Past Speakers – 2010
Click here for Past Speakers – 2020
James Ross Riley
James Ross Riley is going to give us a history lesson on the Spreckels Sugar Factory. James is the past president of the Monterey County Historical Society. He is also a committee member for creating a historical counsel of Monterey County. James, his father and grandfather worked for Spreckels. James's grandfather started working for Claus Spreckels in Hawaii in the 1890s. The Spreckels Sugar Factory became the largest sugar factory in the world when it was built in 1899.
Michelle Malone from the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital will speak to us on the extended building construction work that has been going on for the past couple of years at the hospital.
Deputy Chief Cassie McSorley joined the Salinas Police Department in 1983. She was raised in Salinas and attended local schools. Cassie has had the opportunity to work in a variety of assignments within the Salinas Police Department over the years including uniformed patrol, DUI enforcement team, field training officer, Narcotics, and Special Operations. Deputy Chief McSorley is currently responsible for the Field Operations Division. Cassie was promoted to corporal in 1988, sergeant in 1989, lieutenant in 1993, captain in 1997 and deputy chief in 2003. She has a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice and has completed graduate coursework in Organizational Development. Cassie is active in many community groups and organizations. Cassie is married and has two daughters. In her spare time she enjoys mountain and road biking, hiking, outdoor seasonal activities and curling up with a good book.
Lt. Col. Ronald "Ron" L. Sheffield
Ron Sheffield graduated with a BS in Math Education from University of Oklahoma and a Masters in Public Administration from University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Has lived on the Monterey peninsula since 1978 with his wife, Linda, and 3 children who all graduated from high schools on the Peninsula and have since married.
Mr. Sheffield served in the US Army for 20 years as an Infantry Aviator. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1982. Colonel Sheffeild served three tours in Vietnam as a helicopter gun ship pilot with 2,200 hours of combat flight time. Awards he received include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Distinguish Fly Cross, Air medals with 59 oak leaves and Valor Device, Meritorious Service Medal, and three Vietnamese valor awards.
Ron is recently retired as the manager of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) and Crew Systems on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Program for Lockheed Martin from 1985 – 2009. Significant achievements include: helping to build the Hubble Space Telescope at Sunnyvale, responsible for making all the HST components serviceable on – orbit.
Marie Tonus is a 40 year American Field Service (AFS) volunteer. AFS was a group of battlefield ambulance drivers who served in the two world wars. Many were unable to serve in the regular army for various reasons but were shipped abroad by Liberty Ship to serve on the front lines. Since the US Army had its own ambulances, the AFS was attached to British units, and although they had their own officers, were under British command. They picked up the wounded, and drove those ambulances across mine fields and mud, where there were no roads and faced enemy artillery in near darkness. Those experiences made them believe in peace and hope for the end of war, and from those wars came the international cultural exchange program we call AFS. Our hope is for PEACE, one person at a time.
Bob McGregor is one of those rare native Californians born and raised in Southern California on a citrus and cattle ranch. He went to the University of California, Davis, where a BS in Agricultural Engineering was earned. Bob went to work for Spreckels Sugar Company right out of college as an engineer, lived in Fresno for 5 ó years, was transferred to Salinas by the company in 1968 and has resided in Salinas since that time. In 1984 Bob resigned his position at Spreckels when he and his wife Lynette bought Air Trails, a Fixed Base Operation at the Salinas Airport. In 1995 Bob and Lynette sold Air Trails and Bob accepted a position with Tanimura and Antle as their Chief Pilot holding that position until his retirement in February 2006.
Bob and Lynette were married in 1963 and raised three boys all born and raised in Salinas. Bob earned his private pilot certificate in 1966 and went on to get his commercial, instrument, multi-engine and air transport pilot ratings while working at Spreckels.
Today Bob still enjoys spending some time in the air and periodically takes trips for Angel Flight, which will be his topic at the April 14th meeting, describing the origin and purpose of Angel Flight. Bob is also active in the First Presbyterian Church, the Salinas Area Modelers (radio control aircraft – can’t seem to get away from airplanes) and travelling with Lynette.
Ursula Anna Smith
Ursula Anna Smith was born in 1939 in Essen, a city in the Ruhr Valley that was known as the Industrial Bread Basket of Germany. On September 9, when she was 9 months old, Hitler's army marched into Poland and WW II started.
The city, known for its foundries, steel industry, tanks, munitions factories and coal mines was a primary target of the Allied forces. Essen experienced its first air raid in May of 1940. During the 6 year conflict, 90% of the city's public and industrial buildings were destroyed and 60% of the population became homeless.
Ursula grew up on a street located between two coal mines, coke furnaces and not far from the 350-year-old Krupp steel works, all providing important support for the war effort. Because her father and grandfather worked in the mines, they were not drafted into the military. She was fortunate to grow up in an intact family.
In 1943 Ms. Smith's two older brothers were evacuated to a farm in East Prussia (now belonging to Poland) as part of the Nazi's enormous child evacuation plan. School aged children from the cities were taken to live with families in the country where they could attend schools. Ursula stayed in Essen for the duration of the war. At the age of 18, she immigrated to Canada and 6 years later to the United States.
After retiring, Urula became intrigued to discover out how Nazi politics affected her life and that of her family, neighbors and friends. She is currently writing a book of what she remembers of the war years and the struggle afterwards to 1949 when Germany became a Republic. She is incorporating the knowledge she's gained from interviewing relatives and friends and from extensive research.
Salinas Chief of Police Louis Fetherolf began his law enforcement career in June of 1968 when he joined the Los Angeles Police Department. There he worked various assignments in Patrol, Traffic (two-wheel motorcycle enforcement), Investigations, Narcotics, and Administration. Since being appointed to his first Chief of Police position in 1980, over the past thirty years he has commanded five police departments in four different states prior to joining the Salinas Police Department in April of 2009.
Chief Fetherolf earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from Southern Utah University, a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Brigham Young University, and has pursued postgraduate studies in Public Administration with a study emphasis in police leadership and ethics. In addition, he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has published national journal articles and courses of study in police leadership and ethics.
Barry W. Phillips
Barry W. Phillips is the Executive Director of the First Tee of Monterey County (a youth development organization). Barry has 30 years of broad experience that includes 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 the Chief Administration 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 inherent values of the game of golf to teach kids valuable life skills.