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Company Name/Address Phone: 561 3018677 No Soliciting Please
V Starr Interior Design Fax: 561 7993441
Contact: Yetunde Price- Candidate Resumes Responses Only
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33418 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Job Title Project Designer
Job Description: When responding to this opportunity PLEASE INDICATE you are responding to job posting # 1350F on InteriorDesignJobs.com
New interior design firm looking for a EXPERIENCED interior designer with strong design abilities.
KNOWLEDGE OF BUSINESS PRACTICES OF INTERIOR DESIGN REQUIRED.
Project Designer will be responsible for the development of client relationships and executing design jobs from initial contact to installation.
Responsibilities also include space planning, furniture planning, specification and preparation of achitectual work drawings.
Must be motivated with the ability to work on several projects at a time.
Looking for designers interested in opportunity to grow with the company. Travel may be required.
Employment Type Full Time
Location West Palm Beach, Florida
Salary upon request -
Education BS or BA in Interior Design. Must be licenced in state of FL . 5+ Years of experience required. Ability to sketch interiors and interior products. Residential experience required, commerical experience desired. Interior design management experience critical. Having owned and managed own firm a plus.
Company Profile V Starr Interiors is a new start up interior design firm in the intial develpment stages with goals to open in several cities across the US. V Starr Interiors is looking for an experienced interior designer to help lead and build a strong design team.
Computer Skills CAD Experience desired also Microsoft excel
Nov 13th, 2002, 01:10 PM
Venus Williams has designs on decorating business
By BETH HARRIS
.c The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Venus Williams has designs on more than being one of the world's top tennis players. She's already looking toward the day when she puts down her racket for good.
Williams has started an interior design and decorating company called ``V Starr Interiors,'' a play on her full name of Venus Ebony Starr Williams.
``It's the way I was brought up to always plan for the future,'' she said. ``I love planning and I love putting things together. That's just what I do well.''
The Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.-based company isn't just a vanity project for the two-time Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion, who finished the season as the No. 2 player behind younger sister Serena.
As V Starr's president and chief executive officer, Williams is involved at every level.
She began a business plan in April and introduced the company Tuesday during a news conference at the Pacific Design Center.
Unlike most struggling entrepreneurs, Williams has a solid financial base, having earned more than $10 million in prize money and millions more in endorsements since turning pro in 1994.
She designed the company logo, which features a looping V, and decorated its offices. She'll earn an associate's degree in fashion design from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale next year, and she was certified as an interior decorator this year.
She deals with the hassles as well. She stepped in when the printer messed up her business cards and she fired the company that worked on a folder given to potential clients.
``It was a whole learning curve,'' she said.
Williams has dabbled in design since 1999, doing free-lance interior decorating for friends and family and designing a line of leather and suede clothing for the Wilson's Leather chain.
As a globe-trotting tennis player, Williams developed an eye for detail and design while staying in fancy hotels, shopping at pricey stores and visiting historical places. She's learned to recognize the finer things, whether it's fabric or fashion.
``You can't fool me anymore,'' she said. ``I can tell if it's cheap.''
She decided Palm Beach Gardens and its wealthy citizenry was the perfect place to set up shop. She's going after high-end clients who will trust her company to design a home and buy and install the furnishings. V Starr already has two clients.
``Sometimes people don't have a clue what they want or they can't do it themselves. That's where I come in and I make it happen,'' she said. ``A lot of people think it is just picking the fabric or a sofa, but there's a lot more that goes into it.''
Her favorite color is green, although she favors bold colors like red and royal blue, and wouldn't dream of covering a sofa in silk if a client has pets that like to jump on the furniture.
``It's hard to say a design is wrong, but if it doesn't function correctly, then it's wrong,'' she said. ``If you place your bed in front of the window, that's wrong.''
Williams isn't going it alone. She solicited resumes on the Internet and interviewed potential design directors before hiring Bonnie Nathan, who was already running her own company in Boca Raton.
``If I don't understand something, I say I don't understand or I ask Bonnie later,'' Williams said, giggling.
