x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Illumination

This event occurred on
November 16, 2013
9:15am - 6:00pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
Salem, OR
United States

Salem, Oregon's first TEDx event will be small but pow­er­ful. The ideas discussed will be challenging, inspir­ing and eye-opening. The sto­ries shared will con­nect us to one another and work as a cat­a­lyst to ener­gize our community.

This is why the theme of the first TEDxSalem is “illumination.”

We hope TEDxSalem will be the div­ing board for dia­logue and action. We will have local speak­ers from a wide range of dis­ci­plines found right in our back­yard from inno­va­tors to sci­en­tists to com­mu­nity organizers.

You are sure to walk out at the end of the day with your brain buzzing, new life­long friend­ships and a sense of empow­er­ment to wield your influ­ence over your world.

No, you will not imme­di­ately embrace every idea or absorb every piece of infor­ma­tion. Our hope isn’t that it will be an easy day. Rather, we hope to spark a pas­sion and curios­ity you may not have known you had. Because those are what will drive us to truly new heights.

Spread the word. Fol­low us on Twit­ter and like us on Face­book!

Grand Theatre
191 High Street NE
Salem, OR, 97301
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Salem events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Stephanie Wright

Stephanie, American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), is a Senior Associate at Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates in Portland and an . Her goal is to provide communities with viable, attractive alternatives to driving alone, including walking, biking, taking the bus, carpooling or telecommuting. She focuses primarily on pedestrian facilities and bus service planning. Her recent projects include helping create the Urban Street Design Guide for the National Association of City Transportation Officials, a bus restructuring project in Washington, D.C., and a sustainable streets project for the City of Boulder. Stephanie is a Delaware native who lived in New York City for 9 years before moving to Portland in January 2013.

Courtney Dillard

Courtney has been curious about strangers for as long as she can remember. She has traveled extensively both in the United States and abroad, making an effort to strike up conversations with those around her in order to learn more about cultures very different from her own. Teaching in the field of Communications at Willamette University, Courtney finds herself frequently imploring her students to get out of their Facebook bubbles and take a look at the world around them. Originally from Florida, Courtney has been living in Portland and working in Salem for over a decade. Creating and deploying innovative random acts of kindness is her major hobby. She sees her honeymoon adventure, Breakfast with Strangers: 50 Meals across America, with her husband Matt as her best idea yet. Her favorite breakfast is Matt’s homemade backyard chicken truffled eggs, served in their kitchen.

Von Glitsschka

Von is principal of Glitschka Studios, a multi-disciplinary design firm in Salem. The studio shines as a creative hired gun for ad agencies, design firms, and in-house corporate art departments all around the world. Von speaks and writes on the topic of design, creativity, brand identity, and marketing. He is an adjunct teacher of digital illustration and the author of five books. He is also one of the top content providers of skill based courses on design and illustration for When he’s not working on unique illustrative design, he can be found reading a good book or writing a short story.

Eric Howald

Eric A. Howald is an award-winning journalist and writer with a B.A. in journalism from Auburn University and a M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. His work has been published in numerous local publications and websites as well as nationally on and in Ultimate Grappling magazine. His first short story is due to be published in the anthology Trust & Treachery. He is a volunteer instructor and founder of the McNary High School Write Club where he works with students interested in creative writing. He has helped them produce two anthologies of work. Orion 9, his first comic book, a collaboration with artist Micah Baker, will be independently published in 2014 by Propaganda Comics. His alter ego is mild-mannered associate editor for the Keizertimes. He lives in Keizer with his wife, Jennifer, and daughter, Ameya.

Chris Hahn

Chris is an artist, creator, and musician who uses technology to take the ideas from his head and make them real. He has a deep interest in technology, sound design, music and new interfaces. It’s not uncommon to find him banging on random bits of wood, metal, and glass to explore their sonic possibilities. He enjoys challenging the notion of what an instrument is and composes music with a combination of traditional instruments, found sounds, and synthesis. He draws most of his inspiration from what’s possible rather than what is concrete with musically abstract notions like creaking doors for rhythms, and tapped glass for melodies, but also culturally abstract notions such as life on other planets, the meaning of numbers stations, and the existence of Pandora’s Box. Chris is excited for the current generation of artists exploring music creation outside of notation and traditional instruments.

