Historic DeFuniak Springs, Florida!
DeFuniak Springs, FL
Carlene Anderson is Superintendent of the Walton County School District. The Florida Chautauqua Center believes Mrs. Anderson may be the first school superintendent in the nation who has allowed a school district to be incorporated into a Chautauqua Assembly to the level this school district is involved with the Florida Chautauqua Assembly. Superintendent Anderson's superior leadership skills were recognized before Walton County citizens elected her to the district's top education position. In 2003, the Florida Commissioner of Education presented her the Principal Achievement Award for Region 1. She began teaching in 1976 and was promoted to assistant principal in 1992. She became principal in 1998, a position she held until her election. She holds both a bachelors and masters degrees from the University of West Florida at Pensacola.
Pomona Park, FL
Rusty Bowman is a great-granddaughter of Wallace Bruce, the longest-serving president of the original Florida Chautauqua Assembly. Her father read his grandfather's poem, "Inasmuch," to her every Christmas Eve and, upon her father's death, she memorized the poem, which she uses as a dramatic reading. She reared 3 foster children and 6 step children, is a survivor of breast cancer and lives with her husband, Bob, in Pomona Park, FL. Rusty had operatic training for 18 years, writes poetry and has put some of her lyrics to music. She is active in her church, and served as Choir Director for several years. She has been Song Leader for women's retreats and is a Certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church.
Branson, CPA, Chad
Chad Branson is a manager at Carr, Riggs, and Ingram, LLC (CRI), one of the nation’s Top 50 accounting firms. With over 10 years of experience in public accounting, Chad conducts financial statement audits, reviews, and compilations for not-for-profit organizations, as well as privately-held businesses, local governmental entities, and common interest realty associations (CIRA). Chad is a native Mississippian who graduated from University of Mississippi with both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Accountancy. He is an active member of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) and American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Additionally, Chad is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Florida and Mississippi.
Todi Carnes earned her B.A. (political science and anthropology) at Florida State University and her J.D. (law) at the University of Florida. Following 21 years on active duty as a judge advocate with the United States Air Force, she retired to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where she continues to work for the Air Force as a civilian attorney. The views she conveys in her presentation on the world-renowned aviatrix Jackie Cochran are her own and not those of the Air Force or the Department of Defense. Also of her own development is her presentation on Native American influences in orchestral music, deriving from her personal interest in music and her professional interest in anthropology."
Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter has worked for more than three decades to improve the quality of life for people around the world. Today, she is an advocate for mental health, caregiving, early childhood immunization, human rights, and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta, Ga. The Center is a private, nonprofit institution founded by former President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter in 1982.
A full partner with the president in all the Center's activities, the former first lady is a member of the Carter Center board of trustees. She created and chairs the Carter Center's Mental Health Task Force, an advisory body of experts, consumers, and advocates promoting positive change in the mental health field. Each year, she hosts the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy, bringing together leaders of the nation's mental health organizations to address critical issues. Mrs. Carter emerged as a driving force for mental health when, during the Carter administration, she became active honorary chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health, which resulted in passage of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980.
She served on the Policy Advisory Board of The Atlanta Project (TAP), a program of The Carter Center addressing the social ills associated with poverty and quality of life citywide, from the program's inception in 1991 until its transfer to Georgia State University in 1999. In 1988, she convened with three other former first ladies the "Women and the Constitution" conference at The Carter Center to assess that document's impact on women.
Outside the Center, Mrs. Carter is president of the board of directors for the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving (RCI) at Georgia Southwestern State University, which was established in her honor on the campus of her alma mater in Americus, Ga. Through research, education, and training, the RCI promotes the mental health and well-being of individuals, families, and professional caregivers; delineates effective caregiving practices; builds public awareness of caregiving needs; and advances public and social policies that enhance caring communities.
A mother of four, she has maintained a lifelong dedication to issues affecting women and children. In 1991, she launched with Mrs. Betty Bumpers, wife of former U.S. Senator Dale Bumpers of Arkansas, "Every Child By Two," a nationwide campaign to publicize the need for early childhood immunizations. She also works with Habitat for Humanity, participating in the annual one-week Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project that in 1984 began building homes for the needy, and Project Interconnections, a public/private nonprofit partnership to provide housing for homeless people who are mentally ill. She served as distinguished centennial lecturer at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., from 1988-1992 and is currently a distinguished fellow at the Emory University Department of Women's Studies in Atlanta.
