2019 Speakers


My name is Mark Anderson. I’m a poet, and Spokane’s most recent poet laureate. I’ve been performing poetry and organizing poetry events in Spokane for over a decade. I’m one of the co-founders of the cult classic Broken Mic readings series, as well as several other events. I’ve traveled all across the country performing in coffee shops, schools, poetry slams, bars, parks, and basements.


Kiantha is an avid writer, artist and philanthropist. In her profession she serves as a Program Officer at Empire Health Foundation. For over 20 years Kiantha has been recognized nationally as a community advocate, mobilizer and leader. As a former foster child having experienced traumatic Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Kiantha’s lived experience, passion and long standing commitment to leadership serve as drivers for both her personal and professional life. As a speaker, columnist, author and radio personality Kiantha enjoys helping others actualize their potential in the aftermath of having experienced trauma. YouTube Video Here


Linda Lawrence Hunt is co-founder of the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, an award-winning author, and former professor and director of the Writing Program at Whitworth University. A graduate of the University of Washington, she earned her Ph.D. from Gonzaga University. As the mother of a 25-year-old daughter who was killed while volunteering in Bolivia, plus a two-time cancer survivor, she has a strong interest in exploring the inner resources that give people resilience, strength and purpose. YouTube Video Here


Karli Ingersoll is a Spokane native, a designer, artist and arts organizer. She co-owns The Bartlett and Lucky You Lounge and is a songwriter/musician in several local bands including Super Sparkle, Cathedral Pearls and her solo project Windoe. She’s worked the past six years as a Spokane Arts Commissioner and runs the blog Collect to encourage and bolster the local arts scene. YouTube Video Here


I am a National Board-certified teacher at Moses Lake High school, and my students keep telling me I need to write a book or give a TED talk. I don’t think this is because of who I am, but because of who they are. This year, their argumentative research projects answer the question: What is it like to be a member of the class of 2020? Topics range from the lack of mental health counseling to the emerging mercantile nature of teen sexuality. Their stories reach down inside your core, draw the contents of your chest up through your sinus cavity, and lodge the debris somewhere behind your prefrontal cortex. They are beautiful and powerful and broken and patched together in ways that allow the best light of humanity to shine through them. YouTube Video Here


Erin is an investor, strategist, keynote speaker and coach. Much of her working life was spent in Chicago, first as a fundraising executive and then as a private banker at JPMorgan. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and French from Bates College and her MBA in Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. More recently, she served as an independent corporate director for a technology company based in Denver, and for a privately-held brain health company in Chicago.

Erin speaks to corporate and non-profit audiences on business topics including “Equal Pay for Equal Work: Trends, Legislation and Best Practices,” “Confidence: Tales and Techniques to Disrupt Your Status Quo,” “Disrupt the Pay Gap: Groupthink Hurts Equal Pay,” and “10 Things Your MBA Won’t Teach You.” She teaches Global Strategic Management in Whitworth University’s MBA program and helped establish Whitworth’s Leadership360 Speaker Series.

For the past six years, Erin has coached North Idaho XC, a Jr. Olympic team comprised of 30 elite youth runners including 13 All-Americans. Erin grew up in Maine. She currently lives near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. YouTube Video Here


Benjamin is a Spokane native living in Los Angeles. He is a board-certified behavior analyst providing behavioral and organizational consulting. He currently serves as the Director of Programs at Exceptional Minds, a vocational program training adults with autism to work in visual effects and animation. The program has afforded these artists the opportunity to work on projects such as Black PantherAvengers: End GameStar Wars, and Game of Thrones to name a few. He has nearly finished his PhD (ABD) in applied behavior analysis but has been working in the field of autism for 15 years. Benjamin has seen first-hand the struggles that individuals with autism and their families have faced exiting the educational system and transitioning into the workforce. He is committed to making a difference for this population by trying to create opportunities for meaningful participation in the workforce and society more broadly. YouTube Video Here


Abby Miller is a consultant specializing in developing effective, nutritious school meal programs for rural communities throughout Eastern Washington. As a registered dietitian, she focuses her work on educating faculties and students alike on everything from scratch cooking skills to the nutritional importance of fresh produce. As a mother of two young girls, she is passionate about child nutrition education and the important role that food has in the social, emotional, mental, and physical development of children. YouTube Video Here


I am a freelance author whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic, NY Times and elsewhere, on topics ranging from computer chess programming to the evolution of whales to the international conspiracy of olive oil fraudsters.  My new book explores the social, legal, and psychological history of whistleblowing. The rise of the whistleblower is a reaction to growing corruption in the US over the last 50 years, driven by the normalization of fraud; the unhealthy melding of public and private spheres; the 2008 financial crisis; and post-9/11 wars. The whistleblower’s newfound legal and moral authority shows that America’s moral compass has wavered – can we only trust this handful of freelance truth-tellers? – but also points the way to a healthier nation.YouTube Video Here


My name is Nicolette Ocheltree and I’m a philosopher from Spokane, Washington. I went to college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and graduate school at Columbia University in New York. When I am not working on my new book, I am probably talking someone’s ear off about current affairs or spending time with my bearded dragon and chickens. YouTube Video Here


Ryan Oelrich is an artist, advocate, and community builder. He serves as the Executive Director of Priority Spokane, a nationally recognized collective impact organization, and he’s a Culture of Health Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was awarded the Peirone Prize for service in 2016, and he’s received congressional recognition for his work on poverty and homelessness issues. Oelrich built a Hobbit house which serves as the office for his consulting business, and he’s founded 3 nonprofits focused on youth development. He’s an advocate for healthy communities and increased collaboration. This is Ryan’s 2nd TEDx talk, and he’s proudly married to Robert Thompson who’s also presenting at this year’s TEDx Spokane event.” YouTube Video Here


Carla Shayman was born and raised in southwest Florida where she was active in gymnastics and other sports growing up. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Health with a minor in Exercise Science from the University of North Florida and then received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Northeastern University in Boston. Carla now works as a physical therapist with a board certification in orthopedics. She has had a lifelong passion for staying physically active and loves spreading that passion to others. She is committed to showing others how to use movement as medicine and incorporate physical activity and stretching into their daily lives. YouTube Video Here


Robert Thompson is an artist, actor, athlete, and entertainer who lives at the intersection of a multitude of socially constructed spaces. He’s performed in shows at Lake City Play House, the Modern Theater, and Stage Left. Robert works in development for the City of Spokane, is a graduate of Arizona State University, and is a co-founder of the Spokane Sidewalk Games project. Robert is proudly married to Ryan Oelrich, and together they are the fathers of one puppy, two goats, and five chickens. They are both presenting at this year’s TEDx Spokane event.
“Cordelia is a scholar, artist and entertainer from Spokane WA. Cordelia began performing locally in 2011 and though she continues to make occasional appearances, she has taken time away from the stage to gain her degree in political science and criminal justice. She is particularly interested in post modern theories of personality and the creation of identity.”  YouTube Video Here
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