TEDxSoCal Archives
Mrinalini Ingram
Mrinalini Ingram
Culture Shock LA is a troupe of individuals who, through the power of music and dance, cultivate self-worth, dignity and respect for all people. The group brings urban arts training to under-served communities throughout the Greater LA area, striving to expose children and adults to the positive attributes of the Hip-Hop culture by teaching social skills, a positive work ethic, and self-respect alongside the basic training of visual and performing arts. Today's performers are from one of the high school education programs.


Mrinalini Ingram
Mrinalini Ingram
Kodi is a young, aspiring musical phenomenon. He has been faced with extreme challenges throughout his young life. Born blind due to optic nerve hypoplasia which affects the optic nerves and neurological make-up, he was later diagnosed with autism at age four.

Nothing in Kodi's life has come easy, but through all his obstacles the one thing that never diminished was his bright, inspiring, beautiful human spirit! Cultivated and supported by the love and selfless devotion of his family, Kodi continues to inspire – empower – overcome. When meeting Kodi, you will understand why his world is truly golden and untarnished by the corruptions, influences, and negative views of a manmade world. Through song, music, and rhythmic majesty, Kodi embraces his unique existence with true grace and beauty.


Mrinalini Ingram
Mrinalini Ingram
As Cisco's Smart + Connected Communities Strategy and Business Development lead, Mrinalini has worked with governments, developers, enterprises, service providers, and other technology partners creating business architectures that leverage intelligent networking capabilities to weave together people, services, community assets, and information into pervasive solutions.

Mrinalini has over 21 years of finance experience, spending the last four years as the CFO for Cisco's Globalization Center in India, where she was part of the initial pioneer team launching Cisco's second headquarters.  It was here where she became very involved in transforming physical communities into connected communities that can help realize sustainable economic growth, enable environmental sustainability through resource management and operational efficiencies, and enhance quality of life.

Mrinalini is also a frequent speaker and advocate for women in business and technology and also founded an employee network organization at Cisco called iCON (Indians Connecting People).  Mrinalini earned her CPA while working for PriceWaterhouse Coopers and holds an executive MBA from Harvard University and a B.A. from Gonzaga University.


Larry Ward
Larry Ward
Deeply inspired by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Larry has spent his life committed to non-violent social change, healing, and transformation on a global level.  He served on the staff of the Ecumenical Institute and Institute of Cultural Affairs for twenty years as director, academy dean and master teacher. He received his Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Organizational Behavior and established his own firm providing consulting services with multinational clients. 

Larry received his Christian ordination in 1972 and now serves as a 43rd generation lineage holder of the Lam Te Dhyana School, having received Dharma Teacher Transmission in 2000 by the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a leading proponent of engaged Buddhism in America and leads retreats around the world. He and his wife, Peggy Rowe-Ward, co-authored Love's Garden:  A Guide to Mindful Relationships, which was recognized as one of the best Buddhist writings in 2009.

Self-described as a "Teacher, Scholar, Social Artist," Larry is currently completing his doctoral program in Religious Studies majoring in Buddhism. He volunteers as Director of The Lotus Institute and has served as Adjunct Faculty at Claremont Graduate University. He is currently developing the inter-religious program for Contemplation, Outreach, Research and Education at Claremont School of Theology's Center of Spiritual Formation. In his leisure time, Larry enjoys golf and playing with his dog, Charlie.


Khmer Arts Academy
Khmer Arts Academy
Khmer Arts is a public benefit organization dedicated to fostering the vitality of Cambodian arts and culture and to expanding the role arts and culture play in the development and well-being of young people and of society as a whole. The organization is a natural extension of the work of its founding artistic director, the innovative choreographer, dancer, vocalist and educator Sophiline Cheam Shapiro.

Khmer Arts sees itself as a nexus of arts and culture in a transnational community endowed with wonderful traditions and looking for ways of using those traditions to improve its quality of life. Through its numerous activities, it seeks to create a continuum of recruitment, training, research, outreach, creation and performance that develops accomplished artists, exquisite works of art and diverse, informed audiences.

The Khmer Arts Academy offers young members of the Greater Long Beach, California, Cambodian community year-around after school and weekend workshops in classical dance as well as public performance.


