Austin Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Peter Bay’s Silver Anniversary

By Rob Giardinelli     Photography by Randy and Jackie Smith Photography

Isabel Welland, Peter Bay and Linda van Bavel

THE SETTING: The Junior League of Austin’s new event space was the recent setting celebrating a milestone of one of the Capital City’s most beloved cultural leaders. Several hundred of Austin’s most notable sociables and philanthropists turned out to celebrate Maestro Peter Bay’s 25th anniversary leading the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In the process, patrons were treated to an unforgettable evening of fun, tributes and performances those on hand will not soon forget

Cliff and Linda Mountain & Peter Bay Mela Sarajane Dailey

THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd began the evening in the foyer of the Junior League for a cocktail hour. Upon arrival, partygoers were able to pose for photos on the step and repeat with the guest of honor and offer their heartfelt congratulations. Afterword, guests mingled about with the conversation flowing as freely as the spirits. The cocktail hour concluded with Mela Sarajane Dailey, Peter Bay’s wife, performing a showstopping rendition of the classic song, At Last.

Ben Bentzin, Peter Bay and Dalya Sachs

The festivities then headed to the ballroom for the main program. As guests dined on delicious multi-course meals, they were treated to a dazzling array of musical performances and tributes as well as a special sneak preview of the upcoming 2022-2023 season. Performances included a set by the McCallum High School String Orchestra as well as the guest of honor, Peter Bay leading a concert with the Austin Symphony Orchestra for all to enjoy. The evening was capped off with a special presentation by the event’s co-chairs, who provided Peter Bay with a personal, customized book highlighting his life, experiences and accomplishments.

Austin Symphony Orchestra performs

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Isabel Welland and Linda van Bavel, raised over $576,000 for the Austin Symphony Orchestra. In fact, $200,000 of that total, which was raised during the “paddles up” portion of the event, goes to funding Peter Bay’s new and exciting initiatives.



By Rob Giardinelli        Photography by Sam Frost and Fulton Davenport

Atelier Beauté CHANEL pop-up. Austin, TX

Atelier Beauté CHANEL pop-up. Austin, TX

What happens when the platinum standard of beauty brands descends upon Austin for SXSW? A glowing success that will stay in Austin for several weeks until SXSW ends. On March 11th, Chanel proudly launched their Atelier Beauté CHANEL pop-up with an exclusive cocktail party that featured dozens of Austin’s most notable influencers, sociables and style mavens.

Andra Liemandt, Kelly Green and Erin Thornton

Andra Liemandt, Kelly Green and Erin Thornton

The Austin-chic crowd descended upon stunning boutique located on Austin’s Music Lane where they mingled and shipped champagne while viewing the impressive array of CHANEL makeup, skincare and fragrance products. The launch party featured complimentary consultations and services courtesy of CHANEL celebrity makeup artist Tasha Reiko Brown and CHANEL brow artist Jimena Garcia. The atelier allows patrons experiment and create, with no limits, from a wide range of CHANEL products.

Atelier Beauté CHANEL pop-up. Austin, TX

Those who embark on the experience begin by placing their personal items in a locker, named by each icon of the House. Guests then enter the interactive where, via the Atelier’s app, they will have full access to all the products, find detailed product descriptions, book services or events…and make purchases. The result? A dazzling, one-of-a-kind beauty experience where guests can customize CHANEL makeup, skincare and fragrance offerings that perfectly aligns with their own personal aesthetic.

Jamie Chandlee, Kristin Nix and Erin Tice

The Atelier Beauté CHANEL pop-up, located at 1009 South Congress Avenue in Austin is open daily from 10AM-7PM through April 24. For more information, visit

Rob Giardinelli, Kathryn Bowyer, Lance Avery Morgan and Kirstin Ross



By Lance Avery Morgan        Photography courtesy of BFA for Gucci

What happens when you ignite Gucci, Bumble at one SXSW event? True success, that’s what. Very recently, Gucci proudly opened their Domain Austin store–a boutique that spans over 5,000 square feet and showcases a wide collection of men’s and women’s shoes, handbags, luggage, small leather goods, fashion and silver jewelry, watches, eyewear, and Gucci Beauty and fragrances.

Gucci at The Domain Austin

Later, the must-attend private VIP party happened at Sammie’s in downtown Austin on Friday evening. Co-hosts Susan Chokachi, President and CEO of Gucci Americas, and Selby Drummond, Bumble’s Chief Brand Officer, welcomed the hipster guests. During the cocktail party, Austin locals, conference visitors, and friends of Gucci and Bumble enjoyed a selection of Sammie’s cocktails and dishes while mixing and mingling to the live music tunes of Sir Woman.

Bumble’s Selby Drummond and Gucci’s Susan Chokachi

It’s no surprise that to celebrate Gucci’s arrival in the Austin market and coinciding with SXSW, Gucci and Bumble partnered to spotlight women innovators across fashion, technology, film and music. Bumble and Gucci, through the CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, are champions of gender equality and in honor of the event and Women’s History Month, are proud to support DivInc, a Texas-based nonprofit organization on a mission to generate social and economic equity through entrepreneurship. Funding will support DivInc’s overall mission and various programming, including their Web3 Tech Accelerator Program.

