2015-2016 Speakers
Programs Begin at 7:30pm in Chrysler Hall, Norfolk.


Marcus Luttrell
Decorated Navy Seal & Best-Selling Author of Lone Survivor
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 – Start time 7:30 p.m.

Marcus Luttrell is the author of the #1 New York Times best-selling book, Lone Survivor, which tells the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan in Operation Redwing. An unparalleled motivational story of survival, the book is also a moving tribute to the friends and teammates who did not make it off the mountain.

In January 2014, Luttrell's amazing story made the leap to the big screen with the blockbuster film, Lone Survivor, directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg as Luttrell. The film, like the book, is an incredible account of teamwork, fortitude and modern warfare. Leading Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell joined the U.S. Navy in 1999 and became a combat-trained SEAL in 2002. After serving in Iraq for two years, he was deployed to Afghanistan in the spring of 2005.

As a SEAL, Luttrell was trained in weapons, demolition, and unarmed combat. He also served as platoon medic. After recuperating from the near-fatal injuries of Operation Redwing, he redeployed to Iraq for a second tour and retired in 2007, earning the Navy Cross for combat heroism by President George W. Bush. Many of these experiences are highlighted in his follow up bestselling book, Service. In it, Luttrell turns his focus from his own experiences as a combat-trained Navy SEAL to the nature of service on America's battlefields and the soldiers who give their lives to defend their nation and each other.


Ambassador Nancy Brinker
Founder of Susan G. Komen
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 – Start time 7:30 p.m.

Nancy Brinker is regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement. It began with a simple promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything possible to end the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by the disease. Brinker practically created a multi-billion dollar organization from her living room. To date, the organization has invested more than $2.2 billion in breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment in more than 30 countries worldwide. She is a New York Times best-selling author of Promise Me and she was honored as one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People.” Her story of vision, passion and determination makes her one of the most in-demand thought leaders today.

Nancy stepped away from Susan G. Komen for a short period to serve as United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2001 to 2003 and as President George W. Bush’s White House Chief of Protocol from 2007 to 2009. Drawing on her experiences as Ambassador of Hungary, building a billion dollar organization, and serving every President since Ronald Reagan, Nancy Brinker covers business and leadership, changing healthcare, lifestyle, and motivation & inspiration.

cooperAnderson Cooper
Anchor of CNN’s, Anderson Cooper 360°
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 – Start time 7:30 p.m.

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN’s, Anderson Cooper 360°, a nightly newscast that goes beyond the headlines – keeping politicians and policy makers honest with in-depth reporting and investigations.

Since the start of his career in 1992, Cooper has covered nearly all-major news events around the world, often reporting from the scene. Most recently, he has extensively covered the conflicts in Syria and Egypt, the NSA surveillance programs, the Boston Marathon bombing, and the Sandy Hook shootings. Cooper has also played a pivotal role in CNN’s political and election coverage and has anchored from conventions and moderated several presidential debates. In October 2012 Cooper moderated CNN’s Republican debate from Las Vegas.

In addition to his shows on CNN, Cooper is also a regular correspondent for CBS’s 60 Minutes. At CNN and 60 Minutes, Cooper has won numerous major journalism awards. Cooper helped lead CNN's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 tsunami. Additionally, he has been awarded 8 Emmy Awards, including two for his coverage of the earthquake in Haiti, and an Edward R Murrow award.

Dispatches from The Edge, Cooper’s memoirs about covering wars and disasters, topped the New York Times' bestseller list and other bestseller charts. Before joining CNN, Cooper was an ABC News correspondent and host of the network's reality program The Mole. Cooper anchored ABC's off-beat overnight newscast World News Now, and was a correspondent for World News Tonight as well as 20/20. Cooper joined ABC from Channel One News, where he served as chief international correspondent. During that time, he reported and produced stories, often on his own, from conflicts in Bosnia, Cambodia, Haiti, Israel, Myanmar, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, and South Africa. Channel One News was a school television network seen daily in more than 12,000 classrooms nationwide.

Cooper graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He also studied Vietnamese at the University of Hanoi. Cooper is based in New York City.


Lessons from Coach K
Tuesday, April 19, 2016 – Start time 7:30 p.m.

Jay Bilas, Jay Williams, and Shane Battier will be making their first-ever speaking performance together to share “Lessons from Coach K” as well as their own experiences and observations in their lives beyond basketball.  The appearance of these 3 professional speakers together will be a substitution for the earlier commitment by Coach Mike Krzyzewski (“Coach K”) himself to appear on that same evening.  The substitution was announced to The Norfolk Forum audience on Tuesday January 26th via a video recording by Coach K customized for The Norfolk Forum subscribers.

Jay, Jay, and Shane each played college basketball at Duke University for Coach K and have maintained close personal relationships with him since their time wearing a Duke uniform.  Coach K is now in his 35th year coaching at Duke, and he is the winningest coach in NCAA Division I history (over 1,000 wins and counting…).  Jay, Jay, and Shane have been a vital part of several of the 5 National Championships won by Duke with Coach K at the helm. 

