StaRGazing 2014 Speakers

An Insider's View of Selective College Admissions by Evelyn Alexander

Evelyn Alexander

Johns Hopkins alumna and former interviewer Evelyn Alexander will lead an interactive discussion on the college admissions process, focusing on how students can prepare to apply to highly selective colleges.

Evelyn Alexander holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Arts from the George Washington University, and a Certificate in College Counseling (with Distinction) from UCLA. She interviewed students for 15 years as a volunteer admissions representative for Johns Hopkins, represented the University at college fairs and spoke about the admissions process at selective colleges. Ms. Alexander served for seven years as President of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association's Los Angeles chapter. She founded Magellan College Counseling in 2011, and her clients have been accepted to Cornell, Princeton, MIT, UC Berkeley and UCLA, among other highly selective universities.

Planning for Tomorrow Today — Understand Long Term Care Basics by Corinne Berenson

Corinne Berenson

With advances in the medical community, it is critical to prepare for living a long life and potentially facing an extended care experience. Preparing includes understanding what it means to be in long term care and knowing the options and cost of receiving that care today and in the future. Come explore funding alternatives from family to government to insurance. Having the resources available will maintain your independence and dignity and ensure that you have options for quality care. Planning can minimize the financial, logistical and emotional burdens on family associated with losing your physical or cognitive independence.

Corinne is a lifelong resident of Southern California. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree from California State University at Northridge and worked as a journalist and public information officer. After experiencing the costs and burdens of living through an extended care experience with her father, she embarked on her third career 10 years ago specializing in helping families understand and prepare for long term care.

Skits, Plays, and The Whore of Mensa by Jana Bickel

Jana Bickel

If you want to try your hand at acting, now is the chance. Jana will have a selection of skits and plays, and will be happy to hand out parts to those who can project their voices to the back of the room. Included will be a short-short play by Woody Allen, The Whore of Mensa. Only Woody would take on the challenge of turning Mensa into a treatise of intrigue with an intelligent twist.

Jana Bickel has been a member of Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa for over 25 years. She has represented the San Fernando Valley on the Board, been RG Chairman, hosted parties and RG programs as well as co-led GLAAM's NOVA Toastmasters. As a longtime theater-goer, literature major and Toastmaster she brings us an impromptu collection of skits to this year's RG.

Spacetime: Our Four-Dimensional World by Marshall Burns

Marshall Burns

You live in spacetime, but you might not know it. Come learn what spacetime is and why it's four-dimensional. Find out the difference between space and time and how they are connected. Understand the two basic rules that explain everything there is to know about spacetime. Get answers to questions like:
Can we ever go faster than light?
Can we ever go back in time or teleport instantly to Mars?
Does time slow down when you're moving really fast?
Can you be years older than your twin sister?
What does spacetime feel like when it's curved?

Marshall Burns was trained in physics at MIT and the University of Texas, where he earned his Ph.D. Most of his career was in development of new technology, from personal computers to 3D Printers, about which he taught at USC and Caltech. Since 2007, his interests have turned from technology to human issues (Kenya and Sex Offender Laws Research). On technical subjects, Burns prefers to speak in ordinary English instead of jargon. He likes to test his own knowledge of something by whether he can explain it to someone else so they get it. Since graduate school, he has offered presentations on physics to local area high schools.

The Camera: A Ticket to the World by Bonnie Burrow

Bonnie Burrow

A proud Saluki from Southern Illinois University, Bonnie Burrow left the Midwest for adventures in California in 1978. After a disappointing couple of years in graduate school in California and about seven years of teaching college-level political science, she turned to the not-quite-related field of community photojournalism. Working for several news organizations and then for 16 years for the Burbank Leader, she covered the community from the inside. Like most photojournalists, she has more stories to tell than any reasonable person would ever want to hear. Currently a photo business owner and a high school photo teacher, Bonnie regularly bores her students with tales of her adventures in the streets, alleys, and boardrooms of Burbank.

What's the Fuss About Enzymes? by Mary Carney

Mary Carney

Lots of info on vitamins, minerals, carbs, proteins and fats, but how are these essential raw material nutrients transformed into life energy and your body's ability to repair amd replace its damaged or worn-out cells (i.e., heal)? Dr. Edwin Howell's 1930's research into enzymes was joined by Dr. Harold Loomis in the early 1980's. Howell's and Loomis's ongoing research underlies most of today's enzyme information and combination formulations out there in the world today. Jump starts your understanding of how enzymes work for your own personal health support.

