Category: Past Speakers (page 1 of 16)

March 15, 2017
Zachary Janowski
Yankee Institute
Connecticut’s Fiscal Crisis:Why the State’s Deficit Won’t Die

The Yankee Institute for Public Policy is a 30-year old, Hartford-based organization that monitors the most critical areas of interest to Connecticut citizens: taxes, the state’s fiscal status, energy costs, the health industry and political and governmental integrity and accountability.

Zachary Janowski is Director of External Affairs for the Yankee Institute. After spending time in mainstream journalism, Zach joined the Institute in 2010 as its first investigative reporter and founder of “Raising Hale”–an investigative reporting blog. He writes extensively about waste, fraud and abuse in state and local governments. Zach, a native of New Hampshire, serves on the board of the Connecticut Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and works closely with the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. He was a 2012 recipient of a Phillips Foundation Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship. Zach, his wife and two children reside in Plantsville, CT.

Download his PowerPoint presentation here:
http://sma.darien.org/wp-content/uploads/Why-Connecticut-deficit-wont-die.pptx

March 8, 2017
Sandy Garnett
Author “The Year of an Artist”

Sandy Garnett will talk about his career as a fine arts artist and his book, The Year of an Artist.
His presentation will include slides of his work and a video. A
successful painter, sculptor, creator of public arts installations, author
and songwriter, he has been plying his craft for the past 25 years. He
lives and works out of a loft in South Norwalk. Sandy began his career
in high school, selling his art in parking lots at Grateful Dead
concerts. While attending St. Lawrence University, he set up a studio
and created art for 50 bands and production companies. Today, his
work can be found in 40 states, 10 countries and a network of 500
collectors. His art has been placed in museums and public, corporate
and private collections. Sandy has developed a reputation as a selfsufficient,
prolific painter, sculptor and multimedia creator. He is best
known for his 20-year running Fingerprint Project, which features
sculpted and painted fingerprints, human silhouettes and signatures.
He recently signed his 1,250th career painting. The first 1,000
paintings appear in his 2012 catalogue, “The First 1000 Paintings of Sandy Garnett.” Sandy’s
public arts projects have received national recognition. At the Stamford train station, he created a
permanent fine arts lighting installation hailed as one of the most compelling public arts projects
on the East Coast. Other public arts projects include the Fox Cities Building for the Arts in
Appleton, Wis., and the New London Light Cube here in Connecticut. As an author, his first book,
Baloney Express, is an autobiographical coming-of-age story. The Year of an Artist, published in
2011, documents his survival as an artist. He also writes, illustrates and publishes The Rainbow
Riders children’s books. His album, “Ep1,” is available on iTunes and includes “Busted Wing,”
“Sylvie,” “Northern Lights,” “Cruzing,” “Perry Street,” “Every Love” and “MCT of Thee.” For
more about Sandy and his work, go to sandygarnett.com.

Arranged by Tom Lom

March 1, 2017
W. Michael Crouch: psychotherapist
Treating depression, anxiety and trauma

W. Michael Crouch, psychotherapist: Treating depression, anxiety and trauma

W. Michael Crouch, LCSW, is a psychotherapist with a master’s degree in social work from Columbia University and certifications in eye movement, desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and dialectical behavioral therapy.

In private practice in Stamford for 25 years, he treats adults, couples and families who suffer from depression, anxiety and trauma.

Michael is co-coordinator of the Fairfield County Trauma Recovery Network (FCTRN), a community of EMDR-trained therapists who focus on the treatment and education of first responders in Fairfield County.

The FCTRN was founded in response to the tragedies of the 2011 Christmas Day fire in Stamford and the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown. In its six years, the FCTRN has educated and treated more than 1,500 individuals in the state of Connecticut.

Previously, Michael served on the board of the Fairfield County Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, which offers support and mental health services to those suffering from the loss of a loved one through suicide.

He lives in Norwalk with his wife, who together have a blended family of four children and three grandchildren.

Arranged by Wilder Baker

February 22, 2017
Susan Granger, film critic
150 Timeless Movies

Susan Granger, film critic, will talk about her new book, 150 Timeless Movies. She last talked with us about the Oscar awards.

Susan was born into a film-business family and was raised in Hollywood. She appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott and Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball and Lassie. For more than 25 years, she has been an on-air television and radio critic, bringing an experienced and unique perspective to the movie business.

Her commentaries are distributed around the world by SSG Syndicate. In addition, her work has been published in The New York Times, Redbook, Ladies Home Journal, Working Woman, Family Circle, Cosmopolitan and numerous other publications.

