Dec. 4 - Special Celebratory Meeting - December 4 will be the Summit Old Guard’s 4,000th meeting since we started in 1930. To mark this event, we will have a special meeting and celebration. Come early for camaraderie as we give each other a giant collective pat on the back for all the great meetings, wonderful activities, clubs, trips, and fellowship. The hospitality committee will augment our usual coffee with extra goodies. The special program will review our history, provide a current perspective, and be a general celebration of our success as a vibrant fraternal organization. We will end with a group photo.
Dec. 11 “Remembering Pearl Harbor-Personal Memories of Life in America at that Time” – Herb Waddell, Old Guard member, patent attorney, will reminisce about life in America in 1941 and recall the shock of “The day that will live in infamy.” The causes and results of the attack will illustrate how Pearl Harbor was truly a watershed event.
Dec. 18 “A Contrarian View of Winston Churchill” – Foster Osborne, Old Guard member and history buff. Churchill was the right man at the right time and place for wartime Britain. But Foster contends Churchill’s overall performance was poor with his imperial treatment of India, his popular vote failures, his partial responsibility for the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, and his secret deal with Stalin.
November 2018 Program Chair: Steve Drew
Nov. 5 “Repatriating Military Service Dogs” – Ron Aiello, of the US War Dog Association, will discuss the extraordinary role that dogs have played in combat with US soldiers during every major conflict, though not officially recognized until WWII. There are about 2,500 dogs in active service today. Until 2000, military dogs were euthanized or abandoned after retirement.
Nov. 13 “Fighting Cancer with Immunotherapy” – Priya Dayananth (Merck & Co.). The scientific community has been soldiering on for decades trying to find cures for cancer, early diagnostic tools, and individualized treatments for patients. With new understandings of tumor biology and human genetics and massive computing power, we may be on the brink of major breakthroughs, as the speaker will explain.
Nov. 20 “Malaria in the 21st Century” – Matt Wyvratt (MJW Pharma Consulting LLC). Malaria, a 10,000 year-old affliction, currently infects 200 million people yearly and kills 500,000, mostly children. The mainstay drug for malaria was discovered in 1972 by Tu Youyou, which won her a Nobel Prize. But drug resistance is appearing and the urgent search is on for new antimalarials. Wyvratt consults for Medicines for Malaria Research, a non-profit in the forefront of the search.
Nov. 27 “Confronting Human Trafficking & Enhancing Education” – Summit’s Joe Salsberry has long worked with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) addressing social justice issues worldwide. He will present his current work with two of them: The Nomi Network, which creates economic opportunity for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking by fostering character and value development and teaching leadership, entrepreneurship, and life skills. Also, Kiwimbi International, which creates educational opportunities through locally run learning centers such as the first free public library in Amagoro, Kenya, serving 300 visitors a day.
October 2018 Program Chair: Edward Atkin
Oct. 2 “Hollywood Victory Caravan” – Irv Hyatt, Union County Performing Arts Center, Trustee and author of over 30 books about film. He is also the creator of a recent documentary on the Caravan - 22 actors made a cross-country tour during WWll to raise money for Army and Navy relief.
Oct. 9 “What’s Next for Human Space Travel?” – Paul Cirillo. Learn about human space programs planned by the United States, China, and Russia, as well as four U.S. commercial companies – SpaceX, Boeing, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic. Space tourism, space stations, moon bases, and even a journey to Mars! Learn about these exciting projects and others!
Oct. 16 “Rwanda Genocide” – Anne Langan, PhD., Chairperson, Sociology Department, Associate Professor, College of St. Elizabeth, will talk of the massacres at Rwanda.
Oct. 23 “Place of Kean University in Education” – Richard Trabert, Kean University Trustee, will comment on issues and challenges facing higher education nationally in general, in New Jersey as a state, and in Union County in particular. Explore how Kean University, the largest university in Union County, participates in the national trends and addresses the higher education needs in our economy and social setting.
Oct. 30 “Political Polling” – Krista Jenkins, Professor of Political Science at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Polls and the midterms: What the polls say about the upcoming midterm elections and what challenges are facing the polling industry.
