Monthly Archives: June 2011

Rain! Rain! Go Away!

After the Rain: Dex Barnes, Ralph Bruksos, Cathi, Mike Kunath

It was pouring rain when I awakened yesterday regretting that I had committed to friend, Mike Kunath, that I would be the fourth golfer and play in the Washington State Dental Association 2011 PNDC Golf Classic with him and his friend, WSDA past president, Dex Barnes, and weather guru, Steve Poole benefiting the Washington Oral Health Foundation.  After braving the downpour and driving to Harbour Pointe Golf Club in Mukilteo at 7:15 am, Steve Poole had cancelled (smart thinking considering the weather and the razzing remarks he would have received!) and was replaced by Ralph Bruksos.

Dex unloaded my golf clubs in the driving rain and I was thankful that I had remembered to bring a big golf umbrella at the last moment from home.  However, I could see that my cute matching blue visor was not going to work so bought a waterproof rain hat in the pro shop moments before the shotgun start.  Of course, the golf cart had standing water on the seats and our towels were sopping wet in a matter of moments as we headed out to what seemed to be the furthest possible starting point, hole #12.  With the rain furiously coming in sideways, within a couple of holes we were all thoroughly drenched.

Braving the Rain:  Dex Barnes, Mike Kunath, Ralph Bruksos

I can’t remember a golf game when my hands and feet were as cold as they were yesterday.  Faint memories of skiing in Banff as a teenager come to mind, but that is another story.  Ralph tried to buy hand warmers for our team, but they had all been put in storage for the “summer”.  The funniest golf incidents involved both Mike and Dex swinging at the ball with their cold, numb hands, and sending their golf clubs flying many yards, down the fairway for Mike and up into a tree for Dex.  

The tournament format was a 4 person best ball scramble, so after a few holes, I figured out that as long as I drove at each hole (yes, they did count 3 of my drives as the best of the foursome!), I could take cover in the golf cart and skip some of the interim hits on the longer holes, since I couldn’t possibly hit my ball as far as any of my three male teammates.  However, I did try to make up for it on the putting green by sinking a few of the putts for the team.  Our final gross score was 3 over par.  We didn’t win.

The inclement weather didn’t seem to faze the tournament organizers and it appeared that the tournament had great turnout with two foursomes starting on almost every hole.  Overseeing all the details with her warm smile was WOHF Executive Director, Sandra Hardymon, along with her staff team, Melissa Holt and Ruth Abate and numerous volunteers.  One of the initiatives of WOHF is the Boys & Girls Clubs Oral Health Initiative.  The goal is to reduce the incidence of dental disease in low-income families by empowering children to assume more personal responsibility for their own oral health, helping families understand the impact dental disease has on the entire body, and teaching them how dental disease can be prevented.

This golf tournament benefited the WOHF Treatment and Oral Health Education Operatory at the Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club and Teen Center in Seattle. The Operatory can provide examinations, treatment, and oral health education for 2,500 youth each year.  The mission of the Operatory is to provide educational programs for members and their families; in addition to free dental exams, treatment, and referrals.

Following the tournament, everyone convened in the clubhouse for lunch and a brief auction.  Once I wrung out my sopping wet golf socks and changed into dry shoes, it was heaven to enter the warm clubhouse!  But regardless of the cold and rain, we all felt warm inside because it was all for a good cause!

Seen at “Seen/Unseen” Scene

Robin DuBrin, Douglas Howe, Ron & Ann Morford
Last evening, there was a great ZINO Society social networking event hosted by ZINO Society member and 2009 PONCHO Artist of the Year, Judith Kindler.  The event was held in her studio for a preview of her work titled “Seen/Unseen” before it ships for a major show in Los Angeles later this month.
Kindler’s studios are a treat for the senses! Everyone enjoyed seeing her new works and hearing the background psychology on what Judith is trying to tell the viewer with this body of her work.  There was much to see including works that are in progress and numerous studios devoted to the individual medias in which she works. It was a real behind the scenes unique libation, food and art experience.
Judith Kindler and husband, Kyle Johnson (also a ZINO Society member) are partners in William Ryan Distributors whose primary product line is the premium Aha Toro tequila line, so there was a tequila tasting comparing several premium levels of tequila with one another led by their business partner and tequila guru, Sang ChaeSang who attended with his wife, Connie, admitted that he decided to go “into” the tequila business when people told him that it was impossible for a Korean-American to be successful in selling tequila.  He decided to prove them wrong and was proud to announce to us last evening that in their third year of operation, Aha Toro has become a profitable business.
Michael Roupp, Ken, Dave Syferd, Cathi, Trudi Syferd

