Howard Snyder is Founder and Executive Director of the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization established in 1983 in an abandoned fire station on Villard Avenue and Hopkins Street. Today, the Northwest Side CDC is located in the Century City Tower, the old Eaton building on 27th and Capitol, where it operates a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) which lends money to support business development, three Neighborhood Strategic Planning (NSP) community organizing/crime prevention projects, a major housing program targeted at rehabilitating foreclosed property for sale, and grassroots efforts to connect people to jobs in the neighborhood.
Howard and the Northwest Side CDC are three-time MANDI Award winners including the Northern Trust Navigator Award for the Villard Square Library development. Howard is a highly regarded nonprofit leader who has managed the growth of his organization through changing political environments, funding priorities and neighborhood issues. Howard is very proud to be a Wisconsin Badger, having earned a Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations at UW-Madison.
Experiential Learning through Art and Museum Experiences, Laci Coppins-Robbins
Laci Coppins - Robbins Executive Director, Milwaukee Teacher Education Center Guest Artist/lecturer, Alverno College, The Milwaukee Art Museum, Marquette University, Northwestern University Executive Board Member, African American Art Alliance of the Milwaukee Art Museum Board of Directors, Artist Working in Education Mentor, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network Member, Professional Dimensions Executive Committee, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.
"Dr. Laci Coppins-Robbins is a visual artist and educator, her presentation around Experiential Learning is best expressed through the visual narrative. The presentation shares examples of specific achievements demonstrating Experiential Learning and illustrates methods to connect individuals to exhibitions, works of art through direct experiences and focused reflection. This talk considers techniques where relationships are developed and nurtured: student to self (I am), student to others (We are) and student to the world at large (We are). While also taking into account both the individual (I am) and the collaborative nature (We are)."
How to Fail with Success, Joe Sheehy
How to Fail with Success Student, Philosophy at UW - Milwaukee Member, Philosophy at UW - Milwaukee Paralegal, La Fleur Law OFfice
"Success does not happen without failure. To truly be a success, we have to change the way we think about failure. Academic institutions distort an individual’s thoughts on failure and hinder success. Many people become risk-averse and do not challenge themselves. They fear failure before failure happens. This is called doubt. This word stops more people from even getting to failure. In order to change this, a different perspective on the matter is required. Your gender, race, intelligence, background, etc. do not have an impact on whether you are successful or not. This perspective isn’t solely focused on money either; there are many areas people seek success in. This comes down to the principles that we must practice and ingrain in our minds. Starting anything is easy because it’s when things get tough, you are truly tested."
We Eat What We Are
Kyle Cherek Host, Wisconsin Foodie (twice Emmy-Nominated Television show) Host, Chef Talk with Kyle Cherek Partner, Amuse Bouche Productions Frequent media contributor to Public Radio, NPR, CBS, and NBC.
"What role does flavor play in our memory, personal identity, and sense of place? Flavors have shaped humankind since the dawn of civilization, influencing economies, religions, societal structures, and physical evolution. This talk explores the fascinating tale of how flavors have formed us across the millennia and what our choices today mean for the future."
When Good is Not Good Enough
Frank Martinelli President, Center for Public Skills Training Contributing Author, YOU and Your Nonprofit Board: Advice and Practical Tips from the Field's top Practitioners, Researchers and Provocateurs
"Milwaukee . . . In spite of the valiant, ongoing efforts of many caring people and dedicated organizations over a long period of time, life has not improved for many Milwaukeeans. Poverty and the many problems associated with it are increasing at an alarming rate. We continue to live in one of the most racially segregated regions in the U.S.
If things are going to really change, we need to shift attention from modest service goals that provide temporary relief to courageous actions that challenge and change the economic, social and political systems that are the root cause of many of the problems our community faces.
In order for this shift to occur, we need to challenge our work in the nonprofit sector -- especially those nonprofit organizations working in and with low income communities. Too much of our work stops at providing services to individuals in the communities ravaged by unjust social, economic and political systems. And this work is essential and must, of course, continue. At the same time, nonprofits need to direct more efforts at actually changing the underlying systems that produce so much of this pain and injustice."
