Monday, March 31, 2008

Steps to Achieving Socialite Status

I receive slews of questions about this on a daily basis. I have touched on this in the past however, a lil’ ole re-visitation of this hot topic of interest will never hurt.

Off the top of my head, there are three elements every aspiring Socialite needs to consider while on the 'quest.'
1) Becoming a quality volunteer
2) Strategic selection of activities

3) How to Get Good Press

Let’s explore our first topic of becoming a quality volunteer.

Many of the Socialites featured on this blog are outstanding volunteers. They contribute a good portion of their time and financial resources to a variety of charitable organizations. Some of the organizations include their local Opera and Orchestra, The Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the Ballet, the Junior League, the Girls, Incorporated chapter, sororities, fraternities, and The Links.

But, here’s the deal. They are actually pretty good with follow up, follow through, and leveraging their personal and professional networks for a cause. Socialites also tend to be gosh darn fabulous at working well with people and are usually very likable. They mean what they said and said what they mean in terms of assisting an organization with fundraising, ‘friend-raising,’ and other goals.

So, if you struggle with being nice, keeping your word, and falsify who you are/what you represent, it is highly unlikely that you will be successful at becoming a true Socialite.

We’ll chat soon on strategic selection of activities because after all - there are only so many hours in the day!


Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

OK - how fantastic does Delta Sigma Theta Soror and Link Joan Higginbotham look in this photo with Houston FOX News Anchor Jose Grinan! She recently retired (at the ripe 'old' age of like...41 or 42) from NASA where she was an astronaut. She's 43 now.

This flick was shot at the recent reception celebrating the Second Edition of Who's Who in Black Houston. I absolutely love Jose's tie and color combination.
Alright good people, it's a wrap for me.
Have a great weekend!

Spring has sprung so enjoy the extra hours of sunlight!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hmmm...The Saga Continues

I'm traveling for business so I may not be able to post again until later this week.

In the meanwhile, I'm investigating some technical 'challenges' with Blogger.

I love Blogger (the fact that it's free is HUGE).

But I have some weirdness in the blog interface that has been occurring ever since Daylight Savings Time and the surge in traffic I have received in the past two months.

So, the saga continues in terms of trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

Have a great day and of course, we'll chat again soon!


Monday, March 24, 2008

Greater NY Chapter of The Links 59th Annual Easter Luncheon & Fashion Show

Table setting at show included raffle prizes of a floral centerpiece & two books

Dr. Marcella Maxwell with another member of the Greater New York Links Chapter

A Links member poses with Links Eastern Area Director Bishetta Merritt (center) and Linda Zango-Haley Links Co-Director of International Trends & Services (right)

Eastern Area Vice Director Diane Smith Hardison poses with Raritan County, NJ Chapter
Vice President Alice Chapman-Minutello

Susan Taylor signs copies of her book for luncheon attendees

Philadelphia Links Chapter members Patricia Coulter, Roz McPherson, & Alexia Hudson

Penn Towne, PA Chapter Past President Scheryl Glanton

Socialite Hat Designer Lawrence Levens

Some of Lawrence's fabulous crowns

Two of my Sorors-Sister Links in their fabulous hats pose with a luncheon attendee

Luncheon attendees smile for the camera in their fab outfits in celebration of Spring

Luncheon attendee whose hat I threatened to steal

Another fab crown wore very well by this Sista

A beautiful cream colored crown wore with pearls and a cream silk suit that looked incredible

Smiling for the cameras while visiting vendors prior to the luncheon

The Greater New York Chapter of The Links hosted their 59th Annual event last Saturday to a packed room of more than 1,000 guests from as far away as Pittsburgh and Southern Virginia. It is one of the must attend events on the calendar for most prominent socialites, politicians, authors, clergy, and professionals.

I would run out of space if I tried to name them all.

It was great seeing so many Links, Connecting Links (husbands), Heir o'Links (children) and guests dressed in some of the finest outfits and hats around.
And, this show is allllllll about the hats...
The vibe was very friendly as people mixed and mingled before being seated. I had a champagne toast with Alice Chapman-Minutello and others in honor of my birthday. Society Writer Grand Dame Audrey Bernard and I were seated at the same table. We had a great conversation and it was wonderful to meet her in person after admiring her work for so many years.

