Hale Speaker Series



The popular Hale Speaker Series has announced a 2024 lineup that will feature four interesting individuals with ties to Westfield.

The series will kick off on March 13 when Jim Kossler, a Westfield resident and former coordinating supervisor of the FBI’s Organized Crime Unit, will speak about “The FBI vs. the Costa Nostra.”

Westfield High alumnus Timothy Rub will be a Hale speaker on April 10. Rub, who has been director of four major museums, will describe “A Life in Museums” over his four-decade career.

Lauren Barr, also a Westfield High graduate, will focus on “The Longevity of the Westfield Leader” in her Oct. 9 speech. Barr is owner and publisher of the newspaper that has been in existence for 134 years.

Another Westfield High alumnus, Dan Lynch, will discuss “The Business of Professional Sports” in a talk on Nov. 13. Lynch is the chief revenue officer for the FIFA World Cup ’26 NY and NJ Host Committee.

“This year’s lineup is extraordinary,” said Linnea Rhodes, chairman of the Hale Speaker Series. “No doubt these programs will attract great interest.”
Committee members include Barbara Hale, Mary Orlando, Sherry Cronin, Marcy Lechner, Ellen Albertson and Tina Lesher.
The series, now in its 15th year, is named in honor of its founder, the late Lee Hale, and his late wife, Anne. The talks, open for free to the public, extend for approximately 45 minutes followed by 15 minutes of questions from the audience. Funding for the series comes from The Anne and Lee Hale Fund and The Glasser Foundation. The Friends of Westfield Memorial Library hosts the talks in the library’s meeting room.

About the Hale Speaker Series

The Anne M. Hale Speaker Series was established in 2007 with a grant from The Thomas Glasser Foundation to the Friends of the Westfield Memorial Library.  The grant came with a request that the Friends establish an ongoing program in memory of Anne M. Hale.  Anne was an active member of the Westfield community and a lifelong patron of the library.  Lee Hale worked with the Friends to establish a speaker series in his wife’s name.  Additional grants from The Thomas Glasser Foundation and from The Anne and Lee Hale Fund have enabled the series to grow from one speaker in 2008 to four speakers in 2010 through the present.  The focus of the series has also evolved to feature “the Westfield connection” presenting topics relevant to our town and/or speakers who are or have been Westfield residents. Over the years, the speakers have included individuals from varied backgrounds in sports, politics, the arts, local history, etc. with most having strong ties to Westfield.

In 2013 the series was renamed The Anne and Lee Hale Speaker Series to honor the passing of its creator and guiding force, Lee Hale.  The name of the series was shortened to the Hale Speaker Series in 2015.  The popularity of the series, hosted by the Friends, has grown over the years as the community looks forward to its prestigious speakers and their high quality, thought-provoking presentations.