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Five Houlihan Lawrence Bronxville Sales Associates Selected as REAL Trends America's Best Real Estate Agents PDF Print Email


By Staff

Jul. 17, 2019: Five Houlihan Lawrence Bronxville sales associates were selected as part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents: Sheila Stoltz, Susan Kelty Law, Rita Steinkamp, and the team of Valmarie Zorila and Diane Hackett.

According to Real Trends’ website, the sales associates featured in America’s Best “are among the top 1/2 of 1% of 1.4 million licensed real estate professionals in the United States.” 

Stephanie Williams of Houlihan Lawrence further explained that Real Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents list “is a nationwide list that ranks over 14,000 real estate sales associates,” and, to be included, “agents must have closed at least 50 transactions or $20 million in closed sales volume in 2018. Teams must have closed 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume in 2018.”  She also noted that “all production numbers are independently verified by a third-party to ensure accuracy and report integrity."

"I'm so happy to see our agents recognized in this way," said Cindy Landis, brokerage manager of the Bronxville office of Houlihan Lawrence.

Pictured here (rotating):  Houlihan Lawrence agents Sheila Stoltz, Susan Kelty Law, Rita Steinkamp, Diane Hackett, and Valmarie Zorila.

Photos courtesy Houlihan Lawrence


Brendan Gill Lecture Reveals Kennedy’s Moxie, American Can-Do Spirit, and Billions that Launched First Man on the Moon PDF Print Email


By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member, Board of Trustees, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy

Jun. 19, 2019:  Presidential historian and award-winning author Douglas Brinkley presented The Bronxville Historical Conservancy’s 21st annual Brendan Gill Lecture on June 7 in the Bronxville High School auditorium. Brinkley captivated the crowd with stories from his new book, American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.  Published in April by Harper in time for the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, Brinkley’s book is a New York Times bestseller with critics proclaiming the book an “exciting narrative, “compelling and comprehensive.” Brinkley’s presentation to a packed house confirmed his talents for scholarship and storytelling.

Bronxville Historical Conservancy co-chair Bill Zambelli welcomed the crowd, thanking his co-chair, Judy Foley, and board members Lisa Rao, Erin Saluti, Lorraine Shanley, and Lyndal Vermette for their efforts in planning the program. He thanked Bronxville Superintendent Roy R. Montesano and the Bronxville school board for the use of the auditorium and noted that the Bronxville School was awarded the Conservancy’s 2018 preservation award for its recent historic preservation of the high school auditorium. He also recognized the school’s National History Day students, who recently participated in the state competition, as well as one team that will be attending the national contest in Washington. Zambelli then welcomed Marilynn Hill, Brendan Gill Committee chair and Conservancy lifetime co-chair, to the podium to introduce Brinkley. Hill highlighted Brinkley’s many accomplishments, including 23 published books, seven honorary doctorates, and a Grammy award. She lauded his skill as “a master storyteller, delving into his subjects in a very personal and human way.”

Audience at the lecture in the Bronxville auditorium. Photo courtesy The Bronxville Historical Conservancy. 

Thanking Hill for her “most thoughtful and thorough” introduction, Brinkley immediately engaged the audience in a very personal and human way. “Everybody of a certain age remembers where they were when the first human beings broke the shackles of earth and went on another celestial body,” he said. The event was indelibly seared in his mind as a young boy growing up in Ohio 80 miles from where one of his boyhood heroes, Neil Armstrong, lived.

“Don’t be afraid to be ambitious, Brinkley advised the young people in the audience. As an aspiring writer doing research, Brinkley came across Armstrong’s address and FedExed his first two books to him with a note requesting an interview. “I received a very polite blow-off,” Brinkley admitted. He shared that Armstrong thanked him for the books and said he would read one of them but did not do interviews. However, six or seven years later, much to Brinkley’s surprise, he received a letter from George Abbey at NASA headquarters informing him that Armstrong was turning 70 and was ready for an interview with Brinkley.

Perhaps Brinkley’s ambitious nature found a simpatico subject in John F. Kennedy. Explaining to the audience the why of the great space race and what motivated the nation to put a man on the moon, Brinkley’s answer was simple: “Kennedy liked to win.” Raised by a father who did not want to hear about second or third place, Kennedy grew up wanting to win at all costs. He never lost an election. When Kennedy made the bold assertion on May 25, 1961, to Congress that the United States would send a man to the moon and bring him back alive in the next decade and repeated it in September of 1962 at Rice University (where Brinkley currently serves as the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history), he was determined to win the space race with the Soviet Union. 

