2016 TEDx South Lake Tahoe Speakers

Edward Scott Jr.

Philanthropist and Creator of Center for Global Development

Ed Scott has been called Silicon Valley’s most effective giver and his catalytic approach to philanthropy has had a transformative impact on poverty and disease on a global scale. After a successful career in the United States government civil service culminating with a position as Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Administration, Ed left Washington, DC to work in the emerging field of computer technology. In 1995, he co-founded a software company called BEA Systems. BEA soon became one of the fastest companies ever to reach $1 billion in sales and Oracle purchased the company in 2008. Ed later became a primary funder behind StubHub, the online ticketing service later purchased by eBay.

Having started his philanthropic work on a small scale, Ed soon turned his attention to how governments could help make an impact on development. Ed created the Center for Global Development to help carry out research towards formulating solutions for how government policies can help fight poverty and disease. He created Friends of the Global Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria in order to help support and lobby for the funding of the Global Fund. Together with Bill Gates and George Soros he created DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa) to provide a platform for Bono and other celebrities to advocate that the U.S. Government and the U.S. public support global development efforts. Meanwhile Ed has extended his philanthropy beyond global development to other realms, including founding the innovative Scott Center for Autism Treatment at the Florida Institute of Technology.

Pat Moore

Professional Snowboarder

Pat Moore has been a professional snowboarder for over 10 years appearing in many films such as The Art of Flight. His accolades include multiple X Games medals including a Gold in 2014 Real Snow Backcountry, many showings in Snowboarder Magazine’s top 10 riders of the year, and starred in his own Volcom produced film Mr. Plant.

Rick Gunn

Photographer and Writer

Rick Gunn is an award winning photographer, writer, adventurer and public speaker based of South Lake Tahoe, California.

In the last 20 years his work has appeared in countless books, websites and publications including, People, Wend, Bike, Adventure Sports Journal, Adventure Cyclist, USA Today and the New York Times. In 2005, Gunn quit his 14-year career as a daily newspaper photographer and rode his bicycle 26,000-miles through 33 countries, over three years. Since his return in 2008, he has toured with a multimedia presentation about the journey entitled "Soulcycler," while working on book by the same name. In the last two years, Gunn has cycled in Oman, and Iran, as well as to Syrian Refugee camps in Turkey and Greece, where he has facilitated the exchange artwork and letters between children abroad, and young students in America.

Raoul De La Sota


Raoul De La Sota was born into a bilingual family with English as a second language and with his Mexican grandmother entertaining him with ancient stories and philosophies of the indigenous people of the Americas. As a result of terrible Asthma which kept him from attending school during early childhood he had a lot of time to himself imagining flying off to fresh green places. He spent much time drawing these imagined experiences.  Art would be his constant companion as he finally went to high school and college. Having earned a Master in Arts degree from UCLA, he received a Fulbright Fellowship for study in Peru. After his return he began his teaching career at Los Angeles City College teaching studio art and Mexican Art History for 46 years. His interest in other cultures has also led him to organize and lead art tours to 5 foreign countries.

His work has been exhibited internationally in the Bahamas, Mexico, Peru, Spain and 7 African countries. In the US he has exhibited at the OAS Museum in Washington D.C., the Museum of Man in San Diego, the Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach and numerous private and public galleries. He has lived in Highland Park, California for 39 years and is the proud father of three marvelous sons.

Reema Chitalia

Entrepreneur and Professional Speaker

Reema Chitalia is an entrepreneur, a professional speaker, and a consultant with Deloitte, the world's largest accounting firm. For the past 3 years, Reema has been giving speeches at various schools, start-ups, entrepreneurs across The USA and India about failure, and why should failure be the most coveted 'accomplishment' of your life. She is known to present the act of failing in a very different light making failure 'desirable' instead of something unpleasant.

Raised in an extremely poor background (her parents had no money to even buy clothes) all she saw was her family's constant and unending struggle to make ends meet. Reema's only hope was that she was a good student. She realized early on in her life that the sole way to put an end to her poverty was to study. With her Mother’s motivation, scholarships and an unparalleled will to tide over the 'never-ending' poverty, she went on to become an engineer. However, this journey wasn’t an easy one; she encountered all sort of challenges—from financial to emotional, she was tested on all ends. After finishing up engineering, she took up a job with a renowned company to lend some financial stability to her family and save money to come to the United States. Speaking had always been her first love, but due to monetary concerns it took a back seat. However, as they say ‘what’s meant to be will find a way’ and whilst pursuing her graduate studies in the States, she started giving speeches at several associations/conferences and since then there's been no looking back. Her journey through extreme hardship and innumerable failures has continued to inspire millions of people including high-school kids, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and many more. 

