Chapman University’s TEDx Event Features 14 “Icons, Geniuses and Mavericks,” Including Fuel Freedom’s Eyal Aronoff, Heroic Tornado Mom Stephanie Decker, Soprano Robin Follman, Perinatal Researcher Laura Glynn,Authors Gillian Lauren and Alyson Noel, Toy Inventor Brian Kessler, and More


ORANGE, Calif., June 9, 2014 – Don’t miss your chance to grab a ticket to TEDxChapmanU, which will take place on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the university’s Memorial Hall.   This is Chapman’s third annual TEDx event. TEDx events are locally based, self-organized offshoots of the international TED movement, which is devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading and features leading thinkers, doers and creators speaking for 18 minutes each.

General admission tickets are just $20 each and are selling out quickly, but there are still some left. Tickets are discounted to $10 each for groups of 10 or more, and for members of the Chapman University community (students, faculty, staff and alumni) with ID. To purchase tickets online, visit All attendees will receive an exclusive TEDxChapmanU Summer Swag Bag, loaded with goodies.

With the theme “Icons, Geniuses and Mavericks,” the Chapman TEDx event will feature talks by 14 men and women who have inspirational ideas worth sharing.  The event will be emceed by Jocelyn Buckner, Ph.D., assistant professor of theatre at Chapman University, and Lawrence “LB” Brown, Pharm.D., Ph.D., FAPhA, associate dean of student and academic affairs and professor of pharmoeconomics and health policy in Chapman University’s new School of Pharmacy.

Scheduled TEDxCHapmanU speakers are:

Eyal Aronoff

Eyal Aronoff

EYAL ARONOFF – Co-founder of Quest Software, which was sold to Dell for $2.4B in 2012. Co-founder of Fuel Freedom Foundation, one of the most prominent advocates of breaking the U.S. addiction to oil. He is also one of the largest funders of clinical trials for treatments for autism.

LEE CHENG – Chief Legal Officer and SVP of corporate development at Newegg Inc., a $2.8B global (North America and China) internet retailer that is the largest privately held e-commerce company in North America. Created the Newegg Foundation to encourage philanthropic and community activity at the company.

Stephanie Decker

Stephanie Decker

STEPHANIE DECKER – As a tornado ripped through her hometown of Henryville, Indiana in 2012, 37-year-old mom Decker shielded her children – an act of courage that cost her parts of both legs, but left her children amazingly unscathed.  Her life-altering moment inspired the nation, and she has founded the Stephanie Decker Foundation, which helps people gain access to leading-edge prosthetics.

 ROBIN FOLLMAN – Internationally acclaimed soprano Follman has performed with the world’s leading orchestras and in the top opera houses around the globe. She is CEO of The Follman-Young Foundation for the Arts and head of strategic planning at her family’s manufacturing facilities, Markall Inc. and R.A. Industries of Santa Ana, Calif.

LAURA GLYNN, Ph.D. – Dr. Glynn, associate professor of psychology at Chapman University, has published extensively in the field of maternal-child health, with a particular interest in the perinatal period. Her research focuses on questions such as: Why do women give birth to babies that are born early or small? and Does the prenatal period represent a critical period of neurological development, not only for the fetus, but for the mother too? 

BRIAN KESSLER – Founder and president of Maui Toys, Kessler is a prolific inventor who applied for his first patent in high school. He has designed and developed more than 2,600 toys, sporting goods and consumer products. He founded Maui Toys in 1988 and sold it to Jakks Pacific, the third largest toy company in the world, in 2012.

IRYNA KRECHKOVSKY – Krechkovsky is a prize-­winning violinist with an international career in solo, chamber and orchestral performances. She has been featured in concert venues from Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York to The American Church in Paris, France, and has also performed on NPR, KABC-­TV Los Angeles, and PBS.

MICHAEL LASKIN – Laskin has been a professional actor for 35 years, and an acting teacher and coach for the last five, since founding The Michael Laskin Studio. His film and TV credits include dozens of feature films and guest-starring roles, and he’s worked with such luminaries as Robert Duvall, Kevin Spacey and James Caan, and has done four films with director John Sayles.

JILLIAN LAUREN — Jillian Lauren is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Some Girls: My Life in a Harem” and the novel Pretty.”  Her next memoir, Everything You Ever Wanted,” is coming out from Plume/Penguin in 2015. Lauren blogs about motherhood and writing and whatever else she feels like at her award-winning blog:

ALYSON NOEL – Noël is the #1 New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of 21 novels, including THE IMMORTALS series, the RILEY BLOOM series, and THE SOUL SEEKERS series. With 8 NYT bestsellers in 2 years, and over 7M copies in print, her books have made the NYT, USA Today, LA Times, Publisher’s Weekly, Wall Street Journal, NCIBA, and Walmart Bestsellers lists, among others.

DILEEP RAO – Rao is an actor whose work has been seen on stage and screen. His work includes: Theatre: Indian Ink” by Tom Stoppard, Fetes de la Nuit”by Charles Mee and Making It”by Joe Hortua. Film: James Cameron’s Avatar,” Sam Raimi’s “Drag Me to Hell”and Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.” TV: Touch,” “Brothers and Sisters.”

TRENT SCHLOM – Chapman alumnus Schlom is a sports reporter and broadcaster in Southern California who works as a play-by-play announcer covering the Big West Conference on ESPN3. Before joining ESPN, the Orange County native worked as a television broadcaster at Time-Warner Cable Sports, covering high school athletics primarily in San Diego and Orange County.

STACEY SCHUERMAN – Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher Schuerman is co-owner of SunSpark Yoga, a family-owned, community-focused yoga studio in the heart of Old Towne Orange.  She has been practicing yoga since 2002 and teaching yoga to adults and kids of all ages since 2008.

FRANK SMITH – Smith is COO of Anschutz Film Group (AFG) and Walden Media. He currently oversees all of AFG’s operations: development, production, marketing and outreach, finance, legal and business affairs, and works directly with the Anschutz Corporation on strategic planning and general operational issues.   During his tenure with AFG, Smith has been lead counsel overseeing large-budget motion picture franchise projects such as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “Parental Guidance.”


TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes each. Their talks are then made available, free, at In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxChapmanU, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxChapmanU event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including Chapman’s, are self-organized.



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