TEDxBILLINGS SPEAKER LINEUP
These are the speakers for our TEDxBillings event on Saturday March 5th, 2022.
William B. Henry is the founder of Be Better World, an anti-bullying campaign geared towards empowering youth to deal with the symptoms of bullying before it becomes a serious issue. His stance takes a different approach as he calls on the parental unit to be a part of the solution. Be Better has gained National attention and his motto is “We All Play A Role”.
William is also the owner of Big Sky Ballin’, a sports organization responsible for putting on one of the largest 3 on 3 outdoor basketball tournaments in the Northwest Region, Above the Rim, which is now in its 7th year. Along with Above the Rim, Big Sky Ballin’ also runs several youth sports leagues and tournaments throughout the year.
Before devoting most of his time to Be Better and Big Sky Ballin’, William served as a Vice President for a billion dollar not for profit organization. He obtained his Undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Florida and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. William has spoken at several local and national conferences.
In addition to founding Be Better, William spends time mentoring youth and he takes pride in making a genuine difference in their lives. William lives in Billings, Montana with his lovely wife, Yolawnda, and his outgoing daughter, Bria.
A native of Lewistown, MT, Chrissy Pratt has been an animal trainer and behaviorist for 18 years. She has worked with a variety of animals, and has consulted with elephant organizations all over the world, including Save Elephant Foundation, Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary, and Burm and Emily’s Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand; Wild is Life/Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery in Zimbabwe; Tiger Tops Elephant Camp and Stand Up 4 Elephants in Nepal; Pakke Tiger Reserve in India; and Life in Oozie Village Ecohut/Myanmar Timber Enterprise in Myanmar.
Chrissy is passionate about all animals, fascinated by their behavior, and deeply committed to their conservation. Chrissy began her career working with animals as a volunteer at the New York Aquarium in 2002, where she became passionate about operant conditioning and positive reinforcement training, and how this helps improve the lives of animals living in captivity. This led to a career working with marine mammals at Sea Life Park Hawaii, The Mirage Dolphin Habitat in Las Vegas, and dolphin assisted therapy at Onmega Dolphin Therapy Marmaris in Turkey. During this time her curiosity about all animals persisted, motivating her to volunteer with primates at the Honolulu Zoo and learn about prey animal psychology and Natural Horsemanship at Horse Sense of the Carolinas in Marshall, North Carolina.
Throughout the course of Chrissy’s career as a marine mammal trainer, her feelings about animals in captivity for the purposes of entertainment evolved. She began to look towards applying her skills in a way that would promote conservation, rescue, rehabilitation, and finding creative ways for humans and animals to work together in a manner that benefits both…not just humans. She learned about managing elephants in protected contact and utilizing positive reinforcement training as an Animal Care Specialist at Busch Gardens Tampa. Her interest in rescue and rehabilitation was also fostered in Tampa, FL, where she volunteered with local animal rescue organizations. Her desire to share ideas and knowledge to improve the lives of elephants working in developing countries brought her to Thailand in 2013, where her career as a consultant began. When she is not teaching positive reinforcement training techniques and ways to improve elephant welfare, Chrissy likes to spend her time learning about other cultures and ‘jungle’ ways of life.
Our next Headline Speaker is Tim Pollard, Founder and CEO of Oratium and author of The Compelling Communicator: Mastering the Art and Science of Exceptional Presentation Design.
With over 34 years of practicing leadership as a National Championship Basketball Coach and a Two-Time Olympian, Sherry is an expert at coaching leaders and team members to championship status. She has successfully taken leaders beyond their levels of comfort to “WIN” against competitors who were superior in talent, facilities, and financial budgets. Through her WIN Philosophy ™ and WINNER Principles ™, she shares insider secrets on how to succeed even when the odds seem insurmountable so that your team feels, acts, and conquers their goals like Olympians.
You can find Sherry at www.TheWinningLeadershipCompany.com
I grew up in LA. Moved to the Pacific Northwest to save my wife from freeways. We now have 6 kids. We moved to Billings because I like big cities and she likes small towns. Somehow Billings is both.
I teach and write on rhetoric and communication because people need hope and vision. Without both, people die. That’s why I’ve written a textbook on public speaking called A Rhetoric of Love: Volume Two. It’s part of a series and will soon be published by Veritas Press (veritaspress.com).
I’m finishing my second PhD this year. I’ve taught philosophy and leadership at Gonzaga University, been a visiting fellow of the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium and researched and lectured at the US Joint Forces Staff College, a war college in Norfolk, VA. The military published my research and it’s listed as recommended reading for commanders in Art of Design, the US Military’s textbook on Campaign design, published by the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS).
What will your TED talk be about?: About how a rhetoric of love is antifragile. Our contemporary media culture cultivates outrage. We get ahead by breaking things, by domination. Yet we don’t see that a rhetoric of domination makes our messages fragile in the long term. It destroys the social capital needed for successful communication. I want to move the audience to SEE and FEEL that a rhetoric rooted in love will give our messages the power to outlast outrage culture. Love makes rhetoric antifragile. This is how each of us can inspire others, under the big sky that surrounds our planet, to stay true to our roots and develop our future, together.
Leif Welhaven, founder of LW Consulting LLC!
Kevin is an entrepreneur and product designer whose patented camping product, “The Ripple” was nominated for the IHA’s global innovation awards in 2015 and featured on the hit show “I Want That!” and CBS New York.
Kevin started his career as a high school instructor where he taught graphic arts in Wyoming and Montana for 9 years. Eventually, Kevin’s passion for behavioral economics and social cognitive neuroscience led him to a neuroscience-based technology company where he became the creative director, leading a team of executive coaches and software engineers to develop an interactive coaching platform called, “Malcolm.”
Kevin is now the co-founder of the tech startup Converge, an online platform that allows users to find, book and share meaningful experiences available in their communities, spanning from hiking excursions, to mindfulness classes, to volunteering. Kevin is also the director of the entrepreneurial development program, Rock31 where he and a team of founders and mentors facilitate meetups, startup events, training programs, and peer coaching for owners of high-growth companies in and around Yellowstone county.