2018 Speakers and Performers
Shannon is a community-minded entrepreneur who creates realities where health is the first wealth, communities are prosperous, and people are empowered to maximize their potential. Over the last 15 years she has worked with businesses, philanthropists, nonprofits and government to address complex social issues. As a nationally recognized leader in community health, she brings a diverse view and experience to the challenges surrounding food systems.
Shannon has a passion for food because of its dramatic effects on our social, environmental, economic and human development. Whether it’s urban farms, childhood obesity, food cooperatives, plant-based eating, or building food education and empowerment destinations, Shannon is working to bring food to the forefront of the conversation.
David is a storyteller, writer, and local leader in software product development. He is intrigued by the concept of applying strategies and techniques used in software development to create literature and art. His interests range from experimenting with practical "how-to" techniques to examining the philosophical meaning of story in business and life. He is particularly interested in how these techniques can be used in an educational environment to unlock the creative potential of children.
Brooke Linville doesn’t believe in impossible. Brooke doesn’t give up. When her father was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, she found the clinical trial that could save him. She brought a startup virtual reality company to the Consumer Electronics Show. And when her alma mater, Sweet Briar College, needed to be saved, Brooke led the online effort to raise $12 million. Her current challenges include avoiding the pain of stepping on stray Legos left on the floor by her two sons, working out plot points in the novel she’s writing, and conquering live, on-stage storytelling.
A software engineer and a local leader in high tech, Alecia Hoobing creates and uses technology that makes our lives easier and more connected. One day while hiking with her two daughters, Alecia realized she was more intent on using technology to capture perfect photos for social media than enjoying the time with her children. Recognizing this pattern in her life, she became aware of the fact that she was a photoholic and on that day vowed to change. That change led her down a path to understand photoholism and how to break the addiction, focusing instead on human connections. She became keenly aware that the very technology that connects us can lead to feelings of isolation and degraded personal relationships. Alecia is also theco-founder of Women Innovators, an organization that elevates, connects and advocates for women in technology and science.
Brian Fretwell helps people realize their value. He began his professional career as a teacher in juvenile corrections, empowering disenfranchised kids to do things they didn’t believe they could. From the Australian Outback to the Arctic Circle, today Brian teaches individuals, teams, and companies how to draw out their hidden potential. He got an MBA, ran a 100-mile ultra-marathon, overcame his fear of flying, and wrote a book because he didn’t think he could do any of them—and being a hypocrite isn’t his style.
A Boise native, Amy made her way to Chicago, New York, and Paris as an Elite model, then to Hollywood as an actress and producer. On the way, she developed a fascination with the process of producing great art and entertainment. This passion, combined with a latent talent for technology, led Amy to create her own company to build breakthrough tools for visual creativity. Amy’s technologies are changing the way things get made. Through her journey, Amy has developed deep insights into the dynamics of being a powerful female in male-dominated industries.
Amy Gile is the CEO and Co-Founder of Silverdraft Supercomputing, the leading builder of computing platforms for creative arts, graphics, and design.
Gabe Bentz was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon. By six years old, he could weld and ride a horse. His formal education began in a one-room schoolhouse. Gabe left college, for one year, to start his first company, which morphed into the product design firm Slant Concepts. He became a robotics engineer, and moved his company to Boise to focus on developing consumer robotics.
In 2017, Slant Concepts realized the need and potential of commercial 3D printing. This recognition led to the creation of the spin-off Slant 3D. Gabe now spends most of his time among rows of 3D printers, growing the highest-capacity commercial 3D printing farm in the western United States.
When the foundational principles of capitalism and the capital markets are being questioned, when entire segments of societies are being left behind by the forces of globalization and open competition, when authoritarian leaders at the helm of command economies are on the rise, we need a third way, a surprising solution.
Matthew Weatherley-White is a global thought leader in the emerging discipline of impact investing, which harnesses the market’s power to drive solutions to some of the great challenges we collectively face. Matthew offers his perspective on what the future will hold for capitalism—and for everyone in the world who is touched by it. His experience as an investor, observer, entrepreneur, traveler, and advisor to some of the world’s more innovative pools of capital gives him unique insights into the future of capitalism and the evolution of markets.
