x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Next Chapter - tickets on sale mid-February

This event occurred on
October 17, 2020
Williamsport, Pennsylvania
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).

Pajama Factory
1307 Park Avenue
Williamsport, Pennsylvania, 17701
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Brian Spies

Director, Factory Works Photo Lab
Brian James Spies has a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Lycoming College (2002), Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from The Maryland Institute College of Art (2010) and Masters of Fine Art from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (2012) where they were awarded the Faculty Award. They work primarily in photography, specializing in large format portraiture. Their work has been featured in numerous exhibitions around the United States, including Eastern State Penitentiary and Wanderlife Gallery in Philadelphia. They have curated multiple exhibitions in Philadelphia and Northcentral Pennsylvania and they are currently the director of The Factory Works Photo Lab.

Caroline Payne

Associate Professor of Political Science
Caroline Payne is an associate professor of political science at Lycoming College, an aspiring world changer, and a coffee lover in search of the perfect bean. She earned a B.A. from Berea College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State University. Her teaching and research interests include human rights, fair trade, and politics of developing countries. Payne is the Director of the Interdisciplinary Dominican Republic Program and associated Warrior Coffee Project, which provide opportunities for Lycoming students to gain valuable field experience in the Dominican Republic through participation in meaningful, long-term service-learning projects that help solve real-world community problems.

Crystal Yoder

Crystal Laub Yoder is a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and educator (to some pretty incredible people) who sees life through a different lens. Called an “idealist” by her father since she was a little girl, she likes to think of herself as an optimist who only sees the best in people. Crystal grew up in Jersey Shore, PA and now calls Lewisburg, PA home. Crystal feels her students have taught and continue to teach her more than she could ever teach them.

Dianna Durrwachter

Human Resources
Dianna Y. Durrwachter MSHRSM, SHRM - CP, and President of West Branch Human Resource Society. Dianna is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University - Law & Society and Sociology, Cornell University - Diversity and Inclusion for Human Resources, Bellevue University - Master of Science in Human Resource Strategic Management. A soon to be Ph.D. Candidate, Dianna’s highest level of academic focus is aligned with Human Capital Management. As a tenured team leader and industry professional, Dianna is devoted to inspiring others with her authentic leadership strategies and employee engagement initiatives. Nurturing teamwork that inspires high performance, is Dianna’s mantra.

Heather Shnyder

Educator and Trainer
Heather Shnyder has educated and trained employees and members of area school districts, colleges, police departments, medical professionals, hotel staff, civic/community groups, businesses, elementary, middle, and high school students for over 18 years. She authored a children’s book and has written and produced several educational videos related to violence and abuse prevention. She received Pennsylvania’s “Governor’s Victim Services Pathfinder Award” for her work with victims of crimes and now focuses her efforts on bringing awareness to sex trafficking in Pennsylvania. She’s recognized in the Commonwealth as an Expert Witness for sexual assault trials and is a QPR Suicide Gatekeeper Instructor.

Jerry Frear

Senior Consultant
Jerry Frear was an "early adopter" of leveraging internet technology for commercial development. Now, in his third decade at the forefront of internet marketing, Jerry wields an exhaustive knowledge of digital marketing and digital media. Jerry is passionate about empowering businesses and non-profit organizations with the knowledge to produce high-impact wholistic marketing campaigns that produce quantifiable results.

Myles Biggs

Founder and Host of Relish the Journey
Myles J. Biggs is the founder and host of Relish The Journey, a podcast devoted to curating extraordinary stories arising from ordinary circumstances. After years of podcasting, his show has evolved into a platform for coaching and consulting services and has also fueled research for a forthcoming book diving deeper into his TEDx topic of The Unseen Work. Myles serves as the Director of Digital Marketing for MoJo Active, a full-service integrated marketing agency in Watsontown. He holds a degree in corporate communications from Lycoming College and is a 2019 graduate of the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders program.

Ronald Frick

President, Lycoming County United Way
Ronald A. Frick is President of the Lycoming County United Way. He is a graduate of Lycoming College, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and International Studies. Ron serves on the Board of Directors of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, the Lycoming County Authority and Lycoming County Industrial Development Authority, and has been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsport for 35 years. Ron is an active member of his church and serves as a volunteer team host for the Little League World Series. He and his wife Judy have two adult children.

Sharon Belvin

Personal Trainer and Health Coach
Sharon Belvin is a 38-year-old mother of 3 and a stage 4 melanoma survivor. In addition to battling cancer, she has lost over 150lbs through diet and exercise. Sharon never became a teacher with her Master’s degree in Education. Instead, became a personal trainer and health coach for a hospital system. She specializes in obesity management through lifestyle modifications. It was there that she met her now fiancée, Janice. Talk about a life stopping moment. Finding out that you fall in love with the person and not a gender altered her perception on life irrevocably. Through this Sharon has learned that God sometimes had to knock her upside the head to get her to follow the correct path in life but life is far too short not to be happy.

Sigfried Aragona

Sexual Health Nurse
A graduate of West Chester University, Sigfried Aragona, RN, BSN, works as the sexual health nurse and clinical case manager at AIDS Resource, a nonprofit AIDS service organization serving 10 counties in Northcentral PA. In his spare time, Sigfried is producing, hosting, and performing in drag shows across central Pennsylvania as his drag persona, Mandy Mango. With a passion for advocacy and activism for LGBTQ+ health, Sigfried seeks to utilize both his nursing expertise and drag talent to push the movement for equality and equity forward. Sigfried currently resides in Williamsport with his three kittens, Sriracha, Wasabi, and Soy.

Tony White

Ph.D. Student
Tony White is pursuing his Ph.D. in Social, Political, Ethical, and Legal Philosophy at Binghamton University, where he is writing his dissertation on “The Normative Foundations of Nonviolent Resistance.” He has an M.A. in Philosophy from West Chester University, and has taught at Penn College of Technology, Misericordia University, and King’s College. He is a facilitator for the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) and started its Northcentral PA chapter. Tony is a Williamsport native. He and his wife, Theresa, have a daughter, Sophia, born in July, 2018.

Organizing team


Muncy, PA, United States


  • April Long
    Team member