Speakers 2012

TEDxToledo is about Disrupting the status-quo, Re-Defining our self-perception, and Inspiring those who want to lead our city into realizing our potential. We aim to curate a diverse group of speakers that speak to the vision of a greater Toledo.

Nichole Kanios is a 16 years old Junior in High school with a particular love for poetry. Bitten by the poetry bug at age 13 after viewing Def Poetry Jam during an English class. Her poetry is to be heard, not only read.

Blair Grubb, MD is a native of Baltimore Md. He is a Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at The UT Medical Center. He is widely considered on of the world’s leading experts on Syncope and Autonomic Nervous System Disorders, and has authored over 200 scientific papers. An accomplished writer, he has published over 50 essays (and numerous poems).

A collection of his essays have been published in book form under the title of “”The Calling””. In his stories he explores the unique relationships that exist between doctor and patient.

Dr. McKether has collected the oral histories of African Americans who migrated from the south to find jobs and homes in Detroit, Flint and Saginaw. He holds a Ph.D. from Wayne State University and is an anthropologist and historian at the University of Toledo.

Robin Sulier-Charney’s community outreach involves the use of photography to reaffirm the dignity of every person. This mission has taken Robin to the poorest quarters of the inner city, revealing joy and sacredness in a challenging urban landscape.

Robin’s community participation demonstrates the interconnectedness of one city through the power of pictures; Toledo Help Portrait, Toledo Faces Project and most recently a mural project in downtown Toledo.

A mother of three, she is also the Outreach Coordinator for ProMedica Cancer Institute.

Ryan A. Bunch is a writer, poet, event planner, and cultural enthusiast based in Toledo’s Old West End neighborhood. Bunch works as the Performing & Literary Arts Coordinator at The Arts Commission, as Music Editor at Toledo.com, and is a Board Member of the UpTown Association. Formerly, he was Arts & Entertainment Editor at Toledo City Paper. His involvement in local events includes Toledo SOUP, Adams Street Zombie Bar Crawl, Howl Toledo: Allen Ginsberg Tribute, Old West End Festival, Artomatic 419!, SoundTrek, JazzLoop, Rock on Adams, and more. In addition to continuing to fail at writing compelling short stories and novels, Bunch has published poems both in print and online internationally, including exotic locations such as Istanbul, London, and Oklahoma. He regularly performs live spoke work/improvised rants/some weird version of stand-up comedy with experimental jazz fusion band What’s Next.

Bob Jacksy has been a Metroparks naturalist for over 18 years and in environmental education for almost twenty five years. He has worked in inner-city environments as well as in remote wilderness. He uses photography to tell the stories of the human impact on nature.

Jacksy is an explorer, bold iconoclast and most of all, a gentle, compassionate man. As a naturalist/photographer, Bob assists in class and workshop instruction and exhibit production at the National Center for Nature Photography.

Dr. Alvin Compaan is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of the Physics and Astronomy Department at The University of Toledo. His research in photovoltaic materials and devices have been funded by many federal and state grants and several industrial groups. He is a co-founder of Xunlight 26 Solar which is commercializing flexible and transparent PV for window and auto sunroof applications. Al lives with his wife in a home with a grid-connected rooftop PV array manufactured in Perrysburg, OH, by First Solar. The system generates nearly all the electricity needed for their home and for commuting with his electric truck.

Karl Parker is the founder and President & CEO of Parker Family of Businesses, a professional services firm offering business strategy, engineering , energy, sustainability and training solutions for public and private sector clients worldwide. Parker Family of Businesses is comprised of several businesses with offices in Toledo, Cincinnati, Houston and Amman, Jordan. http://www.parkerfob.com/.

Mr. Parker has held a variety of leadership roles at General Electric, Owens Corning and other corporations. These roles include Global Lean Six Sigma leadership, Service Business P&L ownership, Growth Leadership, Plant Management and Program Management.

