Teresse Lewis, one of 2021's TEDxTemecula speakers Author/2022 speaker Lola Adeyemo, second from left Picture time before the start of TEDxTemecula
TEMECULA, Calif. - AussieJournal -- TEDxTemecula, which has showcased the Temecula Valley's brightest thinkers, visionaries and performers since 2012, returns with its 12th annual conference on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

This year's theme is "Re-FORMing" and, as in years past, each of the eight talks will explore interesting ideas that heighten our lives and community. Some of the speakers are well-known locally, others come from elsewhere in Southern California, yet all of them will present fresh ideas worth spreading – a tradition of TED Talks around the world.

To date, nearly 90 speakers have taken the TEDxTemecula stage, covering a range of topics including technology, health, personal growth, the arts and entertainment. Their talks have a combined 3.5 million views on YouTube and the website.

In addition to a day of inspirational and educational talks that will celebrate curiosity, guests will enjoy live music and dance performances, savor a locally sourced lunch with dessert, sip vintages from the nearby Wine Country, and have opportunities to engage with neighbors, friends and others about all that you've discovered.

It's truly a unique event in the Temecula Valley.

Meet TEDxTemecula's 2023 speakers:

Ruslan Biryukov
Principal Cellist and Artist in Residence, Temecula Valley Symphony
A renowned music teacher and celebrated performer, Ruslan Biryukov has performed on stages as varied as the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Orange County, the Redlands Bowl Summer Music Festival and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Ruslan first gained international notice by winning major awards in Azerbaijan, his native country. His formal music education was at the Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory in Russia and the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles. Ruslan's students have gone on to win more than 300 prizes at competitions around the globe.

Taylor Cole
Senior Technologist, Engineer and Extreme Sports Athlete
A 20-year veteran in national defense, and now serving as a chief technology officer, Taylor Cole leads a team that fosters innovation across the command on behalf of the U.S. Navy. In addition, he's a competitive skydiver with the U.S. Parachute Team, with more than 2,500 jumps to his credit, as well as an entrepreneur. Taylor is the founder and chairman of the board at Burble Creativity, which offers a transformative reading experience for kids, and families, that fosters learning, empathy, and personal growth.

Charlene Kussner
Minister and Spiritual Director, Center for Spiritual Living, Temecula Valley
A licensed minister and the spiritual director at the Center for Spiritual Living, Temecula Valley, Charlene Kussner is a dedicated servant leader within her community. She teaches spiritual classes, facilitates group learning and is a promoter of lifetime learning experiences. Charlene became a kidney donor in September 2022; she advocates for blood and organ donations, and is a speaker for the National Kidney Foundation. In her personal life, she celebrated 25 years of marriage to Suzy Kussner, and is also a mother (Mutti) to two sons, Nate and Zach.

Manny Lopez
Foster Care Advocate, Mentor
Orphaned at 18 months, Manny Lopez, along with his sister, grew up in several foster families. Despite being adopted, he found himself homeless on two occasions before he was 25. In a life-altering moment, Manny connected with a caring mentor, discovered entrepreneurship and faith, and started developing skills that put him on a path to where he is today — a consultant on systems of automation, a speaker, and someone who teaches others how to monetize their brands using automation processes. He also founded a passion project, From Orphan to CEO, teaching mentorship, entrepreneurship, and faith to at-risk youth, including those who age out of foster care.

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Smita Malhotra
Chief Medical Director, Los Angeles Unified School District
As chief medical director of the Los Angeles Unified School District, Smita Malhotra is responsible for medical services in the nation's second-largest school district. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped lead efforts to reopen the district's 780-plus campuses. She also worked to bring Narcan (naloxone) to all K-12 schools, part of a district response to the fentanyl crisis. Previously, as a doctor of pediatric medicine, Smita was director of a newborn nursery and, in 2014, she started a private practice with the goal of healing the whole child and family by combining traditional medicine with alternative therapies such as mindfulness, meditation, acupuncture and yoga. Her first book, "The Newborn Handbook," published in 2020, guides new parents and caregivers through the first three months with a newborn.