Dr. M. Elaine McCollins Flake, Co-Pastor of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York provided a wonderful invocation to place us in the right spirit prior to the meal service. She is also one of the speakers for the AKA Centennial Celebration in July.

Congratulations to Greater New York Chapter of The Links President Minta Spain, Luncheon Chairperson Gerri Warren-Merrick, Luncheon Co-Chairs Sydney Avent and Evette Beckett-Tuggle, all chapter officers, and members for a job well done.

I particularly appreciated how we were constantly reminded that the dollars we spent on the event will be infused into a series of scholarships and community service programs managed by the chapter.

This year, Susan Taylor (Editor Emerita of Essence Magazine and Founder of the National Cares Mentoring Movement) and Joyce Roche (President/CEO of Girls, Incorporated) were honored for their work with our youth. The two honorees are also good friends who complemented each other in their acceptance speeches.

Dr. Marcella Maxwell was awarded the chapter's Community Service Award. She is so connected that she sold 15 tables (150 tickets) to her network of associates, friends, and family. That's incredible by any standard!
By the end of the afternoon, we found ourselves excited, exhausted, and celebratory all at the same time.
It was a wonderful event and a good time had by all!

Happy Birthday To Me!!

Woo-hoo! I'm celebrating another year of life today!

I feel blessed to be here but since this isn't exactly a milestone birthday - I'm been rather blah about it to be honest with you.

Don't misunderstand me - it's always good to see a new year of life.

But it's not 30 or 40 - it's in between. And, I'm not trying to raise the roof if you know what I mean.

Saturday, I sipped champagne with some of my Sister Links at the Greater New York Chapter's Annual Luncheon Fashion Show.

Last night, I was treated to dinner and gifts from my family and Special Friend.

Today, I received emails, phone calls, and text messages extending greetings.
This afternoon, Special Friend took me to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. The cute server placed a pink candle on our dessert to make me feel special (ergo, the picture above).

But in spite of all these blessings, I walking around like ho-hum, it's nice to have a birthday today...

I really think Leap Year, Daylight Savings Time, and a real early Easter weekend has sent me into another dimension.

I feel kinda off balance with time.

I guess that what happens as you get older?

Anyway, I'm working on catching the spirit!
It's my birthday, it's my birthday, it's my birthday!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

These three handsome gents (left to right Gerald Smith, Milton Scott, and Rufus Cormier) smile for the camera at the 2008 Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Luncheon on March 10, 2008 at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston, TX.

Isn't this a great photo?!

Anyhoo - I'm scooting out now - gotta pick up pantyhose - you know, the last minute items you need when your tooling around for various events.

Have a super great weekend!
We'll re-connect on Monday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Workin' For The Weekend

Big Yawn!!!!

I'm going to bed in about 10 minutes everyone. I've been traveling so it's nice to be home for a bit to feel the comfort of my own space.

This weekend is a grind with travel too as I'm headed to the Big Apple for the Greater New York Chapter of The Links, Incorporated Annual Easter Luncheon Fashion Show.

It will be a lot of fun I'm sure and yes...I will have LOTS of photos for you barring no technical difficulties beyond my control (grins).

Sunday is 'TV Church' (I can't stand going to church on Easter Sunday) and dinner with my family.

So, now you see why I'm hitting the beddie-by early. I'm workin' for the weekend.

OH! Before I forget...I also have some more good news to share with you.

Various postings from this blog have been picked by Reuters in addition to my new BFFs - The Chicago Sun Times. I extend welcome to the new readers coming from these news sites and I encourage your positive participation in our Black Socialite Community.

I also owe a great deal to those of you who keep me busy by providing great content and comments. My email and mobile phone was loaded today with scoop, tips, and pics (wow!)

My blog meter has captured more than 26,000 total visits, 56,000 total page views, and close to 2,000 visits each week in seven months of existence. This makes me very proud as this traffic is primarily driven by word of mouth. Thanks a lot!

Have a good night all and be on the lookout for 'Friday's Fabulous Flick' tomorrow!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Socialite Planning Mode

It's rainy on my side of the world and I will be crawling into bed soon. The remainder of this week is busy so I need to re-energize.

