x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Before & After

This event occurred on
March 24, 2018
Birmingham, Alabama
United States

We have all experienced those moments in time in which nothing afterwards is the same as it was before. The change from BEFORE to AFTER can be instantaneous, or painfully slow; experienced individually by a single person, or collectively by an entire generation. We often find our definition and meaning through that change – when the before becomes the after.

At times, we eagerly await the moment when we can shrug off our before in exchange for a better after. Sometimes, however, we only realize those moments have happened once life is different and we find ourselves in a new reality.

This shift from how things were before to the world that comes after can depict the irrevocable nature of time and the grit of humanity when faced by the unexpected. We invite you to hear compelling stories of the struggle, celebration, transformation, and imagination experienced by others in these moments, and help them spread their ideas throughout our community and beyond.

Who are you BEFORE TEDxBirmingham? More importantly, who will you be AFTER? Join us on March 24, 2018 to be a part of a moment that changes everything.

UAB's Alys Stephens Center
1200 10th Ave S
Birmingham, Alabama, 35205
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Andrew Deutscher

Andrew Deutscher is a Managing Director at The Energy Project, a consulting firm that helps organizations execute strategy by focusing on teaching people how to more skillfully manage their energy. Through his role, he has had a rare opportunity to influence and empower people through the science of high performance. Andrew has spoken to thousands of individuals across a variety of backgrounds, industries, and companies including Coca-Cola, Apple, Lego, GE Healthcare, and American Express. Andrew graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing which he used during his ten-year career at Sony Pictures Television before joining The Energy Project. In 2009, Andrew’s two-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. From that moment, Andrew begin a journey to find out more about those living with the disease. In 2013, Andrew published the book, Typecast: Amazing People Overcoming the Chronic Disease of Type 1 Diabetes, as a message to his son on the full and limitless life he can live. Andrew currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and children, but his favorite place to stay when he is in town is the Grand Bohemian Hotel.

Ashley Wrencher

Ashely Wrencher is a Corporate Compensation Analyst and has worked in Human Resources for 9 years. Originally from Montgomery, this Faulkner University alumnus has lived in Birmingham for 17 years. Her favorite places in Birmingham include the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Edgewood Creamery, and Railroad Park. These are all places where she, her husband Warren, and their two daughters spend quality time together. Ashley is an active volunteer in her community and regularly leads financial literacy and public speaking workshops for high school students through Junior Achievement and Birmingham Education Foundation. Ashley developed a passion for speaking and training through her membership in Toastmasters International, a speaking and leadership training organization. Ashley has been a member for over 5 years, achieving their highest educational award, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) and currently serves as the Division F Director for Toastmasters International District 77. For fun, Ashley enjoys dancing, puzzle games, and playing her favorite songs on repeat.

Austin Hatch

Austin Hatch is an Optimization Application Consultant at Command Alkonand, a Birmingham transplant. Having lived and worked around the world doing various software implementations, he believes southern hospitality is alive and well. He enjoys the outdoors and taking his kids camping at Tannehill State Park. As well as being a skeet shooting enthusiast, he’s also a member of Toastmasters.

Austin Suellentrop

Austin Suellentrop is a Gallup Workplace Consultant who coaches managers and teams on the impact of a strengths-based approach to human development. He specializes in helping clients bridge the gap between Gallup research and practical application in the workplace. His mission is to inspire others to action by passionately telling stories about what people can accomplish when they have the opportunity to do what they do best. Austin’s passion for public speaking traces back as long as he can remember, and has lead him to be featured as a keynote speaker for various organizations across the country. Austin is also an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation and has been a guest speaker on the Gallup “Called to Coach” webcast as well as an author on the Gallup Coaching blog.

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson currently serves as a Lieutenant for the City of Birmingham Fire Department. In February of 2016, he was put in charge of creating a new program called Birmingham Fire and Rescue C.A.R.E.S. (Community Assistance, Referrals and Education Services), which is aimed at decreasing the dependency on emergency services by the city's most frequent 911 callers. During the same year, Ben was honored as the Emergency Service Provider of the year. Ben is also a talented writer. In 2015, Ben won a Hackney Literary Award Winner for his short fiction story, “Blue Collar and a Short Chain.” Prior to joining the fire department, Ben delivered flowers, traded mutual funds, worked a season in Alaska as a commercial fisherman, and spent a homeless summer in Hawaii where he met his wife Katie. When Ben isn’t writing or saving lives, he enjoys reading, playing with his children, learning about Birmingham’s history, and visiting Jim Reed’s Books.

