Aug 122015
 

Candidates for the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Charlottesville City Council gave their views on many of the issues and priorities for the County and City.

City of Charlottesville candidates speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. The event was moderated by WINA’s Chris Callahan.


Albemarle County candidates speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

The candidates spoke at the Wednesday, August 12, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by senior reporter for 1070 WINA News Radio Chris Callahan. Chris has been with the station for 41 years and was honored in 2014 by the Associated Press Broadcasters for the Best News Operation of the Year.

Jun 122015
 

The officers of the Charlottesville Area League of Women Voters: Kerin Yates, Gerry Yemen and Patricia Hurst, discuss the mission of the League of Women Voters, its history and the positions adopted by the organization.

From left to right: Gerry Yemen, Kerin Yates and Pat Hurst speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Kerin Yates has served as president of the LWV of the Charlottesville Area since July 2012. She is a 1958 graduate of Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA., and was a research chemist at NIH for 17 years and was business manager for a medical company in Pittsburgh for 15 years. Kerin is the treasurer of OneVirginia2021 Foundation and volunteers as a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels. Kerin serves as an election official for the County of Albemarle and has been a resident of Albemarle County for eight years. She is married to Professor John T. Yates, Jr. They have two sons and six grandchildren.

Gerry Yemen is the secretary of the LWV of the Charlottesville Area and is a senior researcher with the Darden Graduate School of Business. With any number of organizations, associations, and volunteer opportunities available, why would anyone choose to join the LWV? Gerry Yemen, who became a member shortly following graduate school, discussed what attracted her, why she stays with the organization, and offered her thoughts on how the league’s future relevance.

Patricia Hurst is the treasurer of the LWV and has been a member of the Charlottesville Area Chapter for six years. During this time she has served as president, treasurer, and secretary for the local league. She retired from a 40-year career in computer software engineering which began at NASA Langley in Virginia and ended with the SBA in Washington D.C. In between she worked for various companies in California, Georgia, New York, and London. As an instructor in software engineering, she traveled extensively in the US and other countries. For the past fourteen years, she has owned and actively managed multifamily properties. Pat has two daughters who live in upstate New York and five grandchildren.

The officers spoke at the Wednesday, June 10, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Board Member Jeff Gould.

May 142015
 

Christian Cotz speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Christian Cotz is the director of education and visitor engagement at James Madison’s Montpelier, and has been with the Foundation for fifteen years. He is responsible for the creation, implementation, and oversight of all Montpelier guided tours, hands-on experiences, student programs, interpretive signage and many exhibits. Listen as Mr. Cotz tells the story of Montpelier and it’s most famous resident, President James Madison.

Mr. Cotz spoke at the Wednesday, May 13, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President John McCauley.

Apr 102015
 

Delegates Rob Bell, and David Toscano provided their perspectives on the issues that came before the 2015 legislature. The delegates spoke at the Wednesday, April 8, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV member Terry Cooper.

Rob Bell (left) and David Toscano speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.
Robert Bell

Robert Bell (R) – 58th District: An honors graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Law School, Rob served as a state prosecutor for five years. He prosecuted over 2,400 cases, working with the police and crime victims to bring criminals to justice.

In the Virginia General Assembly, Rob has written laws that crack down on drunk driving. As a result, MADD (Virginia) named him the 2005 Outstanding Legislator. He is also interested in school safety. In recent years, he has written laws to ban criminal sex offenders from school property during school hours and to require additional background checks on school personnel. In 2008, Rob helped overhaul Virginia’s mental health commitment laws in light of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. And, in 2009, Rob received the Act, Honor, Hope award from the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance to recognize his work in the Virginia General Assembly.

An Eagle Scout, Rob was an active volunteer with the Boy Scouts and with the public schools prior to his election in 2001. Rob’s wife, Jessica, is a schoolteacher. She is currently staying home to raise their children, Robbie and Evie. The Bells live in Albemarle County and are members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Rob understands that in tough economic times everyone – business, communities, government – needs to pitch in to create and protect Virginia jobs. That’s why Rob has fought to preserve and promote Virginia’s #1 business-friendly ranking. This helps Virginia’s small businesses to expand and encourages new companies to move here.

In response to the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, Rob was chosen to lead a special Virginia House of Delegates subcommittee charged with reforming Virginia’s mental health commitment laws. The subcommittee’s goals were to ensure that a similar tragedy would not happen again and to protect the ability of Virginians to voluntarily seek care for themselves. In 2008, as a result of the subcommittee’s work, Virginia saw the most sweeping reforms of mental health commitment laws in 30 years.

