x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Fear Less

This event occurred on
October 22, 2016
10:15am - 7:30pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Jacksonville, Florida
United States

Fear Less – the TEDxJacksonville 2016 conference – will bring talented speakers and musical guests to the stage on Saturday, October 22, at the historic Florida Theatre.

It’s said that mankind’s oldest and strongest emotion is fear. But to live fully – to risk boldly and embrace new challenges – requires that we learn to face fear and be free of it. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of ourselves or the opinions of others – what might we accomplish if focused on what motivates us into action, not what prevents us?

The day will feature 12 speakers and 3 performers, both local and international, which will explore this theme and challenge us to push our boundaries just a little bit further.

At the end of the day, we’ll be shutting down Forsyth Street to celebrate and bask in the ideas from the day.

The Florida Theatre
128 East Forsyth Street
Jacksonville, Florida, 32202
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Don't Miss A Beat All-Stars

The organization's mission is to blend music, art, academic achievement, and civic engagement to inspire and enlighten children and teens in Jacksonville's Riverside, Brooklyn and Woodstock communities.


Since 2011, he’s toured more than 300 cities and earned many awards. Most importantly, he’s inspired a nation of students to push through every obstacle placed before them and to live their life as leaders. Named the 2014 APCA Spoken Word Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, Rod’s dedication to giving an uplifting message over his poems and stories are aligned with his passion to involve and entertain his audience.


Indie electronic band
The trio consists of Alex E (vocals/beats), Paige McMullen (guitar) and Summer Wood (drums). Tomboi was recently featured as TOM TOM Magazine’s Video of the Week, and the trio's latest self-titled EP, TOMBOi, is now available on iTUNES. Lobos + Remixes, is available on cassette now from Wiener Records.

Amber Yang

Amber Yang is a 17-year-old innovator and scientist who attends Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, Florida. For the past two years, Yang has been studying novel and effective techniques for the tracking of space debris. When Yang was 16 years old, she developed a novel Artificial Neural Network system capable of tracking the orbits of space debris to an accuracy that is 10 times more effective than current systems. Later that year, her research was accepted and is pending review for publication in Harvard University’s Journal for Emerging Investigators. In March, Yang was awarded the Grand Prize (best in fair) award at the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair and was named an International Grand Prize Ying Scholar for her work. In May, Yang received second place and an all-expenses-paid trip to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition.

Chris Thomas Band

19-piece big band
A native of Chicago and long-time resident of Jacksonville, Florida, vocalist Chris Thomas has performed with various bands within Florida for the past 15 years. On June 1, 2014, he formed The Chris Thomas Band in order to bring the highest level of quality and showmanship to his fans and audiences. A professionally trained and competitive dancer, he combines dance, vocals, and the best musicians in North Florida to deliver an unforgettable performance. Whether it’s with his small combo or 19-piece big band, Chris Thomas has the style and swagger of Sinatra and the performance excitement of James Brown and Bruno Mars.

Cornelia Dinca

Engineer and Urban Planner
Cornelia Dinca is an urbanist with a passion for livable cities. She is the founder of Sustainable Amsterdam, a platform devoted to sharing Amsterdam-based approaches for sustainable urban development. She is also the Delegations Lead for CycleSpace, an Amsterdam-based not-for-profit that helps international delegations bring people and bicycle-friendly development to their cities. Cornelia holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Amsterdam. Previously Cornelia worked on energy, climate change, waste management and cycling projects in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.

Dane Grey

Dane is the President and CEO of Elite Parking Services of America, which specializes in parking and transportation management services for municipalities, downtown urban markets, airports, and hospitals across the east coast of the United States. Mr. Grey started Elite Parking in 2007 while still a student at Jacksonville University. In 2015, Mr. Grey had the honor of leading the Elite Parking team to the development of the first cloud-based parking concept, a mobile and web-based application known as eTrac that created an automated method for managing employees, reducing operational costs, and increasing personnel productivity. Elite Parking was the recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Business Ambassador award, given to companies creating jobs and technology innovation throughout the state. Mr. Grey is a gubernatorial appointee to the Transportation Commission for the state of Florida. He is also the Vice Chair for the Jacksonville University Aviation Board.

Donna Orender

The Power of Women
Donna Orender, CEO of Orender Unlimited, a Jacksonville-based consulting and advisory firm, is a recognized business leader, trailblazer, game changer and executive. Prior to Orender Unlimited, Donna served six years as the President of the WNBA. During her term the league solidified its base and grew double digits in all key business metrics. With her focus on revitalizing the brand, its value and relevance, the league experienced five years of consecutive attendance growth, after eight years of decline. Prior to the WNBA, Donna spent 17 years at the PGA Tour, the men’s professional golf tour. She led the negotiating team that changed the paradigm for how PGA Tour golf was both packaged and sold for television, resulting in billions of dollars in growth for the tour. Her last position was in the Office of the Commissioner, as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Development.

Gary Chartrand

Education Advocate
Gary Chartrand is the Executive Chairman of Acosta Sales and Marketing. The company employs more than 40,000 associates and operates 100 offices in the U.S. and Canada. Chartrand was the pivotal force behind quadrupling the company’s geographic coverage, transforming Acosta into the first national full-service sales and marketing company in the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Chartrand also has a passion for educating the children of Duval County and the State of Florida. In June of 2009 Gary and his wife Nancy made a pledge gift of $1 million to KIPP schools of Jacksonville. Because of his passion for education coupled with his business experience and leadership, Governor Rick Scott appointed Mr. Chartrand to the State Board of Education in 2011. He served as Chair of the State Board of Education in 2014 and 2015. Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, The Jacksonville Public Education Fund, City Year, and KIPP schools of Jacksonville, Florida.

