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Joel Pollak from Breitbart Talks about the Israel-Hamas Conflict and What You Need to Know
Michael Mercier Talks About the Genius of Frank Lloyd Wright and Fallingwater

Michael Mercier and Jerry Thomas to Lead Tuesday Podcast–Click Here

InGodWeTrustProject.com –Initiative Continues– Click Here

EmpowerU Featured in Epoch Times–Click Here

Previous Classes


The Israel-Gaza Conflict

A Conflict that Divides Our Country

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, May 14, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class After 6:45 PM–Click Here

How Well is the Mainstream Media Covering the Israel-Gaza Conflict?

The events of October 7 shocked the world, and what has happened since is even more shocking.  The conflict between Israel and Hamas is gradually expanding, and every day the risks of an even wider conflict increase.

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The United States is deeply divided over the conflict, with a faction supporting Israel’s action, another supporting Hamas, and another supporting Israel’s self-defense as long as innocent Palestinians aren’t injured.  The Biden administration is sending mixed messages, contributing to the escalation. 

Joel Pollak has been covering the Israel-Hamas conflict for Breitbart from the beginning, and he has visited Israel several times since October 7.  He’ll join EmpowerU to share his insights about the conflict, including its underlying causes, its expansion, the mainstream news coverage of the conflict, the trajectory the conflict seems to be taking, the Biden administration’s handling of the conflict, and what an effective solution will look like.

Hear the facts straight from the source as EmpowerU Podcast Host Jerry Thomas talks with Joel Pollak- one who has been to Israel multiple times since the conflict started.

Speaker Bio:

Joel Pollak- Senior Editor-at-Large for Breitbart News.

Joel Pollak is one of the most prolific writers at Breitbart News with his regular column, Blue State Blues, his on-the-ground reporting from Israel after the October 7 Hamas massacre of innocent civilians, and his fearless political reporting where he challenges the status quo.

Born April 25, 1977, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Joel Pollak immigrated as a young boy to the United States with his family.  He grew up in Chicago, Illinois, becoming a US citizen in 1987.  After graduating from Harvard University, Pollak returned to South Africa to earn a master’s degree in Jewish Studies at the University of Cape Town, and he later worked as a speechwriter for South African politician Tony Leon.

Before joining Breitbart News, Pollak ran unsuccessfully for Congress as a Tea Party Republican representing Illinois’ 9th district. He ran against incumbent Democrat Jan Schakowsky, who promoted the corrupt ShoreBank bailout while ignoring community banks in her own district. 

Joel Pollak actually used to be what he described in an interview with Chicago Mag as a “raving Democrat,” but started moving to the right while at Harvard Law School, feeling that Democrats in Congress had no agenda other than bashing President Bush.  He earned his law degree in 2008.

One of Pollak’s many books is, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, in which he discusses the reasons for Trump’s 2016 win, especially pointing to the fact that Trump defied the media.  In 2020 he published Red November, in which he argued – presciently – that Joe Biden, despite posing as a moderate, was the most extreme leftwing presidential candidate in history.  Later that same year Pollak published, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election, in which detailed the distortions that made a Trump re-election difficult if not impossible – vote-by-mail, political violence, tech censorship, media bias, claims of voter fraud and more.  His most recent book,  Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order!’: A Biography is about his late mother-in-law, a South African antiapartheid activist who became a noted political columnist and Trump supporter.

In addition to serving as senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News, Pollak hosts the Breitbart News Sunday radio show on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125, 7 – 10 p.m. Eastern.

Joel’s wife, Julia, was born in Cape Town, South Africa.  Joel and Julia met while she was working as an intern in the South African Parliament and Joel was working as a speechwriter for South African politician Tony Leon. Julia eventually graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics.  She is also a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve.  Joel and Julia live with their children in the Los Angeles area.

Learn about America’s greatest architect, and his greatest design.

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, May 7, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class after 6:45–Click Here

Required Reading/Viewing:  Frank Lloyd Wright Mixed Ingenuity, Art and Functionality in His Work

Frank Lloyd Wright is considered to be one of the premier American architects of the 20th century.  Fallingwater — located in southwestern Pennsylvania, built over a waterfall, and constructed using sandstone that was quarried near the building site — is considered to be Wright’s masterwork.   

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(Exterior of Fallingwater)

Edgar Kaufmann, Sr., owner of the Kaufmann Department Store in Pittsburgh, commissioned Wright to design Fallingwater, and construction was completed in 1938.  At that time Wright’s career was considered to be over, and many viewed him as irrelevant. 

Yet the completed structure was so celebrated that Wright, in his late 60s at the time, saw his career reignited, and he received hundreds of commissions until his death in 1959 at the age of 91.  Fallingwater was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, and a World Heritage Site in 2019.

We’ll learn from Michael Desmond, Professor of Architecture at Louisiana State University, the evolution of Wright’s overall approach to design, the thinking behind the design of Fallingwater, and the structure’s impact and legacy.  Step outside your comfort zone and learn something new!

Join us as EmpowerU’s Podcast Host Michael Mercier interviews Michael Desmond on one of the greatest American Architects of the 20th century.

Speaker Bio:

Michael Desmond, professor of architecture at LSU, received a Bachelor of Architecture from Louisiana State University, a Master of Architecture and Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a PhD in history, theory, and criticism in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research interests focus on the role of architecture in society and include American architecture and urban history and cultural mythology and belief systems as frames for evaluation of architectural forms. His doctoral research explored the community-scale work of Frank Lloyd Wright in the context of Emersonian themes in American history and the modernist interest in subject/object perception. In line with that work, he published several chapters in Frank Lloyd Wright: The Living City, the catalog for the first significant traveling exhibition of Wright’s work in Europe. Desmond received a Campus Heritage Grant from the Getty Foundation in Los Angeles to conduct an inventory and analysis of the historic LSU campus. This effort produced an architectural history highlighting the roles of the Olmsted brothers and Theodore Link; a technical report documenting external building conditions; a large public exhibition that traveled the state throughout the university’s 150th anniversary in 2010; and the book, The Architecture of LSU, published by LSU Press in 2013. Desmond’s chapter, “The Architecture of Louisiana,” is included in The Pelican State, Wayne parent (ed.), published by LSU Press in the fall of 2014. As a practicing architect he was awarded a Gulf States Region Merit Honor Citation for Excellence in Design from the American Institute of Architects for the Bluebonnet Swamp Interpretive Center Education Building. He has an extensive record of taking LSU students on architectural tours of Europe.

Are we living Animal Farm & 1984 in 2024? Learn the similarities in this class.

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, May 2, 2024

Required Reading:  House Passes Bill to Codify Definition of Anti-Semitism

How Close are George Orwell’s Futuristic Books Compared to Modern Life?

George Orwell – the pen name of Eric Blair – was a committed democratic socialist and a critic of the British Empire’s colonialism and capitalism. He also was a fierce opponent of fascism. He was so committed, in fact, that he risked his life in the Spanish Civil War on the socialist side. But he soon became appalled at the totalitarian aspects of both the socialist side of that war and the USSR under Stalin.

His novels Animal Farm and 1984 were both written as harsh criticisms of Communist totalitarianism. Many aspects of government and corporate policies and practices in America today seem chillingly like those of Animal Farm and 1984.

