HESPERIA — Assemblyman Jay Obernolte, R-Hesperia, is one of several speakers who will share their unique passion during the second annual Ignite High Desert event Thursday.
Presented by the Hesperia Chamber of Commerce, Ignite HD includes nearly a dozen speakers who will have five minutes to speak, with some of this year’s topics covering climate change, driving laws and dancing.
“Jay Obernolte is going to speak on the Parable of the Fishes: Society’s Struggle with Poverty,” Chamber President and CEO Brad Letner told the Daily Press. “It will be nice to hear him expound on his STEM-themed topic in only five minutes.”
Letner said each speaker will deliver their presentation as projected slides transition every 15 seconds. He added that one of the benefits of attending the event is hearing from leaders who share their life-shaping experiences, passions, and unique perspectives.
“I’ve found that last year’s speakers were either informative, inspiring or entertaining, with some being all three,” Letner said. “It’s also surprising when you discover what the speakers plan to present.”
Letner, who is also the speakers list, said Regional Director for Inland Empire United Cari Thomas will speak on the “work/life balance” and last year’s Ignite presenter Chris Ackerman will return with his “Growing Up Hollywood” message.
Ackerman, who lives in Apple Valley and grew up in what he called a “Hollywood family” in North Hollywood, said actress Elinor Donahue who starred on TV shows “Father Knows Best” and “Andy Griffith” is his mother. He added that his father was Harry Ackerman, producer of shows such as “Bewitched,” “Gidget,” “The Flying Nun” and “Hazel” among many others.
With the topic of “Jocelyn’s Journey,” registered nurse Elizabeth Jones will share the story of her oldest daughter who was diagnosed with a “rare, debilitating neurological disorder” known at Rett Syndrome, according to Ignite organizer Sam Thatte.
Jones is on the front lines of a battle to find a cure and has birthed a grassroots fundraising army to join her in the fight.
“We’re expecting about 225 people at the event, but if we sell more we can always accommodate more people by moving some chairs,” Letner said. “Ignite is an event that just keeps getting bigger every year.”
Other speakers include Rick Danzey, Bryce Dettorre, Sandra Ganis, Mark McClennan, Paul Riding and Dinah Shumway.
The event will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott, 9619 Mariposa Road in Hesperia. Food vendors will be onsite along with a bar. For times, tickets and general information, visit www.ignitehighdesert.com.
Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter@DP_ReneDeLaCruz.