Mary Carney, Certified Natural Health Professional and Digestive Health Specialist, integrates natural ways of strengthening the body's ability to heal itself. Her private referral-only practice includes hands-on energy work (polarity therapy, Reiki, Joh-Rei), Onnetsu Precision Far Infrared, Loomis Enzymes and personal energy analysis through the Human Design System. She has introduced Mensans to both Onnetsu and the Human Design System at AGs. Her practice is in Monrovia. For more information, contact Mary at or visit Integrative Development Services.

Stand and Deliver: How to Impress Your Audience as a Unique & Sexy Speaker by Marion Claire

Marion Claire

Whenever you open your mouth to speak, and someone is listening, you have the opportunity to influence and to inspire. Being influential and inspirational … that's very sexy!

Are you so reluctant to speak in front of a group that you'll do absolutely anything to avoid giving a talk or a toast? What causes pre-speech dry mouth, shaky knees, or crashing butterflies in your stomach and how can you get rid of them or, even better, never feel them at all? What is the secret to making an audience hang on your every word? Learn how to neutralize the major fears people have about public speaking and gain techniques to feel calm, comfortable, competent and compelling on any stage or before any group.

Former TV sitcom writer Marion Claire, the Speaking Is Sexy coach, shows ambitious businesspeople and professionals, from entrepreneurs to artists, how to be courageous and confident public speakers. A speaker, coach, and speechwriter, Marion is the author of Secrets of a Unique & Sexy Speaker: 155 Helpful Tips for Writing Your Speech, Facing the Audience & Overcoming Fear! (Balboa Press), and publishes a twice-monthly newsletter, Speaking Is Sexy, offering a free speaking tip in each issue, available at or

The Three Doors: A Metaphor for Computer Security by Circe Denyer

Circe Denyer

Did you know that it is easier for a computer hacker to gain access to your personal identity and remove funds from your bank account than it is to steal your wallet in a public place? Computers are sold every day with built in security measures and we assume that is enough to keep our information safe. Malware is the leading cause of computer malfunction, SPAM, and identity theft. Malware is not stopped by the packages included in your computer purchase. Malware is a family of infections that show up on 90% of computers within six months if not protected. Learn how easy it is to protect yourself and keep your system behind virtual locked doors.

Circe Denyer provides training and computer security consulting for individuals using Windows based computers. Her plain English not-too-geek training style helps her clients to understand the computer and get the most out of it. She has an understanding of the effects of Malware on the computer operating system and how a system is likely to become infected. Teaching the methods of prevention is one of her specialties.

She is a Qualified Speaker for District 52 Toastmasters and earned Toastmasters highest award of Distinguished Toastmaster in 17 months. She loves photography, writing, and mentoring new Toastmasters. She is the founder of Easybytes Training and Technology which provides supportive services for speakers, events and individuals.

Travel through Your Tax Return with the 1040 Tour Guide by Linda Dorfmont

Linda Dorfmont

Linda will explain:

What goes on which lines and why
What the IRS computers look for
Why Adjusted Gross Income is so important
Deductions vs. Credits
Other interesting information about your tax return

Linda Dorfmont is an Enrolled Agent, which is a tax specialist who has earned the privilege of practicing, that is, representing taxpayers, before the Internal Revenue Service. She has been preparing tax returns and teaching tax practice and planning since 1973.

The Great Pyramid at Giza: A Business Investment by D. Stewart Farquhar

D. Stewart Farquhar

The Great Pyramid at Giza consists of three one-hour presentations that dovetail into each other. Are these over-engineered pyramids burial places for dead kings or a legacy from an earlier, more advanced culture?

Part One: Introduction to the structure of the Giza Pyramids.

Part Two: Review of the structure as it follows its purpose. Contrast and Comparison.

Part Three: A proposed reason for the interrelated design, vs. conventional explanations.

Please arrive on time, because all three sessions are interrelated and will be packed with information.

Stewart is a 50-year-plus student of the belief systems and mythologies of humankind. His undergraduate and graduate studies are in physics, biology and medicine. He has worked as a Heath Physicist at NASA/JPL, a Nuclear Engineer for Southern California Edison and a Medical Physicist at The City of Hope and UCLA. Stewart is a Life Member of Mensa.