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Animal Farm is a fable that deals mostly with how socialists use propaganda that promises a better life to people in lower economic classes to overthrow their economic masters. Its small core of leaders then uses that power to better their own lives, leaving the fate of the masses unchanged. 1984 describes the bleak life in a totalitarian nation called Oceania. It describes technology that was just science fiction in 1949, when it was written, but that is common technology today.

In 1984, there is no privacy, there is no truth, there are no relationships – personal, business, etc. – that are not decided by the government. Resistance is futile and even potentially deadly. Terms like “Orwellian,” “Thought Crime,” and “Big Brother” all evolved from this book. This talk will discuss the many parallels between these two novels and life in America in 2024. For starters, think of all the places – both inside the home and outside – where your words can be heard, and your motions can be seen. Electronic devices of all types can do both. And think of all the places where your spoken and written words can be captured and sent to places unknown for further analysis. You may have “approved” this invasion of privacy in some 50-page agreement that you never read, but it is happening. It could be used for marketing OR something more sinister.   Come and learn about Orwell’s writing tonight.

Speaker Bio:

Tom Hagedorn is a life-long learner who has been researching and talking about the many facets of western socialism and progressivism over the last five years. He has previously given talks at EmpowerU on Socialism in the U.S.: A Brief History, ESG: Introducing Our New World Government, American Education and Its Takeover by International Socialism, and Climate Calamity: Climate Change Exposed. Tom is a member of the EmpowerU Board.

Tom has been providing investment advice to individuals since 1983. He has been involved in various political, charitable, and community activities. He has a B.S. (cum laude) and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati and is a CPA and a CFP.

Learn about the techniques the military and media use in the battle over minds.

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

How to Navigate the Psychological Warfare

In this episode of the EmpowerU Podcast we will explore the nature of modern propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP) with SSG Andrew Matre, and special guest SFC Mike Currier. Andrew and Mike served in an Army field PSYOPS unit in the Middle East.  They will share their experiences conducting PSYOPS and explain how our military uses these operations abroad and possibly at home.

Topics we’ll cover include the science and tools military PSYOP, and just how common or wild these operations really are. We’ll then delve into the world of PSYOP from the civilian perspective. They’ll share with us some tricks of the trade, and how to recognize propaganda and other malicious influence.

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We hope you will tune in to quip yourself with the knowledge to recognize and navigate the war over minds.

EmpowerU Podcast Host Jerry Thomas talks with Andrew Matre and Mike Currier as they share their experiences from the military and what the public can learn from it.

Speaker Bios:

Andrew Matre graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Intelligence & National Security. Serving in the US Army, he achieved a rank of Staff Sergeant and served on the ground in the Middle East, with a unit performing field PSYOPs.

After his tour in the military, he continued to work in the field as a government contractor. Today, Andrew is a successful marketer, and applies his skills in the business world.



Sergeant First Class Mike Currier served alongside Andrew in the US Army, also performing PSYOP missions in the Middle East. After completing his tour, he went on to become a government contractor as well.

The Jungle is roaring once again. Learn the history and the players that bring excitement to the game.

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, April 25, 2024

Learn A Piece of Cincinnati’s History with the Significance of the Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals shocked the NFL with their run to Super Bowl LVI in 2022, reigniting the team’s fan base. Sparked by the exciting play of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase. Bengaldom roared the loudest since Boomer Esiason and the Ickey Shuffle rocked the Jungle. Return to the earliest days when football legend Paul Brown founded the Bengals after being fired from the Cleveland Browns and the grudge matches when the teams met.

Learn about quarterback phenom Greg Cook, whose career was tragically cut short.

Experience the thrill of three Super Bowl appearances and shiver through one of the coldest games in NFL history. Through the photos and stories of the timeline you will meet the most celebrated players to wear the stripes and the young stars of the dynamic 2021 team that took the league by storm. In The Cincinnati Bengals: An Illustrated Timeline, author Rick Pender guides fans young and old to the biggest games and greatest players that shaped the history of the Bengals franchise.


Adam Koehler- Candidate for Hamilton County Board of Commissioners

In his upcoming talk, Adam will delve into critical topics that have shaped his career and his vision for Hamilton County. He will discuss the importance of responsible governance, economic development, and innovation. Specifically, he will discuss the significance of fostering diverse revenue streams, encouraging entrepreneurial growth, and engaging in civic participation. Drawing from his experiences in technology, real estate, and digital design, Adam will highlight how these principles can drive positive change in our communities.


Speaker Bios:

Rick Pender is a veteran freelance writer and former public relations, marketing, and fundraising professional. He writes theater reviews for CityBeat (and formerly was its arts and entertainment editor); he has written several books about Cincinnati, including 100 Things To Do in Cincinnati Before You Die (now in its 3rd edition) and Oldest Cincinnati, as well as an extensive reference book, The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia, about the legendary musical theater composer.

He is also a tour guide who shows off Cincinnati’s arts, culture and history to out-of-town visitors. In the past he worked for public radio stations WGUC and WNKU; he also served provided weekly interviews for WVXU’s Around Cincinnati. A veteran communications and public relations professional, Rick spent nearly a decade as the executive vice president of Dan Pinger Public Relations. He also oversaw fundraising for Cincinnati Opera and Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio. Since 2016 he has served on the executive committee of the Friends of Music Hall. He is originally from Chardon, Ohio, in Geauga County, east of Cleveland. He earned his B.A. in English from Oberlin College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Case Western Reserve University. He lives in downtown Cincinnati.


Adam Koehler, a current candidate for Hamilton County Commissioner, is a multifaceted professional with over two decades of diverse entrepreneurial experience spanning various industries. As a licensed REALTOR® and a serial entrepreneur, he has left an indelible mark in sectors such as technology, real estate, and digital design.

Adam’s entrepreneurial journey includes ownership of Reversed Out, an innovative digital agency known for its collaborations with Fortune 500 clients and pioneering the integration of AI-driven solutions like ChatGPT to enhance efficiency and productivity.

Furthermore, Adam is renowned as the co-founder of dotloop, a groundbreaking platform that revolutionized real estate transactions, ultimately achieving a remarkable $108 million exit to Zillow Group in 2015. Building on his success, he ventured into the world of real estate by acquiring an underperforming 20,000-square-foot building in Covington, Kentucky, and transforming it into a thriving coworking space known as CovWorx.

As a sought-after speaker, Adam shares his expertise in entrepreneurship, economic development, and innovation. He is dedicated to advocating for responsible governance and entrepreneurial growth in the Greater Cincinnati region. Adam’s engaging presentations often touch on diverse revenue streams, economic development, and the significance of civic engagement. His passion for design, marketing, and leadership shines through in his speaking engagements and his commitment to creating value and facilitating transformation.

What Are We Doing to Our Large Cities?

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class After 6:45 PM — Click Here

Migrant Crisis: Impact On Black Communities

Michael Mercier talks about Tuesday’s Class on the Migrant Crisis–Click Here

African-Americans in cities throughout the United States are being asked to stand aside while the officials they elected to protect their interest ignore them and bring large numbers of illegal migrants into their communities, and then provide these foreign nationals with free food, housing, education, healthcare, phones, and, sometimes, pre-paid debit cards.  These elected officials in some cases are taking crucial resources from these underserved communities and using them to support the migrants.

