Thursday, December 13, 2012

Gold Medal Awards

Guests dancing to Latin favorites at The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute's 2012 Gala.
The Queen Sofía Spanish Institute proudly honored four Gold Medal recipients at its 2012 Gala last Thursday evening at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel.  Barbara Walters hosted the festivities as Mistress of Ceremonies and Board Chairman Oscar de la Renta led the awards presentation.  This year’s outstanding honorees were Norman R. Foster, Baron of Thames Bank; Elena Ochoa, Lady Foster of Thames Bank, Luis A. Ubiñas, President of the Ford Foundation, and Gonzalo Ulloa, partner in the law firm Gomez, Acebo & Pombo.

The Gold Medal Awards are given to outstanding individuals from Spain, the United States and Latin America who have played a significant role in strengthening the relationship between the Spanish-speaking world and the United States.
Gold Medal Honorees Lord Foster, Luis Ubinas, and Gonzalo Ulloa
Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in attendance at the sold-out event as Ambassador Ramon Gil Casares (Ambassador of Spain to the United States) bestowed the prestigious medals on the honorees.  The Mayor added his own congratulatory wishes to the recipients and joked about being promised a walk on the runway for Oscar de la Renta’s next show. 

Both the Mayor and Barbara Walters made a commitment to Oscar de la Renta that they would take Spanish lessons at the Institute after twisting the pronunciation of the names of several Spanish dignitaries. Mayor Bloomberg spoke admiringly of Barbara Walters, saying he was her "Arm Candy" for the evening since long time Institute supporters Javier Bardem and Antonio Banderas were not able to attend the dinner. Barbara Walters enthusiastically returned the compliment, reminding the audience that she had chosen Mayor Bloomberg as her "Fantasy Husband" on a segment of her popular show The View.
Lady Elena Foster, Marie Josee Kravis, Princess Firyal of Jordan, Hamish Bowles, and Shirley
Lord Rosenthal
Latin Designer J. Riccardo Benavides from ideas created stunning flower and décor arrangements that evoked the spirit of the Waldorf Astoria’s recent renovation. Thousands of fragrant roses were fashioned as an elegant backdrop throughout the ballroom.

Danny Rojo and his Cuban band featured traditional Latin dance music including Flamenco, Bolero and Mambo which generated an overflow crowd on the dance floor.
The Gold Medal Gala was established in 1978 to provide Queen Sofía Spanish Institute with a unique opportunity to recognize exemplary individuals who have personally promoted the cultural connection existing between Spain and Ibero-America and have brought attention to the similarities in their respective heritage.  The achievements of past Gold Medal recipients are represented by varied disciplines such as international relations, public affairs, diplomacy, science, business, literature, sports, philanthropy and the arts. 
Hamish Bowles, Princess Firyal of Jordan, and Marie Josee Kravis
Oscar and Annette de la Renta
The Spanish Institute was founded in 1954 to promote greater awareness and understanding of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world in the United States.  Since its foundation the Institute has sought to further its mission through a variety of programs which focus on particular aspects of Spanish culture, past and present, and the remarkable influence this culture has in the Americas.

In recognition of the support given to the Institute through the years by Her Majesty Queen Sofía of Spain, the Institute was renamed in her honor as Queen Sofia Spanish Institute in November 2003.

