Speakers 2023

Julie Kenner:

Dr. Kenner has expansive life experience internationally and academically, with many diverse scientific and medical accomplishments.  She holds both PhD and MD degrees, has published extensively on a variety of medical topics and created patents and trademarks, and has decades of experience in the areas of clinical medicine, patient education and product formulation.  Dr. Kenner was in the Army for 9 years and through the military, was among the first in the US to use telemedicine regularly as a tool to service patients remotely.  She has formed several successful dermatology clinical practices in the last 20+ years, and has made it a habit of being on the leading edge of technology and improving her trade and service to patients.   Several years ago, Dr. Kenner left the traditional insurance dermatology model, and began creating better “whole person” solutions to manage common skin conditions and help her patients heal “on the outside as well as inside”.  The bones of this next generation of the SkinHappy System have been tested in an incubator clinic for the last several years in Monterey, CA, and has been duplicated for a wider audience in a direct-to-consumer online tele-dermatology platform: the SkinHappy LLC.

Sara Wu:

My name is Sara Wu and I am a junior high school student at Santa Catalina School. I grew up in Jakarta, Indonesia, where the socio-economic disparity is very apparent. By being involved in Lentera Anak Pelangi, a foundation that focuses on reducing the morbidity and mortality of underprivileged children and adolescents with HIV, I have been able to observe firsthand the stigma and discrimination they suffer, as well as how their economic status limits their access to health care and education. I hope to share my experiences with the Santa Catalina community, drawing attention to the condition of adolescents in other parts of the world.

Alexis Bunten:

Alexis Bunten, PhD, (Unangan/Yup’ik) from Bristol Bay Alaska  co-directs the Bioneers Indigeneity Program. She has served as a media-maker, consultant and applied researcher for Indigenous, social and environmental programming for over 20 years. After receiving a BA in Art History at Dartmouth College, Alexis returned to Alaska, where she worked at the Sealaska Heritage Institute, and the Alaska Native Heritage Center in cultural programming. Subsequently, Alexis earned a PhD in Cultural Anthropology at UCLA. She has taught at UCLA, and Humboldt State University. She lives in Monterey with her partner, daughter, 3 dogs, a cat and a lizard.

Matthew Chang:

A 16-year-old climate education champion, Matthew Chang leads Climate Garden, a global movement of over two hundred schools and a thousand students, and was recognized by the Orange County Register as one of its 125 Most Influential People of 2022 and by the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce as a 40 Under 40 list maker. Matthew serves on the City of Irvine Green Ribbon Environmental Committee as its first student member-at-large and is deeply involved with local community leaders like Congresswoman Katie Porter and the Irvine City Council to empower other youth activists and promote climate reform. Matthew is the host of Sustainable Future on Spotify, broadcasting weekly interviews with changemakers to an audience spanning four continents. He currently serves as class president of Woodbridge High School, and is passionate about using public speaking to better the world.

Lauren Selman:

Lauren Selman is an award-winning producer and Emmy-nominated production manager. She has worked on The Oscars, FIFA Men’s World Cup, The Olympics and the Media Access Awards. She’s worked with global media companies like FOX Broadcasting, Disney, Warner Bros, Netflix, Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment. She’s produced countless live events and a number of short and feature films which have screened at Sundance, SXSW, Pan African Film Festival, Paris International Film Festival and more. Lauren grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, attended high schools in Monterey and Canada and got her degrees in Theater and Performance Studies and Conservation Resource Management at the University of California, Berkeley.  From theater to live broadcast events, documentaries to narrative films, she works in a range of formats and is passionate about producing projects that make us think differently and celebrate important moments in life.  She is a dedicated activist, lifelong athlete and dog mama to her Shepard-Husky, Jane Fonda. 

Aimee Mountford:

Aimee built her career as a professional communications expert from her humble beginnings as a qualified CPA… working for Deloitte as an auditor, then to the tech industry transforming through finance to investor relations, and then into corporate communications where she led teams for two of the largest tech companies on the planet Cisco Systems and latterly Apple, serving the COO of Cisco and the COO of Apple directly. She helped lead this critical function through business strategy, global product launches, and internal communications. She started Bad Language, her communication consulting firm in 2017 to share her experience with up and coming company executives for building speeches or coaching on methodologies to make good speakers great. She also leads communications for Housing For Kids which is helping the more than 10,000 homeless students in Monterey find a safe place to live.

Tommaso Di Bartolo:

Serial Entrepreneur and Startup Investor, Author, Advisor, and Faculty at the University of California Berkeley. Previous to founding Phygtl, Tommaso has built four tech startups from scratch and has two exits under his belt. Tommaso is passionate about sharing his lessons learned from nearly two decades of entrepreneurial tech expertise as a frequent global keynote speaker and as an advisor to some of Silicon Valley’s most renowned startup accelerators such as Google Launchpad, Draper University, and The Alchemist. He is a faculty member at UC Berkeley running a class on entrepreneurship and serves the role of guest lecturer at Stanford University. Based in Silicon Valley, Tommaso speaks 7 languages, is the author of “How to Grow, Hack your Startup”, and “Navigating the Metaverse” published by Wiley.

Margaret Spencer:

Margaret Spencer is a senior boarding student at Santa Catalina. She lives in Santa Cruz, California and has boarded at Catalina since Freshman year. She is an active member of our community, being the head of our schools French club and Leader of the dining room committee. She is additionally captained this year’s basketball team, was a yearbook section head and an admissions ambassador. Margaret has spent many years studying nutrition and as of now is publishing a paper on the topic.