Crayton Webb Heads Into “Sunwest” Thanks To A “Stern” Buyout

Folks have been wondering whatever happened to fundraising Crayton Webb, since his departure last month from Mary Kay Inc. Had he left his wife, Nikki Webb, and their four kids to join the Foreign Legion? Had he been whisked away by space aliens? Had he become a recluse living in The Joule?

Crayton Webb (File photo)

Andy Stern (File photo)

None of the above. He was in the final negotiations to “buy” Andy Stern’s 35-year-old Sunwest Communications. And now the deal is done.

Crayton admitted that the timing was perfect for him and he was flattered that Andy would entrust him with his company.

Crayton reported, “Thanks to Andy Stern, Sunwest Communications is highly respected in the reputation business, boasting an impressive list of clients and an amazing team of public relations professionals. I look forward to the privilege of building upon 35 years of outstanding public relations counsel, communications and senior-level service by standing on the shoulders of a giant in the industry like Andy.”

As for Andy, he’s really not going anywhere. He’s just moving down the hallway. As Senior Counsel, he’ll still be a part of the public relations firm whose clients include Exxon Mobil, CBRE, the Catholic Foundation, Rosewood Property Company, KDC, Victory Park and XTO.

The reason for Andy’s “selling” the firm was not a spur of the moment decision. He applied the same strategy to his plan that he has for his clients. Looking at the future of his staff and company, he didn’t want to sell to a mega public relations operation. But he did want Sunwest to move ahead providing strategic communication services. In considering in whom to entrust Sunwest, he recognized that he and Crayton shared common values, both personally and professionally.

According to Andy, “After 35 years, I had to be sure Sunwest Communications was left in the good, capable hands of an expert communicator and leader. Sunwest is a family business and that feeling of family extends to our team and clients. I’m confident in Crayton’s ingenuity and leadership to take Sunwest Communications to elevated levels of success, as well as his integrity and wisdom to carry on the company culture that has defined us.” 

Both men have worked in the political sector (Andy as Staff Assistant to President Gerald Ford and Crayton as chief of staff for Dallas Mayor Laura Miller) and in the media (Andy as a print reporter and Crayton at KTVT), and both have heavy ties and leadership positions in various community and nonprofit organizations.

Andy has held leadership roles in AMN Healthcare Services, Medical City Dallas Hospital, the Texas Healthcare Trustees, the American Hospital Association’s Committee on Governance, the Dallas Citizens Council, the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, Dallas Assembly, Leadership Dallas Alumni, Public Relations Society of America, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, the Sixth Floor Museum, North Dallas Chamber and Salesmanship Club Charitable Golf. 

On the other hand, Crayton has been involved with the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Arbor Day Foundation, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, the Dallas Regional Chamber, SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Leadership Dallas and Genesis Women’s Shelter’s HeROs.

When asked if Crayton’s new responsibilities as a CEO would curtail his involvement in the nonprofit sector, he was surprised that the question was even aired. With his young family and his new staff, he is even more dedicated to supporting the programs and organizations that build the North Texas community.

Mary Kay’s Annual Suits For Shelters Kick-Off Party Brought Out The Pink With A Surprise Reward For Attending Domestic Shelters

Barb Podbelsek may have looked like your typical shopper returning a purchase on Thursday, July 13. After parking her car across the way from Bachendorf’s, she carried a red jacket on a hangar to Tootsies. Oh, but rethink that one. Barb was taking her gently worn jacket to a private get-together at Tootsies. The jacket was to be part of the annual Suits for Shelters program that provides professional attire and accessories for women in area shelters.

Barb Podbelsek, Jana Jones and Theresa Powerski

As Barb handed over the jacket, domestic violence experts like Genesis Shelter’s Jan Langbein and Bianca Jackson, Attitudes and Attire’s Annabelle Baxter and The Family Place’s Melissa Sherrill, Mary Catherine Benavides and Shivangi Pokharel Perkins were on hand.

Mary Catherine Benavides, Shivangi Pokharel Perkins and Melissa Sherrill

Alas, this clothes collection kick-off was to be the last one for Shivangi. She was headed to Charlotte, North Carolina? The reason? Her husband’s job.

Speaking of The Family Place MIAs, CEO Paige Flink was nowhere in sight. Seems she was taking a break in West Virginia with husband Randy Flink.

Nikki and Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and models

Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb scoured the crowd for his wife, Nikki Webb. Perfect timing. She was just walking in as the 100 guests like Jana Jones, Theresa Powerski, Jennifer and Aaron Tobin, Tracy and Abe Minkara, Teresa Flores, Anne Crews, Diana Franzetti, Nancy Thomason, Michaela and Trey Dyer, Ashley Montgomery Lyon, Nancy Gopez, Cindy and Brian Hanson, Amy and Chase Laws, Hadley and Travis Galt, Colleen Jamieson, Bill Bernstein, Genevieve Peterson and emcee Cynthia Izaguirre headed upstairs for the evening’s program hosted by the Tootsie’s crew including Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Land and Dustin Holcomb.

Nerissa von Helpenstill, Shelley Lander and Dustin Holcomb

Crayton admitted that in the days ahead, he would be doing heavy-duty babysitting for the four little Webb-sters. The reason? Nikki is co-chairing the Junior League of Dallas’ Milestones Luncheon on Friday, November 17, at the Hilton Anatole with Co-Chair Jennifer Scripps. Decked out in white, Nikki reported that in addition to Linda Perryman Evans receiving the Sustainer of the Year award, the speaker will be Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer. That’s all Nikki could reveal as she and Clayton hustled upstairs for the evening’s program.

