Dec. 3 “September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack in NYC: My first 48 hours” - Dr. Mark Adelman, the Chief Medical Officer of Syntactx, will present his experiences immediately following the World Trade Center attack.
Dec. 10 "My Forty Year Career as an Ophthalmologist" - Dr. Ivan Jacobs, MD, Old Guard member, recounted his 40 years as an ophthalmologist, during which time the field of ophthalmology underwent a continual series of extraordinary advances in both technology and practice. (Dr. Kim McKim of the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers had been scheduled to talk on Chromosomes during Cell Division, but had to cancel at the last minute. He will be rescheduled.)
Dec. 17 "U.S. Political Scandals of the Twentieth Century: A Sampler" - Steve Varley, Old Guard member and retired Chief Financial Officer, has given many talks on economic and financial subjects. Today he will shift gears and talk about four national political scandals. He will speculate on how they may have altered the course of U.S. history.
November 2019 Program Chair: Matthew Wyvratt
Nov. 4 (Monday) "The Killer Smog" - Dr. Matthew Wyvratt, of the Summit Old Guard and MJW Pharma Consulting, will discuss the rise and fall of a small industrial town in Western Pennsylvania, which experienced an air inversion in the late 1940s. Twenty of the town residents died that fateful weekend due to air pollution, and many more developed health problems. This man-made disaster is recognized as the beginning of the clean air movement in the United States.
Nov. 12 "Tax Reform: Risks and Opportunities" - Matt Masterson and Pete O'Neill, Wealth Advisors at Regent Atlantic, will discuss tax planning under the new tax law including how to optimize charitable gifting with changes to deductions, estate planning with the new federal exemptions, and making sense of Opportunity Zone investments.
Nov. 19 "New Drugs for Old Diseases -- A Public-Private Partnership" - Mervyn Turner, of MJ Turner Consulting, will outline the story of a public-private partnership between the global pharmaceutical company, GSK, and a British Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, to fund the discovery and early development of a new drug for malaria.
Nov. 26 "Thomas Edison: Genius or Not?" - Dr. William Hagmann will discuss the life of Thomas A. Edison as a rock star of technology and invention in turn-of-the-century America, despite receiving only a short elementary school education. Dr. Hagmann is a volunteer at the Thomas Edison Museum, which is part of the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange.
October 2019 Program Chair: Thad Gabara
Oct. 1 "How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives" - Al Aho will illustrate what algorithms are, and how they are shaping all aspects of our daily lives, from healthcare to finance to entertainment. He will also explain why some people speculate they will determine the ultimate fate of humankind. Dr. Aho is an Old Guard member and a Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Columbia University. Earlier he was Vice President of Computing Sciences Research at Bell Labs, the lab that invented UNIX, C and C++. He is widely published and highly regarded as a leader in Computer Science. [ bio ]
Oct. 8 "Evolving US Cellphone Technology from 4th Generation (4G) to 5th (5G)" - Dr. Mihai Banu, founder and CTO of Blue Danube, a 5G wireless technology company, will explain what seems too good to be true and how 5G is different from 4G. He will introduce the basics of how the country's cellphone network is organized, and will discuss the implications of this evolution for ordinary people and for industry. [ bio ]
Oct. 15 "Update on the Music Industry in the Streaming Economy" - Larry Miller will explain how, for many musicians, the democratization of music production and distribution carried the promise of reaching multitudes of eager fans at the touch of an upload button. Yet this has made it difficult for new artists to break through. How has the music industry changed, or has it? Professor Miller is a Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Music Business Program at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He is a music and technology entrepreneur, advisor, and host of the Musonomics podcast. [ bio]
Oct. 22 "Civility in Government and Politics" - Assemblyman Jon M. Bramnick is serving his eighth term in the NJ General Assembly representing parts of Union, Somerset, and Morris counties. Among many titles and awards he has received is an award for being the funniest lawyer in NJ. Bramnick will discuss dignity and respect, or the lack thereof, in politics today. [ bio | photo ]
Oct. 29 "Organ Donation and Transplantation and the 2020 Transplant Games of America" - Jan Hines assistant director of Transplant Community Relations at NJ Sharing Network, will speak on the organ and tissue transplant process, living donation, the waiting list, and common myths. She will also discuss the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games coming to the Meadowlands next year. [.more info.]
