Press Release

Talks to explore concept of villages from many perspectives

LEWISTON, Maine — TEDxDirigo announced the program of speakers and performers for Villages, its fourth independently organized event, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Bates College in Lewiston. The event will feature Maine residents sharing live “TEDx Talks” exploring the concept of villages from a diversity of perspectives and fields — business, natural sciences, technology, art and more.

Local presenters of “Maine ideas worth spreading” include:

* EepyBird is the duo behind the Coke and Mentos online video (their first) that Advertising Age called the most important commercial content of the year. EepyBird’s videos and viral campaigns have been seen over 150 million times. EepyBird founders, Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz of Buckfield, have performed on “The Late Show” with David Letterman, “Ellen,” “The Today Show,” “Mythbusters” and around the world.

* Steve Koltai of Lincolnville has 30 years’ experience in business, finance, entrepreneurship and government. Until September 2011, he was senior advisor at the U.S. Department of State, where he created and ran the Global Entrepreneurship Program. Through Koltai’s efforts, the GEP has fostered numerous seed investments, mentoring relationships and the launch of new venture funds and angel investor networks. He is managing director of Koltai & Company LLC.

* Tanja Hollander of Auburn is an artist whose current project “Are you really my friend?” recently was exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art and continues to receive international media attention. Her work has been exhibited nationally at galleries in New York City and Boston and has twice been selected for the Portland Museum of Art Biennial, winning a purchase prize in 2007.

* Phuc Tran of Portland is a classicist and tattooer. He has taught Latin, Greek, German and Sanskrit at independent schools in New York and Maine and was an instructor at Brooklyn College’s Summer Latin Institute. He teaches at the Waynflete School. He owns and operates Tsunami Tattoo in Portland. He has been recognized in several national tattoo publications.

* Architect Gabrielle Russell of Auburn worked locally to complete her design internship and now works at an architecture firm on Lisbon Street. She is an advocate for green design as a LEED Accredited Professional.

It is free to request an invitation, and the fee to attend, if selected, is $100. Request an invitation to attend Villages at