Tag Archives: Desiree Rogers

Desiree Rogers and Buddy Linda Johnson Rice in NYT

Bosom buds Desiree Rogers and Linda Johnson Rice pose together recently for a spread in the New York Times. In the NYTimes.com article entitled “Desiree Rogers, Post Crash,” Desiree talks about the famous “party crashers” incident and some of the soul searching she has done since leaving her White House Social Secretary post. The article also provides some insight into the significance of her new position as CEO of Johnson Publishing, and how she is charged with (virtually) single-handedly changing the culture and saving a publication that is in rapid decline (circulation is down over 6 million over the past 10 years for Ebony and Jet combined, revenues for Johnson Publishing is only 40% of what it was five years ago). Linda Johnson Rice mentioned how she plans to direct Ms. Rogers, “I will let Desirée be Desirée, and all that goes with that.”

If nothing else, Desiree has elevated the relevance and perception of the magazine at least a bit. The article even mentions Anna Wintour calling Desirée “a rock star” and Robin Givhan mentioning on Twitter, “when was the last time Ebony had a front row seat at NY fash week? When did hell last freeze over? Oh I exaggerate!” If anyone can turn this magazine around, it would be Desiree Rogers and we can’t wait to watch every step of the way.

Check out the NYTimes.com article on Desiree Rogers here.

Desirée Rogers, Post Crash

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The Vyne at Fashion’s Night Out NYC

By Kailei Richardson

Fashion’s Night Out NYC took place on Friday, September 10, 2010 all over the city. I was right in the mix, checking out fashion houses in the Upper East Side and the Meatpacking District. Here are some of the highlights of the night with references to the corresponding photos.

The Rundown
I started the night at Ralph Lauren where Halle Berry was signing covers of the Vogue September issue. The line for Halle autographs was crazy! It was winding all around the 2nd floor of the location and led to a hidden area where Ms. Berry was. Since they wouldn’t let any cameras in that area, I was unable to get a shot of her. However I did meet Victoria Gousse and Elydia Carswell (#1) who were waiting in line to get their autograph and the lucky Missy McBean (#2 on the picture) who posed with her signed copy.

From there I headed down Madison Ave. and walked in and out of many fashion houses. Christian Dior (#3) had paparazzi outside, snapping pictures of the fashion elite walking in and out of the store. As soon as I walked in I was greeted by gorgeous male models serving champagne at the door. Couture and champagne – a lovely combination!

Next was Cesare Paciotti (#4). A small boutique, but let me tell you, the shoes were amazing! Just seeing the fab boots and pumps that were wearable yet artistic made me want to explore more from this Italian designer.

Dolce & Gabbana was next on the list to see Ms. Naomi Campbell who was in the house. They had models in the windows striking a pose in their edgy gear (#5). Unfortunately the line outside was ridiculous, and it was madness inside. There was so much more to see for me to wait in line, so I went on to the next!

While D&G had edgy models in their window, Donna Karan’s window models were ethereal and sophisticated (#6). And what a scene inside! A much more diverse crowd than most of the other places I’d been that night which was a refreshing change. While I was peeping out the threads I turned around to see Desiree Rogers, Donna Karan and Amy DuBois Barnett right next to me. Desiree had some fabulous lace overlay gold pants that I wish I had on camera. I was able to snap some pics though (#7).

Next up – Lanvin. Oh how I love this sophisticated, feminine and chic line. Upstairs was a party scene – great music, models, men with make-up, and people having a good time. I was so excited to see one of my favorite Bravo TV personalities – Brad from The Rachel Zoe Project (#8).

I was ready to head to the Meatpacking District when I ran into a college friend and Vyne Reader, Michelle Reid and her friend and lingerie/loungewear designer Nesta Findlay (#8) on Madison Avenue. We stopped to strike a pose in front of the big lights.

Right before heading into the taxi I met two stylish Vyne-worthy women – Georgette Angerson and Ana Semedo – who were enjoying the night. Next, off to the lovely Tracy Reese on Hudson. I was greeted by a DJ, a dancer in the window, and supermodel Veronica Webb having a blast hanging out in the shop. Then, Tracy Reese walked in – so friendly, warm and down to earth. She made her way over to my girl Tina “Bernie” Bernard from COCOACHiC and I, greeting us with hugs and kisses and thanking us for stopping by. This was the highlight of the night. Not only could you shop and dance with Tracy and Veronica, you could also get your nails done (#11)!

All in all it was a great night. Can’t wait until next year!

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Desiree Rogers Named CEO of Johnson Publishing

In June we announced that Desiree Rogers had assumed a new position as a consultant helping her buddy Linda Johnson Rice’s company, Johnson Publishing. Today it was announced that Desiree has been named CEO of Johnson Publishing and that Linda Johnson Rice will continue as chairman of the company. We’re not too surprised as there have been many changes there over the past few months, not only with Desiree’s role within the company but also Amy DuBois Barnett brought in as Editor-in-Chief of Ebony, replacing Harriette Cole and the departure of former president and COO, Anne Sempowski Ward in July.

But will a new regime really save Johnson Publishing? We saw that changes with bringing in Bryan Monroe in 2006 and Anne Sempowski Ward and Harriette Cole in 2007 did not achieve the high hopes once expected. Maybe having someone new at the helm will be able to turn the iconic company around. What do you think?

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Desiree Rogers’ New Job

Desiree Rogers and Linda Johnson Rice

Well, we’ve known they’ve needed help for a long time. Johnson Publishing, owners of Ebony and Jet magazine have been struggling in recent years to maintain relevancy and resonance with its titles’ target audiences. Over the past week we’ve heard two pretty huge announcements: Amy DuBois Barnett being named as Editor in Chief, and now former C-level executive and White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers has been brought on as a consultant to help with its corporate strategy.

