Doug is our organizer and chief idea wrangler who won wide acclaim as chairman of the group that organized the Riverside Arts Market. His professional career was in the airline and travel industry as founder and CEO of Coleman Travel Corporation and Coleman Ski Tours. Doug is an artist and a sailor, who with his wife crossed the Atlantic and sailed on to 16 European countries and Turkey. He is a skier and founder of the Jacksonville Ski Club. He is beyond proud of the brilliant team that makes TEDxJacksonville such a life-changing organization.
Sabeen moved to Jacksonville in 2011 and has fallen in love with the city. She is Executive Producer of TEDxJacksonville and has been with the organization since it started.
In addition to leading important community dialogue through TEDxJacksonville, Sabeen is the Executive Director of Florida Nonprofit Alliance, a statewide coalition of nonprofits focused on research, collaboration and advocacy. Her career has centered on empowering individuals through education at Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Vital Voices and Pace Center for Girls. In 2013, she moved to Cambodia for six months to implement an Early Childhood Education program with Aide et Action. In addition, she is on the board of UNF’s School of Engineering and Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville. She is also a member of Jacksonville Women’s Network, Women’s Giving Alliance and a mentor with City Year.
Sabeen was born in Karachi, Pakistan and raised in New York City. An avid traveler, she has lived on three continents, visited 35 countries, and hopes to visit at least 100 countries in her lifetime because, as Rick Steves said in his TED talk, “Travel wallops ethnocentricity.”
Yvette Angelique Hyater-Adams, MA-TLA is a writer, teaching-artist, and a proven change management strategist for national and global businesses. She blends creative writing and qualitative research to support scholars and SMEs in writing and communicating in imaginative, simplistic, and engaging ways. Yvette is known for designing culture change strategies with Fortune 500 companies, and her work and accomplishments are notable and recognized in a Harvard Business case study as a best practice. As a highly sought-after executive coach, Yvette runs Narratives for Change, LLC where she helps leaders and their teams use narrative models to promote transparency and positive framing to enhance organizational culture. Embracing “all things narrative” as her work in the world, Yvette enjoys projects that span from writing for social action, teaching creative writing, developing leaders, story collecting through narrative inquiry and facilitating community change
Chase moved to Jacksonville to earn his Bachelors of Science in Statistics from UNF in 2012. He now is an Industrial Engineer at Crowley Maritime where he works on projects that lead him to travel around the US and Central America. He’s an avid podcast listener, reader, and TED enthusiast. Above all, Chase is proud to serve with the TEDxJacksonville team and spread the team’s vision of what Jacksonville can be.
Amie is a lover and enthusiastic advocate of all things Jacksonville, enjoying the city’s rich resources both indoors and out. She has worn many hats throughout her impressive business career, from stockbroker to human resources and hospital administrator to Finance Director for MOCA. She is an avid runner at the beaches and in town, and participates in as many area running events as her knees and busy schedule will allow. You’re likely to find Amie enjoying fútbol or football with a local craft beer, or sipping a bold red at the Jacksonville Symphony. Her work at TEDxJacksonville allows her to contribute to her favorite city and engage her vast network of friends and business associates in the TEDxJacksonville vision.
Gary is a former music journalist who co-owned and operated a small Midwestern independent record label. After 25 years in the sports business spent running through airports, Gary has returned to his passion: music. He is the President of VIP Productions, which produces quality, listener-friendly concerts on Florida’s First Coast. Along with an obscene record/CD, DVD and book library, Gary benefits from outdoor activities including running, biking and kayaking.
Jane was principal of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts during its formative early years, and was the founding principal of LaVilla School of the Arts. Now that Jane is retired, she loves spending time traveling, playing with friends and family, catching up with former students on Facebook, and working as a member of the TEDxJacksonville team.
Heather Downs is an accomplished sociology professor at Jacksonville University. She holds graduate degrees in Communication and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a graduate student she taught public speaking for five years and was recognized for teaching excellence at the university level. After completing her doctorate, she taught one of the largest sociology classes in the United States where her lectures regularly drew 700-800 students. In search of warmer weather, she relocated to Atlantic Beach five years ago. In her free time she enjoys reading, walking her dog and trying new restaurants.