Rob and Jessica’s son Robbie attends public school. Jessica is a high school English teacher who is currently taking time off to raise Robbie and Evie. As delegate, Rob regularly visits our schools to talk with students. He has taught more than 1,000 students about civics and how laws are made. Rob has also sponsored local students as pages in the Virginia General Assembly and others have served as interns in his legislative office.

Rob is a champion for our communities against crime. He has led an all-out assault against drunk driving and has fought to protect our families from sex offenders. Rob has served on the Virginia Crime Commission since 2003 and is currently chairman.

David Toscano

David Toscano (D) – 57th District: David Toscano is serving his third term in the Virginia General Assembly, representing the 57th District of the House of Delegates, where he serves on the Courts of Justice; Transportation; and Science & Technology committees. David also serves on the Disability Commission and has served on the special Joint Subcommittee to Study Land Use Tools in the Commonwealth and the Joint Committee to study Math, Science, and Engineering. He is also a member of the United Way Board and the Chamber of Commerce.

David, his wife Nancy A. Tramontin, and son Matthew live in Charlottesville. David is a practicing attorney and an active volunteer for many community-based organizations.

David is an attorney with Buck, Toscano & Tereskerz, Ltd., and specializes in family law, real estate transactions, and estate planning.

David’s priorities are education, energy, and the environment. He fights for education funding, against teacher pay freezes, and to protect VRS and retirement benefits. He pushes the cause of renewable energy, and stood against those who deny the reality of climate change. He opposes predatory lending in its various forms. He argues for multifaceted transportation programs that include roads, rail, and public transit. He opposes cuts to services for the poor and disabled, defends a woman’s right to choose, and advances reforms in foster care and adoption, so that all children will have the opportunity to live productive lives in family settings free from abuse and neglect.

The Virginia League of Conservation Voters has named David a “Legislative Hero” four times for his work on environmental issues.

David was born in Syracuse, New York, the oldest of five children. He received a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, a Ph.D. from Boston College, and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He has taught politics and sociology at various colleges and universities, including Boston College, University of Maryland (European Division), PVCC, University of Virginia, and James Madison University. He recently taught for the University of Virginia as part of its 14-week Semester at Sea program.

David served on the Charlottesville City Council from 1990 to 2002 and as Mayor 1994-96. David is a resident of the City of Charlottesville, where he lives with his wife, Nancy A. Tramontin, and their son, Matthew.

Mar 122015
 

Tim Hulbert and Tom Olivier present very different views as to the direction our community should take. Listen as they discuss the likely consequences of their positions on the physical environment, taxpayers, local businesses and job seekers.

Grant Tate, Tom Olivier and Tim Hulbert Speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Tim Hulbert has been president and CEO of the Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce since March 2001. The Charlottesville Regional Chamber has more than 1,100 members and affiliates that together employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region. Their estimated annual payrolls exceed $1.75 billion. Tim is a native of upstate New York and a graduate of Manhattan College. Prior to coming to the Charlottesville Regional Chamber, he held a similar position with the Rensselaer County, New York Regional Chamber of Commerce. He also held a variety of positions in New York state government, including in the transportation field.

Tom Olivier currently is president of Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population (ASAP). He grew up in New Orleans and moved to Albemarle County in 1981. Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Tulane University and a Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Duke University. Tom has done genetics research on mammalian populations in Africa, Australia and the Caribbean. He is a member of Albemarle County’s Natural Heritage Committee and past chair of the Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club. Tom and his wife, Wren, now raise sheep on their farm in Albemarle County, Virginia.

The debate took place at the Wednesday, March 11, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by CEO and Managing Partner of the bridge ltd, Grant Tate. SSV President Bob McGrath introduced the program.

Feb 112015
 

Billie Campbell speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesvile.

Over ten years have passed since the groundbreaking 2020 Plan: Aging in Community was finalized. Action 2020 is an initiative to create a challenging, but doable, 5-year action plan to achieve the goals of the 2020 Plan.

Billie Campbell is the senior program manager for the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission (TJPDC) and executive director of TJPDC Corporation, TJPDC’s companion nonprofit. She has been with the TJPDC since 1999, when she changed careers from structural engineering. She has a wide-ranging role at the TJPDC, managing a variety of projects, heading TJPDC’s housing program, and carrying out management and administrative functions for the regional agency. She has been actively involved in efforts to make our region age-friendly. She has been a leader in the Livable for a Lifetime (L4L) initiative since its inception in 2006 to promote amenities for ease, comfort and hospitality in homes and communities, and is a member of the Chamber’s Aging in Place Business Round Table. She holds a Master of Public Administration from George Mason University.

Ms. Campbell spoke at the Wednesday, February 11, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Past President Sue Liberman.

