Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Safari Party

Last night Ken and I went to a Safari Party at Rockwood Farms in the shadow of Mount Si hosted by long-time friends, Sharon & Jay BallantineSharon and Jay are big game hunters and were celebrating the recent return of Sharon’s beautiful lioness from the taxidermist.  See top photos of Sharon and her lioness along with Steve Kutz and along with me.  The guests got into the spirit of the party, many of the women wearing animal prints and the men safari shirts.
We saw several mutual friends at the party including Pam & Mike Towers, Heather & Michael Sandoval, Robin Gainey, Deborah Juarez, Jim Rose, Steve Kutz, Courtney Womack, Ernie Pino and others.  Mike Towers, Jim Rose and Ken enjoyed talking wine and travel (see bottom photo).  We all enjoyed fantastic stories about the Towers’ experiences when they went to base camp at Mount Everest and surrounding adventures.  The hotel accommodations sounded a little too rustic for my taste however! 
We were so pleased to see all three Streissguth children home that evening and helping serve the guests; Dustin who is now a Sophomore in High School, Raven who is a Sophomore in college and Brittany who is in her final few months as a Senior in college.  They are all so impressive and I’m sure make their family very proud.

The “New Shoes” Dinner

At long last after multiple rescheduling, Ken and I attended the First Annual New Shoes Dinner on Friday evening at Rover’s.  We were joined by ZINO Society members and co-celebrants Steve Kutz, Courtney Womack, Dana Reid and Larry Hitchon and an incredible menu was prepared by talented ZINO Society sponsor Chef in the Hat, Thierry Rautureau.  See top photo with all the participants.
The menu included Thierry’s amazing organic scrambled egg with lime crème fraiche and caviar, seared foie gras atop a sautéed apple slice, lamb rillette in a miniscule cucumber wrap, a seared scallop, grapefruit sorbet with rosemary granite, roasted venison, poached King salmon, an oyster atop marinated seaweed salad, all with special sauces and garnishes that were as artistically beautiful as they were delicious!  The dessert was a medley of five tiny portions of different sweets including panna cotta, a molasses gingerbread cake, a rich chocolate bite, and two others that I cannot remember now after also consuming all the associated wine tastings.
Of course each of us wore the requisite new shoes (see bottom photo) which included shoes by Hermes, Gucci, Valentino, Prada, Giuseppe Zannoti and an unknown brand of athletic shoes made in Viet Nam.  Obviously, the Hatchman did not understand the basics of fashion when it came to selecting his shoes for the “New Shoes” dinner.  Next time, he is lobbying for an “Old Shoes” dinner where no shopping is required and we all wear our oldest and most comfortable pair.

Hopelink Part of the Solution Donor Reception

On Thursday evening this week, we hosted a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception for Hopelink donors at our home.  Since 1971, Hopelink has served homeless and low income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities.  Hopelink‘s mission is to promote self-sufficiency for all members of our community; to help people make lasting change.
Hopelink CEO, Marilyn Mason-Plunkett (top photo), shared some of the heartwarming stories about clients that these donors have helped.  Of course, given the current economy, the requests for assistance far outstrip the ability of the agency to deliver so every dollar is truly needed.  This is an organization that does so much good work and Ken and I are very proud to be associated with HopelinkKen and I were pleased to receive “permanent volunteer” nametags from Hopelink Chairman of the Board, Matt Wesley for our roles as Co-Chairs of the annual Part of the Solution Campaign, and a lovely gourmet gift basket.
Steve Gordon, caterer extraordinaire, and his team prepared beautiful and delicious one bite hors d’oeuvres (bottom photo) that were eagerly consumed by the guests in attendance.  As guests departed, they were given Hopelink mugs and Seattle Chocolates as a thank you for their support.
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4 Entrepreneurs Featured at Recent Roundtable Meeting

This past week on Tuesday and Wednesday, ZINO Society hosted our Roundtable investment meetings at the Seattle and Bellevue Harbor Clubs respectively.  The featured dealflow presentations included iParse, Answers for Elders, Bluzinger and Smart Works.  See photo of the entrepreneurs each getting ready to answer the “burning question” that came as a result of member discussion following their presentations.  From left to right, pictured are Suzanne Perkins and Michael Carossino of Answers for Elders, Bob McCausland and Chris Beer of Bluzinger, Dan Diesso of Smart Works, and Rex Stevens of iParse.  Each company is looking for accredited investors to invest in their businesses to help them achieve their growth plans.

 iParse makes it fast, easy, and inexpensive for medium and small banks to provide mobile banking services to compete with the very large banks.

Answers for Elders is a boomers’ online community social site and portal to provide support, answers and expert resources in helping aging parents.