From Wolves to Dogs: Artificial Selection at Its Best (And Worst) by Carrie Freeland

Carrie Freeland

The dog is the most phenotypically diverse mammal on the planet, thanks almost solely to the intervention of humans. Artificial selection pressures have helped turn the wild wolf into anything from a Great Dane to a Teacup Chihuahua — but at what cost to the dog? From Belyaev's farm-fox experiments to modern genetic theories, this lighthearted talk will help shed light on some of the shortcomings of modern dog-breeding and selection pressures and perhaps identify the best cure for some of the problems facing today's dogs. As stewards of these magnificent companion animals, humans owe it to these best friends to understand and apply better breeding practices to help develop healthier dogs, both physically and mentally.

Carrie Freeland is an Arizona Mensan from the beautiful White Mountains. She works as a psychiatric nurse but is all but finished with her degree in Companion Animal Science, majoring in Canine Behavior. She works with animal rescue organizations throughout Arizona and is looking forward to starting her own business consulting on challenging behavior cases. She has also worked with captive wolves and wolf-dog hybrids both in Indiana and New Mexico. In the meantime, she raises her pack of 16 rescue-dogs and loves to cheer on the Arizona Cardinals.

Renal Denervation: A Breakthrough in Treatment by Kristine Fuimaono

Kristine Fuimaono

Kristine Fuimaono heads up a multi-disciplined team that is designing, developing and bringing to market a Renal Denervation System. This new process will be minimally invasive, using radiofrequency ablation aimed at treating patients who have drug resistant hypertension. Find out about this state-of-the-art technique and how it will save lives.

After graduating from USC with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, Kristine worked for a small medical device company for 17 years in both Engineering and Marketing. It was eventually purchased by Johnson & Johnson. She worked for St. Jude for seven years in the marketing field, but missed the creative side of engineering. Two years ago she returned to Johnson & Johnson to lead this development team. Kristine is Director of Research and Development.

Résumé Tips and Suggestions and Interviewing and the Art of Presenting Yourself Well by Sandy Geffner

Sandy Geffner

Résumé Tips and Suggestions: A résumé is often the first view of you a potential employer sees. As the job market has gotten more difficult, it is more important than ever to have a good résumé. But what makes a good résumé? How can you improve its impact? What are some of the do's and don'ts? Are things different in the electronic age than when everything was paper based?

The speaker, Sandy Geffner, comes from a practical, hands-on background. He worked in industry first and was directly involved in hiring people to work for him (when he was a manager and director of IT Audit). Later, he went into recruiting and owned his search firm for almost 20 years, dealing with résumés on a daily basis. He is now retired so there will be no sales pitch, and he will present you with useful information, stories and examples.

Interviewing and the Art of Presenting Yourself Well: An excellent résumé may or may not get you an interview, but an excellent interview usually results in a job offer. How can you best present yourself (and still be you)? Interviewing well truly is an art, but one that is vital for winning your desired position.

Sandy Geffner is a former Big4 Computer Consultant and IT Audit Manager / Director who was a recruiter for almost 20 years. He will share tips and methods on interviewing (preparing for common questions, questions you should ask, key techniques, etc.). Most important is your mindset and approach rather than memorized answers. Come and learn these valuable techniques. He will also answer questions from the attendees.

The Art and Principles of Magic by Gary Greene

Gary Greene

Magic has fascinated audiences since ancient days. This presentation will entertain participants with a variety of magic tricks, illustrate different types of magic, and teach some of magic's basic elements and principles. Volunteers will have an opportunity to learn and perform one of magic's classic tricks (but you'll have to attend to see which trick is taught).

Gary Greene has been practicing magic since the age of nine, has taught magic to summer school and elementary school aged children throughout the years, and is a former member of the Hollywood Magic Castle. You'll have a presto change-o, abra-cadabra good time!

Lawyer Games hosted by Joyce Hamilton

Joyce Hamilton

Myron Faverman used to run this game of questions and deductions and now Joyce will run it in his memory. Sample: The music stopped. The woman died. How? Ask a series of Yes and No questions to deduce the events of her death. Then start another riddle.

This is Joyce Hamilton's third year as an active and enthusiastic RG committee member.

A Touch of Reiki: What Is It? by Sue Hines

Sue Hines

The act of smiling, even when you feel down, produces a positive effect in your body chemistry and been proven to lift your spirits and make you feel better. Whether simply because it is an effective means of relaxation or by moderating the flow of energy throughout the body, Reiki is believed to promote and facilitate healing. Is Reiki simply a placebo?

