Fear Forward

  • Date: August 19, 2017
  • Location: Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts
  • Attendance: 100

In our daily lives, we must choose to take a stand. Rise up to the challenges facing us. Lift those around us. Our past does not define us. Our future is unknown. But, living the best life possible is within reach despite our fears.

When we understand, shift how we respond, and embrace fear, we have the potential to create huge change – be it in ourselves or the world around us. When we say no to the status quo, we create change. When we stop saying, “that won’t work” and at least try, we can accomplish great things.

We are not going to let the things we fear define us.

Together, we FEAR FORWARD.

2017's Speakers


Gary BoelhowerShared Principles for Wise-Decision Making Watch

Gary BoelhowerShared Principles for Wise-Decision Making

Gary Boelhower's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Gary Boelhower, Ph.D. teaches in the areas of of ethics, religions of the world, and leadership at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. He has been a teacher for over 45 years. He has held leadership positions in higher education, including dean of life-long learning, dean of graduate studies, and vice president for academic affairs. He provides consultation and training to a broad range of organizations on dialogue, authentic leadership, professional ethics, the respectful workplace, and wise decision-making. His publications include scholarly articles and poetry in many journals and anthologies.


Alison FettServant Leadership: How a jar can change the way you lead and serve Watch

Alison FettServant Leadership: How a jar can change the way you lead and serve

Alison Fett's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Alison (Ali) Fett has been the Assistant Vice President of Talent Development at Verve a Credit Union for the past three years. In this role, she strives to create a culture of servant leadership through developmental trainings and one-on- one coaching. Ali takes pride in serving those around her and inspiring others to do the same. Her leadership style is one of self-discovery, empowerment, candor, and unconditional love. Ali firmly believes servant leadership is a journey not a destination.

When Ali is not working, she enjoys golfing, watching basketball, fishing, creating arts/crafts, public speaking and, last but not least, dance parties with her two children Vincent – (“Vinny”) and Penelope – (“PJ”).

She lives by the motto: “Who you are is good enough; don’t ever stop creating better versions of yourself. It feels great to grow.”


Regan A. R. GurungGet Psyched: Think Stronger, Live Longer Watch

Regan A. R. GurungGet Psyched: Think Stronger, Live Longer

Regan A. R. Gurung's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Regan A. R. Gurung, Ph.D. is the Ben J. and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He was born and raised in Bombay, India, received a B.A. in psychology at Carleton College (MN), and a Masters and Ph.D. in social and personality psychology at the University of Washington (WA), and then spent three years at UCLA as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research fellow. He has made over 100 presentations and given workshops nationally and internationally (e.g. Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand).

When not helping people stay calm, reading and writing, he enjoys culinary explorations, travel, time with his wife and two children, and avoiding political discussions of any kind.


Eunbi KimPerforming Through Fear Watch

Eunbi KimPerforming Through Fear

Eunbi Kim's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Eunbi’s TEDxFondduLac Talk

Eunbi Kim is a virtuosic pianist with wide-ranging artistic sensibilities. She has commissioned new work from Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), created a music-theatre performance inspired by the novels of Haruki Murakami, and will soon release an album of concert music by 10-time GRAMMY nominated jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch on Albany Records. Her recital and recording projects are frequently sparked by a fresh artistic obsession, and often present the audience with intimate and challenging subject matter—from the mental breakdowns of literary characters to the inner workings of Eunbi’s own family.

Her genre-defying, often interdisciplinary recitals have been presented in prestigious venues in New York (Symphony Space, 92nd Street Y, DiMenna Center, le poisson rouge, Columbia University, the cell theatre) and across the United States (Kennedy Center, Asia Society Texas Center, PianoForte Foundation, Georgetown University, Bennington College, among many others).

An advocate for arts entrepreneurship and artistic innovation, Eunbi has been an invited speaker numerous colleges/universities and national arts organizations such as Chamber Music America, Asian-American Arts Alliance, the Manhattan School of Music, New York Foundation for the Arts, and New Music Gathering. She has held a fellowship at the Manhattan School of Music’s Center for Music Entrepreneurship, and was one of just 50 artists selected for the New York Foundation for the Arts’s 2012 “Artist as Entrepreneur” program.

