SIR programs in 2000



November 15, 2000
Speaker: Dick Henning
Intro by: Leland Means
Subj.: Behind the Scenes at the Celebrity Forum

The Celebrity Forum at Flint Center was founded by Dick Henning at Foothill College in 1968. It has brought a variety of famous people to our neighborhood to speak - sometimes quite informally. It has given Mr. Henning unique experiences in meeting and entertaining these famous people. They include, for examples, Olivia de Havilland, Henry Kissinger, Cary Grant, Charleston Heston, and many more. After several years he returns to tell us more about them in his very entertaining and often humorous style.

Dick Henning's Celebrity Forum has been cited as the "Best Speakers Series in the Nation", for which he has received the Drew Pearson Award - presented by Mrs. Drew Pearson. Before 'retirement', Dick served 34 years as an administrator at Foothill College.


October 18, 2000
Speaker: Bob Simon
Intro by: Dick Peacock
Subj.: "Fleeting Rhyme...Poetry for the Rest of Us"

[Bob Simon] Our speaker, Bob Simon, is a SIR (a member of Chapter 35). He began writing light verse for special occasions over 30 years ago. That first occasion was an office Christmas party. His audience laughed (in the right places) and a poet was born. Today, Bob is invited to create poems for public events, and to speak before clubs and church groups; he honors retiring executives (and other deserving souls) with "rhyming roasts."

Bob will recite a variety of his poems for us today. His topics (taken from the world around us) vary so much that we can only say that the verses have just two common qualities. First, they all convey at least a hint of humor. Or are supposed to. Second, they were written to be heard (to be spoken aloud) to be listened to.

And yet, when a local service club member (who also happens to be a book illustrator) heard Bob speak, she changed all that. This summer, a book came off the press entitled, "Fleeting Rhyme." It is a collection of Bob's "selected works."

Nothing in Bob¹s "real life" suggested he would become a "living poet." He graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics, went on to the Business School at the same University, became a pilot in the United States Air Force, and spent most of his career years in educational development (that's fundraising, to you) at Stanford and elsewhere.

Now retired, he lives in Los Altos with his wife and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Scotia. His interests also include computer graphics and he has recently been invited to join the Board of Trustees of the Woodside Priory School, in Portola Valley.


September 20, 2000
Speaker: Diane Dwyer - Channel 2 Anchor
Intro by: Dick Peacock

[Diane Dwyer]Diane Dwyer joined KTVU/Fox 2 as a reporter in 1990. When KTVU expanded its early morning news coverage by launching the KTVU Morning News in August 1996, Dwyer was named anchor. She continues to work as a weekday reporter for the award winning Ten O'Clock News.

Among the many awards Dwyer has received is an Emmy for Outstanding Reporting. She was honored by The Society of Professional Journalists with the Outstanding Young Journalist Award and was nominated for three other Emmys. In addition, she also received the Associated Press Award for Breaking News for her 1995 Russian River Flood story.

Born and educated in the Bay Area, Dwyer graduated from UC-Berkeley with a B.S. in Business Administration. In 1987, Dwyer became an investment banking analyst for Chemical Bank. She soon decided to concentrate on journalism and began her career in television reporting in 1988. Her first television jobs were in Butte, Mont., and then in Chico, Calif.

She is married to Timothy, a former sportscaster for the Bay Area SportsChannel and KOVR-TV in Sacramento, who now works at Quokka Sports. Her interests include tennis, biking, and hiking with her dog (Shakespeare.)


August 16, 2000
Speaker: Diane Morrissette, PhD
Intro by: Gil Murray
Subj.: Marriage and Family Therapy

[Diane Morrissette, PhD]Dr. Morrissette is a marriage and family therapist. She has an independent practice in Palo Alto, specializing in sex and relationship counseling. She is also a consultant at the Palo Alto VA Andrology Clinic, which provides treatment for sexual problems. In addition, she teaches human sexuality at San Jose State University. Prior to training in psychotherapy, she was a postdoctoral fellow doing research in sexual function and chronic illness at Stanford University School of Medicine.


