Month: March 2018

DMA Newsletter March-April 2018

By Ray Meurer

Patrick Houlihan,
State of Play: Major League Baseball in 2018,
Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Patrick Houlihan will speak on the “State of Play: Major League baseball in 2018,” including the current state of the game and recent changes plus trends on and off the field. He is vice president and deputy general counsel in the Labor Relations Department in the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball in New York. Patrick represents the Commissioner’s Office and the 30 major league clubs in all matters involving the Major League Baseball Players Association that is the labor union representing all 40-man roster players. Patrick’s work focuses on player discipline; representative of the Commissioner’s Office and Clubs in grievance hearings; salary arbitration; player pension and welfare benefits; revenue sharing; player health and safety; drug testing; and other matters involving the interpretation and application of the collective bargaining agreement or the Major League Rules.

Before joining the Commissioner’s Office in September 2012, Patrick spent seven years as an associate with the law firm of Williams & Connolly, LLP in Washington, D.C. Patrick also was previously an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Georgetown University Law Center, where he taught a sports law course for several years.

Arranged by John Schlachtenhaufen

Sean Pica,
Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison,
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Sean Pica, executive director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, returns to the DMA to give an update on his organization’s work, including some exciting new initiatives that have been rolled out in the last few years. Hudson Link partners with a number of colleges, including Mercy, Vassar, Columbia and Nyack, to provide college degree programs in New York State prisons. The organization has experienced tremendous growth since he last visited with us, with more prison programs launched, much larger enrollment and many more degrees granted. Hudson Link also has expanded into other related areas, including a new initiative in temporary post-release housing.

Sean will share the details of Hudson Link’s current activities and recent developments in prison education and post-release support. Most important, the number of released alumni has increased damatically, and their success on the outside is noteworthy: The vast majority are employed within six months of release; 34% of graduates pursue graduate degrees; and while 43% of released prisoners in New York return to prison within three years, only 4% of released Hudson Link alumni have gone back to prison. Several Hudson Link alumni, now productive members of their communities, will accompany Sean to share their experiences.

Arranged by Tom Lom

Ambassador Donald Gregg,
Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Ambassador Donald Gregg will speak on the current administration’s challenges due to today’s situation on the Korean peninsula, its impact on neighboring U.S. allies in the Asia Pacific region and what policy options exist for the Trump administration. Donald will share his thinking on the world situation through the lens of his unique background as a top diplomat and intelligence operative.

He graduated from Williams College in 1951 and joined the CIA, where, over the next quarter century, he was assigned to East Asian countries. He was seconded to the National Security Council staff in 1979, where he was in charge of intelligence activities and Asian policy affairs. Upon his retirement from the CIA, he was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. In 1982, Gregg was asked to be national security advisor by Vice President George W. Bush, and, over six years, traveled to 65 countries. He also served as a professorial lecturer at Georgetown University, teaching a graduate level workshop entitled Force and Diplomacy. In 1989, Gregg began service as the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea. He retired from his 43-year government career in 1993.

Today, he is chairman of the Pacific Century Institute in Los Angeles and chairman emeritus of The Korea Society of New York City. He is actively working to establish normal relations with North Korea and has visited the country six times.

Arranged by Tom Lom

Heather Pech,
Life on the Run,
Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Heather Pech will speak of her experiences running marathons, particularly the recent Boston Marathon, where she won her 55-59 age bracket. Her time was better than 698 other runners in her category. She also will discuss the increased performance by American runners in international competitions and the responsibilities and satisfaction of coaching a group of Darien middle school kids who want to run – they call themselves The Blazers.

After graduation from the University of Minnesota and the Wood Tobe Coburn School, she entered the fashion retail field. Initially, she was with Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. She then joined Jones Apparel Group, culminating in serving as CEO of its Polo Jeans Company and then 9 West. She finished her business career as CEO of Nanette Lepore, a $120 million contemporary fashion designer with multiple locations here and in the U.K.

Heather was born and raised in Darien and still lives here with her three daughters. She continues to be an active runner, clocking 80 to 90 miles a week.

Arranged by Wilder Baker

Andy Bramante,
Peak Performance in Teaching Science,
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Andy Bramante, a science teacher at Greenwich High School, will talk about what’s behind the incredible success of his students and how he motivates them to peak performance. Over the last 10 years, more than 30 of Andy’s students have competed in the Intel Science and Engineering Fairs, won six First Place, three Best of Category and two Grand Prize awards. Earlier this year, two of his students were semifinalists in the International Google Science Fair. One won the Grand Prize for designing a low- cost portable test for ebola and received a scholarship of $50,000. Last year, six students were selected as the Regeneron Science Talent Scholars, and two won a $100,000 scholarship. Andy received an M.S. degree in Chemistry from Fordham. Before joining Greenwich High School in 2005, he had an 18-year career as an engineer/scientist in industry and worked for several companies, including Hitachi Instruments and Perkin-Elmer. Throughout this period, he taught chemistry at the college level at Baruch and Sacred Heart universities.

