Monday, January 31, 2011

Museum Works Galleries Opening Party

Museum Works Galleries
Merchandise Mart

On January 27, the city's best-dressed list braved frigid temps to attend the grand opening of Museum Works Galleries (MWG) at the Merchandise Mart. Hosted by Jordan Goodman and Robert Casterline of MWG and produced by Platinum Events, guests sipped and nibbled their way through the galleries' sumptuous 10,000 sq.ft. space filled with one-of-a-kind works and designs by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Marcus Jansen, Mark Acetelli, Danielle Procaccio, Jordan Goodman and others.

The event's Honorary Hosts included D.C. Crenshaw, George Daniels, James Feeley, Ryan Preuett, James Rhine, Marcus Riley, and Jessica Zweig. Proceeds benefited the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation.

Social Media extraordinaire Jen Knoedl, on assignment for Ragan Communications, dropped in to ask art-loving party-goers how they thought Facebook was like an art form. Game Time Dine's D.C. Crenshaw, Le Colonial's Kerry Bowler, Platinum Events' Justin & Steven Jacobson, Chris Norman and Kerry & Sally Shorr of Luxe File Chicago weighed in with their answers.

Justin and Stephen Jacobson

Kerry Shorr and Lauren Zeien

Julianne Glatz, James Goeke and Jessica Zweig

Erin Kannett and Dan Uslan

Beth Goldman and D.C. Crenshaw

Ryan M. Beshel

Rachel Schwanz and Dina Searle

Andrea Barraco

Pretty Party Guests

Tyrone Foreman and James Feeley

Marcus Riley and Guest

Ania Jablonowski

Jessica Zweig and Guests

Guest and J'Nai Gaither

Leah Drew and Philip Chang

James Rhine and Cameron Croft

James Goeke, Kevin Charles Schwarz and Megan Taylor

Joran Thompson and Matthew Douglas

Photos courtesy of Platinum Events
Video courtesy of Ragan Communications

Posted by Kerry Shorr

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Luxe File ♥s...Model Marketers & Media Rockstars

This month’s Can’t-Miss event: "Media Mavens", the latest installment of the popular Diva Series presented by Maven LLC along with Today's Chicago Woman and The Apareció Foundation, will spotlight some of Chicago's most talented headline makers in PR, media and journalism. Meet and mingle with the city’s top publicists, agency executives, lifestyle bloggers, on-air personalities and entertainment reporters. JBar, 610 N. Rush. 6:00-9:00 p.m.


¤Cassandra Gaddo - Managing Editor/Electronic Media Editor of Today's Chicago Woman

¤Chris Ruys - Today's Chicago Woman blog "Getting Social" and Chris Ruys Communications

¤Maureen Jenkins - "TCW Travel Connection" blog and freelance food & travel writer

¤Christine Lock Garcia - Today's Chicago Woman blog "Play Dates and Power Lunches" and Public Relations Specialist for Plan It PR

¤Julieanne Mossler - Director of Public Relations for

¤Cara Carriveau - Midday Radio Personality at 101.9 The MIX!

¤Kerry Shorr - Creator of Luxe File Chicago and freelance publicist

¤Sally Shorr - Publicist for Morton's The Steakhouse

¤Ladies of XA, The Experiential Agency - Amanda Puck, Leah Eisenstein, Kim Crompton and Catherine Weiner

¤Natalie Martinez - NBC 5 Reporter

¤Irene Michaels -

¤Stephanie Krol - Founder of Stephanie Krol Public Relations

¤Showbiz Shelly - B96 Morning Radio Personality

¤Stacy Levy - Founder of Stacy Levy Creative, Inc.

¤Grace PR Group - Founder Lindsay Hays and Grace PR divas

¤Itika Oldwine - The Hollywood Diva

¤LaShonda Matlock - Entertainment Reporter and Blogger

¤Jessica Prah - Founder and President of Paramount Public Relations, Inc.

¤Michelle Molise - Founder and President of Molise PR

¤Rebecca Sive - TCW Blog "SiveSiftings" and Public Affairs Strategist

Guests will enjoy complimentary admission as well as special discounts on cocktails and cuisine. Cocktail attire.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Crashers

Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton

Think you're stuck watching the Royal Wedding of the Year on your new 60" Sony 3D LED HDTV? Think again. While the April 29 nuptials will be a private affair, you can catch the beautiful bride-to-be when she arrives at Westminster Abbey for the 11 a.m. ceremony. Once the wedding has concluded, the royal newlyweds will take a leisurely horse-drawn carriage ride to the reception at Buckingham Palace. Starting at Westminster Abbey, the carriage procession will pass by city hot spots including Parliament Square, White Hall and the Horse Guards Parade.

