Thursday is going to be a monumental day for the Wenatchee Valley.
The first TEDx talk in North Central Washington history will take place at Wenatchee Valley College's Grove Recital Hall from noon to 4:30 and will will be live streamed for the entire community to participate. TED talks are designed to inspire people to think about the possibilities to make extraordinary contributions to their communities. I have a suspicion that this event, titled "Connecting the Dots" will be a catalyst for all of us. It brings together gifted and visionary local and regional leaders who are stretching the boundaries of what we many thought possible.
But the real work starts after the event when the community will gather at Pybus Public Market to start figuring out how to bring these ideas of breaking down silos and making connections that will allow us to achieve more with less effort.
One speaker, Dr. Gene Sharratt, is having remarkable success facilitating an integrated system of education from early childhood on up. Dave Sabey, CEO of Sabey Corp., is a visionary thinker in terms of big data and the potential NCW has to be at the forefront of that revolution. Dr. Glenn Johnson of Cashmere School District and his board are initiating a revolutionary effort to support their kids outside the classroom. And the list goes on. Prepare to be inspired.
They represent a growing number of people in this region are yearning to make North Central Washington extraordinary — people who are not content to stand pat and accept "good enough." To me, extraordinary means balancing a vibrant economy with all of the other elements of a rich quality of life — a robust sense of community, recreational opportunities, social services that meet the needs of our vulnerable individuals and a healthy environment.
We have a TEDx event in our valley because of a text conversation between a social worker, Jessica Frank, and a self-described stay-at-home mom, Sara Rolfs, shows the power of an idea when people dare greatly. Without fear or trepidation, they went for it and have succeeded in putting together a dynamite list of speakers and a powerful event.
The approach of Rolfs, Frank and team members Terry Valdez, Sarah Rudback, Elena Payne and Brian Abbey, epitomizes one of my favorite quotes from Teddy Roosevelt: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."
If you don't have a ticket, check out the live stream — . And stop by Pybus Market about 5ish and provide your ideas for making our communities great.
Let's not settle for halfway measures, for being just okay. Let's not be another tourist trap like Bend with no soul and no community to speak of. Let's chart our own course.
A new era is dawning. You can already feel the momentum building.