Elle Fanning

In fact, Gucci is committed to supporting gender equality through its CHIME FOR CHANGE campaign, founded in 2013 to convene, unite and strengthen the voices speaking out for gender equality globally. In Texas, through its partnership with Ms. Foundation for Women, CHIME FOR CHANGE has supported Texas-based students, LGBTQ and POC women, and the formerly incarcerated in rebuilding their local communities through education and advocacy. Due to the recent urgent threats to the rights of transgender individuals, CHIME FOR CHANGE is pleased to support Equality Texas’s Queer Texas Crisis Fund to support trans youth and their families.

For information on Gucci products and more, visit



By Jake Gaines          Photography courtesy of Scott Murray Scholarship Fund

Ron Haddock, Jim and Margo Keyes, Carole and Scott Murray & Susan and Hank Alterman

Recently, more than 250 guests gathered in Dallas to celebrate the Inaugural Unsung Hero Award honoring Scott Murray and benefiting the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund. The Fund provides financial assistance to individuals from the Dallas/Fort Worth area who have the desire to further their education but lack the necessary financial resources. Former Dallas Cowboy great Chad Hennings gave a moving speech about how Scott Murray is “the real deal,” noting his decades of service on behalf of local nonprofits to raise millions of dollars. In a surprise announcement, Murray agreed that The Scholarship Fund, founded in 1999, would become the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund going forward. In fact, it received a standing ovation from the 250 people in attendance that night.

Elizabeth Polanco, Bob Hopkins, Bob Whisnant and Nancy Knox

The Texas State Fair-themed event featured entrepreneur extraordinaire Jim Keyes as the emcee and was held at the Fair Park Briscoe Carpenter Pavilion, surrounded by reminders of the State Fair glory from years past. Hunter Sullivan and the Hunter Sullivan Band warmed up the crowd for the first hour. Dinner did not disappoint with dishes from the favorite recipes of star chefs David Holben, Richard Chamberlain, Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun, and Sevy Severson.

Myrna and Bob Schlegel and Millie Cooper

The event raised $155,000 for the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund. Because of this success and continued fundraising efforts, the Fund plans to offer $100,000 in scholarships and financial assistance for the 2022-2023 school year to students in need. Assistance is available for students attending community colleges or four-year colleges and universities. The Founder of the Unsung Hero Award and Chairman of the Inaugural event is Bob Hopkins, author, educator, and board member of the Scott Murray Scholarship Fund. For more information and students may apply at

Marilyn Augur and David and Sara Martineau



By Jake Gaines   Photography courtesy of SAFE and Mark Ashby Design

When Mark Ashby Design, the top-drawer Austin-based design firm, partnered with SAFE, the non-profit organization in Austin, magic happened. It was the perfect cause because SAFE shelters and supports survivors of violence, sex trafficking and domestic abuse, to redesign 530 square feet of the facility’s public spaces bringing beautiful design and a fresh outlook to six communal living quarters.

The goal was to reimagine the public spaces at SAFE, so the job ahead was no easy task. For the project that would greatly enhance the current SAFE space, Ashby’s firm raised money throughout 2020 and 2021 (during the heart of the pandemic, mind you) by incentivizing their clients with interior design discounts, donating proceeds from design projects, volunteering to design events for corporate donations, and ended the fundraising with a public GoFundMe campaign. It was a true can-do period for both Ashby and SAFE.

The design team enlisted corporate sponsors McCoy Rockford, Four Hands and many others, all of which were generous with their time and donations. Using the most durable fabrics and sturdy pieces, Simon and design partners Callie DeLuca, Ashleigh Malen, and Annie Bacon delineated best practices to create a timeless, serene design plan that can also withstand everyday wear and tear. That meant calming, neutral tones were used with added pops of energetic color to convey positivity.

The emergency shelter communal living spaces accommodate survivors and often multiple families, so it had to be restful and inviting. The team chose to keep the space light, kid friendly, and well planned by creating zones for living room activities, game playing, family meals, and one-on-one conversations. “Our goal was to support the valuable and important work SAFE provides by creating a warm and welcoming environment for survivors to heal and to process the next brave phase of their lives,” says Christina Simon, Senior Designer, Mark Ashby Design.

“Because of Mark Ashby Design and their corporate sponsors, when families and adults come to SAFE’s shelter looking for safety, they will enter a warm and uplifting environment where they can rest and prioritize their healing and recovery,” says Jacqueline Smith-Francis, Corporate Development Specialist SAFE Austin.  “SAFE is deeply grateful to Mark Ashby Design and its corporate partners for lending their professional expertise and connections to help survivors feel valued and supported during their stay with SAFE.”

We applaud the efforts of both Mark Ashby Design and SAFE, both of whom enrich the community so much.