StaRGazing 2013 Committee

Madeline Pinsky Walker, Co-Chair and Speaker Chair Desiree Sagray, Co-Chair and Hospitality Chair
Madeline Walker

I became a Mensa member in 1975 in NoCal, then became a lapsed member for many years. After moving to SoCal, I joined GLAAM in 2004 after my son, Case, qualified for Mensa. I jumped in as Gifted Youth Coordinator, and later added Coastal Area Rep to my responsibilities. My involvement in the RG's have included adding a Kids Track on RG Sunday, finding speakers and venues, and initiating and chairing the 2009 “Mini-RG.” As 2013 co-chair with Desiree, I applaud the hard work and dedication of all the committee members who have created a very amazing RG for your enjoyment. Meet me at the Registration Desk at the 2013 GLAAM StaRGazing RG.

Desiree Sagray

After hearing about Mensa from my aunt and meeting some GLAAM members through the Nova Toastmasters, my first major Mensa event was the 2004 GLAAM RG in Culver City. It literally changed my life. I became active in GLAAM activities over the next few months and by May was on the Board of Directors. By June, I was Chairing the 2005 RG Committee and have been actively involved in the RG for the last nine years, serving as Chair, Co-Chair, Hospitality Chair, Registrar, and Speakers Chair over the years … often at the same time!

Mensa has given me so much, especially a most beloved nephew and some of the best friends I have ever had. Continuing to be active in the chapter is only one of the ways that I can give back to this wonderful organization and some of the truly unique and exceptional people I have met here. I will be in Hospitality for most of the RG this year — feel free to stop by and talk to me about GLAAM!

Jonathan Elliott, Treasurer and Awards Liaison
Jonathan Elliott

Jonathan has been a member of the Los Angeles chapter of Mensa continuously since 1996, and has operated the Answers to Everything SIG during most of that time. He served as chapter Secretary for eight years, Calendar Editor for five years, host of the monthly ELAC gaming event for seven years, SIG Coordinator for two years, and at different times as Chair of the Awards, Bylaws, and Finance Committees. He had two brief stints as GLAAM Chairman, and is now in his second year as GLAAM Treasurer, and his sixth as Executive Vice-Chair. Most of his previous work with the RG Committee (apart from set-up and clean-up and running spot errands during the event) has involved coordinating Games and Tournaments, but this year the big focus is on our big Awards presentation, where we provide recognition to all those GLAAM members — past and present — who have benefitted GLAAM the most by their service to all levels of the Mensa organization.

Hilary Foster, Pub Crawl
Hilary Foster

I joined Mensa in 2008. The first couple of events that I attended were happy hours. After attending a New Member Reception and meeting some great people, I decided to become more involved. Since then, I have participated in the Axion SIG, and the picnics at Griffith Park. This will be my third year co-hosting the RG Pub Crawl; we always have an amazing time. Come join us for the Pub Crawl, and by the end of the night you will have some great new friends!! I have made some wonderful life-long friends in GLAAM.

Jay Friedlander, Game Tournaments
Jay Friedlander

Jay was born in a manger but was kidnapped and subsequently raised by a pack of wolves, from whom he acquired his love of board games. He has a BA in Radio-TV/Film from California State University, Long Beach and has spent most of his career in technical sales and sales management. He is also currently available for the right lucrative offer. His hobbies include basketball and horseracing. He is the co-organizer of the International Diners Club and currently serves as GLAAM's Ombudsman.

Jacob Gore, Audio-Visual
Jacob Gore

Jacob is a recent addition to Mensa and is a current MBA student at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He formerly was an industrial engineer at the Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington. Business school brought him to L.A., but as a big fan of cinema and the beach, he fits in well with the area. Jacob will be available to chat at the Regional Gathering, probably seen watching over the alcohol room or setting up cables and cords for the speakers.

Heather Hale, Photographer
Heather Hale

Heather Hale is an independent film and television producer, director and screenwriter, currently pitching television projects to NBC/Universal. She recently directed, produced and co-wrote Snitch (2012) a thriller that starred Edward Furlong (Terminator 2), Ed Asner (Lou Grant) and Meat Loaf Aday (Rocky Horror Picture Show). She wrote the 2000 Lifetime Original Movie, The Courage to Love, that starred Vanessa Williams, Diahann Carroll, Stacey Keach and Gil Bellows, produced two syndicated series, a talk show and a newsmagazine program, both of which won Tellys, and wrote two PBS edutainment series that both won Emmys. A sought after international public speaker, she consults entertainment industry professionals on their scripts, projects and careers independently as well as through the National Association of Television Executives. She is a member of the Television Academy and ShowBiz Mensans. She is also a member of the Valley Watercolor Society, is pursuing a Fine Art Certificate at Otis, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu's Home Chef certificate program and has worked as a professional photographer for newspapers in the past.

