HeadVROOM Speaker Profile: Tom Heck

Saturday, 28 March 2015 by

Tom Heck wears many hats. As a musician, inventor and teacher of engineering, his most important role is being a proud, active “Geek Dad.” Tom bought his 11-year-old daughter, Liza, the LEGO® Mindstorms kit—a programmable robotics construction set that gives you the power to create and command your own LEGO robots—in order to teach her the fundamentals of engineering. Since then, they have

The chair has its own passport. It even has a publicist. It flew to Washington, D.C., Berlin, London, New York City, Miami and San Francisco. The most famous fame monster of all, Lady Gaga, has played a starring role in spreading the word about Benjamin Rollins Caldwell, the Spartanburg-based artist who designed and created what

With their absolute likable nature and down-to-earth sense of humor, Granville Automatic’s duo of Vanessa Olivarez and Elizabeth Elkins have a way of making you feel like part of the family right from the start. Writing songs drawn from their love of history, horses, and war, they create a heartfelt, visual story. Vanessa explains, “Visual

A true southern belle, Precious Bivings was raised in both Greer and Atlanta and wears many hats. As a mother, life coach, and entrepreneur, she has both education and experience in almost every facet of life. When you stand in her presence, you can feel the uplifting energy surrounding her. She is a powerhouse speaker with a zest for

With a soulful blend of funk, blues, rock and jazz, The Marcus King Band knows how to speak to their audience. “Our music breaks down the awkward barrier, and conveys to people what conversation cannot.” explains Marcus. Growing up with three generations of guitar players — including his father, Marvin King, a veteran touring bluesman

Gen Kelsang Nyema is an American Buddhist nun who believes the gift of happiness truly lies within our own hearts and minds. A resident teacher in the New Kadampa Tradition, Gen Nyema’s aim is to help seekers develop inner peace by offering meditation classes and practical Buddhist advice suitable for busy modern life. When asked about her TEDxGreenville experience, she

Have you heard that Harrison Brookie will emcee this year’s all-day TEDxGreenville conference on April 10th? If you attended the 2014 event, you’ll certainly remember him. A whompin’ eighty-five percent of last year’s audience responding to the post-event survey rated him ‘brilliant.’ Whoa!

“Harrison blew everyone away last year,” said Curator Lisa Marie Corley. “He really connected with the audience, presenters, and event team, and helped us all feel like family. It was a no-brainer to invite him back to host HeadVROOM.”

The emcee choice was announced last night at a preview party in which 9 of the 19 HeadVROOM speakers and performers were featured. Held at Zen Greenville and presented by the TEDxGreenvilleSalon team, Harrison hosted this event as well.

“I had such an incredible time last year at TEDxGreenville,” he said. “The content on stage and professionalism backstage made my job as host incredibly easy. Getting to meet the presenters early on and see their process was a special treat. To see passion turn to precision was just amazing. The second time around is only going to be better!”harrison1

Harrison is familiar to many as the ring leader of Alchemy Comedy Theater — a Greenville group that produces weekly improv, sketch, and standup comedy shows… runs a training center for those interested in honing comedic skills… organizes and hosts the annual New South Comedy Festival… and conducts corporate events and workshops.

Harrison grew up in Greenville, and in 2004 began performing short-form, long-form, and sketch comedy with Clemson University’s Mock Turtle Soup. There he helped create and later ran Clemson’s first satirical newspaper, The Almond. In 2008, he moved to North Carolina and joined the DSI Comedy Theater as a resident instructor and cast member of ComedySportz, the Harold team, and Mister Diplomat. He has been a festival instructor for the Boston Comedy Arts Festival and the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival. He completed the iO training center in Chicago and is a lover of improv books.

By day, Harrison is a part-time high school teacher. He and his wife Traci have two young children, Mae and Oliver.

Check out the Alchemy website at alchemycomedy.com. Browse last year’s TEDxGreenville 2014: Unzipped Flickr album for pictures of Harrison, presenters, attendees, and volunteers.

TEDxGreenville 2015: HeadVROOM on Friday, April 10, is sold out, but watch this website or like our Facebook page for livestream info.


When I found out I was nominated to speak at TEDxGreenville 2014: Unzipped I was absolutely psyched! I watched hundreds of TED talks and never ever saw myself giving one. So when someone else thought, “people should know about you, what you do, and the people you do it for,” I immediately wanted to explore the opportunity.

When I was selected to speak for TEDxGreenville, I knew my life would change. I had no idea how or why, but I was certain that I was embarking on something that would impact me forever. I chose to speak on a topic that was shocking and definitely not a feel-good issue – but it

When I was in my mid-twenties and working for a large corporation, I once hid in a bathroom stall before a business lunch so that I could enter and sit down without having to engage in conversation with a room full of people I barely knew. I was battling extreme shyness and social anxiety. I