TEDx Portsmouth 2019 Team

LEADERSHIP TEAM

Anna Goldsmith, Co-Organizer & Licensee

Anna Goldsmith, Co-Organizer & Licensee

Role on the team: The decider, the email-answerer, the one who lies awake at night worrying if this year’s event will be a success.

 Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 4

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I’m a partner at The Hired Pens (www.thehiredpens.com), a copywriting agency with offices in Boston and Portsmouth. When I am not writing or working on TEDxPortsmouth, I am either playing Monopoly or soccer with my two young sons or lying on the couch watching high-quality television with my husband.

Favorite TED Talk ever: In the spirit of bringing more levity to the stage this year, one of my favorite recent talks was from scientist and investor Simone Giertz: “Why You Should Make Useless Things.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: As a writer, there is nothing more satisfying about seeing these talks go from rough ideas to polished speeches. By show time, I know these talks by heart and follow along in my head as our speakers hit their marks. I’m always so proud of them!

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? How about Eleanor Roosevelt talking about gender identity?

Amy Sterndale, Co-Organizer

Amy Sterndale, Co-Organizer

Role on the team: Approve and applaud everyone else’s cool ideas. Troubleshoot. Cheerlead. Bring a mop when there’s a spill.

 Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 2

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I’m a communications consultant at Sterndale Strategic and I bake bread.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Joe Smith: “How to Use One Paper Towel.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I love working with a can-do, inspired, creative community to make people’s brains explode in a full, gorgeous day of huge ideas.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Eleanor Roosevelt on unfulfilled dreams.

Heather Franas, Senior Project Manager

Heather Franas, Senior Project Manager

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? On top of working full-time in customer relations for a local software company, I manage a house full of four kids, a husband, and a dog.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Colin Stokes: “How Movies Teach Manhood.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I love how this huge global brand is accessible to everyone and anyone willing to collect speakers and hold an event and that these talks are not lectures, or drawn-out stories, but personal observations that the rest of us can also become aware of.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? I think our society is in need of historic closure on a lot of different topics. And I would love to see historical “villains” return and apologize. I want to see Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson talk about how wrong they were about slavery, how wrong they were about succession from the Union, how wrong they were to lead an army to defeat, and how much they realize that loving humanity as a whole makes the world a stronger, happier place. I’d like them to tell me that there is a “return from a point.” (Too corny?)

Kaarin Olofsson Milne, Long-Term Sustainabilitye, Long-Term Sustainability

Kaarin Olofsson Milne, Long-Term Sustainabilitye, Long-Term Sustainability

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Operations Director at Planet Rangers, an inspired program that helps kids discover the awesomeness in the world, in themselves, and in the people around them on their path from second to twelfth grade. Off-times? I’m likely feeding friends, gardening, or adventuring with family.

Favorite TED Talk ever: My favorite isn’t really “a” talk but the seemingly endless “collection” of talks. It’s an opportunity to discover new perspectives on numerous topics and ideas from people of all backgrounds who are united by their love of listening, learning, questioning, sharing, and growing — at any time. I really enjoyed a talk by Manuel Lima called “A Visual History of Human Knowledge” about how the way we represent information mirrors and/or shapes our understanding.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: That it attracts and unites so many amazing people! A committee that is packed with interesting, team-playing individuals who are fully committed to bringing the most exciting big ideas to our local TEDx stage. Potential speakers who are passionate in their varied fields, ready to spark more ideas and perspectives in others. Our creative and energized community of attendees who are receptive to new thinking and ready to open dialogues related to the talks they experience. And our sponsors who enable and support the whole process. It’s a truly massive group effort and exciting to be a part of.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Albert Einstein on how to restructure the U.S. political/governmental system. Wangari Maathai, Kenyan environmental-political activist and Nobel laureate, on organizing individuals and engendering resilience in the face of powerful opposition. Paulo Coelho on an insight I haven’t yet realized.

COMMUNICATIONS TEAM

John Breneman, Editorial Director

John Breneman, Editorial Director

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? CEO and Creative Director of a creative studio I just created, I have historically paid the bills as a journalist and marketing copywriter/editor (Vital Design). Passionate about the power of words and ideas to inspire and delight, I am convinced that in a past (or future) life, I was (or will be) a novelist, poet, filmmaker, stand-up, imagination factory entrepreneur, etc.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Stasia Savasuk: “Dressing for Confidence and Joy.” I saw this live at The Music Hall last year by the mom-speaker. I laughed, I cried. I felt inspired by the spirit of humanity that we each express as unique individuals.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Connecting with smart, talented members of our community to help present this amazing event to you. You could say that I am super excite-TED to have my mind stimula-TED. Now let’s get this party star-TED!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Long, long ago, in a galaxy that now seems very far away, I got a chance to interview a future NASA astronaut when he was just a kid at York High School in Maine. Though he’s got another mission to take care of first, I’ve begun recruiting him for TEDxPortsmouth 2020 talk that I imagine will be out of this world.