September 2019 Program Chair: Dick Griggs
Sept. 3 "Financial Planning and Retirement Communities -- Understanding CCRCs and Other Alternatives" - James J. Ciprich, partner and wealth advisor at Regent Atlantic, will discuss proactive planning for healthcare and housing needs, as well as protecting estate needs in retirement.
Sept. 10 "Prison Reform in New Jersey" - Daniel Lombardo, president and CEO of Volunteers of America, Delaware Valley, will discuss New Jersey's leadership role in prison reform employing scientific and evidence-based approaches with emphasis on reducing recidivism.
Sept. 17 "Hips, Knees, and Shoulders" - Dr. Jeffrey Leary, MD and Dr. John Erickson, MD of the Atlantic Medical Group Orthopedics, will discuss these body parts so prone to require attention as we reach Old Guard age.
Sept. 24 "The Mysterious New Jersey Pine Barrens" - Rebecca Free, director of membership & communications at the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, will take us on a trip through New Jersey's Pine Barrens. Along the way, we will learn about its ecology, human history and the threats to its survival.
August 2019 Program Chair: Joel Cohen
Aug. 6 "Litigation Funding - A New Method" [Meeting was cancelled due to water main break] - Thomas Mellor, finance partner at Morgan Lewis, an international law firm with 33 offices around the globe, and Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of Validity Finance, will discuss litigation funding, also known as third party litigation funding, which enables a party to litigate or arbitrate without having to pay for it.
Aug. 13 "Disruptive Forces in the U.S. Healthcare System" - Cynthia Plawker, principal and financial advisor, and Paul Robertson, senior portfolio manager, both with Bernstein Wealth Management and Strategies Groups, will share insights into four forces disrupting the U.S. healthcare system - regulatory change, consumerism, digital revolution, and the Amazon Effect.
Aug. 20 "Woodstock 50 Years Later" - Our own Nolan Asch will be back once again, with an informative, and no doubt entertaining, discussion of Woodstock, the music festival held between August 15-18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Nolan attended the Woodstock festival from before the beginning until after the end.
Aug. 27 "Sharing Our World with Raptors" - Shari Stern is the Raptor Trust's coordinator of volunteers and interns as well as outreach educator. Previously, she worked as a zookeeper, veterinary technician, and kennel manager. Shari will discuss the dangers the raptors (birds of prey) face and will introduce us to a live raptor.
July 2019 Program Chair: Bill Tittle
July 2 "Old Guard Members Present Three TED Talks" – TED stands for technology, entertainment, and design. Herb Waddell will discuss making up stories to tell your grandchildren. Thad Gabara will inform us on facts about patents that we might not know. Mitch Erickson will discuss the future of our food. And our resident comedian, Tom Dolce, will fill us in on a funny thing that happened to him on the way to this meeting.
July 9 "Spending Down - Increasing Your Chances of Not Running Out of Money in Retirement" [Meeting was cancelled due to a water emergency. Talk will be rescheduled] – Jim Cornfeld, Buckingham Financial Advisors. You want to enjoy retirement, but don’t want to be caught short in your later years.
July 16 "Oil Industry - Past, Current, and Future" – Allen Hamilton, Old Guard member, recently retired investment consultant, formerly of Exxon. What to think when ExxonMobil invests in algae as a source of oil and BP thinks seriously about a hydrogen economy.
July 23 "Transition of Japan from a Feudal to Industrial Society in the 20th Century" – Juan Ryan, Old Guard member, retired lawyer. How Japan moved from an isolated island to an industrial nation, powerful enough to challenge the United States for world leadership.
"July 30 Gravity Waves" – Phil Eisner, Old Guard member, retired physicist, Exxon Research. Predicted by Einstein in 1916, but not observed until one hundred years later, gravity waves are disturbances in the fabric of spacetime, generated by accelerated masses. Don’t worry, our illustrious member will help make this comprehensible.
June 2019 Program Chair: Marv Gersten
June 3 "The Tappan Zee Bridge" - Richard A. Schrader, engineering executive, American Bridge, will speak about the new Tappan Zee Bridge project. He will cover the history of replacement discussions, actions, procurement methods, key political and private players, major features, design parameters, construction means, and current status.