Ryan and Maleiah Rogers

As Mary Kay Ash grandson Ryan Rogers tried to juggle his microphone and a glass, wife Maleiah Rogers was the dutiful wife, walking over and relieving him of the glass. After Ryan told of his grandmother’s longtime concern and support of women in domestic violent situations, he asked all to toast the work of those in domestic-abuse efforts. But just as he realized he had nothing with which to toast, Maleiah was back on the spot returning his glass.

Speaking of Ryan and Maleiah, they looked rather flawless. When asked their secret, they chimed in — Mary Kay products! Maleiah reeled off the whole product line and finished it with Smooth-Action Cellulite Gel Cream. One woman upon hearing that last one nudged her gal pal and said, “Then I want a bath tub of the stuff. Just look at her.”

Ryan also reminded the guests that the next week would be the national gathering of Mary Kay associates.

According to Crayton, roughly 30,000 of them would be assembling in Dallas for the four-day convention, providing the city with “two to three times the economic impact of Texas-OU weekend.”

When it came to the evening’s highlight, there was a problem. The big draw of the night was the raffle item donated by the Rogerses — $5,000 to the domestic violence group chosen by the winning ticket holder. Alas, Piers Hurley was the lucky winner, but he just couldn’t pick just one. Leave it to Maleiah and Ryan to come up with the perfect solution: “All event program beneficiaries (Attitudes and Attire, Brighter Tomorrows, Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support, Hope’s Door New Beginning Center, Mosaic Family Services, The Salvation Army DFW and The Family Place) in attendance at the event would receive $5,000 donations to help support their work and help survivors of domestic violence!”

JUST IN: Crayton Webb Reveals His Last Day As Mary Kay Inc. VP, But Remains Tight-Lipped About Future Plans

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

In the North Texas nonprofit world, Mary Kay Inc. VP of Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Crayton Webb has established quite a stellar reputation as a major champion in the war against domestic violence. Besides chairing HeROs, Genesis Women’s Shelter‘s men’s auxiliary, and co-chairing the recent Genesis Luncheon with wife Nikki Webb, he has served on the board of the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

An example of his blending his professional life with his personal advocacy has been his being front and center for the annual “Suits for Shelters” program, providing clothes for area domestic violence shelters.

What some folks don’t realize is that his involvement and leadership have not been limited to Mary Kay Inc. and domestic violence. Need proof? Since landing in North Texas in 1998, he has been part of a vast variety of organizations and programs, including the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Board, the Communications Council for the Dallas Regional Chamber, the Executive Forum of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, Communications Studies at SMU, the Junior League of Dallas, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, Leadership Dallas Alumni Association and Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau to name a few.

Prior to joining Mary Kay Inc., he was an award-winning reporter for KTVT-TV (CBS) from 1998 to 2001, as well as chief of staff for former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller from 2002 to 2005.

In the past 19 years, he has received the 2015 Leadership Dallas Distinguished Alumni Award, was named to the Dallas Business Journal‘s class of “40 under Forty,” was named one of the “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” by the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and one of the “Five Outstanding Young Texans” by the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce.

It was just learned that Crayton announced that he has given his notice to Mary Kay. Ironically, his final day with the Dallas-based mega-company will be on the 54th anniversary of the founding of Mary Kay Inc. — Wednesday, September 13.

What’s in his future? Crayton is tight-lipped on that question. However, the answer will be revealed in September. But never fear. He and Nikki are still staying true to North Texas and its nonprofit world.

Stay tuned.

Annual Genesis Luncheon Keynoter Arianna Huffington Made A Wake-Up Call For Digital Intervention

Some of the digitally connected folks looked a bit squeamish at the Genesis Luncheon on Monday, May 15, in the Anatole’s Chantilly Ballroom. It wasn’t that keynoter Arianna Huffington created a great divide like Bethenny Frankel. Rather, the former grand dame of internet news outlet The Huffington Post was telling the crowd to cut the cord, or at least the wireless connection with their cellphones, tablets and laptops. It was like the head of Alcoholic Anonymous extolling the virtues of sobriety to the National Association of American Wineries. But more about that later.

Before the luncheon got underway, the meet-and-greet with 100 very special guests like Luncheon Co-Chairs Nikki and Crayton Webb, Gail and Gerald Turner, Pat Schenkel, Greg Nieberding, Melissa Cameron and Gail Davis got underway in the Wedgwood Room at 10:45.

Gerald Turner, Arianna Huffington, Pat Schenkel and Gail Turner

Melissa Cameron

Gail Davis

Right on schedule the doors opened to the gorgeous ballroom filled with huge arrangements of pink, white and red roses, hydrangeas and cherry blossoms, white tablecloths and pink napkins and a stage with a side backdrop of pink and red surrounding the main screen, with Genesis encircled by a heart. On the stage were two chairs in the center with a podium to the side, setting the scene for what was to come.

As guests like Ashlee Kleinert, Ken Altshuler, Nancy Best, Ros Dawson Thompson and Paige McDaniel took their seats, a man arrived who was immediately surrounded by folks wanting to have their photo taken with him. The gentleman was the man of the hour — HeRO Awardee/former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. When asked if rumors about his new book “Called To Rise” were true, that pre-release sales were skyrocketing, he smiled and said, “I hope so.”  

