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Rufus Woods | Partnerships a theme of local TEDx event

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One of the signs of a vibrant community is that quiet leaders step forward and take on audacious projects. That certainly describes the situation with Wenatchee Valley’s first TEDx Event, which will take place March 27.

TED talks have become legendary for bringing out fresh insights into this rapidly changing world of ours. TEDx events are local versions intended to inspire creativity.

The local event began as a conversation between stay-at-home mom Sara Rolfs and social worker Jessica Frank. They marveled at how the famed TED talks seen on YouTube from events all over the world inspired people to think expansively about the future, and they saw an opportunity for building a culture of collaboration in our valley to break down some of the silos that get in the way of being a resilient community.

So they dreamed up the “Connecting the Dots” TEDx Event to tap into what they see as a growing desire for people to make a difference locally. The local event will be held from noon to 4:30 p.m. at the Wenatchee Valley College Grove Recital Hall. Tickets are limited to 100 people.

But the event will also be live-streamed to Pybus Market to broaden participation and a public brainstorming session will happen at 5:30 p.m. at the market to discover ways to put ideas into action.

They’ve got an impressive group of leaders lined up, including entrepreneur Dave Sabey, CEO of Sabey Corp., who is a visionary in the application of big data as it applies to medicine and education.

Also on the list of speakers are Dr. Gene Sharratt, Dr. Peter Rutherford, Leo Garcia of Wenatchee Valley College, Cashmere School Superintendent Glenn Johnson, and others.

Frank, who has been in Wenatchee for seven years and works for Catholic Family & Child Service in the Child Care Aware program, said she is seeing a growing awareness that working together achieves greater results. “Maybe we’re ready to connect all the dots,” she told me.

A small group of people has been working feverishly to put this event together. Besides Rolfs and Frank, artist Terry Valdez and graphic artists Sarah Rudback and Elena Payne have been putting the pieces together, working with the college, Pybus officials and others.

Here’s a tip of the hat to the audacious thinkers who see possibilities and are undaunted by challenges. Let’s support their efforts by turning out to the community collaboration session at 5:30 p.m. March 27 at Pybus Market to start putting ideas into action.

More information can be found at by searching for Wenatchee. A video interview with Frank can be viewed by logging onto and clicking on videos.

Reach Rufus Woods at 509-665-1162 or .