Candidate Profile

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EXPERTISE
Destinations & Ports
Gardens & Gardening
History - General
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WITH:
BIOGRAPHY
Stefan White began his business career as a management trainee with Cadbury’s, one of the world’s largest chocolate and food companies. Appointed to the managerial sales staff, he moved to London to manage Sales and Marketing. While at Cadburys, as a part of their Managerial Initiative Program, he organized and led an Expedition following the historic route of the First Crusade in the 12th Century from England to Jerusalem. On reaching their objective, the route back to England was along the North African Coast, thus circumnavigating the Mediterranean Sea and leading to the project’ s title: The Circum Mediterranean Expedition.

Before and after this adventure, Stefan was interviewed by several TV stations, which led to him being offered a position with Associated Television as a newsreader. However, his entrepreneurial urges had him rejecting the offer and he went to study Business Administration in Boston, USA. Finishing his studies, he bought a Ford EconoLine van equipped with a bed and stove, and spent five months exploring the USA. He visited 31 states and feels he has seen more of America than 99% of Americans!

Returning to England, he saw a gap in the giftware market – gifts for men. He designed and developed a wide range of desk accessories, wall décor and home accessories decorated with the sports of golf, polo, horse riding, sailing and fishing. The gifts were manufactured by craft companies in England to his exclusive designs and sold in 30 countries in high end department stores, gift shops, speciality stores, online retailers and mail order catalogs. He also designed and marketed a range of imaginative wine related gifts and wine accessories, sold under his “Bacchus Collection” trademark. His biggest market was the USA and he established a distribution warehouse, administration and sales facility in Rhode Island. The company, Hurley Style, became a world leader in its field. Amongst his inventions and designs were the Magnafloats Executive Game Paperweight, which won the prestigious ~Gift of the Year” Award from The British Jewellery and Giftware Federation. He also invented The Bacchus Decanter Driers and the world’s first red wine warming sleeve, Therm –au- Rouge, still marketed in more than 20 countries worldwide. As part of the British Government’s Companies Export Initiative, Stefan mentored several gift manufacturing companies. After 45 years as an entrepreneur he decided to retire and sold his company to one of his suppliers. He has visited 94 countries to date.

In retirement, and inspired by his love of fine food and wine, he was appointed by Britain’s oldest guide to prestigious hotels, “Signpost”, as their Hotel Inspector for London and the South East of England. His public speaking activities began with his development of a wide portfolio of enrichment talks, mostly on subjects of special interest to him, History of Golf, History of Gardening and the Arts. He has lectured at Universities, The Royal Horticultural Society, leading Societies and Special Interest Groups, including a Private Members Group in the House of Commons in the UK Parliament. He is the author of 2 books on golf and wine.

His invitation to become a speaker on cruise ships started in 2007 and began with his enrichment talks. In 2011 he graduated from a course developed by a Southern English Speakers Agency specifically designed for training Destination Lecturers and now specialises in Port and Destination talks, whilst also offering his portfolio of 22 entertaining and informative enrichment talks covering a wide range of subjects encompassing History, the Arts, the Mediterranean Sea, the History of Golf, Conservation and Horticulture.
TALK TITLES
Stefan White is a British speaker with a reputation for his engaging and interesting talks. He has travelled widely, 93 different countries at last count, and he is a qualified Destination/Port Lecturer on cruise ships, as well as an amusing and entertaining Enrichment Speaker. His current portfolio of talks covers a very broad spectrum of varied themes and subjects. All have a strong visual element using PowerPoint with full colour images. They last approximately 45 - 50 minutes, with time afterwards for questions.

1. The Mediterranean - the greatest sea of all
From its beginnings as a huge, dry basin, then the world’s biggest ever waterfall through to today’s colourful mix of countries and peoples, this talk traces the massive influence that “The Middle Sea” has had on today’s world. 3 of the most defining civilisations and 3 of the greatest religions were born around its shores. Included are looks at Phoenicians and Pharaohs, the empires of Greece and Rome, Arab conquests, North African pirates, Nelson and Napoleon – a veritable roll call of history. It also looks at today’s Mediterranean and the ecological problems that it faces

2. Mediterranean Plants - A look at the plants that grow there naturally, some plants to consider growing if you are lucky enough to have a garden in the area and some Mediterranean plants that you might consider for your garden in the UK or outside the region. It is one of the greatest areas for endemic plants on earth - approximately 30,000 plant species occur there and more than 13,000 species are endemic to it, with Mediterranean Plants many more being discovered every year.