Tessa moved to Jacksonville to join the staff at The Florida Times-Union as the education, children and families reporter in December 2014. It didn’t take long for the life-long Kentuckian to fall in love with the Bold City. Her reporting on the transformation of a troubled, urban school led to her busting the myths of “bad schools” as a speaker at TEDxJacksonville in 2015. Motivated by the mission of TEDx, Tessa joined the team in 2016 to launch the alumni liaison position and to connect TED talks with community news and events for social media. She graduated with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and sociology from Western Kentucky University in December 2013, and spent a year reporting on education from the dusty oil fields of West Texas before moving to the Sunshine State. Connect with her on Twitter at @TessaDuvall.
Ashlea was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Growing up, Ashlea had an eye for travel and culture. This, in part, was due to her Belizean heritage and traveling to Belize at least once a year to visit. These visits, although full of family, opened Ashlea’s eyes to the struggles of others.
With her family in her heart, Ashlea became a Suicide Prevention Crisis Counselor and United Way Information and Referral Specialist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, helping to provide coping mechanisms for individual’s everyday life as well as during hurricane relief and recovery. This social work quest collided with Ashlea’s legal interests when Ashlea was offered a position in the Headquarters Board of Appeal department of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland (something of a bucket list moment), which opened her eyes to issues on an international scale.
Recently, Ashlea began her career as an Associate Attorney at GrayRobinson, P.A. here in Jacksonville, FL. As a young attorney, Ashlea is still developing her practice areas within the realms of civil and commercial litigation, and occasionally commercial transactions. In an attempt to make Jacksonville her new home, Ashlea has immersed herself in the community. Ashlea sits on the Board of Governors for the Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association as well as on the Florida Coastal School of Law Alumni Board, is a 2016-17 Associate Member of the Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, and is now being welcomed into the TEDxJacksonville family.
After being a TED fan for some time, Ashlea’s discovery of and journey with TEDxJacksonville thus far has been truly (in the words of Nat King Cole) unforgettable.
A Jacksonville native, Ashley received her BA in English from the University of Florida in 2009 and her Masters in Health Administration from the University of Florida in 2011. With work experience in public policy and health care that has taken her from DC to Miami, Ashley currently works in hospital operations management for Baptist Health.
In her spare time, she runs the political blog <href=”http://modern-conservative.net/”>modern-conservative.net that seeks to give voice to moderate voters. Ashley loves 90s rock, synth pop, old black and white movies, modernist literature, sewing clothes, running, yoga, and promenading along the St. Johns River.
Tom Gentry is an Architect and Vice President at TTV Architects, Inc. He earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Architecture from the Ohio State University and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
His portfolio runs the gamut of building design; from new commerical building design, to residential kitchen renovations, to multi-million dollar hospital renovations and retrofits. He relishes the challenge of finding the design solutions that balance the technical requirements with the aesthetic appearance. He enjoys puzzles and tinkering to figure out how and why things work.
Raised in Indiana, it has only taken him 9 years to adjust to Florida’s humidity.
Carol has devoted her entire career to education, first as a middle school language arts teacher at Episcopal School of Jacksonville and now serving for 24 years as professor of English and Public Speaking at Florida State College at Jacksonville. Carol’s driving passion is to empower people to discover their talents and develop the voice to use them. Carol also does private speech coaching for teens and adults, from reducing anxiety to refining presentation skills.
Carol’s contribution to the TEDxJacksonville team centers around her passion for communication: she serves as coach for many of the speakers and provides guidelines for the other coaches. Carol thinks the impact of the TED movement has the power to change the world through personal and political enlightenment in a way that nothing else can. She is honored to have the opportunity to share in bringing TED to Jacksonville, a city on the verge of greatness.
A Washington, D.C. native, Jean came to Jacksonville via New York, where she was a book editor at Time Warner and then Penguin Books. Specializing in commercial fiction and non-fiction, she has worked with over 100 published authors, including many with extended stays on the NYT bestseller list.
