Seven high achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation shaking things up.
Caroline von Kühn
A little more than a year ago, von Kühn moved to San Francisco from New York City after joining SFFILM as the organization’s Director of Artist Development. Her resume is impressive: As a top executive at the Tribeca Film Festival and a filmmaker in her own right, von Kühn has produced such films as 2016’s Burn Country, and recently directed an adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt in New York, London and Oslo with the National Theatre. Last month, she made two exciting moves: Skydiving over Mount Tam and announcing SFFILM Invest, a brand-new initiative with Cinereach in New York to cultivate a community of philanthropically-minded film investors in our region. “As a relative newcomer to the Bay Area, I can objectively say there is a real unique movement here and a desire and ability to truly lead,” says von Kühn, praising both the Bay Area’s values and risk-taking spirit.
James Hormel and Michael Nguyen
This September will be the first time in the San Francisco Symphony’s history that a married couple — Hormel and Nguyen — co-chair the Opening Night Gala. The pair is known for breaking barriers. Hormel, appointed U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton, was the nation’s first openly gay ambassador and a member of the 1995 U.N. Commission on Human Rights. In 1981, he co-founded the Human Rights Campaign, and four years later funded the creation of the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library. Nguyen, whom he wed in 2011, works alongside Hormel on their charitable giving foundation, and has served on the San Francisco Public Library Commission for two terms. He’s a musician, choreographer, writer and trustee of the American Conservatory Theater — and passionate about the arts.
She’s been at the helm of Taste Catering since 2008 — and the experience she brings to the table has continued to keep Taste at the top of its game for nearly 40 years. Teskey is heavily involved in philanthropy, recently partnering with Meals on Wheels San Francisco to raise $3.3 million — the equivalent of delivering 660,000 meals — at the nonprofit’s May gala. “We never tire of contributing to these types of events and wonderful organizations in our great city,” she says. “When we can use our expertise and resources and do what we love — that is a great feeling. That is the reason we do it.” Teskey continues to work with such clients as Google, Pixar, Netflix, Gucci and Tiffany & Co., and partner with the likes of the Walt Disney Family Museum and Filoli Estate, where in July, “we’re working with internationally-renowned Robert Fountain on a wedding.”
This 14-year-old phenom is going places. Last year, she founded the nonprofit SupportGirls following a volunteering trip to Zimbabwe, where she learned about the scarcity of undergarments for girls and the negative effect it has on their lives. “I soon understood that giving someone a bra or a pair of underwear gives them dignity and comfort, as well as the chance at a better life,” says Reichman, who just graduated 8th grade and heads to The Urban School this fall. She launched SupportGirls so she can send undergarments to Zimbabwe several times a year; recently, ThirdLove, the bra and underwear ecommerce company, donated more than 150 garments to the organization, and Reichman held bra drives at Immaculate Conception Academy and The Hamlin School. “SupportGirls is my passion,” she enthuses. “It’s a small way I can help change the world.”
The election results are in! After months of question marks over who would replace the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Breed defeated Mark Leno in a tight race to the top office at City Hall. Until the last votes were tallied, the president of the SF Board of Supervisors had a slight lead over Leno, the former California state senator. Breed’s victory makes her the first black woman elected to be mayor of SF. “I grew up in some of the most challenging of circumstances,” she said in her victory speech, adding: “The message that this sends to the next generation of young people growing up in this city is that no matter where you come from, no matter what you decide to do in life, you can do anything you want to do.”
What a sweep! Hats off to the star of the NBA Finals, which saw the Warriors triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-0. It’s not easy to go up against a powerhouse like Lebron James, but Durant kept up with him every step of the way, tallying an average of 28.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, 7.5 assists and two blocks over four games. Durant beat out teammate Steph Curry to win his second consecutive Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award. Other back-to-back MVP honorees: James; Michael Jordan; Shaquille O’Neal; Hakeem Olajuwon. “Steph knows he played a great game. Without him, we don’t win. He knows that. I know that. We all know that,” Durant said. “We stand firm in that. So trophies and accolades and praise, that doesn’t matter when we win. We know we’re all contributing something in a special way.”