3. Skulduggery in the Shrubbery : The sad, true and fascinating story of the Tradescants
The inspiring story of John Tradescant and his family – 17th century Gardener to English Royalty, founder of the world’s first Museum, widely travelled plant collector, adventurer and collector of nature’s rarities, all stolen by a rascally lawyer, who took all the credit. Witchcraft, the last remaining dodo, mermaids, magic spells, Kings and Queens, intrigue and treachery all feature in this insight into a turbulent period of history.

4. Golf: The History of an Obsession : The fascinating story of the origins, development and growth of “The Royal and Ancient Game
Included are: why is the hole 4.25 inches in diameter, early personalities and champions, why are there 18 holes, golfing trivia and cartoons, the origins of golfing expressions and the spread of the game to the farthest corners of the earth - even to the moon! (Note: It did not start in Scotland). A talk for golfers of every age and ability.

5. Pioneering American women gardeners - A celebration and a salute to 75 determined, creative ladies who have shaped America’s gardening heritage” tells, for the first time, the fascinating stories of women, often fighting prejudice, who battled the odds and the male dominated establishment to identify themselves as real contributors to America’s horticultural heritage. It is an insight into how women helped to shape the development and evolution of American history and gardening.

6. Practical Jokers : The best jokers and jokes of all time
A light hearted look at some of the great practical jokes and jokers of all time, including Mark Twain, Alexander Graham Bell, Albert Einstein, Franklin Roosevelt and the champion, Horace de Vere Cole, who tried to perform a different one every day of his life. Included is an amusing look at many of the classics, the world’s most expensive practical joke, backfiring practical jokes, TV classics and much more.

7. Horrific Horticulture : Nature’s killing creations
A look at plants that poison, maim, intoxicate and kill and the fascinating stories of how they have claimed their victims. Included are a communist defector killed by a poisoned umbrella which caused every organ in his body to haemorrhage, a parasitic fungus that caused 8 young girls to be accused of witchcraft, how murderers have used strychnine and other plants to cause agonising deaths, a glistening red seed that stops the heart, a tree that sheds poisoned daggers. As well as exotic and tropical plants, the ones to beware of in our own gardens and the countryside are discussed and illustrated.

8. “Plants to avoid and respect” – an American version of ‘Horrific Horticulture’, looking at poisonous plants in North American gardens and countryside.

9. Marco Polo: Pioneering explorer and adventurer or Medieval con man?
This tells the fascinating story of the man who claimed to have “travelled more extensively than any man since Creation”. He revealed a world almost wholly unknown to Western Christendom and some stretches of his trek between 1271 and 1295 were trodden by no other European foot for over 600 years. He befriended the Emperor of China, Kubla Khan and wrote of his travels in a book that became a first source of information about China and other regions. Or did he? Some claim that he never went to China and gleaned his facts from other sources.

10. Putting - The Black Art
A light-hearted look at the frustrating but essential golf skill
It includes putting stories, putting styles, classic putting photos and paintings, putting cartoons, jokes, quotes and much more. The stories of Tournaments won and lost with a putt, the dreaded “yips”, psychology on the putting green, why the hole is 4.25 inches, how the equipment changed and evolved are all included. This is an amusing and entertaining look at all aspects of putting of interest to any golfer.

11. The Vegetable that changed World History - The Humble, Extraordinary Potato
Charles Darwin, Vladamir Ilyich Lenin and Chairman Mao all feature in this absorbing talk. It helped fuel the Industrial Revolution and population explosion but also, through over-reliance, led to tragedy on a huge scale - especially the Irish Great Hunger. Its origins and evolution are traced including its mysterious arrival in Europe. The biology, history and social influence of one of our most humble and adaptable foodstuffs are explored, as well as thoughts about its uses today.

