Lara Scott

Director and Curator

A lifelong entrepreneur with an MBA degree from RRU, Lara values giving back to the community through the TEDx curation process. As License-Holder of TEDxRRU, she oversees all aspects of each event, and looks forward to each year’s new opportunities to bring voices and perspectives to the TEDxRRU stage.

Tara Black

Producer and Speaker Coach

Tara’svarious experiences in theater, as an instructor and as a mentor, have informed her approach in working with TEDx speakers. The TED vision and platform is such a beautiful space to honour the power of collective thought to drive action with intention and Tara can not think of a better way to give back to a community. Helping talented individuals bring their impressive ideas to an invested audience is an absolute privilege.

Kate Leask

Event Lead Coordinator

–Bio coming soon–

AJ Cruz


A.J. Cruze returns to MC TedX at Royal Roads for the second year. He is the co-host of the Ocean 98.5 radio morning show and is honoured to return for this year’s event. A.J. lives in Colwood with his family and they regularly enjoy exploring the beautiful Royal Roads grounds together as a family.

Darlene Illi

Speaker Coach
Leadership Team Role: Program Design

Darlene brings her experience as a speaker at2020 TEDx Bear Creek Park (now known as TEDx Surrey) to the coaching team. Darlene has had the opportunity to coach several speakers over the years and enjoys sharing what she has learned with others.

Teri Kerr

Speaker Coach

Leadership Team Role: Community Development
As an alumni of the Executive Coaching program here at RRU, Teri has a gift for empowering speakers to engage with their message, connect with their audience and drive meaningful change in the world. This is her second year as a TEDx Speaker Coach, and she’s thrilled to be in community with such a dynamic group of changemakers.

Ed Illi

Speaker Coach

Ed brings his rich experience as a volunteer and assistant coach with TEDx Surrey to the TEDx RRU coaching team this year. His passion to help speakers reach their goals is evident in his generous spirit and calm demeanour.

Jennifer Oakes

Speaker Coach

Always inspired by people’s capacity to rise-up into their efficacy and brilliance, Jennifer is thrilled to be invited to the coaching team this year. In her work, Jenn engages others with motivation, mentorship and encouragement, breathing the wind under their wings. Jenn has many years of professional public speaking engagements, teambuilding facilitation, and mentoring. Preparing others for the TEDx Stage is exhilarating to be a part of and Jenn feels such privilege to be a coach this year.

Sharon Jones-Ryan

Speaker Coach

As a leadership coach, Sharon believes curiosity builds relationships and is a critical component for change, so working alongside like-minded colleagues on the TEDx RRU speaker coach team has been a joy. Journeying with the speakers from their first draft through to that final stop on the red dot is both an honour and a privilege. Changemaking and changemakers – what more could you want?

Peter Scott

Speaker Coach

Peter has given three TEDx talks and led the coaching team for TEDxRRU 2023. He is on a mission to help us all understand and respond to artificial intelligence in the best way possible, and his TEDx experiences have led him to podcast and keynote around the world. Peter loves helping speakers become their best selves so they can make a difference that matters.

Jillian Mitchell

Speaker Coach

Jillian, a multifaceted talent in music, voice coaching and voice advocacy, is thrilled to debut as a TEDx coach. Her enthusiasm reflects TED’s incredible mission of spreading ideas and amplifying diverse voices, a movement she wholeheartedly embraces to help voices shine brighter on a global stage. Jillian’s dedication to empowering voices aligns perfectly with TED’s ethos of fostering innovation and inclusivity.

Leah McNaul

Speaker Coach

Leah, a Toastmasters member since 2018, has been with the RRU speaker coaching team since its beginning. She’s deeply passionate about TEDx and its mission of curiosity, reason, and wonder, free from agendas. Leah delights in witnessing speakers grow and wholeheartedly supports their causes, embracing how TEDx brings people together for a brighter future.