If you miss that, try catching them on their honeymoon - the popular consensus is they'll head to Lizard Island in the Great Barrier Reef, off the east coast of Australia. This exotic, uber-luxe island is a lovely choice for any privacy-deficient couple and perfect for keeping the media and their many admirers at bay.

Book your airfare and hotel accommodations immediately. Air carriers are already charging 40% over the normal ticket price. If you want to keep your costs down, fly into Paris or Brussels and take the Eurostar train into the city instead of flying directly to London. Also, consider staying at a hotel or inn outside of London. There are plenty of options. Our favorites near or in London include: Four Seasons Hampshire, The Cliveden and "41"

If you're looking to do more than just play the role of royal stalker while you're in London, here's a few suggestions:

April 17 - Virgin London Marathon
Amateurs and advanced runners alike are gearing up for one of the year's top races. This just in: Mara Yamauchi, British runner and a top contender for the London 2012 Olympics, has just sustained a serious hamstring injury and will not be able to race in the marathon. Looks like your chances of winning have just gone up .00000001%. Good luck!

April 23 - William Shakespeare's Birthday
Celebrate the Bard's birthday at The Globe Theatre, his country home at Stratford-on-Avon, or at one of the hundreds of celebrations or festivals in and around the city.

Through June 30, 2012 - The Enchanted Palace at Kensington Palace
A Fashion Do: While Kensington Palace enjoys a much-needed makeover, this extraordinary exhibition has transformed the State Apartments into a veritable wonderland. Designed to tell a story of what life was like at Court, each room is adorned with a different installation designed by one of Britain's leading couturiers including Paul Costelloe, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Amanika Westmont, Bruce Oldfield, William Tempest and Zandra Rhodes.

Of course, if you prefer to skip the trip and stay home, the wedding will be televised at 4 a.m. CST (consult your TV guide for channel listing). Just have the champagne ready and we'll see you then!

Posted by Kerry Shorr

Sunday, January 23, 2011


NFC Championship Game
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Gold Standard

Luxe File Chicago is pleased to present The Gold Standard, an evocative new Q&A series highlighting some of the most noteworthy names from our favorite industries including fashion, food, beauty, design, entertainment and philanthropy to name a few.

This month, The Gold Standard kicks off with a spotlight on Public Relations and focuses on eight PR dynamos with varying specialties. Before we chose our participants, we crafted a list of general questions and then honed in on the people we wanted to hear from J. Lynne Bredfeldt, Park Hyatt Chicago; Carolynn D’Antino, Powered by Action; Julie Darling, The Darling Company; Terri Tabor Hickey, Four Seasons Hotel Chicago and The Ritz-Carlton Chicago; Rebecca Kussmann, Bettie Bomb, Inc. Public Relations; Michelle Molise, Molise PR; Amanda Puck, XA, The Experiential Agency, Inc.; and Sally Shorr, Morton’s The Steakhouse.

While their answers differed on such topics as favorite restaurant, guiltiest pleasure, and most decadent purchase, it was evident they shared a common passion for the finer things in life, agreed that there is no typical day in PR and all offered expert advice for publicist wannabes.

We hope you enjoy reading their answers as much as we enjoyed asking them the questions.

J. Lynne Bredfeldt
Director of Public Relations
Park Hyatt Chicago

Typical day at the office: One that never duplicates itself. I check my Blackberry as soon as I get up. Once I get into the office, I have morning meetings and conference calls. If I have a lunch appointment, I entertain upstairs at NoMI. The afternoon always differs - photo and video shoots, planning events, media inquiries, pitching, and writing. Around 6 p.m., I set off for my evening events which are typically two per night.

Achievements I am most proud of: Work achievements: “4 Stars” NoMI review by Chicago Sun-Times Food Critic, Pat Bruno and Michelin Guide Chicago 2011 Star Rating for NoMI. Personal achievements: Winner of 2009 The Fashion Group International "Rising Star" Award in Public Relations for Chicago, “Top 5 Style Setters” for Today’s Chicago Woman magazine’s September Fall Fashion Issue and “Emerging Women in Philanthropy” for Michigan Avenue magazine.

Celebrating launch of the Michelin Guide Chicago with my team, Mayor Daley and Michelin Guide Director Jean-Luc Naret

Projects I am working on: The reopening of our entire seventh floor, including NoMI, at the end of May. Let's just say, we will be back even stronger than before!

