x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Small Town, Huge Impact

This event occurred on
September 30, 2017
8:00am - 1:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Sugar Land, Texas
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Ismaili Jamatkhana and Centre
1700 First Colony Blvd
Sugar Land, Texas, 77479
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

AJ Jain

Dr. Ambuj Jain currently lives in Atlanta, GA with his wife and 2 children. He has earned degrees in B.Com. at University of Allahabad and M.Com. at Delhi School of Economics, as well as a MBA and PhD from University of Buffalo, and was an award-winning assistant professor of marketing at Southern Methodist University. In his long and varied career as a businessman and a “visionary for humanity,” AJ has been motivated by the mutual success of his clients and colleagues alike. He has worked for industry leaders Deloitte Consulting and Resort Condominiums International, consulted with Microsoft, Mary Kay Cosmetics and J.C. Penney on strategic planning and marketing, served as a member of the executive team at American Safety Insurance, and founded 2 Pillars LLC. He is now the founder and chief executive officer of Feed A Billion, an organization that is committed to eliminating hunger and has pledged to feed 1 billion people by 2020.

Bob Donnell

Bob Donnell is a Human Behaviorist that assist people in aligning their behavior with their personal and professional goals. He is the Founder of Everything Next Level, a personal and professional development company committed to to the increase of companies, teams and individuals! Authoring several books: Mastering Your Inner Game, CONNECTOLOGY, The Art Of Intervention and 30 Days To Your Next Level, and creating Experiential courses which enable teams and people to increase and become even better at what they do by blending both professional and personal development

Cyndi Castro

Cyndi is a professional civil engineer with an emphasis on flood modeling and drainage infrastructure. She graduated from Texas A&M University and worked at AECOM, an international civil engineering firm, before pursuing her Master’s degree at the University of Texas. As a National Science Foundation Fellow, Ms. Castro researched methods in which geospatial information could be used to improve current standards in flood modeling, specifically in data-scarce regions. Cyndi has experience working and volunteering abroad as a civil engineer. She has also worked on a variety of local projects, including land development, detention ponds, river erosion, and drainage infrastructure. She now works at Jones|Carter as a project manager for public drainage projects in the Houston metropolitan area.

Danielle Bartz

Danielle Bartz is the Director of Boards and Commissions for Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston. She started with him in the 84th Texas legislative session and then worked on his campaign. Her degrees in government, Spanish and her Master’s of Public Affairs Degree from the LBJ School are all from the University of Texas, where she was an award-winning athlete and then a rowing coach. She lived a year in the Dominican Republic as an Ambassadorial Scholar of goodwill, and she volunteers in the summer teaching teenage girls government and citizenship at Texas Bluebonnet Girls State. In her free time, she founded Engage Leadership Consulting with colleagues from UT to help organizations maximize their underutilized human capital. She truly believes that individual people all make the difference.

Dave Sharma

Musician, Producer & Educator Dave Sharma’s career has been as exhaustive as it is deep. As a percussionist, he’s performed at Wembley with Moby, played dhol at Madison Square Garden, been a featured soloist with the Chicago Sinfonietta (alongside longtime collaborator DJ Rekha from Basement Bhangra), and was one of 2 on-stage percussionists for the Broadway & national tour of AR Rahman/Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Bombay Dreams.” He is currently the percussionist for the celebrated NYC live-disco band Escort, who have been featured on Last Call with Carson Daly, headlined the Montreal Jazz Festival, and toured with CeeLo Green. As a producer & engineer, Dave has worked with multiple artists, including the Glitch Mob, Red Baraat, Vancouver’s Delhi 2 Dublin, NYC producer JKriv, DJ Rekha, Bombay Dub Orchestra, amongst others. He was part of the seminal NYC live/electronic band Sub Swara, and continues to mix records for diverse clients. As an Educator, Dave has lectured at Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Virginia Tech, New York University, and Ohio State. His teaching schedule in Houston is extensive; at Cristo Rey Jesuit, he teaches ethnomusicology to juniors, and structural musicology & production to seniors; at Houston Community College, Dave teaches production in Logic Pro and remixing in Ableton Live. He teaches early childhood musicality with the Prelude Foundation, through the Houston Ballet’s ECE program, and is on staff at the University of Houston’s Department of Dance & Theater.

Glenn Morshower

One of the busiest character actors in Hollywood today, Glenn Morshower has appeared in over 200 film and television projects in a career spanning four decades. His first appearance was in the feature film Drive-In, in 1975. Audiences worldwide know Glenn best for his seven year run as Agent Aaron Pierce, on the FOX hit series 24. Glenn currently appears as Lew Rosen, the Ewing family attorney on TNT’s Dallas. Glenn was most recently seen on the big screen in Moneyball, with Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, as well as all three of the “Transformer” movies, as General Morshower. He appeared this past summer in After Earth, with Will Smith, and Parkland, with Paul Giamotti and Billy Bob Thornton. The film was executive produced by Tom Hanks. Other film credits include X-Men: First Class, Men Who Stare at Goats, All the King’s Men, Good Night & Good Luck, The Island, Hostage, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Air Force One, The River Wild, Star Trek: Generations, and the upcoming films Hoovey, and Dark Places, with Charlize Theron. Additional television credits include NCIS, Revolution, Castle, Eli Stone, Friday Night Lights, Shark, Bones, The Closer, Walker: Texas Ranger, Charmed, Monk, ER, Alias, Deadwood, CSI, and The West Wing, among many others.

