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East County Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019 2 years ago

LWR Talks features intelligence

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Former CIA and Department of Defense official addresses crowd at Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club
by: Andrew Atkins Staff Writer

Those who attended the Feb. 19 LWR Talks event at the Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club were able to peek under the veil of the government’s intelligence community.

The guest speaker was Jay Rixse, a former member of the CIA and the Department of Defense for more than 30 years whose topic was “the president’s daily briefing.”

Rixse served as an executive secretary with the CIA and was a special assistant to the secretary and a deputy assistant secretary of defense for Defense for Europe & Nato with the Department of Defense.

Rixse had been responsible for overseeing the president’s brief, its preparation and delivery.

It was a topic that drew about 150 people to the second offering in the new speaker series by Lakewood Ranch, the Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College and Lakewood Ranch Community Activities.

During the talk, Rixse discussed how intelligence analysts look at information differently. He also asked the audience to pretend they were covert CIA members and couldn’t acknowledge that they were ever in the agency.

Del Webb’s Madeleine Hess has attended both of the speaker series events and she said she hopes there will be more. Hess brought along her neighbor, Shelia Mathis, who came to the event for the first time.

Hess applauded the series.

“The price ($10) is right and the learning has been excellent,” she said.

Cynthia Flacks attended the series’ first event, which drew about half the crowd, and this time brought her husband, Martin Flacks, with her. Both of them found the subject of Rixse’s talk interesting.

The four-part series has two events remaining and those who attended said they hope for more.

The next speaker is Alex Beavers, who is set to give a talk March 19 on artificial intelligence.

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