Month: September 2016

Speaker — October 12, 2016
Thomas M. T. Niles
Vice Chairman
United States Council for International Business

Thomas M. T. Niles

Thomas M. T. Niles

Thomas M. T. Niles retired from the United States Foreign Service in September 1998 following a career of more than 36 years. In the Foreign Service, he served as Ambassador to Canada (1985-89), Ambassador to the European Union (1989-91), Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Canada (1991-93), and Ambassador to Greece (1993-97).

Earlier in his career, he served in Belgrade, Moscow (twice), and the United States Mission to NATO in Brussels as well as in the Department of State. On February 1, 1999, he became President of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which advances the global interests of American business both at home and abroad, promoting an open system of world trade, finance, and investment. It is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, and the International Organization of Employers (IOE).

On April 15, 2005 Ambassador Niles retired as President of USCIB and became Vice Chairman of the Council.

October 12, 2016 –
Book Discussion
The House That Jack Ma Built

Duncan Clark

alibaba-coverAn engrossing, insider’s account of how a teacher built one of the world’s most valuable companies—rivaling Walmart & Amazon—and forever reshaped the global economy.
In just a decade and half Jack Ma, a man from modest beginnings who started out as an English teacher, founded and built Alibaba into one of the world’s largest companies, an e-commerce empire on which hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers depend. Alibaba’s $25 billion IPO in 2014 was the largest global IPO ever. A Rockefeller of his age who is courted by CEOs and Presidents around the world, Jack is an icon for China’s booming private sector and the gatekeeper to hundreds of millions of middle class consumers.
Duncan Clark first met Jack in 1999 in the small apartment where Jack founded Alibaba. Granted unprecedented access to a wealth of new material including exclusive interviews, Clark draws on his own experience as an early advisor to Alibaba and two decades in China chronicling the Internet’s impact on the country to create an authoritative, compelling narrative account of Alibaba’s rise.
How did Jack overcome his humble origins and early failures to achieve massive success with Alibaba? How did he outsmart rival entrepreneurs from China and Silicon Valley? Can Alibaba maintain its 80% market share? As it forges ahead into finance and entertainment, are there limits to Alibaba’s ambitions? How does the Chinese government view its rise? Will Alibaba expand further overseas, including in the U.S.?
Clark tells Alibaba’s tale in the context of China’s momentous economic and social changes, illuminating an unlikely corporate titan as never before.

Speaker — October 5, 2016
Donald P. Gregg
Chairman of the Pacific Century Institute (PCI) in Los Angeles, and
Chairman Emeritus of The Korea Society in New York City.

Donald P. Gregg

Donald P. Gregg

Donald P. Gregg currently is chairman of the Pacific Century Institute (PCI) in Los Angeles and chairman emeritus of The Korea Society in New York City.

Following graduation from Williams College in 1951, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and over the next quarter century was assigned to Japan, Burma, Vietnam and Korea. He was seconded to the National Security Council staff in 1979, where he was in charge of intelligence activities and Asian policy affairs.

In 1982, Gregg was asked by the then Vice President George Bush to become his national security advisor. He then retired from the CIA, and was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. During his six years with Vice President Bush, Gregg traveled to 65 countries.

Gregg also served as a professorial lecturer at Georgetown University from 1980-1989, where he taught a graduate level workshop entitled Force and Diplomacy.

In September 1989, Gregg began his service as the United States Ambassador to Korea. Prior to his departure from Korea in 1993, he received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, an honorary doctoral degree from Sogang University, and a decoration from the prime minister of Korea.

In March 1993, Gregg retired from a 43-year career in the United States government to become the president and chairman of The Korea Society. He has been chairman emeritus since 2009. In 2012 Gregg was appointed chairman of the Pacific Century Institute.

Gregg remains strongly interested in establishing normal relations with North Korea, a country he has visited six times. The Pacific Century Institute actively supports unofficial meetings between Americans with significant experience in Korea with North Korean officials. Gregg led a PCI delegation to North Korea in February 2014.

