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SPEAKERS Calender 2019-2020

This year, Peter Chelico (), 2nd VP,  is Speaker Chairman. 

Members who have potential speakers should contact Peter or the Y’s Men 1st VP Ed Bloch ()

Past Meeting Photos can be found here



Presenter's Affiliation and Topic

Sept 5

Orin Grossman

Dr. Grossman enjoyed a more than 40 year academic career at Fairfield University. He retired as its Academic Vice President, and today is Emeritus Professor of Visual and Performing Arts.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, earned a Ph.D. in Music at Yale, then built a long second career, touring the globe as an entertainer and, ever the teacher, as an interpreter of some of America’s most notable music.  Dr. Grossman will play 100 years of American music history for our group, from two of America’s early jazz giants, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, on to 1930’s swing, to 1940’s bebop, to today, pulling together Scott Joplin’s ragtime, Zez Confrey’s novelty piano, Jelly Roll Morton’s Dixieland, and James P. Johnson’s stride piano into contemporary jazz — America’s Classical music.  More information on Dr. Grossman can be found at Orin Grossman Performs.

     SPEAKERS Calendar 2018-2019
May 23

John Brandt

Ed Bloch

Y's Men Annual Report - May 23, 2019
May 23 Y's Men Annual Meeting and Picnic The 2019 Y's Men's Annual Meeting and Picnic (buffet luncheon) begins at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 23rd at our regular Thursday morning meeting venue in Hoskins Hall at the Saugatuck Congregational Church.  Plan to attend this year's edition which includes the election of next year's officers, awards for contributions to this year's successful programs and a great buffet luncheon catered by Fortuna’s. The luncheon fee is $10.00, payable at the weekly meetings from now through May 16th at a table when you enter Hoskins Hall. Don't miss this celebration of another great year for the Y's Men.
May 16

Jim Marpe

Chris Spaulding

Rebecca Surran

In what has become an annual tradition, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Weston First Selectman Chris Spaulding will end our season with discussions on the State of Our Towns. Continuing the format begun in 2017, Rebecca Surran, former News 12 anchor, will moderate an informational session with the Selectmen. It promises to bring us up to date on the latest important happenings in our two towns, put them in perspective, provide a better understanding and learn what’s in store for the future.
May 9 Anne Keefe The Westport Country Playhouse is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, professional theater whose mission is “to enrich, enlighten, and engage our community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of our Playhouse campus.”  Anne Keefe, associate artist at the Playhouse, accompanied by Bruce Miller, company manager, will tell us about the rich history of this Westport institution and bring us up to date on its activities.
May 2 Bill Harmer The Westport Library is nearing completion of its extensive Transformation Project, and a Grand Re-opening is scheduled for Sunday, June 23rd.  Library Executive Director Bill Harmer will tell us all about the Project and what to expect after the Library re-opens. A native of Michigan, Bill is a passionate advocate for public libraries and their essential role in today’s society. He had nearly two decades of experience in library management when he came to head the Westport Library in 2015.
April 25 Bill Taibe Bill Taibe, Executive Chef/Owner of The Whelk, Kawa Ni and Jesup Hall, will talk about how the restaurant industry has evolved since he opened Le Farm, his first restaurant, in 2009 in Westport. He will address the impact of social media on the industry and how it affects the expectations of diners today. By the age of 33, Bill had received three “Excellent” ratings from The New York Times and has become a leader in a community of chefs who source and support local farms and distributors. His love for food began early while working after school at a local butcher shop. As a young chef, he quickly advanced from Sous Chef to Executive Chef, and in the years that followed, Bill helped to develop, design and run many successful restaurants in Fairfield County. He serves on the board of Food Rescue US and is the President of the Westport Farmer’s Market. Over the past decade, Bill has mentored dozens of Weston youth through his involvement with the Weston Little League.
April 18

