Actress/Advocate Geena Davis Was Part Of The Top-Tier Panel For The Dallas-Fort Worth Comerica Bank Women’s Business Symposium

Comerica provided 500 gals the opportunity to hear from a top-tier line up of females about the challenges, opportunities and advances for women in business. On hand to be part of the panel on Friday, October 13, at the Dallas Mariott Las Colinas was actress/advocate Geena Davis, who created the Geena Davis Institute on Gender. But it was more than listening and learning. It was also celebrated with a nice check presentation for ChildCareGroup. Here’s a report from the field:

Five hundred guests gathered to learn, connect and grow at the inaugural  Dallas-Fort Worth Comerica Bank Women’s Business Symposium, a sellout, on Friday, October 13, at the Dallas Marriott Las Colinas.

Julia Wellborn, Nina Vaca, Deborah Gibbins, Geena Davis and Jennifer Sampson*

Geena Davis, award-winning actress and founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, headlined the event, while the luncheon opened with a local Power Panel featuring Deborah Gibbins – CFO, Mary Kay Inc.; Barbara Lynn – Chief District Judge, United States District Court for Northern District of Texas; Jennifer Sampson – CEO and President, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas; and Nina Vaca – Chairman and CEO, Pinnacle Group / Comerica Incorporated Board of Director Member.

Jamie Gwen*

Peter Sefzik*

Long-time California Comerica Women’s Business Symposium emcee Celebrity Chef Jamie Gwen made sure the jam-packed program flowed smoothly with Texas Market President Peter Sefzik on-hand to welcome guests and share how Comerica is not only investing in women externally, but also internally with professional development opportunities for its colleagues.

The Power Panel moderated by Julia Wellborn, Comerica Bank’s Executive Director of Wealth Management, proved to be a lively discussion and dialogue — the panelists covered a variety of topics from mentoring, landing that coveted seat at the table to how they have dealt with gender discrimination.  They also provided insight on their road to success and the importance of helping other women succeed.  

Vaca applauded Comerica Bank Chairman and CEO Ralph Babb for his commitment to empowering women and fostering an environment for them to succeed. Comerica Inc. recently appointed its third female, president and CEO of Commercial Metals Company Barbara R. Smith, to its Board of Directors, which also includes Vaca and Jacqueline P. Kane, retired Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at The Clorox Company.

Davis then shared her perspective on gender equality and why it should matter to us all with the underlying theme that if women are seen in certain positions and/or roles, it encourages other girls and women to pursue these opportunities / careers.  She also highlighted a few key studies conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media that indicated there still is a significant gender gap in the entertainment and media industries as it relates to casting roles and featuring women in a non-traditional sense in media campaigns.

Margareth Aviles, Tori Mannes, Catherine Pistor and Julia Wellborn*

Haynes & Boone, Winstead PC and Bodman PC sponsored the Women’s Business Symposium — a portion of the event proceeds benefited the ChildCareGroup. Comerica North Texas Women’s Initiative representatives presented Tori Mannes, the CEO of the ChildCareGroup, with a check for $10,000. The ChildCareGroup provides or manages the early care and education for more than 14,000 Dallas-area children from low-income families. Because of donor support, these children have better learning environments; well-educated, caring teachers; and involved parents—key components to a good start in life and a solid foundation for the future.

The Women’s Business Symposium concluded with an open networking reception, providing an opportunity for guests to mix, mingle and exchange business cards and contact information in support of helping each other further their careers and personal growth.

* Photo credit: Lisa Means

2017 Côtes Du Coeur Gala Popped The Cork To Net A Hearty $4M For The American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth

While the art lovers were over at the Dallas Museum of Art for the 2017 Art Ball’s “All That Glitters” on Saturday, April 22, the wine lovers were bubbling with bid cards, grazing the the chef stations and raising wine glasses at the 2017  Côtes du Coeur to provide funding for the American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth at the Omni Dallas Hotel. Here is a report from the field:

2017 Cotes du Coeur*

The American Heart Association’s 2017 Côtes du Coeur Gala, held at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Saturday, April 22, hosted close to 1,200 business and wine industry leaders, community philanthropists, wine collectors and physicians. Led by renowned Chef Richard Chamberlain, a team of 18 acclaimed chefs visited with guests and served up selections from a boldly unique tasting menu accompanied by wine pairings created from the cellars of 30 elite wineries.

Richard Chamberlain and Steve Grimshaw*

The event featured 620 silent auction wine lots and 12 live auction items which offered opportunities to stay at exclusive luxury homes, tour vineyards, experience private chef tasting menus and much more.

Doug Hawthorne and Kelly and David Pfeil*

Barbara Smith*

Chaired by Kelly and David Pfeil with Barbara Smith as the Executive Leadership Team Chair, this year’s event grossed $4.6 million and netted $4 million to fund life -saving research and educational programs, making it a record breaking sum for the Dallas event and across the country for the American Heart Association.

The highest Live Auction package was an exclusive trip to Paris to privately tour the Louvre and the Palace of Versailles, which sold twice for $110,000.

Denise Hunter and Erin Hunter*

Heart disease survivor Erin Hunter shared her story on-stage with her mom, Denise. The survivor testimonial, Open Your Heart, was lead with a gift of $150,000, and matched in the room by an inspired couple, who prefer to remain anonymous.

“I don’t remember a time where I didn’t have to think about my heart. Between my surgeries and check-ups, I lived as normal a life as I possibly could,” said Erin, who is now a nurse at the Heart Center at Children’s Health where she underwent numerous heart surgeries as a child. “Many people have said that things happen for a reason, and I believe that is true. Because of my experiences, I am able to give back to parents and patients going through similar tough times that my family went through.”

“It is because of fundraising events like Côtes du Coeur, and the support of the generous individuals and businesses that attended Saturday night, that the funding for cardiovascular research and health education programs remains strong and continues to save lives,” American Heart Association Executive Director Melissa Cameron said.

Merry Edwards*

Mike and Diane Gruber and Kim and Greg Hext*

Some of the attendees in the room were Tete du Cuvee honoree Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery, Barbara and Mike Smith, Kim and Greg Hext, Melissa and Steve Grimshaw, Anne Davidson, Diane and Mike Gruber, Diane and Hal Brierley, Laura and Eric Hutto, Tim Wallace, Carol and Matt Holmes, Katherine Wynne, Doug Hawthorne, Amy and Michael Meadows, Ron Haddock, Mary Parker, Pam and Mark Okada, Keli and Mike Jenkins, Jana and Mike Brosin, Eric and Amy Schoch and chefs John Tesar, Jim “Sevy” Severson, Dean Fearing, Kevin Garvin, Matt McCallister, Alex Astranti and Chad Houser.

Mary Parker and Tim Wallace*

Anne Davidson and Mark Porter*

The 2018 Dallas Côtes du Coeur will be held on Saturday, April 21, at the Omni Dallas. Terri and Tim Gallagher will serve as the chairs

For a full list of chefs, wineries, sponsors and committee members, visit dallaswineauction.com.

* Photo provided by American Heart Association Dallas-Fort Worth