15th Annual Great Conversations

Reception, Dinner, and Conversation with Celebrated Hosts

Wednesday, April 26, 2023
6:00pm Cocktail Reception   •   7:15pm Dinner
Birchwood Manor in Whippany, NJ

GREAT CONVERSATIONS is a unique event that gives guests the opportunity to dine and talk with a prominent individual while supporting the arts! Our conversationalists are made up of 27 honored guests who contribute to the diverse character of our community including: artists, top business leaders, world-class performers, entrepreneurs, authors, scientists, culinary stars, and more. We invite you to take advantage of this unique evening of exchanging ideas while savoring a delicious meal, refreshing drink, and great conversation. Read the official press release.

In celebration of its golden anniversary, Morris Arts is thrilled to incorporate the talents of two local arts grantee* organizations throughout the evening. Lakeland Youth Symphony’s Youth Ensemble will provide live music during the cocktail hour with a quintet led by the symphony’s Executive Director, Sue On. Morristown Neighborhood House will feature the captains of their Unity Stepper Dance & Drill Team in a performance led by Before & Afterschool Supervisor, Adia Harris.

Choose Your Conversationalist

When you register, you are asked to select your top 5 Conversationalist choices. We will assign you to sit with one of these choices. Seating assignments are first come, first serve. This popular event fills up quickly, so be sure to purchase your tickets early.


Jill Abramovitz
Theatre and TV actor, award-winning lyricist, and acting coach; performances include Beetlejuice, The Musical and Chicago Med
Courtney DiGiovanni
Walt Disney Studios and Disney+ – Director of Publicity for such hits as Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Black Panther, etc
Anthony Marques
Comic artist, editor, and instructor; Owner/President of The Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts and Dewey’s Comic City
Bill Stephney
Broad Market Media – Principal; Co-creator/producer of Public Enemy; former president of Def Jam Records; producer of Kaepernick & America film
Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol
Mixed Media Artist and Papermaker featuring Africana Iconography, antique textiles, and a spiritual quality


Kimberly Alvarez
NJ Advance Media – Chief Revenue Officer; award-winning multimedia advertising expert
Bianca Bosker
New York Times bestselling author of Cork Dork, hailed as the “Kitchen Confidential” of wine
Joseph Lee
NJ PBS – VP & General Manager; public media leader and pioneer in community engagement
Lisa Vickery
Newspaper Editor at a Pulitzer Prize winning business-focused daily newspaper based in NYC


Anthony Broccoli, Ph.D.
Rutgers Climate Institute – Co-Director; Professor of Atmospheric Science; co-author of Beyond Global Warming


Esi Seng
Tate’s Bake Shop – CEO (part of Mondelēz International); brand innovator and consumer packaged goods expert
Tom Valenti
Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen – Executive Chef; acclaimed former chef of Le Cirque, Gotham Bar & Grill, and Ouest


Jim Mottola
VP of Data Privacy, Investigations, and Security at Porzio Compliance Services; former Secret Service Special Agent
Brett Whitsitt
Founder & CEO of Squire Solutions, tech company improving military and emergency response; former Navy SEAL Officer


Stanley B. Fiel, M.D., FACP, FCCP
Chief Medical Officer at Morristown Medical Center specializing in pulmonology
John Maki
Bayesian Biotech – CEO; an AI-enabled precision medicine tech company. Listen to a personal invite from John.
Lisa Tank, M.D., FACP, CMD
Chief Medical Officer at Hackensack University Medical Center specializing in geriatrics
Yesmean H. Wahdan, M.D.
Bayer – VP US Medical Affairs, Women’s Healthcare
Kimberly Wolf
Pfizer – VP of Global Hematology; pharmaceutical leader with experience in biotechnology. Listen to a personal invite from Kimberly.


Sergeant Major Al Hockaday
SgtMaj US Marine Corps (Ret); first African American sniper in US Marines; awarded two Purple Hearts. Listen to a personal invite from Al.


Mark Beausoleil
Valley Bank – EVP & Director of Retail Banking; sought after retail banking speaker and thought leader
Sara Queen
MetLife Investment Management – Managing Director & Head of Real Estate Equity; Columbia University Adjunct Professor of MSRED program


John Harmon, Sr.
African American Chamber of Commerce of NJ – Founder, President & CEO
Patrick Munduga
Founder & Executive Director of ANCHOR, addressing violence and economic exclusion in Uganda. Listen to a personal invite from Patrick.


Ritesh Patel
Finn Partners – Senior Partner, Global Digital Health; digital evangelist; restaurant owner; DJ
Tom Puthiyamadam
PwC – Transformation Consulting Solutions and Products Leader; media commentator on digital trends and transformation


Marc de Grandpré
New York Red Bulls – President and General Manager; global brand and business builder; autism advocate

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.

For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Tara Skirzenski, Interim Director of Development at 973.441.5516.