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Speakers: Speakers

Speakers 2019

The inaugural TEDxWilmetteWomen event held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at Regina Dominican High School in Wilmette featured eight dynamic speakers who presented on a range of topics.  Our goal was to bring the community together to spark deep discussion and connection. 


Our 2019 event included a series of eight short, carefully prepared talks on a wide range of subjects, highlighting the year’s theme “Bold+Brilliant.” 


TEDxWilmette Women was a joyful, thought-provoking celebration of local smarts, savvy, and diverse dynamism.  The TEDxWilmetteWomen talks can be viewed on the videos page.

TEDxWilmetteWomen 2019 Speaker Bios

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Svetlana Baklanova is an entrepreneur who trains attention through fitness at her Wilmette studio, Practice HORA USA. Svetlana has spent 20,000+ hours teaching people how to transform their stress into more productive personal and professional lives. Svetlana will share her idea that people need to physically mobilize themselves to transform stress into productivity.

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Charlie Branda is founder of Art On Sedgwick, a community art organization in Chicago’s Near North Side neighborhood. Charlie will present her idea is that art is a language that helps diverse neighbors create a shared identity and a better future for everyone.

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Ami Campbell, is a consultant, stewardship educator and coauthor of Love Let Go: Radical Generosity for the Real World, whose writing has also appeared in Philanthropy Daily, RELEVANT magazine, The Christian Century, and the Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin. Ami will present her idea that radical generosity is a way of living, not an act of giving.

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Sky Cubacub is the founder of Rebirth Garments, a custom made clothing line of gender non-conforming wearables and accessories. Sky was named a 2018 Chicagoan of the Year by the Chicago Tribune and a 2019 Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow. Sky will share their idea of “radical visibility,” a dress reform movement that empowers people to embrace their identities across the full spectrum of gender, size, and ability.

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Beth Drucker is an environmental activist, community organizer and co-founder of Go Green Wilmette, Go Green Illinois and North Shore Green Women. She helps citizens establish environmental organizations in their communities, connects students to nature and advocates for better biking. Beth will present her idea that you need to proactively pick something to become passionate about instead of waiting to discover it.

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Amy Segami is a business consultant, an engineer turned artist, entrepreneur and international marketing executive featured on BBC, NPR, Chicago Crain’s and TED Blog. Her life’s work is mastering the complexity of change. With her unique applications of fluid dynamics and storytelling, she creates breakthroughs in art, science, and business.

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Ellen Taaffe is the Director of Women’s Leadership Programming and a Clinical Faculty member of the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. She sits on three corporate Boards and is also an executive coach and consultant. Ellen will share her idea that this is your year to be Bold+Brilliant by writing and taking center stage in your life story.

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Hema Trukenbrod is a recognized expert in pediatric behavior and development with over 20 years of clinical, treatment, consulting, teaching and entrepreneurial business experience in the field. A passionate advocate for and educator of parents and teachers dealing with the challenges and questions associated with childhood behavioral, developmental, and learning challenges, she founded PediaSource, a platform offering direct, convenient access to an extensive assembly of pediatric experts who can answer questions, help determine next steps, and provide ongoing support and coaching.  Hema will present her idea that when it comes to children, predictability is the enemy of success.

At TEDxWilmette, we’re shining a spotlight on dazzling ideas from extraordinary risk-takers and innovators to pioneers and brilliant people who are just getting started.

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