Chicago isn’t Hollywood, as billionaire Peter Thiel reminded us recently. But it can get glitzy, as it did Monday at Navy Pier for the annual After School Matters gala. The event raised $4.5 million (and counting).
At every turn was another big Chicago name.
Mellody Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments, sat at a table with Marty Nesbitt. She’s chairman of After School Matters, and he’s the Chicago businessman helping plan the Barack Obama Presidential Library and Museum.
Michael Sacks of GCM Grosvenor asset management company chatted with Ron Levin, a private wealth executive at Goldman Sachs. Levin co-founded the Invest for Kids nonprofit that will feature Sacks next month.
At another table were friends who run in high-profile circles: Desiree Rogers and Linda Johnson Rice, executives with Johnson Publishing businesses; Neal Zucker, the CEO of window-washing firm Corporate Cleaning Services; Marko Iglendza, founder of Terminal Getaway airport spas; nonprofit consultant Shawn Donnelley, and style mavens Mario and Traci Tricoci.
Nearby were SkinnyPop founder Pam Netzky and her wife, Ashley Hemphill.
Field Museum President Richard Lariviere exchanged cards with Chicago Community Trust CEO Terry Mazany.
And when Mayor Rahm Emanuel took the stage, he thanked Richard M. Daley for “creating something that’s famous around the world.” He was referring to After School Matters, an organization that came up in conversation, he said, with the London mayor who was in town last week. Daley nodded at the hat-tip. His late wife, Maggie Daley, co-founded the program 25 years ago. The former mayor sat by Richard Levy, the CEO of Victory Park Capital, the owner of Giordano’s pizza.
During a leisurely cocktail hour with purple martinis, guests talked about the new African-American history museum in Washington, D.C., sending children off to college (Leslie Bluhm and Cari Sacks) and the political buzz on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
There was an especially funny exchange between John McCarter, who sits on the board of the Smithsonian Institution, and Walter Massey, chancellor of the School of the Art Institute.
McCarter said he had to cancel plans to visit a princess in England to talk about building a Smithsonian outpost there. She had to cancel, he said, because “She got what Hillary had.”
Without skipping a beat, Massey said, “You mean she had a problem with her emails?”
Big laughs (cough, cough) followed.
Lois Scott getting loud for Clinton
Former Chicago CFO Lois Scott and a few notable friends have organized a rally for girls supporting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The idea for a “Girls Get Loud” rally began eight years ago, says Scott, when Clinton lost in the Democratic primary and Scott’s then 7-year-old daughter, Audrey America May, lamented, “If Hillary can’t win, none of us ever will.”
“Now, she’s 15, and we never let the idea die,” Scott said.
Now president of Epoch Advisors financial services company, Scott says she wants girls “to understand they have a voice and the world can change if they’re loud enough.”
She brought in mom friends Gabrielle Martinez, the co-founder of agencyEA event production company, and Jami Chiang, a paper designer — they’ve both done work for the White House during the holidays. The moms know one other through the the Near North Montessori school that their now-teen daughters once attended.
Though social media and word of mouth, 350 people have already registered for the Sept. 25 event at Savage Smyth on Franklin Street in Chicago. Admission is free, but girls must register at girlsgetloud.com.
In another sign of generations joining forces, Betsy Ebeling, a childhood friend of Clinton’s, will take the stage with The Happiness Club after-school dance program and R&B singer Sydny Smith.
They met at Latin School and always stayed friends
The children of notable Chicago entrepreneurs married in a grand ceremony at Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy.
Kelly Rosen, the daughter of retired business consultant and philanthropist Debbie Bricker and Dr. Merwin Rosen, a retired oral surgeon, and Christophe Lagrange, the son of architect Lucien Lagrange and interior designer Jessica Lagrange, married Aug. 26.
The bride is founder of Kelly Rosen Design, a luxury residential interior design firm with clients in New York, Chicago and Palm Beach. Her husband is director of acquisitions at HFZ Capital Group in New York.
The couple, both age 30, met while attending the Latin School and were best of friends through college and as young adults. Each was a shoulder to cry on through the years during relationships with other people.
Then, two years ago, Rosen says she realized she had feelings for Lagrange. When she told him, she remembers Lagrange beaming. “He said when the thought of marrying came up, he always hoped it might be to me.”
After a long dinner talking about what they each wanted in a partner and life, they knew it was meant to be.