2016 Speakers

We are excited to have a group of speakers who will share ideas on a variety of interesting topics. Our theme for 2016 is Passion In Motion, we will create a setting where ideas are re-examined and your current understanding may be challenged. TEDxSpokane has the same mission as TED and that is: “To spread ideas worth sharing.” We look forward to bringing people together from the Inland Empire to share ideas and generate new meaning and actions. Visit YouTube for a playlist.

Ryan Bart


Ryan BartThe Magic Man, has been infusing amazement in audiences large and small for over a decade. Ryan has vast performance experience both domestically and internationally. There is a difference between fooling people and amazing them and Ryan understands this subtle, yet distinct difference. Ryan is a bilingual magician (English and Spanish) based out of Claremont, CA. He is a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts (Magic Castle) in Hollywood, CA and a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. He will amaze you with both his magic and his passion regarding his work with Magicians Without Borders that began during his Fulbright Scholarship year in Colombia. Ryan spent his college years bringing hope to the children at Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital here in Spokane as he attended Gonzaga University and is now a 3rd year medical student at Western University of Health Sciences as well as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force. His magic, he says, is used as a metaphor for hope that the seemingly impossible is possible. His talk will be about cultivating magic by planting seeds of hope and sustainability.

Aaron Crumbaugh


Aaron Crumbaugh currently works as the Executive Chef at the Spokane Club, transforming the dining experience for appreciative guests and members alike. His new series of Chefs Week PNW events at the Club showcases the talents of celebrated chefs and sommeliers from around the world and is open to the public. Trained at the Cordon Bleu in California, Aaron’s culinary career took him to the Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, where he also worked as a private caterer. He has a bachelor’s in advertising from Michigan State, and played volleyball for the Spartans. Aaron has appeared on several reality TV shows, the most well known being the Amazing Race, Cutthroat Kitchen, and Food Network Star. He talks about his experience as a contestant on TV competitions and the insights gleaned from his work on reality TV that translate to real life.


W. Scott Lewis


W. Scott Lewis, J.D. is a partner with The NCHERM Group. He is a co-founder and advisory board member of ATIXA (the Association for Title IX Administrators) and NaBITA (the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association). Previously, he served as Special Advisor to Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, IN, as Associate Vice Provost at the University of South Carolina, and worked in Student Conduct and Residence Life at Texas A&M University. He also serves as faculty, teaching courses in Education, Law, Political Science, and Business. He has worked with the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women as a trainer and consultant, and was a consultant to the Office of the Vice President and the White House Task Force on issues of sexual misconduct and Title IX. Additionally, he works with athletes, coaches and administrators in athletics, working with Divisions I, II, III, NAIA and NJCAA athletics departments and athletes, as well as with the USOC and NCAA in the areas of sexual misconduct and gender equity in sport. Scott brings over twenty years of experience as a student affairs administrator, faculty member, and consultant in higher education. Everyone is going to experience trauma at some point. His talk will give you a better understanding of how to respond to someone that has experienced a trauma.

Greg Nokes


Greg Nokes has worked professionally with emerging technologies, networking and development for over 20 years, and has been involved in technology for over 30 years. He is an early adopter of just about every new curiosity that comes around, from BBS’s and the Internet, to Snapchat and Pokémon Go. He justifies this borderline obsession as research. His professional life has centered around developing solutions for business challenges as well as educating people about technology. He currently helps organizations learn how to use the power of the Cloud to transform themselves into app-first, customer-focused enterprises at Heroku, a Salesforce company. This will be an exciting talk about where we have been and what the future holds.

Michael Ebinger


Michael Ebinger, a WSU professor, is currently the Director of the WSU Center for Innovation. His efforts and interests include commercializing technical research and evaluating the economic feasibility of new ideas and products through marketing research, business strategies, and operations. Michael helped to develop a novel spectroscopic analysis of soil elements that employed laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and assisted climate change measurements. The soil methodology was granted a US patent in 2010 and a derivative of this technology is at work on Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity Rover. He leveraged his climate change research into pivotal policy development that was part of the foundation for greenhouse gas verification efforts during the Bush and Obama administrations. This information also formed the initial stages of key national security interests in climate change verification in denied-access territories. Michael remains an active classical musician as a student of viola and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Spokane Symphony Orchestra. As an academic, he is developing course material for Professional Science Masters programs on the WSU Spokane and Pullman campuses. His talk involves how intellectual wellness can be developed.

Salvatore Lorenzen


Salvatore Lorenzen has been in the classroom going on 15 years. In the past he’s earned a living repairing office equipment, working on classified communications systems for the US Navy, working on IT networks, personal computers, mini-computers, and has also worked on rollercoasters and amusement park rides. He has directed and coached robotics and technology teams, camps, and experiences from grades K-12 and every year tries to do something new and different. Salvatore enjoys the challenge of learning a new technology or a system that challenges him in a new way and believes that the ‘fun’ comes in the challenge, which allows for creativity. Personally, his biggest challenge to date is teaching others. Teaching allows him to empower others and help them down the path of their own success which is a challenge in itself as it is never the same; every year is different, every class is different, and every student is different. He presently teaches Advanced Engineering Applications at Spokane Valley Tech and is a Master Teacher for Project Lead The Way. Sal’s talk will be about changing lives and teaching technology at the same time.