Laura Schenasi
Laura Schenasi
Laura Schenasi is Executive Vice President of the Torrance Memorial Health Care Foundation, a nonprofit corporation created to develop and increase funding sources for the exclusive benefit of Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Schenasi joined Torrance Memorial in 2001 and has directed a development team to successfully increase fundraising from $750,000/year to an average of $17+ million/year in cash and pledges.
Prior to joining Torrance Memorial, Schenasi served as Director of Major Gifts for the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. It was here she discovered her passion for healthcare fundraising, and she spent 19 years at USC. She also earned her bachelor's degree at USC's Annenberg School of Communication.
A popular public speaker, Schenasi has also received many honors including Staff Member of the Year from the USC School of Law. Her leadership, service, and achievement to the University was honored with the USC Widney Alumni House award, and she was among the named South Bay Women of the Year by the Switzer Learning Center.


Natasha Case and Freya Estreller
Natasha Case and Freya Estreller
An LA native, Natasha Case attended UC Berkeley where she majored in Architecture and double minored in City & Regional Planning and Italian Studies. Natasha earned her Masters in Architecture at UCLA, and after graduating worked as an architectural intern at Walt Disney Imagineering in Hotel and Master Planning. During this time she started baking cookies and making ice cream, and she named the ice cream sandwich combinations after famous architects and architectural movements. She shared her creations with her peers who found them to be tasty comic relief during a time of layoffs and impending cutbacks.
Freya Estreller is also an LA native with a BA in Sociology (minor in Business) from Cornell University. Upon graduation, Freya worked in real estate development, design and private equity, helping to build and/or renovate more than 300 housing units on the East and West coasts. After meeting Natasha, Freya started helping behind the scenes to make the ice cream sandwiches and at the same time started designing a business plan.
A few months later, they bought a beat up postal van on Craigslist and officially called the ice cream sandwich line Coolhaus – after architect Rem Koolhaas, Bauhaus - the minimalist design and lifestyle movement of the 1920s and '30s in Germany, and because the sandwiches looked like little 'cold houses.' Their first event with the barely drive-able Coolhaus postal van was the Coachella Valley Music Festival in 2009, where they served their product to an audience of 100,000. A loyal following resulted from the festival weekend, and they returned to LA to an abundance of viral press, a rapidly growing social media following, and an eager foodie audience.
Since then, Natasha and Freya have built a national fleet of trucks in LA, New York City, Miami, Austin, and Dallas. In addition Coolhaus treats can be found in their LA storefront and in 50 Whole Foods markets in California, and will soon be found in markets nationwide. Under Natasha and Freya's oversight, Coolhaus has become one of the leading innovative dessert companies. In the pipeline are other dessert items including hot chocolate, chocolate bars, a sweet and savory snack line, and more.


Rudy DeFelice
Rudy DeFelice is a recovered large-firm lawyer turned entrepreneur. His first entrepreneurial venture occurred at age 10, so his return to entrepreneurship enables him to work in his very first role for the rest of his life.
After 11 years of corporate law at the international law firms of McDermott, Will & Emery and Kelley Drye & Warren, followed by a stint in corporate life at Aetna Insurance, he resigned, gave away most of his stuff and traveled across North America for a year in a VW van. Upon his return, he founded the software and internet company Practice Technologies, Inc., which grew to 100 people, raised venture capital and earned a spot on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. He has since founded 3 companies, invested in several others and sits on the boards of another four. 
Rudy has spoken and published about startups and entrepreneurship, user experience and various legal and financial topics. He has appeared on CNN, ABC-TV, FOX and has been interviewed for The Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, The Chicago Tribune and numerous radio programs.

Rudy is a graduate of Harvard Business School and University of Connecticut School of Law and holds a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science. He is a member of Tech Coast Angels, a group that has invested in and assisted hundreds of entrepreneurial ventures.


Steve Zee
Steve Zee
Steve Zee, world-class tap dancer and candidate for president of the United States, performs regularly to sold out houses at the M Bar in Hollywood, CA.

Steve has danced with Gregory Hines and the Nicholas Brothers and has shared the bill with numerous tap notables. He has been a featured soloist in the Jazz Tap Ensemble, a member of Rhapsody In Taps and he has performed and taught across the United States, Canada, Brazil, France and Germany.

Steve's choreography is performed by professional dance companies and youth groups across the United States, Europe and South America and was featured at the Beijing International Dance Festival. He trained Kiril Kulish for the Broadway production of Billy Elliot for which Kiril won the Tony Award and has served as tap coach for pop icons David Lee Roth, Bette Midler and Toni Basil.

As a theater artist, Steve trained at UCLA, the Sorbonne/Université de Paris III and with the Piccolo Teatro di Milano. By the way, if you've ever seen tap dancing Hershey's Kisses on your television, then you have heard Steve dance!

