Session 1

Pablo Mayor, a Cali-born pianist, composer, producer and arranger has dedicated the last eighteen years to promoting Colombian and Latin music in New York City.  His concept "Folklore Urbano,” combines formal studies in jazz arranging with a passion for music from his native Colombia.  Mayor produced Folklore Urbano NYC, which encompasses various formats from trio to its current 14-piece orchestra, but also an educational project “Cumbia for Kids and Cumbia for All,” The Encuentro NYC Colombian Music festival, and a music and dance collaboration with Colombian dancer Daniel Fetecua “Amalgama.”  In 2016 he established a multi-disciplinary arts alliance called ArtsLatinoNY with his close collaborators,  actor and theatre director German Jaramillo, and dancer/choreographer Daniel Fetecua. 
     A former Professor of Jazz at Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Mayor held the position of Performing Arts, Jazz and Colombian Music Coordinator at the Harbor Conservatory in Harlem for over 16 years, and was on the national Berklee Summit committee which organized the national Berklee City Music Network conference in NYC in 2015.  Mr. Mayor has worked closely with the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in NYC, and is co-founder of its Community Cultural Initiative project FolkColombia-Música y Danza and has done multiple programs for Carnegie Hall.   
     As composer, Mayor’s music has been featured by Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra including ALJO’s Grammy-award winning album released 2014 Offense of the Drum.  A resident composer of ID Studio Theatre Performance and Research Center since 1999, several of Mayor’s works were premiered at Colombia’s Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá, in 2012, and numerous live theatre productions. Mayor was commissioned to write for symphony orchestra on the political event “El Bogotazo”, which was premiered in NYC in June 2014, and his chamber music arrangements have been performed by ensembles including the Sweet Plantain String Quartet, the Spokane String Quartet, among others.
     As producer, Mr. Mayor has produced and arranged for musicians including Armando Manzanero, in Dallas, New York, Colombia, Chicago, and Mexico.

​Ethan Schutz is President & CEOof The Schutz Company, publishers, intellectual property managers, and consulting experts specializing in solutions that produce cultural transformation in progressive organizations. In this capacity Ethan directs and promotes the development and expansion of these bodies of work in the United States. Globally he oversees a network of partner organizations and practitioners who utilize and implement these solutions, across 91 countries and territories, and in 30 languages.  
Directly and simply stated, Ethan Schutz teaches that cultural transformation doesn’t just happen. It requires experience, a dedication to self-awareness, and individual effort to behave differently. Teams that work well together emerge as the result of a mindful, replicable process that integrates a deep understanding of human motivation and today’s demanding professional world. Creating exceptional cultures of authenticity and innovation yield more productive and joyous places to work.  The United Nations, NASA, and other leading agencies and institutions have benefited from the work Ethan does to provide their employees with the skills to address and overcome entrenched systemic problems. The leadership and management trainings Ethan has delivered continue to provide meaningful, lasting change measurable in terms of organizational productivity, employee engagement, and innovation. The key concepts underpinning the work Ethan does are based on research originally commissioned by the US Military to improve the effectiveness of teams, refined over time to be applicable in every sphere of human endeavor that is dependent upon teams performing well in consistently demanding conditions.   
As a sought after speaker and master practitioner Ethan has traveled the globe to bring a greater understanding of how to create cultures of change, and the durable and lasting benefits of greater human understanding in the workplace. The methods and teachings that Ethan has to share, both compelling and enduring, will provide the TEDx audience with insights and reflections for life.

