Mark Baggett

Mark Baggett is a security consultant specializing in incident response and penetration testing. A former CISO, he enjoys helping businesses understand and mitigate the risk that today’s advanced attackers pose to their network.  Mark is a senior instructor and course author for the SANS Institute.


“Pay no attention to the Hacker behind the curtain”:


What is the likelihood that an attacker will break into your computer and steal your data? That is a question every individual and every business must answer to effectively manage the risk to critical data.

Ben Casella


Dr. Ben Casella is the owner of a third generation optometry practice in Downtown Augusta, GA.  He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Georgia and his Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  He then went on to complete aresidency in ocular disease at the State University of New York in Manhattan.  He resides in Augusta with his wife, Laura, and their two small children.


“Autonomy: A Visual Perspective”:


The adage “we see what we want to see” has literal meaning in terms of our perception of the world around us.

Elizabeth Chandler


Born and raised in Augusta, Elizabeth Chandler is a senior at Augusta Preparatory Day School, where she is President of Thespian Troupe 1324 and a co-leader of the Fellowship of Christian Students. She is also a co-Vice President of the Augusta Red Cross Youth Board. Elizabeth will be attending the University of the South in the fall.


“Moving Our Consciousness Beyond Our Default Setting”:


No matter what your age or circumstances, consciousness applies to important life decisions as well as the mundane tasks in your everyday life.

Edward Elser


Born in Chicago, Edward Elser moved his family to South Carolina in the 1990s. He is a chief engineer in the broadcast industry where he has been a witness to automation systems displacing employees. Ed considers himself an entrepreneur, and is a founding member of TheClubhou.se, and Young Makers, a hands-on activity group exposing youth to technology. Currently raising his three kids in North Augusta, Ed is excited about what their future holds.


“Our Future is Awesome”:


Because of machine learning and automation—conveniently aided by our youth’s choice of “access over ownership”—we are at the cusp of a sea change that will provide more autonomy and opportunity to more people than ever before.

Warren B. Karp


Warren B. Karp is a Professor Emeritus at Augusta University.  He holds a Ph.D. in Physiological Chemistry from The Ohio State University and a D.M.D. from Augusta University.  He is an elected member of The American Institute of Nutrition, The American Society of Clinical Nutrition, is Past President of The Georgia Nutrition Council and Past Vice Chairman of the Columbia County Board of Health. In addition, Bill is a classic American jazz musician and has been voted “Best of Augusta Jazz” by readers of Augusta Magazine for the past several years.  He is married to Nancy and they have two grown children.


“Art and Science” OR “Art or Science?”:


Is there really a difference in discovering the relationship between light and mass compared to discovering the relationship between light and shadow?

Nathan Klose


Nathan Klose is the former Creative Director at 2nd & Charles, Books-A-Million, and Joe Muggs. He is most recently living in Huntsville, AL, where he helps makes stuff for people around the United States as a larger, more powerful consulting Creative Director. He has a wife that is a pastor and two dogs that rip the tiny squeaker hearts out of chew toys. He edits a New York City-based arts publication called The Curator Magazine and writes poetry. He likes donuts.


“Act Your Shoe Size”:


What do kids—the tiniest, most vulnerable, most adult-reliant human beings—have to do with autonomy? What does the imagination of a child have to do with the larger existential, socio-cultural concept of autonomy? Almost nothing.  And almost everything.

Donny Weber


Donny has been in the world of learning for nearly three decades and has done work in the area of learner profiles, learning styles, leadership development and now, he has begun to explore the intricacies of unconscious bias and triggers and their impact on decision making in the workplace. Donny retired from the United States Air Force after serving 20 years as a language analyst, faculty development specialist, and senior media liaison. Donny joined the National Security Agency in 2003 and is now leading transformational leadership development in Georgia.


“Learn What Terrorists Already Know and Use – Our Biases and Triggers”:


Discovering, owning, managing and transforming our unconscious biases and triggers is essential to our surviving the new world order.

