Kristopher Garcia is a social activist, entrepreneur, curator of TEDxHackensack, and founder of Designs For Causes, a fashion meets philanthropy startup that provides learning, professional development, and space for fashion designers who want to make a difference in the world and change the face of fashion through philanthropy.
After the loss of his mother in April 2006, Kristopher found himself having to figure out the next steps of his life which had been altered due to unforeseen circumstances. He began to make his journey through the corporate ladder and began developing, learning, and acquiring new skills. Through all of the success in the roles held, Kristopher also managed to volunteer and continue supporting causes that he felt passionate about and knew a difference could be made.
In 2008, Kristopher joined the New Jersey Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBA’s and has served on the board of directors for the chapter for three years and contributed to its current success to help foster future Hispanic leadership. While also serving on the board Kristopher has also helped other charities in various capacities.
With his 10+ years of non-profit volunteer work, Kristopher has decided that the next chapter for him was to begin developing a new and interesting way to continue helping charities, but using his own vision to create it. His goal is to make a shoppers experience more rewarding through his Designs For Causes venture and change the fashion and stigma that is put on the fashion industry.
The last and current venture is TEDxHackensack which seeks to bring the TED experience to a local level, bringing together innovative ideas and concepts under the core beliefs of community, innovation, uniqueness, and independence.Kristopher in his spare time not only enjoys writing in the third person, but is thinking of writing a book for a future project.
Favorite Book(s): The Effective Executive, The River, Of Mice and Men
Favorite Saying: I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.” – Maya Angelou
Heroes(s): Maria Irma Guarin Paniagua (Mother)
Annina Caruso is an inquisitive, creative, unique event producer with a passion for marketing and exploring the world around her and adding a different perspective to the conventional.
Annina obtained her B.S. in Marketing from Berkeley College and has had her hand in many different fields, from advertising at Unilever to interning at Kenneth Cole and Sony Music. Annina currently works as an Event Producer for a computer software company in Jersey City. Her focused events are throughout North America and range from virtual conferences, live tradeshows, after hours, workshops within the computer software industry.
Annina comes from a strong Italian upbringing and believes the roots of her culture have shaped her and continue influencing her ideology and zest for life. She is currently involved with Jersey Cares as a volunteer and has helped secure many key sponsored items for the yearly Room for Desserts! annual fundraiser, as well as, other volunteer activities.
Annina is excited to be part of the TEDxHackensack experience. Her goal is to find dynamic voices and present them to the city of Hackensack with the hopes of inspiring a new generation of thinkers and future activists to continue making our community a better place.
Annina in her spare time enjoys trying new things and finding great events/festivals to share with her family and friends.
Christine Haz is a highly passionate, equally dedicated and extremely focused marketing professional as well as proud Syracuse University Alum. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology, Christine embarked on her first adventure and pursued a career in advertising. Her background is rooted in consumer packaged goods and pharma experience from partnering with clients such as The J.M. Smucker Company, Unilever, McNeil, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers, Sanofi-Aventis and Kraft.
With 10 years of marketing expertise, Christine is happy to join the TEDxHackensack team to successfully launch the first city based TEDx event in northern NJ. Her goal is to create a unique, thought-provoking brand experience for TEDxHackensack participants that will inspire, motivate and drive creativity for future community platforms.
Born and raised in Jersey with strong ties to NYC’s culture and lifestyle, Christine is inspired by new experiences that push her out of her comfort zone and meeting new people with different insights that challenge her to evoke positive change in her own life.
Christine actively participates in ZogSports Hoboken league and is currently involved with the Jersey Cares organization where she hopes to continue to impact people around her through volunteer work. She has also recently taken up the practice of meditation which falls under one of her personal goals of trying something new once a month.
In her spare time, Christine makes every effort to visit her niece and nephews up in Massachusetts as much as possible. She also enjoys decorating, party planning, dancing, road trips, watching the Food Network and HGTV (seeing people dedicated to their craft truly inspires and motivates her) and boutique shopping in NYC for one of a kind accessories. Lastly, one of her favorite vacation spots of all time is the French Riviera, especially St. Tropez, which she hopes to visit again very soon.
Rogelio “Roger” Diaz is a proud resident of Hackensack who is trying to engage the community. With the help of his fellow Hackensack residents the vision of Hackensack becoming a beautiful, thriving city can come true.
“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent. “- Napoleon Bonaparte