Joyce Hamilton, Registrar
Joyce Hamilton

I've been a member of Mensa since 2000 and have a background in investment real estate (MBA Cornell, BA Smith College). A lot of my spare time is spent tracking wandering ancestors from the frontier to the colonies and back across the pond. I wanted to get more involved in GLAAM this year, but I was shocked, shocked to find myself volunteering to be Registrar for the RG. The upside is that I'll get to meet all of you when you check in: members, speakers, and guests! Or stop by the registration table just to chat — I'll be there all weekend!

Danielle Hanne, Pub Crawl and Speaker Shepherd
Danielle Hanne

Danielle has been a member of the RG Committee since attending her first RG five years ago. She considers “Nerd Winter Camp” to be one of the best reasons to be a member of GLAAM. “We have an amazing committee who puts together the best event outside Nerd Summer Camp” (the Annual Gathering) she'll tell anyone who will listen. She wears many hats in the organization and as such ends up participating in Nerd Winter Camp in many different ways from Pub Crawl to Speaker Shepherd to Speaker to Hospitality Server to whatever. Feel free to say “hi” to her, but if she just waves as she's running past you don't take it personally — she's usually trying to be in at least three different places at once.

Courtney Leigh Heins, Registrar
Courtney Leigh Heins

Courtney Leigh Heins is a recent addition to Mensa as well as to the RG Committee. Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, she has resided in Los Angeles since graduating from Boston College with a degree in English and Theatre Arts. Courtney is a Staff Accountant for Psomas, a Civil Engineering firm in Downtown L.A., and moonlights as a singer/songwriter. She has performed at SXSW in Austin, The Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Anchorage Folk Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival. If you're attending Sundance in January, join her at The Spur for some great music. She's looking forward to working registration at the 2013 RG and hopes to see everyone out on the town at the Pub Crawl.

Anna Kallenborn-Bolden, Marketing
Anna Kallenborn-Bolden

Anna is a recent resident of Los Angeles, having moved from Connecticut in the spring. She is also new to the Mensa world, gaining membership in 2012. Anna studied international business at the University of Connecticut and has been working with a consulting firm since she graduated. Anna is a tennis player and has picked up a love for beach volleyball since moving to the west coast. Keep your eyes and ears open for the RG ads as Anna will be doing the marketing for this year's RG!

Brian Madsen, Webmaster and Printed Programs
Brian Madsen

Brian has been GLAAM's Webmaster and Data Guru (and Calendar Editor, and a few other things) for the last several years. He is painfully aware (because his kids continually remind him) that he has been using the same picture of himself for about as long, and that he needs to find a more recent one because he's a lot older now … but no picture has been taken since then that makes him look nearly as good as this one does, so he's going to keep using it until that changes.

Annette Mann, Speaker Shepherd
Annette Mann

Annette enjoys hanging out and disscussing a variety of topics with her Mensa pals. While most Mensans are very well-read, Annette — while an avid reader — is not a very ambitious one. Her recent reading has included: To Maim a Mockingbird, A Brief History of Tile, Something Somewhat Annoying This Way Comes, and Breakfast at Kay Jewelers. Be sure to say hello to Annette at the RG and recommend a good (but not too challenging) book to her.

Etay Orlander, Speaker Shepherd
Etay Orlander

Born and raised on the mean streets of Los Angeles, Etay always dreamed of leaving this small town to go live in the big city. This wish was finally granted shortly after his 18th birthday, when he went to college in the thriving metropolis of Santa Barbara. After graduating in 2009 with an economics degree, he was hired on as a manager at a small boutique retail operation called Target. After working there for a year he decided it was not for him and that he should pursue a degree in engineering so he can help develop means of alternative energy production and save the world, because saving the world is what he does. You can generally find Etay wandering around aimlessly in the streets of Santa Monica, taking math and physics courses at Santa Monica College in the hopes of transferring to a graduate level engineering program.

Doug Walker, Pub Crawl
Douglas was born in Vancouver B.C. Canada, came to the states when he was young, and has been here ever since. At the RG, he's the go-to guy to get things done: set-up A/V, drive for both pub crawl and van tour, dash to the store for supplies, carry, clean, fix and schlep wherever and whenever it is needed. His first wife was a Mensan (that bond didn't last), and his second wife is also a Mensan (that bond has lasted 27 years so far, and shows no signs of weakening). If you catch him in the rare moments he is not running to help somebody, be sure to say hi. Note: his hug dot is always green.

Michael Wong, Hospitality Sub-Committee
Michael Wong

Michael Wong is a self-proclaimed gourmand and the host of the infamous Finding Unique Chinese Kitchens dining events each month. He is also the long-time host of the ELAC gaming party on the last Saturday of each month. He has a modest collection of games.

Ed You, RG Site Researcher and Speaker Shepherd
Ed You

Ed You has been an avid member and promoter of Mensa since 1986-ish. He is proud to have brought Palabra and Palabra tournaments to many RG's and AG's, knowing Mensans would just love it. He has also run several originally written and comic Mensa Murder Mystery Games, as the overworked, but not incompetent, “Inspector You.” Since 2007, he's brought the group game Werewolves to the membership. He lives a happy “double-M” marriage with his wife and fellow lifetime member, Viki Kind. They share the joys of parenting their two cats, Lovey and Pixie.