Gay Culverhouse

Concussion and head injury prevention expert
Dr. Gay Culverhouse is a sought-out expert in the field of concussion and head injury prevention. She has a master’s degree in mental retardation and a doctorate in special education from Columbia University, and was on the faculty of the medical school at the University of South Florida. She served as President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, President of Notre Dame College of Ohio, and Executive Director of The Cooke Center for Learning and Development. Dr. Culverhouse is also the author of Throwaway Players: The concussion crisis from Pee Wee football to the NFL. An advocate for many non-profits, Culverhouse has served on 24 nonprofit boards in and around Tampa Bay, as well as on the boards of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, All Children’s Hospital, Women’s Hospital, and the Moffitt Cancer and Research Center.

Jeanine Hoff

Mental Health Advocate
Jeanine Hoff is the founder and president of Where is the Sunshine?, a Northeast Florida-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and social media resource dedicated to positive mental health advocacy through education, community collaboration and inspiration. Jeanine is a certified presenter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Ending the Silence and Peer-to-Peer programs, and is certified in Mental Health First Aid (YOUTH) and Suicide Prevention. She is a featured contributor for The Mighty and Jacksonville Moms Blog, and has also been featured in Stigma Fighters and the Florida-Times Union. She is currently working on a feature piece for an upcoming published anthology of motivational mental health stories. Jeanine is a classically trained singer, actor, composer and pianist, and holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Music Theatre Performance from Arizona State University. She also holds a Master’s degree from Arizona State in American Media and Culture.

JeffriAnne Wilder

Sociologist and scholar specializing in diversity, race relations and gender issues
Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder is a sociologist and scholar specializing in diversity, race relations and gender issues. She is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Sociology and the Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations at the University of North Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Florida. In addition to her studies in sociology, JeffriAnne also completed a concentration in Women’s Studies and Gender Research. Dr. Wilder completed her M.A. in Sociology from Cleveland State University, and a B.A. from Allegheny College. Her areas of research interest include race and ethnic relations, minorities in higher education, women of color in the U.S., qualitative methodology, and the sociology of teaching and learning. A key area of JeffriAnne’s work focuses on examining the impact of this persistent issue of colorism within the black community, specifically among black women and girls in the era of “post-racialism.”

Mark Tumeo

Dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction
Dr. Mark A. Tumeo is the Dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction and a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of North Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California Davis, a J.D. from Cleveland State University, and B.S. degrees in civil engineering and biology from the University of Notre Dame. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Florida and Alaska. He is also a member of the Ohio Bar. Dr. Tumeo came to UNF in 2011 from Cleveland State University and was previously a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dr. Tumeo has more than 30 years of experience in environmental consulting and research and has extensive experience and publications in environmental risk assessment, policy and regulation. In 2005, he was elected to the Cleveland Heights City Council, and he was re-elected to a second term in 2009.

Rick Baker

Building Seamless Cities
Rick Baker has been a business acquisition lawyer, a law firm president, a university vice president, and now is president of a St. Petersburg-based company involved in development, hotels, real estate, sports, entertainment and hospitality. From 2001 to 2010, he served as mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida’s fourth largest city. Under Mayor Baker’s leadership, St. Petersburg experienced a renaissance unmatched in city history. In 2008, Mayor Baker was named America’s Mayor/Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine. In 2011, Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief John Avlon named Baker "America’s greatest mayor of the decade.”

Roderick Borisade

Spoken Word Poet
Born to a drug-addicted mother and an absent father, Roderick “Odd?Rod” Borisade struggled hard during his preteen years. After losing his brother to cancer, he pushed himself through high school and then earned a full college scholarship. In starting an open mic night at his college, Odd?Rod developed leadership and speaking skills that brought in 200 students a month to express themselves. He learned that sharing his story of perseverance was helping others to cope with what they were going through. The notion that he could be an example to others catapulted him into every school, rehab, and jail he could find so that he could let people know that they can make it, too. Since 2011, he’s toured over 300 cities and earned many awards. Most importantly, he’s inspired a nation of students to push through every obstacle placed before them and to live their life as leaders. Named the 2014 APCA Spoken Word Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.

Sheena Koshy

Legal Immigration
Sheena Koshy has never voted. That’s because she’s only ever spent 8 years of her life in the country of her citizenship. Born in India, she left at the age of 2 for Bahrain, a small island in the Middle East, where she had her first DQ ice cream, learned to love alphabets thanks to Sesame Street and ate a lot of shawarmas. She spent her middle school in Abu Dhabi, high school Dubai, her undergraduate in India and moved to the United States for university in 2001. She recently became a citizen in May of this year and is excited to vote in her very first elections. Her day job involves helping organizations find their niche, seek their community and connect the two by telling their stories. Her career has centered on leveraging the unique ways in which brands can engage digitally in this connected world we live in today.

Tracy Alloway

Psychology Professor and Researcher
Dr. Tracy Packiam Alloway is a psychology professor and the Graduate Program Director at the University of North Florida. She was awarded an Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2015 as well as an Outstanding International Leadership Award in 2014. She was also the recipient of the prestigious Joseph Lister Award for outstanding skills in communicating to a non-specialist audience from the British Science Association. Tracy’s research has contributed to the scientific understanding of working memory, and specifically in relation to education and learning needs. She has presented her research to national organizations such as the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and as well as internationally to organizations such as the Japanese Society for Developmental Psychology and the Center on Research on Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk in Germany, among others.

Organizing team


Jacksonville, FL, United States


  • David Johnson
  • Eugenia Allen
  • Ron Hubbard
  • Tiffany Manning
  • Tom Gentry