Thomas Jefferson used to be loved by all Americans and claimed by people of both political parties. In the 20th Century, he was put on our money and called America’s Founding Father. But now many people see Jefferson as a hypocrite and some even want to tear down his statues.
This isn’t the first time that Jefferson has been controversial. In his own lifetime, Jefferson had strong admirers and enemies. So which was he: a political saint or sinner?
We will try to answer this question by talking about the life and times of Thomas Jefferson and looking at three of the writings for which Jefferson himself wanted to be remembered: the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and the founding of the University of Virginia. We’ll try to understand Jefferson’s views on government, religion, freedom, and slavery – all the topics that made him controversial in his day and ours.
Jeffrey Sikkenga is Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center and professor of political science at Ashland University. Jeff received his BA from the University of Virginia and his MA and PhD from the University of Toronto. Jeff has been at Ashland and connected to the Ashbrook Center since 1997, serving as an adjunct fellow of the Center, a faculty member in Ashbrook’s Teaching American History program, co-director of the Ashbrook Scholar Program, and Interim Executive Director.
At Ashland University, Jeff served as President and Vice-President of the Faculty Senate and was chair of the search committee for the Provost of the University. He was also assistant chair of the Department of History and Political Science.
Jeff has been a senior fellow in the Program on Constitutionalism and Democracy at the University of Virginia, a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, and the William E. Simon Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. He has lectured across the country on religious liberty, American politics, and the Supreme Court. He is the author of a number of reviews, articles, and book chapters on political thought, the US Constitution, and politics and religion. They have appeared in journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, Political Theory, History of Political Thought, Journal of Politics, and Political Science Quarterly. He has published several books, including History of American Political Thought (2nd edition).
In this session, material expert Tim Burgess, will be sharing invaluable ideas and concepts that we can use to live a happier and more fulfilled life. Right now, more than any time in the past several decades, the world is mired in fear. From COVID-19, to the many related pandemic issues, to the many current social injustice issues, people are stuck in this vortex of negativity and many just do not know what to do. It is dominating their thoughts, their feelings, and their lives!
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
In this session Tim Burgess will cover the impact fear typically has on us and why it can be paralyzing if we’re not careful. He will accurately illustrate this effect fear has on our thoughts, feelings and actions. From there Tim will also explain how fear is really nothing more than “False Evidence Appearing Real.” With this awareness Tim will also show how we can use fear to help us be more alert so that we can make better, more accurate decisions. This puts us in control of our lives instead of being paralyzed by it.
We certainly hope that you will be able to join us for this riveting discussion on FEAR. It could be the session that helps change your life for the better.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose will join EmpowerU from 7:05-7:30 PM. LaRose will bring us up to date on the issues involved with the Election for the State of Ohio. Will the election be safe? What will happen if Covid-19 reappears? Will there be a decision about who wins on election night. LaRose currently serves as Ohio’s Secretary of State after serving two terms as a Republican member of the Ohio State Senate from Ohio’s 27th Senate district of Wayne County. Learn from LaRose how things look and hopefully we will have time for a few questions.
Tim Burgess has been studying success principles for over twenty years. His primary focus has been in the areas of Dynamic Thinking, Effective Communication/Personality Traits, and the Entrepreneurial Mindset. Tim has studied extensively Napoleon Hill, Earl Nightingale, Bob Proctor, and many more renowned experts in the field of personal development. After several years of studying this material he decided to apply it to the real estate profession.
The proof that what he had been studying works proves out in the 17 listings he achieved in his first full-time month in real estate (December, 1999) and the 92 closings that he secured in his first full-time year. And his real estate success only improved from there. After several years of success in selling real estate he turned his attention to helping other real estate agents achieve greater success through the knowledge, experience, and skills that he developed. One footnote that you may find interesting about Tim is that he is an eighth grade drop-out.
With over 42,000 followers on Facebook, it is not hard to understand why Dr. Frank has become a phenomenon with his discussions about Covid-19. In this talk, Dr. Frank will describe the interface between science and society, and how best to sort out the science from the politics.
He will emphasize his later modeling work on Covid-19, although he has been modeling epidemics, elections, and natural phenomena for his entire professional life.
EmpowerU followers have shown an unending interest in the data behind Covid-19. Don’t miss this interesting presentation. Dr. Frank looks forward to your questions.