Toshi Bekku

Peter Donovan

One of the ways many Y’s Men stay engaged is worldwide traveling.  Two of them recently took adventurous trips. Y’s Man Toshi Bekku will present his trekking experience in the Peruvian Andes. The area he trekked is the so-called Cordillera Blanca which is 250 miles northeast of Lima. It is the highest tropical mountain range in the world and contains more than 32 peaks above 18,000 feet. During the 12 day trip, he crossed seven passes with an average altitude of 15,250 feet, and the highest pass he crossed was 15,925 feet. Y’s Man Peter Donovan made two attempts to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa, with its summit about 16,100 feet from its base, and 19,300 feet above sea level. He made it to the top in his second try last year. Mount Kilimanjaro is taller than any mountain in the continental United States except Denali in Alaska which is about 1000 feet higher.
April 11 Twig Holland Water usage is something we take for granted.  Twig Holland, a public information coordinator for the Aquarion Water Company headquartered in Bridgeport, will discuss the public water supply, residential consumption, and suggestions for using water wisely as well as the processes involved in collecting, treating and delivering safe drinking water. She has worked in the public domain for nearly 20 years and is the former director of purchasing for the Town of Fairfield, where she was responsible for the procurement of all goods and services required by the town and its school system. Twig is a graduate of Fairfield University.
April 4 Troy Amuso Troy Amuso will talk about “The Fine Art of Art Restoration” as he takes us on a descriptive and visual journey showing how the environment and age cause paintings to deteriorate so badly that they need to be restored. Sharing his experience of restoring paintings for over three decades, Troy will show the processes used by master art restorers to bring paintings back to good health. Whether aged and deteriorated or damaged by accident, age old remedies as well as modern techniques are used every day by highly skilled art conservators to keep treasured paintings alive. He launched Troy’s Fine Art Services, based in Fairfield, in 1997.
Mar 28 Michael Lynch Too many of us, at this stage of life, are becoming all too familiar with joint pain often in our knees. Dr. Michael Lynch, an orthopedic surgeon, will tell us about advances in knee surgery. He was the first surgeon in Fairfield County to implement a new type of knee replacement that uses a 3D printer to create femoral and tibial implants that are unique for each patient.
Mar 21 Phil Vitello On the night of February 17, 1864 at about 9:00 p.m. the CSS Hunley became the very first submarine to sink a ship in combat. This feat was so advanced for its time that it did not occur again for another 50 years. Historian Phil Vitiello will tell the story of what happened to the Hunley that night and trace the vessel’s conception, its underwater discovery, conservation and the historic burial of her last crew. Phil is a specialist on the Civil War and a re-enactor for more than 40 years.
Mar 14

Ed Hynes


Life for those living around Long Island Sound during the American Revolution was filled with action, intrigue and terror. Historian Ed Hynes will tell us how raiders crossed the Sound every fair night either to smuggle and/or steal goods and to kidnap or kill enemies. The economic blockade between British-occupied Long Island and Patriot-led Connecticut was the foundation of this violent conflict. His presentation will detail some of these raids and discuss the fate of Patriot prisoners held by the British.
Mar 7

Courtney George

Suzanne B. Sutton

Susan F. Filan

Hearst CT News Story about this Presentation

The Me Too Movement (more popularly expressed as#MeToo) is a movement against sexual harassment andsexual assault especially in the workplace. Three attorneys from Cohen and Wolfe will bring us up to date on this significant social phenomenon. Courtney George is a principal of the firm and chair of its Employment and Labor Group. Suzanne B. Sutton serves as Of Counsel and has extensive experience in attorney discipline matters and bankruptcy law. Susan F. Filan also is Of Counsel and is a former MSNBC Senior Legal Analyst and NBC News legal analyst. She will moderate the discussion.
Feb 28

Ken Bernhard

Hearst CT News Story about this Presentation

Ken Bernhard, a senior partner at the law firm of Cohen and Wolf, PC, will be speaking on the subject of the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. His talk will include the history of the amendment, how the courts have interpreted it over the past 240 years, the role of the NRA in the debate over gun rights, and the current state of the law. Ken and his family have lived in Westport since 1974. He has held numerous positions in town government including Town Counsel for three administrations and Westport’s State Representative in Hartford for four terms. Ken is a Senior Attorney with the Center for International Legal Studies located in Salzburg, Austria. Over the past 12 years, Ken has taught a course on the American Constitution as a guest lecturer in a number European law schools, including ones in Latvia, Russia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. He will be teaching again this April in the Czech Republic.
Feb 21

Susan Granger

Hearst CT News Story about this Presentation

Just in time for the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24th, Susan Granger returns to the Y’s Men to give us her pick of who will win what Oscars and the reasons why.  A product of Hollywood, Susan’s natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at MGM and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at MGM. As a child, she appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O’Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic, syndicating her reviews/articles around the world. Her website is www.susangranger.com. She has appeared on American Movie Classics and Turner Classic Movies. Susan is also the feature film critic for Video Librarian magazine, distributed to libraries nationwide.   Her latest book is “150 Timeless Movies.”
Feb 14 John Krubski John Krubski will talk about “A Family Heritage Journey” the love story of two young people who found one another in the worst of times and, in spite of the hell around them, made the most of their lives – even though they had to restart their lives three times virtually from scratch. Those young people were his parents who were buffeted by ever changing world events. John Krubski has spent his professional life as a consultant; helping some of the world’s smartest people think smarter and some of the world’s most creative people think more creatively. He is currently the Founding Director of The Institute for Applied Decisional Sciences, and has a book coming out this year titled “Breaking Genius.” It discusses how you can create repeatable moments of genius on demand to improve your life, your work, your mind, and your world.
Feb 7 Jeff Weiser “Why Every Town in America Needs a Homes with Hope. And Why They Don’t Have One.”  That’s the title of Jeff Wieser’s presentation and he is in a position to know.  Jeff has been president and CEO of Homes with Hope since 2010 having previously served on its board for a dozen years, four of them as chairman. Based in Westport, Homes with Hope is dedicated to ending homelessness in Fairfield County. Incorporated in 1983 (formerly the Interfaith Housing Association) it opened in 1984 as a homeless shelter for single men. It has grown significantly since then providing a food pantry and soup kitchen; emergency shelters for single adults, families and young women aged 18 to 24; permanent supportive housing for the chronically homeless; mentoring; youth education and the life skills training needed to prevent homelessness from reoccurring.
Jan 31 Mark Albertson Mark Albertson is historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine based in Monroe and is the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America. He teaches history as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College. His talk is titled “American Putsch.” He will tell the story of how, in 1933, retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler reported to Congress the existence of a Wall Street plot against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Some of those implicated -- the Du Ponts, Morgan interests, the Pitcairns, Remington Arms, and elements of the American Legion – were attempting to erect a Fascist regime. 
Jan 24

