Winter / Spring 2015
Speaker Schedule



January 2015

January 21 - Mark Lee Greenblatt is an attorney who has led investigations into criminal and ethical misconduct by senior officials in the US and foreign governments, homeland security vulnerabilities, Medicare abuses, and tax cheats.  During his tenure at the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Mark led the their investigation into the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Program.  In that role, Mark testified twice before the Senate to present evidence of corrupt deals involving foreign politicians and U.N. officials.  He received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, JD from Columbia University School of Law and was a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. His book, Valor: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front tells true stories of extraordinary heroism by American troops, as well as a Navy rescue swimmer in the Atlantic.  The book is modeled after JFK’s Profiles in Courage, describing incidents in which these people placed themselves in extreme danger to save lives or accomplish a mission. Click here to learn more.
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!


February 2015


February 4 -
Gene Weingarten is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for both his serious and humorous work. Weingarten's column, Below the Beltway, is published weekly in the Washington Post Magazine and syndicated nationally by The Washington Post Writers Group, which also syndicates Barney & Clyde, a comic strip he co-authors. He is the former editor of the Miami Herald's Sunday magazine, during which time he hired Dave Barry, giving one of America's best known humor columnists his big break. His newest [children's, sort of] book, Me and Dog, addresses a kid, a dog and atheism in an incredible way.  Gene's own edit on Wikipedia: "A college dropout, he was somehow awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University."
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

February 11  - Receiving
over 600 international, national and regional awards has made Elk Run Winery not only one of the top 100 wineries on the east coast, but, the most acclaimed winery in Maryland!  Nestled in the rolling hills of Frederick County surrounded by dairy and horse farms and fields of wheat and corn, it was a land grant from the King of England to Lord Baltimore. Bob Cecil, the vineyard's Wine Ambassador, will describe their new world research and technology while maintaining the traditions and values of old world practices, Elk Run’s focus is on producing high quality wine from high quality grapes. We will also sample some of their production!
Wine tasting event, in the large Sanctuary


February 18 -
Paula Johnson is a curator in the Division of Work and Industry at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She is responsible for the food technology and marine resources collections and is the project director for the exhibition, FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000. Johnson was one of the curators who collected the home kitchen of Julia Child and developed the exhibition Bon Appetit! Julia Child’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian. She has published books on the fisheries of the Chesapeake Bay and lectured widely on field research, oral history recording and documentation. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the International Congress of Maritime Museums and the National Historic Landmarks Committee of the National Park Service.

February 25 -
Clarence Hickey is an master interpretive docent with the Montgomery County Historical Society's Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine, a 19th century and Civil War re-enactor as well as a living historian. Clarence portrays historic Rockville physician Dr. Edward E. Stonestreet, who practiced medicine for 51 years (1852-1903) and was a US Army Civil War Surgeon.  He offers living history portrayals, some in first person Chautauqua format, and some using a life sized mannequin dressed as a wounded Civil War soldier or an injured farmer.  Clarence was the Montgomery County Historical Society Volunteer of the Year and was the recipient of the Montgomery County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Volunteer Award.  Clarence’s biography of Dr. Stonestreet, Send For the Doctor, received a Preservation Award. 
Book signing event (Cash or check only)


March 4
-
Are you up-to-speed regarding relevant tax laws and how they may apply to your estate?  Rachel Burke is a partner in the estate planning group of Furey, Doolan & Abell, LLP who concentrates her practice in the areas of federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxation, and estate planning as well as estate and trust administration. She will discuss what every individual needs to know about planning for his or her medical care, potential incapacity, and estate disposition.  Rachel will explain how different types of assets pass at death, whether one should plan to avoid probate of one's assets, and how to thoughtfully pass assets to loved ones. She will focus on the role of the caregiver particularly in the appointed role of health care agent, attorney-in-fact, executor, and trustee.

