Runaway Spoon

The gang's all here

October 23, 2011

City officials, business movers and shakers, and -- hey, that’s Halle Berry’s ex -husband over there!-- packed the Marriott Wardman Park’s huge ballroom Saturday night for the DC Chamber of Commerce’s annual Choice Awards and Gala.

Eric Benet (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Eric Benet
Most youngish eyes were on the incredibly cool singer Eric Benét, who was a guest, not a performer.   Benét, as celebrity watchers don’t have to be told, was once wed to actress Halle Berry.

Lorraine Green, former head of Vince Gray’s winning mayoralty campaign, was at the table of DC Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barbara Lang and her always witty husband, Gerald Lang.  For several minutes, the Mayor had a private conversation standing with Green amongst the tables. Green is a member of the DC Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

The University of the District of Columbia’s table, hosted by president, Dr. Allan L. Sessoms and his wife,  had, among others, Judith Terra, chair of the DC Arts and Humanities Commission.

Among other notables were PR and events executive Linda Greene (who arrived with the Mayor); District of Columbia Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; most City Council members, including Chairman Kwame R. Brown; former campaign manager for Gray’s campaign Adam Rubinson; D.C. City Administrator Alan Y. Lew; D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi; and Cora Masters Barry (who is gearing up to host her celebrity tennis matches this Saturday at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center).

Gerald Lang and Lorraine Green (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Gerald Lang and Lorraine Green
Jim Vance, NBC4, the evening’s emcee, was given a surprise Lifetime Legacy Award.

Awards were presented to:

  • Georgetown resident Mark D. Ein of Venturehouse Group, LLC, for Business Leader of the Year.
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States, Inc., Business of the Year.
  • B. Smith of her eponymous restaurant at Union Station, Chamber’s Choice Award.
  • W. Christopher Smith, real estate executive, Chair’s Choice Award.
    Barbara Lang (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Barbara Lang

City Council Member Vincent Orange and Judith Terra (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) City Council Member Vincent Orange and Judith Terra
En Vogue singers at gala (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) En Vogue singers at gala
Lawson W. Brooks III and B. Smith (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Lawson W. Brooks III and B. Smith

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D.C. Arts and Humanities Commission picks new executive director

October 15, 2011

Lionell Thomas, a resident of Ward 5, is the new executive director of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, replacing outgoing interim director Ayris Scales.

He recently served as executive director for the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council.

A native of D.C., Thomas previously served with the D.C. commission for 22 years in posts that included deputy director and interim director.

Judith Terra, who was selected by Mayor Vincent Gray as commission chair, praised Thomas, saying he brings enormous knowledge of the city and a great vision for the future.

Terra, a former Georgetown resident, had initiated the Thomas appointment. 

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Freed hikers drop into Café Milano

October 13, 2011

The three American hikers held in an Iranian prison didn’t get lost going to Café Milano Wednesday night.  In town to meet with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, hikers Joshua Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer dined at the Georgetown hot spot with a small group and didn’t appear concerned that any hirelings of their Iranian captors might show up.   

The trio came to Cafe Milano in Georgetown a day after U.S. authorities revealed an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador at a Washington restaurant, which could well be crowded with power players.

Justice officials did not name a precise eatery, and said there never was a specific restaurant identified in the alleged plot, but the ambassador has dined at Café Milano.

Fattal and Bauer, both 29, were freed last month under a $1 million bail deal.  Shourd was charged but freed before any trial on humanitarian grounds. She was released last year.




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