Sue is a life-long student of the human spirit. She is a Master of the Usui and Karuna Reiki® schools, along with several other minor schools of Reiki. Having accidentally discovered Reiki in 1997, Sue immediately chose to become a Reiki Master and has been practicing and teaching Reiki since then.

Sue believes that our bodies are both barometers and the engines of our well-being. The effects of stress and anxiety often lead to illness and disease, and can even be life threatening. Just as the energy you get from a good hug can be life and health affirming and help to break the grip of tension and worry, Reiki is an effective technique for getting that life force energy flowing.

Handwriting Analysis From a Different Perspective by Barbara Isaacson

Barbara will have attendees write as few as four or as many as fourteen particular words on a plain white paper. She will pull them out of a hat one at a time, analyzing as many as possible in the allotted time. She will do a reading that is totally different from traditional handwriting readings.

Barbara was active in Boston Mensa for years, and recently moved to Los Angeles to be near her daughter. Barbara has done this presentation on stage, cruise ships, and other venues, and promises an enjoyable time. Barbara wrote a book on time-saving tips titled Saving - Your Time, Money, Energy, Steps, Your Life which was mostly modeled on tips she learned as a nurse. She also worked as a teacher, and was known in Boston as The Traveling Home Ec Teacher.

The Web We Weave (on the World) by Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson

The Web We Weave is a presentation focused on discussing web sites we frequently use and how we use them. The presentation will drive discussion toward how we, as users, can promote better usability through feedback-loops, and, as developers, designers, or content authors, we can contribute to delivering a user experience commensurate with our audience's expectations — and beyond — promoting an even more engaging platform from which we consume information and shop for goods.

Joe Johnson has been a web professional since 1995, creating many web sites for the local entrepreneur to the Fortune 500 company. With an emphasis on user experience through design, usability, content authoring, front-end development, and project management, Joe has the unique experience to elaborate and contribute to the myriad areas of web site development. He is currently the Los Angeles Front-End Development Manager for Acquity Group (part of Accenture Interactive).

Where Did Our Universe Come From? by Perry Lanaro

Perry Lanaro

We will look at the philosophical implications of the existence of our universe. Did it always exist? Did a god create it or did it appear from a non-theistic process? The topic will cover Big Bang cosmology, likelihood our universe arose from nothing and the possibility of other universes. Be ready to hear some fascinating and mind-stretching concepts in cosmology, illuminating the intersection of science, philosophy and theology. A science background is not needed. Q&A session follows.

Perry Lanaro holds a B.S. in physics and an MBA, both degrees from UCLA. He currently works in entertainment industry. He combines a natural understanding of science with the story-telling aspect of the entertainment industry to present sophisticated scientific concepts in an understandable and entertaining manner.

Fred Alone: The Solo Dances of Fred Astaire and Mr. Dodgson & Mrs. Hargreaves by Craig Lancaster

Charles Dodgson

Fred Alone: The Solo Dances of Fred Astaire: Fred Astaire is best known for his dances with Ginger Rogers and other partners. His solo dances are unquestionably the best ever done in film. His best solo dances will be shown along with commentary on how he managed to do them so exquisitely.

Mr. Dodgson & Mrs. Hargreaves: The book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a wonderful subject for a program. This program, however, is not about that book. This program is about the personal relationship between Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and Alice Pleasance Liddell, the Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

Craig has been a member of Mensa for 22 years. He finds, as do most people, the dancing of Fred Astaire to be awe-inspiring. In one of his programs, he will talk about the one person who was not impressed by Fred's dancing. And while Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a fascinating book, Craig finds the relationship between its author and its inspiration, the child Alice Liddell, to be even more fascinating.

Surviving Technology In Our Lives by Jeff Levy

Jeff Levy

Jeff spent 16 years hosting a technology call-in radio show on Los Angeles stations KFI, KNX, KFWB and KABC. He easily translates the complexities of technology into simple, easy to understand English and he does it with wit and humor.

He lectures to professional groups about technology and how it applies to their professions. Over the years local Channel 4 News has used Jeff as their go-to expert when it comes to tech.

He calls things as he sees them and pulls no punches when it comes to how tech is changing the way we live and communicate. He'll fill you on the latest tech available and how to make the best choices.

