Category: Past Speakers (page 1 of 17)

May 17, 2017
Sean Connolly – Commissioner CT Dept. of Veterans Affairs

Sean Connolly, commissioner of the State of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs, is responsible for overseeing the Veterans’ Home in Rocky Hill, Conn., and other services for 270,000 veterans residing in the state.

Commissioner Connolly will talk about the Connecticut Wartime Service Ribbon and will pin this award on DMA members who are qualified recipients. He also will touch on the Department of Veterans Affairs and its mission to serve those who have served their country.

A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Commissioner Connolly is a decorated veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He served on active duty for seven years. He also is a lawyer, and prior to being named commissioner in 2015, he was the global ethics and compliance officer for Pratt & Whitney Aircraft.

Commissioner Connolly is the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He received his undergraduate degree from Bryant University and his Juris Doctor from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

He and his wife live in Hebron, Conn., and have two boys and a rescue puppy.

Of local interest, the first home for veterans in the United States was established in Darien following the Civil War by Benjamin Fitch, a wealthy Connecticut businessman. Other states adopted this policy, which evolved into a national network of homes and was the forerunner of today’s Department of Veterans Affairs.

Darien also is home to Connecticut’s first cemetery for veterans, located in a section of Spring Grove Cemetery on Heckler Avenue across from the Darien Library.


Wednesday, 10:00AM at the Darien Community Association


May 10, 2017
Phil Vitiello – Civil War Historian
The CSS Hunley, the first submarine to sink a ship in battle.

Philip Vitiello, well-known Connecticut Civil War historian and re-enactor, will talk about the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat. The night of February 17, 1864, the H.L. Hunley, a vessel of the Confederate States of America, sank the USS Housatonic off the coast of Charleston, S.C. The Hunley then mysteriously vanished with its crew of eight. Questions arose. Why had the underwater craft suddenly disappeared? More than a century later, it was discovered in 1995 by Clive Cussler and raised on August 8, 2000. Today, the Hunley resides at a conservation center where scientists are piecing together clues to solve the mystery of its disappearance. Philip’s presentation will tell the story of the men who designed the Hunley, how and where the submarine was built and how it worked. He will provide a history of the crew and surmise whether a Connecticut soldier was part of the Hunley’s crew. He also will discuss the recent burial of the remains of some of the crew at Arlington National Cemetery. Philip has spent 40 years studying, reading and visiting Civil War eastern theater battlefields. He is a vice president of the Civil War Round Table of South Central Connecticut and a charter member of The Friends of Hunley. As well, Philip is a charter member of The International Group for Historical Aircraft Recovery and the Titanic Historical Society. He teaches a history course at Norwalk Community College Lifetime Learners Institute. A lifelong resident of New Haven, he is a graduate of the University of New Haven and director of marketing for Northeast Food Marketing in Stamford. Philip last spoke to the DMA about the Civil War hero General Joshua Chamberlain.

Wednesday, 10:00AM at the Darien Community Association

May 3, 2017
David Polk – First Tee Foundation of CT

David Polk, executive director, The First Tee of Connecticut, will talk about “It’s More than Just a Game.” His presentation has something for golfers and non-golfers. The First Tee believes its programs help improve the lives of those who embrace the game’s traditions and values. Last year, The First Tee enrolled more than 2,300 young people in certifying programs at golf facilities across the state. It exposes underprivileged youth to golf who otherwise might not have access to the game. The First Tee curriculum includes in-school and national school programs, group lessons, on-course team programs and summer camps. In addition to golf, it teaches nine core values: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, courtesy, judgment, confidence, responsibility and perseverance. The curriculum also teaches nine healthy habits – energy, play, safety, vision, mind, family, friends, school and community – that are part of the game of golf. In addition to his work at First Tee, David volunteers as trustee of the New Britain Museum of American Art and is past chair of the Hartford Marathon Foundation, past chair of the Connecticut Sports Management Group and current chair of Church Homes, Inc. He lives in West Hartford with his wife Rennie and enjoys playing golf at the Hartford Golf Club.

April 26, 2017
Dr. Michael Parry MD: Infectious Diseases Called Super Bugs

Michael Parry, M.D., is director of infectious disease and microbiology at Stamford Hospital and is professor of clinical medicine at Columbia University. He will talk
about “Super Bugs.”

Dr. Parry has received numerous teaching and quality awards, has published more than 100 articles, reviews and book chapters and has been recognized for his work in HIV infection, influenza
vaccination, antimicrobial resistance and hospital epidemiology.