Reema preliminarily uses stories, humor, presentation and other examples to get her idea across. The other topics that Reema is known to speak for are 'the fear of fear', 'self-image and how it can change your future', 'to be successful, you have to be stressed', 'Yes, you can make your child the next Mark Zuckerberg' amongst many others. 

Dr. Jamie Orr

Entrepreneur and Physicist

Dr. Jamie Orr is a successful entrepreneur, physicist, and educator with expertise across a wide range of technical fields. She is passionate about helping young companies and students alike to thrive and discover their potential. She is founder & CEO of Tahoe Mountain Lab, South Lake Tahoe's first coworking space and innovation hub and provides workforce development expertise for the California Community Colleges as a regional director for the Energy, Construction, & Utilities sectors, which includes one of the coolest job titles out there, “Deputy Sector Navigator.” Passionate about nature and science from an early age, she received her BS in physics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Jamie then went on to obtain a M.S. in experimental condensed matter physics studying the fabrication and characterization of magnetic nanostructures followed by a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC Davis focusing upon protein folding models associated with amyloid diseases.

 Prior to relocating to Tahoe and opening Tahoe Mountain Lab, she spent the past decade developing research & academic programs in renewable energy technology & efficiency, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, and 3D printing. Additionally, she has taught courses in physics, mathematics, chemistry, & engineering, held research privileges at NASA Ames Research Center, and consults in the areas of economic development and entrepreneurship. As a community leader, Jamie serves on the boards of Sustainable Silicon Valley, the Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, the Tahoe Women’s Community Fund, and is active on local advisory committees. Born and raised in San Mateo, CA, she spent every summer vacation on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe hiking, biking, and enjoying Tahoe’s beautiful beaches with her family and their numerous golden retrievers.

Heidi Hill Drum

CEO of the Tahoe Prosperity Center

Heidi Hill Drum came to Lake Tahoe in 1995 to snowboard for the season. Growing up in Florida, it was definitely supposed to be just one winter. But she fell in love with Tahoe, got married and had two Tahoe boys. She has worked at Sierra-at-Tahoe, the League to Save Lake Tahoe and the Center for Collaborative Policy, at Sacramento State. Heidi is now happily the CEO of the Tahoe Prosperity Center (TPC), a regional triple-bottom line non-profit organization.

Heidi has more than 25 years experience in public policy, communications and collaboration with non-profit organizations, businesses, academia and government agencies. Her background includes facilitating consensus-based solutions with government agencies and the public on issues ranging from California water issues, public lands grazing, natural resources, transportation and community and environmental planning. She has expertise in implementation of collaborative solutions, which make her especially suited to the TPC mission of uniting Tahoe’s communities to strengthen regional prosperity. Heidi takes every opportunity to shout from the mountaintops that Tahoe is one region, one lake, and one wonderful community.

Jameson Stafford

Entrepeneur and Engineer

Jameson is passionate about all forms of technology, whether it’s consumer applications, SaaS platforms, or digital filmmaking. He has the good fortune to spend his days following this passion, building an exemplary career around it.  Jameson has founded multiple businesses, including several tech startups, two of which were acquired by larger, publicly-traded companies. He has grown and managed US and international teams in excess of 50 employees both pre and post-acquisition.

As an engineer and entrepreneur, Jameson's cloud-based solutions have been the face of some of the world's most prominent entertainment and retail brands for hundreds of millions of consumers. In his spare time, Jameson enjoys making films and music videos and has had the pleasure of directing talented actors and musicians, ranging from Sean Penn, Kid Rock, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Erykah Badu. Most recently, Jameson has turned his energy and passion towards a new venture, Elevate Blue, a startup studio on the shores of Lake Tahoe. At Elevate Blue, Jameson has brought an ambitious team of developers, executives, investors and young entrepreneurs together to build cutting edge, web & mobile businesses and drive economic growth in the Lake Tahoe basin and the Northern Nevada region.

Marina McCoy


Marina McCoy was raised in the green mountains of Vermont, where her love for the outdoors and environmentalism began at a young age. After graduating high school, she headed west to attend Sierra Nevada College (SNC) in Incline Village, Nevada. While attending SNC, Marina received numerous academic awards including Most Innovated Student of the Year, Inspiring Community Impact, Notable Achievement Award, Outstanding Achievement Award and Who’s Who Among Students in America. Marina graduated Cum Laude in May 2016 with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sustainability and a BSBA in Ski Business and Resort Management.

Marina and her Green Team Members eliminate waste from festivals and large events. She enjoys taking on challenges through her passion for music and the environment, which drives her to work hard and inspire others. Marina has done sustainability coordination for Frendly Gathering, WinterWonderGrass, Camp Out For The Cause, Lost Sierra Hoedown, SnowGlobe and Guitarfish among others. Marina ultimately aspires to make the music festival industry known for being a global contributor in environmental sustainability.