Mustapha El Akkari
Mustapha El Akkari began his athletic career as a member of the National Team of Lebanon, competing against international teams in the Middle East. He recently played for BYU-Hawai'i's Men's Basketball Team and competed for the NCAA championship game. He was honored with popular election by his student body as the first Muslim student-body president of a private LDS university. His platform focused on service and unity. In 2013, Mustapha was named as one of the most influential student body presidents in the United States. El Akkari is the Global Supply Manager at Nu Skin Enterprises. He oversees 54 countries and acts as Team Lead for the North Asia Region, negotiating contracts and streamlining lean business models. He is currently authoring a book on business leadership, focusing on principled mastery from his experiences as an immigrant and innovator in corporate America.
Sam Cobbs is a national expert and policy advisor on at-risk foster youth, focusing specifically on the issues foster youth face as they transition to adulthood. In his 20 years of work in the nonprofit sector, Mr. Cobbs has created and implemented programs that successfully reduce poverty and homelessness among vulnerable young people and has has been one of the leading voices in advocating for better access to housing, education, employment and health programs.
Mr. Cobbs joined First Place for Youth in 2005, and under his leadership, the organization quickly grew from an Oakland-based organization to a nationally-recognized model and the largest provider of housing to foster youth in California. This year, First Place will grow to house nearly 600 foster youth, providing access to safe, stable housing, along with intensive case management, and education and employment services that transform lives. He serves as a Leap of Reason Ambassador and was recently named a member of the inaugural cohort of the Results for America’s Non-Profit Fellowship. Previous to First Place, Mr. Cobbs served in leadership positions at Larkin Street Youth Services, Juma Ventures and the Boys & Girls Club of Oakland. Mr. Cobbs has a Master’s in Counseling from California State University, East Bay.
A globe trotter, designer & strategist, Vijay's expertise is in developing holistic experiences that include the design of products, services, environments & digital artifacts. His career has lead him on a journey through Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States. Having worked with manufacturers and design consultancies, his projects include process design, change management, brand research, design research and new product development. As the chair of IDSA’s New York City chapter, he serves members, businesses and institutions in NYC. An ardent design advocate, Vijay is passionate about connecting the silos of psychology, business and design. Send him a tweet @vijay_chk
Maurice “Moe” Egan
Check back soon for Maurice "Moe" Egan's bio.
Alicia Gettys — EMCEE
Alicia Gettys has dedicated her career and education to the nonprofit sector working and volunteering for incredible organizations such as the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and AmeriCorps. Alicia now works for the BYU Ballard Center as the Communication and Operations Director, equipping students with tools to decipher which charitable organizations are having a high positive impact on society. Or in other words, helping students Do Good Better.
Alicia is thrilled to be participating in TEDxBYU—she loves TED Talks so much her friend thought Ted was a guy she was dating. You’ll occasionally find her dabbling in stand-up comedy.
Jann Haworth is an American Pop artist. A pioneer of soft sculpture, she is one of the founders of Pop Art in the 1960s and is well-known as the co-creator of The Beatles‘ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover. Her artwork has been exhibited in major museums around the world and is included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Tate Modern, the Walker Art Center, and the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Mimi Knowles & New Soul Brigade
Pop/Funk/Soul artist Mimi Knowles finds his musical niche somewhere between the hip-hop edge of Kanye West and the soulful melodies of John Mayer. In 2013, Mimi was named winner of the prestigious Velour Battle of the Bands (previously won by groups including Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees). Mimi has opened for Snopp Dogg, Fictionist, Boyz II Men, Ryan Innes, Andy Grammar, and Carrie Underwood at Stadium of Fire.
Currently localizing in the beehive state, Mimi Knowles, is crowned the first heavy hitter in his genre from Utah. This hip hop artist’s music expands much past the state’s stereotypes though. Unafraid to touch topics like religion, race, and relationships, Knowles’ sound is bound to break more than genre barriers, but crush the charts as well. He says, “I don’t want to live in a world where my music is defined by genre. I just want people to hear my stuff and say that’s a killer song.”