Mr. Parker received a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MBA in Global Business Development & Entrepreneurship from the University of Toledo. Additionally, Mr. Parker is a Sustainability Consultant, Professional Engineer and GE certified Six Sigma Black Belt. Mr. Parker will receive a Doctorate of Global Business Leadership in 2013.

Brandy Hudelson has been called the “flutist of the future” for her consummate artistry and adaptability as a soloist, orchestral musician, contemporary specialist, composer, teacher and beatbox flutist. Brandy is a sought after teacher and has served on the faculties of Interlochen Arts Camp and Oakland University and gives clinics throughout the Midwest. She has performed in the flute sections of numerous orchestras, including the Detroit Symphony and Toledo Symphony. She can be heard on Youtube on her solo channel “brandyflute” and her trio channel “trioaureasilva”.

Karen Ranney Wolkins serves as Executive Director of the Toledo Botanical Garden, a position she has held since October of 2010. While relatively new to the world of botanical gardens, Karen has over 27 years of business development and marketing experience in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, engineering and the arts. Originally from Rochester, New York, Karen moved to Toledo in 1993 and has enjoyed a community filled with intelligent, inspired and creative individuals. Karen’s long-held passion for social justice, combined with her love of gardening and the arts, has found an ideal fit at Toledo Botanical Garden.

Anneliese Grytafey, Esq. currently serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Regional Growth Partnership (RGP) in Toledo, where she works on regional comprehensive economic development strategy and galvanizes regional participation in federal grants initiatives. Previously, Anneliese worked as a community development attorney with Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE), where she founded the ABLE Microenterprise Legal Assistance Program and laid the groundwork to establish a microfinance fund for Toledo entrepreneurs. She obtained her B.A. in from SUNY College at Buffalo and her J.D. from the University of Akron.

Chef Michael Bulkowski is a northwest Ohio native, cooking for a living for over twenty years. He started as a dishwasher and worked his way up through the ranks as a chef in Vermont, Las Vegas, Chicago and Findlay. He was the chef and owner of Revolver Restaurant in Findlay where he sourced ingredients locally and emphasized a local first mentality. The father of two wonderful children, Willough and Eero, Chef Bulkowski is now the Executive Chef at Inverness Golf Club.

Jelani Jefferson Exum joined the College of Law faculty, with tenure, in 2011. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. Prior to joining the UT Law faculty, she was an associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Law and a visiting associate professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Professor Exum has also been a Forrester Fellow and Instructor in Legal Writing at Tulane Law School. Before joining academia, Professor Exum served as a law clerk for the Honorable James L. Dennis, United States Circuit Judge for the for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Honorable Eldon E. Fallon, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Comparative Criminal Procedure, Federal Sentencing, and Race and American Law. Professor Exum mainly writes in the area of sentencing law and policy, but her research interests also include comparative criminal law and procedure and the impact of race on criminal justice.

A self-described computer fanatic, Jonathan has developed mad skills in everything from php and MySQL to Ruby, Rails, Javascript and all points in between. He’s the world’s youngest developer to have an app in the App Store that he coded entirely on his own and he’s got several more in the pipeline. Jonathan is a big-thinker, too – after questioning why social sharing sites work as they do, he started developing Daystream, a social journaling ecosystem, with his dad and plans to launch it before he begins Middle School.

Simon Guo served as an English interpreter with CITIC, where he had the opportunities to engage in many important events and met with world leaders in his early age. Mr. Guo once served as the General Manager of Asian Markets with MCI, General Manager of BT Conference China, etc.

Mr. Guo was the founder and Chairman of CEO Clubs China for the first term, and he organized hundreds of American CEOs visit China and helped them to establish business ties with their Chinese counterparts. He was recognized as the bridge of cross-cultural businesses.