Susan also is the feature film critic for Video Librarian magazine, distributed to libraries throughout the country.

Arranged by Scott Hutchason

February 15, 2017
Robert H. Patton
The Self-Invention of General George S. Patton: Its Triumphs and Costs

Robert H. Patton

Robert H. Patton

Robert H. Patton will talk about “The Self-Invention of General George S. Patton: Its Triumphs and Costs.”

Robert, grandson of General Patton of World War II fame, examines the roots of Patton’s notable warrior persona against the backdrop of an inherited family destiny and a lifelong interest in classical literature, spiritualism and military history.

General Patton’s willful transformation from an insecure child to a swaggering blood-and-guts commander enabled him to become one of America’s greatest wartime leaders. But the personal price that came with his triumph gives the story a human dimension left out of the history books.

Before becoming an author, Robert worked as a Capitol Hill reporter, a commercial fisherman and a real estate developer. Then in 1994, he published his family memoir entitled The Pattons: A Personal History of an American Family. The book chronicles five generations of ancestors, culminating with General Patton.

Robert has since published two history books and five novels. They include Patriot Pirates, about privateering during the Revolutionary War, and Hell before Breakfast, about America’s first international war correspondents.

His latest book, Cajun Waltz, tells the tale of a colorful and violently troubled family in the Louisiana bayou from the Depression to the 1950s, published in 2016.

He currently is working on a series of historical novels set in the world of colonial maritime conflict during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

Robert and his wife live in Darien and have four sons and five grandchildren.

Arranged by Kevin Davidson

February 8, 2017
Jeff Cordulack
Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)

Jeff Cordulack

Jeff Cordulack

Jeff Cordulack will talk about the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA), a nonprofit organization of more than 5,000 farmers, gardeners, landscape professionals and consumers in seven states.

Jeff is executive director of the Connecticut Chapter of NOFA, whose goal is to educate farmers, gardeners, land care professionals and consumers about organic farming techniques using conferences, workshops, farm tours and printed materials.

Jeff was raised in Darien and is interested in wildlife conservation, watershed protection, organic farming and sustainable living. He joined NOFA in 2015 after working for 10 years with the National Audubon Society in Greenwich. Prior to that, he worked for SoundWaters in Stamford for eight years. He has collaborated with many conservation organizations over the last two decades.

In 2013, Jeff was a recipient of the Paul Keough Award presented by the Northeast Water Environment Association in recognition of his communications leadership to increase public awareness, understanding and personal actions to protect water quality and the environment.

Jeff and his wife have three children and cultivate their own frontyard garden and organic lawn. He volunteers as the Schoolyard Habitat Steward for local schools and is chairperson for the Metro North chapter of Slow Food USA.

Arranged by Martin Skala

February 1, 2017
Alison Nicholls
Conservation Art in Africa

Alison Nicholls is an artist inspired by Africa. Although she has traveled extensively throughout her life, Africa inspires her in ways unmatched by any other place. Her artistic work depicting Africa is based on field sketching, studio paintings and conservation sketching expeditions. Alison has found Africa to be a continent of diverse peoples and cultures, huge cities and dusty villages, vast deserts and thick forests, hot swamps and cold highlands, and home to some of the most iconic wildlife on the planet.

Alison brings all this together using her artistic talents. Field sketching in pencil requires confidence and speed. It usually is done standing up or sitting in a vehicle. Decisions about light and composition must be made quickly. Another factor is that the person or animal being sketched can move out of sight at any time. Studio painting makes it possible to create the effects of light, color, dust and heat. Conservation sketching expeditions and resulting sketches and paintings help raise awareness and funds so that the sponsoring organization can continue its work.

Alison leads art safaris in South Africa and is a signature member of Artists for Conservation, the Society of Animal Artists and the Explorers Club. Her art has been exhibited at the Botswana Mission to the United Nations. The U.S. Department of State used her art to promote the Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking.

Alison lives in Port Chester, N.Y., with her husband and a German shepherd named Chase.

Arranged by Tom Lom

Click here to view her presentation:

January 25, 2017
Joe Schneirlein
Norwalk Aquarium
The environmental conditions of Long Island Sound

Joe Schnierlein

Joe Schnierlein

Joe Schnierlein, research and university liaison representative with The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, will talk about the environmental impacts on Long Island Sound past, present and future.

The Maritime Aquarium explores the many facets of the Sound, which is an extraordinary ecosystem that has supported the economy and culture of the region since prehistoric times. Some 20 million people live within a one-hour drive of the Sound. The effects of their actions make sustaining the natural functions of Long Island Sound a challenge. Its watershed covers five states and extends into Canada. Three major rivers and 59 smaller rivers and creeks empty into the Sound. Geographically, it is 113 miles long and 21 miles across at its widest point. Its average depth is 63 feet and holds about 18 trillion gallons of water.

