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.
Executive Director and Curator
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.
Michael “Gil” Gilroy
Co-Founder & 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.
Executive Producer and Curator
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
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.
Talk to Sean about:
Web Technology | Gardening | Hiking
Sean has been involved with TEDxDirigo since the first Frontier event, assisting the team in building a web presence for the events and speakers.
Each year, he has assisted with the roll out of a new and improved version of the website.
Since 2006, Sean has worked as an independent web developer serving many of Maine’s great design and web agencies.
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.
Talk to Anne about:
Collaboration | Education | Islands
Anne joined TEDxDirigo as our Publicist/Storyteller in spring 2012. Anne works with the TEDxDirigo marketing team on public outreach and event promotion, and loves to look for ways to tell the amazing behind-the-scenes stories of the people and ideas of TEDxDirigo.
By day, Anne can be found teaching literature and history in a yurt on the campus of Coastal Studies for Girls; otherwise, you will likely catch her growing food, cooking food, and probably trying to feed you food.
Anne is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies semester program in Portland, Maine, and the Ohio State University’s creative writing M.F.A. program.
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.
Michael Eric Berube
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.
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.
Talk to Bridie about:
Resilience | Systems | Communication
Bridie is a new recruit to TEDxDirigo but has passed many an hour watching TED talks which she uses to teach public speaking and science communication in her role as a doctoral student in the Department of Communication and a research fellow with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the University of Maine. Her research focuses on collaboration and resilience in coupled human and natural systems. She is particularly interested in how we collectively work together better to achieve shared sustainability goals.
Prior to joining the UMaine community, Bridie worked for more than a decade as conservation and education director for Lakes Environmental Association in Bridgton, Maine. She now runs Samara Consulting, a business that focuses on collaborative capacity building, outreach education, and grant writing for non-profit organizations. A samara is a seed with wings, a reminder that small differences in the beginning can lead to big changes in the end.
John is one of Maine’s most recognized television personalities, acting as host and producer of such long running local shows as Kick Start, OurMaine Magazine, Buy Local and many others. He is a 9-time Emmy award-winner in such diverse categories as Set Design, art direction, musical composition and screen writing and currently works as Chief Creative Officer at WPXT-TV and WPME-TV in Portland. In addition to his love of creative challenges, John has a passion for giving back and an understanding that, as a broadcaster, he’s in a unique position to affect positive change. He recently appeared on the TEDxDirigo stage with a talk entitled “Volunteer Your Way Around The World.” He lives in Gorham.
Talk to Molly about:
Healthy Living | Education | Contra Dancing
Molly has been with TEDxDirigo since the first event in 2010 at the Frontier Café. This year she is coordinating our guest services.
Molly is a native Mainer, who speaks Mandarin after living in China for many years. She works at CIEE as Institutional Relations manager for all of the colleges and universities in the mid-west region that send students to study in CIEE programs all over the world.
Chelsea H. B. DeLorme
Talk to Chelsea about:
Technology | Education | Design
Chelsea averages about two new bios per year, yet they never get easier to write. So she understands how nerve-wracking it can be to “tell us about yourself” and she keeps that in mind when reviewing TEDx invitation requests. Chelsea’s first brush with TEDxDirigo came as the managing editor of Maine magazine, when she wrote a profile of Alexander Petroff, TEDxDirigo co-founder/TED Senior Fellow. Her writing life began in San Francisco, where she worked for a string of great companies: Yelp.com, dwell magazine, and frog design. Currently, she works for Creative Portland Corporation, serves on the board of SPACE Gallery and sits on the advisory board for Portland’s first charter school. Chelsea has attended several fine institutions (Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard), but her favorite diploma is from Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine.
Partnerships and Sponsors
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.
TED Senior Fellow
Talk to Alex about:
Farming | Economics | Ox Power
Alex has been a TEDxDirigo Secret Agent since before TEDxDirigo existed. After attending a few TED conferences he was awarded a TEDSenior Fellowship, one of his duties was to host a TEDx conference. By a stroke of amazing good fortune there were already great minds in Maine who were hoping to do the same thing. With dastardly stealth and cunning he infiltrated these movements and has been co-hosting TEDxDirigo conferences ever since.
For his day job Alex is President of Working Villages International, which is the largest employer and producer of food in Eastern Congo. A job he finds very similar to his role in TEDxDirigo, in that he spends most of his time watching amazing people do amazing work. When not working Alex spends most of his time watching British Mysteries, reading books on economics, and ranting about how great Maine is.
Talk to Dean about:
Art | The Hobbit | “Extreme” Sports
Along with Gil, Dean was Co-Founder of TEDxDirigo in 2010 and worked with a talented group of professionals to bring the event to the Maine stage. Currently Dean is working as a Cinematographer and Designer in the Portland area. Driven by artistic passion, Dean strives to bring the highest level of quality and professionalism to his projects while endeavoring to always be progressing and innovating in the mediums he works in.
No Umbrella Media
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 »
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 »
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.