Winter / Spring 2014
Speaker Schedule



January 2014

January 22 - 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 read more.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

January 29 - 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, and Enzo’s signature dish, Four-Minute Smoked Branzino Carpaccio in a Cigar Box, which emits a puff of smoke 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! Read more at www.elisirrestaurant.com.
Book signing event
(Cash or check only)


February 2014


February 5 -
Upon turning 40, Marc Hausman became obsessed with the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World commercials.  Already a husband, parent, small business owner, corporate speaker, youth sports coach and avid basketball player, Marc tried his hand at stand-up comedy…and…failed miserably. Yet, with a still kindling passion to entertain Marc combined his interest, knowledge and practice of positive visualization with a penchant for storytelling to create his “Hypnotic Experience” show.  Rather than a Las Vegas-style act, Hypnotic Experience presents the health, wellness, career, academic and athletic benefits that can be derived from self-hypnosis. Visit Marc Hausman's web site.

February 12  - For more than 12 years, Lauree Ostrofsky served as a speaker, author, coach, PR strategist and marketer for government agencies, high tech start-ups, Fortune 500 companies and women-owned businesses. Then, in one moment, her life changed. That was the day that Lauree came face-to-face with the white blob, an acoustic neuroma brain tumor. A series of scary moments and missteps followed – three surgeries, divorce and a less-than-triumphant move home to live with her dad – and ultimately lead her to launching #hugtour, plotting routes to office buildings and coffee shops hugging people she cared about along the way. The process taught her that running hugs in traffic are exhilarating and that unabashedly sharing love is more worthwhile than she could ever have imagined. Today, Lauree is the Chief Hugger and Coach at Simply Leap LLCI'm Scared & Doing it Anyway is Lauree's memoir about the choices you make when you feel like you don't have any. Visit her web site at www.simplyleap.com.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

February 19 - Anita B. McBride is currently Executive-in-Residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies within the School of Public Affairs at American University.  She previously served as assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush, directing the staff’s work on the wide variety of domestic and global initiatives in which Mrs. Bush was involved. Her White House service spans two decades and three presidential administrations, including as Director of White House Personnel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush; and as Director of the US Speaker's Bureau at the United States Information Agency.  She is also a member of several organizations, including the US Afghan Women's Council, the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the White House Historical Association. 

February 26 -
Dr. Allan Lichtman
received his PhD from Harvard University in 1973 with a specialty in modern American History and Quantitative Methods. He is a tenured professor at The American University, and has published seven books and several hundred popular and scholarly articles. He has lectured in the US and internationally, provided commentary for major US and foreign networks and has served as an expert witness in more than 75 civil and voting rights cases. His books include White Protestant Nation, The Keys to the White House and most recently  FDR and the Jews. His prediction system has correctly predicted the outcomes of all US presidential elections since 1984!
Book signing event (Cash or check only)


March 5
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Sabrina Hersi Issa is the CEO at Be Bold Media, a digital agency focused on global advocacy and the co-founder of End Famine, a campaign dedicated to seeking sustainable solutions to food security and humanitarian aid assistance. Previously, she was a Program Adviser at Afghans for Civil Society, an NGO that developed women’s programs and independent media in southern Afghanistan, worked for National Public Radio, NBC News and Oxfam America. She has advised women legislators on digital engagement and social media and created the Human Rights Forum, a monthly gathering for activists and technologists. Forbes named her 30 Under 30 for Law and Policy and Washingtonian Magazine featured as part of its Most Powerful Women issue. She is a Truman Nation Security Partner, an adviser to Digital Democracy and proudly sits on the boards of Exhale ProVoice, Web of Change and Women, Action & the Media. Visit her site at www.beboldmedia.com

March 12 - Chef Mark Ramsdell has served as Director and Head Instructor for L'Academie de Cuisine's Professional Pastry Arts Program in their Recreational Cooking Division. Following graduation from L'Academie, he studied under the tutelage of Roland Mesnier, Executive Pastry Chef at The White House (and former WMG speaker!). Chef Ramsdell founded several award-winning culinary enterprises including the Pastry Design Studio, specializing in large show cakes which was listed by Washingtonian Magazine as one of DC's top ten pastry shops during all 15 years of his ownership. Prior to his culinary pursuits, Chef Ramsdell earned an MBA, a PhD and was an urban policy analysis and design professor!

