skip to Main Content

The 7th annual TEDxDayton Signature Event was held on October 11, 2019 at the Victoria Theatre from 12:15-5:30 p.m. 17 local speakers and four local performers took to the stage to give talks and performances that were infused with the event’s theme: CONNECT.

Follow us! Facebook ⋅ Instagram ⋅ Twitter | Email us! [email protected]

Check out event photos by Knack Creative and Peter Wine Photography, here.

View all event videos of TEDxDayton 2019


EMCEE: Mark Bailey Jr., American Institute of Architects (AIA), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards  – Project Architect

Mark earned his master of architecture degree from Miami University and has worked as an architect in the Miami Valley region for more than 5 years. He enjoys studying historical amusement parks, riding roller coasters, camping, hiking, gardening, and Kentucky bourbon. Mark is passionate about thoughtful, vernacular design and serves on various AIA Dayton and TEDxDayton committees. You may remember seeing Mark as a speaker at TEDxDayton 2014, when he thrilled the audience by speaking about his concept of developing hybrid amusement parks in urban settings to revitalize and create exciting environments.

SPEAKER: Anna Baugham – Singer-Songwriter

Writing 90 Songs in 90 Days

Anna was born and raised in the Gem City. With her love of folk-acoustic and soul, Anna uses her music to bring people together. She has been singing and playing the baritone ukulele for the past four years and recently signed with Invention City Records. When she’s not playing her uke, you can find her in her kitchen, making a mean strawberry pie. Anna is a sophomore at Wright State University and is pursuing a nursing degree. Follow her on Instagram @anna_marie_music and on Facebook at Anna Marie Music.

SPEAKER: Criswell Davis – Hardwood Expert

American Hardwood Improves Our Lives

Criswell Davis, president of Mighty Oaks Consulting in Louisville, Kentucky, is an internationally recognized American hardwood expert, speaker, and hardwood specification consultant. He advises some of the largest architecture and design firms in the, inspiring the use of sustainable American hardwoods in design. He has been in the American hardwood industry for more than 31 years, representing the American Hardwood Export Council internationally. A founding director of the Timber and Forestry Foundation, Criswell is a passionate brand ambassador for the American hardwood industry. He believes that designing with American hardwoods will improve our personal health and the health of the planet.

SPEAKER: Brandy Foster – Generalist

The Rise of the Generalist

Brandy Foster’s master degree in literature and love of Jane Austen led to her unexpectedly becoming a senior lecturer in computer science at Wright State University. Her unique trajectory included a stint as a freelance technical editor, which provided extensive knowledge across many disciplines and yielded a rare perspective from which to identify novel connections and contexts across domains. The pinnacles of her career include leading a multi‑organization team assembled to pursue a $100 million grant and attracting a corporate gift of $675,000 to found The ONEIL Center at Wright State, a first-of-its-kind experiential learning enterprise that supports the startup and research communities.

SPEAKER: Estelle Gibson – Financial Coach

Financial Dependency – The Invisible Weapon

Estelle Gibson helps her clients break free from financial dependency by teaching them powerful money strategies. She helps them transform their money stories and limiting beliefs by using new tools, enabling them to break free from fear, confusion, and selfsabotage. She has more than 35 years of professional experience as a certified public accountant in finance, purchasing, and management, working with small, privately owned businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike.

SPEAKER: Jennie Hempstead – Communication Designer

Draw on Purpose

Jennie Hempstead is a creative content professional from Dayton with
more than 15 years of experience in design, communications, and marketing. Her career supporting scientists and engineers often has her visually translating high-tech concepts into impactful communications that empower teams and enable research. She has worked with clients such as the US Air Force, The Ohio State University, the University of Dayton, Butler Tech, and the Child Poverty Collaborative–Cincinnati. She’s a member of the International Forum for Visual Practitioners and the International Visual Literacy Association, and she is passionate about visual literacy in education.

SPEAKER: Kenston Henderson Sr. – Hope Dealer

Can We Talk?

Kenston Henderson Sr. is the training and development coordinator with the City of Columbus and the founder and CEO of Live With Lyfe, LLC. A hope dealer is someone whose passion is to ignite, inspire, and empower people not just to exist but to live with purpose. Kenston is a certified John Maxwell team member and Culture Transformation Champion. He is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, and accomplished musician with two instrumental albums: Breathe (2016) and Oasis (2018). In 2018, he also wrote the book Parenting Like a Boss: Intentionally Committed, which landed on Amazon’s best seller list.

