TEDxHerndon 2018: Future Humanity
“Only that day dawns to which we are awake.”
- Henry David Thoreau
TEDxHerndon is an independently organized TED event based in Herndon, Virginia. The speakers are innovators, leaders, and social changemakers with great ideas worth spreading. The theme of this year's event is "Future Humanity". This is our 4th year hosting TEDxHerndon, and we have gotten better every year. This is an exciting community event in Northern Virginia, and we welcome anyone from anywhere to join us. TEDxHerndon 2018 will take place on September 8th at 2pm at the Floris Fellowship Hall in Herndon, Virginia. Click the link below for tickets!
Master of Ceremonies
Aron “Teo” Lee is a husband, father, artist, teacher, serial entrepreneur and dreamer. It has taken 6 companies, 6 failures, 6 dreams differed to find the idea that mattered. As the founder of DEILAB, Aron has amassed thousands of hours and traveled throughout the country teaching students about design, engineering and innovation while curating professional development sessions for organizations focused on collaboration and social innovation.
Aron graduated from Hampton University in Virginia with a degree in Psychology. He went on to a career in corporate sales, business development while pursuing the entrepreneurial ambitions that led to the founding of DEILAB. However, Aron’s first love was music. He began playing bass in elementary school, has recorded nationally, works as a studio musician and performs regularly today.
Leon T. Andrews, Jr. was appointed as the inaugural director for Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) at the National League of Cities and currently serves as chair of the board for the National Recreation and Parks Association. Prior, Leon served as the senior fellow and program director at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where he led all of the Institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country including in areas related to childhood obesity, disconnected youth, youth engagement and leadership, and youth master planning since 2006. Before joining the National League of Cities, Leon completed a research fellowship at The Forum for Youth Investment. Leon has an extensive background working in government, the community, the private sector, and academia for the last 25 years including the United States Department of Justice, United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, the United States Public Interest Research Group, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, YouthBuild Pittsburgh, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. He is a published author, a presenter at several conferences and other forums throughout the country and world, and serves on a number of national and local boards including ChangeLab Solutions (chair), National Council on Crime and Delinquency and the National Network for Youth. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at The University of Michigan. Leon is married to an amazing woman, Dr. Kristine M. Andrews, for the last 15 years and they have three beautiful daughters – Jessica Austin, Julia Iris, and Joanna Jonas.
Rev. Tom Berlin serves as the Lead Pastor of Floris United Methodist Church, a large and vital congregation in Fairfax County that has a desire to bless the local community and world. Floris members pursue intentional generosity and servanthood and partner with non-profit organizations that provide hope to the economically poor and vulnerable.
An exciting part of Floris’ ministry and international outreach has been the establishment of the Child Rescue Centre (CRC) for children affected by child labor and trafficking and Mercy Hospital in Sierra Leone, through the non-profit Helping Children Worldwide, Inc. The CRC provides real support to nearly 600 vulnerable children and youth in Sierra Leone, by providing for their education, health care and spiritual mentoring, helping to break the cycle of poverty in one of the poorest countries in the world.
Tom is a published author and speaker at conferences and seminars on topics that include leadership, church vitality and generosity. He serves as Chair of the Board of Governors for Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the United Methodist Church’s Commission on a Way Forward.
Tom is a native of Winchester, Virginia, and has an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He and his wife Karen have four daughters.
Grace Wolf Cunningham is serving her fourth term on the Herndon Town Council. She is the first Korean American woman elected to office in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
In prior terms, Cunningham chaired the town’s Economic Development Task Force and was the Town’s representative to the Committee for Dulles and the Fairfax County Economic Advisory Commission. She is a Certified Local Government Official, as designated by VML’s Virginia Elected Officials Leadership Academy.
She served the community as president of the Council for the Arts of Herndon and received its Platinum Achievement Award in 2014; as a member of the Herndon Festival Committee; and as a member of the Asian Business Committee of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.
In 2006, she received the Town of Herndon’s prestigious Distinguished Service Award, recognizing her commitment to volunteerism. She was a member of the Leadership Fairfax Class of 2007. She has received the Volunteer Fairfax Benchmark Service Award annually from 2007 - 2014, and in 2012 she received the Public Service Award from the Asian American Chamber of Commerce. In 2013, Cunningham was recognized as one of “The Influential Women of Virginia” by Virginia Lawyers Media, an award that recognizes the outstanding efforts of women in all fields, including law, business, health care and education.
In 2014, Cunningham was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe as a commissioner to the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the Arts Council of Fairfax and the Fairfax County Park Authority.
Cunningham currently works in philanthropy with the National Wildlife Federation. She has owned several local small businesses and held positions at IBM Consulting, Deloitte and Touche Management Consulting, Dun & Bradstreet and Bankers Trust. She holds a BA in Economics and an MBA in Finance, both from Cornell University.