Bill Mitchell 

Hearst CT News Story about this Presentation

Bill Mitchell, one of Ed Mitchell’s two sons, will bring us up to date on what Mitchells is today. Ed Mitchell founded the store in 1958, with three men’s suits, a coffee pot (brought from home) and 800 square feet of space. Today there are eight Mitchell owned stores. It truly is still a family business with Bill and his brother Jack having their children and grandchildren active in the business. 
Jan 17 Leonard Everett Fisher  Our own member, Leonard Everett Fisher, will present “Past Is Present: Creative Connections Revealed.” Leonard attended Yale after his World War II military service, where he earned bachelor and master degrees in fine arts. His visual works are part of collections in the White House, the Library of Congress, the Yale Art Gallery, the New York Public Library and many other prestigious galleries. He is also a past president of the Westport Library Board of Trustees and is currently a board member of the Westport Arts Center. 
Jan 10

Chris Brubeck 

Hearst CT News Story about this Presentation

Grammy nominated musician Chris Brubeck will talk about “the life of a modern-day composer and jazz musician.” He will show a video of one of his pieces and may play and discuss some other samples. Chris had been a long-standing member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet, writing arrangements and touring and recording with his father's group for over 20 years. 
Jan 3

Jay Dirnberger

Hearst CT News Story about this Presentation

Our immediate past president, Jay Dirnberger, will talk about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Drones. The drone industry has expanded exponentially over the last three years when Jay last spoke to us and it is now a multi-billion dollar global endeavor. Drones serve the military forces of friends and foes and provide assistance to national and municipal organizations and commercial enterprises. Jay served in the U.S. Army as an Infantry Captain and was a helicopter pilot with the 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam and the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg.
Dec 27 No Meeting  
Dec 20 No Meeting  
Dec 13 Holiday Party  It’s time for the Y’s Men to party — that is at the 2018 Holiday Party, which begins at 11:30AM at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center at 99 East Avenue. It’s one of only two meetings in December and our last chance to get together before the holiday break. We've been taking reservations and payment for the Party at recent meetings and tables are filling up fast. Now is a good time to organize a table with friends and their guests and sign up at the November 29th or December 6th meetings. The cost is $46.00 per person and a cash bar will be open throughout the affair. Food choices are sirloin steak with a mild garlic butter sauce, coq au vin over wild rice and Norwegian salmon poached in white wine. There also will be a special meal for people with food sensitivities. The Staples Jazz Band will play a set of Big Band Favorites before lunch (served at 1:00PM) and music for dancing will be played during and after the meal. Please take part in this annual opportunity for fellowship and celebration. Contact Ed Bloch at e or 203-227-4920. 
Dec 6 Marty Yellin  The Y’s Men’s own Marty Yellin will give a talk on the Human Microbiome which concerns the trillions of bacteria on and within our bodies. Marty reports that we are now learning for the first time that having the correct bacteria correlates directly with preventing, arresting, and even curing most of the chronic diseases that affect us, mostly as we get older. These diseases include heart disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and obesity, many forms of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, allergies, depression and possibly Alzheimer’s disease, among others. As he has previously demonstrated, Marty can make even the most complex subjects interesting and understandable to the layman. This is a presentation not to be missed. 
Nov 29 Andrew Banoff Andrew H. Banoff is president and CEO of Jewish Senior Services, which, for more than 40 years, has provided skilled nursing and senior care services. As the needs of seniors and the community changed, it has responded by introducing community programs with “Jewish Senior Services‚” as the umbrella for its services. Andrew will tell us about them. 
Nov 22 No Meeting Thanksgiving 
Nov 15 John H Durham John H. Durham was appointed United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut in February. Mr. Durham has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in various positions in the District for 35 years, prosecuting complex organized crime, violent crime, public corruption and financial fraud. His presentation to the Y’s Men is entitled “The Use of Informants; A Cautionary Tale. U.S. v. John J. Connolly & Its Consequences.” 
Nov 8 Vincent Santilli Homes for the Brave is a non-profit organization based in Bridgeport, dedicated to providing safe housing, vocational training and life skills coaching to homeless individuals, most of whom are veterans. Vincent E. Santilli, CEO and Executive Director, will tell us about their various programs including Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, Connecticut’s first and only facility for homeless female veterans and their children. 
