x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
December 4, 2021
Denver, Colorado
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).

Elaine Wolf Theatre
350 S. Dahlia St.
Denver, Colorado, 80246
United States
Event type:
TEDxWomen (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Cherry­Creek­Women events


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

Ali Hill

Entrepreneur, Leadership Expert
Dr. Ali Hill is the Managing Partner of Sound Advice Consulting Services, and the Founder of Sound Advice Women. She advises women entrepreneurs and founders as they build their businesses and learn to walk through the world like confident, emotionally intelligent executives who unapologetically lead in ways that make people feel safe, respected and valued. Dr. Ali's clients step into their power without asking for permission or approval. Dr. Ali graduated from Tufts University with a BA (magna cum laude) in Spanish and Women’s Studies. She holds a master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with a concentration in Non-Profit Business Management. She earned a PhD in Sociology from The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). Dr. Ali and her husband live with their two children, dog, and turtle in Denver, Colorado.

Amelia LeClaire

Student + Cancer Survivor
Amelia LeClaire, the daughter, is a cancer survivor since age eight, and has anxiety and depression. She is now twenty and has been in treatment for mental illness for seven years. Amelia is resilient and has learned how to address her anxiety and depression, but would like more therapy which is cost prohibitive. She will discuss her warning signs and how treatment has helped her, including why more will be beneficial. She has a passion for barrel racing as well as animals.

Andrea LeClaire

Dr. Andrea LeClaire recently received her PhD in Nursing Health Care Systems from the College of Nursing, University of Colorado Anschutz. Her dissertation was a qualitative study which explored eighteen parents’ perceptions of their adolescents’ mental health care. A convenience sample consisting of 18 parent participants, were recruited from northeast Denver, Colorado. An overarching theme emerged where mental illness should be treated the same as medical illness, and parents are their adolescents’ advocate. Dr. LeClaire has been a nurse for over 36 years with a focus on pediatrics, education and administration. She has also spent over 17 years as a mental health nurse and administrator.

Ashley Cornelius

Poet Laureate
Ashley Cornelius is the Pikes Peak Region Poet laureate based in Colorado Springs. She is an award-winning, nationally recognized poet and competed at the 2018 Women of the World Poetry Slam Competition. Ashley Cornelius is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC) and is the manager of the RISE program at Denver Health, providing confidential peer support to Denver Health personnel. Ashley has a master's in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver. As a therapist, Ashley believes poetry and spoken word is powerful modality for healing. She is committed to increasing access to mental health for historically underrepresented communities. Ashley is the Co-Director of Poetry 719, a Black-led poetry group lifting the voices of marginalized communities and BIPOC folks through poetry in Colorado Springs. Ashley is committed to using poetry as a platform to speak up and out for marginalized groups and be a voice for those who have been historically silenced.

Deepa Purushothaman

Co-founder of nFormation
Deepa Purushothaman is a co-founder of nFormation which provides brave, safe, new space for professional Women of Color. She is also the author of The First, The Few, The Only: How Women of Color Redefine Power in Corporate America which will be published by HarperCollins in March 2022 and she is a Women and Public Policy Program Leader in Practice at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to this, Deepa spent more than twenty years at Deloitte and was “a first” Indian American woman to make partner. She served as a National Managing Partner of Inclusion and was also the US Managing Partner of WIN (Women’s Initiative), Deloitte’s renowned program to recruit, retain, and advance women.

Haley Skiko

Haley Skiko is a 21 year old studying Marketing and International Business with a Minor in Chinese at Indiana University. She is from Chicago and currently lives in Bloomington Indiana for her last semester of undergrad. While leading over 100 people to manage officers, plan events, and monitor growth of the organization from the inside out, she is also aiming to use her language skills of Mandarin to live in China. She this summer interning at Ford Motor Company in Marketing and Sales working on a project to further communication & creativity, strategy, and data analytics skills. She connecting with others and have a passion for networking and public speaking. The goal becomes to inspire others to tap into self accountability and vulnerability. The more often we are able to understand and validate our emotional weaknesses AND strengths, the more often we are confident when leading our lives for ourselves and others

Heidi Baskfield

Population Health Leader
As a leader in Population Health at one of the largest Children’s Hospitals in the country, Heidi Baskfield is responsible for helping to address the largest issues impact on children’s health. Mental Health is the issue that has risen to the top of that priority list. And building a functioning system of mental healthcare for children and youth is the only solution to a full fledge crisis.

Kellie Lauth

CEO of MindSpark Learning
Kellie Lauth is the CEO of MindSpark Learning with over 20 years experience in education. She directs the mindSpark Learning team in disrupting the educational landscape, empowering educators and leaders with robust professional learning and creating transformational shifts across the education landscape. Lauth played an integral role in opening one of the first K-8 STEM schools in the nation in 2009, serving public school children with no entrance requirement. She continues to champion partnerships with businesses, industry and higher education to support and promote STEM education and address workforce readiness.

Kelly O'Connor

Elder Rights Advocate
Kelly O’Connor is an award-winning elder rights advocate and speaker who studies the human condition, focusing her later work in gerontology. Over the past decade, she’s worked in every area of senior care including home care, senior living and hospice and has served on certification task forces to help improve the industry as a whole. Her podcast Goldenista Social Club celebrates those 70+ as they share their stories about Life, Love, Longevity and Legacy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Services from Florida State University, a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica and a Professional Advancement Certification in Gerontology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Kelly is a Certified Senior Advisor, Certified Dementia Practitioner and serves as editor of the CSA Journal, a magazine for professionals in aging.