Since graduating from Georgia Southwestern College in l946, Mrs. Carter has received many honors, among them the Volunteer of the Decade Award from the National Mental Health Association; the Award of Merit for Support of the Equal Rights Amendment from the National Organization for Women; the Notre Dame Award for International Service; the Eleanor Roosevelt Living World Award from Peace Links; the Kiwanis World Service Medal from Kiwanis International Foundation; the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service; the Georgia Woman of the Year Award from the Georgia Commission on Women; the Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine; the United States Surgeon General's Medallion; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian honor. In 2001, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
She has written five books: her autobiography, First Lady from Plains; Everything To Gain: Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life, a book about life after the White House co-authored with President Carter; Helping Yourself Help Others: A Book For Caregivers (with Susan K. Golant); Helping Someone with Mental Illness: A Compassionate Guide for Family, Friends, and Caregivers (with Susan K. Golant), which was selected as the winner of the 1999 American Society of Journalists and Authors Outstanding Book Award in the service category; and Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis (with Susan K. Golant and Kathryn E. Cade). She continues to travel and speak throughout the world, is a deacon at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga., and enjoys fly-fishing, bird-watching, swimming, and biking in her free time.
Thomas A. Cloud is a shareholder in the law firm of Gray Robinson and is the head of the firm's Public Law Department. He has extensive state and local government experience in municipal, public infrastructure, energy, water, environmental, land use, and all aspects of utilities law. Thomas has represented utilities, individuals, and local governments. He is City Attorney for Haines City, Fort Meade, and Polk City. For almost 30 years, Thomas has been a frequent author and lecturer in Florida on a variety of municipal, land use, and legal topics.
Dean DeBolt is University Librarian for Special Collections at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida where he has been on the faculty since 1981. He has lectured widely on the American Chautauqua Movement and the history of the Florida Chautauqua, including presentations at the New York Chautauqua and the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly. He is a frequent speaker on topics of West Florida history and genealogical research.
Judy DeBolt is retired from the University of West Florida. She was born in Springfield, Illinois and lived there until 1981 when she moved to Pensacola, Florida with her husband Dean and daughter Jennifer. She has a deep interest in the history of the Titanic and has spoken on this subject to numerous historical groups and Sunday school classes in and around Pensacola. She has also appeared at the Monteagle Chautauqua in Tennessee, the First Presbyterian Church of Cranbury, New Jersey Seniors Group, as well as previous Chautauqua Assemblies in DeFuniak Springs.
Frye Gaillard is an award-winning journalist and author of more than a dozen books on Southern culture and history, including Cradle of Freedom: Alabama and the Movement That Changed America; Race, Rock, and Religion: Profiles from a Southern Journalist; The Quest for Desegregation; The Dream Long Deferred: A Community’s Quest for Desegregation; Kyle at 200 MPH: Sizzling Season in the Petty/NASCAR Dynasty; If I were a Carpenter: Twenty Years of Habitat for Humanity. A native of Mobile, Alabama, he lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Gregory L. Garland is a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. His more recent assignments include the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Research Fellow, the National Defense Intelligence College; and Media and Outreach Coordinator in State’s Bureau of African Affairs. He has also served in Mozambique, Angola, Guinea, Mexico, Poland, and on the staffs of the former Board for International Broadcasting and the Jacksonville, Florida, International Relations and Marketing Commission. Greg has spoken and written widely on U.S.-African relations and public diplomacy, including a book manuscript tentatively titled, Why They Like Us. Originally from Lakeland, Florida, he holds a B.A. from Duke University, an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a J.D. from California Western School of Law.
Haulman, Daniel, Ph.D.
Dr. Daniel L. Haulman is Chief, Organizational History Division, at the Air Force Historical Research Agency, where he has worked since 1982. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana, his master's degree from the University of New Orleans, and his Ph.D. in history from Auburn University. Before pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Haulman taught high school social studies in Louisiana for five years. He has authored three books, including Air Force Aerial Victory Credits: World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam; The United States and Air Force and Humanitarian Airlift Operations, 1947-1994; and One Hundred Years of Flight: USAF Chronology of Significant Air and Space Events, 1903-2002. He has also written three published Air Force pamphlets, including The High Road to Tokyo Bay; Hitting Home: The Air Offensive Against Japan; and Wings of Hope: The U.S. Air Force and Humanitarian Airlift Operations. The author of sixteen published articles in various journals, Dr. Haulman has also presented more than twenty historical papers at historical conferences and taught several courses at night at Huntingdon College, Auburn University at Montgomery, and Faulkner University.
