An Independently Organized TED Event

Session 2

Auditorium doors close at 11:30am promptly!

1. Tricia Intro

2. Aleem Arif

TALK TITLE: Waste Can Be Fashionable

Aleem Arif graduated at the top of his class with a Masters in International Business from Boston University. He worked in finance for 3 years in Boston before moving to Canada and setting up Bano eeMee, a sustainable and ethically made luxury leather brand. Aleem won the Best Emerging Fashion Designer from North America in 2015 and presented his designs at Galleries Lafayette, Paris. Building on his fashion manufacturing experience, Aleem currently works with various high-end brands as a fashion manufacturing consultant and helps connect North American markets to high quality suppliers and manufacturers in South Asia. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, drawing on his international trade experience, Aleem set up AmericanMediSupply and helped hospitals and senior living facilities secure critical personal protection equipment supplies at the height of the pandemic.

When not working, Aleem loves to travel and experience different cultures and cuisines. During the lockdown, Aleem realized the toll the lack of human interaction was taking on his and his friends’ mental health. He turned his attention to Instagram and started posting lighthearted “good morning” videos every day with the hopes of cheering and motivating people. Aleem’s good morning videos have been going strong for almost 2 years now and have garnered a small cult following.

3. Kristen Donnelly, PhD 

TALK TITLE: Victims, Survivors, and Unspoken Trauma

Kristen Donnelly (MSW, M.Div, PhD) is a keynote speaker, international empathy educator, and researcher with two decades of experience in helping people understand the beauty in difference, and the power in inclusivity. She is one of The Good Doctors of Abbey Research, COO of their parent company, and an unapologetic nerd for stories of change. Kristen lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband, where they are surrounded by piles of books and several video game consoles. 

4. Carol Silva 

TALK TITLE: How Did I Do That: Faith Examined

Carol Silva is a veteran Emmy Award-winning news anchor, most known for her 33 years at the anchor desk of News 12 Long Island. Carol also reported from the road including Ground Zero, Albany, Washington DC, New Orleans, and Texas. She covered the New York State Legislature, Congressional hearings, and Presidential elections, bringing home the impact of state and national events.

Carol’s three Emmys are among her 50-plus journalism awards. In 2019 she was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television, Arts & Sciences, and the Long Island Journalism Hall of Fame. A graduate of New York Institute of Technology, she was their 2018 commencement speaker and awarded NYIT’s Honorary Doctorate. 

Carol’s commitment to making news relatable, led to her being named a New York State Woman of Distinction and a Long Island Business News “Top 25 Most Powerful Women on Long Island” and “New York Icon.” Long Island Press readers voted her ]he “Best Local TV Reporter.” But Carol’s most treasured moments have included her volunteer work as her children’s soccer coach, a longtime PTA Board member and a Girl Scout leader, honored with The Girl Scouts of America’s distinguished “Juliette Low Award.” 

Carol began her career in radio, on Long Island rock stations WBAB and WLIR. She moved onto larger New York stations including WNBC, WOR and the RKO Radio Network. For more than a decade, her “Catching Up with Carol” has been a mainstay column in Long Island Woman Magazine. 

Carol has made hundreds of appearances before professional women’s, corporate, community and school groups. She speaks from the heart about motivation, finding your power, and coming back from defeat. (For more than three decades she inspired herself by hanging her first Cablevision rejection letter on the wall of her Cablevision office.)

One of the highlights of Carol’s speaking career came at the 2019 global WICT Leadership Conference (Women in Cable Telecommunications.) Carol got a standing ovation from almost 900-women as she led the Executive Leadership panel in the Grand Ballroom of New York’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. 

A Mexican American, Carol was named Hispanic of the Year by the Suffolk County Police Department and a Hispanic role model by the Nassau County Hispanic Cultural Association.  New York’s Catholic Archdiocese gave Carol their TRISCORT Award for “spreading optimism, faith and hope in her daily work as a journalist.”  

Carol says if we just stop and listen, we’ll hear that everybody has a story. She’s writing her next chapter right n

5. John Lee Cronin & Mark X. Cronin

TALK TITLE: My Son is My Hero and Not Because He Has Down Syndrome: Challenges Become Possibilities

Combo bio:

John and Mark X. Cronin are the father-son team that founded John’s Crazy Socks, the world’s largest sock store. John is an entrepreneur who just happens to have Down syndrome. You may know them for being named EY Entrepreneurs of the Year or testifying before Congress or speaking at the UN. You may know them because John became “Sock Buddies” with President George H.W. Bush. Or you may know them for having grown a bootstrapped start up to a multi-million dollar business in four years. 

John’s Crazy Socks is an internationally recognized social enterprise with a mission to spread happiness and show what people with differing abilities can do. 

Their mission infuses all aspects of their business. More than half their employees have a differing ability. Their Giving Back Program starts with a 5 percent pledge of profits to the Special Olympics and has raised over $450,000 for their charity partners. They have attracted over 29,000 online reviews five start reviews.  John’s Crazy Socks has over 240,000 Facebook followers and 55,000 Instagram followers. 

You will love their socks, but the socks are just the physical manifestation of the happiness they share. 

6. Tricia Closing

7. George Closing

8. Speaker Bow