Our TEAM

JAMIE CHANDLEE

As a busy working mom of two, Rank & Style CEO Jamie Chandlee developed a strong passion for technologies that simplify consumer experiences, so people have more time for the parts of their lives not behind a screen. She and her team contribute to our List column in each issue, and her vision for Rank & Style is to give people back the time they waste digging through endless fashion resources to find the products they like. Chandlee is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and is grateful to be able to help people outside the office through her participation in numerous socially impactful organizations.

LORI DURAN

Lori Duran has had a diverse career and currently researches interesting historical stories of social changes. This has been her life-long passion. Duran serves on the board of directors for the Austin History Center Association, where she is involved in coordinating volunteers and helping the Oral History Committee. She also writes articles for Society Texas and other publications and recently authored the book Austin’s Travis Heights Neighborhood. She has released her second book, The University of Texas at Austin: The First One Hundred Years.

JAKE GAINES

Whether finding the best restaurant in Rome overlooking the Colosseum…or taking a private tour of the Queen’s art collection at Buckingham, our cultural enthusiast and arbiter Jake Gaines, a native Texan, is always on the go. Our very own James Bond on the social scene, he will gladly wield his saber to pop open a bottle of Champagne before advancing into a masked ball. His motto? Bring your passport and wear the tuxedo since one never knows what can happen. He’s a beloved guest at any dinner party and is known for his disappearing tablecloth trick. When in doubt, he recommends everyone into the pool for a midnight game of what else? Marco Polo.

ROB GIARDINELLI

Certified professional coach and branding expert by day, social commentator by night, COO/Co-Publisher, and Senior Social Editor, Rob Giardinelli is a man of many interests. He loves being a part of any room where social Texans exude their larger-than-life essence, whether cooking a meal at home for a small group of friends or being part of a non-profit gala for over a thousand guests. Most of all, he appreciates how Texans so generously and passionately give back. He relishes weaving his social commentary to showcase those who work tirelessly to raise awareness of important causes in the State of Texas and beyond.

EDY HERNANDEZ

Edy Hernandez, Beast Creative Agency’s founder, decided to take the idea of the traditional agency and turn it on its ear…or better said, let the problem speak for itself. The Beast addresses your marketing challenges with creative thinking. Solving such issues is their jam. They have frequently helped their clients with non-marketing-related internal processes derived simply through a fresh perspective and ideation.

GORDON KENDALL

Our very fashionable Texan-turned-New Yorker-turned-Dallas contributor, Gordon Kendall, is always on the go and on the scene. He is a freelance fashion author and educator. He is also an executive member of the Fashion Group International/New York, a member of The Couture Council, and The Museum at F.I.T.

Eleanora Morrison

KRISTEN O’BRIEN

Kristen O’Brien is a writer and editor who has also segued into the world of public relations and events. A graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, she has worked in various capacities for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, ELLE magazine, Austin Film Festival, and SXSW. She was also appointed editor-in-chief for the launch of the website for the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York. Born and raised in London, she has spent most of her career in Paris and New York. Now that Austin is her home, she loves exploring Texas, the Greenbelt, and Austin’s Mexican food restaurants. Follow her adventures at Instragram.com/kristengunrie.

Eleanora Morrison

LEANNE RAESENER

Our Associate Editor, Leanne Raesener, was formerly the city editor for both Brilliant and The Society Diaries magazines. A fifth-generation Texan raised in Austin; she spent most of her career in Manhattan before we were fortunate to have her back in the Lone Star State. Working at Goldman Sachs in Charitable Giving for many years only deepened her interest in philanthropy. She supports many charities but holds most near and dear to her heart, her brother, Jack Frederick Raesener’s Scholarship Fund, Ballet Austin, and NYU FACES. Her love of life, generosity, creative style, and wordsmithing are a winning combination.

Leanne Raesener

JENNIFER ROOSTH                                                                                                                               

Our talented and terrifically connected Associate Editor, Jennifer Roosth, is a Houston-based writer who never ceases to be amazed by the wonderfully generous spirit of the Houston philanthropic community. “It’s nice to live in a city where so many are excited about giving back,” she says. “In the process, they throw some mighty fine parties.”

MARY SCHNEIDER

Mary Schneider, who contributes to our Thrive column in this issue, has been a student of energetic medicine for 30 years. She has been a Certified Resonance Repatterning Professional in private practice in Austin for the past 20 years (RePatternIt.com). Schneider is also an ordained minister and has studied numerous alternative modalities such as homeopathy, the Chinese 5 Element Acupuncture System, Ayurveda, and the Chakra System, to name a few. She loves speaking regularly in the community about how we heal.

Mary Schnieder CROP ABOVE ELBOWS HeadShot 1

CYNTHIA SMOOT

Meet Cynthia Smoot: publicist, freelance lifestyle and travel writer, Dallas influencer, and Southern Belle. Her passion is being a connector. Whether through her role as a Publicist for Gangway Advertising, social media, or her freelance work, she loves to shine a spotlight on the people, places, events, and services that give Dallas its flavor. Connect with her on all social media platforms @OhSoCynthia.

CYNTHIA SMOOT

ROSE BETTY WILLIAMS

Wherever there is a wonderful party, there is usually Associate Editor and social chronicler, Rose Betty Williams. She leads symposia, plans events, serves on boards, and supports organizations from OperaAmerica to the Helping Hand Home for Children. Williams also facilitates networking for project and product development. Williams is a longtime Austin resident, freelance writer, and photographer with a passion for fine art, music, wine, books, tennis, food, and life…as well as a deep love for her family and community.