TEDxDirigo has been forged as a world-class platform to celebrate innovation and creativity in Maine. In the same spirit of the state motto, TEDxDirigo leads the way with ideas from Maine’s brightest innovators and change makers. Our goal is for TEDxDirigo to be a catalyst for positive change in the state and world, where new ideas are supported for the greater good of all. Through the popular and effective TED Talk format, we have inspired hundreds of live audience members and hundreds of thousands online globally.

In 2010 we brought “ideas worth spreading” to Maine and broadened our Frontier of what’s possible with our inaugural event. In 2011, we gave our presenters and guests the freedom to explore the world and their passions with Latitudes. Now in 2012 we’re bringing even more world-class events to Maine, including our first ever try-outs, a special spring Engage event, and our third annual fall event, Villages.

Curatorial Team

Adam Burk

Talk to Adam about:
Resilience | Your Passions | Mushrooms

Adam was part of the motley crew that started TEDxDirigo in 2010. Since then his leadership, outreach, and organizing skills have nurtured its rapid growth.

Adam is a cultural architect, designing spaces like TEDxDirigo that raise the ambient level of virtue and resilience. He has a diverse background, all dedicated to living well in our places and with each other. He initiated the first sustainability initiatives for social service agencies in Maine, developed a restorative justice program for homeless youth, guided the formation of Farm to School programs at a dozen schools in Southern Maine, and leads wilderness trips as a registered Maine Guide. He is an avid learner and holds formal degrees in education, psychology, and history.

adam@tedxdirigo.com | Twitter: @adamburk

Michael Gilroy
Operations Director

Talk to Gil about:
Social Innovation | Cultural Literacy | The Silk Road

In 2008, Gil began exploring ways of engaging his community with TED and ideas worth spreading. Within a year, the introduction of the TEDx platform and fortuitous timing lead to the creation of TEDxDirigo. Gil’s efforts are now focused on insuring our team has all the necessary logistical and operational support to execute world class TEDx events in Maine, and beyond.

After years of leading cultural expeditions around the world, Gil built Frontier Cafe, Cinema and Gallery, a destination reminiscent of a traveler’s crossroads – where stories, ideas and culture interact in a rich and dynamic environment. Now in its sixth year, Frontier continues to engage its community with experiences that encourage discovery through food, film, music and art. Beyond Frontier and TEDx, Gil can be found enjoying time with his family and their growing ménage of two and four-legged creatures. In those rare quiet moments Gil can be found sauntering in places less traveled or tinkering in his barn.


Janice O’Rourke
Executive Producer

Talk to Janice about:
Brain Science | Leadership | Theater

Janice joined the TEDxDirigo team three years ago. Since that time, she has worked in key roles as both a speaker coach and curator.

For 13 years Janice worked as an executive coach, consulting with leaders around the world. She is very happy to have finally gotten off the plane. She now travels just a few miles up the road to work in leadership development at LL Bean. This fulfills her wish to live, work and play in the state she chooses to call home.

She is raising two young boys and recently learned how to shoot clay pigeons.


Communications, Creative and Production Team

Michael Toderico
Creative Director

Talk to Mike about:
Marketing | Business | Design

Mike came on board after moving back from NYC in 2011. He hit the ground running and should really learn to stop more often to stretch. Mike is responsible for developing communication and artwork for all sorts of stuff, including: ad campaigns, promotional pieces, event displays, presentation graphics and the current TEDxDirigo branding.

Mike is the Principal and Creative Director of Toderico Creative. Toderico Creative is Mike Toderico, supported by a talented group of independent creative and marketing professionals across the U.S. The group’s goal is to become true marketing partners with their clients.


Rob Gould
Communications Director

Talk to Rob about:
Art | Education | Health care

Rob has been a TEDxDirigo secret agent since getting us into The VIA Agency’s headquarters for the TED2011 live-stream event. He joined TEDxDirigo as our PR/communications director in spring 2012. Rob works with the marketing team on overall TEDxDirigo branding and promotion, as well as managing our social media and media relations programs.

Rob is an independent digital marketing, social & earned media consultant. He works with agencies, brands, and individuals. He has more than 20 years of marketing experience. From 2005-2011, Rob served as director of social media & agency communications at VIA. Prior to VIA, Rob worked with PR agencies in London & Boston.


Justin Moriarty
Production Manager

Brent Danley
Web Developer

Talk to Brent about:
Science | Education | Web Development

Sally Newhall
Logistics Coordinator


Shelly Tallack Caporosi
Art Director

Shelly joined the TEDxDirigo team in 2013 and is providing graphic design support for the TEDxGENERATE event.