September 2018 Program Chair: Jack Cooper
Sept. 4 “The Reeves Reed Arboretum - It's Not Just Flowers” – Frank Juliano, Executive Director of the Arboretum, will discuss not only the beautiful gardens at the Arboretum but also a joint program with Bridges to teach horticultural skills to homeless people.
Sept. 11 “The Summit Area Public Foundation” – Meg Dietrich, a Trustee of the SAPF, will discuss its operations in handing out 99 percent of its income to charities in the area.
Sept. 18 “SAGE Eldercare's Services to the Community” – Angela Sullivan, Executive Director of SAGE Eldercare, will discuss the wide variety of programs, ranging from Spend-A-Day and Meals on Wheels to furniture repair, to enhance the lives of the elderly in our area.
Sept. 25 “What's New at Overlook Hospital” – Dr. Clelia Biamonti, Executive Director of Overlook Foundation, and Alan Lieber, President of Overlook Medical Center, will speak about the hospital and the latest medical services and devices available for its patients.
August 2018 Program Chair: Rick Goldberg
Aug. 7 “Local Television News - An Insider’s Perspective” – Dianne Doctor, Vice President and Station Manager of WWOR-TV (Channel 9), will talk about the challenges of pulling together a nightly TV news program for the tri-state market.
Aug. 14 “Top Ten Retirement Income Strategies in Today’s Markets” – David G. Dietze, JD, CFA, CFP - Founder, President, Chief Investment Strategist and John Petrides, MBA - Managing Partner, Portfolio Manager of Point View Wealth Management, will provide their insights into the changing markets we are now facing, as well as the new tax law’s impact on our retirement investment strategies.
Aug. 21 “Gearing Up for Kickoff with CBS Sports” – Adam Zucker, Studio Host for CBS Sports TV Presentation of College Football and College Basketball, will give us a preview of the upcoming college football season and a behind-the-scenes look at network TV sportscasting.
Aug. 28 “AeroFarms and the Future of Sustainable Indoor Vertical Farming” – Fabian Schvartzman, Strategic Research and Technology Development Lead at AeroFarms, a clean-technology company that builds and operates state-of-the-art indoor vertical farms, including one in Newark, will talk about this totally new way to grow our produce.
July 2018 Program Chair: Michael Bennett
July 3 “Cricket in the USA” – Clarence Modeste, President, Staten Island Cricket Club and member of the Cricket Hall of Fame, will give a history of cricket in the USA, particularly in the NY/Philadelphia metro area where there are over 100 clubs. Originally played by English expatriates, its popularity has grown as immigration from former British colonies has increased.
July 10 “Not Your Average Tourist” – John Millspaugh of Summit has made many trips to Asia, Africa, and South America since his retirement, often to rural villages. On each trip he teaches English to the local population. Family and friends follow his journeys on his blog which he updates as he travels. John will share his experiences.
July 17 “Healing the Children” – Rosemarie Gelber, Trip Administrator, will speak about her work with this organization. For more than 30 years, Healing the Children has been providing surgery for children in the USA and around the world. Doctors, hospitals, and host families are recruited for children who are brought to New Jersey for surgery. Doctors, nurses, and volunteers are also recruited for mission trips for procedures that can be performed locally.
July 24 “Discovery of a Masterpiece in Madison” – Mallory Mortillaro, Curator of Collections for the Hartley Dodge Foundation, will tell us how she uncovered a marble bust of Napoleon at the Harley Dodge Memorial Building / Madison Town Hall. She believed it to be a Rodin and spent a year researching and authenticating it. It is now valued at between $5 and $15 million.
July 31 “Two More Habitat for Humanity Buildings in Summit” – One in seven Americans spend 50% of their household income on housing. Habitat supporters include corporations, faith-based groups and families who “give back.” Jeff Farrell, CEO for the Greater Newark branch of Habitat, will discuss the work of Habitat for Humanity, Newark and, in particular, how the project in Summit will proceed.
June 2018 Program Chair: Steve Varley
June 5 “The Italian Unification – Dreamers, Schemers, and Rusty Rifles” – Jerry DeFrancisco, former AT&T and Red Cross executive, will describe how Italy was able to unify as a single state in the late 19th century despite a long history of conflicting factions, diverse cultures, languages, and foreign influences. He will review the ideals and plans, diplomacy and duplicity, and pure happenstance that created modern Italy.
