TEDxGrandForks 2017 Presenters
Anuj Gupta is currently the General Manager of the historic Reading Terminal Market. In this role, he oversees all aspects of the nearly 80 merchant market’s day-to- day operations including leasing, marketing, and special events, as well as guiding the non-profit corporation’s strategic direction. Prior to this role, Anuj served as Executive Director of Mt. Airy, USA. Under his direction, Mt. Airy USA undertook the redevelopment of one of the largest Transit Oriented Development sites in Philadelphia which, in 2014, became a second campus for the acclaimed K-8 Wissahickon Charter School, invested over $1 million in redeveloping blighted sections of Germantown Avenue, launched a new business association and destination website for Mt. Airy, and expanded the organization’s housing counseling capacity to serve nearly 600 people annually.
Prior to this position, he served for three years (2008-2010) in Mayor Michael A. Nutter’s administration in a number of roles including Chief of Staff of the Department of Licenses & Inspections and Deputy to the Managing Director. Prior to joining Mayor Nutter’s administration, Anuj was an attorney at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP where he practiced in the firm’s real estate/affordable housing group from 2004-2007. In 2013, Anuj also opened his own restaurant, Jyoti Indian Bistro, a fast-casual south Asian restaurant in Mt. Airy.
Anuj is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 2003), the
University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government (M.G.A., 2003), and Carnegie Mellon University (B.S., 1996). He is currently a board member of the Philadelphia Historical Commission, the Chair of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians, a member of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Board of Trustees, and a member of the Board of Trustees of Chestnut Hill Hospital.
As a Strategy Associate at The Rockefeller Foundation, Elena Matsui designs and implements programmatic initiatives to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable populations. She is currently driving efforts to reduce food loss among rural farmers in Africa and food waste in the US as part of the Foundation's effort to reduce food loss by 50 percent. She's also creating employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth in Africa and exploring approaches to improve freshwater management to foster environmental resilience and economic growth.
Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Elena was a member of the World Bank’s Finance and Private Sector Development team based in Afghanistan where she developed public-private partnerships to leverage large extractive industry investments to support diversified economic growth. She previously worked with UNICEF to support marginalized youth living in conflict-affected contexts and with Oxfam to improve the humanitarian response to the Syrian refugee crisis.
Elena holds a B.A. from Harvard University in visual and environmental studies and a Masters of International Affairs in economic development and international conflict resolution from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
Being a senior in high school hasn’t slowed Prem Thakker down. Along with living the life of an everyday teenager, consumed by academics, activities, and athletics, Prem is a very active member of his community. Prem serves as the Student Body President and DECA Chapter President at Red River High School, amongst other organizations, clubs, and teams. In his community, Prem serves as a Youth Representative on the Grand Forks Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, as well as a Core Leader on the Grand Forks Youth Commission. He is also a co-host and co-founder of The Laymen Podcast, a platform dedicated to hosting open discussions about current events.
Surrounding himself with diverse experiences and unique perspectives has allowed him to build a well-rounded background that drives him to learn more and achieve more everyday. Prem has grown to be extremely passionate about politics and economics and he aims to utilize his passions and experiences to positively impact society.
The Princess is a teacher whose creative expressions are rooted within her experiences. She relies on intuition, research, and metacognition to lead her beyond the "norm" and into possibility. Her purpose grew organically and allowed her to touch the North Side of Minneapolis as: Mother, Urban Farmer, Licensed Teacher, Co-Founder, and Life Coach. Her vision is to invoke the ability for her people to think, heal, and set deliberate standards that are aligned with desired results.
Her mission is for the legacy of our people to harvest individual and collective liberation. This Chicago native grew up in the Ida B. Wells housing projects and there learned to be vocal and resilient. Often she is said to be "birthing" through trials whose remnants are left behind in original paintings, garments, and writings. Her most recent published work is "Mothering Through Pain and Suffering in Silence: A Collection of Stories from > ... every beautiful garden has some weeds.