The 20th Annual Austin Heart Ball Starring Wynonna Judd & The Big Noise Was Record-Breaking

Photography courtesy of Ed Sparks Photography except where noted.

Over 700 local leaders in business, medicine, and philanthropy demonstrated their huge hearts May 13 to set a new fundraising record at the 20th Annual Austin Heart Ball gala benefiting the American Heart Association in Central Texas.

Ann Jerome, Executive Director of American Heart Association in Austin and distinguished guests.

The organization had set a target of raising $1 million that night through live and silent auctions and other cash donations. The record breaking evening included a cocktail hour and elegant dinner, silent and live auctions, inspirational speakers, and more.

Heart Ball Chairman Matt Hoglund with the Austin office of DPR Construction.

William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential and the  beautiful Wynonna Judd

William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential and the beautiful Wynonna Judd (Photography courtesy of InFluential Magazine)

Before music headliner Wynonna & The Big Noise took to the stage, Heart Ball Chairman Matt Hoglund with the Austin office of DPR Construction stepped up to the microphone with the big news that the $1 million goal had been surpassed.  An unexpected highlight of Wynonna’s performance was when she invited William Jackson, our Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential, up to the stage for a brief meet-and-greet and photo session.  Now that’s InFluential!

Terry and Shannon Wilson, Gayle Stallings with FUNAuctions, and William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

Terry and Shannon Wilson, Gayle Stallings with FUNAuctions, and William Jackson, Chief Business Officer of InFluential Magazine, Spanish InFluential, and Teen InFluential.

The final total of gross proceeds was $1,090,000 shattering the previous years’ funds raised which totaled $780,000.

The fabulous gala was held at downtown at the luxurious JW Marriott Austin hotel.

We can’t wait to see what Ann Jerome, Executive Director of the American Heart Association, and her very capable team plan in 2018 to top this banner year!

Mack, Jack & McConaughey Fashion Show to Feature Designer Jason Wu

Neiman Marcus Returns to MJ&M as the Official Retail Partner for the Sold Out Event 

Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M) announced that iconic fashion designer Jason Wu will show his latest collection at the exclusive MJ&M fashion show and luncheon at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas on April 21. The show is hosted by Sally Brown, Amy Ingram and Camila Alves McConaughey with support from Neiman Marcus.  Presenting sponsor of the MJ&M fashion show and luncheon is The Mrs. with the VIP reception and lounge presented by Fashion Forms.

“I have been a fan of Jason Wu for a long time,” said Camila Alves McConaughey. “I believe he really knows and understands how to flatter the female figure. I am thrilled to host him in Austin, and know the runway show and luncheon guests will love seeing the latest collection and hearing the personal inspiration behind it.”

Jason Wu is a leading global design talent based in New York. Through merging classic American sportswear elements with a sophisticated global attitude, he has created timeless classics with glamorous sensibility and a distinctively feminine aesthetic. Since debuting his ready-to-wear collection in 2007, Jason has been dedicated to making clothes that are beautifully crafted from the inside out. Although only 33, the precocious designer has already achieved many of his aspirations. His collection is sold globally and he dresses some of the most influential women in the world including Michelle Obama, Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Diane Kruger, Kerry Washington and Christy Turlington among many others.

“Austin and all of the women involved with MJ&M have a unique sense of style, and my designs really align with that,” said Jason Wu.  “I’m honored to show my collection in Austin, and especially to help raise funds for the children’s charities MJ&M supports.”

“We are proud to once again partner with MJ&M, and to bring Jason Wu’s collection to Austin,” said Chris Hendel, Vice President, General Manager of Neiman Marcus Austin.  “We know our guests will embrace the opportunity to shop Mr. Wu’s amazing designs.”

The fashion event starts with a VIP cocktail reception presented by Fashion Forms. Tito’s is the presenting spirits sponsor. Following the runway show, the audience is invited to a luncheon where hostess Camila Alves McConaughey will interview the designer on his inspiration for the collection and his impressive career.

