Speaker Bios

TEDxDallasCollege 2021

Gaby Natale

Gaby Natale (Host)

Gaby Natale is a triple Daytime EMMY® winner, TV personality, bestselling author and motivational speaker. She is the executive producer and host of the nationally-syndicated TV show SuperLatina on PBS' VME network. One of the most prestigious media personalities in Spanish-language television, Natale is among a few women in the entertainment industry who owns not only the rights to her TV show but also a television studio. This unique situation has allowed her to combine her passion for media and her entrepreneurial spirit.

People magazine named Natale one of 2018’s “25 Most Powerful Latinas”, highlighting the inspirational story of how she went from a local TV show that started out of a carpet warehouse to becoming the only Latina in US history to win triple back-to-back Daytime EMMYs. Her popularity grew even further when her first book, “The Virtuous Circle” by HarperCollins, became an instant bestseller, topping Amazon’s New Releases charts in 3 different categories (Business, Inspiration and Self-Help).

Natale is also the founder of AGANARmedia, a marketing company with a focus on Hispanic audiences that serves Fortune 500 companies such as Hilton Worldwide, Sprint, AT&T, eBay and Amazon. In the digital world, she has a thriving fan base with over 52 million views on YouTube and 250K+ followers on Social Media.

In 2019, Natale launched Welcome All Beauty, her own hairpiece and extension line dedicated to women who need to be camera-ready on the go.

A tireless advocate of gender and diversity issues, Natale is a sought-after bilingual speaker and a frequent collaborator with nonprofits such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign and Voto Latino. She has keynoted conferences from the United Nations to tech shows and trade gatherings across the US and Latin America. Natale has been featured in Forbes, CNN, Buzzfeed, NBC News, Univision and Latino Leaders magazine. She is the recipient of NALIP’s Digital Trailblazer Award and of a GLAAD Media Award nomination for her portrayal of Latino LGBTQ youth in media.

Natale holds a bachelor’s in International Relations and a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of San Andres and Columbia University. Prior to starting her career in television, Natale taught Communication and Journalism courses at the University of Texas. Originally from Argentina, Natale holds triple citizenship from the United States, Argentina and Italy and has lived in London (UK), Mexico, Washington DC and Buenos Aires.

Follow her on Instagram @GabyNatale or Twitter @GabyNatale or for more information on Gaby’s books and events visit gabynatale.com

Briaina Webster  

Briaina Webster

Dear Impostor Syndrome...It’s the Lie for me

Briaina Webster is a full-time Senior Rehabilitation Counselor at the post-secondary level. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling with a minor in Psychology. Ms. Webster was a panelist for Texas State’s Inclusive Excellence Student Initiative and has appeared as a guest for a podcast interview over the topic of Impostor Syndrome. She currently writes devotionals for an online church organization. In her free time, she loves reading, running, and practicing the latest dance moves.

Follow her on Instagram @S.U.R.e.Refinement_ or Twitter @Surerefinment_.

Mai Lyn Ngo 

Mai Lyn Ngo

Pivot Your Perspective and Pave Your Own Path

Mai Lyn Ngo is the founder and creative mind behind Fitness Ambassadors, a fitness networking group and events and marketing company in Dallas, TX. Mai Lyn has a passion for bringing people together through in-person and virtual activations and sees herself as a connector. She’s worked with global brands such as Under Armour, Dallas Mavs, Adidas, Omni Hotels and Resort, and BODYARMOR to create these amazing experiences. In 2019 she launched Dallas’ first-ever fitness festival, FAME Fest, a two-day event bringing the arts and fitness together and helped establish Dallas as a destination fit city.

Her mission is to create a more inclusive and diverse fitness industry by breaking through stigmas, addressing inclusivity issues, and lifting people from all walks of life at her events. Her true passion is sharing knowledge and helping other health + fitness professionals to build their personal brand and become better leaders and role models.

When she isn’t masterminding the rise of her fitness community, Mai Lyn is known for lifting weights, and her seductive coffee and cocktail videos, and love for fried chicken.

You can learn more about Mai Lyn at mailynngo.com or on her Instagram @mailynngo

Toi Sweeney 

Toi Sweeney

Reject your story. Embrace your adventure

Founder and Chief Style Officer, The Well Dressed Brand, Toi Sweeney is an award-winning fashion stylist, brand image strategist, speaker, entrepreneur, author of Secrets of a Well Dressed Brand, founder of the Well Dressed Brand, and host of Well Dressed Brand TV. Toi helps powerhouse brands and high-performers integrate their wardrobes into their business plans through a stunning, distinctive style that clearly communicates their highest value. She’s passionate about leveraging her Fascination Advantage™ training and the psychology of color to develop signature styles for her clients that help them show up and shut it down. Toi has been featured on Forbes.com, BBCNews.com, HelloGiggles.com, and has appeared as a guest on over a dozen podcasts. She has two decades of extensive experience in fashion, business, and marketing, and her clients have appeared on The Today Show, Harry, Fox, ABC, NBC, QVC, The Hallmark Channel, and Anderson Cooper Live. Toi is also a recipient of the prestigious Telly Award and a recipient of the Icon of the Year award via the Art Institute. Follow her online on Instagram (@toisweeney), Twitter (@sweeneytoi), Well Dressed TV (welldressed11) on Facebook, or toisweeney.com for more.

Sam and Sharif Sayed 

Sam and Sharif Sayed

A Day in their Shoes

Sam and Sharif Sayed are the Co-Founders of Dayna’s Footprints, a nonprofit that promotes youth empowerment in North Texas. Following the inspiration of the brothers’ late sister Dayna, the organization provides name-brand athletic shoes, and the confidence that they can imbue, to the area's most underprivileged students. Their annual weightlifting and walk/run challenges have garnered nationwide participation and directly fund the mission.

