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Three from Austin named among nation's top party hosts

Michael Barnes
Mary Herr Tally was named one of the top party hosts in the country for 2019. [Michael Barnes/American-Statesman]

Three more Austinites have been named among the top 100 party hosts in America according to Salonnière magazine.

Austin philanthropists and social magnets Mary Herr Tally along with Kristin and Joe Ross made the 2019 list.

Among those honored by the Austin-based digital publication for the first time: Oprah Winfrey (Santa Barbara), Jennifer Aniston (Los Angeles), and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union (Miami).

According to the magazine: “Each year, the Salonnière 100 is compiled by asking in-the-know social authorities, including journalists, philanthropists, not-for-profit fundraisers, social luminaries, event planners, and cultural and business leaders from coast to coast, for their confidential input.”

Among the informal, unpublished guidelines for nominations: 1) Nobody who is paid to host. 2) Only people who have chaired multiple successful events. 3) Only people who have been innovative in doing so. 4) Only hosts who invite guests at some point to their homes. It’s essential to see how they navigate their home turf.

“We also look for difference-makers,” says Carla McDonald, the magazine’s founder and editor in chief. “People whose parties have a real and positive impact on others and their community. For example, Sheikha Rima Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti Ambassador’s wife, made the list this year because she is one of very few people in Washington who has been able to leverage the power of parties to unite people across party lines, which is vitally important in our current political climate.”

While power hubs such as New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. take up a fair share of slots, Austinites have made the list all four years.


Mary Herr Tally

Kristin and Joe Ross


Mónica Peraza

Nina Seely


Bobbi Topfer

Eugene Sepulveda and Steven Tomlinson


Julie Blakeslee

John Hogg and David Garza (since moved to San Antonio)