We are excited to announce our lineup of speakers for TEDxAkron 2017!

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William Considine

William H. Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital for 37 years, has dedicated both his career and personal life to improving pediatric care and the quality of life of children and families. He is one of the longest-tenured hospital chief executives in the country and is an internationally known advocate for issues affecting children’s health and well-being. He is widely consulted by policymakers in Columbus and Washington, D.C., and he has served on the boards of many healthcare, educational and cultural organizations.

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Dr. Dale Hartz

Dale is a practitioner scholar bridging the worlds of academia and practice.  He is a researcher, educator, and social entrepreneur who is the Founder & Executive Director of Better Future Facilitators, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works with high potential homeless people to enable them to start B-corporation businesses.


Tyron Hoisten

Tyron Hoisten is an ordained minister, an actor, a writer, an artist—in short, he is many things. Hoisten, an only child, is a native Akronite. His early years were characterized by love, joy and creativity. From the very first time that his gifted hands grasped a pencil, Hoisten has been drawing. His artistic abilities opened many doors, including one to Miller South: School of the Performing Arts—and another to Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh's 2006 Safety Kids Calendar contest, which awarded him grand prize and his winning artwork featured on several billboards.

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Jon Keppel

Jon Keppel was born in Akron, Ohio and has traveled the Western world reflecting deeply on the art of our time.  He holds a BFA in Sound Art from The Ohio State University and is a member of the Artists of Rubber City in Akron.  As an artist, musician and writer, Jon has activated spaces both real and virtual across Ohio and around the world over the course of his 37 plus years on this planet. 

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Rachel Lovell

Rachel Lovell, PhD, is sociologist and methodologist who studies gender-based violence and victimization, in particular sexual assault, human sex trafficking and sex work, and intimate partner violence. Her current research involves examining the unsubmitted (“backlogged”) sexual assault kits in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and specialized dockets for human sex trafficking victims. 

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Greg McNeil

Greg is the founder of Cover2 Resources, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to providing education and advocacy for families struggling with opioid addiction.  Cover2 Resources produces the PPT podcasts, a podcast series about People, Places and Things making a difference in the opioid epidemic. Additionally, Greg and Cover2 have identified and helped implement numerous programs to help fight the opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio.  

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Jim Mullen

Jim Mullen joined United Way of Summit County in May 2015 as the seventh president and CEO in the organization’s 97-year history. His leadership direction focuses on systematic change and growth accomplished through strong volunteer leadership, innovative approaches and long term community solutions.

Jamie Newhall

Jamie Newhall

Jamie Newhall is a senior multimedia producer at The University of Akron. His work includes video production and photography, skills he most enjoys using to create documentaries.

Raynard Packard

Raynard Packard

Raynard is the founder and director of Akron based non-profit, The Packard Institute, Inc., working with generations of area families and providing recovery-oriented systems of care since 1992. Raynard is a former U.S. Army paratrooper, and has finished over 150 marathons and ironman triathlons. He is also working on his own long term recovery: 25 years! Raynard has two daughters, Sonja (24) and Magdalena (8).

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Marc Rosen

Marc is a business leader, owner, entrepreneur, mentor, and community volunteer. Throughout his professional endeavors, Marc has played the role of catalyst, the individual from whom the growth, energy and vision for success have come. He has consistently been the driver behind the continuous improvement that have characterized the performance of his clients and employers.

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Alex Sheen

Alex Sheen is the Founder of because I said I would, the international social movement and nonprofit dedicated to the betterment of humanity through promises made and kept. Sparked by the loss of his father, Alex began sending promise cards to anyone who requested them at no cost. Since his father’s passing on September 4th, 2012, because I said I would has sent over 6.64M promise cards to over 150 countries. Alex’s commitment to the betterment of humanity has inspired millions around the world. The story of his promises have been shared virally throughout social media and international news.

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Kara Ulmer

Kara Ulmer is the Director of the World Relief Akron office, a refugee resettlement agency. Since opening the office in early 2015, the office has helped to resettle 260 refugees in our city. Prior to World Relief, Kara directed the international non-profit, Freedom Stones International, a social-enterprise working with over 100 human trafficking survivors or at risk artisans in Ghana, West Africa, Thailand, and Cambodia. 

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Geeg Wiles

Geeg Wiles is the voice, caretaker and keeper of chronicles for Ahab’s Adventures.

An average year for Geeg and his partner consists of such undertakings as jumping out of planes, rafting gnarly white water rapids, swimming at Black Canyon National Park, taking in the historic buildings of Stockholm, exploring the falls of the Upper Peninsula, hitchhiking through Patagonia, volunteering at the Virgin Islands Environmental Resource Station, and being 1.5 out of 5 people to smell the Iowa State Fair’s Butter Cow. All of this on-the-ground “work” contributes to a larger story, which has been in the care of Geeg’s family for over seven decades.