Sam Sayed is a longtime health science professional and current medical student at the TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine. He holds a master’s degree from Drexel University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and Professional Studies. Though soon to become Doctor Sayed, he is most excited to hold the honorific of Dad to his daughter.

Sharif Sayed is an Executive Vice President for PURE, a North Texas-based nutrition provider. A proud husband and father of two, Sharif commits himself to developing new leaders in and out of his job, fitness, and the adulation and emulation of The Greatest (Muhammad Ali, of course).

Follow Sam and Sharif online @daynasfootprints, @Supersharif, @sam.sayed10 or visit their organization’s website at daynasfootprints.com.

Pamela Chui Kadikia 

Pamela Chui Kadakia

An On-going and Evolving Journey Towards Anti-Racism

Pamela Chui Kadakia began her career as an English as a second language instructor in the community college space. Working with historically underserved, marginalized, and racialized learners, Pamela began to ground her work and teachings in anti-racism by challenging her own belief systems. She now continues the pursuit of racial equity and social justice internally through her own unlearning and externally in her work as Equity Project Manager. Pamela is also pursuing her doctorate in higher education, exploring how white supremacist ideologies are upheld in ESOL reading textbooks through critical race theory and discourse analysis.

Connect with Pamela on Instagram @TeacherPamPam

Dr. Frederick V. Engram Jr.  

Dr. Frederick V. Engram Jr.

Black Joy as an Act of Resistance

is an assistant professor of instruction at the University of Texas at Arlington in the Department of Criminology/Criminal Justice and the Center for African American Studies. His current research and teaching focus on the role that race and racism play in the systems of higher education and criminal justice. He focuses more broadly on the way that racism, white supremacy, white manning, and white privilege display themselves in power structures and how they oppress African Americans. 

His work considers how African Americans make sense of their experiences with racism in education and society at large. He has previously published his work in media outlets such as Blavity and Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Dr. Engram is a co-author in two 2021 current and soon-to-be-released books entitled: “Blackmaled in Academia” and “Re-Envisioning Education: Affirming Diversity and Advancing Justice”.

Connect with Dr. Engram on Twitter @vancarlito2003 or Instagram @dr.engram19 and check out his latest article entitled “Move: We Don’t Need to Convince You That Our Oppression is Real."

Alexandria Gurley 

Alex Tha Great

Black Joy is a Love Language

Alex Tha Great is a DEI strategist, higher education professional, and spoken word artist. She holds a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University and a Bachelor of Arts in African American Studies from the University of California Irvine. 

She is a Women of the World Poetry Slam Finalist and the author of 4 books including the latest Everything My Daddy Taught Me. Alex has shared stages with notable people as actress Irma P. Hall and Reverend Jesse Jackson and with her poetry and speaking engagements she has been contracted to feature by over 40 colleges and universities. She lives by the motto: Whatever you do let it be bold.

Follow Alex the Great on Twitter @alexthagreat1 and on Instagram @followthagreat and visit her website for more on upcoming events and to check out her merchandise alexthagreat.com/

In collaboration with the speaker, TEDxDallasCollege will delay the release of Adena Harmon's talk until our next live event so that her technology can be demonstrated in real time with audience engagement.

Adena Harmon 

Adena Harmon

How Digital Accessibility Became My Passion

Adena Harmon, is the Founder & CEO of C-Hear, Founder & Managing Partner of Elite Performance Data Labs, and a member of several nonprofit boards in Texas and California. 

What do you get when you cross classical ballet, psychology, and NASCAR? Circuitously, you get one of the most innovative and intriguing women in today’s tech industry. From her rambling route to her disruptive destination, there’s nothing traditional about Adena Harmon. “I was working on a NASCAR driver’s social media campaign to give away an F150 truck when I encountered a problem,” Harmon says. “I needed a better tool to create ads to run on Facebook, etc. When I couldn’t find what I needed, I got on the phone, started asking questions, and, well, here we are.”

“Here” is C-Hear, Harmon’s Dallas-based visionary tech company that’s revolutionizing how consumers – doctors, teachers, lawyers, and the visually impaired – hear pictures and transfer data on the Internet. C-Hear has been hailed as an “Internet game-changer” at SXSW and Dallas Startup Week and recently received a U.S. Patent for its proprietary Codec that allows images to include audio annotation, deleting the need for long, slow-loading video files or insufficient static photos. “We started with a simple idea and a single destination: Provide an image with sound in a single file, without the need for a big, cumbersome video,” says Harmon. “Reaction to our software has been enthusiastically and overwhelmingly positive.” Heady achievements fueled by firmly planted feet on the ground is what makes Harmon’s story so fascinating. 

She grew up in the Dallas suburb of Mesquite and attended college at nearby SMU. With interests in ballet and psychology not yet paying the bills, Harmon began a marketing campaign for a NASCAR driver. It was there she discovered and nurtured her most valuable skill – one that led to becoming founder and CEO of C-Hear. Harmon, turns out, is a world-class problem-solver. With her original plans to retire gladly put on hold while she runs the company she launched in 2015, Harmon still finds time for patio relaxation with husband, Butch, long walks with her dog, Sally Mae, and entertaining friends with cooking and board games. 

She’s a self-trained tech titan whose favorite color is seafoam blue. She’s an innovator that used her entrepreneurial spirit to call an audile on life’s path and instead venture an unbeaten path to surprising success. She’s uniquely Adena Harmon. “My favorite quote is by Oprah: ‘If you do work that you love, and the work fulfills you, the rest will come,” Harmon says. “I’d like to think that tells my story.”

Connect with Adena on Instagram @adenaharmontx or Twitter @adenaharmontx and visit her website adenaharmon.com