The New Soul Brigade band combines energy, musicality, vocals, and showmanship to create unforgettable performances. This versatile group plays everything from the latest dance hits to yesterday’s classic favorites. The full band includes three talented vocalists accompanied by a powerhouse group of musicians and a sizzling three-piece horn section. When New Soul Brigade steps onto the stage, they bring their music to life in a way that the crowd can’t help but get excited.
Lincoln Nadauld, MD, PhD, is the Executive Director of Precision Medicine and Precision Genomics at Intermountain Healthcare. Dr. Nadauld recently participated in the Precision Medicine Initiative Summit and joined roundtables at the White House with President Barack Obama. He also attended Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Moonshot Summit, where the Oncology Precision Network (OPeN), spearheaded by Dr. Nadauld, was mentioned among the Vice President’s remarks. Dr. Nadauld completed his undergraduate education at Brigham Young University, and went on to complete combined MD/PhD and clinical training at the University of Utah. He completed clinical training in Medical Oncology at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in solid tumor genomics.
James was born and raised in Sacramento, CA in a family of seven. As the middle child, he was starved for attention so naturally took to acting. In college, he stretched his acting and writing skills by joining a sketch comedy troupe, Divine Comedy. He graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from BYU in 2013. After working as a Software Engineer for a little over a year, while doing Studio C part-time, the show grew and he became a full-time actor and writer. James married his high school sweetheart, Brenna. They love traveling and finding good food. When he isn't acting, James loves tending (or eating) his organic vegetable garden and playing with their puppy, Caesar.
Tim Stay is a co-founder and former CEO of Unitus Labs. Tim Stay started and ran Marketing Ally, which became one of the Top 50 Call Centers in the U.S.A and had over 1,110 employees. He started and later sold FreeServers.com to About.com. He was a co-founder of Bizcradle, a business incubator that launched such technology companies as SenForce, which sold to Novell. Tim was former CEO of Perfect Search Corporation, an innovative search engine and software development company. Tim was voted as one of the vSpring 100 technology entrepreneurs in Utah and was recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from BYU. He has served on the Utah Valley University Foundation Board and on the Advisory Board for the Center of Economic Self-Reliance and the National Advisory Council for Religious Education at BYU. He has been Community Council Chair at Lakeridge Jr. High and at Mountain View High School. He serves on the Utah State Board of Education Advisory Panel for Community Councils. Tim holds a civil engineering degree and also has an M.B.A. and an M.A. in International Studies, with a focus on economic development in developing countries, all from Brigham Young University.
Naja has worked in the arts and media world since 1997. She is passionate about film and the power of media startups, when combined with social entrepreneurism, can create transformative change. She believes in film as a means to affect social change. She is passionate about people, the stories they tell and the impact these stories have on our world.
Naja is the founder and investor of RYSE Media, a media company dedicated to stories that inspires and compels social change and diversity. She is an investor in Impact Partners, which funds independent documentaries. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Utah Film Commission. Naja continues her lifelong commitment to diversity and serves on the Board of CAAM in San Francisco (Center for Asian American Media), helping filmmakers tell their stories and bring forth issues of the Asian experience in the US and around the world. She is a tireless advocate for refugees in America and volunteers her time with her kids to help with ESL, mentorship and workforce services, which stems from her years with Phillips Brooks House at Harvard University to her current work in Utah.
Naja served on the Utah Advisory Board (UAB) of the Sundance Institute where she supported artist fellowships for Asian Americans filmmakers. She served as Trustee for the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. Prior to moving to Park City with her family, Naja served as Arts Commissioner for the City of San Francisco and was the first Vietnamese-American to be sworn into that position, serving under the administrations of Mayor Willie Brown and Mayor Gavin Newsom. She was also a Trustee for the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, serving as Co-Chair of the Development Committee and successfully completed a $170 million capital campaign. Naja started her career in London as Director of Corporate Development for Central European Media Enterprises, an international media and telecommunications company. After Central European Media Enterprises, Naja worked as a Principal of Heidrick and Struggles in the San Francisco office.
Naja is a graduate of Boston University (B.A.) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A).
Please check back soon for additional speakers and guest artists that will be joining us for TEDxBYU 2017!