Mary G. will be joining us tonight from 7:05-7:25 PM. Mary G. is a Cincinnati native and a child of The Bicentennial years! Love of America and an understanding of our system of government was a given. (She holds a BA from Purdue University and a Master of Education in Administration from Xavier University). After years of working with children in the Midwest, she came to the realization that the system of governance under our constitution, really could disappear in a single generation of uninformed citizens. A few years ago she attended EmpowerU, and during downtime this summer, she dug into The Federalist Papers. The rest is history! Mary G’s ApplePie podcast was born to share that history surrounding The Federalist Papers and the Patriots who built the USA. Tonight she will share with us some thinking about Alexander Hamilton’s use of pseudonyms in sharing his message for our new country and some Cincinnati connections that you will find interesting.
Douglas G. Frank, Ph.D. Douglas G. Frank grew up on a small Black Angus Ranch in Northern California. His parents were successful entrepreneurs in the areas of insurance, investments, and real estate. Dr Frank earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California in 1983. He then attended graduate school at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he completed his doctoral requirements before transferring to the University of Cincinnati in 1986 as part of the Ohio Eminent Scholar program. In 1990 he completed a Ph.D. in Surface Analytical Chemistry. During his graduate work, he discovered a new phenomenon which was featured in several science books and international journals, including cover articles in Science and Naturwissenschaften.
Dr Frank left academics in 1996. His scientific success as a graduate student and post-doctoral fellow gained him introductions to several U.S. companies, where he continues to apply his scientific, electronics, engineering, and computer expertise to real-life research and manufacturing challenges. He specializes in the development of custom control and analytical solutions, and has invented several instruments for surface optical characterization, precision force application, and soil analysis by means of portable electron microscopy and spectroscopy. A common thread in his work is the combination of precision motion with delicate measurement and analysis of large amounts of data. Dr Frank lives in Morrow, Ohio and is married to his high school sweetheart, Donna. He has three adult children: Dynnelle, Daniel, and Deryk. Dr Frank believes in giving back to the community.
He is Past-President of the Blue Ash/Montgomery Rotary Club (2002). He is a popular speaker in the areas of Creativity & Innovation, Ethics & Character, Science & Religion, Rotary Polio Eradication, Climate Change, and now Covid-19. He was honored by the Executive Board of the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith as “one who exemplifies the practice of science as a Christian vocation.” Dr Frank is chair of the Math and Science department and Director of Music at The Schilling School for Gifted Children, a school he helped to establish in the mid 1990’s. Recently, Dr Frank has gained notoriety for his modeling work on the Covid-19 pandemic. He has been making his work available to the public since January of 2020, and his Facebook page “Dr. Frank Models” (now “Follow the Data with Dr Frank”) has over 50,000 members and followers. Dr. Douglas G. Frank Doug@ToolsForAnalysis.com DrDouglasGFrank@Outlook.com
Over the past 20-25 years physicians have found refuge from the complexities of private practice through employment with large health care corporations. This seemed like the logical business move to make, no overhead costs, the staff is provided for you, and a 9-5 schedule. The idea of focusing solely on patient-health and not the bureaucratic side of medicine was ideal. Often times, smaller, private clinics would be bought-out by health care companies which, at the time, seemed like the most appropriate step to improve patient care.
With all the difficulties surrounding the implementation of medicine (predominantly insurance reimbursement), this was an easy way to improve patient and self-care, or so it seemed. There is a new trend emerging in health care (not surprisingly) that shadows physician employment from a long time ago. More physicians are making the decision to go back into private practice, leaving their large corporate “safety net”, but why?
7:05-7:25 PM–Jedd Hastings is a founding board member of Cincinnati Classic, applying to be a Hillsdale College Charter School that plans to launch in Cincinnati a conservative Education for K-12 students.
Dr. Cory Gaiser is a physician of Internal Medicine who currently practices in the Cincinnati area, and has been in practice since 2016. He has completed a 3 year residency at The Jewish Hospital in their Internal Medicine Residency Program, followed by a year as Chief Resident. Most recently, he worked in an Internal Medicine Group owned by Mercy Health, and is currently setting up his own practice called New Body Aesthetics, on Harrison Ave. in Cincinnati, OH. He is a member of the American Medical Association and American College of Physicians.
Dr Gaiser, his wife and two children live on an 8.5-acre Honey Bee farm on the west side of Cincinnati where they also raise goats, chickens, peacocks, and geese. He is a second generation physician who, with his wife, owns and operates several small businesses including Gaiser Bee Company, West Side Market, Gaiser Management Group and Gaiser Realty.