Hunter Skoien


Hunter Skoien is a recent high school graduate with a background in engineering and computer science and will be beginning his college career this winter in order to obtain a Computer Science degree. Hunter enjoys computer science, such as coding, as well as the art of creating and building a variety of things from prosthetics to robots. During high school, Hunter helped build a prosthetic hand for a veteran, an experience he will share in his talk.  During his senior year at Spokane Valley Tech, Hunter was ranked 4th in the nation for Mobile Robotics. Hunter made his own robot that allows the user to type and see the code at the same time. 

Mikayla Scharnhorst


Mikayla Scharnhorst is Miss Spokane for 2016. A senior studying pre-med at Whitworth University, Mikayla has been dancing since she was a little girl and will perform a ballet routine that depicts passion in motion from a dancer’s perspective. Mikayla hopes to go into pediatrics, having spent much of her childhood in hospitals herself. She is grateful for the lessons learned while being healed by compassionate caregivers and hopes to care for and inspire future patients of all ages. 

Mike & Hailey Poutiatine


Mike and his daughter Hailey have in common a love of all things written. Both Mike and Hailey share a love of poetry and prose that inspire, challenge and encourage. Often the two of them can be found in a bookstore playing a favorite game with the stacks; who can find the best first line on the shelf. Mike is a professor of leadership and education and has taught in schools of various kinds for 30 years. Mike also works with school development as a consultant and advocate for 21st Century education. Hailey is 17, a high school Junior, and an aspiring singer/songwriter who can often be seen preforming at local open-mic nights. Mike and Hailey will be bringing you a mixed-media presentation about one of their favorite 13th century Sufi poets, Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, who is an enlightening example of passion in motion.

Brady Cass


Brady Cass is a healthcare industry veteran with over twenty five years of experience in serving complex market segments within the health insurance field. He has been with Cambia Health Solutions for over a decade where he serves as the President of the Spokane based Asuris Northwest Health. Prior to joining Asuris, he was Vice President of Sales for Marsh USA and held various leadership positions with QualMed Washington Health Plan. As President of Asuris, Brady is accountable for business and market development, strategic account management, community engagement activities, marketing, and general office administration. A lifetime resident of the State of Washington, Brady holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Eastern Washington University and both Managed Health Care (MHP) and Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) designations from the American College. As an active member of the Spokane business and civic community, Brady currently serves on the board of directors of Greater Spokane Inc. and is the board chair for Camp STIX Diabetes Programs. In addition, he has served on the regional boards of the American Red Cross, JDRF, Boy Scouts of America, PrimeSource Credit Union, the Holy Family Hospital Foundation, and is a former member of the Wenatchee Youth Circus. Brady is a frequent public speaker at industry and community functions as well as charitable events focusing on health care, children’s issues, and embracing organizational change. Brady’s talk will be about leadership lessons from a plumber’s son.

Faridah Gbadamosi


Faridah Gbadamosi describes herself as a Black Woman Geek, each term central to her identity. She is a writer, producer, and filmmaker, originally from New York, who is a very proud alum from the University of Pennsylvania. Faridah’s long-term goal is to build her own film festival that focuses on low budget filmmaking that highlights emerging voices from marginalized communities. For now she is content hopping from festival to festival, working at as many she can while also working as a freelance writer. Faridah is also an avid traveler whose travel experiences have shaped how she approaches interactions in her chosen field of media. She has traveled through over 20 countries and with each new experience another layer of understanding is added to not only her worldview but also her understanding of the spaces she inhabits and the roles she can and has played within them. Faridah’s talk will be about racial realities through a millennial writer’s lens.

Zachary Maxwell


Zachary Maxwell is a fourteen-year-old documentary filmmaker attending public school in New York City.  Zachary began screening his work in film festivals at the age of eight. His award-winning films “Yuck!” and “Anatomy of a Snow Day” have drawn international media coverage. Zachary has been featured in Newsweek, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post and The New York Times. He has spoken at the U.S. Library of Congress and made guest appearances on National Public Radio, Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In 2016, Zachary traveled internationally with the American Film Showcase, a film diplomacy partnership with the U.S. Department of State and the University Of Southern California School Of Cinematic Arts. His films and accompanying workshops encourage young people to use creativity as a method of civic engagement and a way to spark meaningful change in one’s community. Zachary recently launched his own production company, Maxwell Project, LLC. Zac’s talk will be about young people effecting change in the government.

Linda Seppa-Salisbury


Linda Seppa-Salisbury. Linda’s fifty year career as an educator includes teaching high school speech and drama, teaching life-changing communication classes at an inner city middle school, teaching at three universities, and finally teaching communication studies classes for forty years at her beloved career home, Spokane Community College (SCC). Linda, in a recent interview, stated “Every single college student should be learning how to communicate more effectively. They desperately need classes like Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, Intercultural Communication, Gender Communication and Conflict Management.” One SCC student described Linda as “the most passionate person and educator I have ever met. When you take a class from Linda, your life will be changed for the better.” While Linda is the recipient of teaching awards such as Professor of the Year for all four year and two year colleges and universities in Washington State, as well as a silver medalist for National Professor of the Year, Linda constantly points to all of the amazing teachers everywhere who give so much to their students. In her talk, Linda will share how to bring love into the classroom to transform students and teacher alike.

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