Archive for Jennifer Kimball

On Pins and Needles Awaiting the Best of Show Winner

Posted in Art, Santa Fe Non-Profits, Who's Who with tags , on August 19, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

Today is judging day at Indian Market.  All of the artists’ pieces that were delivered to the Convention Center yesterday have now been classified.  As I write this, the judges are evaluating each piece of art submitted. The two head honchos in charge of the judging are Carole Sandoval (Ohkay Owingeh), Vice Chair of SWAIA’s board, a graduate of IAIA and John Torres-Nez (Diné), Director of Artists Services for SWAIA and former curator of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.  Both Carole and John have assembled a wide variety of artists and other art experts to judge each category and award the winning pieces with ribbons.

First place in each category, as well as the Best of Show winner, will be determined this afternoon and will be formally announced tomorrow at the Best of Show Luncheon and Preview (all tickets already sold out for this event).   All award-winning pieces will then be on display at the General Preview tomorrow night at the Convention Center (for tickets, please come to the Convention Center).

See pictures below of some of the work submitted.


Behind the Scenes at Indian Market

Posted in Art, Santa Fe Non-Profits, Who's Who with tags on August 17, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

This week I will be blogging about some of the behind the scenes activity going on this week leading up to and including Indian Market weekend. I will also be spotlighting some of our interesting guests staying at La Fonda, starting with Sidney and Ruth Schultz.

The Schultz’s have made La Fonda their home away from home during Indian Market for the past 28 years. Ruth served on SWAIA’s (Indian Market’s sponsoring organization) board for many years. Ruth and Sidney have been avid collectors of Native American art for over 50 years and Ruth often shares her expertise with informative lectures on how to become a collector. Ruth describes Indian Market as “the greatest show on earth”. She suggests anyone interested in the art itself attend the preview Friday afternoon. The preview is hosted at the Convention Center and gives a good overall look at what is going to be offered at Market. For tickets to this event, call Linda Off at SWAIA: 505-983-5220. For more information visit their website.

Another gem of advice Ruth shares, “Don’t be blinded by the ribbons.” There is so much wonderful work that has not been awarded a ribbon; collectors may be missing out on some fantastic opportunities if they limit themselves to purchasing ribboned pieces.

Eat Local. Eat Healthy.

Posted in General, Literature with tags , , , on July 22, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

There is a plethora of books out there about healthy eating and I am trying to square their advice and guidance with becoming more of a ‘locavore’.   My favorite books on the subject have been Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food and Food Rules, all by Michael Pollan.   I highly recommend all of these books as they are very practical and easy reads.

I also read The Conscious Kitchen, by Alexandra Zissu, which is helpful in making decisions about what’s good for personal health, what’s good for the planet, and what tastes great.  I also read the China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, who sums it up as: “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease … People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored.”   This goes against the grain (pun intended) of how many of us were raised with milk and beef as being the be-all and end-all in our diets.

But wait!   There’s more! Edible, by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, contains essays about local farmers as well as recipes for locally grown food. Anna Getty’s Easy Green Organic is a broader book in that it defines labels, recycling and compost tips as well as providing many yummy recipes for locally grown food.  Lucid Food, by Louisa Shafia contains eco-kitchen basics and recipes that are convenient, affordable and healthy

If you only have time to read one of these books, I recommend In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.  I think it is the best book on the subject. Among his many rules of thumb, are:

  • If your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, don’t eat it!
  • Avoid food products containing ingredients that are unfamiliar, are unpronounceable, total more than 5, or that include high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Get out of the supermarket whenever possible. Go to a farmer’s market; buy fresh whole foods picked at their peak of their taste and nutritional quality, join in community supported agriculture by subscribing to the farm of your choice.
  • Eat meals. Among 18-50 year old Americans, roughly 20% of all eating now takes place in the car.

La Fonda is Debuting on Chef Johnny Vee’s new Talk Show

Posted in General, Santa Fe Dining, Who's Who with tags , , , on April 30, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

Be sure to tune in to KTRC 1260 AM. Starting this Saturday, May 1 at 5:00pm, Chef Johnny Vee adds one more hat to his rack as he debuts his radio talk show, Bits and Bites. Already acclaimed—the Santa Fean’s dining editor, the head of the Las Cosas Cooking School and published author are just a few of the many other talents and titles he holds.

On Bits and Bites, he will be dishing all the scoop on Santa Fe’s ever-changing food scene. His premier show features La Fonda’s executive chef, Lane Warner, as well as me, talking about what’s happening culinary-wise at La Fonda. For those of you who know Johnny Vee, he is NEVER boring and always is on top of the latest foodie news. Definitely worth a good listen. So, if you have time, tomorrow afternoon at 5, tune into KTRC 1260 AM and be entertained by Johnny Vee.

Jenny’s Business Book Club Reviews

Posted in General, Literature with tags , , , on April 2, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

I have been reading numerous books to increase my knowledge about how to run an environmentally conscious, service-orientated, financially successful, charitable committed, social media savvy, fun to work for, community-promoting hotel located in an historic building on the oldest hotel site in the country, and employing some of the longest tenured staff in the industry. While writing this, I immediately see not only what a challenge this is, but ask myself, is it even possible? Most of our key staff shudder when I mention another book I am excited about; they know what this really means is not only more work for them, but more effort at gracefully talking me out of whatever new, possibly crazed, idea I want to discuss.

I started my “homework” by re-reading Good to Great by Jim Collins. It was the industry’s required reading when it was published in the late ’80s, and it is still a very viable tool in helping to analyze whether or not you have the right people “on you bus” — and if they are in the right seats on your bus. Although many of the companies Collins holds up as models are no longer in business, or are no longer ones to emulate, the book still provides solid advice to help determine if people are happy in what they are doing, if they are effective, and even if they are in the right job.

