Monday, April 29, 2013

Recent Press Coverage of the Sacramento Speakers Series

Recently, the Sacramento Speakers Series has been featured in a number of articles.  The following links are 2 of the most recent articles. Enjoy!

Current Patrons:  Do not forget to renew your subscriptions between now and May 10 to guarantee your seats for next season.

Friday, April 5, 2013

A Message from the Managing Principal: "Big Names are Coming"



Dear Subscriber,                          
I’m happy to announce that the 2013-2014 lineup is in place.    As I’ve said before, the process of putting together a series of distinguished speakers is like trying to fit puzzle pieces together as we choose from among the most exciting BIG NAMES with our subscribers in mind.   We are now considered one of the top Series in the country, and I am thrilled to announce that once again we have assembled a diverse group of fascinating individuals that will make another great season. 

As a subscriber, you know that the new season reflects the expressed interests of our patrons.  Our lineup this year includes interesting and influential speakers on a wide range of topical issues: the uses and abuses of modern technology;  the protection of the environment; the role of the military in today’s world; integrative medicine; managing crises in the age of the perpetual 24/7 news cycle; and the simple enjoyment of delicious food. The season kicks off on October 1, 2013 with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, the legendary creative genius who dropped out of college to invent the personal computer, an invention that, for better or worse, has changed all of our lives.  Woz will share with us his passion for bringing “hands on” learning and a focus on creativity to schools, and for protecting free speech, privacy and innovation in the digital age. 

Next up, on November 12, 2013, we are privileged to host former vice-president and current climate change advocate Al Gore.  After a long and fruitful political career in Washington, Gore turned his considerable energy and talents to protecting the environment.  His film An Inconvenient Truth garnered an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize.  He now spends most of his time working with The Climate Reality Project, the non-profit company he founded, devoted to removing the doubt about climate change and encouraging people to demand solutions to the climate crisis.      

To start the New Year, on January 7, 2014, Admiral Mike Mullen, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will join us.  Having commanded three ships and served in Navy leadership positions ashore, Admiral Mullen served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs under two Presidents, Bush and Obama, from 2007 to 2011, and is familiar with the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq.  While serving, he expressed his support for ending Clinton’s policy of “don’t ask don’t tell,” and he is outspoken about the importance of diplomacy and economics to national security.

 On January 21, 2014, Dr. Andrew Weil, a pioneer in the fields of health, wellness, and integrative medicine, will be with us.  Weil is founder, professor and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.  His best-selling books, website, newsletters, PBS specials, and frequent appearances on Today and The Dr. Oz Show have inspired people to lead healthier and happier lives.

 Next, on February 18, 2014, Judy Smith will bring her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, and legal and political acumen to Sacramento.  Smith honed her skills through first-hand experience as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington D.C. and as Deputy Press Secretary to President George H. W. Bush.  Best known for her crisis management advice to a host of high profile clients, Smith’s resume helped inspire the prime-time hit drama, Scandal.    

The season will end on April 1, 2014, with every cook’s favorite: Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa!  Ina is a self-taught cook who, while working as an analyst in the White House, decided she needed to do something more creative—and went from gourmet food store owner/operator to best-selling cookbook author to her own Food Network tv show—and now brings her talent of creating delicious food with style to our community in Sacramento.      Because of the fine quality and variety of these speakers, we again expect the series to sell out quickly. As a current subscriber YOU have the first opportunity to join us next season, before subscriptions go on sale to the public! Renew by May 10, 2013, and you:·         

Keep the same seats next season--or be the first in line for upgrading or changing your seat;
·         Enjoy payment options: pay in full or by payment plan;
·         Can win an opportunity to meet one of our BIG NAMES.

We hope you’ll act by May 10 to take advantage of the subscriber renewal opportunity.  I look forward to seeing you at the Speakers Series.


Mitchell S. Ostwald
Managing Principal

Ballard Blows the Audience Away with Tales of Deep-Sea Exploration

Sacramento Speakers Series Rounds out This Year’s Season with the Man Who Discovered the Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard on Tuesday, April 2nd

The Sacramento Speakers Series welcomed one of the world’s most accomplished and well known deep-sea explorers, Dr. Robert Ballard to Sacramento as he spoke at the Community Center Theater on Tuesday, April 2nd.  The six-part lecture series showcases contemporary insights from some of today’s most influential figures in a candid and relaxed setting.  Dr. Ballard is probably best known for his discovery of the RMS Titanic wreckage in 1985.

Dr. Ballard impressed the audience by saying that his mission is to go where no one has gone before…on planet Earth.  Ballard encouraged the exploration of our oceans as he believes our planet’s future to be here on Earth, not in space.  This is evident through his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents near the Galapagos Islands in 1977, the German battleship Bismarck in 1989, the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in 1998 and the wreckage of John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 in 2002.    

In addition to his field work, Dr. Ballard is also an educator.  He is a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and has pioneered distance learning in American classrooms and around the world with the JASON Project.  The JASON Project is an award-winning program that provides educational materials, courses and workshops to more than 1 million students and 25,000 teachers annually.  The program is designed to motivate and inspire students to pursue interests and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 
Dr. Robert Ballard’s talk is sure to inspire those in attendance through his natural storytelling ability and animated presentation skills.

For more information about the Sacramento Speakers Series and the 2013-2014 Season visit them online at

Leakey Educates the Sacramento Speakers Crowd

Paleontologist, conservationist, educator and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Louise Leakey spoke to a sold-out crowd of Sacramento Speakers Series patrons Wednesday, February 27, 2013.  She spoke passionately about her work in the field as well as the future of her research.

Leakey is the youngest member of the famous Leakey family of fossil hunters in East Africa. With an adventurous spirit and unwavering focus on the advancement and understanding of human origins, she has spent much of her life leading expeditions into the remote badlands of northern Kenya. From these groundbreaking forays, Dr. Leakey and her team have yielded some of our deepest insights into what it is that makes us human.

Her team, The Koobi Fora Research Project, has made discoveries that have shaped modern thinking on the journey of humanity over the past 4 million years. One of the most publicized discoveries, Kenyanthropus platyops, challenged the earlier theories on the path of human evolution. Whether the fossil can be classified as a new genus, separate species, or unique looking individual is still up for debate.

From her earliest childhood spent among the nomadic desert people of Lake Turkana, Leakey has developed a deep attachment to the wildlife and cultural heritage of northern Kenya. Today she draws on her scientific background in human origins to work with the local communities in building a future for this region in a dramatically changing world.

Leakey co-directs the state of the art research center in the Turkana Basin where the rigorous process of search, excavation, and paleoecological and geological analysis make it one of the most comprehensive sources of information regarding the origins and evolution of humans.

Simultaneously, Dr. Leakey's work has allowed her to gain a unique perspective on the protection of the desert environment in Africa. Dr. Leakey also works with wildlife authorities to preserve the unique flora and fauna of Kenya's remotest National Park and World Heritage Site. Additionally, she is involved with various community projects near the Ethiopian border, in an effort to improve the welfare of people on the National Park boundaries.

She was recently selected to participate in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The aims of the summit revolve around better understanding the problems and risks the world faces in the future.