Cheryl Morgan

She’s only 5’1, but she played varsity basketball in high school. She traveled the world with only a carry-on and a shoulder bag for her sketch book. Cheryl is a licensed architect, a member and Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, and Emerita Professor of Architecture at Auburn University. She is also the former director of Auburn’s Urban Studio in Birmingham and has thirty years of teaching experiences at collegiate architectural programs in four states. Her practice now focuses on urban design, community revitalization, and graphic design. In addition to teaching, Cheryl worked for a number of firms in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been instrumental in projects in over 75 communities in Alabama through the Urban Studio’s Small-Town Design Initiative alone. Cheryl has been honored with numerous awards. She received awards from the Jefferson County Historical Commission, the Rotary Club of Birmingham, and the Woman of Distinction Leadership Award from the Women’s Resource Center at Auburn.

Corey Shum

Corey Shum directs the Immersive Experience Lab (IXL) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; there he leads a cross-functional team of artists, developers, engineers, and programmers to develop application modules that employ immersive virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed- reality (MR) artificial experience technologies. Corey’s mission is to collaboratively enable research that can benefit from immersive participant experiences. His current research topics include neuropathic pain, the psychology of embodiment, vestibular rehabilitation, remote physical therapy, and real-time AR display of real-time medical imaging. Corey also directs development of novel and domain-specific devices for real-time human metric tracking and response including body position, physiology, and attention. When he isn’t enjoying an augmented reality, Corey enjoys visiting a variety of coffee shops around Birmingham.

Javacia Harris Bowser

Javacia Harris Bowser is a writer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Birmingham who graduated from journalism programs at the University of Alabama and the University of California at Berkeley. She is also the founder of See Jane Write, an award-winning membership organization and website for women who write and blog. Because of See Jane Write, Javacia was selected as one of the smartest women in Birmingham by the Women's Fund of Greater Birmingham, selected as one of Birmingham’s Top 40 Under 40 by the Birmingham Business Journal, and honored as one of Birmingham’s “Women Who Inspire” by Girls on the Run. In 2016, she was included in Southern Living Magazine’s list of Innovators Changing the South, alongside household names like Dolly Parton and Reese Witherspoon. In the same year, she was also selected as one of the 30 Women Who Shape the State by Alabama Media Group. In addition to her writing projects, Javacia also teaches English at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Jesse Payne

Jesse Payne stems from a soil deep in the Southeastern region of the United States. Alabama and the Appalachian trail provide the canvas for his yellow shade of timeless polaroids transposing over lake and swing, lifestyle suggesting an inheritance of owls and their nocturnal solitude. His sound and sight born from a landscape of heavy cotton hands and autumn chairs. After cutting his teeth touring the eastern coastal region for a couple of years, Jesse Payne delivered the EP, Beyond the Leaves. The EP earned him a spot in The Big Takeover’s Top 40, alongside Band of Horses and Willie Nelson. Payne released his debut full-length album, Nesting* on November 10, 2010. The album stayed in the College top 30 across the United States for six consecutive weeks. The year following the release of Nesting was full of studio sessions and tour dates. On October 4, 2011, Payne released the Buffalo EP* alongside the Kettle & Crow DVD*. His latest, HEIRLOOM*, is an audio-painting of the passage of time and the baggage we bury. Generations patched into fabric like heirlooms; these are the things we carry.

Josh Jones

Joshua Jones is the Managing Partner of StrategyWise, a Birmingham-based data science firm. As a founding partner, Joshua has built a global portfolio of big data clients, including Fortune 500 companies like Toshiba, Samsung, and Chick-Fil-A. In 2016, StrategyWise was ranked the Fastest Growing Business in Birmingham by The Birmingham Business Journal. He is a regular speaker and lecturer at universities and conferences across the United States. Joshua received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Alabama and his Master of Business Administration at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Lloyd Cooper

His dad was a naval architect and his mom studied design at Parsons School of Design. Lloyd Cooper grew up in the middle of right brain and left brain thinking. It is a part of what drew him to industrial design. Lloyd is the Managing Principal at PUSH Product Design. PUSH is a full- service industrial design consulting firm located in Birmingham. Working with clients from Medtronic to Yamaha, Lloyd is focused on leading diverse product development teams from criteria definition through detailed design for production. Lloyd has over 20 years of experience and currently holds seventeen patents. He studied mechanical engineering and industrial design at Auburn University. He has a special interest in leveraging his mechanical and industrial design background to create unique innovations that balance robust design with clean aesthetics. When Lloyd isn’t creating things or fixing problems, he enjoys visiting McWane Science Center with his sons and picking up new books at Church Street Coffee.