The Institute’s exhibit, Fortuny y Madrazo, An Artistic Legacy, opened on November 30 and analyzes the work of this celebrated Spanish artist in the context of the family of artists from whom he descended. Conceived by and curated with Oscar de la Renta, this exhibit elaborates on the origins and influences that shaped Fortuny’s extraordinary career.
Cuban Musician Danny Rojo and his band members with guests
Eliza and Alex Bolen with Erica Bearman
Mercedes Bass, Gil Shiva, and Inmaculada de Habsburgo
Alex and Eliza Bolen with Nextel de Mexico’s Lisette Trepaud and friends
Beatrice Santo Domingo and Peter Foyo
Spanish Ambassador to USA Ramón Gil Dacares, Gold Medal Honoree Luis Ubinas,
Barbara Walters, and Oscar de la Renta
Victor Martinez, Ragnhild Melzi, Kathleen Fuentes-Holtzman, Pola Schijman, and John
Gala Chair Carmen de Pinies and daughter Carmen Hassel
Annette de la Renta and Luis Ubinas
Board Member Dr. Valentin Fuster and Lady Foster Board Member
Annette de la Renta and Riccardo Benavides
Gold Medal Honoree Lady Elena Foster and Oscar de la Renta
Lady Annabel Weidenfeld and Mercedes Bass
Stephanie Junger-Moat and Nancy Kissinger
Oscar de la Renta and Chris Madden
Nancy Kissinger and Gold Medal Honoree Gonzalo Ulloa
Beatrice Santo Domingo and Actress Mar Flores
Oscar de la Renta and Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters and Princess Firyal
Arthur Yorke Allen and Mary Stewart Hammond enjoying the music
Beatrice and Mar Flores
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Queen Sofia Spanish Institute President Inmaculada de Habsburgo
Barbara Walters, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Oscar de la Renta
Fortuny Exhibit assistant curator Molly Sorkin and Queen Sofia Spanish Institute
Director Pilar Vico
Over 1000 of the social set enjoyed 6 days of spirited festivities at the Doubles Annual Christmas Luncheons. Each day Wendy Carduner happily welcomed everyone to enjoy the warm and vibrant setting as carolers sang and the voices of hundred's enthusiastic women (and A Few Good Men) filled the Club with Christmas Cheer.

The favorites at this years sumptuous Dessert Buffet included: Eggnog Baked Alaska, Croquet en Bouche, Gateau St. Honore, Seven Nut Torte, Bouche de Noel, Raspberry and Pistachio Dasquaise, Coconut Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Chocolate Mousse, Strawberries, Cherries and those always tempting home made red and green Snow Flake Cookies...and their favorite Luncheon Menus included the Herb Seared Chilean Bass with Broccoli Mashed Potatoes...Lobster and Crab Risotto with Parisian Garden Legumes...Nantucket Crab Cakes with Herb Crushed New Potatoes...and Lobster Crusted Bass with Fennel and Celery Root Fondue.
Once again there were too many to list, but here are some that we spotted: Joan Rivers, Aileen, Mehle, Taki Theodoracopulos, Cynthia and Tony Maltese, Audrey Gruss, Rex Reed, Joan Schnitzer, Stepanie Krieger, Geoffrey Bradfield, Karen LeFrak, Carolyne Roehm, Suzanne Johnson, Somers Farkas, Muffie Potter Aston, Joanne de Guardiola, Grace Meigher, Mai Harrison, Kari Tiedemann, Lorna Graev, Daisy Soros, Christine Schott, Jamee Gregory, Ashley McDermott, Barbara Tober, Eleanora Kennedy, Sheri Babbio, Donna Rosen, Bambi Putnam, Jennifer Creel, Mariana Kaufman, Paige Hardy, Jennifer Oken, Noreen Buckfire, Michael Kovner, Laurie Dhue, Elizabeth Stribling, Claudia Overstrom, Erin Gaudreau, Cece Black, Diana Quasha, Daryl Roth, Kamie Lighburn, Suzie Aijala, Tory Burch, Eileen Ford, Carmen Dell'Orefice, Courtney Arnot, Heidi Holterbusch, Steve and Christine Schwartzman, Heather Sargent, Zibby Tozer, Alexia Hamm Ryan, Robyn Joesph, Cornelia Bregman, Anne Hearst, Dennis Basso, Nanette Laitman, Charlotte Ford, Connie and Stuart Lane and hundreds more.
Terri Polk and Suzanne Johnson
Stefanie Lackner and Laurie Dhue
Somers Farkas, Wendy Carduner, Suzanne Johnson, and Muffie Potter Aston
Lesley Schulhof and Dennis Basso
Carmel Malkin
Suzie Aijala's table
Marissa van Bokhorst and Christina Rose
Jean doyen de Montaillou and Michael Kovner
Noreen Buckfire, Rebecca Grafstein, Jenny Price, Yaz Hernandez, Suzie Aijala, and Kamie Lightburn
Jennifer Oken
Eileen Ford and Carmen Dell'Orefice
Jeanne Lawrence, Ursula Lowerre, Elizabeth Stribling, Lily O'Boyle, CeCe Black, and Sondra Gilman
Yaz Hernandez and Noreen Buckfire
Iliana Moore and Chuck Broyce
Anna Ponder, Lauren Kenny, Stephanie Sarkis, and Cherie Alcoff
Marie Marlas's table
Tory Burch and Marie Marlas
Cornelia Bregman, Ellen Graham, and Mai Harrison
Jamee Gregory, Karen LeFrak, and Carmel Malkin
West Side Madrigalists serenades Michael Kovner's table
Anna Bailey, Kari Tiedemann, and Loran Graev
Jeanne Lawrence, Christine Smith Gray, Zibby Tozer, and Monica Noel
Susan Gamble, Ted Gamble, Dede Cholnoky, and Scott Wilson
Susan Bender-Scheer and Rex Reed
Farley Bills
Nikki Haskell and Cynthia Maltese
Joan Schnitzer Levy and Jackie Weld Drake
Megan Powers
On Thursday, December 6, the J.McLaughlin store on Lexington Avenue hosted dynamic mother and daughter duo Sharon Bush and Lauren Bush Lauren as J.McLaughlin and Teddy Share partnered to give back to the FEED Foundation’s NYC Relief Fund this holiday season.

