Dashing in his navy velvet blazer, Saks GM Terry Zmyslo was the charming host of the evening that saw Winter Ball chairs Mary Ann McKeithan and Danielle Ellis promise a "renaissance" of the grand evening that spotlights a happy handful of leading ladies in the Houston community.
Setting a tony pace for the ball preview, two singers from Houston Grand Opera started the program with arias from HGO's season opener La Boheme. It was no coincidence that two of the honorees have strong HGO connections — longterm patron Donna Bruni and Jana Arnoldy, who husband Scotty Arnoldy has chaired the opera board, both women have chaired the opera ball with their husbands.
Rounding out the women of distinction honorees, recognized for their long lists of community leadership roles, were New Orleans transplant Darlene Bisso, Arvia Few, Debby Leighton, Nidhika Mehta, Alice Mosing, Liz Rigney, Elizabeth Stein and Pamela Wright. Recognized as 2013 Ambassador was Sidney Faust. Announcing the honorees and serving as evening emcee was KTRK news anchor Melanie Lawson.
For the first time, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America Gulf Coast/South Texas Chapter, Winter Ball beneficiary, is creating a Legendary Woman of Distinction category. Taking bows for that premiere honor was Margaret Alkek Williams.
Also taking bows were Dr. Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, who are serving as Winter Ball honorary chairs.
Among the numerous past honorees and Women of Distinction fans were Lilly Andress, David McKeithan, Vicki West, Denise Bush Bahr and Philip Bahr, Shelby Kibodeaux, Bruce Padilla, Susan and Dick Hansen, John Poindexter, Cindi Rose, Harriet Gertner and the men behind the honored ladies — Scotty Arnoldy, Cappy Bisso, Bob Bruni, Jason Few, Bill Leighton, Pershant Mehta, Keith Mosing, Robert Rigney, Alan Stein and Don Faust.