Jan 162015
 

Dr. Grant Tate speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

In this podcast, you’ll learn how to identify and overcome the gaps between different points of view in public and private discourse. The session was facilitated by Dr. Grant Tate, CEO/Managing Partner of the bridge ltd, a Charlottesville consulting company that helps leaders make difficult decisions. He is the founder of three small companies and was co-founder of the New Mexico Technical Innovation Center and the Connecticut Venture Center, organizations formed to help formulate and grow entrepreneurial companies. Before starting the bridge ltd, Grant was an executive at IBM where he led a software development lab, introduced new products and managed reorganization of a hi-tech division.

Dr. Tate spoke at the Wednesday, January 14, 2015 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Board Member Terry Cooper.

Nov 162014
 


Allen Lynch speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

According to Allen Lynch, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is the byproduct of two vectors of policy that predate Vladimir Putin’s rise to power in the Kremlin: (A) The desire of Moscow’s ruling elites that Russia be the dominant power throughout the territories of the former Soviet Union; and (B) NATO expansion. But Putin’s policy toward Ukraine not only reflects these political tendencies but also lessons that he learned during his family and professional socialization. These are: (C) Vacuums of power will always be filled; fill them yourself before others do, and (D) But in the process, be wary of over-extension, a lesson that Putin derives from his mastery of Judo, in which sport he attained advanced black belt status.

Allen Lynch, is the current professor of international relations and Russian studies at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, and was director of research at UVa’s Center for International Studies (2010-2012) and was director of the University’s Center for Russian and East European Studies (1993-2008), raising $1.5 million for graduate fellowships in Russian and East European Studies.

Mr Lynch has a PhD in Political Science from Columbia University (1984) and a BA in History from the State University of New York Stony Brook (1977) where he was also the All-American kicker/punter in 1975 in the 80-team National Club Sports Association.

He has held positions at the Harriman Institute for Advanced Study of the Soviet Union, Institute for East-West Security Studies (New York City), Feris Foundation of America, and is currently co-treasurer for the Friends of the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a Visiting Professor at the Free University of Berlin, East China Normal University (Shanghai), the Graduate School for Social Science (Paris), and the Radio Free Europe Research Institute (Munich). He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Russian Research Center, Harvard University, University of Lyon, France, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland (2014).

Mr Lynch’s publications include Vladimir Putin and Russian Statecraft, translated into Chinese; How Russia is Not Ruled; Does Russia Have a Democratic Future?; Europe from the Balkans to the Urals co-authored with Reneo Lukic; The Cold War Is Over Again; The Soviet Study of International Relations. He has also published in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and various journals in North America, Europe, Russia and China.

He has received the Marshall D. Shulman Award for Best Book by the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and Teaching Awards from the University of Virginia and the American Political Science Association.

Mr. Lynch has consulted for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the FBI Academy, the U.S. Air Force’s Special Service School, the U.S. On-Site Inspection Agency, the U.S. Army’s National Grounds Intelligence Center, and the Kettering Foundation.

He speaks Russian, French and Italian and reads in German, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish. He is married to the former Tullia Maffei. They have one son (Thomas), who is now working in Washington, D.C.

Allen Lynch spoke at the Wednesday, November 12, 2014 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV President Robert McGrath.

Oct 082014
 

Geoffrey Skelley speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville Wednesday.

November is quickly approaching and control of Congress is up for grabs. What will be the state of play in the U.S. Senate and House as well as gubernatorial races? The real drama in this cycle will be the battle for control of the Senate, where Republicans need to win a net gain of six seats to win a majority in Congress’ upper chamber.

Geoffrey Skelley joined the staff of the Center for Politics in November 2011. Working as a political analyst, Skelley is the associate editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the Center’s weekly political newsletter. He also serves as the center’s media relations coordinator, helping manage its communications.

A native of Harrisonburg, VA, Skelley received an M.A. in Political Science (with a focus on the European Union) from James Madison University in 2011, and is a graduate of the University of Virginia, receiving a B.A. in History in 2009.

Mr. Skelley spoke at the Wednesday, October 8, 2014 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV President Robert McGrath.

Sep 102014
 

Dalhia Lithwick speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Dahlia Lithwick recaps the highlights of the last Supreme Court term and gives a brief preview of the term to come.

Dahlia Lithwick is a senior editor at Slate Magazine, and in that capacity, writes the “Supreme Court Dispatches” and “Jurisprudence” columns. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Commentary, among other places. She won a 2013 National Magazine Award for her columns on the Affordable Care Act. She has been twice awarded an Online Journalism Award for her legal commentary and was the first online journalist invited to be on the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. Ms. Lithwick has testified before Congress about access to justice in the era of the Roberts Court. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, The Colbert Report, and is a frequent guest on The Rachel Maddow Show. Ms. Lithwick earned her BA from Yale University and her JD degree from Stanford. She is currently working on a book about the four women justices of the United States Supreme Court.