Jill Farrell, Managing Editor & Strategic Director

Jill Farrell, Managing Editor & Strategic Director

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: Attended in 2017 and 2018 but it’s my first year on “the inside.”

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? In no particular order: run my own strategic communications firm (Farrell Strategic Group); live aboard a sailboat; eat my weight in seafood; shake my booty to any music with trombone; travel; explore hidden corners of New England in my orange ’75 VW camper bus, OJ; chase live music; root for the New Orleans Saints (Who Dat!); dream of summer year-round; love my husband, Tim; and cuddle my dog, Toby.

Favorite TED Talk ever: I’m biased because it was a Portsmouth one but Celia Woodsmith’s 2017 Talk “A Soft Drink and a Song in the Hills of Pakistan” brought me to tears.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I always love the early morning arrival and the energy of the awesome greeters. I am not a morning person so I am always appreciative (and a little in awe of) happy, put-together, bright folks greeting me!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Ferdinand Magellan on the value of exploration and discovery. Bob Marley on the importance of music in civil disobedience.

Amanda Giles, Web Mistress

Amanda Giles, Web Mistress

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 3

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Slinging code, writing and performing spoken word, making art, or making sure everyone appreciates that Halloween is the best damn holiday ever and that Portsmouth, NH is the best town to celebrate it in.

Favorite TED Talk ever: I really love the talk by Amy Cuddy called “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are.” It’s a beautiful blend of science, emotion, and personal story.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: It’s so hard to pick just one thing. My favorite thing is the way the talks prick and stimulate my brain in new ways, but I also love the interaction with other attendees between talks.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? I would love to hear Prince talk about the intersection between his sexuality and his conservative religious views and how both flourished in him when, in most people, one eclipses the other.

Clark Knowles, Writer & Microphone Master

Clark Knowles, Writer & Microphone Master

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 3

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I’ve been teaching writing at the University of New Hampshire for 20 years. I write strange short stories about people who may or may not have lived in my house. I read whatever I can get my hands on. And if you can’t find me, I’m probably doing yoga at Blaze Yoga and Pilates in the West End of Portsmouth.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Ron Finley: “Guerilla Gardner in South Central LA: Bring Your Shovel.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Being a part of something bigger than me, connecting to community. The prep work is fulfilling, but the day of event is one of my favorite days of the year.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? I’d like to hear Walt Whitman. I’m pretty sure his talk would be about everything. He contains multitudes. You simply can’t contain him. I’m pretty sure he’d go over the time limit and wander outside the red TED circle as he sounds his barbaric yawp.

Debbie Kane, Media Relations

Debbie Kane, Media Relations

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 3

What I do when I’m not working on TEDx: Copywriter, content creator, contributor to a number of regional magazines, and live storyteller at Long Story Short. Aspiring dancer, reformed runner, semi-passionate yogi, artist-wannabe, and hiker attempting NH’s 4,000-footers. My biggest successes so far: launching one child into semi-adulthood and getting another into college without having to bribe an athletics coach or admissions counselor.

Favorite TED Talk: This talk by Debra Jarvis was sent to me by a friend five years ago after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The message about not being defined by your disease or hardship really resonated at a time when I was confused and angry about cultural messages around breast cancer: “Yes, I Survived Cancer. But That Doesn’t Define Me.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I’m inspired by the passion of everyone involved in launching the event. I enjoy the day itself, too, but I love the sense of anticipation when everyone is gathered in the morning before the day begins and the energy is really high. It’s infectious.

Historical figure giving a TED Talk: Theodore Roosevelt. I’d like to know about his travels out West in the late 19th century and what inspired his efforts to establish national parks and preserve our natural resources. Also, artist Georgia O’Keeffe.

