2021 TEDx Oneonta Speakers

Rachel Kornhauser 

(Oneonta, NY), “Coronavirus and Climate Change: Lessons and Connections” 

Bio Coming soon!

Alexis Agliano Sanborn

(Brooklyn, NY), “Understanding through Food: Food Education and School Lunch in Japan”

Alexis Agliano Sanborn is an independent researcher, food advocate, nature enthusiast, and an award-winning artist. With over a decade of experience studying Japanese culture, she directed/produced Nourishing Japan, a documentary short which explores food education and the school lunch system in Japan. Alexis previously served as NYC Program Coordinator of the Wa-Shokuiku Project, an after-school culinary exchange program inspired and informed by the educational philosophy, flavors, and foods of Japan. She received her Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and Japanese from UC Santa Barbara, Master's in Regional Studies of East Asia from Harvard University and a Masters of Public Administration from NYU's Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

Rebecca Ahmed

(Washington, DC) “Stripping Away Bias, One Avatar at a Time”

Rebecca Ahmed is an award-winning human resources expert. Ahmed’s experience stems from 10+ years in the hospitality industry, overseeing HR through major mergers and acquisitions, including Pinnacle Entertainment, Allegiant Travel Company, and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. She most recently leveraged her expertise to join Savills, an international commercial real estate advisory firm. Additionally, she is CEO of Laugh Thru Life, a professional coaching organization. Ahmed serves as a Board Member for Suited for Change.

Lindsay Angelo

(Seattle, WA), “Peace, Play and Pandemic: What makes top brands thrive beyond a global crisis”

Named one of the top innovation leaders to follow in 2019 and a Woman to Watch by 425 Magazine, you can find Lindsay at the intersection of strategy, innovation, and insights. She partners with purpose-driven brands and organizations to craft their strategies and tell their stories while hitting stages across North America to deliver keynotes on the future of consumerism and innovation. Prior to advising, Lindsay spent six years at lululemon crafting their global growth strategy, exploring new marketplace opportunities, seeding new concepts, and growing the company into the number one yoga wear player in the world.

Erin Ersoy

(Centereach, NY) “From Your Plate to Saving the Planet”

Erin is a 14 year old stage IV pediatric cancer survivor and vegan activist. She leads The Raven Corps Long Island and the Youth Climate Save New York, and is also a member of PETA’s Youth Advisory Board. Erin was awarded PETA’s Hero to Animals Award and was a nominee of PETA’s Libby Awards 2019. Erin has organized numerous peaceful protests and has spoken at various events. Erin spends her time saving the planet.

Rosalia Rivera

Timmins, Ontario, Canada “Ending Rape Culture by Dismantling the Madonna-Whore Complex”    

Rosalia Rivera is a passionate consent educator, sexual literacy advocate, speaker, change agent, and survivor turned thriver. She is the host of AboutCONSENT™, a podcast for survivors and those who support survivors. Rosalia is also the founder of CONSENTparenting™, an online platform for survivor parents to learn how to protect their families from abuse. And she is soon launching CONSENTwear™, a clothing brand for kids, teens and adults to create consent culture.

2018 TEDx Oneonta Speakers

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Lauren Parsons

Talk Title: Snack on Exercise- Boost Your Brain, Body & Mood

Lauren Parsons grew up in New Zealand as the non-sporty kid who lacked all confidence in herself physically. Then as an adult, went from being a workaholic gym manager with 'no time to train' to completely shifting her paradigms around exercise. She is passionate about helping others discover the easiest and most fun way to fit exercise into their own lives.

