2022 TEDxLander Speakers
La Rhea Pepper
La Rhea Pepper is the Managing Director and a co-founder of Textile Exchange. A fifthgeneration farmer and the co-founder of two successful organic cotton businesses, Ms. Pepper’s unique perspective helps her lead Textile Exchange along with its pioneering Members to create preferred fiber and material strategies, strengthen integrity in the market place through the adoption of standards and promoting deeper engagement within the supply network. Prior to Textile Exchange, Ms. Pepper and her late husband, Terry, were founding members of the Texas Organic Cotton Marketing Cooperative (TOCMC) in 1993. Today, TOCMC is the largest organic cotton cooperative in the United States. Together, they built and demonstrated a sustainable business model for farmers creating strategic partnerships with various manufacturers and “value-added” programs including Cotton Plus (organic fabric) and Organic Essentials (organic personal care products). In 1995, La Rhea served on the Administrative Council for Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and two years later was elected to the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council Steering Committee. She joined the Organic Trade Association’s Board of Directors in 1998 where she supported the creation organic fiber processing standards and chain of custody for the industry. Continuing to serve and support advocacy for family farms in the US, she has also served as a board member for RAFI – the Rural Advancement Foundation International (2013-2017). Known for her passionate and inspirational presentations at various conventions and conferences, La Rhea is often invited to write and speak on issues related to organic cotton farming, organic cotton fiber use, and industry standards. Impassioned about organics and stewardship for the land, La Rhea holds strong family, community and religious values and has dedicated her life to making a positive difference in the world. Ms. Pepper holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Abilene Christian University and a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Lubbock Christian University.
Gabi Robledo is an entrepreneur, athlete & flow state coach who aims to help people unlock their inner warrior.
Gabi grew up with a very unconventional lifestyle and has been nomadic for more than 6 years. At the age of 14, her parents decided to ditch the rat race, sell everything they owned, and move into an RV to travel the world full time with her and her 4 other siblings. In spending the majority of her high school years out in the wilderness, climbing, surfing, and hiking with her family in 26 different countries, she naturally discovered what it took to lead an intrinsically fulfilling life. At the age of 16, she co-founded the blog, Nomads With A Purpose, which has grown to be a multi-media adventure travel & wellness brand with over 70 thousand readers per month, and has evolved to become a mindset coach for athletes and adventurers.
Using a mind, body, spirit approach, Gabi uses her Flow State Warrior framework to help people overcome limiting beliefs, particularly around worthiness, so they can live a life of more fulfillment, purpose, and personal power.
Gabi believes everyone has the spirit of a warrior within them, and when you unlock that version of yourself, you feel innately worthy in every area of your life, allowing you to pursue your biggest dreams and greatest desires.
Leigh A. Hall is a professor at the University of Wyoming where she holds the Wyoming Excellence in Higher Education Endowed Chair in Literacy Education. She taught middle school language arts and social studies in Houston, Texas before returning to graduate school to earn a doctorate in literacy education. Dr. Hall's research centers on helping adolescents improve their academic reading and writing abilities. She has examined how engaging with adolescents as partners in their own reading development can allow them to take greater control over their growth and improve their motivation and desire to read. She has received multiple international awards for her research and is committed to understanding how we can support youth in their reading development.
Orator, US Army Military Intelligence Veteran and Nationally Syndicated On-Air Personality “GRIFF” is the founder of the Process Success Foundation an organization that teaches young people steps to be great. With an unforgiving wanderlust spirit “GRIFF” became the first American to tape Comedy Central Africa and recently celebrated 25 years of Stand up Comedy. This author of 'Cats and Puppies' (a book for moms raising sons from the perspective of a boy raised by his 15 year old mother) and father of five has forged his career at the intersection of faith, philanthropy, and humor. With an infectious energy and unmistakable voice, “GRIFF” contributes laughter, sincerity, and a real world approach to living inspiration out loud.
Arlen "Griff" Griffen
Michelle Motherway is currently Co-Owner of Mr.D's Food Centers located in Lander and Powell Wyoming. Michelle is also is the owner and creative force behind Motherway Photography. She also is an independent retailer for LuLaRoe Motherway (her side hustle). Michelle is in the people business she just happens to sell groceries.
Born in the Lander Valley, and a graduate of Lander Valley High School she is passionate about all things local and maintaining a healthy local economy. She is a graduate of Rocky Mountain College (BS Psychology), Montana State University-Billings (Paramedicine), Front Range Community College (Associates of Nursing). Although all of these degrees are used daily the education she relays on most is the lessons learned each day at the school of life.
Michelle currently can be found in her third generation business herding cats and throwing rocks at Giants, or on Facebook live selling stuff and things. She is surviving her crazy life by utilizing her faith and lessons she learned during her time in EMS, only no one dies at the end of her day. Her story is filled with lessons of hard work and determination, how to survive in a business world and in a body that is trying to kill you every day.
Mary Shores is the President and CEO of Midstate Collection Solutions, a unique collection agency in Champaign, Illinois, that puts a focus on the consumer experience and empathetic communication. Her agency began its transformation into what it is today in 2005 when, after years of daily stressful phone calls at her agency, Mary looked at the phone and decided she wanted the next person who called to be happier at the end of the call than they were at the beginning. That’s when happiness became her new North Star.
In her talk, Mary is going to share what she learned by working with over 750,000 people in debt and how she made connection a priority through a simple, 3-step communication strategy.
Her communication journey didn’t end when she began to transform her debt collection agency. Mary is also the founder and CEO of Shores Communications, an e-learning company that trains business professionals across multiple industries on empathetic, high-converting communication strategies.
In 2017, Mary became the bestselling author of the personal development book Conscious Communications: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Harnessing the Power of Your Words to Change Your Mind, Your Choices, and Your Life. Mary is also an international motivational speaker, appearing on stages to share her neuroscience-based communication tips to empower audiences to neutralize and transform toxic conversations, bring stability to their own well-being, and problem-solve with the power of connection in all areas of business and life.