However, with Spring right on our doorstep - I'm already planning for the season and beyond.

I have some must attend events between now and May, so I'm working on updating the wardrobe with some of the hot trends of Spring 08.

I rarely go crazy with the latest and greatest, opting instead to raid my Grandmother's and Mother's closets because after all - everything that's old is new again.

I also started working on my 2009 Social Calendar last week and plan to have it completed before month's end.

Yes, I plan that far in advance...

I'm having lunch/dinner with leaders in some of my favorite charitable organizations (my local Opera company and Girls, Inc. branch) to prepare for 09 fundraising and activities over the next month.

Some of the 'heavy hitters' on the Social Scene are tapped for dollars and support years in advance so, we'll be working on mapping out our strategies to lure some of them in our direction.

If you desire to reach Socialite-dom, this is part of the responsibility. It is not simply about appearing on the Scene polished, poised, and ready for action. It's also about helping to sustain and grow organizations of value to your respective community.

We'll chat soon about how to build these relationships (and the cost factor of maintaining them) in a future posting.

Have a great evening all!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

In Honor of Lita

Thanks to everyone who sent the really nice emails!

I have so many that I made not be able to respond to each of you personally, but I sincerely appreciate your concern.

My buggy's back windshield is fixed - which is the most important item, but I also have some damage to the interior roof's upholstery. That will get fixed when I have the time to be out of my vehicle for several days.

Meanwhile, a few of you have asked about the late socialite Lita Sullivan of Palm Beach and Atlanta (pictured above) after my posting on another Sista Socialite emerging on the Palm Beach scene. I thought about Lita as well but it's too painful to go into a great deal of detail about her tragic death.

Lita was murdered by a contract killer commissioned by her estranged husband several years ago. Her family fought a costly and long term battle to bring this murderer to justice.

This is the extend that I will blog on this horrible topic.

But I will direct you to Court TV where you can read the history of the case yourself.

The good news is that a lot has changed in terms of race relations in Palm Beach as 'the club' appears to be far more accepting of Black Socialites than when Lita was murdered in 1987.

She was in many ways, a Black Socialite pioneer in Palm Beach so perhaps her spirit made it easier for the Black Socialites of Palm Beach now.

And, when these spectacular Brothers and Sisters appears on 'the scene,' you can bet money that yours truly will cover them in all of their splendor.

We'll connect soon everyone.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lunacy in the City & other topics

I had a great weekend until today...

I was visiting Special Friend who made two fabulous meals for me in his spacious abode. We decided to 'dial it down' a bit from attending events to just relax and spend time together.

We were having a blast today until the neighborhood children knocked on the door to notify us that a mental ill man used two very large pieces of concrete to break the back windshield of my car. It was a random act and nothing was taken out of the car.

According to the children, the man was on a bit of rampage. Once the man's brother and the police caught up to him, he was committed to a psych ward.

Needless to say, I was quite upset. The man's family offered to pay for the damage to the car but it's really an awful way to start the new week.

Special Friend lives in a neighborhood which would remind you of Harlem in New York. Huge, beautiful homes populated by nice people who are on the verge of being displaced as White suburbanites move back into the City.

Most people park on the street without any issues except for the occasional break in. So, the neighbors were in shock that this situation occurred. We've cleaned all of the glass out and will take it in to the auto body shop tomorrow morning.

So, forgive me folks from being diverted today from our usual topic. I'll be back on the grind tomorrow once I deal with the insurance people, the repair shop, blah, blah, blah...

In the meanwhile, I received a slew of emails asking me for more commentary and assistance in becoming a Socialite.

Rest assured that I'm on the case and will share some insights with you soon.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flicks

We had a great time at the 77th Annual North Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia for Alpha Kappa Alpha! Jammed packed with activites and fun, it was a wonderful way to officially usher in the Centennial Celebration of the Sorority!

More than 3,000 of my sorors attended and let's just say that Philadelphia will never be the same! 317 members graduated from a fourteen month leadership development academy in honor of our Visionary Founder Ethel Hedgeman Lyle (EHLLA).

I made myself so tired zooming around but I did capture some great moments.

Hats off to all of those who made the conference a success!!!