Nathan Godestad, John Christensen, Cathi
For non-tequila drinkers, wine was also served by ZINO Society Wine Professional Member, Scott Fivash of Fivash Cellars. Of course, a gourmet taco bar and traditional Mexican appetizers was the featured food for this casual evening.  A big hit was the small grilled sweet pepper poppers.
A few of the 60 ZINO Society members and guests enjoying the evening included Carol Wright, JJ McKay, Michael Roupp, Robin duBrin & Douglas Howe, John Midby, Chloe & Lance Mueller, Adam Hartzell and Michael Harman of JP Morgan Chase, past and present PNB principal ballet dancers, Stanko Milov, Olivier Wevers and Lucien Postlewaite, Ann & Ron Morford, Bob NowlinHelena Bierly, Trudi & Dave Syferd, Randy Squires, Vladlina & Eric Fulton, Andrea Mann, John Christensen & Nathan Goderstad, and Kathy & Mike McQuaid.

Michael Harman, Judith Kindler, Adam Hartzell

Thank you Judith & Kyle!  What a fun and intellectually stimulating evening!

Sang Chae, Kyle Johnson

Passport to Global Health Celebration

Dean Allen, SBRI Board of Trustees

Last night, Ken and I were guests of Dick & Betty Hedreen at the Seattle BioMed Seventh Annual Passport to Global Health Celebration.  Their daughter, Jane Hedreen, who is on the Seattle BioMed Board of Trustees was the chairman of the event.  Also seated with us were Mimi & Bill Gates Sr., Lisa & Charles Simonyi, Susan Hutchison plus one of the talented Seattle BioMed PhD scientists.

Founded in 1976 by President and Founder, Ken Stuart, Ph.D., Seattle Biomedical Research Institute is devoted solely to global infectious disease research and works to tackle the world’s deadliest diseases by developing new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.  Board member, Dean Allen, shared some of the highlights of 35 years of discovery and introduced a video including snippets throughout the years.

Tachi Yamada receives Advancing Global Health Award

The “Advancing Global Health Award” was presented to Tachi Yamada, M.D., president of the Global Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  He talked about how important the Gates Foundation and he have found encouragement of innovation to be in helping address pressing global health problems.  He is credited with encouraging more high-risk, high-reward projects with long-term benefits and has more than tripled the Gates Foundation’s global health grant portfolio.

I was especially taken with one thing he said. He talked about the importance of valuing not only “evolutionary innovation” but placing the big bets on “revolutionary innovation”; meaning those ideas that are a little “crazy” and have not gone through a peer review, that would likely automatically diminish them and find reasons why they won’t work. The Gates Foundation has been giving out $100k grants for those “revolutionary innovation” ideas in global health that can be followed by another $1 million grant to help execute the innovation.

With the collaboration of SBRI, the Gates Foundation, and other funding partners, what exciting breakthroughs in global health and reduction of infectious diseases can we hope to see in the next few years!?


Magical PNB Season Encore Performance

Ariana Lallone in Lambarena

Tonight Kleenex was a must as I attended the Pacific Northwest Ballet Season Encore Performance honoring the PNB careers of Ariana Lallone, Jeffrey Stanton, Stanko Milov, Olivier Wevers, Chalnessa Eames, Stacy Lowenberg, Josh Spell and Barry Kerolis.

It was a spectacular evening of dance showcasing the multi-faceted talents of these dancers.  Stacy Lowenberg danced in Agon and her own choreographic piece, Rushed Goodbye. She and the stage were showered with flowers and after numerous curtain calls, the show had to be delayed while all the flowers were swept up.

Jeffrey Stanton danced in Petite Mort, Agon, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, Who Cares and brought down the house in his Fred Astaire-like dancing in Silver Lining.  His dance partners past and present brought flowers for him and joined him during the thunderous applause onstage including gorgeous Patricia Barker in a bright red cocktail dress, whom I still miss seeing onstage now several years after her retirement.  He was also honored onstage by PNB Artistic Director, Peter Boal, and PNB Founding Artistic Directors, Kent Stowell and Francia Russell.

Neither Stanko Milov or Olivier Wevers danced.  Stanko has been recovering from an injury for almost the past two years so we had to make do with our memories of him along with a few photos and snippets of video featuring Stanko dancing with Ariana.  Olivier presented Monster, his choreographic piece which premiered in his new dance company, Whim W’Him earlier this year and the audience responded enthusiastically.  He was joined on stage and presented with massive bouquets of flowers by Peter Boal, Francia Russell, Kent Stowell, Kaori Nakamura and Lucien Postlewaite.