Why are so many billions of dollars suddenly available to supply basic necessities for non-citizens, but not for Americans?  Who is making the decisions that are allowing this outrage to continue?  And what can be done to address the problem?

In this episode of the EmpowerU America Podcast we will hear firsthand from black residents in Chicago and New York City about how this crisis is impacting them, and how they feel about it.  We will also hear from community leaders Pastor David L. Lowery, Jr., in Chicago, and Conservative Party candidate and BLEXIT leader Dion Powell in the Bronx.  We’ll close the episode with former immigration judge Matt O’Brien — currently at the Immigration Reform Law Institute — who will explain immigration law, the asylum process, and which aspects of this migrant crisis are in compliance, or in violation, of the law.

Speaker Bio:

David L. Lowery, Jr., is co-pastor at Fernwood Community Outreach Church in Chicago, and an outreach pastor at Universal Baptist Church in Harvey, IL.  He is the founder and president of the Living & Driving While Black Foundation, Inc., a national civil rights organization advocating against racial profiling.  He is a past president of the Rock Island, Illinois chapter of the NAACP, and is a U.S. Navy veteran. He hosts “Let the Truth Be Told” on The Exceptional Conservative Network (TECNTV.com). 


Dion Powell is Executive Director of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations with Special Forces, LLC, a Political Campaign Training Company.  He also serves as Bronx Conservative Party District Leader and Assistant State Director of BLEXIT’s New York Chapter.  He previously worked as a Substitute Teacher and Teacher’s Assistant for NYC Public and Charter Schools, Assistant to the Community Liaison at the Latino Pastoral Action Center (LPAC) Sanctuary Church, and as the Assistant Director of the civic education non-profit Servicing Our Youth.  He has contributed to the Bronx Branch NAACP, the New York State Young Democrats, and the Bronx Young Democrats.  He holds a B.A. in Media/Communications: Film & Video from CUNY, and a Master’s in Public Administration from Metropolitan College of New York.  He is currently working on his PhD in Human Services at Capella University.


Mr. Matthew J. O’Brien is Director of Investigations at the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), and he has nearly 30 years of experience in immigration law and policy. Prior to joining IRLI, he was an Immigration Judge on the U.S. Immigration Court at Arlington, VA. From 2016-2020, he served as the director of research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform. From 2008-2016, he held a number of positions at the U.S. DHS, including Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. From 1997-2003, he was an immigration attorney in private practice. From 1996-1997, he served as a District Adjudications Officer with the former Immigration and Naturalization Service. He holds a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law, a M.A. in National Security Affairs from the Institute of World Politics (IWP), and a B.A. in French from the Johns Hopkins University. He is currently a doctoral candidate in IWP’s Statecraft and National Security Program.


Adrian Wright is the current President of the Great Lakes Illinois Republican Women Club.  She served as Committeewoman for Chicago’s 3rd Ward from 2015-2020, and as the Illinois Director of Black American Engagement and Outreach for the 2016 Trump/Pence Campaign.  She volunteered for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration Committee, and was a delegate for Trump in 2020.  She is a 2024 delegate for Trump representing the 7th Congressional District of Illinois.

What role besides housewife did the women of the Civil War era play?

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, April 18, 2024

To Login to This Class Via Zoom After 6:45 PM–Click Here

Required Reading:  Eric Schmidt’s Comments on the Mayorkas Impeachment Hearing

Come See History Come to Life with The Ladies Living History!

Now is the time for the feminine side of history! The Ladies Living History Society is a group of women dedicated to authentically presenting the history of women through living history portrayals.  Tonight’s presentation will be a Fashion Show representing clothing styles from the 1800’s through the 1860’s, from the inside out, layer to layer!  They will be relating snippets from the history of those times as they show off their homemade costumes.

Fichier:Southern-belle-civil-war.jpg — Wikipédia

We’ve heard about the lives of Civil War area soldiers and the founding of villages and towns in the Ohio River valley by early property owners, who were mostly men.  Of course, the vast majority of these men had women behind them who were running the households, raising the children, growing the food, and of course supporting their husbands so that the men could make those accomplishments.  The women have stories of their own that they would like to relate. Join us tonight and learn about the Civil War through the eyes of the women.

Speaker’s Bio:

Ladies Living History Society of Greater Cincinnati was founded in 1993. There were no civilian historical reenactment groups in Cincinnati. Living history groups were confined to men who wanted to reenact battles from the Civil War. When the wives of the 6th Ohio regiment attended historical reenactments of battles and other Civil War events, they started to wonder what an 1860s female group would look like. That’s when ‘The Society’ was born. The women research the food, clothes, and pastimes of the 1860s, as well as historical figures from the era. They meet monthly to learn and talk about their research together. One of the goals of the society is to educate the public that women served Cincinnati in many ways during the Civil War.

The Verdin Company--Carillons, bells, and clocks, ring, ring, and tick tock! Beautiful sounds and time pieces.

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, April 11, 2024

To Watch a Full Recording of This Class–Click Here

Come Learn the History of Beautiful Clocks and Bells!

Since 1842, The Verdin Company has been an innovator and leader in making the finest bells, clocks, and carillons in the world. Founded by two immigrant brothers from France, the company continues today under the ownership of the sixth generation of the Verdin family.

In a field that requires highly specialized skills, the family uses its knowledge and expertise to teach the craft of clocks and bells to its employees, thus creating the top craftsmen in the industry. The Verdin Company’s pledge to customers, friends and employees is to produce the finest bells and clocks that are seen, heard, and enjoyed throughout the world.

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Follow along as we take an in depth look at the history of the family as they traveled from France to the Cincinnati region and set down roots creating a small business that they never knew would grow to these proportions.

We will also look into the different products that are currently available (just what exactly is a carillon and how do you pronounce that word??), notable installations across the globe, and see inside the factory walls where all of our products are produced right here in Cincinnati.

Speaker Bio:

Erika Broenner is the Sales Administrative Assistant for The Verdin Company, as well as the Assistant to the CEO, Bob Verdin III. In addition, she is the resident historian on staff as she has the unique perspective of being married to a direct descendant of the original founder but not down the line that took over the business. Now in her second decade of working there, she enjoys new projects as they come along and learning not only about all of the ways things were done in the past but also how the business continues to grow into the future. An avid amateur genealogist and book lover, she enjoys local history tours, traveling and spending time with family as they cheer on their favorite local sports teams.


What are the Ramfications of Our Current Border Situation?

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

To Login to This Class After 6:45 PM via Zoom–Click Here

Former Border Patrol Chief Gives an Update on the Southern Border Situation

It wasn’t until sanctuary cities began buckling under the weight of the thousands of illegal immigrants flooding their streets that Democrats began to acknowledge the crisis at our southern border.  NYC Mayor Eric Adams was one of the first Democrat critics of Biden’s border policy — he visited the border, met with Mexican officials, and called on the Biden Administration to address the problem. 

Now the border is shaping up to be a major 2024 campaign issue.  Democrats put forth a so-called border security bill that did nothing to secure the border; instead, it codified into law a daily quota of 5,000 asylum seekers, or, 1.8 million per year.  Meanwhile, Donald Trump has put together a detailed implementation plan to deport the millions of asylum seekers who have entered the U.S. in the past 3 years.

