Madeline Pinsky Walker, RG Chair
A Mensa member since 1975 and a Life member, I jumped in as Gifted Youth Coordinator when I got my son into Mensa. I have served as Coastal Area Rep and Special Events Coordinator. My involvement in RGs has included running a Kids Track on RG Sunday, finding speakers, co-chairing 2010-2014 with Desiree Elliott and in 2015 with Jay Friedlander. Desiree and Jay are still key players in making the RG come together. I applaud the hard work and dedication of all the committee members who have created a very amazing RG for your enjoyment.
Desiree Elliott, Co-Chair and Hospitality Chair
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 ten 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 and now serving on the National Board of Directors allows me to give back to this wonderful organization and some of the truly unique and exceptional people I have met here. I will be at the Registration Table or in Hospitality for most of the RG this year — so feel free to stop by and talk to me about GLAAM, Region 9, or Mensa in general!
Jay Friedlander, Co-Chair and Games
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 currently serves as GLAAM's Ombudsman.
Jana Bickel, Committee Member
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.
Jonathan Elliott, Treasurer and Pub Crawl Coordinator
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 nine years, Executive Vice-Chair for six years, ELAC Area Representative for nine years, Calendar Editor for five years, host of the monthly ELAC gaming event for seven years, SIG Coordinator for two years, chapter Chairman for two brief stints, and Chair of the Finance Committee for a year. He also held a couple of offices at the national level of Mensa, and in 2016 received a national Certificate of Appreciation for his contributions. Much 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. This is his 4th time serving as RG Treasurer, he is now in his second tenure as the general Treasurer of the chapter, and he also heads up the Awards and Bylaws Committees, in all of which roles he is actively soliciting successors.
Nikki Frey, Graphics and Marketing
I joined Mensa over 20 years ago. I’ve been on the Board, RG committees, and was editor of Lament for a while. While on the Board, I cooked for the parties, and even arranged for a party at the Carousel Building on the Santa Monica Pier. In 1996, I won the international art contest held in connection with Mensa’s 50th birthday. My drawing was on Mensa magazine covers all over the world!
Joyce Hamilton, Speaker Shepherd Coordinator
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.
Vickey Kalambakal, Registrar
Vickey joined Mensa often, at least once in each of the last four decades, for a year at a time. As of 2017, though, she's maintained her membership for an unprecedented six consecutive years. She's also the coordinator of the South Bay Sunday Salon, and the Co-Editor (with Karen Star) of L.A. Mentary. Vickey went to UCLA for her BA, then to Arizona State for an MA in American History. Her books, published under the easier-to-pronounce name of Vickey Kall, include The Boomer Book of Christmas Memories, a collection of Baby Boomer holiday trivia.
Dante A. Bacani, Speaker Shepherd and More
Dante A. Bacani was born & raised in Youngstown, OH. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where organic chemistry proved to be the undoing of dreams to follow his father's into the practice of medicine; instead, he earned a B.A. in English Language & Literature, which proved a fortuitous choice as Dante now finds that he uses English almost every day. After graduation, Dante remained in Chicago, where he worked in various capacities within the publishing, broadcasting, event planning, web consulting, and marketing industries. He joined Mensa in the early 1990s and has been an on-again, off-again member ever since. In late 2015, he renewed his membership in advance of a relocation to Los Angeles as a way to make acquaintances and friends in his new hometown. Dante is pursuing a long-standing desire to work as a screenwriter and eventually wants to work his way up the food chain to producer / showrunner status.
Lou Carter Keay (LOU*LOU), Speaker Shepherd
Lou Carter Keay (LOU*LOU) is a life member of Mensa and the international president of Intertel, the society for people with an IQ in the top 1%. She is retired after many years at Columbia Five-Star International Television, and is still a working actress and a writer.
Andrea Nolan, Committee Member
Andrea came to the United States from England in January 1960 and made her way back to Mensa in December 2012. She joined the GLAAM Board of Directors as a Delegate in May 2013 and is excited about this year's RG. Andrea felt so welcome at the 2013 RG and encourages the Mensans she knows to attend the RG.
Jerilyn Phippeny, Director of Programming, Entertainment Chair, and Pub Crawl
Jerilyn Phippeny joined Mensa last year and became a board member for the San Fernando Valley region almost immediately. She also serves as GLAAM's social media coordinator. When she's not hosting happy hours and games nights for Mensans, or uploading events to the Facebook page, she can be found on stage or screen as an actress; at the beach; or reading in her room with her pet rabbit, Esther Bunny.
Lee Stillman, Hospitality Assistant
After taking the test on a dare, Lee was firmly convinced of his brilliance (and his career as an underachiever) when he was admitted into Mensa in 2011. A single father of two teenage boys (with the rapidly graying hair that goes along with it), Lee spends what little free time he has writing songs and watching his fantasy football teams go down in flames. (Curse you, CJ Spiller!). He can occasionally be found lurking in the GenX forums. He first attended the RG in 2013, and has the embarrassing photo evidence to prove it.
Lee is a native Angeleno and has lived in the area for almost all of his life. Remarkably, the city still stands.
Doug Walker, Background Technician
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: A/V set-up, driver for pub crawls and van tours, dash to the store for supplies, carry, clean, fix and schlep wherever and whenever needed. His first wife was a Mensan (that bond didn't last), and his second wife is also a Mensan (that bond has lasted 31 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 Assistant
Michael joined Mensa in 2003 and became active in GLAAM shortly afterwards. He hosted the ELAC Gaming and Party for years and continues his involvement as the ELAC Secretary. He started hosting dining events on a regular basis with an emphasis on Asian cuisine and fine dining. He has previously organized Games at the RG and presented a variety of tasting programs. His familiarity with authentic Asian food will be a significant contribution this year.