SPEAKER: Benjamin Holmes – Data Scientist

Machines Learn Together and We Should Too

Benjamin Holmes is a data scientist who specializes in machine learning and artificial intelligence. He has worked in a range of fields, from research for new clinical therapeutic techniques, DNA analysis for use in the legal system, and mapping of neurons in the hippocampus to fraud prevention for large banks and network security. His particular interests are the philosophy of science and the current state of machine learning research.

SPEAKER: Jad Mubaslat – Bitcoin Advocate

What is Money? And Could Bitcoin Be the Best One?

Jad Mubaslat has been passionate about bitcoin for several years. He founded while attending The Ohio State University in 2013, and the bitcoin trading platform was accepted into leading bitcoin accelerator Boost. VC in 2014. was later acquired in 2016. Since then, Jad has remained an active advisor to the company; organizes a meetup for bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the Dayton area; and now works at Rain Financial, the first regulated cryptocurrency exchange in the Middle East. Jad received a BS degree in biomedical engineering in 2015 at The Ohio State University and an MS degree in human factors engineering in 2018 at Wright State University.

SPEAKER: Luther Palmer, PhD – Math Evangelist

How the Subjective Side of Math Can Save Our Communities

Luther Palmer has dedicated his life to spreading the good news about the transformative and life-saving power of mathematics and science. As a minister of math, Luther truly believes that no one has wandered too far away from math to reconnect with its beauty and promise. His current position is the Electrical Engineering Department at Wright State University in Dayton, where he is a professor and robotics researcher. He is a constant crusader for the utility of math and science in our everyday lives and enjoys engaging with young and old about what this can look like. Luther actively engages with these ideas and other, similar thinkers through his Instagram @theblackerthescience.

SPEAKER: Crystal Phillips, PhD – Educator

Damage Control: Critically Supportive Leadership

Crystal Phillips is a lifelong educator who has been a teacher, an administrator, a principal, and an education consultant. She graduated cum laude from Alabama State University, where she received her BS degree in elementary education. Crystal earned her master degree in educational leadership from the University of Dayton and her PhD in leadership, curriculum, and culture from Miami University. In 2016, she created Black Girl Leadership, an organization to build character and self-image as well as create scholarships and professional connections to support women and girls. Crystal is a mother, grandmother, daughter, and devoted friend. She believes “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me!”

SPEAKER: Daunielle Rasmussen – Theatre Director

Creating Theater for New Generations

Daunielle Rasmussen is a multidisciplinary theater director, choreographer, and community artist. She worked in the San Francisco Bay Area from 2005 to 2015 before relocating to Cincinnati to take on the role of director of education and community engagement for the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, where she is currently working on a series of interactive theatre art experiences designed for young professionals. She believes that all people should be given the opportunity to participate in the creation of theatre and engage with their own creativity. She holds an MFA degree in creative inquiry and interdisciplinary arts from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.

SPEAKER: Mary Rogero, RA, CPHC – Professor/Architect

Opening Up the Kitchen

Mary is an associate professor of architecture and interior design at Miami University. At the age of 18 she had big aspirations: to be a full-time sculptor and a singer in a rock band, but things got a little sidetracked for her. For 15 years, Mary worked to positively impact the Miami Valley through her architecture firm. Now, as an associate professor, she teaches students how to design beautiful and energy efficient sculptures.

SPEAKER: Donna Sanchez – Recovering Overtalker

My Month of Silence

Donna Sanchez is a writer, speaker, and caregiver; president of her local Toastmasters club; a Celebrate Recovery leader; and an attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) advocate. She passionately pursues personal growth and seeks to inspire others to embrace both their weaknesses and strengths to use them to make the world a better place. All her life, Donna has striven to help and better understand those around her through words and actions. Until her month-long challenge, she never realized how much her talking prevented effective communication and how connected we can become with both ourselves and others through silence.

SPEAKER: Sid Thatham – Engineer

A Meme a Day May Keep the Doctor Away

Sid Thatham was born in Chennai and raised in New Delhi, India. He moved to Ohio to go to graduate school, where he was a distinguished student. He graduated in 2017 with a master degree in chemical engineering, an MBA, and a series of awards and honors. He enjoys photography, drinking coffee, spending time at the gym, and listening to rock and rap music. He is now an energy engineer and an adjunct assistant professor by day; a meme lord by night, he makes and shares memes with his friends on demand and online.

