Take A Look Here To Learn A Little About This Year’s Speakers And Performers
Kevin Carter: Emcee
Kevin was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. He graduated from Wright State University with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Kevin currently works full time as a cybersecurity engineer for the US Air Force and part-time as an improvisational comedy teacher.
As a teacher, Kevin imparts the basics of comedy and effective communication. He is an advocate for treating people with respect regardless of their background. In his spare time, he writes and performs hip-hop music. He is a conscious speaker whose goal is to encourage individuals to be a better version of themselves.
Sarah Ammar: Emcee
Sarah is thrilled to be co-hosting this year’s TEDxDayton with her friend and fellow artist, Kevin Carter. She owns a small marketing and communications company, Rebelle Creative Strategies, and works with clients in Dayton, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; and Washington, DC. She’s also an improviser, voice actress, and comedic filmmaker. Before diving back into creative pursuits, Sarah’s career highlights have included public service on Capitol Hill and in nonprofits in the Washington, DC, and Dayton areas. Sarah holds a master’s degree in public policy from American University and is a recent graduate of the Harold Ramis Film School at the world-famous Second City in Chicago. She enjoys making art that has a social message and was recognized with a fellowship award from Second City for her TV project about improving the public discourse (don’t worry, it’s more fun than it sounds!).
Adam Alonzo: Not a Photographer
Adam Alonzo is a Dayton resident who has taken photographs every day for fifteen years. Five photos from each day are on display on his website at www.adamalonzo.com.
Tiffany Clark: Artist
Tiffany Clark is an artist whose most current project is as co-owner of The Mural Machine. A Dayton-area native, she uses her artwork to beautify and connect with the community, creating change on the walls of the city. An outspoken advocate for addiction recovery, Tiffany has created many of the public murals to attempt to heal her city’s opioid epidemic. She is an alumna of Antioch College, a former adjunct at Stivers School for the Arts, and currently teaches in her spare time at Decoy Art Center.
Faith Daniels: Radio Personality
Faith loves music, people, and giving. So, the obvious profession for her was to be a radio personality. Faith has been living her dream as an on-air personality for the past thirty-five years.
Faith attended Tennessee State University, where she majored in communications and marketing and minored in speech and dramatic theatre. Although Faith began her radio career at just fourteen years of age, opportunities continued to open for her after college, with stops along the dial and all over the country.
After spending eighteen years in the Cincinnati market, Faith enlarged her territory by joining Dayton’s R&B Leader 92.1 WROU as program director/music director/community affairs liaison and afternoon drive personality. She also appears weekly on Dayton’s Fox 45 as an entertainment consultant for the hit shows Empire and Star. Faith is also a professional voiceover artist, concert hostess/mistress of ceremonies, event producer, and licensed minister.
Faith’s passion is motivating others and encouraging them to see their lives through the eyes of God. Faith and her husband Kent have been married twenty years and have three beautiful children: Trinity (fifteen), Matthew (seventeen), and Brandon (twenty- nine).
Barbara Duncombe: Rainmaker
Barbara is a partner at the law firm of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, where she leads the Government Contracts group. She has been a member of Taft’s Executive Committee since 2011. For more than 30 years, Barbara has represented clients regionally, nationally, and internationally. Early in her career, she realized that success in the private practice of law was tied directly to the ability to attract, retain, and service clients by exceeding their expectations. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to providing the gold standard in client service, thinking outside the box, going after her dreams, and conquering gender barriers—for herself and for others.
Mark Fogel: Fighter Pilot
Mark is a former US Air Force fighter pilot and current squadron commander in the Ohio Air National Guard. A graduate of the US Air Force Academy and the Harvard Kennedy School, he is in a leadership program at one of the largest companies in America, consults for nonprofit organizations on a variety of public policy issues, and is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Dayton. One of his passions is exploring the intersections among the behavioral sciences, leadership, and organizational success. He is married to his love, Amy, and together they have three children.
Michael Roush: Parent
Michael Roush specializes in educational technology, assistive technology, and Universal Design for Learning. Michael presently works for Forward Edge, LLC, as a technology integration specialist for area kindergarten through grade-12 schools and is an adjunct professor of education for Wilmington College. Michael and his wife, Angie, live in rural southwestern Ohio. They have four adult children, two children in elementary school, and one grandson. Michael’s passion in education is helping every student define and achieve what the highest level of success.
