x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Edge of Innovation

This event occurred on
February 23, 2013
11:00am - 5:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States

Innovation in Pittsburgh is rising. We have incredible inventors, devoted entrepreneurs, inspired artists and perceptive humanitarians. As a city we stand on the edge of innovation. Every day, members of our community realize the unknown in meaningful and profitable ways.

TEDxGrandviewAve, a brand-new TEDx event to the Pittsburgh area, is here to give them the opportunity to showcase their efforts, share their realizations, and inspire those around them to develop ideas worth spreading.

Join us. Come thrive.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Grandview­Ave events


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

Don Charlton

Don Charlton is Founder and CEO of The Resumator, a venture-backed software company that builds tools to help small and growing organizations easily manage their hiring. Don blended his love of fine art with software engineering by earning a BFA in Design from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1999. Over a decade, he established himself as an award-winning interactive designer, software engineer and motivational public speaker. In 2009, Don launched The Resumator as its sole founder, eventually growing the company into a multi-million dollar venture and one of the region’s fastest growing businesses.

John Fetterman

John Fetterman was attracted to Braddock, PA by the town’s tragic arc of history and malignant beauty. Founded around the site of Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill, Braddock’s fortunes declined in lockstep with the American steel industry. As the town’s population fell from a peak of more than 20,000 to just 2,300, its buildings, infrastructure and economy unraveled. With 90% of everything lost -population, buildings, homes, businesses- the challenges seemed insurmountable. John Fetterman, a Harvard graduate with a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, moved to Braddock in 2001 to work with AmeriCorps. Four years later he became the town’s mayor – winning the election by a single vote – and has been at the forefront of a massive effort to revitalize the once prosperous town ever since.

Erika Forbes

Erika Forbes is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the Affective Neuroscience and Developmental Psychopathology Lab. She completed her AB at Harvard University and her PhD at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a clinical and developmental psychologist by training, and her work examines the neuroscience of mental health in young people. Specifically, she uses techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how unusual brain function in response to rewarding or pleasant stimuli is involved in the development of depression and substance use in adolescents.

Jia Ji

Jia Ji is a serial social entrepreneur and founder of Couchange, a social finance company that builds online donation platforms for nonprofits. Prior to that, Jia was president and founder of Flying Fish Media and helped launch Dancetown, an exercise gaming system for seniors that was acquired by Cobalt Flux. He has also worked for a variety of technology startups such as,,,, Ripple Effects Interactive, Dreamwork Soft, Inecom Entertainment, Interactive Media Systems, and eGenesis.

Matthew Keener

A physician and brain imaging researcher, Dr. Keener is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the CEO and founder of Emodt health design. Emodt is the world’s first emotional digital therapeutic firm, where doctors, designers and big-data researchers alike, work together to design emotional health in these multiple dimensions of our lives. Their first application moodshots™ is a free neuroscience-based platform that allows the visual understanding of emotion in the brain, as well as aggregates and analyses fun anytime-anywhere mood regulation strategies.

Justin McElhattan

Justin McElhattan is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Industrial Scientific Corporation, the global leader in gas detection and safety analytics. As president & CEO, Justin is responsible for leading the company’s 950 employees across 22 countries as they drive towards the vision of ending death on the job in this century.

Christine Mondor

As strategic Principal of evolveEA and a registered architect, Christine brings creative and strategic solutions to projects as diverse as the award winning design of the “extended stay” house to the developing the business case for sustainability at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. She is experienced at helping communities, schools and other agencies build capacity as they navigate sustainability through strategic planning and project implementation. Christine has taught architecture, landscape design and sustainability concepts at Carnegie Mellon University, Slippery Rock University, and at Chatham College. She supports organizations that promote design and the environment and currently serves as Vice-President for the Green Building Alliance Board of Directors and is former Board Chair at the Design Center of Pittsburgh.

Rory Varrato

Originally from western Pennsylvania, Rory Varrato moved to Tempe, AZ in 2006 to attend Arizona State University on a National Merit Scholarship. He graduated cum laude from Barrett, the Honors College with a B.A. in History after defending an undergraduate thesis titled Second Nature: A Practical Application of Nietzsche’s Philosophy of History for Life. In fall 2012, he began pursuing graduate studies in Political Theory and International Relations at the School of Politics and Global Studies.

Nicki Zevola

Nicki Zevola is the CEO of FutureDerm, Inc., a current AlphaLab company. She has been nationally recognized as a successful blogger and social media expert. Beginning in 2007, has investigated the science behind beauty and has grown to be one of the world’s top beauty blogs., named the number-one beauty blog by in 2011, has done press or driven digital marketing efforts with companies such as The New York Times, SHAPE, Elle, Redken USA, Olay, NIA 24, Ken Paves USA, Total Beauty, AllTop, and many others. Nicki was a finalist in the University of Pittsburgh Randall Family Big Idea Competition in 2012. In 2011, she co-founded “Beauty Blogs Now!,” a daily e-newsletter featuring over 200 beauty blogs, with over 3000 daily subscribers. In August 2012, FutureDerm released its first skincare product of its own, FutureDerm Time-Release Retinol 0.5.

Organizing team


  • Kacey Wherley
    Founder, Director
  • Shane Hvizdzak
    Marketing/Interactive Innovator
  • Matt Steiner
    Director of Content
  • Benjamin Scheiner
    Wordsmith/General of Troops
  • Jaclyn Vesci
    Social Media Leader
  • Sara Coffey
    Lead Designer
  • Indre Sabaliunaite
    Outreach Leader
  • John Quayle
    Business Developer