2019 TEDxWestChester Speakers
Visit the TEDxWestChester You Tube Playlist to watch all our videos!
Dr. Christine Martey-Ochola is a serial entrepreneur and is the co-founder of Avo Global Ltd, an engineering, education, and public health management consulting firm. She also co-founded Nuele, a natural hair care company based in Pennsylvania. She has had a successful career as an academic consultant and biochemistry professor where she run cancer research on targeted chemotherapeutic delivery for many years. Dr. Martey-Ochola is keen on economic community development and received an award from the White House as a champion of change due to her work with diaspora communities in the United States on matters of economic empowerment. She is currently working on an initiative to establish a STEM and Performing Arts School in Pennsylvania.
Gabe is an author, editor, actor, playwright, director, mental health and suicide awareness advocate. He is the Editor in Chief of OC87 Recovery Diaries, an online mental health publication that tells stories of mental health, empowerment, and change. For five years, he worked at Montgomery County Emergency Service, Inc. (Visit MCES,), a non-profit crisis psychiatric hospital in the capacity of Allied Therapist and, later, as Development Specialist. At MCES, he created innovative programs such as a psychiatric visiting nurse program, a suicide prevention collaboration with SEPTA, and an Inpatient Concert Series that brought professional performing artists to entertain the patients and enrich their inpatient experience. Gabe serves on the Board of Directors of Prevent Suicide PA. He lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife, twins, a long-haired German shepherd named Sadie and a basset hound named Tennessee.
Matt Tenney is the author of “Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom,” which is used in the leadership development programs of universities, government bodies, and companies to help leaders achieve better outcomes while living happier, more fulfilling lives. Matt is also the founder and CEO of The Generous Group, a marketing company whose primary goal is to create the conditions for world peace by loving employees well, helping employees to become happier, more loving human beings, and by inspiring other leaders and organizations to make love their top priority.
Jennifer Croneberger is a 4-time TEDx speaker and compassionate leadership/culture change consultant. She holds a Master’s Degree in Sports and Performance Psychology and she has spoken for clients that include Nike, Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin, The US Department of Defense, The NIH and the USDA. She also holds a certification from the Harvard Business School in Sustainable Business Strategy and is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and published her first book in 2012 titled “These Five Words Are Mine.”
Throughout his career Harold has used a unique set of tools to make “things” visible. What things? The causes of poor process performance; the steps to improve performance; the ways to make continuous improvement part of everyday work. Making things visible engages the people in a process to identify and implement measurable improvements. Engaged people make sure changes are done with and not to the people in the process. Making things visible is an approach Harold developed while serving organizations such as The Inglis Foundation, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Siemens Health Systems and Shared Medical Systems. By making things visible, people see why things are the way they are which serves as the basis for how to make things better. Harold is President of Strawbridge Consulting.
2018 TEDxWestChester Speakers
Kate Schutt is an award-winning songwriter, singer, guitarist and producer whose voice NPR calls “glassily clear and glossily sweet.” She studied the influence of jazz on modern poetry at Harvard, and studied jazz guitar at Berklee College of Music. Currently, Kate is working with legendary producer/arranger Rob Mounsey on a new album inspired by her mother’s diagnosis and death from ovarian cancer. She spent four years as her mom’s primary caregiver, along the way writing songs about life, loss and (to use Christopher Hitchen’s potent phrase) “living dyingly.” After nearly a decade living and making music in Canada, she now calls New York City home.
Virginia Marcille-Kerslake is founder of the grassroots coalition West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety, as well as a founding member of its umbrella coalition, DelChesco United for Pipeline Safety. Its mission is to protect the health, safety and welfare of communities faced with the Sunoco Pipeline/Energy Transfer Partners’ Mariner East pipeline project. Prior to this role, Ginny managed an analytical services laboratory specializing in soil analysis at the University of Guelph in Canada. In 2004, she moved to Chester County with her husband and two sons. She also has a side business Side Stitch by Ginny, where she incorporates her passion and talent for selecting fabrics by creating functional items for customers.