Biggest focus of the evening was for Ariana Lallone, who danced in Petite Mort, Rubies, Carmen, and Lambarena.  A film showed snippets of her dancing in dozens of ballets during her PNB career with Stanko Milov, Olivier Wevers, Jeffrey Stanton, Karel Cruz, Bathurel Bold, Christophe Maraval, among many others.  Before she took the stage for the final time to dance Lambarena, choreographer Val Caniparoli, talked about how much Ariana has meant to him as she has danced the roles he has created, with some created especially for her. She danced joyfully and brilliantly and at the conclusion of Lambarena, was rewarded with tumultuous applause and a standing ovation.  It took two strong men to bring a giant basket of flowers to center stage for her and then artistic directors, dancers, past dance partners, staff members, and friends joined her onstage each bringing massive floral bouquets in recognition of her amazing career.

As Founding Co-Artistic Director, Francia Russell, said it so well in the beautiful keepsake program, “It is both wonderful and painful to be celebrating the eight dancers who end their careers with PNB tonight.  The evolution of an arts institution inevitably  includes saying goodbye to people who have been important parts of its very fabric-in some cases, builders of the Company.”

Having served on the PNB Board for 17 years and as Chairman of the Board for five years, I am invested in the careers of each of the dancers retiring and in my mind, they are all “my” dancers.  You have brought magic to all who have seen you perform!  Brava!  Bravo!

VIP Sneak Preview of RN74

Tama Smith with friend, Dwight, Cathi, Ken

Tonight Ken and I attended the sneak preview of the new Michael Mina restaurant, RN74, opening in downtown Seattle in the Joshua Green Building.  As we arrived, there was a lineup of valets 20 deep leading up to the roped off red carpet entrance.  On the street, we ran into friends Tom Hedges, Jim Rose and Sam Baker on their way in the door also.   

JIm Rose, Tom Hedges, Ken, Sam Baker, Ken Advesian

The interior of the restaurant has warm wood and colorful pendant lights hanging overhead.  The star feature of the restaurant is the four sided bar located right in the center of the restaurant.  The invitation promised “cocktails and canapes” and there were a number of oyster stations set up throughout the restaurant and Ken was in heaven slurping various types of fresh oysters directly from the shell with mignonette sauce, cocktail sauce or a mustard sauce.  In addition to various wine offerings, there was a special martini house drink being offered, which included Citron Vodka, lemon juice, some kind of an “Edel” flavoring and garnished with a thyme sprig.  Yum!

We saw many additional friends at the event including Tama Smith and her friend Dwight, Aya Hamilton & Drew Welk, Ben Smith & Gaye McNulty, Julie & Tom Skerrit, Renee & Carl Behnke, Colette Courtion, Dani AckerleyKathy & Mike McQuaid, Simone & Joe Torres, Lea Anne Quinn & Bob Farra, Janet Ketcham, Lynn Beck, Fran & Bob Davidson, Greg Lill and scores of others.

Since I am not an oyster aficionado, I look forward to returning for dinner soon to try out the whole menu when they are offering more choices than just oysters.    

Impressive Gathering of Angels and VCs

Atlas to ZINO Investor Open House On Tuesday evening, Atlas Accelerator and ZINO Society co-hosted the Atlas to ZINO Investor Open House,  inviting 23 funded and companies seeking funding to present to 100 Angel Investors and VCs.  Though ZINO Society merely assisted Atlas Accelerator in producing their event, of the 23 Atlas Accelerator clients presenting,… Continue Reading

Star Spangled Salute to Ariana Lallone and Jeff Stanton

Ariana & Jeff arrive! What a beautiful evening on the tip of Yarrow Point to celebrate the dance careers of PNB Principal Dancers, Ariana Lallone and Jeff Stanton!  Jeff and Ariana arrived at the party via yacht and were greeted on shore with giant sparklers by around 100 friends, admirers, dancers and dance aficianados. Event co-chairs, Sharon… Continue Reading

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JJ’s Birthday with the Girls

JJ, the Birthday Boy After walking through quaint Post Alley above the Pike Place Market, it was a glorious, sunny day to celebrate JJ McKay’s birthday on the deck at the Pink Door yesterday afternoon.   Pat Wallace put together a few of JJ’s many girlfriends to help him celebrate the beginning of another new year.… Continue Reading

An Afternoon in the French Countryside (Almost)

Heather, Alessandro, Jamee, Giuseppe On Thursday afternoon, ZINO Society members and guests joined Blaise Bouchand at his elegant Maison de France Bellevue retail shop featuring Haute Décoration Française.  Walking into his shop is a feast for the senses!  When I stepped inside, I felt I had ventured into an afternoon in the French countryside. Everywhere one looks, there… Continue Reading

Cheers to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Opening

The Atrium Tonight, Ken and I attended the opening reception for the new Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Campus.  It was an opening event that included partners, grantees and community leaders.  What am impressive complex of offices, conference center, meeting rooms, windows everywhere and soaring ceilings! Susan Hutchison, Ken Hatch, Melissa Milburn It was definitely… Continue Reading