With the ink still wet on her soon-to-be-released book Diplomacy and Diamonds: My Wars From the Boardroom to the Battlefield, Joanne King Herring mesmerized members of the Rotary Club of Houston Skyline at Américas Thursday night with her take on situations in the Middle East. It was the first of Américas' late-evening Cohesion Thursday Nights parties to support a non-profit.
The Rotary Club was beneficiary of the evening that included the interview with Joanne by Rotary Skyline member and Bellaire City Councilman Corbett Daniel Parker. After the serious business, the crowd of young professionals turned their attention to lighter endeavors — drinks in the bar and dancing to the sounds of DJ Pinch, who was accompanied on the drums by Rotary Skyline member Don Vaughn, who plays a more serious tune by day as a neuroscientist.
Making the scene that ran from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. were Américas chef David Cordua (love the lobster corndogs!), Cohesion Thursday Nights organizer Ashlee Lee, Icing Cupcakes owner Reyne Hirsch (thanks for the sweets!), Courtney Zubowski, Katie McCall, Rotary Skyline president Reginald Adams and wife Rhonda Adams and Michelle Bohreer.
Lunching at La Griglia
The new Brasserie 19, just half a block away on West Gray, might be giving the Grig a run for its money but if the midday crowd on Thursday was any indication, La Griglia remains the center of the universe for power lunching. Republican forces holding forth on the west side of the popular eatery included U.S. Rep. Pete Olson of Sugar Land, State Rep. Sarah Davis and State Rep. Dennis Bonnen of Pearland.
Putting a star spin on the celebration, baseball great Jeff Bagwell arrived to wish the ladies a good afternoon, sending more than a few fans at various tables into a swoon.
Republican stalwart Fred Zeidman held a westside table while political consultant Sue Walden hung at a spot in the center of the room. On the east side, Cindy Clifford entertained State Rep. Carol Alvarado at the PR specialist's regular table overlooking the patio. Also at a center table, we spotted Celina Hellmund lunching with friends.
Rachel Brown and friends took over a lively table, complete with balloons and popping champagne corks, where she celebrated her birthday with Debbie Festari, Suzanne Getty, Stacey Soriero, Melissa Mithoff and Laurie Shellist. Putting a star spin on the celebration, baseball great Jeff Bagwell arrived to wish the ladies a good afternoon, sending more than a few fans at various tables into a swoon.
For the love of kids
Amy Lee and Sara Simon are putting the finishing touches on the popular Dec My Room fall fashion luncheon at Tootsies. The curtain goes up at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 9 for the fundraiser and fashion presentation featuring the designs fo Kaufman Franco. This is one of the liveliest of the fall fashion events as it is one of the first official gatherings in the fall of the ladies who lunch for worthy causes.
Adding to the fun will be the personal appearance of jewelry designers Jude Steele-Clark and Frances Gadbois of JudeFrances jewelry.
Susan Plank and her daughter, Kendall Plank, founded the non-profit that custom decorates hospital rooms for youngsters who must endure extended stays under medical care at Texas Children's Cancer Center and at M.D. Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital.
Reservations can be made at Ashlee@DecMyRoom.org. or by phone at 713-850-2116.
Birthday partying at Reef
Dale Fuller celebrated his 73rd at Reef earlier this week with a birthday dinner hosted by his son, Jason Fuller, and Jason's best friend PR specialist Cindy Clifford. More than two dozen family members and friends gathered in the private room for the spectacular dinner overseen by chef Bryan Caswell and biz partner Bill Floyd.
Helping blow out the candles were University of Houston exec Jeff Fuller and wife Kristyn, veep with Field & Associates; Stewart Title's Andrew Fuller and wife Karen, Ch. 8 community relations rep; and Sally Bradford, director of the Greenspoint Redevelopment Authority.
Ever on the lookout for power players Jason and Cindy ducked out of the party and into the Reef bar for a bit to catch up on the scene that included Metro board chair Gilbert Garcia, Mayor Annise Parker's senior staffer Jenn Char, Seafarers International Union honcho Dean Corgey and Horizon Strategies' Mary Bell.
FYI — Mary is engaged to Adam Harris, Mayor Parker's former campaign manager and former deputy chief of staff. Adam left the mayor's office in late June to form Horizon Strategies, a political and communications firm, with Mary at his side.
Au revoir, monsieur
Departing French Consul General Pierre Grandjouan and wife Kate were given a fine send-off at The Wynden when the French-American Chamber of Commerce rounded up scores of friends and fans. Among the FACC honchos on hand were president Christian Escudié and chairman Jean-Francois Bonnete.
Joining the swell farewell were Karen and Byron Hood, Pierre Grosdidier, Luc Messier, Geoffroy Petit, Gilles Bocabarteille, Pamela and Peter Conlan, Matthieu de Tugny and Deanea LeFlore of the Houston International Protocol Alliance.
Lynn and Oscar Wyatt having dinner Thursday night in the bar at Tony's where they were joined by sons Douglas Wyatt and Steve Wyatt and friends Tony Chase and wife Dina Alsowayel. At a table in the main dining room Philip Burguieres treated his wife, Alice Burguieres, to a romantic birthday dinner for two, where he presented her with a magnificent strand of gray South Sea pearls . . .
Becca Cason Thrash hosting a group of ladies for lunch at Tootsies where they fawned over the amazing couture collection by Giambattista Valli. Tootsies is the only place outside of Bergdorf Goodman and a sprinkling of Saks Fifth Avenue stores to have the line. Joining Becca in the swoon were Greggory Burk, Renee Lewis Carey, Adrianna Longoria and Holly Moore . . .
Houston Texans taking a breather after practice Thursday night and enjoying the beef at Morton's Galleria. Sitting down to the feast that included Oysters Rockefeller, bone-in ribeyes, salmon and more were Derrick Ward, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Kareem Jackson, Steve Slaton, Jacoby Jones and a few others. Keeping an eye on the finely fed guys was Morton's assistant manager Donna Chavez . . .
Newly-minted man-about-town Perryn Leech, Houston Grand Opera managing director, enjoying the Houston Restaurant Weeks menu at Philippe Restaurant + Lounge along with HGO patrons Anne and Albert Chao and Al Lasher and HGO's special events whiz Guyla Pircher . . .
Comedian and impersonator Rich Little, in town to headline the Astro Wives Blackties and Baseball Caps Gala, dining at 51 fifteen in Saks with Tri-Star Financial chairman John Bott, who brought along a photo taken of the two men in the '70s. John had the picture blown up and got Rich to autograph it. It just happened that Larry Dierker, former Astros manager, was in the restaurant and stopped by to say hello.