SARASOTA, FL – Michael Eisner, a leader in the American entertainment industry for over 40 years, will kick off the 2016 Ringling College Town Hall Lecture Series. He will replace former Israeli President Shimon Peres, who has canceled his appearance due to unforeseen circumstances.
“With his entertainment, business and technology acumen, we felt Michael Eisner was a natural fit for our 36th annual lecture series, the theme of which is honoring inspired leadership,” said Chris Cremer, chair, Town Hall Lecture Series 2016, which is organized by the Ringling College Library Association (RCLA). “In addition, his insights into the future needs of the entertainment industry are an inspired fit with the mission and goals of the Ringling College of Art and Design and their students.”
“Our speakers have demonstrated their extraordinary abilities to lead in many different circumstances, and we are delighted that they will share their experiences with our members,” said Cremer.
Eisner, the former president of Paramount Studios and CEO of Disney, will open the 2016 Town Hall series on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. After a robust 21-year career with Disney, Eisner founded The Tornante Company, which invests in, acquires, incubates, and operates media and entertainment companies.
On Wednesday, February 3, award-winning investigative journalist and Sarasota native Sharyl Attkisson will moderate a debate between political strategists Jim Messina and Karl Rove who will analyze presidential primary results and campaign strategies to date while predicting the formidable candidates to watch in 2016.
A premiere Democratic strategist, Messina was the mastermind behind President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. By merging technology and politics in a way that was both unpredictable and unprecedented, Messina is credited with establishing the modern presidential campaign. He is now national chair of Organizing for Action and president and CEO of The Messina Group, consulting with political campaigns, advocacy organizations and businesses.
Formerly the president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for state and national Republican candidates, Rove served as senior advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and was the architect of his 2000 and 2004 campaigns. A best-selling author, Rove is now a contributing writer to numerous publications, and appears regularly as a political analyst on Fox News.
On Tuesday, February 16, Town Hall will present Sir Ken Robinson, an internationally acclaimed expert on creativity and innovation. The most-watched and discussed speaker in the history of the prestigious TED Conference, Robinson helps governments, international agencies, global corporations and educational organizations to jump-start innovation in the boardroom and the classroom. He is the author of two global best-sellers, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything,” and “Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life.”
On Monday, March 7, Robin Roberts, co-anchor of ABC’s award-winning “Good Morning America,” will talk about her successful transition from an ESPN sportscaster to a global reporter and interviewer as well as her long and courageous battle with breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome. After receiving a bone marrow transplant from her sister, Roberts made a triumphant return to the show in 2013, and resumed her career as a broadcast journalist. Roberts’ memoir, “Everybody’s Got Something,” tells the story of her struggle and the life lessons she continues to learn.
The 2016 Ringling College Town Hall Lecture Series will conclude on Tuesday, March 15, with a talk by retired U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus, one of the most effective military leaders in recent U.S. history. Petraeus, whose distinguished military career spanned over 37 years and included five combat commands, will address the most significant global challenges facing the U.S. today, including ongoing international security issues, macroeconomic trends and the tasks of strategic leadership in the 21st century.
Since launching its annual series, RCLA Town Hall has donated more than $8 million to support the Verman Kimbrough Memorial Library at the Ringling College of Art and Design and for student scholarships.
The 2016 RCLA Town Hall Lecture Series is sold out. The series is sold as a subscription but limited tickets will be available after January 11, 2016. For more information please call 941-925-1343 or go online to www.rclassociation.org.
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