Crayton and Nikki Webb

Immediately signaling that the luncheon program was underway was a recitation by three Lakeview Centennial High School Young students enrolled in Young DFW Writers that was followed by Crayton telling how one in four women would face physical violence at some point in their lives. He stated that until that situation of abuse ends, “We have Genesis.” To carry on the support of Genesis, he reeled off the various raffle items available and then introduced Rev. Dr. Sheron Patterson to provide the invocation.

Following lunch, Nikki and Crayton arrived on stage to introduce various dignitaries, thank the luncheon committee members and recount stories of women who’d told them just that morning of being in abusive relationships. Adding a touch of humor and “Aw,” Crayton told how Nikki had said 18 months ago that, in addition to their three sons, she’d like to have a fourth child. To this Crayton responded, “I hope you and your next husband will be very happy.” As laughter filled the room, Crayton added, “But I’m still here.” The fourth child ended up being a little girl they name Lucy, who also brought a renewed concern and determination to the couple in helping women in danger.

At 12:20 p.m. Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO Jan Langbein, whose dress matched the day’s pink, white and red floral setting, told the audience that the Junior League of Dallas had received the Jane Doe Award the week before at a private reception.

Jan Langbein, Arianna Huffington and David Brown

Then she introduced David Brown, emphasizing his support of Genesis’ mission in fighting abuse against women. As he approached the stage to officially receive the HeRO Award, the room erupted in cheers and a standing ovation. David once again proved his skill at addressing the crowd and told how as a youngster he had witnessed the devastation of drugs and violence within his community. This experience resulted in his committing himself to public service. As he explained, if you do something for other people and expect something in return, then that is a business deal. But if you do something for other people who cannot return the favor, it a true reward.    

At 12:27, Jan then introduced Arianna, telling of her many accomplishments including being the author of 15 books, the most recent being “The Sleep Revolution.”

Arianna Huffington

With a Greek accent that at times made her sound like Zsa-Zsa Gabor, Arianna recognized Jan (“What a force of nature!”), Nikki and Crayton and Genesis Senior Director of Development Bianca Jackson, before revealing that she indeed did have a Texas connection — her former husband, millionaire Michael Huffington, had been born in Dallas. She recalled how, years before, she had served on the board of Points of Light, and Genesis was one of the organizations spotlighted.

While some guests may have expected her to talk politics, they were sorely disappointed. Nary was a Republican, Democrat or Whig mentioned.

Okay, so she did recall Madeleine Albright’s saying, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support women. But I think there’s a special place in heaven for men who support women.” The first sentence caused some guests to think that it was going to be a political ride, but the follow-up sentence quickly put that idea to rest.

Instead of controversial issues dealing with politicians, she sounded like a tent preacher on the subject of improving one’s well being. Her epiphany took place in 2007 when she collapsed and passed out due to sleep deprivation.  When she regained consciousness, she found herself in a pool of blood, with a broken cheekbone and a cut over her eye. It was literally a wake-up call. She asked herself, “What is life about?” In the past it had meant 18-hour days striving for money and power. But now she was re-examining her definition of the “good life.” Her answer was to put the priority on taking care of one’s self. As an example, she recalled the age-old oxygen mask theory.

Feeling so strongly about her discovery, she left The Huffington Post this past August and launched Thrive Global to encourage people to “look up from our phones and take care of ourselves, our loved ones and our community. Otherwise we’re in serious trouble.”

Arianna Huffington

She wondered aloud how the assembled group would handle time away from their cellphones, laptops, etc. Ironically, just as Arianna was encouraging guests to take a “digital detox,” guests in the room were seen snapping shots of Arianna on their cellphones and checking their watches about appointments.

Touching on the importance of giving and connecting with the community, Arianna said that Genesis was doing just that for women and their families.

On the lighter side, Arianna recalled how God created the world in six days and “she” rested on the seventh. Her point was that rest is vital to well-being.

After her talk at the podium, she was joined on stage by WFAA’s medical reporter Sonia Azad at 12:46 p.m., where they chatted about how people could indeed take better care of themselves through meditation, yoga, fly fishing and brushing off the problems of the day in the shower. All of those activities required leaving distractions like cellphones elsewhere. “We need to disconnect from our phones.”

Arianna Huffington and Sonia Azad

To emphasize the point of ending the digital addiction, she asked how many in the audience slept with their cellphones on their nightstands. This statement resulted in a chatter at tables and hands raised throughout the room. One guest sheepishly ‘fessed up that he did, “But I use it as an alarm clock.” Without hearing the comment, Arianna had evidently heard that one before and was prepared: “You can buy an old-fashioned alarm clock.”

Arianna Huffington and Sonia Azad

Feeling so strongly about this situation, Arianna’s Thrive Global has created a “phone bed,” so the phone can recharge on top of a satin-clad mattress outside of the bedroom.

When asked by Sonia about her advice to her daughters, Arianna told how her daughters were well “aware of the dangers of becoming addicted to social media presence in our lives.” She went on to say that the main goal for countless engineers at the social media companies is to feed this addiction.

Admitting she has an Instagram account, she reported how just that morning she had received a note asking if she would like to know each time someone likes her post or follows her: “That sounds like hell.”

