Sewickley Academy
x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
May 11, 2024
Sewickley, 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).

Sewickley Academy
315 Academy Ave
Rea Auditorium
Sewickley, Pennsylvania, 15143-1213
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Sewickley ­Academy events


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

Albert Wright

President and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System
Albert is the president and CEO of the West Virginia University Health System, West Virginia's largest, private employer. Before joining the Health System in 2014, Albert served in several senior-level leadership positions at some of the Nation’s most prestigious healthcare systems and academic medical centers, including Ohio Health and UPMC. Today, the WVU Health System is West Virginia’s largest network of hospitals, clinics, and specialty institutes with more than 3,000 licensed beds, 4,000 providers, and 30,000 employees. In 2023, the Health System launched Peak Health, its health insurance company, with Albert serving as its board chair. Albert obtained his Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree at the University of Toledo, a Master of Health Administration at the Ohio State University, and his Doctor of Pharmacy at the University of Florida. He is involved in several charitable and civic organizations and serves on several boards.

Christine Shambach

Senior VP + Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at PNC Financial Services Group.
Christine Shambach is senior vice president and head of Mergers and Acquisitions for The PNC Financial Services Group. She is responsible for the analysis and negotiation of business acquisition and divestiture opportunities for the corporation as well as strategic planning, resolution and recovery planning, and other duties within PNC’s Finance department. Mrs. Shambach joined PNC in 2010 as a member of PNC’s Mergers and Acquisitions team. Prior to her current role, she was the head of Liquidity Management within PNC’s Asset & Liability Management Mrs. Shambach’s career also includes time as a member of Citi’s Mergers and Acquisitions team within its Global Corporate and Investment Bank in addition to Goldman Sachs’s Relative Value merger arbitrage Team which focused on merger arbitrage. Mrs. Shambach holds a Bachelor of Science and a master’s degree in chemical engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and an MBA from Duke University.

Dave Gray

Founder of CDG Sports Events
Nicknamed “The Mister Rogers of Youth Sports” by parents who know him, Coach Dave Gray brings fun and enthusiasm to his programs, camps, assemblies, and team-building events. With his decades-long commitment to community service and outreach, Coach Dave has touched the lives of youth locally, regionally, and nationally. He believes strongly that instilling confidence and building self-esteem in others is a surefire way to become the best version of yourself and truly make a positive impact in this world. Coach Dave's story and impact are not just the story of an individual; it is a testament to the power and influence of our educators in shaping a child's future. A lifelong Pittsburgh resident, Coach Dave just celebrated the 26th anniversary of the founding of his signature youth sports & recreation company CDG Sports Events.

Heather Terrell

Author + Lawyer
Heather Terrell (Marie Benedict) is a lawyer with more than ten years of experience as a litigator at two of the country's premier law firms. But she found her calling unearthing the hidden historical stories of women and sharing their legacies through fiction. Her mission is to excavate from the past the most important, complex, and fascinating women of history and bring them into the light of the present day where we can finally perceive the breadth of their contributions as well as the insights they bring to modern-day issues. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Mitford Affair, Her Hidden Genius, The Mystery of Mrs. Christie, The Only Woman in the Room, Lady Clementine, Carnegie's Maid, The Other Einstein, and with Victoria Christopher Murray, the Good Morning America Book Club pick The Personal Librarian and the Target Book of the Year The First Ladies.

Lawrence Connolly

Lawrence C. Connolly’s books include the Veins Cycle novels and his collections include Visions, This Way to Egress, and Voices, which feature his stories from Amazing Stories, Cemetery Dance, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Twilight Zone, Year’s Best Horror, and other top magazines and anthologies of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Voices was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award. Mr. Connolly’s screenplay “This Way to Egress,” co-authored with director David Slade, the executive producer of Hannibal and American Gods, is featured in the anthology film Nightmare Cinema (2019). He is also the writer of Mystery Theatre, a podcast produced by Prime Stage, which is currently in its fourth season. Mr. Connolly’s new adaptation of Frankenstein, also produced by Prime Stage, premiered at Pittsburgh’s New Hazlett Theatre in November 2022. He is currently developing a science-fiction film with his brother Christopher Connolly and producers Jonathan Sanger and M. Jones.

Parag Batavia

Robotic Entrepreneur and the founder of Neya Systems
Dr. Parag Batavia is a seasoned robotics entrepreneur and the founder of Neya Systems, a leader in off-road autonomy. Neya Systems was acquired by Applied Research Associates in 2017, and Parag remains a strategic advisor to Neya. Parag is now an adjunct professor at CMU’s Robotics Institute, where he teaches robotics entrepreneurship classes including “How to Start a Robotics Company” and “How to Run a Robotics Company”. In addition, Parag serves as Robotics Entrepreneur in Residence at the Robotics Factory, a robotics startup accelerator run by Innovation Works and the Pittsburgh Robotics Network. He also serves on multiple non-profit boards. Parag has a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon and an MBA from Drexel University.

Sebastian Tan

Student + Founder of OutsideConnection
Sebastian Tan is a junior at Sewickley Academy. His interests and work focus on sociology, urban studies, and economics. In his free time, Sebastian engages in criminal justice entrepreneurship. His work extends to the REFORM Alliance, the Allegheny County Anchored Reentry Coalition, the U.S. Department of Justice, and more. He's been recognized by Yahoo Finance, Associated Press, and Prudential Financial, among others for his nonprofit, OutsideConnection. He also advises the United Nations and National Archives through his work with the SPRING Institute, where he contributes to international policy and criminal justice advocacy. In addition to academic work, Sebastian works in his family's bakery and runs OutsideConnection, a platform that helps reentrants find jobs in 17 states and 34 cities across the country. At heart, he's a social entrepreneur trying to help the world through new, innovative ideas.

Valarie Gaydos

Pennsylvania State Representative
Representative Valerie Gaydos has been a leader in fighting to make government more efficient, transparent, and accountable to the citizens of the Commonwealth. She was elected to serve her third term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in November 2022 and will continue to be committed to putting her experience from the private sector to work to help grow the state’s economy and improve opportunities for employers and employees. Representative Gaydos started her own company in 1994, an information publishing company that sold financial data to subscribers. She went on to become a well-known startup business advocate and angel investor who has helped small businesses succeed and create jobs across the country. She was the first woman president of the Pennsylvania Angel Network. Representative Gaydos has been assigned to serve on the House Government Oversight, Liquor Control (Secretary), Commerce, and Professional Licensure committees for the 2023-24 Legislative Session.

Organizing team




SEWICKLEY, PA, United States