Quality of Life Forum

We are pleased to announce the launch of The Quality of Life Forum, a monthly speaker series in which featured guests share the things they do that contribute to their quality of life.

The event, which is hosted and sponsored by the Santa Monica Public Library.

Attendance is free but space is limited to 125.  To register and secure your space, email QOLF_Registration@qualityoflifeproject.org with your name in the body of the email.   The events begin precisely at 7pm so please arrive at 6:50pm or earlier.

Directions and map information at bottom of page.

The format of the event is akin to the approach used in programs like “Inside the Actor’s Studio” and “Charlie Rose.”  The conversations between the moderator Kit Cooper and featured guests are relaxed and easygoing without the air of anyone claiming to be experts.  The talks focus on what are the perspectives and practices of the interviewee that contribute to his/her quality of life.  The session always includes a substantial Q&A period with the audience.

The most common areas of discussion include Health, Family, Balance, Getting Things Done, Relationships and Emotional Well Being.  “How does a ‘benefit of the doubt’ mindset in relationships make your life more enjoyable?”  “What are some things you do on a daily basis that make your life better?”  “What is something you’ve gotten better at over the years?”  “Can you tell us more about your practice of always carrying an audio recorder with you?”


Thursday, March 8, 2012, 7pm

In March, the Quality of Life Forum is pleased to feature Surfrider Foundation executive director Jim Moriarty.  Jim is an inspiring, lifelong entrepreneur who through his leadership at Surfrider has effectively combined his professional life with his passion for nature and the ocean.  Since Jim joined Surfrider Foundation, their membership has skyrocketed from 40,000 to 250,000 supporters.  In this talk, Jim will share his perspectives on quality of life and lead an inspiring discussion on pursuing the things you love.  Prior to joining Surfrider, Jim was a successful technology start up executive specializing in e-commerce and infrastructure software.  Jim lives with his wife and two children in Solana Beach, CA, where he is also spends time mentoring high school students through surfing and home-building trips to the Baja Peninsula.


Thursday, January 19, 2012, 7pm

Taryn Rose is a world renowned fashion designer and entrepreneur with an incredible story.  After fleeing Saigon with her family in 1975, she emigrated to the U.S., landing first in Arkansas and eventually making her way to Los Angeles.  Rose eventually settled on a career in medicine, becoming an orthopedic surgeon.  During her medical studies, she came upon the challenge of designing fashionable but comfortable shoes. Taryn Rose proceeded to create one of today’s most successful and highly coveted brands in footwear, growing her business to over $40 million in revenues and later selling her company.  Her inspiring journey has led her to being featured on Oprah, CNN, New York Times and countless other outlets.  In this session, Taryn Rose will discuss lessons and perspectives she has learned along her journey as relates to quality of life.  WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 7pm

Don Fergusson is an accomplished, inspiring, thoughtful, multi-dimensional person who is clearly getting the most out of life.  He is a successful entrepreneur having previously served as president and chairman of Rust-Oleum Corporation, where he oversaw a doubling of sales and its strategic sale.  For the last 15 years, Don has shifted his work into integrating the business and spiritual worlds, and has developed deep expertise in the area of relationships.  He has led numerous couples workshops and retreats for the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).  Don is also an accomplished musician – he and his wife Stacey formed a rock band called The Ride which toured in the UK and plays throughout southern Caliornia. Don holds a Masters Degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, He also earned a MBA from Northwestern Kellogg and a BA from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. In this session, Don will discuss his journey in life and share his expertise in the area of relationships.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011, 7pm

It’s All About Quality of Life! A Roundtable Discussion with Some of the Area’s Most Respected Psychotherapists and Life Coaches.

This is a one-of-a-kind event in which we are honored to have as guests some of southern California’s most respected professionals in the psychotherapy / life coaching field. 

Steve Hasenberg, MA, MFCC, has spent the last 25 years studying the sacred technologies of many cultures, and integrating them into the framework of Western Psychology.  Steve is the writer and co-developer of Time/Life Library’s best selling corporate video series, Stress Management – A Positive Strategy.  For the past twenty years he has been one of the leading psychotherapists in Los Angeles.