Jowers, Alan, CPA
Alan Jowers is a partner at Carr, Riggs, and Ingram, LLC (CRI), one of the nation’s Top 50 accounting firms. With nearly 20 years of experience in public accounting, Alan's career has focused on providing audit and other assurance services for local governmental entities, common interest realty associations (CIRA), privately-held businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. As a member of the firm’s non-profit audit and assurance team, he offers expertise handling audits for trade associations and other non-profits, including single audits in accordance with OMB A-133 and audits of employee benefit plans (401k and 403b). Alan is active in the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) and is a member of its State and Local Government and Common Interest Realty Association (CIRA) sections. Alan is also a past member of the Board of Directors of the Destin Area Chamber of Commerce.
Panama City, FL
Ms. McCauley is founder and executive director of the Chautauqua Learn & Serve Charter School in Panama City, Florida. The school's mission is to educate disabled students through Chautauqua learning experiences for the demands of the world they are about to enter and to educate and enlighten the world about the needs of the disabled who are seeking to enter this world with as much independence as possible. Students volunteer in the United States and overseas and attend Chautauqua in New York.
Poverty Creek Community, FL
Jim Moore is a yarn spinner by hobby. A graduate of Florida State University and the University of Florida, he started storytelling as a Scoutmaster years ago and has parlayed his performance for regular appearance for the Florida League of Arts and the Florida Chautauqua Assembly, historical societies, and civic clubs. He has authored several historical books on the history of the Florida Panhandle. He resides near the Poverty Creek community in Okaloosa County, Florida and is one of the owners of the Holiday Inn Express in Niceville.
Michael Morris is a fifth generation Floridian and the author of the award winning novel, A Place Called Wiregrass, and Slow Way Home, which was named one of the best novels of the year by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Author Pat Conroy calls Morris one of his “favorite Southern writers” and says Morris’s latest novel, Man in the Blue Moon, set in Apalachicola, Florida, is “one of the best portraits of a small Southern town I’ve ever encountered.” Publishers Weekly says the novel “is a magical and mesmerizing page-turner…with overtones of Flannery O’Connor and the rural Florida backdrop of 'Their Eyes Were Watching God'.” And Florida Chautauqua plays a role in the novel. A finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award, Morris’s essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Dallas Morning News and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Pianist Joy Myers graduated from Jacksonville University summa cum laude with departmental honors and a dual major in music education and music performance. She has been pianist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Lyric Opera Theater, Starlight Symphonette, Amadeus Trio of Jacksonville, and the Palm Court Society Orchestra. Joy also played viola with the Jacksonville Symphony. Joy has certification in Yamaha piano, Kindermusick, Suzuki violin, and Suzuki piano. The Girl Scouts honored Joy as Woman of the Year, World of Arts. Before touring, Joy was the Performing Arts Director at St. Johns Country Day School. She is the founder of Concert on the Green, a 20-year old non-profit organization which brings the Jacksonville Symphony and award scholarships to students in her county. Joy enjoys spending time with her husband and family of five children, traveling, being in the outdoors, and restoring their 100-year old home.
Dr. Britt Poulson obtained his B.A. in English at Allegheny College, his M.A. in Guidance at George Washington University and his Ph.D. in Curriculum at Penn State University. He has taught and been a principal at the elementary, middle, high school and adult levels of public schools. He was a professor at Penn State and Florida State universities. He was a Director of Curriculum for several Florida school districts. Dr. Poulson created an academic competition called the Big Bend High School Bowl in the 1970s and is currently the director of this competition, which is sponsored by the Tallahassee Democrat Newspaper. He created the Big Bend Middle School Bowl in the 1980s and created a senior citizen bowl competition that once had a statewide competition in Orlando.