Theresa Rose
Marketing and Business Consultant, Author
With 20-plus years of consulting, marketing, and business management experience, Theresa Rose has helped organizations, and individuals realize their fullest potential. Her career has included senior management roles in marketing and product development for a Fortune 100 company plus high-growth startups. Theresa has been featured in a variety of podcasts, including "Change Your Mindset and Marketing Mistakes + How to Avoid Them." She also has written several books, including 2018's "Mindful Performance: How to Powerfully Impact Profitability, Productivity, and Purpose," and "Your Daily Dose of Mojo: 365 Days of Mindful Living and Working" in 2015.

John Santagate
Vice President, Robotics & Voice, Körber Supply Chain North America
Formerly an industry analyst and management consultant, John Santagate is credited with being the first major industry analyst to study, evangelize and provide market research in the field of autonomous mobile robots in supply chain applications. Today, he leads the robotics business unit at Körber Supply Chain North America, teaches a course on supply chain and logistics at the University of Massachusetts, and serves on the board of advisors for several tech start-ups.

Connie Stopher
Executive Director, Economic Development Coalition
A leader in business and economic development, Connie Stopher is executive director of the Economic Development Coalition, which serves Temecula and much of Southwest Riverside County. With 15-plus years of experience, she has revitalized struggling communities, led regional initiatives and specializes in business retention and expansion programs plus international recruitment. Connie believes strongly in the value of volunteerism, and has served on numerous local and state boards and community service organizations.

And, meet TEDxTemecula's 2023 entertainers:

Academy of Ballet Arts, Murrieta
Open since 2011, the Academy of Ballet Arts in Murrieta has a history of success. Dancers have competed in a variety of international tournaments, including the Youth America Grand Prix, where they have received several scholarships and awards, plus the prestigious Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland in 2020 and 2023. Alumni have moved on to top-notch schools and companies around the world, including The Royal Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet School, Ballet West, Colorado Ballet Academy, Houston Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School. "We believe that experiencing the performing arts is a vital element in the development and education of our children," said the ABA's directors, Jose Chavez and Dana Nelson.

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Djembe Fusion/Djelia Kadi
Dramane Kone founded the West African drum and dance company Djelia Kadi in 2001, and the group performed worldwide. In 2014, Kone — along with David Hilal, Arjan Marelic and Michelle Scott — created Djembe Fusion. Based in Orange County, the ensemble has performed at Staples Center, UCLA's Royce Hall, the Los Angeles Music Center, and other major venues. They also bring their high-energy music and dance performances to festivals, corporate events, educational activities, and more.

Event details
Saturday, Sept. 30, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Old Town Temecula Community Theater, 42051 Main St., Temecula
Tickets: $70, lunch included

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About TEDxTemecula
Since 2012, Jim McLaughlin, a local businessman and community advocate, has been leading a team of volunteers who stage annual conferences featuring speakers who deliver engaging and inspiring talks – all with fresh "ideas worth spreading." Topics have covered the arts, design, education, health, technology and many more. TEDx presentations, including TEDxTemecula, are independent events operated under a license from TED.

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, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. 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.)

About TED
TED is on a mission to discover and spread ideas that spark imagination, embrace possibility and catalyze impact. Our organization is devoted to curiosity, reason, wonder and the pursuit of knowledge — without an agenda. We welcome people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world and connection with others, and we invite everyone to engage with ideas and activate them in your community.

TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, but today it spans a multitude of worldwide communities and initiatives exploring everything from science and business to education, arts and global issues. In addition to the hundreds of TED Talks curated from our annual conferences and published on, we produce original podcasts, short video series, animated educational lessons (TED-Ed) and TV programs that are translated into more than 100 languages and distributed via partnerships around the world.

Each year, more than 3,000 independently run TEDx events bring people together to share ideas and bridge divides in communities on every continent. Through the Audacious Project, TED has helped catalyze more than $3 billion in funding for projects that seek to make the world more beautiful, sustainable and just. In 2020, TED launched Countdown, an initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis and mobilize a movement for a net-zero future. View a full list of TED's many programs and initiatives.

TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our aim is to help create a future worth pursuing for all.

Media Contact
Jim McLaughlin:
Jerry Rice:

Source: TEDxTemecula

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