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2014 Discussion Group Leaders' Profiles

Andy Argyropoulos: studied art at the University of Michigan (MFA 1961) and taught for 34 years at the University of Oklahoma and Western Michigan University. He was an art critic for the New Art Examiner and a guide at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Discussion groups have been his main interest since retiring in Naples in 2003. He has been a Great Decisions group leader since 2012.

Daniel Bumstead: graduated from Kenyon College in Ohio, served briefly as an officer in the Air Force and then entered the clandestine services of the CIA, where he served 34 years, retiring as a senior executive in 1991 at the end of the Cold War. Abroad, he served in N. Africa, Iran, and France. He has been a Great Decisions leader since 1998.

Al Elders: obtained MS Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan and MBA from Michigan State University, worked as an engineer, quality systems examiner and manufacturing executive, traveled as corporate executive in Europe and Japan. Great Decisions participant for 8 years and a Great Decisions leader since 2010.

Bob Erbstein: received an undergraduate degree in engineering and sociology from Cornell and an MSEE in engineering from Brown University. His career was largely in printing, focused on capital equipment and planning, including several years with a company headquartered in Montreal, where he and his wife lived part time. He traveled extensively, working closely with suppliers in Europe, Japan and company owned facilities in Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Bob has been a Great Decisions group leader since 2012.

Elizabeth Foley: her 28 year career in American education was supported by a Master of Arts in Teaching degree and doctoral study in Educational Leadership. Her experience includes teaching, guidance counseling and administration as well as extensive travel in the US and Europe. She has been a Great Decisions leader since 2010.

Jan K. Guben: partner with Venable, LLP, having graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law and maintaining offices in both Washington DC and Baltimore Maryland. His law practice, concentrating in business, personal and tax planning, includes the representation of several international businesses including Italian wineries and Indian pharmaceutical companies. Jan has been a Great Decisions group leader since 2011.

Lew Hadelman: graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BSEE and Northeastern University with a MBA. Worked as an engineer and executive in several system engineering and information technology companies in the development of strategic command, control and communications systems for NATO, Federal Government, and private industry. Traveled extensively in Europe. Has been a Great Decisions group leader since 2013.

Charles (Doug) Hartman: attended the Military Academy at West Point and served in Germany and Vietnam. Following graduate school and a tour as Assistant Professor of Economics at West Point, he separated from the Army. He then represented various major energy companies before Congress and the White House. In 1985, he opened his own International Management Consulting firm specializing in the development of large energy projects. He worked or lived in more than 40 countries and retired in 2011. He is a member of Great Decisions and a group leader since 2014.

Dieter Haussmann: born in Germany; lived in Canada 10 years; U.S. citizen since 1988. Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from University of Michigan. Consultant to health industry; CEO of academic health center. Traveled extensively in Canada, Europe and South America. Have been to China, Morocco and Tanzania. Has been a participant in Great Decisions since 2008 and a group leader since 2012.

Greg Hudson: BA, JD, MBA, Boston University; EdM, Harvard University. Corporate tax, finance and M&A executive. Three years Asian experience in the Marine Corps/NavSecGru as a Chinese cryptologic linguist; 20 years US and international business experience; and considerable tourist travel in Europe and Asia over the last 10 years. A Great Decisions group leader since 2009.

Bob McGinn: graduated from Georgetown University. Served U.S.Air Force in Turkey and at National Security Agency. Joined J.P.Morgan & Company, retiring after 33 years as Managing Director having done business in thirty-five countries with postings to Beirut and London. Member of Great Decisions for nine years and a group leader since 2014.

Gerry Melnick: attended Monmouth University, Columbia University and the New School with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science and graduate concentration in International Law and specifically the Laws of War. Taught for 49 years beginning in high school and then at the University level teaching graduate courses in the areas of Holocaust and Genocide. Recipient of graduate fellowships to Israel (2) and Germany and Poland (1). Member of Great Decisions since 2010 and a group leader since 2014.

Bill Petrarca: graduated from New York University in Operations Research. He spent 17 years in various senior management positions in the financial services industry in Ohio and has been president of several technology-related start-ups. Currently works with his wife Jane in their 20-year consultancy providing leadership development skill-building for corporate clients throughout the U.S. He has served on several community boards. He has been a member of Great Decisions since 2012 and a group leader since 2014.