March 19
- Like death and taxes, failure is unavoidable...and absolutely critical, says parenting coach Meghan Leahy. Through her years of experience as a teacher and school counselor - not to mention a Parenting Expert for Discovery Fit & Health, Parent Encouragement Program (PEP) leader and contributor to the Washington Post - she has come to see failure as the ultimate teacher, something we need to navigate rather than safe-guard against. What does that look like? How do we prepare for failure? How do we parent for it? Can children and adults navigate failure without feeling like a failure? And what do we rob from our children and ourselves when we offer one too many safety nets, one too many "just right" environments? Meghan will answer all those questions and more as she explores how all of us--those with and without children--can perceive failure in a way that leads to greater personal growth. To read more, visit www.positivelyparenting.com.

March 26 - We know fruit and vegetable consumption can have a dramatic impact on health, but how do we improve access to fruit and vegetables in our neediest communities? Lauren Shweder Biel, the Executive Director and co-founder of DC Greens, will tell us how her non-profit organization is working to bridge the gaps in our local food system. DC Greens supports school gardens in all wards of the city, runs a farmers' market incentive program, manages an innovative Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program, and is the non-profit home of the DC Farm to School Network. Their admirable and impressive work was hailed as a “national model” in the Washington Post. To learn more, visit www.dcgreens.org.




April 2
-  In September of 2012, beloved physician Dr. David Hilfiker learned that he had a 'progressive cognitive impairment,' almost certainly Alzheimer's disease. He has created a blog chronicling day-to-day life with this illness and his reflections upon it. He says, "We tend to be scared of Alzheimer's or embarrassed by it. We see it as the end of life rather than a phase of life with all its attendant opportunities for growth, learning, and relationships. We see only the suffering and miss the joy. We experience only the disappearing cognitive abilities and ignore the beautiful things that can appear. So far I have been able to welcome this period of my life.  In fact and unbelievably, these months so far have been one of the happiest periods in my life." Visit Dr. Hilfiker's web site.

April 9
- It's her EIGHTH time speaking to us!!! Women of the baby boomer generation know and trust Iris Krasnow as a writer who speaks candidly to the issues that concern them most. Her newest book, Sex After...Women Share How Intimacy Changes as Life Changes, promises to be one of her most provocative. In the months following the publication of her most recent book, The Secret Lives of Wives, Iris addressed tens of thousands of women, and she discovered that two subjects dominated her audiences’ conversations: sex and change. Whether women were worried about marriage and divorce or illness and death, they were all asking: 'How do I handle the shifts in my sexuality and brain caused by these events?' Learn the answers to everything from regaining sexual confidence after childbirth and breast cancer to navigating the dating scene in senior communities. www.iriskrasnow.com
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

April 16 -
No Meeting

April 23
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He was snowed out, but now he's here! Upon turning 40, Marc Hausman became obsessed with the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World commercials.  Already a husband, parent, small business owner, corporate speaker, youth sports coach and avid basketball player, Marc tried his hand at stand-up comedy…and…failed miserably. Yet, with a still kindling passion to entertain Marc combined his interest, knowledge and practice of positive visualization with a penchant for storytelling to create his “Hypnotic Experience” show.  Rather than a Las Vegas-style act, Marc presents the health, wellness, career, academic and athletic benefits that can be derived from self-hypnosis. 

April 30 - 
Carol Flaisher
is DC’s veteran location manager: when Hollywood calls, she answers. A native Washingtonian, she has been a part of Washington’s movie making community for more than thirty years. Working on more than 100 television shows and feature film projects, Carol has acted in many capacities including location manager, production supervisor and producer.  Some of her movie credits include Philomena, SALT, Wedding Crashers, National Treasure I and II, State of Play, True Lies and the television shows The Amazing Race and The Biggest Loser. She has been featured in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine and has received the Woman of Vision Award for Women in Film. Carol will share how she found the perfect location for Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Will Smith and why she’s been called the “Nightmare on Constitution Avenue”. If you've ever wondered how a film comes alive in our area, you’ll enjoy hearing her talk about the ins and outs of making a movie in Washington!

