Mia Saini Duchnowski
Journalist, Engineer, Entrepreneur
Master of Ceremonies
Mia Saini Duchnowski is a journalist, engineer and a successful entrepreneur who sold her first VC-backed company, Oars + Alps, to a large international CPG. Currently, she serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of Oars + Alps, a digitally native skin care brand for people who lead an active, on-the-go lifestyle. The products are made with natural premium ingredients and are sold on Target and Amazon. Prior to launching Oars + Alps, Mia held high-profile international broadcast positions with the largest financial TV networks in the world, including as a TV Reporter/Anchor with Bloomberg TV and Forbes TV. In that capacity, Mia interviewed hundreds of CEOs and heads of states including, Warren Buffett, Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Microsoft John Thompson, CEO of Burberry Angela Ahrendts, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, Blackstone co-founder Pete Peterson, Bear Stearns CEO Ace Greenberg, SAP CEO Bill McDermott and more. She also routinely covered breaking news stories, such as the disappearance of MH 370, Nelson Mandela’s death, Steve Job’s passing, as well as reporting from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Mia holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She has a double major from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in neuroscience and media studies, and a double minor in civil engineering and management science. While at MIT, she interned at NASA Ames Research Center doing artificial intelligence research. She was featured in Glamour Magazine as one of their Top Ten College Women in 2004.
#songs of Comfort
TEDxWrigleyville will be streaming Bach: Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major from Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs of Comfort Series
Yo-Yo Ma has been giving back with his music during these uncertain times. Using the hashtag #SongsOfComfort, the acclaimed musician has been tweeting out recordings of himself playing the cello, hoping to bring joy to those on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic and to those who are staying at home.
“In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort,” he tweeted.
The idea for #SongsOfComfort sparked from asking what he could do for others. So now, he’s using his music as an act of servitude — and is inviting others to join him
Through millennia, mankind has healed through movement and rhythm. Isaiah Day, a rising star in the world of dance, will continue that tradition by interpreting the song of comfort emanating from Yo-Yo Ma’s cell performance. Let’s take a moment to sit in awe of the sounds and flows of humanity.
Isaiah Day is from Chicago, Illinois. His early dance training includes Yielded Vessel Dance Ministry and Hubbard Street Youth Dance Center. He is an alumni of The Chicago Academy for the Arts where he trained in Classical Ballet, Men’s Technique, Pas de Deux, Modern, and Jazz, under the direction of Randy Duncan. Isaiah was on the 2017 Rising Star Honor Roll for an honor in Dance, a guest performer for WE Charity’s 2019 tour in Illinois, and a National YoungArts Foundation Finalist for Modern Dance in 2019. Isaiah is in the Dance Division at The Juilliard School in New York as a member of the Class of 2024.
Sarah Wasserman will open our event by singing the Star Spangled Banner
Sarah has had great success singing the roles of operetta’s heroines in H.M.S. Pinafore (Light Opera Works), The Merry Widow (Light Opera Works), The Girl In the Train (Chicago Folks Operetta) and Princess Ida (The Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company). Sarah is a dynamic performer, comfortable in both classical repertoire (Grant Park Music Festival Apprentice Chorale, Floating Opera Company, Young Amelia in the Chicago premiere of Hagen’s Ameliaat Roosevelt University) and musical theater (A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook at Theo Ubique, Into the Woods and Gershwin’s Greatest Hits at Music Theater Works). In addition to performing, Sarah has enjoyed teaching others to sing. She is currently the voice teacher at The Latin School of Chicago and is on the junior board of Chicago’s chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
Marisa Buchheit will sing Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Marisa Buchheit is an operatic soprano hailing from Chicago. She sings in 10 languages, including those of her own Thai-Chinese and German heritage. Marisa recently performed the title role in the American Premiere of Paul Abraham’s operetta The Flower of Hawaii with Folks Operetta, where she was touted for her “bell-clear coloratura” being “ideally complemented by her stylish beauty in the role of Princess Laia/Suzanne” (WTTW/PBS Chicago). .
In addition to the many roles she’s performed she sings outreach programs for the Ravinia Festival, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Community Chapters, and concert venues around the Chicagoland area.
Marisa was proud to represent her state at the Miss America competition as Miss Illinois 2014. Marisa earned her Master’s Degree in Opera with Distinction from DePaul University and her Bachelor’s Degree with Academic Honors and a German minor from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2015, she was the recipient of the “Humanitarian Excellence Award” from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White for her work in Arts Advocacy.
Zeeba Elise Kruse
Roxy Bargoz is a c-suite executive by day and a yoga and meditation instructor by night. Zeeba Elise Kruse is nine going on nineteen. Both have found balance in this time of uncertainty and change through meditation. Together, they guide us through the path to pause and peace.
While so many felt drowned in darkness, Quinn Costello used his art skills to spread color and kindness to his neighborhood. Watch as Pierce Kruse interviews this local kindness warrior, showing us that helpers come in all sizes and ages, and that heroes don’t always wear capes.