Joe has been involved in the sciences and education his entire career. His current work at the Aquarium includes serving as manager of professional development and assistant director of guest services. He began his career in 1970 as a teacher and then science department chairman at Brien McMahon High School.

His many other teaching experiences include adjunct professor of marine biology at Norwalk Community College, adjunct professor of sciences at Sacred Heart University and chemical oceanographer for the Windward Oceanographic Institute.

He is a former member of the Norwalk Shellfish Commission, the Norwalk Mayoral Water Quality Commission and the Norwalk Park Planning Committee.

Arranged by Tom Lom

 

January 18, 2017
Dave Shafer
Photographer and humorist
A Humorous Guide to Better Photography

Dave Shafer

Dave Shafer

Dave Shafer, a local photographer and internationally recognized designer of optical systems, will present “A Humorous Guide to Better Photography.”

Asked to describe his talk, Dave said, “When Snow White sent her film to be developed, she said, ‘Someday my prints will come.’ ” He noted that times have changed. Film is gone now, and we need to refresh our picture-taking skills. The most valuable asset in photography is your eye, not the camera. He will show ways to improve your photos by using some classic methods about picture composition. Many examples will include visual humor. If you have not taken any pictures since your old Brownie camera, you still can enjoy the stories in his talk.

His main claim to being a humorist is that after 51 years of marriage, he still can make his wife laugh. But that is only half of Dave’s story. He has spent the last 50 years designing camera lenses, telescopes and microscopes and now operates a one-man optical design and consulting firm. All of today’s state-of-the-art computer chips for cell phones, computers and tablets are made using a unique optical system invented by Dave 10 years ago. He has more than 125 patents for optical designs. One of his unusual telescopes went to Saturn a few years ago aboard the Cassini spacecraft. Another device took photos of the asteroid Vesta. And a spacecraft using his telescope was launched with the goal of landing on a comet. He also designed a specialized stereo-viewing device for Salvador Dali.

Arranged by Tom Lom

Dave slides are at A Humorous Guide to Better Photography

January 11, 2017
Ed “Skip” McLaughlin, and
Wyn Lydecker
Starting and Building Your Own Business

Ed McLaughlin

Ed McLaughlin

Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker will talk about becoming an entrepreneur: how to start, fund and grow the right business.

Co-authors of the book The Purpose Is Profit: The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, they will discuss why distinctive competence trumps passion when starting a business. They also will talk about where to get funding without losing control and why a startup should factor profit into every business decision.

Over the years, Ed “Skip” McLaughlin founded four businesses and today runs Blue Sunsets LLC, a real estate and agent investment firm. His first business grew into an Inc. magazine 500 company that later was sold to a Fortune 100 company, where Skip became CEO of Global Workplace Business for the Americas. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young in 2001. He is a member of the Tufts Medical Center board of governors, where he founded the David E. Wazer Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Skip graduated from College of the Holy Cross and is a member of the board of trustees. He lives with his wife in Connecticut, has three adult children and is active in philanthropy.

Wyn Lydecker

Wyn Lydecker

Wyn Lydecker is founder of Upstart Business Planning and works with entrepreneurs to develop plans that answer the questions investors ask most often. Previously, she was managing director of Business Plan International in New York City and co-director of the Small Business Resource Center, Norwalk Community College. Wyn has a B.A. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.B.A. in finance and marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She helped found the nonprofit At Home in Darien and serves on the board. Wyn lives in Connecticut with her husband and has two adult children.

Arranged by Tom Lom


 

January 4, 2017
Michael Nyenhuis
President and CEO of AmeriCares

Michael J, Nyenthuis

Michael J, Nyenthuis

Michael J. Nyenthuis, president and chief executive officer of Americares, one of the country’s foremost disaster-relief non-profit organizations, will talk about distributing $500 million a year in donated medicines and medical supplies to people around the world who otherwise would not get treatment.

Michael leads a global health and emergency response organization that increases access to medical care in more than 90 countries, including the United States, El Salvador, India, Liberia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, plus free health clinics in Connecticut. Americares helps local health workers do their job better: Through the effective use of technology, the organization helps get medicine and supplies to the right place at the right time.

Michael is a global health professional with 20 years of experience who previously served as president and chief executive officer of MAP International. He received a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, and an M.B.A. from Emory University.

Thanks to Bob Baylis.

December 28, 2016
No Meeting
Holiday Break

We wish you a wonderful holiday!

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