Writer and enthusiast of all things Beauty, Fashion, travel and healthy living-related, our Beautify contributor Ana Bribiesca is currently working in the higher education non-profit sector and in launching http://www.AnaBribs.com, a lifestyle blog where she plans to share her passions, experiences, tips and sneak peeks inside her life hoping to share large doses of inspiration.
Torquil Dewar is the founder of October Custom Publishing. Originally from Scotland, he can claim to be the world’s first time traveler after moving from London, England in 2001 to Peoria, Illinois in 1978 (at least that’s what it felt like). As an art director for a wide variety of magazines and books, he also publishes a current events magazine for the Austin area called The Austinite. His long-time colleague Shelley Lai is the only reason deadlines are actually met on time.
Ashley Dobson, who chronicles the French Riviera in this issue, is a freelance writer who has recently returned from living her European dreams with her husband and West Highland terrier in Germany. A proud native Texan, Dobson is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and has worked at a number of newspapers and websites across the South and in Washington, D.C. As an avid traveler (and travel writer), she believes the greatest souvenir from a new place is an experience. For herself, she collects karaoke songs and has performed on the karaoke stage in 18 different countries so far.
Our Attune department contributor Amy Edwards is a rocker, podcast host, actress and writer. She first picked up a guitar five years ago, and now has two solo albums (Ghosts and Saints, FORWARD) and a new EP, Get LIVE, with her band Amy & The Hi-Fis. She channels all she’s learned on this journey into RYmagazine.com and her forthcoming book, #RockYourLife: 30 Days of New Habits to Achieve Your Dreams. For music and more, visit http://www.RealAmyEdwards.com.
Whether finding the best restaurant in Rome overlooking the Colosseum to taking a private tour of the Queen’s art collection at Buckingham, cultural enthusiast and arbiter Jake Gaines, a native Texan is global. 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 transpire. He’s a handy extra man at a dinner party and is known for his disappearing tablecloth trick. When in doubt, he recommends, everyone into the pool for a midnight game of Marco Polo. Learn more about him at http://www.societychronicles.com
Certified professional life coach and branding expert by day, social commentator by night and author of his new book Being In The Room (available at Amazon.com), Senior Social Editor Rob Giardinelli is a man of many interests. What may appear seamless actually takes hours of research, interviews, and photo gathering to accurately chronicle the state’s charitable event stories. Giardinelli himself is involved several philanthropies and loves sharing how Texans so generously and passionately give back to the community they love, while he weaves interesting social commentary that showcases the many who work tirelessly to raise awareness toward important issues in the state.
LAURA VILLAGRAN-JOHNSON AND KEVIN SMOTHERS If there is an event or gala to attend in Texas, count on Laura Villagran-Johnson and Kevin Smothers to be on the scene. As the founders of the social guide and online calendar at http://www.AustinSocialPlanner, Austin’s definitive online source for society events, they know where to go, when to be there and how to dial in to the particular charity behind it. The founders have a combined an events background of almost 30 years across Texas, New York and Los Angeles. Photography by Stacey Harrell.
ELEANORA LEPPER MORRISON
A founding contributor for The Society Diaries, Eleanora Leeper Morrison has been an Associate Editor and writer since the magazine’s first issue covering events, culture, and travel. She is also The Society Diaries TV’s co-creator, co-host and digital editor. Morrison writes and manages her own life and style website http://www.OhEleanora.com that encourages and empowers women to create the lives they want to lead. This month she lends her event-attending expertise to helm most of our wedding stories.
Our new Indulge column contributor and The Society Diaries TV host and Digital Producer Tori Johnson is the owner of sTORIbook Public Relations and is a fashion and lifestyle blogger of http://www.ThesTORIbook.com. She is also a successful commercial and editorial stylist. In 2015, Johnson was voted San Antonio Fashion Blogger of the Year and has worked with a bevy of top names including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Lancôme, Armani Exchange, and many more.
Our newest member of the team, who will be contributing to our Savor department, is Josie Rees, a freelance food photographer based in San Antonio. She is a two-time recipient of Foodelia’s International Food Photography Awards and documents her culinary journey on her blog, http://www.JosieRees.com which showcases some of her favorite recipes and spots around town.
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.”
Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer and modern manners expert. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.
CYNTHIA SMOOT A partner at Gangway Advertising, Cynthia Smoot creates buzz for some of Dallas’ hottest brands through interactive social media strategies and public relations for the firm’s lifestyle clients. She is the go-to resource for what’s happening and who you need to know in Dallas. Through her popular lifestyle blog http://www.OhSoCynthia.com readers get the latest scoop and inside information on fashion, food, philanthropy, events, celebrity and reality TV news. Smoot describes her blog as “a love letter to the city of Dallas” and enjoys taking readers along for the ride as she experiences all that the city has to offer.
JONATHAN SPINDEL Jonathan Spindel is a native Austinite with a global appetite for arts and culture. When he’s not searching the world for the best trends to share with our readers, he can be found at local art galleries, music venues, and hip happenings around the capital city. He reports on all that makes us proud to be part of Texas society and is inspired by the unique individuals and organizations he engages as an Associate Editor, highlighting the happenings that bring the best to, and make the most of, our great state.
MIRANDA F. WALICHOWSKI
Miranda F. Walichowski, Ph.D. is a certified professional life coach and docent at Texas A&M University in the Department of Educational Psychology, helping her clients achieve measurable results when it comes to professional and personal growth in her role as coach and principal of MiraNous Coaching & Consulting, LLC (http://www.MiraNous.com). Dr. Miranda has developed a coaching process based on how the brain works to help individuals develop self-awareness, self-mastery, and self-actualization. She has co-founded a once-in-a-lifetime, transformational experience, the New You Journey (NewYouJourney.com), an intensive six-month coaching program that culminates in a 1,200-year-old pilgrimage from the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains in France to Santiago de Campostela, Spain.