Words of Wisdom: A shared purpose and a positive attitude is an unstoppable force."

Work uniform: Feminine chic

Where I go for inspiration: New York Times, Vogue, and Town & Country – whether it is travel, fashion or food, these three publications reveal the latest market trends, as well as have one thing in common: luxury at its finest.

Favorite charities: Joffrey Ballet’s Auxiliary Board, Fashion Group International, Chicago Costume Council for The Chicago History Museum and Common Threads

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: Sarca

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: NoMI, of course! Besides NoMI, my second home is RL.

Favorite travel destination: London and Paris

In Paris with dear friend and event planner extraordinaire, Rachel Schwanz

Who I most admire: My mother – the most selfless woman I know.

Three words that best describe me: Ambitious, independent and energetic

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: Most recently, a vintage Hermes skirt from the 70’s at Didier Ludot in Paris.

Favorite songs on my iPod: Currently, Florence + the Machines Dog Days Are Over, Plastic Bertrand’s Ca plane pour moi and Passion Pit’s Sleepyhead.

Book I am reading: Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer. Next book on the nightstand table is a biography, Blow by Blow: The Story of Isabella Blow.

Guiltiest pleasure: Christian Louboutin heels

Christian Louboutin in Madrid

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter. I may be the only person still not on Facebook.

I stay home to watch: No TV. I read a lot and get my news from the newspaper and the Internet.

One thing about me that no one knows: Every so often, I love trading in my high heels for hiking boots.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: Build a network – it is everything in this business. Study and learn who the key players in the industry are. Make it a goal to introduce yourself at events and exchange business cards with at least 2-3 people each time.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…”: Have a pair of high heels in your handbag.

Carolynn D'Antino
Director of Public Relations
Powered by Action

When Carolynn D’Antino isn't attending lavish fundraisers or talking up her favorite charities to her advocacy-minded friends, the glamorous, globe-trotting philanthropista uses her gift for gab to raise monies and resources to help distressed and developing communities become economically sustainable.

Typical day at the office: Lots of meetings, conference calls, coordinating special events, developing PR strategies, connecting with the media and attending philanthropic events. The morning after every event, I always touch base with the guests I met. I enjoy meeting new people, educating them about my organization and the charities I support, and getting people on board with what we are doing!

With Powered by Action's Andre Hughes

Achievements I am most proud of: I was working with Mayor Daley’s Youth Ready Chicago, a non-profit that partners with corporations to give disadvantaged teens paid summer internships, when I met with Bon-Ton, the company which governs such stores like Carson Pirie Scott. We discussed the organization's efforts and they agreed to partner with the City to provide employment opportunities to inner-city youth.

Projects I am working on: Developing a communications plan for Powered by Action, Vert Couture's 2011 Fashion Focus Chicago to benefit Chicago Gateway Green and Helping Hands Gala in March.

Words of Wisdom: "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." Albert Einstein

Work uniform: For work, Theory and Rickie Freeman for Teri John. For events, it's Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera and Badgley Mischka Platinum Label. I adore Shu Uemura's false eyelashes and my Christian Louboutin heels make me feel powerful like Wonder Woman. I never leave the house without my Tiffany engagement ring and vintage Rolex watch from Geneva Seal.

My Wonder Woman shoes

Where I go for inspiration: Any ocean. I try to get to an ocean destination at least six times a year.

Favorite charities: I get involved in charities that are near and dear to my heart. Powered By Action, Parkways, City Year Chicago and After School Matters are some of my favorites.

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York. It scares my husband that everyone knows my name there.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: I had to break it down to be fair - Café Bionda is my overall favorite; Gibson’s is a Chicago classic; Sunda for sushi; The Peninsula for brunch; and Cité at Lake Point Tower.


Posh palette: Dining at The Peninsula

Favorite travel destination: I love New York City. I try to get there every other month. The city inspires me to be more of an artist and fashionista. Most importantly, it drives me to do what I love and reminds me that anything is possible.

Who I most admire: Maggie Daley, the matriarch of our city Chicago. She started After School Matters in 1991, a non-profit organization that gives under-privileged youth access to a range of innovative out-of-school programs. That is so admirable.

