The Buzz: Summer Shop Hop, hosted by John and Jane Marks

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


On a sultry July evening, the shops around Market Street were abuzz for the Summer Shop Hop, hosted by John and Jane Marks. Nearly 50 businesses in Market Square and along Market Street put out the welcome mat for the inaugural event, created to encourage local shopping. Participating businesses also pledge a percentage of the night’s sales raise to money for local nonprofits, in this case, the Tallahassee Memorial Diabetes Center

When her husband was mayor of Tallahassee, Jane would host monthly shopping excursions highlighting local businesses. Now that his term is over, she decided to create bigger, better — but less frequent — shopping events. 

The night’s 65 volunteers included local celebrities stationed at several stores to help out the shoppers. WCTV anchor Julie Montanaro was at Cotton Etc., Zumba “junkie” Sue Ault was at Heels and Handbags, and Cricket Mannheimer hosted at The Walkabout Shop. With all the comfy couches on display and a spread that included delicious spinach dip and sangria, it was easy to make yourself at home at Weezie’s Cottage Living, which is what several people, including Kim and Mayda Williams and Mike and Gloria Sheridan, did.  Marsha Doll and husband Dean Faulkenberry hosted at Narcissus, which was also the site of some fabulous live entertainment provided by Longineu Parsons, Anthony Williams and Frank Ranicky.

Others seen strolling between the shops were Carmen Cummings, David Lee, Marsha and Bob Thornberry, Al Lawson, Gerald Ensley and Sally Karioth, Cherie and Russ Rainey, Gary Yordon and Berenice Cox, Thelma Nolan, Curtis and Nina Ashenafi Richardson and their daughters. Several media sorts were on hand, including David Lee, Casanova Nurse and Tamaryn Waters.


The black and white ballroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton Tallahassee provided the perfect backdrop on Aug. 1 for the Gatsby-themed, sixth annual Big Bash, the signature fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend. A crowd of 300 put on the Ritz with lots of beads, sequins, feathers and fringe on display. One dapper gent went the full ’20s, complete with top hat, tux and spats. Eight different champagnes were flowing, with colors ranging from “champagne” to a deep red and flavors such as almonds and cranberries.

State Rep. Alan Williams was the night’s emcee. He was joined onstage by Alva Striplin, School Board member and interim director of the nonprofit, which annually serves to connect about 400 boys and girls with mentors who help them fulfill their true potential. Several elected officials — and a few who would like to become elected officials — attended, including State Sen. Bill Montford, City Commissioner Scott Maddox, Leon School Superintendent Jackie Pons, County Commissioners Kristen Dozier and Nick Maddox and Rocky Hanna. TV cohost and marketer Ann Howard was channeling her inner flapper in a black fringed dress and feathered fascinator while celebrating the fact that she raised more than $3,700 for the nonprofit as one of Tallahassee Magazine’s Top Singles. Also spotted at the event were Sherry and Don Thompson, Deanna Mims and Robert Walsh, Heath and Gay Annin, Barbara and Eric Wills, Paul and Evelyn Gleasman, Sarah Rumph, Diana Orapallo, Billy Crawford, Jen Stanford and Gloria McNeill. A crew from the soon-to-be-opened Edison restaurant was also there, including Chef John Minas, Adam Corey and Eduardo Marti-Kring.


The DoubleTree ballroom was also the site of the annual Tallahassee Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association (TCPAAA) event known as the Police Ball. Members of the Tallahassee Police Department staff and spouses mingled with community supporters at the sold-out, masquerade-themed event, “Unmask the Knight,” held Aug. 15. Guests enjoyed steak, tomato bisque and cheesecake along with assorted specialty Starbucks coffees and cupcakes from local cupcakery Smallcakes while browsing among silent auction items.  

At the Police Ball, an officer, nominated by his or her peers, is presented with the Walter A. McNeil Distinguished Service Award, also known as the TCPAAA Officer of the Year Award. This year’s recipient, Officer Michele Yown, served 12 years at the Tallahassee Police Department as field training officer, coordinator for the Citizen’s Police Academy and was promoted to sergeant before retiring. She returned from retirement after a brief time away to continue her service on the force.

Those donning masks and evening attire included Chief Michael DeLeo, John Paul Bailey and Donna Harper, TCPAAA President David Pienta and wife Rachel Sutz Pienta, Erik and Jana Sayler, and Master of Ceremonies James Fairfield.  The night’s festivities included a post-ball after party at Mint Lounge. 

The TCPAAA, established in 1999, is a nonprofit corporation formed to bring together graduates of the Citizens’ Police Academy to enhance relations between the community and the Tallahassee Police Department. 


The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce “kicked off” its second Total Resource Campaign in August with a football theme. Chamber leaders are “drafted” to help membership know about the sponsorship opportunities available to help them grow their businesses.

Chamber President/CEO Sue Dick was there, along with “Commissioner” Ron Sachs, “General Managers” Paul Watts, Mark O’Bryant, Ed Murray and Matt Brown. Team “coaches” included Ben Graybar, Park Broome, Whitney VanLandinghamStephanie Derzypolski, Bart Gunter and Chucha Barber.