Deb McNeilly, Graphic Designer

Deb McNeilly, Graphic Designer

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 2

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I run DBG Design Studio, a graphic design business with clients in Boston and the Seacoast area. When I am not feeling like the queen of the world sitting at my desk with two large windows and two great officemates, I am enjoying time with my two kids and husband biking, going to the farmers market, packing lunches, grocery shopping, and rollerblading.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Brené Brown: “The Power of Vulnerability.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: It’s hard to choose just one favorite. I love working with the team. Their feedback always pushes my ideas to new heights. It’s so exciting to see the super-sized design projected on the stage. On the day of the event, I am always wowed by the talents and efforts of the team who brings these stories to life.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? I would love to hear from Queen Hatshepsut on what it was like as a woman in power during 1487 B.C.

Gail Knowles, Digital Roustabout

Gail Knowles, Digital Roustabout

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 5

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? In April of 2018, I was unexpectedly released from my corporate job of 18 years. It was a gift. Now I’m kept busy by working with other community nonprofits, including Seacoast Outright, Prescott Park, and TEDxPortsmouth. I’m hoping my garden will be less weedy this year.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Ethan Gilsdorf: “Why Dungeons & Dragons Is Good for You (In Real Life).

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Learning how everyone has a skill to share, and I love how the amazing TEDXPortsmouth experience transcends the stress of all the prep!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Terry Pratchett. I’d love to hear about his Discworld series, and my favorite characters Tiffany Aching and The Nac Mac Feegles (The Wee Free Men). Yes, it’s a YA book. Shut up.

Sam Granville, Social Media Director & Writer

Sam Granville, Social Media Director & Writer

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 2

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? When I’m not working on TEDxPortsmouth, I can be found at the Franchise Business Review where I work full-time as Social Media and Content Manager. You can also find me in the White Mountains hiking the 48 4,000-footers with my partner, Ben, and our dog, Banjo; sipping coffee at Flight in Dover; or getting my butt kicked at MISSION.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Emilie Wapnick: “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling.” Emilie Wapnick spoke at TEDxBend in 2015 about the word she coined “multipotentialite,” which means someone who has a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. My whole life I’ve had interests ranging from science to nature to music to the arts. I change my mind about what I like and what I see myself happy doing constantly because I don’t see myself doing just one thing the rest of my life. The idea of doing one job my whole life is absolutely terrifying to me because I can’t decide on one thing. Learning what a multipotentialite was made me feel more normal that I wasn’t the only one that felt like doing 100 different things. I think about this talk almost every day.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I’ve always been a storyteller and I draw inspiration from hearing other people’s stories, and that’s what TEDx is. Whether it’s a new idea or life journey, we learn so much from listening and sharing with others. This is what I love most about TEDx Portsmouth — learning and being inspired by my neighbors, peers, and friends.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? If I could see any historical figure give a TED Talk, I would want to hear from Christa McAuliffe. I’m a Concord High School alum and I’ve learned about Christa my entire career at CHS; she was a mentor and inspiration. If she could give a TED Talk, I think she would talk about how anyone is capable of accomplishing anything they set their mind to.

SPEAKER TEAM

Rebecca Dawson Webb, Speaker Coach & Team Lead

Rebecca Dawson Webb, Speaker Coach & Team Lead

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 1 – very excited to be a part of this!

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? As a writing coach, writer, and editor, I love helping people tell their stories and clarify their meaning. As a facilitator, I enjoy supporting meaningful, expansive conversations. As a freelancer, I am always looking to make connections and find new opportunities. And then, as the perpetual learning nerd that I am, give me a good book, a great TV series or movie, an interesting documentary, podcast, or — of course — TED Talk.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Sir Ken Robinson: “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” It is a persuasive plug for schools to cultivate the diversity of student creativity, delivered with conversational warmth, great humor, memorable anecdotes, and beautiful connectedness. What’s not to like?

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: What thrills me most about TEDxPortsmouth is becoming more aware of the array of innovative thinking and talent on the Seacoast that contributes to making this area such a great place to live!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Maya Angelou, about how to respond to this current moment. You know she’d have something wise to tell us.

Rebecca Hennessy, Speaker Coach

Rebecca Hennessy, Speaker Coach

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I am a garlic farmer. Backyard Garlic (http://www.backyardgarlic.farm), my small and pungent food business, is why I am I garlic farmer. (You can only grow so much garlic before people begin to wonder what you are up to.) After the harvest, we crack, peel, chop, and dehydrate the glorious stuff and sell it in glass spice jars with gritty grinder lids (like a pepper mill but for garlic — neat!). With a simply delicious twist, enjoy 100% garlic goodness on every savory bite. While the garlic grows, I write poetry, essay, and short fiction; volunteer with communities I claim and who claim me; and parent two beautiful humans. Tangle of Bone is the title of my first book. Blue Tarp is the likely title of my second.

