Mary Reed – Organizer, and Licensee. Miss Mary is an engineer, designer, an amazing cook, a mentor, and has been called a force of nature. She is passionate about connecting people to their dreams, walking the Camino de Santiago, and stalking the world’s best Huevos Rancheros in the state. She loves to be delighted, and is easily entertained.
After being shot three times during the Gabrielle Giffords’ assassination attempt, she has dedicated her life to giving back to her beloved city. She regularly performs acts of random kindness throughout the city.
Currently, she’s obsessed with vintage sewing machines, pop-up books, automatons, personalized medicine, and intriguing conversations (even in line at the grocery store).
Evan Grae Davis –
Creative Director –
Husband, father, filmmaker, activist; Evan has traveled the world with camera in hand for nearly two decades, advocating for various causes through documentary storytelling. His recent feature film, It’s a Girl, has exposed millions of people to the issue of gendercide, and mobilized a global movement to restore justice and dignity to women and girls in India and China. When he is not traveling and filming, he collaborates to tell the stories of those working to advance causes and address concerns right here in Arizona. He spends his spare time mountain biking, woodcarving and enjoying live music. He loves exploring all of the wonderful cafes, coffee houses and craft breweries sprouting up all over downtown Tucson with his wife of 20 years, Jennifer, and his two teenage children, Jarrett and Ashton. A two-time TEDx speaker himself, Evan is a huge fan of all that TED stands for and counts it a privilege to be a part of the creative, innovating, thought-leading TEDxTucson community.
Ryan Ortega –
Director of Events –
Ryan is Phoenix born and Tucson raised. A fourth generation Mason and also a Mechanic, Homebuilder, Fabricator/Welder, Tower Climber, Rigger, Roughneck, and now Executioner of Events. For years he traveled many places, living in and out of hotels. Ryan developed a love for hospitality. So much that he restarted his career and came on board to JW Marriott in Tucson. From the first event he worked, as an associate, he knew he made the right decision. “-There is no higher purpose than to serve-“, is said often by Ryan. He is Passionate for producing exceptional events with exceptional memories. Whether the event is a Corporate Convention, Bar Mitzvah, Wedding, Branding roll out, Quinceañera, or government conference he brings simple elegance to every show. Committed to being involved in the community, Ryan has always dreamed of being a part of TEDxTucson. He hopes to meet as many people as possible and produce entertaining and educating TEDxTucson events. Bringing people together to discuss concepts and ideas is Ryan’s hope. It is a way to Innovating, learning, and evolving…
Scott Fadynich –
Social Media Director.
Scott made the move in 2012 from the Jersey Shore to the Tucson Desert, soaking up the Sonoran Lifestyle. Retired from the commodities trade, Scott now concentrates on his passion for photography, marketing, social media consulting, and golf. After Wall Street, Scott found himself on the Red Carpet of the 57th Grammy Awards, on the arm of his nominated wife, Linda Chorney. He was the catalyst for her submission of her 6th Album for consideration. Scott took part in making history, as his wife became the first completely independent artist to garner a nomination for Americana Album of the Year. Since then, Scott has managed Linda’s social media presence by blending his many skills, which include photography, graphic design, and marketing, thereby fully embracing and utilizing the power of social media. Scott received his BSBA from Boston University with a concentration in Finance. He also fulfilled his creative side by studying Photography at BU’s School of Communications. He considers his greatest accomplishment, aside from surviving two terrorist attacks on the WTC, to be his role as proud father, raising a fine young man.
Leslie Lundquist – Editorial Director.
Leslie worked in the technology industry. She is the author of “Selling Online for Dummies” and “Digital Money: The New Era of Internet Commerce.” Ms. Lundquist worked as VP of Research for the CommerceNet Consortium, funded by the office of then U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where she was responsible for publishing research and creating industry conferences related to the growth of electronic commerce. Earlier in her career, she worked for Apple Computer as a Senior Technical Writer, at SRI International as a Computer Programmer, and at MIT as a Visiting Scientist in the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Recognized as a National Merit Scholar, Ms. Lundquist holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Stanford University, and a Master’s degree in Voice Performance from the University of Arizona.