June 21, 2000
Speaker: Art Jensen, General Manager
Bay Area Water Users Association
Intro by: Dick Peacock
Subj.: Hetch-Hetchy — Past, Present, and Future

The Hetch-Hetchy water system, which provides top quality water from the Sierra to San Francisco and other Bay Cities, is in need of upgrade. Mr. Jensen, representing users of 70% of its delivery, is uniquely qualified to give us perspective on this difficult challenge.

The Bay Area Water Users Association, is comprised of 29 utilities which purchase water from the San Frandsco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) for resale to local service areas. The Association represents its members’ collective interests in their relationship with the SFPUC on matters related to water supply, reliability, operations, quality and wholesale rates.

Prior to joining the Association in 1995, Art served the Contra Costa Water District in the areas of planning and engineering. Earlier, as a consultant for a major engineering fIrm, Art performed planning studies for the SFPUC’s regional water supply, treatment and delivery system. Later, for a period of more than 6 years, he served as Deputy and Acting General Manager of the San Frandsco Water Department He now has a different perspective and additional opportunities for advocating rational approaches to current and future water issues in California, particularly in the SFPUC service area.

Art has degrees from Caltech, and has taught water resources at Stanford and at UC Berkeley.


May 17, 2000
Speaker: Bob Rose
Intro by: Lloyd McGovern
Subj.: Giants and Their New Ball Park

[Bob Rose]

Mr Rose will tell us about the new perspective of the Giants in their fresh home stadium, and about their start of this Y2K season. Also, with his long and varied history in sports public relations, he will entertain questions.

He has been vice president of Giants since 1996, having served as director of public relations and of community development in the three previous years.

Before coming to the Giants, he was vice president of communications for the World League of American Football, the NFL’s international league based in New York City. In that capacity, he oversaw the public relations operations for the World League's 10 franchises, which spanned five countries and two continents in North America and Europe.

In the 80’s and earlier, Rose held positions as public relations director for the NFL’s St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals (1986-88); as director of communications for the United States Football League (1985-86); as public relations director for the USFL’s Los Angeles Express (1983-85); and as sports information director for Stanford (1979-82) and Pepperdine (1973-78) universities.

Rose has also served as a publicist for NFL’s Elway and Steve Young, for NBA’s Dennis Johnson, for Cy Young Award winner Mike Scott and a National League’s Barry Bonds during various stages of their careers.


April 19, 2000
Speaker: Bill Henderson
Intro by: Dick Peacock
Subj.: The attack on Pearl Harbor, and the sinking of the USS Helena at Kula Gulf in the Northern Solomon Islands 'in July 1943.

[Bill Henderson]

Bill enlisted in the navy 'in 1940, and served the war years in the Pacific. His ship, the light cruiserUSS Helena, participated in thirteen engagements against Japanese Naval, Air and Submarine forces.

The Helenawas awarded seven battle stars, was the first navy ship to receive the Navy Unit Commendation, and earned one of her Captains two Navy Crosses.

The first battle was at Pearl Harbor where theHelenawas struck and severely damaged by a Japanese torpedo. After repairs at Mare Island Shipyard 'in Vallejo theHelenareturned to the Pacific and participated in the invasion of Guadalcanal.

The Helena, in a night surface action against ten Japanese destroyers at Kula Gulf on the night of July 6, 1943, was struck by three of Japan's deadly "Long Lance" torpedoes, sinking her 'in a matter of minutes'.

Bill will share with us the true stories of individual heroism, the drama and flight of battle, the determination to survive the frightening waters of Kula Gulf, the men who risked death to save shipmates, the survivors' ordeal to reach landfall, and the tense days that followed on a Japanese held island.

Bill is a long time resident of Los Altos, and was the 1998 recipient of the Volunteer Citizens Award of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. He co-chaired the organization that conducted a nation wide search for an artist to design the Veterans Memorial that is now Located in Los Altos’ Shoup Park. If you haven’t seen it I suggest that you do. It is an inspirational memorial.

His book, "Escape from the Sea," is available in the los Altos Library.


March 15, 2000
Speaker: R. V. WILSON - Director, San Francisco Airport Commission
Intro by: Dick Peacock
Subj.: SFO - Past, Present and Future

[Ronald Wilson] The massive expansion of passenger facilities at San Francisco Airport (SFO) will be explained in light of SFO’s evolution, its present need, and future projections. Similarly, the relocations of runways will be described, along with the major problems and rationale in making them.