Agile Leadership: Preparing for an Unconventional Career Path
Emily Phillips Partner, Drosner Phillips Group - Baird Board of Directors, Executive Women's Golf Association Board of Directors, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Foundation Vice President of Programming, Board of Directors, Professional Dimensions in Milwaukee
How do you navigate life without knowing all of the answers? How do you transition from student to expert? We live in a rapidly changing environment where technology accelerates the pace of interactions and expectations of knowledge. The new normal demands versatile and adaptive talent to handle the ambiguities life presents us; learning how to be fearless in the face of unknowns provides us the ability to unlock success in our careers as modern day change agents. This talk will outline the benefits of not being afraid of what you don’t know and the advantages of living life as a leader in our community.
Food Insecurity is a Public Health Concern
Rayna Andrews Senior Director, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin Chairwoman, Milwaukee Excellence Charter School 40 under 40, Milwaukee Business Journal United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties Philanthropic Five
"Food insecurity is an urgent public health problem in the United States, affecting one in seven households. Andrews TEDx talk explores the landscape and impact of food insecurity in the United States and overlays it on the current health outcomes in Milwaukee County. This talk will offer a fresh approach to solving the problem of food insecurity; and how our communities can adopt a collective impact framework that addresses the root causes of household instability that leads to food insecurity."
The Art of Going Viral
Niki Johnson Artist, Curator, Owner- Niki Johnson Studio, LLC Artwork housed in the permanent collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum, UW-Health's American Center Hospital, Madison Central Public Library Reviews of art featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Hyperallergic, Vice Magazine
"Galleries provide a controlled, if not elevated environment--but what happens when your work goes viral? Artists create artwork with specific intentions and audiences in mind. Where a piece of art is seen directly affects the way it is experienced, and fuels how it is interpreted. This talk explores how political artwork makes meaning when it explodes beyond the walls of the gallery to hang alongside flashy headlines and clickbait. Drawing on my experience of having a piece go viral, I reveal the unexpected lessons I learned about being an artist committed to creating social change while unexpectedly navigating the territory of public domain."
The Art of Self-Accommodation
Jason Anderson Counselor for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing (D/hh), and Students with Physical Disabilities Founder: Brew City Signers ASL Trivia and CODE-IDEA.org
"As a Disability Services Counselor at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, Jason has made the act of building bridges in the disability world his life's work. He believes that the solutions to many disability related problems lie within each person in the form of self-accommodations. Much like art, those solutions require ingenuity, cultivation, and repetition to flourish, and are entirely possible to achieve. Drawing from his lived experience as a hard-of-hearing child growing into a late-deafened adult, he is able to understand multiple perspectives on how people from diverse disability backgrounds can utilize tools and experiences to drastically improve their lives, education, and careers."
La'Ketta Caldwell Founder, Keyta Life Senior Program Manager of the Arts Education Department, Boys & Girls Club 2015, 40 under 40, Milwaukee Business Journal 2015 MANDI Nominee
"Caldwell’s TEDx is her journal entries from the phone call to the funeral of her family member who committed suicide. The timeline depicts the impact it had on her family and the community. We cannot continue to hide mental illness. Say something! It is real like any other disease. People should not feel intimidated or ashamed. We cannot continue to bury suicide in families. I may never get the answer of why, but I know that I cannot stay silent. My brother made an impact on my life. I will say something and not give up. I will share my story hoping lives will be saved."
Co President - TEDxUWMilwaukee Director of Curation
Co President - TEDxUWMilwaukee Director of Logistics BBA, Finance - Fall 2018
"It is my personal goal to learn how communities develop and change, and obtain an academic understanding that will allow me insight on economic and social development. TEDxUWMilwaukee allows me the opportunity to engage and exchange knowledge with so many inspiring people. Together, I believe we can bring positive change to the vibrant and diverse, but often too segregated and polarized, Milwaukee community."
