General Programs

At the DCA, General Programs range from panel discussions on topical issues, to author visits, to presentations by industry experts.  In the past we’ve had CIA agents tell their secrets, master classes by prominent musicians, and a discussion on the Nobel Peace Prize.

Every year, DCA members are invited to several of these General Programs at no charge.

Upcoming General Programs Talk and Signing with Author Amor Towles
Wednesday, October 4
DCA members $25 / public $35 (includes a glass of wine)

This book talk is sold out.  If you would like to be on a waiting list in the event that seats become available, please contact the DCA office at 203-655-9050, extension 10.

Join us to hear New York Times bestselling author Amor Towles speak at the Darien Community Association about his latest novel, A Gentleman in Moscow.

Winning the hearts of critics and readers alike, Amor Towles’ “brilliantly realized… [and] sharply stylish” (The Boston Globe) debut novel, Rules of Civility, was one of 2011’s biggest breakout literary bestsellers. In A Gentleman In Moscow, his highly anticipated second novel about a thirty-year-old Russian aristocrat who is sentenced to house arrest inside the luxurious Hotel Metropol, Towles further establishes his reputation as one of contemporary literature’s most exciting and singular writers.

Photo credit: David Jacobs

Photo credit: David Jacobs

Prepayment is required for this General Programs event, which is sponsored in conjunction with Barrett Bookstore. Signed copies of A Gentleman in Moscow, as well as Rules of Civility, will be available for purchase.

This book talk is sold out.  If you would like to be on a waiting list in the event that seats become available, please contact the DCA office at 203-655-9050, extension 10.









Recent General Programs

David Genovese & Penny GlassmeyerDCA Annual Meeting and Revitalizing Downtown Darien: A Progress Report
Thursday, May 25th

Free to DCA members, $10 public

At this year’s DCA Annual Meeting, join us to hear two of our best-known Darien developers as they share their plans for our town.

R. David Genovese founded Baywater Properties, a full-service commercial real estate company, in 2001. His group currently owns 12 properties in Darien, including 1020 Post, as well as others in Norwalk, Stamford, Wilton, and Rye, New York. Penny Glassmeyer, a long-time Darien resident, has been renovating and building properties since 1979. In 1987 she formed PG Properties, through which she built higher-end homes, and developed the pedestrian-friendly Grove Street Plaza.

The presentation will be preceded by several minutes of DCA business, but is open to the public.



I, Counterterrorism Policies and Other Intelligence Issues:
Then and Now
Tuesday, March 28th

Former CIA covert officers David Hunt and Jerry Goodwin returned to the Darien Community Association to speak about the immigration and counterterrorism challenges facing the new administration. David Hunt has 32 years of experience in the clandestine service and Jerry Goodwin has served as president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers New York Metropolitan Chapter since 2004. Hunt
David Hunt is a retired senior CIA Officer with 32 years experience in the Clandestine Service.  He had six field assignments in Italy, Vietnam, Somalia, Norway, France, and New York City.  Prior to joining the CIA, he served in the US Army Counterintelligence Corps and spent a year in Korea.  Mr. Hunt is a recipient of the Donovan Award for Excellence and the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the Agency’s highest career award.

Mr. Hunt graduated from St. Paul’s School and Colby College in Maine.  He attended school in Switzerland. He is currently chairman of both Charles Pratt and Company and the Dosoris Trust Company in New York.  He lectures occasionally on Intelligence issues.

Jerry Goodwin - croppedJerry Goodwin
Jerry Goodwin lives in New York City, after a long and successful career in the investment management and business development business for several large and small NYC based financial firms.  He has served as the president of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) New York Metropolitan Chapter since 2004.  Mr. Goodwin is a book publisher and author of THANK YOU – One of Seventeen Rules.  He visited Guantanamo Bay detention facility in 2008.   Army War College in Carlyle, PA in 2009. and Book Signing with Beth Kobliner, Personal Finance Journalist and Author of Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not)
Thursday, February 23rd

Free of charge. Refreshments will be served.

Did you know your child’s basic money habits are formed by the age of seven? Research shows that even preschoolers can understand basic money concepts.

Beth Kobliner, personal finance journalist, financial literacy advocate, and author of the bestselling book Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties, offers parents and teachers wise, practical, and relatable advice on how to teach children—from ages three to twenty-three—the money basics in her new book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even if You’re Not).  It turns out the key to raising a money genius isn’t to teach that four quarters equal a dollar or how to pick a stock. Instead, it’s about instilling values that have been proven to make people successful—not just financially, but in life: delaying gratification, working hard, living within your means, getting a good education, and acting generously toward others. specifically, Kobliner explains why allowance isn’t the Holy Grail when teaching your kid to handle money, and why after-school jobs aren’t always the answer either. She offers insight on the right age to begin the “money talk” (earlier than you think) and what you shouldn’t tell your kids.  Other lessons in Make Your Kid a Money Genius (Even If You’re Not) include: why doling out a wad of cash can actually be a good parenting move, why paying your kid for chores can turn him into a slacker, and when to introduce credit cards. Along with the latest research from the fields of behavioral psychology, economics, and personal finance, Kobliner shares her stories and offers valuable tips to help any kid develop good money skills, a strong work ethic, and a solid financial future.  Instilling good money practices early can mean the difference between a life of economic stability and one fraught with financial worry.

