Here is a list of Speakers (in no particular order) we have planned for the RG.

Safety – Success for Safety

Former Sheriff Irwin Carmichael

Mr. Carmichael is the former sheriff of Mecklenburg County and is the owner of the Martial Arts Training Institute. In an attempt to further educate the public on crime prevention and self-defense, Mr. Carmichael has written a book, Women’s Awareness Response, and has produced a child safety and abduction video, Kid’s Awareness Response.

Healing – Nutrition and Wellness Through The Lens of Functional Medicine

Amir Koohestani, DO

Dr. Koohestani is a family medicine physician in Albemarle, NC. The mission of his practice, Medicatrix, focuses on finding and treating the root causes of chronic diseases as opposed to attempting to band-aid their symptoms.

Companionship – The Health Benefits of Dog Companionship

Deborah Parrish

Deborah is the founder of Hounds of Grace, a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and re-homing of the hunting breeds. The goal of Hounds of Grace is to provide the dogs with medical care and transition assistance needed to prepare them for a more peaceful home life.

Stress Reduction – Tai Chi and Qigong

Karen Koutsky

Karen leads classes filled with tai chi, qigong and meditation throughout the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Her studies have been with Dr. Roger Jahnke and through the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi, focusing on how we can become healthier and use these practices to heal ourselves.

Imbibement – Beer 101 – An overview of beer ingredients, styles, and history

Bob Maier

Bob is a member of Charlotte/Blue Ridge Mensa and a semi-professional humorist. He is a local stand up comedian and a former member of The Charlotte Comedy Theatre’s improv troupe. He has authored two books and his short humor has appeared in Word Ways, Calliope, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine, and The Funny Times. One of his pieces from The Funny Times was included in: The Best Of the Best American Humor.

Exercise – Mentally Fit but Physically Pfft? Work your body from toe to head without even getting out of your bed.

Linda Schreiber

Linda is a member of Mensa in Georgia. She has been certified by ACE (American Council on Exercise) as a group fitness instructor for 30 years, and by Silver Sneakers for the past 10.  Although she has held certificates in many formats through the years, her current focus is on choreographed dance exercise, senior fitness, and stretch, which she enhances with elements of yoga, tai chi, and myofascial release techniques.

Mental Exercise – Trivia

Bruce Holland

Bruce is a member of Central South Carolina Mensa. He was in private law practice until 1983 when he was named Assistant General Counsel for the SC Department of Social Services. He has since retired. In addition to Mensa, he is a member of Intertel and ISPE.

Love – Love Like You Don’t Share a Bathroom

Patty Newbold

Patty is a member of Delaware Valley Mensa. She is a Certified Performance Technologist, designing courses and creating tools that run on the internet and personal computers. Assume Love is her way of bringing more happiness, less financial stress, fewer psychological problems, and more love to married people, life partners, and their children.

Health – Who is Melissa Palyn, and Why Are Beekeepers Interested in Her?

Ed Moyers

Ed started keeping bees with his wife, Marianne, eight years ago, to keep himself occupied and out of trouble once he retired after 35 years as a mechanical engineer. In his spare time, Ed completes his own household engineering projects, helps Marianne with her (delicious!) gardening projects, and serves as President of the Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Association.

Nutrition – The Benefits of Locally Produced Food and Fresh Food Mapping

Chris Hardin and Erin Hostetler

Rivendell Farms encourage sharing good food, living healthy lifestyles and supporting local farmers. Chris is an environmental engineer and the farm’s Farm and Field Project Coordinator. Erin is the farm’s Program Coordinator and works to promote the visibility and efficacy of local food and farming systems.

Dance – The History and Benefits of Hula Dancing

Rick and Selina Olomua

Rick and Selina are the owners of South Seas Dancers, Charlotte’s only completely family owned and operated Polynesian performance group. Their troupe consists of female hula dancers, a male fire & Knife dancer, and a male ukulele player/singer. They have been performing in Charlotte since moving from Hawaii. They provide the opportunity to learn about Polynesian culture, dance and language.

Life Balance – Learn to ace your daily challenges using ancient “Yoga Secrets”

Ken Heptig

Ken is a member of CBR Mensa. He has been teaching yoga and fitness classes since 1992 and has taught at private studios as well as 9 YMCA’s.  He is the author of 4 books and has taught morning yoga classes at 3 AGs.

General Health – I AM: A Closer Look Into Well-Being

Allie Wilhelm

Allie is a certified RYT-200 yoga instructor currently working as the Lead Instructor and Operations Manager for NC Yoga Bar in Charlotte North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte with a B.S.B.A in Marketing and Innovation and is eager to strengthen the community in the Queen City. With a passion for connection and a heart for wellness she aims to spread happiness and well-being within the mind, body, and soul. She loves animals, plants, dancing, mindfulness, holistic wellness, and spending time outdoors.

Mind Exercise – Music Trivia

Curt Bramblett

Curt Bramblett was a member of the Charlotte-Blue Ridge local group for many years. He was chair of the 1990 RG and active with the 1989 RG organized around the Ramses III exhibit. He retired to Florida and brings his disc-jockey expertise to our RG with a Name That Tune contest. Expect more than a trip along memory lane as you hear well-known and obscure songs.

Nutrition – Medical Benefits of Local Mushrooms

Julio Montero

Julio Montero is the owner of Omg Alchemy, which is a product and brewing company with a focus on health. Omg Alchemy believes the body is a temple and the food we eat is a sacrament. Fermentation is an ancient technology that can be used to create amazing new medicines. He uses fermentation to unlock compounds in the mushrooms fruiting bodies, achieving the extraction of medicinal polysaccharides. 

Other – No Ordinary Soldier: My Father’s Two Wars


Liz Gilmore

Liz Gilmore Williams placed as one of two Finalists in the genre of military history in the 2018 International Book Awards for No Ordinary Soldier: My Father’s Two Wars.  She worked as a writer and editor for more than 20 years in Washington, D.C., for two offices of the U.S. Congress and other organizations. As a speaker for South Carolina’s Humanities Out Loud Program, Liz travels statewide to speak for meetings at sponsoring organizations that promote discussion about human values, traditions, and cultures.

Other – Are We Ready Not to Be Alone?

Matt Tiller

Matt Tiller has a Master’s in Advanced Psychological Studies and is a writer, producer, and educator from the greater Charlotte area. He is the testing coordinator for Charlotte/Blue Ridge Mensa and the senior editor for The SCU Review. His collaboration with To The Stars Academy of Arts & Science helped lead him to research the psychological processes of assimilation and acclimation.

Authors’ TableRegistrationHotelEventsKids Track

Meals and HospitalityGames

Mensa Testing SessionTransportation

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