President’s Blog

On Being Program Chairman

During recent recruiting of new Board members, we found that some members expressed reluctance to join the Board out of concern for their duty to be monthly chairman and line up speakers. This is to alleviate some concerns.

As Program Chairman, I maintain a list of potential speakers at all times—anywhere between fifteen and twenty of them. I make it a point to interview them, to assess how well they may be of interest to our membership. These names are available to monthly chairmen who may choose to use them.

On a personal note, I find that the greatest pleasure in serving on the Board is the opportunity to be the monthly chairman once a year. It allows me to plan a set of talks that focus on themes that interest me and that I hope will interest the membership. I prefer topics on Italian culture. I get to select speakers and interact with them, suggesting effective ways to present their ideas. In the process, I expand my knowledge and learn things I often knew nothing about.

—Alex Kugushev, Program Chairman

A Talent Call

Before joining Il Cenacolo, I attended several lunches. On each occasion, I found myself talking with someone interesting and substantial. I was impressed by the members and so I joined. My admiration of Italian civilization, of course, also determined the decision.

Five years on, I have not changed my impression. We have a vast reservoir of knowledge, experience and intellectual curiosity among our members. Life and work experiences, profound personal interests, hobbies and travel. Consider that in recent times a number of us have spoken, some repeatedly : Jim Boitano, Bill Nuerge, Dick Wahlberg, Adolph Capurro, Ron Fenolio, Chris Danesi, Nickolas Marinelli, Alessandro Baccari, Igor Bertolucci, Chris Gulli, Andy Canepa, Dave Litwin, Jorge Escobar, Michael Muscardini, Dom Paino, our President, Chuck Stagliano, and yours truly–among others.

And in the near future, Mel Britton and Tony Rossman will contribute to our bank of knowledge and

So, this is a call for members who have something energizing to say to come forward and send me a proposal for an uplifting talk. How about it, Fellows? If not you, perhaps your fascinating spouse, or equally fascinating significant other, friend or relation?

—Alex Kugushev, Program Chairman