Photos by Travis Burton, TO2 Photography

Nina Campbell, one of the world’s most influential interior designers, was the speaker at the Mint Museum Auxiliary’s Room to Bloom Decorative Arts Symposium. The sold-out event at Charlotte Country Club was sponsored by Wells Fargo Private Bank and co-chaired by the Auxiliary’s Keri Clavin and Amy Kerr.

“The Mint is so grateful to the Auxiliary for their hard work on this extraordinary event,” says Hillary Cooper, Director of Advancement & Communications for the Mint Museum. “It serves as a wonderful fundraiser and friend-raiser for the museum. The caliber of speaker they annually attract is top-notch and the beauty, color, inspiration, positive energy, and palatable enthusiasm shared for art, design, and the Mint’s mission is absolutely electric.”

Campbell — whose clients include British Royalty, Rod Stewart and Ringo Starr — delighted the crowd with her sharp wit and timeless style. After her talk, she signed copies of her newest book, Nina Campbell Interior Decoration: Elegance and Ease. Then guests were seated for a lovely luncheon.

“What an honor to hear and learn from such a legend within the interior design industry,” Hillary says. “I loved when shared that brown furniture has always been in fashion and is experiencing a Renaissance – long live Lady Campbell.”


Photos by Lydia Bittner-Baird

It was a Vogue-worthy evening when Wells Fargo Private Bank, SOCO Gallery and The Mint Museum hosted Cocktails, Conversation, and a Book Signing with Tonne Goodman and Ivan Shaw. The celebration was in honor of Vogue Fashion Director Tonne Goodman’s new book, Point of View: Four Decades of Defining Style.

The ultra-chic attendees gathered for cocktails on the lawn of the Mint Museum’s Randolph Road location before being seated under a modern tent for a light supper and a program focused on Tonne’s storied career as a fashion influencer.

Surrounded by stunning flowers from Watered Garden Florist, Tonne and fellow legend Ivan, Vogue’s director of Photography and producer of the book, were interviewed on stage by the Mint Museum’s new president and CEO Todd A. Herman. (Ivan is also famous for being the inspiration for the beloved character Nigel in The Devil Wears Prada.)

“It was an incredible honor to host Tonne and Ivan in Charlotte,” SOCO Gallery owner Chandra Johnson says. “Tonne is an enormous part of fashion history. It was a privilege to hear about the numerous iconic fashion images she has created over the years and how she shaped her eye to be one of the most influential editors of our generation.”

The idea for the evening began because book signings are such a strong part of the programming at SOCO Gallery. Chandra was working with Ivan on a previous SOCO Gallery signing of Around That Time: Horst at Home in Vogue when he mentioned Tonne’s new publication. “I jumped at the opportunity to bring her to Charlotte,” Chandra says. “I was delighted The Mint Museum and Wells Fargo partnered with us for the event.”

Each guest received a copy of the gorgeous visual biography, which Tonne signed. But that may not be the end.

After such an engaging and positive evening, Tonne and Ivan became huge fans of Charlotte. “Ivan is quickly becoming a Queen City regular and we are already in discussion about another signing for a book he is producing with Jim Moore from GQ,” Chandra says.


Photos by Tricia Coyne Photography

The mission of the Visionary Women Luncheon is to celebrate the power and purpose of women coming together to share big ideas that benefit the community. It's presented annually by Wells Fargo Private Bank, Queens University of Charlotte and the Mint Museum.

The luncheon is also a tribute to the past 34 recipients of Queens University of Charlotte's Business Woman of the Year; and the Charlotte Woman of the Year program, which began in 1955. Charlotte's 2019 Business Woman of the Year is Carol Lovin, Executive Vice President and System Chief of Staff for Atrium Health.

“This event is unique because it is singularly focused on celebrating women, women empowerment, women supporting other women and women coming together to make a difference in our community,” says Madelyn Caple, Managing Director for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “Every detail is perfect — the invitation, the flowers, the menu and the program content — it’s all so thoughtful,” she says.