 

Favorite TED Talk ever: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “The Danger of a Single Story.”

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Mary Shelley, writing from my place in dreams.

Mike McGrail, Speaker Coach

Mike McGrail, Speaker Coach

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I’m a copywriter for a professional association during the day and a freelancer at night, in the early morning, on the weekends, on my lunch breaks … you get the idea. I write websites, emails, whitepapers, articles, news releases, ad copy, social media posts, and speeches. Oh yes, and unpublishable novels. I consider myself the James Joyce of that particular genre.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Nepotism alert: she’s my daughter. Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ll find her work stands on its own merits. Ella McGrail: “The Purpose of Art.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Its consistent ability to surprise.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Mark Twain. I would bring the bourbon and cigars. He could make caulking a window sound engrossing.

Shelley Girdner, Speaker Coach

Shelley Girdner, Speaker Coach

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: First Year

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx?: I teach writing classes at UNH. When not working or hanging out with my incredible funny, insightful, fortnite-loving family, I’m writing poems about my nemesis Shirley Grinder and all the objects I’ve ever lost.

Favorite TED talk ever: I use the Sir Kenneth Robinson’s education talk and Sherry Turkle “Alone
Together” almost every semester with my students, but my favorite talk is always shifting. Right
now, it’s Ai-jen Poo: “The Work that Makes All Other Work Possible

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth : The leadership, the Speaker Coach team, as well as the chance to hear so many good ideas.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED talk — who would it be and what would they talk about? Georgia O’Keeffe. Dressed in long black linen, she’d talk about her sabbaticals of solitude, and how break-ups and ostracization most often presaged growth. For O’Keeffe, and maybe for us too, it’s important to remember that loneliness forges creativity into its own plane and place for connection.

OUTREACH & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TEAM

Nancy Pearson, Chief Diversity Officer

Nancy Pearson, Chief Diversity Officer

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I am the New Hampshire Director at the Center for Women & Enterprise and a Portsmouth City Council member.

Favorite TED Talk ever: At the moment, it is Katherine Wilkinson: “How Empowering Women and Girls Can Help Stop Global Warming.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I love the energy and the scrappiness of TEDxPortsmouth. It’s homegrown yet impressive, which is so very Portsmouth.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Queen Elizabeth I, always. I want to hear her talk about how she had to remain the “Virgin Queen” because the minute she took a husband, all her authority and power would be lost. I also would be interested to learn about how carefully she created and managed her public image. She’s my favorite woman living or dead. Triple heart emoji for QE1!

Lisa Keslar, Community Outreach

Lisa Keslar, Community Outreach

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 2 — I’m so EXCITED!

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Long answer: I am fortunate to own Keslar Insurance in Newmarket, NH. We are a full-service independent agency offering home, auto, business, and life insurance in NH, ME, and MA. I love this as it allows me to not only help our customers find ways to find security and coverages at great prices but it allows me continue to find ways to contribute to our community each and every day! Also, I have met absolutely amazing people through my work who have inspired, motivated, and educated me in so many ways. It’s the best job ever! Short answer: Business owner. Adjunct Business Faculty at SNHU and UNH. Volunteer. Mom.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Although there are SO many fabulous options, I have to admit I now ask myself each morning “how do you want to show up today?” because of this fabulous talk from last year! Such a great way to start the day!  I’ve shared it a zillion times! Stasia Suvasuk: “Dressing for Confidence and Joy.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Pick only one? Yikes. The inspiration is my favorite part. It comes from each contact, project, communication that comes with the volunteering, the people, the talks … it’s the total package! It all makes me want to grow, learn, and push past life’s artificial boundaries!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Again, so many choices. For some reason, John Lennon comes to mind first. Although there are so many potential topics, I’d love to have it based around peace and love and the song “Imagine!”

FINANCE TEAM

Aimee Raymond, Chief Finance Officer

Aimee Raymond, Chief Finance Officer

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Spend my time in my sewing studio designing quilts.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Making connections in the community. Getting to know people from all different backgrounds and valuing what unique perspectives they bring to the team.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Jerry Garcia — group collaborations and improvisational art.