``I've already learned a great deal from her,'' Nathan said. ``She is wonderful with people, knows what she wants, makes good decisions and has a passion for design.''
Nathan and others will incorporate Williams' ideas into the actual designs and do the day-to-day work when Williams is at tournaments.
While sister Serena pursues an acting career in her spare time, Venus is happy to immerse herself in books on business management and design. Initially, Williams felt comfortable with her ability to design but was uneasy interviewing furniture and fabric vendors.
``I'm the kind of person that when I get into something, I have to know exactly how it's done or I'll feel embarrassed,'' she said. ``I did feel shy because maybe I didn't know as much as the next designer, but I've gotten over it.''
Jul 21st, 2003, 01:01 PM
V Starr Interiors
Case No. 2003-001143
The Florida Board of Architecture and Interior Design announces that on March 20, 2003, probable cause was found to issue a Notice and Order to Cease and Desist against the unlicensed design firm of V Starr Interiors, which is owned by tennis star Venus Williams. V Starr Interiors is located in Palm Beach, Gardens, Florida.
Ms. Williams has a licensed interior designer on staff; however, V Starr Interiors has been operating and offering interior design services since April 2002 without a license for the firm, which is required under Florida law. After being notified of the investigation, the firm has begun the process of obtaining a license.
After reviewing the evidence, the Board found probable cause to issue a Notice and Order to Cease and Desist and will require Ms. Williams to execute an affidavit that she will not offer interior design services through her firm until properly licensed. If Ms. Williams fails to return the affidavit, an administrative complaint seeking fines will be filed.
Dec 29th, 2003, 03:06 PM
Tavis Smiley gets back into TV game on PBS
LYNN ELBER, AP Television Writer Wednesday, December 24, 2003
(12-24) 12:12 PST LOS ANGELES (AP) --
A sign that Tavis Smiley's new PBS talk show is not standard-issue for public television: The set was created by tennis star and aspiring designer Venus Williams.
That's just the start. Smiley, returning to TV less than two years after he was canned by BET, says his daily late-night series debuting in January will be more than visually striking.
"Tavis Smiley," PBS' first West Coast-based talk show, will be fast-paced and aimed at drawing a younger, more ethnically diverse audience than typically watches public TV, its host said.
Smiley, whose punchy, baritone delivery and pointed questions are familiar to his growing National Public Radio audience, is ready to get back on the tube. (His radio program will continue.)
Bill Cosby, Democratic presidential contender Wesley Clark, Newt Gingrich and Magic Johnson are among the first week's scheduled guests. The series begins Jan. 5 (check local listings for date and time).
It will be paired in many markets with Charlie Rose's talk show but audiences will quickly see the difference, Smiley said. While Rose tends to devote his hour-long show to one or two guests, "Tavis Smiley" will offer three segments in half the time.
Smiley said he intends his program to be the same kind of forum he's created on NPR's "The Tavis Smiley Show," one that challenges its audience to consider issues from new viewpoints and addresses overlooked issues.
"I want to use this show, as I try to do on my NPR show, to introduce Americans to each other. In many ways, we still live in a very segregated country," he said.
Recently, Smiley examined heavy opposition by black Americans to the war in Iraq.
"The reason is that black people, disproportionately, make up the Armed Forces ... so folks are concerned about those lives," he said. "It's not just what many people describe as dislike or disdain of George Bush. It's deeper."
The sharply different reception given former prisoners of war Jessica Lynch, who is white, and Shoshana Johnson, who is black, on their return from Iraq was discussed by Smiley and his guests.
But race-related matters are not the radio show's sole province and won't be on his PBS program, Smiley said, adding, "Most of the issues that matter to white Americans matter to black Americans."
For example, he recently took on what he contends has been a slighted story: the work of the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"So many families of victims are concerned about the secrecy shrouding the investigations, documents labeled top secret not being released," Smiley said.
His TV show also will have a lighter side. Taping at a later hour will allow him to book more of the celebrities who balk at getting up for the early morning taping of his radio show, he said.
