x = independently organized TED event

Theme: “Light a Fire”

This event occurred on
October 7, 2023
Arlington Heights, Illinois
United States

2023 Photo Gallery:

Rolling Green Country Club
2525 E Rand Rd
Arlington Heights, Illinois, 60004
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Arlington­Heights events


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

Deena Kastor

Olympic Medalist
Deena Kastor is an Olympic medalist and a New York Times best-selling author with her book “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory.” She has won the Chicago and London Marathons, represented the USA on 19 national teams, and is a 24-time National Champion. Deena has held 6 World records and 10 American records in distances ranging from the 5K to the marathon. Along with fast times, she received the Abebe Bikila award from the New York Road Runners for her outstanding contributions to the sport of running, the USA Track & Field Humanitarian Award, and has a place in many Hall of Fames. Deena has been an athlete ambassador for ASICS for 22 years, is co-hosting Marathon Talk podcast, and travels the globe as a key-note speaker and race ambassador. She leads the Mammoth Track Club in Mammoth Lakes, CA with her husband, Coach Andrew Kastor.

Erin Huizenga

Learning Design Innovator
Erin Huizenga is CEO and Co-Founder of Desklight, a learning innovation firm that brings a learner-centric focus to instructional design. Erin and the Desklight team have helped organizations such as McGraw Hill, Smithsonian, and American Marketing Association to discover learner insights and develop innovative strategies to design ideal learning experiences. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, and Fortune, and she has been included on Chicago Inno’s list of “Women Founders in Chicago Tech.” Erin has taught at nine universities including Northwestern University and the ID program at Illinois Institute of Technology and recently published Amazon #1 New Release "Learning in the Wild."

Janine Hill

DEI Strategist
Janine Hill, PhD, PCC is the President and founder of Soar Strategies, a coaching and consulting firm focused on the program, policy, and organizational development of the social good sector. She has worked in and with nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions, of varying sizes and budgets. Janine also serves as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois School of Public Health’s Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health, where she received her doctorate in 2022. Janine is a certified leadership and executive coach, and is the author of “Embracing Equity: Best Practices for Developing a Winning Multi-Racial Leadership Team”. Janine recently served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the McGaw YMCA.

Kristin Chmela

Kristin Chmela, M.A., CCC-SLP BCS-F, speech-language pathologist, board certified specialist in stuttering, and ISHA Fellow, is founder and President of the Chmela Communication Center in Buffalo Grove. Kristin is former Chair of the American Board of Fluency and Fluency Disorders and is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Camp Shout Out, a non-profit overnight camp for kids and teens who stutter. Kristin received the 2023 West Michigan Woman’s Brilliant People’s Choice Award and recently co-produced a free YouTube video entitled “Branch Out: Kids Who Stutter Support Teachers”. She is lead author of two books, recognized as a national and international lecturer and is a trained mindfulness teacher. Kristin passionately believes all can choose to continue to evolve as communicators.

Liz Hansen

Boudoir Photographer
Liz Hansen is the photographer and owner of Chicago Boudoir Photography, a boutique studio that empowers women to feel confident in their bodies, relationships and lives. Liz has photographed close to 2,000 women in her studio. Liz holds an MA in Education, and as the owner of a photography studio that generates a million dollars a year, teaches entrepreneurship skills to photographers through her online coaching program, Million Dollar Studio Program. Liz has been featured on National Public Radio, as an educator with the Association of International Boudoir Photographers, and on many local podcasts and publications, including the Chicago Reader and Rebellious Magazine. She also serves as a representative and spokesperson for several photography companies, including Millers Lab, Shootproof and Aftershoot. She is also the founder of an online community, VIP Group for Empowered Women of Chicago, that serves over 10,000 local women.

Nicholas Pearce

Professor of Management and Organizations
Dr. Nicholas Pearce is a Chicago native and vocational multi-hyphenate who has committed his life to creating social impact at the intersection of the academy, the church, and the marketplace. An award-winning organizational behavior expert, trusted executive adviser, and respected faith leader, Nicholas serves as Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations at Kellogg School of Management, Associate Pastor of AFC Chicago, and Founder of The Vocati Group, a boutique management consultancy. Nicholas and his work have been spotlighted by Aspen Institute, Crain’s Chicago Business, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CT Magazine, and beyond. He is the author of the bestselling book, “THE PURPOSE PATH: A Guide to Pursuing Your Authentic Life’s Work.”

Tony Bradburn

D214 Educator
Tony Bradburn has worked in public education as a teacher and administrator for over two decades. He is currently the Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in District 214. Prior to that he was a principal, Humanities Director, the Division Head for English, ESL, and Reading, and an English teacher. He has been nominated for Golden Apple’s Excellence in Leadership, received the Writing Achievement Award, voted to give the commencement address at Rolling Meadows High School, earned the Outstanding Teacher Award from University of Chicago, received the international Library of Poetry’s Editor’s Choice Award, and garnered Dundee Crown’s Teacher of the Year. He founded the group Activists for Racial Equity, published an essay in Impact: Personal Portraits of Activism, was featured on the YouTube series Quadrants and Race and Two Brothers: Raised Together, and is a repeated guest on the radio program Sabor y Sabiduria.

Truman Post

Youth Athlete
Truman Post is a Thomas Middle School sixth grader, youth athlete, community volunteer, and content creator. Truman supports various community volunteer missions, including the creation of the Growth Box project, a community initiative that provides personal development resources for women in need. He is the co-author of a children’s book, “Psst…My Mom is a Superhero” and the creator behind Truman’s Adventures. He’s been featured on WGN co-leading a kids’ innovative camp segment and in Chicago Parent magazine. He plays the saxophone in his school band, and as a youth athlete, he plays tennis and baseball, and his baseball team won the AHYAA World Series Championship.

Organizing team

  • Geoff Glick