Margaret Jamborsky will be the first to tell you that she’s just the mom of a piccolo player in the Herndon High School band. In fact, she’s been an advocate for music education since her own school days playing clarinet. She turned this avocation into a vocation working for the National Association for Music Education for over a decade, planning conventions for music educators from across the country.
An international event planner who speaks French, Margaret couldn’t help but volunteer to help when she learned of the Herndon band’s invitation to represent the United States at the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. She has so far spent over 1,000 hours researching the USS Herndon and tracking down the families of the crew, and has found a new passion honoring the Greatest Generation.
Margaret is Associate Vice President of Meetings for Drohan Management Group, the fourth largest association management company in the world. She is the proud mom of Hank and Laura, and has been married to her Herndon alum husband Mike for 17 years.
Neeyanth Kopparapu is a high school sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School in Alexandria, VA. He is interested in developing computer science (specifically artificial intelligence) models to help improve the conditions for everyone. He has made models to diagnose Diabetic Retinopathy for low income adults and more recently a Major Depressive Disorder prognosis system based on fMRI scans and Twitter feeds. He also enjoys coding with algorithms, partaking in the USACO competition as a platinum competitor. Other than computer science, he enjoys representing his high school and traveling to Mathematics competitions, notably the ones at Harvard and Princeton. He is a part of the debate team, where he takes his public speaking skills not only to debate at tournaments, but to advocate for his products and ideals in pitch competitions, innovation summits, and conferences.
Drawing inspiration from his father, a World War II Navy Fighter pilot who was killed deploying to the Korean War, Mike McCabe dreamed of flying fighters. Eighteen months after graduating college, Mike was flying combat missions under the mentorship of one of the original Topgun instructors. They shot down MIGS together, Mike became the Executive Officer of Topgun himself, and the two combined again to contribute to the movie TOP GUN.
Mike commanded at every operational level of the Navy. His five Navy commands at sea ranged in size from a 300 personnel and 14 fighters squadron to a U.S. Fleet of 43,000 personnel, with 1400 aircraft, and 88 ships. In these commands, Mike was able to achieve excellence while suffering no operational loss of life while in command. His combat decorations include the Silver Star and Distinguished Flying Cross. Mike also served as Director of Air Warfare for the Navy, in which capacity he was in the Pentagon when the 9/11 terrorist attack struck the building directly below his office. During that tour, Mike was largely responsible for the next generation of naval aviation technology, aircraft and aircraft carriers acquired during his tenure.
Following Navy retirement, Mike became CEO/President of a large Commercial Charter Airline which flew for the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Justice, as well as sports teams and vacation companies. When he arrived the airline was on probation with the Department of Defense (DOD). He grew the airline to a $300 million a year business which routinely received performance bonuses from DOD. Mike left the airline and retired a second time to battle cancer.
Having survived air combat, the 9/11 attacks, and miraculously, cancer, Mike embodies the spirit of “Glad To Be Here” and lives in a “pay it forward mode” bringing his storied experience and passion to helping teams and leaders.
In 1999, at the urging of an African American colleague, Jennifer Yanco developed the anti-racism workshop series, White People Challenging Racism: Moving from Talk to Action (WPCR). Since then, more than 2,000 participants, ranging in age from 13 to 81, have explored how white supremacy operates in their communities and have found ways to stand up against it. Open to people of all racial identities, WPCR is co-led by a growing network of facilitators. It focuses on white people’s role in dismantling racism and culminates in action plans that participants develop and commit to implementing. WPCR has been offered at community education programs and college campuses in the greater Boston area and beyond, and has been adapted for teachers, social service providers, and other groups. Jennifer has also developed anti-racism school curricula, offered workshops on friendships and work partnerships that cross lines of race and ethnicity, and worked with colleagues of color on diversity/anti-racism training for a range of organizations.
Jennifer is author of Misremembering Dr. King: Revisiting the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. (Indiana University Press 2014), which critiques the popular memory of Dr. King as a model of non-violent civil disobedience, but conveniently forgets his outspoken critique of white complacency, his fight for economic justice and for an end to militarism. The book deals with the prison industrial complex, Trayvon Martin, the Occupy movement, and fair pay struggles, and points out past “solutions” to racism that kept power and money in white people’s hands.
After earning her Master’s degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, Jennifer worked for the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, authors of Our Bodies, Ourselves. She has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and African Studies, was a Fulbright lecturer at the Université de Niamey in Niger, and taught for many years in the African language program at Boston University. From 2003 to 2017 she was the US director of the West African Research Association.
She is currently a Visiting Researcher at Boston University, where she works with the African language program, focusing on curriculum and materials development. Jennifer lives in Medford, Massachusetts with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchild, and a hive of honey bees.