In addition to President Kennedy, Brinkley elaborated on the other significant players leading up to the first lunar landing, including Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, and Soviet Premier Khrushchev; American physicist and rocket pioneer Robert Goddard; German-American rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun; NASA administrator James Webb; American astronauts John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Alan Shepard, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong; and Soviet astronaut Yuri Gagarin. With each individual, Brinkley inserted anecdotes that added color and personality to the history. 

Kennedy’s Moonshot – a term Brinkley explained was coined from a baseball announcer and became synonymous with the American can-do spirit – had economic and political implications. The resources that went into the space mission, $25 billion dollars, the equivalent of $180 billion today, fueled the economy in the South where Kennedy wanted to secure votes for reelection in 1964. George H. W. Bush, head of the Republican Party for Harris County in the Houston area at that time, said, “All Republicans should cheer John F. Kennedy’s visit for all the money he’s brought to our town through the space program.” Brinkley pointed out that the Moonshot resulted in spin-off technology and medical advances, including CAT scan, MRIs, kidney dialysis, and heart defibrillators, as well as telecommunications and satellite technology.

In spite of Kennedy’s assassination and the tragic death of three astronauts on a test mission in 1967, the United States continued Kennedy’s pledge. On July 20, 1969, commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin landed Apollo 11 on the moon.

Brinkley entertained questions from the audience, including a query on whether von Braun’s role as a Nazi officer should negate his success as a physicist and rocket pioneer for NASA. Brinkley covers the subject extensively in his book and concluded, “von Braun is not a sustainable hero. John Glenn, Neil Armstrong—they are sustainable heroes.”

Brinkley closed the Q & A by thanking the audience, including his wife, Anne, and daughter, Benton, who had accompanied him for the event. The audience then joined Brinkley for a reception and conversation in the foyer.

Named for the late Brendan Gill, a former Bronxville resident, critic, and writer for the New Yorker, the lecture is presented each year by The Bronxville Historical Conservancy as a gift to the community.  

Pictured at top: David Brinkley.

Photo by David Snyder  

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

'NY Times' Best-Selling Author Dani Shapiro to Speak at Sarah Lawrence College PDF Print Email


By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Director of Community Relations, Sarah Lawrence College

Jun. 5, 2019:  Sarah Lawrence College is delighted to present New York Times best-selling author in a discussion titled "Dani Shapiro in Conversation with President Judd" on Saturday, June 8, at 11:00 am in The Performing Arts Center Reisinger Auditorium. 

The program, a featured event of reunion weekend, is free and open to the public. Dani Shapiro is the best-selling author of the memoirs Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels, including Black & White and Family History. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, the New York Times Book Review, and the op-ed pages of the New York Times.  Her most recent memoir, Inheritancepublished in January by Knopf, is a New York Times bestseller.

In 2016, Dani Shapiro whimsically submitted her DNA to a genealogy website for analysis and received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. Inheritance is the story of Shapiro’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in--a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

The New Yorker called the book "unsettling...a meditation on what it means to live in a time when secrecy, anonymity, and mystery are vanishing. [Inheritance] encapsulates an ethical quandary with which our society has yet to fully grapple."

Shapiro earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Sarah Lawrence College. She has taught workshops around the world and at Columbia and New York University. She is the co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy.

In February of 2019, she launched an original podcast called Family Secrets in collaboration with iHeart Media. The podcast features stories from guests who, like Dani, have uncovered life-altering and long-hidden secrets from their families’ past.

For more information, please contact CLOAKING .

Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

'New York Times' White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman Delivers Commencement Speech at Sarah Lawrence College PDF Print Email

By Brendan O'Callaghan, Director, Public Affairs, Sarah Lawrence College

May 29, 2019:  Sarah Lawrence College and the class of 2019, along with families and loved ones, celebrated undergraduate commencement in a ceremony that honored the more than 300 students who received their bachelor's degree after studying across a curriculum that spans disciplines from the creative and performing arts, history and the social sciences, the humanities, and natural sciences and mathematics.

New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman ’96 delivered the day’s commencement speech, advising the new graduates that careers are not always linear, the truth is powerful, and, yes, it’s likely deadlines and due dates won’t go away anytime soon.

