Even though there weren't any kids there, the "19th Annual Holiday Bash" was all about kids. Specifically, those who attend Baltimore's National Academy Foundation High School, which offers programs and mentorships to its students in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Those who work and support those programs were celebrating the school in the ballroom at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.
"Tonight's really a wonderful night," said Paul Wolman, the foundation's co-chair. "All the [industry] associations coming together ... all to benefit NAF. ... And these students are really, really benefiting from everything these folks have done."
"We're very excited about what's happening here tonight. ... [Our association] was on the ground floor forming the academy of tourism, so this is a very rewarding experience," said Mary Jo McCulloch, president of the Maryland Hotel and Lodging Association.
"When you're in the hospitality industry, I think you've got to realize that there's a lot of work you do. [So] there's a lot of support that needs to happen. You've got to show appreciation for [those] people," said Warren Brown, whose company, CakeLove, was offering a variety of his company's wares to partygoers.
That was just one of many food stations set up around the room. "The desserts are fabulous and that's about as far as I've gotten," said Tim Reber, Fandango Productions senior event director. "[I've been too busy doing] a lot of networking and seeing old friends," he said.
A Drink With Julie Landau
Julie Landau, 53, is one of Baltimore's best known divorce attorneys. Divorced herself, she lives in the Mt. Washington area with her two daughters, Hannah, 19 and Isabel, 17. Is it safe to say that you're one of the toughest divorce attorneys in town?
That's what people tell me when they come to my office to retain me.
How does that make you feel?
It's very flattering that, after all these years I've accomplished credibility in this profession.
How does your professional reputation affect your social life?
I think I scare men to death. I think I ooze something that I think makes them panic. [Even] before I speak. I can't tell if that's because I'm a divorce attorney or my energy. I think it's honesty. ... I have this drive for excellence in everything I do.
In what other areas do you apply this drive for excellence?
My parenting of teenage girls who will need to be strong, young women, who will need to face obstacles in their own personal journeys.
Do you need time to chill?
Yes. But, not a lot. Recently, my daughter turned me on to Grey's Anatomy. ... I think for me, the physical exercise is part of chilling. So, getting to the gym and getting on the bike is one way of getting rid of a lot of stress. And finally, when we vacation, the vacation is great.
What would surprise people to learn about you?
That I'm silly, I am apt to break out into song and dance. Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Yeah, I do. Popcorn drenched in butter with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. It goes perfectly with Grey's.