Ms. Lithwick spoke at the Wednesday, September 10, 2014 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV board member Grace Zisk.

Aug 142014
 

Andrew Wyndham speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Andrew Wyndham is the director of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Media Programs and creator and executive producer of the national weekly public radio program, BackStory with the American History Guys. He also executive produces With Good Reason—a public radio program that features teachers and scholars from Virginia’s public colleges and universities. In this podcast, he talks about the role of the humanities in society.

The coordinating administrator and fund-raiser for BackStory, Mr. Wyndham is responsible for hiring and for personnel and programming oversight and evaluation; proposal writing in support of the project; distribution and promotion; and communication with media consultants, press, and cooperating organizations and agencies. He works to guide the development of the program, with an eye to broad issues of mission and accessibility. With a national consultant, he coordinates BackStory’s promotion to stations, and he works with staff to support the development of digital strategies. He also manages BackStory’s live programming and other special events.

Andrew developed and served as project director for the 2003 Re-Imagining Ireland international conference and festival, which featured more than 130 scholars, journalists, politicians, artists, and citizen activists from Ireland. This program, which was opened by then-President Mary McAleese of Ireland, won the 2004 Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize, awarded by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. Andrew also executive-produced and directed the nationally and internationally broadcast, one-hour Re- Imagining Ireland video documentary and edited Re-Imagining Ireland, a collection of essays published in 2006 by the University of Virginia Press.

Mr. Wyndham also conceived and organized the 1996 international conference and festival, Irish Film: A Mirror Up to Culture, which was opened by Ireland’s Minister for Arts and Culture, Michael D. Higgins (now President of Ireland) and featured 40 Irish filmmakers, writers, and scholars. For fourteen years, he coordinated the Southern Humanities Media Fund, which supported outstanding documentary films and radio programs on the Southern U.S. He earned a B.A. degree with honors at Washington and Lee University and an M.A. in English from the University of Virginia, where he also pursued doctoral studies.

Born in England of Polish-Irish parents, he lived in Ireland from the age of five, coming to the U.S. and Virginia when he was thirteen.

Mr. Wyndham spoke at the Wednesday, August 13, 2014 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV Vice President John McCauley.

Jun 142014
 

The work of Congress has largely ground to a halt. It seems to be unable to address the problems and opportunities we face in a meaningful way. That same gridlock seems to be invading our state legislature more and more. Leigh Middleditch and Terry Cooper are part of a group that’s trying to do something about that. OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting, is a nonpartisan group that believes that a major cause of our legislative gridlock is partisan gerrymandering, the drawing of legislative districts’ lines for the purpose of partisan advantage.

OneVirginia2021 is seeking to amend Virginia’s Constitution to take that power away from the legislators and delegate it to an independent, nonpartisan commission of Virginia non-politicians who will have to draw the district maps in strict compliance with common sense, nonpartisan standards — like respect for city, county and voting precinct boundaries, compactness and contiguity.

Leigh Middleditch (Left) and Terry Cooper speaking at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

 

Terry Cooper

Terry Cooper does political research, principally opposition research for Republican candidates. He is a graduate of Episcopal High School, Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was research editor of the Virginia Law Review, a member of the National Moot Court Team and elected to the Order of the Coif, the law-school equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa. He practiced law with the Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell and held executive positions with three Fortune 500 companies before founding his firm, Terry Cooper Political Research, in 1982. Terry has taught opposition research at the Republican National Committee’s Campaign Management Colleges, at American University’s Campaign Management Institute, at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, at the University of Florida and at training programs sponsored by the state Republican parties of Virginia, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Washington State.

Leigh Middleditch

Leigh Middleditch is a vice president with McGuireWoods Consulting where his practice is now concentrated in the nongovernmental and exempt organizations fields. Leigh has previously served on the Board of Visitors and as the legal adviser to UVa and was a founder of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. He also held the position of university lecturer in the Law and Darden Graduate Business Schools and is co-author of Virginia Civil Procedure. Leigh has been chair of the University’s Health Services Foundation; Virginia Health Care Foundation; Charlottesville-Albemarle Chamber of Commerce; Virginia Chamber of Commerce; Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, and a member of the ABA Board of Governors. He has also served as a director of the United States Chamber of Commerce; trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello); and University of Virginia Law Association. He currently is on the Board of the Montpelier Foundation; the U.Va. White Burkett Miller Council and Foundation for the Study of the Presidency; and is a Trustee of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation. Leigh served on active duty with the United States Navy from 1951-1954 and retired as a Captain USNR.

Middleditch and Cooper spoke at the Wednesday, June 11, 2014 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at the Senior Center in Charlottesville. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by SSV President Bob McGrath.