Freestyle skier David Wise among TEDx speakers set for Feb. 23 in Reno |

Freestyle skier David Wise among TEDx speakers set for Feb. 23 in Reno

NNBV staff report
David Wise holds out his 2018 Winter Olympic gold medal (on left) and 2014 gold medal in his backyard in Verdi.
Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel

RENO, Nev. — Tickets are now on sale for TEDxUniversityofNevada, set for Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

According to a Jan. 3 press release from the University of Nevada, Reno, tickets cost $89 and include more than 18 TEDx talks and four performances. Student tickets are $25.

“This event has truly become a labor of love with one of the best volunteer armies in town,” Bret Simmons, TEDxUniversityofNevada curator and University College of Business associate professor, said in a statement. “In partnership with organizations such as Greater Nevada Credit Union, Microsoft, JamPro Music Factory, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, and more, our goal is to keep bringing the University out into the community to showcase Reno, Nevada as a place where big ideas are born.”

Below is a list of some of the speakers on tap for Feb. 23:

• Anjelah Johnson, comedian: An actress, comedian and former NFL cheerleader, Johnson is most often found touring the country performing at sold-out comedy shows. She became an Internet sensation with her viral video, “Nail Salon.” She also joined the cast of “MADtv” as a series regular, which spawned another Internet sensation, “Bon Qui Qui.”

• Chris Voss, CEO and author: Voss is CEO of the Black Swan Group and author of the national bestseller, “Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.” A 24-year veteran of the FBI, Voss retired as lead international kidnapping negotiator. Drawing on his experience in high-stakes negotiations, his company specializes in solving business communication problems using hostage negotiation solutions.

• David Wise, professional skier: A Reno native, Wise is a professional skier, adventure seeker, a four-time X Games Champion and a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in halfpipe skiing. Wise, 28, is also a father of two. He considers parenting his highest calling and credits his wife, family and faith for his success and ability to live a multi-faceted, balanced lifestyle.

• Niolfer Merchant, innovation expert and author: A three-time author, Merchant is a Fellow of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management. Merchant has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18 billion in sales and has held executive positions at Apple, Autodesk and GoLive Systems.

• Ruthie Foster, singer: Described by “Rolling Stone” as “pure magic to watch and hear,” her vocal talent was elevated in worship services at her community church. Having been nominated three times for a Grammy, Foster has received seven Blues Music Awards; three Austin Music Awards; the Grand Prix du Disque award from the Académie Charles-Cros in France; and a Living Blues Critics’ Award for Female Blues Artist of the Year.

• Dr. Tony Slonim, physician and CEO: As president and CEO of Renown Health, Dr. Slonim is a national expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health outcomes across the community. He is the first physician in the U.S. to be quadruple board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine Critical Care and Pediatric Critical Care and has more than 100 publications and 15 textbooks to his name.

According to UNR, all TEDxUniversityofNevada talks will be posted to the TEDxYouTube site after the event. Visit for a full lineup of speakers, to buy tickets and learn more.