June 12 “The Secret to a Long, Happy Life” – Dick Martin, retired AT&T executive vice president and author, will lead an interactive workshop, challenging us to address real-life dilemmas, revealing the underlying beliefs and mental processes that shape our perceptions and behavior. In the process, we will uncover the secret to longevity and happiness as documented in a groundbreaking Harvard University study.
June 19 “Management of Cardiac Arrhythmias” – Arrhythmias can occur in nearly everyone and become more common as we age, producing a broad range of symptoms from barely perceptible to cardiovascular collapse. Dr. Robert Altman, a cardiologist at Summit Medical Group who specializes in clinical cardiac electrophysiology, will review the symptoms, the types of arrhythmia that need treatment, and treatment options.
June 26 “The United States, China, and Korea: War or Peace?” – In volatile North Asia there are two Koreas, one rich and the other poor. Now, the poor Korea, backed by China, has the ultimate weapon to destroy the rich one, supported by the United States. The situation is inherently unsustainable. At the same time, many in Washington no longer believe that the United States can tolerate the North’s weapon programs. Within perhaps a year, the Kim regime will be able to devastate the American homeland with nuclear warheads. Author and commentator, Gordon Chang, will talk about the possible futures for the Korean peninsula.
May 2018 Program Chair: Jim Hewitt
May 1 “Written Music: Its Development and Public Presentation” – Warren Cohen, Artistic Director of New Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra (NJIO), will discuss the influence of performance venues in the development of classical instruments. He will also touch on the nature of composition and distinguish “indoor and outdoor” music as far back as the Middle Ages and Renaissance and Baroque Courts. Mr. Cohen will also give some insights into non-Western music and will comment upon the effects of recording and potential for amplification.
May 8 “Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss and What to Do About It” – Founder of Summit Hearing Aid Center, Leslie E. Herman, Doctor of Audiology, will present new studies describing how untreated hearing loss impacts our physical and mental wellbeing. Additional topics are a description of new technology-driven hearing devices and a list of enrichment and education choices that embrace this technology.
May 15 “Importance of Civility in Today’s Divisive Political Environment” – Jon Bramnick, Assemblyman in the NJ General Assembly since 2003, represents the 21st legislative district. Since 2012, he has served as the Assembly Republican Leader. He also holds the honorary title of “Funniest Lawyer in New Jersey” after winning contests sponsored by the bar association at Rascals Comedy Club. Assemblyman Bramnick will discuss the importance of civility in today’s divisive political environment. He will give specific examples of do’s and don’ts in the world of politics.
May 22 “Surrogate Court Union County” – James LaCorte has been Surrogate of Union County since 2000. In 2009 he received the William J. McCloud Award for outstanding service in the protection of families in Union County. The Union County Surrogate is a New Jersey state constitution office responsible for administering the probate of wills, appointment of estate administrators, and appointment of guardians for minors. Mr. LaCorte will explain a full range of topics related to probate matters, including banking, estate taxes, joint tenants, surviving spouses, and right of survivorship. In addition to reviewing the importance of having a valid will, LaCorte will also discuss the duties of an executor and explain the difference between power of attorney and advanced directive.
May 29 “The History of Barbershop Singing and the Morris Music Men” – Nate Barrett, Terry Scullin, and Dave Sipple are the speakers. This musical group who Old Guard last heard in February 2017, are in the “Make People Happy Business.” Their a cappella repertoire includes America’s most popular music from standards to Broadway to country, to doo-wop to gospel to rock.
April 2018 Program Chair: John Baxter
April 3 “Interesting Trips in the USA from One Who Has Been There” – Phil Azzolino, President of Group Tours and Travel in Kinnelon, NJ, a concierge travel agency. It has been in business since 1984 and has escorted over two thousand tours in that time. Phil and his wife Donna often accompany the tours. Phil will discuss some of the most interesting places in the USA. He will inject humor and use his knowledge of history to highlight the places.
April 10 “History of the Last Working Farm in Berkeley Heights” – Ronald Weinger, a recent Old Guard member, will speak about the Littell Lord Farm in Berkeley Heights. His presentation will be an overview of the three centuries represented in the museum and grounds. Ron is a twenty-three year resident of Berkeley Heights and a member of its historical society.
