Our January Speakers: Amy Claymore Paterson, Tim Abbott, and Richard Heys

richard-heys-tim-abbott-photo-1-5-17The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes three experts on the subject of Land Conservation in the Litchfield Area to speak about their own experiences at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, January 5, beginning at 2:30pm.

Amy Blaymore Paterson, Executive Director of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, works with the CLCC Steering Committee to provide the Connecticut conservation community — including its 137+ land trusts — with technical assistance, training and advocacy for land conservation across the state. She previously served as a Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land, overseeing several complex conservation transactions, and worked as an attorney, concentrating on land preservation and environmental protection. She received a BA from Franklin & Marshall College and her law degree from the University of Denver. In recognition of her years of work in conservation, Amy was awarded the 2014 Women Inspiring Conservation in Connecticut Award, sponsored by The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, The Farm Service Agency and the Connecticut Association of Conservation Districts. An avid trail runner, when Amy isn’t helping to conserve land, she’s outside enjoying it.

Tim Abbott has been the Director of the Litchfield Hills Greenprint since 2006 and an employee of the Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) since 2008 when the Greenprint became a regional conservation partnership. During his tenure, the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative has facilitated more than 3,300 acres of protected land and leveraged more than $10,800,000 in public and private funding for these projects. He has been a conservation leader in New England since 1998, with prior positions as Director of The Nature Conservancy’s three state Berkshire Taconic Landscape Program and as a Program Director with the Trust For Public Land in Connecticut. He holds an MA from Clark University in International Development and a BA in English from Haverford College.

Richard Heys, President of the Litchfield Land Trust, has always liked the out-of-doors but was especially moved to appreciate humans’ place as part of the natural world by his backpacking experiences in the Sierra Nevada while living in California. It was only after retiring from a career in science (he has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University and worked in pharmaceutical research) and moving to northwestern Connecticut that he had a real opportunity to act on his feelings about the importance of land preservation. He joined the board of the Litchfield Land Trust in 2011 and has served as president since 2015.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Third Annual Holiday Concert

Steve DoyleThe Women’s Forum of Litchfield will return to St. Michael’s Parish in Litchfield for their third annual holiday concert starring New York jazz singer and pianist Steve Doyle. The Cabaret performance will be on Thursday, December 1, at 2:30pm at St. Michael’s Parish, 25 South Street, just off the Litchfield Green.

Steve Doyle is an active part of the New York jazz and cabaret scenes performing regularly at prestigious venues such as the Carlyle, Town Hall, Joe’s Pub and the Metropolitan Room. He is also invited to perform at jazz festivals, concerts and club engagements across the US and around the globe as both a leader and a sideman.

The list of noteworthy artists who request Steve’s services as a sideman currently include Marilyn Maye, Billy Stritch, Stacy Sullivan, Karen Oberlin, to name a few. In the past, Steve has shared the stage with Tony Desare, Bucky Pizzarelli, Dave Stryker, Gene Bertoncini, Kate McGarry, Steve Slagle, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Hilary Kole and many other noteworthy artists.

A recipient of numerous scholarships and awards, Steve was awarded a scholarship for study with John Clayton and Charlie Haden from the Milt Hinton Scholarship Fund Competition sponsored by the International Society of Bassists and was selected as a semifinalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Bass Competition. He has two recordings to date – ‘Presence’ and ‘Home to You.’ His steady bookings in the New York area include Mondays at Birdland where he plays bass for Jim Caruso’s Cast Party and every Sunday at the Carlyle Hotel.

The concert will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and info@womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our November Speaker: Sylvia Jukes Morris

Sylvia Jukes Morris The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes author Sylvia Jukes Morris and writer Joseph Montebello in a conversation at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, November 3, beginning at 2:30pm.

Sylvia Jukes Morris was born and educated in England, where she taught English literature before emigrating to America. She has not only written the two-volume life of Clare Boothe Luce, but also “Edith Kermit Roosevelt: Portrait of a First Lady.” She lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut, with her husband, the writer Edmund Morris.

The beautiful, smart, ambitious and often tormented Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987) chose Sylvia Jukes Morris to be her biographer, giving her copious interviews and unprecedented access to her letters, diaries, unpublished writings, scrapbooks, and photographs. “Price of Fame: The Honorable Clare Boothe Luce” is Morris’s critically acclaimed follow-up to “Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce,” completing the story of an exceptionally brilliant polymath.

The book chronicles Luce’s progress from the early months of World War II, when, as a Congresswoman and only female member of the House Military Affairs Committee, she toured the Western Front, captivating generals and GIs. She even visited Buchenwald and other concentration camps within days of their liberation. After a shattering personal tragedy, she converted to Roman Catholicism, and became the first American woman to be appointed ambassador to a major foreign power. “La Luce,” as the Italians called her, was also a prolific journalist and magnetic public speaker, as well as a playwright, screenwriter, scuba diver, early experimenter in psychedelic drugs, and Grande Dame of the GOP in the Reagan era. Tempestuously married to Henry Luce, the powerful publisher of Time Inc., she endured his infidelities while pursuing her own, and remained a practiced vamp well into old age.

Fran Keilty, owner of The Hickory Stick, will be offering the book for sale following the presentation. The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and womensforumoflitchfield.org.

A Letter from the President

September 2016

Dear Forum Members,

Another Women’s Forum season is here and we have another group of interesting and varied programs to look forward to. I’m very grateful to Joseph Montebello, our Program Chair, who has almost singlehandedly put together an outstanding collection of speakers and a delightful musical program. We’ll start our year off with a cookbook author and food blogger and later on hear from more authors, writers and a well known local artist. In between will be two panel discussions, one on Litchfield Land Trust preservation and conservation and the second includes a group of local artisanal food producers. Our traditional members tea continues in June at the home of our member Martha Green. So once again I encourage you to invite a friend or someone new to town to join us at a meeting. Spread the word, we always welcome guests!

