Month: October 2015

2015 Christmas Cocktail Party
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
5:30 – 8:00 P.M. at the DCA



Sorry! We’re sold out.

$40 per person includes Drinks and Food

  • Two open bars
  • Delicacies including crab cakes, smoked salmon, filet of beef, and shrimp.
  • Catered by Palmers
  • Entertainment by the Blue Notes
  • Dress: Cocktail Attire
The Blue Notes

The Blue Notes


Sorry! We’re sold out.

For information and reservations —

Contact Bill Winship –

Speakers — November 18, 2015
From NBC Sports Group
Rob Landau
SVP — HR and Administration
David Pietrycha

 In early 2013, the NBC Sports Group consolidated its operations from multiple locations — including Rockefeller Center, the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, and Landmark Square and Harbor Drive in Stamford — centralizing its broadcast operations to newly constructed headquarters on Blatchley Road in Stamford.  

Rob and Dave will provide an overview of the network and the Stamford site, and then deal with some of the business metrics and economics of sports broadcasting.

Rob Landau

Rob Landau

Rob Landau was named Senior Vice President for NBC Sports Group in January 2011. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of Human Resources for NBC Sports Group, including talent, compensation, benefits, learning, and employee and labor relations. Rob also has general oversight of the division’s Information Technology teams and administration of the new NBC Sports Group facility in Stamford, Conn. He reports directly to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group.

NBC Sports Group consists of NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, NBC Sports Radio, NBC Sports Digital and 10 NBC Sports Regional Networks.

Landau began at NBCUniversal in 1999 as a senior labor, employment and talent counsel. He represented NBCUniversal in its labor union relationships and managed executive and talent contract negotiations for the company. In 2006, he was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources for NBC Sports & Olympics.

Previously, Landau served as an associate with Littler Mendelson in San Francisco, Calif. There, he represented management in connection with all types of traditional labor and employment related disputes.

Landau received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1994, and his B.S. degree from Cornell’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations in 1991. He and his wife, Laura, have two children, Gillian and Charles.


David Pietrycha

David Pietrycha

Dave Pietrycha is Chief Financial Officer, NBC Sports Group. In his role, Dave has financial oversight of NBC Sports Group properties, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel, 11 NBC Sports Regional networks, NBC Sports Radio and NBC Sports Group Digital. He reports to Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group.

Previously, Pietrycha served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, NBC News Division, where he managed finance for all of NBC News broadcasts and platforms, including MSNBC. Notably, he had financial oversight of the transaction in which NBCUniversal dissolved its longstanding joint venture with Microsoft and acquired 100 percent ownership of the industry-leading digital news business. Previously, Pietrycha served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for MSNBC. Prior to joining NBC News, he spent five years working within the NBC Owned Stations division serving in various finance roles. In 2010, Pietrycha completed General Electric’s Experienced Financial Leadership Program.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Pietrycha completed the Financial Leadership Development Program at BAE Systems, a global defense, security and aerospace company.

Pietrycha graduated from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire with a bachelor’s degree in Economics, and from Bentley University in Massachusetts with an MBA. He resides in Connecticut with his wife and children.

Hiking in
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
postponed to Thursday, November 5, 2015. Thursday October 29, 2015
at 10:00 am

Pound Ridge ReservationOur first hike of the season is scheduled for Thursday, November 5, 2015.  Thursday October 29 at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.Located in Cross River(Pound Ridge) this is a 4000 acre park with 42 miles of trails over varied terrain. We will select a trail approximately 4 to 5 miles in length and the hike should take about 2 ½ to 3 hours. The trails are wide, well maintained and well marked. The hike will be followed by lunch(optional) at Blind Charlie’s Cafe in Downtown PoundRidge. Spouses, significant others, friends and guests are welcome to join the hike.

No entrance fee is charged of seniors during the week in the off-season and there is plenty of parking available. We plan to assemble at 10.00 am at the parking lot near the entrance of the park (where the ticket booth is located). There are restrooms here. At 10.10 am we will proceed as a group by car to the trailhead which is a short distance past the ticket booth on Michigan Road.

This hike is led by Sunil Saksena who can be reached at 203-561-8601(cell) or


  • Take exit 35 off the Merritt Parkway and proceed north on High Ridge Road( Rt 137 N).
  • Continue on Rt 137 North for approx 8.5 miles and bear left at the fork towards Pound Ridge onto Stone Hill Road which is still Rt 137N.
  • Continue till theT-junction at the end of Rt137 N and then make a right turn towards Cross River onto Old Post Road (Rt 121N) . After about 2.9 miles make a right turn just past the Baptist Church located at 1789 Old Post Road.. This right turn is clearly marked as the entrance to the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
  • Proceed on this road (Reservation Road) till you reach the ticket booth.

( the distance from Exit 35 on the Merritt to the ticket booth is just under 14 miles and will take about 30 min depending on traffic).

Official address of the Park is 4 Reservation Road, Cross River, NY 10518


Speaker — November 11, 2015
Stew Leonard, Jr. speaks on
Success in the highly competitive food retail industry

Stew Leonard Jr.