The host committee for the sold-out runway show and luncheon includes: Jenny Aghamalian, Ellen Burt, Laura Craddick, Jamie Chandlee, Kelly Dodson, Katie Jaffe, Anna Hansen, Andra Liemandt, Tracey Marshall, Natalie Noble, Nicki Riley, Stacey Smith, Angela Smogur, Loren Stalcup, Wendy Topfer and Leslie Ward.

This spring marks the fifth year of the Mack, Jack & McConaughey event, which has raised over $5 million in the last four years. Every year, thousands of guests enjoy two full days of events benefitting charities working to empower kids through education, health and wellness programming.  The April 20 opening gala includes a musical performance by Jack Ingram and Miranda Lambert at ACL Live. On April 21, MJ&M will continue with a golf tournament at Spanish Oaks Golf Club. Simultaneously on Friday, MJ&M will hold the fashion show and luncheon.  Friday wraps up with the incredible Jack Ingram & Friends concert presented by H-E-B at ACL Live featuring Kris Kristofferson and nearly one dozen of the most important songwriters and performers of our time. Funds raised at MJ&M 2017 will support CureDuchenne, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, HeartGift, the just keep livin Foundation and the Rise School of Austin.

Major sponsors of this year’s MJ&M event include: Allstate, American Campus Communities, American Airlines, Fashion Forms, H-E-B, Late European, Nike, Spanish Oaks Golf Club, Target, The Mrs., Tito’s, Washington Redskins and Wild Turkey.

For more information on Jason Wu, please visit:

For more information about Mack, Jack & McConaughey, visit

About MJ&M:
Mack, Jack & McConaughey (MJ&M), the joint fundraising effort of ESPN analyst and legendary football coach Mack Brown, ACM award winning recording artist Jack Ingram, and Academy Award®-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, is a two day event filled with music, golf, fashion, and fun. Previous MJ&M gala headliners include Sheryl Crow, John Mellencamp, Toby Keith, Dierks Bentley and Kacey Musgraves. The gala is followed by a jam-packed day with a golf tournament being held simultaneously with a once-in-a-lifetime fashion show that has previously featured MILLY, Badgley Mischka, Veronica Beard and Lela Rose.  The day concludes back at ACL Live for a singer-songwriter line up of talent unmatched by any other event. Jimmy Kimmel previously hosted the evening and past performers include Little Big Town, Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Lyle Lovett, Bobby Pinson and dozens of the biggest names in music.

As published originally by Craddick Public Relations.

LaborDay Weekend Giveaway! Get a Free Ticket to PHYSIQUE – September 19 at the JW Marriott

Only this Labor Day Weekend, get a free ticket to PHYSIQUE, Austin’s Premier Health, Beauty and Lifestyle Expo benefiting Susan G Komen, September 19 at the JW Marriott.


Go to our TICKETS page and use code “LABORDAY” to redeem!

Applies to General Admission Tickets (not VIP). Kids and Seniors get in FREE! All users must register through our ticketing system and use a valid email address. You must bring your ticket (paper or digital) to the event the day of the show. This offer is valid thru 9/8/2015.

Corner Restaurant at JW Marriott Austin Now Offers Brunch

Restaurant also plans to roll out a new summer cocktail menu in upcoming weeks

Corner Restaurant at the JW Marriott Austin announced today that the restaurant now serves brunch on the weekends. Brunch hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Corner’s new brunch menu features uniquely flavorful dishes including Pig & Monkey Bread, served with bacon and salted caramel bourbon anglaise; Gallo y Pinto,with vegetable stuffed poblano, poached egg and salsa verde; ‘White Chicken Chili’ Quiles,with tortilla chips, poached eggs, aged white cheddar, salsa verde and pico de gallo; Smoked Short Rib Hash,with poached eggs, sautéed onions and peppers, chimichurri and flour tortillas, and Crab & Crawfish  Eggs Benedict, with poached eggs, English muffin, sauce charon and smoked tomatoes.

