TEDxBradenton 2023 Event
In the spirit of Ideas worth sharing, TEDxBradenton seeks to highlight local ideas.
Bradenton is rapidly growing and becoming contemporary, we want to highlight our rich and diverse talent to create those connections that will convert these ideas into community initiatives.
State College of Florida
We are thrilled to announce our 2023 TEDxBradenton Speakers
Master of Ceremony Robyn Faucy
Robyn was a TEDxBradenton 2022 speaker. She guides organizations to achieve aggressive and transformative results. Her specialties are revenue development, culture-shifting, marketing, and guiding individuals and teams to achieve more by defining, tracking, verifying, and reporting results. Robyn has held leadership roles with Sylvan Learning Centers and the American Cancer Society. Robyn's leadership resulted in significant financial growth and increased volunteer engagement and client achievement. Prior to taking the helm of Results 1st, she was the Chief Executive Officer of Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson's, in Sarasota, FL, where in her five-year tenure she increased income, financial reserves, and participant engagement by over 100%. Robyn attributes her relentless determination to help groups to succeed to her upbringing by her blue-collar, hardworking parents. Neither of her parents graduated from high school and her father died when she was 12 leaving her mother to be a single parent. She has lived many of the circumstances that participants in nonprofit organizations face. She feels these experiences have built her “hustle muscle” and desire to help others overcome challenges through change.
Mark Gordon has been an editor and reporter with the Business Observer and Observer Media Group since 2005. In that time he's written about hundreds of entrepreneurs, companies, business owners and civic leaders, from Tampa to Naples. In addition to writing stories, Mark oversees the daily online and weekly print content for the award-winning Business Observer, which reaches 160,000 readers a month. As managing editor of the paper, he coordinates coverage with a team of three full-time editors and eight freelance journalists and photographers. Mark also started writing a biweekly column on leadership in 2021, interviewing some of the region's top business leaders and consultants. With a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from Villanova University he has worked as a juvenile probation officer in suburban Philadelphia. A native of Long Island, New York, Mark lives in east Manatee County with his wife, Elyse, and their 14-year-old son Aaron.
Travis Ray is the Founder/CEO of handcrafted bow tie and accessory brand, Dapper Bowtique®. Travis currently serves as Director of Advancement for the Urbanite Theatre in Sarasota, Florida. Ray holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in theatre management/arts administration from the University of Alabama and a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre performance from Alabama State University. He recently completed the Gulf Coast Leadership Institute and the Gulf Coast Board Institute. Ray volunteers his time at Visible Men Academy, AMIKids, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Marwine Organization, Inc. and proudly serves on the board of directors for Realize Bradenton. He is a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and he recently taught Acting 1 at New College of Florida this past Fall 2022. Travis is married to Jonah Ray and they have a 5 year old doggy named Chance.
Dom was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. In his early years he was always busy on the water with his brother Vince. You could almost always find these two wakeboarding behind a boat, fishing off a dock, or cleaning up shorelines even before they founded Oyster Boys Conservation. He attended college and played football at Florida Atlantic and Missouri Western State. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, playing with his dog, tending to his chickens, and selling custom clothing. Dom values spending time with his family and building real world connections with others. He is currently engaged to his fiancé Rachel and the two of them enjoy spending time outdoors together on their homestead in Osprey. Dom has a strong vision for the world and believes in the importance of healthy food, quality education, and tight-knit communities. In his work as an Associate Administrator and nonprofit President, he strives to make a positive impact on the lives of others and to create a better future for all.
Xtavia Bailey is a business and life coach, who founded Next Level Coaching and Consulting™ with a results first mindset. Xtavia has more than 15 years of experience in executive leadership as an entrepreneur and small business owner. She is a consultant to business owners and non-profit organizations for development and organizational leadership. A John Maxwell certified coach, she has worked with multiple clients and organizations, including international companies.
Always learning and sharing, Xtavia facilitates master classes on growth, leadership, and is a DISC trainer and consultant. She specializes in business building as well as family and children coaching. Xtavia is a published author and her “The Business Mind Transformation” is a best-seller on Amazon.
Her personal passion is being a youth advocate, a role she has dedicated 20 years of her life to fulfilling. She has served on many boards giving back to what she believes in - that children are truly our hope for tomorrow. Xtavia is married to Edward Bailey, who served his country in the United States Marine Corps. They have two children, Amara and Edward Bailey Jr.
