Speaker Program


Ed Hammersla

Monday August 07th, 2017 - 5:00 pm

Chief Executive Officer of Utilidata

Topic: Cybersecurity Developments and Current Threats.

Chief Executive Officer of Utilidata, a RI-based corporation that focuses its business on cybersecurity and technology. Mr. Hammersla has led a distinguished career in cybersecurity space, including having served as President of Forcepoint Federal, LLC, and President of Raytheon Cyber Products. He serves on several government committees and industry association groups dealing with cybersecurity. He will address emerging issues in corporate and societal risk management in the realms of energy, technology and cybersecurity.


Capt. John Jackson

Monday August 14th, 2017 - 5:00 pm

– U.S. Naval War College

Topic: Drones -- Military, Ethical and Legal Issues in Use of Drones & Robots in Warfare.

Professor in the U.S. Naval War College’s College of Distance Education. Capt. Jackson teaches a specialized course on "Unmanned Systems and Conflict in the 21st Century." He is a specialist on the technical and policy implications of the use of unmanned military systems (“drones”) in the air, on the surface and undersea. He will provide an overview of the various military unmanned vehicle systems now in place and under development, as well as addressing some of the legal and ethical implications of using drones in warfare.


Joanne Pope Melisch

Monday August 21st, 2017 - 5:00 pm

– Associate Professor Emerita at the University of Kentucky, and Rhode Island Center for Reconciliation

Topic: History of Slavery in South County.

Associate Professor Emerita, University of Kentucky, and Coordinating Committee, Center for Reconciliation of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. Ms. Melisch is the author of "Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and 'Race' in New England, 1780-1860". She will inform us on the many levels and deep engagement of the businesses and culture of South County, RI in the institutions of slavery and the related slave trade in America’s 18th and 19th centuries, and how that history has informed our modern-day society and race relations.


Dwight Coleman

Monday August 28th, 2017 - 5:00 pm

– Director of the Inner Space Center, URI Graduate School of Business

Topic: Leading Research at the URI Oceanographic Inner Space Center, including tours of the ISC.

Director of the Inner Space Center, University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. A marine scientist, Dr. Coleman directs the Inner Space Center (ISC) of the GSO on URI’s Bay Campus. At sea, he is responsible for leading oceanographic research expeditions employing remotely operated vehicle systems and telepresence technologies. He is a veteran of over 40 science missions at sea, many in collaboration with Dr. Robert Ballard. He was previously associated with the U.S. Geological Survey at Woods Hole and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport. Dr. Coleman will share an “insider’s view” of some of the leading-edge oceanographic research conducted by the ISC, and will treat us to personal tours of large-screen undersea telepresence images transmitted from research vessels and robotic vehicle systems at remote global sites.


    Today the stewardship of the South Ferry Church has passed to the Friends of the South Ferry Church, a group of concerned citizens. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and are dependent on our many donors for the annual costs of maintaining and improving our historic building and grounds.

    Recognizing the building's priceless and irreplaceable part of the architectural historic heritage of Rhode Island, the Friend's mission is to protect the South Ferry Church from alteration or deterioration.