We are so thrilled to be hosting a TEDx event on April 1st. If you have yet read about our speakers on the TEDx website or in “The Pilot,” they are listed below.
Trish Harris – Professor of Human Services and Psychology at Sandhills Community College. Trish Harris, whose day job involves serving as a Professor of Human Services and Psychology at Sandhills Community College, uses her off time to hike. She has tackled Hadrian’s Wall in England and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This past summer, after four years, Trish completed the Appalachian Trail. Trish enjoys meeting new people and experiencing the great outdoors while visiting places of historical and geographical significance and is always eager to share her enthusiasm for hiking with others.
Barbara Sherman – Director of Behavioral Medicine Services at NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Barbara Sherman, a board-certified veterinary behavior specialist, is the Director of Behavioral Medicine Services at NC State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to teaching veterinary students, she treats the behavioral problems of companion animals and directs the Behavioral Medicine Residency Training program. In an effort to enhance their welfare, her ongoing research focuses on canine-human communication and the assessment and attenuation of fear responses in dogs and cats.
Cameron Cruse – Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of R. Riveter. Cameron Cruse is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of R. Riveter, a company with a dual mission to produce quality handbags/purses and provide portable careers to military spouses. A mother, designer, and proud Army wife, Cruse completed her Masters in Architecture from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and upon moving to Ft. Merrill, GA, founded R. Riveter with fellow military spouse, Lisa Bradley. In promoting and growing R. Riveter, Cruse has successfully funded a campaign on Kickstarter and secured the support of Mark Cuban on the Shark Tank.
Damien Horne – Musician and public speaker. Damien Horne is a musician and public speaker from Hickory, North Carolina. When he is not on the road as an artist, Horne works alongside The Salvation Army and the Boys & Girls Club to share his story of being one of 12 children—the first to graduate from high school—and of avoiding being a victim of the streets. Damien has a real knack for tapping into people’s gifts and talents and inspiring them to reach their fullest potential. Although he was homeless in two different cities (LA and Nashville), he has shared the stage with the likes of everyone from Faith Hill and Big & Rich to Robert Randolph and John Legend. He has landed publishing deals with Big Love and Warner Chapel and was also a part of a country music trio The Farm that was signed to Warner Brothers. During their stint, they had two charting singles, “Home Sweet Home” (Billboard Top 20) and “Be Grateful” (Billboard Top 40).
David Michael Wolff – Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Carolina Philharmonic. David Michael Wolff—conductor, pianist, author, educator, and entrepreneur—is now in his eighth season as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Carolina Philharmonic. He created an interactive orchestral experience program for North Carolina K-2 students called Encore! Kids, now serving thousands of children annually. Wolff is also the Principal Conductor & Artistic Director of Orchestra 2100, serving Washington, DC, and Virginia. Career highlights include a performance for President Bill Clinton’s Global Initiative in Arkansas and performances in Shanghai at the World Expo and at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with renowned Diva, Angela Brown. Wolff is author of Zen and the Art of Piano.
Nathaniel Peterkin – English major at SCC and Founder and CEO of Tri Fit USA. Nate Peterkin, an English major at SCC, will graduate this May and intends to pursue his BA at UNCC this Fall, where he also plans to try out for the football team. A Moore county native who was a Patriot football player and captain of the congressional speech and debate team at Pinecrest High School, Nate suffered some setbacks during his time in Durham, which left him homeless and directionless. Today, Nate is founder and CEO of Tri Fit USA, and he is following his dream to one day become a professor of philosophy.
Sundi McLaughlin – Business owner and President of the Sunrise Board and Chair of the SunFlix committee at the Sunrise Theater. Sundi McLaughlin is the owner of Mockingbird, a quirky little shop of carefully curated gifts and interesting finds in downtown Southern Pines, NC. A proud military wife and former Deputy from Florida, she has used her humorous life experiences as fodder for radio broadcasts for the Sandhills Skinny on Star 102.5 and columns in local magazines, PineStraw and Pinehurst Living. McLaughlin is the current President of the Sunrise Board and Chair of the SunFlix committee at the Sunrise Theater.
Susan Southard – Founder and Artistic Director of the Phoenix-based Essential Theatre. Susan Southard holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University and is the author of Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear War. Awarded both the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, her culmination of 17 years of research on survivors from the bombing of Nagasaki has also been named the “Best Book of the Year” by the Washington Post and the best history book of 2015 by Financial Times. In addition to teaching seminars and attending speaking engagements—her most notable to the United Nations—Southard is the founder and artistic director of the Phoenix-based Essential Theatre, now in its 27th season.