March 11 - Three-time Emmy Award winner Virginia "Ginger" Wolf, independent producer and founder of Virginia Wolf Productions, has worked for over 20 years on a wide variety of productions which include: documentaries, televised town meetings, PSAs as well as variety of non-broadcast programs for non-profit organizations, capital campaigns, schools and universities. Ginger takes pride in having a significant amount of her work be a means of raising awareness on issues that have social or humanitarian value. Her newest documentary, A Bridge Apart, opens with a large yellow train approaching a small town in southern Mexico: there are no seats on this train, so migrants ride on top of the boxcars, tying themselves down so as not to fall under the wheels.  The narco-traffickers and gangs have come to realize that demanding ransom or sexual slavery (in New York and DC) can be just as lucrative as smuggling drugs. Click here to read more about A Bridge Apart.

March 18 - John McCarthy is a Jersey boy. But then he ventured into DC on a baseball scholarship at Catholic University, became a teacher at Good Counsel HS in Wheaton, and then headed for law school in Baltimore! Before becoming State's Attorney, John served as Deputy State's Attorney in Montgomery County for ten years and previously headed every major trial division in the office. Widely regarded as one of the top trial attorneys in Maryland, he has prosecuted many high profile cases has been nominated for judicial positions. John directed overseas training programs for the US Department of Justice Criminal Division's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) and the US Congress’s Open World Program. His team is responsible for drafting legislation addressing, among other things, aggressive panhandling, drunk driving laws, children's safety issues related to domestic violence crimes and school safety issues.

March 25 - The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Carl Hoffman's Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art uncovers startling evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story. Soon after Rockefeller's disappearance, rumors surfaced that he’d been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat - a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting and ritual cannibalism. The real story has long-waited to be told --- until now. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America’s richest and most powerful scions.  Visit Carl Hoffman's web site.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)



April 1
-  Dr. Scott Braun is the Principal Investigator for the Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) which is a multi-year investigation of the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensification, with special emphasis on the relative roles of the environment and inner-core processes.  HS3 is using two of NASA's unmanned Global Hawk aircraft, one equipped with a payload designed to sample environmental winds, temperature, and humidity; the other with a payload focused on measurement of the 3D structure of precipitation and winds within the inner-core region.  The Global Hawks will be deployed from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia for 4-5 weeks during the hurricane seasons of 2012, 2013, and 2014.  Dr. Braun is also the Project Scientist for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) which is a joint project between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA. It was launched on November 27, 1997 and continues to provide the research and operational communities unique precipitation information from space. The first-time use of both active and passive microwave instruments and the precessing, low inclination orbit (35°) make TRMM the world’s foremost satellite for the study of precipitation and associated storms and climate processes in the tropics. Visit the NASA site to learn more.  

April 8
-  Spring Break - No Meeting

April 15 -
Letting go may be the hardest thing we ever have to do as parents. No one knows this better than parent and author, Glen Finland, whose novel, Next Stop, is a memoir based on her Washington Post Magazine feature story about parenting an autistic child to adulthood. It recounts the complex relationship between an autistic adult child and his family as he steps out into the real world alone for the first time. Rendered without sentimentality, the story is grounded in the personal narrative of a mother’s perpetually tested hope. Hardwired to protect him, letting go turns out to be harder for her than for her son. It is a story that every parent can relate to who has watched their child, disabled or not, leave their nest. A former TV news reporter, Glen’s freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post and Family Circle Magazine and a featured autism advocate in various news outlets including NPR and CNN. Read more on Glen Finland's web site
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

April 22
- 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 and by age 25 she became a mother. Fast forward, she is at her best skewering modern suburban life in general, and affluent Bethesda families in particular. Rockville Pike: A Suburban Comedy of Manners took 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...... Visit Susan Coll's web site.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

April 29 - 
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 6 - Lidia Soto-Harmon has a proven track record of success in the corporate, non-profit and government sectors. She serves as CEO of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital -- the area’s preeminent leadership organization for girls, serving 90,000 girl and adult members. Lidia was named one of 'Nation’s Top 90 Women, Mentoring Leaders by Women' of Wealth Magazine. She was also named Notimujer of the Week, by CNN en Español for her work to reach young Latinas. The National Hispana Leadership Institute presented her with the Regional Mujer Award (Woman of the Year) and she recently received the Woman of Vision Award from the Junior League of Northern Virginia. She also serves on the board of directors for the Meyer Foundation and the Greater Washington Nonprofit Roundtable.