For the past 10 years, Mr. Guo served as the business consultant and corporate trainer for the companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Mitsubishi, HP, Alibaba, etc. He lectures to thousands of Chinese business executives focusing on the topic of International Business Transactions. Mr. Guo is the author of multiple books including Effective Business Communication Across Cultures and How to Do Business Globally.

William Jordan has spent the last 35 years training his camera lens on familiar subjects revealing the elegance, beauty, and resilience of the human spirit. Historically drawn to communities around the globe which have suffered trauma, natural or manmade, recent projects involve subjects closer to home. An often-told adage has belated been absorbed – the best stories, the most compelling tales, are the ones that literally and figuratively happen in your own backyard.

Shooting in locations as diverse as Amman Jordan, Bogota Colombia, Abbottobad Pakistan, and East Africa – for clients as diverse as Landmine Survivor Network, Forbes, Ford Motor Company, or Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He began his photo career working for his hometown newspaper in Southern Ohio at the tender age of 12. He studied Photojournalism, Biomedical Photography and International Studies at Ohio University. An internship at Johns-Hopkins University, led to a staff position at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Now a resident of Perrysburg, he operates a fine art gallery with his wife, and continues to photograph for a wide variety of media, while pursuing local documentary stories of universal significance.

In 1993 Celia Williamson founded the first program called Second Chance, for prostituted and trafficked girls in Ohio. Since then, she’s published over 25 articles on commercial sexual exploitation, conducted over 100 presentations, and founded the first national and now international annual conference on human trafficking that brings over 40 presenters to an annual audience of 400. She is the President and Founder of the National Research Consortium on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Co- Chair of the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition and Chair the Research and Analysis Sub-Committee for Ohio’s Trafficking in Persons State Commission.

Marc Folk’s career with The Arts Commission began in 1996 as an instructor in the Young Artists at Work program. He served as Director of the Art in Public Places program and Artistic Director prior to becoming the Executive Director in 2006. Under his leadership The Arts Commission has launched Artomatic 419, the LiveWorkCreate Toledo program, the Well-Fed Artists workshop series and other initiatives bridging economic development and the arts. He has represented ACGT on numerous Toledo, statewide and national committees and is vice president of the Ohio Citizens for the Arts. He is a 2006 recipient of the 20 Under 40 Leadership Award and the 2009 winner of the Governor’s Award for Arts Administration. In 2010 he was recognized as the University of Toledo’s Outstanding Alumnus in the Arts. He is a 1998 graduate of the University of Toledo, with a BFA in Sculpture.

Glass City Steel is the flagship of The Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) Social Enterprise work. The band was started in 2009 with a promise to twenty donors (all donating $1,000 or more) that the group would be self sustaining within one year. Since that time the group has provided paid summer jobs in the arts for over 60 youth and performed over 100 times throughout the region. Originally an extra-curricular after school program, the Steel Drums have become a part of the school’s world music curriculum.

Toledo School for the Arts is a public “community” or charter school focused on providing a college preparatory academic curriculum and an intense visual and performing arts environment. TSA opened in 1999 and is located at 333 14th Street in downtown Toledo, Ohio. Admission is open to creative students in grades 6-12 who seek an educational community of peers who are serious about their artistic endeavours.

In addition to core academic subjects, classes are offered in music, dance, theatre and visual arts. TSA provides students opportunities to work with professional artists to expand their arts experiences and knowledge base. TSA has ARTnerships with our area’s community and cultural institutions including the Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Symphony, the Toledo Repertoire Theatre, the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, the Toledo Zoo and others. TSA is sponsored by Bowling Green State University.

Stephen Bennett is a portrait painter because of his passion for the world’s people. For the last 20 years he has explored over 30 countries worldwide, seeking out indigenous and traditional people to paint.

Stephen’s mission is to use his portraits to preserve and celebrate the cultures he encounters. Stephen would like to invite you on a fascinating journey to experience the diversity of our world through his colorful paintings.

Check out Stephen’s work at: www.theportraitpainter.com, and