Featured Speakers: Writing Toward a Sustainable Community

Our March 22 symposium, “Writing Toward a Sustainable Community”, will feature a day of dialogue and exploration about the challenges presented in George Packer’s The Unwinding. Joining the discussion will be:

George Packer is the author of National Book Award winner The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America. The New York Times called the book “Steinbeckian in the best sense of that term . . . [Packer has] written something close to a nonfiction masterpiece.” Packer is a staff writer for The New Yorker, for which his articles have won three Overseas Press Club awards. He has published four other works of non-fiction: The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq; Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade; Blood of the Liberals; and The Village of Waiting. He is also the author of two novels, The Half Man and Central Square, and a play, Betrayed. He is the editor of The Fight Is for Democracy: Winning the War of Ideas in America and the World, and of a two-volume edition of George Orwell’s essays. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

Tanir Ami has been the CEO of the Community Health Clinic Ole since 2011. She previously worked at the Community Clinic Consortium, a non-profit organization supporting four clinics with 23 sites, and as Program Officer at the Center for HealthCare Access at Blue Shield of California Foundation, where she established and administered a grant making program that increased access to health care for low-income families in California. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies and Latin American Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Carlos Ernesto Cuauhtémoc Hagedorn is an educator, youth developer and community organizer.  He has worked with elementary, middle, high school and college students. He is a professor at the Napa Valley College  and also a co-founder of the LEGACY Youth Project, a high school “at promise” youth program dedicated to supporting Latino males.  He is on the Board of Trustees for the Napa Valley Unified School District and serves on the Napa County Hispanic Network’s Board of Directors. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Latina/o Studies and Masters Degree in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. He is a second generation Mexican American and first generation Filipino American.

Jennifer Putnam is the Executive Director for the Napa Valley Grapegrowers, which preserves and promotes Napa Valley’s world-class vineyards.  Jennifer earned her Master’s degree from the University of California, Davis, focusing on viticulture and geology.  Her professional background includes managing guest ranches, hospitality and events, and, prior to that, wilderness management with the United States Forest Service and seven years as a backcountry guide in Yosemite National Park. She earned her Bachelor of Science from Humboldt State University. She serves as a Trustee on the Board of the Land Trust of Napa County and is active in many community organizations.

Pete Richmond founded Silverado Farming Company in 2001 after spending 15 years working as a vineyard manager in the Central Coast and Napa Valley. He previously worked as vineyard manager at Bien Nacido Vineyards in Santa Maria and for a number of wineries in the Napa Valley, including managing the Napa and Lake County vineyards for Kendall Jackson.  He is currently vice president of Napa Valley Community Housing, finance chair of the First Presbyterian Church of Napa, board member of the Napa Valley Grape Growers, and a board member of the Napa County Housing Commission.

Melissa Rodezno was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 due to the ongoing civil war. Melissa attended Napa schools, and obtained her B.A. in Politics and Anthropology from Brandeis University. In 2007 she began working with Congressman Mike Thompson and is a Field Representative for the City of Napa and American Canyon. Melissa also sits on the board of the Napa Valley Community Foundation.

To register for the event, return to the main symposium page.