The Buzz: Goat Roast at the “barn” near Monticello

Welcome to The Buzz, Tallahassee Magazine’s column created to share who’s where and what they’re doing. While we try to flit around with all of Tallahassee’s social butterflies, the Buzz can’t be everywhere. Send the skinny on your next soiree to


For several years now, John and Linda Greis and Joe and Sue Doker have hosted a highly anticipated Goat Roast on the Saturday after Christmas at the “barn” (it’s actually a quite lovely home) at the 90-acre Greis homestead near Monticello. This year most of the guests at the Dec. 26 event were the young adult friends of their children, Adam and Anna Greis and Jeffrey and James Doker. A pit was dug and a whole goat was barbecued throughout the afternoon while guests mingled on the home’s spacious porches and lawn. John and Joe, childhood friends since they grew up together in northern Kentucky, carved the goat and a crowd of about 60 people tucked into a buffet of potluck entrees, sides and desserts.

It was an opportunity for 20- and 30-somethings from Tallahassee, many of whom have scattered throughout the U.S., to see each other and catch up. The New York City contingent included Adam Greis, the newlywed James Doker and his bride Allyson, Jeffrey Doker and Celeste Cerro, Tait Pollard and Sophia Bishop, and Yagiz Ylimaz and Anna Ungsunantwiwat.

Other guests were John Bunch from Las Vegas, Joel Witter from Philadelphia, Sanjiv Goli from Austin, Texas, Lainey Forman, Avni Vyas, Andrew and Spencer Ellinor and Nick Zhang, from San Francisco, and Emily Vuxton from Washington D.C. Sam Delaney was home from Warner Robbins, Anna Greis and Frazier Chiles had come from Atlanta, Courtney Chiles from Tampa and Jay Dunkelberger, who had earned his Ph.D. from UCLA two weeks earlier, made the trip from Los Angeles. Teresa Jimenez and Josh Keshen returned to town from Miami. Tallahassee residents Matt Cooper, Drew Magee, Gabe Landry, Phillip Bruggner, Al Kummer and others rounded out the crowd. 

Rather than make the ride home, many of the younger guests set up camp, pitched tents, enjoyed a campfire and spent the night as part of the festivities. The following morning, they were treated to coffee and homemade delights prepared by the hostesses.


The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce’s Professional Women’s Forum luncheon was held at the University Center Club on Dec. 8. Sheri McInvale, catering sales manager at 4 Rivers Smokehouse, spoke about Effective Networking.

There was also an annual fashion show highlighting local businesses and “models” wearing their clothing. Viviana Cooper of Cooper’s Heating & Air Conditioning was outfitted by Narcissus while Renee McNeill of Farmers & Merchants Bank wore clothes from Cole Couture. Kristine Dobosenski of Socially Loved strutted in style by Harley Davidson; Lena Shields, studio manager of Pure Barre, wore clothes from her business; Takila Brooks of North Florida Women’s Care modeled game day wear from Alumni Hall; and Denise Spratley, Jackie Seigel and Paige Hawkins were dressed by Vocelles Bridal Shop.


While most Tallahasseeans were out celebrating New Year’s Eve, some enjoyed extra-special happenings to ring in the
New Year.

With the hashtag #newyearnewsmith, Kyle Johnson and Warren Smith tied the knot on Dec. 31. The wedding was celebrated at St. Peter’s Anglican Church and was followed by a reception at the bride’s home on Live Oak Plantation. A tent topped with paper lanterns in shades of orange was huge enough to cover handmade bars, two signature drinks, an array of food and a full band from South Carolina. The happy couple welcomed the New Year with a shower of confetti and a kiss.


And in other New Year’s wedding news: As new mother-in-law Susan Emmanuel described it, “the beyond lovely Elizabeth Chambers and our Christopher were married in a beautiful ceremony (at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church) and celebrated into the wee hours.” Chris proposed to Elizabeth exactly a year earlier in New Orleans, so the black-tie reception at the Governors Club had a distinct Big Easy vibe.


Kristina Abernathy found her happily ever after at the Happiest Place on Earth when Clinton Smith proposed at midnight after the couple spent the day at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. As the park’s fireworks exploded overhead, he presented her with a ring designed and created especially for her. The center diamond was the one Smith’s father used to propose to his mother 44 years ago. The couple met 16 months prior after connecting on

Categories: Society