TEDxPasadenaWomen 2015

Executive Board

Meet the Executive Board

Amber D. Nelson

Organizer, Curator

I believe words wield incredible power, the right question can solve a plethora of problems, and that listening is, like Dave Isay says, an act of love. TED talks regularly rattle my thinking and shake up my perspective. I thrive on that kind of intellectual agitation. As president of Lingo Consulting, Inc., I lead market research and communications projects for companies such as Transamerica, Target, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and General Mills. My professional work and public speaking allow me to learn from all kinds of situations and people. Why take on the Herculean task of organizing and curating TEDxPasadenaWomen? To expand the conversations among Pasadena’s thinking women and men, create community, forge bonds and connections across industries and areas of expertise. I want to know what kind of magic happens with the cross pollination.

Nadine Ono

Co-Organizer, Marketer

Growing up, I wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore and work with Murray, Lou and even Ted. So, I went to journalism school and got my first job in a television newsroom.  I soon discovered I was more Murray than Mary.  So, after a few years behind the typewriter, I jumped to public relations, where I spent most of my professional career.

Working in public relations has allowed me the opportunity to do such important work as help raise awareness of AIDS during the height of the crisis and teach residents about the benefits of recycling. It also allowed me to drip celebrities in diamonds for awards shows and travel across this country as well as others.

Today, I work on projects that are important to me and allow me to spend time with my family as well as volunteer for causes that are close to my heart.


Sabena Sarma

Executive Producer, Partnerships

Sabena Sarma is an entrepreneur, investor, runner and mom. She develops business models that drive excellence, growth and profitability. Sabena’s passion for growing personally and professionally is her driving force. TEDTalks inspire Sabena to push herself to new limits and to continuously gather the skills and life experiences to propel herself forward and to give back to the community. She hopes that TEDxPasadenaWomen sparks new ideas, curiosity and a dialogue. She is a member of the Pasadena Angels and Owner of Foothill Realty Group. Sabena holds an MBA from USC and is a staunch supporter of charitable organizations focusing on women and education.


Jane Barger

Volunteer Organizer

Jane Barger is a native Californian and an active community volunteer. Jane has volunteered in leadership and fundraising roles with High Point Academy and Flintridge Prep, served on the Youth Accountability Board with the Pasadena PD, and as a deck hand with the Los Angeles Maritime Institute. She is currently the Executive Assistant to the President/CEO of United Way, prior to that she worked in the Earth Science and Technology Directorate at JPL/NASA, and for the General Manager of the Western United States for Coca-Cola. In 2011, Jane was named one of the 50 most influential women of the San Gabriel Valley by “The Magazine,” and in 2014 she was featured in “The DREAMS” magazine for her work on the international “Space Operations” Conference. When not working or volunteering, Jane spends time with the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles and playing the ukulele.


Jeanne Chung


Jeanne K Chung is a Pasadena interior designer and the founder/editor of Cozy•Stylish•Chic design blog. She is known for her classic yet fresh and modern design aesthetic which was cultivated first during her years as a fashion design student at Parsons School of Design,  and later as an interior design student at the New York School of Interior Design.  Jeanne recently served as an official Style Spotter for the High Point Market Authority, the world’s largest home furnishings trade show, and is the trend and product moderator for the G+ Interior Design Community of over 35,000 designers worldwide. Curiosity and a never-ending desire to learn is what fuel her creativity as a designer. A career switch from fashion to interior designer two years ago taught her to seek inspiration from a group of like-minded individuals who share the same vision, values and eagerness to learn. When a community of similar minds congregate, regardless of occupation, we can instigate a meaningful dialogue and keep up the momentum.

Syd Smith

Event Director

Details matter. A lot.

I freely admit that I am not the person who comes up with the idea. But I am the force who finds the way to get it done – and probably in a manner that eclipses the original concept. The joy comes watching from afar as others experience something I have created. My background includes 15 years at a film studio. For a time, I was in charge of the Universal Monsters. MOST SURREAL MOMENT: Trading lines from Young Frankenstein with Whoopi Goldberg on the set of the original 1931 Dracula. I also created an in-restaurant television network for McDonald’s. BIGGEST UNDERESTIMATION: Franchise owners are the best team leaders I have ever met. I’m now the CMRO at Parker&Morgan. Because nothing bad happens in Pasadena, and sleep is important, too.

Cari Toneck

Volunteer Organizer

Cari Toneck is registered nurse who earned her BSN, MN from UCLA. She called the ER her home for more than 15 years before transitioning her focus to Quality of Patient Care after her workgroup won the Quality Team of the year for a nine hospital system. She later took on clinical risk issues as President of the Legal Nurse Consulting Association of SoCal, where she championed the use of mock trials as an educational tool for bedside nurses to understand the challenges of documenting standards of care. Ever evolving, she now is the Chief Compliance and Risk Officer for Methodist Hospital in Arcadia. Finding innovative ways to engage staff in safety and compliance in the most regulated industry in the US – hospitals – is now her challenge. She believes that engagement is about creating personal value. In her spare time she advocates for responsible legislation, patient rights, and other industry issues at both the state and national level.

Angela Visca


A UCLA minority career day in 1988 determined the course of my life. Did I want to intern at Pepsi or in the KVEA (Spanish) news department? Neither required the literature degree I just earned and both required fluency in Spanish. I chose the media route and have never looked back. I have worked on shows such as The Daily Show, Mind of Mencia, Last Comic Standing and The Tonight with Jay Leno. In my work, I’m responsible for all facets of production from conception to post production. I enjoy the collaboration and teamwork of producing a show and I find the challenges of a constantly changing technological landscape exciting. I am thrilled to be a part of this terrific TEDxPasadenaWomen team and contribute my knowledge, problem-solving skills and intellectual curiosity to the production of this event.

Deanna Wiebe


Consulting, planning, compliance, and representation have been the focus of my 30 years in public accounting. This profession has not only allowed me to express  my personal best, I have enjoyed my professional experiences assisting  clients with their accounting and tax matters, I have come to know myself and the contribution I make professionally and personally in making the world a better place. My involvement with TEDxPasadenaWomen fosters my continuing  desire  to have a greater purpose, help shape the world around me and contribute to the lives of others. Involvement in TEDxPasadenaWomen allows me to bring value to the executive committee with my exempt organization and financial knowledge and by bringing talented people together. This is an honor.

Images courtesy of  Margaret Kimura Photography


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