Director of Curation - TEDxUWMilwaukee Student Body President Student Association at UW - Milwaukee Co Founder - TEDxUWMilwaukee College of Letters and Science, Chemistry - Spring 2017
"I strive to make myself and those around me more thoughtful about the world we all share. TEDxUWMilwaukee is a platform with which we inspire thoughtful and consequently impactful lifestyles in those touched by it. I find my self-worth in changing the world for the better every day. TEDxUWMilwaukee has made that a reality."
Isioma Nwabuzor is a skilled corporate attorney employed with Baird, an international financial services firm headquartered in downtown Milwaukee. With a strong dedication to her profession, Attorney Nwabuzor presently serves as a Board Member for both the Sports & Entertainment Law and IP & Technology Law Sections of the State Bar of Wisconsin. She is an alumnus of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Leadership Development Summit and a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Association, and the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers.
As a representative of several minority groups and demographics, Attorney Nwabuzor has a profound passion for social progress and global synergy. This passion translates into Attorney Nwabuzor’s unwavering commitment to a life of servant leadership. Attorney Nwabuzor is a former Board Member for the National Black Law Students Association. She currently serves as an Adult Achiever with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, as Sergeant-At-Arms and PR Chairman for Rotary Club of Mequon-Milwaukee Afterhours, and as a Committee Chairman for the Epsilon Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also a trained facilitator with the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion. As evidence of her commitment to service and the community, Isioma was recognized as the 2017 recipient of her sorority’s “Edith N. Finlayson Volunteer of the Year Award.”
Attorney Nwabuzor is regularly tapped to provide her professional and personal insight and has spoken at various events and for various organizations including, the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, Marquette University Law School’s Black Law Students Association, and Marquette’s BSC. Attorney Nwabuzor earned her Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Political Science and Psychology and her Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School. Attorney Nwabuzor currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Della Wells is a self-taught artist who began drawing and painting in earnest at the age of 42. Her creative process stems primarily from her personal experiences, embellished through the art of storytelling into visual work. Wells' work has been written about and has appeared in several publications including Betty-Carol Sellen's and Cynthia J. Johnson's book '' Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, A Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources, 2000 and 2016 ed, and one of her images appears in a children's book published by National Geographic.
In 2011, an award winning play that was inspired by her life, '' Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly',' debuted in Milwaukee. The play was commissioned by Milwaukee First Stage Children 's Theatre and written by Y York. In 2010, the play was selected to be read at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. for its New Visions, New Voices Festival. Since its debut in Milwaukee, the play has been produced in Nashville, Tennessee and in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She illustrated a children's book "The Electric Train" by Nanci Mortimer. She has exhibited in various galleries, museums and art festivals all over the United States, Italy and British Columbia. Venues include the Hickory Museum of Art‘s 2017 eMilwaukee Art Museum, John Michael Kohler Center For the Arts, The Appleton Art Center, Huntsville Museum of Art, Hickory Museum of Art, Loyola Museum of Art, Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Alverno College, Coastal Museum Mark Woolley Gallery, 5 Points Art Gallery and Studios, Clayton Gallery, David Barnett Gallery and the Outsider Art Fair in New York.
She has been a feature artist at the Kentuck Festival of Arts, the largest art festival which features folk, self-taught and outsider art in the United States. Wells is represented by the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee, Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia , Red Piano Too Art Gallery in St. Helena Island, South Gallery and Marcia Webber Art Objects in Montgomery, Alabama.
Heidi Edwards is a high school English teacher with 18 years of experience. Heidi was called to teaching from a young age, a calling that several transformative educators in her life fostered. She has taught in almost every school setting: public, private, urban, suburban, rural, as well as working with students ranging from early childhood to high school seniors. Her students have come from all walks of life, cultures, backgrounds, races, and faiths. She is currently employed in the Muskego-Norway school district as an instructor of Accelerated English 10 and English 11.
Heidi has served as a presenter for Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English for 4 years, presenting on topics tied to learning, diversity, gender, technology, and pedagogy. In addition, she has presented for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English regarding the confluence of modern culture with classical texts for the high school classroom. She served as participant and presenter for Milwaukee Area Student Affiliate of National Council of English Teachers and presented on race in the secondary English classroom.