His eclectic radio guest roster includes prominent figures such as Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and other voices that are less frequently given regular air time, including scholar Cornel West and former Congressman J.C. Watts.
"Left and right. And I've got my own opinions, obviously, but I believe each of us needs to have our assumptions reexamined," Smiley said.
Not everyone is impressed by his ecumenical efforts. Last year, National Review managing editor Jay Nordlinger referred unadmiringly to Smiley as "the black leftist radio personality."
His reach is increasing. His NPR show, which started with 16 stations in January 2002, has enjoyed one of the fastest NPR expansions ever to major markets and now is carried on more than 80 stations and reaches an audience of more than 1 million.
He has brought in a somewhat younger crowd and definitely attracted more black listeners -- 30 percent of his audience, compared to about 5 percent for most other NPR shows.
Not bad for a man dumped from his previous gig.
BET founder Robert L. Johnson, slammed by criticism after the popular Smiley was dismissed, said he acted because Smiley offered an exclusive interview with former fugitive Sara Jane Olson to ABC instead of BET.
Viewers were suspicious that executives at new BET owner Viacom Inc. ordered Smiley fired because they were angry the Olson interview aired on ABC instead of Viacom-owned CBS.
Smiley came close to landing a late-night talk show deal at ABC but, caught up in network machinations, was passed over in favor of Jimmy Kimmel's fluffier program. He was disappointed, Smiley acknowledges, but ended up with the advantage of owning his PBS show, which is produced by KCET Los Angeles.
When he looks back on his BET experience, he savors the outcome.
"It's a good feeling because it's rare in this business that you have a network that tries to bury you and you resurrect, as it were, and resurrect in a situation better than the one you came out of."
Dec 29th, 2003, 03:08 PM
Crouse: The other side of Venus
By Karen Crouse, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Saturday, December 20, 2003
JUPITER -- Venus Williams catches the eye of her father, who is standing across the crowded room. She motions for him to come over. She is standing beside the doorway to a smaller room, her face radiating pleasure.
"Daddy," the 23-year-old says with a grand sweep of her arm, "this is my office."
Richard Williams peers in the doorway. The room is warm and feminine and chic without being showoff-y. Anybody can see it reflects the budding designer's personality beautifully.
He nods. "It's beautiful, Vee," he whispers. His eyes meet hers and in that instant everybody else falls away.
Somebody tugs at Venus and the whole room comes back into focus. Williams is surrounded on all sides by designers and distributors, real estate brokers and party planners, tradespeople and architects and local dignitaries. Everybody is eager to talk to her about V Starr Interiors, the design company that she started nearly two years ago.
The business is keeping her so busy that it's nearly five in the afternoon before she realizes she hasn't had a thing to eat all day. She picks a caramel-filled chocolate out of a crystal bowl that's within her long reach, unwraps it and pops it in her mouth.
Williams lights up when asked about the origins of an oil painting in the hallway that shows choirboys who have just been released from practice, scattering like doves. She explains how she acquired the painting from an Italian art dealer she met while traveling in Florence.
Inevitably, the subject of tennis comes up. A reporter asks her about her mind-set heading into next month's Australian Open, which will be Williams' first competitive event since losing to her younger sister, Serena, in the final at Wimbledon in July.
Her back stiffens and her voice cools. "I don't think I want to talk about tennis," she says. "I'm not a tennis player today."
Last year, Venus passed the No. 1 world ranking to Serena as though it were just another stylish article of clothing. Then came injuries to Venus (an abdominal strain) and Serena (knee surgery) and the most enchanting sister act since the Gabors vanished from the world stage.
Two Belgians, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, filled the void at the top of the rankings. But there can be no replacing the Williamses, a point driven home recently by tennis' grande dame.
"It's going to be a fascinating story, to see if Serena and Venus can recapture the No. 1 and 2 spots next year," Martina Navratilova said. "Will they both be playing? Just one? How far will they go? How fast will they play great tennis again?"