Stew Leonard Jr.

Stew Leonard’s opened its first dairy store in Norwalk in 1969. Since then it has developed a non-traditional retailing business model. Stew Leonard, Jr. will speak to the company’s history and business practices that have contributed to its success in the highly competitive food retail industry.

Stew Leonard Jr. is president and chief executive officer of Stew Leonard’s, a unique family-owned and operated, farm-fresh grocery stores once called the “The Disneyland of Dairy Stores” by The New York Times for its in-store entertainment and costumed characters. Stew Leonard’s is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having “the greatest sales per unit area of any single food store in the United States” and was recognized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! as “World’s Largest Dairy Store.”

Since Stew took over as president and CEO in 1991, the company has grown to include four food stores in Norwalk, Danbury and Newington, Connecticut and Yonkers, New York, and nine wine stores in Norwalk, Danbury and Newington, Connecticut; Yonkers, Farmingdale and Carle Place, New York; and Clifton, Springfield and Paramus, New Jersey. Stew Leonard’s employs more than 2,000 Team Members and has annual sales close to $400 million.

The company is continuously featured in marketing textbooks and business school case studies; 2011 marked its tenth consecutive year on FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list, coming in at #18 alongside such notable companies as Google, American Express, and Starbucks. Stew has shared the Stew Leonard’s philosophy on customer service and team member development with companies from all corners of the globe, and he is listed as one of the top 25 speakers from the Washington Speakers’ Bureau.

Stew earned his MBA from UCLA in 1982. He has appeared on numerous national television shows sharing his expertise and store’s business philosophy and has been honored and awarded by many organizations for his leadership and community support. He and his wife Kim have additionally been recognized for their advocacy in supporting children’s water safety.

November 11, 2015, 12:30 pm — Book Discussion Group Meeting
The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train is a mystery and suspense novel by Paula Hawkins. It follows the lives of three women – Rachel, Anna, and Megan – and the events surrounding Megan’s murder, ultimately bringing the lives of the three women together.

But what really makes The Girl on the Train such a gripping novel is Hawkins’ remarkable understanding of the limits of human knowledge, and the degree to which memory and imagination can become confused.

New York Times Best Seller list for 35 weeks and counting. “Nothing is more addicting than The Girl on the Train”.–Vanity Fair

Speakers — November 4, 2015
Blake Berson and Jack Ford, CBS Sports Network
Forward Progress: The Integration of SEC Football

Jack Ford and Blake Berson will present Forward Progress: The Integration of SEC Football, a CBS Sports documentary about Nate Northington, the first African-American football player in the Southeastern Conference, and the impact his arrival in 1967 had on the University of Kentucky, the SEC, and the sports and cultural landscape in the United States. The one-hour documentary aired during African-American History Month on February 16, 2015. Jack Ford served as executive producer and Blake Berson as producer.

Blake Berson

Blake-Bio-Pic_1080An award winning shooter, editor and producer, Blake Berson has worked for CBS Sports Network for almost a decade. Born and raised in the Philadelphia, PA area, his work has taken him all over the world, from Italy to Nicaragua and conducted interviews with some of sports biggest stars.

Mr. Berson developed much of his journalistic background at Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a degree in Print Journalism with distinction and was one of the first graduates from the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. At Penn State, Mr. Berson helped begin the school’s first student run weekly sports television show. It still exists today, but now as a credited class in the school of Communications. Mr. Berson also helped Penn State’s athletics website create it’s first video content, as he shot, edited and produced highlights and feature content.

While in school, Mr. Berson also accepted internships with Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia, NFL Films and ESPN.

After graduating from Penn State in the fall of 2005, Mr. Berson immediately went to work in Bristol, CT at ESPN Classic as a production assistant, working on long form projects. Shortly thereafter, he was offered an opportunity to move to New York City and begin a career with CSTV (College Sports Television) as a senior production assistant. CSTV was bought by CBS and eventually became CBS Sports Network. Over the last decade, Mr. Berson has moved through the ranks to become a senior feature producer at the age of 30.

While at CBS Sports Network, Mr. Berson and has shot, edited and produced features on a variety of sports and topics, but mainly focuses on college football and college basketball content. He has also produced several ‘all-access’ documentaries, which have aired on both CBS and CBS Sports Network. His work includes production on ‘One2One,’ CBS Sports’ ‘Confidential’ series and his first historical documentary, ‘Forward Progress.’

Since coming to CBS Sports Network, Mr. Berson has won several awards, including First Place and ‘Best in Show’ at the 2014 National Headliner Award, 2012 SVG College Sports Media Awards ‘Special Feature’ winner and four Cine Golden Eagle Awards. Also, in 2014 Mr. Berson was given the ‘Emerging Professional’ Award from the Penn State College of Communications for a graduate within the last ten years and based on career achievements and community service.

Mr. Berson resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. with his wife, Alison.

