1st Confirmed Speakers Announced for TEDxNapaValley

Conference is March 30 at Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center, Napa.

A new business development manager at Google Inc., a sexual empowerment coach and two high school students with scientific research chops are among the initial lineup of confirmed speakers announced today for this year’s TEDxNapaValley conference.  

(Bios of the speakers appear below)

The conference is scheduled for March 30 at Napa Valley College Performing Arts Center. Additional speakers will be announced within a couple of weeks. 

Each confirmed speaker will share their valuable insights and perspectives on the 2014 theme — "Going Against the Grain; Embracing the Unconventional.” The theme is designed to spark conversation and insight debate about when and why we should ignore the status quo. 

Tickets sales are underway.  A special early bird price of $60 per ticket was extended over the holidays after the first 100 tickets sold quickly.  

Tickets at this special price will be available for a limited time before they rise to the full price of $75.  A limited number of tickets are also being offered at a special price for non-profits and students. Event information and online ticket sales are now available at http://tedxnapavalley.org


Cliff Beach

Funk music artist Cliff Beach has been going against the grain musically for more than 10 years in Los Angeles. The Berklee-trained singer/songwriter/keyboardist and DC native has created a style of music he coins as “Nu-funk”, a hybrid of soul, traditional R&B, funk and neo-soul which he performs regularly throughout Southern California.  Last summer, Cliff released the highly anticipated “Who the Funk is Cliff Beach?” EP, independently, which was nominated for three LA Music Awards including “Record of the Year” and one Hollywood Music in Media award. Beach also received national press in a featured live review in Music Connection magazine in Nov. 2013.  

Garrett Fisher

Garrett Fisher is Founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Economic Innovation. He is the author of “The Human Theory of Everything” - a comprehensive redefinition of economics and what motivates human society.  He is also the Managing Director of FinanceSolutions LLC – a hedge fund, tax and management consulting firm.  Formerly, Garrett was CFO & Director of a consulting and venture capital firm where he served in various roles assisting a variety of clients in many industries. He has also worked as Director of Operations and Finance for a global logistics firm and for a boutique international hedge fund law firm. A photographer, pilot and adventurer, Garrett is perpetually creating – whether it is art, adventure or new ways of approaching business. 

Amy Jo Goddard

After nearly two decades of working in the sexuality field with every audience you could imagine, from first graders to adult professionals to college students, Amy Jo Goddard dedicated herself to building a successful sexual empowerment coaching practice for women and couples and facilitating her Women’s Sexually Empowered Life Program.  She co-authored the highly successful “Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men” and was chosen as one of GO! Magazine’s “100 Women We Love 2010.” She is currently working on her forthcoming book on sexual empowerment and is directing the film “At Your Cervix” about medical education and pelvic exams.  Amy Jo believes sexuality is where our energy begins; if we work on that, it impacts everything else.

Kriti Lall

Kriti Lall is a junior at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, California. From her first mentos-and-soda experiment, she's always been fascinated by how science can conjure up logical explanations for even the most puzzling phenomena. She began reading scientific journals in sixth grade, and has been experimenting with pipettes and flasks in her garage ever since. Her most recent research involves genetically engineering a new patent-pending strain of bacteria that can be used to remove arsenic from water inexpensively. Kriti was one of 90 Google Science Fair finalists worldwide in 2012, and is one of the youngest scientists to be inducted into the international Sigma Xi Research Society by invitation.

Pete McDaniel

Pete McDaniel is a “Publisher of the Year’’ award-winner, recipient of the Harlem YMCA’s Black Achievers in Industry Award, and Inducted Member of the African American Golfers Hall of Fame and of the National Black Golf Hall of Fame.  Pete has penned stories for Golf Digest and Golf World.  He is a co-author of the late-Earl Woods’ best-selling book, “Training A Tiger” and co-author of Tiger Woods’ all-time best-selling golf instruction book, “How I Play Golf.’’  He also wrote the critically acclaimed “Uneven Lies: The Heroic Story of African Americans in Golf.’’  Currently, Pete is working on the autobiography of his son.

Seval Oz

Known as the chief troublemaker on her team, Seval Oz is Senior New Business Development Manager at Google Inc.  She supports all business and marketing efforts for Google’s self-driving technology commercial launch. As part of new business development responsibilities in Google Knowledge, Seval is working on transparency in Government Elections, and spearheaded the efforts for the 2011 national elections in Turkey, Egypt and Kyrgyzstan. She is on the Advisory Board of HealthCorps®, a national health education program for high schools founded by her brother Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife Lisa, and Endeavor.Org, a global high-impact entrepreneurship organization based in NYC. She is also a steering committee member of the New York Public Library.  Seval accepted the PWI Women in Technology Award for Courage in San Francisco this year.  Seval received her MBA from Wharton Business School, graduating with Distinction, and her BA, cum laude, from Wellesley/M.I.T. in economics and political science.

Priyanka Potdar

17-year-old Priyanka Potdar is a multifaceted high school senior attending Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, California. Born of two Maharashtran Indian immigrants, Priyanka learned Marathi, Hindi, and English as a child. She developed an extraordinary passion for medicine at the age of 8 and almost a decade later, Priyanka has grown to be passionate about the medical, sociological, political, and moral contexts of mental illness through research interrnships and leadership opportunities. A competitive pianist since the age of 9, she has also been involved with a rather unconventional scientific and musical movement, reforming the interface between neuropsychology and the performing arts. 


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