May 7 - Elsa Walsh is not a feminist icon. Yet, she could have been. Growing up during the early days of second-wave feminism she explained, "So, when I enrolled at UC Berkeley in 1975, I held three truths to be self-evident: I would never marry [Surprise, she did---to Bob Woodward of Watergate journalism/All the President's Men movie fame.] I would never have children. [Surprise, she does.] And I would have an interesting job...." [Bingo.] Her recent Washington Post article ponders, "Parenthood and family are much more central to our lives than we let on. The debate has become twisted and simplistic, as if we're merely trying to figure out how women can become more like men.....how can women have full lives, not just one squeezed around a career? For a woman to say she is searching for a 'good enough' life is not failure — it is maturity and self-knowledge."

May 14 - For more than 25 years Kim Foley has helped professionals maximize their credibility and polish their presentations for "on camera" interviews and live appearances. As a corporate trainer, author and television stylist she brings credibility and technology together to create new ways of utilizing video for corporate communication. Ms. Foley's groundbreaking video training for mobile devices, On The Go Video, is capturing the attention of everyone. Her dynamic, hands-on presentation style is entertaining and informative.

May 21 - According to the New York Times wedding write-up, "among friends, Ralph Alswang is known for his ability to talk himself into or out of almost any situation. He's the kind of person, friends say, who will tell convincing sob stories and cry if necessary while begging the police officer not to ticket his car..." When Ralph was 28 and an assistant at National Geographic, he finagled a tryout photographing the Clintons---and became the President and First Lady's official documentary photographer throughout the presidency, visiting every US state and more than 60 countries. He even met his wife while traveling on Air Force One!  Today, Ralph is a premiere wedding & family photographer, bringing passion and knowledge to every subject he photographs. Visit Ralph's web site.

May 28 - Dr. Stuart Rothenberg is national medical director and director of post-graduate medical education of Maharishi Ayurveda Association of America and co-director of the American Association of Health Professionals Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Program. A Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, he was one of the first medical doctors in the US to be trained in Ayurvedic medicine. He co-founded the first physician-directed Ayurveda Medical Centers in the US, specializing in the treatment and prevention of chronic disease using an integrative approach. Dr. Rothenberg is co-author of several published studies documenting the effects of these programs on chronic disorders, and has presented these findings at leading medical schools worldwide. Learn more at www.mum.edu. Click here to to view Dr. Rothenberg's presentation about the health benefit of spices. To access Dr. Rothenberg's contact information, please click here.

June 2014


June 4 - Inspirational author and artist Tom Block has a college degree in English, but didn't begin painting until he was 26---when he discovered he was a painter in his heart.  He combines the visual and written arts to raise awareness of international human rights issues, world peace concerns and intercultural understanding and his art has been shown in many US and European museums and galleries. In addition to appearing on NPR's Talk of the Nation, he has conducted symposiums on his art and thought at many learning institutions including the University of Maryland, Michigan State University, Ohio State University, George Washington University, American University, Vassar College and the Jewish Study Center. He has also taught art at the Longview School for the Handicapped, Dwelling Place Homeless Program, Montgomery County Alternative Program for at-risk adolescents, National Children’s Center and the Summit Art Group. Visit Tom Block's web site at www.tomblock.com

June 11 - Parthenon Huxley
, aka P. Hux, has been dubbed a "pop visionary", "rock's most underrated pop genius", a songwriting "master" as well as "the guy with the monumental name." As guitarist and singer with The Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Huxley has played some of the world's great stages (Royal Albert Hall among them) in more than twenty countries. Huxley's own band of the last ten years has featured the drumming of Gordon Townsend and the bass playing of first Rob Miller and, presently, Dan Rothchild. All three guys are monster players. Parthenon Huxley was born in Baton Rouge, Lousiana. He lived in Summit, New Jersey, Athens, Greece, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, NYC and LA before moving his family to Maryland ten years ago. Read more at www.parthenonhuxley.com.