Lauren is an award-winning Wellbeing Specialist, with 18 years’ experience in health and wellbeing. Founder of Get Fit Feel Fabulous, the Snack on Exercise movement and author of Real Food Less Fuss, and 7 Health and Fitness Myths To Overcome. Lauren is a sought-after keynote speaker and thought leader who helps people and organizations boost their health, energy, and productivity. ​

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Ricardo Sierra

Talk Title: Saving the iGen Children: Why Grandparents Might Be Our Best Chance to Solve the Digital Age Crisis

Ricardo founded the Hawk Circle Wilderness Education Summer Camp Program in 1989, then formed the nonprofit Earth Mentoring Institute in 1999, to give children and teens the benefits of a deep connection to nature. His work has included professional trainings and program development for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council of Delaware County, the Creating Rural Opportunities Partnership After School Program, the Chatt Hill Charter School, Madrone Audubon Society, Waldorf School of Baltimore, The Berkshire Mountain Search and Rescue and many others.

His wilderness skills training and youth mentoring experience has included The Tom Brown Jr Tracking and Wilderness Survival School, John Stokes Tracking Project, The California Conservation Corps, Backcountry Trails and American Red Cross. He also has spent extensive time in wilderness and natural areas across the country, where he put the skills he teaches to the test. He lives in Cherry Valley, NY.

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Maja Kazazic

Talk Title: Genocide and Happiness: The Power of You

Maja (My-a) Kazazic is an internationally recognized motivational speaker.


Originally from former Yugoslavia, Maja’s home was destroyed by genocide that killed 250,000 people and injured millions. When she was only 16 years old, while sitting with 5 of her friends a rocket propelled grenade exploded killing all 5 of her friends. Maja was severely injured.

This event set off decades-long journey filled with obstacles Maja had to face on a daily basis. From having her leg amputated without anesthesia and surviving without food or running water to re-learning how to walk and run, and learning English by watching TV. And even though she left her home without her parents to get medical treatment, with only a teddy bear, t-shirt and rock, Maja was able to build a new life. She finished high school and college and eventually started a very successful software company whose regular clients were Fortune 500 companies. The systems, strategies, and innovative action plans she developed have helped companies significantly increase profitability and productivity.

She has taken the lessons of a life forever altered by what could have been catastrophic wounds of war and parlayed them into a vision and passion for providing the solutions and insights people and organizations need to create positive, inspired change in their personal and professional lives.

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Laverne Berry and Steve Miller

Talk Title: How to Effect Change With A Couple of Friends

Laverne Berry and Steve Miller have worked as volunteer Voter Protection lawyers in each of the past three presidential elections (2008 and 2016 in North Carolina, 2012 in Virginia). Laverne is an entertainment attorney representing independent film and TV creators, distribution companies, authors and media companies. Steve is an international business executive, based in the US and Europe, with over 25 years of experience developing and managing a broad range of businesses and educational and social justice projects.


Deborah Koetzle

Talk Title: What works? Addressing crime and drug use through community-based interventions

Deborah Koetzle is an Associate Professor and the Executive Officer of the Doctoral Program in Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/The Graduate Center, CUNY and a fellow with the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute.  

Her research centers around correctional rehabilitation with a focus on identifying effective interventions for offenders, problem-solving courts, risk/need assessment, and cross-cultural comparisons of prison-based programs and practices. Current projects include evaluating a specialized probation unit for the supervision of 16-24 year-olds, examining access to medically assisted treatment for criminal justice involved individuals, and providing assistance aimed at reducing prison crowding in El Salvador.  

She has served as a consultant to local, state, and federal agencies on the topic of assessment, treatment, and program fidelity within both institutional and community-based programs, and helped to develop the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ Adult Drug Court Best Practice Standards.

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Dawn Herscher

Talk Title: Words Wisely--Move them or lose them

Dawn is an award-winning speechwriter, speaker and communications director with 15 years experience supporting CEO’s, C-level executives, and Fortune 100 companies. She provides speechwriting, thought leadership, and coaching services to high profile clients, companies, foundations, and associations. Dawn specializes in helping senior executives become recognized as Thought Leaders who are influential in their industries.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Dawn was known for her creative writing talent, and attended UCLA where she earned her degree in Psychology. Dawn has written for some of the world’s most influential venues including TEDx, the Council for the Homeless, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.