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Leah Marie Collins

Premarital Financial Counselor X See Leah Speak

Money is a leading cause of divorce in America. But it doesn’t have to be! Premarital Financial Counselor Leah Marie Collins believes you can strengthen your relationship by learning to talk about finances.

Leah Marie Collins is a Premarital Finance Counselor with over 16 years of experience reducing costs for Fortune 500 companies. After calling off her wedding abruptly due to financial conflicts, she realized she wasn’t alone. Money problems end so many relationships. Since then, she’s dedicated her life and career to helping couples determine their financial compatibility before tying the knot. In her free time, Leah enjoys playing with her two-year-old daughter or exploring new restaurants in Bentonville, Arkansas.

Amy Hovis

Landscape Designer X See Amy Speak

Are you tired of being cooped up inside all day? Amy Hovis’s unique landscape architectural designs will help you maximize time outside in nature. Anything you do inside, you can do outside, too!

Amy Hovis is a Principal at Eden Garden Design with decades of experience in sustainable landscape architecture. Her landscape work is informed by her experiences in art, design, and film in the U.S. and Europe. Hovis manages large-scale productions from concept to completion, coordinating crews, talent, equipment, materials, locations, and budgets. She is also an Owner/Designer of Barton Springs Nursery, an inspiring design-driven Garden Center specializing in native plants. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her fiancée, two cats, and three tortoises, two of whom are surprisingly large.

Glen J. Golden

Neurobiologist X See Glen Speak

Dogs have unbelievably powerful noses – they can sniff out missing people, warn of low blood sugar, and even detect diseases like COVID, Cancer, or Avian Flu. Glen Golden will explain how we humans can make the most of dogs’ talents.

Glen J. Golden, Ph.D., is a neurobiologist & chemosensory scientist who specializes in mammalian olfaction in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University. In collaboration with staff at the National Wildlife Research Center, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and the Tennessee Wildlife Research Center, Glen researches how animals respond to disease-related odors. He has trained dogs to detect avian flu in birds and chronic wasting disease in white-tailed deer. Glen is a divorced father of two boys, Vincent and Tadhg. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with his partner-in-canines Carol Treubig, their two boxers, Sioc and Bándearg, and a black shepherd named Shayna.

Alena Grabowski

Paralympics Researcher X See Alena Speak

Should the Olympics allow athletes using prostheses to compete? Alena Grabowski’s biomechanics research could answer a longstanding debate between the Olympics and Paralympians.

Dr. Alena Grabowski directs the Applied Biomechanics Lab at the University of Colorado Boulder and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology. She is a Research Healthcare Scientist with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Denver. She studies how devices like prostheses and exoskeletons affect walking, running, sprinting, cycling, and jumping in people with and without physical disabilities like leg amputations. Her passion for trail running and skiing in the Colorado mountains inspires her research.

Hussam Mahmoud

Civil Engineer X See Hussam Speak

Protecting our communities from wildfire is hugely expensive. But Hussam Mahmoud’s research can predict how wildfire spreads and which homes will be most vulnerable – so we can outsmart fire before it arrives.

Dr. Hussam Mahmoud is a Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor at Colorado State University. By assessing and upgrading infrastructure, he helps communities become more resilient to climate change and natural disasters, including earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, and flooding. He developed the first model to forecast how wildfire spreads through a town alongside postdoctoral fellow Akshat Chulahwat. In 2022, Mahmoud presented his work at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, in his home country, Egypt.

Michael J. Rourke

District Attorney X See Michael Speak

Imagine seeing disturbing crime scenes every day as part of your job. After prosecuting a notorious triple murder, Michael J. Rourke realized that it’s not just victims who need support for their trauma – but legal professionals too.

Michael J. Rourke is the District Attorney for the 19th Judicial District in Weld County, Colorado. He was first appointed DA in 2015 and has been reelected twice. As a lifelong resident of Colorado, he attended Chatfield High School, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Denver College of Law. Michael has prosecuted numerous high-profile cases throughout his career, including first-degree murder, sexual assault, and crimes against children. Michael is a proud husband to his wife Kimberly and their four children.

Jenifer Shafer

Nuclear Scientist X See Jenifer Speak

Nuclear energy is a crucial tool in our clean energy future. But a general concern is the long half-life of nuclear waste. How can we improve this? Chemist Jen Shafer will explain.

Jen Shafer is a Professor of Chemistry at the Colorado School of Mines. When she’s not thinking about radiochemistry (the chemistry of radioactive elements‚ not radios), she is considering ways to expedite the deployment of nuclear energy in the clean energy transition. She has worked on many projects for the Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, and Defense. Jen is very fortunate to have an excellent partner in life, her wife Whitney, and two young children who will learn how to sleep through the night‚ someday. This bio would not be complete if she didn’t mention, at least once, that she does CrossFit.

Julissa Soto

Public Health Advocate X See Julissa Speak

Public health has a design problem. Doctors’ offices are cold, sterile, uninviting, inaccessible, and soulless. When Julissa Soto decided to make health clinics fun again, she achieved incredible results.

Julissa Soto’s innovative public health interventions have led to the vaccination of more than 24,000 Latino adults, youth, and children and the distribution of more than 130,000 home COVID-19 tests and 70,000 surgical masks. In 2021, she earned one of Colorado’s most prestigious honors when Governor Jared Polis proclaimed September 20, 2021, “Julissa Soto Day.” She serves on the Health Equity Commission for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Suicide Prevention Commission for Colorado. The documentary “Mexicanos Exitosos” chronicles her story of triumph after coming to the U.S.

Teresa Suydam

Musician X See Teresa Perform

Teresa Suydam is a lost bird cross-culture artist who makes explorative pop with cinematic tendencies infused with honey-like vocals. As a songwriter and producer, they chase their own culture and identity with music. Being of Indigenous and Filipino descent, Teresa is a safe haven for other multicultural individuals who don’t feel at home in their own skin. Influenced by their favorite films, television shows, and gaming soundtracks, Teresa’s music is anthemic in nature with electronic-lit choruses. Recently, Teresa was a nominee for the 2022 Native American Music Awards.

Paula Stone Williams

Emcee X See Paula Onstage

Paula Stone Williams is an internationally-known speaker on gender equity, LGBTQ advocacy, and religious tolerance. She has been featured in TEDWomen, TEDSummit, the New York Times, Red Table Talk, TEDxMileHigh, the Washington Post, NPR, Good Morning America, CNN, ABC News, PBS, and scores of other media outlets. Her TED talks have had over nine million views. Paula’s memoir, As A Woman – What I Learned About Power, Sex, and the Patriarchy After I Transitioned was published by Simon & Schuster in June of 2021.


Musician X See 2MX2 Perform

2MX2 is a revolutionary bilingual band whose music combines traditional Latin, alternative, pop, and urban rhythms, seamlessly blending English and Spanish (Spanglish). Their music carries a powerful message, fearlessly addressing significant social issues like immigration, health, and education reform through meaningful and thought-provoking lyrics. The band is composed of highly talented individuals, including Owen Trujillo (aka O1), a Mexican-born artist from Zacatecas, Denver natives Juice ET Hugo, Lolita, DMD, and Kenny O., and Chilean/Cuban artist Adrian Garay. In 2022, 2MX2 was voted one of Colorado’s Top 10 Bands by NPR’s Colorado Public Radio.

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