As the guests waited for their cars following the luncheon, one person was overheard laughing that AT&T was not a luncheon sponsor.

With A Vintage Cadillac Out Front, Cosmopolitans On Trays And The Clutch Poolside, Genesis Luncheon Sponsors Got In The Swing Of Things

Eddie Ortega and Greg Nieberding with Dixie Belle

It was a night of whiskey sours and cosmopolitans. There was even a vintage turquoise blue Cadillac displaying in the circular driveway. The night was Wednesday, May 3 (aka the Genesis Women’s Shelter Luncheon sponsor party).

Nikki and Crayton Webb

The location was Greg Nieberding’s and Eddie Ortega’s and their Schnauzer daughter Dixie Belle’s home. Actually, the 60-year-old mid-century residence’s rich history was the source of the Mad Men’s evening theme. During the years when singer Margaret and fashion designer Ed Cupaioli owned the home that they built, it was a gathering place for the likes of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and countless others. Over the years, the Cupaiolis had lovingly taken care of the home. Upon Margaret’s death at the age of 96, the family decided to sell it. Luckily, Greg and Eddie bought it. But if asked, Greg and Eddie insist, “We’re really just caretakers.” Yes, they’ve updated things like the windows and the roof, but they have maintained the feel and design by architect Jack Wood.

To complement the occasion, Genesis Luncheon Co-Chair Nikki Webb surprised all, except husband/Luncheon Co-Chair Crayton Webb, with her finding and wearing a suit created by Ed.

The Clutch

Despite breezes provided by Mother Nature causing the lineup of towering trees to sway like back-up singers, the presentation took place with The Clutch quartet crooning in front of the swimming pool.

Jan Langbein and Gail Davis

Abi Perpall and Bianca Jackson

Rachel Michell

Bob White

Nancy Best

That smart move got the guests including Raffle Chair Rachel Michell and husband John Michell, Luncheon Underwriting Co-Chairs Abi and Fred Perpall, Bob White, Gail Davis, Genesis Board of Trustees Chair Nancy Best and Jessica and Drew Spaniol out on the patio for presentations by Genesis CEO Jan Langbein, Nikki and Crayton, Greg and Genesis Senior Director of Fund and Community Development Bianca Jackson about the upcoming luncheon featuring Arianna Huffington at the Hilton Anatole on Monday, May 15.

JUST IN: Junior League To Receive Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jane Doe Award And Former Police Chief David Brown Tapped For HeROs Award

As part of the 24th Annual Genesis Women’s Luncheon celebration, the announcement has just been made of the 2017 Jane Doe Award and the 2017 HeROs Award recipients.

According to Genesis Women’s Shelter And Support CEO Jan Langbein, the Jane Doe Award that “recognizes individuals, groups or organizations that display an extraordinary commitment to standing alongside women seeking freedom from domestic abuse” will be presented to the Junior League of Dallas’ President Bonner Allen, who will represent the JLD.

Junior Leaguers of Dallas*

Receiving the 2017 HeRO Award, which was established in 2013 to “honor men who use their voice and influence to take a public stand against domestic violence,” will be former Dallas Police Chief David Brown. Past recipients include Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings in 2013, Dale Hansen in 2014, Joshua Ragsdale in 2015 and Roger Staubach in 2016.

David has been a busy fella since trading in his uniform for civilian garb. In addition to having a new job with ABC News, he’s been collecting accolades like being the grand marshal for the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 11, and receiving the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award at Belo Mansion tomorrow.

David Brown (File photo)

Jan explained, ““The Junior League of Dallas has walked hand in hand with Genesis since the very beginning.  Our Junior League volunteers bring passion and professionalism to their placements that in many ways serve as an extension of the Genesis staff.

“Long before Chief Brown was thrust into the national spotlight for his heroic efforts during the tragedy that struck our city last July, he was a hero in Dallas and a hero to Genesis. The Dallas Police Department walks in lockstep with Genesis to help create a safe community, and Chief Brown understood all along that we cannot have a safe community if we do not have safe homes.”

Nikki and Crayton Webb (File photo)

Arianna Huffington**

Luncheon Co-Chairs Nikki and Crayton Webb have arranged for the awards to be presented at the luncheon’s patron party on Thursday, May 11.

A limited number of individual tickets for the Monday, May 15th luncheon at the Hilton Anatole featuring Arianna Huffington are available. For a few dollars more, patron level is also available plus the perks of attending the patron party.

* Photo provided by the Junior League of Dallas 
** Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter And Support

MySweet2017Goals: Nikki Webb

Crayton and Nikki Webb (File photo)

According to Genesis Women’s Shelter Luncheon Co-Chair Nikki Webb,

“My goal for 2017 is for the community to join my husband Crayton Webb and myself at the 24th annual Genesis Women’s Shelter Luncheon on Monday, May 15. We are delighted to be co-chairs of one of the most anticipated luncheons of the spring, and would love to see our friends, colleagues and community partners in attendance.

“This year’s luncheon will feature founder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global and international best-selling author, Arianna Huffington, as keynote speaker. Celebrated as one of the world’s most influential women, she is sure to inspire and engage as she discusses domestic abuse in our society, and the broader topic of women and media.