12. The Mighty Atlantic Ocean : Cradle of Modern Civilisation
Wide ranging talk examining how the Atlantic saw huge sea-borne emigrations, spurred on technological innovations, revolutionised the European economy and explains how the countries that border it laid the very foundations of the modern world. Included are stories of Vikings, Spanish and Portuguese adventurers, the slave trade, the colonisation of North and South America, vicious pirates, great naval battles and the famous Ocean Liners.

13. She wouldn’t eat her mushrooms - A look at the deadliest poisons and the classic cases of their use to maim, intoxicate and kill.
Once people figured out that they could kill each other with special substances instead of sharp sticks the use of poisons was born and their stories make a fascinating talk. A communist defector killed by a poisoned umbrella which caused every organ in his body to haemorrhage, a parasitic fungus that caused 8 young girls to be accused of witchcraft, how murderers have used strychnine and other plants to dispatch their victims and a glistening red seed that stops the heart are just some of the stories told in gruesome detail. On a practical note, the ones to beware of in gardens are discussed and illustrated

14 - 17 The World’s Greatest Plant Hunters : Risking their lives to improve our gardens
A look at the brave and resourceful men and women who risked their lives discovering and collecting new plants. The greatest botanical hunter-gatherers and their expeditions, often to remote and dangerous corners of the world, are described. Some sought to broaden horticultural knowledge but others were driven by greed and profit, because rare and new plants could be sold for huge amounts. Note: This subject is covered in 4 separate talks, each in chronological order and of approximately 50 minutes duration.

18. Come into the garden, Maude – The great women gardening pioneers
Women have always loved gardens but their influence on them is often unacknowledged and survives to this day. This talk explores the range of their involvement as gardeners, patrons, writers, artists, plant collectors and garden designers. From lowly medieval weeding women, English Queens, noblewomen seeking retreat, eccentric Victorians gardening in bloomers and corsets through to more modern pioneers and garden designers, it celebrates women’s very considerable achievements in the garden.

19. The World’s Greatest Ever Art Thefts : The astonishing stories of the most audacious robberies
Why was Picasso once arrested and accused of stealing The Mona Lisa? Which robbery resulted in the largest total value of items ever stolen? Which masterpieces still remain lost? How do galleries and private collections protect against theft? The combination of how they did it, the daring methods, the risks involved, the large sums of money and the beauty of the stolen works combine to make a fascinating talk.

20. Auguste Escoffier – King of chefs and chef to Kings
The extraordinary story of the world’s greatest ever chef who turned eating into dining. Whenever we step into a restaurant today and order a meal it's his traditions, systems and skills at work - the a la carte menu, the prix fixe, the organisation of the kitchen and the way a dining room is decorated were all pioneered by him. A legendary figure among chefs and gourmets, Escoffier established restaurants in grand hotels all over the world. In these centres of luxury and decadence the world's most glamorous figures of the day would mix - actresses and princes, duchesses and opera singers and he devised innovative dishes to please and enchant them.
This talk tells his story from birth as the humble son of a Provencal blacksmith and how he worked his way up the career ladder, Escoffier made his name when he and partner Cesar Ritz came to London to run the brand new Savoy Hotel, but after eight years he was fired from the Savoy for taking bribes and kick-backs from suppliers. This is the true story of interest to anyone who loves good food, of a man whose influence on haute cuisine remains to this day - a story of ambition, achievement, fame, glamour and scandal.

Another 3 Talks are currently in preparation. Details can be provided on request.
CRUISE HISTORY / EXPERIENCE
Stefan has been appointed Port, Destination or Enrichment Speaker on Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, Silverseas, Saga, Princess, Fred Olsen ,Oceania and Viking Ocean. He has given talks on ports throughout Northern, Western and Southern Europe, the Mediterranean Sea and the United States of America. He has been lecturing on cruise ships for over 14 years, the majority of assignments on Seabourn (15 cruises to date).,
RECENT PAST CRUISES COMPLETED
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
SHIP REF CRUISE DESCRIPTION NIGHTS SAILING FROM DEPARTURE DATE
Crystal Symphony V7219 Accent on Atlantic Isles 13 Lisbon Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Saga Sapphire SA317 A Taste of France and Spain 14 Dover Friday, April 28, 2017
Saga Sapphire SA304 Best of the Baltic 15 Dover Thursday, September 8, 2016
Braemar M1609 French River Cruising 9 Dover Saturday, April 16, 2016