Good questions all. On Thursday, they go unanswered, tennis being a subject that's swept under the imported Persian rugs.
A quick glance around her new design center leaves you with the distinct impression that the sport that has made Williams fabulously wealthy and famous has no place in her grand designs. Walking around the well-appointed rooms, you're as likely to stumble upon tennis bric-a-brac as you are a cheap knickknack.
And Serena? There's no sign of her anywhere except in block letters on a designing board tacked on one wall. Venus is decorating the living area and dining room of her sister's West L.A. condo, thus explaining an artist's drawing of a sectional sofa hanging alongside a few swatches of fabric, luxurious purples and creams that are on order from Italy.
Interior design is every square inch as competitive as the women's professional tennis circuit. It can be perilous, trying to establish a foothold in the business. Talent will take you only so far. As more than one partygoer whispers between sips of champagne, "It's not what you know. It's who you know."
Or in Williams' case, who knows you.
Venus can camouflage her tennis persona, but she can't run from it.
"The opportunities we get obviously are wonderful because people already know who Venus is," says Bonnie Nathan, the director of design at V Starr.
A couple of hours into the open house, a party planner arrives and makes a beeline for Venus, as if to prove Nathan's point.
The woman cuts a striking figure in a two-piece red leather suit. Ellen Trainor never has met Williams, but of course she knows who she is. She chats her up, then moves on.
"I was determined to ask her about her tennis career," Trainor says. "I've been wondering if she intends to keep playing tennis, because she is still really young, and do the designing, too. She said she's not going to give up tennis, but she wants to have a more full life."
Nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all, though Williams' trainer, Kerrie Brooks, isn't thrilled when word filters back to her at the party that Venus is keeping her full schedule on an empty stomach.
Does Williams still have hunger for tennis? She can be the No. 1 player in the world again. Only she knows if it's part of her grand design.
Jan 6th, 2004, 03:26 PM
TAVIS SMILEY: All Smiles for New TV Show Premiering Tonight On PBS
by Kenya Yarbrough
(Jan. 5, 2004) "Late night just woke up." That’s the tagline PBS (Public Broadcasting System) is using to promote the new Tavis Smiley show premiering late-night, tonight.
While the show is new, Smiley is no stranger to television talk. In fact, that’s where his beginnings are when he came on the scene on a growing cable channel called BET.
Time has passed, and BET and Smiley have since parted, but Smiley never stopped talking. Life after BET has not been slow. Smiley launched his relationship with public radio two years ago and the ratings and audience have brought him back to the small screen. It’s not just another show for Tavis, it’s a new show – and he’s excited about it.
“I was making the distinction with someone the other day that it’s one thing to enter a new year, it’s another thing to go into another year. For me it’s a ‘new’ year because there are so many things in this year that we’re going to be doing that I’ve never done before, including this TV show. I’ve done television before, but this is uniquely different because I happen to be the first person ever, black or white, to do a radio show on NPR, public radio, and the opportunity to do a late night show – every night, on PBS, public television. So it’s going to be a fascinating journey to see how we can make this hybrid of an opportunity work,” he said about the new gig.
Smiley reiterated his excitement to be back on TV, and mentioned that apparently he’s not the only one happy about his return to talk TV.
“I can’t tell you the enthusiasm that I’ve been met with by black folk across America. It’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m ready for it,” he said.
The success of his NPR show has been so great that executives at public television began to take notice. Smiley explains that they approached him with the proposal that if he could do half of what he’s done on public radio for public television, it would make a lot of sense.
“What we’ve done in public radio is bring in the most ethnically diverse audience that public radio has ever had, and to bring in the youngest demographic that public radio has ever had. We’ve brought in a younger audience and a more ‘colored’ audience, if you will,” Smiley explained. “And let’s face it, we now live in the most multicultural, multiracial ethnic America ever, and I declare being black sooner or later has got to be in vogue. So I think, as Jesse Jackson would say, our time has come.”
Smiley says that he and his team will present pretty much the same type of television and representation that he is famous for.