A mere six days after moving into their new home, Jim and Erica Rosica and their 1-year-old son Nick hosted a housewarming party at their new Indianhead Acres home. The event — with pizza, snacks, libations and plenty of conversation — is a traditional “welcome home” gift given by their real estate agents, Terri and Sharon Kant-Rausch. Partners in life as well as in business, they live in Indianhead and specialize in selling in the neighborhood.

Among those attending were new neighbors Sandy Niedert and Lincoln Smith, Geoff Brown and Rhonda Cooper, Danilo Thomas and Ashley Gorham, Shelly Hatton, Travis and Mary Jo Heaton, Laura Silvanima and Henry Hall.

Also on hand were journalist friends Bill Cotterell, Lloyd and Rosanne Dunkelberger, Gary Fineout, and Kathleen Laufenberg and her non-journalist husband, Kent Spriggs. Others notables included Arlene and James Rosica, Kara and Brent Justice (and baby-on-the-way Elliot), Abby Kinch and her daughters, Alice and Paige, Charlee Taylor with son, Palmer, Matt McCarron and Barbara Busharis.


Tallahassee’s business community decamped for the weekend of Aug. 14–16 to Hilton Sandestin Beach for the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce’s annual conference. It was a chance for businesses small and large to discuss regional issues, attend workshops and network — with a lot of fun planned once the day’s agenda was done.

Guests enjoyed cocktails while walking around the exhibitors’ booths at the Friday night Welcome Reception sponsored by the accounting firm Thomas Howell Ferguson. Hosts for the evening were THF’s Allison Harrell, Michael Kalifeh, Winston Howell, Julian Dozier and Canita Peterson. Also seen at the party were Diana Cureton, Bart GunterSara Jacobs, Mike Wood, Charlie Strickland, Reggie and Michelle Bouthillier, Jordan Jacobs, Terrie Ard, Kathleen Hampton, Jim Hunt, Dan Campbell, Keith Bowers, Len Harvey, Traci Poucher, Kendalyn Staten and Brian Boulware.

The entertainment shifted to poolside for the always-anticipated Water Buffalo Party, sponsored by Marpan Supply and Target Print & Mail. Attendees included Ben Graybar, Alan Hanstein, Bernie Gandy, Greg Tish, Daryl Green, Mike Campbell, Brian Moran, Mary Katharine Lawler, Rick Minor and Jessica Lowe-Minor, Warren and Faith Jones, Darlene Marcewicz, Nick Grosso, Park Broome, Kim Smiley, Jake and Michelle Kiker, Patrick Monroe, and Mike and Flo Schmidt. In case you’re wondering about the party’s name, it refers to hanging out in the water to escape the heat of the day while having a cold drink — just like water buffalo.

After the Saturday night’s awesome live entertainment by Tallahassee Nights Live (aka Boardwalk All Stars), sponsored by Sachs Media Group, Capital City Bank hosted an after party. Capital City Bankers attending included Ed Canup, Beth Corum, Brooke Hallock, Bill Moor, William Smith and Ben Bowersox. Other guests spotted at the event included Janet and Ron Brafford, Kelly and Laurie Dozier, Tracey and Danny Shrine, Stephanie and Tom Derzypolski, Doris and Doug Dunlap and Jess and Mat Tharpe.  


The Edison was electric on Tuesday, Sept. 15, when well over a hundred guests, including Chris Heacox, director of opening nights at FSU, and Catalina Café owners Maurice Moulton and Patricia Allaire, trickled into the restaurant’s main dining room. A practice run for staffers, the soft opening saw gourmet passed hors d’oeuvres, champagne toasts, live music, and a heightened sense of what’s to come. Towards the end of the night, business partners Adam Corey and Ryan Grindle thanked their guests and team members, including The Edison’s Executive Chef John Minas, for their attendance and dedication to the restaurant’s fresh concept. The event was planned and coordinated by local marketing agency BowStern, with Communication Strategist Amanda Handley taking point on public relations.


Knight Creative Communities Institute held a celebration to unveil plans for further engaging citizens around the Big Bend. The event attracted more than 200 KCCI catalysts and supporters who joined in celebrating 2015 successes, including Tallahassee Music Week, the Frenchtown Farmer’s Market, and the new #SeeTallahassee campaign, which produced the first district mural in Midtown.

KCCI Executive Director Betsy Couch debuted the new 2016 project — re-imagining the historic Waterworks building — and opened up the application process for anyone interested in serving as a 2016 Community Catalyst.  Among those on hand to hear the good news — many of them former and current catalysts — were Mike Pate, who was instrumental in the creation of KCCI, and his wife, Judy, Mark O’Bryant, Ed Murray, Carmen Braswell Butler, Allie Vanlandingham, Stacey Getz, Bill Berlow, Rebekah Dorn, Jay Revell and Shelly Gomez.

Also on hand to enjoy exclusive sips of new brews from local breweries GrassLands, Deep Brewing Company and Canopy Roads Brewery and tastes representing Tallahassee different districts from Social Catering were Gayle and Spider Webb, SaraLyn and Gabe Grass, Paige Carter-Smith, Liz Joyner, Jon Hinkle, Betsy Henderson, Peggy BieblyJohn Van Giesen, Anthony Gaudio, Blair Gregg, Kristin Dozier, Mike Campbell, Cory Couch, and Rick and Jessica Minor.

Compiled  by Chay D. Baxley and Rosanne Dunkelberger

Categories: Society