Jack Ford

Jack_Ford_1080Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, documentary producer, prominent trial attorney, author, and teacher, Jack Ford has had a unique and remarkably successful career. Raised by a single parent, his journey has taken him from a small town in New Jersey to Yale University, where he was a scholarship student and three-year starter on the varsity football team, to the Fordham University School of Law, where he helped finance his legal education with winnings from three appearances on the television quiz show “Jeopardy!”, to courtrooms and classrooms throughout the country, and, ultimately, to the upper echelons of television journalism.

Currently a CBS News Correspondent for “60 Minutes Sports” and the co-host of “Metro Focus” on PBS (WNET-New York), he is also the Co-Founder and Chief Anchor of the American Education Network. Mr. Ford began his television news career in 1984 with WCBS-TV in New York. In 1991, he was an original anchor at the launch of Court TV. He also appeared in Fred Friendly’s award-winning PBS Media and Society broadcasts, serving as Moderator for “That Delicate Balance II: The Bill of Rights.”

In 1994, Mr. Ford joined NBC News as Chief Legal Correspondent, reporting on major legal stories for NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and Dateline. In addition, he was the co-anchor for the Weekend Today Show and a substitute anchor for Nightly News and Meet the Press. Mr. Ford joined ABC News in 1999 as an Anchor/Correspondent for Good Morning America, 20/20, and World News Tonight. He also hosted the ESPN show, The Sports Reporters II, from 2002-2003. During 2003-2004, he hosted a nationally syndicated morning show for CBS TV/King World before returning to Court TV in 2005 as the Host of “Courtside.” From 2009-2014 he served as the CBS News Legal Analyst. He has also provided college football game commentary for ESPN and the Yes Network.

Following law school, Mr. Ford spent three years as a prosecutor in New Jersey before entering private practice. He became a prominent trial attorney, successfully handling such high profile cases as the Northeast’s first death penalty trial, one of the nation’s first corporate homicide cases, and the Wall Street insider trading scandal of the late 1980s. During his legal career, he also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Fordham University School of Law. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Yale University, New York University, and the University of Virginia and speaks frequently at colleges and law schools across the country. He is the author of two critically acclaimed novels, “The Osiris Alliance” and “The Walls of Jericho.”

Mr. Ford’s television journalism work has been recognized with a number of honors, including two Emmy Awards, a George Foster Peabody Award, three National Cable Television Awards, a National Headliner Award, and the March of Dimes FDR Award. In 1997, he received an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award, which is presented to former outstanding college athletes who have achieved distinction in their professional lives. In 1998, Mr. Ford was honored with a “National Father of the Year Award,” and in 2009, he was a recipient of Yale University’s highest athletic honor, the “George H.W. Bush Lifetime of Leadership Award.”

Mr. Ford has been awarded five honorary degrees, recognizing his professional accomplishments and his extensive public service work. He has served as spokesperson, host and/or board member for a number of charitable causes and organizations, including the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, the N.J. Special Olympics, the Jimmy V Foundation, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, the Ivy League Football Association, the NCAA Honors Committee, the NCAA Division 1 Committee on Infractions, Meridian Health System, Monmouth University, and Yale University.

Mr. Ford resides in Spring Lake, N.J. with his wife, Dorothy. They have two children, Dr. Ashley Ford Haggerty and Colin Ford.

Speaker — October 28, 2015
Arthur R. Marcelynas

Art MarcelynasArt Marcelynas will discuss electricity energy choices and policies, including:

  • Choosing an Electric Supplier – Options for electricity supply choice
  •  Understanding your electric bill
  • Impact of mandated “clean” energy requirements – CT’s “Renewable Portfolio Standards” or RPS
  • Other renewable energy options, and
  • Rate impact of energy-related policies

Art Marcelynas has nearly thirty years of regulatory experience with Connecticut’s Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC), the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy, and the DPUC’s successor agency, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Early in his career, Art focused on private water company ratemaking and regulatory policy. In 1993, his duties shifted to oversight of Connecticut’s investor-owned electric utilities, The Connecticut Light and Power Company and The United Illuminating Company, with emphasis on sales forecasting, rates, and rate design. Art was a leader in implementing retail choice and other energy related initiatives in Connecticut, and expanded his portfolio of duties to include senior staff positions in conservation and load management programs and budgets, energy policy implementation and ongoing development of the retail electric supply market.

In 2005, Art established the retail electric supply “rate board” that provides residential and smaller business customers real-time access to supplier rates and offers, and expanded that resource to accommodate a growing market, new product offers and other ongoing changes.

He has led teams as a subject matter expert in numerous supplier-related regulatory dockets and industry working groups. His current duties include working with PURA Commissioners to implement recent supplier-related legislation, including Connecticut Public Act 14 75. Art actively participates in regulatory proceedings impacting the Connecticut retail electric supplier market, advising Commissioners on a variety of energy policy issues.

Contact information:

Art Marcelynas
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
P: 860.827.2887

Speaker — October 21, 2015
Karen Abbott, New York Times bestselling author

Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott

Karen Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War. The book tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War.

Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides.

Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named “Frank Thompson,” witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her.

The beautiful widow Rose O’Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined.

Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives.