Sammi Cannold, Laura Heywood & More Complete the TEDxBroadway 2019 Speaker Lineup

The stage is set for TEDxBroadway 2019. Organizers have announced the complete list of speakers for the popular one-day event dedicated to asking “What’s the BEST Broadway can be?” at New World Stages on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

“We’re incredibly excited about the breadth and depth the speakers are bringing to the stage for the Broadway community this year,” says Jim McCarthy, TEDxBroadway Co-Founder and CEO of Goldstar. “They’re experts in things like human-centered design solutions, large-scale shared immersive experiences, and yes, even Bourbon, and all have unique insights that may spark ideas within us to help make Broadway the best it can be.”

● Sammi Cannold is a director who is one of Forbes Magazine‘s 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, class of 2019. This fall, she will be directing a new production of Evita at New York City Center and this winter, she will be directing Celine Song’s Endlings Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop after having helmed the world premiere at the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) and having developed the piece at Playwrights Realm and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Other recent credits include Ragtime on Ellis Island and Violet on a moving bus at the A.R.T. Recent associate director credits include the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (dir. Rachel Chavkin). Sammi has also served as an Artistic Fellow at the A.R.T., a member of Cirque du Soleil’s Creative Cognoscenti, and a Sundance Institute Fellow. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University (’15) and an M.A. from Harvard University (’16).

● Laura Heywood is a professional enthusiast: a multi-faceted radio and television host, consultant, performer, pundit, and writer widely recognized for her commitment to positivity. Laura worked as the in-house Broadway expert and Video Package Supervisor on the 2018 and 2019 Tony Awards; moonlights at Google; and has worked in fields ranging from sports radio (San Francisco Giants) to commercial acting (Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty) to celebrity talent booking (Sirius XM), always bringing a point of view of contagious joy. As a social media expert, Laura has worked with Actors Equity, the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, FOUND: The Musical, Grant Thornton, the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the Kilroys, and multiple Tony and Grammy Award winners and nominees. Known online as @BroadwayGirlNYC, Laura has been called “Broadway’s most influential fan” (CBS This Morning), “the most vocal and visible supporter in the business” (Forbes), and Broadway’s No. 1 Social Media Influencer (YesBroadway‘s 40 under 40). She volunteers regularly and is on the Board of Directors for the national arts and education non-profit Story Pirates. Her twice-weekly radio show, Laura Heywood Interviews, is available at and on Apple Podcasts.

Marshall W. Mabry IV

● Marianne Eaves was born in Tennessee and raised in Kentucky, so geography alone may have been telling Eaves that her destiny was to be a whiskey maker. However, it was the courage to buck tradition, her creative engineering mind and a voracious appetite for learning that actualized her place in history as Kentucky’s First Female Master Distiller. Whiskey Advocate listed Eaves as “the Next Generation” for the bourbon industry, and she has been honored by Forbes in the 2015 Food & Drink 30 under 30 list. Eaves has also garnered recognition by Wine Enthusiast as one of America’s Top 40 Under 40 Tastemakers.

● Oshoke Pamela Abalu is the co-founder of Love & Magic Company, a tech-forward consultancy powered by Love, Magic & Artificial Intelligence. Their mantra? The Kahlil Gibran verse, “Work is love made visible.” Abalu pioneers human-centered design solutions that infuse consciousness, energy flow, and inclusivity into global workplace transformations. A Crain’s 40 Under 40 honoree, she is reimagining the future of work through ecosystem innovations like “Inclusion & Symphony” and “Smiles Per Square Foot,” where people and technology work side by side to improve lived experiences and amplify human potential. Licensed at the age of 26 as the 179th living licensed black female architect in the U.S., she has since led the transformation of over $1B of workplaces for thousands of individuals in 65 countries. Abalu and her work have been featured in TIME, Smart Planet, Real Simple Magazine, Domino Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, The Network Journal, ABC, NBC, FOX, CBS, Fast Company, and more.

● At only 31, Matt Jozwiak has already been in the food industry almost half his life. His first big break came when he decided to move to France and train under his mentor, Pierre Orsi. By 27, Jozwiak was named a chef de partie at the world-renowned fine dining restaurant Eleven Madison Park in New York City. But for Jozwiak, the true recipe for success is less about making a name for himself in the culinary world — and more about giving back to the community. After seeing first-hand the amount of nutritious, high-quality food that goes to waste in restaurants, Jozwiak left Eleven Madison Park to launch the food justice non profit RethinkFood NYC.

● Sebastian Herscher is the CEO and co-founder of Parallux and a PhD Candidate at the NYU Future Reality Lab. He has been building large-scale shared immersive experiences since early 2015, with credits including Technical Director of Mary and the Monster and CAVE, and multiple publications in SIGCHI, UIST, and SIGGRAPH. His company, Parallux, delivers world-class immersive experiences to mass audiences. Working at the intersection of art, technology, and entertainment, the Parallux mission is to help people experience breathtaking new worlds together in a powerfully social and immersive way.

● Matt Hirst is a marketing expert, researcher, writer, and venture investor. He is the co-founder of AGEIST, a media platform and research consultancy dedicated to reinventing lifestyles for the over 50s. He is also a Partner at West, a Brand Studio and Venture Fund that specializes in the end-to-end process of designing, building, launching and investing in purpose-driven brands. Matt has spent his career at the intersection of business and culture. He spent nearly a decade at Red Bull in London and Los Angeles where he created and ran some of the brand’s most iconic projects in sports and music. He also spent time as Google’s Global Head of Brand Experience. Matt’s work as a researcher and writer has been featured in the Financial Times, The Guardian and The Economist.

They join previously announced speakers Shakina Nayfack, Arvind Ethan David, David S. Leong, Eva Price, Marshall W. Mabry IV, Karen Zacarías, Amy E. Gallo and Drew Hodges.

“I always say, come with an open mind and you’ll leave with something you never could have expected,” adds Damian Bazadona, TEDxBroadway Co-Organizer and founder of Situation. “I don’t mean ‘five things you can do to be successful tomorrow.’ I’m talking about ideas and conversations that could change the future course of the Broadway community.”

Registration for the TEDxBroadway conference will begin at 1 p.m. on September 24, 2019. Tickets are $100. Interested attendees can purchase tickets at

GalaPro, the revolutionary innovative app for accessibility, will be available to all attendees. This mobile application is compatible with any smartphone or tablet, and enables attendees to enjoy the program with closed captioning.

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