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About TEDx
x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)



Kristi Dean – Director 

Kristi’s vision is to bring “Living the Rainbow: True Stories of Coming Out and Transitioning” — an adventure in healing communities by gathering stories from the LGBT family in each city and creating a unique theater production — to communities across the country. An avid lover of theater, Kristi has produced plays as a teacher, performed in many community theater events, and is the founder of Let It Out Productions. She served as the chairperson for the Four Corners Alliance for Diversity, a 501(c) 3 non-profit in Durango, CO. During her tenure, the board hosted seven to ten fundraising events each year and 15 events over five days for the Durango Pride Festival, growing the attendance at Durango Pride from 100 to more than 300 in 2016 and more than 500 in 2017. Kristi’s team also hosted the first ever Durango Winter Pride. She is thrilled to bring her theatrical and production experience to TEDxDurango.

Bethany Niccum – Curation Team Lead

Bethany’s favorite thing to do is BRAINSTORMING. Creating ideas to support others is pure joy for her. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with her degree in Sociology in 1997. Helping others transition their lives into their dreams has been her purpose and passion ever since she can remember. Bethany is the Director of Thriving at Thrive Chiropractic Studio in Durango, CO which she owns and operates with her husband, Dr. Trapper Niccum. Through coaching, educating and sharing information on personal growth and Chiropractic, she inspires people follow their bliss and truly experience life as it was meant to be lived. Along with her work at Thrive, for the last 9 years she also runs the Durango Women’s Business Idea Exchange, has been on the leadership board of the Durango Growth Organization for the last 5 years as well as teach for a variety of groups including: the Small Business Development Center, the Durango Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Resource Center. When Bethany is not helping people Thrive, she loves to spend quality time with her husband and two boys, as well as adventure motorcycling, writing, high altitude gardening, hiking and laughing every chance she gets.

Rubi Starr – Entertainment Team Lead

Rubi creates dimensions of entertainment that transcend the every day, transporting audience members to places where inspiration ignites and reality is questioned. As a performer, producer, and graphic artist, RubiStarr has been exploring the arts for over 30 years and sharing her discoveries along the way. She uses her power for producing fundraisers and incorporates elements that raise social awareness. Her personal talents include, aerialist, sword dancer, living statue, artist, producer, mom and graphic design extraordinaire.

Naomi Bigbee – Web Design Lead

Naomi’s passion lies in making  businesses look absolutely stunning online and everywhere. She is a graphic and web designer of 7 years with much of her experience in the marketing, advertising, and social media fields. From creating logos, brand images, and full websites with ongoing social media content to match, she will bring to the table skills and tools to elevate and differentiate any business.


Jessica Bonham – Event Production Lead

Jessica has been working in the corporate event planning industry for the past 13 years and has developed expertise in the planning and management of a variety of events. She now uses this knowledge to relate to the challenges that event planners experience when planning their own meetings. She works diligently with her clients to ensure that each project she undertakes results in success. Currently, she is thrilled to serve as Manager, Global Accounts with HelmsBriscoe, a company that excels as a leader in the event planning industry. She is thrilled to bring her expertise and serve as Event Production Lead for the TEDxDurango Team.

Andy Wingerd – Video Production Team Lead

Andy is the CEO of Ignited Imagery, a production company that services business with all their photographic and videographic needs. With more than 13 years experience, Andy has worked on a variety of projects that include real estate photography, headshots, promotional videos, event photography and video services, and product photography. Prior to starting Ignited Imagery, Andy proudly served her country as a member of the U.S. Army (4 years) and the Colorado National Guard (8 years). In 2015, she retired as a Sergeant from the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office after 17 years. She continues to serve her community by filming projects like the Durango Voice 2019 fundraiser for Manna Soup Kitchen and the Durango Food Bank fundraiser that raised funds for the 416 fire victims. She is excited to “Bring the Humor” to her community as Video Production Lead for TEDxDurango.

