“As a Sarasota native, I am passionate about our town. Because we have such an amazing philanthropic community with such a wide scope of opportunity for involvement, I have learned that what works for me is to choose a few organizations for which you can make the biggest impact. It is easy to spread your energy and resources too thin. So take a look at your community, social circles, your children and their schools to determine where you can make a meaningful impact. There are so many ways you can make a difference, and it is important to involve your children in giving back whenever possible. On a different note, take care of your body during the sea- son—you are likely to start burning the candle at both ends. Exercise every day and sleep whenever you get a chance. Eliminate stress by pre-planning things such as salon appointments and attire. I would say to try and wear comfortable shoes but that would be unrealistic—I highly recommend Jimmy Choo in black, nude and metallic. A clutch or barely there cross-body will free up your hands for Veuve and shaking new hands! Smile with the confidence of knowing that your contribution will make an impact. Do philanthropy in the way that works best for you and your charity, whether that means writing a check, planting a tree, making bag lunches or simply enjoying a beautiful gala and dancing the night away.”


“With multiple events in one day, do your due diligence before heading to each function so you know the history and mission of the organization and the people who are working to make it a reality. Brush up on committee and board member names and let your partner or guest know who will be in attendance and the purpose of the evening so they are involved in supporting the organization. Remembering someone's name (and their partner's name) is a simple yet important gesture. This will make for more meaningful connections. Lastly, if you are a guest, make a contribution at least equal to the ticket price and always send a handwritten thank you note to your host.”


“Life is full-pace for everyone these days. The social season in SRQ is a true juggling act filled with philanthropic events, holiday celebrations, work commitments and more in between. I suggest transitioning into season with a clean slate, positive mindset and energy to put toward your true passions. Simplicity is beautiful—soaking in the moment, meeting new people and attending events that excite you makes prioritizing your time natural. Confidence shines in a room so put your best foot forward. There’s nothing like a good manicure, pedicure and blowout paired with a big smile. I also suggest making time for a great run or Cycle Bar class. I cannot stress enough: do not feel like you need to be present at EVERY Sarasota event this season—follow your heart. ”


“The Road Warrior’s Survival Guide to Season: 1. Always make sure the important events are put into Outlook or Google Calendar far in advance, especially the date tickets go on sale. 2. Be a good public servant and support the organizations of your choice to the fullest by buying raffle tickets, attending events and spreading the word around the community. 3. Always have a best friend on standby as a last minute date. 4. Make sure you always have one freshly dry-cleaned black dress. 5. Bring back-up flats because we all know how uncomfortable gorgeous shoes can be.”


“As daunting as season may seem, it is also a great time to reconnect with friends who’ve been scattered around the world, attend great events and, most importantly, support many worthy causes. Like most of us, I have my special causes and I always mark my calendar so I don’t miss their events. Then I give some thought to supporting new causes each year. Once I have a general idea about my calendar, I make sure to get my beauty appointments nailed down. One of my beauty tips: if I have a ‘pop-up’ event, I love the new Korean face sheets. I feel instantly refreshed and good to go. I am a planner by nature, but since I run a restaurant, I know I will be busy so I must get all of these things planned well in advance.”


“To maximize your return on time allotted during season: 1. Be selective. Pick and choose what matters to you. This helps create your personal brand. 2. Visualize the important elements of each event as they apply in order to help you set and reach goals you have set for yourself. 3. Decide what you are comfortable giving before you go, whether that be time, talent, treasure or all of the three. This ensures you are walking the walk and talking the talk in giving back to the greater good. 4. Let the professionals work for you. Have a team of beauty peeps you can call and back-ups ready if they are booked. 5. Don’t forget to say thank you in person if possible. If not, technology can help create unique thank you’s on the fly. Animoto is a good one.”


“Seven percent. That is how much the words we use account for others’ impressions of us (according to the landmark UCLA study on communication). The other 93 percent is non-verbal communication—this why people rehearse things from eye contact to their hand- shake to their pace of speech. However, it is worth noting that people see you before they hear you (or shake your hand). With that in mind, it makes sense to put some thought and intention into your wardrobe this season. People will make very quick and lasting subconscious decisions about who you are and how you dress will start this process. I am humble and realistic enough to know what I am good at—and what I am not. This is one of those areas where I graciously call on an expert. My advice is to find someone whose dress always impresses you—chances are, they can recommend a good haberdasher and tailor— certainly the best decision I ever made for upgrading and updating my sense of style.”


“Even if you only go to one black tie event each year, buy a tux—don't rent. A gentleman should own his own tux. It will more than pay for itself after just a few functions. If you avoid a trendy style (i.e. four- and five-button tuxes from the ‘90s) you can wear it for years. Kilts are always a fun way to add some flair to a black tie event, and to stand out from the standard penguin crowd. Unless you have a family tartan, it's best to go with "unrestricted" plaids, such as Black Watch or Stewart Hunting. Consider going ‘true Scottish’! Ascots are a great way to make a statement and can be worn with a tux to switch things up a bit. Note, however, that ascots are considered rather informal, and should not be worn when true formal black tie attire is called for.”


“Ten years ago, I moved to Sarasota from Washington, DC and thought this was a cozy, sleepy town. I was wrong. Season here is 10 times busier than up north. I manage to handle my schedule with prioritizing the events that I attend. We have such an amazing town with awesome nonprofits, but I have to just focus on the causes that I care deeply about—about 20 to 30. As for friends’ parties and events, I will always try and move my schedule around to support them. And most importantly, I always will make sure that I put family first and have time for my husband and two beautiful bichons. It’s a balancing act, but one that keeps me sane. Sanity also means that your wardrobe has to be coordinated, so you will always see me in a statement piece of jewelry or a wrap that can turn a daytime dress into an evening ensemble.”