“The truth is not always pretty, or easy,” Haberman told the almost 2,000 people in attendance. “But it is there. And it is vitally important not to blur it with emotion or hyperbole, because it can lose its power. ... I hope in your next steps, you will not be rigid in your thinking. That you will be open to hearing other people’s arguments and where they are coming from, no matter how repellent that may feel at times. It may not change your own thinking, and it shouldn’t always, but it might help you see the landscape more fully. My time at Sarah Lawrence helped me understand the importance of patience, of assuming good faith in others, and of finding the truth.”

In her remarks, Sarah Lawrence president Cristle Collins Judd reflected on the journey the college’s newest alumni had just concluded. “Your Sarah Lawrence education allowed you to connect your passions and create your path over these last four years,” said President Judd. “That ability to make a path, to connect your passions to create your future, while really hard, is an extraordinary opportunity, experience, and accomplishment that very few college students are privileged to have. … You’re now prepared to go out over your lifetimes and re-invent yourselves in ways you haven’t yet imagined.”

Kendal Flowerdew, a pre-med student who will attend medical school in the fall, was among the many high-achieving 2019 graduates. She was co-director of both the Sarah Lawrence Activities Committee and the Pre-Health Community and was one of four students who, at the ceremony, presented the senior class gift, a contribution of $62,442 to The Fund for Sarah Lawrence, raised through student fundraising events, to support scholarships, faculty, initiatives, and infrastructure. 

"I am so excited to graduate today," said Flowerdew. "The last four years at Sarah Lawrence College have been amazing and I am so grateful for the many experiences and opportunities I have had. This is a bittersweet moment, as I am saying goodbye to a huge part of my life but stepping into a new adventure in medical school. I will always have the many great memories I made as a student at Sarah Lawrence."​

A full video and photos of the event are available here.

Pictured here: Maggie Haberman.

Photo courtesy Sarah Lawrence College

Editor's note
: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Presidential Historian Douglas Brinkley to Discuss President John F. Kennedy and America’s Race to the Moon at 2019 Brendan Gill Lecture PDF Print Email


By Ellen de Saint Phalle, Member, Board of Trustees, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy

May 22, 2019:  Fifty-eight years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy announced the dramatic and ambitious goal of sending an American safely to the moon before the end of the decade: “It will not be one man going to the will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.” Eight years later, on July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the moon, fulfilling Kennedy’s objective.

What transpired in those eight years is chronicled in award-winning presidential historian Douglas Brinkley’s new book, American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race. Brinkley will discuss the book and JFK’s ambitious space program and the dawn of space politics at the annual Brendan Gill Lecture on June 7 at 8:00 pm in the Bronxville School auditorium.

Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history at Rice University, a CNN presidential historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.  

He has published 39 books, including American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race, released by Harper Collins on April 2, 2019. Walter Isaacson said, “Doug Brinkley recounts, with deep research and exciting narrative, the bold spirit and faith in innovation that was embodied in Kennedy’s decision to launch a mission to the moon.”

Brinkley’s previous publications have garnered numerous awards, including the Sperber Prize, the Robert F. Kennedy Prize, the Arthur S. Link-Warren F. Kuehl Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize, among others. He has received honorary doctorates from numerous institutions of higher learning as well as Ohio State University’s Humanities Alumni Award of Distinction.

Brinkley also has a passion for jazz, folk, and rock and roll music. In 2007, he won a Grammy Award for co-producing Presidential Suite:  Eight Variations on Freedom and was nominated for a Grammy for Gonzo, his collaboration with Johnny Depp on the soundtrack for Alex Gibney’s documentary on American journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson.

In the world of public history, Brinkley works in many capacities, including on boards and with museums, colleges, and historical societies. He is a member of the Century Association, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the James Madison Council of the Library of Congress. The Chicago Tribune dubbed him “America’s New Past Master,” and CNN proclaimed Brinkley “a man who knows more about the presidency than any human being alive.” The New-York Historical Society has chosen Brinkley as its official U.S. presidential historian.

Brinkley joins an illustrious roster of Gill speakers, including Jon Meacham, Walter Isaacson, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Michael Beschloss, David Halberstam, Stacy Schiff, David Eisenhower, and Linda Greenhouse.  The Bronxville Historical Conservancy presents the Brendan Gill Lecture each year as a gift to the community. Gill was a Bronxville resident, editor, and writer who championed architectural preservation and the visual arts.

To register for the Brendan Gill Lecture, email: CLOAKING  or call 914-961-6790.

Photos courtesy The Bronxville Historical Conservancy

Editor's note
: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


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