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, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 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.)

TEDxWenatchee Organizers


Sara Rolfs - Co Founder
As a passionate Wenatchee local who has devoted her professional career to diverse education-rooted endeavors, Sara has established deep family and community relationships across the region.

Grassroots advocacy and community organization skills are Sara’s forte. She is a leading force in the informal education effort in the valley which aims at exploring many learning philosophies.  Educational programing that focuses on STEAM and Project/Place Based Learning is her calling. Sara easily navigates between the public education, private business and non-profit sectors. She knows the right folks to engage and has a passion to ensure it gets done.  


Jessica Lara- Co-Founder
Bio coming soon.


Terry Valdez
Terry is owner of Terry Valdez Studios and is an award winning artist - art instructor with over thirty years of experience teaching art to youth and adults students.  He is currently on the staff of the Grunewald Guild and Director of the Lake Wenatchee YMCA Art Camp for the past twenty five years.  he has a Masters degree in the Creative Arts from Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass. As a guest lecturer, Terry has exhibited his art work in Russia, Mexico and Japan. His public art can be found at the Link Columbia Bus Terminal and is also featured on directional signage throughout the Wenatchee Valley.

TEDx Wenatchee Valley is my chance to give back!  My family came to the Wenatchee Valley in 1953 as Migrant workers in the fruit industry. The more I travel to different parts of the world. I return with an even greater appreciation of how this valley is special. All one needs to do is fly into Wenatchee and gaze down on a true gem of geological wonder. It is time to be a tourist in my own place. To be part of team TEDx Wenatchee Valley is to explore with each other the special opportunity we have to connect the…dots. To discover our wonderful human diversity, thriving arts and common community vision.

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Sarah Rudback
As the owner of Well & Good Design Studio I help clients communicate with their customers through quality content and design. Collaboration is key to my creative process and I have seen first-hand how it can produce surprising results - making something good even greater. The Wenatchee Valley is a spectacular place to call home, but I believe it has the potential to be even better. I am excited to help bring TEDx to our area to foster a culture of curiosity, and be a catalyst for improved collaboration and innovation.


Elena Payne
Hello! I am Elena and am owner lead designer at Awdience Design. Graphic design has the power to deliver a message to a viewer and leave a lasting impression, spark thinking or action and effect on emotional levels. I love being involved in conversations that spark new ideas and creative thinking. I believe this improves design. That is why I am excited to be involved with TEDxWenatchee. I also teach Graphic Design at the WVC and am excited to be involved in the 2019 TEDxWenatchee ED event.

Mark Spurgeon
Born in Wenatchee, WA
Grew up in Park Forest, IL (far south side of Chicago), but worked summers for uncle at Lake Chelan (Kelly’s Resort).
University of Washington (1967-1971), BA-Germanic Languages & Lit.
University of Washington (1987) M.Ed.-Policy, Governance & Administration
32 years in public education – HS teacher, coach (17 years); administrator (15 years). Coulee City, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Bellevue, Eastmont.
Retired from Eastmont School District – Executive Director, Operations & Personnel
Wenatchee Valley College, Dean of Liberal Arts
Commissioner – Port of Douglas County, 3rd term.
Community Foundation of North Central Washington – Board Vice Chair
Activities: SCUBA, Golf, Motorcycling, Music, Skiing


Karen Rutherford
is retired from the Wenatchee City Council and Wenatchee School District, but continues to volunteer her services in many capacities across the Valley. She is passionate about getting kids involved in Maker Spaces, STEAM projects, and loves to build with Legos. Karen can frequently be found walking the trails in Eastern Washington with her trusty companions: her dog, Ernie and her husband, Peter.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDNews, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED.
For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration