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California Speakers/Presenters

 

California World War One Speakers/Presenters List

 

The California WW1 Centennial Task Force has prepared the the following list of suggested speakers for centennial event planners. The list includes presenters who either have successfully spoken on topics having to do with the war, or are experts in the field who qualify as such. To contact the speakers on this list you can email requests to: courtland.jindra@worldwar1centennial.org. You can also send requests by mail to: California World War 1 Centennial Task Force, 330 Myrtlewood Dr., Calimesa, CA 92320

 

PLEASE NOTE: Though several speakers listed are members of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force and are even Managing Board members, individually these speakers may or may not represent the Task Force. The list is only a guide to those seeking presenters in the state, and this list is not an attempt to represent the speaker, nor to solicit for them. It is the organizing agent’s responsibility to vet any presenter they invite.
If your organization is interested in inviting one of the following to speak, the Task Force advises a careful examination of any speaker on the topic of WW1. Also, please be aware that most on this list are professional speakers and some may may even ask for appropriate compensation. The Task Force recommends that at least an honorarium be offered. It is also customary that a speaker be offered a stipend for travel, mileage, and lodging, if needed. Still, all agreements are negotiated between the speaker and host.
Though most presenters listed here are happy to help in other ways, the Task Force asks that you resist contacting these resources through this conduit for needs other than presentations. They are great resources for our state and the Task Force appreciates their kind offer to remain on our Speakers List.

 

Speakers and Presenters located in Northern California

Alphabetical index:
James Armistead: Historical Reenactment, Literature, and Specific Battles
Cindy Barley: WW1 Writers
Sal Compagno: Political Leaders of WW1
Robert Denison: Literature and Specific Battles
Karen English: WW1 Poetry
Terry Finnegan: US Infantry, Air Surveillance
Michael Hanlon: Military Operations of WW1, After the Great War, WW1 Tour Guide
Dana Lombardy: Origins, Military Capabilities
Anthony Powell: US Blacks in WW1
David S. Rader: Theodore Roosevelt
Diane Rooney: Influenza Pandemic
Dr. Jonathan Roth: Race and Ethnicity in World War One
Chris Sherba: US Immigrants in WW1
Noel Shirley: WW1 Aviation Development
Thomas Snyder: US Military Medicine in World War One, The Spanish Flu
Walter Soellner: Historical fiction writer
Jolie Velasquez: Women in WW1, Col. House
Barbara Wilcox: Camp Fremont

Speakers and Presenters located in Southern California

Alphabetical index:

Bill Betten: General Pershing, Our First American Ace, Technological Developments During WW1, Espionage and the Great War, A General Overview of WW1
Courtland Jindra: LA County WW1 Memorials, Southern California in the Great War, General WWI History

 

 

James Armistead: Historical Reenactment, Literature, and Specific Battles

dr james armstead san fran commemorationDr. J. Holmes Armstead has experience speaking on the Von Schlieffen Plan, the Gallipoli Campaign, World War One in East Africa, the Air Campaign on the Western Front, the 1914 German campaign against Russia, the Assassination of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, and the Role of Turkey in World War One.
Dr. Armstead gives talks in the person and costume of historical characters including including Colonel Charles Young, Eugene Jacques Bullard, WEB DuBois, and Kemal Ataturk. Furthermore, he has portrayed over 23 Chatauqua characters as well.
Dr. Armstead is a retired professor of Strategy and International law from the US Naval War College.

 

Cindy Barley: WW1 Writers

 

Sal Compagno: Political Leaders of WW1sal compagno april 6 san fran commemoration

As one of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force's Managing Board members please see Sal Compagno's biography under our "About Us" page.

 

Robert Denison: Literature and Specific Battles

 

Karen English: WW1 Poetry

dr karen english april 6 san fran commemorationEducated in North Carolina and raised in a military family, Dr. English has taught American Literature and American Studies at San José State University since 1989. Her academic field is American Literature before 1865, but she saw the film Gallipoli in 1981 and has since been passionately interested in literature written during and about WWI, esp. American poetry, but also fiction, autobiography, and drama.

 

Terry Finnegan: US Infantry, Air Surveillance

col terry finneganTerry Finnegan is known for his interesting talks at War College events at local game conventions, and his recent outstanding talks sponsored by the WW1 Centennial Commission at the Pritzker Military Museum and Library. He is the author of two well-received books:

  • Shooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War
  • A Delicate Affair on the Western Front: America Learns How to Fight a Modern War in the Woevre Trenches

 The Pritzker website states:

"Colonel Terry J. Finnegan's acclaimed work is a pioneering study of the impact of aerial photography on World War I, America's fledgling air force, and intelligence methods for decades to come."

Col. Finnegan served for 40 years in the Air Force Reserve and Department of Defense as a senior level civil servant supporting NATO and NORAD alliances. He has written articles for Studies in Intelligence, Over the Top and Over the Front, and was a contributor to Images of Conflict: Military Aerial Photography & Archaeology.

 

Michael Hanlon: Military Operations of WW1, After the Great War, WW1 Tour Guide

mike hanlon speaksMichael Hanlon, an expert on San Francisco and/or the Greater Bay Area at War is also ready to speak on Battles of the American Expeditionary Force, Any Military Operations of 1918, and How the Great War Shaped our World. Mr Hanlon is a native of San Francisco, where he attended school before enlisting in the Air Force. Later, he obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees at Pennsylvania State University. After serving as a weather and operations officer primarily at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, supporting the Strategic Air Command, he began a civilian career as a project planning, financing, and management consultant. In the 1980s, Mike self-initiated a parallel career in military history, specializing in the First World War, that has continued through his retirement. He has written extensively on the period, appearing on History Channel programs, and for over a decade producing a whole series of printed and online publications about the Great War. He also leads regular tours of the war's battlefields including the Western Front, Italy and Gallipoli. All of his publications can be accessed at www.worldwar1.com.
As one of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force's Managing Board members please see Mike Hanlon's biography under our "About Us" page.

 

Dana Lombardy: Origins, Military Capabilities

dana lombardyDana Lombardy is currently publisher of World War One Illustrated magazine and was an associate online editor for Armchair General magazine. He does research, writing, design and publishing through Lombardy Studios. Dana is best known for his multiple award-winning Streets of Stalingrad board wargame (three separate editions since first released in 1979), and for his nearly twenty television appearances, including multiple episodes of The History Channel’s “Tales of the Gun” series. He has contributed as an editor, cartographer, graphic artist and designer on many books, games and magazines, and was publisher of Napoleon Journal from 1996-2000.

 

Anthony Powell: US Blacks in WW1

Anthony Powell is a popular historian & collector of African-American Militaria holding what is likely the worlds largest private collection of WW1 African-American items. His collection has been displayed at the Schomburg Center. As one of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force's Managing Board members please see Anthony Powell's biography under our "About Us" page.

 

David S. Rader: Theodore Roosevelt

 

Diane Rooney: Influenza Pandemic

 

Dr. Jonathan Roth: Race and Ethnicity in World War One

dr jonathan roth april 6 san fran cropDr. Jonathan P. Roth, a Professor of History at San Jose State University, has been widely recognized for his scholarship and teaching.
Dr. Roth has numerous publications, including books, articles and essays on the subject of history, and is a well-documented authority with several prestigious awards. As Professor and Director of the Burdick Military History Project since 1999, Prof. Roth has helped sponsor frequent lectures, panels and talks, including hosting the annual Charles Burdick Memorial Military History Symposium.
As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied at the Georg August University in Guttingen, Germany. In 2006, he was honored as San Jose State University's Outstanding Professor.
He is quoted as saying, “I find military history especially challenging and rewarding. War is understudied in today's universities. Both those who make war and those who study it do so in order to end it, but averting one's eyes from cruel truths is not a way to bring about peace.”As one of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force's Managing Board members please see Dr. Roth's biography under our "About Us" page.

 

Chris Sherba: US Immigrants in WW1

 

Noel Shirley: WW1 Aviation Development

 

Thomas Snyder: US Military Medicine in World War One, The Spanish Flu

Thomas Snyder has spoken on such topics as US Military Medicine in WW1, Combat Casualty Care in World War One, The Navy's Response to the Spanish Flu as a Model for Military-Civilian Disaster Cooperation, and The Spanish Flu Crisis at Mare Island Naval Shipyard and Vallejo California

Mr. Shirley is the former Vice President of the League of World War One Aviation Historians and former Associate Managing Editor and Issue Editor of The Over the Front Journal. He is presently the Chairman of the Palo Alto Chapter of The Great War Society and member of its Board of Directors. He has written over twenty-four articles on WWI aviation published in such journals as Cross & Cockade, Over the Front, and The '14-'18 Journal of the Australian Society of World War 1 Aviation Historians.

 

Walter Soellner: Historical fiction writer

 Mr. Soellner is an U.S. Army Veteran (Military Police), who received his MFA from Cranbook Academy of Arts in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. He taught Art as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and as a Professor at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose, in addition to a summer teaching in Wuhan, China. Since his retirement he has written a series of novels on Germans in World War One.

 

Jolie Velasquez: Women in WW1, Col. House

 

Barbara Wilcox: Camp Fremont 

barbara wilcoxBarbara Wilcox is a writer at Stanford University, where she earned her master's degree.
She is author of World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremont (History Press, 2016). Her interest in World War I dates to tales told by her grandfather, who served with the AEF's 319th Services of Supply in Gironde, France. Her book was inspired during her term as a writer for the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park, where geophysicists proposed testing magnetometers over "Stanford's hidden World War I tunnels." She speaks on Camp Fremont and the U.S. WWI mobilization, on the home front in San Francisco and the Bay Area, and on health care and the 1918 flu epidemic in the Bay Area (a chapter in her book).

 

Speakers and Presenters located in Southern California

Alphabetical index:

Bill Betten: General Pershing, Our First American Ace, Technological Developments During WW1, Espionage and the Great War, A General Overview of WW1
Courtland Jindra: LA County WW1 Memorials, Southern California in the Great War, General WWI History

 

 Bill Betten: General Pershing, Music of WW1, Our First American Ace, Technological Developments During WW1, Espionage and the Great War, A General Overview of WW1

bill betten at claremont croppedBill Betten is the founder of the California WW1 Centennial Advisory Council, and developer of WW1Doughboys.com., and has been published in trade journals and newspapers. He is well-versed on General Pershing, Lt. James Reese Europe and the Harlem Hellfghters, Lt. Paul Baer (the United States’ first ace,) technological developments during the war, and how espionage drew the US into the war. He has also presented a synopsis/general overview to audiences on WW1, laying out a platform for speakers with more specific topics to build upon.
Educated in California with three degrees from California colleges and universities, including Claremont Graduate University, Bill is an esteemed retired teacher of more than thirty years having been recognized for his work by the Daughters of the American Revolution, and local districts for his service in the subject of History/Social Studies.
Bill is a proud member of the Sons of the American Legion, and is a national member of the V FW Auxiliary through the exemplary service of his father in Korea, and his grandfather in France in World War 1. He is also a member of the World War One Historical Association, the California Military History Foundation, and the California Band Directors Association (MENC,) as well as holding credentials in numerous meritorious writer's associations.
As a National Archives Identified Researcher Bill has made repeated visits to the National Archives in Missouri and California, and retains broad research on the story of WW1 from New York, Paris, and Washington DC.
Relentless in his extensive research for his book series Doughboys, Bill’s meticulous search for the historical evidence upon which the story is based extended not only across the North American continent, but even into France, Germany and the Philippines. His travels took him from the Presidio of San Francisco to stand at the location of the Pershing family tragedy to Ft. Wayne, Indiana and the birth place of America’s actual first Ace fighter pilot. To set the story straight in these places he learned the truth about these soldier’s histories. From the state of Washington on the Canadian border and the amazing discovery of long lost letters actually written by General Pershing, to way down south of the Mexican border where the General chased Pancho Villa, astonishing facts set the stage for the passion of Bill’s writing where heartbreaking loss is personal and historic. Bill has unearthed the hidden sacrifice of individual Doughboys granting them the right to victory in the end.
On stage, Bill has a long list of work overseas and in the U.S. that includes the Hollywood Palladium, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the L. A. Actors Theater.
He lives in the foothills below Lake Arrowhead, CA.
As one of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force's Managing Board members please see Bill's biography under our "About Us" page.

 

 Courtland Jindra: LA County WW1 Memorials, Southern California in the Great War, General WWI History

ourtland speaking at coliseum 2017 cropSince 2014 Courtland has worked as a ground-breaking volunteer with the United States World War I Centennial Commission here in California. His important contributions were key to the development and recognition of the California WW1 Centennial Task Force as California's authorized centennial body. Though Courtland is an amateur historian, his knowledge of the "Great War" is vast. His interest is largely focused on America's contribution to and remembrance of it. His topics dig deep into the Los Angeles area during the war, evidenced by his having located numerous "lost" memorials to the war in the area. He is a passionate advocate for highlighting their importance, and supports work with the restoration of sights important to WW1 in Southern California. His project at Victory Memorial Grove in Elysian Park in LA was awarded one of the limited 100 Cities/100 Memorials grants offered by the The Pritzker Military Museum and Library, and the national WW1 Centennial Commission.

As such, his topics include LA County Memorials, Southern California in the Great War, and General WWI History. With a chuckle he admits, "I know the last one is broad, but I could probably talk from the hip on the war for an hour."

 

 This is a changing and growing list. Please visit regularly to keep informed of additions and editing.

 

 

 

California WW1 Centennial Task Force

 

Managing Board Co-Directors

Bill Betten
Sal Compagno
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Hugh E. Crooks, Jr.
Mike Hanlon
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.)
Prof. Jennifer Keene, Ph.D
Courtland Jindra
Dennis Matarrese
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Anthony Powell
Lester Probst
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.
Col. Fred Rutledge 

Northern California Committee

Sal Compagno
Mike Hanlon
Stephen M. Payne, Ph.D.
Lt. Col. Kenneth Nielsen
Major General Michael J. Myatt USMC (Ret.)

Anthony Powell
Col. Fred Rutledge
Prof. Jonathan Roth, Ph.D.

Southern California Committee

Bill Betten
Maria Carrillo
Col. Andre N. Coulombe
Brigadier General R.G. Head, Ph.D. USAF (Ret.) 
Courtland Jindra
Lester Probst
Jeff Sharp

 Education Committee

Bill Betten, Master of Arts in Education, (Retired teacher DUSD, OUSD, AGUSD)
Lauren Weiss Bricker, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture at Cal State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Scott Corbett, Ph.D, Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jennifer Keene, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Chapman University
Michael Powelson, Ph.D., Lecturer, History, CSUCI
Jonathan Roth, Ph.D., Professor of History, SJSU, Burdick Military History Project Director [Committee Chair]
Miriam Raub Vivian, Ph.D.,  Professor of History, CSUB

Website Administrator

Bill Betten

 

Email: courtland.jindra@worldwar1centennial.org

Snail Mail:
     California World War 1Centennial Task Force
     330 Myrtlewood Dr.
     Calimesa, CA 92320

 

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