Dickie Adams

Dickie is a jack-of-all-trades, geek, musician, photographer, consultant, gamer, and a dad of two tiny offspring of his own. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, he is always on the lookout for new inspirations and ways to solve problems, sometimes to his wife’s chagrin. Dickie spends his days working as a Technical Account Manager for a large, well known worldwide healthcare organization and spends his evenings as a father/husband/geek/super hero (to some). As a new exciting challenge this year, Dickie decided to work on a new board game design 30 minutes a day, and through this effort was able to take a highly functioning prototype to PAX Prime (ask him about this experience).

Pamela Wible

Pamela Wible, M.D., is a family physician born into a family of physicians. Her parents warned her not to pursue medicine, but she followed her heart only to discover that to heal her patients she had to first heal her profession. So she decided to lead a series of town hall meetings throughout Lane County, Oregon where she invited her community to design their own ideal clinic. Open since 2005, Dr. Wible’s community clinic has sparked a movement in which citizens are designing ideal clinics nationwide. Her model is taught in medical schools and featured in Harvard School of Public Health’s Renegotiating Health Care, a text examining major trends in American healthcare. Dr. Wible is the co-author of two award-winning anthologies and the author of the bestseller, Pet Goats & Pap Smears: 101 Medical Adventures to Open Your Heart & Mind. She has been interviewed by CNN, ABC, CBS, and is a frequent guest on NPR.

Elaine Sanchez

Based on her own experience of caring for family elders, Elaine K. Sanchez developed a passion for helping people cope with the emotional stress of caregiving. She is the author of “Letters from Madelyn, Chronicles of a Caregiver” and co-founder of, an online, video-based caregiver support program. She frequently speaks at healthcare and caregiving conferences across the country. Before moving to Salem in 1998, Elaine worked as a sales manager for network television affiliates in Colorado and New Mexico. She has served on numerous professional and nonprofit boards including The Historic Elsinore Theatre and Salem’s Riverfront Carousel. Other books include “How Francis Got His Wink,” “The General’s Secret,” and “Beautiful America’s Salem.” She is also a regular contributor to a variety of caregiver magazines and blogs. Elaine’s husband Alex, who just recently retired from Oregon State University, is the co-founder of Together they have eight children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Rebecca Fromherz

Rebecca is the 2008 recipient of the Lillian and Paul Petri Foreign Music Study Award from the Benton County Foundation. Growing up in Dallas, Oregon she started her performance career winning the ‘Young Artists Live’ Competition in Portland. In the same year, she was awarded a spot at the San Francisco Girl’s Chorus Opera Training Program with Blanche Thebom. She received her B.A. in Vocal Performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music where she was honored as ‘Outstanding Vocal Student’ for her work in the Otto B. Schoepfle Vocal Arts Center. Rebecca then moved to Europe where she was based for over ten years. She sang at the famous Concertgebouw and opera festivals in Holland, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Slovakia. Her teachers include Kammersängerinnen Christa Ludwig, Hilde Zadek, Jean-Ronald LaFond, and Professor Konrad Leitner at the University of Vienna. An M.Ed student at Willamette University, Rebecca is the founder of Dallas-based Opera Organically.

Rick Gaupo

Rick is the President and CEO of Marion-Polk Food Share (MPFS). MPFS has been voted Mid-Willamette Valley’s Best Non-Profit and Best Place to Volunteer four years running. Rick has more than 20 years of experience in non-profit management. He started his career as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity International, was the Executive Director for Salem Self-Help Housing, and was the CEO at Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley for 15 years. Rick served as a non-profit management and fundraising consultant for three years prior to joining MPFS. Highlights of his year almost always include a long off-trail backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon, Olympic National Park or some equally beautiful location. Rick and his wife, Elizabeth, have lived in Salem since 1986, when they moved here to attend Willamette University. They have two children whom he hopes will share his passion for the community and for hiking.