Natalie’s father came out to her immediate family 20 years ago, when she was twelve years old. As a former Chief Justice for the Idaho State Court of Appeals, maintaining his employment and hard-earned success was vital to their family unit. For two decades, she lived in a closeted gay family with her mom, two dads, and older sister. Her book, Dad #1, Dad #2: A Queerspawn View from the Closet, is the first memoir written by a child growing up in a closeted LGBTQ family. Natalie chronicles the highs and lows of growing up with gay dads in one of the most conservative states in the country.
Gwen Young has devoted her career to humanitarian relief, international development, and human rights. As an attorney and public policy professional, Gwen has advocated for the role girls and women play in political, social, and economic development. She has trained women in advocacy, networking, management, and entrepreneurship in her roles with the International Rescue Committee, CARE, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. While working with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), Gwen developed guidelines to deal with sexual- and gender-based violence and exploitation. She has lived for over 10 years on the African continent, in a variety of conflict-ridden zones.
Today, Gwen works to advance the role of women in government as the Director of the Wilson Center’s Global Women’s Leadership Initiative. The Initiative aims to ensure 50% representation of women in public-service leadership in governments across the globe by 2050.
Noah Siple has a passion for enriching the lives of veterans through employment, education, purpose, and social connection. He advocates for building community in ways that meet the needs of emerging generations of veterans in Idaho. Noah is a combat veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star and the Combat Action Badge. He is an Army strategist, and currently the Chief Operations Officer of the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, as a Major in the Idaho Army National Guard. Noah has served in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Paul Primus knew his passion was surfing before he ever laid eyes on the ocean. After growing up in the Midwest, Paul first set foot on a surfboard in early 2009 while living in Oregon. He’s been addicted to surfing ever since. In the landlocked state of Idaho, his craving for waves became insatiable, so Paul began surfing Idaho’s untamed whitewater rivers, from the Payette to the Lochsa, eventually bringing surfing to the country’s first adjustable river wave. His obsession and love for river surfing and wave-shaping has distinguished him in the sport across the U.S.
In her youth, Bobbi Dominick was deathly afraid of public speaking. In her early 20’s, she finally found her voice.
Bobbi is a native Boisean, home grown with that Idaho streak of independence. With degrees in history, law, and theology, Bobbi has worked in law, consulting, and for a church developing systems and training for protecting children, youth and adults from abusive behavior. She has taught at universities, in classrooms, conference rooms, boardrooms, training halls and ballrooms. She uses her voice for those who cannot speak up, by helping organizations improve their efforts to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination. Bobbi’s focus is on developing an organizational culture, leadership, and human resource systems that provide even the most vulnerable employees with a respectful place to work.
It’s been said that music is the universal language. AfroSonics uses their original music style to bring people together through a fusion of guitars, drums, percussion, keyboards, electronic soundscapes, vocals, dance and chants. Although most of the rhythms are of African and American origin, their music defies conventional labels.
Afrosonics incorporates music from all over the world and the root of each member intermingles to create something both classic and unique. In addition to their own music, the group draws influences from other musical genres, including South American, The Caribbean, Funk, Southern American Jazz, Blues, Rock and others that capture the true essence of the African, American or Universal spirit. The members of the group came to Boise from different points on the African and American maps, each with a deep respect for their heritage and a special contribution from their respective culture.
TEDxBoise is thrilled to welcome 2017 speaker, Kayla-Leah, back to the stage as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. Kayla-Leah volunteers with Days for Girls, an organization that provides appropriate feminine hygiene supplies for women and girls worldwide. Her “idea worth spreading” was focused on reversing menstrual shame across all cultures. Kayla-Leah is an entrepreneur, humanitarian, speaker, mastermind director, and author of Purple Crayon Confidence. She is a proficient Googler, a prolific blogger, and a lover of potatoes. Her many talents and labors earned her a nod from the Idaho Business Review as one of the 2018 Women of the Year.