H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation Expands Support for Desert Town Hall Becoming 2012 Title Sponsor


Indian Wells, CA – After contributing as a major supporter of Desert Town Hall for 15 years, the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation is taking a new position as the 2012 title sponsor of the nationally recognized lecture series. Officially, the premier speaker series now in its 20th year will be presented by the Palm Desert based foundation which supports numerous nonprofit education and service organizations in the Coachella Valley each year.

We are thrilled to announce that the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation will lead the way as we continue our 20 year tradition of bringing some of the most prestigious speakers of our time to our community,” said Brian S. Harnik, Desert Town Hall Board President.

We are extremely proud to partner with Desert Town Hall – a Coachella Valley tradition that inspires and enriches our community,” said Christopher McGuire, Vice President of Programs at the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.

Slated to appear for the 2012 series:

Thursday, January 26: Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States, along with his daughter, Liz Cheney, political commentator. “A Conversation with Vice President Cheney and Liz Cheney about Today’s Political Landscape”

Sunday, February 12: David Brooks, author and New York Times columnist. “Political Outlook: Election 2012”

Monday, March 5: Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. “Current Global Issues”

Thursday, April 5: Bob Ballard, ocean explorer. “The Last Great Frontier”

All four evening events are held at the Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa in Indian Wells and begin at 6 pm.

“Desert Town Hall is a dynamic organizationsupported by sponsors, patrons and volunteers,” Harnik said. “We remain focused on bringing the finest speakers from around the world, and hosting the Youth Ambassador Program, which connects young people from throughout the Coachella Valley with world leaders, inspirational speakers and provocative lecturers.”

Series tickets (all four events) currently are available. 

$1150 – Reserved Seat with Dinner

$500 – Reserved 

$250 – Unreserved 

Serving as officers for 2011-12, the 20th season of the celebrated series, are: Brian S. Harnik (Roemer & Harnik), President; Andy Clark (111 Wealth Management), Vice President; Ed Monarch, Treasurer; Phillip K. Smith, Jr. (Sunrise Company), Secretary.

Members of the Board of Directors are: Jerry Fogelson (Fogelson Properties), Keith Goff (Rabobank), Lois Horvitz (Founding President), Bill Powers (immediate past president), Tim Sullivan (Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa), Judy Vossler (Palm Springs Desert Resorts CVA); and Mark Winkler (The Desert Sun).

 The lecture series is sponsored by a number of local companies, organizations and philanthropic individuals.

Desert Forum, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c) (3) educational corporation, produces Desert Town Hall. A portion of the cost of the tickets is tax-deductible.

This nationally recognized series (the 16th as a nonprofit corporation) has included world leaders and other notables such as President George W. Bush, Time Editor Fareed Zakaria, author Jeannette Walls, former US Senator and basketball great Bill Bradley, former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Pakistan President Musharraf, slain Pakistani

leader Benazir Bhutto, Britain’s Tony Blair, retired Army General and former US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, peace activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate in economics Paul Krugman, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, former CIA Director George Tenet, retired Army General Tommy Franks, Republican leader Rudy Giuliani, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, UK leader Margaret Thatcher, diplomat Henry Kissinger, former President George H. W. Bush, Israeli leader and former PM Shimon Peres, retired Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, columnist and author William F. Buckley, former Kansas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole, former UK Prime Minister John Major, former US Secretary of Defense William Cohen, PBS’s The McLaughlin Group, columnist and author George Will, filmmaker Ken Burns, longtime AP correspondent Helen Thomas, oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau, political power couple David & Julie Eisenhower, and a host of others.

As part of its philanthropic mission, Desert Forum, Inc. invites 150 local high school students to attend each lecture. The students participate in a hosted evening where the featured speaker visits with the youth.

Staff for the series includes Tim Parrott, executive director; Becky Kurtz, marketing director; Mimi Monahan, administrative director; Jonathan Gaag, office assistant. Nearly 40 dedicated volunteers, many of whom have been with the series since its inception in 1993, help to make the series a success and a solid sellout every year.

 Sponsors of the series include the title sponsor, The H. N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, along withThe City of Indian Wells, Anderson Travel, Buzz Factory, Phil & Geda Condit Family, The Desert Sun, Lois U. Horvitz,Rabobank, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa, Roemer & Harnik, The Ryerson Indian Wells, Sunrise Company, Valentine-Dougherty-Clark/111 Wealth Management Group.

 Several levels of sponsorship are available for the new season.

 Information: (760) 610-2852 www.DesertTownHall.org.

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