May 13 - Dr. Andrea Bonior is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She currently maintains a private practice and has served on the staff of four university counseling centers, as well as various mental health agencies; additional clinical and research interests include eating disorders, women's issues, alcohol abuse, relationship issues, athletic performance anxiety, life transitions, and grief and loss. A musician, she holds a special interest in the performing arts and has served as a psychological consultant to university musical theater departments and even an off-Broadway show. Dr. Bonior is best known for "Baggage Check," her weekly mental health column in the Washington Post Express, unique among advice columns for its plentiful wit and pop culture references. Her expertise has most recently appeared on NPR, in Forbes, The New York Times, HLN, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Yahoo!, Jezebel.com, U.S. News and World Report, Real Simple, Cosmopolitan, USA Today, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Glamour, Self, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and Seventeen. She blogs for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today's "Friendship 2.0" blog, and makes regular appearances on "Let's Talk Live" and in the Washington Post's Celebritology blog, providing a psychological perspective on current events and Hollywood. Her first book, The Friendship Fix: The Complete Guide to Choosing, Losing, and Keeping Up With Your Friends is an invaluable read. Learn more by visiting Dr. Bonior's web site.
Book signing event (Cash or check only)

May 20 - Laverne & Shirley actress Cindy Williams' family was very poor, and she grew up in near poverty. (Her father was an electronic technician who did spot-on imitations of Milton Berle and Jackie Gleason.) As a child, she dreamed of being an actress, wishing that one day, Debbie Reynolds would see her in one of those amateur shows and whisk her away to put her in a film. Her first step to fame was a movie in which she tap-danced with Gene Kelly and promptly stepped on his foot! Her next big role was in American Graffiti, as Ron Howard's girlfriend. Soon, she was set up in a writing team with Penny Marshall, and the girls were called by Penny's brother, Garry Marshall, to do a stint as two fast girls on Happy Days. The public received them so warmly that Cindy soon got her own show (along with Penny) and was referred to everywhere as "Shirley Feeney". She has made movies, starred on Broadway, co-produced The Father Of The Bride movies with husband Bill Hudson (previously married to Goldie Hawn) and has just released her new book, Shirley I Jest: A Storied Life.  Visit Cindy William's web site to learn more. 

May 27 - Best known for bringing synesthesia (how our brains perceive) back into mainstream science in the 1980s, Dr. Richard E. Cytowic is trained in neurology, neuropsychology, and ophthalmology. For many years, his colleagues refused to accept synesthesia as real and warned that pursuing it would ruin Dr. Cytowic’s career because it was too weird and New Age. Today, researchers in 15 countries are writing Ph.D. theses, books, and scholarly papers on this fascinating trait. From DNA and synapses, to child development, brain imaging, and psychology up to overt behavior that includes art and creativity are described in his book, Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia. Numerous documentaries have been the subject of his work ranging from the BBC and PBS to National Geographic and has made over fifty television, radio and multimedia appearances. Learn more about Dr. Cytowic's work by visiting his web site
Book signing event (Cash or check only)


June 2015


June 3 - Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the Co-Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, where her duties included anchoring the weekday program, Inside Politics. She was the chief Washington correspondent at PBS for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and also anchored their award-winning weekly documentary series, Frontline with Judy Woodruff.  Judy was a visiting fellow at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. At NBC News, Woodruff was White House correspondent and NBC's Today Show Chief Washington Correspondent. She serves on the boards of trustee of the Freedom Forum, the Newseum, the Duke Endowment and the Urban Institute. She also serves as a member of The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. She is the recipient of the Cine Lifetime Achievement award, the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism and Television, the USC Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism.

June 10 - Chris Ullman is a four-time national and international whistling champion. From the steps of the Capitol, where he performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, to center court, where he whistled the National Anthem at several NBA games, to the Oval Office, where he serenaded President George W. Bush, Chris has shared his whistle with millions of people around the world in person and on television and radio. He first started his puckered pursuits at age five, whistled incessantly while delivering newspapers as a teen, jammed with jazz bands in college, and then worked the open mike circuit near his Washington, DC home in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. He entered his first whistling competition in 1993, taking second place in the popular division, and returned for eight consecutive years, winning the grand international championship four times.  In 2000, Chris was named the Lillian Williams Whistling Entertainer of the Year. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, and many talk radio programs. Click here to visit Chris Ullman's web site
In large sanctuary