CHC Writers – October 9, 2017


“I write to be heard.” ~Allison Silberberg, MFA (Mayor of / Author of Visionaries in our Midst)


CHCW Guest – Allison Silberberg, MFA


Allison Silberberg, the Mayor of Alexandria, Virginia, is a writer and lifelong advocate for social justice issues. Allison has over 25 years of experience in community leadership and public service, including: interning for Senator Edward M. Kennedy; working as Chief Editor and Chief Research Assistant for Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen; starting and leading a nonprofit called Lights, Camera, Action!, which used film to mentor youth in Anacostia; grantmaking to local nonprofits; and serving on the World Bank’s Community Outreach Grants Committee. From 2004 to 2012, Allison was appointed to Alexandria’s Economic Opportunities Commission, which serves as an advocate for the city’s most vulnerable. Allison’s accolades include New Hope Housing’s 2012 Leadership/Servanthood award for her role in leading the EOC’s “All Hands on Deck” project to renovate the Alexandria Community Shelter. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Allison has a B.A. in international relations and history from American University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from the School of Theater, Film and Television at the University of California, Los Angeles.

CHCW Guest – Gen. Richard Neal, USMC (ret)

Richard Neal

Richard ‘Butch’ Neal is a retired four-star general and served from 1996—1998 as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. After graduating with a B.S. in History and Education from Northeastern University in Boston, in 1965, Neal was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and spent the next thirty-five years commanding at every level.

During his time in uniform, he also went on to graduate from the National War College and earn his M.Ed. from Tulane University. He served two tours in the Republic of Vietnam, and during Desert Storm, he served as the Deputy Director of Operations for General Schwarzkopf as well as Central Command Briefer.

His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star Medal with Gold Star; the Defense Superior Service Medal with Palm; Bronze Star Medal with Combat V; and the Purple Heart. Since retiring in 1998, he has been president of three intellectual property licensing companies.

He was the Senior Mentor for the United States Marine Corps for five years and is currently a Senior Fellow at the National Defense University. The general also served as Chairman of the Board for the Military Officers Association of America, and is presently on the board of directors for several companies, and sits on the Board of Trustees for Norwich University.

CHCW Guest – Mark Schapiro

Mark Schapiro.jpegHONORED:  We’re hosting US Diplomat Mark Schapiro on June 3, 2017!  Mark entered the U.S. Foreign Service in 2000 as an Economic Officer, and has focused on the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe. Prior to entering the National War College, he served as Director for Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus at the National Security Council from 2015-2016. He will transfer overseas in July 2017 as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Valletta, Malta.

Mark has received three U.S. Department of State Superior Honor Awards and four Meritorious Honor Awards, a medal of excellence from U.S. Army BG Mark Kimmitt for his work at CPA Baghdad (2004), the Commander’s Award for Public Service from General David Petraeus (2007) and the Superior Civilian Service Award from U.S. Army 3ID Commander MG Anthony Cucolo (2010). Mark speaks Arabic, French, Italian, and basic Spanish. A native of New York City, Mark is a graduate of Brown University and the London School of Economics, and recently self-published “Authorized Departure,” a book on the U.S. diplomatic experience in Iraq available on Google Books and at

CHCW Guest – Wendy Miller, PhD

THRILLED: Dr. Wendy Miller will be visiting us on June 17!  Wendy Ph.D., LPC-BCPC, ATR-BC, LCPAT, REAT, is a writer, sculptor, expressive arts therapist, and educator. She has taught at JFK University, San Francisco State University, Southwestern College, Lesley College, California Institute of Integral Studies, and George Washington University. She is the cofounder of Create Therapy Institute, which offers clinical services in arts-based psychotherapy and trainings in experiential approaches to learning. She is a founding member and first elected (past) executive co-chair of the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association, where she continues to be on their Advisory Council. She is also on the Advisory Board of Maine General’s Healthy Living Resource Center and Blossom Arts Board of Advisors.

Miller’s skills take her into the worlds of fine art, writing, psychology, expressive arts therapy, and mind­–body medicine. She has published on medical illness and the arts as complementary medicine, the use of sand tray therapy with internationally adopted children, experiential approaches to supervision in expressive arts therapy, and the cultural responsibility of the arts in therapy. Her current work is evolving as she continues the legacy of her late husband’s work and his Washington, DC, Center on Aging, where she is guiding it into projects on intergenerational communication. She continues to research the relationships among the arts, creativity, and health.

Dr. Wendy Miller FLYER