“We are thrilled to launch brunch at Corner,” Brian Jaymont, general manager of Corner, said. “Austinites love their brunch, and it is exciting to be adding  another weekend brunch destination to the already stellar list of local options in this city.”

Known for its lively outdoor and indoor bars, Corner also plans to introduce a new summer cocktail, wine and beer menu in the upcoming weeks. Some highlights from the cocktail menu include Mezcal,featuring cat mezcal joven, red bell pepper, fresh watermelon juice, lime and maldon sea salt; Cherry Pop,withtreaty oak rum, housemade kola syrup, cherry juice, lime and soda water; Shandy, with waterloo gin, mathilde peach, honey, lemon, cinnamon, eastciders cider;  Paloma  with 512 tequila, ginger, lime, jamaican pink ting soda, and Whiskey,  with rebecca creek texas whiskey, ancho reyes, amaro Montenegro and mole bitters.

Health, Beauty and Fashion Come Together at Physique

The groundbreaking event comes to the JW Marriott to benefit Susan G Komen Austin

On September 19, the new JW Marriott Austin will be the stage for PHYSIQUE, an innovative boutique expo where only the best in health, beauty, wellness and fashion will come together to benefit SUSAN G. KOMEN AUSTIN. A portion of all proceeds (tickets and sponsorships) will be donated to the charity partner to help further their mission to educate and support breast cancer patients locally and fund research that will enrich the lives of many. “PHYSIQUE is a one-of-a-kind medical, wellness, beauty and fashion expo that celebrates all elements of the body and highlights Austin’s unique style,” explained Coral Talavera, event Producer and Executive Director of MONÉ Media.

Some of the event’s unique elements include a vibrant expo floor with 90 booths featuring the best in health, wellness, lifestyle and fitness, as well as beauty and technology; a live stage with a medical panel, music performance and attractive prizes; and a breathtaking runway show featuring 8 local and international designers, along with a high-profile #BeautyChallenge. Among the 27,000 sq of show space, PHYSIQUE will offer a fun POP-UP FASHION DISTRICT and the VIP BEAUTY BAR, complete with fully equipped beauty stations, where VIPs to receive some serious pampering. Meanwhile, two specialized pavilions will rise on the expo floor, the FAB OVER 50 section and the MEN’S CORNER, each with distinct entertainment and great brands. Lastly, the show will be enhanced with fabulous giveaways and silent auctions (from which 100% of the proceeds will go directly to partnering charity). “Additionally with this event, we will become the largest third-party contributor the local chapter has ever had, we want to continue to encourage the community to continue to donate. They can do so through our Ticket Portal, which will be sent directly to the organization and their efforts,” added Talavera.

Festivities will kickoff at 12pm by granting our thousands of expected attendees access to the EXPO FLOOR, including the SPECIAL PAVILIONS and a vivacious POP-UP DISTRICT, where brands of all shapes and sizes will cast their voice in the PHYSIQUE marketplace. Meanwhile, the lavish BEAUTY BAR will be open to our VIP Ticket holders throughout. The STAGE will come to life with the Pink Zumba Party at noon, followed by a diverse panel of guest speakers and celebrities from 1pm to 5pm. The stage then turns to L’Oreal and Ron King Beauty – two of the main partnering sponsors – for an unprecedented #BeautyChallenge (where cancer patients will be uplifted through a beautiful live presentation), topped off by the Fashion for a Cause Runway Show, where international designers (including talents from NY Fashion Week) as well as local designers (such as Chelsey Nordyke, winner of the 2015 Fashion Fund Award at Austin Fashion Week) will showcase 8 fabulous collections.

Lastly, the producers have stressed the importance of their commitment to the cause. “We encourage all members of the community to support the event while having fun, and to share their experiences with breast cancer,” explained the Producer. “PHYSIQUE is about celebrating life, while recognizing the battle brave cancer patients face but also remembering with love those who are no longer with us. Join us as we share the stories of hundreds of local survivors.” Followers, sponsors, attendees and volunteers are encouraged to share their experiences through the event’s social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and to forge a meaningful discussion about the issue.

