Dr. Heather Heimerl Brunold
President & CEO
Heather Heimerl Brunold, M.Ed., Ed.D., has been a thought leader in education, specializing in identity development and the science of learning for more than three decades. After completing her doctorate in education from the University of Southern California, Heather became passionate about utilizing her expertise outside the four walls of a classroom, and instead on behalf of the greater community. Seeing an opportunity to use the TED brand in support of the local good, Heather acquired the TEDxPasadena and TEDxPasadenaWomen licenses and has focused the brands as vehicles to positively influence our community’s approach to learning. This ultimately led her to establish Words2Action, a nonprofit organization that serves as the fiscal agent for our local TEDx efforts, but also whose mission is to transform the words we speak into tangible action. As an empath, Heather is by her nature a helper, healer and teacher. Her passion for learning and her love of relationship building are the reasons she enjoys serving our community.
Olivia Hudnut is a licensed attorney in California clerking in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. She also serves as the vice co-chair on the American Constitution Society’s Los Angeles Lawyer Chapter. Olivia began advocating for those with muted voices as a member of the University of Southern California Sexual Assault Task Force and Violence Outreach Intervention and Community Empowerment (V.O.I.C.E.) representative. She has used her legal skills to speak on behalf of and empower disenfranchised, marginalized members of our community as a student lawyer with the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County’s Workers’ Rights and Reentry Clinics, University of Southern California International Human Rights Clinic, and as a legal fellow with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California. As a recent addition to the Board of Words2Action, she hopes to bring her legal experience to bear in bolstering the foundation of the organization and serve its mission to transform good intentions into positive change.
Bernadette Capulong is the CEO & Founder of BC Design Haus, a WBENC and small business-certified, full-service design and branding agency in the Los Angeles area. They drive results by combining creativity and marketing data to bring smart branding solutions to customers.
Born in the Philippines, Bernadette’s parents immigrated to Portland, Oregon, when she was a child. She graduated high school with honors and attended California State University Long Beach, earning her a Bachelor of Art in Graphic Design.
After her education, it wasn’t long before she soared quickly up the ranks at corporations like IBM, Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, and Mattel. She spearheaded global billion-dollar brands like Barbie, Crunch, and Minecraft, with innovations and sales records through her creative efforts.
In 2009, she founded BC Design Haus at the cusp of the recession. Bernadette’s vision was simple: high-quality work, in half the time then the competition, adding greater value while building long-term relationships.
Although she is meant to be an entrepreneur, she is also meant to be a mother, and a single one at that. Bernadette adopted her son in 2015, and found that motherhood sparked in her a desire to be an even more fearless, inspiring and determined leader than ever before.
Bryan Kett is an award-winning educator turned writer and storyteller. He is a graduate of Chicago’s Second City Training Center writing program, and he received his Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from DePaul University. In addition to working as a Story Coach for Words2Action, Bryan also serves as a producer for The Story Collider, a nonprofit dedicated to sharing true personal stories about science; an instructor for The Story Studio, a New York-based organization dedicated to teaching the craft of personal storytelling; and as Story Coach for Unheard LA, an live-storytelling initiative of KPCC and Southern California Public Radio. In 2018, Bryan presented at TEDxPasadena, and his TEDx Talk was the first in license history to be featured on TED.com. His work has also been featured on The Moth Podcast, KCRW, Soulpancake, RISK!, and Mike Birbiglia’s Working It Out (Virtually). Bryan firmly believes that impactful storytelling is something that everyone is capable of and that it’s something we need now more than ever.