For the first time, the luncheon was held outdoors on the grounds of the Mint Museum Randolph amid gorgeous displays from Watered Garden Florist. Acclaimed artist Windy O’Connor created the designs that were used for the tablecloths and the invitations.

While guests enjoyed a delicious meal from Porcupine Provisions, speaker Gregg Renfrew, Founder and CEO of Beautycounter cosmetics, was interviewed on stage by Pamela Davies, former president of Queens University of Charlotte and the 2018 Charlotte Business Woman of the Year recipient.

Gregg’s cosmetics company is revolutionizing the industry by creating clean and sustainable products while also advocating for safer beauty laws.

Attendees were delighted to discover that Gregg is the cousin of sisters Hillary Cooper, The Mint Museum’s Director of Advancement & Communications, and Leslie Culbertson, Corporate Relations Manager for Anne Neilson Fine Art.

“Leslie and I are so proud of Gregg — she is an incredible person, wife, mother, entrepreneur, and friend,” Hillary says. “She has always been smart, driven, fearless, and confident. She has built an amazing business and is transforming the world.”

The warmth of the crowd and the meaningfulness of the event left an impression on the guest of honor.

“Gregg was blown away by the luncheon, the women she met in Charlotte and how engaging everyone was,” Madelyn says.


Photos by Paul Williams III Photography

Miss Universe Cheslie Tryst, a Charlotte attorney and the reigning Miss North Carolina USA, was celebrated by her family and friends at a private event at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

“Cheslie has set a new standard for the women that compete in pageants moving forward,” said Paula Miles and Ryan Miles, co-directors of Miss North Carolina USA, in a release following Cheslie’s win. “Her success, prior to winning the title will allow her to do things that no other Miss USA has done before her.”

Cheslie has been described as being bright, articulate, ambitious, and capable.

She grew up in Fort Mill, S.C. and earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina. Her law degree is from Wake Forest University. She also has a fashion blog, White Collar Glam.

Chenille is also a Dress for Success National Impact Ambassador and will speak at Dress for Success Charlotte’s Ultimate Power Lunch on September 24 from 11:30 am – 1:15 pm at The Fillmore Charlotte. Tickets: charlotte.dressforsuccess.org.

Here’s video of Cheslie being crowned Miss USA:


Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

One of the many highlights of the 39th annual Speedway Children's Charities Gala presented by Sonic Automotive at The Ritz-Carlton uptown was a tribute to NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton, a longtime NASCAR executive who in 2000 succeeded Bill France Jr. and became the third president of NASCAR.

In addition to Helton, a star-studded group of headliners including country music star Justin Moore and world-class Chef Robert Irvine, added to the festivities. Moore performed his No. 1 hit songs including Small Town USA and If Heaven Wasn't So Far Away, while Irvine prepared a truly incredible menu for attendees. Irvine is known for hosting some of the Food Network's most popular shows including Restaurant: Impossible and for founding the military veteran-supporting Robert Irvine Foundation in 2015.

"The Speedway Children's Charities Gala gives us a chance to help children in the greater Charlotte community and to celebrate our motorsports industry," said Marcus Smith, the vice chairman of Speedway Children's Charities. "The gala also provides us with the perfect platform to salute the tireless efforts of Mike Helton, one of the most influential people in NASCAR. Mike's leadership has been invaluable, and having him join us for the gala is a real privilege.”

The gala serves as a marquee fundraiser for Speedway Children's Charities' Charlotte chapter, a far-reaching nonprofit which assists children in need throughout the Charlotte area. The black-tie event features many prominent dignitaries from the motorsports industry as well as the nonprofit sector throughout Charlotte, the home base of Speedway Children's Charities since its founding by Bruton Smith in 1982.


Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

The Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte Gala was a record-breaking one for the fundraiser that’s now in its seventh year. The stars were six of Charlotte’s community and corporate leaders. They were paired with professional dancers from Charlotte Ballet to raise money for the ballet company and each star’s chosen charity. Held on the stage of Knight Theater, it raised more than $1.5 million.

