Sara Barad is thrilled to join Colorado Springs’ best and brightest at this year’s TEDx conference! By day, Sara works at the Pikes Peak Community Foundation, presents at national conferences, and serves on several local boards and committees. In the evenings, Sara performs regularly at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Millibo Art Theatre, and with the award-winning improvisational comedy troupe, the RiP.
Frances Cole Jones
Author of How to Wow:
Proven Strategies for Selling Your Self in Any Situation
Frances Cole Jones is the author of How to Wow: Proven Strategies for Selling Your (Brilliant) Self in any Situation, and The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World.
Frances is the President of Cole Media Management, a media training company focused on cultivating clients’ inherent strengths to develop more powerful communication skills. Prior to founding Cole Media, Frances worked at St. Martin’s Press, Viking Penguin, and Doubleday as an editor of commercial nonfiction.
Rite of Passage
Edward Cope is currently the Principal of Ridge View Academy in Watkins, Colorado. Ridge View is an award winning alternative charter high school for adjudicated boys formed through a partnership with the Division of Youth Corrections and Denver Public Schools serving at-risk boys for the last 13 years. The focus for educational programming entails character education, social skills, career and technical education, physical and mental well-being, as well as academic progress. He has spent twenty years as an educator in Colorado mostly as an English Language Arts instructor but has also spent time as an Instructional Coach and Assistant Principal. Edward has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Vanderbilt University, a Masters in Teaching in English from Rhode Island College and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver. He enjoys working with his student outside of class as a Track and Cross-Country Coach and a Robotics Mentor. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, fly-fishing and spending time with his wife and two children.
Author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending
Elizabeth Dunn is the author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, co-authored with Mike Norton at Harvard Business School. Dunn is an
associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, where she conducts original research on self-knowledge and happiness.
Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and The London Times, and has even been cited in policy papers by David Cameron's administration in the UK. Two empirical papers were recently published in Science. Dunn has spoken at PopTech!, and was selected as a Chronicle of Higher Education “Rising Star” in academia.
More Than Lectures
My name is Zachery Finley and I am 18 years old. My life is a testament to the roller coaster cliché. As I leave high school and embark on the next chapter in life I can honestly say I would never change a thing. Looking back my experiences as a varsity diver and a dedicated member of my districts robotics team have prepared me to face the world and gave me an insight on different perspectives. Being given the chance to speak in front of hundreds of people through many presentations as a member of robotics has sparked an interest that I never knew I had and has allowed me to understand the power of the spoken word.
Computer Security Expert
Aron Foster is a software developer, Officer in the United States Navy Reserves, and lifelong computer security enthusiast. He graduated with Honors from the United States Naval Academy in 2004 and earned his MBA from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2012.
Hackers in movies and on television wield digital magic to take control of bank accounts, electrical systems, and sensitive data because that can make for good action and suspense. Computer security professionals tell stories and give demonstrations of the extreme vulnerability of people and businesses on the internet because that convinces those people and businesses to buy whatever the security professionals are selling. New vulnerabilities in popular applications and stories of compromised data are always in the news because those reports get people to tune in. At the end of the day, the average computer user is left with misconceptions that make them frightened and overwhelmed by computer security. They’re stuck relying only on their antivirus software, their gut instinct on responsible digital behavior, and on blind luck to stay safe in the digital world. That doesn’t work. Society needs to get to a point where safe computer usage is as common and as expected as putting on a seatbelt. And the best place to start is with your passwords.
Tiny House Movement
Andrew Morrison has been a professional builder for 20 years and has been teaching people how to build their own homes in his hands on workshops since 2004. In that time he has personally taught over 1,400 participants how to hand craft their own homes and has seen again and again that anyone with passion and perseverance can build theirs too. Andrew and his family’s personal experience with tiny housing came while living in the “American Dream” home. Frustrated by feeling like slaves to it, they got rid of 90% of their worldly belongings, bought a pop up tent trailer and spent nearly five months reassessing what “home” meant to them while living in Mexico.
Andrew and his wife, Gabriella, are the creators of “hOMe”, the 207 SF (+110 SF in lofts) modern tiny house on wheels. They live and work in hOMe full time, off grid, and debt free. With the extra time and money that they have they travel and enjoy time together as a family.
Slow Food Movement / Colorado Farm to School
Andrew Nowak is the Director of the National School Garden Program for Slow Food USA and is responsible for building capacity of Slow Food chapters to be partners in school garden projects. For the past 12 years he was the co-director of Slow Food Denver’s Seed-to-Table School Food Program and developed protocols for Youth Farmers’ Markets and Garden to Cafeteria. For the past five years, Andrew has been the District Partner for Denver Public Schools and JeffCo Schools helping to source local fruits, vegetables and meats for the cafeterias, to develop scratch cooking and salad bars in schools, and the development of school farms to grow organic vegetables for school kitchens. Andrew was appointed to the CO Farm to School Task Force three years ago and heads up working groups on Farm to School Evaluation and Marketing. On the National level, Andrew is a Hall of Fame Chef with Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters program and was one of 6 chefs invited to the White House in 2010 to help develop the Chefs Move to Schools Program. Andrew has been a culinary professional for over 30 years. He earned his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Iowa in 1991. Andrew and his surgeon wife Lisa of 28 years are enjoying being empty nesters and keeping track of their two children’s international exploits as Nick is a tanker in the US Army stationed in Kuwait and daughter Sarah is a sophomore at Otago University in New Zealand.
