January 24, 2021 – As 2021 begins, the TEDxFondduLac team is excited to announce the planning of its fourth event, previously postponed from 2021! The event is set for August 14, 2021, with in-person, virtual, or both options being explored currently and announced when possible. Please continue to follow our website and social media for updates. For now, check out below for the speakers returning from 2020’s slate as well as some new faces!
Videos from our past events can be found on our Events page.
As the founder of the Kindness Bucket Brigade, Wendy Babcock seeks new ways to make progress in overcoming the bullying epidemic with kindness. Happily married, mother of two adult daughters and five “fur-kids”, Wendy has been on a mission to bring positivity to the world through motivational speaking. Since overcoming past life challenges such as escaping domestic violence, having undergone a 12-hour bilateral mastectomy and losing both parents to cancer – Wendy has gained a lot of life experience and knowledge about resilience, perseverance, positivity, and the power of mindset. Wendy is the author of two books and a self-guided journal for couples’ retreats, as well as a communication strategist helping businesses implement effective communication by becoming complaint-free. Wendy Babcock encourages us all to raise the bar and challenge ourselves to do the right thing to bring kindness, understanding and compassion in even the most difficult situations.
Mary Davies is the Associate Dean of Economic and Workforce Development at Moraine Park Technical College (MPTC) in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Mary works with prisons in the Moraine Park Technical College district to deliver vocational education programs and credentials to incarcerated individuals. Moraine Park Technical College and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections have partnered to deliver vocational programs for over 40 years. Previously, Mary was a correctional educator for 19 years and taught a variety of academic and self-enrichment classes. She has been a Correctional Education Association (CEA) member since 2004 and has served two terms each as CEA Wisconsin chapter Board President and President Elect. Mary has a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and Policy from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Judy Goldsmith, a past national president of the National Organization for Women, also served as Campus Dean/CEO of UW-Fond du Lac from 1993-2002 and again from 2009-2010, in the interim position. She was also a founder of The Humanity Project: Telling the Untold Story, an effort to combat racial injustice.
Goldsmith is a Wisconsin native, having grown up in Two Rivers. After getting an MS degree in English at the University of New York in Buffalo, she taught English for 15 years, first at SUNY Buffalo and then returning to Wisconsin to teach at the UW Manitowoc, before becoming involved in the National Organization for Women. She served in leadership positions at the local and state level of NOW, then was elected to the national board of directors, after which she moved to Washington, D.C. to serve first as executive vice president and finally as national president of the organization (1982-1986).
Godsmith also served on the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors for 20 years.
Illustrator and Fond du Lac native Samantha Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in illustration from UW-Eau Claire and holds certification in web development. She was theFond du Lac Public Library’s Idea Studio 2019 summer artist in residence, conducting workshops on life drawing, concept character creation with 3-D printing and screen printing.
Nelson was also instrumental in the launching the Idea Studio’s Girls Who Code Club. Her creativity inspiration comes from her pet rats, beekeeping, reptile breeding projects, tarantulas and her microfauna vivariums. She is an avid lover of non-traditional pets and educator on how to care and respect them.
Nick O’Brien is a community/economic development creative with a passion for building and activating people-centered communities. Following the first several years of his professional life as a TV sports reporter and anchor (which relocated him to the state of Wisconsin), Nick serendipitously collided with the realm of community and economic development when he was asked to manage a young professionals group in the central Wisconsin community where his journalism career had landed him. It didn’t take long for Nick to realize his passion for the work that it takes to drive place-based talent engagement and community-enhancing projects. Since 2015, Nick has built a professional career from his personal purpose in life — to connect people to people, people to place, and people to purpose. His work benefits cities and organizations through the use of grassroots community engagement and creative economic development projects, which has led him to serve on dozens of local, regional, and statewide committees and boards throughout Wisconsin. In addition, Nick has been fortunate to gain recognition as both a 20 Under 40 recipient and a Person of the Year in cities where he’s lived and worked.
