x = independently organized TED event

Theme: It Connects Us

This event occurred on
November 9, 2013
10:30am - 6:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Corning, NY
United States

Saturday, November 9, 2013 was our third annual TEDxChemungRiver event, and it was definitely the best one yet!

At TEDxChemungRiver 2013, the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY was filled with 200 speakers, performers and participants who enjoyed a day full of inspiring, community-changing ideas, networking and stimulating activities.

Corning Museum of Glass
One Museum Way
Corning, NY, 14830
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Jacob Beck

Jacob Beck is an 18 -year-old singer-songwriter. He grew up in a large family in the rural hills of Upstate New York on the border of Pennsylvania. After teaching himself how to play piano when he was 11 years old and buying his first guitar a year later, Jacob found himself caught in the world of Bob Dylan, Adam Duritz, The Avett Brothers, The Head and the Heart, the Wood Brothers, and various traditional folk artists. In recent years, he has played in various bands and appeared in venues all over Upstate New York. He hopes to continue sharing his passion with others.

Ann Crook

Ann Crook is the Director of Aviation of the Elmira Corning Regional Airport where she is working to increase and improve commercial air service, attract aviation- related commercial and industrial activity, and to integrate the airport facility into her Upstate New York community. Crook also serves as the President of the New York Aviation Management Association, whose mission is to promote economic growth through airports and advancing New York’s aviation industry.

Maria Strinni Gill

Maria Strinni Gill is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she survived intensive study in photojournalism alongside of the best news photographers in the world. After a year of photographing celebrities at red carpet events in Miami Beach, she headed north to work as a news photographer at the Star-Gazette in Elmira, New York for four years followed by two years as education, health reporter and photographer for the Leader in Corning. Via the Associated Press, Maria’s photographs have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and Time magazine.

Sriram Hathwar

2011 TEDxChemungRiver Speaker; Sriram Hathwar is  currently an eighth‐grader attending  the Alternative  School  for  Math  and  Science.  His  favorite  subjects  are  French  and  mathematics. He has been to the Scripps  National Spelling Bee 4 times and still has one more chance to participate. He has  achieved first place in the South  Asian Spelling Bee. He has also won his school geography bee 4 times  now  and  has  qualified  for  the statewide  geography bee twice. His best rank there is  sixth in state. He has qualified for the state Mathcounts®  competition, where  he  represented  his  school in Albany. Sriram has  received  the  High  Honors  award  at  the  Ying  TRSEF  Science Fair  in  Syracuse  also. He  has  attained  first  seed  for  oboe  in  the  All  County  Band.  He  is  an  avid  reader  of  The  Hitchhiker’s  Guide  to  the Galaxy. In his leisure time, Sriram also enjoys playing tennis, basketball and skiing. 

Waguih Ishak

Dr. Waguih Ishak joined Corning Incorporated in 2007 as the Division VP in Science & Technology. He established the Corning West Technology Center, CWTC, in Palo Alto, CA and staffed it with researchers working on display, fiber optic and illumination technologies. CWTC is active in the areas of touch displays, consumer fiber optics and backlighting of novel displays. Before working for Corning, Waguih started his career by joining Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in 1978 where he designed magnetic bubble propagation and detection circuits and surface acoustic wave (SAW) low-loss filters. In 1995, Waguih became the Director of the Communications & Optics Research Laboratory (CORL). Waguih led his R&D team in the areas of photonics (fiber optics, integrated optics, optoelectronics, and micro-optics) and integrated electronics. In 2003, Waguih became the Director of the Photonics & Electronics Research Lab (PERL) at Agilent Labs (Agilent was spun off by HP in 1999), responsible for the R&D programs in photonics, high-speed electronics, sensors, semiconductor test, wireless communications and consumer electronics. In 2005, Waguih became the Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Avago Technologies. Waguih managed the company’s U.S. Advanced R&D Center and is responsible for creating technologies for its Electronic Components Business Unit (ECBU).

Don Keddell

Don Keddell is retired public school administrator who has logged 45 years in a variety of paid and voluntary capacities in pursuit of offering young people access to educational excellence. Don has earned Bachelor and Masters degrees from Columbia University. His educational career includes teaching and administrative assignments in New York City and teaching in the Ithaca City School District. He raised his family in Elmira and spent the majority of his professional career serving in the Elmira School District as principal and central office administrator. Since his retirement in 2004, he has dedicated himself to community service. He currently serves as Board President for GST BOCES, the Chemung County Child Care Council, the Wings of Eagles and the Horseheads Family Resource Center. In addition, he serves on the deployment teams for MST Connect and the School Readiness Project as well as the Board of the Family Reading Partnership. He is the proud recipient of several community awards including Distinguished Citizen, the Donahue Award, Friend of the Family, the Fortier Award, the 4Way Test and the Way Award.

