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Greenville Business Magazine

TEDxGreenville Announces Ninth Annual Conference

Feb 26, 2018 08:56AM ● By Emily Stevenson

EDxGreenville organizers announced the theme and the presenter line up for TEDxGreenville 2018 on April 6, 2018 at the Peace Center’s Gunter Theatre in Downtown Greenville.

The event engages attendees in moving stories, jaw-dropping performances, and demonstrations of groundbreaking new technologies under the event’s theme for 2018: “EXPRESS.”

Patterned after the hugely popular global TED conference (, TEDxGreenville, the first TEDx event in South Carolina which launched in 2010, continues to gain momentum year after year through spreading ideas during its always sold-out conference and igniting Greenville’s leading thinkers and doers from all backgrounds.

“TEDxGreenville is a catalyst for the most progressive, most innovative, and most mind-expanding ideas possible, presented in one short day in Greenville. We want to be a vehicle in creating healthy, important conversation in Greenville.” stated Russell Stall, TEDxGreenville License Holder and Organizer. “The atmosphere is designed to be inspirational, fun, and thought-provoking, and we want to ensure that a

At the heart of TEDxGreenville are the event’s presenters: a diverse group that includes business innovators, community activists, scientists, academics, performers, and community change agents. Each of the presenters are chosen based on their potential to spur change and to create a shift in thinking in the Upstate. The event leaves attendees surprised, uneasy, impressed, troubled, moved, bemused, and inspired. Every talk and performance is offered in a spirit of growth and camaraderie that's been integral to the TEDxGreenville experience since the organization’s first conference.

“Our goal when choosing presenters is to find inspirational, energetic, and fascinating people who want to create the Greenville of the future, It’s all about presenting the most innovative ideas that Greenville has never seen or heard before,” stated Julian Nixon, Curator and Director of the Presenter Selection Team.

The theme for 2018 is EXPRESS. According to Nixon, “The word Express can mean a particular genetic trait, or to express oneself through song and dance, or to act with haste. As the community looks towards what the future may hold for Greenville, many are aware that the characteristics of tomorrow's Greenville are created today. So just what do we want our future Greenville to express? Let's talk about it...”

The 2018 Conference presenters Include:

Michael Arnold

Problem Pro

Michael Arnold is a Quality Engineer with a local technology firm. Michael is a career problem solver, father and Quality Consultant.

Moody Black

Urban Poet

Moody Black is a professional poet, artist and speaker. He is an All Def Poet, 2017 GANSPA Award winner, teacher, and national award winning event host.

Jerry Blassingame

Hope Dealer

Jerry Blassingame is the Executive Director of a local community development corportion. For nearly 20 years Jerry has provided job training, financial education, mentoring and ministry to citizens who experience reentry.

Laura Bogardus

Equity Broker

Laura Bogardus is the Chapter Operations Director for the Greenville Society for Human Resource Management and President of Bogardus Research Consulting. Laura is a member of Greenville CAN Disability Employment Committee, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, American Sociological Association and the Society for Human Resource Management.

June Bond

Adoption Angel

June Bond is the Executive Director of an adoption advocacy firm. June is a Certified Adoption Investigator, Author, and recipient of the Congressional Adoption Angel Award.

Dani Bostick

Aspiring Advocate

Danielle Bostick is a former clinical mental health counselor, Huffington Post contributor and current teacher. She is a Voya Unsung Hero and advocate for victims of sexual violence, working to disrupt the culture of shame and silence surrounding sexual assault.

Hank Ehlies

Mental Defender

Hank Ehlies is an Attorney at Law at a local law firm. Hank has spent over 31 years defending the citizens of Grenville through everything from settlement, litigation council and negotiation regardless of size or scope.

Jaime Erin Fivecoat

Unashamed Activist

Jaime Fivecoat is a retired manager at an international tire manufacturer. Jaime is a Board Member of the Obesity Action Coalition, Upstate Pride SC, a writer for NY Times and a cancer survivor.

DJ Kels

Finger Magician

Keisha Stewart a.k.a. DJ Kels is a Nursing Support Specialist with a local hospital. Keisha is a professional DJ of nearly 10 years in the Upstate.

Kathleen King

Truth Snitch

Kathleen King is an artist that has operate in both commercial and private spaces throughout the southwest for over 30 years. Kathleen is a cyclist and has worked in film, theater, television, event and media design.

Chase Michaels

Buy Local Champion

Chase Michaels is the CEO and Founder of Locally Epic. Chase is a strong advocate for supporting the local economy and provides a mobile platform for local consumers and local businesses to be of service to one another.

Shivani Nadarajah

Inclusive Improviser

Shivani Nadarajah is a Senior Program Manager XLP at an international energy firm. Shivani is a professional comedian participating is events such as SC Funniest Comic and Alchemy Improv Comedy Theater.

Jonathan Parker

City Conversationalist

Jonathan Parker is the Director of City Involvement for a large local church where connects the church to the city by removing barriers and building bridges between the two. Jonathan is also the President and CEO of Hymns and Hops, an organization that celebrates the gifts of community , song and drink.

Apparao Rao

Glad Scientist

Apparao Rao is a professor of physics and director of The Nanomaterials Center at a national university. Rao is a recipient of the 2014 Governor’s Award For Excellence and leader in green energy.

TJ Rumler

Mindful Reformist

TJ Rumler is a Social Worker and Attendance Supervisor for Grenville County Schools. TJ served in the U.S. Army, completed his Graduate degree and has been honored as one of Greenville’s Best and Brightest 2015 by the Greenville Journal.

Jessica Sharp

Community Educator

Jessica Sharp is the Director of Volunteer Services for a local food distribution nonprofit. Jessica has served as the Diversity Manager for Grenville Health System, the Grenville Chamber, Junior League, the United Way of Greenville Leadership Greenville and the Riley Institute.