Arianna Huffington*

“Funds raised through the luncheon help Genesis provide safety, shelter and expert counseling services to women and children who have experienced domestic violence. In 2016, Genesis served 1,300 women and children due to the generosity of the Dallas community.

“The 2017 Genesis Women’s Shelter Luncheon will be held on Monday, May 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Dallas located at 2201 Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207. Sponsorships begin at $1750.00. If available, individual tickets will go on sale in April 2017. For table and sponsorship information contact Genesis Senior Director of Development Bianca Jackson at 214.389.7703 or visit http://www.genesisshelter.org/events/luncheon/ to reserve your table.”

* Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter

MySweet2017Goals: Crayton Webb

According to Mary Kay Inc. Corporate Communications And Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb,

Crayton Webb (File photo)

“My goal is that Mary Kay will empower, encourage and inspire women entrepreneurs with our first-ever ‘Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit’ on Friday, January 27, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel Dallas.

Mary Kay Ash herself was one of the greatest business minds of all time and millions of women around the world have built successful businesses – and not just selling Mary Kay — by following her proven leadership and business advice.

“In partnership with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC), Mary Kay is convening experts and thought leaders, with backgrounds in fashion, high technology, consumer-packaged goods and business services, for the inaugural summit specifically designed for women business owners.

“We have some amazing speakers and panelists lined up – with the new addition of tech entrepreneur/media personality/investor/philanthropist Ingrid Vandervelt, as our keynote luncheon speaker. 

“In addition to Ingrid, attendees will enjoy morning keynote speaker Gloria Mayfield Banks, who is an internationally renowned motivational speaker and #1 U.S. ranked Mary Kay Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director.

“We have also planned morning and afternoon breakout sessions, which have been customized for entrepreneurs of all ages and stages with speakers including: Amber Venz Box, RewardStyle; Valerie Freeman, Imprimis Group, Mary Kay Independent National Sales Director Stacy James, Make Your Life Sweeter’s Yasmeen Tadia, Cap Gemini’s Sheryl Chamberlain, Kristina Libby, S.W.C./SoCu, Dallas Entrepreneur Center’s Jill Scigliano, Melissa Youngblood, LCC Management Consulting’s Melissa Youngblood, HCK2’s Heather Capps, Mason Baronet’s Holly Mason, True Point’s Jessica Nunez, Everly’s Julia Taylor,  Golden Seeds’ Louise Kee, Integrality’s Cynthia Nevels and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses’ Cristin Thomas.

Beth Van Duyne (File photo)

Abi Ferrin (File photo)

“Throughout the day, unprecedented mentorship opportunities and networking will help broaden participants’ knowledge and expertise, and the first-ever ‘Pink Tank’ will provide the opportunity for pre-selected participants to fast pitch their business ideas for seed funding from The DEC. Pink Tank judges include Mary Kay Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Sheryl Adkins-Green, The Dallas Entrepreneur Center (The DEC)Co-Founder/CEO Trey Bowles, fashion designer and CEO Abi Ferrin, Mark Cuban Companies Director of Business Development Abe Minkara and City of Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.

“The day will include light breakfast, breakout sessions, seated lunch, keynote speakers, mentorship opportunities, Pink Tank and post-event reception. For more information or to register, visit www.marykaywomenssummit.com or [email protected].”

JUST IN: The Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington To Be 24th Annual Genesis Luncheon Keynote Speaker

It’s not even 2017 and already the lineup of stellar keynote speakers for the spring is making news. Genesis Women’s Shelter and Support’s CEO Jan Langbein just revealed the plans for its annual 24th annual fundraising luncheon.

Co-chairing the event at the Hilton Anatole will be one of the leading Genesis couples —Nikki and Crayton Webb.

According to Jan, “Crayton is both a professional and personal hero of Genesis, serving as board president of Genesis’s men’s auxiliary group HeROS (He Respects Others), and vice president of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility with Mary Kay Inc., one of our most committed corporate partners. Working with Crayton and Nikki as co-chairs this year is like working with family.”

Crayton and Nikki Webb and little Webbies*

And speaking of family, Nikki is an active nonprofit volunteer and a non-stop supportive wife. She and Crayton are the parents of four pretty adorable kiddos (three boys and a new baby girl, who was born this past March).

Arianna Huffington**

As for the day’s keynote speaker, it’s going to be a lady who definitely has an opinion providing food for thought — Arianna Huffington!

It was back in May 2005 that Greek-born Arianna launched a news/blog site, The Huffington Post, that became part of the internet information revolution. Why, it even won the Pulitzer Price for national reporting in 2012. This past August she started Thrive Global, “a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.”

She is a regular guests on national news programs, and her accomplishments include being named to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, and Forbes’ “Most Powerful Women.”

Traditionally scheduled around Mother’s Day, this year’s event will take place the day after Mama’s Day (aka Monday, May 15). So, why not treat your favorite mom with gifting her on Sunday with tickets to the Monday lunch? And since individual tickets don’t go on sale until April, how about getting together with some other daughters/sons and becoming a sponsor, so you can lock down that ticket for your mum? You do know sponsorship are available now! Just contact Bianca Jackson at 214.389.7703.

* Photo courtesy of the Nikki and Crayton Webb family 
** Photo provided by Genesis Women's Shelter and Support

Genesis HeROs’ Gentlemen’s Night Had Cigar Rollings, Whiskey Tastings And Membership Sign-Ups At The Crow Library

The rain gods, “Drip” and “Sprinkle,” decided to hedge their appearance in North Texas on Wednesday, November 2. Perhaps it was because of the seventh World Series game, or the CMAs. Whatever.

