x = independently organized TED event

Theme: reINVENT

This event occurred on
November 7, 2013
1:00pm - 6:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Muskegon, MI
United States

Our world is moving at a pace that many of us find difficult to control or sometime to understand. Just when we think we “have it down”, something happens to change the way we look at our work, our neighborhoods, our relationships and our lives. Our community – our “neighborhood” – is redefined by forces like technology, communication and the mobility we all enjoy. All around us, our world is REINVENTing itself and giving new meanings and levels of importance to the things we know and do.

In 2013, TEDx Muskegon will explore the world of “REINVENTion” as we look at the ways we live and interact with each other, our community and our world.

Beardsley Theatre
425 W Western Avenue
Muskegon, MI, 49440
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Kimberley Sims

Affectionately known by many in the community as T.T. Kim, Kimberley Sims was born, raised, and currently resides in the City of Muskegon Heights. A Muskegon Catholic Central Alumni, wife of 19 years to Andrew, and mother of three: Jhonika (23) , Andrew II (16) and Preston (5). She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, an avid homeschooler; who has humbly served on the Muskegon Heights City Council for over a decade, Muskegon Area District Library Board, Muskegon Oceana Community Action Partnership Board, Muskegon Heights Optimist Member, Friends of Muskegon Heights Library, and volunteer director of SIMBA circle, an African-American male mentoring program. "One cannot hear a person’s cry and say one is busy" - Ibo, Nigeria. This is a proverb which is the driving force of Kimberley Sims. In her spare time, Mrs. Sims is the Visionary of a non-profit organization called Destinys Pointe, a grassroots organization to create sustainable change in an individual’s life. The ultimate goal for Mrs. Sims is to empower a people who seem to have been marginalized by the inner circles. Being the voice for the people who say little, yet their conditions scream for assistance.

Barbara Lee

Barbara Lee is the author of the book Sacred Sex. She works in the non-profit sector where she is an advocate for diverse populations, especially the marginalized and the voiceless. Currently she is a Vocational Specialist for Kandu, Incorporated. She earned her MBA in Leadership Studies at Baker College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration at Grand Valley State University. Barbara is the mother of two grown boys Jackson and Alex, and lives in Grand Haven, Michigan. She also shares her life with her significant partner Leif and her significant daughter Brigid. In her free time, Barbara enjoys travel, theatre, good food and international service.

Todd Conrad

A native of Flushing, Michigan, Todd Conrad moved to Muskegon in the spring of 2001 to teach English and coach football at Mona Shores High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Michigan University in 1997 and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University in 2006. He and his wife Shannan have three children: Brayton, Cullen, and Molly.

Patrice Johnson

Patrice S. Johnson is the Mayor-Pro Tem of the City of Muskegon Heights. Born and raised in the “Heights” Johnson feels a strong calling to contribute to the restoration and re-INVENTION of the city and community that she loves. Johnson works at her former high school, Muskegon Heights High School Academy. She is also a very proud graduate of Michigan State University where she earned her bachelors in Social Relations and Public Policy. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree from Cornerstone University. Her most recent accomplishment includes publishing her first book, My Father’s Kingdom. Johnson believes that great leadership can translate vision into reality and she is pressing for her vision to become reality in the city of Muskegon Heights

Evan Tylenda

Evan A. Tylenda is a BBA graduate of the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University with a double major in Finance and Accounting. Working toward his CFA designation, he recently passed the Level I exam. He is active in several organizations supporting sustainability initiatives in Grand Rapids, MI, he hopes to encourage companies and investors to embrace the benefits of corporate sustainability and socially responsible investing.

Shawn Gardner

With more than a decade of problem solving experience and a Master of Science degree in Conflict Management, Shawn Gardner has developed a keen insight of how to analyze a problem and develop ways to solve them. As a father of four daughters, a community activist, a fatherhood advocate, a Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellow, and a successful author of his memoir “Me vs. Me Volume: 1, Shawn has used his multiple talents to start a non-profit organization, 2NOT1: Fatherhood & Families, Inc., and under Shawn’s leadership, various entities were brought together to improve neighborhoods and strengthen families. Shawn works diligently to enhance fathers’ relationship with their children and the children’s mother (s). 2NOT1’s mission is to change the way society views fathers by “Making Fatherhood Normal”. Shawn’s belief is that he, 2NOT1 staff, the Board, and supporters will “change the lives of children, one father at a time.” With Shawn’s direction, 2NOT1 organized and hosted several Annual Fatherhood Conferences, and with the support of Congressman John Yarmuth, 2NOT1 has given Annual Fatherhood Awards to deserving fathers who reside in Kentucky and were nominated by their peers or community. In 2011, Shawn developed Teen Fatherhood University, TFU, to help teen fathers 24 and under navigate barriers and learn the skills to be involved fathers. Shawn also created “theBLUEPRINT” youth development program, which has been implemented in two Kentucky school districts. theBLUEPRINT assists youth with understanding the conflict in their lives and provides them with the needed tools to make positive and sound decisions while dealing with those conflicts.