Chris T. Clem, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, will join EmpowerU to discuss the current state of the southern U.S. border.  Topics we’ll address include the Biden Administration’s policies that are facilitating the border problem, DHS Director Mayorkas’ contribution to the problem, how the flood of migrants is impacting communities around the country, the risk we may experience acts of terror resulting from lax vetting procedures, the politicization of the crisis, and Trump’s deportation plan.

 Join us for this podcast as EmpowerU Host Jerry Thomas interviews Former Border Patrol Chief Chris Clem. Hear first-hand how our nation is handling our southern border.

Speaker Bio:

Chris T. Clem is the former Chief Patrol Agent of the U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, AZ.  Chief Clem retired on December 31, 2022, after serving more than 27 1/2 years with the U.S Border Patrol.  Chief Clem served in multiple locations throughout his career and in key leadership positions across the southern border and in Washington, D.C.  Known for his matter of fact and honest approach, Chief Clem has been on the frontline in the border crisis in both El Paso, Texas and most recently Yuma, Arizona. Chief Clem has not only been a leader and innovator on border security issues, but he has also led several mental health and resiliency efforts for his employees. Chief Clem has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2018 until his retirement.

Chief Clem has a B.S and M.S. from Sam Houston State University and is certified from the Harvard Kennedy School for Senior Managers in Government.

AI mimics man and man deceives! Is AI learning to be like man?

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, April 4, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class After 6:45 PM via Zoom–Click Here

Required Reading:  Check out our New 4/23 Class–Migrant Crisis in New York and Chicago–This is an Important Class

Dave Hatter asks the question, “Is AI our ‘friend’ or is it our ‘enemy’?

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Join one of EmpowerU’s favorite instructors, Dave Hatter, on this important, popular and timely topic. Dave keeps us educated on how to protect our security and privacy.  Now he will help us to understand AI: Explore what AI is and how we got here.  Dave will discuss the following:

  • AI Types and Applications: Gain insights into different types of AI, including ChatGPT, DALLE-E and voice cloning.
  • AI Security and Privacy: Address the crucial aspects of AI security and privacy concerns.
  • Using AI: Discover best practices for leveraging AI.
  • Live AI Demonstration: See how you can use AI.

If you keep constantly hearing the term AI,  but are having trouble figuring it all out, tonight’s class is for you.   Dave will leave time for your many questions.

Speaker Bio:

Accomplished, enthusiastic, award-winning technology leader with over 30 years of software development, cybersecurity, and project management experience. He is a lifelong learner earning industry certifications including CISSP, CISA, CISM, CCSP, CSSLP, Security+, Network+, MS Azure Fundamentals, PMP, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PSM 1, PSD 1, and ITIL Foundation V3. He earned a BS in Information Systems from NKU and has written or contributed to 12 technology books, written more than 100 technology related articles and has been quoted in publications including The Wall Street

Journal, Money, MSNBC, Salon, Reader’s Digest, MSN, Business Insider, The Street, Yahoo!Money, The Ladders, Dice.com, InfoWorld, ComputerWorld, CIO, CSO, CIO Update, Search CIO, Digital Trends, Tech Beacon, CyberNews, Lifewire and GearBrain.

Dave is a regular on-air subject matter expert on WXIX (FOX19) and Local 12 (WKRC-TV). He can be heard every Friday morning at 6:30 AM on 55KRC’s “Tech Friday”, twice monthly on Simply Money on 55KRC, and seen every Monday on “Cyber Monday” on WTVG (13ABC) at 5:45 AM and “Tech Support” at 9 AM. He is a regular guest on several radio shows on 700WLW and City Talk on TBNK. He has appeared as an expert in more than 2,000 interviews in media outlets across the county including Bloomberg Financial, Fox News, CNN, NPR, LocalNewsLive, WKRC, WCPO, WLWT, WVXU, 840 WHAS, WSMN and Spectrum News 1. He has also served as a technology expert for the Kentucky Legislature and has testified about cybersecurity before the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Dave has delivered dozens of presentations for organizations including (ISC)2, ISACA, itSMF, ConnectWise, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greater Cincinnati Better Business Bureau, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati AMA, PMI Southwest Ohio, PMI Dayton/Miami Valley, PMI Central Ohio, The Circuit, and The Goering Center.

As an adjunct instructor at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College for nearly 20 years, Dave has educated over 1,000 students in a variety of software engineering and IT courses. He has also taught at the University of Cincinnati and Gateway Community and Technical College, and he is the author of the Infosec Institute NIST 800-171 and the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional Learning Paths.

Dave is committed to community service and has served as Mayor of Fort Wright, Kentucky since 2015 after serving eight terms on City Council. He has also served on boards including the NKY Chamber of Commerce, the Cincinnati BBB, The Council of BBBs, PMI Southwest Ohio Chapter, NKU Alumni Council and Parish Kitchen. He is a member of Infragard, MS-ISAC, The NKU Business Informatics Advisory Council, The Cincinnati State Center for Innovative Technologies Advisory Committee, and the Gateway College of Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Dave is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati, Leadership Kentucky, Leadership Northern Kentucky, and a member of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Forty Under 40”, Class of 2003. He was named the Kentucky League of Cities 2020 Elected Official of the Year, 2006 NKU College of Informatics Outstanding Alumnus, 1997 NKU Young Alumnus, a comSpark 2018 Rising Tech Star and he earned The Circuit’s 2021 Community Award.

Libertas Technologies, the custom software development company Dave founded in 2001, was honored with many awards, but he is especially proud of winning the Cincinnati Better Business Bureau’s Torch

Award for Marketplace Ethics in 2007. Libertas Technologies was acquired by Definity Partners in

October 2012. Dave is currently an employee owner and Director of Business Growth at Intrust IT.

A True Story of Survival, Courage, and a Daring Escape in the Face of Unthinkable Evil

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class After 6:45 PM via Zoom–Click Here

Required Reading:  The Holocaust: An Unfinished History: Stone, Dan: 9780063349032: Amazon.com: Books

Hear this Remarkable Story of a Holocaust Survivor

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Kathe Mueller Slonim was 11-years-old when her father Adolf was sent to the Dachau concentration camp.  When Adolf’s cousin, Max, learned of Adolf’s internment, he set out to rescue him.  A former German government official, Max’s risky plan was to use his expired Third Reich papers to get through checkpoints he encountered en route to Dachau. 

However, Max’s mission was doubly dangerous — he had previously changed his name and religion to hide his Jewish identity, and if this were discovered the consequences would be grave.  Later in life, Kathe recounted this remarkable story in her memoir, Escape from Dachau.  We’ll discuss Kathe’s memoir with her daughter, Susan Servais.

EmpowerU’s Podcast Host Michael Mercier will talk with Susan and guide us through this incredible story.

Speaker Bio:

In 2022, after the passing of her mom, Kathe Mueller Slonim, a Holocaust survivor, Susan Servais and her siblings decided to publish her mom’s memoir which was written by Kathe many years before. It was Kathe’s request that nothing be published until after her passing.  Susan continues to do interviews with media outlets, universities, and scholars, and has enjoyed a successful career in the healthcare sector.


Meet Congressman Warren Davidson and Learn About This Important Topic

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class after 6:45 PM via Zoom–Click Here

Learning About Digital Currency–Join Us As We Take a Deep Dive…

Many people have said that Digital & Cryptocurrency means the end of piggy banks for children.   What are the facts?  Congressman Warren Davidson–Ohio District 8– is a member of the important House Financial Services Committee.   He will explain the threat to liberty posed by programmable money including:

-Review of China’s social credit score system.