Religion: A Group Discussion by Stratton Lindenmeyer

Stratton Lindenmeyer

People have different thoughts about the meaning and importance of religion in our lives. Let's have an open discussion about the topic. Keep it polite: there will be no proselytizing or pounding on the table!

Stratton Lindenmeyer is a life member and has been a member of GLAAM since 1965. He led the Urban Hike and First Friday Happy Hour for twenty years and has made numerous contributions to past RG's as a committee member and as the leader of such events as: Dr. IQ, the Discussion Group, Spelling Bee, garage sale, etc.

Death Valley Scotty and ‘His’ Castle by Dennis Lynch

Scotty's Castle

Dennis Lynch

Walter Scott, better known as Death Valley Scotty, was a loveable rogue, one of the most colorful and intriguing men in the annuals of the West. A performer in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and later a notorious con man who claimed to have discovered a gold mine in Death Valley, Scotty first swindled Chicago millionaire Arthur Johnson and then, oddly enough, became his life-long friend. When Johnson and his wife built a multimillion dollar ranch in Death Valley's Grapevine Canyon, Scotty let it be known that it really was his castle, built with money from his mine.

Join regular Mensa presenter Dennis Lynch, former Advanced Placement history teacher, Academic Decathlon coach, and 2002 Los Angeles County Teacher-of-the-Year, for his PowerPoint presentation that reveals the fascinating story of the Death Valley Ranch and how it became Scotty's Castle.

Hearing Loss Tips – For Those Who Have It and Those Who Don't by Linnaea Mallette

Linnaea Mallette

Sixteen million Americans live in the mainstream of life with diminished hearing. These are your family, friends, employers, employees and current and potential clients and customers. How do we communicate as, or with, a person who does not have perfect hearing? Linnaea will share her humorous yet gut-honest look at the pros and cons of having imperfect hearing. She'll explain the three biggest myths about hearing loss; the dynamics of hearing we all utilize but should be capitalized on for those with hearing loss, and the CPR for preventing a conversation from dying on the vine.

When Linnaea Mallette was four years old a high fever seared away a large portion of her hearing. She is the recipient of the Oticon Focus on People Award given to twelve individuals nationwide who defy stereotypes about being hearing impaired. Linnaea enjoyed a 33-year career at UCLA where she was featured in UCLA Today, UCLA Spotlight, and honored with a nomination for the Chancellor's True Bruin award for her service to the UCLA research community as a training coordinator. She was a District Governor for Toastmasters International in 2003-04 and received awards for her leadership successes. She currently is the President of the Toastmasters District 52 Speakers Bureau.

Three Things That Are Dragging Down Your Financial Plan and What You Can Do About It by Don Martin, CFP®

Don Martin

Why aren't my efforts paying off?, Is my future as uncontrollable as it seems to be?, Do I have to be an insider to win at this game? Hint: the answer is between your ears. There is a mental game being played and those that have embraced certain key principles are living lives filled with meaning and purpose. Don will share with you insights only known by a fortunate minority. This introduction to Financial Life Planning will be refreshingly different from what you're used to hearing from the financial establishment.

Don is a 1990 graduate of Cal State Northridge with a B.A. Degree in Economics. He holds a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He has over 20 years in the Financial Services Industry. In September 2011, he went over the corporate wall and launched his own private practice.

So You Want to Be a Mensa Millionaire by Art and Angie Mattson

Art and Angie Mattson

Do you want to have fun and show off your smarts by competing in a contest of trivia and not-so-trivial knowledge? Of course you do! (Is that your final answer?) Based on the popular TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, each contestant will answer multiple choice questions of increasing difficulty. Come and watch even if you're too shy to compete on your own — you can participate when a contestant decides to Ask the Audience for help with an answer.

Art and Angie are Orange County Mensa veterans.

Werewolves Games (Kids' Track, Sunday) hosted by Aaron Mertzel

Aaron Mertzel

Who are you? Werewolf? Villager? Triumphant games player? There's only one way to find out … let the games begin!

Aaron Mertzel became a Mensan at the age of 7. Now 10, he enjoys reading, playing on team sports, and playing with his siblings, Bridgette and Trevor. Aaron participates in student council, green team and the birthday club at his school, Sierra Canyon. Aaron has been taking guitar lessons for more than a year and just recently performed in his school performance. When not in school, you'll find Aaron on the baseball field in the springtime or on the soccer field in the Fall.

