Anna Hovet's Kenmore Style

Local designer, Anna Hovet who recently won the premier episode of the Kenmore’s reality show “So You Want to Be a Designer” premiered her Fall/Winter 2011 collection. The Facebook internet show will run for 6 weeks, streaming live on Kenmore’s Facebook Fan Page.

Anna Hovet Fall/Winter 2011

Anna Hovet, Fall/Winter 2011
Photo courtesy of Dean Paul

Hovet’s fashion show was presented at a pop-up store at 900 N. Michigan Avenue, to demonstrate what she’s been up to all these months while working on the internet show. She invited a select group of fans and friends to preview the autumn collection. Anticipating the collection, the energized crowd jammed the set up space plastered for Anna’s campaign, to take a peek at her Fall/Winter 2011 collection which was developed prior to the taping of the designer show.

Anna was motivated to complete this collection for the show as well as for herself and reflected a very focused personality through the collection while she pulled off a flawless preview of a select few pieces of her newest designs. 

Jersey type ready to wear materials and leggings and a variety of deep fall colors dominated the collection. Lots of grey and mustard colors with thick and bulky collars were displayed; perfect for Chicago fall and winter months. I personally appreciate the hooded items which were prevalent in the collection, and the cream coat that was featured was a real favorite. Although only about 5 or 6 pieces were presented during the quickly run fashion show, the crowd showed its appreciation with extended applause.

Hovet also displayed her campaign to help obtain votes for the internet show. She has a Twitter campaign – #VoteHovet. For more information on Anna Hovet Fashions, visit the Anna Hovet website.

Photos courtesy of Dean Paul –


27th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival Kickoff

The 27th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival opens on April 1. The festival, presented by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago is one of the city’s most diverse events.

A celebration at Crimson Lounge kicked off the new season for the festival.

27th Annual Chicago Latino Film Festival

Local, national and international celebrities and friends of the festival Kicked off this year’s event with a party at the Crimson Lounge. The festival, which runs through April 14, will feature over 100 films from Spain, Latin America and the United States. The films have a Latino perspective but appeal to a diverse audience.

Local and visiting film makers will be on hand at some of the screenings to discuss the films with the audience.

Some special segments that the festival will offer are: Student Films, Made in USA, Women in Film, and Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Trans. These segments celebrate the importance of not only racial diversity of contributions by film makers but also the age, cultural and sexual diversity among the film makers and audience.

Director of the festival, Pepe Vargas, along with festival board members, Homero Tristan and Jaime Viteri each welcomed the festival attendees to the inaugural celebration. All were very eloquent and individually expressed their excitement and positive outlook for another wonderful season of Latino films.

The Latino Cultural Center of Chicago will be presenting The Gloria Achievement Award to actor Damian Alacarz for his talent and accomplishments. Damian is an accredited actor that has received acclaim for his roles in El Crimen del Padre Amaro, The Crime of Father Amaro, La Le de Herodes, Herod’s Law and the Colombian Film, Satanas. He also recently starred in his first Hollywood film, The Chromicles of Narnia: Prince of Caspain.

The kickoff party was a perfect show for the diverse mix of ages, ethnicities and levels of support that the festival is hoping to draw again during their 27th season.

Attendees enjoyed discussing and learning about the more than 100 films, and their makers that include a variety of genres and categories which will be available during the week’s events. I’ll have to bet that since the turnout for the kickoff event was so positive, the rest of the week’s events will be sold out and to capacity.

I’m looking forward to viewing the films to discuss them during the duration of the festival. 
The Chicago Latino Film Festival is produced by the International Latino Cultural Center.

For more information, tickets or daily schedule of films: or 312-409-1757

HOORAY For Hollywood!!

My dear friend and Chicago’s own extraordinary photographer, Steve Starr had the opportunity to hang out in Hollywood last month to catch a few stars of his own!! What he brought back was beautiful.

Enjoy Steve’s posting, along with his AMAZING photos, of course!!

Steve Starr invades Academy Awards 2011 Photo courtesy of Steve Starr

Steve Starr ~ Reporting from Hollywood ~ Oscar weekend 2011.