Nov 1 James Mapes James Mapes is a speaker, coach, philosopher, clinical hypnotist, actor, award-winning performer and bestselling author. His presentation to the Y’s Men is entitled ”IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance,” based on his book of the same title which is said to be the first web-enhanced volume of its kind. He will delve into topics like reframing thinking patterns, shattering limiting myths, breaking through fear, managing stress, and love and forgiveness 
Oct 25 Walton Brown-Foster, Ph.D. Walton Brown-Foster, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of political science at Central Connecticut State University, in New Britain and is currently the Acting Coordinator for the International Studies - Latin American Studies program. Her presentation is entitled “Latin America for All--untold and ignored legacies of race and ethnicity and their impact on the challenges facing the region in the 21st Century.” Dr. Brown-Foster will cover the often and untold impact of race, identity, exclusion and inclusion on the politics and economics for select countries in the region. She also will discuss some of the major challenges facing the region in the 21st Century including migration, violence, corruption and globalization. Dr. Walton-Brown received her doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan. She has taught at the University of Georgia and Yale University and has developed and teaches several online courses, including Latin American politics, for Charter Oak State College, Connecticut's only public online College.
Oct 18 Mark Pazniokas Just in time to provide an analysis of the upcoming state elections on November 6, Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief of the CT Mirror, returns to the Y’s Men. Mark covers state politics and elections as well as legislation and the legislative process. Before co-founding CT Mirror in 2009 Mark was a reporter for The Hartford Courant and The Manchester Journal Inquirer. He is also a former contributing writer for The New York Times. In 35 years as a reporter, he has covered some of the most compelling political stories in Connecticut, including the impeachment inquiry and resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland in 2004, the nationally watched Senate race won by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as an independent in 2006, and Linda McMahon’s efforts to remake campaigning in Connecticut by spending $100 million on runs for U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012. The Washington Post included Mark on its list of best state capitol reporters in the U.S. in 2014. Mark is a graduate of Boston University.
Oct 11 Eric Burns Eric Burns will talk about his book “The Golden Lad: The Haunting Story of Theodore and Quentin Roosevelt.” It is one of only two biographies that Eric has written among dozens of other works yet Publishers Weekly said of them: “Burns’s work is captivating, suspenseful, and heartbreaking: this is how biographies should be written.” Besides being an author, he is a playwright, media critic, and former broadcast journalist. And he has won major awards in three distinct genres. His first play captured the Eudora Welty Emerging Playwrights Competition in 2010; He was named one of the best writers in the history of television journalism; and his book “1920: The Year That Made the Decade Roar” was named one of the best non-fiction books of 2015. Two of Eric’s other books won the highest award given by the American Library Association, being selected as the “Best of the Best” in 2004 (for his history of alcohol) and 2007 (his history of tobacco).
Oct 4 Pat Riemersma

Weather cancelled her presentation to the Y’s Men last March, but Pat Riemersma, CEO of the Westport Weston Family YMCA, will bring us up to date on what’s happening at this venerable organization which was founded in Westport in 1923. She will review what the Y offers specifically for Y’s Men like us and talk about how the Y has fared since its relocation more than four years ago. Pat has spent her entire career with the YMCA beginning 31 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa as a program director. She held increasingly responsible positions at Y’s in Connecticut and Minnesota before being named CEO in Westport in 2015. Before coming here, Pat was Vice President of Youth Development at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities in Minnesota.

Sept 27 Robert Steven Williams F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby takes place on the North Shore of Long Island. Because he lived in Great Neck, N.Y. for a couple of years (1922-24), it has long been assumed Fitzgerald took his inspiration from that locale. But for five months following their wedding in 1920, he and his wife Zelda rented a house in Westport and there is much to suggest that West Egg in the novel actually is modeled on Westport, Conn. Author, film maker, musician and song writer Robert Steven Williams will tell us what his research has revealed in the making of his documentary film “Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” scheduled for release in 2020. He was inspired by an article in The New Yorker in 1996 by Westport writer Barbara Probst Solomon who connected Westport to the Fitzgerald novel. Williams, formerly an executive in the music industry, is the author of My Year as a Clown, his first novel, which received the silver medal for popular fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2013. 
Sept 20

