Earlier Programs
Come for the Programs. Stay for the Friends.
[  2020  |  2019  |  2018  |  2017  ]

October Program Chair - Marvin Gersten

Oct. 6 "The Meadowlands American Dream Project" - Ken Mackiewicz and Steve Tarabokija will discuss the traffic and transportation aspects of the American Dream Project, a 5,000,000 square foot mixed use entertainment, retail, hotel, and office project located next to Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands. [video conference]

Oct. 13 "Automated Vehicle Technology Research Conducted at NJIT" - Dr. Branislav Dimitrijevic and Dr. Joyoung Lee will discuss examples of vehicle-to-infrastructure communication application for traffic signal advisories and queue warning, transit vehicle tracking, passenger call-ahead arrival notification, and integration of mobile road weather observations. [video conference]

Oct. 20 "Researching Your Civil War Ancestors" - Richard Schrader will discuss his experience researching nearly 50 ancestors who fought in the Civil War for either the Union or Confederate causes. He found heroic deeds and some who were court-martialed. He will also describe some of the more common sources available to do your own research. [video  conference]

Oct. 27 "North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority - The Long Range Transportation Plan" - Ted Ritter will provide an overview of the NJTPA and long range transportation planning in northern NJ, including NJTPA's next long range plan, 2050: Transportation, People, Opportunity. [video conference]

September Program Chair - Allen Hamilton

Sept. 1  "New Jersey Jazz Society"  Cydney Halpin, president of the New Jersey Jazz Society, will tell us about jazz in NJ, and it is a great story. She will describe the society and what it does, including its monthly jazz social in Madison on Sundays. She will also have one of the NJ jazz musicians give us a brief concert. This should be a fun and entertaining meeting. [video  conference]

Sept. 8  "Do It Yourself Investing" – Allen Hamilton, OG member, will explain how easy it is to do your own portfolio management and save a lot of money versus investment advisors. He will explain how to do it yourself by using newsletters, monthly magazines, and automation. Alternatives include using the automated portfolio services through Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab. Many of the automated services use ETFs at nearly 0% fees.  [video conference]

Sept. 15 "Polling 101: The Art, The Science, and a Look at the 2020 Presidential Election"   Dr. Ashley Koning, director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. Dr. Koning will provide an overview of public opinion polling, highlighting the delicate balance between its objective and subjective nature, and its oft forgotten roots in probability and uncertainty. She will also take a look at polling during the 2020 presidential election, how it compares to 2016, whether or not we should trust it, and what challenges lie ahead for polling in the future.[video conference]

Sept. 22 "Coffee -- From Beans on a Tree to Aromatic Beverage." Old Guard member Alfred Glatz spent his career as a chemist at General Foods Corporation and knows a thing or two about food chemistry, especially America's favorite beverage! Al will tell us some things about coffee that we likely don't know, including how coffee is decaffeinated. And he will answer our questions. You'll have to call out for your own Starbucks Latte, though. [video conference]

Sept. 29 "Ship Modeling -- More than Just a Hobby." Tom Ruggiero and Bill Brown of the Ship Model Society of New Jersey will describe the different types of ship modeling, including the various types of hull construction, a comparison of kit versus from-scratch building, what is involved in the hobby, and how one might get started in this very rewarding craft.  [video conference]

August Program Chair - Rich Jaeger

Aug. 4  "Overview of the Sikh Heritage"  Kavneet Singh, the national resource and advocacy officer of the American Sikh Council, will discuss the Sikh heritage. He will cover an overview of the Sikh religion from its founding about 550 years ago and include information on the founders, their revelatory teachings, the Sikh identity, the foundational principles, the 'gurdwara' (house of prayer), and the contributions of Sikhs to interfaith dialogue and harmony. [video conference]

Aug. 11  "The Seeing Eye's Breeding Program" – Don MacGowan, volunteer program coordinator for outreach for The Seeing Eye, will discuss their highly regarded breeding program.  He will describe why certain breeds are selected, how dogs are screened and selected for breeding, what is the science behind the process, and what puppies experience early on to prepare them for their roles.   [video conference  ]