Another book  I recommend to anyone in a service business is Setting the Table by Danny Meyer. Though he runs many successful restaurants in New York most of his concepts and creative suggestions are easily applied to any type of hospitality business. Our restaurant staff read this book and found helpful hints throughout. Meyer often uses humor to solve some of the thorniest service problems, and couldn’t we all use a lesson in using humor instead of anger when it comes to dealing with conflict.

After reading Groundswell, by Josh Bernoff and Charlene Li, part of the Forrester Research team, I decided to start this blog. Groundswell delves into the various aspects of social media and helped me understand some of its basic concepts and terminology. It also made me realize that La Fonda had been — and would be — defined in the market by others instead of ourselves if we were not proactive in this area. So, I decided that we needed to be more socially media savvy, and I am taking the time to write this blog. It is a small start and another step in La Fonda’s entry into this vast social media world. I would recommend this book to anyone like me who did not grow up with a computer in my grade school classroom and who has, to date, refused to personally participate in Facebook or Twitter. It certainly brings to light the pitfalls a company can face (not to mention lost opportunities) by not understanding or participating in today’s new social media “groundswell”.

I read Change by Design by Tim Brown this week. After reading this book, I searched the internet and found that the author participated in one of the Ted Talks, so if you are not a quick reader or learn better by listening to a lecture, then save yourself some time and click here to hear his 16-minute synopsis of design thinking. This book is less targeted at service-orientated companies such as La Fonda, and more at those that design and make things. Nonetheless, there are still many pearls of wisdom about applying the art of innovation to a customer-driven organization, as well as using design thinking principles to tackle pressing world issues instead of just redesigning fashion and gadgets.

I also suggest anything written by Malcolm Gladwell, including Blink, The Tipping Point and Outliers. Each of these books will make you think or see something in a different light. Gladwell has an amazing ability to simplify very complicated subjects, making them easy to understand.

The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder is a surprisingly interesting page turner that tells the unlikely story of the Oracle from Omaha. This story continues to unfold since Buffett has not rested on his money-making laurels but continues to put it all on the line again with his recent investment in Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp.

Next on my reading list is Too Big to Fail by Andrew Roos Sorkin, as well as The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. More reviews to come…

Lannan at the Lensic

Posted in General, Literature, Santa Fe Non-Profits, Who's Who with tags , , , on March 25, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

One of the many unique and special things about living in Santa Fe is being able to take advantage of the Readings and Conversations Program sponsored by the Lannan Foundation. These lectures occur throughout the year and are held in our venerable and gorgeously renovated historic theater, the Lensic.

Santa Feans are fortunate that Patrick Lannan moved his Foundation here in 1997. This Foundation has supported many writers, artists and activists and brought many of them to Santa Fe so we could hear their stories in their own voices. Where else can you, for $6 a ticket, listen to such world-class writers and heroes like Breyten Breytenbach, Sebastiao Salgado, Junot Diaz, and Isabelle Allende, just to name a few?

These conversations are always sold out and last night’s was no exception. Arundhati Roy, Lannan’s 2002 Cultural Freedom Prize Winner, was the speaker.  Though I read Man Booker Prize winning novel, The God of Small Things several years ago—and thoroughly enjoyed it—I had no idea what an eye-opening conversation last evening would hold. She read from her new book, Listening to Grasshoppers: Field Notes on Democracy, and spoke about her two and a half week trek deep into the forests of Central India with the armed Maoist rebels to report on the Maoist insurgency. She explained that India’s police are fighting a war against what the government is calling their country’s “gravest internal security threat”. Roy describes the complexity of the situation in that “the tribal people, the forests, the minerals and the Maoists are all stacked on top of each other”.

The article she has just published describing this outing can be found at  Whether or not you agree with the political positions Roy has taken, after listening to her talk about India and its challenges, it certainly makes one appreciate living in America.

More Snow Than You Can Imagine

Posted in Art, Santa Fe Non-Profits, Skiing, Who's Who with tags , , , on March 17, 2010 by Jenny Kimball

My husband, Rob, and I recently skied Ski Santa Fe where there is more snow than you can imagine. Even the highest peak, south-facing Cornice, was open. Not a rock was showing and we were able to carve many fresh powder turns. There were very few people skiing, easy parking, no lift lines, electric blue skies and fresh powder on every tree run. A totally amazing ski day.

We rushed home to prepare for a small dinner party we were hosting. Tony Abeyta, a young, extremely talented Navajo artist joined us, along with his 12-year-old daughter Margeaux. Tony’s amazing artwork is shown at Blue Rain Gallery here in Santa Fe. In 1992, Tony designed that year’s poster promoting Santa Fe’s world-famous Indian Market – quite an honor!

Our hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza, showcases a few pieces of Tony’s. One of his traditional works is on the wall in the Lobby hall when you enter the hotel via the parking garage; our deceased owners, Sam and Ethel Ballen, bought several years ago at a charity auction. La Fonda also has a few more recent works-on-paper by Tony (more contemporary in style), which are in one of our concierge-level Terrace at La Fonda rooms. Rob and I are commissioning him to create a piece of art for our house so we wanted him to see the colors and feel of our house at night.

Also joining us for dinner was Bruce Bernstein with his wife, Landis Smith. Bruce is the executive director of SWAIA (Southwestern Association for Indian Arts), the organization that promotes Native American arts and organizes Indian Market every year. I am a new board member for this organization and, as you might imagine, most of the conversation revolved around Native American artists and the friends we all have in common.

If you have never experienced Indian Market, it is one truly amazing sight and scene. This year, the dates are August 21-22, with associated festivities and events starting earlier that week.