-Explanation of Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) and the Federal Reserve’s efforts   to develop it.

-Examples of how CBDC could be used to control Americans.

-Efforts to prevent the development and implementation of programmable money in the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and in state legislatures.

-Explanation of permissionless, peer-to-peer cryptocurrencies, and the need for regulatory clarity.

-What can the average citizen do?

This is a GREAT opportunity to meet one of the leaders in Congress.    Will the Government be mandating Digital Currency?   What steps has the Biden administration already taken on Digital Currency?  Congressman Davidson looks forward to answering your questions on these, and other, important issues. 

Speaker Bio:

Warren Davidson was born and raised in Sidney, Ohio.  He enlisted in the Army after high school and later earned an appointment to West Point.  He served in the Old Guard, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and the 101st Airborne Division.  After returning to civilian life, he helped grow his father’s small company with 20 employees to multiple companies with over 200 employees.  Warren has been married to his wife, Lisa, for 27 years, and they have 2 adult children. 

In 2016, Warren won a special election to fill the remainder of the term of outgoing US Representative John Boehner.  He was re-elected in 2020 to his 3rd full term in Congress and serves on the House Financial Services Committee.  He also serves on the United States Military Academy Board of Visitors, the House Warrior Caucus and House Army Caucus.

An Epidemic: 13.2% of Americans are using antidepressants monthly.

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, March 26, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Virtual Class After 6:45 PM–Click Here

Required Reading–Bruce Levine’s Latest Article:  Depression: Psychiatry’s Discredited Theories and Drugs Versus a Sane Model and Approach – Mad In America

What They Don’t Tell You About Antidepressants

Decades ago Psychiatry moved from a therapy-focused approach to the treatment of depression to a pharmaceutical approach.  With this new approach, antidepressants are used as the primary mode of treatment.  Today, antidepressant use is widespread — a 2020 research study found that 13.2% of Americans were using antidepressants monthly.

Despite their widespread use, antidepressants are somewhat controversial.  They produce some well-known side-effects, including weight gain, insomnia, and diminished sexual function. 

A lesser-known side-effect is the withdrawal people experience when they taper off antidepressants under the guidance of their psychiatrist — what the psychiatric community calls “discontinuation syndrome”.  There are also questions about the effectiveness of antidepressants, with some studies showing them to be no more effective than a placebo.

America Revealed: The Psychology of Activism

In this episode of EmpowerU, Psychologist Bruce E. Levine will discuss the problem of depression in America.  He will discuss the characteristics of American society that are contributing to widespread depression, the shift from therapy to pharmaceutical treatment methods, the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement in this shift, the research on the effectiveness and side-effects of antidepressants, alternative approaches that Psychiatry could take to treat depression, and what cultural changes might also have a positive impact.

Listen in as EmpowerU Podcast’s Host Michael Mercier interviews Dr. Bruce E. Levine on what’s not really talked about where someone experiences clinical depression.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Bruce E. Levine writes and speaks widely on how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His most recent book is A Profession Without Reason: The Crisis of Contemporary Psychiatry―Untangled and Solved by Spinoza, Freethinking, and Radical Enlightenment (2022).

Dr. Levine’s previous books include Resisting Illegitimate Authority: A Thinking Person’s Guide to Being an Anti-Authoritarian―Strategies, Tools, and Models (2018); Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (2011); Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy (2007); and Commonsense Rebellion: Taking Back Your Life from Drugs, Shrinks, Corporations, and a World Gone Crazy (2003).

A practicing clinical psychologist often at odds with the mainstream of his profession, he is a regular contributor to CounterPunch, Truthout, Salon, AlterNet, Mad in America, Z Magazine, OpEdNews, and the Huffington Post. His articles and interviews have been published in the New York Times, Skeptic, Adbusters, The Ecologist, High Times, and numerous other magazines, and he has contributed chapters to The Military Industrial Complex at 50 (2011), Writing without Formula (2009), Perspectives on Diseases and Disorders: Depression (2009), and Alternatives Beyond Psychiatry (2007).

Dr. Levine is on the editorial advisory board of the journal Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry, and he is on the medical and scientific advisory board of the National Center for Youth Law. He is also an editorial advisor for the Icarus Project/Freedom Center Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs. A longtime activist in the mental health treatment reform movement, he is a member of the International Society for Ethical Psychology & Psychiatry and MindFreedom. Dr. Levine has presented talks and workshops to diverse organizations throughout North America.

Bruce E. Levine was born in 1956, grew up in Rockaway in New York City, graduated from Queens College of the City University of New York, and received his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati. He currently lives in Cincinnati.

Hear from Zac Haines, a Miami University Board of Trustee, About DEI and Higher Education.

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, March 21, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class After 6:45 PM on Zoom–Click Here

What’s Going On In Our Universities?

Enjoy insights from a University Board of Trustee member and partake in a robust discussion concerning higher education in Ohio. Areas of interest will include Enrollment trends, Affordability, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and an in-depth look at Senate Bill 83 — Ohio’s Historic Higher Education Reform Bill. 

Learn about the wild world of College Athletics including the Transfer Portal, NIL (name, image, likeness), and the Alston decision.  Zac Haines will share his personal thoughts and experiences and field your questions.   Zac will be with us from 7:30-8:30 PM.


Dr. Jed Hartings will provide an update on the successes and challenges of Cincinnati Classical Academy, the region’s first public (charter) classical school, now in its second year of operation. The school has achieved exceptional results in academic testing, enrollment growth, and student retention.

In doing so, however, it has also become the target of national attacks from anti-charter activists who object to teaching virtue and character in public schools. Despite resistance, classical charter education is building momentum throughout Ohio.   Jed will join us from 7:05-7:25 pm.

Speaker Bios:

Zachary Haines is an entrepreneur who currently serves as the Owner and CEO of the DPA Buying Group. Under his leadership, the organization grew from approximately 67 distributors to more than 1,700 companies in the industrial, safety, and facility maintenance industries.

In 2018, at the age of 34, Mr. Haines was appointed by the Governor of Ohio to serve a nine-year term on Miami University’s Board of Trustees. Zac was recognized by the Cincinnati Business Courier as a Forty Under 40 recipient in 2016, and in 2020, he was recognized by Maverick Pac as a Future 40 Republican across the United States. On August 20, 2020, Zac was nominated by President Donald J. Trump to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation.

Among his other activities, Zac Haines is actively involved in the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), having at least ten ancestors who served or furnished material aid to the cause of liberty in the Revolutionary War. In this capacity, he chairs an annual patriotic essay contest for high school students, honors local R.O.T.C. cadets and midshipmen, and makes special appearances dressed as George Washington for elementary schools and civic organizations. Zac also serves as the national Historian and Archivist for the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity and sits on its Foundation’s Board of Directors. Mr. Haines earned his B.S. from Miami University, located in Oxford, Ohio, where he met his wife Brittany. They have two young sons.


Jed Hartings grew up on the West Side of Cincinnati and attended St. Xavier High School. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and earned a doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. He then served 8 years as a medical research officer in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed, separating from service at the rank of Major.