“I’m delighted to have a late night talk show on PBS that will ask the questions that we want to ask, that will raise the questions that we want to raise, that will profile the kinds of people that we want to see profiled,” he said. “In that regard [the show] not much different than the BET show in that people are going to see me ask the questions, raise the issues, and talk to the kind of guests that they want to see.”
One thing that is different is the look of Smiley’s new show. And additionally, the hot new designer that helped introduce the new look – Venus Williams.
“This is Venus’ first piece of work as it relates to designing sets,” he said in describing the inviting TV land surroundings. “I was so elated – first of all you have to be elated to do anything with Venus or Serena, they’re such legends in their own time – but to have the opportunity to talk to Venus and have her design this set … she was really anxious to do it and we were really anxious to give her a shot at doing it. People were skeptical in the beginning – we know Venus can play a good set, but can she design a good set?”
Fortunately for producers and the audience, Williams “outdid” herself, as Smiley described. “The first thing I thought when I saw the set was, ‘Wow, this is PBS?’,” he joked.
The new improvements don’t stop there, however. Smiley himself has a new look. Viewers will catch a new improved Smiley on the 30-minute live shows. The host has dropped more than 75 pounds just in time for his PBS debut even though the new gig wasn’t his motivation.
“A couple of years ago I tore up my right Achilles tendon trying to play basketball, and I picked up a lot of weight as a result of that. Interestingly I just got uncomfortable. I got to the point where my back was hurting. I had gained about 70 pounds. I started working out before I closed the deal for the TV show, but everybody thought I started losing weight for the TV show.”
Smiley lost the weight in 10 months and said that the key to losing weight is really just four words – eat less, exercise more.
“Too many of us go through this process of trying to lose weight,” he continued. “I never wanted to hire a trainer and the reason was because I don’t like the idea of feeling helpless. ‘I put this weight on, I can take this weight off, I don’t need anybody to help me,’ I thought. But I realized that getting somebody to work out with me and push me, that works.”
Tonight, Smiley hopes that viewers will have the same reaction to his show as he had with the Venus Williams-designed set. He says he hopes to create a new view of and for public television.
“I hope that African American viewers will be empowered by the show, to expand their minds and re-examine the assumptions that they hold and learn something. It’s going to be a lot of fun either way.”
“The Tavis Smiley Show” is a production of KCET/Hollywood and The Smiley Group Inc. Check your local listings for channels and show times or visit: www.pbs.org/tavissmiley.
Jan 8th, 2004, 01:09 PM
Venus Celebrates Move of VStarr Interiors to Jupiter, Florida
1/7/04 3:44 PM
Local Jupiter community embraces the arrival of Venus Williams’ interior design firm, V-Starr Interiors.
Friends, family members, business associates, and community leaders came out to support Venus as she moved her interior design firm within Florida from Palm Beach Gardens to a new Jupiter location. The Dec. 18 event began with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Jupiter Mayor, Karen Golanka, and other local politicians.
In Nov. 2002 Venus Williams held a press conference to announce her business venture into the interior design industry. Since that time, V Starr Interiors (aptly derived from her full name Venus Ebony Starr Williams), has attracted many new clients and is looking to be a good investment for the young tennis star.
When asked by a local reporter from WFLX-TV (FOX) about the rigors of owning a business and competing on the WTA Tour, Venus said, “Having a tennis and a design career is challenging. I really have to budget my time between everything else that I do and the business. The business is my baby. But I have a great design team that takes care of everything when I can’t be there.”
That great design team includes Bonnie Nathan, Director of Design for V-Starr Interiors. Nathan, a professional member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA), oversees the company’s interior design services.
Sekou and Tanisha Gary, son and daughter-in-law of high-profile attorney Willie Gary and partners in his law firm, have chosen V Starr Interiors to decorate their new home in South Hutchinson, Fl. Nelo Freilomel, designer of the Gary’s soon-to-be-built home has been pleasantly surprised by the talents of Venus and her interior design firm. Freilomel told the Oct. 22 issue of The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News, “Venus was involved even before the house’s plans were finished. She had ideas and suggestions that we incorporated into the plan that really improved the beauty and flow of the house. She’s charming. She’s so different than the person you see playing tennis on TV. She doesn’t come with the tennis star attitude. She’s very talented.”
