Communication is key in all its forms, TEDx speakers will explain

The next three speakers for TEDxSnoIsleLibraries 2020 deal with communications in different ways. 

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries graphic imageAs a community journalist, Teresa Wippel communicates the importance of her profession to the citizens in the communities she serves. 

Rob Pezely and Janet Novinger had to relearn communication skills after each suffered traumatic brain injuries. 

Wippel’s TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talk, Citizens and Journalists, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 29Pezely and Novinger’s shared TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talk, Getting to Know a Changed Brain, is scheduled for noon Aug. 29. 

Both talks will be presented in Zoom meetings that require registration. The talks will also be shared live on Sno-Isle Libraries Facebook page and YouTube channel. Event host Phil Klein will introduce the speaker’s pre-recorded TEDx talk followed by a live question-and-answer session with the speaker. During the talk, viewers can ask questions in the chat function of each platform.  

Each event is scheduled for one hour. 

All prior TEDxSnoIsleLibraries talks can be viewed at sno-isle.org/tedx. 

Teresa Wippel 

Teresa Wippel
Local journalist Teresa Wippel will talk about the importance of journalism and community.

Wippel is publisher of the My Neighborhood News Network, which provides online community news for southwest Snohomish County through My Edmonds News, MLTnews and Lynnwood Today.  

A native of Ellensburg, Wippel majored in journalism at Seattle University. During her career, she has worked for a variety of print and online publications. She founded My Edmonds News 11 years ago. 

She has lived in Edmonds for more than 30 years. She enjoys riding her bike on the Interurban Trail, reading mysteries and spending time with her family. She serves on the boards of the South Snohomish County Historical Society and the Local Independent Online News Association. 

Why did you want to present a TEDx talk? 

Wippel wants to explain how citizens can save journalism. She used the TEDx coaching experience to refine and sharpen her message. 

While I’m mostly comfortable speaking in front of a group, I wanted the challenge of the TEDx experience, having coaches who force me to examine what I want to say and make sure I’m communicating clearly,” Wippel saidI also wanted the opportunity to reach a broader audience with my message — how citizens can save journalism — because we are at such a critical juncture in determining the future of journalism in our communities.” 

What inspired your TEDx talk topic? 

Wippel founded My Edmonds News about 11 years ago and acquired MLTnews and Lynnwood Today a few years laterThe news industry’s continuing struggles to remain viable and financially solvent drive her. 

I have been thinking about the sustainability of journalism. How do we continue to fund such an important community asset when the news industry is in financial trouble?” Wippel said. I sincerely believe that journalism is a cornerstone of our democracy and plays a key role in citizen engagement. 

I have been working hard the last few years to communicate why it’s important for readers to support their local news organizations,” she saidA TEDX talk seemed like a good way to share those ideas with others — so that people watching can support the work of journalists in their own communities. 

What expectations do you have with your talk? 

Community journalism is all about collaboration and mutual understanding, Wippel said. 

“My expectation is that people will really think about why journalism matters to our democratic way of life and take seriously the role they can play in ensuring its survival,” Wippel saidAnd that journalists themselves may be inspired to work more closely with their readers, to be open to their opinions and experiences, and to see journalism as a collaborative effort with the community it serves. 

What have you learned from this experience? 

“Giving a good talk is hard work,” she saidAnd that it’s worth spending the time to make sure you leave people with a message that inspires them to think differently and take action. 

Rob Pezely and Janet Novinger 

Janet Novinger and Rob Pezely
Janet Novinger and Rob Pezely will speak together about their recovery from brain injuries.

Pezely and Novinger will speak together about their traumatic brain injuries and paths of recovery. 

Pezely has had to relearn most of the everyday activities adults take for granted. Novinger advocates for those who have had brain injuries and helps individuals, teams and organizations create environments to help people thrive. 

Pezely describes his life since his injury: 

My name is Rob Pezely. 

Near the end of 2017, a driver ran me down as I was legally crossing a marked crosswalk in the Seattle area. The car’s impact caused a diffuse axonal injury (DAI) to my brain and the symptoms will likely impact the rest of my life.  

