Fall 2014/
Winter 2015
Speaker Schedule



September 2014

September 10
- Thanks to ubiquitous TV ads, we’ve all become familiar with “glossophobia,” the fear of public speaking. We’ve got just the right person for you. Come hear Christine Jahnke, the founder of the firm Positive Communication that helps people from all walks of life speak with confidence before audiences large and small. Chris relates how she had to overcome her own fears about speaking in public, which forged her determination to help more women find and use their voices. As a specialist in political communications, Chris has prepped First Lady Michelle Obama for her first international speech, as well as providing speech training to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign (the “first” one).  She has served as the media coach to the Women’s Media Center founded by Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan to lead their acclaimed Progressive Women’s Voices training program. Fortune Magazine said of her book, The Well Spoken Woman, “… (learn) how to deliver a message to an audience without hyperventilating.”  Visit www.poscom.com to learn more.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

September 17 - Chef Robert Irvine, restaurateur, TV personality and host of the Food Network's Restaurant Impossible raves about this man's cooking and storytelling! Award-winning Chef Enzo Fargione is well-known as a food craftsman who amazes educated foodies at his restaurant, Osteria Elisir.  In Visual Eats: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Modern Italian Cooking, Chef Enzo shows food aficionados and home cooks that they can create the same elaborate dishes that are served in high-end restaurants for their own guests. Hosts who want to amaze their guests can even create dishes like Eggplant Popsicles, Ham and Peas in a Toothpaste Tube (what??!?), and Enzo’s signature dish, Four-Minute Smoked Branzino Carpaccio in a Cigar Box, which emits a puff of smoke (huh??!?) when opened by surprised diners. He will share the history of Italian foods, how they came to be so popular in the US and also shed some insight into the camaraderie & competition among his world-famous, professional chefs who happen to be his friends. Food demo, too! Learn more by visiting www.elisirrestaurant.com.
Book signing event
(Cash or check only)

September 24
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Eric Bjornlund is co-founder and president of Democracy International, a US-based firm that provides technical assistance, analytical services, and project implementation for democracy, human rights, governance, and conflict-mitigation programs worldwide. His organization has conducted programs in support of elections and political processes, governance, civil society, and the rule of law in more than 70 countries. These are complex goals, especially when applied to conflict-affected states where his firm works such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Egypt, and Tunisia. He will discuss his efforts to encourage democracy in some of the most challenging regions of the world. Visit www.democracyinternational.com to learn more.


October 2014


October 1 -
The author of Dreaming in Chinese, Deborah Fallows spent the last few years absorbing the culture, the politics, and the people of China to offer talks that give a refreshingly different take of the world's next superpower. Unlike many observers, she shed her Western preconceptions and relied on her background in linguistics to grasp the enormity of Chinese life through language. While writing her book, Deborah Fallow's approach allowed her to understand many of the idiosyncrasies that confound the West when interacting with the Chinese. As the New York Times Sunday Book Review says, "Fallows presents the common Chinese viewpoint," adding that she "sticks to her own experiences and observations, which make her book all the more valuable." A Harvard graduate with a PhD in Linguistics, Fallows is also the author of A Mother's Work, which deals with child-rearing in the working-mom age. She most recently worked in research and polling for the Pew Internet Project.  Fallow's writing on women, education, work, and travel has appeared in, among others, The Atlantic Monthly, National Geographic, and Newsweek.  Visit www.deborahfallows.com
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

October 8  -  Interior designer Debbie Wiener is known for her no nonsense interior designing tips, awesome sense of humor and personality! She is the Silver Spring mompreneur who has built a thriving business on a 'camouflage the dirt' approach to home decorating. She is also the owner and designer of Slobproof!, which sells indestructible furnishings. “My design style combines the common sense of a Jewish mother with the muscle of a professional wrestler.” Her recent interior design solutions book, SLOB PROOF: Real Life Design Solutions, displays her mastery of all interior design styles while offering everyone interior design tips. Debbie has been featured on the WBAL Morning Show, Martha Stewart Living on Sirius Radio, NPR’s Tell Me More, Dresser After Dark, Home Studs and is a semi-regular on Steve Harvey’s talk show, where she gives advice to businesswomen. Visit Debbie's web site at www.slobproof.com.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)


O
ctober 15 -
Anthony Cohen is an historian, author and avid explorer of the American past. In 1996, he embarked on a two-month “Walk to Canada” from Maryland to retrace the route of the Underground Railroad, the secret network through which thousands of slaves traveled to attain their freedom. His travel by foot, boat and rail included a harrowing six-hour journey inside a wooden crate, smuggled onto a train like Henry “Box” Brown, a fugitive who mailed himself to freedom in 1849. In 1998, he embarked on another walk from Alabama to Ontario. His third expedition in 2014 follows the route of his great-great grand uncle who fled slavery in Georgia to freedom in Canada in 1849. The journey will be chronicled in a documentary, Patrick and Me:  A Personal Journey on the Underground Railroad, to be released nationwide in 2015.  Anthony has served as a consultant to the National Parks Conservation Association, Maryland Public Television, NASA and others, and he trained Oprah Winfrey for her role as Sethe in the motion picture Beloved. He is the Founder and President of The Menare Foundation, a national non-profit organization. Bethesda Magazine named www.menare.org.

