Valerie Jarrett has signed on with Creative Artists Agency, the splashy Hollywood talent firm that books speaking gigs for A-list celebrities. It’s making a move into Washington, D.C., having recently signed former Sen. Barbara Boxer too.
Jarrett is vacationing out of the country and referred questions to CAA, which declined to talk about Jarrett’s speaking fees.
It will surely be lucrative, though not quite Hillary Clinton lucrative. Clinton has pulled in as much as $200,000 for a speech. As the longest-serving senior adviser to President Barack Obama, Jarrett’s thoughts are gold.
Consider Newt Gingrich, a former House speaker who advised President Donald Trump for a blink of an eye. His speaking fees in Washington, D.C., are a reported $25,000 but range from $60,000 to $75,000 elsewhere.
Jarrett plans to split her time between Washington and Chicago, where she has a home.
CAA lists topics Jarrett might address, including, “Put Yourself in the Path of Lightning.”
Jarrett was “painfully shy and lacked the confidence to speak up for herself” early in her career, CAA says on its website. “In this speech, Valerie will discuss how she found her voice, learned to enjoy sharing it, and the skills she developed along the way.”
Other topics: “What it is Like to Be in the Room Where it Happens” and “Where Do We Go From Here?”
Next month, Jarrett headlines the nonprofit Chicago Network’s “Women in the Forefront” luncheon.
Jarrett joins a pack of Chicagoans who are on CAA’s speakers list, including Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson, former U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, chefs Grant Achatz and Art Smith, rapper Common, Chicago Bulls player Dwyane Wade and former Bears coach Mike Ditka.
News about Jarrett follows CNN announcing that it’s hired Laura Jarrett, Valerie’s daughter, as a reporter covering the Justice Department. Laura practiced law in Chicago before making the move to journalism a few months ago.
He’s a leader and a landmark
Landmarks Illinois, the nonprofit that advocates for protecting historic architecture, is honoring media mogul and and reclusive political activist Fred Eychaner.
The group’s Legendary Landmarks Celebration pays tribute each year to civic and cultural leaders who have made a mark on Chicago. They’re chattier than buildings, after all.
So it’s especially interesting that Eychaner will be among those taking the stage at the event March 15 as he rarely speaks publicly about his good deeds.
Eychaner is a major donor to Democratic political campaigns and supports LGBT organizations, HIV-support groups, arts institutions and historic preservation. He founded Newsweb Corp., a media company, and the Alphawood Foundation, a grant-making foundation. He recently built a pop-up gallery for Art AIDS America Chicago when organizers couldn’t find a museum to host the show.
Others being honored this year: artist Richard Hunt, whose work can be found in the Art Institute and other museums, and Daniel McCaffery, CEO of McCaffery Interests, which is redeveloping the former Children’s Memorial Hospital campus in Lincoln Park.
Ricketts get another W — as in wealth
The Chicago Cubs’ World Series win has been savored by the Ricketts family, which owns the team. But it’s the presidential election that’s turned out to be especially sweet.
The Ricketts have gained an estimated $700 million since Election Day, Forbes reports.
The publication says that’s thanks to climbing shares of brokerage giant TD Ameritrade, which was founded by J. Joe Ricketts. The Nebraska businessman is the father of Tom Ricketts, who runs the Cubs with his siblings.
Forbes says a “hope for deregulation” helped boost TD Ameritrade 34 percent since Trump’s election. Competing companies have seen shares rise too.
The family’s net worth is an estimated $5.6 billion.
It’s an interesting turn of events.
Remember when Joe Ricketts early in the presidential campaign poured $5 million into an anti-Trump political action committee? Trump answered with a threatening tweet: “They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!”
As the primaries wound down, the Ricketts changed their tune and funneled $1 million into Trump’s campaign. (Except Laura Ricketts, who supported Hillary Clinton.)
Trump offered a thank you and named Todd Ricketts deputy secretary of the Commerce Department.
Playing Carnegie Hall in style
When Chicago pianist Ani Gogova debuts at Carnegie Hall on Friday, Jan. 27, Chicago fashion will be on full display.
Gogova will perform solos from her “Fantasies, Fairytales & Nightmares” album.
During the fairytale portion, Gogova will wear a champagne-and-gold-beaded coat by Mark Roscoe, a Chicago designer. He also created the slinky black-and-gold sequin halter gown that she’ll wear during the nightmare music. On her feet, strappy Dark Angel shoes by Chicago designer Brian Atwood.
Read more Taking Names at shiakapos.com.