Meredith Bennett is currently starting up production for CBS’s Late Show with Stephen Colbert which will debut on September 8, 2015. Until recently Meredith worked at The Colbert Report as a Co-Executive Producer from the show’s inception in 2005 through its end in December 2014. In addition to regular episodes, Bennett has produced many of the show’s specials, including ones in Philadelphia for the 2008 presidential primary, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC the Rally To Restore Sanity And or Fear on the National Mall in Washington, DC in 2010, as well as segments from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and a recent show with President Obama in Washington, D.C. In 2009 she helped produce live-to-tape episodes of The Colbert Report in Baghdad, Iraq, the only time complete shows were broadcast from a war zone. Meredith is a recipient of two George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, two Emmys for Outstanding Variety Series as well as eight Producer Guild Awards.
Prior to The Colbert Report she worked on a variety of shows including The Rosie O'Donnell Show, VH1 Storytellers, MTV's Unplugged concert series, The Food Network and NBC's The Jane Pauley Show. Meredith graduated from Yale University with a BA in American History. In her spare time she participates in marathons and triathlons around the country and lives with her husband and two young sons in Ridgewood, NJ.
Sara pursued a career in Plant and Soil Science after completing her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Vermont with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture. Her career plans were derailed by a debilitating back injury. After finding yoga to rehabilitate her injury, Sara’s career path took a 180 degree turn into the field of yoga therapy.
She received 500-hour teacher certification in the healing discipline of Bikram Yoga in 2003 and has spent every year since striving to bring the therapeutic potential of yoga to as many people as possible. She is the owner of Bikram Yoga in Portsmouth and the creator of the Bikram’s Biggest Losers and Bikram’s Biggest Quitters programs to help fight obesity and addiction in our community.
Sara is also the Vice President of SATYA-Seacoast Area Teachers of Yoga in Action, a local, non-profit that brings food and fuel assistance and yoga outreach to our neighbors in need on the Seacoast.
Von Diaz is a writer and multimedia producer who focuses on Latino food and culture, immigration, and LGBTQ issues. Her work has been featured on NPR, StoryCorps, WNYC, Public Radio International, BuzzFeed, Colorlines, and Feet in 2 Worlds.
Born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA, she is also a self-taught cook who takes a multimedia approach to exploring the intersections between food, culture, ethnicity, and identity. In 2012 she launched the Cocina Criolla Project, which delves into classic Puerto Rican cooking and highlights new ways of approaching an underexplored cuisine. Her project has been featured in Newsweek Magazine, WNYC’s Last Chance Foods, and NPR’s The Splendid Table.
In addition to cooking and writing about food, she is also a Production Assistant at StoryCorps—a national oral history project that produces weekly broadcasts for NPR. Previously, she was Editor for Feet in 2 Worlds—an immigrant public radio project, and the Communications and Marketing Manager for El Museo del Barrio—a Puerto Rican museum and cultural institution. In 2011 she won an Ippie Award for her multi-media story on homeless, gay immigrant youth in New York.
TJ Evarts is the 19 year old CEO/CTO of Inventioneers Etc., LLC, a tech startup company he founded in 2012 to bring his invention, SMARTwheel, to market. SMARTwheel is the first intelligent steering wheel cover that helps prevent distracted driving. He has been developing this life-saving device, which uses proactive patented technology to keep drivers focused on the road, together with his companion mobile app, since 2009. Evarts is targeting teen drivers initially because teens are immersed in technology, and are at most risk for distraction behind the wheel. Evarts has always been an inventor, filing his first provisional patent application with the USPTO in 2006 when he was 11, and filing three more provisional applications for new inventions through 2009. His utility patent for SMARTwheel was issued in 2013 when he was only 18, before he even graduated from high school.
A determined and enthusiastic teen entrepreneur, TJ has garnered the support of key national influencers and has had worldwide media coverage of SMARTwheel. Some of his most notable supporters include former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec, and even President Obama. In addition to his Shark Tank appearance, he has appeared on CBS’s Innovation Nation and Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, promoting SMARTwheel and safe driving. Evarts is very passionate about technology and entrepreneurship recently realized his dream to exhibit his invention at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015 in Las Vegas. Driven by his commitment to young inventors, he established a 501c3 non-profit to promote STEM and IP education for elementary and middle school students. To connect with him please visit his LinkedIn page and for more information about his life-saving product please visit www.SMARTwheelUSA.com
Sam Hayward is the founding chef and a partner of Fore Street in Portland, Maine. Sam grew up in Ohio, Louisiana, and Western New York State. He attended music conservatories studying double-bass and voice, and spent several years as a traveling and recording musician before discovering his passion for cooking and his love of Maine. His first professional cooking position was as the chef of the Shoals Marine Laboratory on a remote Maine island in 1974. In 1976 he left the laboratory for further training in New Orleans and New York City before returning to Maine permanently in 1977.