Daryl Rolle

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Daryl Rolle is the owner of Dapper & Company men’s grooming lounge in Augusta, GA, and executive director of the Catalyst League Inc. Daryl is one of the fastest rising barbering educators in the country. As a master educator in the barbering industry, he teaches many gents how to be well groomed and confident in their daily grooming habits.


“Barber Chronicles: The Autonomous Chair”:


The magic of this industry begins way before this barber starts chiseling stone into an art piece. When the client first sits in the chair—from there fears are conquered, worlds are traveled, the unknown becomes the known, and the non-autonomous  now faces the world autonomously. Through this piece of tonsorial furniture called the barber’s chair, the world changes.

Kim Romaner

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Kim Romaner is currently the president of Transworld Business Advisors, a business brokerage and franchise consulting firm. Kim is from Miami, but now lives in North Augusta, SC, with her husband Michael, and is the proud mother of son Zack and daughter Alexis.


“Do You Know That Your Community Has a Technological Destiny?”:


All communities must stay relevant in a global and digital economy.  What are the keys to creating that relevance?  How can communities differentiate and excel in today’s economic environment?

Jay Samit


Bestselling author and serial entrepreneur, Jay Samit is a technology innovator who has partnered with startups, Fortune 500 firms, and even the White House to positively impact the lives of billions around the world.  Samit teaches people how to master personal transformation, seize opportunity, and thrive in this era of endless innovation.


“It’s Time To Disrupt You!”:


Discover your true potential through self-disruption and you can change the world.

Christopher M. Schroeder


Christopher M. Schroeder has  been an intrapreneur (built with an amazing team washingtonpost.newsweek interactive); an entrepreneur (co-founded healthcentral.com, a social and content platform for health and wellness); a venture investor in consumer-facing internet (Vox Media; Skift Media; iBotta; Segovia; Beacon and more); a father of three; and a husband of one.  He wrote the first book on startups and innovation in the Middle East, Startup Rising:  The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East—showing the powerful, scaled and hopeful paths to the future there.


“The Next Billion: How New Generations, Now Empowered for the First Time by Technology, are Changing Societies – Everywhere”:


While CNN and the news worlds show us tragedy in the Middle East, millions of the new generation, smart device in hand, are taking control of their political and economic lives—and if it can happen there, it is happening everywhere.

Christopher Shelley


Christopher Shelley lives in the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, GA, and is the father of two boys, and a father-figure to two boys. He is a trustee at St. Luke United Methodist Church, as well as part of the Community Outreach staff. He is actively involved in his community—from being a transportation volunteer for Good Neighbor Ministries, a logistics manager for the Veggie Truck Farmers Market, a warehouse manager for Restart, and a founding member of G.R.O.W. Harrisburg.


“Building Hope in a Hard World: Giving Time in Harrisburg”:


In tough neighborhoods, many boys are growing up without positive male figures in their lives. Even though autonomy means ‘independent,’ it cannot be learned independently.

Creative Talent

Nathan Ivey


Nathan Ivey is a spoken word artist from Beech Island, South Carolina. With a stage name of N-8, he started performing poetry in 2006 when he enrolled at USC-Columbia. His poems tell nonfiction stories using fictional characters.

Stink Bamboo

Stink Bamboo

Stink Bamboo consists of pianist & vocalist Tevey Lute, bass player & vocalist Ruby Culpepper (a.k.a RuCu) and veteran drummer/percussionist Rocco Jackson (a.k.a Doc Roc). Together this alternative/fusion band from Aiken, South Carolina, is an eclectic triumvirate of pure musical power.

Rick McKee

Rick McKee Mugshot 2

Rick McKee has been an editorial cartoonist for The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle since 1998 and his cartoons are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons to over 850 newspapers around the world. In 2013, McKee won first place in the Ranan Lurie U.N. cartoon competition. In addition to appearing in most major newspapers, McKee’s award-winning work has been featured on CNN/Headline News, the Fox News Channel, and Newsweek. A collection of his cartoons, Painting with a Broad Brush was published in December.

©2017 TEDxAugusta. All Rights Reserved.

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