May Program Chair - Mike Martin

May 5  The American Revolution: George Washington Slept Here (in NJ) – Our speaker Joel Farkas is a retired Officer in the United States Army, a National Park Service volunteer docent at Washington's Headquarters in Morristown, NJ, and a lecturer at Florham Institute for Lifelong Learning (FILL) at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison NJ.  [video conference]

May 12  Lincoln's Greatcoat: The Unlikely Odyssey of a Presidential Relic – Reignette Chilton's book by the same name has been called “a seminal piece of the American story.” Brooks Brothers, the esteemed clothier, crafted the magnificent garment in honor of his second inauguration. The coat’s wool was “finer than cashmere,” and its silk-embroidered lining bore the declaration, “One Country, One Destiny.” The president was wearing the greatcoat when he met his assassin’s bullet on the evening of April 14, 1865.   [video conference]

May 19  Chromosomes during Cell Division – Dr. Kim McKim will provide an understanding of chromosomal segregation as it relates to pregnancy loss and birth defects like Down syndrome. Dr. McKim is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and received his PhD in Genetics at University of British Columbia in 1991.  He has been at Rutgers since 1996 as Professor in the Waksman Institute and is Co-director of the Molecular Biosciences Graduate Program.  He teaches both undergraduate and graduate level courses. (Talk rescheduled from Dec 10, 2019) [video conference]

May 26  The Beatles – The Beginnings – J. Paul Groom, our speaker from Scotch Plains, grew up in Liverpool at the same time as Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. He presents the story of the Fab Four’s rise from obscurity to international stardom from his unique perspective. Paul Groom attended the same high school as Paul and George, the same Sunday school as John Lennon, the youth club where John met Paul, and lived in the same village as George and John [ video conference.]


April Program Chair - Mike Bennett

Apr. 7 "Citizen Preparation" – Pat Bennett, president of the board of directors for Concerned Persons for Adoption, observes that a basic knowledge of civics, history, geography, and English is required for all immigrants before becoming U.S. citizens. However only 26% of U.S. citizens can even name the three branches of government. Ms. Bennett will discuss the Citizenship Test, the students she helps prepare for the test, and civics education in general. [video conference

Apr. 14 "Growing Up in a Former British Colony, Trinidad and Tobago" – Clarence Modeste, president of the Staten Island Cricket Club, who has lived and worked in NYC for the past 60 years, will speak about his life growing up on the island of Tobago and on the colonial history of the island.  [video conference]

Apr. 21 "Abraham Lincoln" - Nolan Asch, Old Guard member and frequent speaker, has captivated us with his talks on Alexander Hamilton and Winston Churchill. Now it is time to hear about our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln [video conference]

Apr. 28  "Programs Provided by the World Wide Orphans Foundation (WWO)" - Dr. Jane Aronson, director, International Pediatric Health Services, is the founder and former CEO of the WWO and will speak about how that organization provides healthcare, education and child protection to children who are transitioning out of institutions. One of their unique programs is establishing 62 "Toy Libraries" in Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Haiti, Vietnam, and the U.S.A.  [video conference]

March Program: Chair Don Goldberg

Mar. 3 "Investment Portfolio Construction for the Retiree" – Gary Quinzel, CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst), head of Investment Department at Wealth Enhancement Group in Warren, will give an overview of where he thinks the stock and bond markets will be going in 2020. He will also discuss how a retiree should put together an investment portfolio under these circumstances.

Mar. 10 "Estate and Long Term Care Planning Blunders of the Rich and Famous" – Yale S. Hauptman, Esq., is an elder law attorney in Livingston who will speak about celebrity estate and long-term care blunders.

NOTICE: From March 17 until the end of the COVID-19 crisis, video conferences via Zoom are being held in place of in-person meetings.

Mar. 17 "How Do We Deal with Aging and Where Will It take Place?" – Gladys Harris is an Aging Life Care Advanced Professional. She will speak on how one goes about evaluating an appropriate assisted living, CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community), or nursing home facility [talk was cancelled].

Mar. 24 "Attributes of Great European Paintings" – Painter and Old Guard member Michael Martin will walk us through an illustrated analysis of several great European painting based on the attributes of Design Principles, Color, and Subject Matter   [video conference]

Mar. 31 "Bringing Transparency to the Health Care Marketplace" - Our speaker Jeanne Pinder is founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts, a journalism startup in New York City that is bringing transparency to the health care marketplace by telling people what things cost.  Jeanne has appeared widely in the media and her recent TED talk about health costs went viral, picking up more than 1.75 million views.   [video conference]

February Program Chair: Sri Srikantan

Feb. 4 “The Science Behind Factor Investing” - Kevin Dillon, certified financial planner, Mercer Advisors. Factors comprise a set of investment characteristics that when optimized, have been shown to provide a higher return for investments over time than the overall market.

Feb. 11 "People, Places, and Cultures: INDIA" - Sri Srikantan, Old Guard member and semi-retired consultant in information technology. Sri will take us on a brief journey to India to expose us to the history, geography, culture, economics, education, and religion of this great country.

Feb. 18 "Preserving Your Assets without Losing Control" - Vincent Macri, Esq, founding partner, Macri Law Group and certified elder law attorney, will speak about elder law and the need for seniors, age 55 and older, to coordinate all aspects of retirement, tax exposure, estate preservation, and long-term care and disability issues.

Feb. 25 "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" - Bruce Peabody, professor of political science, Fairleigh Dickinson, will review scholarly and popular interest in political paranoia as a historical and cultural development, a potent rhetorical tool, and an impulse gripping American political leaders and the public.


January Program Chair: Vic Garber

Jan. 7 "The Life and Experiences of a Continental Soldier During the American Revolution" - Asher Lurie, senior historical interpreter at the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, NJ, will discuss the Continental Army from its formation in 1775 to its final form in 1783.

Jan. 14 "Can We Trust the Polls?" - Dr. Daniel Cassino, a pollster and professor of government and law at Fairleigh Dickinson University, will explain how modern polling works, and how it failed in the 2016 presidential election.  He'll then talk about whether we can trust it generally, and if it can be used to make predictions about the 2020 presidential election.

Jan. 21 "Wrongful Convictions in the American Criminal Justice System" - Glenn Garber is a criminal defense and civil rights attorney, and adjunct professor of law at Brooklyn Law School.  He is also founder of the Exoneration Initiative, a not-for-profit that evaluates and litigates innocence cases in New York.  From his own personal experience Glenn will  discuss fallibilities in the American criminal justice system that lead to wrongful convictions and some of the main causes of wrongful convictions - eyewitness misidentifications, false confessions, and police and prosecutorial misconduct. 

Jan. 28 "Spending Plan -- Not Running Out of $ in Retirement" - James Cornfeld, Buckingham Strategic Wealth.  Since the 1980's when companies started the abandonment of defined benefit plans, new strategies have been required to develop a written spend-down plan to minimize taxes.  Jim, a certified financial planner with clients among Old Guard members, will speak on this issue. 








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