Speakers Announced for 2017 TEDxLizardCreek



Katherine Amey (Ashtabula, OH) – Assistant Professor of Geography & Geology at Kent State at Ashtabula

Jacquelne Gee (Ashtabula, OH) – Lecturer of American Sign Language (ASL) & Deaf Culture and Community at Kent State University Main Campus, Sorenson Video Relay Interpreter

 The Chasm Facing U.S. American Deaf Education and Culture

The talk will suggest ideas for bridging the chasm that exists between profoundly Deaf U.S. Americans and education/culture. We will simultaneously be presenting in tandem in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). In this way, our points will be communicated effectively to both the hearing and Deaf community in their first language. As both a hearing and Deaf society, we need to bridge the gaps in language and literacy, peripheral learning, interpretation of the visual world, and Deaf culture and history. These barriers to education and culture are now due to lack of recognition that educational needs have shifted because Deaf culture has changed. Within the last two generations, our society has moved from a Deaf residential institutional education to mainly a mainstreaming education relying on interpretation. This bilingual bicultural societal shift has resulted in a gap in language and literacy so it is possible that Deaf students enrolled at the university level don’t know English, and the average age for national level reading English remains at a third grade level. A second gap in education is peripheral learning, or incidental information, which may be completely missing from the Deaf child’s education.



Sharlene Provilus (Raleigh, NC) – artist, entrepreneur, writer and speaker

Your Voice Has Value

We all have something in common. We all have a voice. Within our voice contains stories of exceptional value. This inherent value creates an opportunity for common ground which leads to further connection. The connections we develop based on the shared value of and similarities between our stories (our voices) becomes a bridge that closes the relationship gaps between individuals who may at one time thought they had nothing in common.





Elizabeth Dankoski (Asheville, NC) – Ivy League College Consultant, Founder and CEO of The Dream School Project

Inspiring Rebellion: From Convent to Ivy League Consultant 

For nearly two decades, Elizabeth Dankoski has worked as a college consultant, helping hundreds of students get into the nation’s top universities, including Harvard, MIT and Columbia, among many others. 75% of her students have been accepted into the top 20 universities, and 100% have been accepted into the top 40.
More important, however, she is the founder and CEO of The Dream School Project. After watching many students struggle with tremendous stress and overwork to achieve top grades and test scores only to receive waitlist letters far too often, she set out to transform the way we prepare students for college — and for life. She created The Dream School Project, a mentoring program that teaches students to develop a project that showcases their unique interests and serves their communities in a meaningful way. Her unusual approach of helping students discover what lights them up and how they can make an impact on their communities not only earns them extraordinary acceptance rates but also allows them to thrive in college and beyond.
Elizabeth holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an MFA from Bennington College. To learn more, please visit www.dreamschoolproject.com.


Robert Darling (Stafford, VA) – retired Marine officer, aviator, author, public speaker, and President and CEO of Quantitative Analytics, LLC, and Turning Point Crisis Management-USA, a crisis leadership, decision-making, and management consulting company located in Stafford, Virginia. 

You Are stronger Than You Know

 Each of us has tremendous potential… potential to do good and even great and wonderful things in our lives.  But too often that potential is never realized. We don’t turn our human potential into the what’s possible and then work on it until it becomes the probable.  Too often the great potential that exists in each of us lies dormant – untested and unproven, inexperienced and unexalted. After this talk you’ll no longer be able to blame your “indiscriminate destiny” or passivity in the face of potential on anyone except yourself.  You see… you oversee your destiny.  And, after tonight, you will leave with a road map and a bridge to become stronger than you know, smarter than you think and greater than you might have ever thought possible.  But it only works if you use it.  You’re in control.





Joel Goodwin(Oxford, NC) – Attending Surgeon and Medical Director, OmniPoint Surgical Associates

Emergency Surgery in Rural America: ER to OR to ICU

I will be discussing the alarming problem of the dwindling surgical specialist workforce in rural communities, why this is important, why this is not going to go away anytime soon, and practical strategies (bridges) we are using at LifePoint™ to assist, bolster, and maximize the efficiency of these professionals, doing more with fewer providers, thereby bridging the conventional past with innovative strategies so that we can continue to field effective surgical teams in rural communities in the future.



Gret Glyer (Fairfax, VA) – CEO of DonorSee, a tech startup 

“Are you a member of the global 1%?”

This talk will help Americans realize their relative position and privilege in the world and will help them understand the opportunity they have to make a massive impact in the lives of people all over the planet.




Mike Williams(Youngsville, NC) – teacher & social studies department chair Warren New Tech HS, JD NCCU

Live Local. Think Global

While living, investing and teaching local, the teacher-speaker has focused on broadening the perspective of his students by infusing his curricula with global-based connections, strategies and principles.





Jarod Haning (Columbia, SC) – performance coach, professional musician

Musical Secrets

A breakthrough in relationship starts with a breakthrough in your thinking. Because of the way the brain encodes language as emotion, shifting the conflict in     relationship is akin to speaking a new language.  What’s interesting here is that   the process that allows this to happen is the same process our brains use to make    sense of music.




Shaun Keesee (Warrenton, NC) – bio-intensive farmer

 Bridging the innovation gap between small scale and large scale growers

Small scale farming has seen a resurgence through consumer trends in food awareness. This niche demand has brought about returns to methods of growing and knowledge lost to our very recent mechanized methods of farming in the course of human agricultural history through necessity to the small grower with little capital and land. Interestingly enough, there have been proven small scale models that have not only taken on these economic challenges, but have actually increased revenues and margins substantially.


Melissa Kennedy(Raleigh, NC) – transformer, innovation facilitator, author

The Return of the INTRApreneur

We are going through a major transition. We are moving from an industry age (think assembly line, clear hand offs and dominant industry players) to an information age (think complexity, rapid change, technology enabled everything and a proliferation of startups disrupting the status quo).  And yet, we are still relying on the same leadership, systems, policies and culture of the 20th century within traditional organizations where the majority of the population works. We need a bridge between the eras.




 Peter Maeck (Raleigh, NC) – playwright/poet/photographer/corporate writer/ghostwriter

Gabriel Maeck  (Raleigh, NC) – licensed clinical social worker

Beautiful Dreamer

A dramatic sketch that illustrates how Gabriel Maeck, a clinical social worker, structures a therapy session in the way that Gabriel’s father, playwright Peter Maeck, designs a play. Gabriel’s unique “theatrical” approach casts his client not as an ailing patient, but as an intrepid, even heroic adventurer whose current trials do not reflects shame, guilt, or pathology, but instead show perfectly normal human reactions to abnormal stressors and traumatic prior events. By bridging the creative and psychotherapeutic arts, Gabriel shows his client – and his TEDx audience – a route toward appropriate ongoing care to address mental health issues longer-term.




 Preston Peterson (Purcellvile VA) – co-owner and founder of Sail the Seven C’s, LLC, leadership instructor, facilitator, consultant, and motivational speaker

Sail the Seven C’s—Navigate Life Awake at the Helm

Life is like a vast ocean, full of unforeseen dangers and difficulties, waters that we all must cross as the captains of our ship.  In essence, borrowing from the Sail the Seven Seas idiom, we must Sail the Seven C’s—Competing, Comparing, Chasing, Controlling, Complaining, Criticizing, and Clinging—in order to be truly present and awake at the helm of our ship, navigating our life in a conscious direction of our choosing.