Past Speakers – 2014

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Jim Harvey
November 2014

Jim Harvey received his B.A. from San Jose State University, his Master’s degree from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Jim has been on the faculty at MLML since 1989, was the Chair of the department for four years (2007 -2011), and has been Director of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories since 2011. He has been the major advisor of 83 Masters students and has conducted research on blue sharks, harbor seals, gray and humpback whales, and Leatherback turtles. He has served as an advisor for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (Chair).

Jim will speak on why there have been so many humpback whales in Monterey Bay this year and on the biology and feeding ecology of humpback whales.


Fred Lawson
October 2014

Fred Lawson has had has had a distinguished dual career, military, and civilian. He was raised in the rural town of Aledo, Illinois and entered the Army during World War II as a 17 year old private. He rose through the ranks to later serve as an officer in Korea. He continued his education at the University of Illinois and the Stanford Graduate School of Business while pursuing a civilian career as Vice President of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corp. Simultaneously he remained in the Army Reserve. In US military circles, he is known as Fred Lawson, Major General (retired) and former Commanding General of the 91st Division.

Throughout his career, Fred has served in executive positions from Vice President of Kaiser Aluminum to Senior Vice President of BHP Minerals, Ltd. He has maintained an active community service record, having served on numerous Boards of Directors and advisory boards over the years. His many honors include Who's Who in Australia, visiting Adjunct Professor, University of Alabama, and the US Army, OCS, Hall of Fame.

Fred's leisure time and career seen to be one and the same. Fred and his wife Peggy retired to Carmel but he continued an active travel/consulting work schedule with frequent trips to Australia and Africa as well as making quarterly trips to Washington for the Department of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board.


Bruce Adams & Sean Tucker
August 2014

Sean D. Tucker's life is marked by a search for excellence and perfected skill. He is not satisfied unless he is learning, refining a skill, or conquering a fear. Whether he is climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, heliskiing, cave SCUBA diving, golfing, or flying his one-of-a kind aerobatic dream machine, Sean D. Tucker is full-throttle and extremely accomplished. He has been flying air-shows world-wide since the mid-70s and has won numerous aerobatic competitions. In that time, Sean has flown more than 1200 performances at more than 450 air-shows in front of more than 100 million fans. The level of professionalism and excitement in Sean's air-show displays is no coincidence. Sean practices his air-show routine three times every day. To endure the extreme physical demands of each routine, Sean maintains a rigorous physical training schedule by working-out over 340 days per year.

This is just a third of Sean's bio, but you get the idea. Sean will be joined by Bruce Adams (Salinas Airshow President) for the presentation.


Scott Henningsen
July 2014

Henningsen Machine Shop was founded by Scott Henningsen to offer services of antique repair. Specializing in machine shop capabilities at first, the name Machine Shop was given. After years of development and organization, Henningsen Machine Shop is now a full service shop offering every aspect of Antique Car Restoration.

Henningsen Machine Shop has a full machine shop with capabilities of engine rebuilding, including babbiting, full chassis rebuilding and parts manufacturing. Henningsen Machine Shop has a full upholstery shop which has capabilities from tufted leather upholstery to plush cloth closed car upholstery. Also, convertible tops are a specialty. Lastly, Henningsen Machine Shop has a full paint shop that provides show winning paint finishes. Metal straightening, rebuilding of wood bodies and sheet metal fabrication are other aspects of the paint shop. Together, these three divisions work to provide an excellent finished product. Henningsen Machine Shop offers everything from full show winning restorations to minor repairs and tune ups.

Go to and see some of the beautiful work Scott has done.


Sierra Willoughby
May 2014

Join Park Ranger Sierra Willoughby for an exploration of the geologic forces of earthquakes, volcanoes and running waters that came together in just the right way to create today's rock pinnacles and talus caves of Pinnacles National Park. These unique geologic formations inspired the formation of Pinnacles National Monument in 1908. Today, we have uncovered many other aspects of America's newest national park that intrigue us with its significance. Sierra has worked as in interpretive park ranger with the National Park Service since 2001, and has served at Mount Rainier, Glacier Bay, Santa Monica Mountains, Denali and Yosemite National Parks prior to coming to Pinnacles in 2013. Sierra received his masters in geology from the University of Nevada, Reno at the Center for Neotectonic Studies, where he studied active faulting in the basin and range.


Mayor Joe Gunter
April 2014

Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter is back to fill us in on the State of the City.


William Reisig
March 2014

William Reisig is a U. S. Navy veteran; 20 years Silicon Valley international, executive management; 10 years as a business, project, organizational and event management consultant. He has over 30 years in leadership roles, serving as president and chairman for numerous non-profit boards involved in conservation, education and mission outreach. Mr. Reisig has been involved with the Monterey Bay Veterans since 2011, a member of the Board of Directors since 2012 and Board President in 2014. William will provide a talk on MBVs History, Mission and Accomplishments in service to our veterans.


Gary Breschini
February 2014

Gary Breschini has an MA and Ph.D. degrees from Washington State University, and specializes in the archaeology and prehistory of the Central California region. But this is not what he will be speaking on! The topic of this speech is the History of Salinas. And for this he is also well qualified, as one of his ancestors started the first business in Salinas after the town was laid out in 1867, and his family members have been in the area ever since. In addition to his publications on archaeology and prehistory, Gary has also co-authored three books on Salinas area history, as well as one on Spreckels.

The speech will trace the development of the Salinas area from the earliest Native Americans up to about World War II, and will be illustrated with numerous old photographs from the collection of the Monterey County Historical Society.


Jeff Mitchell
January 2014

Jeff Mitchell is The Salinas Californian’s senior writer and columnist. He is the author of the very popular Under the Dome column which covers politics and government in the Salinas Valley and across Monterey County. He is now in his 24th year in journalism in California, serving as both an editor and as a reporter with several news organizations. He has covered and reported on a variety of topics from city government to the military to public safety to politics – the latter being his favorite. Jeff’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee and the Oakland Tribune. He has been honored with several statewide and regional journalism awards and prizes. Jeff created his column Under the Dome in April of 2012 for The Californian. The column has sparked renewed interest in newspaper. Building on its success Jeff recently launched a video podcast that is available on The website. With a face made purely for radio Jeff has boldly jumped into the Salinas Valley video news market and has interviewed everyone from council members to Congressmen to street poets. Today Jeff will give a brief talk on the state of the newspaper business and why we all need to become better, more faithful and yet more questioning consumers of the news – both locally, nationally and globally.


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