Speaking freely and living beautifully

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Honoree Nolan Russo Jr. with family Jason Tiede, Brett Tiede, Linda Russo, Nolan Russo Sr., Nolan Russo Jr., Eve Russo, Ashely Russo, Renna Russo, and Joseph Russo at the 13th Annual American Institute for Stuttering Benefit Gala.

Award-winning actress Emily Blunt presided over the 13th Annual American Institute for Stuttering (AIS) Benefit Gala on Thursday, July 11th in New York City.  Emily, an AIS Board member, arrived at the Gala directly from the film set of A Quiet Place 2, the sequel to last year’s box-office hit.  Husband John Krasinski is helming the film. 

The event was filled to capacity with a sold-out crowd representing the financial services, legal, entertainment, sports and business communities.

Eric Dinallo, Chairman of the AIS Board of Directors, presided over the event. He is General Counsel of Guardian Life Insurance Company.  Dinallo is a vocal advocate for AIS and emphasized the importance of being open about your stutter.


Eric Dinallo.
Nolan Russo, Jr.
Sander Flaum.

Dinallo also complimented Emily Blunt in his remarks to the audience: “Emily has a vision.  In ten years she has become the foremost public advocate for the stuttering community — and I promise that one day soon she will be testifying before Congress about stuttering.”

Co-Chairs of the event were Arthur M. Blank, Co-Founder of The Home Depot and Owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, renowned CEO giant Jack Welch and Tony Hooper of Amgen Inc.


Marc Winski and Dylan Levin.
Front: Ben Schussheim, Carl Herder, Taylor Dougherty, and Lambros Kledaras.
Back: Kristel Kubart, Genna Hall, Chaya Goldstein, ad Mark O’Malia.

Nolan Russo was honored with the Freeing Voices Changing Lives Award.  He is the co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Capital Printing Corporation and former Chair of the AIS Board of Directors.  He has managed stuttering throughout his life and has achieved extraordinary success in his chosen career path.

The Gala also featured Fitness Professional Don Saladino in a “fireside chat” with Emily Blunt and Arthur Blank.  Saladino is the owner of Drive 495 in NYC and is among the nation’s most renowned sports authorities and in-demand trainers.  The three participants engaged in a conversation about stuttering and how they had managed it throughout their lives.


Don Saladino and Arthur Blank in “Fireside Chat” moderated by Emily Blunt.

AIS is a pioneer in the treatment of those who stutter and is committed to providing unique speech treatment to its members so they can speak freely and live fearlessly. The Freeing Voices Changing Lives Award is presented to individuals who have effectively managed stuttering and have had remarkable careers.


AIS Board Members Nolan Russo, Jr., Eric Dinallo, John Stossel, Susan Jensen, Saunder Flaum, and Will Blodgett.
Arthur Blank, Angie Blank, Emily Blunt, and Don Saladino.
Arthur Blank and Laurie Tisch with Angie Blank, Will Blodgett, and Carolyn Tisch Blodgett.
Emily Blunt with AIS speakers Taylor Dougherty, Ben Schussheim, Lambros Kledaras, Dylan Levin, and Marc Winski.
Lance Krieger and Gavin Krieger.
Priscilla Almodovar, Emily Blunt, and Eric Dinallo.
Norma Hooper, Emily Blunt, and Tony Hooper.
Jared Levin, Dylan Levin, Emily Blunt, and Terry Levin.
AIS Board Members Susan Jensen and Emily Blunt.

On July 13, 2019, guests came together at the oceanfront home named “Nid de Papillon” to celebrate the opening of the East Hampton Historical Society’s exhibition, “Thomas Moran Discovers the American West,” at the Thomas & Mary Nimmo Moran Studio on Main Street.

The fundraiser was a great success, as guests enjoyed the beautiful Hamptons weather, a soft ocean breeze, and jovial conversation. The exhibition will run through November 9, 2019.


Amber Ward and Phil Weber.
Andrew and Kate Davis, with Kitty and Charlie Berry.
Dianne Benson, Michael Garstin, and Dale Ellen Leff.
Jeff Gates, Mike Moran, Ali McPhee, and Daniel Bakke.
L. to r.: Robin and Norberto Azqueta; Jane DeFlorio and Keary Hanan.
Jennifer Borg, Ashley Carlson, Angel Schade, and Curt Schade.
Joseph Aversano and James Potter.
Margaret Whelan and Joe Crotty.
Marianne Howard and Barbara Borsack.
Michael Clifford, Katie Graham, Arthur Graham, and Lynn Stefanelli.
Michael Clifford, Richard Barons, Maria Vann, James Johnson, and Gretchen Johnson.

To celebrate the designers of the 19th annual Hampton Designer Showhouse, on the eve of the opening night, Kohler and Traditional Home magazine co-hosted a cocktail party at the Southampton Arts Center. Set within an installation of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s extraordinary images, guests were able to view the exhibit while beating the heat with spritzes made from the hip California aperitiva Jardesca and Mionetto prosecco, along with glasses of Whispering Angel’s popular rosé.


Cocktails in the gallery of the Southampton Arts Center.
Joel Sartore’s majestic elephant photograph.

There: Jim Lewis, Kohler’s VP, Global Marketing and Traditional Home’s editor-in-chief, Jill Waage, who both welcomed honorary design chairs Alexa Hampton and Jamie Drake, and the 20 plus designers who have lent their talents to this year’s presentation. Open through Labor Day weekend, proceeds from the Hampton Designer Showhouse benefit Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. www.hamptondesignershowhouse.com


Betsy Froelich, David Gorelick, Jill Waage, and Greg D’Elia.
L. to r.: Rich Wilkie and Michael Miille; Jill Waage, Linda Lewis, Jim Lewis, and Laurence Carr.
Jill Waage, Stephen Bohlinger, Sarah Smith, Nicole Hendrick, and Krissa Rossbund.
L. to r.: Greg McKenzie, Keith Baltimore, and Joseph Ciuffo; Cricket, Richard, and India Burns.
Judy Hadlock, Jack Hadlock, and Betsy Froelich.
L. to r.: Bob Carey and Jim Dove; Jill Waage, Beth Bouck, and Steven Stolman.
Sara Bengur, John Robshaw, Jill Waage, and Joseph Aldrich.
L. to r.: Bob Dowling and Mark Dumoulin; Keith Baltimore and Tony Manning.
David and Libby Horn, Brittany and Matthew Bromley, Starrett Hoyt, and John Schwartz.

Photographs by Richard Lewin ( East Hampton Historical Society); Julie Froelich (Hampton Designer Showhouse).

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