Jed returned home in 2008 to join the faculty at the University of Cincinnati, where he researches stroke and brain trauma as a tenured professor in the Department of Neurosurgery.  He lives with his wife and daughters in Evendale.  He enjoys running, motorcycles, classical music, politics, and reading, and hopes one day to sail the Great Lakes with his family. 

Hear from Retired Colonel Rob Maness

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, March 19, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class after 6:45 PM via Zoom–Click Here

Tired of Hearing About All the Problems With Our Military?

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What is going on within our Military? Retired Colonel Rob Maness shares what our military is dealing with and what they are being taught.   

Rob has led numerous combat flying operations and was also on duty in the Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 attack. Rob served on the Pentagon Joint Staff in nuclear operations, commanded a bomber squadron and a Wing before retiring from active duty in December 2011. Rob ran for US Senate in Louisiana as an America First candidate in 2014.

Be prepared to learn tonight as Rob explains what is really happening on the ground with our military now.  EmpowerU podcast host Jerry Thomas brings us up-to-date on this important topic.

Speaker Bio:

Retired Colonel Rob Maness enlisted in the US Air Force in November 1978. Graduating from the US Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal School in 1980, he served in three assignments countering terrorist bomb makers before being selected for Officer and Flight training in 1985.   Rob was involved in many combat flying operations and was also on duty in the Pentagon during the September 11, 2001 attack.

Rob currently owns and operates Iron Liberty Group LLC, the digital publishing company behind his website robmaness.com and his streaming tv show, The Rob Maness Show.  Maness is also the chairman of GatorPAC, that supports constitutional conservative and veteran candidates. Colonel Maness is President of the Mississippi Chapter of Veterans For America First, a grassroots organization supporting America First Policies and communities around the state. Colonel Maness is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Cum Laude, and holds three Masters degrees from: Harvard University’s Kennedy School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the US College of Naval Warfare.  

Hamilton County Communications Center
2377 Civic Center Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45231
Saturday, March 16, 2024

This class has been cancelled due to the site being under construction, we apologize for any inconvenience and hope to reschedule.

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Learn from this opportunity to hear about the workings of the Hamilton County 911 Emergency Communications Center from leaders, ask questions and get answers.  You have been reading about the operations of the center in the past several months.   Now, we will get a (quiet) tour of the actual communications center itself. 

The Hamilton County Communications Center is located in Seven Hills behind the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Patrol Headquarters, the Hamilton County Communications Center provides emergency dispatch service for 105 Police, Fire, and EMS departments covering 42 political jurisdictions.  To see the entire list of communities served by the Hamilton County Communications Center–Click Here.  Our Communications Center staff consists of 60 Communications Officers, 9 Supervisors, and 8 administrative staff members.
The staff at the communications centers attends numerous hours of training each year to maintain the highest level of industry accreditation, certification, and professional education.

Flowers - annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, oh dear what do I need?

White Oak Gardens
3579 Blue Rock Road
Cincinnati, Ohio 45247
Thursday, March 14, 2024

This Class is Sold Out!!! — Sorry!

Get Ready For Spring With an EmpowerU Field Trip!

Spring will be creeping up on us soon. Time to start thinking and planning your garden for this year. Want to redesign, want the color choices that annuals bring, perennials that will come back year after year. Need some shrubs but don’t know what kind?

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Tom Borgman will educate us on the native plants we can add to our landscapes that will add beauty and interest, attract birds and butterflies to our yards.

Tom will discuss how to create an attractive design along with some tips on easy ways to plant and maintain your landscape.  Join us at White Oak Garden for a fun informational evening. Come a little early and browse the incredible store.

Speaker Bio:

Tom Borgman has more than 35 years of conservation related experience. Recently retired from Great Parks of Hamilton County, Tom served in several positions including Natural Resource Manager and Conservation & Parks Trainer. 

As a gardener, landscaper, naturalist, and plant enthusiast, Tom has had a lifelong interest in connections between plants, wildlife, and people.


We’re Sorry, This Class is Sold Out!

Important: The Deadline to File Property Tax Appeals This Year is March 31, 2024

EmpowerU Virtual Zoom Class
Login at: www.EmpowerUAmerica.org
Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Chris Finney Email Address:  chris@finneylawfirm.com

Chris Finney from Finney Law Firm LLC Explains What We Can Do About Our Property Taxes

To Login to Tonight’s Class Via Zoom after 6:45 PM–Click Here

To Download Mr. Finney’s Powerpoint Presentation–Click Here

Also, Mr. Finney has asked us to post these two articles for your review before the class:

So, the Auditor tells you your property valuation is going up, waaaay up….

More on upcoming property tax valuation increases

Required Reading:   Ohio Plans to Spend $700 Million budget Surplus–Where Would It Go?

Attorney Chris Finney reprises a popular EmpowerU seminar on reducing your property taxes. This could be like money in the bank! Property taxes finance our schools and fund numerous levies for public services and civic desires. As property owners, many people find property taxes a significant burden on the family budget. 

This year many property owners have been hit with big increases on their property taxes and are looking for options to get their property taxes reduced. Specifically, we will be discussing reducing OHIO PROPERTY TAXES.

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Chris Finney will take you step-by-step through the process of determining how to pay the lowest possible tax on your home or business. His tips will be worth your effort to attend this great session.   The deadline for filing an appeal on your property tax is March 31—so get the facts at tonight’s virtual seminar.

Speaker Bio:

Mr. Finney is the owner of Finney Law Firm, LLC, where he concentrates on commercial transactional and litigation projects. In addition, Mr. Finney is a renowned public interest litigator, enjoying three 9-0 victories at the United States Supreme Court.

As a transactional attorney, Mr. Finney handles routine and complex real estate matters, and is a licensed Ohio title insurance agent. He has more than 30 years of experience in acquisition, disposition, leasing, and financing as well as issues relating to covenants and easements for real property. Mr. Finney is the sole owner of Ivy Pointe Title founded in 2013, which handles residential and commercial title insurance and closings. Its underwriters are First American Title Insurance and Fidelity Title Insurance. In all, Mr. Finney and his companies have handled more than 15,000 real estate closings in his career.

As a litigator, Mr. Finney has handled commercial disputes of many types, with a focus on real estate related matters and public interest law. These include construction disputes; contract disputes and matters of real estate title.
In today’s increasingly complex world, the intersection of public regulation and private actions has become more intertwined. As such, there is a tremendous value to confronting governmental actions with public interest litigation. As a result, Mr. Finney has extensive experience in the public interest arena, from taxation to lobbying to public interest litigation. His notable public interest accomplishments are the same cases attached to the Finney Law Firm profile. He was counsel of record in each of those cases.

Adam Masters will discuss Americans for Prosperity’s prescriptions for addressing the economic ills of the Biden Administration.

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, March 12, 2024

To Login to Tonight’s Class After 6:45 PM–Click Here

What are the Repercussions of The Biden Administration’s Policies?

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Adam Masters of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) will discuss the Biden Administration’s Economic policies, what AFP views as the flaws of those policies, and AFP’s prescription for correcting course.  Topics covered include government spending, inflation, energy policy, and policies that empower workers.

What we will be talking about tonight is Bidenomics, which is Joe Biden’s idea to grow the economy from the middle out and the bottom up, not the top down.   The question about Bidenomics is whether it is really working and if so, what are the ramifications of this policy?   What has been the impact of injecting trillions of dollars into our economy with the resulting inflation that has transpired?

