x = independently organized TED event

Theme: uneXpected

This event occurred on
October 26, 2012
9:00am - 1:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Akron, OH
United States

Have you ever been convinced of something only to find out that your worldview was not in line with the facts? Have you planned something expecting a certain result when to your surprise the opposite or something completely out of the ordinary happens? This year’s TEDxAkron talks will focus on the unexpected – ideas, outcomes, results, events or anything that challenges our notion of the status quo and how things should be.

University of Akron's Student Union Theatre
302 Buchtel Mall
Akron, OH, 44325
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ted Senf

The early part of Ted’s life was shaped by the amount of moving his family did while he was growing up. He attended 27 schools in 17 states before he graduated high school. Ted’s professional career continued to be transient until coming to Allstate Insurance in 1994 through a temporary employment agency. In his own words, “It is here at Allstate that I found my voice and clarified my purpose both professionally and personally. I actually get paid to learn and then share that learning with others. I can not imagine a more rewarding or beneficial way to make a living.” Ted Senf serves as a global trainer, course designer, inspirational speaker and performance coach for Allstate Insurance. He has shared his message with over 18,000 members of Allstate throughout the country and with many non-profit organizations and schools. His personal mission is to recognize, honor and encourage the excellence in others.

Dr. Katherine Rawson

Dr.Katherine Rawson is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Kent State University, she obtained her Ph.D. at University of Colorado in 2004. Her areas of expertise include reading comprehension, skill acquisition, and strategies for enhancing student learning. She is the 2010 U.S. Department of Education recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE) and was selected as a 2010 Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences. To date, she has published 42 peer-reviewed journal articles and 7 book chapters. Dr. Rawson is currently an Associate Editor for Memory & Cognition and Memoryand serves on the editorial board of three other journals.

Kristie VanAuken

Promoted to Senior Vice President in 2008, Kristie manages and directs all airport marketing and communication programs including: air service development, branding, advertising, media relations, social media, and internal and external communications. Kristie is often invited to speak at local, regional and national conferences and forums about airport marketing, branding and social media. Kristie authors “It’s a Trip,” a popular airport blog and can be found on Twitter at CAKristie. In addition to her airport duties, Kristie serves on the following boards: Leadership Akron, The American Red Cross (Summit and Portage County Chapter), The Development Finance Authority, and the Marketing Leadership Roundtable. She joined the airport staff in 1996 as Director of Marketing. Prior to joining the airport, Kristie worked for the Greater Akron Chamber and the State of Michigan, International Affairs division. In 2011, Kristie was recognized as a “Woman of Note” in Crain’s Cleveland Business Magazine. She was also honored as one of the top 100 Women in Ohio Aviation by the International Women’s Air and Space Museum in 2009. And in 2008, she was selected as a Distinguished Sales and Marketing professional by Sales and Marketing Executives of Cleveland. Prior to that, Kristie was voted as one of 30 for the Future and one of Crain’s 40 Under 40 list of upcoming executives in Northeast Ohio. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and a Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Kristie lives in Green with her husband Mark and two children, Tori and Trevor.

Dominique Moceanu

Largely considered one of the greatest and most accomplished gymnasts of the modern era, Dominique Moceanu, born in 1981, is the youngest American gymnast, male or female, to win an Olympic gold medal (she did it at age 14), and the youngest to win a Senior National All-Around Title (at age 13!). She was also the youngest gymnast to compete at the World Championships, to earn a spot on the U.S. National Team, and the youngest athlete ever featured on a Wheaties box! Born to immigrant Romanian parents, she started her gymnastics career at the ripe old age of 3. Leading up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, she was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, and scores of other publications. She was also photographed in Olympic Portraits by world renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz. In November, 2006, she married Dr. Michael B. Canales, a former gymnast who is now a foot and ankle surgeon. The couple lives in the Cleveland area with their two adorable children, Carmen and Vincent. She coaches up-and-coming young gymnasts, and attends camps and clinics across the U.S. She’s also an in-demand motivational speaker and regularly appears in the media commenting on gymnastics and young athletes in general. Her memoir, Off Balance, which tells the remarkable story of her life, was released in the summer of 2012 and became a New York Times best seller.

Hal Walker

Northeastern Ohio’s musical treasure Hal Walker is truly one of a kind. He’s a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Kent who specializes in musical instruments that you’ve probably seen before. With a soaring baritone voice, he sings original songs that celebrate community, creativity and the state of Ohio. Voted Best Musician in Scene Magazine’s Best of Cleveland 2010 and 2011, Hal improvises and composes on the guitar, harmonica, piano, “melodious khaen” (a mouth organ from Thailand) and the ba-na-ku-las. (an African rhythm maker that you have to see in order to believe.) Hal Walker is a roster artist with the Ohio Arts Council Arts Learning program and Young Audiences of Northeastern Ohio. Through these programs, he has distributed thousands of harmonicas with foundational lessons to students of all ages throughout the state. Hal is a Summit Children’s Choir choral director and the Music Director of the Unitarian-Universalist church of Kent. Also, he plays lead chromatic in Reed City, a new harmonica quartet based here in Akron. (remember the Harmonicats?) Hal Walker lives in Kent with his 14 year old daughter and a houseful of musical instruments.

Lynn Budnick

Lynn Budnick currently serves as the Executive Director of ACCESS. Since 1984, ACCESS has served Summit County by providing emergency shelter for homeless single women and homeless mothers with their children. ACCESS addresses the issue of homelessness holistically by offering clean, safe, short-term housing, three nutritious meals daily and a supportive environment that can begin to stabilize these families in crisis. Since opening, ACCESS has sheltered almost 17,000 people. Lynn has served as its Executive Director since 2008. During her tenure, ACCESS has dramatically expanded the programing and services offered at the shelter to help empower the clients to replace old destructive patterns with new skills. Lynn’s professional background began in arts management in the sales department at Blossom Music Center. Her career at the Cleveland Orchestra (parent organization of Blossom) continued for almost twenty years culminating as General Manager of Blossom Music Center for three seasons. Lynn’s responsibilities there included negotiating all artist and vendor contracts, as well as representing the organization throughout northeastern Ohio. Lynn lives in Medina with her husband, John and their three rescue dogs – Emmutt, Macaroni and Webster. She is an avid horsewoman and practices the discipline of dressage with her warmblood Captain Nemo.

Organizing team


Akron, OH, United States
  • Lynn Falletta
  • Mike Gashash
  • Ned Parks
    Speaker Curator
  • Stephen Smith
  • Becky Weiand