New Local Talk Series "Think Big" on Wed., April 25

On Wednesday April 25 at 7:00 p.m., Beaverton Activity Center will debut the new “Think Big” Talk Series. The featured speaker is David Rowe, Information Technology Manager for LAIKA Entertainment, LLC, Portland, Oregon, a stop-motion animation studio specializing in feature films. Rowe will share the unique story of his early years and his creative work that merges the arts, technology and design. In his presentations to the community and students, Rowe will share distinct memories of his formative years in Beaverton and Gladwin County. He will focus on encouraging participants to create, inspire, share, and achieve.

A Beaverton Rural Schools student in the 1980s, Rowe began his career as a Disney Animation Studios technical support engineer in 1990. In 2001 he moved on to his current position as IT Manager at LAIKA, a community of storytellers, artists, inventors, technicians and craftspeople who fuse filmmaking’s state-of-the-art technologies with handcrafted animation. Rowe has earned 21 feature film credits for digital animation, including Hercules, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Boxtrolls and Coraline.

Plans for the “Think Big” series are to offer two presenters annually in a format that is informal, interactive, and entertaining. Focused on bringing a positive message of “thinking big” aimed at both students and adults, the presentations will feature professionals working in art, education, science, technology, and business, who are either alumni of area high schools or residents of the local community.

The highly successful animation technician will also make use of the BAC's new high tech Cedar River conference room to offer 90-minute presentations to BRS students. Teachers and administrators have recommended students with specific interests and skills in the arts and technology fields to personally interact with Rowe in these small group sessions.  

Rowe’s grandfather, Robert Brown, married Isabelle Mercer in 1920 and served as mayor of Beaverton in the 1960s.  Rowe grew up less than a block away from his junior high school, now known as Beaverton Activity Center. He fondly recalls bike rides on Glidden Road, movies at the Gem Theater, and has maintained connections with a number of his classmates and teachers. "Beaverton," he says, "is in my DNA." (Coincidentally, Rowe currently lives about fifteen miles from Beaverton. Beaverton, Oregon that is.) If you were to visit his office at LAIKA, you would notice a plaque he proudly displays as a reminder of his days in central Michigan. It is the 1985 “Best in Show” award for a computer competition at Gladwin County Fair.  


BAC’s “Think Big” Series is free to students and the public, with the help of generous contributors. Donations to help support the development of the program will be gratefully accepted.

For more information, or for suggestions regarding future THINK BIG presentations,contact Beaverton Activity Center 989-435-4104, or