June 11 "Union County Traffic Signal Improvements" - Gordon Meth, expert witness, Robson Forensic, is the speaker. Since the early 2000's, Union County upgraded a large number of the nearly 400 traffic signals on county or local roads. Gordon will give an overview of some of the considerations faced and some of the future possibilities for smarter traffic signals.
June 18 "Why the Gateway Rail Project is Essential to the Future of NJ's Well-Being" - Martin E. Robins, transportation consultant, will address why completion of the entire Gateway rail project is vital to northern and central NJ.
June 25 "Photographs from My Travels" - Stephen E. Barcan, retired land use attorney, likes to take pictures of the places he visits and things unique to those places. The show will be selections of the photographs from Antarctica, Africa, Madrid, Portugal, Alaska, Yosemite, Croatia, Sicily, Bermuda, Venice, Australia, New Zealand, Cape Cod, the Manhattan Skyline, and our national parks.
May 2019 Program Chair: Mitch Erickson
May 7 "New Manhattan Project for Future Threats" - Dan Dubno, technologist, broadcast journalist, and multiple Emmy Award-winning producer, is writing a historical analysis for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) on the history of the Manhattan Project and other massive science efforts. Dubno will take us through the astounding history of some of these efforts and discuss existential threats we may face in the future. Read more about Dan [ here ] and [ here ].
May 14 Ladies Day -- No regular meeting. Ladies Day luncheon will be held at the Basking Ridge Country Club. See the Events / Trips page for details.
May 21 "Summiting Mt. Everest -- A First Hand Account"- After many months of training and conditioning, Dan Stringham and three companions undertook and survived one of the most dangerous and physically demanding challenges known to mankind: reaching the Summit of Mt. Everest in Nepal. Hear Dan Stringham tell his story.
May 28 "Family Scouting BSA" -- Bob Brady and his daughter Bridget will give a first-hand account of the first few months after girls were allowed into Scouts BSA for the first time -- a fundamental reorganization and rebranding of Boy Scouts of America that went into effect in February 2019.
April 2019 Program Chair: Peter Bolton
April 2 "The Politics of Holy Week" -- Rev Frank Wade traces the conflicting histories & motivations of the various actors in 1st century Jerusalem – Christians, Romans, Jews, the adoring crowd, the non-adoring crowd. Many think this history shows the falseness of anti-Jewish claims made by Christian anti-Semites in the past. Rev. Wade was Rector of St. Alban’s Church in Washington DC and Interim Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, and now teaches at Virginia Theological Seminary.
April 9 "Caring for Caregivers" -- Tracy Carroll observes that as more children and spouses find themselves caring for longer-lived parents and life partners, many neglect caring for themselves. Her talk offers caregivers advice on identifying and addressing their own needs. Tracy leads the Caregivers Support Group at Morrow Memorial Church in Maplewood NJ. A Harvard graduate, she chose to be a stay-at-home mom and a community volunteer focusing on race relations, school curriculum, and quality education for all children.
April 16 "Food and Water Security" -- James Brodie, a local investor in Millburn NJ, and a financial advisor with decades of experience on Wall Street, will employ an investment analysis point of view to assess food and water security in the 21st century and its associated geopolitics.
April 23 "Why Good People are Divided" -- Old Guard member Peter Bolton explains Jonathan Haidt’s prescient analysis of current social divisions through use of his 2012 work The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, an especially timely work given the 2016 election and its aftermath.
April 30 "Time for a Sustainability Reporting Hub in NJ" -- Dr. Susan Haig outlines a new collaborative for making NJ an exporter of news, involving CivicStory in partnership with the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State, and NJ Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability. Susan conducts the South Orange Symphony Orchestra, and is Founder and Creative Director of CivicStory.org, a nonprofit news site that produces videos highlighting sustainability and creative change in New Jersey, featuring citizens who are transforming their communities.
March 2019 Program Chair: Harvey Krohn
March 5 "Research Done on the Homeless and a Very Special Project on Helping Young Children Advance to College" -- Rabbi Charles Kroloff, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanu-El, Westfield NJ & Professor at Hebrew Union College NY, will speak about his research and book on the homeless population: "Where Elijah Knocks: A Religious Response to Homelessness."