Puckett, Chuck, Esq., BS, MS, ThD
DeFuniak Springs, FL
Chuck Puckett is a playwright, composer, songwriter, poet and actor, though he occasionally masquerades as a software developer. His plays and musicals include "Tell Me Why", "Tabernacle", "Batter Up", "Starstruck!", "Last Exit To Sinai", "Space Rangers and the Viper Menace", "The Christmas Carving", and many others. He and wife Carol wrote the one act play "Wallace Bruce and the Chautauqua Dream", in which he played the title role in performances during earlier DeFuniak Springs Winter Session Chautauquas. They also wrote and produced the very popular "A Chautauqua Radio Companion" in 2007 as well asmany songs of the 2003 Grit & Grace: Letters From Home. In 2011, Chuck achieved a marathon milestone, posting a Youtube video per week, each featuring an original song. The results are archived at www.chuckpuckettsongaweek.com. Chuck and Carol have been married for almost 30 years, and have three beautiful daughters: Rosemary, Ruthie and Lily.
Ramsey, Sharman Burson
Sharman Burson Ramsey is an Alabama native who received her BSE at the University of Alabama and her MSE from Troy University. She is the wife of Dothan attorney Joel Ramsey. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Florida Historical Society, Alabama Historical Association and the Georgia Historical Society and the member of several genealogical societies. Her avid fascination with genealogy began with her mother’s challenge to find out as much about her side of the family as her Aunt Eliece had found out about her father’s side of the family. That study of genealogy inspired her website, Southern-style.com, which has grown to become a very popular general interest website on Southern culture, including Genealogy, History, Recipes, a Southern Wedding, the Southern Monet Garden, and Southern Manners and Etiquette which, amazingly, has become the most popular page on the Southern-style.com website, second only to Southern Wedding. She is a former radio talk show host, teacher and sometime adjunct history professor, freelance writer and short story writer. And now she is a novelist. As the result of her mother’s challenge to uncover an ancestral line that she had always wondered about, Ramsey found out about her Native American heritage. This discovery led to the writing of Swimming with Serpents, her debut novel. Nest of Vipers, the first sequel to Swimming with Serpents and the second novel in the planned Serpents Series of Novels, is scheduled for release in 2013. It follows characters introduced in Swimming with Serpents into the First Seminole War, including Red Sticks who survived the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The discovery of a Mayan connection to the Native American ancestry through a Tribal DNA test has led to the novel she is currently writing, Déjà Vu All Over Again.
Dr. Don Rapp received his Ph.D. in Child Development from Florida State University. He taught at the University of Illinois, University of Georgia, and was Professor Emeritus at Florida State University where he taught Academic Field of Child Development and Gerontology. He is certified as a personal trainer by the American College of Sports Medicine. Dr. Rapp has been a juggler for 67 years and is a motivational speaker. He also originated Kinetic Arts Training, which is designed to enhance balance. In May of 2007 he was appointed to the Florida Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and is the author of On Balance: Mastery of Physical Balance for Life."
Jonathan Schmitz has served as the Archivist and Historian for the Chautauqua Institution since June 2002. He serves on the New York State Archives Regional Advisory Committee, and, for three years, a Grants Assessor for the New York State Archives. He is also a member in good standing of the Academy of Certified Archivists. Mr. Schmitz has also been Archivist, Records Manager and Historian for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and a consultant for corporate archives and records, primarily non-profit organizations. He was the sole instructor for the certificate course in Archival Practice at George Brown College in Toronto and continues to teach workshops and give presentations. He is a public speaker on a variety of subjects, author of several articles and is co-author of The Chautauqua Institution: A Postcard History (Arcadia Publishers, 2011). He received an Honours BA in History and Philosophy with a minor in Classics at Trent University, an MA in History (Specialist in International Relations) at the University of Toronto and PhD Comprehensives in Diplomatic History with minors in Modern American History and the Philosophy and Methodology of History (specializing in Kant, Hegel and Marx) at the University of Toronto. He also received a Certificate in Archival Practice at George Brown College, Toronto.
DeFuniak Springs, FL
Wayne Sconiers is Chairman of the Walton County Genealogy Society and assisted in publishing the Heritage Book for Walton County in 2006. He first became interested in genealogy research when his Aunt Alice gave him information she gathered on the Sconiers family tree. In 1998, he continued the research just before his retirement and has accumulated a Walton County genealogical database of over 38,000 people. He says he enjoys the thrill of genealogical research and sharing this knowledge with others. He was born and raised in DeFuniak Springs where he and his wife, Janice, still reside.
