IgniteOKC XII

This year we have the privilege of hosting the event at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.

Heavy hors d oeuvres? Check. Beer? Check. A night of inspiration and amazing talks? Check. 

2019 Speaker Lineup

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Tracy Zserdin

911, Rocks & Chocolate:
The Perils of Parenting a Criminal

This is a mother’s story of parenting a felon. Because of the Oklahoma’s extremely high incarceration rate (the highest in the world) Tracy knows that she is not the only one going through this. “I have learned many things walking this road. How do you choose to respond to this situation? What is the next step? Who will help me get there? Who is the community that will walk with you?”
With her son’s permission,Tracy will tell you more of her story, in hopes that it will be encourage everyone listening and going through the same.

Tracy Zserdin / President & CEO, Greater Guthrie Chamber of Commerce
Tracy Zserdin is the President and CEO of the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce. Originally from Boulder, CO, she studied Communications at the University of Colorado. She built a career in the fitness industry where she thrived for over a decade. Wife to an entrepreneurial visionary; mother of two mighty warriors; raisier of chickens, goats and one super cute grand baby. She has a heart for Africa and has been there with CRU and with JAM International’s feeding ministry, Team Red Bowl. Her best days include paddle boarding and chocolate.

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Tony Carfang

Building Community through Bicycling

How many times have you gotten to work and exclaimed “Wow, what an awesome commute I had today!?” For Tony, his coworkers are sick of hearing it.

Tony truly believes that bicycles can save the world; and in this talk (at the end of National Bike Month) he wants to bring you on-board to his experiences and passions so that you are able to safely ride as we save the world together.

Tony Carfang / Government Chair, BikeOklahoma / @carlitecarfangs
BikeOklahoma is a coalition of volunteers across the state who believe in the economic, healthcare, and community-building power of bicycles. We work to create safer riding conditions for bicycle riders of all ages and abilities. Members volunteer their time and experiences to promote bicycling events, to advise state and local governments on legislation and policy, and to provide educational outreach. BikeOklahomais governed by its dues-paying members and represented by a 15-member board of directors. We are proud to host the annual Oklahoma Bike Summit, which will be October 25-26, 2019 in Oklahoma City.

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Nicole Giordano

The Microbiome: The Ultimate Team

Did you know that bacterial cells in our bodies drastically out-number our own HUMAN cells? Scared yet? You shouldn’t be.

The gut microbiome is made up of all of the microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, and while there are some deadly gastrointestinal microorganisms associated with the gut, there are A LOT of good bacteria that play an integral role in maintaining overall health. We can learn a lot about the concept of teamwork from bacteria!

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Marisa Mohi

Learning to Tell My Own Story

Marisa grew up in Oklahoma, away from the communities that make up her heritage. Because there were no other Iranian-Mexican-Citizen Potawatomi Nation kids at her school (except for her older brother), the information she learned about her heritage often came from those who had never experienced it – their biases and prejudices shaping the way she viewed herself and her family.

As an adult, she has learned to advocate for herself and tell the story of her own experiences. She doesn’t have time for other people’s stories – she writes her own.

Marisa Mohi / 

Marisa Mohi is a writer, blogger, and YouTuber. She loves reading, watching, and telling stories. You should know that she’s working on a novel and her planner is at least twice as big as yours. You can check out her blog at MarisaMohi.com, or watch her videos at YouTube.com/MarisaMohi.

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John Bobb-Semple

There is No Change in Shame

In our culture today lies a deceptive weapon in the collective fight against racism, inequity, and injustice. That weapon is shame. Shame gives the false promise that exposed offenders to our society are neutralized and that the best antidote for hurtful words and oppressive ideas is a cocktail of silence and exclusion. Our culture is broken and we are desperate for change, but there is no change in shame.

John Bobb-Semple / Senior Director, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma
John is a motivational speaker, hunger fighter and reconciliation advocate who is passionate about working with organizations and educational spaces to inspire impact. John serves as a Senior Director with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma where he serves a network of 300+ partner agencies fighting food insecurity throughout central and western Oklahoma. He is a graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma and serves on the Board of Trustees of the UCO Foundation and the advisory board of its annual Black Male Summit. John is a Class 9 graduate of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL program and board member for its Youth Leadership Exchange (YLX). Born and raised just outside of New Orleans, you can find John and his wife Trisha cookin’ up some creole recipes and practicing the belief that we can all do hard things.

