2023 Program

Doors Open: 10:00a

Pre-Event Workshops (10:15 - 10:45am)

Join printmaker Devan Penniman-Knapp of Stegosaurus Press in this interactive art workshop. We will be learning how to print with legos in a laid back creation class to help awaken our brains before a day of excellent speakers.

Regenerative agriculture grows food in a way that increases the environmental, social, spiritual, and economic health of the land and communities it touches. This talk explores the core principles of regenerative agriculture and its potential to improve ecosystems, support biodiversity, and increase farmer and rancher profitability and well being in Colorado and across the country.

Show Time: 11:00a

Session 1 Presenters 11:00a

Plan for Death to Enhance your Life

Pamela Maass Garrett is an award-winning Estate Planning Attorney, Author, Mother, and CEO of Law Mother LLC, a law firm she founded to help parents protect their futures and loved ones. Pamela is the first lawyer in her family and when she announced she was going to law school her family was not very happy about it. She had family members who had bad experiences with lawyers and didn’t trust lawyers. Pamela understands that the discomfort people have around lawyers is a big barrier for people accessing legal services. Her mission is to simplify the often-complex world of legal, tax, and financial matters, making them accessible to everyone. Leveraging her background in comedy writing, Pamela adds humor to discussions around end-of-life topics, making them more approachable. She strives to simplify legal concepts on social media, to her over 900k followers and with her bestselling book, “Legally Ever After”.

Crack the Case of Human Connection

Sara Serritella is an award-winning journalist, licensed private detective, and lecturer at the University of Chicago, where she co-built and teaches science communication courses at the medical school, graduate school, and college. Sara serves as the Director of Communications for the Institute for Translational Medicine, and she teaches science communication to physicians and researchers across the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program and its academic medical centers. As a partner at the investigations firm Vantius, Sara’s favorite cases are helping exonerate the wrongfully-convicted. She translates behavioral science and field experience connecting with people of all backgrounds to her work in education. Sara is a proud alum of Northwestern University. She has reported at media outlets across the country and been part of Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage. She is a lover of rescue pit bulls, yoga, via ferratas, and awesome alliteration.

Unlocking A.I for Work Productivity

Gabriel Mendoza is a speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur with 25+ years of experience in technology and innovation. He is committed to making technology an empowering force, enabling everyone to live a more productive and successful life by reaping its potential benefits. As a Co-Founder at Praxie, Gabriel spearheads the development of AI-powered applications that serve a broad range of businesses and industries, significantly enhancing their performance and growth. Gabriel’s past roles as General Manager at eBay Marketplaces and VP of Product Management at Intuit equip him to tackle today’s business challenges and opportunities. As a first-generation immigrant, Gabriel is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry.

Practicing Living for Dying

Boots Knighton, a resident of Victor, Idaho, has been an educator since the late 1990s in all facets of education including high school science, middle school mathematics, elementary reading, college level ecology, ski instruction, backpacking, and experiential education. Her greatest teacher has been her heart thanks to a surprise diagnosis in 2020 (during the pandemic) of three different congenital heart defects. She is now thriving after her open-heart surgery on January 15, 2021 and is on a mission to raise awareness through her podcast, The Heart Chamber, that heart surgery can be an incredible opportunity to begin again in life and live life wide open.

Lunch Break / Exhibits / Meet Presenters 12:23p - 1:35p

Session 2 Presenters 1:35p

Be a Good Dude: Special Warfare Advice for Life

I am a Librarian, Historian, Veteran, and Content Creator currently living in Grand Junction, CO. My research includes research bias, racism and misogyny in the catalog, and the evolution of AirPower in the modern period. I served six years in the USAF as a Tactical Air Control Party operator. Belonging to Air Force Special Warfare, I worked closely with the Army to advise on airpower, assist planning close air support in coordination with the ground commander's intent, and performed terminal control of those missions. I'm a combat veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and peacekeeping operations in Kosovo. I believe that every person should have the ability to interact with information in a way that allows for the recognition of falsehoods and presents the most factually relevant material possible. The prevalence of disinformation, and fake news is a threat to democracy and can be countered by simple methods.

1 Surprising Path to Mental Wellness and Peace

I am an advocate for befriending, loving, and respecting cows & bulls as our equal partners. As an advocate, I surface and uplift global efforts that love & respect cattle and actively involve them in addressing UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and in creating sustainable, thriving ecosystems. Further, I practice what I advocate for by actively participating in cow farms & sanctuaries. Professionally, I am a researcher and focus my work on understanding and designing products or services that involve social impact, with particular focus on equity and inclusive product design.

Relationship Revelation! Animal Emotional Diversity

Dr. Janet Gordon Palm (KSU 81) is a practicing integrative veterinarian. Integrative medicine involves blending holistic and conventional medicine in a team approach, with both animal and caregiver input for optimal healing. Her practice includes multiple species through her ambulatory business “Animobility Integrative Veterinary Services.” Discovering ways to activate the body’s inherent pharmacy inspired her to pursue non-invasive modalities such as Non-Thermal laser therapy, Musculoskeletal manipulation, Cranial sacral, and Osteopathy. Involved in Natural Horsemanship, she uses concepts of respecting body language in all species she works with, resulting in an enhanced veterinary experience for all. She is Fear Free certified, and a director of The Paw Project, a non-profit organization that educates about safe alternatives to declawing cats. She resides in Fruita, CO with her fellow adventure loving husband Ron, their rescue cats Puma and Tesla, and her Arabian gelding To’hi.

Break / Exhibits / Meet Presenters 1:46p - 2:57p

Session 3 Presenters 2:57p

The Art of the Second Act

Andy Levine is the creator and host of “Second Act Stories” Podcast. A fascination with storytelling and second acts, triggered the launch of this podcast. He is always on the lookout for a good story and has traveled to more than 30 states to conduct face-to-face interviews with podcast guests. Andy has spoken at dozens of professional conferences related to his work in place marketing including the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), US Conference of Mayors, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA), Site Selectors Guild and CityNationPlace.

Amidst Darkness: We Choose Light

I am an adventurous explorer and a contemplative mind, driven by an insatiable curiosity to traverse both the external and internal landscapes of our world. For over two thrilling decades, I have embarked on a globe-trotting journey as a passionate skydiver, a pursuit that has provided me with the ideal canvas for these boundless explorations. Whether free-falling through the skies or delving deep into the recesses of the human experience, my adventures continue to fuel my thirst for understanding and discovery.

Meet the Presenters 4:00p - 5:00p

Parking InformationFood Options on Campus

A Huge Thank You to Our Sponsors!



Mary Beth & Bernie Buescher


Gudrun Rice & Charlie Kerr

Friends of TEDxGrand Junction

Downtown Grand Junction Association
Snob Production
Colorado Mesa University
Talbott’s Farm Market & Taproom
Grand Junction Toastmasters Club

Thanks to our MCs

Cassidee Shull  (AM)

Debra Kemp  (PM)

Thank you Speaker Coaches / Mentors

Ellissa Tiller

Debra Kemp

Mandy Woulfe

Leather Bang

Annette Moore

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