TEDxBigSky: Meet the speakers

By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

[EXCERPT] Read Complete Article

BIG SKY – Solidarity. Responsibility. Fortitude. We’ve heard a lot of iterations of what resilience means to each of this year’s TEDxBigSky speakers. This issue, meet Todd Dittmann, who spent 25 years in energy finance; Lisa Senters-McDermott, CEO and founder of Jet Senters Aviation; Ryan Busse, author of the critically acclaimed memoir, “Gunfight”; and Bruce Anfinson, Montana born and raised singer/songwriter who will close out night two with some inspiring tunes.

This year TEDxBigSky is paired with another great Big Sky Ideas Festival featuring a roundtable discussion about trust in the media on Thursday, Jan. 27 at 5:30 p.m. as well as live performances by musicians Monique Benabou and Bruce Anfinson on Friday, Jan. 28 at The Independent at 6 p.m. Be sure to purchase your tickets to all events at tedxbigsky.com.

As we wrap up our speaker introduction series, we’d like to remind you to find your own sense of resilience in life—whether it’s working together to save the planet, start your own company, write some good music or change the culture of our community for the better. Join us at TEDxBigSky this month to start your resilient journey.

Lisa Senters-McDermott

“Everybody needs a passion. That’s what keeps life interesting,” the late Betty White wrote in her 2011 book, “If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t).” “If you live without passion, you can go through life without leaving any footprints.”

It’s a quote Lisa Senters-McDermott, private aviation expert and CEO and founder of Jet Senters Aviation, referenced when recounting her path to success. Senters-McDermott will be speaking about resilience as an entrepreneur and how the journey of of climbing to the top has changed over the years with the introduction of technology. Perhaps the greatest contributor to her success, she says, is her belief in trusting her instincts in the face of disbelievers and naysayers.

For her, this success does not come without failure. In fact, according to smallbiztrends.com, entrepreneurs fail an average of four times before succeeding.

“Resilience is essential,” said Senters-McDermott. “You have to follow your gut, trust your instincts and allow yourself to dream.”

She hopes her TEDxBigSky talk is funny, inspiring and enlightening and reaches younger listeners, encouraging them to follow their wildest dreams—all while teaching their parents not to quash those dreams. 

“Everyone’s brain functions differently so everyone is unique and capable of achieving different things,” said Senters-McDermott. “That’s the beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur, you can see things different then I can. I’m bringing something to life that no one ever thought of before.”

To Senters-McDermott, resilience means not giving up. She illustrates an image of the old Bozo the Clown punching bag toys—when you punch Bozo, he pops back up. Although humorous, that’s the image she likes to encourage others to feel—the tenacity to get back up, no matter how hard the punch.