Alice Ripley: Actor
Alice Ripley earned critical acclaim and received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as a Helen Hayes Award for her work as Diana Goodman in the Pulitzer Prize-winning rock opera, Next to Normal. Alice received Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations for her portrayal of conjoined-twin Violet Hilton in Side Show. She also originated the Broadway roles of Mrs. Bateman in American Psycho, Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Show, Molly Ivors in James Joyce’s The Dead, Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard, and the Specialist’s Assistant in The Who’s Tommy. Alice’s television credits include Girlboss, 30 Rock, Blue Bloods, and Hee Haw. Her film credits include Isn’t it Delicious, The Adulterer, and Bear With Us. Her recording credits include Daily Practice volume 1 and Everything’s Fine as well as numerous Broadway cast albums.
Dr. Dennis Ong: Technologist
Dr. Ong is passionate about creating technologies that can address the most pressing issues facing society. Dennis is distinguished architect and managing principal at Verizon and previously served as chief architect and director at Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent, Lucent, and AT&T. Dennis received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from The Ohio State University as university fellow and an MBA with honors from the University of Chicago. He was an adjunct faculty member at The Ohio State University. In 2018, he gave the TEDx talk, ”IoT and Machine Learning” and served as keynote speaker at the second International Workshop on Urban Data Science.
Ray Marcano: Journalist
Ray Marcano has more than thirty-five years of journalism experience as a reporter, executive, and leader at newspapers in New York, Oklahoma, and Dayton. He has vast digital media experience and finished his media career as senior director of audience growth for Cox Media Group, where he oversaw the company’s national content desk. He now runs his own consulting firm, which focuses on digital media, writing, and editing. He’s the former national president of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation’s most prestigious journalism association; a two-time Pulitzer juror; and a Fulbright fellow.
Rose Lounsbury: Minimalist
Rose is a minimalism coach, speaker, and author of the Amazon bestseller Less: Minimalism for Real. After blogging about her personal journey toward a minimalist lifestyle, Rose, a former middle school teacher, was inspired to help others live better lives with less stuff. Rose spends her days writing, coaching her clients and online students to stuff-free freedom, and soaking up the moments with her husband and their wild triplets. Rose is a regular guest on Fox News’ Good Day Columbus and has been featured on National Public Radio, Good Morning Cincinnati, and Living Dayton. She calls lovely Dayton home. You can connect with her online at roselounsbury.com or @roselounsbury on Instagram and Facebook.
John-Michael Lander: Survivor
John-Michael has had a diverse background in theatre, television, films, and education since winning two gold medals in springboard and platform diving for the United States in Tønsberg, Norway. He taught at Stivers High School for the Arts for seven years and has written three novels. The first, Surface Tension (2017), explores the year he prepared for the World Games. Spandau Ballet and Life’s a Beach were released this summer. His biggest accomplishment is sharing his life with Nathan Webber and their two Boston Terriers, Bella and Barkley.
Elizabeth Horner: Parent
Elizabeth is a twenty-five–year resident of Dayton’s historic South Park. She works for The Dayton Foundation, where she administers scholarships and is humbled by the generosity of the Dayton community. She is excited to be a member of the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Dayton class of 2019. Elizabeth has been married to the same wonderful man for 9,170 days. They have two amazing daughters who can be both delightful and vexing, often at the same time. She likes to edit the writing of friends and family, play pickleball, and communicate in deplorable haiku.
Dr. Andre T. Harris, Sr, MD: Physician
Dr. Harris, Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist (Ob/Gyn) in Dayton and a practice owner at Horizons Women’s Healthcare and Horizons Hormones & Weight Loss. He has a passion for women’s health care and a particular interest in hormone therapy. He has received several awards during training and in private practice. Current chair of the Ob/Gyn department as well as a board member at Miami Valley Hospital, he is a native of South Bend, Indiana (go IRISH!!). He is the father of five grown children and has been married to his soul mate and business partner, Charlotte D, for twenty-five years.
