Sara Tekula is the producer of TEDxMaui. As co-founder of the Plant a Wish project, a public awareness and documentary film project produced at her company, Noni Films & Media, she and her husband use the tools of the media (and basic gardening tools) to inspire the restoration of native habitats around America, engaging communities and teaching individuals to take an active role in the health of their local environment. On Earth Day 2010, Sara and her husband launched the project, which will ultimately visit all 50 United States â€“ uniting each community in an unparalleled tree planting effort. With a video camera in one hand, and a shovel in another, she's traveling the country planting trees and interviewing interesting people about their connection to the land they live on. On November 5, 2011, they achieved their goal of holding native tree planting events with communities in all 50 U.S. states. Their documentary is scheduled for a January 2013 release. It will be her Directorial debut as a filmmaker.
As VIce President of Noni Films & Media, she oversees all video, writing, graphic design, marketing and public relations efforts and works closely with a wide range of local businesses and community organizations on Maui and across the U.S. to raise awareness for their causes and build their businesses. She is a respected trainer and consultant in social media and web marketing, is a lecturer at UH Maui College's Business School, and is also a regular contributor/writer for the Maui Time Weekly.
Prior to working at Noni Films & Media full-time, Sara served the entire Maui County community as Director of Education at Akaku: Maui Community Television, Maui Countyâ€™s only local television station and community media-focused nonprofit. Her team was responsible for reviving the organizationâ€™s education program, resulting in the successful media skills training of over 1,000 Maui residents. She also founded a Citizen Journalism program that continues to thrive and develop as new technologies make it easier than ever to document and share stories on the local level.
As a producer and filmmaker, Sara has documentary television series for national and global audiences under her belt, including Survivor for CBS, Behind the Music for Vh1 and various others for A&E, Vh1, and MTV. Also experienced as a production manager for music videos and commercials, Sara has worked with clients such as Renault-Samsung Motors, Chegg.com, Atlantic Records, and Sprint. She was also a member of director Dennis Duganâ€™s assistant directing team on the recent Adam Sandler movie Just Go with It filmed on Maui in Spring 2010.
Sara is a graduate of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA with a Bachelorâ€™s degree in Psychology. She is expecting her first child in October 2012.
Sharing Ideas, the Rights of Nature, Media education, Community education, Biodiversity, Documentary filmmaking, All Living Things
Planting one tree - the right tree, in the right place - is the most revolutionary act one person can do.
Maui, Filmmaking, Writing, Travel, Native Habitats, Social Media, Psychology, Learning, and Music.
Singing, Navigation, Curing hiccups.
I've been a fan of TED Talks for years, but it wasn't until late last year when a Maui friend (TEDx License Holder Katie McMillan) was accepted to attend TED Women in Washington DC that I felt the power of TED first-hand.
After helping her raise funds to go on behalf of the many Maui residents cheering her on, I was honored to be invited to co-produce the very first TEDxMaui with her!
Our second event, TEDxMaui 2013: The Dream is Real, is now scheduled to be held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on January 13, 2013.
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