TEDx Vero Beach Feb 27th

news release

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDxTEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxVero, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxVero event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.


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.Speakers include:

Patrice Bowes’ Talk: The price of ignorance Talk Synopsis: What is the price of ignorance when it comes to our health? We research our car before we buy. We research the market before buying a house. But do we truly know what are the options when it comes to our health? Do we just take our doctor at their word? Let’s talk!

Speaker Bio: I grew up enjoying the outdoors in many ways – from hiking, camping, and pretty much anything you can do on the water, or under it! I was always playing outside, building forts, riding bikes, climbing trees, and constantly exploring the wood and world around us. This probably explains why, even as an adult, I still love going on any kind of new adventure! My most recent adventure is pursuing my board certification as a naturopathic doctor. It has truly been a lifelong adventure, taking the steps and following the path that is meant for me.

Jason Conklin’s Talk: Freedom, Independence, Environmentalism Talk Synopsis: When environmental systems are neglected or abused, ALL forms of life pay the consequences.  People are faced with fewer choices because of reduced nutrition, social instability, and increased vulnerability to natural and manmade disasters.  Simply working harder will not prevent this outcome nor will waiting for legislative bodies to respond.  We the people, must take action to ensure the future of our sustainability and more importantly, our future as free citizens.  The power to change our behavior rests in us, for now…
Speaker Bio: Jason Conklin is a Pennsylvania native who previously worked for Adobe, served ten years in the US Coast Guard taking him to more than 17 countries, and lived in five different states over the course of his tenure landing him finally in Colorado where he went on to work for Raytheon.  After meeting his wife Kate in Colorado Springs, they both moved to the Space Coast of Florida in 2015 and Jason established his business in Vero Beach later that year.

Richard Gallegos’ Talk: The Power of Perseverance Talk Synopsis: I sincerely believe we all have the ability to not only persevere through all life throws at us, but also find joy and a sense of self-respect in the process. There is beauty in placing yourself in the “struggle” and forcing yourself through it one painful step at a time.

Speaker Bio: Richard Gallegos was born and raised in Orlando Florida. After working as a paramedic in the emergency medical field for 10 years and struggling with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and Substance Abuse Disorder, Richard found his sobriety through the help of running ultra distances.
Richard currently works as the Lead Intake Coordinator for a National Substance Abuse and Mental Health facility that solely focuses on treatment for Firefighters, Paramedics, and EMTs.
Since his first 100-mile ultra marathon in May 2019 he has completed eleven 100 mile runs and one 200 mile run across the state of Florida.
When he is not spending time with his wife and daughter, you can find him running through Florida trails and swamps.

Lisa Giessert’s Talk: Surviving Cancer with Humor Talk Synopsis:   Lisa speaks about her original cancer diagnosis in 2014 and her reoccurrence in 2016, she has changed her lifestyle, focusing more on herself, her family, and friends, traveling the world for fun and enjoyment instead of work, crossing many items off her “bucket list”, and removing negativity from her life.

Speaker Bio: Lisa Giessert has lived the majority of her 62 years in Vero Beach, Florida, moving her family from Buffalo, New York in 1981 at 23 years old. She has been married to her husband Michael for 43 years, has two adult children, Rachel Halbfinger (41) and Richard Giessert (39), and three grandchildren, Jonathan Giessert (12), Friedrich (6), and Lillian (4) Halbfinger.  Lisa has an MBA from Nova Southeastern University, and prior to her retirement in 2016, worked as an Executive at Piper Aircraft, Inc., as the Head of Sales Administration, Customer Support, and Dealer Development.  She managed all of the aftermarket parts and customer support through the worldwide aircraft dealer organization, as well as administration of all aircraft sales and dealer contracts.  Lisa traveled the world extensively in her 23 years at Piper Aircraft, Inc., from Singapore to numerous places in Europe, and almost every state in the US.  She is an Ovarian Cancer survivor and is currently undergoing maintenance treatments to keep her cancer at bay.  After her original diagnosis in 2014 and her reoccurrence in 2016, she has changed her lifestyle, focusing more on herself, her family, and friends, traveling the world for fun and enjoyment instead of work, crossing many items off her “bucket list”, and removing negativity from her life.  Her favorite quote is by Dr. Dean Ornish, “It’s not about fear of dying but the joy of living.”

Barbara Hammond’s Talk: Transform a Community Through Literacy Talk Synopsis: Transform a Community Through Literacy

Speaker Bio: She has a B.A. in Economics from Williams College and a Masters in Public and Private Management from Yale University. Barbara was a former consultant with Bain and Company in Boston and The Director of Strategic Planning for Shawmut Corporation in Boston. She now resides in Vero Beach, Florida, and is the mother of two boys who has struggled with some learning challenges. Prior to starting The Learning Alliance, Barbara was Chairman of the Board of the Mental Health Association in Vero Beach where she spent 10 years helping the organization develop its strategic planning and fundraising activities. Barbara is the CEO and co-founder of The Learning Alliance, a nonprofit focused on transforming children’s lives through literacy in Indian River County Florida. Their work on community transformation, summer and afterschool programs for struggling readers, and teacher training has been recognized nationally by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and PBS.

Annie Meehan’s Talk: The lessons I learn from a Pineapple  Talk Synopsis: Pineapple People Change the world, one person, at a time by being intentional about their words and actions daily What happens when you look up and really see someone?If you knew you had a crown on and valued yourself as such what would be differentIf you were sweet on the inside, what would come from your lips and your keyboard even if you were pokey on the outside?Will you join me in being a Pineapple Person too?