Nearly 200 gents and their fav gals held forth at Kathy and Harlan Crow’s library, complete with shoes shines and cigar rolling on the covered side terrace and whiskey tastings in Harlan’s better-than-real-life Oval Office.  

Harlan Crow's Oval Office

Harlan Crow’s Oval Office

In the main room, a huge drop screen was on the stage where there is usually a piano. Instead guests could see live play-by-play of the Fall Classic.

And what was the uproarious occasion demanding stogies, drops screens, shoe shines and all those guy-like activities? Why, it was the inaugural Gentlemen’s Night created by Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Genesis HeROs program. “We wanted to do something that was fun for the guys,” said Jan Langbein, the Genesis Women’s Shelter CEO.

Chris and Nancy Mulder

Chris and Nancy Mulder

Morgan Meyer

Morgan Meyer

And what a gathering of eagles it was, including Texas State Rep. Morgan Meyer, Judge Nancy and Chris Mulder, Lisa and Marvin Singleton, Kristen Howell, Daniel Roby and Amber and Josh Ragsdale, the W.H. Adamson High School football coach who was the recipient of the 2015 HeRO Award for “taking a public stand against domestic violence by serving as a role model, mentor and change agent for W.H. Adamson High School football players and the greater Dallas community.”

Josh and Amber Ragsdale and Daniel Roby

Josh and Amber Ragsdale and Daniel Roby

For some, it was a return to one of country’s most outstanding private collections; for others, it was a first time at a wonderland of historic treasures. As one young woman pointed out Lincoln’s itty-bitty desk in Congress, Carolyn Miller in the adjacent alcove was focused on Lincoln’s death mask.

Carolyn Miller

Carolyn Miller

Crayton Webb and Jan Langbein

Crayton Webb and Jan Langbein

Dang, but it almost got embarrassing as CEO Jan and HeROs President Crayton Webb exchanged platitudes on stage with each other. Said Jan, of Crayton’s heartfelt speaking style: “I don’t know whether to vote for him, or to pass the collection plate. Ladies and gentlemen, the Rev. Crayton Webb!”

Crayton said, “I’m here to say, the good guys have got to do their part” against domestic abuse. He encouraged the multitude of men to join up and take a pledge to “create safe homes and a safe community for domestic violence survivors” and to commit to zero tolerance for domestic abuse in the community. Already on board are Jason Adams, Travis Armayor, Chris Ayres, Elias Bahar, David Camp, Chief (Ret.) Lowell Cannaday, David Carlock, Kendall Castello, Randy Golden, Taly Hafffar, Holt Haynsworth, Clint Hennen, Bill Howell, Heath Hyde, Chris Kolczun, Andrew Marcus, Tony McGuire, Prentis Murphy, Scott Murray, David Novak, Bryon Sanders, Lt. (Ret.) Miguel Sarmiento, Jim Savage and Rev. R. Casey Shobe.

Memberships range from the active members ($100 annually) to lifetime members (one-time payment of $1,000). Concluded Crayton: “We need your help.”

Mary Kay Foundation’s 2016 Suits For Shelters Fashion Celebration Was Definitely In The Pink At Tootsies

As so many have realized recently, domestic violence doesn’t take a second off. Whether it’s in the low-income community or the highfalutin neighborhoods, anger and physical abuse are not limited to one ZIP code.

But on Wednesday, July 20, the Suits for Shelters program celebrated the hope for many suffering from domestic violence. It was the annual fashion show at Tootsies benefiting the Mary Kay Foundation‘s effort to collect clothes for victims trying to find new lives of independence. And pink was definitely the color the day!

It was a great turnout of frontliners in the battle against abuse. The Family Place’s VP of Development Melissa Sherrill was standing in for The Family Place Executive Director Paige Flink , who was MIA. It seems that after 25 years of working at The Family Place, Paige was on a sabbatical that had coincided with the Suits for Shelters get-together.

On the other hand, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein in her most adorable explosion of pink sundress said that she was already on the search for the Genesis Luncheon 2017 speaker. OK, so she admitted that to outdo 2016 speaker Tyler Perry was going take some doing, but Jan enjoys a good challenge, don’t you know.

Jan Langbein

Jan Langbein

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

Maleiah and Ryan Rogers

But the true-blue standouts of the evening were Maleiah and Ryan Rogers. Gee, were these two made by Mattel? They greeted one and all with graciousness and dang! They looked so fabulous. Ryan’s grandmother, the late Mary Kay Ash, would have been so proud to have seen her mission to help those overcoming domestic violence being carried on by Maleiah and Ryan.

Mary Kay Foundation that is the driving force of the event also had Mary Kay Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility VP Crayton Webb, who had missed last year’s event due to a trip to China. Now, the father of three sons and a brand new daughter was looking over the crowd for his wife Nikki Webb, who was on her way.

It’s hard to imagine a more dedicated advocate in the battle against domestic violence than HeROs President Crayton, but the March birth of a daughter has made his mission even more personal.