I thank all of you who continually support this 103 year old organization by renewing your memberships and by attending our monthly programs. I especially want to thank the members who serve on the Women’s Forum Board and help keep this special institution going and growing. I encourage you to renew your membership by mailing in your dues with the enclosed form before our first meeting in October. If you know of someone who is not currently a member but who would like to receive a program, please send the details to the email address, info@womensforumoflitchfield.org. A final reminder, we are now a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

So mark your calendars and I hope to see you at our October 6th program and many more in the coming year.


Anna Heys

Our October Speaker: David Leite


The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes food writer David Leite to speak about his heritage and the delights of Portuguese cuisine at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield on Thursday, October 6, beginning at 2:30pm.

David Leite is a food writer, author, memoirist, and web publisher. He founded Leite’s Culinaria in 1999 and in 2006, he had the distinction of being the first winner ever of a James Beard Award for a website, a feat he repeated in 2007.

He has written about everything from chocolate chip cookies to fried clams, from the foods of Portugal to tribulations of being a super taster—for print, radio, and television. His first book, “The New Portuguese Table: Exciting Flavors from Europe’s Western Coast,” explored the food of his heritage and won the 2010 IACP First Book/Julia Child Award. He’s also written for the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Men’s Health, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, Charlotte Observer, among others.

David is also a correspondent on public radio’s The Splendid Table, hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. He has been a frequent guest and host on Martha Stewart Living Radio programs, including “Cooking Today,” as well as a guest on Lucinda Scala Quinn’s program, “Mad Hungry Monday.” He’s been heard on NPR’s “All Thing Considered” and has appeared on History Channel 2’s “United Stuff of America,” Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” The Today Show, “Radical Sabbatical,” and is a regular guest on WTNH-TV.

David won the 2008 James Beard Award for Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes for his article “In a ’64 T-Bird, Chasing a Date with a Clam” and was nominated for the same award the following year for his article “Perfection? Hint: It’s Warm and Has a Secret,” both from The New York Times. He was a 2006 winner of the Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism. In 2014, he was nominated for both Best Blog and Best Podcast Series by the IACP. His work has appeared in the Best Food Writing series a total of 14 times, from 2001 to 2015, a record.

Currently, David’s at work on his memoir “Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression” to be published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins. He will bring food samples of olive dip with bread and orange olive oil cake. Fran Keilty, owner of the Hickory Stick, will be offering his books for sale following his presentation.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. The contacts for more information are 860-605-7207 and womensforumoflitchfield.org.

Our May Speaker: Sigrid MacRae

Sigrid MacRae photo May 2016

The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes Sigrid MacRae to speak about her book “A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany” beginning at 2:30pm on Thursday, May 5, at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield.

Sigrid MacRae was born in Germany, her father a Baltic German aristocrat exiled from St. Petersburg by the Russian revolution and her mother an orphaned American debutante from Hartford he had met in Paris. This unusual alliance that shaped their children’s lives was chronicled by his sixth child in a remarkable and touching book.

MacRae’s father was killed on the Russian Front four months before she was born. Her mother, an American citizen, was left with six children in a country soon at war with her own. She survived the war and eventually returned to the U.S. with her children. MacRae was educated in America and in Europe, and spent much of her professional life as an editor. She is also co-author of “Alliance of Enemies; The Untold Story of the Secret American and German Collaboration to End World War II” and is now at work on another book.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a reception.  For more information, call 860-605-7207 or email womensforumoflitchfield.org.


Our April Speaker: Steven Ehrlich

Steven Ehrlich 4-7-16 photo-2

The Women’s Forum of Litchfield welcomes Steven Ehrlich to speak about “Technology, Social Media and Innovation: Changing the Ways we Engage” beginning at 2:30pm on Thursday, April 7, at the Litchfield Community Center at 421 Bantam Road in Litchfield.

Steven Ehrlich, Global Vice President for Client Development at TMP Worldwide Advertising and Communications, will demystify how new technologies are driving the way people consume information and communicate with one another. He is focused on the use of emerging tools and technologies to enhance both brand articulation and recruitment for a multitude of organizations including Areva, Boeing, Deloitte, Disney, Mondelez, P&G, and Walmart.

Splitting his time between London and New York, Steven works closely with TMP teams and clients around the world to explore, develop, and implement strategic initiatives leveraging social media and new technologies. He is often found in front of a crowd discussing candidate engagement, employer brand, digital tools and social media.

Steven has been with TMP Worldwide since 2001 and has held multiple roles including Senior Vice President, European New Business, Global Vice President, Client Development, and VP Business Development. He was the founder and President of Apply Technology, where he created Apply! the breakout product that revolutionized the online college and graduate school application market. Used by more than 750 colleges and universities, Apply! was the market leader in application technology from its inception. In 1996, Steven sold Apply Technology to The Princeton Review, where he continued to manage it.

In 1998, he left to head U.S. News & World Report’s Education Group, where he was responsible for the marketing and further development of the U.S. News College Rankings as well as other related products and services. He was also the founder and former President of the online college advising service PureAdvice. If you want to connect with Steven before, during, or after the event, you can find him @99GR81 on both Twitter and Instagram and, of course, on LinkedIn.

The event will be open to non-Forum members with a $10 fee at the door, which includes a High Tea reception. For more information, call 860-605-7207 or Email womensforumoflitchfield.org.