Speaker Bio: Annie Meehan is a National Speakers Association (NSA) member and past president of the NSA’s Minnesota chapter. She has earned the highest distinction as a CSP- Certified Speaking professional. Annie Meehan is the author of five motivational books, including her award-winning Be The Exception.” Her latest book, “Pineapple Principle,” offers hospitality a sweet journey to empowerment. Today her passion is to share H3 Cultures with companies to create a Healthy, Hopeful, and Happy workplace that retains an engaged workforce! Meehan has three adult children, and she lives in Fort Myers Beach, FL with her husband and two dogs. She loves volunteering in the community, traveling with family, and walking (or being walked) with Peanut and Leo.

Kristina Pernfors’ Talk:  Everything About You Speaks! Talk Synopsis: “Because first impressions last” – The majority of first impressions are based on how we look – not what we say. Our non-verbal queues say more about usthan any of our words ever will. And it goes way beyond skin deep. Everythingabout us speaks, from the clothes we wear to the cars we drive, the interiors we choose, and the actions we take.

Speaker Bio: Kristina Pernfors, a native of Sweden, was born with the style and design gene
embedded in her DNA. She is the CEO & Owner of Aesthetics & Style which
specializes in delivering the total image experience, from how you look, to how
you live. Her company services are focused on the areas of interior design, and
image consulting. Kristina has been featured on numerous podcasts and
multiple times on the nationally syndicated TV show “The List” where she shares
image and interior style tips.
When she is not busy creating image experiences for her clients, Kristina spends
her time instructing Body Pump, running, and cooking. She’s also a board
member for the Sally Wilkey Foundation and volunteers with organizations like
The March of Dimes and Healthy Start Coalition through participation in Dancing
With Vero’s Stars. And most importantly, enjoying life with her husband Mikael,
son Figge, daughter Bella, and Frenchie pooch Georgia.

Jeff Pickering’s Talk: Still Practicing? Me Too: My Story of Surviving and Thriving After Childhood Sexual Abuse by My Doctor Talk Synopsis: On Monday, October 16, 2017, I remembered a repressed memory of being sexually abused as a child by my doctor while being treated over an 18-month period for a serious sports injury. He is still practicing. Me too.  The experience of remembering this trauma and processing it inconveniently disrupted my life and nearly devastated me with the force and impact of a tidal wave. Today, after years of healing and pursuing justice for myself, I share my story for three reasons: to help other adult male survivors of childhood sexual abuse to do the same, to help friends and family members of abuse victims to understand how to provide support,  and to advocate for change in policies that prevent the prosecution of such acts due to statutes of limitations.

Speaker Bio:

When he is not surfing, Jeffrey R. Pickering is President and CEO of the Indian River Community Foundation in Vero Beach, Florida.  Mr. Pickering has more than 25 years of experience in philanthropy, nonprofit leadership, and fundraising, including five years as President and CEO of Kern Community Foundation in Bakersfield, California, and four years as Vice President at the Community Foundation of Central Florida.  Prior to entering the community foundation field, Mr. Pickering served for 10 years in leadership roles at two nonprofit respite centers in Chicago, Illinois, and Orlando, Florida that provided residential medical recovery for ill and injured homeless adults discharged from area hospitals.

Mr. Pickering holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Spanish from the University of South Florida, a master’s degree in leadership studies from the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, a certificate in business administration from the Roy E. Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and attended Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (“d.school”).  Mr. Pickering is an alumnus of the Vincentian Service Corps, where he served for one year after graduation from college as a lay missioner working among homeless men and women in New York City.  In 2016, Mr. Pickering was honored to be selected for the CFLeads Executive Leadership Institute for Community Foundation CEOs, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Indian River Estate Planning Council and is Chairman of the Community Foundations of Florida. Mr. Pickering is married to Stephanie Brooks Pickering of Palm Springs, California. The Pickerings have three children, Colin, Olivia, and Grant.

Miriam Ismail’s Talk: The Secret Ingredient to Happiness. Talk synopsis:There have been millions of talks about happiness, how to achieve it, how to maintain it and how important it is to a healthy human journey. However, my secret ingredient is a profound way to achieve happiness. It’s a unique and fresh idea that has never been discussed. It’s absolutely mind-blowing and simple yet so effective.

Speaker bio: Miriam Ismail is a Professional Development & Self Improvement Coach whose mission is to help people become the BEST versions of themselves. She’s an Entrepreneur, a Published Author, a Speaker, an Instructor and has created and developed many courses.Having resided in many different parts of the world; England, West Africa, Middle East & United States, and through her extensive traveling and exposure to various cultures, languages, and mindsets, Miriam developed a deeper and better understanding of people and has a very diversified approach to helping individuals reach their maximum potential. Academically, she has a BS in Computer Science, a Master’s in Finance, and studied 3 years of the Ph.D. Program in Finance. She was a Finance College Professor and worked in Fortune 500 investment firms in the Finance Industry. After many years in the Finance Industry, Miriam realized that her passion is not just the financial well-being of her clients but rather the well-being of their mind, body, and soul and that’s when she ventured into the world of Energy Healing and Coaching. She got Certified in “Leadership Strategies Coaching” from Harvard and became a Certified Practitioner in Meditation, Reiki Energy Healer/Master, Hypnotherapy, Self-Hypnosis, EFT/TFT Tapping, Naturopathy, Crystal Healing, Time Management & Emotional Intelligence.

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