A true inspiration: Maggie Daley

Three words that best describe me: Fashionista, philanthropist and enthusiastic civic leader

My celebrity crush: Harrison Ford

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: Chanel Coco Cocoon Trolley

Favorite songs on my iPod: Just Dance by Lady Gaga; Ain’t That A Kick In the Head by Dean Martin; Luck Be A Lady by Frank Sinatra; and Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Book I am reading: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Guiltiest pleasure: Real Housewives series on Bravo TV

Facebook or Twitter: Both

I stay home to watch: Any movie my hubby wants me too!

The best gift I received this holiday season was: My husband surprised me with a trip to Puerto Rico.

My top New Year's resolution is: Be healthy in mind, body and spirit.

One thing about me that no one knows: I love to sing and have a secret wish to cut a ballad record of Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand classics!

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: Never underestimate your network. Synergy is key. It is essential to think outside the box. Build bridges and if some bridges fall apart, just remember they can be repaired and re-built over time. Be flexible, you never know where lighting may strike.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…": Follow your heart and do what feels good for you.

Julie Darling
The Darling Company

Don’t let her name fool you - Julie Darling may sound sweet but this bionic beauty reps high profile clients and the buzz around town is she’s working on resurrecting one of the city’s hottest fashion events, the Oak Street Fashion Show.

Clients: Lake Forest Sportscars, Bice restaurant, Piazza Sempione and more.

Typical day at the office: A little bit of everything - collecting media photos, meeting client needs, getting a sponsor for an event…the list goes on. There’s never a dull moment, it’s always exciting and busy. People don’t realize that in the world of luxury PR, "9-5" doesn’t exist. There’s always an event to attend or an appearance to make. The key is to make it look easy and glamorous, despite the high demands.

Achievements I am most proud of: Starting my own company, contributing to a variety of non-profit organizations - especially ones that support animals and children, and getting the Chicago office of Gen Art on the map.

Projects I am working on: Opening Bice restaurant and its expansion at the Talbott Hotel and bringing back the Oak Street Fashion show slated for September.

Words of Wisdom: "If you believe in what you do, you’ll be successful" and "What we do isn’t a job; it’s a way of life."

Work uniform: From lululemon to Paige skinny jeans to something more sophisticated like Piazza Sempione. I encourage my entire team to be comfortable in their own skin.

Where I go for inspiration: Whether it be a coffee shop at 2 p.m., or my home office at 2 p.m., I always try to work when I’m at my best. If you’re happy and engaged in what you’re doing, you can make things happen.

Favorite charities: Anything having to do with animals and children. Most recently, we worked on Rally for Kids with Eva Longoria as our host, and a slew of celebrities such as Ivan Sergei, Superbowl Champ Richard Dent, Writer-Director Patrick Kilpatrick, and Robin Antin, creator of The Pussycat Dolls. We raised funds to fight pediatric cancer.

Tommy Thayer of KISS and I at Rally of Kids charity event

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: Koros, Barneys, and lululemon on Rush Street – by far the most knowledgeable and fun group of girls!

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: Avec. The service and food is always 100% spot on and the mejdool dates stuffed with chorizo are to die for.

Favorite travel destination: Anywhere in the British Virgin Islands. Next stop: Tortola.

Who I most admire: There are too many to name. Several successful Chicago-based women.

The words that best describe me: Dedicated, entrepreneurial, genuine, innovative, loyal and proactive

My celebrity crush:
Chris Gardner, one of my dearest friends whom I profoundly respect and admire. Two years ago I walked out of the movie,The Pursuit of Happyness, knowing that I was going to meet him. He’s now one of my best friends.

The man who gives ME great happyness, Chris Gardner

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: My Audi Quattro Q7

Favorite songs on my iPod: Anything but country

Book I am reading: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Good to Great by Jim Collins

Guiltiest pleasure: Blackberry Cabernet Ciao Bella Sorbet. Delish!

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook

I stay home to watch: Dexter. This really belongs under guiltiest pleasure.

The best gift I received this holiday season was: The amazing purple box from Hearts on Fire (shiny, sparkling, pretty things that go in your ears).

My top New Year's resolution is: Core Yoga all the time and launching of a another business, of course all in my spare time!

This year I resolve to: strike a pose

One thing about me that no one knows: That I really just want to be a mom - a hot soccer mom, of course.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: I literally get this question four times a day via email or referral. The best thing you can do is take an internship your junior or senior year of college so a potential employer is confident you understand and can engage in a high-pressure career. In addition to that, know your basic office computer applications and network, network, network! It’s all about the relationships in PR. My father was a senior level PR executive at ComEd – I learned it all from him. Find yourself a great mentor.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…”: Be gracious and stay true to yourself.

