Great Conversations

Great Conversations

Great Conversations — an unforgettable evening of fine dining and engaging conversation with prominent individuals from all avenues of our vibrant community.

On May 1st 2014, we held our sixth annual fundraising gala, Great Conversations. This event provides the unique opportunity for individuals to talk in intimate groups over dinner with community leaders from such fields as the arts, music, journalism, business, government and healthcare, etc. The 2014 roster included the legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, former New York Yankee and New York Met Al Leiter, prize-winning reporter for the NY Times, Michael Slackman, CEO of Quest Diagnostics, Stephen Rusckowski and New Jersey Assemblywoman, Mila Jasey, among others.

To learn more: see photos from the evening or watch interviews with our conversationalists.

“Suffice it to say that there are few times when one has the opportunity to use the word ‘extraordinary’ in its literal sense. Well, the sentiment is warranted here. The entire evening was just outstanding.” — Brian Fox, Chief Marketing Officer, MetLife

Please follow us on Facebook to keep posted about Great Conversations 2015.

What some of our host conversationalists had to say

“What a lovely evening! I thoroughly enjoyed myself and had a great bunch at my table: smart, welcoming, engaging, asked great questions, held their own — just terrific.” Lamar Graham

“Art is part of our humanity, and our soul and to be part of this conversation and engage with other people is significant to our development.” Janet Taylor Pickett

“It is much more active entertainment than the passive entertainment that we typically engage in.” Patricia Sly

“Art is an important thing in life, it is a universal language.” Andre Goy, MD

“I think that arts education is unfortunately underestimated in terms of its value. I found that in my undergraduate studies in music and the discipline that it taught me and just the ability to work in an ensemble setting with other people was very important.” Sandra Brown Sherman

Our host conversationalists for 2014

Susan L. Blount
Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Prudential Financial, Inc.
Jeffrey R. Boscamp, MD
Vice President, Chief Academic Officer at Hackensack University Medical Center; Chairman of Pediatrics, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital
Bill Carroll
Managing Director & Head of Investment Solutions, UBS Wealth Management Americas
Watch video interview
Lorna Davis
President, Biscuits, North America, Mondelēz International (Nabisco)
Watch video interview
Ryan DePersio
Chef & Partner, Fascino Italian Restaurant, Nico Kitchen & Bar, Battello
Brian Donohue
Emmy Award-winning Reporter, The Star-Ledger; Member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team
Susan Ennis
Executive Vice President, Program Strategy & Planning, Home Box Office (HBO)
Sebastián Forster
Concert Pianist; Faculty Member, Piano School of New York City
Thomas M. Gartland
President, North America, Avis Budget Group
Watch video interview
Steven J. Goulart
Executive Vice President & Chief Investment Officer, MetLife, Inc.
Andre Goy, MD
Chairman & Director, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center
Watch video interview
Lamar Graham
Chief Content Officer,
Thomas J. (TJ) Higgins
President, North America, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
Watch video interview
Mila Jasey
New Jersey Assemblywoman
Watch video interview
Neil N. Jasey
Former Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance
Watch video interview
Allen Kopelson, AIA
Founding Principal, NK Architects
Watch video interview
Patricia A. Lee
Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer, Wyndham Worldwide
Watch video interview
Al Leiter
National League All-Star & 19-year Major League Baseball Pitcher (retired); MLB Network Analyst; Color Commentator YES Network
Owen W. Lewis, MD
Child Psychiatrist; Poet; Author; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center
James Roe
New Jersey Symphony Orchestra President & CEO
George Marriner Maull
Artistic Director, The Discovery Orchestra, public television personality
Watch video interview
Paul H. McRae
Assistant Artistic Director, New Jersey Ballet Company; Faculty, New Jersey School of Ballet & Kean University; Artistic Advisor, NJPAC
Watch video interview
Joe Morris
New York Giants former Running Back, key member of 1987 Super Bowl-winning Giants
Watch video interview
Janet Taylor Pickett
Award-winning visual artist & retired professor of Art History/Studio Art
Watch video interview
Bucky Pizzarelli
American Jazz Guitar Legend
Watch video interview
Jean Rosanvallon
President & CEO, Dassault Falcon Jet
Watch video interview
Stephen Rusckowski
President & CEO, Quest Diagnostics
Sandra Brown Sherman
Partner, Riker Danzig, Worth Magazine Top 100 Attorneys for USA
Watch video interview
Michael Slackman
NY Times Deputy Foreign Editor; member of Pulitzer Prize-winning team
Patricia Sly
Executive Director, Jersey Battered Women’s Service, Inc.
Watch video interview
JoJo Starbuck
Two time U.S. Olympic Figure Skater, three time US pairs skating champion
David T. Welsh
Founder and Partner, Normandy Real Estate Partners

Event Co-chairs

Edda and James Gillen
Alan Levitan

Great Sponsors of Great Conversations

We thank the following corporate sponsors for their support of Morris Arts. Click on the sponsor’s name to link to their website.

Any questions? If you have any questions about Great Conversations, please call Gina Moran at 973-285-5115 x13 or email her.

Read about last year’s Conversationalists.