SPONSORSHIP TEAM

Erika Beer, Sponsorship Director

Erika Beer, Sponsorship Director

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Rolling in my minivan (ha!), chasing three kids, volunteering in my community, listening to podcasts, and sneaking in some guilty pleasures when I can.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Emily Calhoun: “Owl Meet You in the Woods: Escaping Nature Deficit Disorder.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: The day! I think it took me many days to come down from my first TEDxPortsmouth experience. The team! Smart, sassy, self-starters who care deeply about the process and are oh so good at what they do. The fact that TED is accessible to all and that TEDxPortsmouth is a reflection of this vibrant community we live in.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Gilda Radner would be someone I would love to hear from since her life was cut short by cancer. I read her autobiography at 16 and never forgot it. I would love to know how she handled life when it was no longer funny. Leo Buscaglia was called Dr. Love and when I was a child he was on PBS all the time. I learned about love and courage from watching him give these talks before there were TED Talks online. He talked about vulnerability decades before Brené Brown gave her viral talk. I would love to hear what he has to say about relationships in the age of technology (swipe left for the next person).

Jessie Dill Jakobs, Development Officer

Jessie Dill Jakobs, Development Officer

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Community-based nonprofit development consultant and volunteer. When I’m not doing that, my husband, Peter, and I share and support the daily adventures and journeys of our four kids (and two dogs!).

Favorite TED Talk ever: Right now it’s Phil Hansen: “Embrace the Shake.” This answer changes every time I see a new one.

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I’m enjoying the opportunity to meet the dynamic Seacoast volunteers involved in TEDxPortsmouth as well as the having a role that engages a growing network of community supporters. We also get to hear stories individuals would like to share — stories that need to be shared. That never gets old.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Frederick Douglass on civil discourse.

DAY OF EVENT TEAM

Jen “DJ Skooch” Scumaci — I’m the DJ, yo!

Jen “DJ Skooch” Scumaci — I’m the DJ, yo!

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 4

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I DJ at various locations on the ME/NH/MA Seacoast with weekly residencies at The Wilder and Fuki (both in downtown Portsmouth). I also run Fast Girl Productions — a full-service design and marketing firm —with my amazing wife, Monica.

Favorite TED Talk ever: I have three:

 Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I love being a part of TEDx Portsmouth because it connects me to inspirational people doing amazing things in our community and our world.

And, if you could see any historical figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? I would love to hear Sally Ride talk about her experience as the first woman to travel to outer space. (Side note: When I was in first grade, I dressed as Sally Ride for “What I Want To Be Day,” wearing a one-piece snowsuit and moon boots. ☺)

Terri Nulph, Attendee Management

Terri Nulph, Attendee Management

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 3

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? Accounting Manager at Brown and Company; Bookkeeper at Prescott Park Arts Festival; empty nester with camera in hand enjoying life in Portsmouth.

Favorite TED Talk ever Stasia Savasuk: “Dressing for Confidence and Joy.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: I love the energy and inspiration you feel when you walk in the door at 7:00 a.m. to set up the event. I love the excitement you see on the faces of the attendees from the time they pick up their badges until the last goodbye. And when we gather for the team photo at the end of the day I start looking forward to next year’s joyful event.

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Jesus on the importance of being kind. Jon Stewart on the importance of critical thinking. Seth Meyers on the importance of laughter. Tom Petty on the importance of music — and, of course, he would sing a few songs.

Kate Harris, Photographer

Kate Harris, Photographer

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: 2

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? I run Kate & Keith Photography, focusing on spirited outdoor weddings, passionate nonprofits, and event work.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Joe Smith: “How to Use One Paper Towel.” You’ll never wash your hands the same!

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: Community!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? I couldn’t even choose! I mean, seriously? So many come to mind: Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa (hmm, I’m seeing a theme).

Linda Porter, Volunteer Coordinator

Linda Porter, Volunteer Coordinator

Years working with TEDxPortsmouth: <1

What do you do when you are not working on TEDx? NAR Green Designated Realtor at Better Homes and Gardens, The Masiello Group, Portsmouth.

Favorite TED Talk ever: Stasia Savasuk: “Dressing for Confidence and Joy.”

Favorite part of TEDxPortsmouth: The constant regeneration of energy and motivation received from this wonderful team!

And, if you could see any historic figure, living or dead, give a TED Talk who would it be and what would they talk about? Henry David Thoreau — my favorite quote from him is: “I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.” I would love to hear him talk about the current state of the U.S. society today (i.e., technology and social media impacts).