Steve is on faculty in the dance department at Cal State University, Long Beach where he teaches a tap dance history course in addition to regular studio dance classes. He teaches ongoing weekly classes at the Tap Academy in Santa Monica, the Dance Arts Academy in Los Angeles and for the Gabriella Foundation in Los Angeles. He is the director of the nonprofit arts organization, LA Ironworks.


Brian Ulaszewski
Brain UlaszewskiPhoto
Brian is an urban designer with over a decade of experience of architecture and planning in Southern California. Brian received his Bachelors degree in architecture from the University of Southern California. As the Executive Director of CITY FABRICK, he works with public agencies, private entities and community groups to advocate for and develop improvements to the physical environment. Brian has managed and led design efforts on award-winning urban planning studies and buildings, including adaptive reuse, affordable housing and retail projects. His broad background in both the public and private realm provides a unique perspective on the urban environment that spans artificial boundaries to design for the greater whole of a city.

Brian also contributes to numerous local media outlets and industry publications including the Long Beach Post and Urban Land Institute, writing about architecture, urban design, open space and mobility. He has also been instrumental in the development of multiple new public open spaces in park-poor communities and safety improvements to a number of dangerous streets and intersections. Through numerous awards, commission positions and featured articles, Brian is recognized as a city leader and advocate for the built environment.


Mick Ukleja
Mick Ukleja Photo
Mick Ukleja is founder and president of LeadershipTraQ, a leadership-consulting firm based in California. He hosted LeadershipTraQ Televised, an interview-format talk show in Southern California that profiled outstanding leaders. He helped found the Ukleja Center For Ethical Leadership at California State University, Long Beach, the second largest university in the state. His book, Who Are You? What Do You Want? Four Questions That Will Change Your Life, has been praised by legendary coach John Wooden, Grand Slam golf champion Gary Player, and many prominent leaders and CEOs, as "The one book to read that will immediately impact your life." Mick has also co-authored two other books, The Ethics Challenge: Living With Integrity In A Greedy World and Managing the Millennials: Discover The Core Competencies For Managing Today's Workforce.

Mick has worked with entrepreneurs and corporate executives of businesses and organizations in the non-profit and for-profit sectors. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Astronauts Memorial Foundation at the Kennedy Space Center, which oversees the Center for Space Education. Mick holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a master's degree in Semitic languages, and a Ph.D. in theology. He received the President's Distinguished Service Award from California State University, Long Beach in 2002, and in 2006, was named Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Liberal Arts.

Mick has been featured on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business Network, NBC, and in numerous publications.


Dr. Katherin Loflin
Dr. Katherine Loflin Photo
As Principal of Loflin Consulting Solutions, Dr. Katherine Loflin has emerged in the placemaking field as an in-demand consultant across the country and internationally. She advises elected officials, planners, foundations, corporations, academic institutions and community leaders who are trying to improve their cities, using the placemaking model.
She currently holds leadership roles in some of the most groundbreaking and innovative projects including Knight Foundation's Soul of the Community Project, Miami Foundation's Engage Miami Project, and  Johnson C. Smith University's Soul of Charlotte's Northwest Corridor Project. She has created and hosts the nation's only radio show dedicated to the topic of placemaking, Place Matters with Dr. Katherine Loflin. Free podcasts of the shows are available at Podbean and iTunes.
Prior to establishing her consulting firm, Dr. Loflin worked at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as Program Director for the Technical Assistance and Community Foundation Programs, along with overseeing grant-making in two cities. Her background also includes being Executive Director of nonprofit organizations and serving as a social issues expert in a television newsroom in her home state of North Carolina.
Dr. Loflin received a Masters and Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


John Tarnoff
John Tarnoff Photo
John is a communicator and strategist with over 30 year's management expertise in motion pictures, interactive technology, and workforce development.  As a consultant, he uses visionary leadership skills to provide solutions at the intersection of the media/entertainment business, education and digital technology.
His consultancy, Newspeak Media LLC, helps organizations and individuals successfully identify, understand, and adapt to the profound business, cultural and personal paradigm shifts that we are facing in the 21st century.
Current clients include Carnegie Mellon University, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, 5D|Organization, and The ACME Network, a leading online mentoring community.
As a production executive and producer for studios including MGM, Columbia, and Warner Bros, he supervised over a dozen movies in the '80s, adding interactive CD-ROM game development in the '90s, and co-founding/running an internet technology startup from 1996 until 2002.  From 2003 to 2009, he returned to entertainment as Head of Show Development for DreamWorks Animation SKG, where he ran the studio's animated film prototyping program, its internal artistic training program and founded its college outreach recruiting program.
John holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College, and a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. 