What do you think – can these experienced, big names revive Ebony and Jet?


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Desiree Rogers Stepping Down as White House Social Secretary

Image Courtesy of the Huffington Post

Desiree Rogers just announced that she will be stepping down as White House Social Secretary next month. This is not quite surprising given the criticism she received after the White House Crashers incident in November. From the Associated Press:

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE, Associated Press Writer Darlene Superville, Associated Press Writer – 

WASHINGTON – White House social secretary Desiree Rogers is stepping down three months after taking heavy criticism for allowing gate crashers into the administration’s first state dinner. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama issued a statement Friday thanking their longtime friend from Chicago for doing a “terrific job ” organizing hundreds of events during her little more than a year on the job.

They didn’t indicate a reason for Rogers’ departure, effective sometime next month.

Rogers’ handling of the Nov. 24 state dinner came under fire after a celebrity-seeking northern Virginia couple got into the exclusive South Lawn affair without a formal invitation, despite heavy White House security. Rogers was in charge of the event.

She later acknowledged not having staff from her office at security checkpoints to help identify guests. Lawmakers had demanded that she testify about her handling of the event, and one wanted to subpoena her. The White House would not allow her to testify, citing the constitutional separation of powers.

The tall and glamorous Rogers also was criticized for her high profile and appearing in glossy magazine photo spreads.

Rogers, 50, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday that she was leaving because she had achieved a major goal of the Obamas: turning the White House into the “people’s house” by opening it up to many of those who normally do not get to visit.

“My work was really to create this framework. I think I completed that work,” she told her hometown paper. “Our office has been able to lay the foundation for what will be known as the ‘people’s house’ and it has already taken shape.”

Rogers said she planned to explore opportunities in the corporate world, where she worked before joining the administration. She arrived in Chicago after getting an MBA and has worked at AT&T and a gas and utilities company.

“When she took this position, we asked Desiree to help make sure that the White House truly is the people’s house and she did that by welcoming scores of everyday Americans through its doors, from wounded warriors to local schoolchildren to NASCAR drivers,” the president and Mrs. Obama said

So what do you think? Are you surprised that she resigned?


Filed under Politics, President Obama

Should Desiree Rogers be Blamed for the Party Crashers?

Desiree Rogers, White House Social Secretary, is certainly getting some heat after the Tareq and Michaele Salahi party crashing incident. Many are saying that she or her staff should have stayed at their post throughout the night checking people in, others say that the Secret Service should have been more responsible that evening, ensuring everyone was cleared to attend. Though the Secret Service Chief took the blame yesterday, Desiree may still be required to testify.

Though it is understandable that she may be questioned given the risk the incident presented, it’s sad that the media is really trying hard to put her in a bad light (and so far has been unsuccessful). When a recent Chicago Tribune article, tried to question her background, it was so evident that they were reaching, it was almost sad. The article had the subtitle of “White House makes clear it’s standing by the former Republican.” Was her former political affiliation really relevant, Chicago Tribune? Really? In the article they also mentioned that while president of People’s Gas, the company was sued for “massive fraud.” Sounds serious, but they couldn’t dig out much from it to indicate she had any questionable activities. So what do you think, do you think she should be the blame?

On another note, while doing a google search I found Michaele Salahi’s Facebook page. However, it wasn’t her personal page, it was her Fan Page! Can someone please tell me why this woman has a Facebook Fan page that started prior to the dinner scandal?


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Ripest Picks from the Web

Here are some of our ripest picks of the web. Let us know what you think about these hot topics.

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White House Style: Vogue Highlights Michelle and Desiree

Two White House fashionistas were featured in this week’s Vogue.com 10 Best Dressed list. Both Michelle Obama and Desiree Rogers were featured in stunning attire at events over the past couple weeks.

Michelle Obama Mrs. Obama rocked this Rachel Roy dress at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service event last week.

Desiree RogersDesiree Rogers looked ultra chic wearing this Barbara Tfank coat at the 9th Annual Michael Z. Bennahum Forum event in New York on June 18th.

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Spotlight On: Desiree Rogers

Desiree RogersOnce responsible for running Chicago based People’s Energy, Desiree Rogers now spends her energy ensuring that east meets west…wing, that is. As the Obama administration’s stylish new Social Secretary, Desiree Rogers controls the velvet ropes of the prestigious White House event planning scene.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Desiree’s bachelor’s degree in political science from Wellesley College could be considered a foreshadowing to her future career in the White House. She followed it up with an MBA from Harvard Business School before moving to Chicago to begin her phenomenal corporate career climb. She’s held such positions as Director of the Illinois State Lottery, Vice President of Corporate Communications for People’s Energy, Chief Marketing Officer (PE), Senior VP of Customer Care (PE) and most recently as President of Social Networking for Allstate Financial in Northbrook, IL. In addition to managing a successful corporate career, Desiree found time to lend her talents to several boards and executive committees including the Chicago Children’s Museum, Blue Cross Blue Shield of IL and Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry to name a few.  As Social Secretary, it is Desiree’s job to execute on the social vision that the Obamas have for the White House. Her task is to make it the people’s home, a place reflective of the rich culture and history of this country and inclusive of all diverse walks of life.
Desiree Rogers is truly more than meets the eye. Her career and educational accomplishments alone are enough to write a book about. But when you add in mother of a college student attending Yale and survivor of breast cancer you just want to stand up and cheer for her. So here’s to you Desiree…a virtual standing ovation from The Vyne Weekly.
Photo courtesy of Wellesley College.


Filed under Phenomenal Women, President Obama