SPEAKER: Connie Vaughn – Math Person

Why Everyone is a Math Person – Including You

Connie Vaughn, a Cincinnati native, has known that she was a math person since she fell in love with algebra in Mrs. Gunthner’s eighth grade math class. She studied mathematics and statistics at Miami of Ohio, graduated summa cum laude, and taught at Loyola University Chicago. Connie became aware of the strength of math stereotypes early in her career in marketing analytics, when she was asked to produce the code to prove her resumé—something the recruiter told her the male applicants had never been asked to do. She is passionate about showing people how they’re so much more than they think they are, mathematically and otherwise.

SPEAKER: Dean Waggenspack – Career Coach

Redefining Retirement

Dean Waggenspack is career and life coach, a speaker, and a blogger about careers. Coaching is his third career: He had worked for nearly 30 years in the corporate world and taught high school. Dean’s passion is to “encourage others to look inside themselves so that they realize as much of their potential as they are ready for, at this time.” A curiosity about what a person currently does and the opportunity to discover “what’s next” for them in life are what drive him. You can connect online at or He and his wife, Rose, live in Kettering and have four grown children.

SPEAKER: Herbert Woodward Martin – Poet

Herbert and Paul

Herbert Woodward Martin has spent three decades of his teaching career at the University of Dayton teaching English, creative writing, and African American literature. In an equal amount of time he has edited three volumes of the work of Paul Laurence Dunbar, including In His Own Voice: The Uncollected Works of Paul Laurence Dunbar. For his scholarship, he has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees. He was the librettist for Common Ground, an opera about Dunbar and is the author of nine published volumes of poetry. His tenth volume, The Shape of Regret, is scheduled for publication October 28, 2019.

PERFORMER: A. Slate – Poet

A. Slate

A. Slate is a poet, spoken word artist, recording artist, author, and actress. A. Slate has performed at University of Dayton’s ARTStreet Events and at the Off Broadway Theatrical Revue of Urban Creative Arts, “The Signature: A Poetic Medley Show,” held at The Loft Theatre. Slate founded The WRITElife Village, which provides local students with a safe platform to express themselves freely and creatively without bias, fear, or judgment. Owner and Operator of Slatehouse Ink Publishing, she recently published her first collection of poetry, Lifelines and Legacies. “Life is a poem, which everyone is writing. I am just a slate.”

PERFORMER: Dayton Salsa Project – Salsa Band

Dayton Salsa Project

The Dayton Salsa Project (DSP) was born from the vibrant, growing Hispanic population of Dayton, the interest of Daytonians in Latin-American culture, and a love of music that brings people together. Founded in August 2018 by local musicians, half Dayton-born with the rest hailing from Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Peru. The mission of the Dayton Salsa Project is to use music as the means to break barriers and promote inclusion by showcasing how musicians from diverse traditions and cultural backgrounds can get together in one accord. Many of them would perform in neighboring large cities like Columbus and Cincinnati, only to meet people from Dayton who traveled in search of Salsa music and dancing. It made sense to make Dayton their official band hometown where they can celebrate the Golden Age of Salsa.

PERFORMER: PipeShop – Barbershop Quartet


The men of PipeShop started singing together in August 2015 and say they’ll keep at it until they get it right! The group has entertained audiences and parties across southwest Ohio and had a bit of fun along the way. All the singers are long-standing members of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Tenor Alan Green lives in Germantown, where he takes care of his elderly parents. Lead Marty Mulhall runs the blast furnace at AK Steel in Middletown. After retiring from the Air Force, bass Jim Fry works as a physician’s assistant in Cincinnati. Baritone David Short works for a contractor at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. If you see the four together, chances are they’re either singing or talking about singing. To reach the band, contact Jim at [email protected].

PERFORMER: Wright State University Dance Ensemble – Dance Company

Wright State University Dance Ensemble

Wright State University Dance Ensemble (WSUDE), the resident company of Wright State Dance, provides an artistic outlet with varied performance opportunities for WSU dance majors with a passion and commitment to dance. Three full concerts are performed each year where students are provided opportunities to create and perform both their own works as well as the creative works of seasoned and current choreographers and guest artists. WSUDE members demonstrate their versatility and high professionalism by dancing works of renowned choreographers that include Dwight Rhoden, Ray Mercer and Broadway choreographer Greg Graham along with works by WSU faculty. Dynamic, passionate and committed!


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxDayton, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxDayton event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

1 Step 1