Nick is the co-founder and principal of You Are Here, LLC, an engagement and experience design firm that enables him to share his energy and purpose with businesses, non-profits, and municipalities. You Are Here’s people-centered strategies and projects result in valuable outcomes such as higher levels of community engagement, creative activation of underused property, better-connected entrepreneur and talent ecosystems, and a culture of creativity and collaboration. Since 2017, You Are Here has created and led various initiatives in Wausau, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, and Sheboygan.
Shawn Anthony Robinson, PhD, is a Faculty Member at Madison College, a Senior Research Associate in the Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and serves on the Board of Directors with the International Dyslexia Association. Robinson graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services, a Master’s in Education from DePaul University, and a PhD in Language and Literacy from Cardinal Stritch University. Robinson has over 40 publications and has received several distinguished honors throughout his early career such as: the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award/New Trier High School Alumni Hall of Honor; the 2016 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from UWO; and the All-State Insurance’s 2005 Educator of the Year Chicago, ILL.
Dr. Robinson is the author, along with Dr. Inshirah V. Robinson, of the Dr. Dyslexia Dude book series. He is a sought-after speaker, both nationally and the state level, for various organizations and school districts. Robinson is also a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is married to Dr. Inshirah V. Robinson, and is the father of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
In a career that began in 1967, Lynn Roethke reigns as one of the most accomplished American women judo athletes in the history of the sport. Lynn holds the rank of eighth degree black belt. This promotion made her the youngest eighth degree black belt and one of only two of the highest ranked woman in the United States.
Lynn was the first American woman to medal in judo at the Olympic Games, winning a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She was also an Olympic team member in Barcelona in 1992. In 1987 Lynn was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, making her the first woman in the world to earn that honor. In 2008, she was inducted in the inaugural class of the USA Judo Hall of Fame. She was selected by the U.S. Olympic committee as “female athlete of the year” in the sport of judo in 1985 and 1987.
Winner of a silver medal in the 1987 World Championships, Lynn is also a two-time gold medalist in the Pan American Games. Her honors also include some 450 judo awards in competitions throughout the world. Lynn is a nine time U.S. Senior National Champion. Lynn is an honors graduate from Marian University holding a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Sport and Recreation Management. She resides in Fond du Lac, and is owner/operator of Club Olympia, an adult co-ed fitness center, which recently celebrated its twenty second year anniversary. She is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Lynn teaches and coaches a judo program at her fitness club which has produced State, National and International Champions. She also conducts motivational seminars and clinics throughout the United States.
Veronica Scott-Fulton is Regional Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive of SSM Health. She is an accomplished Executive with proven success leading teams in the achievement of a vision for transforming and creating value in healthcare. She has expertise in lean leadership, strategic planning, innovation and process redesign, creating measurable and sustained results.
Paul Sunseri, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in children’s mental health and is a pioneer in family therapy. He is the founder of three community mental health agencies and has worked to improve the lives of countless children and families over the past three decades. Dr. Sunseri is also a researcher and has published original research on the relationship between family functioning and children’s mental health. His most recent study (“Hidden Figures: Is the Key to Improving Children’s Mental Health through Better Family Functioning?”) is the largest research study ever conducted and shows that children and adolescents with serious mental illness benefit the most when their family as a whole is treated and family functioning improves. Dr. Sunseri is also the developer of Intensive In-Home Family Treatment (IIFT), an innovative treatment approach for children and teens in high conflict families for which traditional outpatient therapy has been ineffective.
Maria Turner is the Executive Director for the Women’s Fund, a position she took in March 2019 as the next step in her 13 years of previous nonprofit experiences in domestic violence, child abuse prevention and job training/placement for at-risk populations. Her career began in corporate newspaper, magazine and book publishing roles before shifting into the nonprofit sector. Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication and English from Carroll University and a certificate in Entrepreneurship from Fox Valley Technical College’s eSeed Program. She has presented workshops at two national conferences within the past five years: National CASA Conference (Washington, DC in June 2016) and National Citizen Review Panel Conference (Anchorage, Alaska in May 2017). Maria lives in New London, Wisconsin with her two teen daughters and has given back to her community through volunteerism that enhances education, women’s leadership and youth enrichment opportunities.
x = independently organized event.
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, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. 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.)