Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: September 28, 2011
by: Molly Schechter | Social Editor



+ A new page turns for Stephanie Hannum
Stephanie Finnan was barely out of college when she came to work as a reporter at the Longboat Observer in 2006 and was quickly promoted into the role she really wanted — Black Tie assistant to Emily Walsh Parry. Only two years later and married to Max Hannum, she became Black Tie editor and now she is onward and upward to the publishing side as advertising coordinator, liaising between advertising sales, production and advertisers.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to learn more about the business and the ins and outs of The Observer Group,” Stephanie says. “I love having my personal life back and my new schedule, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but I will miss working with the non-profits.”

Well, maybe not; she is staying involved on the advisory board for Make-A-Wish Foundation, committee for Key to the Cure and is co-chairwoman of SPARCC’s Pirate & Princess Ball. The Black Tie section, however, will miss her a lot.

BT is taking over as Black Tie editor, effective with this issue. Joining the team as Black Tie photographer is Peter Acker, widely recognized as one of Sarasota’s premier event shooters, an associate since 1996 and a dear friend who has pitched in on uncountable projects.

Going forward, please send your calendar listings and other news to

And, please, keep smiling for our cameras!

+ A summer’s worth of tidbits
Newlyweds … Richard Hopkins and Rebecca Langford married in May. There were two weddings July 3: Melissa Jekonski and Dr. Brad Lerner and Shelley Binion and Ed Sarbey, both couples at their respective homes. BJ Creighton’s daughter, Gennifer Robbins, wed Eric Kissinger at the Vinoklet Winery July 30, in Cincinnati. They have known each other since seventh grade, and BJ reports that when Gennifer’s sons, Brendon, Zach and Sam Robbins, walked her down the aisle and his son, Connor Kissinger, stood up for Eric … there was not a dry eye anywhere.

Next to go down the aisle … Jean Weidner and Al Goldstein will wed at an unspecified future date. C’mon, guys. Don’t keep your cheering sections waiting! More happiness: Yara Michaels and Dr. David Shoemaker will marry Thanksgiving Day on St. Lucia and celebrate their nuptials locally next spring at the Ringling Museum. Sunglasses are recommended for viewing her engagement rock, er, ring. Yara popped over to Vera Wang in Miami to select her wedding dress. Ivana Lucic and Renzo Rivolta have set their nuptials for Dec. 23 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Their original plan was Dec. 7, the day of St. Ambrosio the guardian of Milan, in honor of Piero and Rachele Rivolta, who are Milanese. But some family couldn’t make that date.

Speaking of dates … Montana Ross has set her wedding to Irwin Taplinger for May 19, 2012. The couple is opting for a sunset ceremony at Selby Gardens and a party afterward at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.

New nonagenarians … Jack Curran, the World War II veteran who donated the “Unconditional Surrender” monument to the city of Sarasota, turned 90 June 13 and celebrated with friends a few days later at Michael’s On East. And long-time local Roslyn Orlin hit that major milestone Sept. 17. Pretty much her entire family gathered from North Carolina, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and California. Roz is from Buffalo, N.Y.’s well-known Berger clan — as in the department store. The 30-plus guests gathered at one long table in Michael’s Wine Cellar; Kaya Orlin sang her grandma’s favorite song, “Sunrise, Sunset,” with lyrics created especially for the occasion. All present hoped to be as sharp at 90 as Roz is.
Child labor laws? ... When Designing Women Boutique re-opened following an expansion and remodeling in August, Eve and John Day, the children of shop Executive Director Pamela Day, were visibly relieved. Both had been part of the hard-working team that pulled off the one-week miracle. They deserve at least to have their picture in the paper as compensation …

Maybe you can still get a ticket … The party that kicks off the season is Black Tie Bash featuring the presentation of the “Standing O” awards. It happens Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Longboat Key Club and Resort. Though it will likely be sold out when you read this, you can still try signing up at


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