On a volunteer basis he was Director of the Code Blue Advancement Committee for Surgical and Medical Residents at Jewish Hospital and served on the Critical Care Committee.
He is an outdoors enthusiast and in his spare time he enjoys beekeeping, managing his mini-farm, kayaking, and competing in outdoor events. He also enjoys scuba diving and restoring cars and boats.
We spend over $26 billion in Ohio on the state’s K-12 public education system. The state has 5 school choice programs as well, giving some Ohio families an option on how, when, and where their students are educated. Averel Meden, Executive Director of a network of Ohio schools and parents will share some history on Ohio’s education system, the statewide scholarships available to students, and how her organization is fundamentally changing the conversation on parent empowerment in today’s primary education system. This dialogue will help you navigate many of the questions you have about programs, such as the Ed Choice Scholarship.
Attorney Robert Newman will join EmpowerU from 7:05-7:25 to discuss his recent lawsuit filed against the City of Cincinnati. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Copurt, seeks to overturn Cincinnati’s residential tax abatement program and to award millions of dollars in tax breaks to Black homeowners. The suit accuses city officials of knowingly operating a system that rewards wealthy white homeowners in predominantly white neighborhoods while punishing minorities and poor people who don’t qualify for the tax breaks.
Newman claims “The result for neighborhoods in Cincinnati is that Caucasian neighborhoods have become more affluent, more exclusive and more White.” Tax abatements are a reduction of property taxes usually given for 10-15 years. Newman is a civil rights lawyer and has practiced since his graduation from Emory Law School in Atlanta Georgia in 1967.
Averel Meden is the Executive Director of the Ohio Christian Education Network (OCEN), a network of Protestant and Christian schools who advocate for a parent’s right to choose the best education for their children.
Prior to her work with OCEN, she founded and currently operates a small consulting firm, focusing on education, children and family issues, and non-profit issues, which provides coalition building, lobbying, and advocacy training for non-profits.
Averel worked at the Ohio House of Representatives and later at the Ohio Department of Education during the adoption of Common Core, the Ohio Report Card, Teacher Evaluations, and Ohio’s Graduation Requirements. Additionally, she has nearly 20 years of experience in political campaigns at both the state and national level.
She played a critical role in the creation of Ohio’s Education Expansion program for low income families and has a passion for student-centered learning and parental involvement in education and public policy. She works with parents, students, and education professionals to prepare them to engage in public dialogue.
In-Person Class and Virtual Class
Thursday, October 15, 2020
In November 2020, two commissioners will be elected to the Hamilton County Commission. Andy Black (R), Dr. Herman Najoli (I) and Alicia Reece (D) will run for one Commissioner Position. Matt O’Neill (R) will run against incumbent Denise Driehaus (D) in the other election. As of this time Andy Black, Dr. Najoli and Matt O’Neill have confirmed their participation in the Debate. We hope to host this debate at a physical location you can attend.
If we are unable to because of the pandemic this class will be hosted on Zoom.
Commissioner Candidate Andy Black was born and raised in Cincinnati. He grew up in a household where East Side met West Side, with his mother originating from Colerain and his father from Madeira. Andy was born in Delhi Township and raised in Mariemont where he attended their public schools through high school.
Andy he attended Miami University where he played college football and earned his Bachelor’s in History. While working full time, he then continued his education by attending Bellarmine University where he completed and earned his MBA.
Andy then launched himself into the private sector, serving for 15 years in the financial technology sector, primarily with Diebold-Nixdorf & NCR Corp. In this role he was responsible for managing a global account team with revenues in excess of $75,000,000.
Currently, Andy serves as Vice President of a design-build firm specializing in commercial real estate opportunities for community based banks and credit unions. This role has prepared Andy to take on the complicated task of economic development and job creation in Hamilton County, as well as given him the necessary experience in working hand-in-hand with local businesses to accomplish their goals.
Beyond Andy’s professional career, he has dedicated himself to service to the public. In 2009 he became the youngest individual ever elected to Mariemont council and was subsequently appointed as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He then served as Vice Mayor of Mariemont from 2011-2012. In addition to his service as an elected official, Andy has been active as a board member for the Northeast Hamilton County Republican Club and the Hamilton County Republican Party Leadership Council, and has served in leadership roles on the reelection campaigns for Congressman Steve Chabot and Senator Rob Portman.
Andy has been married to his wife Courtney for 14 years and they live with their two sons in Indian Hill.