I love riding the plane across the country to California… this time on wonderful American Airlines… the gorgeous corals, blues, turquoises and gold surrounding the snow-topped Rocky Mountain ranges and the cumulus and stratus clouds… it still is a magical world. Hollywood, at least in the mind is still a magical town. It is not the Hollywood of the glamour days of the mid 20th century and certainly no longer the exciting little sleepy place full of fresh air and orange groves and pepper trees of the days when the magic of motion pictures was so new and ethereal then.

Hollywood is now large and loud, beautiful and a little seedy too. It still captures the imagination of the world with its enormous Oscar event attracting fans and press from around the world. It is the center of glamour and excitement on Oscar weekend and there are literally hundreds of parties to celebrate the event. 

I attended Night of a Hundred Stars at the famous Beverly Hills Hotel, invited by Irene Michaels, where a few hundred television directors, producers and actors, music stars, gorgeous models and former Oscar winners walked the enormous 200-foot-long “step-and-repeat” to be photographed by at least sixty photographers and video cameras.

Following the event, I attended BJ Murrays Third Annual Oscar Gathering party back in Hollywood along with our Red Carpet Concierge team and it was filled with friendly people, many who once lived in Chicago and New York and are now in Hollywood for a myriad of reasons, most of them because they are in the film world.

The Saturday before the Oscars, I had an interview with Carley Johnson of the Directors Guild Magazine at the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, Musso and Frank’s, on Hollywood Boulevard. Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra and everyone you can imagine once ate at the charming establishment with round leather booths, built in 1919 and still retaining the original murals and decor.

My new book, STARRLIGHT-Glamorous Latin Movie Stars of Early Hollywood featuring Rita Hayworth and Carmen Miranda will be reviewed and featured in an upcoming edition of the beautiful periodical, and I will be submitting to them a new story on one of my favorite 1940s Film Noir stars, Ida Lupino, who excellently directed films and television scripts as well. 

I visited the Hollywood Museum which has a large permanent exhibition of Marilyn Monroe as well as numerous costumes and objects from famous movies, and ate at the famed Mel’s Diner across the street from the Kodak Theatre.

Just to be on the Red Carpet at the Kodak was an experience to remember forever. Seeing the other journalists from around the world, watching Tim Gunn prepare for the enormous onslaught of fashion and stars he would interview and the hundreds of cameras getting ready for the biggest night of the year was great excitement.

The photos of me there are among my favorite ever. It was thrilling and next year there will be many more pictures as I continue my favorite profession.

Thank you so much to Sandra Smith-Doghmi of Red Carpet Concierge of Chicago for including me in the excursion.
                                                                                                                                       Steve Starr

Henry Cardenas Inducted to Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame

Henry Cardenas, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN), will soon be inducted into the 2011 Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Mr. Cardenas was among the Class of 2011 to be inducted at the 26th Anniversary Gala & Awards Celebration this past February at the Chicago Hilton and Towers. The Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame encourages business leaders, students and government officials to honor business excellence and each year, inducts prominent entrepreneurs who have demonstrated extraordinary business acumen by founding or growing their respective businesses.

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Henry Cardenas

“Hard work. Dedication. Innovation. These are all vital elements that make any business successful no matter the economic climate. In times like this, our inductees exemplify these characteristics,” said Rod Shrader, Denton Thorne Chair in Entrepreneurship at the UIC College of Business Administration and Faculty Director for the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. “The Hall of Fame Class of 2011 epitomizes the entrepreneurial spirit and business excellence needed to help get our economy moving while also inspiring our future business leaders to succeed.”
A true pioneer in Hispanic event marketing, Henry Cardenas has spent the last 30 years managing, producing and executing some of the biggest live entertainment acts in the U.S. and across Latin America. He co-founded CMN in September 2003 and leads an award-winning team that has orchestrated massive, brand-building consumer campaigns for corporate giants such as Anheuser-Busch, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Diageo, H&R Block, American Airlines, MillerCoors and Verizon, among others. CMN has impacted the event marketing industry by incorporating the passion points of Hispanic consumers into innovative experiential programs for brands worldwide.  Prior to launching CMN, Mr. Cardenas served for 14 years as President/CEO of Cardenas Fernandez & Associates (CFA). During his tenure at CFA from 1986 to 2000, he was instrumental in making CFA the largest Hispanic production company of sports, music, and other live entertainment events in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Due to a recent surgery, Mr. Cardenas unfortunately was unable to attend the ceremony.
“I am extremely humbled by this recognition. I would like to thank the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame so very much for this tremendous tribute. This is an honor to a lifetime worth of work, and many people have contributed to this success. I would like to thank my family, whose love and understanding are an inspiration each day, as well as my partners and clients, for their unfettered trust and for supporting programs that benefit the Latino community. Last but not least, thanks to my team, whose loyalty and dedication is unparalleled.
“I came to the U.S. as a teenager with many dreams. I worked days and nights, seven days a week and made many sacrifices along the way. Fortunately, I kept my faith and was blessed to come across people who believed in me. I hope that, via this honor, I can inspire other Latinos to seize the opportunities out there. It is important to remember that success is not measured by balance sheets, but by helping pave the way for others.”