Aug. 18 "Climate Change: Where Are We Now?"   James Miller, Ph.D. is a professor of earth system science at Rutgers University.  He will provide an update on where we are now on the science and impact of climate change.  Climate change tends to exacerbate our existing societal problems, both locally and globally, and the talk will put climate change into the larger context of our current social, economic, and political discourse.   [video conference]

Aug. 25 "Eleanor Roosevelt: Woman of Many Causes" – Nolan Asch, an Old Guard member, will describe Eleanor Roosevelt's important contributions to our society.  He will discuss how she spent most of her life fighting for the underprivileged as a true pioneer in the fight for civil rights.  He will also describe how she blazed an effective and pragmatic trail for women's rights and continued her work through the UN after FDR's death. [video conference]

July Program Chair – Don Young

July 7  "How We Deal with Aging and Where Will It Take Place?" – Speaker Gladys Harris is certified in aging life care, in geriatric care, and in dementia practice. she leads the Olive Group, LLC. whose motto is, “Providing families peace of mind.” Gladys will consider how one goes about evaluating appropriate assisted living options, including home care services, CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Community), and nursing home facilities.     (Rescheduled from March 17) [video conference]

July 14  "My Life as a Performing Pianist" – Speaker Joe Regan is a pianist and singer from Cranford who performs in piano bars and shows in NYC, NJ, Provincetown, Florida and on cruises. Joe will talk from his favorite venue, the piano, and will offer some songs that will be sure to entertain.  [video conference.]

July 21 "Race 2020 – Understanding What We’re Seeing and Where We Go From Here" – Frank Bolden, Old Guard member, will address the questions: What is the difference between the protests after the death of Eric Garner in 2014 and the death of George Floyd in 2020? Where does the country go from here? What roles are open for you to play? Frank is a member of Old Guard, a retired EVP at J&J, has served as Chairman of the Board of Overlook Hospital and of the United Church of Christ, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Vermont.  [video conference]

July 28  "Fitness for All of Us, Per our Needs" – Don Young, an Old Guard Member, will discuss physical and mental health issues, based on 60 years of informed experience, that relate to all of us especially as we grow older.  [video conference].  

June Program Chair – Ivan Jacobs

June 2  Overlook Medical Center Renovation - Clelia Biamonti, Executive Director of the Overlook Foundation, and Lauren Yedvab, Chief   Operating Officer of the Overlook Medical Center, discussed the extraordinary response of the medical center to the Covid crisis. They also   mentioned the kickoff of the $100 million renovation of Overlook that has been delayed by the Covid situation. [video conference]  

June 9  The Beatles, part 2: Success, Superstardom and Separation  -- J Paul Groom gave part 1 of his talk a couple of weeks ago at Old Guard covering the early years. This week he will recount the rest of the Beatles' extraordinary rise to become consistent #1 artists in both singles and albums on both sides of the Atlantic. Time allowing, he will conclude by mentioning the separation of the Beatles and each of their immediate individual projects. [video conference]

June 16  Sexual Dysfunction in the Elderly - Dr. Daniel Watter, a psychologist and board certified sex therapist, author, and researcher, will discuss problems and treatments for elderly individuals and couples experiencing sexual and/or relationship problems.  [video conference]

June 23  The Revolutionary War Battle of Springfield NJ - John Kieser, trustee of the Summit Historical Society, member of the Sons of the American Revolution, and founding member of The Forgotten Victory Trail, will recount this significant battle -- on its 240th anniversary!  [video conference]

June 30  The Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe -- Dr. Carole Shaffer-Koros, will discuss the history and writings of Edgar Allen Poe, and will consider the puzzling circumstances of his death. Poe was the inventor of the detective fiction genre who is further credited with contributing to the genre of science fiction. Dr Shaffer-Koros is Professor Emerita of English History and Founding Dean of the     School of Visual and Performing Arts at Kean University. [video conference]

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 postponed to July 7, 2020].

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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