Programs for Jan 1-31

January 2, Tuesday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Rick Pasquier is our Quarterback.

January 4, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Speaker is environmental scientist and new Innmate Austin Arrington. His topic – Design and Engineering in a Changing Climate.

Austin Arrington will give us an on-the-ground look at the work of climate adaptation and mitigation – along with his grounded view of applying technology in this work. He is co-founder of an ecological design and engineering firm, PLANT Group, that offers services in software development, product and project management, geographic information systems, and research. With his interdisciplinary team of ecologists, engineers, and artists, he has worked on climate adaptation and mitigation projects, such as renewable energy systems, green infrastructure, and software for regenerative agriculture.

Adding to his work as an entrepreneur, environmental scientist, and software developer at PLANT Group, Austin serves as director of technology and innovation at the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, a nonprofit that compensates farmers and ranchers for environmental improvements through their agricultural practices. He is also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His advanced degrees are an MS in environmental science from SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and an MA in bioethics from NYU. His bachelor’s degree is from Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College.

January 8, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Buck Rodgers is our Quarterback.

January 11, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Speaker is attorney and Innmate Robert Heim. His topic – Building a Better Bench: The Case for Merit Selection of Judges.

Bob will tell us that Pennsylvania stands out as one of only seven states that turn their appellate court candidates into politicians. The barrage of advertising in this year’s election for one open seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court showed just how intense that process can be. Even if you followed the campaigns, understood the issues being framed, “knew” the candidates – even then, you may have missed final estimates of how much money was spent on the election. It was about $20 million, spent by the campaigns, by political action committees, and by other groups and “big-money” donors. That level of spending is an overt sign of politicization in the initial selection of judges. Less obvious is the potential cost to sitting judges who hear cases knowing that complex, nuanced rulings can provoke well- funded, misleading campaign attacks. Bob will discuss research showing the impact of election pressures on the courts and will make the case for merit selection of judges to better support fairness and objectivity in the judicial system.

Robert Heim brings a well-informed perspective to this Roundtable as co-founder of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts. During his career, he has also been Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association and President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. He is an elected Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and he served two three-year terms on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, appointed by late U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.

Video:To see a recording of this presentation, click on Play Event. Click on the play button at the bottom left of the screen that comes up to see the presentation

January 15, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Tom Tropp is our Quarterback.

January 19, Annual Meeting & William White Dinner, starting 5:30 p.m.

January 22, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Alina Macneal is our Quarterback.

January 25, Thursday Luncheon Roundtable – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Speaker is Innmate Palmer Hartl, on Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point, a new book by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.

With fears of extremism rising in the current electoral season, Palmer will review this new book (Crown Publishing, 2023) by two political scientists who have long studied authoritarian threats to democracies here and abroad. Steven Levitsky and David Ziblatt focused on threats to our constitution and the rule of law in their previous book, How Democracies Die (Crown Publishing, 2018). In contrast, they focus on weaknesses in the constitution itself as conduits for authoritarianism in Tyranny of the Minority. Links to several reviews of the book are here:

Palmer Hartl is a human resources specialist and author of The Ten Commandments of Management. He consults with major corporate and nonprofit clients on transition management, strategic planning and corporate culture change, as well as executive development and team building. A graduate of Grinnell College and Virginia Theological Seminary, he is also a Parish Associate at Christ Church. Currently, he is guiding the FIC Board’s strategic planning process.

January 29, Monday Quarterback Luncheon – 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Palmer Hartl is our Quarterback.