Eunbi received her Masters in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers have included Anthony de Mare and Elena Arseniev.


Shawn PollackReclaiming the Old Flavor of Food Watch

Shawn PollackReclaiming the Old Flavor of Food

Shawn Pollack's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Shawn Pollack is a local farmer, chef, and farm-to-table business owner. He spent years working as a television producer in Boston and San Diego, but eventually his passion for food brought him back to his family’s farm in Van Dyne. After becoming a classically-trained chef, Shawn spent the last six years resurrecting old, nearly extinct flavors from the fruits, vegetables, and animals he raises.


Nabeel QuryshiThe Importance of Mentors Watch

Nabeel QuryshiThe Importance of Mentors

Nabeel Quryshi's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Nabeel Quryshi is 17 years old and a rising senior at the University School of Milwaukee. During his time in high school, he has conducted award winning biomedical research within the cardiovascular field.
He has presented his research and findings at state, national and international conferences and competitions. Having won the Best of Fair – 1st Place Grand Award at the Badger State Science & Engineering Fair, Nabeel most recently was awarded the prestigious First Place Grand Award in the Biomedical & Health Sciences category at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair. This places his research in the top 40 science fair projects in the world and bestows the privilege of having an asteroid/minor planet named in his honor. 
Nabeel is grateful to have received support from tremendous faculty, mentors and professors. Experimental findings presented in the talk stem from a collaborative effort. Any reference to “I” connotes a team effort.
Aside from his passion for all things science, he is captain of the varsity tennis team, concertmaster of the orchestra and founder and president of Harmonies for Health, a community orchestral performance ensemble. He is an ardent advocate of STEM education for all and was recently invited as a speaker at the inaugural March for Science Milwaukee.
Nabeel is excited to share his love and passion for youth involvement in STEM-related fields with the TED community and hopes to lead by example as an ambassador for the next generation of science enthusiasts.

Michael RustEmoticons Will Save the World Watch

Michael RustEmoticons Will Save the World

Michael Rust's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Michael Rust is dedicated to conflict. By championing others in the resolution of disputes and speaking about the causes of conflict, he is a leader in the field of conflict resolution.

Michael is the Executive Director of the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, Inc., a non-profit organization performing court connected and community mediation through the dedication of volunteer mediators performing nearly 500 mediations per year. He holds undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology from Carthage College and a law degree from Marquette University Law School. After practicing litigation for several years, Michael left the private practice of law to focus on conflict resolution full-time. On a personal level, Michael is married with three children, a cat, and a dog (so conflict follows him everywhere). He is an avid cook and enjoys sampling new beers. Michael is an active Rotarian (Oshkosh) and is an enthusiastic TEDster (serving as Licensee and Co-Organizer of TEDxOshkosh).


Aaron SadoffHappiness is the Greatest Technology Watch

Aaron SadoffHappiness is the Greatest Technology

Aaron Sadoff's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Aaron Sadoff served in the US Army as a cavalry scout after graduating high school in 1990. He earned degrees from UW-Madison and Marian University. In the fall of 1997, he began his career in education as a social studies teacher (psychology and history) in Manitowoc, WI. He taught for the next 9 years in Manitowoc and Fond du Lac, WI, mostly at the high school level. His passion and specialty became helping students learn about psychology. In 2006, he was selected to be middle school principal at Bessie Allen in the School District of North Fond du Lac, where he served for 3 years until becoming the Superintendent for the District, which he has served in for the past 8 years.

His current passion is developing and sustaining a culture of happiness in the School District of North Fond du Lac so that the District can recruit, retain and reward a world class staff, while working to prepare all students to be career, college and life ready. He believes the School District of North Fond du Lac is an example of how the science of happiness and positive psychology can revolutionize the way that organizations are working to best impact success. He is active at the state and federal level advocating for public schools and is fortunate to share his passion for positive psychology through presentations with numerous local, state and national groups.

He has a beautiful wife Kelly (married for 21 years) and three great kids – Paige (18), Lilly (16) and Ethan (12). When not at school, he enjoys working around the home and relaxing with family & friends.