He established the Infectious Disease Department at Stamford Hospital, where he has practiced clinical infectious diseases and hospital epidemiology since 1976. He currently occupies the Thomas Jay Bradsell Chair of Infectious Diseases, funded by a donation from a grateful patient.

Dr. Parry is a founding member of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Infection Control Council and has been active on many local, state and national committees on infectious diseases, quality and safety, and public health.

He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

He was president of the Connecticut Infectious Disease Society from 1990 to 1993 and was that society’s nominee for its Clinician of the Year award in 1995 and 1996.

Dr. Parry received a B.A. degree in English from Yale University in 1966 and an M.D. degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1970. His residency training was completed at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Arranged by Jack Fitzgibbons

Super Bug Presentation by Dr. Parry

April 19, 2017
John Rousmaniere – Historian for the New York Yacht Club
History of the America’s Cup yacht races

John Rousmaniere will present “The America’s Cup, Then and Now,” an entertaining review of
the nearly 170-year history of one of the world’s most celebrated and sometimes controversial sports trophies.

John is the author of 30 books covering a wide range of topics, including the America’s Cup, yachting history and seamanship. His books include Fastnet Force 10, After the Storm, The Annapolis Book of Seamanship and three histories of the America’s Cup.

He is a recipient of the Mystic Seaport W.P. Stephens Award for maritime history.

John has sailed more than 40,000 miles in many waters and is a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Cruising Club of America. He headed the media operation for the four most recent Newport-Bermuda races.

Descended from a Frenchman who served on the rebels’ side in the American Revolution, John is an alumnus of Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary.

After many years of residing in Stamford, he now lives in Manhattan with his wife Leah and sails wherever there are good boats.

Arranged by Bob Fiske

April 12, 2017
David Fitzpatrick, CNN Journalist
Cable news coverage of and impact on the 2016 election.

David Fitzpatrick: 40 Years Covering News around the World

David Fitzpatrick will talk about his 40-year career as a network television producer and manager covering major news events around the world.

David recently retired from CNN after serving as a senior investigative producer for more than 15 years.

Previously, he was with CBS News for 25 years. He also was with the ABC News primetime news magazine 20/20 for two years.

At CNN, he covered many of the world’s most riveting events: the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Hurricane Katrina, the BP oil spill, the tsunami in Indonesia and the missing Malaysian airplane. He also covered the Boston Marathon bombing and the terrorist
attacks in Paris and Brussels.

While at CBS News,he served in bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and London. He was bureau manager in Chicago and the network’s national editor in New York.

He was lead producer for CBS coverage of the Iran hostage crisis and produced “60 Minutes” for three years, working with Morley Safer’s team.

His friend and colleague Dan Rather once said it’s “easier to list the places around the globe David hasn’t worked than to list the places where he has been.”

David and his wife Adria Bates Fitzpatrick live in Darien and have three adult children.

Arranged by Alex Garnett

April 5, 2017
James Mapes
Author: “Imagine That:Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance”

March 29, 2017
April Foley, former US Ambassador to Hungary
“Ukraine, Russia,
and Issues of the Day”

April Foley

April Foley

April Foley was US Ambassador to Hungary from 2006-2009. She is a former 1st VP and Vice Chair of the US Export-Import Bank, and a Pepsi executive for 17 years.

Ms. Foley is will speak about “Ukraine, Russia, and Issues of the Day”.

March 22, 2017
Jayme Stevenson
State of the Town

Jayme Stevenson, first selectman of the Town of Darien, will present “The State of the Town.” Jayme’s update will include a review of town operations and the outlook for changes in the near future. She has been first selectman since 2011 and has been a member of the board of selectmen since 2009. Jayme recently was elected chairman of the Western Connecticut Council of Governments and served as vice chairman beginning in 2015. She recently was named to the board of directors of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities and to that organization’s municipal risk insurance agency known as the Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency. Jayme has served on a wide variety of Darien nonprofit boards, including The Depot, the Darien Nature Center and the First Congregational Church Nursery School. She also was chairman of the Parent Teachers Organization for Royle Elementary School and Darien High School. She has been a member of the board of The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education since 2016. Jayme and her husband have lived in Darien for 26 years and have five children. Her husband grew up in Darien and is a graduate of Darien High School.
Arranged by Marc Thorne

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:

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

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

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