The Science Behind Climate Change: The Human Dimension by William Newman

William Newman

We will explore why 97% of the climate science community concurs that climate change is real and is almost certainly a consequence of human activity. What is the greenhouse effect and how does it make human production of carbon dioxide the principal cause of the modest degree of warming we have seen? Why are extreme weather events becoming more common and what does this augur for our future?

William I. Newman, Ph.D. is Professor in the Departments of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, and Mathematics and a Faculty Affiliate of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. He has previously held appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the USSR Academy of Sciences, among others. He has published over 100 scientific peer-reviewed scientific papers and three books. His undergraduate teaching focus pertains to natural hazards and global climate change.

The Feng Shui Advantage® by P.K. Odle

P.K. Odle

P.K. will discuss how she uses time-tested principles of Yi Jing Feng Shui; including little known 15° Feng Shui Personal Directions and 21st Century satellite maps to evaluate existing structures, as well as developing projects, for residential and commercial clients worldwide.

P.K. Odle founded The Feng Shui Advantage® in 1997, through which she advises residential and commercial clients how to maximize the existing Feng Shui influences in their environments to increase productivity and prosperity, while improving their health and relationships. P.K. consults on-site or remotely with clients throughout the English speaking world. As the Executive Director of the world-renowned American Feng Shui Institute®, P.K. teaches for the Feng Shui Master chosen to work on the Beijing Olympic sites and most Las Vegas casinos. She is the author of the one-of-a-kind Personal Directions Self-Mastery Toolbox and publisher of the award-winning Feng Shui Advantage Monthly e-newsletter.

The Planetary Society Presents: Seeing Light: Prisms, Lightwaves, and the Sky

Make a planetsphere (sky wheel) that you can keep and take home. Have fun with prisms: Look at different kinds of light through prisms. See how different wavelengths of light combine to make the white light we see every day.

The Planetary Society, the world's largest space-interest group, is dedicated to inspiring the public with the adventure and mystery of space exploration. Through our projects and publications, the society plays a leading role in creating innovative coalitions to engage the public and fuel support for exploring other worlds. We make you part of space exploration. Presented by representatives of The Planetary Society.

Happiness: Your Secret Weapon by Ricky Powell

Ricky Powell

Over 2000 years ago, Aristotle said, Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. In fact, the subject of happiness has been around since the dawn of man. Even so, the subject of happiness has had a sudden resurgence lately, thanks in part to the new science of Positive Psychology.

Come join Ricky Powell, aka The Happiness Guy, as he shares his personal journey with you, demonstrating how this once elusive feeling is actually a choice you can make regardless of your outer circumstances and how making that choice can provide secret benefits such as higher income, stronger relationships, and a longer life.

Ricky Powell has devoted his entire life to the entertainment industry, first as a child actor working with some of Hollywood's biggest legends, and for the past twenty years as an Associate Director and Program Operations Manager for NBC Universal. Today, aside from his career at NBC, Ricky is an author, speaker, coach and consultant for both individuals who want to experience happiness on a daily basis and for companies who want to improve their bottom line with employees who are engaged, productive and thrilled to be on the job.

A New Space Architecture by Chet Richards

Chet Richards

Forty years after the Red Baron flew wooden contraptions over France, aviation had progressed to supersonic jets, jet airliners and Sputnik. Forty years after Apollo our accomplishments in space have been few. We are now stuck in a very expensive rut with little opportunity visible on our horizon.

This presentation offers a way out. It shows how a new kind of space industrialization changes the economics from expensive handcrafted satellites to low cost, mass produced, spacecraft. In this new architecture, people, working in specialized orbital facilities, perform the final assembly of spacecraft on-orbit. The result is predicted to be orders of magnitude reduction in unit cost combined with orders of magnitude increase in space activity. This new architecture opens the door to explosively expanding manned space exploitation.

Before his retirement, Chet Richards was an Engineering Fellow at Raytheon Company. He has half a century's experience in the aerospace industry – mostly working on space projects.

Achieving Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shutdown World by Michael J. Russer

Michael J. Russer

The way men and women are wired literally gets in the way of the deeper emotional and physical intimacy their hearts yearn for. This is the primary reason for sexual dissatisfaction in our culture.