EmpowerU host Jerry Thomas will lead us through tonight’s discussion of Joe Biden and the results from Bidenomics.


Speaker’s Bio:

Adam Masters is a Grassroots Trainer at Americans for Prosperity.  A fifth generation Oklahoman, Adam has seen all types of grassroots efforts before joining the team. He began his political career traveling and on different campaigns and knocking on doors throughout college. After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in Political Science, Adam went to work for former Mayor of Oklahoma City Mick Cornett’s gubernatorial campaign, doing everything from driving the candidate to events, knocking on doors, and making voter phone calls.

After the campaign, Adam helped with grassroots initiatives on various efforts in Texas & Virginia before returning to Oklahoma to work as a Legislative Assistant in the Oklahoma House of Representatives and ultimately mounting his own candidacy for State House.

Following the primary, Adam worked to help flip Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional district, working on behalf of Congresswoman Bice under the Congressional Leadership Fund. Adam comes to the team from a political research firm where he worked as Senior Research Manager, in charge of overseeing polling, market research, and advocacy efforts nationwide.

Also: Take 20: Replacement Property Tax Levies - HB344

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, March 7, 2024

To Login in to Tonight’s Class on Zoom after 6:45 PM–Click Here
Required Reading:   The Renewable (Energy) Scam by John Stossel

Hear from Retired FOP Officer Dan Hils on the Status and Concerns of the Cincinnati Police Department.

Dan Hils is concerned about the current status of keeping control of law and order. He will discuss what he sees to be the present trends in the ability of the police to achieve their ultimate duty:  to keep citizens safe while protecting the Constitutional rights of those who threaten that safety. He will enlighten us about his experiences, both as president of the FOP and as a police officer.

Dan spent his career enforcing law and order. He recently retired from nearly 35 years of service with the Cincinnati Police Department and 8 years as president of the Fraternal Order of Police. During his FOP tenure, he proved himself to be an outspoken advocate for the approximately 1000 officers and 1,700 retired officers he represented. He proved himself to be a fighter on behalf of his ‘cops,’ advocating for them when they were treated unfairly, as well as in matters regarding their working conditions and the safeguards provided for them for their own safety.

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In 2017, when he believed one of his officers was being unfairly treated by civil rights leaders and prosecutors, he, with approval of his FOP members, pulled the union out of negotiations to update the Collaborative Agreement.  His adversary in the negotiations, civil rights attorney Al Gerhardstein, praised Dan, saying that Hils’ “own personal path has been all about demonstrating tremendous respect for the community.”  Further, Gerhardstein said that Dan “knows how to talk to people when they aren’t being reasonable. He prevents violence. When he’s out on the street, he’s engaged as a police officer in a lot of exemplary ways.”   Dan will be with us from 7:30-8:30 PM.


Many bills written can be confusing to the public. Greg Lawon from Ohio Buckeye Institute will clarify HB344 which eliminates the authority of political subdivisions to levy replacement property tax levies, beginning with elections held on or after October 1, 2024.

Under current law, a subdivision may propose a replacement levy to extend the term of an existing levy.  A replacement levy is imposed at the same original millage rate of the levy it is replacing.  By contrast, subdivisions may also propose renewal levies, which extend the term of an existing levy at its current effective millage rate.   Greg will be with us from 7:05-7:25 PM.

Speaker Bios:

Dan Hils was born and raised on the west side of Hamilton County, graduated from Elder High School in 1984 and entered the Army that year. His duty station was West Germany, where he served as a Military Police Officer. Shortly after his discharge from the Army, he entered the Cincinnati Police Academy, graduating in 1987. He was first stationed in District Four, and then moved to Districts Five and Three before being transferred to the Personal Crimes Unit as a detective. From there he was promoted to Specialist and then to Sergeant.

A year later, he was transferred to the K9 squad, which he loved. He spent nearly 15 years there. After banging heads with police administration, he found himself back on patrol in the very busy District Three dealing with the heroin epidemic. While working in District Three, he won election as the president of the Cincinnati FOP.

Since his retirement, he has continued police work as an auxiliary officer for Amberley Village, as well as running security for a couple of private schools. He also works with some great attorneys at Front Line Advisors, which provides legal advice and representation to law enforcement personnel. Front Line Advisors currently represents two FOPs:  Middletown and Fairfield, as well as the Hamilton County corrections deputies.

In his personal life, Dan’s wife, Stephanie, is a retired police detective. He has a son, Alex, from his first marriage. He lost his daughter, Meghan, to congenital heart and lung issues when she was 18. Stephanie has two adult children, Hannah and Jacob.

Dan has described his philosophy about his life’s work as endeavoring not to be judgmental, to listen to every side of an issue, and then to see what he can do to solve the problem. In 2020, amid ongoing protests against police violence and calls for police reform, Dan Hils submitted a question to Cincinnati City Council:  whether they were going to join the anti-police protestors or whether they would give the police benefit of the doubt. In describing his cops,’ Dan said that they “prove day in and day out that they believe lives matter because they risk themselves, they risk their lives. And I don’t like it when they are treated unfairly.”


Greg R. Lawson is a Research Fellow at The Buckeye Institute.

In this role, Lawson works with all members of the Buckeye research team with a particular focus on local government and education issues. He is also Buckeye’s main liaison to the statehouse where he educates policymakers in both the legislative and executive branches on free-market solutions to Ohio’s challenges.

Prior to his position at Buckeye, Lawson served in the Ohio General Assembly as a Legislative Service Commission Fellow. He then went on to several government affairs roles focusing on numerous public policy topics, including Medicaid, school choice, transportation funding, and Ohio’s Building Code. He also has a background in PAC fundraising, grassroots organizing, and communications and served for five years on the boards of two Columbus-based charter schools.

Learn the 10 skills that are essential to your success in life.

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Strive For Success in Your Life by Honing these 10 Skills!

Bill Gladwell has identified 10 skills that are essential to achieving success in life.  In this discussion Bill will walk through each of these skills, explaining why each is critical to your success and how you can improve in each skill area.

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We will delve into these topics:

1. Emotional Intelligence  

2. Effective Communication 

3. Resilience 

4. Critical Thinking 

5. Time Management 

6. Empathy 

7. Financial Literacy 

8. Conflict Resolution 

9. Self-care and Well-being 

10. Mindfulness and Self-awareness

EmpowerU’ host Jerry Thomas will talk with Bill about this great motivational class and subject-matter to start out the New Year!

Speaker Bio:

With over three decades of experience, Bill Gladwell has established himself as a leading consultant, speaker, and author in the fields of hypnosis, influence, and persuasion. Empowering countless individuals to communicate effectively, ethically influence others, and achieve their goals.

Bill’s journey began as a high school student exploring hypnosis. After attending a Tony Robbins seminar and receiving certifications in Neuro-Linguistic Programming™ (NLP™) and hypnotherapy, Bill embarked on a mission to help others harness the power of hypnosis.

Bill has created over 2,000 hypnosis audio programs, developed ethical sales and persuasion techniques for the pharmaceutical industry, and now consults for individuals and corporations worldwide.

More history of Cincinnati revealed in Peter Bronson’s new book.

