Coffee & Conversation

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, DCPBK seamlessly transitioned to virtual-only programming to keep our membership engaged. Coffee & Conversation developed from the board’s recognition that intellectual stimulation remains of the utmost importance to our members. Even with the move toward resuming in-person activities, DCPBK is committed to offering some virtual options for members who may not be able to easily attend in-person events.

Coffee & Conversation is an informal, hour-long series we hold quarterly over Zoom, in which we invite an engaging, distinguished speaker to talk directly to our members and answer their questions about their areas of expertise. We normally do either a lecture-style or interview-style format, leaving about 15-30 minutes for members to ask questions at the end. We tend to hold these sessions on weeknights after work. Previous sessions have run the gamut of topics from politics, international relations, foreign cultures, animal cognition, and economics.

Upcoming Coffee & Conversation Events

Past Topics & Speakers

Matthew Thomas

Matthew Thomas, PhD

Matthew Thomas is an economist at the Federal Trade Commission who researches auctions and labor regulation. Matthew shared alternative theories of overtime and minimum wage equilibrium based on proprietary models of monopsony. His conclusion: minimum wage regulation becomes less efficient as prices reach the middle ranges, and becomes more efficient at the extremes (either very high or very low).

Leslie Sinn, DVM

Dr. Leslie Sinn is a veterinarian and animal behaviorist with her own firm in Loudon County. Dr. Sinn was the head of the veterinary technician program at Northern Virginia Community College, one of just 3 veterinary programs in the commonwealth of Virginia. While she has experience with both domestic and exotic animals (elephants, zebras, and more), her talk focused on dispelling common myths for our DCPBK dog owners.

Amin Neshati

Amin Neshati is a longtime analyst of Iran, working at a firm in Northern Virginia that distills updates on current events to brief government clients. Amin gave an overview of Iran for our members, then answered questions regarding treatment of the Jewish community in Iran and relations with Israel.

Mary Kadera

Mary Kadera is a trained educator who went on to head up educational programming at PBS and now oversees the launch of a new educational platform for TED, as well as volunteering on the Arlington School Board. Mary gave some insightful remarks on education through new media, changes in education such as the emphasis on standardized testing, and how the COVID-19 pandemic changed children’s learning.