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Emily Smart

Becoming a Magical Girl

The “Magical Girl” is a sub-genre of anime. Common themes in the magical girl’s narrative arc can be used as a vehicle to talk about finding success as a creative entrepreneur. The protagonists in magical girl stories acquire their powers before they’re ready to use them. In doing so, they end up on a journey filled with failure and success, and are able to find their strengths, allowing them to right wrongs and triumph over evil. Likewise, creative entrepreneurs also walk an unclear path and experience many similar trials and tribulations on their path to success.

Emily Smart / Owner, Toast Design Studio
Emily Smart is a designer and photographer based in Norman, Oklahoma, where she co-owns Toast Design Studio. At Toast, she helps create award-winning branded identities and design solutions for passionate entrepreneurs and community-focused organizations. Her personal background is in design and art, with over 10 years of experience working at the Firehouse Art Center, a non-profit community art center, which fueled her passion for visual arts education, non-profit administration, and community development. She is one of NextGen Under 30’s 2017 award-winners for Leadership & Contributions in the Arts, a member of the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Leadership Arts Class IX, and serves on the Oklahoma Arts Council’s major grants review panel. 


Apart from her passions for community and the arts, Emily loves swimming, traveling to new places, watching too many beauty tutorials and K-pop videos on Youtube, and spending time with her pit bull, Charlie, and husband, Brian. 

 

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Lan McCabe

Gotta Stay Hungry

You need hunger to be successful in life – at all stages and ages.

Born in Vietnam at the tail end of the Vietnam conflict in 1974, Lan and her family escaped and landed in America. Through hard work, her family was able to create successful businesses. Lan began her cookie business five years ago when her second child was born, and she creates custom design sugar cookies for all occasions. Last year she was invited by Food Network to compete on the Christmas Cookie Challenge, and made it all the way to the final round!

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Julie Scott

Cultivating Community Without
Losing Your Soul

As the community manager for Yelp OKC, Julie’s job is to grow the community of Yelp users in Oklahoma City, both on the consumer side and for business owners. But what does it really mean to “cultivate community”, especially for a large, international brand? Julie shares her learnings and observations from seven years on the job, and explains how these lessons translate to the growth of any community.

Julie Scott / Community Director, YELP Oklahoma City
Julie Porter Scott serves as the Community Director for Yelp in Oklahoma City, where she works to connect Yelpers to great local businesses. Julie writes the Local Yelp, manages Yelp’s sponsorship of events all over town, and helms the city’s Elite squad – a group of the city’s best Yelpers who get invited to special events. Julie plans these private, VIP events by working closely with the city’s best restaurateurs, mixologists, brewers, distillers, wine brokers, DJs, and other entrepreneurs. Julie launched Yelp’s Oklahoma City community in 2012, after stumbling upon the coolest job description ever.

From 2007-2011, Julie served as Deputy Director of the Oklahoma Film & Music Office, where she worked to recruit feature films to Oklahoma. She helped pass legislation that paved the way for the state’s film rebate program, created an online crew database and developed the Buffalo Lounge, a platform for Oklahoma filmmakers and musicians at SXSW and other film and music festivals. Prior to her work with OF&MO, Julie worked for The Weinstein Company in Los Angeles.

Julie received her B.A. in Film & Media Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She is proud to serve on the Board of Directors for the Homeless Alliance. Previously, she was a member of the inaugural class of Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma Leadership Council and was trustee of the OKC Chapter of the Awesome Foundation. She was named one of OKC Business 40 Under 40 in 2008, and was a member of Leadership Oklahoma City’s LOYAL IV.

Julie lives in Oklahoma City with her husband Kasey, two kiddos under four and two crazy rescue pups.  

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Maggie Knooihuizen

Failures

We have forgotten that failure IS OK. In fact, it’s inevitable! What have Maggie’s failures taught her? To put mental health first, to not let others take advantage of her, to walk away from a relationship when it is toxic, to stand back up every single time she falls. We each only get one life — and we’re not only going to fail ourselves but we’re also going to fail people around us. Which is why it is so important to stay true to yourself and stand up stronger each time you fall.

Maggie Knooihuizen / Owner, Boss Ass Marketing
I am an ‘adorably blunt’ business owner and dog-mom, with a passion for marketing and craving for Chick-Fil-A. I started my company, Boss Ass Marketing, in July 2018. At BAM, we go the extra mile to provide clients with ‘follow-worthy’ social media, captivating marketing materials, and unique strategic plans. 