Commissioner Candidate Dr. Herman Najoli–As an academic, Dr. Najoli supports learners of all ages. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Economics and a minor in Commerce from the University of Nairobi (2000). He graduated from the Honor Academy Leadership Internship in Garden Valley, TX (2002). He has two Masters degrees, one in Organizational Leadership from Regent University (2004), and the other in Advanced Leadership Studies from Indiana Wesleyan University (2009).
Najoli holds a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan University having completed a 245-page dissertation on Wisdom and Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Leaders (2012). He is firmly at grips with how cognitive, affective, and reflective dimensions of wisdom correlate to the altrusim, conscientiousness, sportsmanship, courtesy, and civic virtue of citizenship behavior.
In Hamilton County, 37% of residents have a Bachelors degree or higher. Out of these 22 % have a masters degree. Of those with advanced education, 4% have a doctoral degree. I have the educational acumen to serve as commissioner and will support learning in all sectors and levels throughout Hamilton County.
Commissioner Candidate Matt O’Neill was born in Cincinnati and has lived in all parts of the Cincinnati area. He graduated from Our Lady of Visitation grade school and St. Xavier High School. Matt received his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance from Miami University in 1984 and his MBA degree from Xavier University in 2002.
Matt has lived 24 years in Green Township, 5 in Loveland, 5 in Deerfield Township, 4 in Fort Thomas and for the last 20 in Oakley. His familiarity with all areas of the county will help Matt be a commissioner who considers the needs of residents. Matt has worked most of his career in School Finance with 11 years at Xavier dealing with treasury accounting. Matt has worked in similar accounting positions at Chaminade- Julienne High School, and The Health Alliance at University of Cincinnati. For the last 3 years Matt has worked at Protech Medical Company, a publicly traded durable medical equipment company in Wilder, KY.
Matt has completed the Flying Pig Full or Half Marathon 15 times and is most proud of Cincinnati on this day when the city host runners from 50 states. Most of them leave with a great impression of our city. Matt is an active parishioner at St. Cecilia in Oakley and enjoys interacting with the needy at the parish holiday dinners. Matt has volunteered at the Pregnancy Center East as a greeter, and he regularly visits with disadvantaged people who attend the Crossroads Coffee Ministry.
Also: Tom Burton, Superintendent of Princeton City Schools on Decision Making
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Dusty Rhodes is one of the most interesting political personalities in the Greater Cincinnati area. He became Hamilton County Auditor in 1990 becoming the first Democratic endorsed candidate to win a Hamilton County Administrative office in two decades. He won in his most recent race for Auditor in 2018 by a margin of over 65% against his opponent.
Along the way Dusty has served as a Hamilton County Trustee. From 1955 to 1969 he could be heard playing oldies on WMKV 89.3 and also appeared on WLW, WKRC and the original WSAI on 1360 FM. He has been named “Cincinnati’s Most Popular Disc Jockey by Billboard Magazine.
So many things we plan to talk to Dusty about. His work as an entertainer. What was it like to help bring the Beatles to Cincinnati in 1964? Hamilton County-the ups and downs—what are his observations about the County? The Stadium Mess? Working with the City of Cincinnati–can the relationship ever be repaired? Tax Abatements—what is their role in the County?. When should tax abatements be used, when should they not be used? And finally, Dusty and current Sheriff Jim Neil being part of the “cancel culture” when their own party, the Democratic Party turned against them. What caused this to happen? What does Dusty plan to do in the future? And, what about Twitter?
Don’t miss an interesting discussion when Dusty Rhodes visits EmpowerU.
Mr. Tom Burton is Superintendent of Princeton City Schools, located just outside Cincinnati, Ohio. There are many choices that are made every day of our life. Some are personal, others are professional, regards, decisions abound. Tom Burton will discuss decision making and the concept of going slow, to move fast. Further, detailing the importance of neuroplasticity in decision making, Burton will interactively engage the audience for deep learning. Lastly, he will leave the audience with a greater sense of motivating others through collaborative discussion points.
Dusty Rhodes was re-elected to an eighth term as Hamilton County Auditor in 2018 almost two-to-one (65%) over his opponent, a margin of over 100,000 votes, the most of any candidate running county-wide. In 1990 he became the first Democratic endorsed candidate to win a Hamilton County administrative office in two decades. He was re-elected every four years since and ran unopposed in 2002 and 2006.
Previously he was a Delhi Township Trustee for twenty-one (21) years. He was also President of the Hamilton County Township Association for seven (7) years. He served sixteen (16) years on the Board of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), chairing the Board for three (3) years. PERS is one of the nation’s largest private pension plans with over $60 billion in assets.