Photo of Julie Darling (Marc Hauser Photography)

Photo of Julie Darling and Chris Gardner (Sabrina Bollenbach Photography)

Terri Tabor Hickey
Director of Public Relations
Four Seasons Hotel Chicago
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago, A Four Seasons Hotel

Standing 5 foot 4 inches and ever armed with her trademark sunny southern belle charm, this petite PR dynamo defines easy grace under pressure in the competitive world of luxe hotels and award-winning resorts.

Typical day at the office: In this job, no two days are alike but a good day is one that has allowed me to pitch stories to media, write a press release, send out tweets and post on Facebook, brainstorm with colleagues on future promotions and entertain in one of our hotels’ fabulous restaurants.

Achievements I am most proud of: My current job. I grew up in the small town of Louisville, MS. When I packed up my car and left 13 years ago, I was just hoping to gain some journalism experience and then move back. I never dreamed I would be overseeing the public relations for two of the world’s, and Chicago’s, premier luxury hotels.

Projects I am working on: Spring promotions for our hotels including restaurant events and offers and travel packages for Spring Break.

Words of Wisdom: “Failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience” by Elbert Hubbard is one of my favorite quotes. Professionally and personally, we all make mistakes but if we can acknowledge and learn and grow from them, we are better having been through that experience.

Work uniform: Our dress code is professional and conservative so I wear lots of suits and dresses. I love the classical elegance of Ann Taylor and Banana Republic and always try to punch them up with fun, colorful tops and jewelry. This past year, I purchased some jlee silver dresses that are perfect for going from day to evening.

Where I go for inspiration: The fitness center at Four Seasons Chicago. Often I get inspired while working out and looking over the Mag Mile.

Postcard perfect: Stunning views from Four Seasons Chicago

Favorite charities: Common Threads, Chicago Children’s Choir, Children’s Memorial Hospital and PAWS

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: I love Francesca’s for fun jewelry, tops and unique gifts for friends and family.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: Of course, I love dining in Seasons at Four Seasons Hotel and the deca Restaurant at The Ritz, but I love the casual charm and delicious Italian food at La Scarola.

Favorite travel destination: St. Martin/St. Maarten. My husband and I went there for our honeymoon and then went back a few years later. You have both French and Dutch cultures on one island. We ate our way through the French restaurants in Grand Case, on the St. Martin side, and enjoyed exploring the island's stunning white sand beaches.

Paradise found: French St. Martin and

Dutch St. Maarten

Who I most admire: My sister, Debbie. She lives in Louisville and has five children – three of whom are triplets. I remember a time when she had five children, all under the age of five. She has raised a wonderful family while working as a registered nurse. Her patience and approach to life never cease to inspire me, especially on those days when I think I just don’t have time to fit everything in.

Three words that best describe me: Creative, motivated and accommodating

My celebrity crush: My husband, Matt, will always be my number one crush but if I had to pick a celebrity it would be a toss up between Kyle Chandler – he plays the coach on Friday Night Lights - and the very dashing Chris Noth on The Good Wife and Sex and the City. Two very different types of men, I know!

With my husband, Matt, and son, Liam

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: This is a tough one because anyone who knows me knows that I am a budget shopper and always on the lookout for a sale. I am going to ask my husband – he can probably answer this best for me.

Favorite songs on my iPod: Beer in Mexico by Kenny Chesney and Viva La Vida by Coldplay. Those two songs always put me in a good mood.

Book I am reading: I just finished The Help and it was one of the best books I have ever read.

Guiltiest pleasure: Sprinkles cupcakes

Pretty little things: Sprinkles iconic cupcakes

Facebook or Twitter: Professionally, both. Personally, I just use Facebook.

I stay home to watch: Friday Night Lights

The best gift I received this holiday season was: My 3-year-old son's sparkling eyes on Christmas morning, a Mississippi State resounding win in the Gator Bowl and a pair of Patagonia pants that have been the perfect answer to this Chicago winter.

My top New Year's resolution is: To relax more and enjoy life's simple pleasures.

One thing about me that no one knows: I was "Miss Hospitality" for Winston County in Louisville.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: Diversify your background and experience. You can make yourself more marketable if you have a variety of skills and experience such as writing, social media, marketing, public speaking, pitching stories to media. Stay well-versed on the latest computer programs for writing and publishing.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…” Allow yourself the time.

Rebecca Kussmann
Bettie Bomb, Inc. Public Relations

Stylish spinmaker and media master Rebecca Kussmann loves garnering great press for her fashion-focused and trendsetting clients while keeping us front row and in the know.

