Heather Heimerl Brunold, M.Ed., Ed.D.

Executive Director

Heather Heimerl Brunold has been a thought leader in education, specializing in adolescent development and family/school dynamics for more than two decades. After completing her doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, Heather became passionate about utilizing her expertise outside the four walls of a classroom, and instead on behalf of the greater community. Seeing an opportunity to use the TED brand in support of the local good, Heather acquired the TEDxPasadena and TEDxPasadenaWomen licenses and has focused the brands as vehicles to positively influence our community’s approach to learning. This ultimately led her to establish Words2Action, a nonprofit organization that serves as the fiscal agent for our local TEDx efforts, but also whose mission is to transform the words we speak into tangible action by providing sponsorships for girls ages 13-18. Heather is by her nature a helper, healer and teacher. Her passion for learning and her love of relationship building are the reasons she enjoys serving our community.

Shelley Arakawa

Development Advisory

A dedicated advocate and change agent, Shelley Arakawa’s work in both K-12 and college/university settings are evidence of her passion to promote efforts that strengthen access and excellence in education.  Currently the Director of Regional and Campaign Giving for her alma mater, Punahou School, a K-12 independent school in Honolulu, HI. Shelley cultivates the next generation of the school’s leadership donors and creates new ways for mainland alumni to engage with and contribute to the school. Previously, Shelley was the Senior Director for Higher Education in the College Board’s Western Regional Office, where she established the Native American Student Advocacy Initiative and directed the Summer Institute on College Admissions and School Relations as well the Enrollment Leadership Academy. Prior to the College Board, Shelley managed the individual fundraising operations, college counseling program, and college retention efforts for Foundation for a College Education. Shelley received a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and a JD from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Lara Chanpong

Strategic Planning Advisory

Lara Chanpong is a Financial Advisor and Partner of The Chanpong Group at Merrill Lynch.  She helps clients pursue their financial objectives through a customized wealth management approach that employs a white glove service model.  With 15 years of national and regional corporate management experience for a Fortune 500 company, Lara’s award winning thought-leadership and strategies have been utilized at national and global levels to drive organizational growth and efficiency.  She is passionate about applying these skills to personally help businesses, individuals and families achieve their goals and dreams.  Lara has been an avid TEDx fan for years and is excited to be part of this year’s TEDxPasadena / Words2Action team!  Lara is a proud graduate of the University of Southern California and resides in Pasadena with her husband and three energetic sons.

Rocelyn Lucas Taylor

Office Manager

Rocelyn is a licensed Health and Life Insurance Agent, Notary, and has worked in the medical field as an Administrator for nearly two decades. She is currently the Student Health Insurance Coordinator at Fuller Theological Seminary as well as has her own medical practice consulting business. A California State University, Los Angeles graduate she obtained her undergraduate degrees in Sociology and Political Science and is dedicated to making a difference within her community. Her passion to help others and community is illustrated by her volunteer commitments with PTA’s, Student Site Council Representative for Pasadena High School as well as other community organizations and civic groups. Rocelyn brings enthusiasm and excitement as she enters into her second year volunteering with TEDxPasadena and is looking forward to continued service within her community!
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