Oh My Ellen!

On this International Women’s Day –  I want to give a huge shout out to my grand mentor and friend, Ellen Daigle. She’s the owner of Ellen’s Silk Screening in South Pasadena, and most likely if you’re a weekend warrior, one of your prize shirts was printed at her shoppe.

We met over thirty years ago in her sister’s garage, while I was catering a holiday party for 500. Ellen walked into the middle of the scramble space staging kitchen like she owned the place, full of smiles and compliments.  She told me right then, we were going to be great friends. She was right!

She loves everything that’s happening in South L.A. with RootDownLA and comes to all my community events. She really makes me feel good about all my side hustles building community.  She got me to lead a series of cooking classes at the South Pasadena Senior Center for these amazing teens.

We went back the next year and made a vegan Thanksgiving Celebration for all the Seniors!

She also keeps me in the political loop. I’ve been attending Vital Voices Luncheons for a few years now with amazing guests and delicious popovers and key lime pie at the Pasadena Women’s City Club. Love me some Judy Chu!! 

She’s a true community activist. She knows everybody, and everybody knows her. And she’s bossy.  So when she tells me to do something, I do it!

She hosts amazing events herself with key celebrity congress people and local leaders.  (Insert pic of Adam Schiff here) And of course, I cater!

A couple of years ago, I was getting ready to leave on my first full month holiday at the beach.  I was having some staff issues and we met for lunch.  Her advice was clear and concise. This is what she said…

” I think you should get off your high horse and take care of business.”

Thanks Ellen, I needed that. And the world needs you. Thank you for being an amazing woman with  a heart so full of love, you can’t help but share.

You are my international woman hero.




So here I am, In New Orleans. I had a bowl of  crab claws that made my heart sing, and maybe a beer or two within two hours of arrival. New Orleans reminds me of a boutique New York. So different between night and day, and I like them both.

Mardi Gras is a mere two weeks away, the decorations are up and the streets are being lined in Rose Parade style bleachers.  The local news is all a buzz with  restrictions about ladders and pre-placement and general grumpy law enforcement protocol.  But I’m here for WIPA.

There we are, the international board and all the chapter presidents.  As wedding professionals, and as the new director of community affairs,  we are an awesome group of celebration makers.  (and that’s my friend Jeffrey from Marcia Selden Catering –  I learned all about air drop today. Again.)

Besides having the best photo booths at industry events, and the best decor, best food, best hospitality, best cocktails…  WIPA  is built on integrity and ethics in the event industry. Being a caterer for thirty-three years,  I really respect and appreciate that approach.  I am all in.

(Another WIPA photo booth to show my excitement)

There are seventeen chapters and only three have community outreach directors. I have my marching orders and I’m ready to get WIPA on the map, as the do-gooders we are.

Wish me luck, and send all great ideas to build community with celebration my way!