In 1981, Sam purchased the restaurant 22 Lincoln in coastal Brunswick and partnered closely with neighboring farmers and fishers to publicly promote extraordinary Maine foods and incorporate them into daily menus created to reveal the intense flavors of Maine’s seasons and terroirs. 22 Lincoln became widely known for pioneering the farm to table movement in New England’s deepest north. Sam closed 22 Lincoln in 1991 and relocated to the Harraseeket Inn in nearby Freeport, expanding on his earlier work with local growers and producers in a larger setting. In 1996, with partners Dana Street and Victor Lean, Sam helped create Fore Street on the edge of Portland’s Old Port district. Fore Street was twice named among the Top Fifty Restaurants by Gourmet Magazine, and has been a finalist for the James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurant award.
Sam was named Best Chef-Northeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2004. In 2011 the Chefs Collaborative named him Sustainer of the Year. Sam lives in rural Bowdoinham with his wife Jan. He serves on a several non-profit boards, including the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Matthew is the Executive Director of Kids4Peace Boston and has worked in the field of Experiential Education in a variety of capacities for nearly ten years. He enjoys connecting with those who value vulnerability over bravado and desire to make the world a kinder place. Prior to his work in the outdoor and inter-religious fields, Matthew received a BS in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
Scarred at a young age by an intolerant religious community but deeply drawn to the ways in which we understand our purpose, Matthew has flirted with, rejected, and embraced religion more times than he can count. His commitment to the inter-religious community of Kids4Peace stems from the profound healing he has felt and witnessed by those willing to know and respect the most sacred parts of another's identity. When not on the TEDx stage, you can usually find Matthew running, dancing, or day-dreaming. He is honored by this first opportunity to engage with the TEDx community.
Aimee Molloy is the author of However Long the Night, a biography of Molly Melching, whose work bringing education to girls and women in Senegal, West Africa has brought about one of the most important human rights movements of our time. Aimee has also collaborated on several books, including with John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry, and Elizabeth Edwards. She is the co-author, with Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari, of the New York Times bestseller Rosewater, recently made into a major motion picture by The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.
Aimee holds a BA from Duke University and a Masters from New York University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.
Dr. Sandra Rehan
Sandra Rehan is Assistant Professor of Genome Enabled Biology in the Faculty of Neuroscience and Behavior and Department of Biological Sciences at the University of New Hampshire, and is a researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. Rehan is interested in the origin of social behavior and combines comparative genomics, life history evolution, behavioral ecology, population genetics and molecular phylogenetics to answer questions on the ecological constraints and genetic underpinnings selecting for social behavior.
She leads the UNH Bee Lab with aims to uncover the behavioral and genetic basis of social group formation in early insect societies. Rehan’s work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, NBC News, Wired UK, BBC News, the Weather Network, CBC News, and NHPR. Rehan originates from Ontario, Canada where she studied native bees for the past decade. She conducted her PhD research in Australia on native bee genetics and social behavior. In addition, Rehan has conducted research on the behavior and ecology of tropical bees in the Pacific Islands, South Africa, Borneo and Panama.
Reagan Ruedig is an architectural historian at Preservation Company and has studied and worked in the preservation and architectural sector for almost a decade. She received her Master's Degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and then moved to Boston to work with Building Conservation Associates. There, Reagan worked in the greater Boston area as a conservator, monitoring restorations and renovations of historic buildings, creating specifications for the treatment of masonry and wood, and performing historic paint analysis of exterior and interior surfaces. In New Hampshire, she has worked with Preservation Company researching and completing National Register eligibility studies for projects all over the state. A resident of Portsmouth for five years, Reagan is also a trustee at the Portsmouth Historical Society and serves on the Historic District Commission.
Reagan also holds a Master of Arts from NYU in Art History and Archaeology and a Batchelor's Degree in Art History from Duke University. She has taught Art History at the Pratt Institute and the City College of New York and has worked at a number of archaeological sites in Greece and Turkey in the role of archaeologist, architectural draftsman, and preservationist.
Martha Stone joined the staff of Cross Roads House, a 96 bed homeless shelter, in 2004 as the Development Director and was promoted to Executive Director in 2013. In her role as the development director she oversaw and executed a successful $5 million capital campaign to design and construct a new shelter facility. As the largest shelter in the NH Seacoast region, Cross Roads House provides emergency and transitional shelter and services for individual adults and families. Martha is responsible for overseeing shelter operations, programming, marketing, fundraising, and financial management of the non-profit organization.
Martha received her BA in Communications from Boston College. In early 2015, she completed eleven years of service as a school board member for the town of Greenland, NH where she resides with her husband and two children, both of whom are currently away at college. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicole Galovski is the Director of Programming for the New Hampshire Film Festival, selecting 100+ films that screen during the four day October event in historic Portsmouth, NH. During the rest of the year, Nicole works in freelance production.
Her recent credits include talent and live audience coordinator for two PBS music variety specials (Michael Feinstein Live at the Rainbow Room; New Year's Eve with Michael Feinstein), and production assistant on the first season of the DirecTV original series Coop airing in the Fall of 2015. She is currently working as a research assistant for Fictionless, a documentary film and television company, as well as the associate producer of the dramatic feature Poor Boy shooting in the Nevada desert in the spring of 2015.
Prior to launching her career in the entertainment industry Nicole spent time working for a community development NGO in Uganda, Africa.
When she is not watching hundreds of film submissions, or working in production, she nurtures dreams of screenplays and novels on the beautiful New Hampshire seacoast.