If you asked Heidi’s students about her, they would share with you her penchant to book-end all learning with personal stories and anecdotes; her passion for all things regarding her students and her classroom; and her teaching of values and practices that transcend reading, writing, and grammar and that extend to students’ lives beyond the classroom. Also, they would tell you she loves cats.
Heidi is an alumna of Marquette University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education and Concordia University Chicago where she earned her master’s degree in Administrative Leadership. Heidi is originally from Illinois but now calls the Milwaukee area home along with her husband, 2 children, and a cat.
Ilian Iliev is currently a project coordinator for the University of Information Technology & Services Department, where he coordinates internal resources to ensure that projects are completed and delivered on time, within scope, and within budget.
He is also a member of Student Affairs I.T. and is involved in the Strategic Innovation Management team where, through a collaborative relationship with campus partners, he moves projects forward in a variety of fields by helping execute their intended outcomes, meeting individual and organizational goals.
One such partnership was with Islands of Brilliance. Ilian designed a WordPress website for 7 students on the spectrum of autism to provide exposure to the field of web development by composing WordPress tutorials to meet the needs of those students.
You can see which projects he’s been a part of by visiting www.pantherhacks.net. Ilian is on numerous committees: The Advisory Committee on Educational Technology (ACET), in which he is responsible for evaluating, recommending, monitoring, and annually assessing allocation of funds up to $3.5 million collected from student tuition fee that support access to educational technologies on the UWM campus, and The Information Technology Policy Committee (ITPC), where he has made recommendations to the faculty and campus administration regarding policy on information technology.
He is the co-author of “Radical Innovation: Blue Ocean Entrepreneurs, Skunk Works, & Beyond” and was involved in Operation Enduring Freedom by completing a tour of duty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he received an Army Achievement Medal for his high degree of professionalism and ability to motivate others to excel.
He has completed his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Marquette University.
Katie Mullen is a brand strategist, artist and writer born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. She co-owns BlackPaint Studios, an independent art and design company whose biggest clients are Planned Parenthood state affiliates across the country. Before starting BlackPaint in 2015, Katie spent more than a decade working on both the agency and client sides in Milwaukee and New York for brands like MillerCoors, The Nation Magazine and SC Johnson Family companies.
Also a longtime art activist and general troublemaker, Katie leads BlackPaint’s covert mission to challenge the creative industry’s old school power structure by working to increase the number of women and people of color in leadership roles and by educating students about their power as change makers as part of the studio’s college speaking series, Unspoken Truths About Working in the Creative Industry. She’s also the founder of FROM HERE TO HER Artist Collective, an alliance of community art activists best known for their public art projects that explore social norms impacting women and girls.
Quentin Allums (Just Q)
Hey, I’m Quentin Allums. I’m the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Misfit Ventures. We own IEEG which is a influencer/video marketing company; as well as MKE Misfits which is an events company. I was also one of the first video creators on LinkedIn and have since used the platform to launch my new venture, accumulate millions of views, and travel the world for speaking engagements such as VidCon 2018.
Fun Fact: I was a musician for 6 years and a collegiate athlete.
Michael Drescher (born July 14, 1954) is a media entrepreneur. In 1981 he co-founded JDTV, a multimedia and production company that built up the world’s largest database of interactive television and movie descriptions in 11 languages with an international distribution. In 1997, he established Drescher Holdings and in 2003, along with DHL, became co-founder, partner and director of global publishing for One World Yellow Pages. In 2010, he co-founded two companies: Okanjo’s SAAS marketplace and ad-tech platforms that transform content into commerce for publishers, and Tuesday (formerly Bodyhum), a product line focusing on women’s breast health. In 2015, the startup raised $1.7 million in follow-on funding. Drescher serves on the board of directors for Newaukee, Okanjo Partners, Vibrant LLC, MiKE and International Film Finance.
Throughout her 30 years as a national speaker, award-winning storyteller, newspaper columnist, humorist, and writer, Deb has created her own innovative concepts to propel people to thrive. Her humor column and nationally known brand—Slightly Off on Purpose—were platforms to help professionals reduce stress and see the value of failing and help everyone embrace life's ups and downs with a sense of humor.