Clients: White Chicago, Bright Pink, Cerato Boutique and Fertility Centers of Illinois and more.

Typical day at the office: My days vary depending on meetings, TV segments, etc. At least three days out of the week I like to just sit at my computer and pitch all day and pitch which It's my favorite thing to do.

Achievements I am most proud of: Moving to Chicago from a small town in Michigan nine years ago. It was so hard to leave my family and friends but I’m thankful that I made the decision because I met my husband, Mike Kussman, after being in the city only a couple months. And, of course, launching Bettie Bomb, Inc. Public Relations.

Bettie Bomb\

Projects I am working on: The Chicago launch of, White Chicago’s Second Annual “Meet the Experts: Arming the Recessionista Bride” event, Brides Against Breast Cancer “Dress Drive”, Bright Pink’s Second Annual Fit-Fest, Fertility Centers of Illinois’ National Infertility Awareness Week and Art wear Unlimited Fashion Show at Highland Park Country Club.

Words of Wisdom: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Work uniform: At the office I’m always in sweats and a hoodie. If I’m out, I wear anything that makes me feel feminine, stylish and classy!

Where I go for inspiration: The kitchen – I adore cooking and feel the most inspired when doing so – and the gym – working out energizes me and gives my life balance.

Favorite charities: Bright Pink, Chicago Canine Rescue and Step Up Women’s Network

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: Cerato Boutique, Lori’s Shoes, Target and White Chicago for brides

Bridal paradise: White Chicago

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: Le Colonial and The Purple Pig

Favorite travel destination: Miami, skiing in the west and anywhere tropical

Who I most admire: My parents for their constant support and love (I tell them they’re my cheerleaders); my husband for his intelligence and how he pushes me to stay strong; and all of the women entrepreneurs who are driven, successful and positive.

Three words that best describe me: Optimistic, trustworthy and compassionate

My celebrity crush: Matt Lanter (“Liam” on 90210) andJay Kenneth Johnson (“Phillips” on Days of Our Lives)

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: My Furla bag in green (my favorite color) pebble grain leather

Favorite songs on my iPod: Any song by PJ Harvey, Radiohead and Teenage Dream

Burning up my iPod: PJ Harvey

Book I am reading: America Alone by Mark Steyn and The Fall of Advertising & The Rise of PR by Al Ries and Laura Ries

Guiltiest pleasure: Days of Our Lives

Facebook or Twitter: Both, but I prefer Facebook.

I stay home to watch: The Cooking Channel, HGTV and 90210

The best gift I received this holiday season was: Time spent with my whole family in Michigan plus time off with my hubby, Mike, and our two pups.

My top New Year's resolution is: Focus on working smarter, not harder and take advantage of every opportunity.

Mike and I at our favorite restaurant in Naples, Florida

One thing about me that no one knows: I detest scary movies – if I watch one, I can’t sleep for days. I can’t even watch the previews on TV.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: Make sure you get a lot of experience working in a variety of environments (i.e. large corporate firms and small boutique agencies) and understand the different ways publicists implement their PR efforts. This is something I wish I had done before starting on my own! Always be honest and courteous with the media, friendly to your colleagues and diligent for your clients – they will all love you for it!

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…”: Keep it classy!

Michelle Molise
Molise PR

When she isn’t promoting big ticket events like Chicago Gateway Green’s annual Green Tie Ball and the Auto Show’s First Look for Charity Preview Gala, Michelle Molise is busy keeping her clients, including reality stars Jillian Harris (ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition) and Stephanie Castagnier (NBC's The Apprentice), on our radar.

Clients: Lawry's The Prime Rib, Garrett Popcorn Shops, Imerman Angels, Enclave Nightclub, The Fedora Lounge, Cuvée Chicago, The Dobbins Group and more.

Typical day at the office: A day could start as early as 5 a.m. for a TV shoot and end as late as 2 a.m. for a nightlife or red carpet event. When we’re office-bound, it is less glamorous. Basics include scanning through all the local publications, monitoring good old Google, researching angles and crafting timely pitches, checking in on social media streams, honoring client and media deadlines, and simply generating new concepts and ideas.

Achievements I am most proud of: The tiny daily triumphs that come from running my own business. For example, QuickBooks used to be my mortal enemy but now we're on friendly terms.