Tom Burton is the Superintendent of Princeton City Schools, located just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Tom has been in administration since 1995 and has been in the Princeton district since 2015. He is the author of “Mark of Leadership: Strategies for Leading with Purpose, Plans, and Passion.” Additionally, Tom has written articles for publications both in Ohio and nationally and a columnist for Middle Ground Magazine.
As superintendent, Tom lives out the Princeton mission to empower each student for college, career, and life success. He celebrates the achievements of all students. His Business and Community Partnership Quarterly Breakfasts connect students with business leaders and foster conversations about the students’ courses and interests generating conversation about post-high school education and occupations. Tom has been actively pursuing business/community partnerships and most recently hosted over 120 business community leaders at the quarterly breakfast.
He was named the 2018 Business Person of the Year through the Sharonville Chamber of Commerce. Further, Tom was the winner of NASSP/MetLife Ohio Middle School Principal of the Year, Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Slippery Rock University. Additionally, he was selected as the recipient of the Gordan Vars Lifetime Achievement Award, Ohio Educator of the Year by the Ohio Middle Level Association.
Tom is married to wife Franca, and they share the joy of raising three children, Cailey (2017 Princeton Graduate), Bryce (2019 Princeton Graduate), and Tommy (Class of 2022) as residents in Sharonville.
Also: Bruce Hoffbauer Candidate for Hamilton County Sheriff Joins EmpowerU
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Retired UC Political Science Professor, Al Tuchfarber, returns to Empower U to handicap the 2020 elections for President, the Senate, and the House. He will:
Review the latest polls and explain if they are going to be right or wrong this year.
Review the strengths and weakness of Biden and Trump.
Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the campaigns that have been waged.
Highlight the key states that will determine who wins the Electoral College majority.
Review the craziness that has made 2020 a unique political year.
And he will probably make some predictions.
Come prepared to ask questions!
Bruce Hoffbauer is a candidate for Hamilton County Sheriff in November 2020. After hearing from both of the Democratic candidates for Sheriff in our Spring Semester it is time to hear from the Republican candidate. Bruce Hoffbauer began his 34 year career as a law enforcement professional in 1985 as a Hamilton County Deputy Sheriff. He was initially assigned to the Corrections Division. Since then Bruce has served the City of Cincinnati in over a dozen different roles in several districts.
Bruce’s assignments have included the uniform patrol force, traffic unit investigator, relief supervisor, relief commander, Special Events Unit, Vortex Unit (in partnership with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office), and Police Academy Commander. Hoffbauer will join EmpowerU from 7:05-7:25 PM to discuss the importance of the Hamilton County Sheriff and how he compares to the person he is running against Charmaine McGuffey.
Alfred J Tuchfarber, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Political Science – University of Cincinnati Owner – Tuchfarber Political-Economics, LLC, Blogger – TuchfarberReport.com
Al Tuchfarber is an academic and entrepreneur who has had a successful career as a teacher, researcher, senior administrator, campaign manager, political analyst, organizational strategist, and writer.
He holds a PhD in political science and has well over 100 publications.
Al’s intellectual and practical interests are very wide-ranging. He has spent his career both in the arena of ideas but also in the “real-world” where the rubber hits the road…where things must work.
Areas of special interest to him are American politics and political-economics, global politics and global political-economics, political polling, campaign and organizational strategies, demographics, and societal change.
Tuchfarber founded the Ohio Poll and directed it for a quarter century. The Poll established a remarkable record for accuracy in predicting elections and has been rated one of the nations best.
Al brings that experience and skill-set to his weekly blog — the Tuchfarber Report, as well as to his consulting, speaking, and writing.
His predictions are 80 to 95% accurate because they are based on facts, data, history and common sense…NOT on ideology, partisanship, or hopes.
As a political-economic analyst and author of the Tuchfarber Report, Al brings you insights and forecasts that you will not find elsewhere.
EmpowerU Managing Board Member Dan Regenold discusses America and Ben Shapiro’s new, best-selling book How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps. A growing number of Americans want to tear down what has taken us 250 years to build. We are starting to see this destruction of America in the canceling of our shared history, our ideas and our culture. Violence is in our streets is erupting in the bigger cities.
In front of our very eyes, traditional areas of civic agreement are vanishing. We cannot agree what makes America special, or if it is special. The 1619 project, which looks at America through the lens of being racist and corrupt is starting to be taught to our kids as history instead of the history of America’s founding that you learned growing up.