“Following the local devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy, this initiative will directly benefit New Yorkers still struggling to find their footing,” said FEED Foundation’s Co Founder and Chairman of the Board Lauren Bush Lauren.
Feed Bears
Attendees included hosts Joan and Jay McLaughlin and their son Christopher McLaughlin, Barbara and Kevin McLaughlin, Steve Siegler, Sharon Bush, Lauren Bush Lauren and participating designer Misha Nonoo.

The store was adorned with designer-dressed FEED bears from Diane von Furstenberg, Stacey Bendet for Alice + Olivia, Nonoo, Rebecca Taylor, Sharon Bush in partnership with Susan Rockefeller and her jewelry that benefits Oceana, J.McLaughlin, Lauren Bush Lauren, artist Hunt Slonem and Irving & Fine.
Kevin McLaughlin, Sharon Bush, Jay McLaughlin, Misha Nonoo, and Lauren Bush Lauren
The custom-designed bears, as well as custom “experiences” are being auctioned off at leading charity auction site charitybuzz now through December 19 at For each teddy purchased, 100% of the proceeds will go to the FEED Foundation’s NYC Relief Fund.

Party goers included Lauren’s sister Ashley Bush, Bettina Zilkha and her nephew Nicky Zilkha, interior designer Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson, Milly de Cabrol, Christopher Mason, Mario Buatta, Anki Leeds, Jamie Figg, Margo Langenberg, Felicia Taylor, James Signorelli, Janna Bullock and her daughter Zoe Bullock Remmel, Jean Shafiroff, Martha Webster and R. Couri Hay.
Allison Mazzola, Milly de Cabrol, and Susan Nagel
Anki Leeds and Jamie Figg
Felicia Taylor
Christopher Madison and Mario Buatta
Janna Bullock and Zoe Bullock Remmel
Jay McLaughlin, Joan McLaughlin, Eliza Madison, and Chris McLaughlin
Ashley Bush, Sharon Bush, and Lauren Bush Lauren
Jean Shafiroff
Kevin McLaughlin and Jay McLaughlin
Nicky Zilkha, Barbara McLaughlin, Margot Langenberg, and Bettina Zilkha
Work Life Matters Magazine held the 10th Annual Work Life Matters Gala honoring Top Companies for LGBT Equality on December 4, 2012 at Club 101 in New York City. Lori Sokol, Ph.D., Founder & Publisher of Work Life Matters Magazine, hosted the event with over 200 VIPs ranging from corporate executives, performing artists, celebrities, philanthropists, authors, models, entrepreneurs, TV news media, and activists. Lori Sokol is one of the nation’s most influential writers and editors covering women’s issues, politics, business, and LGBT issues. Loreen Arbus, Disability Rights Activist/Philanthropist/ Producer, first woman head of programming in a major television network, and Jonathan D. Lovitz, Advocate and Entertainer, were the featured speakers at the event.
Over 200 attended The 10th Annual Work Life Matters Gala honoring top companies for LGBT equality
The Top 12 Companies honored for 2012 included: Campbell Soup Company, Credit Suisse, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLC., Discovery Communications, Eli Lilly & Co., Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, ESPN, Microsoft, NBCUniversal, New York Life, Orbitz Worldwide, Unilever.