Adam Sobol: Entrepreneur
Adam is the founder and CEO of CareBand, a wearable technology company dedicated to improving quality of life for seniors living with dementia. CareBand aims to increase the safety and independence of seniors while giving their caregivers and family members peace of mind. In 2017, Adam was named to Chicago’s Jewish 36 under 36 list as well as AARP’s 50+ Innovation Leaders for health care. Adam, a proud native of Dayton, is a creative innovator focused on making a positive social impact.
Andrew Shepherd: Aviator
Dr. Shepherd serves as the executive director and chief scientist for unmanned aerial systems at Sinclair College in Dayton. With experience in the defense industry and academia focused on modeling and simulation, research, course development, accreditation, instruction, and mentorship, Andrew has extensive knowledge in many areas of technology, higher education, and workforce training and development. He is the managing editor of the Journal of Unmanned Aerial Systems; an editorial advisory board member for the Two Cultures Journal; the vice chair of the National Science Foundation Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Industry Advisory Board; and a board member for Aviation Trail, a nonprofit corporation in partnership with the US National Park Service to promote aviation heritage in the Dayton region. Named to both Dayton’s top 40 Under 40 in 2014 and top 100 Defense and Aerospace Professionals by Dayton Business Journal in 2014, 2017, and 2018, Andrew is an active member of his community and the broader aerospace industry.
Dr. Julie Servaites: Veterinarian
Dr. Servaites is a veterinarian and owner of Veterinary Alternatives in Centerville, Ohio. She is a graduate of Wright State University and received her veterinary degree from Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada. After veterinary school, Julie received a certification in Chinese veterinary acupuncture from the Chi Institute, a graduate diploma in veterinary Chinese herbal medicine from the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies, and is completing education to become a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner from the University of Tennessee. Julie loves all kinds of animals, but her true passion is caring for geriatric pets. Outside the clinic, she likes to spend most of her time with her two four-legged children, Iris and Octavius.
Yash Gupta: Beatboxer
Yash Gupta is a senior at The Miami Valley School. He has been involved in music since he was six and been a vocal percussionist/beatboxer for about four years. He is also part of Ars Nova, his high school’s a cappella group.
Shawn Gardner: Poet
Shawn is a senior at Stivers School for the Arts, born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. From an early age, he has been drawn to public speaking, with his first encounter happening in second grade where he participated in his first speech contest. He loves writing poetry and short stories and wants to be a novelist when he grows up.
Kevin Cornell, EdS: Educator
Kevin is a seventeen-year educator who uses science, media, music, and humor to transform how teachers, families, school districts, and communities engage with science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning. Whether he’s creating and hosting his show Full STEAM Ahead on PBS Kids/ThinkTV, producing new media and content for his more than 10,000 social media followers, or presenting his signature Hair Raising Science shows to schools and communities across the country, Kevin knows how to encourage everyone to have fun while learning! As Kevin says, now is the time to build and grow our community of learners. “Let’s learn together!”
Stephanie VanHouten: Teacher
Stephanie is a kindergarten teacher in a local public school. She is passionate about using authentic learning experiences to educate young learners and was the first to receive a master of education degree concentrated in the Reggio Emilia approach. The approach originated in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and focuses on transforming young children into proactive society members. Building relationships, collaboration, and finding one’s own strengths are key traits of successful community members, and she advocates for an education that encourages these skills from the start of each child’s educational career. She advocates with the support of her husband, Sam, and son, John.
TRSS Drum Corps: Drummers
Montrea Blackshear, founder of TRSS Drum Corps, grew up in Dayton and graduated from Meadowdale High School (Dayton Public Schools). Montrea has been involved in Drum Corps for twenty-five years as both a performer and an instructor. Having his own drum corps was long a dream of his. After returning to Dayton from Texas in 2003, he formed TRSS Drum Corps.
Montrea purchased his first four drums with money he had saved. Over the past nine years, TRSS has grown into a force to be reckoned with. Today, the corps consists of approximately twenty-five members ranging in age from nine to forty. These student residents come from different regions of Dayton. Montrea was inspired by his former percussion captain, Calvin Holt, who was initially part of the Western Stars Drum Corps. Calvin instilled in him many leadership qualities, discipline, choreography, and other inspirations not mentioned. Montrea currently works at Mancor, which has helped him maintain the upkeep of the drum corps for the past ten years. Montrea continues to work diligently to maintain TRSS Drum Corps.