Venus is currently studying interior design through Rhodec International, a London-based correspondence school. For more information about V Starr Interiors please visit their website at www.vstarrinteriors.com.
JTennis superstar Venus Williams and her interial design company V. Star Designs held a...
V Star Designs Preview Night (http://www.**************/GalleryListing.asp?navtyp=gls====65637)
Game, set, matching curtainsTennis star Venus Williams lends her decorating expertise to Delray mansion Published Friday, June 11, 2004by Leslie Jones McCloud (email@example.com)
A new partnership between V Starr Interiors, ultra luxurious, Stone Creek Ranch gated communities in Delray Beach and Harmony Home Systems will hopefully lead to many years of blissful design harmony for tennis pro Venus Williams. She presented her new partnership and several of her skillful design concepts Thursday at Campobello, a 9,795 square foot Mediterranean inspired mansion in Delray Beach.
Williams' centerpiece was the “Raspberry Wall,” as she coined it that greets guests upon entry into the home.
“It’s an all out creative experiment with color,” she said.
The wall features huge windows opening the space nearly floor to ceiling and is coordinated to the striped fabric in some of the furniture and highlighted in accessories throughout the room and in the artwork.
In another room of the house, the color of maize and the play on French country is updated with contemporary Mediterranean schematics, Williams said.
A long-time student of design, she has also studied fashion design, interior decorating and related fields.
But it all started with her need to go antiquing, she said.
“It started because I loved antiques so much,” she said.
Her desire for collectables grew and so did her collection she said.
Many of her pieces are from Europe and Asia, she said and it was reflected in the tasteful design appointments throughout the home.
The widely reported opening of William’s V Starr design studio in November 2002 is not the end of her tennis career she told reporters at a media viewing of her work Thursday.
“Tennis is not who I am. With V Starr I get to express myself creatively,” Williams said.
But tennis is her priority. Only she didn’t want to wait until after she stopped playing to start a career in design.
“This is a dream for me, and I love doing it," she said.
Her studies intensified a few years ago when she bought her first home.
"I picked up all the magazines, started studying design, began learning everything I could about different styles and periods of design, how to use color, began collecting pieces myself," Williams says.
"Soon, I was decorating houses for my family and friends, and I enjoyed it more each time," Williams said.
Williams said her family is supportive of her work in design and even pitches in every now and again, when they can.
Those who get to work with her like Ken Endelson, who represented Stone Creek Ranch and Robert Ruderman of Harmony Home Systems, say they like William’s professionalism and skill.
“At first I was like ‘wow,’ but she is very professional.
The same effort she puts into her tennis game she does with V Starr,” Ruderman said.
“She is extremely nice and personable and totally a people person. You never think of superstars as easy-going,” Endelson said. He also pointed out that Williams was very organized.
But there were lots of compromises between them, he said. He hopes Williams’ designs will attract a certain type of buyer who above all, values privacy, he said.
“Our market here is the entrepreneur. What I like is that she’s flexible. I hope we work together for a long time,” he said.
The home Williams decorated is listed at $4.9 million unfurnished and no prices listed how much it costs to have the V Starr flair added to a home. It features six bedrooms, seven baths, two half baths and a five-car garage/motor court, a two story library, media room, exercise room and separate poolside guesthouse set on two and one-half acres of lakefront property.
Jun 15th, 2004, 09:21 PM
'Palazzo' boasts a touch of Venus
By Thom Smith, Palm Beach Post Staff Columnist
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Forgive Venus Williams if she's not playing her best tennis these days. She has a lot on her plate.
She's been injured. And she's spent several days -- sunrise to sunset -- at Campobello, a $4.95 million, 9,795-square-foot palazzo in Stone Creek Ranch, a swank new development west of Delray Beach.
