Innovative Thinkers Forum

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Innovative Thinkers Forum

ITF IV Coming October 2016!


A Look at ITF III

Foothill Ranch, CA The third annual Team Kids Innovative Thinkers Forum,” held the evening of Thursday, October 22 at Oakley’s iconic Headquarters broke Team Kids’ all-time fundraising records and created the buzz of a Hollywood movie premiere. Fueled by high-profile executives from NASA, Oakley and Ekso Bionics and two-time Academy Award nominated actor/producer Jeremy Renner, Team Kids welcomed 400 guests and raised more $160,000 in funds to support its mission to empower children to change the world.

Excitement peaked with a monumental Hollywood-style entrance as Jeremy Renner barreled up Oakley’s grand entrance in an Orange County Sheriff’s Humvee.  Panelists also arrived in a second Humvee, which was flanked by an Orange County Fire Authority Engine and deputies on motorcycles.  The dramatic arrival, with lights and sirens blaring, was set to the recognizably thrilling score of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, one of Mr. Renner’s latest top-grossing films.  While guests awaited the arrival of the special VIPs, they gathered for an Innovation Expo featuring international award-winning STEM project from Dana Point Elementary School’s Robo-techs and UC Irvine’s ANTrepreneur’s products designed to tackle pressing social issues.

After an executive business mixer, guests headed into Oakley’s auditorium, where they were treated to a rare experience. Joe Burke, Event Chair, emcee and Team Kids’ Fund Development and Marketing Chair, led in sixty third-graders, who sat cross-legged on the floors and up the aisles of the theater. Jeremy Renner took the stage, bringing children up with him one-by-one to field their impromptu questions, which ranged from gaging his archery skills to asking what leadership means to him. Mr. Renner was then joined by ingenious global leaders – Colin Baden, Chief Innovation Product Officer of Oakley; Jeanne Holm, Chief Knowledge Architect of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Nathan Harding, Co-Founder and CEO of Ekso Bionics.  Led by moderator and Team Kids Board Member Dan Lubeck, the four panelists discussed their respective paths to innovation and answered personal questions, including their pivotal moments in life and greatest failures, and left the audience with the gift of their pearls of wisdom.

“Innovation is invention that changes the world,” said Jeremy Renner, “There is no greater place to spark innovation than from the dreams of our nation’s kids. I love the work Team Kids has done for over 15 years and their partnerships with police, firefighters and educators.”

The purpose of the night was to celebrate innovation and, aligned with Team Kids’ mission of youth empowerment, to inspire our next generation of leaders to be kind, fearless, problem solvers who think outside the box.

“Tonight was about bringing heroes together: our police, firefighters, The Avengers’ Hawkeye, and some of the most brilliant minds in the universe,” says Team Kids’ Founder and CEO Julie Hudash. “But the adults were also incredibly inspired by our kids, who reminded us that they too are heroes, and also the most powerful and renewable resource in the world!”

“The panel of global innovators and the kids shared a similar message; be fearless, courageous and work hard” remarked Team Kids Board Member and Event Chair, Joe Burke.

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Jeremy Renner With Celebrity Guest, Jeremy Renner

Chief Knowledge Architect
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Chief Innovation and Product Officer

Co-Founder and CEO
Ekso Bionics

ITF III Food Vendors-01

ITF III Sponsors-01


  • Henry Samueli: CTO of Broadcom Corporation
  • Mike Mussallem: Chairman & CEO of Edwards Lifesciences
  • Kimberly Cripe: President & CEO of CHOC Children’s
  • Paul Merage: Chairman of MIG Capital
  • William Wang: CEO of VIZIO, Inc.
  • Margie Harrier: COO of Kaiser Permanente OC
  • Frank Pearce: CEO of Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.




For sponsorship and more information contact CEO Julie Hudash:
(949) 861-4887


Today in Orange County, most of the work being done in health and human services focuses, appropriately, on the immediate needs of the disadvantaged. Team Kids takes a different approach, directing their energies toward our youth, teaching them the value and power of working together to solve community issues. In so doing, they are developing the philanthropists of the future and creating systematic change in our community.”

OC United Way, CEO Max Gardner

Team Kids is addressing critical child and community needs today, while also building our next generation of problem solvers.”

Dan Lubeck, Team Kids Board Member

I became a Founding Team Kids Board Member in 2004, after witnessing the leadership and compassion being developed in the students participating in the Team Kids Challenge Program. Team Kids engenders a culture where it is everyone’s right, regardless of age, to be a powerful agent for change.”

Bethany LaFlam, Team Kids Board Member

Team Kids, to me, is an antidote to entitlement and one great way to create the responsible citizens we all want as future leaders.”

Mike Cupps, Team Kids Board Member; Private Investor

Call us at 949 861 4887

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