EmpowerU Studio at Frame USA
225 Northland Blvd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45246
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Click Here to log on to zoom after 6:45

Peter Bronson Has Published a New Book on Cincinnati History

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The author of regional bestsellers about organized crime in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati has published a new book:  The Man Who Saved Cincinnati, which includes:

  • The secret plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln in Cincinnati.
  • The Confederate attack to seize the city, loot and burn it or hold it for ransom.
  • The amazing youngest Union general who turned a defenseless, riot-torn city on the brink of surrender into a fortress in three days.
  • The first Black Brigade in the Union Army, formed in Cincinnati.
  • How the sixth largest city in the nation, the Queen City of the West, saved the Union.
  • Terror and panic from Morgan’s Raiders.
  • The wild Moon sisters, who smuggled morphine to the Confederates.
  • How the scapegoat of Shiloh became the “Savior of Cincinnati,” captured Billy the Kid, put down a bloody range war and wrote one of the greatest books in American literature, Ben-Hur.

Peter will be signing books before or after the event for $20.  Come and get the chance to meet one of the area’s great journalists and authors at EmpowerU.Books.


How would you like to send money to your favorite Catholic, Protestant, or private school instead of to the State of Ohio? Well, you may be able to do just that…even this year…if you have not yet filed your Ohio Individual Income Tax Return. The State of Ohio offers a Scholarship Donation Credit of as much as $750 on an individual return and $1,500 on a joint return for donations made directly to Scholarship Granting Organizations that have registered with the Attorney General’s Office.

Many local schools can benefit from your donation and effectively you can take this from the money that you would have paid to the State of Ohio for income taxes. You will learn all the relevant details in this short talk. The speaker will simply provide tax information but will not provide tax advice. You should discuss this with your own tax advisor.

Speaker Bios:

Peter Bronson, author of ‘Not In Our Town’, Forbidden Fruit, and several other books, was editorial page editor and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer for nearly 20 years.  Under his leadership the Enquirer was judged Best Editorial Page in Ohio four years in a row. 

Before coming to Cincinnati in 1992, he was editorial page editor and columnist at The Tucson Citizen in Tucson, Arizona.  He started his news career in Michigan after graduating from Michigan State University in his hometown of East Lansing, Michigan.  He has served on several non-profits, including Casa de los Niños home for abused children in Tucson; Northern Kentucky Children’s Home; Leadership Cincinnati; and Cincinnati Right to Life.  He was a regular panelist / producer on the Channel 9 WCPO TV show Hotseat, and also on the weekly Tucson news show Arizona Illustrated.

He’s been a contributing editor and columnist at Cincy Magazine, and now is owner and publisher of Chilidog Press LLC, which offers publishing, writing, edition, and consulting.  His 2005 book, Behind the Lines: The Untold Stories of the Cincinnati Riots, was a regional best-seller.  He is co-author of Legacy of Courage: True Stories of Honor Flight Veterans, and Legacy of Courage IIChilidog Press has published dozens of books, including Judge A: Irretrievably Broken, Dance When You Can and the national award-winning Submerged.

He is active as a group leader at Horizon Community Church.  He enjoys working on old sports cars, playing golf and travel.  He is the father of two, and lives with his wife, Kathy, in Milford.


Tom Hagedorn has been providing investment advice to individuals for over four decades. He has been involved in various political, charitable, and community activities in southwest Ohio since 1976. Recently, he has been especially active in the fight to return our schools to their traditional role in American society, in service to parents and to their community values.


Love Alfred Hitchcock thrillers? Learn how Hitchcock crafted his suspenseful films from Hitchcock expert Joel Gunz.

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Click Here to log on to zoom after 6:45

Discover More About Alfred Hitchcock’s Life

We’ll discuss with Joel Gunz, award-winning filmmaker, the early life experiences that helped shape Hitchcock’s approach to filmmaking, including the World Wars.  We’ll then discuss the various creative phases Hitchcock went through as his filmmaking evolved, and we’ll close by discussing how Hitchcock applied his approach to two of his most iconic films — North By Northwest (1959) and The Birds (1963).  

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Alfred Hitchcock was an English film director, screenwriter, producer and editor.   His career spanned over six decades and he directed over 50 feature films which gathered over 46 Academy Award nominations.   So many of Hitchcock’s movies are memorable including:  Rope (1948), Dial M for Murder (1954), To Catch a Thief (1955), The Trouble with Harry (1955), and Vertigo (1958).  Many of Hitchcock’s best movies included the biggest star in Hollywood–Jimmie Stewart, Ingrid Bergman and Grace Kelly.

EmpowerU’s Michael Mercier will guide you through this discussion about film and about one of the art’s most memorable directors.

Speaker Bio:

Joel Gunz is an award-winning filmmaker and president of MacGuffin Media and HitchCon, bringing together movie lovers of all ages together for online movie nights, streaming educational films and to read The Hitchcockian Quarterly. Entering its fourth year, HitchCon has grown to become the world’s largest annual conference dedicated to the artistry of Alfred Hitchcock. Joel’s fascination with the Master of Cinema commenced at age 12 and never stopped, eventuating in hundreds of scholarly articles, chapters, and essays, earning him the online nickname Alfred Hitchcock Geek.

As a film essayist, Joel adds his personal history to his scholarship, blending the two with special effects that re-examine the duality of subject and object, the imaginal and the real. His latest such film, Spellbound by L’Amour Fou, won Best Short Documentary at the Medusa Film Festival. He is also producer and director of three essay film series: How to Watch Hitchcock (2018-19), Freak the Geek (2018-current) and Alfred Hitchcock, Master of the Surreal (2019-current). Joel and his partner, Christy La Guardia, live with their beagle, Charlie, in Olympia, Washington.

Epoch Times Trump Campaign Reporter Janice Hisle Discusses the 2024 Election

EmpowerU Podcast
Tuesday, February 20, 2024

To Watch a Complete Recording of This Class–Click Here

An Update on the Presidential Campaign from a Journalist’s Perspective

President Trump once again has dominated the 2024 presidential race, despite his being the target of multiple indictments and lawsuits, relentless mainstream media attacks, and the many millions in PAC money spent by his rivals.

Meanwhile, President Biden faces numerous challenges in his bid for a second term: escalating debt, inflation, and interest rates; concern that the Russia-Ukraine and Israel-Hamas wars are broadening into larger conflicts; an open border policy that finally has begun to impact the lives of voters in Democrat cities around the country; and, more recently, a long-supportive mainstream media that has begun to question his mental fitness for office. 

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Epoch Times reporter Janice Hisle returns to EmpowerU to give us a fascinating glimpse into her job covering the Trump presidential campaign during what is shaping up to be an historic election.  We’ll learn what it’s like in this unprecedented, dynamic environment to travel from state to state to report on primaries, caucuses and Trump campaign events, how these momentous factors have been impacting the primaries, and what she’s hearing from voters regarding their views of the candidates. 

Listen in tonight as EmpowerU Podcast Host Michael Mercier interviews Janice Hisle from The Epoch Times.

Speaker Bio:

Janice Hisle reports on former President Donald Trump’s campaign for the 2024 general election ballot and related issues. Before joining The Epoch Times, she worked for more than two decades as a reporter for newspapers in Ohio and authored several books. She is a graduate of Kent State University’s journalism program. 

Click Here to view Janice Hisle’s published articles at The Epoch Times.