Past Speakers – 2009

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Larry Wilde
November 2009

Larry Wilde is the author of 53 published books of humor with sales over 12 million copies. Among them: two widely acclaimed books on the craft of comedy. Mr. Wilde cultivated his comedy credentials as a stand-up comedian, appearing in major hotels, clubs and concerts. His numerous television credits include The Tonight Show, The Today Show, The Mary Tyler More Show, and dozens of national commercials. Larry is the founder of National Humor Month, which celebrates the bountiful benefits of belly laughs. It begins each year on April Fool's Day. In addition to his 30-year career as a stage and television actor, stand-up comedian, university instructor, best selling author and motivational humorist, Larry Wilde is recognized as the worst golfer in Northern California.


Barry W. Phillips
October 2009

Barry W. Phillips is the Executive Director of The First Tee of Monterey County. Barry has 30 years of broad experience that include management experience in the military, government high-tech, and higher education. As a naval officer, Barry concluded his 22 year career as the commander of the Navy Technical Training Detachment at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey. His military duties took him to Italy, the Black Sea, and he circumnavigated South America on a navy cruiser. His post-military career includes executive positions with pre-IPO companies as a Human Resources consultant and as the Chief Administrative Officer/Human Resources Director for a Salinas public agency. Barry is also an adjunct professor with Chapman University instructing courses in business and human resources management in both the graduate and undergraduate courses of study. At The First Tee for Monterey County, he is a lead coach for the Monterey County Probation Department Youth Services. Barry will be speaking on the The First Tee of Monterey County, a youth development organization that uses the inherent values of the game of golf to teach kids valuable life skills.


Judge John M. Phillips
August 2009

Judge Phillips served on the Monterey County Superior Court Bench from 1984 to 2004. Through his efforts and the efforts of the concerned community, Rancho Cielo Youth Campus was established in 2000 for the purpose of developing much needed preventative health and social services for underserved youth in Monterey County. Rancho Cielo Youth Campus is a unique environment for at-risk and disadvantaged youth, and it is serving a human service need that is not found elsewhere in the tri-county area. In addition, the campus is providing a service to students whom in the recent past were allowed to fall through the cracks or, worse, fall deep into the juvenile justice system.


Scott Henningsen
July 2009

Hello, my name is Scott Henningsen. I was born in Salinas and grew up out by Spreckels and River Road area. I am 29 years old and own and operate Henningsen Machine Shop located at 12 Spreckels Lane, Salinas CA. I started this business in high school to earn some spending money and it has developed into my livelihood. My father and grandfather taught me from a young age how to work on tractors and engines, weld, operate machinery, and many other things. I applied this to working on antique cars which I have always liked. I found out quickly that there were many people that needed things done to there cars, such as tune ups, repairs, adjustments, and all sorts of other small things. So, I started doing these things and earning a little money. I worked every day after high-school and on the weekends. I continued this through college also. In college, I received a degree in accounting which has served me well in running my business.

After getting out of college, I started working full time and have been working on customers cars ever since. I have slowly hired employees and have purchased equipment that helps me in restoring these wonderful old autos. We now do complete restorations on cars from all over the United States. Some of the cars values reach close to one million dollars. Our restorations can be viewed at Pebble Beach Concours and many other car events in the area. Right now, there is about a two year waiting list to have us start a complete restoration, and about a 3-6 month wait on other types of work. We are working on about 6 cars right now and turn them over as we finish them. I enjoy restoring and repairing these old cars and hope to be able to do this my whole life. I am planning on expanding my business more to be able to turn cars out faster than we do now, not compromising any quality.


Rudy Tenes
May 2009

Rudy Tenes is a retired Professional Bullfighter from Mexico. He will talk about the history of bullfighting, several bullfighters from different countries including the United States. He started training with young bulls at the age of ten. He will explain the difference between a Torero and a Matador The Torero has to earn his status when he fights the bull. The Matador is the one who eventually kills the bull. If the Matador is good and draws a lot of spectators, he makes more money. The best have made millions.


Curtis Weeks
April 2009

Curtis Weeks is the general manager of the Monterey County Water Resources Agency. Curtis has 20 years experience as a professional engineer operating, planning and implementing large-scale infrastructure projects including water supply programs, water system improvements, wastewater treatment, reclamation and recycling, storm water control, fire protection and emergency operations.


Greg Avilez, DABC
March 2009

Greg is a Senior Criminalist (Forensic Scientist) with California Dept. of Justice, Bureau of Forensic Services and has worked there for the last 20-years. The Freedom Laboratory, located in Watsonville, handles Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties for criminalistic services. In addition to criminalistic services, this lab also handles drug lab response and analysis for the tri-county area plus Santa Clara, San Mateo, and parts of Alameda counties. Greg will be discussing what the field of Criminalistics is, what it's used for, and where Forensic Science is going in the future.

Dennis Boronda
February 2009

Dennis Boronda of the Mosquito Abatement District of Monterey County will talk on the job of controlling mosquitoes and the prevention of diseases like the West Nile Virus. Dennis has been employed by the Mosquito Abatement District for 36 years. He has worked his way up from Field Tech to Staff Biologist to Manager/Biologist. You might recognize his last name as being a member of the Boronda family that migrated to this valley in 1769 with Father Junipero Serra and Gaspar de Portola, first governor of Calif.


Peter Sonné
January 2009

Peter is the President of the San Benito County Historical Society and will offer a brief presentation of the history of the SBCHS which will include slide films. The SBCHS was organized over 50 years ago and is one of the oldest non-profits in San Benito County.


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