Early Bird Tickets for PHYSIQUE are on sale now thru July 19th and prime sponsorship and exhibition opportunities are still available for a wide array of brands in varied consumer markets. According to Talavera “Austin has never seen a show like PHYSIQUE. It will be truly record-breaking.”

Austin Tour Company Offers Tours to Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery

The fine folks at Austin Tour Company will begin offering tours and round-trip transportation from the JW Marriott in downtown Austin to the Deep Eddy Vodka Distillery in Dripping Springs.

On Sunday, May 3, Austin Tour Company will host an inaugural crawfish boil at the DeepEddy Vodka Distillery. Guests can pay $20 per person for round-trip transportation, a complimentary cocktail and souvenir glass, distillery floor tour, and a full history of the DeepEddy Vodka brand.

Tours depart every Sunday at noon and 2:00 p.m., with each returning three and a half hours later. Friday and Saturday times will be added soon.

JW Marriott Austin to Serve as Official Hotel Partner for Austin Food + Wine Festival

JW Marriott Austin will serve as the official host hotel for the Austin Food + Wine Festival, scheduled for the weekend of April 24-26, 2015.

Since the hotel opened in February 2015, its three restaurants and chefs have played a key role in expanding the already-impressive Austin hospitality and culinary scene. The hotel offers a range of popular food and drink choices, from Osteria Pronto (Northern Italian) to Corner (Texas-themed food and bar) to Burger Bar on Congress (food truck-style burger window).

The JW Marriott Austin is participating in several events during the Festival, including the H-E-B Grand Tasting Pavilion on Saturday, April 25, from 11 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample food from many notable chefs, including Corner Executive Chef Jennifer Etzkin, and interact with more than 100 food, lifestyle, wine and spirits exhibitors.

Throughout the weekend, Festival attendees can also visit the “Meet the Makers” tent presented by JW Marriott, bringing together a noteworthy lineup of wine and spirit makers for a series of intimate tasting sessions. In between Maker sessions, bar expert Tad Carducci, co-founder of the Tippling Brothers and a JW Marriott brand partner, will be serving up three specialty cocktails from the JWM Bar located under the tent, highlighting some of the best spirits from featured Makers alongside refreshing ingredients such as passionfruit, grapefruit, lime, green tea and more.

The hotel will offer special promotions throughout the weekend, including a special Hangover Burger at Burger Bar, with Brazos Valley White Cheddar, Nueske’s Bacon, a fried egg and candied jalapeños.The Hangover Burger will be available April 23-26 for $4.75.

“Partnering with the Austin Food + Wine Festival is a natural fit for the JW Marriott Austin,” said Scott Blalock, general manager. “We are excited to play a role in this spectacular event bringing wine and food lovers from all over the world to our great city.”

There’s No Need to Worry, Wonders & Worries is Here

By William Jackson & Sandra Rascon

Photography courtesy of Mark Swendner Photography.

On Friday, February 27, 460 guests – many donning spectacular masks – came together in the Lone Star Ballroom of the elegant JW Marriott in Austin to celebrate Wonders & Worries Unmasked chaired by Rosemary Douglass and Melinda Garvey and presented by Texas Oncology and Texas Breast Specialist. This year, the event is record-breaking raising more than $253,000 in support of the services provided by Wonders & Worries. These funds will provide 85 families with a full year of therapeutic support.

“I am filled with joy seeing the children Wonders & Worries has served coming back as young adults, sharing what a significant difference Wonders & Worries has made in their lives,” said Meredith Cooper, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Wonders & Worries. “Whether it is a boy scout doing his Eagle project for us or a college student volunteering over the summer, each fills me with gratitude for the support our donors have provided Wonders & Worries, enabling us to serve these children impacted by their parent’s serious illness. Seeing the response of our Unmasked guests to the client testimonials and the resulting funds raised, I am hopeful and confident in our ability to one day serve every child and family in need.”

