Speaker Program

We are disappointed that our 2020 August Speaker Program will have to be cancelled this year. Below you can view our 2019 Speaker Series for a taste of what we offer and we hope you will join us next summer.


Tony Estrella

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 5:00 pm

Topic: “There’s no future in it…” Making Art in Troubled Times

Artistic Director of the Gamm Theatre, Tony has been an actor, director, writer and producer with the company for over 20 years. Since his first show with the company (Antony and Cleopatra) in 1996, he has appeared or directed over 70 productions. Some of his favorite roles include Hamlet in Hamlet, Teach in American Buffalo, and Vanya in Uncle Vanya. Directorial highlights include Festen, and A Streetcar Named Desire, and the U.S. premiere of Howard Brenton’s Paul and Sara Waters’ Night Watch. His film credits include appearances in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, Kenneth Lonegran’s Manchester by the Sea and Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (2019). Tony is the recipient of numerous recognitions including the Claiborne Pell Awards for Excellence in the Arts. He is a longtime member of the theater faculty at his alma mater, The University of Rhode Island.


Dr. Steven Katz

Monday, August 12, 2019 - 5:00 pm

Topic: Pillar of Hope - The Story of a Rhode Island Immunotherapy Program

Director of the Office of Therapeutic Development at Roger Williams Medical Center, RI where Dr. Katz leads the Sorrento Cellular Immunotherapy and Gene Therapy Facility. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Katz completed his general surgery residency at the New York University Medical Center and completed Fellowships in Immunology and Surgical Oncology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he served as the Chief Administrative Fellow. Dr. Katz Clinical Expertise is in liver surgery, pancreatic surgery, sarcoma, and melanoma. His laboratory research endeavors focus on immunotherapy for liver metastases and sarcoma. He has served as the principal investigator for four Hepatic Immunotherapy for Metastases (HITM) trials, which test regional infusion of CAR-T cells for liver metastases. He also leads the Immunotherapy for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis (IPC) program, testing CAR-T infusions for stage IV abdominal cancers. His overarching career goal is to develop novel immunotherapy treatments for presently incurable liver and pancreas tumors.


Jeffrey Grybowski

Monday, August 19, 2019 - 5:00 pm

Topic: Creating a Clean Future

Co-Chief Executive Officer of Ørsted US Offshore Wind. Jeff previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Deepwater Wind from 2012-2018, where he led the company’s pathbreaking efforts to launch the offshore wind industry in the United States. He was intimately involved in the development of America’s first offshore wind farm, the Block Island Wind Farm. Under his leadership, the company developed a portfolio of 1,000 MW of awarded offshore wind revenue contracts, including the first offshore wind projects for the states of New York, Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Jeff previously served as Chief of Staff to the Governor of the State of Rhode Island, where he was the Governor’s most senior advisor on all matters of state business. He previously practiced corporate law at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder in Providence, Rhode Island and at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York, New York.


Colonel William Babcock, USA (ret)

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 5:00 pm

Topic: Rhode Island Veterans Treatment Court

1968 graduate of the University of Rhode Island where he also earned a MA degree in 1972 and an MBA from Bryant University in 1977. Colonel Babcock is a veteran of the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. He is the recipient of many awards and decorations including the Bronze Star, the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. For the last seven years he has served as volunteer Coordinator of Veteran Mentors for the Rhode Island Veterans Treatment Court, a part of the Rhode Island District Court. In this capacity he recruits veterans to be mentors to veterans charged with misdemeanor crimes. Defendants suffer from various service connected issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and substance abuse. Defendants spend one year in a court mandated treatment program and upon successful completion are eligible for a reduction in charges or complete dismissal of charges.


    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.