As a national speaker for healthcare, education, and women’s events, Deb has inspired and empowered thousands of people to achieve their goals and dreams. She has been interviewed on many radio and television stations. Her coaching and training programs have helped many individuals achieve authorship, along with other personal and professional goals.
Deb lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and travels across the U.S. to speak and host speaker training workshops. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family—especially her new granddaughter, Eleanor—and upcycling vintage furniture.
President and Co-Director of Curation: Bailey Flannery
Bailey is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying English literature, Women’s & Gender Studies, and French. She plans to attend graduate school, obtain her doctorate, and become a professor of medieval English literature. When not TED-ing, Bailey enjoys reading, writing, eating Nutella out of the jar with a spoon, and smashing the patriarchy.
Secretary and Co-Director of Curation: Avery DeBoer
Avery absolutely loves being a part of TEDxUW-Milwaukee! She’s a sophomore here at UWM studying Business and Women’s & Gender Studies. On top of handling a lot of the organizational work for the group and working with speakers for the annual conference, she enjoys exploring Milwaukee, reading, playing piano and singing, and being involved on campus. TEDx has given her the opportunity and platform to dedicate herself to a great cause, contribute to a team, and support the speakers who she works with. She invites you to join one of our meetings and find your place in the TEDx community!
Director of Marketing: Idalis Serna
Idalis is a Milwaukee transplant from the great land of Chicago. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in Journalism, Advertising, & Media Studies. She is passionate about writing, design and social change and hopes to intertwine all three with a career in advertising.
Executive Producer: Megan Hart
Megan is entering her last year of a marketing degree with the Lubar School of Business. When she is not participating in TEDxUWMilwaukee, Megan enjoys aviation, spending time with her rescue dog, and staying active outdoors.
Fun fact: She is almost a licensed pilot.
Exposure to different cultures has helped Singh to adapt to various settings and made him aware of the dissimilarities of quality of life and laws amongst countries. Throughout his life, he has lived, worked, and traveled in several countries. These explorations not only allowed him to break out of his shell and embrace new cultures, but also enabled him to master other languages. Traveling halfway across the world from his hometown of Birmingham, England taught him that there is nothing like a trip to turn one into a new man. His passion for analyzing and understanding people's behavior and logic has been apparent since early adolescence. Most intriguing to him are the aspects of a criminal. He desires to know the how and why of criminals in society, which is the reason he obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees focused on Critical Criminology at UWM.
In addition to these academic pursuits, Singh is a part of his family’s trucking business and devoted to learning about social media marketing and e-commerce. In his spare time, Singh is a huge gamer, enjoys studying the stock market, and writes blogs that help people to step up their fashion and style. His two dogs mean the world to him.
After 12+ years leading corporate social responsibility efforts with Fortune 500 companies, Kirsten decided it was time for her to change the world with her own two hands. Ever the optimist and dreamer, she actually believes this is possible. Following her corporate exit in 2016, she immersed herself in global relief and empowerment work. That means she supports people going through extreme trauma, as well as works with organizations looking to empower under-served people.
This work has taken Kirsten to all corners of the world, from refugee camps in Greece to orphanages in Haiti, from hurricane zones to public health crises. Along the way, she has learned a lot about creating meaningful and sustainable progress.
Armed with expertise and experience, she has recently founded The Metta Project and co-founded Orenda Eqwal Equity. Both organizations adopt complimentary, integrated approaches to social innovation that help communities, companies and citizens bring sustainable progress to life. Her work bridges the gap between the corporate bubble and the world beyond. She takes the hard lessons learned along the roads less traveled and makes them accessible to everyone, creating new ways to eradicate poverty, improve quality of life, and foster equality.
If you're looking to go beyond the status quo, you've found the right gal. Kirsten is all about building community, breaking silos, and showing the world what's possible when we bring a bit more creativity into our lives.
Assistant Director of Marketing: Val Perkins
Val Perkins is in her second year at UWM studying Linguistics with a minor in Spanish. She hopes to attend law school after graduation and eventually do legal work related to civil rights, social justice, and immigration. In her free time, she enjoys playing the clarinet and cooking.