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Cynthia Izaguirre and Alexa Conomos

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

Nancy Gopez and Kris Jonhson

All too soon the capacity crowd including Nancy Gopez, Kris Johnson, Melissa Cameron and Michaela Dyer, moved upstairs for the fashion show. After the welcomes by Emcee WFAA’s Cynthia “Izzy” Izaguirre, Ryan, Crayton and Tootsies Store Director Nerissa von Helpenstill, the fashions were on parade worn by WFAA’s Alexa Conomos and Charlotte Huffman, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Kellie Rasberry, Attitudes and Attire’s Evelyn Earl, Battered Women’s Foundation’s Roze Kluttz, Brighter Tomorrows’ Tina Strand, Denton County Friends of the Family’s Alicia Froidl, Dress for Success’ Karis Renee, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Tamika Jackson, Hope’s Door’s Megan Rutherford, Mosaic Family Services’ McKenzie Hoopfer, New Beginning Center’s Rhonda Aicklen, Safe Haven of Tarrant County’s Dakota Hart, The Salvation Army’s Vicki Wheaton, The Family Place’s Ericka Johnson and Mary Kay’s Marci Burns, Morgan Calhoun and Lisa Petty.

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Nerissa von Helpenstill

Suits for Shelter fashion show

Suits for Shelters fashion show

Then the raffle took place with the highlight being the announcement of the winner of the $5,000 donation in the name of the winner to a domestic violence group.  Provided by Maleiah and Ryan, this item is the most-sought-after of the raffle packages for the nonprofit representatives. The moment Esmerelda Rodriquez’s name was called was electric. Irving-based Brighter Tomorrows’ CEO Diana Franzetti was truly beside herself. It seemed pretty obvious which organization Brighter Tomorrows’ Board Member Esmerelda was going to pick.

On a sidenote: Tootsies’ Sales Manager Dustin Holcomb admitted that the entire Tootsies’ family was still adjusting to life without Tootsies’ founder Mickey Rosmarin. Still Dustin assured that the Dallas operation was not only carrying on, it was going to celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall.

Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jane Doe Award Dinner Dazzled With Roger, Serita And LeAnn Thanks To Doug, Gina, Molly And Nancy

In the past the featured speaker of the Genesis Annual Luncheon has attended The Jane Doe Award Dinner the night before for a small gathering of major supporters. This year’s speaker, Tyler Perry, was upfront and regretted that he wasn’t gonna make it for the event scheduled for Thursday, May 5. Now, such a development might send some fundraising chairs into a tizzy. Ah, but Genesis Annual Luncheon Co-Chairs Gina Betts and Nancy Rogers are far from your everyday co-chairs.

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

Nancy Rogers, Gina Betts and Molly Barnes

They rolled up their silk sleeves and made a couple of calls to folks who make big things bigger. The result was a no-sit-down, napkin-in-your-lap and ever-so-proper affair. No, siree. The reception took place in the entertainment center at Molly and Doug Barnes’ estate. Just making it past the security chap with the clipboard at the front gate gave a whole new layer to the expression, “You have arrived.”

Once inside the doors, there was the reception room that’s bigger than some condos. Just behind the check-in table was a marvelous view of the outdoor patio that looked so inviting with pool and umbrella-shaded tables. Still, most everybody stayed indoors with Cassandra and her staff passing all types of yummies and libations in addition to a side buffet of goodies. And then there was talk about a surprise that had been making the rounds. Nobody was supposed to know that Betts-Rogers had arranged for “special entertainment” to follow the presentation of the awards, but it seemed that everyone knew. Only they weren’t admitting it.

Nancy and Richard Rogers

Nancy and Richard Rogers

T.D Jakes

T.D Jakes

Marianne Staubach and Nancy Ann Hunt

Marianne Staubach and Nancy Ann Hunt

S.M. Wright II

S.M. Wright II

Ron Corning and Tanya Foster

Ron Corning and Tanya Foster

Genesis Executive Director Jan Langbein greeted all at the front door…At times it appeared to be a Mary Kay Ash family reunion as Richard Rogers walked in and directly headed to Nancy for a hug…Mary Kay great granddaughter Jessica Blair was on the scene, as well as MK’s granddaughter Gena Tadewald, who came into town from her place in Lucas, where she has horses, cows, dogs, sheep and all types of critters…Driving in from Fort Worth were Olivia and Jeff Kearney. Olivia recalled how Doug had told her, “It took me longer to build this house than it took Jerry Jones to build ‘The Star’ in Frisco.”…Genesis Raffle Co-Chairs Katy Bock and Tanya Foster were on hand with their fellas Lawrence Bock and Pete Foster, respectively…Others filling the room and spilling into the adjoining theater’s lobby were Ken Betts, Nancy Ann Hunt, Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Kathleen Hutchinson, Michael Flores, Dallas Snadon, Doug Carney, Tracy and Ben Lange, Mary Crosland, Cara French, Lisa Ogle, Beth and Charles Thoele, S.M. Wright II, Genesis Annual Luncheon Emcee/WFAA anchor Ron Corning, Shane Allen, Jane Doe Awardee Serita Jakes with her husband T.D. Jakes, HeRO Award recipient Roger Staubach and wife Marianne Staubach. Roger, who has four daughters, admitted to Jan that “When I was growing up, I would have said it was one [case of domestic violence] in 10 million.” Jan said, “No, it’s one in three.” BTW, it was just a couple of years ago that Staubach daughter Jennifer Staubach Gates received the Jane Doe Award.