During this session, international speaker, author, and intimacy expert Michael J. Russer will share real-world proven methods to help you instantly short-circuit this wiring. As a result, your relationship will experience emotional and physical intimacy beyond what you thought humanly possible. Michael's engaging and irreverently humorous style will hold you on the edge of your seat as you discover how to immediately shift your experience to extraordinary intimacy.

Do not miss this session on sex and intimacy that is unlike any you have ever experienced before.

Michael J. Russer is a fully impotent prostate cancer survivor who, with his partner, have discovered the secrets to extraordinary emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy. He is also an international speaker, author and the Founder and CEO of Heart Open LLC. He is dedicated to helping men, women and couples world-wide get all dimensions of their intimate life back bigger and better than ever before.

RVC Rap Session by Desiree E. Sagray

Desiree E. Sagray

So … your local member is on the national board of directors! Come on out and find out what is going on at the national level and talk about things that concern you. Alternatively, Desiree will share how this first half year of experiences has been full of surprises as well as discuss expectations for the rest of the term.

Roland, Commander of Charlemagne's Paladins by Sandra Smith

In the year 778 Roland passed from life into legend in the battle of Battle of Roncevaux. Charlemagne, having accepted the peace offering of the last unconquered Muslim king of Spain, traveled through the Pyrenees back to France. Roland, the commander of Charlemagne's Paladins, rightly suspected treachery and insisted on mounting the rear guard. Roland's pride was such that he would have stood forth even if he had known that his twenty thousand knights would be outmatched twenty to one.

For hundreds of years the deeds of Roland were sung at royal banquets, they were shared at peasant feasts, they heartened soldiers facing their own battles at dawn. Join now as we once again share a telling of this grand story of courage, dedication and triumph.

Sandra Smith, a long-time member of GLAAM and current Board Member, brings to life yet another character from her vast knowledge of Greek mythology and history. She is always a well-received presenter on Friday evening. She grew up in the San Fernando Valley and attended Los Angeles Public Schools during the heady days of the space race. She comes from a family of storytellers, so her favorite school activity was Show and Tell. She still loves public speaking, even though now she does a lot more telling and a lot less showing. After amassing an eclectic assortment of academic degrees, (BA in Sociology, MA in Library Science, California State Secondary Teaching Credential) she made a career in Civil Service (ornamented by another degree, an MBA). After decades of diligent drudgery, she retired and took up travel. She has been able to enhance a life-long interest in myths and folklore by visiting sites she only knew from books.

Property, Businesses and Income of Couples — Same or Opposite Gender, Married, Domestic Partners, or Neither by Steven A. Sokol

Michael J. Sokol

Steve's talk will touch on acquisition, finance, titling, capital gain/income taxation, community property, division of property on divorce/dissolution, death, wills, trusts, intestacy, etc. Think back on the first palimony suit with Lee Marvin and Michelle Triola Marvin. Stump the Lawyer Q&A to follow.

Steve is an attorney in Calabasas. He handles sophisticated transactional matters with a heavy emphasis on real estate, energy, and business transactions, as well as estates, trusts, civil litigation, and other matters. Steve has authored a number of publications, has written and teaches classes for real estate professionals, and has served as an expert witness and consultant. More information is at

Songs and Games hosted by Alan Stillson

Alan Stillson

Sing-Along: An hour of fun group singing from some of the best pages of our Folksong SIG songbook. Bring your own acoustical instrument if you have one with you. One of life's few certainties is that this program is always a hoot. Alan Stillson is the leader of the GLAAM Folksong SIG.

Typomania, An Original Interactive Word Game: Alan Stillson is author or co-author of ten puzzle books, including seven official American Mensa titles. Here's a chance to enjoy an original interactive word games by finding phrases where each word contains one typo. It's fast moving and easy to play — no tiles, no boards. You can find Mr. Stillson's puzzle books and many sample puzzles by clicking onto

Name That Tune: This long-standing RG tradition will be played once more. How quickly can you associate a few notes with the title of a song you haven't heard in xxx years? The host is Alan Stillson, leader of the GLAAM Folksong SIG.

Beatnik Coffeehouse: The Beatnik Coffeehouse is back this year! It's open mike and everybody is welcome to sing their favorite song, read a poem, or tell a joke. No guitar or keyboard? No problem, both instruments will be there and I'll be happy to try to provide live accompaniment to anyone who wants it. Just want to listen? That's fine, too. Relive the memories of Greenwich Village in the 1950s and 1960s.

