Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: January 23, 2013
by: Black Tie Staff



+ She Knows Where She’s Going!
When Observer Executive Editor Lisa Walsh walked into her office, crowded with staff members as well as Girls Inc. Executive Director Kay Mathers and Board President Susan Jones, she assumed it was just a sweet thank you for the latest coverage in the paper. However, she was the true focus of the surprise: Mathers announced Walsh is going to be the 2013 She Knows Where She’s Going honoree at the April 4 Celebration Luncheon.

“Lisa truly represents the strong, smart and bold characteristics of a ‘She Knows Where She’s Going’ honoree,” says Mathers. “From her work in the community, to her strong business leadership, to her continued work with Girls Inc., she is an advocate and an important part of Sarasota. We are so proud to call her a member of the Girls Inc. family.”

This year’s Celebration Luncheon, co-chaired by Johanna Gustafsson and Chris Pinckney, will feature the “Power of the Girls,” showcasing the award-winning programs of Girls Inc., specifically MicroSociety. The luncheon’s 25th anniversary will feature a retrospective of all the past honorees, which includes Walsh’s daughter, Emily, who was honored in 2006 (the two make up the first mother-daughter honorees).
For tickets and more information, visit

+ Hannum’s at the helm!
The Observer welcomes back Stephanie Hannum in her new position as managing editor of Diversions and Season magazine. Readers will remember Hannum as the longtime editor of Black Tie. Most recently, Hannum served as vice president of operations for Diana E. Kelly, Inc.
Hannum will guide the coverage of arts and entertainment, Black Tie and home, garden and food features for the weekly Diversions and quarterly Season magazine.

The editor garnered several awards for The Observer in her six-year tenure; Hannum won two first-place awards for Best Supplement (Season) from the Florida Press Association and two first-place awards for Best Entertainment/Lifestyle Section (Diversions) from the Local Media Association (formerly Suburban Newspaper Association).

“We couldn’t be more delighted to have Stephanie at the helm of these two important Observer publications,” said Lisa Walsh, executive editor of The Observers. “Her knowledge of the Sarasota arts and social scenes is second to none, as are her organizational skills.”

“I am thrilled to be back with my Observer family, managing the section that is dear to my heart and has provided me with so many great relationships in Sarasota,” Hannum says.

+ Tidbits
Political partiers … Spotted at a recent fundraiser for Richard Dorfman’s bid for City Commission at Jesse and Katie Biter’s house were, of course, Dorfman’s sweetheart, Suzette Jones, and her daughter, Canyon Cushman. Also seen were Iris Starr, Rochelle Dudley, Emily Walsh and Diana Kelly, all sporting the designer’s Diana E. Kelly shoes. More in attendance: Tami Fox, Dean Eisner, Michael Saunders, Doug and Ann Logan, Rich and Assunta Swier, Kelly Gettel, Casey Colburn, Gary Hoyt and more  … Musical wardrobe Jorgen Graugaard was in perfect harmony Jan. 13, when he was spotted wearing a matching bow tie and cummerbund that featured multi-colored musical notes to the Bradenton Opera Guild Gala … Elvis extravaganza Charlie Ann Syprett sure knows how to celebrate! Her girlfriends — including Deb Knowles, Sharyn Weiner, Pam Swain and Jennifer Saslaw — toasted the birthday girl at State Street Eating House and presented her with an Elvis painting as well as a Moon Pie birthday cake. Knowles also gave all of the ladies Elvis lunch boxes full of Moon Pies, which they shared with the guests around them. With her birthday landing only one day from The King’s, fan Syprett was then whisked to see “Elvis Lives” at the Van Wezel, where one of the impersonators kissed her and tossed her his ring from the stage ... High-wired attire … Charlie Lenger was spotted at the Circus Sarasota Gala with a clever ensemble. She decorated her dress with Nik Wallenda crossing Niagra Falls by using stick-on pearls, fabric paint and magic markers. Wallenda signed her dress at the gala.

+ Big Apple surprise
If there were a patch for wife-of-the-year, Liebe Gamble would certainly deserve it for pulling off a huge surprise for husband Billy’s recent milestone birthday.

Her planning process of the so-called “Billy Palooza” began last summer and was a true labor of love. Liebe surprised Billy with a Jan. 4 trip to New York, and while staying at the Gramercy Park Hotel — a place near and dear to the couple — Liebe brought Billy to the rooftop for a birthday drink before going “out for dinner.” While toasting near the elevator, the procession of loved ones began for the “slow-burn surprise.”

All 60 guests — who flew in from all over the country, including more than 30 friends from Sarasota — arrived on the rooftop in different groups to prolong the surprise. It took the fourth group of guests to step off the elevator for overwhelmed Billy to finally catch on to what was happening.

The celebratory event included a cocktail hour, sit-down dinner, toasts and finally the pièce de résistance, a flash mob that all the guests learned via YouTube.

“The evening was insanely magical. The entire group had a perma-smile all night,” says Liebe.


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Currently 1 Response

  • 1.
  • I am so proud of you Stephanie! I am honored to know you Lisa! Girls Inc nailed it by recognizing you with this honor.
  • elaine briggs
    Thu 24th Jan 2013
    at 3:18am
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