Matthew Neil Leroux

Matt LeRoux is an Agricultural Marketing Specialist for the South Central New York Ag team at Cornell Cooperative Extension. Matt has brought his education in cultural anthropology and agricultural economics to the local foods movement to develop innovative marketing. Matt works with a diverse mix of produce and livestock farmers in the Southern Tier of NY on marketing and business development.

Sean Lukasik

Sean Lukasik is the owner of CreAgent Marketing, an internet marketing  and website design agency in  Corning, NY. He is also the co‐founder and  CEO of US Poster Compliance, selling and  distributing labor law posters  to businesses all across the country.  His talks on social media and  inbound marketing have been presented to  business leaders, artists,  young entrepreneurs, and nonprofit  executives throughout the region.     Sean is also an improvisational actor  and performance artist, having  worked in New York City, Boston,  San Francisco, and The Netherlands  with Alligator Mouth Improv and Impromptu.  He has a passion for  running and most recently  competed in the Niagara Ontario Ragnar  Relay, Buffalo Tough Mudder, and Wineglass Half Marathon. His affinity for Buffalo  sports teams remains a mystery. 

Aaron Mead

Aaron Mead has loved art and design since he was a young boy. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art with a BFA in industrial design, he has been working as a NERF designer at Hasbro for more than a decade. Constantly exploring new ways for children to play and explore their worlds, Aaron loves creative problem solving using new design and material solutions. In his spare time, he loves to run, hike, and travel, read comic books, draw and paint. Aaron is a native of the Corning area, frequently coming back to visit family and friends. He and his wife, Erin, live in Rhode Island.

Andrew Nemr

Mentored by Gregory Hines, Andrew is considered one of the most hardworking and diverse tap dance artists today. Whether collaborating with genre-busting musicians, directing CPD PLUS, or co-founding the Tap Legacy™ Foundation, Inc., Andrew has garnered a reputation for impeccable musicianship and sensitivity, and respect for the craft that he loves. The artist in residence for the Quarterly Arts Soiree (QAS) at Webster Hall, Andrew received an NEA Masterpieces: Dance Initiative Grant to reconstruct the works of classic tap dance soloists, garnering critical and popular acclaim upon their presentation in Echoes In Time. Collectively, Andrew’s choreography and solo work has been described as “a welcome return to the elegance of simplicity and the tap dancer as maker of aural magic” ( and “deeply touching” (Daily Gazette). An experienced soloist, Andrew has performed in various venues nationally and internationally. Nemr continues musical associations as a featured guest with the Nat Adderley Jr. Trio, Max ZT and House of Waters, the Jake Sanders Band, and with electronic musician Sean Hagerty. As a founding member and dance captain of Savion Glover’s TiDii, Andrew was featured in the critically acclaimed Improvography at The Joyce Theatre, NY, the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival 2001, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, the 2002 Winter Olympics Arts Festival, and the 2002 Nijinsky Awards in Monaco. Under Nemr’s direction his tap dance company CPD PLUS (Cats Paying Dues) has been presenting critically and popularly acclaimed work since it’s debut in All For Love (2005, Mainstage Theatre at Playwrights Horizons). More recent seasons include Where the Music Lives (2008, Julia Miles Theatre, NY) and Echoes In Time (2009, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, NY; The Egg, NY; Landmark on Mainstreet, NY.). In his efforts to continue to champion the art form of tap dance, Andrew co-founded the Tap Legacy™ Foundation, Inc., along with Gregory Hines, chartered to build a cultural center in New York City dedicated to tap dance.

Connie Sullivan-Blum

Dr. Constance Sullivan-Blum is a Cultural Anthropologist with a specialty in Religion and Gender. She has been teaching at the university level for over a decade. Dr. Sullivan-Blum works as the Folk Arts Coordinator at The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes where she continues to research the arts, customs, and belief systems of diverse groups in the Southern Tier.

Organizing team


Elmira, NY, United States
  • Steph Davis
    Assistant/Logistics Committee
  • Linda Marks
    Participants Committee
  • Tracy Savard
    Participants Committee
  • Colleen Parsons
  • Christine Cecala
    Finance Committee
  • Sarah Blagg
    Logistics Committee
  • Christine McLear
    Logistics Committee
  • Laura Kaul
    Marketing Committee
  • Colleen Rennie
    Marketing Committee
  • Elisa Tetreault
    Marketing Committee
  • Beverly Kennedy
    Partnerships Committee
  • Joseph Welch
    Partnerships Committee
  • Vishoka Balasubramanian
    Speakers & Performers Committee
  • Randi Hewit
    Speakers & Performers Committee