Khara Croswaite Brindle

Licensed Mental Health Therapist
Khara Croswaite Brindle is passionate about giving people aha moments that create goosebumps and catalyze powerful action. She is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist who enjoys various roles as a serial entrepreneur, author, professional speaker, professor, and Financial Therapist. Her greatest joy is engaging driven entrepreneurs, fellow helpers, and perfectionists to move from workaholic to well-balanced with streamlined strategies that fit their busy lifestyles. As a professional who has experienced burnout and burnout recovery already within her career, Khara offers trainings and on-demand courses in burnout prevention and recovery, compassion fatigue, and work-life balance along with her masterclass, workbook, and book series Perfectioneur: From Workaholic to Well-Balanced, an Amazon #1 Best Seller!

Louisa Rocque

Non-profit leadership expert
Louisa is a non-profit leadership expert, public speaker, and trainer who delivers high-energy presentations that challenge audiences to leverage their focus and pay attention to what matters most in life. She is skilled in fundraising, relationship management, curriculum assessment and development, staff development, target marketing, and organizational development. Her work touches audiences from every walk of life, and they love the practical strategies they can apply personally and professionally. Louisa earned her MPA from California State University Northridge and is currently the Area Director for Greater Los Angeles & Central Coast for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. When not speaking, or fighting for suicide prevention and mental health advocacy, Louisa can be found hiking or spending time outdoors with her husband and 3-year-old twin boys.

Maya Ayres

Since I was young, I have heard of one singular phrase that has changed my perspective on life -- Tikkun Olam. This Jewish phrase refers to the concept of repairing the world. The idea resides within me every day and has guided me toward the urgent issue of plastic pollution. I began to question my own actions after an outdoor educational opportunity I had in elementary school, monitoring bluebird boxes. I witnessed firsthand how my own negative actions were reflected in the ecosystem in my area. Today, I strive to repair the world and educate everyone around me about the difference we can make together.

Michelle Gay

6th degree black belt Karate + Entrepreneur
Michelle Gay is a 6th degree black belt, Shihan (Master Teacher) in full contact karate, 6-time World Oyama Knockdown Karate Champion, Laban Certified Movement Analyst, Registered Movement Pattern Analyst and former St, Vincent’s Hospital Rape Crisis Advocate. She lives in New York City where she owns and runs 2 businesses with her daughter. One is a Martial Arts school and the other is an educational and personal protection company that offers training to individuals and organizations in the areas of Personal Safety, Bullying, De-escalation and Sexual Harassment prevention. She is an author, Brain Breaks for the Classroom, and her upcoming book Self Offense: How to Protect Yourself (and Others) Without Really Trying is due out in January 2022.

Mimi Hayes

Mimi Hayes became a standup comedian after having a traumatic brain injury on a blind date. She also wrote "I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole in My Head," a humorous memoir about her diagnosis and recovery. Hayes adapted the book into a one-woman show, TV pilot, podcast, and frequently makes fun of her trauma on stages around the world. When she's not telling jokes you'll find her at the dog park or in therapy. You can follow her antics at and on social media.

Nancy Henson

Throughout Nancy Henson’s thirty-year engineering career, she has consulted with hundreds of automotive, medical, aerospace, and consumer electronics companies. Whether she advises clients on modernizing their software stack for manufacturing test or optimizing processes and workflows, Nancy focuses on empowering engineers and technical leaders. Nancy has worked for NI, or in the NI ecosystem, teaching, coaching and speaking at technical conferences (#engineerambitiously). Nancy learned that engineering is not just a left-brain endeavor. After investigating and learning from neuroscience and psychotherapy, she devised a basic process to activate creative thinking. Nancy now engages her creative right brain throughout her day. Additionally, Nancy shares her ideas on “Engineering Creativity On Demand” through speaking engagements. #DanceWithDaFrog

Rosemarie Allen

CEO Institute for Racial Equity + Associate Professor MSUDenver
Dr. Rosemarie Allen is a survivor of school trauma. She was suspended countless times, expelled from 3 schools, and exprienced corporal punishment regularly from teachers and administrators. Dr. Allen attributes many of those negative interactions to implicit bias, cultural misalignments, and explicit racism that is inherent in America's schools. In her role as Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver and CEO of the Institute for Racial Equity and Excellence, she teaches future and current educators about the role of implicit bias in making decisions and the perceptions of children's behaviors. She teaches about power, positionality, and the importance of creating antibias/antiracist school practices.

Sushmita Kirkland

DEI Consultant + Author
A mother, a DEI enabler that is also a children’s book writer, DEI consultant and speaker. My love for this world started at the age of 10 and has led me on many adventures spanning 42 countries. My goal in life is to continue to help the world understand that life is based on abundance and love and not on deficit and fear through educating children and adults on building a diverse, inclusive, ethical world that celebrates our unique magic.

Tessa Zimmerman

Founder and Executive Director of ASSET Education
Tessa Zimmerman is the Founder and Executive Director of ASSET Education, a nonprofit organization that trains and equips educators with bite-sized tools to help their students reduce stress and strengthen their resilience. Tessa envisions an education system where students' mental health is just as important as their academics. She is also the author of, I Am Tessa, where she shares her journey of growing up with severe anxiety in the classroom and the tools that helped her overcome.

Organizing team


Commerce City, CO, United States
  • christy belz
    Team member