published Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Expo packs ‘star power’

by Kelli Gauthier

Ladies, hand-stamp some party invitations and pour yourself a Skinnygirl Margarita — Martha Stewart and Bethenny Frankel are coming to town.

The two entertainment superstars will be the featured guests in July at the third annual She: An Expo for Women, organized by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“We are excited to bring such star power to Chattanooga with this pair of strong women,” said Times Free Press President Jason Taylor. “Both women have accomplished so much in business and entertainment. They both have impressive stories to share.”

Stewart, 69, a wildly successful businesswoman, decorating diva and original do-it-yourselfer who went to prison in 2004 in an insider trading case, has rebuilt her entertainment empire in recent years. Most famous for her Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Wedding brands, she is a best-selling author and syndicated television host.

Tennessee has a spot in her heart, Stewart said — several friends live here and one of her first public appearances was in Nashville.

“Over the years, I have had the opportunity to visit Tennessee on numerous occasions, and I have always had a wonderful time,” Stewart said. “Chattanooga is such a beautiful Southern city, and the expo sounds very interesting. I’m happy to be a part of it and am very much looking forward to my visit in July.”

Frankel, 40, worked for Stewart in 2005 on “The Apprentice: Martha Stewart,” a spin-off of Donald Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice.”

Frankel came in second and went on to star as one of the original five in the reality show “Real Housewives of New York City.”

She since has written best-selling books on cooking and exercise, and created the Skinnygirl brand of low-calorie cocktails.

“I’m excited to come to Chattanooga because I love to meet new fans from across the country and I have gotten a lot of requests to come visit Tennessee! I can’t wait to see everyone!” she said in a news release.

about Kelli Gauthier...

Kelli Gauthier covers K-12 education in Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She started at the paper as an intern in 2006, crisscrossing the region writing feature stories from Pikeville, Tenn., to Lafayette, Ga. She also covered crime and courts before taking over the education beat in 2007. A native of Frederick, Md., Kelli came south to attend Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. Before newspapers, ...

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bpqd said...

Maybe we can ask Martha Stewart if she has any connection to this Michael Milkin Fireworks Fraud Bill that just got signed into law, allowing Wall Street fraudsters to sell fireworks in East Ridge.

May 22, 2011 at 1:13 a.m.
rosebud said...

Please, TFP. Since your mission is to hold everyone honest, open and accountable, inquiring minds would love to know. How much are you paying convicted felon Martha Stewart, and some reality TV star to come to town? Then please tell us more about the financial needs of the tornado victims in the tri-state area.

Will Martha Stewart be donating her fee to help storm victims? She's gotta do something with the money. After all, I don't think she's allowed to participate in insider trading any more.

May 22, 2011 at 8:39 a.m.
hcirehttae said...

rosebud, please! Get it right!

Martha Stewart never participated in "insider trading." She always maintained how nice it was that she "had people to do that for her."

May 22, 2011 at 12:19 p.m.
fisher18_80 said...

The TFP, for a couple years now, has had big-name women speak at this expo. Sure, they make money off it, but I know businesses that have taken part as a vendor in the past, and it was truly beneficial and a whole lot of fun. Rosebud, We had a tragedy here, but you have to get back to normal at some point. Businesses still have to make money. If we didn't, people wouldn't have jobs. So Rosebud, capitalism can't be put on pause to make you overly negative TFP readers happy. You aren't going to the expo anyway. You're too busy getting your blood pressure worked up while grimacing over your little keyboard, pecking away with your chubby fingers.

May 22, 2011 at 3:14 p.m.
hcirehttae said...

fisher18_80 - Much of what you say is true, taken as individual statements. I'm not going to say ugly, shallow things about you, because I respect your right to express your opinion about Martha Stewart. But it doesn't add up to much. A "tragedy"? How is her case a tragedy, as if it was something that couldn't be avoided, like a child dying of leukemia?

Would you agree or disagree that a "She Expo" seeking to enhance and to empower women should find role-model businesswoman (and artists and personalities and others), rather than those of questionable character? Stewart was convicted of crimes in the business sphere, Wall Street to be precise, not of some shadowy personal-life transgression. She expressed no remorse but rather a lot of arrogance. I don't dispute the fact that she's "paid her debt" and gone back into business -- she makes quite a fine living and stimulates the economy with people buying her junk -- but I resent her being held up as a role model. And, yes, I would equally resent a man who was corrupt -- there are plenty of them -- and who was held up as a model in the precise same area of his corruption.

May 22, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
rosebud said...

I think there's a typo in this headline. It should read Expo "lacks" star power.

May 22, 2011 at 7:35 p.m.
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