Could America be radically transformed over the next decade? Could our incredible Country become something we don’t even recognize? Learn about the Disintegrationists and their attack on values that have built our nation. Ben Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, media host and attorney. At 17, he became the youngest national syndicated columnist in the United States. He founded The Daily Wire and he is now the host of The Ben Shapiro Show. Dan encourages you to read the Ben’s newest book before class and be ready to join the conversation.
The thesis and question of tonight’s class is: Can America be Destroyed?
Dan Regenold first became active in Government in 2003 when he became involved fighting Eminent Domain and helping stop it in Evendale and in Norwood, Ohio. In 2006, he was one of the founders of WeDemandAVote.com which successfully fought and stopped, by ballot initiative, a sales tax increase in Hamilton County, Ohio. Later WeDemand stopped Red Light Cameras in Hamilton County.
Regenold spoke at the CPAC Convention in 2008 to discuss major Grassroots initiative actions across the United States. In 2009, Dan was unsuccessful in his efforts to bring accountability to the Federal Government’s finances with a citizen lead initiative WeDemandABalancedBudget.com. In 2010 Regenold was of three leaders of the initiative to End Ohio’s Estate Tax which happened in 2011. The Tax Foundation called the repeal of Ohio Estate Tax one of the most important Tax accomplishments of 2011. In 2011 Regenold founded EmpowerUOhio.org (now in its 18th semester), a Free University offered in the Greater Cincinnati area with the goal of “empowering” citizens.
In 2014, Regenold was one of the leaders of the effort to separate Music Hall from a County Wide Sale Tax which helped the Museum Center renovation get passed by the voters of Hamilton County. Dan enjoys speaking to EmpowerU classes about subjects he is passionate about. Recently he has discussed: Milton Friedman, Saul Alinsky, Net Neutrality, D-Day, and The Deficit Mess at EmpowerU Classes. Regenold is CEO of Frame USA, Inc. in Springdale.
Also: Betsy Sundermann, Cincinnati City Councilwoman Visits EmpowerU
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Digital Addiction is a massive societal problem. It compromises childrens’ academic performance, social connectedness, mental health, their development of skills and personal interests, and the time they spend engaged in non-screen recreational activities. It kills adults’ productivity at work, fosters conflict among colleagues, and causes accidents that damage property and result in injury and death. It also degrades family life, diminishing the amount and quality of the time families spend together.
Mr. Mercier’s research reveals that a strong majority of people are very frustrated by their digital addiction, are fully aware of the problems it causes them, wish they could control it, but ultimately find themselves unable to do so. This is utterly unacceptable; we can’t continue to allow digital addiction to squander our human potential in this way. We must find a way to help people bring their recreational screen use under control.
In this talk Mr. Mercier will provide a framework for addressing digital addiction at a societal, institutional, and individual level. Topics covered include the causes of tech addiction, its many consequences, the fundamental challenge in addressing tech addiction, a framework for developing a strategy to address it, legislation addressing tech addiction, a review of the various solutions being employed around the world, tech monitoring and blocking applications, and digital detoxes.
Betsy Sundermann was sworn into office on March 5, 2020 as a City of Cincinnati Council Person. She replaced retiring Councilwoman Amy Murray after receiving an endorsement from the Hamilton County GOP. Sundermann is a former Hamilton County probate court magistrate.
We look forward to meeting Betsy Sundermann and talking to her about what it is like to be one of the only two Republican Conservatives on the City of Cincinnati Council. What are her goals in the position? Is it possible to get anything done? What are her priorities? How is it to work with the different Council Members including The Gang of Five? Who will be the next Mayor?. How about defunding the police? Betsy Sundermann will join EmpowerU from 7:05-7:25 PM.
Michael Mercier is Founder and President of Screen Education, which conducts research, and provides training and consulting services, on the impact of information technology on human wellness.
Mr. Mercier has conducted 18 research studies on digital addiction with teens, college students, summer campers, parents, Millennials, and full-time employees. His research has examined the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical consequences of digital addiction, as well as its impact on academic performance and workplace productivity and safety. He also has studied the benefits people derive from digital detoxes.
He has spoken on smartphone addiction to schools, corporate audiences, colleges and summer camps, as well as at numerous conferences, including educational technology, summer camp, mindfulness, workplace safety, and marketing conferences. His research partners have included EMI Research Solutions, Stark Statistical Consulting, Camp Kern, Camp Ernst, Camp Livingston, The Jewish Community Center Association of North America, Hiram College, BOLDFISH, and Calvert Catholic High School.
