2012 TEDxDirigo’s ‘Villages’: Speaker Bios


Rachel Boggia, assistant professor of dance, is one of the presenters at the TEDxDirigo “Villages” event at Bates on Oct. 20. Photograph by Michael Bradley/Bates College.

See an expanded list of the Oct. 20 TEDxDirigo speakers.

Anjali Appadurai is a senior at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, where she strives to connect her interests of development economics, global politics and trade law in one degree. As part of her academic journey, she has been involved in youth participation in UN environmental politics. She has attended the UN climate change negotiations in Mexico and South Africa, and will attend again this year in Qatar as a youth delegate.

Rachel Boggia choreographs, performs, edits video and teaches as an assistant professor of dance at Bates. Her dance documentaries, videodances, and mediated performances have been seen in venues in Germany, Ireland and around the United States. She has danced in works by Headlong Dance Theater, Risa Jaroslow, Vanessa Justice and Marlon Barrios Solano, among others. She has taught at Wesleyan University, Connecticut College, Dickinson College, and The Ohio State University.

EepyBird is Stephen Voltz and Fritz Grobe.

EepyBird is the partnership of Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz. From their first online video featuring the explosive combination of Coke and Mentos that Advertising Age called the most important commercial content of the year, to their viral campaigns for OfficeMax, ABC Family, and more, EepyBird’s videos have been seen more than 150 million times and have won four Webby Awards. EepyBird has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, Ellen and The Today Show, and has performed in Las Vegas, New York, Paris, London and Istanbul.

Tracy Gayton through-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1983, and settling in Maine thereafter until his retirement in 2005. Since then, travel in Europe and Latin America has left Gayton with a passion for both Maine’s North Woods and for compact, vibrant, traditionally patterned cities and villages. He was a vice president and regional manager of Bangor Savings Bank, where he was employed for almost 20 years.

Don Gooding is executive director of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, vice chair of Maine Angels and a teacher of innovation engineering at the University of Southern Maine. Previously he was a telecommunications venture capitalist at Accel Partners, where he was the first webmaster in the venture capital industry, and founded the first a cappella mail-order catalog, which grew into A-Cappella.com, a Maine-based online purveyor of recordings and sheet music for vocal ensembles. As a member of Maine Angels he has invested in more than a dozen technology companies.

Tanja Hollander received a bachelor’s degree in photography, film and feminist studies in 1994 from Hampshire College. Her current project “Are You Really My Friend?” was exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art. Her work has been exhibited nationally and twice selected for the Portland Museum of Art Biennial, winning a purchase prize in 2007. In 1994 Hollander opened and directed Dead Space Gallery, Portland’s first art venue for local art, music, spoken word, and performance. She founded and became the volunteer director of the Bakery Photographic Collective in 2001. She is a resident of Auburn.

Steven Koltai has 30 years’ experience in business, finance, entrepreneurship and government. Until September 2011, he was senior advisor at the U.S. Department of State, where he created the Global Entrepreneurship Program to provide seed investments, mentoring, and new venture funds and investor networks. He is managing director of Koltai & Company, which provides entrepreneurship ecosystem building services domestically and around the world. He has been an investment banker and entrepreneur (Koltai founded Europe’s only private television satellite system), and he founded Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and WarnerBros.com.

Susan MacKay is a founder and the CEO of Cerahelix, a clean technology company seeking ways to reduce the energy needed to produce fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. MacKay previously spent five years as president, co-founder and CEO of Zeomatrix, a company that produces innovative paper-based odor control products for the solid waste and composting industries. She has spent more than 20 years in materials research and characterization, including six years in corporate R&D at 3M Corporation. In 2011, she was named a Mass High Tech “Woman to Watch.”

Maine Marimba Ensemble performs captivating, complex polyrhythmic arrangements of traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music on a spectacular set of homemade marimbas. Their music is amazing and not to be missed. It’s joyous dance music like you’ve never experienced.

Stacy Mitchell is a researcher and writer at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a national nonprofit organization that challenges corporate consolidation of the economy and champions policies to nurture community-scaled enterprise. Mitchell’s articles have appeared in Business Week, The Nation, Grist, Utne Reader, Sojourners and many daily newspapers. Her book, Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, was named one of the top 10 business books of 2007 by Booklist. In 2006, she helped launch the Portland Independent Business & Community Alliance.

Conor Quinn is a documentary linguist, endangered language revitalization worker, and avid learner and teacher of languages. Raised in Portland, Maine, he has lived in Indonesia, China and Oman, and has worked extensively with several indigenous communities of the Northeast. Learning his own family’s endangered heritage language (hint: look at the name) in his early teens gave him a passion for helping others to do the same, and led him to pursue linguistics throughout his academic career. Quinn is interested in developing tools to help speech communities carry out their own linguistic documentation and revitalization work, and in finding new ways to reduce the barriers to learning new languages.

Gabrielle Russell earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture at Tulane and worked in Tulane’s Architecture School woodshop. Returning to her native Maine after graduation, Russell worked to complete her design internship in commercial construction and investing in and renovating buildings with her partner Kevin. She works at an architecture firm within a block of her home on Lewiston’s Lisbon Street, and is an advocate for green design as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Accredited Professional.

Seth Silverton is interested in your future sustainability. As founder and director of The Wood Chop School, he has created a way to further the goal of connecting people to a sustainable future, responding to resource scarcity and the paradigm shift that accompanies it. A product of Brooklyn Friends School and Brooklyn College, Silverton spent the bulk of his professional career on Wall Street before moving to Maine. Through The Wood Chop School, Silverton is setting the conditions necessary for people and communities to approach the coming age of dramatic change as leaders of sustainability.

Mike Tetreault has had a 25-year career in land, water and nature conservation. For the past 16 years, Tetreault has worked for the Nature Conservancy in western Colorado and Maine. He is passionate about engaging communities to solve vexing environmental challenges in a way that works economically and socially. In Maine, Tetreault has been actively engaged in forest conservation efforts, including a landmark project conserving 400,000 acres around Moosehead Lake; river restoration efforts; and marine conservation efforts, involving working with communities of ground fishermen in Maine’s coastal communities.

Phuc Tran is in his second decade as a classicist and tattooer. He has taught Latin, Greek, German and Sanskrit at independent schools in New York and Maine and was an instructor at Brooklyn College’s Summer Latin Institute. In 2010, he served on a committee to revise the National Latin Praxis exam for ETS. Tran currently teaches at Waynflete School in Portland. As a tattooer, Tran owns and operates Tsunami Tattoo in Portland. He has been recognized in several national tattoo publications, and has been quoted in the Christian Science Monitor and Time Magazine. Phuc has been a guest tattooer in Seattle, London, New York and many shops across New England.