Coach K has been named the National Coach of the Year 12 times and Coach of the Decade for the 1990’s.  Other major honors for Coach K include the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award and induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach K has also long-served as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s National Team winning gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics as well as at the 2010 and 2014 FIBA World Championships.


bilasJAY BILAS Jay Bilas, ESPN broadcaster, attorney, and author, is one of basketball’s strongest voices. He joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 1995 and today serves as a game and studio analyst and expert courtside color commentator, working more than 40 games a season and co-hosting ESPN’s popular road show, College GameDay. He also is a regular contributor to Sports Center, ESPN.com and ESPNEWS, and he provides commentary on coverage of the NBA Draft and NCAA Final Four. Bilas is a multiple-time Emmy nominee for Best Studio Analyst, was twice named Best Game Analyst by Sports Illustrated, and has received “Best Column of the Year” from the US Basketball Writers Association. Bilas was a four-year starter for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke from 1982-86. As a senior, Bilas was a starter on the record holding 37-win Duke Squad that played in the 1986 NCAA Championship game. A 1986 NBA draft pick of the Dallas Mavericks, Bilas played professionally in Italy (ranking among the league’s top scorers) and Spain before returning to Duke as an assistant coach on Krzyzewski’s staff from 1990-92. The Blue Devils made three NCAA Championship Game appearances during his tenure as a coach, winning the championship in ‘91 and ‘92. Bilas twice graduated from Duke with an undergraduate degree in political science in 1986 and a law degree in 1992. Duke Law School recognized Bilas with its “Distinguished Young Alumni Award”. Bilas has been a litigation attorney with the Charlotte, N.C. law firm office of Moore & Van Allen, PLLC since 1992. In 2013, Bilas released his book Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court in which he discusses the importance of toughness and how it contributes to winning…in both sports and in life. Toughness features stories and personal philosophies from many top players and coaches including Coach K. Bilas currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the John R. Wooden Award, the Board of Advisors of the Chip Hilton Award, the National Board of the Coaches vs. Cancer Organization and the Board of Advisors of the Duke Brain Tumor Center and Duke Children’s Hospital.


williamsJay Williams is a nationally renowned broadcast analyst for ESPN, where he covers and analyzes college basketball for the network.  Jay is also Managing Partner for the Leverage Agency for which he consistently brings in new business and offers creative and compelling ways for brands to differentiate themselves. Excelling at basketball from an early age, Jay earned a scholarship to Duke University, where he was named ACC Rookie of the Year, National Freshman of the Year, and Player of the Year.  After leading Duke to the NCAA National Championship in 2001 along with teammate Shane Battier, Jay appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and Duke retired his jersey in 2002. In 2002, Jay played for the U.S. National Team and was selected second overall by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Draft.  But after just one season with the Chicago Bulls, Williams destroyed his career when he suffered a horrific motorcycle accident.  In an  instant,  the man with as fast a first step as any point guard in history could no longer do anything for himself, including walk. In January 2016, Williams released a book, Life Is Not an Accident: A Memoir of Reinvention, in which he talks about how his accident transformed him.  After a decade spent recovering from his injuries, Williams recounts with a rare honesty his hard-fought path to college basketball stardom and the painful lessons he's learned while reconstructing his fractured adulthood.  The book is also Williams' tribute to the many angels who helped him survive, including his parents and his legendary Duke Basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski.  Williams today is happy with the man he has become and is convinced that the crash that almost killed him at age 21 was no accident, but a tragedy that taught him how to live.


battierShane Battier today is a distinguished public speaker and a strong community leader. Over his distinguished NBA career and his heralded collegiate career at Duke University, Shane Battier overcame the doubts of many naysayers who said he did not have the talent to compete on the world's most competitive stage. As a public speaker, Battier tells audiences how he overcame the odds - through perseverance, leadership, setting goals and believing in his ability to win- and how anyone can become a true champion. As a high school freshman, Shane Battier was told by the basketball world that his basketball career would never amount to anything. After graduating, with honors, from Detroit Country Day School with three State Championships, the Michigan Mr. Basketball award and the Naismith National High School Player of the Year award, he enrolled in Duke University, where he was told by the basketball world that he was likely to have a marginal basketball career. After graduating, with honors, from Duke with a degree in Religion, two Final Four appearances, one National Championship, two All-American Awards, and Naismith and John Wooden National Players of the Year awards, he was selected 6th overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2001 NBA Draft. After being told he would likely have a brief NBA career, Battier was part of the back-to-back 2012 and 2013 NBA Championship Miami Heat team where he became one of only eight athletes to win a championship on the high school, college and NBA levels. During his career, Battier was also a two-time AII-NBA Defensive performer and a member of the USA Basketball National Team. A six-time divisional winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award, Shane is also known for his exemplary character and his commitment to community service. Shane and his wife, Heidi, launched The Battier Take Charge Foundation to provide resources and programs for the development and education of underserved youth and teens with the motto “Do Good. Do Well.”

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2015-2016 Tickets


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The Norfolk Forum
Post Office Box 11114
Norfolk, VA 23517

The Norfolk Forum reserves the right to substitute in the event any announced speaker does not appear.

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