Paramedics brought me to ICU at Harborview Medical Center for the first month after impact. My awesome wife Becky found and checked me into Craig Hospital in Denver, Colo., for the next two months. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Craig Hospital. If I had to deal with my situation, Craig Hospital was the best place to be.  

The last two years have consisted of me continuing much cognitive and physical rehabilitation on my own. My wife has acted as my primary safety net and caregiver. 

I completed college in 1994 in Pennsylvania, receiving a BA in computer science. For almost 26 years, I worked at computer programmingrelated jobs. Post-TBI, I currently do not recall most of my computer-related career or programming skills. 

I find my current life situation enjoyable, and very task and list based. I find great joy in walking our antique push-mower to mow our lawn. I miss Burgers at Buckley’s lunchtime visits! I do vividly remember and find joy in performing my bicycle mechanic skills. I frequently worked as a professional bicycle mechanic during 1985-1995. I currently have a recreational bicycle shop in my home and find much joy when performing bicycle tune-ups for friends and neighbors. 

Why did you want to present a TEDx talk? 

I am very interested to share my story of persisting after brain injury,” Pezely said. 

What inspired your TEDx talk topic? 

My wife learned of the opportunity and thought I might be interested,” he said. “I am inspired to expose any viewers to the invisible injury that makes it a good practice to treat all with the utmost respect and patience. 

What expectations do you have with your talk? 

My expectations are to hopefully share my understanding of persisting through life with a brain injury,” Pezely said. 

What have you learned from this experience? 

I have highlighted my appreciation of my zest for safe, successful physical movement,” Pezely said. 

Novinger is passionate about the need for respect in personal and professional interactions. 

She works with organizations to create environments in which people can give their best. Through her consulting practice, Novinger helps individuals, teams and organizations find effective ways of working. Her innovative workshops present practical skills in creative ways and earn superior evaluations. She holds a master’s degree in Whole Systems Design from Antioch University Seattle. 

Since experiencing two head injury accidents in 1999, Novinger has channeled much of her passion into creating programs to help others move forward from their brain injuries. She applies her professional training, consulting skills and deep compassion to working with people who have experienced a head injury, as well as caregivers and professionals in the field. 

Novinger founded the Imaginal Network and facilitates its programs, including the Wallingford Brain Injury Support Group, Creative Expressions Crafts Group and Yoga for Brain Injury. She teaches a 32-week program, Moving Forward, to assist people in re-engaging with work, meaning and purpose. She has created two peer-to-peer support groups, Success Circles and Brain Injury Entrepreneurs. She teaches weekly yoga classes in Seattle for people living with brain injury and is an RT-500 teacher with a specialty in adaptive yoga. 

Novinger has facilitated online and in-person training for Washington State support group facilitators for five years and partnered with the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington to develop a peer mentoring program for people living with brain injuries. She is a frequent presenter at Washington brain injury conferences. 

Why did you want to present a TEDx talk? 

Novinger wants to spread the word of the work she’s doing for brain injury advocacy. 

“I want to increase awareness of brain injury and the groundbreaking work we are doing through the Imaginal Network with people who have experienced brain injury,” she saidWe inspire and support people as they adjust to the sudden, dramatic changes in their lives and walk beside them as they create lives with meaning and purpose while living with cognitive disabilities. 

What inspired your TEDx talk topic? 

My inspiration for this talk is the hundreds of people I’ve met and worked with who live with a brain injury, whether they have experienced the injury themselves or love someone who has experienced an injury,” Novinger saidThe people I’ve worked with are valiant and strong and inspire me every dayI felt this was an opportunity to help share some information from inside a brain-injured life. 

What have you learned from this experience?  

I’ve learned how difficult it is to describe the experience of living with a brain injury – to find words that express the confusing and jumbled processes inside a brain that has been injured,” she saidI would not have understood it myself if someone had tried to tell me their experience before my brain was injured. This is part of the challenge for those living with this chronic condition and the people who love and desire to support them. This is part of the challenge Imaginal Network is working to meet.