Mr. Mercier has presented his research to US Congressmen Jim Jordan and Brad Wenstrup, and to the legislative staffs of US Senators Brown, Hawley, Markey, Portman, and Sasse. Congressman Wenstrup made a House floor speech about his findings on cyberbullying, and he co-organized with the Congressman a local roundtable discussion with educators on the role that social media plays in bullying and school violence. During the 2020/2021 academic year he will be teaching several courses on tech addiction at Cincinnati State’s Workforce Development Center. He has been interviewed on a variety of radio and television shows.
He holds a BA in Psychology from Vassar College, an MBA in Marketing from the University of Michigan, and an MS in MIS from the University of Cincinnati.
A modern view of Ulysses S. Grant – He was a remarkable General, father, and President, and more than that, he saw good in almost everyone and took them at their word. He was well known for his innovative strategy to finally force the confederacy to capitulate. But Grant’s character, along with his treatment of African-Americans, American-Indians and Jews, matured from first-hand experience during the Civil War, as well as his Presidency. Grant’s support and leadership in civil rights, was decades ahead of his time. He stood up for their rights, despite widespread opposition from the south and the American public. Their determination, coupled with his support, unleashed opportunities they never experienced before. He lived the last 24 years of his adult life believing all people should be treated with respect and dignity.
Chris Burns is a Civil War historian and lifelong Ohio resident. Since 2000, Mr. Burns has been conducting research for an upcoming book about Ulysses S. Grant with noted historian Dr. James A. Ramage. He currently speaks on various aspects of Grant’s life, as well as the Siege of Cincinnati. He was interviewed by WKET TV in Kentucky for a three-part series on Grant that ran in 2019. Burns is a former adjunct history faculty-member at Northern Kentucky University. His passion is linking the past to the present and bringing history to life.
Anyone who remembers hearing about the Ryan Widmer “bathtub drowning” case—and people who just wonder about what happens behind-the-scenes in any major court case—will find this talk fascinating!
Award-winning author Janice Hisle, who covered all three of Widmer’s trials for The Cincinnati Enquirer, will reveal unique insights about one of the region’s most-debated murder cases—and will discuss powerful lessons that can be learned from it.
Janice lives near the Warren County, Ohio, neighborhood where 24-year-old Sarah Widmer drowned in her own bathtub back in 2008; Sarah’s husband of four months, Ryan, then 27, was accused of murder. Even after Widmer was convicted in 2011, Janice couldn’t stop thinking about the case. So she combed through more than 10,000 pages of records…and found compelling new information that was never made public during any of Widmer’s trials. This information was released for the first time in Janice’s book, SUBMERGED: Ryan Widmer, his drowned bride and the justice system.
Some people believe that Widmer’s story “just didn’t add up,” and they think he is right where he belongs–behind bars, serving 15-to-life. But many other readers of SUBMERGED wonder whether Sarah Widmer’s death was really a murder at all.
She did suffer from strange bouts of sleepiness and other possible signs of medical disorders that have been linked to unexplained drownings—yet no tests were ever done to rule out those problems, not even during her autopsy. Since then, prosecutors have refused to release Sarah’s DNA for testing; a battle over the DNA and other issues has been pending for more than six years in federal court.
Janice will outline controversies and questions that continue to swirl around this baffling case now, more than a dozen years after a beautiful young woman’s relaxing bath turned tragic—either by murder or by medical misfortune.
Autographed copies of SUBMERGED will be available for $20, cash only, immediately following Janice’s presentation.
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Janice Hisle worked more than two decades as an award-winning journalist before becoming an acclaimed author and freelance writer.
In 2020, her debut book, SUBMERGED: Ryan Widmer, his drowned bride and the justice system, took top honors in the True Crime category of two national contests: the Indie Reader Discovery Awards and the National Indie Excellence Award. The book has earned more than 100 five-star ratings on Amazon.com, and, at times, has ranked among the top 30 in its category. Janice has done more than 50 public presentations about the book, sometimes speaking to standing-room-only crowds of people who, like her, continued to wonder about the 2008 drowning of 24-year-old Sarah Widmer and the prosecution of her husband of four months, Ryan.
SUBMERGED exposes hidden angles of a nationally publicized bathtub-drowning mystery, which Janice covered for The Cincinnati Enquirer through three spellbinding trials.