Arranged by Sunil Saksena

Kevin Peraino,
A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman and the Birth of Modern China, 1949,
Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Kevin Peraino will discuss the Truman administration’s response to the fall of Nationalist China and the triumph of Mao Zedong’s Communist forces in 1949 – an extraordinary political revolution that continues to shape East Asian politics to this day. Drawing on Chinese and Russian sources, as well as recently declassified CIA documents, he tells the story of this remarkable year through the eyes of key players, including Mao, Truman, Secretary of State Acheson, Congressman Walter Judd and Madame Chiang Kai-shek.

In the opening months of 1949, Truman found himself faced with a looming diplomatic catastrophe. Through the spring and summer, Mao’s Communist armies fanned out across mainland China, annihilating the rival troops of America’s one-time ally Chiang Kai-shek and taking control of Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities. As Truman and his aides scrambled to formulate a response, they were forced to contend not only with Mao but with unrelenting political enemies at home. Over the course of the year, Mao fashioned a new revolutionary government in Beijing that laid the foundation for the China we know today, while Chiang Kai-shek would flee to the island sanctuary of Taiwan.  These events transformed American foreign policy – leading ultimately to decades of friction with Communist China, a long-standing U.S. commitment to Taiwan, and the subsequent wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Kevin is a veteran foreign correspondent who has reported from around the world. A senior writer and bureau chief at Newsweek for a decade, he was a finalist for the Livingston Award for foreign reporting and part of a team that won the National Magazine Award in 2004. He is the author of “Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power.” His latest book is titled A Force So Swift: Mao, Truman and the Birth of Modern China, 1949.
Arranged by John Schlachtenhaufen

Moritz von Stuelpnagel,
What it takes to make a Broadway hit ,
Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Moritz von Stuelpnagel will discuss how a passion and an idea – against all odds – became a Broadway show and will explain what it takes to make a hit. Along the way, he’ll touch on how the feast or famine economics and the cut-throat politics of the industry work from the inside.

Moritz, a Broadway theatre director, originally hails from Darien and Greenwich. Today, he is an award winning, internationally recognized theatre director based in New York City. His recent Broadway revival of Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter” garnered three Tony Award nominations. He guided Robert Askins’ play “Hand of God” to success, starting Off-Off Broadway to Off-Broadway to the play’s Broadway debut, where it received five Tony nominations. Before arriving on Broadway, the play earned a Lortel Award and a nomination for a Joseph A. Callaway Stage Directors and Choreographers Award. He also directed “Hand of God” in London’s West End, receiving an Olivier nomination for Best New Comedy.

Other recent Off-Broadway productions include “Teenage Dick,” Public Theater; “Important Hats of the Twentieth Century,” Lincoln Center Theatre; “Bike America,” Ma-Yi Theater; “Love Song of the  Albanian Sous Chef,” Ensemble Studio Theater; “Trevor,” Lesser America; “Mel & El: Show & Tell,” Ars Nova; “The Roosevelt Cousins Thoroughly Sauced,” Ensemble Studio Theatre; “Spacebar,” Studio 42; and “My Base and Scurvy Heart,” Studio 42. His work has been seen in other venues such as the Alliance Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Huntington Theatre and many others. As a sometimes producer, he is the former artistic director of Studio 43, New York’s producer of “introducible” plays.

He is a graduate of the Greenwich public schools and holds a B.F.A. in theatre
studies from Boston University and an M.F.A. in direction from Rutgers University.

Arranged by Bert von Stuelpnagel

Book Discussion: ,Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin, June 13, 2018

The magnificent new novel by the gifted, singular #1 New York Times bestselling author of Winter’s Tale and A Soldier of the Great War Mark Helprin’s powerful, rapturous new novel is set in a present-day Paris caught between violent unrest and its well-known, inescapable glories. Seventy-four-year-old Jules Lacour?a ma?tre at Paris-Sorbonne, cellist, widower, veteran of the war in Algeria, and child of the Holocaust?must find a balance between his strong obligations to the past and the attractions and beauties of life and love in the present. In the midst of what should be an effulgent time of life?days bright with music, family, rowing on the Seine?Jules is confronted headlong and all at once by a series of challenges to his principles, livelihood, and home, forcing him to grapple with his complex past and find a way forward. He risks fraud to save his terminally ill infant grandson, matches wits with a renegade insurance investigator, is drawn into an act of savage violence, and falls deeply, excitingly in love with a young cellist a third his age. Against the backdrop of an exquisite and knowing vision of Paris and the way it can uniquely shape a life, he forges a denouement that is staggering in its humanity, elegance, and truth. In the intoxicating beauty of its prose and emotional amplitude of its storytelling, Mark Helprin’s Paris in the Present Tense is a soaring achievement, a deep, dizzying look at a life through the purifying lenses of art and memory

Happy Wanderers: Staten Island, March 20, 2018

Happy Wanderers Staten Island
Joe Spain will lead the Happy Wanderers on their kick off trip this season on Tuesday, March 20 with a trip to Staten Island. Plans are to take the subway from Grand Central Station to the ferry terminal at the tip of Manhattan and then across the
lower harbor to New York’s southernmost borough. The walk will include a tour of several historic districts and a ride on the Islands transit system.