TEDxOlympia is led by a volunteer team of curators, supported by community members, sponsors and partner organizations. Our hope is that TEDxOlympia becomes a local forum for ideas within our community that inspires people to change their lives, their futures and ultimately their world.

SHANNON CICLE | Stage Designer
Shannon is an independent Seattle-based scenic designer, set dresser, prop stylist, and producer with 14 years of experience in production, ranging from theatre arts, film, live broadcast, and studio/location photography. Passionate about building something from nothing, she takes on projects from art directing to scenic design, event coordinating and scenic painting, to production assisting, as well as working on fine art paintings and murals. She loves the end result from collaborating on various projects with many different teams of artists, craftsmen, designers, and clients, so no job is too big or too little to take on.

PAUL CURRINGTON | Master of Ceremony, Speaker Coach, Curator
Paul hosts and produces Fresh Ground Stories, Seattle’s longest running storytelling open-mic. He came to storytelling after a long and shaky career in standup where he performed in some of the finest rooms in comedy including the Chucklebucket in Spearfish, SD; The Shangrilaff in Winnemucca, NV; and the Crystal Moose Room in Pawneewautucket, IL. His most surreal moment onstage was probably the time he opened for Kato Kaelin a few months after the OJ Simpson trial. He took that as a sign it was time to leave comedy altogether. He’s written material for Comedy Central, A&E, Comedy-Time, NBC and CBS World Radio, and NPR but he’s kinda over that now. He’d rather slip into a coffee shop, tell a few stories and go home to feed the stray cat that keeps showing up on his porch.

Olivia is wrapping up her Senior year at Avanti High School. She is active in her community and is a volunteer at the Crisis Clinic, SafePlace, and the Salvation Army. Olivia is hoping to study psychology, history and cultural studies at the Evergreen State College after taking a gap year as an AmeriCorps volunteer in her local community. She is passionate about education, collaboration, and experiential learning. She is consistently impressed with the tight-knit and unique community that Olympia produces and hopes to bring more enriching events like TEDx to the city in the future.

KATHY KINARD | Curator, Fundraiser, Volunteer Coordinator
Kathy still hasn’t won a pie baking contest (so she created a pie festival), no longer keeps chickens (but has a plan to get some soon) and mostly hopes to sleep through the night as she embraces this new “it’s a power surge!” phase in her life. Her two kids remain her best teachers: reminding her that when you say your name you should also make space for sharing pronouns and that we are the only species that knows we are going to die. She spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about how we can turn our community kitchen into a culinary training program, speculating if she will ever run a marathon again, day dreaming about another trip to Thailand, and purging material belongings wondering if she can own less than 500 things by the time she is 50. Kathy works with a dynamic team in a homeless housing program dedicated to make sure people have a safe and decent place to sleep. She tries hard to live up to everything she’s learned, endeavors to unlearn what doesn’t make sense anymore, and remains humbled and hopeful by the good in all of us.

MEG O'LEARY | Lead Organizer, Producer, Curator

Meg is a nimble generalist who delights in discovering unexpected connections and dreams of working in the arctic. She believes we all need to pause and listen a bit more. What are we missing as we rush about? Meg was a Fulbright scholar in Berlin, and helped a documentary film crew capture stories of women factory workers in Indonesia. She's most proud of her work organizing yoga classes and workshops for women offenders at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, and establishing a new yoga program at the Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women. Meg earned an M.B.A. from Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University.

CARY RETLIN | Marketing Lead, Fundraiser, Curator
Cary leads the Vulnerable Families Partnership at the Washington State Department of Commerce, which focuses on supporting families at risk of homelessness. Prior to that role, he managed policy and communications for Commerce’s Community Services and Housing Division. Before joining Commerce, he developed jobs for parents on TANF and individuals with disabilities at Morningside in Olympia. Outside of work he participates on the KPLU Advisory Board and has served on the Olympia Planning Commission, the Olympia Food Co-op Board, and a Thurston-Mason United Way grant panel. He helped launch the Fertile Ground Advisory Board. Cary is an avid birder and helps publicize the annual state Audobon campout at Wenas, which you must attend some time!

ALEXIS SARAH | Stage Manager
Alexis brings a blend of public, private and nonprofit experience. She received her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Public Administration from the Evergreen State College in Olympia. With her background in biological research Alexis brings skills in data management, observation, and project logistics. Her graduate degree helped blend all her work experience and educational passions—data, art, nonprofits, science, and systems. Alexis is passionate about creating efficient processes and products. She is mindful of whole system thinking, always keeping in mind the big picture and attending to the details. Alexis has been the leader in establishing operational and communication systems that work for organizations. She is honored to be part of TEDxOlympia.

Oliver is the owner, Green Coffee Buyer, and Roast Master at Olympia Coffee Roasting Company, a small boutique coffee roaster and retailer operating three cafes and a national wholesale business from Olympia. He is the 2014 Good Food Award Winner and the 2013 recipient of Roast Magazine’s Micro Roaster of the Year. Oliver has been involved for the last 20 years in nearly every role in specialty coffee, in companies ranging from international brands to nationally distributed roasters to start ups. Oliver has served on numerous Cup of Excellence juries and has been a US Barista Competition Judge, US Cup Tasters Championship Competitor, and US Brewers Cup Championship Competitor. Oliver is infinitely fascinated with growing, sourcing, roasting, cupping, brewing, and drinking amazing coffee.

Elaine holds a M.A. in folklore with an emphasis in visual communication from the University of Oregon and a B.A. in cultural and community studies from The Evergreen State College. Elaine’s professional background includes experience in fundraising, outreach, communications, organizational development, educational programming, photography, and video production. A common thread throughout her work is a passion for creating experiences and telling stories that encourage people to engage deeply with the natural and cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest. Her projects include oral histories, documentary films, ethnographies, and exhibits. Elaine is the co-founder of a weekend folk school called The Looplore Experiment and currently works as the Community Engagement Manager at the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County in Olympia.

NISHA WADE | Event Photographer
Nisha is owner and photographer at Nisha Wade Photography. Nisha specializes in community and business event photography. She also specializes in natural light lifestyle and documentary photography. Her work includes families, portraits, children and newborns, high school seniors, nature, and animals. In addition to photography, Nisha is an experienced communications professional who develops and implements communication, public relations, and media strategies.