Priya Mammen, MD, MPH, is a Director of Public Health Programs and Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. She currently facilitates ED-based public health initiatives within Jefferson Health, such as safe opioid prescribing guidelines, overdose prevention and education, integrative services for patients experiencing homelessness, and HIV and Hepatitis C screening as Director of Public Health Programs. She was appointed to the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia. Dr Mammen was inducted as a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia in 2015 and was elected to the Executive Committee of the Section of Public Health and Preventative Medicine in 2017.
Shea M. Rhodes, Esq., has dedicated her career to combating violence against women, protecting the rights of those who are oppressed or exploited, and championing human rights. She is the statewide legal expert on Pennsylvania laws related to sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. As Director and Co-Founder of the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE Institute), Shea works with and on behalf of victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Prior to forming the CSE Institute in 2014, she served the Philadelphia community as an Assistant District Attorney for nearly ten years.
2017 TEDxWestChester Speakers
Founder, Coast 2 Coast FTK
Norman Horn is the founder of Coast 2 Coast FTK, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing awareness to pediatric cancer. In 2014, Norman embarked on a 6 ½ months walk across the United States to raise awareness and funding to benefit the pediatric cancer community at Hershey Children’s Hospital. This cross-country trek was deeply transformative for him as a person. Norman shared challenges and surprises he encountered on the road, stories of the people he met, and that if you set out to do good things, the favor will be returned.
Juliana M. Mosley, Ph.D.
College Officer for Diversity & Inclusion, Chestnut Hill College
Independent Diversity and Higher Education Consultant
Juliana M. Mosley, Ph.D. affectionately called Dr. J. by her students, has served the field of education for 20 years, with the last 18 being dedicated to higher education. Juliana seeks to educate and train people to engage in difficult dialog through cultural humility to make the unconscious conscious. She believes that through conscious consideration, we can be proactive in preparing for and adhering to the inevitable changes in society. Juliana challenged us to think about our own personal biases and collectively learn to truly embrace, appreciate, and live communally with those who are different from us.
Associate Professor of Sociology, Arcadia University
John Noakes’ scholarly work focuses on the relationship between the state and political dissent. This includes research on the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), FBI surveillance of Hollywood in the 1940s and 1950s, and, most recently, on changes in how police respond to political protests. John discussed the importance of why having both an active and effective police force, and an oversight of that police force, are necessary for a democracy to thrive.
Denise M. Polk, Ph.D.
Professor & Chair
Department of Communication Studies
West Chester University
Denise M. Polk, Ph.D., has a long-standing belief in sustainable living. She has earned funding from the Environmental Protection Agency for West Chester University to collaborate with the Borough of West Chester to conduct two food scraps pilot programs. To date, the programs have diverted over 400 tons of food scraps from going into the landfill, instead, turning it into compost, a valuable soil amendment. Denise explored how and why composting and food recovery makes all the difference in local communities and the society at-large.
Science Advocate, March for Science
A coalition of individuals and organizations championing science for the common good
Sophia Swartz is passionate about creating a direct interface between teens, science, and political activism. She believes there are three main attributes which define what it means to be a scientist: creativity, grit, and a growth mindset. By sharing her personal story of how she fell in love with science and breaking it down into three small shifts in attitude, Sophia demonstrated how everyone possesses the organic ingredients necessary to make these small shifts, defy science stereotypes, and harness our potential to change the world around us.
2015 TEDxWestChester Speakers
Dr. John R. Gerdy
The Value of the Arts as a Community Investment
Dr. John R. Gerdy is founder and executive director of Music For Everyone (MusicForEveryone.net), a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the power of music as an educational and community building tool in Lancaster County. A lifelong musician, John has authored several books, including “Sports: The All-American Addiction” and most recently, “Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment.” He served as Associate Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference from 1989-1995 and at the NCAA from 1986-1989. A 1979 graduate of Davidson College, John received All-American honors in basketball.