Oscar Garcia

Oscar Rafael Garcia is an ESL Instructor for the INTO UAB Center, an initiative to increase global student diversity, increase globalization opportunities for domestic students, and provide opportunities for faculty to expand international teaching, research and service activities. Oscar has also worked for the Applied Linguistics Program at State University of Nayarit in Mexico, and has taught adults from diverse ages and backgrounds in Mexico and the United States. Oscar graduated from University of Alabama at Birmingham with a master’s degree in adult ESL education. Oscar has extensive experience in instruction and curriculum development. Originally from Mexico, he has also been involved in various recruitment efforts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to attract more students from Latin America. He has conducted teacher-training courses through the University of Cambridge TKT certificate programs as well as presented many training workshops in state and regional TESOL conventions in the United States and Mexico. In 2016, Oscar launched Need2Say, an online platform to learn Spanish via Skype or Google Hangouts with professional teachers.

Salaam Green

She’s an introvert who struggled with agoraphobia for years, but now you can find her courageously taking over the stage at a variety of venues around the city. Salaam Green is a writer, poet, and social justice activist. Salaam is currently an Artist in Residence at UABs Institute for Arts in Medicine where she conducts writing sessions with medical staff and uses poetry as a tool of compassion with patients and families as they wait for loved ones in waiting rooms and trauma units. Salaam has received numerous awards and is a featured author in the books My Second Story and I am Women: 15 Stories of Triumph. She is in the business of supporting people to write their lives back together. In 2016, she founded Literary Healing Arts which promotes the healing power of words through youth and adult workshops, write to heal community circles, mentoring, and soul advising. The organization also provides creative business coaching for women living in rural America who seek to transform their lives and their communities.

Sarah Elizabeth Moreman

She took courses in German, Latin, and linguistics the same semester, which is quite a feat for any college student, let alone a hearing-impaired one. Her favorite TED Talk is Rachel Kolb’s "Navigating deafness in a hearing world.” Sarah Elizabeth, who is originally from Auburn, Alabama, is a creative training executive and educator who believes in the power of incorporating writing and marketing techniques to foster strong communication and high instructor-student interaction. She has seventeen years of professional experience instilling collaborative and detail-oriented leadership skills for teaching, advising, instructional design, and marketing projects. During that time, Sarah Elizabeth has been an instructor, consultant, and administrator at multiple universities and medical institutions. When Sarah Elizabeth is not teaching and consulting, she enjoys traveling, reading, working out at Pure Barre, and serving for the Junior League of Birmingham.

Tj Nguyen

Tj Nguyen is a Robotics Education Specialist at the Southeastern Center of Robotics Education at Auburn University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in secondary science education from Auburn University. As a graduate student, Tj served as the Director of Online Support for Catapult Engineering Academy, an online distance-learning engineering program that teaches high school students Matlab, LabVIEW, and other engineering programs to prepare them for future careers in STEM fields. He has more than a decade of experience in BEST Robotics and has developed several robotics camps and professional development workshops for teachers throughout the state. Tj is a 2017 TEDXBirmingham Educator Fellow who enjoys finding new ways to get children excited about STEM education. When he isn’t tinkering, Tj enjoys traveling, cycling, and joyriding on a Segway.

Van Moody

He is a running enthusiast, Crossfit fanatic and gummy bear aficionado. Van Moody has a passion for transforming people, organizations, and the world. In March 2006, he established The Worship Center in Birmingham. This thriving church serves more than 8,000 members in three locations, with seven weekly services and an online campus viewed from as far away as Kuwait. Van is a sought-after speaker and leader in business and ministry communities. In 2015, he became a member of Dr. Oz’s Core Team, and is featured on the Dr. Oz Show on ABC. Van has authored several books including the best sellers, The People Factor, and The I-Factor. Van is a graduate of DePauw University, Harvard University, Oxford University, and the Interdenominational Theological Center. He’s also a graduate of Leadership Birmingham, and a member of Leadership Hoover’s inaugural class. Van also serves as a board member of M-Power Ministries and YouthServe in Birmingham.

Organizing team


Birmingham, AL, United States


Birmingham, AL, United States
  • Jennifer Mallory
  • Katie Burton
  • Mandi Coker