April 17 “Charles Lindbergh - A Complicated Man and Aviation Pioneer” – Professor David Smilon of Bergen Community College will discuss an American icon, Charles Lindbergh. Dave has an interesting background. He was an early member of the Peace Corps, a teacher, and a school administrator. He spends his leisure time reading and researching historical subjects. Lindbergh is an enigmatic character who had heavy influence on aviation. Dave will take us through Lindbergh's fascinating career.
April 24 “Sound Ideas on Money Management” – Karin Price Mueller is a New Jersey-based writer who specializes in personal finance and consumer issues. Her twice-weekly column in The Star Ledger is widely read and appreciated. She has appeared on a variety of radio and TV shows. Karin founded NJ Moneyline which offers its online audience objective and free money advice. Bring your financial questions. She will attempt to answer them.
March 2018 Program Chair: Mort O’Shea
Mar. 6 “New Jersey Political Scene” – Tom Moran, Editorial Page Editor, The Star-Ledger, will discuss possible trends in New Jersey politics in the era of Governor Phil Murphy.
Mar. 13 “Canterbury Cathedral - The Heart of the Protestant Christian World” – Rev. Matthew Corkern, Rector, Calvary Episcopal Church, Summit, will talk about the history of the cathedral and its significance for the Church of England and the world-wide Anglican Union.
Mar. 20 “Ireland and New Jersey, a Home Away from Home for 400 Years” – Dermot Quinn, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, Seton Hall University, will talk about the history of the Irish in New Jersey.
Mar. 27 Vocal Concert – The Larks, of the Junior League of Summit, with Joanna Russell, Director, will entertain us with a repertoire of songs, including a medley of Broadway show tunes.
February 2018 Program Chair: Mike Martin
Feb. 6 “History and Profile of Union County” – Union County Freeholders Bruce Bergen, Chairman and Bette Jane Kowalski, will discuss the history, geography, and demographics of Union County and county efforts to preserve historical sites.
Feb. 13 “Evolution of the American Flag” – J. Richard Pierce, Historian, will tell us about the origin and history of “Old Glory.” He is the author of Stars and Stripes – Fabric of the American Spirit, and has a notable collection of American flags.
Feb. 20 “The F. M. Kirby Foundation” – William H. Byrnes, Vice President, Grants, will describe the history, goals, and granting philosophy of the foundation, based in Morristown.
Feb. 27 “When Traveling, Should You Use AirBnB?” – Norm Shearer rents and uses AirBnB on his travels. He will discuss the benefits and issues of this growing form of cost-effective travel accommodation.
January 2018 Program Chairs: Richard Naths & Mitchell Erickson
Jan. 2 “The Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss – What is New with Amplification and What Does It Do” – Leslie E. Herman, Doctor of Audiology - Summit Hearing Aid Center, will describe how untreated hearing loss impacts our physical and mental wellbeing. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent health problem in the U.S. following heart disease and cancer. The presentation will discuss new technology-driven hearing devices and a list of enrichment and educational choices that embrace this technology.
Jan. 9 “Fire Safety and Burn Safety” – Elliott Koppel, Old Guard member. Emergencies can happen at any time. Be prepared and protect yourself from fires. Learn about smoke detectors, cooking safely, heating your home safely, electrical wiring and appliance safety, escape plans, preventing burns and scald injuries, fire safety in high rise buildings, using oxygen safely, and fire safety check lists.
Jan. 16 “Status of Exoplanet Research in the Milky Way” – Kevin B. Alton, retired research director, Schering-Plough/Merck and amateur astronomer, will discuss this exploding field. The first exoplanet was identified in 1988 and the number is now well beyond 3000.
Jan. 23 “9/11, Katrina, Love Canal, Flight 800, Sandy and Other Disasters” – Joseph Picciano, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), (RET), will provide a perspective on the lessons and impacts that change how we respond, prepare, and live in a risk-filled environment.
Jan. 30 “Emergency Call Center (911) for the 21st Century” – Doug Marvin, New Providence Borough Administrator, Scott Ruf, Executive Director, Shared Dispatch Center, and Anthony Buccelli, New Providence Police Chief, will describe the origin and operation of the Shared Dispatch Center providing effective and efficient service to our communities.