x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Concurrent: "Connections" & "The Future"

This event occurred on
September 6, 2014
11:00am - 7:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Staten Island, NY
United States

TEDxStGeorge: Building connections to our future, one great idea at a time. Join us for a day of exploration and innovation.

#Hashtag Bar
388 Van Duzer Street
Staten Island, NY, 10304
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Jackson Ridd

has performed magic from California to Maine, primarily appearing in and around Los Angeles and New York City. In addition to the Close-up Gallery at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Jackson has performed in films, music videos and on television, and at colleges, national fundraisers, and private events. He was featured twice in the "Future Stars of Magic" week hosted by the prestigious Academy of Magical Arts.

Unique Sotirakis

Unique Sotirakis is the author of the tongue-in-cheek book, The Truth About Monsters and Creator of the humor based parenting blog, Parenting from the couch. She is also a Momdoulary Method certified birth and mourning doula, instructor as well as a lactation counselor. A child at heart herself, her biggest passion is raising her 2 daughters to see life as a limitless adventure filled with joy, compassion and wonder. She believes it is through the future generations we have the greatest opportunity to sculpt the world in which we wish to live. Unique also works as a parent preparation coach, helping expectant parents hone the tools and skills to begin their own journey into parenthood.

Laura Saba

is an author, inventor, parent educator & parent preparation coach, curriculum & certification developer, podcaster, and the founder of businesses that operate at the bookends of life: birth and death. As the founder of Momdoulary Method training programs, she trains and certifies birth, postpartum, and antepartum doulas and parenting support professionals, and in the Momdoulary Passages Division, at, she trains and certifies end-of-life, mourning, and death doulas and death midwives. Her online childbirth ed classes are highly popular, and include "Fearless Childbirth," and "The Doula's Secret." Laura is also a professional organizer; coach; liberation artist; parent educator; blogger; podcast host; and homeschooler. She blogs extensively at sites with the following names:,,, and She also hosts the popular podcasts: "The Doula Diaries" and "Tomorrow's Child."

Jennifer L Scott

is the internationally bestselling author of Lessons from Madame Chic and creator of the blog The Daily Connoisseur. She is a contributing writer for Huffington Post Style and has been featured on CNN, BBC, and CBS News, and in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Newsweek, and The Daily Mail. She lives with her eccentric husband, adorable daughters, and distinguished Chihuahua.

Patrick Raftery

performs music for children and their grown-ups, both as “Music With Patrick” and with his group, “Patrick & The Rock-A-Silly Band,” which has played a number of regional venues, including for the past two years, playing at the Staten Island Zoo’s Groundhog Day ceremony, alongside the Mayor of New York City and the one-and-only Staten Island Chuck, with their song "Staten Island Chuck," being a hit of the ceremony. He has also recorded a theme song for the Staten Island Zoo, among other projects. Patrick's twice been awarded grants from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island (now known as “Staten Island Arts”), and currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Staten Island Children’s Museum.

Caleb Wilde

is a sixth generation licensed and practicing funeral director, embalmer and partner at a family run funeral home, the Wilde Funeral Home. His blog has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, NBC News, TIME Magazine, The Washington Post, ABC News and Forbes. Caleb is currently a Post-Grad Student studying, “Death, Religion and Culture” at the University of Winchester. He holds a certificate in Thanatology and a grad. Degree in Theology.

Cindy Joseph

began her modeling career of 14 years by chance and is still going strong at age 63. She is the spear head of the Pro-Age Revolution, owner and creator of the first pro-age skin care line and video blogger, speaking on subjects ranging from the the impact archaic societal concepts have on women’s self esteem to celebrating every age with passion and pleasure.

Steve Lewis

a lifer in the nightlife industry, quickly found acclaim as a interior designer, designing and building some of the nation’s most successful nightlife concepts, including Butter, Marquee, Stash, Snap Sports Bar, Home & Guesthouse, Webster Hall and SPA in New York City; Shampoo in Philadelphia; Brule'/32 Degrees Atlantic City; Stone Lotus in Chicago; TAO’s Opium Room in Las Vegas; and The Room at Harry O’s in Park City, Utah, among scores of others. Lewis proved adept at transitioning nightlife elements into popular see-and-be-seen restaurants like NYC’s Darby, Amalia, Aspen Social Club and Aspen. Noting a void in the media coverage of all things New York nightlife and knew he could offer an insider’s take, he launched Goodnight Mr. Lewis, a nightlife blog, and continues to blog with BlackBook’s online network. He's also a working Rock and Roll DJ signed with 4Am Management Agency, and serves on the board for the Nightclub Preservation Community and the New York Nightclub Hall of Fame

