Speakers and Performers
Entrepreneur, Community Revitalization Advocate, and Founder of SW VA PechaKucha
Angel David Verde was born in Honduras and immigrated to the US with his mother and sister as a child. He grew up in the small city of Buena Vista, Virginia before serving six years in the US Air Force deploying three times to the middle east.
David lived in San Antonia, Texas as well as Charleston, South Carolina during his enlistment but traveled throughout the country and the world for his job for the military. In 2010, David and his wife Melisa relocated to Christiansburg, Virginia. David is a professional fashion photographer and specializes in street style photography publishing his images to his website angelspov.com. He now also photographs and writes for The Roanoke Times in his street style column "Style Street."
Since returning to Virginia, David has become passionate about the revitalization and progression of the city of Roanoke and the surrounding region. As an avid cyclist, in 2011, David held the first Roanoke Tweed Run, a bicycle ride through Roanoke is vintage British attire to advocate awareness of cyclists to motorists, cycling as a alternative means of transportation and promote a stronger cycling community. Following the success of the Tweed Run, David found the need of a stronger bridge between the two largest communities in Southwest Virginia, the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley, and started PechaKucha nights for Roanoke and SouthWest Virginia.
PechaKucha Nights or talks use a presentation format called 20x20 which allows each presenter 20 power point slides that run automatically for 20 seconds each for a total of 6 mintues and 40 seconds given only by locally based presenters. David will often refer to PechaKucha as the grassroot version of TED Talks. PechaKucha was founded by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo's Klein-Dytham Architecture and is now held in over 500 cities world wide. PechaKucha night Southwest Virginia is one of only 2 PechaKucha organizations in the state of Virginia. Presenters targeted by the Southwest Virginia PechaKucha night are often community members who in some form are local community development activists, entrepreneurs, artists and other members of the creative community. David believes, "community progression starts with artists and other creatives who decide to take ownership of their town or city. Cities aren't much different than the fashion industry, designers make something that becomes trendy. When something is trendy people start to buy into it, though instead of dresses and shoes we end up with revitalized downtown districts full of shops, parks and restaurants that everyone gets to enjoy."
David is continuing his passion for community revitalization in the Southwest region of Virginia as a member of the planning board for a downtown organization in Christiansburg Virginia. The organization is planned to officially launch in January 2013 first focusing on the downtown district of Christiansburg. David plans to utilize public, private, and non-profit organizations from the surrounding area and Roanoke in Christiansburg to continue promoting the unification of Southwest Virginia as one entity."
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