2013 Salesmanship Club Dinner

Mr. Nice Guys

The Salesmanship Club flexes its philanthropic muscles.  |  Photos by Jeremy Brown, Haynsworth Photography
December 27, 2013
Event Date:
September 25, 2013

By Holly Haber

The Salesmanship Club has been humble by design since the charity formed in 1920, but the men’s power group has realized it can do more by tooting its own horn. That’s why “friend raising” was on the agenda when 280 members and their pals met for a steak dinner and a talk by Jeb Bush in the cozy ballroom at the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The charity, which counts 625 executives as members, runs a successful elementary school and two family centers for at-risk kids, but its resources are outstripped by demand, noted Dan Novakov, co-chair of the evening alongside his wife, Lydia. “We realized we were the best-kept secret in town,” he told the elite crowd, including Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, Tavia and Clark Hunt, Sally and Forrest Hoglund, Linda and William Custard, Julie and Jim Turner, Todd Maclin, and Mike Miles. “People knew about our red pants and the Byron Nelson tournament, but they knew nothing about our services,” he said. “We are anxious to do more.” Executive director Michelle Kinder made a plea for neglected and abused children that was so powerful even Jeb Bush was reluctant to follow. But he did, joking that the presidential center was “hallowed ground” for the Bush family. “George might have been president, but Laura designed this damn place, I can tell you that,” he said, before getting serious about early childhood education, digital learning and the importance of great teachers.