As the sole graphic designer and photographer for Studio S43º, Shelly specializes in providing affordable, high quality graphic design and photography services for small businesses, non-profit organizations, special events and individuals. Shelly has a life-long love of nature and being outdoors; she is studying residential garden design and architecture with the long-term aim of applying her design skills to outdoor spaces. With extensive formal education in fisheries ecology, Shelly is also a science, outreach and workshop consultant in the New England fisheries science community.

Ian Grady
Communications Strategist

Jen Boggs
PR Strategist

Michael Eric Berube

Speaker Coaching

Seth Rigoletti
Communications Coach

Talk to Seth about:
Education | Communication | The Muppets

Seth Rigoletti has been a speaker coach for Tedx Dirigo since the 2011 Latitudes event in Portland. Seth is a member of the Tedx Dirigo coaching team, which works to support the speakers and strengthen the talks. Two years ago Seth started his own leadership communication company, Valico, which helps leaders in organizations be more clear and genuine in their communication and therefore more resonant in their vision. He has coached scientists, engineers, Doctors, non-profit executives, politicians and corporate leaders, helping them to have a more authentic and impactful voice.

He brings with him an intense joy for the “big idea” and is a fervent believer in the power of speech to motivate and inspire a community.

Elise Derosa
Communications Coach

Talk to Elise about:
Communication | Art | Leadership

Elise DeRosa has served as a speaker coach for the TEDxDirigo since 2011. She is a leadership communication consultant with nearly 10 years of experience. Elise is a trusted advisor to her clients, working with individuals and groups in a variety of international organizations.

Elise is an actor, director and scenic artist. She’s worked extensively in regional theatres across the United States. She also worked for many years as an outdoor leadership and survival guide throughout the Southwest.

Elise currently serves as a Teaching Artist, Director and Vice President of the Board at The Theater Project in Brunswick.


Tim Ferrell
Communications Coach

Guest Relations

Susan Morris
Ambassador Co-lead

Angela Smith
Ambassador Co-lead


Rachel Liftman
Guest and Speaker Coordinator

Partnerships and Sponsors

Shireen Shahawy
Accounts Manager

Talk to Shireen about:
Creativity | Politics | Social Media

Shireen joined the TEDxDirigo team as a volunteer at Engage!. She helped to keep speakers on time and in place during the event. Shireen is managing our media deadlines and still helps to keep track of speakers – gathering bios, photos, contracts and other paperwork needed by the Ted team.

Shireen is a professional voiceover artist and a part-time Account Executive at Vreeland Marketing and Design in Yarmouth. She has been at the marcomm thing for more than 20 years, but feels the biggest rush in front of a microphone. She has voiced for H&R Block, Blockbuster, Subway, Amtrak, the Vermont Lottery, car dealerships across the country, and many more.

Shannara Gillman
Development Lead

Talk to Shannara about:
Science | Art | Theater

Shannara has been a TEDxDirigo fan since the very first event. She joined TEDxDirigo as our Development Lead in January of 2012. Shannara reaches out to businesses and individuals about supporting TEDxDirigo’s exciting mission.

Shannara is currently the Manager of Marketing and Communications at Bar Harbor BioTechnology in Trenton, Maine. Previously she worked in development for Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory. She has many years of experience working in the non-profit sector as both an employee and a volunteer.

chelsea@tedxdirigo.com | Twitter: @shannygrrl

Youth Curatorial Team

Marissa Agger
Scarborough High School

Pious Ali
Adult Ally

Deb Bicknell
Youth Coordinator

Deb Bicknell found her way to TEDxDirigo several years back, drawn by curiosity, the love of ideas and a passion for encouraging diverse voices and youth perspective. She is a organizational consultant based in Portland Maine and also travels to communities far and wide to encourage their leadership, resiliency and resourcefulness. She is a facilitator of groups and process, a strategic planner, a community connector, a curriculum and program designer and an experiential educator. She works with a wide variety of people and groups and is fascinated by systems and how they function (and sometimes don’t) and how weirdly wonderful human beings are. She has catalyzed and co-led the youth efforts currently emerging within TEDxDirigo and looks forward to seeing how young people in Maine share their innovative ideas and creative spark. She is a proud Maine native, an auntie of Max and Ruby (not the bunnies) and feels grateful for her community, friends, family, partner and the opportunities that life offers for learning, adventure, joy and growth.

Emma Payton Cooper
Scarborough High School

Ava Demer
Falmouth High School

Mark Dvorozniak
Adult Ally

Diego Grossman
John Bapst High School

Wyatt Newhall
Cape Elizabeth High School

Sally Newhall
Adult Ally

Sara Shifrin
Gould Academy

Hattie Simon
Thornton Academy

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
Learn more about TEDx here »

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Learn more about TED here »

Follow TED on Twitter at twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TED.

TED2011, “The Rediscovery of Wonder,” will be held February 28-March 4, 2011, in Long Beach, California, with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs, California.