x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
December 1, 2017
Ashburn, Virginia
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).

The Loudoun School for the Gifted
44675 Cape Court
Ashburn, Virginia, 20147
United States
Event type:
Salon (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Ashburn­Salon events


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

Krista Woods

Krista Woods is a driven, high ocatane Super Mom and Super Executive for Glovestix amongst many other accomplishments. Krista has been in the Sales/Customer Service and Training industry since she was a teen so this is something completely new and different for her. As a mother of 3 athletic children she has dealt with “The STINK” for many years but it wasn’t until her youngest child became an avid lacrosse player that it became serious. “I remember I was spraying down my sons’ gloves, AGAIN, with another brand of some chemical spray and I just couldn’t stop thinking… this isn’t right, this cant be healthy for him!” She had researched for years how to get them to stop smelling so funky and she had tried everything…nothing worked. Finally she decided to invent something herself. “I wanted something that was safe, I didn’t want these chemicals touching the kids hands”. So on a long ride home from another hot and stinky lacrosse tournament GloveStix was born. As soon as she got home Krista, and her husband Chris, went to work on prototypes and testing. With absolutely no experience in manufacturing, logistics, ecommerce or product development, only pure drive to solve a problem, Krista brought GloveStix to market in less than a year of the idea coming about. “It was a lot of hard work and jumping through hoops but I knew I had something amazing and I knew people would love it.” Krista relied heavy on her friends, family and personal relationships with others in order to make this dream become a reality. “Everyone pitched in to helped, it was incredible, and still is. I am a very lucky lady!” She said. Since June 2015, when the GloveStix became a real product for sale Krista has been non-stop. “Even with winning 3 awards in the past year, going on National Television and QVC, its still an uphill battle. Every day running your own business comes with its challenges. The larger you become the bigger the challenges, you just get better at dealing with them and trusting yourself. It is an incredible adventure for sure!” Krista survived a grueling process and secured a win recently seen on Shark Tank for her product weeks before her talk!

Mukami Kinoti Kimotho

Múkami is a story-teller, multi-dimensional creative and experienced social impact entrepreneur on a mission to ignite and empower 1million+ girls to live authentically and to boldly pursue all that is possible for them, particularly around Leadership, Entrepreneurship and STEAM-focused life paths As the Founder, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Royelles Inc ( - Múkami is intersecting empowerment + technology + education to transform lives - helping all girls, everywhere, realize that they are enough, just the way they are, and that their difference is their superpower. 2018 will see the launch of the #RoyellesRevolution - an immersive, technology-driven platform , offering empowering, interactive play experiences for girls, delivered across multiple dimensions - mobile, social and physical. The platform will disrupt conventional play and offer MORE of what moms, parents and girls all over the world are demanding, while elevating qualities and characteristics innately embodied in all girls. Múkami is leveraging her fashion and lifestyle platforms to disrupt conventional beauty standards and expand the narrative around self value and self worth, to foster inclusion and collaboration, to drive soul-stirring dialogue around women and girls issues and to spotlight those who are contributing meaningfully to a better world. In 2015 Múkami launched the inaugural JOODJ Honors FIERCE Females Inaugural Academy. She also created the JOODJ LifeSTYLE With A Conscience campaign which supports the eradication of social injustices against women and girls. As media personality and CEO of MukamiTV ( her mission is to inspire, empower and transform lives through powerful story-telling. She is leveraging the power of this socially-enabled platform to amplify the voices of everyday individuals doing extraordinary things; to humanize the celebrity experience by spotlighting the ‘real people behind the fame’ and to offer beyond entertainment, the meaningful opportunity to contribute to social-good endeavors. Múkami views herself as a servant leader, an agent of change and an instrument of encouragement and inclusiveness. She has advocated on behalf of global issues spanning themes such as Diversity & Inclusion, Collaboration, Leadership Development, Gender Equality, Child Survival, Health, Education and Sustainability of the Arts. She has served on the Board of the Women and Girls Foundation of Pennsylvania and is currently on the Board of Women Thrive Alliance, and the Advisory Boards of the InAble Foundation and the RE-Think Tank For Women Other Notable Career Accomplishments • Former Executive at Fortune 500 company leading Global Diversity & Inclusion Strategies • Former Executive Consultant to Fortune 100 company Chief Diversity Officers • Former Global Correspondent, Anchor & Continuity Announcer at Top Kenyan Television Network • M.A. Organizational Development & Communications, University of Denver • B.S. Management Information Systems, United States International University, San Diego •