Police Chiefs

CT News Story

Last September we brought together the school superintendents of Westport and Weston. This year we have the police chiefs. Foti Koskinas, Westport’s Chief of Police, and Edwin S. Henion, Weston’s Chief of Police, want to address areas of concern from the Y’s Men audience. An e-mail blast in early September will solicit your questions for the chiefs. Both are exceptionally qualified to deal with the spectrum of issues involved in law enforcement. Chief Koskinas joined the Westport Police Department shortly after graduating from the University of New Haven which he entered to study engineering. Fascinated by the University’s criminal justice program, he switched majors. He applied to the FBI, took the U.S. Marshals Service test, and also took the Westport Police exam. He was offered a part-time position and headed to the state Police Academy. He has been chief since 2016. Chief Henion began with the Connecticut State Police in 1990 as a trooper and rose to lieutenant colonel by 2016. He joined the Weston Police Department last year as chief. A National Academy Graduate of the FBI. Chief Henion has a B.S. degree in criminal justice from Western Connecticut State University and a J.D. degree from Western State University College of Law. 
Sept 13 David Mark Brown David Mark Brown will blend two turbulent periods in American history when he presents “Johnny Reb and Billy Yank in the Spanish American War." His interest in the Spanish American war stems from his family history which resulted in a fascination with Civil War veterans living in 1898. He will introduce us to an ensemble cast that includes a President, a newspaper publisher, a Cuban rebel, and a troupe of iconic Generals. Born in Tennessee, David received a double degree in product design and textiles from North Carolina State University. An initial job in New York City's garment district led him to a career working in Germany, Italy, England and Spain for the sport brands Adidas, Fila, Ellesse, and Champion. David resides in New York City but is a part-time Westport resident, and is currently working on a time-travel satirical novel set during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Sept 6 William R Harris Jr. William R. Harris, Jr., Executive Director of the Army Aviation Association of America, is the first speaker of the new season. The not-for-profit professional association consists of 17,000 U.S. Army Aviators, crew chiefs, and other aviation personnel, and members of industry who support them. Founded in 1957, the Association has 79 chapters worldwide, with headquarters in Monroe, Conn. Bill’s responsibilities range from communicating Association initiatives to senior government leaders, and coordinating the Army Aviation Caucus of 52 U.S. Congressmen, to publishing Army Aviation Magazine and providing membership and meeting planning services including its annual meeting with 10,000 attendees. 
     SPEAKERS Calendar 2017-2018
May 28 Roy Fuchs

Float story
 Memorial Day Parade Float Story
May 24

John Brandt


Y’s Men Annual Meeting Brandt Presentation -- 5/24/18

May 3  Jim Himes Jim Himes represents Connecticut’s 4th District in the United States House of Representatives where he is serving his fifth term. He is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services, serves as the ranking member of the NSA and Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and is Chair of the New Democrat Coalition. He attended Harvard and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. Jim began his professional career at Goldman Sachs & Co. where he worked his way up to Vice President over the course of a 12-year career.
May 10  James Canton Who better to tell us about the 30-year history of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and its program “A Different Kind of Healing” than James Canton who has had a relationship with the organization since its founding in 1988? Jimmy has been a counselor, unit leader, assistant director and camp director, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2002. He has extended the Camp year-round with fall and spring weekend programs to serve the previous summers’ campers, as well as family retreats for children who might not have the chance to experience a summer session. 
May 17  First Selectmen Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Weston First Selectman Chris Spaulding will end our season with discussions on the State of Our Towns. Continuing the format begun last year, Rebecca Surran, former News 12 anchor, will moderate an informational session with the Selectmen. It promises to bring us up to date on the latest important happenings in our two towns, put them in perspective, provide a better understanding and learn what’s in store for the future. 
May 24  Annual Picnic The 2018 Y's Men's Annual Meeting and Spring Luncheon begins at 11:00AM in and around Hoskins Hall, where New England's changeable weather, like last year’s monsoon, will cease to be a factor. Plan to attend this year's edition and share in the award ceremonies, the confirmation vote for the new Board, and enjoy each other’s company. A terrific buffet lunch will be catered by Fortuna's Deli, promising some special culinary treats. And, even with the indoor/outdoor venue and Fortuna's famed cuisine, admission is still only $10.00. Please sign up at a Thursday meeting. 
 Apr 5  Claire Gold  Educator Claire Gold will talk about creating schools of the future that will focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and achieve desegregation while maintaining educational excellence. This school model will provide opportunity for minority, inner-city children to graduate from high school, go to college, enter the work force at a skilled level, and have a positive, productive life. She believes it can be done. Claire served nine terms as Westport’s superintendent of schools and two terms as interim superintendent of schools in Weston.
 Apr 12  Alex Spitzer  The Wolf Conservation Center teaches people about wolves, their relationship to the environment, and the human role in protecting their future. A Y’s Men visit last October to the Center, located in South Salem, N.Y., was such a hit that the Center now will come to us. Alex Spitzer, an educator there, will tell us about the aims of WCC to become the pre-eminent facility in the eastern United States for the captive breeding and pre-release of endangered canid species. He may even bring along a wolf ambassador.
Apr 19  Julie Belaga  Julie Belaga will focus on her lifelong commitment to environmental integrity and the danger of global warming, both examples of her belief in the vital importance of volunteerism. She was co-chairman of the CT League of Conservation Voters, and was on the board of the Fund for The Environment and the CT Mirror. Julie was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of the Import-Export Bank. Prior to that, she was appointed by President George H. W. Bush as the EPA’s Region One Administrator of the EPA. Julie was in the CT Legislature from 1976 to 1986, and was the Republican candidate for governor in 1986.
 Apr 26  Dan Woog  Dan Woog returns to the Y’s Men to talk about the evolution, from its inception to its current scope, of his blog “06880, Where Westport meets the world.” Besides multiple daily blog postings, Dan writes “Woog’s World” a weekly column which has appeared in the Westport News since 1986. He is a full time freelance writer whose work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today and Sports Illustrated. A graduate of Brown University, Dan is the author of 17 books. In his spare time he is the head coach of the Staples High School boys’ soccer team for which he has won numerous coaching awards.
 Mar 1