Projects I am working on: We have the Toque & Bottle Advisory on the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity Gala next month, Imerman Angels "You Complete the Picture" event at Salvage One, an American Red Cross blood drive with Jillian Harris and Ed Swiderski at Loyola, Enclave nightclub's Scion Spin Off DJ contest and the '85 Bears Super Silver Celebration, Valentine's Day at Lawry's The Prime Rib and so much more.

Chicago Auto Show's First Look For Charity

Work uniform: Consists of an unfortunate amount of black and grey but I always dress up. In this profession, you never know when you’ll be called on in a moment’s notice to represent a client in a public capacity.

Where I go for inspiration: My husband Chris Weber has a level head and guides me over hurdles. He has a calming effect on me...let’s call him the “Publicist-Whisperer”.

Favorite charities: Imerman Angels one-on-one cancer support organization. I’m proud to say I’ve been their publicist since the beginning. His staff and volunteers have touched so many lives and there may also be evidence that he’s hugged everyone in the nation. I’m also on the associate board for Chicago Gateway Green. We’re gearing up for their 25th anniversary with a “silver” Green Tie Ball in 2011 and paying homage to the specific Chicagoans who have supported the organization through the decades. It will be legendary.

Earth Angel: Jonny Imerman of Imerman Angels

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: I just did a design segment for ABC 7 with Jillian Harris and The Dobbins Group, and they introduced me to vintage tableware store P.O.S.H. I was charmed! As for clothing, AKIRA reigns. They have a team of visionaries.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: Lawry’s The Prime Rib. They are a client and they are like family.

Favorite travel destination: I’m excited to head to Greece in the spring so I’ll mark that as my favorite for now.

Who I most admire: Smart, ambitious women who are independent thinkers. Stephanie Castagnier, from The Apprentice, falls into that category. In particular, she shares great advice about financial freedom for women.

Three words that best describe me: Good question! I’ll go with tall, female and human.

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: I’ve accidentally purchased a few Prada bags over the years. Oops.

Favorite songs on my iPod: Final Countdown by Europe. Kidding.

Book I am reading: Mother of Pearl. Mom lent it to me.

Guiltiest pleasure: Watching reality TV while sauntering on the treadmill at EBC and counting it as a workout.

The guilt-free zone: Chicago's East Bank Club

Facebook or Twitter: For my clients, it varies. Personally, I prefer Facebook where I don’t have to truncate my thoughts.

I stay home to watch: Dancing with the Stars. I’m a big fan of the performing arts and this glorious show is on steroids.

My celebrity crush: Derek Hough

The best gift I received this holiday season was: My husband booked us a trip to Napa Valley to taste some grape juice.

My top New Year's resolution is: Be proactive about staying healthy - both mind and body.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: Know your market and its media. Learn how to write. Think from a journalist’s perspective. Read a newspaper every day to stay current. Understand social media and how it relates to your personal brand. Be thorough. Work harder and more carefully than everyone else. I could go on and on.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…”: Thank your lucky stars.

Amanda Puck
Executive Vice President, Public Relations
XA, The Experiential Agency, Inc.

With her effortless ability to keep the tabloids talking and her coveted list of A-list clients happy and in the headlines, Amanda Puck – the original host of Check, Please! and a coveted guest on countless TV and radio shows – is no stranger to the spotlight herself.

Clients: The James Hotel, The 900 Shops, Le Colonial, Sofia, John Allan's and more.

Typical day at the office: My day usually revolves around lunch. My entire staff will tell you I am starving by 10:30 a.m. Client conference calls, meetings, LUNCH, more meetings, twittering, brainstorming, writing, and, of course, XA client events at night.

Achievements I am most proud of: I am proudest when our clients achieve great things. Just a few examples - Bistro 110 receiving the Bib Gourmand, NoMI receiving a Michelin Star rating and Sofia recently appearing in Nylon Magazine.

Projects I am working on: The Gene Siskel Film Center Oscar Night America event on February 27th and The James Hotel's five year anniversary this April.

Words of Wisdom: "
It’s PR not ER". I learned that one from Erica Stimac at XA and I think it sums up our day.

Work uniform: It evolves, but my favorite look right now is heels, fringe, leggings, long luxe tees, and my Jay Godfrey cardigan. It allows me to look put together, yet still ready to move!

Where I go for inspiration: The people I meet and work with everyday.

Favorite charities:
Common Threads and Vital Bridges

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: The 900 Shops, Karen Millen, space519, and Sofia

Pretty Dress Paradise

Favorite restaurant in Chicago:
I’m lucky I have great restaurant clients and, therefore, am very well fed.

Favorite travel destination: Paris

Who I most admire: My mom – how did she do it all?! And might I mention she is a fox!