Mt. Gretna, PA
Kathy Snavely is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Harrisburg Area Community College, as well as owner of Lightkeeper Consulting in Mt. Gretna. She is a recipient of the Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business award and the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Athena award. Kathy is honored to be listed among the top 100 marketing professors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and the top 50 business professors to follow on Twitter by OnlineMBA. She is a member of The Social CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), which hosts one of the top 150 most read marketing blogs in the world, according to Ad Age Magazine. Her specialty is working with microenterprises in the areas of business planning, marketing, meeting planning, special events, and strategic planning. She is also a grassroots political consultant, concentrating in local political races, and a faculty member and administrator of the American Medical Association’s PAC Campaign School in Washington, DC annually. Originally from Pittsburgh, Snavely enjoys living in Mt. Gretna, Pennsylvania and publishes “This Week in Mt. Gretna” during the summer. She and her husband, Cliff, will celebrate their 30th anniversary this year; they are blessed with four children, seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren (so far).
Skip Tucker is the author of Pale Blue Light, a novel exploring the question of General Stonewall Jackson's death during the Civil War. Mr. Tucker served the Jasper (Ala.) Daily Mountain Eagle for ten years as a reporter, editor, and assistant publisher. He was media director for Judge Charlie Graddick’s
2012 campaign for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Joe Wiegand is regarded as the nation’s premiere reprisor of Theodore Roosevelt. Prior to becoming Teddy Roosevelt, Joe had a twenty-five year career in politics and public policy in his native Illinois. In 2008, after running gubernatorial and presidential campaigns in the Land of Lincoln, Joe set out with his wife, Jenny, daughter, Sam, and golden retriever, Faith, on a fifty state tour celebrating TR’s sesquicentennial birthday and the centennial of TR’s final year in office. The adventure was highlighted by a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. George W. Bush on TR’s 150th birthday. Joe is a political science graduate of Sewanee, the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tennessee, and a former graduate assistant at the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University, in DeKalb, Illinois. Joe is a Harry S. Truman Scholar and a Thomas J. Watson Fellow. A former county commissioner in Illinois, Joe and his family are living quietly in Sewanee, Tennessee, where Jenny keeps her golf game sharp while serving as the assistant coach for field hockey and lacrosse, sports she captained during her college years at Sewanee. Joe credits much of his success to the support of a loving and patient family, and to the support of family and friends throughout the country. Special thanks go to the previous generation. Joe’s father, Jim Wiggins, is a forty year veteran of the comedy stage, performing now as the Last Hippie in America, and Jenny’s mother, Marcia Mary Cook, is a faculty member at Sewanee’s Tennessee Williams Center for the Performing Arts. Joe continues to perform throughout the country for audiences ranging from schools to theatres, history museums, conservation organizations, corporations, professional associations, civic organization conventions and more. More information is available at www.teddyrooseveltshow.com
One of the great treasures of Julie Hedgepeth Williams' childhood was hearing about the Titanic from her great-uncle, Albert Caldwell, who survived the shipwreck along with his wife, Sylvia, and baby son, Alden. After the shipwreck, Albert went on the Chautauqua circuit to speak about it. Julie must have pestered Albert to tell the Titanic story often, because she heard it a good many times. She was so inspired by her Titanic connection that she majored in history and English at Principia College. After working as a journalist in Clinton, North Carolina, for most of the 1980s, she got a master's and then a PhD at the University of Alabama, where she focused on media history. She is the past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and teaches journalism part-time at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where she lives with her husband and teenage sons. One of her sons is named Alden for the baby in her Titanic family.
Flutist Donna Wissinger has been hailed as a dynamic international star whose concerts include acclaimed recitals on the mainstages of Carnegie Hall and the renowned Glinka Capella. Recital tours have included Europe, Asia and the USA, as well as the former Soviet Union. Donna has, with her golden flute, keynoted international conferences for such companies and associations as Starbucks, ASCD, IODA, McGill and Wharton Universities, and several Excellence in Government Conferences. Donna is the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Doris Leeper Award for Excellence in Arts Education. She has been a premier artist on the rosters of the Florida State Touring Program; The New York based Learning Arts; the Southern Artist Registry and numerous Arts Councils nationwide. Donna is a USPTA tennis professional and long distance runner. Her bicycle/flute performance tour of 2000 miles and 82 concerts from NYC to Miami were featured on the National Geographic Channel. Donna's CDs, Amazing Grace: An American Tapestry and A Chipola Family Christmas are heralded worldwide and can be sampled, along with program information, at www.donnawissinger.com.