Dr. Richard C. Harris
Dr. Richard C. Harris brings extensive expertise and experience to classrooms and platforms when he teaches and speaks on racial harmony/diversity and communication issues. An educator and pastor, he is well known for his earlier years when he served as the Grand Dragon of the Indiana KKK for several years in the 1970s. As an avowed white supremacist, in 1978, he underwent a dramatic transformation. He renounced racism and all ties to the Ku Klux Klan. He documents his experiences in his book, One Nation Under CURSE, which won the 2012 Reader's Favorite Award for best non-fiction religion/philosophy book.
Considered a national thought leader in building racial harmony, Dr. Harris served as one of the leaders for the Congressional Gracism Forum on Racial Reconciliation at the U.S. Capital Building in Washington, D.C. in 2017. Following a presidential address, he was recognized for his work in building bridges between the races at the National Prayer Breakfast Leadership Caucus.
More recently, in February, 2021, Faith & Prejudice named Dr. Harris as a recipient of the “2021 Dr. Clarence B. Jones Wintertime Soldier Award” for his “forty-plus years of significant contributions promoting racial equity throughout the church and nation.” His new book, Radicalized: What parents need to know about extremist groups to protect their kids, will be available Fall, 2023.
Dr. Harris has served as a university professor for over two decades and as a Senior Pastor for 31 years in the Free Methodist Church - USA denomination as well as an Associate Pastor at an historic African-American church, Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Bartow, FL. He and his wife, Tricia, who works with autistic students in Polk County Schools, have been married since 1982. They have two married daughters and one granddaughter.
Andre Hendirex is the founder of The Village Health & Wellness studio in Palmetto, FL. Andre has dedicated a third of his life to achieving his own fitness goals. He understands the challenges that come with personal growth but is a firm believer that with determination, support, and consistency anyone can exceed their goals.
Born and raised in Palmetto, he is invested in his community and committed to being an answer rather than just someone who talks or complains about issues. When he is not helping members of his gym get fit, you can find him in the gym at Next Generation Academics where he is a Physical Education teacher.
Although The Village has been open since 2021, Andre has trained more than 100 clients from all walks of life, each with their own unique goals and abilities. Recognizing the individualized need of each client, Andre offers education and resources to ensure success for each one.
Natalie Baird-King, Esq
Natalie Baird-King is a survivor of childhood abuse and domestic violence. As a result of a boyfriend breaking her arm over 30 years ago, she pivoted her degree to be a dentist to becoming an attorney. She has spent much of her life and career educating others about domestic abuse and the impacts it has on children, teenagers, adolescents, and adults. She has been a speaker in over 70 keynotes, seminars, workshops, and panel members, many related to education and her life's story about domestic abuse.
Natalie is a Board Certified Marital and Family Law attorney who has who has been practicing for over 20 years. She is highly respected in her field and has litigated hundreds of family law matters. Natalie has also devoted her practice to family law mediations and has mediated over a thousand of family law cases and assisted families to resolve their cases versus the choosing to litigate their cases.
Natalie has recently authored her book Forgiving Unforgivable-The 4 Essential Secrets to Overcome Trauma, Stand Empowered, and Step into Purpose which is due Summer 2023. She is known as an expert at forgiveness. Through her journey, she has discovered the key to freedom through forgiveness.
Mitch is the Executive Director of Client Development and a Certified Coach at EXCELLence Performance, an award-winning corporate training and leadership development company.
He is the current chairman of the Manatee Chamber's young professional leadership committee and a graduate Leadership Manatee. Mitch's passion for speaking on communication, confidence building, and personal development has led him to be recognized as one of Sarasota's 35 under 35 by SRQ Magazine and a Young Professional of the Year under 40 in Manatee County.
Mitch dedicates his time to helping young professionals lead lives at their utmost potential and equipping them with the skillsets to pursue their professional and personal goals.
Xavier “Omar” Edwards is a native of Manatee County. He has been an educator for the past 23 years. During his 23 year career, he served the students and parents of Manatee County as a Counselor, Program Manager, middle and high school Principal, Assistant Director and Currently the Associate Director of Strategic Planning Iniatatives.