Doug Stevenson – Speaker Coach. Doug was a professional actor in Chicago and Hollywood. When his acting career didn’t take off, he became a successful Realtor. During 11 years in real estate he did a lot of public speaking with eventually led to a career as a professional speaker. What sets Doug apart as a speaker is his storytelling ability. Since 1996, Doug has been speaking, teaching and coaching business professionals on how to use storytelling to make their message stand out. He is the creator of The Story Theater Method and has spoken in 16 countries on 5 continents to large and small corporations, associations and government agencies. Some of his clients include Microsoft, Google, Hewlett Packard, Coca Cola, Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Bristol-Myers Squib, State Farm, UPS and many more.
Leslie Ann Epperson is our Story Teller.
She an Emmy Award winning documentary producer. She recently completed the feature length documentary Many Bones, One Heart, which was selected as the Opening Night Film for the 2015 Arizona International Film Festival and won Best of Arizona Award. The film has since been re-edited and two minutes were added to the total length. In November of 2015, Many Bones, One Heart Extended Trailer was awarded 2nd Place by the My Hero Project for Indy Film in Development.
Leslie Ann Epperson began documentary production in 1984 at PBS affiliate WILL-TV, creating over 40 short documentaries and 5 long form documentary programs during her tenure. All the programs, from the hour long Saving Nature to the short form science series Prairie Pathways were distributed to PBS affiliates nationwide via the Central Educational Network.
From 1990-1992 Epperson produced a science magazine series for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. In 1993, Epperson re-located to Tucson, AZ and began employment at KUAT-TV, PBS, Tucson, AZ. From 1993-94, Epperson created three films for an MFA thesis, Space of a Breath, Yankee Doodle Doggie and Drawing Water, which subsequently screened at film festivals and on cablecast. After receiving an MFA, Epperson continued at KUAT- TV producing the documentary In the Field of Time, about anthropologist Emil Haury, producing arts and culture programs for KUAT-TV’s nightly newsmagazine, Arizona Illustrated, and a documentary about the historic church on the San Xavier reservation, entitled Divine Mission San Xavier del Bac. The PBS network broadcast Divine Mission San Xavier del Bac and the film received 5 Rocky Mountain Region Emmy Awards. Epperson has received several other awards and honors, including the selection of Space of a Breath in The AZ 100 Indie Collection, Master Communicator of Illinois for NCSA Realtime, and First Place in Photography for Erb’s Herbs from United Press International.
Nina, an Arizona native, is a senior in the Honors College at the University of Arizona studying Physiology with a minor in French. An avid traveler and adventure seeker, she is always trying to immerse herself in different cultures by stepping outside of her comfort zone. Participating in a summer foreign exchange program in France, where she stayed with a host family, she has created lasting global connections and meaningful relationships with people around the world. She spends her time extremely involved on campus through various clubs where she holds officer positions and a leadership role as a Resident Assistant. Nina also volunteers in the Tucson community and with national corporations such as Project Cure. Interested in global healthcare issues and how we can all impact one another, she is excited to bring her background and experience to the TEDxTucson team to learn more about networking and bringing people together.
Christella Saldana – Marketing Intern
Christella is a senior at the University of Arizona majoring in Marketing and minoring in Global Business. She has pursued a variety of positions such as social media marketing, event planning, strategic global marketing, and sales in industries such as healthcare, retail, entertainment, sports, and non-profits. She seeks to learn and improve, to consolidate her experiences. As a young individual who enjoys attending cultural community events and traveling, she also seeks to reinvent the way culture is learned and taught by looking beyond the clichés of tourism. Christella lives by the motto “be love” and is taking it with her to TEDxTucson, where she can dedicate her marketing skills to and can be inspired by the “ideas worth spreading.”