- The Pleasure of Business
Dean Ira Solomon and spouse Susan cordially invited a constituency to the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala at the Audubon Tea Room. The occasion honored 2016 Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneurs of the Year Chris N. Papamichael and Matthew G. Schwartz, both, The Domain Companies; and 2016 Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Caroline E. Roemer, Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools. Cocktails occurred at 6 p.m., allowing TU students an opportunity to network with some of the noted entrepreneurs of the area, and dinner and awards followed an hour later. Dean Solomon was tapped for the introduction and welcome, and TU President Mike Fitts extended more welcoming words.
During the dinner, there were video presentations showcasing the accomplishments of the laureled threesome. Then a short, live pitch event highlighted the 2016 Tulane Business Model Competition, which is now in its 16th year and offers tens of thousands of dollars in startup funds to student ventures. Tulane had the first and third place winners (Sensiform, $25,000, and BioAesthetics, $2,500) and the University of Houston second place (Sensytec, $10,000).
Lori Wood and Christa Schwartz accompanied their husbands, Chris Papamichael and Matthew Schwartz, as did family members Panos and Aris Papamichael (Chris’s parents), Clifford and Kimberly Wood, Rande and Steven Schwartz (Matthew’s mom and dad), Margo Sanders, and Annick and Matt Feigenbaum.
Caroline Roemer was joined by her father, former Gov. Buddy Roemer, mother Scarlett Roemer, former honoree Jay Altman and spouse Adrienne, and Leslie Jacobs.
News about Dean Solomon was that he, the Debra and Rick Rees Professor of Business, has accepted reappointment for a second five-year term (commencing July 1, 2016) as dean of the A.B. Freeman School of Business. Under his recent leadership, the Freeman School has made remarkable strides.
Noted within the gathering of 180 were philanthropist Albert Lepage and guest Darren MacMullen, the Solomons, Stacey and Evie Berger, Clay and Deidre Grubb, Jimmy Maurin, John and Patty Elstrott, Sidney and Joyce Pulitzer, Jay and Sally Lapeyre, Tulane Association of Business Alumni Board Co-Chairman David Kearney and Caroline, and gala organizers Lina Alfieri Stern and Stephanie Kleehammer. Hearty hand-shaking was the order of the evening, as were congratulations to the awardees and winners.
n A Festive Foundation
One of the city’s most beautiful and written-about homes, the Cornstalk Fence House in the Garden District, was the site for the Arthritis Foundation Cocktail Soiree. The welcoming hosts were Hal Williamson, an AFC committee member, and Dr. Dale LeBlanc. “The house was absolutely magnificent,” said AFC committee member Kelly Massicot. “As you entered the front door, it was like walking through a perfectly preserved 19th century Southern home. There was something beautiful to catch your eye from every corner of the room.”
Patti Constantin catered, adding culinary delights, such as tasty fried oysters and shrimp. Slated for the musical menu was pianist Jeffrey Pounds.
When the program began, AFC Chairwoman Dr. Madelaine Feldman and Arthritis Foundation senior executive director, Southeast Region, Jamie Johnson stepped forward. They both provided the background of the organization and then extended thanks and gratitude to the crowd.
Turning an attentive ear were Randy Feldman, Dr. Madelaine’s husband, as well as Dr. Avid and Fanya Gedalia, Dr. Duke and Pam Eversmeyer, AFC member Dagmar and Dr. Alfredo Vichot, Robert and Patti Lapeyre (she provided some delectable cheesecake bites), committee member Cynthia and Stephen Chauvin, and dozens more for whom site and cause blended meaningfully.
n Levity at the Lake
“An Evening on the Lake” produced social swooning thanks to the New Orleans Section of The National Council of Jewish Women who so-titled their annual Spring Gala. La Maison du Lac was the location and guests relished the ambiance of the newly renovated space, now owned by Cesar and Cristina Burgos. The gala was the first party to be held in the brand new venue.
To enhance the site that overlooks the lake, there were accents of crystal and candles, white marble and flowers. Chef Jason Rizzoto of Aroma Catering purveyed, regaling the revelers with beef Wellington, smoked salmon canapes, and praline pecan baked brie. Dinner was a Brazilian-style buffet with even more taste treats, namely filet mignon and seared ahi tuna.
NCJW board members Rollie Rabin and Ina Davis (with Rick) chaired the gallivanting, which had helpful input from committee members Susan Kierr (NCJW president), Barbara Greenberg, Barbara Kaplinsky, Dana Shepard, Kathy Shepard, Loel Samuel and Eileen Wallen.
Adding their party presence were Dr. Margie Kahn and David Graham, the above Joyce and Sidney Pulitzer, Ana and Dr. Juan Gershanik, Sue and Jack Jernigan, Carol and Stanley Marx, Phyllis and Dr. Joel Nitzkin, Sarah and Josh Hess, retired Judge Miriam Waltzer and Bruce, Marlene and Reuben Friedman, and Susan and Bill Hess. On June 1, Bill stepped in as the new board president of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Congratulations and best wishes ensued.
Speaking of music, that was another integral element of Spring Gala. The approximately 100 attendees danced to the live sounds of Eddie Veatch and The Inner Circle, who performed everything from “Blue Room” to “Bayou Blues.”