Renee Bruch – Graphic Design Lead

Renee specializes in creating visual identities for companies. With over 20 years of experience, her services include: graphic design, branding, brochures, logos, marketing materials, custom business and home signs, banners, screen printing, vehicle and boat graphics. She takes the time to listen to her clients, provide professional input and accurately create a client’s vision in a timely manner. She is glad to bring her skills to the TEDxDurango team!

Diana Cruz – Volunteer Team Lead

Diana believes that one should “live the life you want others to remember you by” – and on the TEDxDurango Executive Team as the Lead Volunteer Coordinator, she’s known for spreadsheets! As the obsessively organized, spreadsheet loving, passionate person Diana became the Executive Director of the Education Foundation in December 2017 to advocate for and cultivate resources that enhance the educational experience for the community. In the fleeting moments that she forgets she’s a workaholic, you might spot Diana at a Rotary meeting; on the mountain hiking or biking; horribly playing the guitar, off beats on some drums, or screeching on a violin; sketching on a pad; or running around with her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kelly Slater Cruz.

Jess Hargett – Volunteer Team Co-Secretary

Originally from Florida, Jess is a Durangoan at heart. She moved here in 1993 and graduated from Durango High School. She earned her degree from Fort Lewis College with a double major in psychology and writing. She and her husband met in Durango and have been married for 19 years; their daughter recently graduated from DHS. Jess is an active community volunteer who loves supporting her community and spending time with her family. Currently, she helps out a local jewelry store and assists with everything from invoicing to website updates. She is thrilled to bring her diverse skill set to the TEDxDurango team and serve as Volunteer Team Co-Lead.

Laura Christine Ritz – Copywrite Lead

Laura  is The Durango Wordsmith. As Durango’s premier copywriter, copy editor, and writing coach, she loves working with people to create eloquent writing. Her professional career began in the accounting department for a Denver-based nonprofit. She completed a B.S. Business Administration before transitioning into teaching and completing an M.Ed. Education. She spent more than a decade serving the needs of a diverse population of kids in four western states before transitioning into copywriting. Most recently, she completed a Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing, served as the copywriter for a national nonprofit, and founded her own copywriting company. She is excited to bring her passion for working with people and creating excellent writing to the TEDxDurango team.

Jessika Buell – Social Media Team Lead

Jessika has lived and worked in Durango for over 18 years. She started her professional career as an English and Math teacher in the Durango Schools. She then transitioned into a marketing, business development, and project executive role for one of the largest construction firms in the country. In 2015 she launched her first business, Lucky Services. A year later, she opened her second business, Marketing Concepts Squared (MC²), and a year after that, she bought into The Vault (a successful, established Durango gym) as co-owner. She understands the complexities and strategies of working for a multi-million dollar company and blends this with her background and knowledge of the Durango community. Her drive, work ethic, and passion for business contributed to her being named Durango Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year.

Rebekah Click – Social Media Co-Lead

Rebekah is part of the social media marketing and promotions team. She absolutely loves serving in this capacity (she is, after all, a millennial!). Originally from Texas, she loves living in the beautiful mountain town of Durango. When she’s not on Facebook, she enjoys sipping on coffee, rock climbing with her husband, trying new recipes, and reading. She is thrilled to be a part of this awesome event!

Bonnie Rozean – Accounting & Bookkeeping

I thrive on helping time-strapped nonprofit staff and small business owners get a handle on your
accounting and bookkeeping needs so you can be free to do what you do best – managing your
nonprofit or business. I care about your success.
My number crunching training started early at my father’s marina closing out the gas dock and general
store cash registers during the summers. A few years later I was privileged to serve as Grand County
Treasurer and Public Trustee. After leaving local government, in May of 2000 I began providing financial
management services to nonprofits and small businesses in my rural home town – Granby, Colorado.
During the spring of 2009 I came to Durango on vacation. Our family lived here in the 90s for three years
and I longed to return which is what I did that June. If you are serious about the financial health of your
organization or small businesses, put my skills to work and relax.

A Partner

And help to make this event possible.

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