The Louisiana International Trade Gala presented by the World Trade Center of New Orleans amassed a comely crowd of 250 to the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center at the National WWII Museum to honor James J. Coleman Jr., CBE, honorary consul of Great Britain, as the recipient of the Eugene J. Schreiber Award. Established in 2013 by the World Trade Center, the award honors the memory and legacy of the former WTC executive director, Gene Schreiber, who led the organization for more than 30 years. The award is “reserved for individuals with a demonstrated record of promoting international business and diplomacy at the highest levels of private or public service.” A worthy recipient was found in Mr. Coleman, Jimmy as he is known to family and close friends.
On hand to present the award to his brother was Thomas “Tommy” Coleman, the honorary consul general of Bangladesh. Joining him was his wife, Dathel.
Guests mingled both outside the pavilion and inside during the hour-long reception, shortly before the formalities, and enjoyed the pleasant evening, camaraderie and the attractive ambiance. The flowers and centerpieces were done by Fancy Faces Inc. and, when it was time to sup, The American Sector restaurant served prandial pleasures with panache. A delicious roasted pear salad, short ribs with potato puree and seasonal vegetables, and French Opera cake and Bourbon pecan tart composed the menu.
Honorary Ukranian consul Edward T. “Eddy” Hayes, a lawyer and WTC board chairman, headlined the formalities as master of ceremonies. Spouse Christina accompanied him. Further features of the program were the presentation of colors by Sector New Orleans Color Guard, USCG; the national anthem; and the invocation by Commander Darren Stennett, USCG. Along with WTC CEO Dominik Knoll and Eddy Hayes, the board consists of Vice Chairman Robert G. “Robbie” Evans Jr. and directors Jerry Hingle, Thomas P. Spiers, Michael Olivier, Stephen C. Hanemann, Marinus Quist, Gary P. Lagrange, Lizette Terrall, David Fennelly, Robbert W. Vorhoff, Charles Smith Jr., Shelby Westfeldt Mills, Sakari Morrison, Scott Howard, Paul Aucoin, Jason French, Tom Cole, Lawrence Boudreaux III, David Kearney and Corrado Giacona II. Most were in attendance. Thanks tapped Thomas Spiers and Shelby Mills for chairing the gala, as well as committee members the above Eddy Hayes, Dominik Knoll, David Kearney, and Sakari Morrison.
During the reception, Corrado complimented Jimmy Coleman on his honor and recalled the role his late father, James J. Coleman, played in the World Trade Center.
Milling, too, were Patricia “Pat” Denechaud, honorary consul of Canada; Conny Willems, honorary consul of the Netherlands, and husband Casey; honorary consul of Lithuania Jacquelyn Brechtel “Jackie” Clarkson; Jacques Roy, mayor of the City of Alexandria; Bobby and Peggy Brannon; John and Kathleen Kazour; and Caroline Kearney, Janet Howard and Lacey Spiers, several of the spouses of the above board directors.
All the while, gala-goers flocked to the silent auction, where people vied for coveted items via online, by texting, or on paper. Some thrilling trips, such as to Chicago, San Francisco and Sonoma, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Napa Valley, and New York garnered top auction activity, while sports attractions and accessories, art work, French lessons at Alliance Française, and staycations lined up excited interest, as did the raffle basket, which was valued at $650. Four tickets for $30 created lots of takers.
Music gave the good times noteworthy momentum. Stepping forward as entertainers were Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra.
“It’s a party! It’s a raffle!” Such was the come-on for the Grand Golden Gamble and the chance to “get gambling” with Chairwomen Hillary Gibbs Alread (joined by Jonathan) and Katie Weidner. The top sponsors were Marian and Larry Gibbs (accompanied by a slew of family members) and Magnolia Fleet — the Grand Golden Gridiron category; and, in succeeding categories, Blue Bird Construction, Gillian Gibbs, Kathy and David Weidner, Jefferson Door, Hancock Brokerage, LLC, and Oak Family Dental.
The fun unfolded from 4-7 p.m. on a recent Saturday at Longue Vue House and Gardens with “hip casual” as the attire and “21 and up” as the age for GG-goers. Beckoning were “bountiful booze, tasty eats, chilly treats, and a chance to win the Draw-Down Raffle.” Randy Bonneval emceed. Three grand prizes, totaling $4,000 in gold coins (provided by James H. Cohen and Sons), found winners in Tim Napier, Gillian B. Gibbs, and Patrick James Torres.
Features were numerous and included the “Streetcar Named Desire” libation provided by Cocktail & Sons; door prizes awarded every 15 minutes; a silent auction and a coin draw; various food partners, including Tivoli & Lee, whose pickled shrimp were a hit; and the party areas, LV’s East Lawn and the Pan Garden.
Among the many making “Golden” shine were LV board President Lynne Stern, Mary Ellen Miller and Clifford, Robin Burck, Devon and Toni Becnel, Emily Strong, Liz VanDervort and Colin, Kelsey Napier with Brett, Pat and Dianna McCurnin, Kaitlyn Richard and parents Kathy and Charles Richard, and Garet Patterson. They, and scores more, reveled in the gambol with Lady Luck.
An Outing for Oaks
“Celebrate Sukkot at NCJW Opening Sunday Brunch” bannered the event given by the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater New Orleans Section, at the home of Susan and Bill Hess. (He is the grandson of Edith and Edgar Stern, whose home was Longue Vue.) Sub-titling the brunch was “Resilience under the Oaks: The Past, Present and Future of City Park” and on hand to talk was the park’s CEO, Bob Becker. The plan for the socializing was to revel in Sukkot, the Jewish holiday of Feast of Booths and a harvest festival of thanksgiving, and its connection to the outdoors. “This is the time when we take meals in temporary dwellings open to the sky and when we celebrate how our life is lived under the shelter of the divine,” said event Chairwoman Brenda Brasher.
Mastheaders were NCJW GNO President Susan Kierr; City Park board President Susan Hess and Bill, the hosts; and Bob Becker, who just received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bureau of Governmental Research. They mingled with Jenny Nathan, Michelle Erenberg, Cole Trosclair Bernstein, Julie Schwam Harris, Madalyn Schenk, Dana Shepard, Robin Goldblum, Barbara Greenberg, Kathy Shepard and Vivian Cahn.
Hostess Susan Hess did the arrangements that grouped flowers, fruits and vegetables in harvest colors and were placed in vases by YaYa. Melanie Blitz catered, pleasing guests with quiches, pastries, salads, and lemonade and iced coffee. And harvest-themed tablecloths topped the tables on the Hess patio overlooking their beautiful and expansive Garden Lane Grounds.
Around and About
The October issue of Traditional Home magazine features a day in the Big Easy with designer Thomas Jayne. Paul Costello was the photographer. Titled, “Fresh Tales of New Orleans,” it focuses on the diurnal activity of Jayne, a part-time Orleanian with husband Rick Ellis. They have had an apartment in the French Quarter for 20 years.
Among those mentioned are Peter Patout, Julia Reed, Nadine Blake, Andrew LaMar Hopkins, M.S. Rau, Lucullus (founded by Patrick Dunne and managed by Kerry Moody), Meyer the Hatter, The Williams residence of The Historic New Orleans Collection, Café Amelie, Ann Koerner (and her shop), Neal Auction Company, and Neil Peyroux (Peyroux’s Custom Curtains). He concluded that particular day with a natal-day fête for Nadine Blake, who was joined by husband Simon.