Pirate Leadership: Re-writing and Re-righting History. It Makes All the Difference
Molly Nece is a former West Chester native, six time author and transformational speaker, with 20 years of leadership experience. Early in life, Molly became interested in pirate adventures and treasure seekers after visiting the treasure coast of Florida. Her thirst for knowledge continued as she and her family frequented Key West. After meeting Pat Croce, former 76ers owner and pirate museum owner, she was hooked and knew she had a tale of her own to tell. Soon after, she founded the Pirate Leadership Institute and never looked back.
One City, One World
Darcie Goldberg is a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience. She has traveled extensively which has fueled her strong, award-winning black and white photographs. She is a founding partner of The 24/7 Project with Rhoda Kahler.
Don’t Give Your Life Away
Tracy Davidson is an Emmy award winning television journalist with 30 years of experience. Since 1996, she has been anchoring, reporting and creating consumer-education events at NBC10 in Philadelphia. Prior to that role, she worked at WTVH in Syracuse. Tracy has spoken to hundreds of groups over the years, covering a wide range of topics, and has delivered three commencement speeches at local colleges. She serves or has served on the boards of Philabundance and March of Dimes and is an advocate for victims of domestic violence.
2014 TEDxWestChester Speakers
Using Ancestry DNA to Explore our Humanness
Anita Foeman, Ph.D., holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at West Chester University. She is a scholar of intercultural and organizational communication. Anita holds a B.A. from Defiance College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Temple University.
Comedy Has Rhythm?
Dave James has been a multimedia host and entertainer for the past 20 years. From Broadcast Radio/Television, the stage or creating groundbreaking Internet programming, Dave has entertained millions of people on a daily basis all across America. He is originally from Alabama and very proud of his southern heritage and considers the many evenings of his youth spent on the back porch with his father sharing stories to be his first formal training in becoming a national entertainer. Currently, Dave is pursuing his love of photography and is the owner of David James Photography located in Chester County, PA. He is the proud husband of Tammy and even prouder father of his daughter Skyler and son Austin.
The Natural Rhythm of Stimming
Erin Clemens is a 25-year-old woman who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 15. She has delivered presentations to professionals and students in public and private schools. In addition to these presentations, Erin also speaks at BRHS training workshops. Her speaking engagements are designed to educate professionals and students on topics related to autism, using her personal experiences as a vehicle.
How Postmodern Humans Can Wake Up & Find Their Groove
Paul Morgan is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops related to sustainability and education. His campus, community and scholarly work are devoted to exploring the historical precedents, philosophical rationale, and practical means of reorienting educational institutions toward sustainability. Dr. Morgan is the founder and director West Chester University’s undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in Education for Sustainability (EFS). Since 2011, has has served as the University’s Sustainability Coordinator. He is a Professor in the Department of Professional & Secondary Education, a member of the University’s Sustainability Advisory Council, and is the faculty adviser for the University’s environmental organization, EARTH. He is currently pursuing research in education for worldview change.
Awakening the Rhythm of Awareness
Jennifer Croneberger is President of JLynne Consulting Group, LLC, and is a motivational speaker, coach and writer. She was interviewed four different times by 6ABC’s Action News, selected as the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry’s Female Business Leader of the Year for 2009, and is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society. Jennifer serves as an annual speaker at the University Of Tennessee and has spoken at some of the largest coaching conferences in the country. As a strong member of her community, she is an Ambassador for the Girls Take Charge Leadership Program, speaks in her local schools often, and has served as the Education and Publications Committee Chair for the NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association). She writes for various publications and published her first book in December of 2012, These Five Words Are Mine.
Tickets for our 2018 TEDxWestChester event will go on sale late September. Tickets for the 2015 TEDxWestChester Event sold out in ONLY 3 hours!