Bluzinger is building the first ever national location-based mobile advertising network, delivering paperless coupons to end customers.

Smart Works is bringing the “Smart Grid” inside facilities with network friendly circuit and device energy meters that improve energy intelligence.

Our “membership minute” was provided by Roundtable member, Skip Walter (top photo), and he shared tongue-in-cheek advice of 125 ways to lose money in the wine business.  Our keynote speaker was John Bookwalter, Chairman of the Washington Wine Commission and owner and Winemaker for Bookwalter WineryJohn did double duty on Tuesday evening, also pouring his wines as our featured vintner.  See photo above of John pouring wine for guest, Sandy Walsh.  He joked that we were probably expecting him to vacuum the room after the event in addition to his other two roles.  Also featured was Charles Finkel of The Pike Brewing Company pouring his excellent craft beers.

Not a tutu in sight.

Thursday evening, Ken and I attended opening night of Pacific Northwest Ballet’s repertory program, 3 by Dove.  At the pre-performance donors’ dinner, in addition to sitting with friends, Dan & Michelle Heidt, Sharon Richardson, and others, we had the opportunity to sit at the same table with Parrish Maynard, who was in town to stage Serious Pleasures, PNB’s fourth Ulysses Dove choreographic acquisition.  As PNB Artistic Director, Peter Boal shared in his Director’s Notebook, “Parrish Maynard was the central figure in the original premiere of the work created for American Ballet Theatre in 1992 turning in career-defining performances.  The work was controversial for addressing the shadowy underworld of sexuality at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic.  Audiences loved it.  The work was nearly lost, with the exception of a few grainy videos and Parrish’s keen memory.  He has brought the work back from extinction for this revival.”

I had not seen the Company in any of their rehearsals, so at dinner Parrish described the set of nine doors that were opened and closed rapidly as dancers entered and exited the stage.  The Lighting Designer, Rico Chiarelli, and his team had their hands full in managing the quick lighting changes in exact sequence.  We were astounded when Parrish shared that there were 53 lighting changes in just the first six minutes of the work!

The entire production and the PNB dancers were incredible!  Principal dancer, Lucien Postlewaite, had the role of the “narrator”.  In this case, the “narrator” doesn’t talk, but tells the story through dance and according to the program is the story of “the merciless battle between spirit and flesh.”  In addition, opening and slamming doors and dancing visually compelling vignettes with names such as “Demons of Light” and “Angels of Darkness” were Lindsi Dec, Karel Cruz, Sara Ricard Orzo, Seth Orzo, Ariana Lallone, Jordan Pacitti, Leslie Rausch and James Moore.

I have to pass along kudos and big thanks to friends and fellow ballet aficionados, Aya Hamilton, Carl & Renee Behnke, and Bob & Joan Cremin for their generous underwriting of this PNB premiere.  What a privilege to have a world-class ballet company of this quality in our community!   

Cathi and Marcelo win the Peoples’ Choice Award!

Oh! What a night! Last Saturday evening after months of preparation, I had the opportunity to participate in the new Plymouth Housing Group fundraiser, Seattle Dances! competition featuring local “celebrity” dancers paired with professional dancers. Though I had said “NO” five times before I finally said “YES”, I have to admit that it was so… Continue Reading

LOL! at STIR Martini & Raw Bar

Last week, ZINO Society members and guests enjoyed martinis and wine courtesy of STIR Martini & Raw Bar at our March LOL (Libations on Location)!  STIR Martini & Raw Bar is a fun, lively bar just off the lobby of the Bellevue Grand Hyatt which is a hot place for an after-work cocktail and snack. … Continue Reading

We are winners at Seattle Dances Competition!

Last night was an amazing fundraising event at the Fremont Studios to benefit Plymouth Housing Group!  The event was “Seattle Dances” and was a sell-out with 450 people in attendance.  The venue looked spectacular with giant screens, bright pink and black table clothes and napkins and mirror balls everywhere!  The guests came early to participate… Continue Reading

It is almost here – Seattle Dances!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see the rest of the competitors who will be dancing in the Seattle Dances dance competition on Saturday evening. I was impressed with what each of the non-professional dancers has accomplished in getting ready for this big first-year fundraiser to benefit Plymouth Housing Group. Beautiful blonde Michelle Foreman Barnet,… Continue Reading

Treehouse Luncheon with Michael Oher

Yesterday, as a member of the “Advisors to the Treehouse Board,” I had the pleasure of attending the annual Treehouse Champions for Foster Kids luncheon at the Sheraton Seattle. It was a huge success and here are the results in the words of Dawn Rains, the Treehouse Director of Development and Marketing, “With about 1,200… Continue Reading