x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 29, 2010
7:00pm - 7:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
United States

TEDxTulsa brought together entrepreneurs, community leaders, visionaries, and game changers for an evening designed to ignite the human experience. Our theme: Thinking Different.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Tulsa events


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

Connie McFarland

Connie McFarland is president of McFarland Architects P.C. Founded in 1988, Connie’s practice is the realization of her vision that design can inspire community. From health care to higher education and civic to commercial design, Connie believes the built environment can become a positive catalyst for providing care, exchanging ideas, governing effectively and interacting personally and commercially. Connie is a fellow of the American Institute of Architects and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Architects. She is on the board of the Oklahoma Center for Healthcare Improvement and is board president of Resonance Center for Women Inc., a Tulsa-based support group helping female ex-offenders rebuild their lives.

Brett McKay

Brett McKay is the founder and editor-in-chief of “The Art of Manliness” blog, a men’s lifestyle site dedicated to reviving the lost art of manliness. After noticing most of the men’s magazines on the stands talked about the same old things every month — six-pack abs, $2,000 watches and hot babes — Brett created “The Art of Manliness” in January of 2008 to change the tone and discussion on what it means to be a man. “The Art of Manliness” has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and The Toronto Star and on CNN. In 2009, Brett, along with his wife, Kate McKay, turned the blog into a book and published “The Art of Manliness: Classic Skills and Manners for the Modern Man.”

Geoffrey Simpson

Geoffrey challenges himself every day to be a better husband, father, entrepreneur, runner and artist. Geoffrey pays the mortgage by being the co-founder and chief technology officer for Moxie Software. His newest creation, Diner Connection, launched in September of 2010 and has already earned several accolades. Geoffrey serves as technology director and board member for the Tulsa Running Club, and he is the first alumni to be appointed to the board of trustees of the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics. He has a stunningly beautiful wife and two cute-as-a-button boys. He is running four marathons in 2010, creates stained glass art pieces and stays active at the same church his great-grandparents attended.

Randall Suffolk

Rand Suffolk became the director and president of the Philbrook Museum of Art in June of 2007. The museum has approximately 65 full-time employees and an annual budget of $6 million. Rand has curated more than 25 exhibitions and has served as a juror, panel member or guest lecturer for a variety of art-related organizations and programs. He has also served on the boards of numerous community and statewide nonprofit organizations and currently serves on the boards of the John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation and the VisitTulsa Advisory Board. A resident of Tulsa, Rand earned a bachelor’s in English from Connecticut College, a master’s in higher education administration from Columbia University and a master’s in art history from Bryn Mawr College.

Clifton Taulbert

Clifton Taulbert’s ability to connect with diverse individuals across a broad professional spectrum has introduced him to audiences from members of the United States Supreme Court and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. His internationally embraced book, “Eight Habits of the Heart,” outlines the “building community” principles he believes to be crucial to ensuring a workplace where productivity is valued and mutual respect is a way of life. His memoir, “The Last Train North,” was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Kathy Taylor

Kathy Taylor began working in the public sector in 2003 with Gov. Brad Henry as Secretary of Commerce, Tourism and Workforce Development. She led the recruitment of Dell’s second largest U.S. facility to Oklahoma and co-chaired the Governor’s Economic Development Generating Excellence Project, a statewide effort to build a visionary economic development plan. In 2006, Kathy was elected Mayor of Tulsa. During her term, Tulsa completed the BOK Center, passed the largest investment in streets in Tulsa’s history, consolidated five city facilities into a state-of-the-art City Hall, acquired the City’s first public hospital, completed a new hangar for the city’s largest employer and built a new downtown ballpark through a public/private partnership. She completed her term in December of 2009.


A contemporary urban maestro, SWAHILL bases the foundation of his formula on true craftsmanship. To SWAHILL, each overture is an expression of artistry created on a global canvas. His palette is filled with colors that span across continents and cultures. It’s an ironic blessing that SWAHILL is colorblind; this allows him to hear what most see. The shades and hues of each chord come to life and stand at attention under his watchful guidance. He is the composer; sound is his orchestra.

Portico Dans Theatre

Founded by Jennifer Alden and Valeria Cordero, Portico Dans Theatre desires to promote the growth of contemporary dance in Tulsa through collaborative performances and educational opportunities for the community. With backgrounds in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, musical theater, tap, aerial dance, stage combat and historical dance, among other genres, Portico’s choreography is as diverse and unpredictable as it is engaging and entertaining. Portico Dans Theatre arose out of an entrepreneurial spirit to provide choreographic and performance opportunities where none had previously existed. This was due in response to a surprisingly large and diverse community of willing and able performers who were hungrily searching for an artistic outlet.

Michelle Firment Reid

A contemporary artist, Michelle Firment Reid has been painting for the past 20 years. She earned a bachelor’s in fine arts from The Corcoran College of Art and Design and worked in the graphic and disguise department for the Central Intelligence Agency. Michelle says that painting gives shapes to her emotions, “making them visible and capturing a moment in time on the canvas in a permanent seal of human emotion.” Her most recent exhibits have been at Gallery One in Nashville, The Oklahoma Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and M.A. Doran Gallery, and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery, both in Tulsa.

Organizing team


  • Kristen Bergman
    Speaker Wrangler/Emcee
  • Edgar Billingsley
    Video Magic
  • Chuck Branch
    Social Activities
  • Lou Ann Lissonnet
    Day of Event Director
  • Carol Messer
    Social Maven
  • Micheal Sager
    Stage Designer
  • Brad Vernon
    Technology Magic
  • Holly Wall
    Social Media Director