Lynda Quinby: studied the Social Sciences at the University of Vermont and earned a B.S. in Secondary Education, a masters in Geography and a sixth year in Administration. Spent 31 years in public education in Connecticut, 18 years as a High School Social Studies teacher and 13 years as Humanities Department Chair. Together with her husband Pete she has been a Great Decisions leader since 2005.
Pete Quinby: attended Eastern Connecticut State University and the University of Connecticut. He pursued doctoral studies at Boston University and the University of Connecticut. His undergraduate studies were in the Life Sciences and his graduate studies were in Administration with a focus on Curriculum, Instruction, Evaluation, Organizational Development, Strategic Planning and Group Development. He taught Life Science for 3 years, served 33 years as a school and district Administrator and 3 years as Executive Director for an educational organization. He has been a Great Decisions leader since 2005.

Ted Raia: retired Army physician. He commanded a combat support hospital in the First Gulf War and was the Chairman of the Department of Radiology at Walter Reed when he retired. As a civilian he spent considerable time in the Middle East, including being a volunteer physician during the Afghanistan communist revolt in April 1978. He has been a Great Decisions leader since 2007.

Paul Rosofsky: I received a B.S. Degree with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. In 1959 I received my dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh. I am a long time member of the World Affairs Council and I was very well trained to be a group leader for Great Decisions by my predecessors Boh and Margot Wojekowski who now reside in Mexico. I have been a group leader since 2008.

Ed Schefer: graduated from the College of William & Mary with a degree in business. He spent 25 years working for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in a variety of assignments, his last as managing partner of the Firm's New York office. Later, he was a group executive with General Foods (GF) and American Home Products (AHP). Amongst other duties, he had worldwide responsibility for information technology for both GF and AHP. Ed has been a Great Decisions group leader since 2013.

Robert S. (Rusty) Troth: graduated from MIT in Electrical Engineering and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Political Science and Russian Studies. Retired from the U.S. Army following 30 years of active duty, primarily as an intelligence analyst, manager, and trainer. Lived overseas a total of 12 years in western Europe and SE Asia. He has been a member of a Great Decisions discussion group since 2009 and a group leader since 2013.

Maas van den Top: graduated from Wageningen University in the Netherlands with a degree in economics, worked as a diplomat, business executive, UN director, and international consultant in various countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, moved permanently to the US in 1999 and has been a Great Decisions leader since 2006.
Connie van den Top: earned her undergraduate degrees in mathematics and psychology, and graduate credits in architecture. She has taught math and was a school administrator serving as director of guidance and curriculum development in international schools in Italy and The Netherlands, as well as in independent schools in the USA. Served on various art association boards, overseas associations and grant committees for National Association of College Admissions Counselors. Currently working as an educational consultant for students in China.

Paul Wachsmith: graduated with a BS in Communications, Boston University. General Manager of Radio /TV stations in New York City, Richmond, VA, Columbus, Ohio, McAllen, Texas. Sports Advertising Sales, Madison Square Garden, New York City. Business consultant in Mexico. A Great Decisions leader since 2010.

Margaret E. Ward:  BA (Wilson College) MA, Ph. D. (IU, Bloomington). Since 1959 extensive periods of study, research and travel in Europe. 39 years as Professor of German language, literature and culture at Wellesley College, MA. In 2011 published Missing Mila, Finding Family: An International Adoption in the Shadow of the Salvadorean Civil War, a memoir requiring travel in and research on Central America.  A newcomer to “Great Decisions,” but not the Council, I welcome the opportunity to stand in as discussion leader for my husband, Tom de Witt, starting in 2014.

Mo Winograd: has a Master's Degree in Political Science and another in Criminal Justice. She was Executive Director of the Essex County Bar Association in NJ for 25 years and retired in 2003. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of five different non-profits: three in NJ, one in NY and one in Naples. Her experience managing and continuing to educate 3000 attorneys enabled her to organize a Great Decisions group in Bonita Springs. Her action resulted in an overwhelming response of almost 60 new registrants, to be divided into two discussion groups. She has been leading one of them since 2012.

 
 

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