I graduated from Pepperdine University’s prestigious communication department with a Bachelor’s of Art in Public Relations and Multimedia Design. Following graduation, I gained valuable experience through freelance assignments, corporate marketing in the hospitality industry, and full-time agency experience. My passion for marketing can be traced back to my pre-professional days. Whether it was branding myself as the neighborhood “dog watcher” or sneaking onto my parent’s computer to teach myself Myspace code. 

Why do I love marketing? Because I genuinely love connecting with people and making the world a more simple, beautiful place. As a consumer, I place a lot of emphasis on honesty and personality behind brands. As a marketing professional, I encourage my clients to approach their digital presence with honesty, wit, and transparency — whether it’s a social media caption, email subject line, or photoshoot. 

When I’m not staring at a computer screen, I’m constantly in search of the hottest dining trends and planning my next travel destination. 

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Allison Lawrence

Teach Your Daughters to Bullsh*t

As a woman, what is one effective way to get your foot in the door? You Bullsh*t! It’s not just for car salesmen, accident attorneys, and politicians. And guess what? It’s also not a bad thing.

Women are told by thought-leaders that the secret to getting a seat at the table is simple – just lean in! Yet women continue to be chronically underrepresented in the C-Suite, elected office, and director roles. Oklahoma continues to be number one in women killed by intimate partners, female incarceration, and last in education funding. Women aren’t just missing from the table, they’re missing from almost all the discussions. Women will never be at the table if they can’t even get into the room.

Allison Lawrence / Managing Director, Lawrence Capital
The daughter of New Jersey transplants, Allison Lawrence grew up in central Oklahoma and attended college in Fort Worth. After graduation she promptly migrated north to her beloved Oklahoma. In 2015, after working in higher education and a public education focused non-profit, she founded Lawrence Capital, a campaign consulting business focused on fundraising. As the Managing Director of Lawrence Capital, Allison functions as a campaign finance director for candidates and Political Action Committees. Her campaign finance experience ranges from City Council to US Congressional races. Since founding Lawrence Capital, Allison has raised over $3 million for candidates, incumbents, and PACs in Oklahoma.

She received a BA in English, minor in Studio Art from Texas Christian University and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. She is a graduate of the OU Lean Institute and LOYAL XII. Allison is married to Blake, an attorney with Helmerich & Payne, with whom she has two feisty children: Bennett (6) and Charlotte (5). Allison loves to read, discuss politics and policy, run with her foxhound Theo, and collect second-hand art.

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Daniel Maloney

Want People to Act Like Owners?
Pay Them Like Owners.

As the CEO of Tailwind, Daniel and his team have implemented a transparent compensation system that not only treats all team members as owners of the company, but actually MAKES them owners in the company, too. The result? Everyone works, thinks and acts as owners on a daily basis.

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Mary Asal

Definitely #notaflyoverstate

While living in NY for the last three years, every time someone asked where Mary was from and she told them. The next words out of their mouths were inevitably “flyover state.”
Upon returning to Oklahoma, she created the instablog @notaflyoverstate to have a means of cohesively showing all the ultra-cool things going on in Oklahoma City. The focus is broad, covering arts, culture, food, opportunity, physical landscape and landmarks. Too often, many Oklahoma natives don’t even know about these things, and that has to end!

Mary Asal, MD MPH / OUHSC Pediatric Emergency Fellow
Mary is an Oklahoma City Native, NYC-transplant, and a recent OKC Midtown re-transplant. She completed her undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in 2007, a Masters of Public Health from OUHSC in 2011, a Doctorate of Medicine from OUHSC in 2015, and a residency in pediatric medicine from Westchester Medical Center in New York in 2018. She is a board-certified pediatrician currently completing her Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the OUHSC Children’s Hospital. 
 
When not bustling about the ER or working on improving health and medicine through technology, Mary is dedicated to reclaiming her once-throne of knowing what’s going on in OKC and documenting the coolest nooks and crannies across Oklahoma to show that this is indeed NOT a flyover state. You might see her hanging out with her pup at the dog park, popping up out of nowhere to snap pictures around town, or designing scenes in her apartment windows to amuse passers-by.​ 
You can follow her local adventures and arm yourself against Oklahoma naysayers by checking out @notaflyoverstate on Instagram. 
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Regina Banks

WOMEN / Women on Mothering Entrepreneurship and Nuptials

This talk will highlight the challenges of women in the workplace and how entrepreneurs have additional challenges. But, more than highlight the challenges, it will encourage more women to reach their potential, live their dreams. It will also encourage their villages on how to support women in the workplace.