Gregg is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Recent awards include an honorary degree from Green Mountain College (1996), the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service (2001), Williams College’s Kellogg Award for Career Achievement (2001), the 2004 Bartels World Affairs Fellowship from Cornell University, and an honorary degree from Colorado College (2010). Gregg and his wife were honored in 2009 by the establishment of The Donald P. and Margaret Gregg Professorship at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. In July 2014, Gregg published a memoir entitled Pot Shards; Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House and the Two Koreas.

Hiking the Leon Levy Preserve in South Salem NY
Thursday Sept 29, 2016 at 9.30am

The Leon Levy Preserve was established approximately 10 years ago when the 400 acre Bell property was purchased by the Westchester Land Trust. The hiking trails here are wide, well maintained, well marked and range from an easy to a light moderate level of difficulty.

See: Leon Levy Preserve

We have chosen this particular hike to encourage wide participation. The hike should appeal to hikers of all levels of experience. We welcome spouses and significant others: they will enjoy this hike.

We will start at 9.30am, hike for perhaps 3.5 miles and be done by approximately 12 noon.

Following the hike, an optional lunch will be at Chef Luis in the heart of downtown New Canaan.

See: Chef Luis


The best directions can be had by googling 45 Smith Ridge Road in South Salem, NY. This is a private home on Route 123 very close to the Preserve. In fact, a few yards from their mailbox is a brown sign saying the the Leon Levy Preserve is just ahead on the left. There is ample parking.

For those traveling from Darien, you will basically being going up Mansfield Ave (Route 124) into New Canaan and there connect to Route 123 N which is Smith Ridge Road in New Canaan. Proceed on Route 123 N well into New York State till you see the mailbox for 45 Smith Ridge Road in South Salem and spot the Leon Levy sign mentioned above.

Rain date: Friday, Sept 30, 2016

Contact for this hike: Sunil Saksena, 203­561­8601;

Speaker — September 28, 2016
Alan J. Mathis
President and CEO of Liberation Programs

Alan J. Mathis

Alan J. Mathis

Since 2006, Alan J. Mathis has served as the President and CEO of Liberation Programs, one of Connecticut’s leading nonprofits providing prevention, education and treatment services for persons with substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Under Mr. Mathis’ leadership, the agency has increased the number of people served by 38%, reduced wait times for treatment, and expanded access to wraparound social services to include a transitional employment program, and increased access to primary medical care through partnerships with community health centers.

Working with the Board of Directors, the agency developed an 18-unit permanent supportive housing complex in Norwalk for women and their children. This also included renovation of a 7,000 square foot space for Liberation’s inpatient program for pregnant and parenting women. Mr. Mathis transformed Liberation into an organization that provides evidenced-based, targeted care for the 1,200 individuals seen every day while strengthening the agency’s business practices and management.

Mr. Mathis is a frequent speaker in the community. He is currently chairing Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling’s Affordable Housing Committee.

Prior to joining Liberation Programs, Mr. Mathis served as President and CEO at the Lower Eastside Service Center providing housing, primary medical, addiction and mental health services in NYC and served on NYC’s Mental Health and Hygiene Policy Advisory Board under Dr. Thomas Frieden, the current Director of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from the Averall Harriman College at the University of NY at Stony Brook. As a Sloan Fellow, he studied public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

He resides in Norwalk with his wife Melissa.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
DMA Golf Outing
at Sterling Farms

Sterling Farms

Sterling Farms

Peter Carnes has arranged for DMA members to play golf at Sterling Farms on Tuesday September 27, 2016. The outing will cost $44 which includes a cart. Tee times start at 10am and Peter needs a “hard” count by Wednesday 21 September in order to lock in the tee times.

Please REPLY to if you are interested in playing or have questions. For those who indicated interest via the sign-up sheet at the last meeting, please reconfirm. Later logistics will be handled by email.

Sterling Farms Golf Course
1349 Newfield Avenue
Stamford, CT 06905