Mr. Edwards was educated in the public schools of Manatee County, graduating from Southeast High School in 1993. Upon graduation, Mr. Edwards received a fully paid scholarship to play football for the Ole Miss Rebels at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi. While at the University of Mississippi, Mr. Edwards earned two Bachelor's Degrees - Bachelor of Public Administration (1997) and Bachelor of Social Work (1998) degrees from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi. Additionally, he became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, which began his commitment to public service through various projects of the fraternity in the local community in Oxford.
Mr. Edwards began his career in education as a Career Counselor and later as Program Manager for a program for high school students at Manatee Technical Institute. This opportunity inspired him to pursue a Masters' Degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University in Tampa Florida.
Mr. Edwards is a member of Rogers Community United Methodist Church in Bradenton Florida. He is a member of several organizations; Manatee Branch of NAACP, Life Member Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.,(Immediate pass Polemarch of the Sarasota (FL) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Inc; Manatee Chamber of Commerce Workforce and Educational Committee, Boys and Girls Club Corporate Board Member, and the Immediate Past President of the Manasota Pan-Hellenic Council.
Mr. Edwards is truly a community servant and his involvement is extensive and quite varied, including: Motivational Speaker for community events; workshop presentations to youth on empowerment, college and career readiness and Dress to Impress; volunteer in annual toy collection and distribution, Community Easter Egg Hunt for children and prostrate screening fairs. Additionally, he has served on the Search Committee for the new CEO for the Boys and Girls Club, former volunteer football coach at Bayshore High School, Palmetto High School, Southeast High School, and College Football Clinic coach.
Mr. Edwards' professional affiliations include the Association for Curriculum Development (ASCD) and Advanced Ed. Accreditation Committee, as a team member in the accreditation process for schools. He was also selected to serve as a member of the original Strategic Planning Team for the School District of Manatee County.
Mr. Edwards believes it was his upbringing that has gotten him to where he is in life. He was taught by his mother who was taught by her grandmother, that you treat people how you want to be treated; that you do what is right even though it may not be what is popular; and that you look to the hills from which come your help - for your help comes from the Lord.
An Urban Designer with a professional background in architecture and urban design, Elma is a Maker of Special Places. A designer at heart, she works to advance the relationship between urban-design and the social equity of places. With over 17 years of experience, Elma has worked on a variety of global projects at every scale. Her research includes topics on resiliency, liveable communities, sustainable development and public engagement. She most recently served as the Manager of Long-Range Planning and Neighborhood Services at Sarasota County and previously as a Project Director and Town Planner at Dover, Kohl, and Associates, a consulting firm known for thoughtfully designed and resilient communities.
Derek has been in the Suncoast area since 2002. He grew up in the Bradenton area. He is married to his incredible wife Maria, and they are blessed to have a one-year-old son, Derek Mathias.
Derek graduated from the University of South Florida in 2016 with an Undergraduate degree in economics and finance. Since graduation, Derek has owned and operated a financial planning firm with Northwestern Mutual. He then continued his educational path at the American College of Financial services where he completed his Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant, and culminating in receiving his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional designation in December of 2021. Derek attended the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and completed the CIMA Education program.
Derek serves in his local Rotary club, helping the community in a variety of service projects. His team sponsors a portion of Webber Road and organizes regular road clean ups. Him and his team also raise funds and support the Humane Society of Sarasota County. He and Maria are active members of the local community and enjoy gallivanting around Sarasota with their one-year-old.
Carlos Portillo, is the Director of Ministry & Juvenile Justice Ministry Director for Suncoast Youth for Christ. He has worked with hundreds of system-involved youth throughout Manatee County. Carlos spends his days advocating for youth in court rooms, visiting youth who are incarcerated, helping navigate youth through probation, and mentoring youth towards their goals. He is passionate about creating spaces for these youth to succeed, create memories, and find purpose. Carlos is married to Kalli and they have two chihuahuas, Taco & Teeka. Carlos loves traveling, reading, and running.
Larissa Lippe is an advocate for youth empowerment and educational equality and has been since she was 16. Born and raised in Sarasota, Larissa is the founder, owner, and CEO of Smart Kids Tutor LLC and The Smart Kids Tutor Foundation. As organizations run for students, by students, Smart Kids Tutor offers teens the opportunity to make meaningful change, inspiring students through the power of learning.
