Movers and Shakers

Movers and Shakers in February

Illustrations by Camellia Neri

Kara Swisher

Swisher, who has at least 20 jobs, including tech’s fiercest watchdog, just got a new gig: mom to baby Clara Jo Swisher Katz, whom she welcomed with her girlfriend, Amanda Katz, a senior editor at CNN, last October. “You probably have to be pretty ambitious to have a baby at 56,” Swisher, ever the overachiever, told New York magazine’s The Cut just a month before CJ was born. Some might say, “Kara, you’ve already lived such a full life — including raising two sons, doing ‘The Interview With Janet Reilly’ (shameless plug) and making Mark Zuckerberg sweat through his hoodie — why start over with a new baby at this point?” Her answer, eloquently captured in a recent Instagram caption, is simply that more is more. When you put it that way, Kara, we can’t help but agree!

Linda Ronstadt

The iconic singer and Richmond District–dweller has been outspoken about Parkinson’s disease ending her astronomically successful singing career, yet in many ways, Ronstadt’s voice today is louder than ever. She was recently the subject of an acclaimed documentary, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, and applauded at the 42nd annual Kennedy Center Honors, along with her doppelganger Sally Field and Michael Tilson Thomas. Everyone from Carrie Underwood to Emmylou Harris sang Ronstadt’s praises (Harris has called her “one of the smartest, most compassionate people’’ she knows.) Ronstadt’s latest accolades and appearances evoke something she told the Gazette in 2018: “I’m still very involved in music. I just can’t perform it.”

Paul Miyamoto

Miyamoto was sworn in as San Francisco’s 37th sheriff last month, making history as the first Asian American to hold the position in not only the City, but also in California. He succeeds Vicki Hennessy, who also blazed trails as San Francisco’s first woman on the job. (San Francisco, you’re doing amazing, sweetie!) Miyamoto has served the department for 23 years, building a reputation as someone who leads with a lot of heart. “There’s a humbling feeling,” he has said of being a groundbreaker. “In this day and age, to be the first at something, is not just an accomplishment but it’s a responsibility — to make sure that I model the positive behaviors I want to see in our department.”

Tom Sweeney

The Gazette rang Tom Sweeney on his fourth day as a retiree after 43 iconic years as the doorman of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel, where he shook the hands of seven U.S. presidents, posed for countless — not hyperbole: countless — photos with adoring tourists, and became one of the defining characters in the storybook that is San Francisco. “I haven’t really gotten hit by it yet,” he says of hanging up his blood-red beefeater costume, “but I did throw the alarm clock out.” He’s currently training for his 33rd marathon, because where else would all of his notoriously high energy go? (Talking to Sweeney is like pounding a double shot of espresso: chaotic in the best way.) He’s also looking forward to spending quality time with his wife, Cindy Sweeney, and four grandkids. Not to mention wearing sweatpants. “It’s looking good,” Sweeney says, “Oh yeah!”

Lillian Phan and Alec Pickering

When the Gazette called Phan, the senior director of sales and partnerships at Mina Group, to congratulate her and Pickering on their February 22 wedding at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society, she was packing for her bachelorette vacation in Tulum. Pickering, who works for Focus Financial Partners, had just come back from a guys’ trip in Hong Kong. The San Francisco power pair met three years ago at an American Red Cross gala after-party (Phan is currently chair of the Bay Area chapter’s board), and “it was magnetic, it was insane,” she says. “We were just inseparable from that point on.” Then came the engagement, on a remote island in the South of France, where Pickering popped the question with a family heirloom. Fast-forward eight months later, they’re tying the knot with “the ultimate party,” channeling classic San Francisco style while maintaining a “fun, moody, sexy vibe.” And because we know you’re wondering: The bride is wearing a super feminine Monique Lhuillier gown.

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