In recent years, she has committed herself to neighborhood activism and community service, serving as marketing & outreach coordinator on several boards, including Riverside Avondale Preservation and The Jacksonville Historical Society. In addition to her work with TEDxJacksonville, she has held leadership positions in many local non-profits, including chairing Delicious Destinations, a three-day gourmet food-and-wine extravaganza that benefits The St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation. Her husband, Richard, is a surgeon with JOI; their twins, Sophie and Nick, go to Episcopal and find it beyond silly that their mom is on the computer way more than they are.
Ron is a creative director, designer & big picture thinker. He approaches things from both a creative and strategic method of problem solving. With both his involvement in TEDxJacksonville and AIGA Jacksonville, the professional association for design, he works to make connections in the city to help illustrate the importance of design thinking and creative ideas. His strategic eye helps make TEDxJacksonville events an innovative space to attend and engage in.
David is a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, proud Stanton Prep grad, University of North Florida Osprey (Swoop!) and former reporter. After working at The Florida Times-Union in many roles and as the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Folio Weekly, David left journalism to become the Design & Social Media Manager at JAX Chamber. He still takes on an occasional freelance assignment, covering local arts or sports. David loves Northeast Florida’s outdoors from the rivers to the ocean and serves on the board of the Friends of the GTM Reserve in St. Johns County. He enjoys movies, puzzles and movies that are filmed like puzzles (see: “Memento”); he can solve a Rubik’s Cube in a little more than 2 minutes. He loves to travel, has been on two mission trips to Peru and has attended three of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments as well as the 2012 Summer Olympics. His second favorite city in the world is London. His favorite? Jacksonville.
Stuck between the “Jacksonville Native” and the “Jacksonville Transplant” buckets, Miya was born in San Francisco, CA, raised in Albuquerque, NM, and graduated from Nease High School in Jacksonville. She attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate and graduate studies, earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in finance and her master’s in information systems and operations management. By day she works in technology at a financial services corporation, by night she is a home cook and food blogger, obsessing over local food and drink. Miya loves Jacksonville’s unique history and thriving culture and is excited about the growth and development that is currently taking place in our city. When Miya is not snapping pics of (or eating) her food, she can be found snuggled on the couch with a glass of wine and a good book.
Growing up, Tiffany moved almost every year, covering the span of Florida from top to bottom. This untraditional upbringing made her adaptable to change and has given her confident ease when meeting new people. After serving in the US Navy, she completed her degree in Business at Jacksonville University. Today she runs a successful photography studio where she strives to find the light within each and every one of her subjects by creating a happy environment in which people are free to express themselves, spontaneously.
Harolyn has been meshing education and drama for 35 years. With degrees in theatre and experience in acting, directing and teaching, she has taught students from elementary school to college level in how to use their voice and body for clearer communication. She has coached and facilitated staff development for elementary and middle school teachers in thirteen Midwestern and Eastern states in how to use the arts in the classroom to engage students in learning and deepen their understanding of content.
Harolyn has performed for professional and community theatres, and directed 18 productions for adults and children in community theatres in KY, IN, and FL. She has performed her one woman show of costumed characters for clubs, conventions, and churches in FL, KY, GA, IN and NJ.
This is her seventh year as a full time faculty member at Florida State College at Jacksonville, Kent Campus, teaching speech and communication. She has created and directed three Readers Theatre productions for FSCJ.
Harolyn is honored to be a part of the TEDx Jacksonville team a second year and contribute to its work through coaching speakers.
Sarah Clarke Stuart is an English professor at Florida State College at Jacksonville and an author of both fiction and non-fiction. Her published works include Literary Lost: Viewing Television Through the Lens of Literature (Continuum Books, January 2011), Into the Looking Glass: Exploring the Worlds of Fringe (ECW, 2011), and short works of fiction. Raised in Tallahassee, she lived in New York and Atlanta before settling in the Jacksonville area seven years ago. Currently she resides in Neptune Beach with her two children and spends her free time dabbling in improvisational drama, music, filmmaking, and urban farming.
Ale’ta Turner is an entrepreneur and Jacksonville native that serves others within the community. She has a degree in public relations from the University of Central Florida. Throughout life, Ale’ta has always confided in pen and paper when words were better left unspoken. She has a love for creative writing and event planning. Ale’ta enjoys going on family adventures with her husband, Glenn and son, Zion. She’s excited to join the TEDxJacksonville team because she’s a firm believer that everyone has a story to tell.