Jamie Greene is a psychotherapist and life coach based in Los Angeles.  He is as multi-dimensional as they come, having had multiple careers as a musician, entrepreneur and psychotherapist / life consultant.  This year, Jamie was honored to have been selected as the on-screen therapist for ABC’s “The Bachelor.”  www.jamiegreene.la

Alissa Finerman received her life coach training from New York University.  She bridges her experiences as a professional tennis player, Wall Street professional, and motivational coach to inspire others to improve their quality of life by pursuing meaningful goals. Her first book, Living In Your Top 1%, will be released in March 2011.  She holds an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a BA from the University of California at Berkeley.  www.alissafinerman.com



Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 7pm

Fernando Espuelas is a respected world renowned entrepreneur, leadership expert and Hispanic community activist.  Fernando is well known as the founder of StarMedia, one of the most popular content sites for Hispanics in the U.S. and Latin America with over 24 million unique users a month. Time and CNN named Espuelas as one of the “Leaders of the Millennium” and in 2007 he was honored by being named a Henry Crown Fellow through the Aspen Institute. Today, Fernando mixes entrepreneurship with social activism, hosting Café Espuelas, a radio show on Univision 1020. He is also  the author of the book Life in Action: The 12 Voy Principles to Happiness and Success.  WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010, 7pm
Business Leader Roundtable. The Quality of Life Forum hosted its first panel discussion format.  This session featured some highly respected business leaders that have demonstrated an ability to achieve success in both their personal and business lives.  These are individuals that have a knack for getting the most out of life.  The discussion will focus around two topics:  “How do you define success?” and “What are some practices that contribute positively to your quality of life?”  Attendess:  Dan Lubeck (founder, Solis Capital), Matt Jarvis (principal, 72andSunny), Robert Newman (vice president, Morgan Stanley) and Jeff Rose (partner, The Rose Group).  WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 7pm
Dr. Barbara Kay Polland has served as a professor of child development, a psychotherapist, a teacher, and a consultant to parents and teachers for decades. Barb is widely respected for her expertise on family issues; and by those that know her she is respected for her positive and independent approach to life. She has written several critcally acclaimed books including We Can Work It Out – Conflict Resolution for Childrenand Every Parents’ Question and Answer Handbook. And luckily her children and grandchildren live close to her in southern California.  In this session, Barbara will talk about the things that have brought joy in her life as well as specific practices that have made her family relationships richer and more fulfilling.  WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010, 7pm
Moctesuma Esparza, award-winning filmmaker, producer, entrepreneur and activist, is revered for his contributions to the movie industry and commitment to Latinos everywhere. Esparza established Maya Cinemas, a growing chain of modern movie theatre complexes, and Maya Entertainment, the only Latino owned Entertainment Company targeting U.S. Latinos today. Some of his production credits include: Selena, The Milagro Beanfield War and most recently Walkout for HBO. Esparza founded the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise Charter School, is Co-Founder of the Smithsonian Latino Center, and founding Member of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. In this conversation, Moctesuma will share his thoughts on living a full life as well as his practices around the art of interpersonal communication.   WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010, 7pm
Annie Duke is the world’s most successful female poker player. She’s also a mother of four, an author and a television entrepreneur having appeared on Celebrity Apprentice and other major programs. Annie was an English and Psychology major at Columbia University and did her doctorate studies in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She ended up moving to Montana and in 1994, at the urging of her brother, Annie entered her first World Series of Poker and walked away with $70,000. Over the course of the next decade, Duke established herself as one of the best poker players in the world. In 2004, Duke beat out an assembly of 234 players in the WSOP $2000 buy-in Omaha Hi/Lo Split. In August of the same year, Duke knocked out 8 of the worlds’ greatest poker legends and won $2 million in the No-Limit Texas Hold’em winner-take-all, WSOP Tournament of Champions. Annie is a thoughtful person who despite her high profile has maintained a centered approach to life. We are excited for Annie to share with us her perspectives on quality of life, particularly the importance of going after opportunities and creating one’s own path in life.  WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 7pm
Sonya Lyubomirsky, writer, positive psychology expert, professor, author of The How of Happiness.  Through her interviews with thousands of people on what drives their happiness, Sonja has pioneered a detailed yet easy-to-follow plan to increase our quality of life. In this discussion, Sonja will share her personal experiences as well as her research findings into what practices contribute to living an joyful and contented life. WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009, 7pm
Ben Sherwood, award winning author, entrepreneur and journalist.  Author ofNew York Times best seller The Surviors Club, former executive producer Good Morning America and senior producer for NBC Nightly News.  Ben recently launchedwww.TheSurvivorsClub.org, an online resource center and support network for people facing all manners of adversity.   WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009, 7pm
Mark Thornton, author of Meditation in a New York Minute, executive coach, expert on how meditation can create competitive advantage for leaders and individuals, former COO of JP Morgan London.  Consults with leading organizations like McKinsey and Harvard Law School on how to improve performance through deployment of meditation practices. WATCH VIDEO OF EVENT HERE.

DIRECTIONS/LOGISTICS: The event is in the Martin Luther King auditorium at the Santa Monica public library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA.  Entrance to the parking garage is on 7th street, 100 yards north of Santa Monica Boulevard on the west side of the street.  Plenty of underground parking is available at just $0.50/half hour.  After parking, take the parking elevator up to their first floor, exit to the right and the auditorium is right there.  Parking lot is indicated by the below arrow.