Lyndsey SeewaldHumaning Watch

Lyndsey SeewaldHumaning

Lyndsey Seewald's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Lyndsey Seewald is living out her dream as the head women’s basketball coach at Marian University in Fond du Lac after receiving educational achievements that include a BS in Psychology and a MA in Sport & Performance Psychology. Every day she goes to work with one thing in mind; how to create spaces for our student-athletes, staff, and faculty to seek and fulfill their dreams. The process is her main focus, trusting that the outcome will beautifully create itself.


Laurice SnyderBeing Poor and Empowered Watch

Laurice SnyderBeing Poor and Empowered

Laurice Snyder's TEDxFondduLac Talk

For over 30 years, Laurice Snyder has been fighting oppression and inequity.  For the first 20 years it was personal, fighting for basic survival through poverty, hunger, homelessness due to domestic violence and the quandary of racial identity.  For the past decade, it’s also been professional, leading work that disrupts systems of racism and oppression in schools and communities.  She is currently the Diversity Relations Manager for Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, WI. Prior to that, she spent 10 years in the Fond du Lac School District, working to address policies and practices regarding responsiveness to the racial and cultural needs of students and families.  

Laurice has successfully built the capacity for cultural responsiveness in the community in many ways. Her most recent initiative has been co-founding The Humanity Project: Telling the untold story which is the first-ever community conversation in Fond du Lac focused on exposing the histories of people of color in the United States.  It’s a year long project that brings individuals together with the purpose of gaining a racial understanding about themselves and the people around them.  Laurice facilitates the use of protocols and conditions that isolate race in personal and immediate ways while also focusing on efforts to reduce the devastating impact of systemic racism.


Thom StrizekHobbies Could Save the World Watch

Thom StrizekHobbies Could Save the World

Thom Strizek's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Thom Strizek has lived in Fond du Lac for all but the youngest years of his life, and had a blend of local public and private school education before dropping out of high school and pursuing being a polymath. He’s had many jobs from steel fabrication to cheese making, CNC operation, and his current career as a utility locator, which he’s held for 11 years.

He spent six years volunteering as a leader in the local Cub Scout, Boy S
cout, and Girl Scout groups to which his two children have belonged, and currently chairs an eponymous non-profit.
He has more hobbies than his wife wishes he had, the largest of which are woodworking and design, but has also included computer repair, vehicle repair, writing, performing, reading, language, and tabletop role-playing, to name a few.

Darold TreffertAccidental Genius: The Little Rain Man Within Us All Watch

Darold TreffertAccidental Genius: The Little Rain Man Within Us All

Darold Treffert's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Darold Treffert, MD, graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1958, interned in Eugene, Oregon and completed a Residency in Psychiatry at University Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1962 he joined the staff of Winnebago Mental Health Institute where he developed the Child-Adolescent Unit. In 1964 he was named Superintendent of the Institute, a position he held for 15 years. In 1979 he left that position to divide his time between the private practice of Psychiatry and a position as Executive Director of the Fond du Lac County Health Care Center. During that time he was also Medical Director of the Alcoholism Rehabilitation Unit of St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. In 1991 he retired from those positions and now devotes his time to conducting research, writing and lecturing at the Treffert Center.

His book Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome has been published in the U.S. and has been translated into ten other languages. His most recent book Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden Savant was published in April 2010; it summarizes his 50 years of interest and research in both autism and savant syndrome. Dr. Treffert was a consultant to the movie “Rain Man”, in which Dustin Hoffman portrays an autistic savant.


Emerson VahlsingPolitics from a Kid's Perspective Watch

Emerson VahlsingPolitics from a Kid's Perspective

Emerson Vahlsing's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Emerson Vahlsing, or E as she is known by her friends and family, is a fifth grader at the STEM Academy in Fond du Lac. She loves public speaking, reading, eating, and being out in nature. Debating is one thing she tries to do frequently in school and she loves to help others become the best they can be.


Lisa WeberFeel Your Feelings Watch

Lisa WeberFeel Your Feelings

Lisa Weber's TEDxFondduLac Talk

Lisa Weber, MD, is a family medicine physician at Agnesian HealthCare’s Fond du Lac Regional Clinic, where she has worked for the past seven years. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Greenbush with their two children, ages six and eight. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors, gardening and hiking. Her family also enjoys caring for the animals in their small zoo.

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  • Thelma
  • 51 Sheboygan Street
  • Fond du Lac, WI 54935