Kathleen Hutchinson

Kathleen Hutchinson

Michael Flores and Doug Carney

Michael Flores and Doug Carney

Ben and Tracy Lange

Ben and Tracy Lange

Ken Betts

Ken Betts

Running a little behind schedule, the group finally moved into the cabaret-style theater with tables and chairs. Due to the SRO crowd, more chairs were assembled, but even then the SRO status remained.

On stage, Jan told about the Rogers’ $1M challenge and if it was met, Genesis Women’s Shelter would receive $2M. She introduced Mary Kay VP Crayton Webb, who heads up Genesis’ HeROs Men’s Auxiliary. Admitting to a definite case of “hero worship,” he did a great job introducing and presenting the award to Roger. Crayton recalled that when he asked Roger about former Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy, who had made headlines regarding “an incident” of domestic violence with his then-girlfriend Nicole Holder, Roger responded, “We don’t root for him. I’ll root for the Cowboys, but I won’t root for him.”

Crayton Webb

Crayton Webb

Roger Staubach

Roger Staubach

Upon receiving the award, Roger added, “If I ever run into Greg, I hope Randy White is with me… Don’t we believe in second chances? Yes, but I’d rather give a second chance to a bank robber than a domestic violence person.” He then thanked Jan for bringing the issue to his attention.

Then Jan presented Serita with the Jane Doe Award for her “Starting Over Ministry,” an 8-week course which offers a curriculum with hands-on practical applications” for women “who are transitioning through some of life’s greatest challenges.” The award is presented to “individuals or groups who display extraordinary commitment to standing alongside those seeking safety, shelter and support.”

Serita Jakes

Serita Jakes

LeAnn Rimes*

LeAnn Rimes*

Following the presentation of the awards, Jan sprung the surprise entertainment — LeAnn Rimes, who sang much longer than her arranged schedule. It was hard to imagine that it’s been 20 years since a 13-year-old Rimes made history with the release of “Blue.” The voice and delivery still amaze.

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

Junior League Of Dallas And Mary Kay Inc. Salute High School Seniors In Women Scholarship Program

The Junior League of Dallas is well known for being a incubator of leadership with such programs as the T. Boone Pickens Leadership Institute. But on Thursday, March 31, its partnership with Mary Kay Inc. resulted in recognizing tomorrow’s leaders at the third annual Women LEAD Scholarship Program. Here is a report from the field:

Four deserving Dallas Independent School District high school seniors are one step closer to pursuing their dreams of higher education as the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) and Mary Kay Inc. announced the recipients of the third annual Women LEAD (Learn • Excel • Achieve • Dream) Scholarship Program. On Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the Junior League of Dallas’ headquarters, two of Dallas’ most respected women’s organizations partnered to award $25,000 in scholarships to four female students to create opportunities for future women leaders.

“Education is a main area of support in the League and Women LEAD directly reflects our mission to develop the potential of women,” said JLD President Meredith Mosley. “We are honored that in collaboration with Mary Kay, we are able to award these young women with scholarships and hope the funds help the recipients further their education and move one step closer to pursuing their dreams.”

Established in 2013, the scholarship program was inspired by the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of the iconic global beauty company more than 50 years ago that has led the way for millions of women worldwide to pursue their dreams. The 10 finalists from Emmett J. Conrad High School, South Oak Cliff High School, and Thomas Jefferson High School prepared a speech based on the essay topic, “how do you make a difference in your community and what drives you to give back,” which directly aligns with JLD’s mission. A panel of judges selected four winners based on their scholarship application, community involvement, academic record and speech presentation. The 2016 judges included Meredith Mosley, Dr. Cynthia Wilson, DISD Chief of Staff Dr. Cynthia Wilson, Dallas Deputy Chief of Police Catrina Shead and Mary Kay Inc. Corporate Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Vice President Crayton Webb.

Crayton Webb, Donner Allen, Renee Moreno, Anjana Ghaley, Cynthia Izaguirre, Yoga Karki, Gianni Alexander and Meredith Mosley*

Crayton Webb, Bonner Allen, Renee Moreno, Anjana Ghaley, Cynthia Izaguirre, Yoga Karki, Gianni Alexander and Meredith Mosley*

First place winner Gianni Alexander, a senior at South Oak Cliff High School, will receive a one-time $10,000 scholarship. Homeless as a child, Alexander stressed that “education is freedom” and that through her acts of community service, she hopes to inspire Dallas youth. With this scholarship, she is one step closer to becoming an art director and plans to pursue a degree in advertising.

Second place winner Renee Moreno, third place winner Yoga Karki and fourth place winner Anjana Ghaley will each receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship. Moreno, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School, stated the importance of “doing everything with love” and plans to pursue a career that allows her to give back to her community. Karki, a senior at Conrad High School, plans to attend medical school in hopes of becoming a doctor. After growing up in Nepal, Ghaley, also a Conrad High School senior, plans to pursue a career in nursing and has dreams of educating rural communities in disease prevention.

“Mary Kay’s mission of enriching women’s lives vividly comes to life through the Women LEAD Scholarship Program by promoting the next generation of women leaders,” said Crayton. “In a longstanding partnership with the Junior League of Dallas, an outstanding organization with a legacy of empowering women throughout the city, we are thrilled to celebrate these young women as they develop into the future leaders of our community.”

* Photo credit: Rhi Lee