Larissa founded Smart Kids Tutor during her junior year at Riverview High School as an International Baccalaureate student, where she graduated at the top of her class in 2022. In May 2022, she became the youngest-ever inductee into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame with the Future Hall of Famer award. She is a current student at Emory University.
Chase Pettey, the 32-year-old founder of Adventure For All rarely, if ever, took the expected societal route. He always had this fire within him to follow his intuition and live this one life to his fullest. After graduating high school, he attended Columbia College in Missouri for three years, changing his major three times before he dropped out and headed off to Florida at 21 with his entrepreneurial spirit.
His spirit was tested multiple times, as is every person with big dreams. At his 25th birthday (quarter life crisis) that he decided to climb Mount Baker in Washington State. It was on this climb that only he and one other person out of the 14 trekked through a snowstorm all the way to the peak. Chase gives that moment on the peak credit for where he is today. “That moment was everything. It showed me the gift that comes from battling emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual challenges. I didn't know the answer yet, but I knew that feeling was what I wanted to give to the world.”
Chase is a believer in using fear and challenges as a compass to growth. It's because of this mindset that Adventure For All and its mission exist. Chase has a vision to redefine the human potential for those with exceptionalities. On this journey he will inspire a movement that shows the power of inclusion within communities and believing in one another! It starts with inclUSion.
A life-long adventurer of imaginary worlds, Shannon Live knew her path would someday include advocating for creativity. After studying English Literature and Public Relations at Howard Payne University, Live worked in various fields as a Marketing Director, Retail Sales Manager, and a Reading/Writing Specialist. In her spare time, she continued to pursue creative endeavors such as writing Young Adult novels and comic books, working as a professional cosplay model for video game companies, and helping to create a YouTube show based on comic characters.
In 2018, she brought it all together when she co-founded Bat City Comic Professionals, a 501(c)(3) non-profit comic book store that focuses on cultivating reading, writing, art, and imagination skills for young people. As President and Director of Outreach at Bat City, Live works with schools, libraries, and organizations such as the Girl Scouts of America and the Boys & Girls Club to develop programming that inspires creative learning using comic books as the primary resource. Through comic creation student workshops, content and resource development, and Comics in the Classroom educator seminars, Live is hoping to inspire a new generation to find their voice and an artistic outlet to express it through.
Phillippe Diederich is the author of the Young Adult novels “Diamond Park,” Dutton, 2022; “Playing for the Devil's Fire,” Cinco Puntos Press, 2016, which was named the 2017 Best Young Adult novel by the Texas Institute of Letters, and 2017 Young Adult Library Services Association Best Fiction for Young Adults; and “Sofrito,” Cinco Puntos Press, 2015. His Middle Grade novel, “Lalo Lespérance Never Forgot” will be available in the fall of 2023. He currently teaches fiction writing in the MFA creative writing program at Goddard College.
The son of Haitian exiles, Diederich was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Mexico City and Miami. During the 1990's he worked as a photojournalist, covering news and feature assignments in the U.S. and Latin America for national publications.
In 2017 Diederich was awarded the PEN Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. His short fiction has been nominated for 4 Pushcart Prizes. He is the recipient of the Chris O'Malley Prize for Fiction from the Madison Review, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, a Florida Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs, and a John Ringling Towers Grant in Literature from the Sarasota County Artist Alliance.
Kevin McNulty is co-founder and president of NetWeave Social Networking, a digital marketing agency in Palmetto, Florida. He is also a professor of digital marketing at State College of Florida as well as teaching social media and marketing to entrepreneurs at SCF's 26 West Center.
Kevin is a frequent speaker for the Florida Attractions Association, Florida Association of Museums, Florida Festivals & Events Association, and the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. He has been a guest lecturer at the University of South Florida, New College, and St. Leo University, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Florida Festivals & Events Association. His 14 years in social media give him a substantial foundation in business communication while keeping him at the forefront of the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, including the use of emerging artificial intelligence technologies.
Kevin received his degree in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton, where he was also a research assistant in industrial and marketing psychology. Before co-founding NetWeave in 2009, he worked for over 20 years in corporate training and communications and served in the US Army.