2024 Speakers

The TEDxFargo If speaker lineup features thought leaders from the Fargo-Moorhead community and around the country that will share their ideas and perspectives on a variety of topics. Speakers and performers will continue to be added over the coming months.

Gabe Brown

Owner of Brown’s Ranch and pioneer of the soil-health movement

Gabe Brown is a pioneer of the soil-health movement and has been named one of the twenty-five most influential agricultural leaders in the United States. Brown, his wife, Shelly, and son, Paul, own Brown’s Ranch, a holistic, diversified 5,000-acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, North Dakota. The Browns integrate their grazing and no-till cropping systems, which include cash crops and multi-species cover crops along with all-natural, grass-finished beef and lamb, pastured pork, and laying hens. The Brown family has received a Growing Green Award from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an Environmental Stewardship Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, and the USA Zero-Till Farmer of the Year Award.

Evelyn Chambers

North Dakota Student

Catherine Curry-Williams

Co-Founder of the She Angels Foundation

As a dedicated advocate and co-founder of Shane’s Inspiration, established in 1997 in memory of her son Shane, Catherine has led Global initiatives to create inclusive sensory- and literacy-rich playgrounds throughout the world that unite children of all abilities.

In 2020, Catherine expanded her impact by co-founding the She Angels Foundation, which awards monthly grants to grassroots organizations supporting young women and girls. A fervent advocate for women’s empowerment, she shares her wisdom and passion through teaching and speaking.

Catherine’s journey has been marked by numerous honors and awards, reflecting her impactful contributions. Notably, she was chosen as one of L’Oreal Paris’ “Women of Worth.” She received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Women’s Empowerment Network Award in 2022. She has been recognized as one of the “Women of the Year” for the state of California in 2018. Honored with the BRA Visionary Woman of the Year award in 2022. Her achievements have been acknowledged by esteemed institutions such as the March of Dimes, Good Housekeeping magazine, KCET-TV, The Today Show, and LA Lifestyle magazine, to name a few. Additionally, Catherine was featured in an article in Canvas Rebel in 2023 and Bold Journey in 2024

Eugene Daniels

POLITICO Playbook co-author and White House correspondent.

Since joining POLITICO in 2018, he’s covered the midterms, the Democratic presidential primary and general election through print, video journalism and podcasts. Eugene will continue to leverage POLITICO’s many platforms as part of the Playbook team. During the country’s reckoning with race in 2020, Eugene moderated POLITICO’s Confronting Inequality Town Hall series that examined how inequities in policing, housing, healthcare, education and employment permeate and plague the United States.

Eugene is a senior “Morning Joe” contributor and MSNBC political analyst where he appears often sharing scoops, reporting and analysis of the biggest news in D.C. He is also on the board of the White House Correspondents’ Association and will be president of the organization beginning in June 2024 through June 2025.

Prior to POLITICO, Eugene covered the 2016 primary, general election and national politics as a political reporter at Newsy. He began his career in local television in Colorado Springs and graduated from Colorado State University in 2012.

Craig Dykers

Founding partner of the architecture firm, Snøhetta


Betsy Fore

Co-Founder and Board Member of Native Rising

Betsy is a serial venture-backed founder, product leader and operator with over two decades of experience. She is an Investment Partner at two firms. She is the first Native American – Turtle Mountain Chippewa – to raise a Series A for her company. Betsy is a three time founder of two multi-million dollar brands and a non-profit, Natives Rising. Natives Rising is one of the largest communities of Indigenous Technologists and Indigenous Founders with members representing over two hundred tribes. Betsy is the Managing Partner at Velveteen Ventures, investing in children and planet for the next seven generations. She is also a certified coach, NLP and flow states practitioner.

Arianna Genis

Organizer-In-Residence and Research Scholar at P3 Lat at John Hopkins University

Arianna Genis is an organizer and strategist with a decade of experience in movement building and politics. She has delivered expectation-defying wins locally and nationally that advance equity and systemic change at organizations like Mijente, re:power, and TakeAction Minnesota. Arianna was part of the campaign team that won paid sick time for thousands of workers in Minneapolis; she led campaigns to elect progressive candidates of color into public office; and she oversaw North Carolina’s largest Latino voter mobilization effort in 2020.

Her leadership is centered on building the political power of working-class communities via grassroots organizing, political campaigns, and compelling narrative strategies that spearhead community-driven change in politics and government. Currently, she serves as the Organizer-In-Residence and Research Scholar at the P3 Lab at John Hopkins University. In this role, she is designing a new initiative that she plans to launch soon, focused on elevating the power of Latinx participation in our political system as key to a more just, multiracial democracy.


Missy Heilman

Founder and CEO of BIO Girls

A dream to be a mentor for young girls blossomed into thousands of girls increasing their self-esteem annually. Even in her wildest dreams, Missy Heilman couldn’t have predicted the growth and impact BIO Girls is having across the Midwest. With a background in business management and marketing, Missy worked primarily in the marketing technology industry for 15 years before BIO Girls became her full-time job. 

As the Executive Director of BIO Girls, Missy works to ensure all decisions are mission-centric, serves as the chief program architect, and directs the vision of the organization. Yet her favorite role continues to be Site Director where she works directly with young girls to find their inner worth. A mom to three girls and wife to husband, Tom, Missy balances her time with family duties and a love for adventure. Whether it is traveling (the mountains are calling), mountain biking, running or cheering her kids on in their activities, Missy tackles it all with enthusiasm. Missy is a graduate of the University of North Dakota where she competed in Track and Field and earned degrees in Exercise Science and Nutrition. As a recipient of a NCAA postgraduate scholarship, Missy went on to earn an MBA from NDSU. Often described as ‘fearless’, Missy’s favorite piece of advice for the young and old alike is to not to fear failure.

Headshot Maddy 2024

Maddy Matson

Student at Swarthmore College

Maddy’s roots trace back to the town of Gettysburg, located in the heart of South Dakota. Maddy’s professional and academic endeavors are driven by a fervent commitment to fostering social infrastructural enhancements from both a top-down and bottom-up perspective. She holds a deep-seated passion for elevating social welfare universally, with a spotlight on the transformative potential within the rural education sector.

Amanda Schneider

Founder and President of ThinkLab

Amanda Schneider, LEED AP, MBA, is a trailblazing entrepreneur and founder of ThinkLab, acquired by SANDOW Design Group in 2018, where she still serves as President. A dynamic force at the convergence of design and business, Amanda stands out as a captivating thought leader and accomplished author, spotlighted in prestigious publications ranging from Forbes, the Huffington Post, Interior Design Magazine, and many other publications and podcast. Recognized as the compelling host of the acclaimed podcast “Design Nerds Anonymous,” Amanda seamlessly weaves together creativity and data, offering unparalleled insights that captivate audiences worldwide. 

Amanda’s creative process stems from her education in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, while her natural business sense is augmented by her MBA from the University of Iowa. While her work is founded upon the philosophy that it’s easy to be surrounded by data yet starved for insights, Amanda believes that true value emerges when insights empower actionable change. This philosophy permeates her work as she frequently takes the stage, reaching and inspiring audiences worldwide. 

When she’s not busy working in her suburban Chicago office or visiting clients, you can find her trail running at freakishly early hours of the morning, dreaming about that book she’ll write someday, or ambushing her secret stash of dark chocolate and red wine.

Eric Smith

Tech Hubs Program Director and Director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration

Eric Smith designs and implements policies, programs, and services that enable inclusive, innovation-centric growth and facilitate the transition of research into the market, and believes that science, technology, and entrepreneurship can and should improve health, prosperity, and quality of life for all.