It may be chilly in the Northeast, but it was sunshine and warm summer breezes at the second annual Meet Me in Miami Conference, hosted by Jones magazine. With the stylish and stunning visionary CEO Tracey Ferguson at the helm, there was never a doubt that the weekend wouldn’t be all of that and then some.

Jones is one the latest fashion and lifestyle magazines designed for women of color to hit the stands, and all I can say is, move over Vogue. A seasonal magazine that sets you straight for the season and has you holding your breath until the next edition, you’ll see and learn something different every time you pick it up. To get a taste, visit

Back to Miami, the festivities held at the Eden Roc Renaissance included fashion shows, spa treatments, beauty and style makeovers and empowerment workshops. Of course Ferguson was there, along with R&B singer Kenny Lattimore; Kim Fields representing Tyler Perry Studios; Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter; life coach Ann McNeil (we all need one of those at some point or other); and Melissa Johnson from CNN.

The weekend began with master classes in techniques for makeup, hair and “stimulating your creativity” in finding your style. It’s important to remember that whoever you are and whatever you do, you have a style that’s totally your own to fix, enhance or maintain however you chose. See how powerful you are!

What would a weekend be without welcoming receptions, a power luncheon, an inspirational breakfast and a fashion show? While it was all big fun, perhaps the most exciting part was an afternoon escapade exploring Miami’s world-class art galleries and, of course, shopping (but of course!). Everyone walked away from the weekend with valuable advice on breaking barriers, insider tips on how to be you and a sense of well-being knowing that a portion of the weekend’s events benefited the American Heart Association.

It seems as though there is more going on in Florida than the snowbirds who are about to migrate for the winter. The League of Black Women’s eighth annual Global Leadership Conference was held recently at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club. Guests included Tracey Ferguson (girl gets around), Sheila Johnson, Marilyn Johnson, Valerie Amos, Antoinette Leatherberry, Tjada McKinley and Ertharin Cousin.

Also happening was the 15th annual American Black Film Festival Awards honoring Keenan Ivory Wayans. Guests included Mekhi Phifer, Paula Patton, Laz Alonso (from “Jumping the Broom”), Jeff Friday and Reagan Gomez-Preston.

Happy birthday to Neil Forman, Dr. Johnny L. Williams, Nola Whiteman, Jean Jordan, Doloris Poindexter and husband Charles Leonard Mitchell, Esq.

While I told you how much fun the Brooklyn Chapter of the Links Inc.’s 59th anniversary dinner dance was, I didn’t tell you who was there. Quel dommage! Among the 600 people, most of whom were out on the dance floor dancing to the beats of the Warren Daniels Orchestra, were Sharon Simmons and Seymour James, along with his wife, the Hon. Cheryl Chambers, daughter, Cheryl Allison, and son, who amidst all of the gaiety was able to focus on some studying as he is preparing to take the GMAT (bon chance).

Also seen were the Hon. Betty Staton, Toni and Phil Brown, Chloe Stenson, Theresa Manning, Barry Stanley, Gay Bullock, Tracy Cook-Person, Drs. Ruby and Jim Malone along with their daughter Bernice Malone and several grandchildren, Robin Leech and, like I said, 600 more.

For those of you in the grips of the application process for the 2012 kindergarten school term: first, you have my sympathy and second, there are alternatives, especially if you are interested in an independent school. Now is the time to realize that space is extremely limited at the most popular independent schools around the city and the competition is fierce. A message I recently received is as follows:

Mohawk Country Day School in White Plains will begin busing in Manhattan students next fall. The small school, which has preschool, kindergarten and first grade classes totaling 150 students, hopes to expand its base among New York City families.

According to Barbara Schainman, whose family has directed the school and Mohawk Day Camp for more than 40 years, “The ride to the 40-acre campus from Upper Manhattan is 30 to 35 minutes.”

Confronted with fierce competition for Manhattan’s top private schools and overcrowding and waitlists at many public schools, some city parents are seeking out suburban schools that typically offer lower tuitions and easier admissions, as well as multiple playing fields and even nature preserves.

“It has always been difficult getting into kindergarten, but what has changed is the amount of hassle,” said Emily Glickman, president of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting. “Now test prep is de rigueur and you’re applying to more schools. You don’t even have your neighborhood school as a backup because of waiting lists.”

The Hackley School in Tarrytown will dispatch buses to the Upper East and West sides for the first time next fall to carry students back to its Westchester campus. Just over the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey, the Dwight-Englewood School will expand its efforts to recruit city students by offering door-to-door pickup for children in preschool through fifth grade.

Dwight-Englewood’s head of school, Rodney V. De Jarnett, said “While the school does require ERB testing for admission, it accepts 45 percent of applicants, compared with, for example, 8.2 percent at the Trinity School on the Upper West Side. At Dwight-Englewood, there are 50 New York City students, including three kindergartners.

“I really feel for Manhattan parents,” stated De Jarnett. “The pressure to get their children into school is not what we feel here.”

Until next week…kisses.