Joshua Davis

Josh is especially interested in the ways in which music brings individuals and communities together, to foster peace and understanding. He's noticed that songs can re-soundtrack people's lives and peoples' lives too. Davis has just released "A Miracle of Birds", an album inspired by his experience in the Holy Land. Half of the proceeds will mean olive trees and educational scholarships for the farmers and families he encountered during his travels. The songs are deeply personal and deal with his struggle between his Jewish identity and the oppression and confusion he found in the Middle East. Josh brings a unique program to schools and communities that combines his music and stories about the trip as well as club dates with a world-class six-piece band. He lives in Lansing, Michigan with his lovely and brilliant wife and daughter.

Chris Willis

Chris is the visionary entrepreneur behind Media 1, a consulting firm dedicated to driving measurable organizational improvement since 1993. Chris played an instrumental role in developing Return On People, a powerful performance improvement methodology grounded in Human Capital Analytics. She is a regular business conference presenter and author, published in Dr Michael Allen's eLearning Annual. Her most recent title is The Return On People eBook. Chris is mom to Johna, who is pursuing a career in law; she is also the founder of Friends of Muskegon Dog Beach, and lives nearby with husband Robert, dachshund Rojito, and Rockett, a Jack Russell Terrorist.

Eddie Sanders Jr.

My name is Edward Sanders Jr. I perform under the name Eddie Sanders Jr. I am 47 years old and I am the father of 4 sons and one daughter. I am also a lifelong resident of Muskegon Heights. I began writing music and performing in 1998. For years I battled with alcoholism and substance abuse. My life was in turmoil. I didn't know which way to turn. After all else failed, I gave my life to Jesus and now 7 years later, my life is a living testimony. I am an Elder in Apostolic Churches of America, a 2013 graduate of Muskegon Community College, and the founder of INOJ Ministries, a youth mentoring program in our community. I have been blessed to perform in churches and public venues across the Midwest, from Chicago to Virginia as well as locally. I am in high demand as a vocalist in several choirs in our area and have been asked to perform the National Anthem at professional sports events, including for our Muskegon Lumberjacks. Writing music and performing all play a part in the Reinventing of myself, the man, Eddie Sanders Jr.

Joseph Salisz

Joseph A. Salisz, MD, Urologic Surgeon for 22 years. Born at Mercy Hospital, Muskegon, MI. Wife Shelia Halloran, teacher from Muskegon, MI, 4 children, active runner, skier, hunter, husband, father. Cancer survivor with a life… Re-plumbed, “have bag will travel.” Dedicated to stoma life improvement

Dan Gorman

Dan Gorman has served as School Food Service Director for Montague Schools for last 14 years and added Whitehall District Schools to his service area three years ago. He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, and worked twelve years in management in the restaurant industry with Applebees and The Ground Round before moving into his current field of work. Dan is Michigan’s first recipient of the USDA’s HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC) Gold Award, which he received at an HUSSC reception at the White House. He served as the Nutrition Chair for the School Nutrition Association Executive Board from 2005 until 2008. He also served as an Area 7 Representative from 2009-2011, and again serves in this role in the present day.Dan is married to his wife of 21 years, Mary, and has two children, Cecelia (18 years) and Emmet (15 years).

James Kendra

James Kendra has been a teacher since 1987 and has been teaching Social Studies at Kenowa Hills Middle School for the past 19 years. He holds degrees from Muskegon Community College, Michigan State University, and a masters degree from Grand Valley State University. He lives in Ferrysburg, MI with his daughter Grace, and Paula - his wife of 25 years.

Mark Peters

Mark Peters is the Chief Executive Officer of Butterball Farms, Inc., the nation’s leading producer of embossed and specialty butter and margarine for the hotel and restaurant industry ( He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Calvin College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Davenport University. To “enrich lives” is Mark’s personal passion and is also the mission statement for Butterball Farms. Mark has enriched many lives through his community service and strives to have every employee and the larger community share in this mission. Mark is involved in a number of non-profit organizations and was instrumental in organizing a group of committed businessmen and community leaders to form The SOURCE, a coalition of local business, non-profit service providers and state agencies to centralize services in Grand Rapids.

Organizing team


Muskegon, MI, United States
  • Andy Atkins
    Production Manager
  • Elisabeth Major
    Back Stage Manager
  • Elizabeth Council
    Marketing Manager
  • Andrew Trzaska
    Website Manager
  • Doug Wood
    Photographer and Social Media
  • Brian Clincy
    Social Media
  • Tim Brown
    Technical Team Member
  • Greg Bozik
    Camera Man
  • Linda Medema
    Production Team
  • Susan Tate
    OnStage Host
  • Mitzi Taylor
    Speaker Coach
  • Paula Kendra
    Marketing Team
  • Chris Burnaw
    Marketing Team
  • Arend Hart
    Technology Team
  • Chuck Tawney
    Technology Team
  • Jeff Eikenberry
    Social Media
  • Barbara Lee
    Speaker Selection Team
  • Eric Dykman
    Sound and Lighting Manager
  • Jared Olsen
    Speaker Selection Team
  • Art Fogg
    Speaker Selection Team