Mr. Wilson is seen on TV almost every night explaining the current news in public flying. He is uniquely qualified in subjects of this presentation, having extensive experience in the construction industry, and holding a General Contractor’s license.

He has been the chief spokesman for SFO since his appointment to that position18 years ago. He had been Assistant Deputy Director of Maintenance for the airport the eight years previous. His airport experience began with the Engineering Division of the Airport Commission in 1949. He serves on San Francisco’s City College Department of Aeronautics Advisory Committee. He is a pilot, a former Marine, and a graduate of U of Phoenix.


February 16, 2000
Speaker: Jack Hildebrandt
Intro by: Dick Peacock
Subj.: A Luftwaffe Pilot’s Odyssey

Former Luftwaffe bomber pilot, JACK HILDEBRANDT, captivated a recent gathering with his ability to relate hair raising tales of his military exploits, which demonstrated more than a dash of audacity and adaptive behavior, yet maintain the love of flying attitude that typifies the fraternity of pilots the world over. Listening to him tell of his background in Germany, his introduction to flying and to military combat, and his long road from being a seriously wounded pilot in a foxhole in the Netherlands to a successful postwar career in the U.S. was a lesson in how to match circumstance with opportunity.

At the age of nine, in 1931, Jack knew that he was going to fly airplanes. Ten years later, he joined the Luftwaffe. Posted to a front-line unit near Leningrad in November 1942, Jack flew Ju 88s in the ground attack role with temperatures as low as 52 degrees below zero! He was later posted to the Soviet Sector in the Caucasus, where his Ju 88 was shot down in March 1943 behind Russian lines.

September, 1944 found Jack flying a Fw 190 F-8 in the Netherlands. On November 1st, at 700 feet near the Waal River, he was seriously wounded by ground fire; the Focke WuIf burning, he set it down in a field and took to a local foxhole where he was picked up by a German patrol. After three weeks and 300 miles in a boxcar, Jack, on a stretcher and in a body cast, made it to a German hospital where he was taken prisoner by U.S. forces.

On July 29, 1950, Jack Hildebrandt hit Pier 14 in New York City. Later, following training at Wright Patterson AFB, he and his wife were flown to Wiesbaden, where he was assigned to covert operations in Air Force Intelligence in Berlin. Twelve years later, Jack returned to the U.S. where he spent another seventeen years in Washington, D.C. with the Air Force Systems Command.


January 19, 2000
Speaker: Dave McElhatton
Intro by: Gil Murray
Subj.: Reflections of an anchorman

[McElhatton]San Franciscan's can't always rely on the earth's stability, but they can count on glorious fog to cool the summers, sourdough bread to feed the appetite, and KPIX's Emmy award winning anchorman, Dave McElhatton, to deliver their nightly news with warmth and integrity. A top news source for more than four decades, Bay Area viewers won't let this native son out of their sight!

McElhatton is also one of the Bay Area's most popular and effective public speakers. He has earned the reputation of a master storyteller, creating vivid presentations filled with his knowledge, sense of humor, and passion for the subject at hand. Audiences n, Dave McElhatton, to deliver their nightly news with warmth and integrity. A top news source for more than four decades, Bay Area viewers won't let this native son out of their sight!

McElhatton is also one of the Bay Area's most popular and effective public speakers. He has earned the reputation of a master storyteller, creating vivid presentations filled with his knowledge, sense of humor, and passion for the subject at hand. Audiences are captivated by his discussions on media and political trends, community affairs, family interaction, health issues, and even the thrill of flying! Part of Dave McElhatton's unique appeal and success comes from his experiences. Remarkable people and events, extensive travels in the army and later with CBS, and a fascination with the media's impact on society have built a well rounded perspective invaluable to this journalist and speaker. McElhatton's ease with all aspects of communication, from writing and directing news, to hosting entertainment-oriented programs, was forged early in his career at KCBS, where he worked from 1951 to 1976. He was instrumental in developing the station's News radio format and served as morning anchor, news director, and host of talk and music programs such as Music 'Til Dawn, Viewpoint andMcElhatton's Matinee.

This page last updated: Saturday, November 18, 2000.