October 22 -
Jack Petrash is the founder and director of the Nova Institute, which seeks to build a bridge between Waldorf Education and contemporary educators to encourage dialogue and a sense of common purpose. An educator with more than 30 years of classroom experience, he has written extensively on issues pertaining to innovative classroom instruction and is the author of Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out. In addition, he has traveled significantly to work with parents on educational issues. His parenting pieces have appeared in the Washington Post, and on National Public Radio and Pacifica Radio and he is also the author of Covering Home: Lessons on the Art of Fathering from the Game of Baseball, which received the National Parenting Publication's gold award. His third book, Navigating the Terrain of Childhood: A Guidebook for Meaningful Parenting and Heartfelt Discipline was the Nova Institute Press' first publication.

October 29
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When an award-winning New York Times investigative reporter who covered breaking stories such as the FBI undercover’s “Abscam” Congressional corruption problem discovered an amazing love story regarding her own mother fleeing Nazi Germany and losing track of her lover, Leslie Maitland had to know more. The result is the amazing book, Crossing the Borders of Time. Good Housekeeping has written, “Schindler’s List meets Casablanca in this tale of a daughter’s epic search for her mother’s pre-war beau --- 50 years later.” Leslie will share details and photographs from her private collection. 
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

November 5 - Warrior Canine Connection is a training program that provides the opportunity for veterans to train a service dog for a fellow veteran which allows a valuable opportunity for a warrior suffering from psychological injuries to reintegrate into civilian life. Rather than turning inward to focus on their past trauma, trainers must go outside their own heads to focus on the dogs and their mission to help another veteran. Their training requires emotionally numb warriors to demonstrate positive emotion in order to successfully teach their dogs. Meg Daley Olmert is a leading expert on the biology of the human-animal bond. Her groundbreaking book, Made For Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond  is the first book to explain the brain chemistry that flows through—and between—all mammals, forging deep social bonds between the species.  Meg has produced and written documentaries for Emmy Award series such as Smithsonian World, National Geographic Explorer, The Discovery Channel Specials, and PBS’ The Living Edens. Visit www.warriorcanine.org to learn more about Meg's work.

November 12 -
Since 1992, the Rev. Barry W. Lynn has served as executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an organization dedicated to the preservation of the Constitution’s religious liberty provisions.  In addition to his work as a long-time activist and lawyer in the civil liberties field, Rev. Lynn is an ordained minister, offering him a unique perspective on church-state issues.  He authored Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault On Religious Freedom, and coauthored First Freedom First: A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Religious Liberty and the Separation of Church and State.  An accomplished speaker and lecturer, Rev. Lynn appears frequently on television and radio broadcasts to offer analysis of First Amendment issues, including PBS's NewsHour, NBC's Today Show, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, and National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Talk of the Nation.  Visit www.au.org.

November 19
- There is more to essential oils than just using them to make the air smell good. Modern research dates the use of these natural healing substances back to 4500 BC. The ancient Egyptians used plant based oils as medicines and considered them prized treasures---these ancient compounds are often the original components mimicked in modern pharmaceutical drugs.  Yaffah Schnitzer is a mind – body - spirit wellness coach, a practitioner of chant and meditation modalities to promote healing. Nancy Illman is certified in plant-based nutrition and teaches about the management of physical and emotional health using safe and powerful extracts from plants. She employs these healing modalities to help relieve pain, anxiety, depression, stress, and exhaustion.

November 26 - Born of an Iranian mother and American father and then adopted by an African American educator, Yvonne Brown is no stranger to cultural clashes. She serves as archivist for the Toni Morrison Society.  Her literary experience ranges from educator to published author.  She has co-authored a collection of poems entitled Chasing Rainbows and has published works with the Maryland Writers Project. Moreover, she coordinates a writer’s critique group for the Maryland Writer’s Association.  She also serves as the Executive Director for the Phoenix/Medina Writer’s Project Inc. that promotes literacy for disenfranchised individuals.  Currently she is working on Crying Girl, a novel loosely based on her life which focuses on a teenager adopted by her teacher and becoming a ward of the state. Click here to visit Yvonne's website.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

December 3 -  Washington Bureau Chief of The Dallas Morning News, Todd Gillman, is partial to strong coffee, politics, hiking, and his wife and kids --- not necessarily in that order. His writing career took off at his junior high newspaper, the Redcoat. In high school, he freelanced on a weekly public access TV news show that was long on enthusiasm and short on production values. While at Johns Hopkins University, Todd interned for The Associated Press, The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. After grad school at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he started at The Dallas Morning News on the Texas and Southwest desk and spent the next several years covering plane crashes, hurricanes and state politics. Todd then handled the City Hall beat and later became their political writer and columnist, which ultimately moved him to the Washington bureau. Something people don't know about him --- he's been having Tex-Mex withdrawal ever since moving here!