Duane and Meredith Cooper

Duane and Meredith Cooper

The evening commenced with a lively cocktail hour which featured a fun photography booth and unique silent auction items. Guests casually moved into the ballroom – after a few eager guests opened the doors – which was beautifully decorated with tables and waiters adorned with masks. We had the pleasure of sharing the table with DJ Gatsby, who provided the musical entertainment for the evening, and his lovely wife Sarah. The three course meal, which included a chicken Entrée, was absolutely delicious. Though recently opened, the JW Marriott team is delivering good service.

Lisa Copeland and Gigi and Sam Bryant

Lisa Copeland and Gigi and Sam Bryant

How thankful many families are to have the folks behind Wonders & Worries and the services they provide within our communities. Additionally, Austin has so many philanthropic and generous people and we are pleased they demonstrate their philanthropy by supporting Wonders & Worries.   Of course, we’re already looking forward to the Wonders & Worries Unmasked 2016.  In fact, go ahead and mark your calendars for February 26, 2016.

Paddles Up

Paddles Up

Wonders & Worries provides assistance to children, helping them cope when a parent faces a serious or life-threatening illness. Launched in 2001 with the first community assistance grant offered by Livestrong, Wonders & Worries works with families in all stages of survivorship, who are affected by any serious or chronic physical illness. Wonders & Worries provides individual and group support services for children ages 2-18 and parenting support for parents and caregivers. Services are offered free of charge in a variety of school and community-based settings, with program services provided by professional child life staff in both English and Spanish.

Terry and Kari French

Terry and Kari French

Learn more about Wonders & Worries and how you can offer support by visiting their official website at

Join us on the Hunt Against Heart Disease!

Lee Ann Womack

Lee Ann Womack

The American Heart Association (AHA) is committed to helping our community live stronger, healthier lives through education, research and public policies that effect where we live, learn and play. The Austin Heart Ball is an event that focuses on celebrating all of the local successes of the AHA while raising funds for research and initiatives preventing heart disease and stroke in Central Texas.

The 18th Annual Heart Ball will be held on May 9, 2015 and continues to raise critical funds for life-saving research and community education programs in the Austin-area. The 2015 event will include live and silent auctions, special guest speakers and live entertainment by Lee Ann Womack!

Austin Heart Ball
Saturday, May 9, 2015

JW Marriot Austin
110 East 2nd Street
Austin, TX 78701

The AHA’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question. Visit to learn more about the American Heart Association.

For more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact:

Anika Kleingartner

InFluential Magazine Invites You to the Wonders & Worries Unmasked Gala

InFluential Magazine is delighted to support the Wonders & Worries organization as they present the Wonders & Worries Unmasked Gala and hope you’ll join us in this endeavor.

At the Wonders & Worries Unmasked Gala, presented by Texas Oncology and Texas Breast Specialists, 450-500 guests will gather to enjoy an Italian-themed masquerade ball and dinner. Proceeds from the Gala, including a raffle, mystery boxes, heads or tails, and paddles up, will benefit children ages 2-18 whose parent faces a serious or life-threatening illness. Wonders & Worries is the only program in the nation that provides free, professional child life services and personalized coping support to children and their families. Entertainment will include period dressed actors, opera singers, Italian musicians and entertainers, and will conclude with music provided by DJ Gatsby.

Friday, February 27, 2014 from 7PM to Midnight
JW Marriott Austin Hotel Downtown (one week after it opens)
Sponsorship opportunities begin at $2,500 (information attached) Tie Optional

The Mission, Vision of Values of the Wonders & Worries Organization are as follows:


To help children cope when a parent faces serious or life-threatening illness



Wonders & Worries programs available across North America



The need to ease the suffering in children

The desire to nurture hope in children

The passion to equip children to deal with the challenges of life

The belief that emotionally healthy families are the cornerstones of a thriving society



The health and well being of all children and families

The uniqueness, curiosity and concerns of all children

The difference professional services can make for a child and family

To learn more about this wonderful and much needed organization, visit their official website here.