At the Audubon Tea Room, Frank B. Stewart Jr. was tapped for his leadership and lifetime achievement at the 2014 Doc Laborde Ethical Entrepreneur Award Dinner of the Loyola University of New Orleans Center for Spiritual Capital, College of Business; later that same evening, and at the home of Ken and Bette Kussman, the New Orleans Friends of Music held a reception after the 59th season’s final program performed by the New York Woodwind Quintet; and, still later, and on another date, The Historic New Orleans Collection opened its Chartres Street doors (those of the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art at the Williams Research Center) for “Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere.” The new exhibition, which will run through Dec. 7, 2014, and so-titled book featured the work of Richard Sexton.
A round of cocktails on the patio of the Audubon Tea Room was the first order of the Doc Laborde Ethical Entrepreneur Award Dinner event. Milling about and joining honoree Frank Stewart Jr. were his family members, including spouse Paulette, son Trey, daughter and son-in-law Betty and Jeff Poole, and sister and brother-in-law Linda and Gene Newton. Nearby was John “Jack” Laborde, the most recent Rex and the son of nonagenarian Alden J. “Doc” Laborde for whom the dinner is named.
At the served dinner, Nicholas C. Capaldi, Legendre-Soule Chair in Business Ethics and professor of business ethics, began the program’s remarks. They were followed by those of dinner Co-Chairmen Gordon H. “Nick” Mueller and PK Scheerle, respective president and CEO of the National World War II Museum and CEO/board chairwoman of Gifted Nurses.
Said Nick Mueller, “Frank is a cornerstone, who built a family business into a powerhouse.” (The company was Stewart Enterprises, one of the largest providers of funeral and cemetery services in the United States, and Stewart served twice as board chairman. The company was recently acquired by Service Corporation Inc.)
To present the award, Loyola President the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., and Kevin H. Pollard of the Center for Spiritual Capital advisory committee stepped forward. An ovation was requested as well for the center’s steering committee, Alan Arnold (who described Stewart as a role model for current and future individuals in the business world), Ken Bickford, and John Levert (who was joined by Anne).
The accepting comments from the honoree started with his many thanks for all those in attendance; some of his personal and business philosophy; and his esteem for Doc Laborde, whom he considered a mentor, and his late wife, Margaret. (Remarking on the family’s 2014 Carnival honor, Frank said, “They gave birth to a king, Jack.”) Frank-ly speaking that he “can get verbose,” Stewart expressed his humility as the Laborde recipient, adding, “I accept this award in the spirit of Doc Laborde and as a tribute to Paulette, my wife of 53 years.”
Among the many who congratulated Frank and his family during the course of the evening were St. Denis “Sandy” and Margie Villere, Joe and Sue Ellen Canizaro, Carey Hammett, Donie and Frank Schmidt, Wendy and Joe Dalovisio, Phyllis Taylor, Moon and Verna Landrieu, Bob Brown, the Rev. Joseph Doyle, SSJ, Ronnie and Sandra Karcher, Bill and Sue Finegan, Robert E. Young, Gasper Schiro, Jennifer and Stephen Campbell, and hundreds more. Encomiums flowed.
“It was a beautiful spring evening with lovely weather, themed cocktails and lively conversation” commented one of the guests at the opening reception and book release party for “Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere.”
The THNOC-sponsored exhibition and the book both bear the above title and both feature the work of New Orleans-based photographer Richard Sexton, who signed books along with book contributors John H. Lawrence and Jay D. Edwards and, at 7 p.m., regaled the audience with his travel experiences.
Among the reception attendees were Antonio and Ana Maria Escobar, who traveled from Colombia and were accompanied by sons Esteban and Daniel, and daughter and son-in-law Mariana and Santiago Arango. Additional headliners were THNOC executive director Priscilla Lawrence and the above John (the Collection’s director of museum programs and photography), Jessica Dorman, Molly Reid, Alison Cody, Jack Pruitt, Sandra Russell Clark and Evert Witte, Bunny Matthews and Debbie, Randy Fertel, Jessica Harris and Kerry Moody, Poppy Tooker, Joshua Mann Pailet, Michel Varisco, Seth Boonchai, Angele Parlange, Tim L. Fields, Alexandra Stafford and Raymond Rathle, Claire and Harry Stahel, and about 280 more.
White sangria, mojitos, a buffet reflecting Creole and Caribbean fare (such as goat cheese torta with sun-dried tomato, pesto and pine nuts) and desserts added their own tasty sphere. Lots of return trips were made for the double chocolate decadent cookies.
Applause was hearty and generous at the closure of the season presented by the New Orleans Friends of Music and Tulane University and held on-campus in Dixon Hall. One of the premier ensembles of its kind, the New York Woodwind Quintet — composed of Carol Wincenc, Stephen Taylor, Marc Goldberg, William Purvis and Charles Neidich and in residence at the Juilliard School of Music — regaled its local audience with works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Irving Fine, Pavel Haas, Elliott Carter and Jean Francaix.
A select FoM group and the quintet then hied to the Broadmoor home of board member Ken and Bette Kussmann, where a late-evening collation of jambalaya, green salad and an array of sweets added “menu” to music.
Noted were FoM board President Margaret Shields, Vice President Jonathan McCall, and board members Harvey Green (who chairs programming) with Carole, Martha Beveridge, Errol Barron, Richard Harrison with Anna, and Ken Kussmann with Bette. And, Harriet Nelson, Keith Jordan, Patti Adams of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), Colette and Joseph “Joe” Friend, Robert Gross, Fred and Ivy Kushner (who’ll be moving to new digs), retired LPO member Jack Gardner with Diane, Joe Toups, and University of New Orleans Music Department Chairman Charles Taylor.
Some of their conversation concerned the activity of FoM in collaboration with Tulane, which presents seven chamber music concerts each year by renowned performers, along with school visits, master classes and a free Family Concert. Concerts in private homes support FoM’s educational and outreach programs. And garner more Friends.