95 year old Bernice Ripley is a charter member of Florida A&M's Chapter and a 75 year member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. She never misses conferences or Omega Omega chapter meetings.

Sorors pose here with North Atlantic Regional Director Evelyn Sample-Oates (center) who delivered a baby boy six weeks ago.

Sorors posing with International President Barbara A. McKinizie (center)

Sorors pose with Dr. Mattelia B. Grays, 18th International President (center left)

Quilting our history together as the North Atlantic Region

Rose Brown (left) new graduate of EHLLA and newly inducted 25 year member poses with Wanda King EHHLA Dean (center) and Alexia Hudson, EHHLA Committee Member

EHLLA Graduates smile for the camera

More happy EHLLA graduates

Crystal Lander (back) poses with another EHLLA graduate. Lander is a frequent guest on PBS' To The Contrary

Conference chair Brenda Johnson Best (left), North Atlantic Regional Director Evelyn Sample Oates, and Engineering Ph.D candidate Ashley Johnson at the Awards Gala. Mother & daughter Brenda & Ashley were both initiated at Florida A&M. Evelyn Sample Oates was initated at American University.

Kindred the Family Soul perform at the super packed Awards Gala

International President Barbara A. McKinzie with Father Martini Shaw of the African Epsicopal Church of St. Thomas in Philadelphia, Sherilynn Johnson Kimble - President of Omega Omega Chapter, & Jacqueline 'Lynn' Washington of Rho Theta Omega Chapter after the Sunday morning worship service

Sorors Deidre Patterson & Terri Lee during the Sunday morning Gospel Brunch featuring Bryon Cage

Sorors dancing & celebrating the joyful sounds of Bryon Cage

Gospel Superstar Bryon Cage performed during the Sunday Gospel Brunch leaving us all on a spiritual high!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Spotting of Socialite 'Unicorn' Sherry Bronfman

One of our favorite Socialite 'unicorns' (Sherry Bronfman) appeared at Studio in a School 30th Anniversary Gala on March 3rd. Ms. Sherry is super selective about the events she decides to attach her name to, so it's really nice to see her out and about.

This particular gala happens only once every five years, honoring an individual who has made important contributions to the arts in New York City and Studio in a School.

While Ms. Sherry was not the honoree this year, she helped the event raise over $1.4 million.

Ms. Sherry looks quite happy here in the pic. Actually, it's the happiest I've seen her photographed in years.

Hmmm...inquiring minds want to know...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Boys & Girls Club of Stamford Honors Stedman Graham

On March 1st, The Boys and Girls Club of Stamford honored Stedman Graham, Chairman, and CEO of S. Graham and Associates, at the “Black and White” Gala. The event was held at the Stamford Marriott Hotel & Spa in Stamford, CT and is the organization's major fundraiser. He is pictured with Boys and Girls Club of Stamford President Anita Gulati.

You gotta hand it to that Stedman who never seems to age.

Malaika and Justin Myers were also in attendance. Malaika sits on the Board of Directors for The Boys and Girls Club of Stamford - playing a major role in fundraising and working with the children who participate in Boys & Girls Club activities.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who's That Girl?

Lorrain with Society Grande Dame Nettiee Effron
With hubby Malcolm Hall

With Ava Coleman & Donna Ross

Society watchers and participants have known for years that Palm Beach Society was never really that receptive to us. Sisters who married into its elite, insular cluster were often ignored, shunned, or otherwise ostracized.

And, the sight of a Black man walking down Worth Avenue would sent WASPy socialites screaming and running in the opposite direction.

Well, times they are a'changin...

Mrs. Lorrain Hall of Palm Beach is zooming all over the super-elite social scene in ways never documented. She's married to Malcolm Hall who is apparently uber wealthy.

I'm on the hunt for more details about this interesting lady so I have my investigative reporting hat firmly on.

Be on the lookout for a full report soon.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Generations of Great History

Extra Special Thanks to Mireille Schwartz who is sharing the great photo of herself (left) with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz (right),her mother Katiti Kironde (center) and her daughter Charlotte Jude at the Opening Gala for the exhibition "Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005” at the San Francisco Legion of Honor.