Susan Granger



 The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 4th. For Y’s Men, that means noted film and theater critic Susan Granger will give us her picks in the major categories and provide insight into the latest machinations of the Academy. She may deal with the sexual harassment complaints which have roiled the industry in recent months. As usual, Susan will play movie trivia with us and award movie-related gifts to the winners. Born into a film-business family and raised in Hollywood, she appeared as a child actress in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, and Lassie. Susan studied journalism with Pierre Salinger at Mills College and graduated with highest honors in journalism with a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mar 8   

Dan Woog

Rescheduled again due to the weather

 Dan Woog, who was snowed out of our January 4th meeting, returns to the Y’s Men to talk about the evolution, from its inception to its current scope, of his blog “06880, Where Westport meets the world.” Besides multiple daily blog postings, Dan writes “Woog’s World” a weekly column which has appeared in the Westport News since 1986. He is a full time freelance writer whose work has been published in The New York Times, USA Today and Sports Illustrated. A graduate of Brown University, Dan is the author of 17 books. In his spare time he is the head coach of the Staples High School boys’ soccer team for which he has won numerous coaching awards.
Mar 15

Kevin Green 



 Kevin Green, a physicist who is on the board of the Westport Astronomical Society, will talk about “This Golden Age of Astronomy” where hardly a week goes by without some new announcement representing a major advance in Astronomy over distance scales from the Solar System to the size of the Universe itself. The advances are the result of new techniques and an unprecedented plethora of instruments observing the Universe through light, cosmic rays, and gravitational waves. A Westporter since 2000, Kevin has a Ph.D. in Physics and currently teaches at the University of New Haven.
Mar 22

Pat Reimersma

Rescheduled due to the weather

What’s doing at the Westport Weston Family YMCA? CEO Pat Reimersma will bring us up to date on what the Y offers specifically for Y’s Men like us, with particular emphasis on how our physical and mental health has a direct relationship to longevity. She will take us through various programs, demonstrate some strengthening exercises, and talk about how the Y has fared since its controversial re-location nearly four years ago. Pat has been associated with the YMCA for 31 years. Before coming to Westport/Weston, she was Vice President of Youth Development at the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities.
Mar 29 Arthur N. Gottlieb Historian Arthur N. Gottlieb, a specialist in military and political history, returns to the Y’s Men with another fascinating talk – this time about World War I which ended 100 years ago this November. Art has served as a professional curator of naval history and the technical director of Exhibits at the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. For more than the past decade, he has devoted his professional efforts towards reaching out and addressing the growing needs of aging veterans and their families. Art has a private practice as a counselor and certified senior advisor in Norwalk, and is a field instructor for Sacred Heart University. He offers pro bono counseling services to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Feb 1 Tom Seligson Tom Seligson believes “everyone has a story; you just have to find it.” Tom, who grew up in Westport, has been telling personal stories throughout his 40-plus-year career. He’s an author, journalist and four-time Emmy Award-winning television producer. He will share his thoughts on writing memoirs, revealing just how rewarding it can be. Recent studies have shown that writing can alleviate stress and reduce worrying.
Feb 8 Mary Elizabeth Fulco The interplay between social media and journalism will be examined by Mary Elizabeth Fulco as she sorts “the good, the bad and how to tame” the dynamic relationship between the two. She is a teacher of advanced journalism and adviser to Inklings at Staples High School. In 2016, Mary was honored by the Deadline Club of the New York City Society of Professional Journalists for excellence and professionalism.
Feb 15 Dr. Robert Altbaum
Dr. Stephen Batter
Dr. Martin Krauthamer
Dr. T. Jay Kleeman
Dr. Kenneth Wright
In a reprise of last year’s popular “The Doctors Are In” panel, five of the most talented physicians in our area will put forth the questions (and answers) that they would most like their patients to ask them. The physicians and their specialties are Dr. Robert Altbaum, internal medicine; Dr. Stephen Batter, urology; Dr. Martin Krauthamer, cardiology; Dr. T. Jay Kleeman, orthopedics; and Dr. Kenneth Wright, emergency medicine.
Feb 22 Alison Davis, With a booming stock market many of us may feel good about the way we are handling our finances, but what is the true level of our financial literacy? Alison Davis, an Executive Director and Banker at J.P. Morgan, sees an American crisis in financial literacy that has the potential to exacerbate problems in difficult markets. She will discuss reasons behind the low level of financial literacy; its unintended consequences; and why it should be relatively easy to correct.
Jan 4  Dan Woog