Jaron Benjamin is the vice president for community mobilization for Housing Works, Inc and involved in their nation-wide effort to improve health care. He also coordinates the "Act Now, End AIDS" coalition, a nationwide partnership that is dedicated to organizing and assisting states, cities, and counties in committing to ending AIDS as an epidemic.
 Before joining Housing Works, Jaron was the executive director at the Met Council on Housing, the oldest tenant organization in the US. The organization’s report, “Tax Breaks for Billionaires,” captured international headlines for more than a year and resulted into an investigation of New York State elected officials. Before his time at Met Council, Jaron was the coordinator for VOCAL-NY’s AIDS Housing Network and organizer the “30% Rent Cap” campaign, which resulted in a policy change that helped prevent homelessness among 10,000 low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

Amy Whitaker  is a creativity champion, business explainer, and human Venn diagram, who is always looking for the connections between people, ideas, and ways of being in the world. She works as a professor in the Department of Art and Arts Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Holding both an MBA and an MFA, Amy teaches business to artists and vice versa. She is passionate about finding space and language to connect our creative and practical selves. Her 2016 book Art Thinking, which was called “fascinating” by Walter Isaacson and “eloquent” and “inspiring” by Adam Grant, teaches us how to invent our own point B, and to move forward without a template in any area of life.

twitter: @theamywhit

Session 2

Michael Alcée, a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in college counseling, helping beginning clinicians develop their ‘therapeutic voice,’ and educating the public about transformative power of psychotherapy.  Founder of one of the first college groups dedicated to introverts, he is a dynamic speaker and clinician who uses his background in music, literature, and the arts to help individuals and groups make creative connections for personal growth and development.  He also has a passion for helping organizations and schools bring out the best in their students and employees through the innovative application of psychological knowledge.
A graduate of Williams college, Michael earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Fordham University. He has trained and worked at a variety of college counseling centers, including: Fordham, Vassar, Manhattanville, and Ramapo.  His unique contributions on the link between poetry, music, and psychotherapy, and on the psychology of men can be found in the Journal of College Student Psychotherapy.  He also writes about ways to help students stay connected to the most important technologies around (self-reflection and empathy), how to meet perfectionism and OCD with creativity and balance, and how to improve the polarized and polarizing climate in our culture and on our campuses. 
He currently works at the counseling center at the Manhattan School of Music, teaches at William Patterson University, and is in private practice in Tarrytown, NY.

Personal Growth




Performing Arts

Social Issues

Hugh Locke, President & Co-Founder of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance in Haiti and President & Founder of Impact Farming, is a smallholder social entrepreneur, author, commentator and speaker. His book “The Haiti Experiment: Amid the Wreckage of a Country Once Rich Beyond Measure, a Chance to Rebuild” is used by many as a primer on development in that country. Drawing on a long career in humanitarian service and international development, Hugh is using an innovative social business approach to transform smallholder farmers into a self-financed global force to combat climate change, improve food security and empower women. His work is the subject of a documentary “Kombit: The Cooperative” and has been featured on CNN International.

Jennifer Walford is an elementary school teacher who loves science and history. Currently Jennifer publishes Found in Yonkers a site on Westchester County events and activities. In addition to traveling and converting her front and backyards into pollinator habitats she has been obsessed about researching her ancestry. Jennifer recently published an e-book on how to research American ancestors, “Researching Your American Ancestors: A Quick Guide,” available on Amazon Kindle.


Global Issues

Jamey Barbas, PE is the Project Director, charged with replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge in suburban New York with  the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge – one of the largest bridge projects in the US, on behalf of the New York State Thruway Authority.
A transformative senior executive with a career in bridge design and construction, she has held leadership positions in several international consulting firms. Her industry experience includes leadership of the strategic, operational and technical aspects for the delivery of major structures projects. A registered professional engineer with over 30 years of experience in bridge management, design, construction and inspection, she has special emphasis on complex and long span bridges.
     Barbas’ experience includes a number of award winning, domestic and international projects. She has led the inspection, design and construction support services for the reconstruction of the Williamsburg Bridge in NYC - one of the largest bridge reconstruction projects ever undertaken in the U.S. and led the design of the major bridges of the AutoRoute 30 project in Montreal, Canada - one of the largest P3 bridge projects in North America. 
     Barbas is a graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She has written numerous technical papers and was named by Engineering News Record as one of their top Newsmakers of 2004 for her work in providing an emergency solution to a failing historic suspension bridge.
     She also serves on the board of directors for Bridges to Prosperity, a non-profit that provides footbridges in rural communities to increase access to schools, health care and market.

Our 2017 Speakers

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