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Robert-Edsel-headshotThe Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
Robert Edsel
October 15, 2014 -10:30 a.m. William Saroyan Theatre

Robert Edsel will share the fascinating true story of the greatest treasure hunt in recent history – a World War II platoon, tasked by Franklin D. Roosevelt to go into Germany to rescue masterpieces of art from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. The unlikely group that carried out this task came to be called the Monuments Men.

Edsel wrote the best-selling books The Monuments Men and Rescuing da Vinci and is co-producer of the award-winning documentary film The Rape of Europa. He is also the founder and president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art which received a 2007 National Humanities Medal.

This fascinating story was documented in a recent film, directed by and starring George Clooney.

Billy-BeaneMoneyball: Lessons for Life and Business from Baseball's Best General Manager
Billy Beane
November 4, 2014, 7:30 p.m. - Tower Theatre

Billy Beane is considered one of the most progressive baseball executives in the game today. Named General Manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1997, Beane transformed the team into one of professional baseball's most consistent winners by adopting a strategy that has come to be known as "Moneyball."

Moneyball focused on analytical data-intensive statistics to assemble a competitive team despite Oakland's disadvantaged revenue situation. This strategy has been adopted by organizations of all sizes, across all industries, as a way to efficiently and profitably manage assets and resources.

Beane's risky move, to upend the way things had always been done to try something new, was the basis for Michael Lewis' 2004 best-selling book and a 2011 motion picture starring Brad Pitt.

Greenfield-JerryIce Cream, Social Responsibility and an Innovative Business Philosophy
Jerry Greenfield
November 12, 2014 - 10:30 a.m. William Saroyan Theatre

When Jerry Greenfield and Ben Cohen opened their storefront in Burlington, Vermont more than 30 years ago, neither could have predicted that their passion for ice cream would spark a revolution in social and business strategy that would be copied by conglomerates and small businesses alike. They just knew they liked ice cream and they liked local cows.

All these years later, as Ben & Jerry's serves its ice cream around the world, its co-founder is still thinking about ways that successful business can help develop social responsibility into a win win for the company and the community.

Greenfield's mission and vision is to grow a business in a socially responsible way. He will share his ideas about social spirit, America's entrepreneurial landscape and ice cream with his signature fun and creative flair.

Valerie-PlameFair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House
Valerie Plame
January 21, 2015 - 10:30 a.m. William Saroyan Theatre

As a covert CIA Officer, Valerie Plame worked to protect America's national security for more than twenty years and worked to ensure that Iraq did not acquire nuclear weapons. But in 2003, Plame found herself at the heart of a political firestorm when senior White House and State Department officials revealed her CIA status to several national journalists.

Plame, who remained silent throughout the controversy, eventually wrote her New York Times best-selling autobiography Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. In 2010, Fair Game was made into a motion picture starring Sean Penn.

Plame will share her expertise on international security and deliver a candid analysis of the "security versus privacy" debate dominating political and media circles today.

CuddyOn Power and Influence
Amy Cuddy
February 18, 2015 - 10:30 a.m. William Saroyan Theatre

Dr. Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Business School professor by day, is an Internet sensation. Her TED Talk on "How Body Language Shapes Who You Are" is among the most watched You Tube videos and her research on stereotyping and discrimination led Time magazine to list her first among their "game changers and innovators" of 2012.

Cuddy, who trained as a social psychologist, studies how people perceive and are influenced by other people. Cuddy's work shows that your physical posture not only affects how others see you, but also how you see yourself, your own hormone levels, your performance and important life outcomes.

Cuddy has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and in Fast Company, Harvard Magazine, Wired, and The New York Times. One of Business Insider's "50 Women Who Are Changing the World."

Mans-Inhumanity-to-ManMan's Inhumanity to Man ... The Last Hundred Years
March 18, 2015 - 10:30 a.m. William Saroyan Theatre

Foremost scholars and religious leaders will host a reflection on the Armenian Genocide, discussing issues from reconciliation to contributions to American culture, arts and sciences.

Archbishop Vicken Aykazian is the Diocesan Legate and Director of the Ecumenical Office in Washington D.C. for the Armenian Church in America. He is a member of the board of the World Council of Churches.

Taner Akcam is a Turkish-born professor of history at Clark University and a recognized scholar on the Ottoman Empire and human rights. He is a leading authority on the Armenian Genocide.

Berj Apkarian is the Honorary Consul for the Republic of Armenia assigned to Fresno. Apkarian is the executive director of physician relations at Community Medical Center and was the country's first honorary consul.

Rabbi Kenneth Segel is a leader in the Jewish community. For five years he was the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Israel, Fresno. Rabbi Segel is an active humanitarian and the author of several children's books.

BallardNewUnderwater Adventures: Deep Sea Exploration
Robert Ballard
April 15, 2015 - 10:30 a.m. William Saroyan Theatre

Dr. Robert Ballard, best known for his discovery of wreckage of the Titanic, will present what TED Talks calls a "mind-bending trip to hidden worlds underwater" when he speaks to Town Hall on the 103rd anniversary of the wreck of "that great ship".

A legendary explorer and powerful speaker, Ballard has been called a modern day Captain Nemo. He has conducted more than 100 deep-sea expeditions that include the German battleship Bismarck and the luxury liner Lusitania and has developed extraordinary research focused on the ocean's crust and deep-sea vents.

Ballard has published 16 books in addition to numerous National Geographic articles, holds 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He received the National Geographic Society's prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996.


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