Alan Stillson has been a Mensa member since 1987. He's the puzzle editor of L.A. Mentary and leads the Folksong SIG and the writers group. Alan is an adjunct mathematics professor at four L.A.-area colleges and an author. He has ten published puzzle books has two produced musical shows. His website is and his email address is

Reverse Mortgages by Candy M. Stone Watson

Candy M. Stone Watson

Reverse Mortgages allow homeowners age 62 and older to capitalize on the equity they've built in their homes and create a better quality of life and peace of mind.

I have been working in the Mortgage industry since 2005 and I have a passion for assisting seniors change their lives by achieving financial independence and peace of mind with a Reverse Mortgage.

Speaking to Lead: Crucial Communication Skills that Make the Difference by Tamala Takahashi

Tamala Takahashi

Those who make a difference in the world do so because they communicate effectively. Whether it be by interpersonal negotiations or public presentations, how we communicate our ideas determines the impact we have on our audience. What we say and how we say it can be the deciding factor in whether we sell an idea, recruit someone on our team, or even get elected to office. In this session, we will explore the importance of communication in leadership, and in particular, how Toastmasters International's program can help us improve our communication skills. We will also discuss three techniques that you can take home immediately and make a difference.

Tamala Takahashi, DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) is the current Lieutenant Governor of Education and Training for District 52 Toastmasters. She received the 2011-2012 Area Governor of the Year award and is the founder of Toastmasters for Leaders, an advanced leadership club in Toastmasters. She has been president of three clubs and has given over 100 presentations and workshops in her seven years as a Toastmaster. Tamala Takahashi speaks regularly about diplomacy, S.A.F.E. feedback, and leadership. She is also a community organizer, and has been president of two non-profits and founded a local non-profit in her community. She has a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A. in French. Tamala is also the author of two books on secular homeschooling and is a knitting designer.

Rise and Fall of Businesses and Industries by Amit Tripathi

Amit Tripathi

Are there certain attributes to success and failure of an enterprise? We'll examine lifecycles of some of the leading businesses, and evaluate impact of structure, process, innovation, people, and decision making. We'll further review why some of these organizations can be turned around successfully while others fail to survive.

Amit Tripathi has over 25 years of Fortune 500 management experience with business operations in 100+ countries. He is a member of Mensa and Caltech-MIT Forum, has published several technical papers, and holds a United States patent.

How the Pattern of Intentionality Affects the Multiple Bottom Line by Cheryl Valk

Cheryl Valk

When the pattern of intentionality operates optimally, better decisions lead to the long-term desired outcomes. This pattern aligns your intended goals with your implemented plans. Clarity, integrity, and honor guide and develop how well your intentions create your success. Discovering the full resources within those involved makes a difference to the bottom line. Any perception of individual limitation can transform into a greater awareness of the potential as a group working towards an established goal. This pattern is very supportive during times of disruption and change. Discover how to enhance this pattern and improve your results.

Cheryl Valk has made valuable contributions to medical research, corporate management, entrepreneurial enterprises, and human development work. She is Dr. Paul R. Scheele's business partner and the Vice-President of Scheele Learning Systems, a company committed to transforming how learning occurs in organizations. Cheryl is interested in how savvy thinking, communications, and actions can generate more profitability, sustainability, justice, and fulfillment. Cheryl's book about the patterns of profitability will be published this coming summer. Her mission is to contribute to creating a world that works better for more of humanity as soon as possible.

The Media: Friend or Foe? You Get to Decide! by Lance Webster

Lance Webster

Talking to the media can be an opening to invaluable publicity. It can also destroy you. This enlightening session explores how media interviews work — from both the perspective of the interviewer and the interviewee. Learn to effectively prepare for a media interview. Discover tricks and traps to watch for and how to deal with them. Find out what to do and what to avoid in media interviews. See how you can be ready for unique opportunities that arise in most interviews – if you are prepared for them. Don't let them get you. Learn how to remain in charge.

Lance Webster has been a Life Coach and Media Trainer for more than a decade. As such he has worked with numerous corporate and association management executives, celebrities, actors, sports figures, authors and more to prepare them for interviews by members of the media — television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and the Internet. A University of Maryland graduate with majors in English and Speech Communication, he has spent more than 40 years in broadcast advertising, promotion and publicity, including the PBS television network and association management in the television, entertainment and environmental fields.