We are deep into planning for TEDxCLE 2015, though not quite ready to reveal all of the exciting news we have in store for this year’s event! In the meantime, we thought you might like to know a bit more about the people involved in making TEDxCLE the event that it is. In this week’s post, learn a bit about Jess Melton, Event Manager & Curatorial Support, in her own words.
1. Who are you?
I have always sort of done things on a whim, going with whatever my gut told me, and it has led to some interesting life decisions. I majored in history at OSU, just because I loved it. I wasn’t really thinking about my career, I would figure it out later. Studying history was awesome! I studied the ancient world, took Latin (which probably doesn’t sound that exciting to most people), and got to do an amazing study abroad, working on an archaeological dig in Greece. After my undergraduate studies were over, I struggled with the decision to continue my studies in history, but I thought it would be nice to get out in the real world for a bit. This was in 2009, which as it turns out was not a great time to find a job as recent grad with little experience. So after about a year I figured it was time to go back to school, but I had this desire to learn some kind of skill, something that I could tie back to history, but that I could make a career out of. This led to a masters in library and information science. I had this vision of myself working in some archive, studiously protecting the past, as romantic as that sounds. To help make ends meet during my studies, I took an internship at a small nonprofit. I never really thought about nonprofits before, other than libraries and museums, and ended up really liking the work. I learned a lot and was then able to land a job at The Foundation Center in downtown Cleveland. The position ended up entailing a lot of event planning and marketing and it was then that I had found my calling. The rush of planning events and getting people to care about them was in my blood. It is also where I gained my passion for the city and the people working to make it great. I wanted to be one of those people! It was this realization that led me to my position and TEDxCLE.
2. Why do you love Cleveland?
The People! Being a Clevelander is like being the underdog. You know it is a hard road and a lot of work to win, but you are dedicated and hopeful that you can pull it off. I think that is what defines us; we will never give up on our city. It is awesome to live in a place where the people are so committed to turning this place around and making it great. It makes me proud to be a Clevelander!
3. Why are you excited to be a part of TEDxCLE?
Being a part of TEDxCLE is truly eye-opening. It is basically getting a front row seat to everything that makes Cleveland great. Getting to meet all of these people, with these amazing ideas, and the resolve to make them a reality is truly inspiring! I had no idea before I joined the team that there were this many incredible things happening in Cleveland. I am amazed everyday when we get a new nomination, or uncover another person’s story, that this city is so full of incredible, driven people.
4. Why are you excited for TEDxCLE 2015, the 6th year?
5. What are your top 3 TEDxCLE talks?