Jason Freeman

Jason Freeman, author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best”, is a Bravery Coach who currently travels the country as a professional speaker. Yet for much of his life, Jason traversed a path of immense struggle. An early, traumatic birth occasioned by the loss of oxygen, resulted in a pronounced speech impediment and coordination awkwardness. Jason let this circumstance become a limitation that profoundly affected his life. He endeavored to become a perfectionist to compensate. Over the last 10 years, through much trial and error, Jason has found a new way of life for himself that has led to greater ease, happiness and success. He now finds immeasurable satisfaction in sharing this joy with family, friends, audiences and clients.

Julie Hoeltzel

Julie Hoeltzel has been called a “a standout” with a “superbly nuanced voice” and tremendous “command of character”. Recent roles include Glinda the Good in The Wizard of Oz, Beth March in Little Women Monica in The Medium, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffman, Lola in Gallantry, Lightfoot in Cold Sassy Tree and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. She is also a coveted concert soloist, having performed in works such as Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Karl Jenkin’s Stella Natalis, and in 2015 was featured in the U.S. Premiere of Howard Goodall’s Every Purpose Under the Heaven. Her talents have taken her to work with companies such as Opera in the Heights, Houston Grand Opera, Lonestar Lyric Opera, Opera Vista, and the Houston Symphony Chorus. Academic performances have also been done with the Moores Opera Center, Kingwood Summer Opera, Seagle Music Colony, Smothers Theater at Pepperdine University, and the Franco-American Vocal Academy. She currently studies with Dr. Barbara Clark, Assistant Professor of Voice at Rice University.

Matt Manero

Matt Manero is the Founder and President of Commercial Fleet Financing, Inc. (CFF) located in Dallas, TX. CFF is celebrating its 21st year in business and provides financing for commercial fleet vehicles such as box trucks, cargo vans, big rigs, tow trucks, dump trucks and construction equipment. CFF is a 3-time winner of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Inc. Magazine Top 500/5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America.

Michael Marchand

Michael is currently the Shepherd of Whitehurst Heritage Farms in Brenham, Texas. He believes that people have a right to truly natural, organic, and environmentally consciences foods. He is committed to educating people on the benefits of pasture raised foods.

Peter Hotez

Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine Professor, Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology Head, Section of Pediatric Tropical Medicine Baylor College of Medicine Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics Director, Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development Baker Institute Fellow in Disease and Poverty, Rice University University Professor, Baylor University Co-Editor-in-Chief, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Chair, Technical Advisory Board, END Fund Development of a vaccine for the more than 400 million people suffering from hookworm infection in the world today. Vaccine currently in phase 1 clinical trials in Brazil and Gabon.

Phil Maanulwa

Phil was a refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He arrived in the US with nothing but the aspiration to help other refugees in his homeland. He founded IEDA Relief and after years of working with the UN and many countries all over the world, he has created one of the largest Refugee Camp management companies that focuses on providing food, shelter, and education to all that are housed in their camps. Whether in West Africa, Asia, or in the Caribbean their organization is committed to alleviating the suffering of vulnerable people by tackling the underlying causes of poverty so that people can become self-sufficient and achieve their full potential. They have helped dozens of countries and millions of people and will continue to do so into the future.

Sahir Ali

Dr. Sahirzeeshan Ali is a research scientist at the Center for Computation Imaging and Personalized Medicine (CCIPD) at Case Western Reserve Medical University and Seidman Cancer Center. Dr. Ali received a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rutgers University (2009 & 2011) and a Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University. He also was the recipient of a Prostate Cancer Research Grant from the Department of Defense in 2014. Dr. Ali’s research interest lies in developing image analysis, statistical pattern recognition, machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to computationally interrogate biomedical image data of digital pathology tissue images. The tools can be used to predict disease progression and provide a score to clinicians on the aggressiveness of a patient’s disease, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, which can in turn help physicians decide on appropriate treatment option. Dr. Ali has written more than 30 peer-reviewed journal, conference and abstract publications, appearing in journals such as Nature Scientific Reports, American Journal of Surgical Pathology, the Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Image Analysis, IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging. This research work has also culminated in various commercialized patents. In addition, Dr. Ali has consulted with hedge funds and fortune 100 companies as a Salesforce architect and machine learning expert.

Sherry Weesner

Sherry Weesner is the president of the SMW Principle Solutions, a business strategy, process improvement and management systems consultancy. She enjoys research, public policy, planning and working with public agencies, special districts, commissions and elected and appointed officials As the Director of Projects for Scenic Houston, a local non-profit that works with various partners to improve the character of Houston’s streets, sidewalks and public spaces she worked with public and private partners to improve Broadway from I-45 to Hobby Airport and the Houston First Houston Gateway Art Bridges project to beautify the bridges over I-59/69. Sherry started her career with an engineering construction firm in Houston and worked in the environmental and regulatory compliance consulting field. Approximately 15 years ago she became interested in government and worked on several political campaigns. This experience led to a position as the Chief of Staff for a City of Houston At-Large Council Member where she worked with many areas of City operations, developed council office policy, agenda recommendations and developed strategies to achieve the Council Office’s overall objectives. She has a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University, a M.S. Degree in Finance from the University of Houston and is a Certified Public Manager.

Organizing team


Sugar Land, TX, United States


Houston, TX, United States