All of the honorees are featured in the new annual special awards issue of Work Life Matters Magazine distributed nationwide.

This was the second consecutive year that the magazine specifically honored top companies for implementing and supporting LGBT equality programs and practices throughout their organizations. This also is the second year in a row that Credit Suisse, NBCUniversal and Unilever were honored for their contributions to LGBT equality.
Loreen Arbus, Margot Bingham, Nick Mathews, Lori Sokol, Cheryl Wills, and Javier Gomez
Past honorees included: Alcoa; BASF Corporation; Bright Horizons Family Solutions; KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers; The New York Times.

In addition to Lori Sokol, Loreen Arbus, and Jonathan D. Lovitz. VIPs who attended included: Margot Bingham, Star of “In Between Men”; Nick Mathews, Star of “In Between Men”; Cheryl Wills, Award Winning Anchor NY1 News Television; Tamsen Fadal, Anchor WPIX News/ Best Selling Author/ Producer; Lauren LoGiudice, Star of the film “When Harry Tries to Marry”; Timothy Mandala, star of the Vin Diesel series “The Ropes”; Rob Sedgwick, actor “Damages” “Law & Order”; Annmaria Mazzini, Noted dancer and choreographer; Camilla Barungi of “Project Runway” fame/entrepreneur/activist; Josh Folan, star of the new films “What Would Bear Do?” & “All God’s Creatures”; Javier Gomez, noted photo journalist & activist; Sebastian La Cause, star of new film “Keep the Lights On”.; Jessica Press, star of “Hustling”; Mike Ruiz, of “The A-List: New York” fame & acclaimed photographer/activist; Matt Anctil, Broadway star of “La Cage Aux Folles”; James Grant, President of JGPR; Victoria Milne, Director, Creative Services (Creative Director) at Department of Design & Construction, New York City; Stacey Tisdale, Correspondent PBS “Need To Know” and founder of Winning Play.

Sponsors of the event included Discovery Communications, Credit Suisse, New York Life, and Orbitz Worldwide.
Lori Sokol, Loreen Arbus, and Stacey Tisdale
Margot Bingham and Nick Mathews
Matt Anctil, Camilla Barungi, and Jonathan D. Lovitz
Jonathan D. Lovitz and Zachary Schmahl
Jessica Press
Matt Flynn, Margot Bingham, Nick Mathews, and James Grant
Mike Ruiz, Anthony Ruiz, and Martin Berusch
Sebastian La Cause
Lauren LoGiudice
Tamsen Fadal
Javier Gomez, Cheryl Wills, and Timothy Mandala
Annmaria Mazzini and husband Rob Sedgwick
Nick Mathews
Josh Folan
Matt Anctil
Lori Sokol and son Jason H. Greenberg
ESPN honorees Heath Rosenthal, Christine Willis, and Sara Johnson
Javier Gomez
Ashley Massis and Brennan Keeler
Photographs by (Doubles)