- The Hamptons is a social universe unique in so many ways. From the way we socialize, to the way we do business, to the way we support the arts. It all came together once again in the East End on Friday, November 6 as art and commerce synthesized in a networking event that combined art, jazz and business at and in support of the Parrish Art Museum
Stephanie Hagan and Dr. Paul E. Kelly.
One of three major events that the Business Council of the Parrish Art Museum coordinates annually in support of the museum was last night's Jazz at the Parrish, a favorite local fundraiser that as usual was filled to capacity. I spoke with the Board Chairman Donald Sullivan
, proprietor of the Hamptons' enormously popular micro-brewery and restaurant the Southampton Publick House
about the event, "Our goal is to recognize the time pressures any business owner or manager is under, they really have a short period of time to get someone's attention. This jazz night is a great, user friendly, efficient way for people to come in, network with other year-around Hamptons people at a great institution like the Parrish Museum and support it at the same time. World class jazz, at a very high-end event, that yet has a very casual feel about it."
The world class jazz Sullivan referred to was provided by the Grammy Award winning quartet New York Voices member Lauren Kinhan
. Now a full-time Hamptons resident, Kinhan donated her talent to the fundraising event that was certainly not the easiest gig for a singer to perform at in competition with all the networking chatter. Like a trouper she performed undaunted with a superb back-up quartet of extraordinary musicians.
Michael Howell and Wally Smith of WLIU.
Introduced by Wally Smith
, the heart and soul of the East End's venerable jazz radio station WLIU, Kinhan sang from the repertoire of her much anticipated solo C.D. "Avalon" which will be released in February.
Ironically, as Smith was taking the stage prior to his introduction of Kinhan, I was talking to former Hamptons Classic Horse Show publicist Michael Howell
who recently took the reins as publicist for the radio station that is literally in a battle for its very existence, "I am coordinating the capital
campaign which is just about to start with our pledge drive next week, which will be live on-air between November 12 and November 16. It will be the big kick-off for all our fundraising efforts to raise the capital that will be necessary to secure and sustain the license we have been granted by the sale of the license by Long Island University to the new entity that will be known as Peconic Public Broadcasting."
Pat and Beau Hulse with Lucille Rakhower.
For those of you East Enders who have listened joyfully to one of America's greatest jazz stations for years without pledging, the time is now! Stony Brook University
acquired Southampton College, but has no interest in sustaining WLIU.
Lauren Kinhan entertained guests.
The most animated table of the night was being held court by Southampton independent realtor icon Beau Hulse
of Beau Pulse Realty Group who, with his wife Pat Hulse
and Lucille Rakhower
of Prudential Douglas Elliman
Realty of Quogue, was having a great time at the event and commented on the need to network in the present economy, "It is more important than ever, it is all about networking now. The whole economy benefits from networking right now. Anyone not doing it is making it that much more difficult for it to recover." Commenting on the East End real estate market Hulse noted, "There has been a very positive turn and the prices have been adjusted accordingly. I think by the middle or end of January prices will start going the other way."
Another motivator of the new economy is definitely green initiatives and on the East End one of the people at the center of it is Roy L. Haje
, president of En-Consultants, an environmental consulting company in Southampton. I asked him about the importance of events like this in a slow economy, "Especially in a slow economy like this, you have to meet as many people as you can, let them know you are out there and let them know what you do."
Toma, Tulla Booth and Denise Caracappa.
It was not only commercial business people at the event, but medical professionals as well, as cosmetic surgeon Dr. Paul E. Kelly
, who has offices in Aquebogue, Southampton and a newly opened practice in East Hampton, explained his participation at the evening's event, "In our business, I do a lot of revision work. I am often times correcting the work of other physicians. A big part of our interest is education, we do a seminar series, we do a lecture series and we educate patients on how to choose. Part of the reason we wanted to come tonight was to put it out there that we do something different than other offices."
Not everyone in attendance was local, as Denise Caracappa
of New Jersey based international food importer Haram-Christiansen Corporation explained, "Even though we are based in New Jersey we have many clients in Southampton and the East End, including Village Teas. It is very important for us to be at events like this and support institutions like the Parrish Art Museum."
Kathleen King, Scott DeMarco and Bobbi Terzi.
Cookie Queen of Southampton Kathleen King
of Tate's Cookies and Bake Shop was also in attendance and gave her take on the state of her very unique business in a difficult economy, "The summer was okay, not like last year, but nothing that I would complain about. It is challenging now, I take one day at a time. Events like this help different people in different ways."
Different people and different ways, regarding business and support for the arts, it may best be defined by Hampton events like Jazz at the Parrish. The Hamptons is one of the most unique, profitable and altruistic communities in America. As the most famous resort community in the world, the bar is not only raised higher, it is placed at a different perspective, a perspective that is defined by a commitment to both social and artistic altruism. Thankfully, the extraordinary business people of the East End realize that with success comes an obligation to return it to the community and they do so at events like Jazz at the Parrish.
The Parrish Museum was overflowing with live jazz and lively East End business people.
Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com