Meeting cancelled due to snowstorm

Dan Woog returns to the Y’s Men to talk about the evolution, from its inception to its current scope, of his blog “06880, Where Westport meets the world.” Besides multiple daily blog postings, Dan writes “Woog’s World,” a weekly column which has appeared in the Westport News since 1986. A graduate of Brown University, he is the author of 17 books. In his spare time Dan is the head coach of the Staples High School boys’ soccer team.

Jan 11

James Naughton

Carole Schweid

The theatrical career of Tony Award-winning actor James Naughton will be examined when “Play With Your Food” artistic director Carole Schweid interviews him. In the process, she will add some of her own background in musical theater. A Weston resident, Jim won his first Tony for best actor in a musical in “City of Angels” and his second for his role in “Chicago.” Carole is a co-founder of JIB Productions, Inc. a non-profit producer of professional performing and visual arts programs in Fairfield County. Following the interview, the two will perform a short "script-in-hand" piece entitled "Post-its." 
Jan 18 David Waldman David Waldman, whose firm, David Adam Realty, created the Bedford Square redevelopment of the YMCA, will discuss changes to downtown Westport in the last decade. He will describe zoning changes, Bedford Square, and the Save the Children development on the West Bank. Looking to the next decade, David will examine the rapid changes which are affecting the way we shop, live and work. David founded his company in 1991 following his graduation from Syracuse University.
Jan 25 Staples Chamber Orchestra The Staples Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Adele Cutrali-Valovich, will perform a variety of pieces in their conductor's swan song appearance. Adele retires this year after heading the Staples orchestras, both symphonic and chamber, for more than 35 years. She started her teaching career in Atlanta, and found her way to Westport where she originally taught music in a middle school before coming to Staples. Wives and significant others are invited to attend. There will be coffee and donuts as usual downstairs in Hoskins Hall followed by our business meeting and the Orchestra’s performance in the sanctuary
Dec 7 Orphenians
The Orphenians - a 33-member vocal ensemble at Staples High School, was founded in 1958. Since then, the group has concertized in the U.S. and abroad, even opening two Yankees baseball games at the Stadium with the National Anthem. On December 7th, the Orphenians, led by their director, Luke Rosenberg, will herald the holidays in the Sanctuary of the Saugatuck Congregational Church with a performance of sacred and seasonal music. Members and their significant others are cordially invited.
Dec 14 Holiday Party

The 2017 Y's Men's Holiday Party - begins at 11:30AM at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center at 99 East Avenue. The cost is $46.00 per person and a cash bar will be open throughout the affair. Food choices are prime rib with horseradish sauce, chicken cordon bleu and poached salmon with dill sauce. There also will be a special meal for people with food sensitivities.

