TEDxBuffalo is put on each year, from start to finish, by an all-volunteer team. Allow us to introduce ourselves: ALEX OPIEL Alex studied biophysics at the University at Buffalo and works as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry. She enjoys right-brained hobbies – interior design, learning about social issues, making furniture, and giving tours at the Richardson Olmsted Campus. ANTHONY SANTAROSA Anthony was on the internet before the first browser was invented. Anyone remember Gopher? How about compiling the early releases of Mosaic on a Sun SPARCstation? Yeah, I was there. Somewhere in my basement there is a functional Mac Plus and a couple of Engineering degrees I picked up along the way. When I am not in front of a computer, I am either watching, playing or coaching hockey. I love all things TED. Keep your stick on the ice and try turning it off and on again before calling IT. AMANDA SQUIRES Amanda is a full-time yoga instructor at YogaSix in the Buffalo area. She is a 500 hour certified teacher and has been leading yoga and meditation classes for over 10 years. She has also spent 20 years working with individuals with Developmental Disabilities in many different capacities. Working with TEDx allows Amanda the opportunity to continue to encourage growth and challenge people to engage in ongoing conversations that will allow people to see where they can expand their potential and opportunities. SARAH VIANA Sarah, a lifetime Buffalonian, brings her Certified Coaching skills, People Development experience, and her admiration for TED talks to the committee. Her entrepreneurial spirit coupled with her passion for supporting individuals to live fully and authentically, led her to create Deliberately You LLC. Beyond growing her company she enjoys concerts, tap dancing, going to Shea’s, hosting gatherings, and indulging at a variety of Buffalo restaurants. JINNIE RANDOLPH LAUREN MCGOWAN Lauren is a lifelong learner and longtime TED and TEDx lover. She has a bachelor’s in music education from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s in higher education administration from Buffalo State. By day she coordinates admissions for the School of Social Work at UB. In her spare time, she can be seen singing, dancing, and pretending to be other people on various stages across town. JEFF MILLER Jeff works for a small company that distributes various rubber and foam products as a CNC operator and Draftsman. In his spare time he likes to read, walk the city streets of Buffalo taking in the architecture and various colors of houses along the way. Lastly, music he cannot play, but will listen all day. JOSH CASKIE Josh recently finished his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Computer Science at the University at Buffalo and currently works as a Data Engineer for Foundry Digital. He aspires to be a continuous learner and embody a growth mindset, qualities that TED and TEDx incarnate. His passions include social entrepreneurship, personal finance, and tech/data driven applications. Outside of work he pursues hobbies like volleyball, poker, chess, and any number of other social or competitive activities! MOLLY KINKEL Molly moved back to her hometown of Buffalo NY and rejoined TEDxBuffalo after living the nomadic life for nearly two years. She’s thrilled to be back supporting this incredible organization. After receiving her B.A. in Speech Communications and minor in Theatrical Design at Ithaca College, she has built a career in marketing and digital advertising holding positions at The Buffalo News, WGRZ-TV, Gannett Broadcasting, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY and most recently the Head of Marketing at Pause Breathwork where she received her trauma-informed breathwork facilitator certification. On most weeknights you can find Molly teaching at Sherry Martin Dance and the Tutu School, or walking her pup around Elmwood Village. PHIL STOKES Dr. Phil Stokes is the Executive Director of Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve located in Hamburg, NY — the home of trilobites. Penn Dixie — ranked #1 in the U.S. among fossil parks and also the inaugural holder of a Guinness World Record for Largest Fossil Dig — welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year. In 2021 Dr. Stokes was honored as a 40 Under 40 Awardee by Buffalo Business First. Prior to working for Big Fossil, Dr. Stokes served as instructor, research associate, academic advisor, and community outreach coordinator in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arizona — a top 5 Geology program — while pursuing his PhD. His 2016 dissertation, Diversity in Geoscience: Critical Incidents and Factors Affecting Choice of Major, used social and behavioral science to look at the factors behind underrepresentation in STEM fields, and in particular geology. Dr. Stokes has coordinated four multi-year National Science Foundation projects: three at the University of Arizona (including SAGUARO) and one at SUNY Buffalo, where he earned his B.S. (2004) and M.S. (2007) degrees in Geological Science. His thesis work used ground penetrating radar to search for mastodon bones and to map glacially deposited units at the Ice Age Hiscock Site near Rochester, NY. In his spare time he plays guitar and ukulele, travels, and brings a telescope to music festivals for late night stargazing.