Celebrity Forum host, Dick Henning reflects on 40 years

Celebrity Forum host, Dick Henning reflects on 40 years

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh DialoguesDick Henning on Fresh Dialogues

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Celebrity Forum founder, Dick Henning is a hero of Silicon Valley. He’s brought every U.S. president* since Richard Nixon; world leaders like Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher; and cultural icons like Jane Goodall, Robert Ballard, Cary Grant and Lauren Bacall to Silicon Valley for his award-winning speaker series.

Last month, I met with Dick at the Flint Center in Cupertino to discover some of the stories behind his 40 year celebrity adventure and why he’s  delighted to have secured Tom Friedman for the 2009/2010 lineup.

How the series was born out of a desire to calm student unrest in the 1960’s

When and why Dick felt like giving up

Dick’s humble beginnings in a “dusty little oil town” called Taft

How celebrated journalist Leigh Weimers describes the series

Why Al Gore’s appearance last year was so well timed (Nobel Prize anyone?)

Why Foothill College is a big supporter of the series

What is Dick’s “free test” and when does he use it?

Alison van Diggelen with Dick Henning, Fresh DialoguesWhy Dick’s ego is so tied up with each speaker’s performance

Which speakers have soared?

Which speakers disappointed and why?

What makes Tom Friedman a popular guest?

Why Dick Henning is determined to celebrate the 50th year of Celebrity Forum and beyond; and what his  message is for those waiting in the wings

What’s the lineup for the 2009/2010 Series?

 The interview was recorded at the Flint Center in Cupertino, March 4, 2009

(check back soon for quotes and transcript)


* except George W. Bush