Richard A. Marin

is a 37 year finance industry executive who is currently President and CEO of The New York Wheel, LLC. He also is involved in managing private equity investments, consulting on major commercial real estate restructuring, acting as an expert witness in securities litigations and teaching asset management at Cornell’s Johnson School of Management. He was Chairman and CEO of AFI (USA), a major commercial property developer where he negotiated $2.3B in commercial mortgage restructuring. He is the former Chairman and CEO of Bear Stearns Asset Management, a long-time executive and member of the Management Committee of Bankers Trust Company, Vice Chairman of BT Alex Brown and Chairman and CEO of Deutsche Asset Management. He is a founder and partner of Beehive Ventures, a highly successful venture capital company and is the Chairman of Green Visor Capital, an early stage FinTech venture fund. Mr. Marin has also been a member of the faculty of the Johnson School at Cornell University for seven years, where he is a Clinical Professor and teaches courses in hedge funds, securities finance and pension funds. In connection with this he recently published Global Pension Crisis: Unfunded Liabilities and How We Can Fill the Gap 2013 Wiley & Sons. He speaks globally on this and related topics. He is Chairman Emeritus of the Johnson School’s Advisory Council and serves on the advisory boards of the Cayuga MBA Fund, the Parker Center for Investment Research, the Big Red Venture Fund, and the Cornell Financial Engineering Center. He was elected to the Johnson School Hall of Honor in 2001. A 1975 graduate of Cornell University with a BA in economics and government, Mr. Marin received an MBA in finance from the Johnson School in 1976. Mr. Marin is the director of several private technology companies, is on the advisory board for CRA Rogers Casey , is an advisor to Penbridge Advisors and has been a director of CARE, the global relief and development agency since 2008.

Michael DeVito Jr

Michael De Vito Jr. is the Program Director for the Staten Island Young Adult Borough Center. He received his bachelor's degree in Asian Studies while serving as a United States Marine in Okinawa, Japan. After over eight years of honest and faithful service to our country, Staff Sergeant De Vito returned to civilian life and took a position in sales with the Overseas Military Sales Organization. During this time he pursued a second Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and a Master of Secondary Education. Michael remained in Okinawa, Japan to support his daughter, and returned to the United States in October 2005. He has been with the SIYABC since January 2006 and the Program Director since June 2007. Michael is certified as an English Teacher (secondary education) in New York State, a published writer and a competitive marathon runner and running coach.

Dr. Marc Valitutto

Marc Valitutto, a native of Staten Island, completed an undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Rutgers University, and a Veterinary Medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Marc also completed 5 years of post-graduate residency training with the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and the NY Aquarium) as well as Cornell University and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. Following his residency, Marc was briefly the head veterinarian for the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA before coming back to Staten Island for the position of General Curator and Veterinarian for the Staten Island Zoo. Marc has been able to share his knowledge from his experiences working at 15 other zoological institutions with the Staten Island Zoo, the place where he got his start as a 15 year old volunteer. After working at both large and small facilities, Marc hopes he can move the Zoo forward in both the general care of the collection and veterinary health.

Performer: Dogs On Main Street

Virginia born, New York based balladeer Dogs On Main Street (aka Mac Rowe) is the new voice in the dark for the everyperson. He captures the sprawling, visceral, and unforgiving landscape of today's America through folk techniques both traditional and contemporary. The journey began in 2008 with a dark bedroom, a guitar, and a troubled feeling. In 2011, Rowe released an EP, Bound In Blood. "Giving a voice to the voiceless is his main goal in creating music," says Victoria Riggio of V23 Creative Magazine. In the summer 2012, it was time for Rowe to pack up and head north. He moved to New York City. Amidst the turmoil, loss, confusion, hope, and hunger Reckoning was born. "This is the music of outcasts and drifters, the hardscrabble folks on the outskirts of society who have to struggle every day just to get by. Rowe's songs are 50% atmosphere, with the other 50% being occupied mostly by his mournful, evocative singing," says Andrew Necci of RVAmag. A year later he recorded the full length album in Philadelphia.

Performer Edwin Vega

Edwin Vega made his professional and international debut with the English National Opera and has performed as a soloist with the Santa Fe Opera, Komische Oper Berlin and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Upcoming performances this season include roles at the San Antonio Opera and Toledo Opera. A graduate of the Milton Hershey School, Edwin went on to study at Ithaca College, Roosevelt University, and Yale University earning a Bachelors of Music Education and Performance as well as a masters in Vocal Performance and an Artist Diploma in Opera. Always the student and dreamer, this past summer he learned how to swim and began the practice of meditation and eating a vegan, plant based diet. He wickedly and enthusiastically believes in the power of change, the value and follow through of intention and hopes to empower people to reach their full potential in the next chapter of his journey as life coach/ educator.

Performer: Barbara Martinez

grew up performing in in New York City, debuting at the Metropolitan Opera at age 11. Originally from Venezuela, she comes from a lineage of Argentinian singer/actors. After college, she received a scholarship to study flamenco singing in Seville, Spain. Barbara sings an eclectic repertoire of flamenco, Latin and world music with her own group in jazz venues, and recently at Carnegie Hall/Weill. Barbara currently sings with A Palo Seco Flamenco Company and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, among other dance companies throughout the U.S. She recently appeared in the documentary "Sobre Las Olas - A Story of Flamenco in the U.S." by Carolina Loyola-Garcia, and the acclaimed exhibit entitled "100 Years of Flamenco in New York" at the Performing Arts Library. Bárbara is one of few flamenco artists who perform regularly both as singer and dancer in local venues in New York City, such as Alegrias at La Nacional, Cafe Nadery and Smoke Jazz Club.

Organizing team


Staten Island, NY, United States


Staten Island, NY, United States
  • Anastasia Volkova
    Usher & Event Assistant
  • Kit Elliot
    Team Assistant
  • Pat Montero
  • Peter Borghard
  • Nick Louckes
    Website Design
  • Vinny Banic
  • Gabriel Sanchez-Campo
  • Mia DeVito