Stone Creek Ranch is being developed by Kenco Communities. Even the smallest of the 37 homes, starting at $4 million on a minimum 2 1/2 acres, has plenty of room for a tennis court. For the Campobello, Kenco chose Williams' V Starr Interiors to design some interior vignettes to show customers how the house could be set up.
To give it a very grand opening, they invited 250 potential buyers with deep pockets to a cocktail party at Campobello on Thursday night, sprinkled in a few celebrities and added a pinch of charity -- an auction for the Owl Foundation, founded by Venus' mom, Oracene, to help children with learning disabilities.
Little sister Serena showed up, as did matchbox twenty guitarist Adam Gayner, former Miami Dolphin Jeff Cross and present Dolphin superstar Ricky Williams. The auction raised $10,000, and don't be surprised if you see Ricky on a tennis court somewhere soon. He contributed half the take when he claimed a racket signed by Venus.
Dec 9th, 2004, 12:32 PM
Tennis Champs Are from Venus Send brain cancer to Mars!
http://www.newtimesbpb.com/issues/2004-12-09/calendar/nightday3_1.gifVenus Williams hits a mean serve and makes a mean centerpiece.
Swingtime Tennis and Golf Tournament
For more information call 561-394-9190.
You know what Venus Williams can do with a tennis racket, but have you seen what she can do with some color swatches and a design budget? How about what she can do on the craps table? The multitalented superstar -- along with her friend and rival Jennifer Capriati -- is throwing one hell of a party this weekend: the Swingtime charity event to benefit the Tim & Tom Gullikson Foundation. Tennis pro Tim Gullikson passed away in 1996 at age 44 after developing brain cancer; now his brother Tom (Capriati's onetime coach) and the rest of the tennis universe have banded together to raise money for cancer research.
Williams is an ideal lady to have at the helm -- not just because she draws an adoring crowd but because she happens to have an interior decorating company, V Starr Interiors, that's handling the party planning. Her work will be unveiled Friday during a "Casino Night" party at the Palm Beach Convention Center (650 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach). We tried to get Williams on the horn to tell us all about the décor, but she was in class at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, finishing her degree in fashion, when we called. Her senior design manager, Meighan Coger, did tell us that the ladies have chosen a turquoise and steel-gray color scheme. The centerpieces, she says, "incorporate glass containers with tennis balls and poker chips, with a floral arrangement." According to Coger, Venus and company managed to make that combo look "elegant."
After staring at the centerpieces, you can play poker, roulette, and craps with Williams and Capriati, plus Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish and 17-time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert. Other party people on the guest list include Jim Courier, Stan Smith, Todd Martin, Mary Joe Fernandez, James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Aaron Krickstein, Corina Morariu, Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Gigi Fernandez, Kathy Rinaldi, and Justin Gimelstob. Long jumper Bob Beamon, baseball's Keith Hernandez and Bill Gullickson, and football Hall of Famer Paul Warfield also plan to stop by.
Of course, this kind of hobnobbing will cost ya -- $200 a plate, to be exact. Or you could pay just $55 for a box seat or $35 for a general admission ticket and observe these creatures in their natural habitat -- on the tennis courts at the Ibis Golf and Country Club (8850 Ibis Blvd., West Palm Beach). At 1 p.m. Saturday, Evert and Gullikson pound balls at Smith and Fernandez in a mean doubles match, followed by Gimelstob and Grayson Oliver versus Ginepri and Jeff Morrison. Then Mardy Fish takes on Blake in a singles match, and Williams wraps it up by pairing with Martin to face Capriati and Courier. Sunday morning, most of the guys will participate in a golf tournament at Ibis -- and you can too, for $1,550. But Venus? She'll probably still be in bed. And the cancer? It better run, 'cause it's up against a crew that sure isn't used to losing. -- Deirdra Funcheon
newtimesbpb.com (http://www.newtimesbpb.com/index.html) | originally published: December 9, 2004