March 12 "College Athletics -- Then and Now" -- Robert Beller, Risk Management and Institutional Compliance Officer for Rutgers University Athletics, will speak about today's demands on men's and women's college athletic programs versus the demands of decades ago. Mr. Beller was a member of Harvard's basketball team in the 1970's
March 19 "Annual Special Interest Projects for St. Patrick's Day" – Dr. Dermot Quinn, Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Seton Hall University, last year presented a terrific program on the diaspora of the Irish to NJ. This year he will speak on some special interest projects.
March 26 "Sports Trivia Part Two -- The Rest of the Story" – Joseph S. Gyenes, educator, basketball referee, and trivia expert, spoke to the Old Guard in 2017 on sports trivia and will take the stories to the next level.
February 2019 Program Chair: Arturo Roberts
Feb. 5 "The Mysteries of the Very Small Revealed" -- Phil Eisner, Old Guard member, retired physicist, Exxon Research, is well known to our members as a clear expositor of the physical world. He will explain the mysteries of quantum theory, which describes nature at its smallest scale. The theory of quantum mechanics arose in the first half of the 20th century to explain weird observations made on photons, atoms, and subatomic particles that couldn’t be explained by classical physics.
Feb. 12 "Spend-Down: Increasing Your Odds of Having Enough Money in Retirement" [program was postponed due to weather, and rescheduled for July 9, 2019]– Jim Cornfeld, CFP, Buckingham Strategic Wealth, Short Hills. Many people think of retirement planning as saving enough money to live the lifestyle they’ve envisioned. The financial planning you need for this new phase of life is different and often more complicated. Cornfeld will show an overall spend-down strategy intended to decrease your tax costs and increase your odds of having enough money in retirement to meet your goals.
Feb. 19 "Reminiscences of a Lifetime of Sports Reporting" – Mark Di Ionno, columnist for the Star-Ledger, 2013 Pulitzer Prize finalist, will speak about his life involvement in sports reporting, including some high-profile stories, and also talk about a novel with a baseball background he has written about the responsibilities of manhood and the pitfalls of glory.
Feb. 26 "Navigating Hearing Loss Remediation" – Craig J. Barth, M.A., CCC-A Audiologist, Fellow, American Academy of Audiology, Morristown, will present a step-by-step thorough and logical process to get our hearing assessed and have proposed remedies clearly explained. He will also share helpful tips for becoming an educated consumer of hearing aid devices.
January 2019 Program Chair: Ian Lutes
Jan. 8 "Nice Presidents Finish Last" – Dr. Dan Cassino, Professor of Political Science, Fairleigh Dickinson University and author. What makes a great president? Too often, the most successful presidents aren't those that we'd want to bring home to meet the family. Andrew Jackson, James Garfield, Lyndon Johnson, and others will be discussed in order to see what we really should be looking for in a president.
Jan. 15 "Same Bed - Different Dreams: Is There Anything to Learn from the Canadian Model?" – Dr. Michael Hawes, CEO Fulbright Canada and professor at Queens University, notes that the United States governance focus is on personal autonomy and individual rights. By contrast, Canada’s focus is on society at large and the role of community. Dr. Hawes will speak to “lessons from Canada,” paying particular attention to publicly funded health care, immigration experience, and publicly funded education.
Jan. 22 "Cruising America’s Great Loop" – Stuart Conway, lifelong sailor and native New Jerseyan, cruised America’s Great Loop with his wife Julie in 2014 aboard their 42-foot powerboat, starting in Raritan Bay and traveling up the Hudson River, though the Great Lakes and Canada’s North Channel to the Mississippi River, Florida Keys, Bahamas, and back up the east coast. Conway will share highlights of his yearlong adventure through photos, anecdotes, and a show-and-tell.
Jan. 29 "Great Power Shifts in the International System and Implications for the United States'' – Dr. Doug Simon, Professor Emeritus, Drew University, will discuss major power shifts occurring in the international system. China’s challenge to American global preeminence, the rise of Eurasia, Russia’s efforts to reestablish its sphere of influence, and the rise of hyper-nationalism threaten the post-WW II international order and pose major world dangers.