Consul General of China Cai Wei, honoree Lynn Wyatt, University of Houston chancellor and president Renu Khator, Richard Flowers (Photo by Leah Wilson)
Asia Society board chair Eddie Allen & Chinhui Juhn, Tiger Ball chairs Kathy & Marty Goossen. (Photo byLeah Wilson)
Leigh Smith, Phoebe Tudor, Nancy Allen. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Chris & Kristy Bradshaw, Sharon & Errol McLaughlin. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sverre & Carrie Brandsberg-Dahl (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Honorary chairs Frank & Stephanie Tsuru with Bailey Tsuru, Tanner Saha (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Robert Gondo, honorary chair Glen Gondo (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Honorary chair Marc & Brenda Watts with Sultana and Moez Mangalji (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Serena Malhotra, Sudha Mani, Trini Mendenhall, Leela Krishnamurthy, Philamena Baird, Regina Garcia (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
John & Julie Cogan (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Randy & Sue Sim (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Bob Murray, Muffet Blake (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Richard Flowers, honoree Lynn Wyatt at the 2020 Asia Society Tiger Ball (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Payal Chana, Divya Brown, Janae Tsai (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Sushila & Durga Agrawal (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Margaret Alkek Williams (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Leela & Nat Krishnamurthy (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Drs. Vivek & Ishwaria Subbiah (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Phoebe Tudor, Hallie Vanderhider (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Starlee Sykes, Al Vickers (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Richi & Michelle Varma (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
George Lancaster, Tara Simon (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Franci Neely, Carl Palazzolo (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Laurie & Milton Boniuk (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Ann & Jay Cuclis (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Charles & Lily Foster (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Duyen & Marc Nguyen (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Cherry blossoms, sake and chopsticks. There could not have been a more vibrant marriage of cultural icons than that witnessed at Asia Society Texas Center’s “Tiger Ball.” The evening’s salute to Japan and Houston’s grande dame Lynn Wyatt soared across a lavish floral tableau that saw proceeds reach $1.34 million.
The annual soirée began with cocktails in Asia Society‘s celebrated home, the Museum District edifice designed by renowned Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi. Guests entered the scene via a pink, as in cherry blossoms, carpet while the stirring beats of taiko drummers heralded their arrival. After bidding on auction items and touring the new Eternal Offerings exhibition, the record contingent of 725 guests, many sporting national dress, paraded across the street to the Asia Society parking lot that had been tented and dressed in swaths of cherry blossoms and armloads of white orchids.
“Tonight, we are honoring the most elegant woman in the city and honoring one of the most elegant countries in the world — Lynn Wyatt and Japan,” noted Marty Goossen, vice chairman of the J.P. Morgan Private Bank and president of JPMorgan Chase Bank – Houston Region, who chaired the gala with his wife, Kathy, and with Akemi and Yasuhiko Saitoh, president of Toky0-based Shin-Etsu Chemical.
The Goossens, having spent 28 years during his financial career in Asia including 14 in Tokyo, are knowledgeable fans of the Far East.
The couples were joined by a cadre of honorary chairs including Kathy and Glen Yoshiaki Gondo, Wendy and Jeff Hines, Stephanie and Frank Tsuru, Brenda and Marc Watts, Donna Fujimoto Cole, and Shota Kondo.
City Kitchen provided a user-friendly Japanese-inspired dinner complete with saki toasts and chopsticks while the national dress and grand decor served as elegant dinner setting. Dancing to the sounds of DJ Senega and dessert followed back in the main building.
About those flowers: The cherry blossoms amid the table decor were fresh stems that had arrived by the truckload, allowed The Events Company honcho Richard Flowers, while the thousands of blossoms attached to the live oaks that peppered the parking lot cum swank pavilion were the best of faux. Among the exuberant floral displays were magnolia japonicas, fringed tulips, asclepias (milkweed) and spider tulips, numbering in total more than 10,000 blossoms. Origami-inspired cranes and white rice paper and feather lanterns hung from the ceiling in a further nod to Japanese culture.
PC Seen: Asia Society Texas Center executive director Bonna Kol, Nancy Allen, Kristy and Chris Bradshaw, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Duyen and Marc Nguyen, Sushila and Durga Agrawal, Anne and Albert Chao, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Lily and Charles Foster, Sultana and Moez Mangalji, Renu and Suresh Khator, Sue and Randy Sim, Margaret Alkek Williams, Leela and Nat Krishnamurthy, Y. Ping Sun and David Leebron, Muffet Blake and Bob Murray, Francie Neely, and Nanako and Dale Tingleaf.