Click to read “A Conversation with Beth Kobliner”

Click to read press material about Beth Kobliner

B Talk and Signing with Author Jon Meacham
Destiny and Power – The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush
Wednesday, November 2nd

This event was sponsored in conjunction with Barrett Bookstore.

About 180 fans of Jon Meacham came to the DCA to hear him speak.

Jon Meacham book talk




Presidential historian, Contributing Editor at TIME, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham is Executive Vice President and Executive Editor at Random House, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a regular guest on “Morning Joe.” Destiny and Power is his latest book and a # 1 New York Times bestseller.

Drawing on President Bush’s personal diaries; on the diaries of his wife, Barbara; and on extraordinary access to the 41st President and to his family, Jon Meacham has written a surprising portrait of an intensely private man who led the nation through tumultuous times. From the Oval Office to Camp David, from his study in the private quarters of the White House to Air Force One, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the first Gulf War to the end of communism, Destiny and Power charts the thoughts, decisions, and emotions of a man who was, like the nation he led, at once noble and flawed.
 to Discuss Dementia:
A Primer for Families and Caregivers
Tuesday, October 18th

The Darien Community Association, in collaboration with At Home in Darien and the New Canaan-based Alliance of Business Professionals, presented a panel discussion “Dementia: A Primer for Families and Caregivers” at the DCA, 274 Middlesex Road, on October 18th. The program was targeted not only for the families – spouses, adult children and caregivers of those with dementia – but also other seniors and/or their children who wanted to learn more about this disease, which is affecting a larger portion of the population in today’s world, as people live longer.

Panelists included Dr. Stephen Jones, gerontologist and Director of Greenwich Hospital’s Center for Healthy Aging; Carolyn DeRocco, Vice President of Programs and Education at the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter; Michelle Lee Beltrano, JD, RN, and attorney in Greenwich practicing in elder law, estate planning, special needs and probate; and David Babcock, founder/owner of Home Care Right at Home, a Darien-based firm which serves all of Fairfield County. Both Beltrano and Babcock are members of the Alliance of Business Professionals.

Dr. Jones explained “What is Dementia?” including the clinical description of types of dementia, signs and related behaviors, as well as current research and medications. In addition to his position at Greenwich Hospital, Dr. Jones is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine, a member of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Board and President of the Connecticut Geriatrics Society.

Carolyn DeRocco described ways to navigate dementia’s communication barriers, and services offered by the Alzheimer’s Association for both those with Alzheimer’s disease and their families/caregivers, including ongoing support groups for caregivers.

Michelle Lee Beltrano’s topic was “Advocating Today for Your Tomorrow,” which includes the legal issues of planning for the unexpected, and the top five things people should know when caring for someone with dementia.

David Babcock discussed the services included in home care for those with dementia, as well as options for home care in Fairfield County and the award-winning Home Care Right at Home in Darien.

Sponsored by:
 Launch for The California Wife and
DCA Annual Meeting
Thursday, May 19th




 Talk and Signing with Author Gregg Swain, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game

Monday, May 2nd
 Nordlinger, author of Children of Monsters: An Inquiry into the Sons and Daughters of Dictators 
Tuesday, April 26th Your Twenty-something Get Launched:  Encouraging your young adult to find a life purpose and passion (and move out of your basement)!
Thursday, March 31st and Market Outlook with
Liz Ann Sonders

Thursday, February 25th Update: Book Signing  with the Authors of
The Forgotten Room
Friday, January 22nd

This event was sponsored in conjunction with Barrett Bookstore.






Susan Cohen & her new book "Inspired Landscape" will be at the DCA on November 12th.Author Visit with Susan Cohen
Thursday, November 12th

This event was sponsored in conjunction with Barrett Bookstore.





Henry Dallal World-renowned Travel & Landscape PhotographerHenry Dallal
World-renowned Travel & Landscape Photographer
Monday, October 19th







Book Launch & Signing Event - Sherry_Turkle_and her new book, "Reclaiming Conversations: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age"Author, MIT Professor, and TED Talk speaker Sherry Turkle, will discuss her latest book Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Tuesday, October 6th
(Photo credit Peter Urban)





The DCA presents key players from Shakespeare on the Sound on Thursday, May 28th, for the DCA General Program and Annual Meeting Behind the Scenes: Shakespeare on the Sound
DCA Annual Meeting

Thursday, May 28th





Author and historian Karen Abbott at a book signing on Tuesday, April 28th at the DCAHistorian and author Karen Abbott
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Tuesday, April 28th






The Perils of Reporting in the Middle East with David Rohde will be held Wednesday, November 5th at 7:30pm at the DCAThe Perils of Reporting in the Middle East
with David Rohde
Wednesday, November 5th





Join us for "Entrepreneurs Who Change The World (For Good)" at 7:30pm on Wednesday, October 8th at the DCA.Entrepreneurs Who Change The World (For Good)
Wednesday, October 8th





General Programs Committee

The DCA is grateful to our committee members who work tirelessly to bring these compelling programs to Darien:

Kristen Harnisch (Chairman), Lisa Joyce, Kate Larson, Michele Litt and Rita Mehos.