Rob Jones

Rob grew up on a farm in the small town of Lovettsville, Virginia. I graduated from Loudoun Valley High School in 2003, and from Virginia Tech in 2007. In my junior year at Virginia Tech, I joined the Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer at Bravo Company, 4th Combat Engineer Battalion in Roanoke, VA. In the Marine Corps, combat engineers are responsible for a multitude of disciplines but the primary role that I and my fellow combat engineers undertook was the use of explosives, and the detection of buried IEDs and Deployed to Habbaniyah, Iraq in 2008, and again to Delaram/Sangin, Afghanistan in 2010. During his deployment to Afghanistan while operating as a part of a push into Taliban territory, I was tasked with clearing an area with a high likelihood of containing an IED. It was in this capacity that I was wounded in action by a land mine. The injury resulted in a left knee dis-articulation and a right above knee amputation of my legs. Taken to National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD for the initial phases of my recovery, which consisted primarily of healing and closing my wounds. I was then transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for the remainder of my rehabilitation. At Walter Reed I was fitted with prosthetics, and worked very hard to learn how to walk with two bionic knees. I also used the time to relearn how to do other things with my new challenge including riding a bicycle, running, and rowing. I took naturally to rowing, and since I am always in search of a challenge that I can use to become better, I decided to train for the 2012 Paralympics. After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in December, 2011, I immediately moved to Florida to train with my rowing partner, Oksana. We spent five months there, and during that time period won the trunk and arms mixed double sculls trial race held by USRowing to become the USRowing national team for our boat class, and also won the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Belgrade to qualify for the Paralympics. We then moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to continue training until the Paralympics in September, 2012. Our hard work paid off for us as we brought home a bronze medal in our event. I continued in the sport of rowing through the 2013 season, where my partner and I placed 4th in the 2013 World Rowing Championships. On October 14, 2013 I began a solo supported bike ride across America which started in Bar Harbor, Maine, and ended in Camp Pendleton, California. The ride was 5,180 miles long and completed on April 13, 2014, a total of 181 days after it began. Over the course of the ride, along with my team, I raised $126,000 for the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and Ride 2 Recovery, three charities which aid wounded veterans. Between Fall 2014, and Summer 2016, Rob trained in the sport of triathlon with the intention to compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games. I saw considerable personal improvement, but was unable to qualify. Just completed a month long back to back marathon challenge in which I will run 31 marathons in 31 days in 31 different major cities, as he championed the Warrior charities that helped him.

Ryan Thomas

Ryan Thomas is a senior at Loudoun County High School. He intends to run track in college while pursuing an Ivy-League level education. Ryan is motivated by the impact that he believes he can have on society, and is always striving to be his best. After deleting social media, Ryan was able to see the world in a different light and immediately noticed a positive change in his life. He is an unshakable optimist, and believes that there is always opportunity for change, which he wants to help bring to people’s lives.

Tom Sweitzer

Tom Sweitzer – MA, MT-BC – Tom is Co-Founder and Executive Director of A Place To Be, a non-profit organization serving over 400 families weekly, offering Music and Expressive Arts Therapy. Tom holds a B.F.A. in Music Therapy, a Graduate Certificate in Music Therapy from Shenandoah University and a Masters in Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music. Tom is head of Music Therapy at A Place To Be and has created several therapeutic musical productions that focus on acceptance, diversity and empathy that tours the schools Most recently his Rock Opera A Will to Survive, performed at the Terrace Theater at The Kennedy Center. He is an adjunct professor at Shenandoah University and consults as a Music Therapist within the Loudoun County area and beyond. He is a member of the American Music Therapy Association. Tom spent several years as head of Music and Theater at The Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center at the Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia. He served as Artistic Director of Very Special Arts of Loudoun County for eight years and during that time his show Giggle’s performed at the Smithsonian. Tom received the title Loudoun County Humanitarian of the Year in 2014 and in that same year was invited as a guest to the White House for his work with disabilities. In June 2017 he was honored to be a guest at the “Sound Health” conference hosted by The National Institute of Health along with renowned Opera star, Renee Fleming. His choir, “Different Strokes for Different Folks,” a group made up of stroke survivors through Inova Hospitals sang alongside Mrs. Fleming. Tom is a subject in a new documentary, “Music Got Me Here,” along with one of his heroes, Forrest Allen, a young man with Traumatic Brain Injury who found his voice and courage again through Music Therapy. Along with his co-founder Kim Tapper and his A Place To Be team, Tom is building a place where anybody can come and receive therapy through music, happiness and love in their lives.

Organizing team

C. Nick

Leesburg, VA, United States