Mr. Cardenas made his mark in the music industry in 1985, when he organized the first-ever Pan American Music Festival in Chicago. His foresight and leadership led it to become one of the most successful and long-lasting festivals in the country. Since then he has produced over 5,000 shows worldwide and has achieved some of the highest grossing acts in Latin music history, including Marc Anthony at the Madison Square Garden ($1.7 million, 2009) and Mana at the Allstate Arena ($1.7 million, 2007). A soccer enthusiast, Mr. Cardenas has produced over 100 soccer games in the U.S. and in February 2010, he signed an unprecedented partnership with the Asociación del Fútbol Argentino (AFA), which grants CMN the exclusive right to organize matches for two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Argentina through June 2014. CMN will also manage the commercial rights for the team, which features reigning FIFA Player of the Year Lionel Messi.
Mr. Cardenas earned a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Northeastern Illinois University and a MBA from Governor State University.

The 2011 Hall of Fame Class includes:
• Godard Abel, BigMachines, Inc.
• Stuart Bernsen, Chiro Wellness Centers
• Henry Cardenas, Cardenas Marketing Network, Inc.
• Carry Chessick,
• Jeff Engle, Association Management Centers
• Mark Engle, Association Management Centers
• Scott Engle, Association Management Centers
• John Fairclough, The Resicom Group
• Martin F. Gfesser, Trendler, Inc.
• Ron Grason, Nitel
• Scott Holstein, Kim & Scott Gourmet Pretzels
• Jim Horan, Blue Plate
• Vasanthi IIangovan, VIVA USA Inc.
• Ahmad Isalm, Commonground
• Marvin Klein, PortionPac Chemical Corporation
• Timothy McEnery, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
• Steve McShane, Midtronics, Inc.
• Bill Neiman, Neiman Brothers Company
• Laura Neiman, Neiman Brothers Company
• Kim Oster Holstein, Kim & Scott Gourmet Pretzels
• Richard Panico, Integrated Project Management Co.
• Dale Pollak, vAuto Inc.
• Rick Stern, Nitel
• Mark A. Thierer, SXC Health Solutions, Inc.
• Genevieve Thiers, Sittercity
• Sherman Wright, Commonground

“For the last 26 years, the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame has been a showcase of Chicago’s successful entrepreneur community,” said Michael Pagano, interim dean of the UIC College of Business Administration. “This new crop of inductees is further proof that even in toughest times, through hard work, creativity and dedication, you can succeed in business. On behalf of the CBA, I congratulate the Class of 2011.”

 About the Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies
Founded in 1982, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the leading entrepreneurial research and professional organizations in the United States. The Institute’s mission is to champion the entrepreneurship mindset and skill -set among students, faculty and the community-at-large. Today, the Institute offers innovative programs designed to advance the entrepreneurial spirit in students, business owners and the international research community.
About CMN
Founded in 2003, CMN is the leading multicultural event marketing and sponsorship agency in the U.S. CMN creates brand impact through music, sports and other interactive experiences that capture the hearts and minds of millions of consumers across the nation. In 2010 CMN produced more than 700 live events, including concerts, experiential campaigns and mobile marketing tours. For more information please visit


[Submitted by Cardenas Marketing Network and reprinted with permission]