Speakers announced for first-ever TEDxBayonne conference

Speakers include Nicos Marcou, Ilknur Eren, Nathan Lugo, Michelle Arpin Begina, Mike Stanlaw, and Loyad Booker, Jr.

The lineup of speakers for first-ever TEDxBayonne in April has been officially announced, according to event co-organizers Maxim Sokolov and Carissa Lintao. This year’s theme for the annual speaker-based conference is “re.think.”

Lintao, who is also running for the Bayonne City Council in the upcoming May 10 municipal election, broke down the list of speakers in an interview with the Bayonne Community News. Prior to announcing the speakers, TEDxBayonne accepted applications from the public to give a TED Talk at the event.

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“We came close to about 100 applications,” Lintao said. “We were looking at a few qualifications, but the one thing we were really looking for is ‘your idea worth sharing.’ That’s what separates TED from any other speaking events. We really tried to focus on novel ideas that really haven’t been talked about. And with each idea we’re sharing, we wanted to make sure that we have the best people to speak about the topic. All six of the speakers that we have really are the most equipped people to speak about the hard-hitting topics that they are bringing to light.”

The speakers who will address the conference, in order, include: Nicos Marcou, Ilknur Eren, Nathan Lugo, Michelle Arpin Begina, Mike Stanlaw, and Loyad Booker, Jr. Lintao said there was also a focus was to involve Bayonne residents as much as possible, with Stanlaw and Booker being from Bayonne and Marcou being from nearby Union City.

“Another thing that we were looking for, and something that is unique to TEDxBayonne, is that I really wanted to place an emphasis on getting as many people from Bayonne involved as possible,” Lintao said. “That’s not really something that a lot of other TEDx events do, put that emphasis on local.”

Tickets on sale now

The first-ever TEDxBayonne conference will be hosted at The Knights of Columbus at 669 Avenue C on April 21. A time is yet to be finalized.

Tickets went on sale Feb. 21 and are going fast. As of Feb. 22, there were only 25 tickets left. For more information, go to tedxbayonne.com or eventbrite.com/e/rethink-tedxbayonnes-2022-conference-tickets-273650284367.

TEDxBayonne, an annual volunteer-run event and non-profit organization, is now looking to raise money to cover the costs of the event space, the video and audio production, and signage and marketing materials. The organization is looking for dedicated sponsors and partners that are aligned with their mission to email info@tedxbayonne.com to help out.

Nicos Marcou

Nicos Marcou

Marcou is the Talent Leader at Ernst & Young in the U.S. with over 15 years of professional experience in talent and organizational design. Prior to joining Ernst & Young in the U.S., he held the role of Talent Lead for Ernst & Young Cyprus and executed a variety of Human Resources (HR) projects within central and southeast Europe.

Throughout his career, he has been involved in owning and leading initiatives in talent acquisition, talent management, succession planning, diversity and inclusion, learning and development, and employee relations. Marcou will give a talk entitled: “Resumes Don’t Work, Here’s What We Should Do Instead.”

“Nicos is going to be talking about why the resume is dead,” Lintao said. “He has over 15 years of HR experience and he’s going to over essentially why we have been using the resume for so long.”

Ilknur Eren

Ilknur Eren

Eren is a software engineer currently residing in Newark. She is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient who is passionate about advocating for immigration rights and people with disabilities.

Eren believes that personal stories can shape the world to a better place. She will give a talk entitled: “The Power of Reclaiming Your Name.”

“Ilknur is going to be talking about why she stopped Americanizing her first name,” Lintao said. “This was a topic that was near and dear to my heart being the daughter of an immigrant. Max immigrated from Russia. My mom and dad went completely out of their way to come up with Americanized names just so people could pronounce it correctly. She talks about her experience and what inspired her to stop Americanizing her first name.”

Nathan Lugo

Nathan Lugo

After serving his country for nearly a decade in the U.S. Army Infantry, Lugo took his leadership skills and started several businesses, with some failing miserably and others with successful exits.

Lugo now advises entrepreneurs and business leaders and works with returning veterans and veterans groups on the transition to civilian life. He will give a talk entitled: “A Veteran’s Guide to Purpose.”

“Nathan served in the military and had extensive background there, so we thought he would be a really compelling and powerful story to have on,” Lintao said. “He’s talking about his experience in the Army, why purpose is so important, how to find purpose, and what is purpose, really deep-diving into that subject.”

Michelle Arpin Begina

Michelle Arpin Begina

An advisor, author, and speaker, Begina has taken her own story with money and turned it into a passion for financial literacy. She grew up surrounded by outward signs of wealth but plagued by the insecurity of knowing it was a sham, and that her family was a bounced check away from disaster.

Begina’s used her story as a starting point for a career dedicated to changing the way that society relates to money and the way financial advisors work with their clients. She will give a talk entitled: “Talking About Money is Easy, Once You Know How.”

“Michelle’s going to be talking about the importance of talking about money,” Lintao said. “Her talk is based off a story where she though her and her parents were on the same page in terms of them financing her way through college. But a few weeks before she needed to start classes, her parents bought a yacht. They did not have a conversation about money throughout her years growing up. So she’s going to be talking about the stigma around talking about money and what we’re really losing when we don’t have those uncomfortable conversations.”

Mike Stanlaw

Mike Stanlaw

Stanlaw is a lifelong Bayonne resident and fan of fitness and bodybuilding. His dad showed him weights when he was a teenager and he’s never looked back since, competing in three bodybuilding competitions so far.

Stanlaw has been a Certified Personal Trainer for 14 years, having opened Stanlaw Fitness Personal Training & Group Exercise Studio in 2015. He coined the phrase “Get Your 30,” which means get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, and will give a talk entitled: “The Power of Reframing Exercise as Self-Care.”

“Mike’s going to be talking about ‘hitting your 30’ and the hard-hitting stat behind that,” Lintao said. “So 95 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise. He’s going to be talking about why it is going to be so important to get exercise and how it ties into the obesity epidemic. By 2030, almost half of all Americans are going to be living with chronic illness. A lot of chronic diseases can be solved with physical activity and a better diet. He’s going to be going over that in a very lighthearted and really engaging way.”

Loyad Booker, Jr.

Loyad Booker, Jr.

Loyad Booker, Jr. is a lifelong resident having graduated from Bayonne High School, and later attending Kean College and Jersey City State University. Booker is a combat veteran who voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed as a Communication Specialist during Operation Desert Storm, earning the Southwest Asia Service Medal and the Bronze Star.

Following his service, Booker worked for the Bayonne Police Department for 25 years, where he worked to improve community policing and crime prevention programs until recently retiring. He still works as an instructor at the Hudson County Public Safety Training Center, helping newly hired officers prepare for the job. And now Booker, who is running for the Bayonne City Council in the upcoming municipal election on Team Davis, will address TEDxBayonne with a talk entitled “Bridging the Gap Between Police and Communities.”

“Loyad is going to be talking about bridging the gap between the law enforcement and the community,” Lintao said. “All of the talks are going to be so powerful in their own way, but what made me really excited about Loyad is that I felt that he was almost everything that I felt that TEDxBayonne should encompass. He’s bringing a really empathetic view on all of the problems that we’ve seen and a real practical approach to how to he builds the bridge between the Bayonne community and law enforcement.”

Co-organizers Maxim Sokolov and Carissa Lintao (front left and right) and the TEDxBayonne speakers for 2022.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com. 

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