Sithea San
Sithea San Photo
Sithea San is a Cambodian genocide survivor having escaped the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge as a teenager in 1980. Her story is one of strong determination and perseverance as her journey took her across landmine-riddled Cambodia to Thailand and eventually immigrating to Long Beach, California with her mother and two sisters. With virtually no English language skills, she enrolled in the local public schools, graduated high school and earned her bachelor's degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1991.
After graduation, Sithea and her husband returned to Cambodia where she worked as Director of Commercial Operations for the Cambodian national airline for five years. She is currently a Customer Service Officer with Union Bank and the immediate past Board Chair for Cambodia Town, Inc. For her commitment to preserve and share her Khmer heritage, she has received numerous awards and recognition for community service and leadership at local, state, and national levels.


Dr. Judy B. Rosner
Dr. Judy B. Rosener Photo
Dr. Judy B. Rosener has taught and done research in the areas of men and women at work, cultural diversity, and business and government for 30 years. She has authored two books and published numerous articles in academic journals and the mass media. She is a sought-after speaker in both the public and private sector.

Dr. Rosener is the author of the path-breaking article, "Ways Women Lead" (Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1990), co-author of Workforce America! Managing Employee Diversity as a Vital Resource (Business One Irwin, 1991), and author of America's Competitive Secret, Woman Managers (Oxford University Press, Paperback, Fall 1997). She is currently working on a book about sex-based brain, hormonal and socialization differences, and their implications for decision making in the workplace.

Professor Rosener was a regular columnist for the Los Angeles Times for five years and a commentator on the PBS TV show "Life and Times." She has written extensively for the academic and popular press.

Dr. Rosener is currently a member of the IWF (International Women's Forum), The Belizean Grove, Girls, Inc. and the LWV (League of Women Voters). She is on the Board of Advisors, School of Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Rosener was on Board of Directors of KCET, the public television station for Southern California for ten years, and a Commissioner on the California Coastal Commission for eight years, a major regulatory agency in California.

Dr. Rosener has been married for 61 years (to the same man) and has three adult children. She lives on Lido Isle in Newport Beach, California.


David Mocarski
David Mocarski Photo
David Mocarski has explored the boundaries of the creative process for more than thirty years. He is the principal of Arkkit forms design, as well as chairman of the Environmental Design Department at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

Mocarski is known internationally for his one-off and limited edition furniture works as well as residential & commercial interiors. His work is highly sculptural in nature, driven by research, content and context. He believes that design is "from the first moment of encounter to the last moment of interaction." Whether it's creating an object, a place or a destination, he feels that the most effective design is always about:  attraction, involvement, interaction & producing satisfaction and/or inclusion beyond expectation.

For all his diversity, Mocarski produces designs, which offer fresh options for how we live. He explores works which extend our perception of use, function and place. He is involved with concepts, which investigate new technology, materials and manufacturing techniques. He is continually looking to explore projects which extend Art & Design's ability to make a difference. 


Damon Dunn
Damon Dunn Photo
Born in Fort Worth, Tx to a 16-year-old single mother, Damon Dunn grew up in dire poverty; living in a three-bedroom trailer with ten people. Damon grew up hunting and fishing as means to provide food, and wore Salvation Army clothes. From these humble beginnings, Damon learned the value – and the rewards-of hard work, which he has demonstrated throughout his life.

In high school, Damon was an honor student and earned recognition as a Texas All-State Football player. On these merits he was awarded a scholarship to Stanford University. Upon graduation, Damon played in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys.

While at Stanford, Damon served as Executive Director of the East Palo Alto Stanford Summer Academy, which provided tutoring and mentorship to underprivileged Latino and African American students from East Palo Alto, California. Damon received the James W. Lyons Award and JE Wallace Sterling Book Award given to students who demonstrated outstanding service to the greater Stanford community.

In the NFL, Damon worked with the Make-a-Wish Foundation and he started the Fighting Giants Ministry that ministers to children with life-changing injuries. He also worked with St. Augustine Soup Kitchen, the Cops-N-Kids program and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. At Stanford, Damon served as associate pastor at Jerusalem Baptist Church where he managed the children's and youth ministries. Since then, Damon has started the Joshua Project, a leadership development ministry that mentors aspiring young Christian leaders.

Upon retiring from the NFL in 2002, Damon co-founded a successful real estate firm with holdings across the country.


David Mocarski
David Mocarski Photo Originally from Antigua, Billy Rose (also known as the Caribbean Cowboy) is a staple of the Long Beach music scene.