Mireille’s mom appeared on the August 1968 cover of Glamour Magazine – making her the first Black woman to appear on the cover of a national women’s magazine. She was named on the magazine’s ‘Best Dressed College Students’ list and according to Glamour Magazine's brass, the issue broke the all time high sales record.

Two years ago, The American Society of Magazine Editors selected this cover as one of the top magazine covers of the past 40 years. Katiti is now a fashion designer and Mireille is active in a variety of San Francisco based organizations including the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco.

Thanks Girl!

What a great way to capture generations of history with this legendary photographer!

Photo Credit: Thomas John Gibbons

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Weekend Recovery Mode

I am sooooooo sore and achy from all of the activities of the AKA North Atlantic Regional Conference in Philadelphia.

I must say - it was an awesome time!

I'll have pics and details for you this week.

Right now, I'm in weekend recovery mode.

I had dinner with Special Friend and fell asleep on him while we were watching a movie.

Yes, I'm that tired.

So good people, I am about to sip some herbal tea and take a nice, long bath.

Hope you had fun this weekend too!


Friday, March 7, 2008

Friday's Fabulous Flick

Since I'm hanging out with AKAs this weekend at the North Atlantic Regional Conference, I am sharing this cute photo with you.

This flick comes from one of my Sorors LJ Kelly who is posing here with her 'honey-do' Dennis J. Davis at the'Old School Costume Party' by the Gamma Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. in Jefferson City, MO.

I absolutely LOVE this photo! It shows us that we can have fun in creative ways!

Enjoy your weekend and be on the lookout for some more interesting scoop!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

San Francisco Socialite Anette Harris

Anette's home has a spectacular waterfront view!

Anette Harris is a San Francisco Sista Socialite that we will definitely watch this year.

Born in Houston, TX, Anette earned a BA from the University of Dallas and a MA in Boston College. She moved to San Francisco in the 70s and started working at the California College of Podiatric Medicine as Director of Admissions. She met her husband (IT Executive Marc Loupe) at a surprise party. The couple dated long distance for a year before getting married in 1979. The next year, Anette opened her own business.

Anette has served on the Board of Big Sisters of Marin, was elected president of Women Entrepreneurs of San Francisco; served on boards and committees of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council and the San Francisco Symphony where she focuses on raising money for the Youth Orchestra.
In 2000, Anette became the first Black president of the Junior League of San Francisco.
And if this isn’t enough, Anette is also president of the Bay Area Arthritis Auxiliary and is an active fundraiser for the Museum of the African Diaspora.

We'll keep our eyes peeled and ears to the ground for more scoop on Ms. Anette!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Beginning of March Madness

At this time of this posting, I will have already had twelve hour day today.

I have LOTS on my 'plate' this month (I guess that's why they call it March Madness!).

Easter, business travel, the AKA North Atlantic Regional Conference, and the Greater New York Chapter of The Links Luncheon is all happening this month (whew!). I promise to post good photos of the various events when I can.

But, I hate it when so many activities are scheduled back to back. It's tough to keep it all together at times. The events are fun but it can be quite exhausting too.

I got the new Palm Tungsten E2 but I think I may upgrade to an IPhone by late summer or early fall. I would rather have one portable device rather than three or four like I'm carrying now.

I'm also in desperate need of a really good digital camera. Give me your recommendations if you have one that you really like.

OK folks - I'm off to sift through some story concepts and pics while streaming the news.

We'll dish later.


PS - For those of you with 'Hotmail' accounts, the emails I send to you keep bouncing back to me. If you sent me an email in the past month and have not received a reply back - that's why!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Houston Socialites Help Raise $2.1M

Kase & Eileen Lawal featured with The Cranes

An elegant dinner served under the tent

Kimberly Nichols (pictured right)

Deidra and Terrance Fountaine with Houston's Mayor Bill White

Several of our favorite Houston Socialites were in attendance at a February 23rd gala to help raise money for a $122M downtown Houston park project.

The event was Co-Chaired by Kase & Eileen Lawal who helped to raise $2.1M towards the project. Green was the color theme and everyone seemed to have a great time.
I gotta be honest with you...I'm a bit green that the Houston Socialites are pulling in big bucks like this for their favorite charities.
Seems like some of us in other major cities better start stepping up our game!