Author of Radical Survivor from Colorado Springs
"I'm sorry. There were no survivors." Nancy Saltzman tried to absorb the caller's words. Her entire family had perished in a small plane crash. The caller was wrong, though. There was a survivor—Nancy would have to go on living. She had beaten cancer twice, but how could even the most resilient spirit live through this ultimate loss?
Radical Survivor, Saltzman's memoir, chronicles her extraordinary saga. We share her struggle as she overcomes despair through a deep sense of purpose—learning that through time, friendship, and love, the heart can make room for both loved ones lost and happiness found. With the added richness and insights of letters Saltzman received, as well as her sons' journal entries, Radical Survivor traverses the full spectrum of human
emotions, offering a compelling gift of hope. Saltzman tells her story to audiences nationwide. Using anecdotes (humorous and otherwise), letters, student essays, and excerpts from Radical Survivor, Saltzman entertains audiences of all ages. They listen, laugh, cry, laugh again, and are inspired to overcome the challenges in their own lives.
Nancy Saltzman holds a Ph.D. in education. She received the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Award for her work in education, was recognized as Colorado's National Distinguished Principal, and was awarded the American Cancer Society's Sword of Hope. She is retired from a 32-year career in public education and lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her fiancé Greg Roman and her dogs Nacho and Macy.
Author of Hell on Two Wheels
3,000 miles. Racing nonstop. If you sleep you lose. Hell on Two Wheels takes readers inside a harrowing, 3,000-mile long ultra-distance cycling race and follows a handful of courageous competitors who test themselves, each other, and the limits of human endurance. Hell on Two Wheels is a thrilling and remarkably detailed account of their ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies. This is more than just a race—it’s a monster, a crucible, an unforgettable allegory about the human experience of pain, joy, and self-discovery.
Amy Snyder grew up in New York City, earned an engineering degree with high honors from Princeton University, and worked as an engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area for a few years. Then she went to Stanford Graduate School of Business for her MBA. During her time in the Bay Area, this nerdy, unathletic city girl got her first taste of endurance athletics. Living in Marin County just north of San Francisco in the early 1980s—when triathlon and mountain biking were first being incubated—she was inspired by the setting and caught up in the local outdoor sports culture. With much enthusiasm, she began competing in short triathlons, half-marathons, and marathons.
Why thorium can give humanity clean, pollution free energy for centuries to come!
Kirk Sorensen stumbled across thorium while doing research on how to power a lunar community. Thorium is a cleaner, safer, and more abundant nuclear fuel—one that Kirk believes will revolutionize how we produce our energy.
Kirk Sorensen began his work with thorium while working as an aerospace engineer at NASA. In 2010, he left NASA to work as the chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering. In 2011, he founded Flibe, a company focused on developing modular thorium reactors.
Mill Dog Rescue
For the past 24 years, Theresa has worked professionally as a Pediatric Nurse, specializing in the field of Pediatric Oncology. Throughout those years as well, Theresa devoted the majority of her spare time to rescuing animals. She has volunteered in shelters across the country in a variety of positions: Adoption Counselor, Temperament Evaluator, Foster Care Coordinator and foster home.
After attending a large-scale dog auction on February 17, 2007 in the heart of puppy mill country, Theresa was inspired to make a lasting difference for the dogs held captive by the commercial dog breeding industry. National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR) was formed to honor one very special dog who was rescued on that day, Lily. As Founder and Director of Operations of NMDR, Theresa upholds several responsibilities: Rescue Coordinator, Organizational Liaison, Public Speaker, Medical Team Member, and her personal favorite, foster mom.
Business, Marketing, and Purpose Strategist
Michelle Vandepas started as an entrepreneur at age five and never looked back. As a business owner and consultant Michelle has guided over 500 entrepreneurs personally to grow their businesses while expressing their purpose in life and making a difference. Author of three bestselling books, a documentary producer, a world traveler, and ex-foster mom to 10, she inspires others to live fully and to not take their dreams to the grave with them.
Molly Wingate & Marti Woodward
Molly Wingate brings her experience as a parent and educator to Slow Parenting Teens. She co-parents her two, teen-aged sons with her husband, Brian Murphy. They have a two-career, two-station wagon, traditional nuclear family. She taught high school and college students for 25 years before starting a writing consulting business. Molly has a B.A. and M.A. in English literature.
Marti Woodward has a master’s degree in guidance and counseling and is a single mom of three teen-aged girls. Marti works in the field of adolescent addiction and also designed and implemented a family program for at-risk youth. As a coach and family therapist, Marti specializes in adolescent, family, and parenting issues.
Eating Healthy in a Toxic World
Elizabeth has a mission to improve lives simply by changing the way we eat. Award-winning author, patented inventor, social entrepreneur, and prolific natural health and nutritional expert, Elizabeth strives to help people identify the foods and lifestyle elements that are healthy for them, and then to inspire new ways to think about living and eating.
After a 1999 diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis forced her to take a good look at her own diet and lifestyle, she dove into researching the connection between what we eat and how we feel. The infusion cooking technique she subsequently invented and patented not only gave her a way to alter the course of her health, but also offered a deliciously quick and convenient weeknight dinner solution for just about anybody.