recent accomplishments, the University of Rhode Island has recognized him with the 2014 Rising Star Award, and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) named him the 2013 IV East Outstanding New Professional. His deepest desire is to assist others in locating, cultivating and living out their dreams.
Dr. Mike Sevilla — medical professionals and social media
Mike Sevilla, MD is a Family Physician at the Family Practice Center of Salem. Dr. Sevilla is a national speaker on the topics of Social Media and Medicine, including being a speaker at the Mayo Clinic Center of Social Media Summit, and the American Academy of Family Physicians Annual Scientific Assembly.
Dr. Sevilla started his blog almost 10 years ago. His social media presence includes his website, audio podcast, video podcast, and presence on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,
YouTube, and more. In addition to being a national speaker, Dr. Sevilla also has been recognized on the cover of Medical Economics magazine for being a physician social media pioneer. Local media include interviews with WKBN-TV and contributions to the Youngstown Vindicator.
Dr. Sevilla was born and raised in the Youngstown area, being a graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, Youngstown State University and the Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). Dr. Sevilla holds the academic appointment of Assistant Professor of Family and Community Medicine at NEOMED.
Greg Smith — personal development
Greg Smith is a leadership specialist with a passion for entrepreneurship and building great organizations through strengths.
Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Greg is a natural entrepreneur raised in family-owned construction and manufacturing companies. He has vast experience with teamsters, unions, and both volunteer and for profit staffs. Currently, Greg serves as the Chairman of Compco Industries (steel fabrication), the President of Captured Moments Art, Inc. (photo-realism art and photography), and an Accredited Business Partner with The Strengths Partnership.
Greg embraces and studies leadership and leadership theory. He has been accredited in several systems, including a Founding Member of John C. Maxwell’s Team as a Certified Speaker, Trainer and Coach, as well as, an Associate Leadership Trainer for Equip. He also has certifications from Tony Robbins in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Ken Blanchard in Situational Leadership®II, Gallup Organization Strengths 34 Performance Coach, and a Strengths Partnership Individual, 360, and Team Performance Coach. In retrospect, Greg has been a student of best leadership practices for nearly three decades.
Greg is currently a student at Regent University working on his Doctorate in Strategic Leadership. He has an MBA in Executive Leadership from University of Nebraska-Lincoln/Gallup University and a Bachelor's degree in Business and Marketing from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
His hobbies and community involvement include being a member of the board of directors for the Bruce Lee Foundation. He travels to Oslo, Guatemala City, and Panama City twice a year to teach leadership theory as an Associate Trainer for John Maxwell’s Equip. He is also certified Jeet Kune Do instructor under the late Sifu Ted Wong, and a Sixth Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Martial Arts under Master David Buker of Youngstown, Ohio.
Greg resides in Boardman, Ohio, with his wife and four children.
Paul Sracic, Ph.D. — Ohio the swing state
Paul Sracic is Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Youngstown State University in Ohio, where he also directs the Rigelhaupt Pre-Law Center. During the 2009-2010 academic year Paul served as a Fulbright Lecturer in Japan, teaching American politics at the University of Tokyo and at Sophia University in Japan. In 2012, Paul was selected to participate in the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office Visiting Experts Program. Paul holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University, and a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Albright College. Paul is also the co-author of Ohio Government and Politics, which will be released by Congressional Quarterly Press in early 2015. In addition to his scholarly writing, Paul is a frequent contributor to the nation’s op-ed pages. His articles on American and Japanese politics have appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, Inside Higher Ed., TheAtlantic.com and CNN.com.
James Sutman — giving is living
Jimmy Sutman was born in Youngstown, Ohio on August 8, 1972. Jimmy attended Dobbins Elementary School, Poland Middle School, Poland Seminary High School, Best Driving School, Grove City College, and Youngstown State University. In 1998, Jimmy founded Iron and String Life Enhancement Inc. (ISLE) to provide residential and transportation services for adults with disabilities such as, autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and traumatic brain disorder. More specifically, Jimmy founded ISLE for his good friend, Joe Gallagher. ISLE currently provides medical and financial advocacy, and full residential staffing services for over 20 sites in Mahoning and Trumbull County. Jimmy is also a founding member of Golden String Inc., a not-for-profit corporation specializing in socialization and vocational training for adults with disabilities. Other businesses for adults with disabilities that Jimmy has helped create include the Purple Cat, goldenstringradio.org, and Gallagher's Lunch Bucket, a restaurant run by adults with disabilities. Jimmy is currently a disc jockey on Goldenstringradio.org and hosts an on-line poetry show, "Oranges: Pop Music and Poetry". The poetry show airs Tuesdays, from 4:00-5:00 on goldenstringradio.org. Jimmy's hobbies and inspirations are: Reese's Cups, St. Columba's Church, Bruce Springsteen, Ted Kooser, soccer, baseball, Jeffrey Eugenides, U2, alpaca, swimming, Sam Cooke, Jill P., and James Baldwin.
Sr. Anne Victory — human trafficking
Anne Victory, HM, currently serves as Education Coordinator for the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking. She spent 32 years as a clinician, educator and administrator in nursing and served as Director of Staff Education and Vice President of Mission, Community Health Partners in Lorain, OH (now named Mercy). She completed eight years as a member of the Leadership Team for the Sisters of the Humility of Mary in 2009 and has served on the Collaborative’s Steering Committee since its founding in 2007. She is also serving on the steering committee of the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking.
Sr. Anne graduated from St. John College, Cleveland, OH with her RN and a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She received an MS degree in nursing from Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Anne has a postgraduate certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, “Working with Groups.” She designs and has given presentations on human trafficking to a wide variety of audiences, including junior high and high school students, university students, professionals in social services, healthcare, law enforcement, church groups, civic groups and the general public.
TEDxYoungstown Announces 2015 Speaker Line Up
YOUNGSTOWN –TEDxYoungtown is pleased to announce the lineup of speakers for their second year event being held on January 23, 2015 at the Ford Theater in Bliss Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University.
The committee collected applications through the TEDxYoungstown.com website and held open casting calls as well as sought out experts in specific topics, to find this year’s speakers. “We had over 50 people apply to speak at TEDxYoungstown and had to narrow that down to the 15 you see listed. It is an intense process but we are proud to present what we believe will be an outstanding lineup.” comments Lori Shandor, event curator. The theme for the 2015 event is “breaking boundaries”.
The 2015 Speakers are:
Brett Conner, Ph.D.
Dr. Ron Domen
Dr. Jamie Marich
Dr. Mike Sevilla
Paul Sracic, Ph.D.
Sr. Anne Victory
Among the speakers are a high school teacher, a physician, local business owners, and experts in fields such as human trafficking, alternative protein, and bioethics. Full biographies on the speakers can be found at TEDxYoungstown.com. Each speaker will be given between seven and 18 minutes to present their “Idea Worth Spreading” from the TEDxYoungstown stage on January 23.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast event in nearby Whistler. The annual TEDGlobal conference will be held this October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.