It’s October! Time for apple picking, pumpkin searching, costume planning and of course, Boy Scout popcorn. Just like Girl Scout cookies in the spring, one cannot refuse good popcorn for a good purpose. Selling all kinds of delicious popcorn this past Sunday at Harris Teeter in Davidson were Ryan and Will Densmore, Thomas Petrie and Alex Dellinger. The scouts were quick to mention that Trail’s End, provider of the popcorn, ships popcorn to U.S. troops around the world and that 70 percent of troop sales goes to local scouting. For more information on Davidson scouting, go to www.cubpack58.org. Popcorn would give you something tasty to munch while watching this Wednesday’s much anticipated debate between President Obama and Governor Romney.
Around Davidson today visit with Davidson resident Aimee Symington who is president of a new business called Finesse Worldwide Inc. There is also news of a “Spaniel Soiree,” birthday wishes for Lyndsay Kibiloski and a Noteworthy Note.
AIMEE AND LAURIE – ENGAGING ETIQUETTE LESSONS
The email from Davidson resident Aimee Symington read in part: “I have a new etiquette business called Finesse Worldwide and my business partner is Laurie Firestone, the former White House Social Secretary from George Bush Sr. Laurie will be in town staying at the Village Inn. Would you be interested in talking to Laurie?”
Interested? Of course. But this took some planning. Could not wear my usual farm boots or sweat pants. Had to give this some thought. Dress up? Hosiery? For Davidson in the middle of the day? At last I did find a suitable ensemble (including shoes) and with pen, paper and camera in hand, I showed up last week at the Village Inn to meet with Aimee and Laurie to hear about their fledgling business called Finesse Worldwide (http://www.finesseworldwide.com). We could have talked for hours.
These talented, very proper ladies taped an interview for “Charlotte Today” (which will air early in October) and met with a law firm to give a 90-minute “Business Etiquette Boot Camp” presentation about “From the White House to Your House: Lessons in Civility and Etiquette.” Topics for the law firm included building relationships, dressing professionally, cocktail party tips (where to place your name tag, which hand to hold your drink, etc.) and dinner etiquette.
As these ladies will tell you, it is a competitive world out there and the best way to attract clients is through the use of good taste and good judgment during and after office hours. As Laurie commented, “Good manners never go out of style.” Opening car doors or office building doors for women may no longer be required but is still much appreciated – and makes a good impression as does a firm handshake.
Aimee Symington, who grew up in Michigan, is married to George Husk, the Tennis Director at River Run Country Club. They have two children: Emma, a 7th grader at Bailey and Luke a 4th grader at Davidson Elementary. Aimee is very involved with the schools, community and various charities. Earlier she worked for Saturn, GM in Canada, a consulting firm in Boston and, always interested in business etiquette, she became certified as an Etiquette Instructor while working for Sea-Land Corp.
Aimee even appeared on the Today Show in December of 2010 as their “Etiquette Expert.” A few years ago she created award-winning products for children that teach manners: Blunders, Manner Mats, Blunders The Card game, Manner Mat Preschool, and restaurant place mats for kids. Selling Blunders to Patch Products (www.patchproducts.com) this past January, Aimee didn’t let any grass grow under her feet but moved right into a new company, Finesse Worldwide, to teach manners to adults – with a marvelous partner, Laurie Firestone.
Mother of four, grandmother of 12 (with No. 13 due later this year), Laurie Firestone was raised with manners. Living in Washington, D.C., she was an at-home mom raising her children, volunteering in many areas, and somehow “backed into” the job of Social Secretary for George Herbert Walker Bush and Barbara for eight years while Mr. Bush was the Vice President under President Reagan and then for four years while President Bush (No. 41) served at the White House. And what a job!
Forty thousand people were entertained annually at the White House. President G.H.W. Bush and Barbara used only French service (waiter or waitress offers a dish to each guest who helps himself or herself) in the formal dining room for 130 guests – 10 at a table. Intimate dinners were held upstairs for 40 guests in the Oval Room and 30 guests in the Small Dining Room. (No, they did not measure place settings with a ruler such as found on Downton Abbey.) Laurie has even published a book about her White House experience called “An Affair to Remember” including photos and special menus from dinner parties with modified White House kitchen recipes. (This book can be ordered at http://lauriefirestone.com)
Now living in San Francisco, Laurie was interested in teaching children’s etiquette and contacted Aimee Symington some four years ago about materials connected to her Blunders game. They just happened to talk recently about Aimee’s idea to teach manners to adults and the partnership was born. Aimee and Laurie’s skills complement one another perfectly – business etiquette to international protocol. They see lots of options in their future with world-wide possibilities. They talk easily about cell phone/texting etiquette or bare legs vs. nylon stockings for women. For attorneys, their Boot Camp presentation is accredited by the NC Bar Association. They envision working with medical professionals in addition to business personnel.
AND THE FUTURE HOLDS…
Right now they are just getting started but stay tuned. Laurie and Aimee are onto something called good manners – as appropriate today as centuries ago – with programs for individuals or companies. We expect to hear a lot more about “Finesse Worldwide.”
(Be sure to check out their Corporate Video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2Q2wft9Cz8&feature=g-upl
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LYNDSAY
Lyndsay Kibiloski is 30! This young lady, the chief operating officer designer and web manager for DavidsonNews.net, saw her odometer turn over a BIG one Monday. Lyndsay celebrated with a long weekend of moving from one apartment to another, but paused long enough to blow out a birthday candle on her very own cake. Congratulations, Lyndsay! We appreciate all you do to keep DavidsonNews.net in great shape!
GOING TO THE DOGS
This past Sunday afternoon was a wonderful occasion for owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners to gather, compare puppy notes, admire each other’s adult dogs and just enjoy canine fellowship on the lawn outside the Lake Norman Cottage. Organized by Davidson residents (and Cavalier Club enthusiasts) Tricia and Don Massey, a group of some 20 dogs and their owners enjoyed an afternoon of lounging by the lake – all on their best behavior.
Thanks to Rodney and Melissa Graham who have a new Cavalier puppy named Ginger and sent us photos of her taking in the action of the afternoon from the safety of the laps of the Graham children: Marshall (10) and Emma Claire (8). What a nice idea and thanks to the Lake Norman Cottage for the use of their lawn.
Book Discussion – “State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett
Don’t forget: As part of ReadDavidson’s programming for this fall’s book choice by Ann Patchett, two members of the Davidson College faculty, Dr. Ann Fox (English Department) and Dr. David Wessner (Biology Department), will facilitate a lively and engaging discussion of “State of Wonder” this Thursday evening, Oct. 4, at the Davidson Public Library. This event will begin at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
END US YOUR NEWS
Have news for Around Davidson? Write to Brenda Barger at firstname.lastname@example.org.