The six pairs were:

Megan Hughes Allison of Genesco Sports Enterprises danced with Charlotte Ballet’s Colby Foss to benefit Pat’s Place.

John FitzHugh of Wells Fargo Securities danced with Charlotte Ballet’s Elizabeth Truell to benefit Novant Health’s Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Program

Erin Santos of the Isabella Santos Foundation danced with Charlotte Ballet’s Juwan Alston to benefit the Isabella Santos Foundation.

Carl Showalter of Showalter Construction danced with Charlotte Ballet’s Sarah Lapointe to benefit HopeWay.

William Smith of PNC Bank danced with Charlotte Ballet’s Amelia Sturt-Dilley to benefit Howard Levine Child Development Center at Renaissance West.

Dr. Courtney D. Stephenson of Atrium Health’s Charlotte Fetal Care Center danced with Charlotte Ballet’s James Kopecky to benefit The Cottie & Cake Fund.

People’s Choice Winner Carl Showalter, raised more than $592,000. The Judges’ Choice Winners were Dr. Courtney Stephenson and Erin Santos.


Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

Charity League of Charlotte’s 38th annual Fashion Show and Silent Auction helped raise funds for the nonprofit’s mission of helping children in need, a mission it has achieved for almost 100 years. Charity League is Charlotte’s oldest philanthropic organization run by women.

The all-volunteer group chose Myers Park Country Club as the venue for day of fashion, silent auction with a Springtime in Paris theme.

Accordinist Sean Mulcahy and singer Elizabeth Jetton performed French-inspired music. Suzanne Libfraind, SouthPark Mall’s personal shopper, styled an informal fashion show featuring clothes from Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Johnny Was, Nordstrom and shoes from Stuart Weitzman. The model were Lydia McNeary, Emily Zimmerman, Teresa Rose, Myra Lee and Francene Marie.

Spring Fundraiser Chair Tina Spencer and her committee asked Kelly Price, Executive Director of Title i Services of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to speak about the importance of Charity League’s support of some of Charlotte’s most underserved students.

Afterward, Charity League President Olivia Fortson announced that after six months of Strategic Planning, the nonprofit was launching its new CLHub closets in two of Charlotte’s most underserved schools, Hidden Valley Elementary and Sterling Elementary. CLHub will provide students in needed with access to critical basic needs including school uniforms, clothing, shoes, undergarments and toiletries so they will feel confident and ready to learn.


Photos by Daniel Coston Photography

The inaugural What Are You Carrying? designer handbag auction at Quail Hollow Club was an evening of education, awareness and fun. The 300 guests bid on a selection of designer purses with proceeds going to support the therapeutic programs and financial assistance at HopeWay, Charlotte’s mental health treatment center offering residential and day treatment for adults in a first-class setting.

Funds raised go to HopeWay’s financial assistance program that increases access to a wider population of men and women who need help. Since opening in November of 2016, HopeWay has provided over $1 million in financial assistance and served nearly 700 people.

The event committee included Amy Levine Dawson, Preeti Deshmukh, Emily Maynard Johnson, Kara Olsen, Taylor Russ, Laura Philipson, Lori Levine Sklut, and Nazy Weeks. A Challenge Grant from Lori and Eric Sklut matched direct contributions to HopeWay up to $20,000.

The event was a huge success and raised more than $111,000 for HopeWay.


Famous photographer Sonia Handelman Meyer, 99, was the guest of honor at an exhibition at the Light Factory that focused on The Photo League (1936–1951). This cooperative in New York City run by amateur and professional photographers was dedicated to the medium they loved. Both artists featured in this exhibition, Sonia Handelman Meyer and George Gilbert, were devoted members active in the League throughout the 1940s. They focused their lenses on the city’s street life, neighborhoods, and citizens, creating photographs that are a social documentary of the post-war era.