December 10
- Our parents and grandparents never actually had sex after procreating, did they?  Of course not. Which might mean we won't either. Throw a chronic illness into the mix, and we are definitely done. Or are we? These speakers have a different message of education and optimism to counteract the ill-informed stereotypes about this sometimes taboo topic. Ralph and Barbara Alterowitz are certified as Sexuality Counselors. What's more, Ralph and Barbara have lived the experience of survivorship and rebuilding intimacy; Ralph experienced sexual dysfunction after treatment for prostate cancer in 1995. The authors of two acclaimed books about sexuality and prostate cancer, The Lovin' Ain't Over - The Couple's Guide to Better Sex After Prostate Disease and Intimacy with Impotence, they will educate and encourage us to bring a different perspective to sex and aging. Visit www.renewintimacy.org.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

December 17
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Stuff. Too much stuff! What do you do with it all? Most people who have just emptied a family home of all its contents want to get away from the experience as quickly as they can. Janet Hulstrand decided to write a book about it instead. Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home shows readers how to keep the memories, maintain the family peace and get on with their lives. Janet is an editor and writing coach who teaches a literature course in Paris each summer. She also teaches literature classes that involve reading books about France written by Americans. In addition, she leads a culture class called "Demystifying the French," which examines the differences between the cultures, with an emphasis on better cross-cultural understanding and how it yields better communication and rapport between les francais and les americains.  Click here to visit to learn more.


December 24 - 
No Meeting


December 31 -  No Meeting


January 7 -
Her father’s nomadic career in retail was particularly hard on satirist Susan Coll, who is shy by nature. With each new hometown she turned inward, first to books, then to writing. She met her future husband, Steve Coll, who would go on to win two Pulitzer Prizes and spend six years as managing editor of The Washington Post. By age 25, Susan became a mother to the first of her three children. Now she is at her best skewering modern suburban life in general and affluent Bethesda families in particular. Rockville Pike: A Suburban Comedy of Manners uses the avenue of big-box stores and bagel chains as its backdrop. Acceptance set its gaze on the hyper-competitive college admissions process, while Beach Week looked at the inanity of a graduation tradition that has well-meaning parents trying to regulate a week of teenage debauchery, seaside. Her new book, The Stager, traces the crackup of an increasingly dysfunctional family, as their 6,200-square-foot Bethesda "McMansion" is professionally decorated pre-sale to give it the sheen of anonymous perfection. Hmmm, our backyard.......  
Book signing event
(Cash or check only)

January 14
From Virginia to Botswana, Darley Newman is an expert on entrepreneurship, small business, travel and multi-platform media. As the five-time Daytime Emmy Award nominated TV host, writer and producer of the Emmy-winning PBS series (broadcast in over 65 countries), Equitrekking, that she created, and AOL's Travels With Darley, she travels the world to discover history, diverse cultures and eco-friendly adventures with local residents.  Previously, Darley has produced for 48 Hours, CBS, the WB, The Talk Radio News Service, Starz Networks, Encore Channel and multiple PBS productions including FRONTLINE. Visit www.DarleyNewman.com or www.equitrekking.com to learn more.

January 21 - Harvard-educated (and Rhodes scholar) physician and author Dr. Leana Wen wonders why doctors and patients have become disconnected. She is Director of Patient-Centered Care Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University and author of the critically-acclaimed book on patient empowerment, When Doctors Don't Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnoses and Unnecessary Tests. She illustrates problems with our healthcare system, discusses how they are changing with the ACA, and provides tangible solutions that we can implement at our next doctor's visit. She serves as founding director of Who’s My Doctor, a campaign calling for radical transparency in medicine, has been featured in Time, Newsweek, on ABC News, NPR, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, TED.com talks and the award-winning HBO documentary, Reporter. To learn more, visit www.drleanawen.com.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

January 28 - Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr began his career as a special education teacher in New York City, working with students with emotional and behavioral disorders. He held administrative and executive positions in urban and suburban school districts and served as Director of School Performance and Accountability for New York City Public Schools, the nation’s largest school district. A Harvard graduate and self-professed lifelong learner, he served as superintendent of Stamford (CT) Public Schools, where he distinguished himself by increasing academic rigor for all students, standardizing curriculum and building partnerships with the civic and business communities.  He’s also been known to pick up his guitar and jam with students and staff!