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Executive Committee

Julianne Wurm - Founder/Curator TEDxEast
Julianne is a best-selling author with a doctorate from Columbia University. She founded TEDxEast in May 2009. Julianne has attended a number of TED and TEDGlobal conferences and finds the intersection of ideas, inspiration and community a compelling experience. Julianne continues to write and is working to complete a book about How Ideas Spread on the TEDx phenomenon itself. Julianne continues to write on a variety of topics. Julianne has worked for big brands curating content as well as engaging in her own research. For more about her

Marisa Farina - Sponsorship/In-kind partnerships
Ms. Fariña is the former EVP/Group Publisher for Time Out North America and was with the international company since its North American launch in 1995. Ms. Fariña now works with Tina Brown's Women of the World in partnerships.  Ms. Fariña was responsible for the Time Out's marketing initiatives for the first 10 years of her tenure and her marketing strategies won her a Folio: Magazine's 30-Under-30-To-Watch award.  During Ms. Fariña's 15 years at Time Out, she has been responsible for launching various magazines, websites, books, services and departments in her numerous positions as Marketing Director, Publisher and finally as EVP/Group Publisher.  Ms. Fariña is also a founding member of the TEDxEast community.

Wes Middleton - Video/Post-production
Wes is an aspiring director and producer from California. He has filmed and edited two feature length documentaries, and interned with the BBC in London. He has written and produced several short films of his own, and has also written screenplays and pitch proposals for a television pilot and a feature length film. Invigorated by creative collaboration, he aspires to develop and produce original content for film and television. Wes is currently a senior pursuing a degree in Film & Television at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. 

Vico Sharabani - Video/Production/Technical
Winner of the first ever Autodesk Flame Award recognizing his vast contributions to the visual effects industry over the past 20 years. Vico's portfolio includes a wide range of commercials for fortune 500 companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Nike, and AT&T; music videos for Beyonce, Niki Minaj, KanYe West; and work on dozens of films such as Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tower Heist, and Sex and The City to name a few. Servicing the advertising and entertainment industries for over 25 years, Vico is heavily involved in the management of projects across creative, production and technical endeavors. He is also involved with TED community's 'Ads Worth Spreading' and TEDxEast. Vico is currently completing the EMBA program at the Berlin School Of Creative Leadership. 

Connie Frances Avila - Speaker Coach/Logistics
With over two decades of marketing experience and the management of complex, high-level accounts for some of the most iconic brands and high-profile agencies, Connie currently leads Marketing and Brand Strategy at Production Glue, a live event company in NYC. With expertise in brand management, integrated marketing, partnership negotiation and event production, her portfolio consists of some of the most successful organizations and the recognizable and loved brands around, including Madison Square Garden / Radio City Music Hall, Samsung, American Express, Google, AEG Live/Concerts West, Momentum Worldwide, iTunes, as well as four radio stations in NYC including WPLJ-FM, and 92.3 K-ROCK. Connie has earned both a B.A. in Organizational Behavior and Communication and a Professional Certificate in Coaching from New York University, as well as being an Executive Coach. As a volunteer for the NYU Career Development Mentor Network, she is equally dedicated to helping students embark on a pathway to success.

Samantha Fair - Co-Organizer
Samantha Fair is an educational consultant, school administrator, early childhood educator and organizational tutor. Samantha received her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University and has spent the last decade consumed with how young children learn and develop and how we, as adults, can best support their individual learning experiences. Samantha has worked with TEDxEast since our first event in 2009 and continues to be inspired and motivated by the powerful ideas put forth by our speakers.  

Allison Grieringer - Co-Organizer
Allison Gieringer is a rising sophomore at The Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Ms. Cynthia Hoffman. A classically trained musician, Gieringer has earned accolades, performing and soloing in choral festivals at the county, district, regional and state levels, as well as onstage in musicals, plays and classical recitals. Allison is the proud recipient of the top honor for performing arts in the Reading Eagle Company's 2015 Berks' Best scholarship project in Pennsylvania. Come fall, Gieringer will take her talents to the inaugural Musical Theater program at The Manhattan School of Music, where she is currently majoring in classical vocal performance, laying the foundation for a career that she hopes will take her around the world. When she is not singing, Allison spends her time using poetry and songwriting to inspire others, as well as searching for opportunities to volunteer in the community.



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About TEDxEast
TEDxEast seeks to develop and leverage the TED experience at a regional level, bringing together innovative thinkers to connect and discuss great ideas. TEDxEast works to share the voices of thinkers, innovators, and performers who will delight and inspire. TEDxEast is a collaborative effort on the part of many individuals. The founding committee members, Marisa Farina and Julianne Wurm, have continued to adjust and refine the event and the committee as the TEDxEast community continues to grow.

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