Liz Farrell

Check it out, Hilton Head Island. You’re getting your very own TEDx this fall

Chris Schembra
Chris Schembra Submitted

I just got exciting news: TEDx is coming to Hilton Head Island this fall, and the theme of the presentations will be “resilience,” a fitting topic for an island that has spent the past year cleaning up after a hurricane.

The last local TEDx was held last spring in Savannah and featured Hilton Head Island town manager Steve Riley among its speakers. In case you missed it, here is the talk he gave:

In case you don’t know much about TED or its affiliate program TEDx, here is a quick rundown: TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, according to its website. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TEDx furthers the spirit of “Ideas Worth Spreading” by bringing people together to share a TED-like experience through a program of local, self-organized events, built around screenings of TEDTalks videos or live presenters and TEDTalks videos, according to a media release.

In addition to local presenters — people who, according to the organizers of the event, represent “the up-and-coming minds who are the embodiment of human and community resilience” — television producer and talk show host Donna Drake and Chris Schembra, “The Empathy Coach,” will speak at TEDxHiltonHead.

Drake, who hosts “Live It Up with Donna Drake” on New York City’s CBS affiliate, self-funded her show by selling everything she owned and investing in her dream, according to a release. Guests on her show have included Tony Bennett, Mel Brooks, Gloria Gaynor, Jay Leno and Howie Mandel.

Schembra is a social influencer, executive coach and entrepreneurial adviser and the founder and “chief question asker” of the 7:47 Club, an organization that helps entrepreneurs “build, grow and ignite their community.” He is also a partner at OHenry Productions and was a producer at MNA Productions. The projects he has been involved in have been awarded 14 Tony Awards, 7 Emmys and a Grammy, according to a release.

TEDxHiltonHead will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Rooftop Bar at Poseidon in Shelter Cove Towne Center on Hilton Head Island. Only 100 tickets will be sold for the event, which will include breakfast, lunch and all presentations. Tickets are $79 and can be purchased at

We will update you at as more speakers are announced.

Liz Farrell: 843-706-8140, @elizfarrell