Kelly Williams Brown

Kelly is a writer, blogger, reporter, and agency creative living in Portland. She is the author of the bestselling “Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps” which has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on the Today Show, among others. After a seven-year career in daily newspaper reporting, including Salem’s Statesman Journal, Brown now splits her time between writing for magazines like Brides, Cosmopolitan, and Glamour with work as a copywriter and lead creative for Leopold Ketel, a boutique Portland advertising agency. In her free time, Kelly likes to craft, read, dance, spraypaint Goodwill furniture, cook shrimp, and placate her angry tabby cat, Marigny Treme Brown-Gervais.

Patrick Spencer

Patrick Spencer has long been passionate about sustainability. During his career as a chef and restaurant owner, he focused on sustainable business practices and was a member of the Slow Food Movement. After moving to Oregon, he became the Sustainability Coordinator for Willamette Valley Vineyards and while there he created the Cork ReHarvest natural cork recycling program. Through the efforts and success of Cork ReHarvest, Patrick went on to found the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance (CFCA) in 2008. As Executive Director, Patrick has helped the organization grow to become a world leader in the efforts to preserve and protect the cork forests. The CFCA has established partnerships with many major environmental and forest conservation organizations and has Special Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

James Davidson

James is a renaissance man with a passion for choral music. He is the director of the Oregon State University Glee Choir and coordinates the choral program at Corvallis First United Methodist Church. He also is owner and operator of a small technical support company. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, James received his B.A. in Music from Willamette University and studied with Anton Armstrong through the Masters in Sacred Music Program at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. James’ choral experience began with the Salem Boys Choir and includes experiences with The National Lutheran Choir under the direction of David Cherwien, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Choral under the direction of Dale Warland, and the Oregon Bach Festival Chorale under Helmuth Rilling. James enjoys singing with local groups including St. Paul Chamber Singers in Salem and the Corvallis Repertory Singers in Corvallis. James lives in Corvallis with his wife, Nicole, and their dog Sugar.

Winter Vinecki

Winter founded Team Winter, a 501(c)3, at the age of 9 after losing her 40-year-old dad to prostate cancer. To date, she has helped raise over $400,000 for prostate cancer research and awareness. Winter is an Olympic hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympics in aerial skiing which has her living in Park City, UT and training at the Utah Olympic Park right now instead of with her family in Salem. Competing in triathlons since age five, 14 year-old Winter is a two-time triathlon National Champion. and is in the middle of completing a marathon on every continent. She hopes to become the youngest person in the world to accomplish this feat in honor of her dad and the 1 in 6 men affected by prostate cancer. She will be completing her seventh continent on November 10 in Athens, Greece just days before TEDxSalem and a welcome trip home.

Keith Seckel

Keith Seckel, RN, CHPN, is a storyteller who uses word-pictures and analogies to articulate complex and confusing ideas in simple, easy to understand terms. Because of this, he often serves as a translator of sorts in the fields of athletics, medicine, and spirituality. He seeks conversations with those wanting to share life stories. Keith was been a Registered Nurse in the US Navy and at Stanford Hospital & Clinics before joining Willamette Valley Hospice in 2007. Now Keith helps people facing the last months of their lives find comfort and peace so they can die well. Along the way, he says they teach him, and all of us, how to live well. Keith was raised in the Pacific Northwest, loves the rain, and lives in Salem with his wife, Cathy, their cat L’il Miss, and an inordinate amount of running gear.

Organizing team


Salem, OR, United States


Salem, OR, United States
  • Sean Swearingen
    On Stage Host
  • Saerom Yoo
    Storyteller, Planning Committee
  • Mindi Metka
    Volunteer Coordinator
  • Heather Coakley
    Planning Committee
  • Helen Shafran
    Recess Manager
  • Carole Astley
    Planning Committee, Stage Manager
  • Matt Friesen
    Planning Committee