It all seems like a whirlwind dream……months of planning andpreparation did not prepare me for what I experienced on September 28, 2011 inside Orchestra Hall at the Max M. Fisher Museum. Yes, I’m talking about TEDxDetroit.

I had heard from colleagues that attended last year’s conference that it is a great event and they left
feeling inspired. I thought to myself then – I want that. That feeling of hope, of inspiration, a renewed energy to reach out, invest and become part of this wonderful community – a place I’ve always called home. I immediately signed up when I knew my company was supporting the event again.

The atmosphere inside the venue was electric – people moving, connecting, sharing, talking about the day’s presenters, the city, the future and what we can all do to contribute and make a difference.

I didn’t get to see the entire conference and that’s okay – what I did get to see was enough to fuel my
fire to want to participate again, anytime, anywhere.

The speakers I had the opportunity to see (even if only for a few moments) were fantastic and inspiring, and I’ve taken something away from each and every one.

Most rewarding for me however, was getting to work side by side with a fantastic group of board members who prepared for months to bring this event to the city and include:

  • Charlie Wollborg – Curve Detroit – Visionary who knows Detroit and Detroiters have what it takes to spread the message of love, hope and promise – that we’re doing things, and we’re doing them in a big way.
  • Kelli Vida and Jordana Luck – Arzika – Managing event production–from planning and production for the entire conference –they didn’t stop for a moment. Their enthusiasm, drive and passion to ensure the event was successful inspired me and showed me that with great teamwork and true commitment anything is possible.
  • Benjamin Slayter – Slayter Creative – A photographer capturing every moment, Ben and his group of savvy photographers really put it all into perspective – and the coverage of the day’s events culminated in a beautiful slide show, played at the end of the conference.
  • Hubert Sawyers III – Sorsaw – The event’s music producer, he brought the wonderful talented music for the day, including Axis of Greatness and the Detroit Academy of Arts & Science’s Detroit State of Mind performance.

Other board members include:

Rob Palmer of Arzika, Becks Davis of Detroit Moxie, Nick DeNardis of Wayne State University, Elena
Wollborg of Mommy is in Timeout, Janet Tyler of Airfoil PR (with support from my colleagues) Susie Johnston and Katie Trautmann, Shelli Gutholm of MarketPro, Patrick Reyes of MRM Worldwide, Terry
Bean of Networked, Inc., Ryan Werenka and Valerie Sobczak, education & student coordinators.

Through my eyes, these are the multipliers, the connectors, the amplifiers who challenge the status quo. They came together to collaborate, to share fresh ideas and to find inspiration to share. They are optimistic about our future. They believe Detroit's best days lie ahead. They are the people who
are making it happen. They believe that this is an idea worth spreading. I’m so proud to have been part of this talented, thoughtful, passionate group of people and I can’t wait to do it again!
I hope that in 2012 you’ll have the opportunity to join us.

— Harmony Cook is an administrative assistant at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.