2018 Speakers & Performers

Everyone encounters difficult people. From co-workers and colleagues, to friends and family, we are faced with challenging relationships daily. Unfortunately, we often go about managing them the wrong way. Only by elevating our understanding of behavior and acting through an internalized approach will we be able to master the conflicts created by dealing with difficult people. View this talk

 Jay Johnson
 How to Deal with
 Difficult People

Jay Johnson is a trainer specializing in communication and leadership development. Using a unique perspective of behavioral intelligence, Jay empowers people and organizations across the globe stretching from Main Street to Wall Street. Jay is a designated Master Trainer through the Association for Talent Development (ATD). He is a two-time Excellence in Training Award recipient from the National Association of Professional Communication Consultants and in 2017 he was named “Top Trainer” by the ATD Detroit Chapter. Jay has a devotion to teaching and learning, and is passionate about inspiring people to reach peak performance in work and in life.

Implicit bias is inherent in all human beings. Our goal shouldn't be to eliminate these biases; rather we should look to identify them in order to overcome them before they become explicit, or discriminatory. The impact of bias is significant and can be addressed with deliberate attention. View this talk

 Megan Fuciarelli
 When Implicit Bias
 Becomes Explicit

Megan Fuciarelli is an educator and administrator with over 20 years of experience in the social justice realm. As the Executive Director & Principal Consultant of US2, she works with a team to help unite society through equity and inclusion work. She has presented for local, state, national, and international audiences in the areas of Restorative Practices, Equity & Inclusion, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and The Whole Child. She is very proud of her work with Teaching Tolerance as a contributor and the author of the Critical Practices Webinar Series. Fuciarelli holds a BS in Elementary Education as well as a MATL in Reading and MEd in Educational Administration. Fuciarelli has also completed an ESL Certificate and the Urban School Leadership Program at Harvard. Her passion directly correlates with providing insight into individuals in order to unite society.

How can your voice change policy and drive equitable systems change? Be empowered to use your own experiences to create social change. View this talk

 Alphonso Amos
 The Power of One Voice:
 Driving Systems Change
 Through Advocacy

As the founder and executive director of the nonprofit organization Impact Youth Services, Alphonso Amos is committed to working for social justice and improving the quality of life for families. In 2015, at the age of 26 years old, Amos was elected to City Council in Port Huron, MI. Alphonso also leads the community initiatives Youth Voice and Mentors Matter. He is a passionate advocate for children and young adults, believing strongly in the power of volunteerism and service.

This talk will review scientific evidence and research that has been published surrounding exoskeleton use in persons living with complete and incomplete paraplegia. Todd will demonstrate the device and discuss personal experiences and how he uses his robotic exoskeleton device at home and in the community. View this talk

 Matt Fuller
 Benefits of Exoskeleton
 Use in Those Living with
 Paraplegia–It’s More Than

 Todd Reigelsperger

Matt Fuller grew up in rural Northeast Ohio, venturing down to the University of Cincinnati where he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Sports and Biomechanics. Following his passion to help others he moved to San Diego, California to earn his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine. Knowing his passion was to work with individuals living with spinal cord injuries, he started a career with ReWalk Robotics in 2017. Matt enjoys exploring the world with his wife and staying active any way possible, including daily walks to the beach with his dogs.

Todd Reigelsperger grew up playing whatever sport was in season, but life changed quickly when he was paralyzed in a car accident during his senior year of high school. Today, Todd uses a manual wheelchair in his daily life and a robotic exoskeleton to stand, walk, and enjoy the benefits of leaving the wheelchair behind...if only for a few hours. Walking 275 miles since obtaining the device in 2016, Todd advocates for increasing access and opportunities for people living with disabilities. Todd lives in Coldwater,OH, works as a Computer Programmer, and enjoys hanging out on the water kayaking and enjoying the sunshine.

Despite being responsible for nearly half of domestic goods and services and accounting for two out of three net jobs, the impact of “Main Street” American small business is often overlooked. Many local businesses are discounted because of deceptive financial metrics that carelessly understate the value that these organizations create on a daily basis. Let’s take a fresh look at American small business by stepping away from the balance sheets and cash flow statements and instead focus on the raw contributions these businesses make in the cities and towns across America. View this talk

 Grant Sobczak
 Small Business
 Big Results

Grant Sobczak is an enterprising entrepreneur and small business advocate who has owned and operated a business since the young age of fourteen. He is CEO of Modern Mind Technology, a technology conglomerate that provides digital marketing and consulting services to small and midsized businesses and operates eCommerce stores. Grant is a senior at Churchill High School and is a member of the Livonia AM Rotary club and the Livonia Chamber of Commerce. He enjoys studying finance and investing, traveling with family, and flying airplanes.

'Strength In My Story' is a collection of stories given by special-needs individuals who have experienced some level of pain, struggle, hurt, loss, or hardship. The story is given through the lens of the victim; however, the objective is to reveal their triumph over the circumstances and/or situation that tried to defeat them. View this talk

 Teron Varner,
 Kelsey Wisz,
 Christian Brock,
 Sarah Itoh (not pictured), and
 Jesse Sparkman

 Strength in My Story

Teron Varner has a passion for supporting people. Most recently, he served as a Restorative Coordinator at a special-needs school for young adults. While there, he started working with the students on the power of owning their story and speaking through pain. The four young adults performing with him have all been empowered by their story and the impact of it on their growth. Their goal is to share their story with as many people as necessary in order to help others overcome their own stories of hurt.

TEDxLivoniaCCLibrary speaker Kristie Overstreet featured on TED.com

Our TEDxLivoniaCCLibrary talks are available to view and share