Three words that best describe me: Fun, focused and loyal

My celebrity crush: Josh Duhamel

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: My green Hermès Medor watch

Favorite songs on my iPod: “Teenage Dream”, it’s constantly in my head 24/7 and anything by Schwayze or Metric.

Pop Tarte Katie Perry

Book I am reading: Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis

Guiltiest pleasure: Reading Glamorama

Facebook or Twitter: Both

I stay home to watch: Modern Family. “Gloria” is my new fashion icon, she inspired me to buy a push up bra.

Modern Family's Sofia Vergara

The best gift I received this holiday season was: My enamel and gold hamburger charm necklace from my besties from Opening Ceremony at The Ace Hotel in NYC.

My top New Year's resolution is:
Eat more great food! Unstoppable in 2011!

One thing about me that no one knows: I wanted to be a geologist.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: Network! Network! Network! It’s all who you know.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…”: Wear sequins for breakfast.

Sally Shorr
PR Specialist
Morton's The Steakhouse

As a restaurant publicist, Sally Shorr spends her time touting the achievements of the world's most revered steak house chain and proving that beef is always best.

Typical day at the office: Peruse my emails and respond to media requests. Marketing meetings to plan what we're promoting at Morton’s as well as writing and pitching. Usually have lunch delivered then schmoozing with food and wine writers.

Achievements I am most proud of: My dating and scene column for Today’s Chicago Woman. I love writing about all the fun events in Chicago and enjoy hearing from single readers how my experiences have helped them to meet new and interesting people.

TCW Magazine Dec 2010 Issue

Your go-to guide for fashion, fêtes and finding "Mr. Right"

Projects I am working on: Promoting our new Valentine's Day cocktail, The Red Velvet, as well as our new heart-healthy menu and USDA prime steaks.

Words of Wisdom: "Look at the future and be blinded by its possibilities."

Work uniform: Soft and sexy translates well for me from office to outdoors. I like mixing it up and often pair the hot new accessories with favorite designers threads from Stella McCartney, Burberry, DVF and Miu Miu. Gucci and LV stilettos are must-haves for chic rooftop parties and Michael Kors sleek minimalism pops on the red carpet.

Where I go for inspiration: I stick to what I know best - Chicago. The people, places, and raw power of this town are all-encompassing. It’s important to travel and experience new cultures, but Chicago is still the best kept secret for gaga – from the best restaurants and hotspots to most wanted retail boutiques. Chicago is nothing short of fabulous.

Favorite charities: Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bright Pink and charities that focus on women and children’s issues.

Be Bright Pink

Favorite store or boutique in Chicago: Intermix and Material Possessions

Favorite restaurant in Chicago: Morton’s The Steakhouse, Publican, Purple Pig, RL and NoMi

Favorite travel destination: Valencia, Spain (International) and Islamorada, FL (Domestic)

Who I most admire: Men and women who rise above personal adversities to pursue and live their dreams to the fullest.

Three words that best describe me: Creative, BFF, and fashionista

My celebrity crush: Eric Bana and Cameron Diaz

Eric Bana

Most decadent thing I have ever purchased: A two-bedroom condo in West Palm Beach, FL

Favorite songs on my iPod: An eclectic mix - from Paul Oakenfold and Timo Maas to U2 and Tim McGraw

Book I am reading: Classy by Derek Blasberg

Guiltiest pleasure: My stiletto heels collection

I ♥ sexy stilettos!

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook is my secret addiction. I’m thinking about either writing a book called,Facebook: The Best, The Worst, The WTF or starting a FA (Facebook Anonymous) Chicago chapter.

I stay home to watch: Entourage

The best gift I received this holiday season was: My trip to Palm Beach to spend the holidays with my family and friends.

My top New Year's resolution is: Attend Fashion Week in New York, London, Milan and Paris

One thing about me that no one knows: I want to write a movie screenplay or (reality) TV show about two twins who make it big in love and life.

Advice for anyone pursuing a career in Public Relations: PR is about two things - strong writing and strategic pitching. If you can do both well, you’ll be a great publicist. Always strive to be the best; go big or go home.

Luxe File Chicago has dedicated its site to the “love of living luxuriously”. Finish this sentence, “When it comes to living luxuriously, always…": Hire a great publicist.

Achievements I am most proud of: My dating and scene column for Today’s Chicago Woman. I lwriting about all the fun events in Chicago and enjoy hearing from single readers how my experiences

Posted by Kerry Shorr