Dec 21 No Meeting  
Dec 28 No Meeting  
Nov 2 Charles Grady Who better to tell us about addressing the opioid crisis here in Connecticut than someone who is on the front lines of the battle? He is Charles Grady, Community Outreach Specialist for the FBI based in New Haven. He became a police officer in Hamden in 1982 and was the department’s first African American civil service ranked detective. During the next 25 years, Charles focused on investigating long term narcotics trafficking on assignment to FBI and DEA task forces and was deputized by the U.S. Marshalls. He has a long history of creating a number of significant community programs including the FBI’s Connecticut youth program. 
Nov 9 Stefan Underhill Stefan R. Underhill has been a U.S. District Judge for the District of Connecticut since 1999. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1978 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and, in 1981, received a second B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1984. After graduation, he clerked for Judge Jon O. Newman of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and then joined Day, Berry & Howard LLP, becoming a partner in 1991. Recently, he has begun a program of trying to rehabilitate convicted drug dealers who have served long sentences, once they are released from prison.
Nov 16 Leonard Everett Fisher The Y’s Men’s own Leonard Everett Fisher, a pillar of the Westport arts community, will talk about “Artists in Westport.” Len served with the 30th Engineers in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in WWII, making topographical maps from aerial photographs. After discharge, he returned to the art world, receiving Yale’s Winchester Fellowship and the John Ferguson Weir Prize. He taught Design Theory as a Graduate Fellow. He was recently appointed to the board of the Westport Arts Center where he will focus on helping to bring the Westport Artists Museum to fruition.
Nov 23 Thanksgiving  No Meeting
Nov 30 Mark Pazniokas A close up view of Connecticut politics, public policy, and all things going on in Hartford that affect us will be provided by Mark Pazniokas, Capitol Bureau Chief of the CT Mirror (CtMirror.org) a non-profit and non-partisan web site launched in 2010 to help fill the void left by the retreat of newspapers from coverage of the State Capitol. A winner of numerous journalism awards, Mark has written for The Hartford Courant and The New York Times. In more than 30 years as a reporter, he has covered some of the most compelling stories in the state. 
Oct 5 Frederic Chiu Frederic Chiu a world-renowned musician, pianist, teacher and devotee of arts integration returns to perform for the Y’s Men. This time he will focus on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 comparing orchestral performances with the Liszt piano transcription.  He plans to play at least two of the symphony’s four movements.  In addition to his performing, recording, teaching and world tours, Frederic has created a local arts experience with his periodic, multi-disciplined Beechwood Arts Immersion Salons located on Weston Road. They offer a chance for music, dance, the written word and the fine arts to meet and interact in front of an appreciative audience. Frederic has performed worldwide as well as in all 50 United States.
Oct 12 Daniel Ksepka Did you know that the world’s largest bird had a wingspan of up to 24 feet? No chance of encountering it today because it lived 25 million years ago in South Carolina.  But a full scale model of this largest known flying animal resides in the lobby of The Bruce Museum whose Curator named the species (Pelagornis sandersi) and reconstructed its flight capabilities.  He is  Daniel Ksepka who will tell us about his research in this field. He earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Columbia University, performing his dissertation research on fossil penguins at the American Museum of Natural History.  His current research focuses on fossil birds and reptiles and has resulted in over 40 scientific papers. He has named 13 extinct species including a giant penguin, the oldest tree-dwelling crown bird, and a long-necked sauropod dinosaur. His field work has spanned sites in Peru, New Zealand, and China in search of new fossils.
Oct 19 Foster Hirsch Hailed as perhaps “the best film interviewer in the world,” Foster Hirsch is Professor of Cinema at Brooklyn College.  A graduate of Stanford University, Dr. Hirsch received his M.F.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University and joined Brooklyn’s Department of English in 1967. He moved into the newly-formed Film Department in 1973 and has been there ever since. The  author of 16 books on subjects related to theatre and movies, Dr. Hirsch was a key pioneer in film noir studies. His Dark Side of the Screen was published in 1981 and, considered a seminal book in the field, was updated in 2008. His books have examined widescreen cinema, key facets of mid-century theater and cinema, colorful directors and movies of the 1950s. When he is not conducting interviews or presiding over packed classes at Brooklyn College, Dr. Hirsch may be traveling the globe as a lecturer and interviewer.
Oct 26 Dr. Sandhya Dhruvakumar We all have heard about arrhythmia and some of us unfortunately may have experienced it.  Here, to give us a better understanding of the subject, is Dr. Sandhya Dhruvakumar, a specialist in Cardiac Electrophysiology, which deals specifically with heart rhythms.  She is Director of Electrophysiology for Stamford Hospital and is fellowship-trained in electrophysiology with expertise in device implantation and cardiac ablations. She also has advanced training in complex ablations including atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia and premature ventricular contractions. Dr. Dhruvakumar received her bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with honors from Brown University, attended the University of Massachusetts Medical College, and completed an internship and residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She also completed a cardiology fellowship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital and an electrophysiology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Sept 7 David Dequeljoe

 Dave Dequeljoe is a former Navy fighter pilot with two combat tours in Iraq. He was awarded the Navy Commendation with Combat "V" device for valor, as well as an Individual Air Medal with Bronze Star and two Strike Flight Air Medals. But a battle with untreated combat issues began after the fighting.  He took careful notes during his recovery from severe depression and now helps veterans and others overcome the disease. Author of “Dogfighting Depression,” Dave is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Sept 14 Supt's of Schools

As a new school year begins, we will gain a perspective on the state of education in our towns from Dr. Colleen Palmer and Dr. William McKersie, Superintendents of Schools for Westport and Weston, respectively.  Dr. Palmer, beginning her second academic year in Westport, was formerly, for five years, superintendent of schools in Weston. She considered the Westport position “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”  Dr. McKersie is a career educator who previously was superintendent of Greenwich Public Schools.  He has worked for a diverse set of high performing educational organizations—public, independent, parochial and philanthropic.

Sept 21 meeting cancelled.

Speaker rescheduled to May 10, 2018.

James Canton Who better to tell us about the 30-year history of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and its “A Different Kind of Healing” than James Canton who has had a relationship with the organization since its founding in 1988.  Jimmy has been a counselor, unit leader, assistant director and camp director, and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2002.  He has extended the Camp year-round with fall and spring weekend programs to serve the previous summers’ campers, as well as family retreats for children who might not have the chance to experience a summer session.
Sept 28 John P McKinney

"How Connecticut Became a Fiscal Mess. What Can Be Done to Fix It."
John P. McKinney was a Republican member of the Connecticut Senate, representing the 28th district, comprised of Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport, from 1999 until 2014.  During that period, he served as its Minority Leader for seven years.  He entered the Republican primary for Governor in 2014 but was defeated by Tom Foley