Janice recently completed her second book, a biography of a Cincinnati-area philanthropist; she will share information about it during her EmpowerU presentation.
A summa cum laude graduate of Kent State University, Janice worked 15 years for the Enquirer, and previously worked for newspapers in Dayton, Youngstown and Kent-Ravenna.
In recent years, she also has covered high-profile court cases for The Associated Press, including the 2019 trial of a Warren County teen who was acquitted of killing her newborn infant. But the teen, Brooke Skylar Richardson, was convicted of corpse abuse for burying the baby in her home’s back yard. Janice also covered the trials of Ray Tensing. He was the University of Cincinnati police officer who stood trial for murder twice in 2017-18, but both trials ended with deadlocked juries.
On the side, Janice teaches group fitness classes—so her feet stay as busy as her keyboard does.
EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA 225 Northland Blvd Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
There is a determined force in the world dedicated to an agenda designed to “reorganize human society.” To achieve that agenda they are on a drive to change our American economic system, abolish private property, and change our system of representative government. Most importantly, they have focused on making those changes primarily through control of government on the local level. This presentation will reveal the players and their tactics, and how to fight back. You will learn how to take the offensive to restore your community as a Freedom Pod where free enterprise, private property and individual choice are protected.
Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, and American sovereignty and independence. Tom DeWeese was one of the first to voice concern over the radical agenda of the environmental movement and to question its motives.
Tom is a native of Ohio. He’s been a candidate for the Ohio Legislature, served as editor of two newspapers, and has owned several businesses. In 1989 Tom led the only privately-funded election-observation team to the Panamanian elections. In 2006 Tom was invited to Cambridge University to debate the issue of the United Nations before the Cambridge Union, a 200 year old debating society.
Today he serves as Founder and President of the American Policy Center and editor of The DeWeese Report and author of three books: “Now Tell Me I Was Wrong,” “ERASE,” a fictional political thriller, and his most recent policy book entitled “Sustainable, the War on Free Enterprise, Private Property and Individuals.”
(Due to a technical issue about 2-3 minutes of Maurice’s opening comments were not filmed)
1851 Center for Constitution Law is a non-profit, non-partisan law firm dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government. The 1851 Center litigates constitutional issues related to property rights, taxpayer and entrepreneur rights, regulation, parental rights, and search and seizure.
Maurice Thompson runs the 1851 Center. During the pandemic Businesses found themselves closed and individuals around Ohio found their constitutional rights being violated by Governor Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio. In a series of court actions the 1851 Center sued Ohio to protect Ohio Daycare Owners and then sued Ohio to protect Ohio Diners, Court action was also taken against Ohio when Ohio refused to allow gyms to re-open, and 1851 also sued to protect Business Owners that were deemed “Non-Essential.”. The 1851 Center had great success in validating the Constitutional Rights of Ohioans during the Quarantine.
At a time when many of us felt our rights were secure we learned that many of our economic rights had been taken away from us. Tonight, Maurice Thompson will talk to us about what our rights are in the State of Ohio. He will talk to us about how to protect ourselves against further Ohio laws and sanctions should we be forced to close down again due to the pandemic. Maurice will talk to us about the important subject of life and liberty in the State of Ohio.
Greg Lawson will join EmpowerU from 7:05-7:30 PM to discuss the financial impact of the pandemic on the State of Ohio. Many people have discussed the “looming title wave” that is coming with the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Greg will put Ohio’s financial situation into prospective and guide us through what we can expect. Higher taxes? Reduced services? Is the financial impact larger our state budget or our local city and county budgets. Join us for an overview of the financial condition of the State of Ohio.
Maurice Thompson is a constitutional rights lawyer, author, commentator, speaker, and founder and director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. Maurice fights for liberty across Ohio in high-stakes constitutional rights cases and provides legal support for freedom-oriented ballot issues. He has defeated state and local governments and agencies to protect property rights, taxpayer rights, free speech, parental rights, entrepreneurs’ rights, privacy rights, freedom to contract, and healthcare freedom. Maurice specializes in the Ohio Constitution.
Maurice comes from a long line of Wood County, Ohio farmers. Since growing up in Northwest Ohio, he has lived in Oxford, Cleveland, Washington D.C., Chicago, and Columbus, running his own businesses and working in a diverse array of organizations including the National Taxpayers Union, the Sam Adams Foundation, and the Buckeye Institute. He moved back to Ohio to start the 1851 Center in 2008.