Victoria’s Diary: The Power of Connections

Jean Shafiroff interviewed the Power Women honorees on the red carpet.

The sun shone brightly through the glass window doors of “The Muse,” a stunning semi-circle community space that the The Dormition of the Virgin Mary Church in the Hamptons opened for me to host Dan’s Papers Power Women virtual networking event and a unique art exhibit.

For 20 years, my media company has been recognizing women who have achieved great success in their careers. We did not let COVID-19 dampen our desire to carry on the tradition, we just respected the power of the pandemic and pivoted our event.

Since acquiring Dan’s Papers after Labor Day, we decided we would begin to virtually host our events. Our talented team of Demetra, Toni, Joseph, DJ Mike from Bravo, videographer Henry Ramos and wonderful photographer Barbara from Dan’s Papers — with an extra hand from Rob Rich from Sea Cliff — the event went off seamlessly.

With the support of Father Alexander Karloutsos, we had enough safe space — with air filters cleaning the air in the church — to bring a limited number of the women together and honor them. We found a way!

Each woman arrived at a specific time and was interviewed by our honoree, Philanthropist of the Year Jean Shafiroff. Then, they had the joy of walking down the red carpet — of course masked — with music, videographers and photographers following their every move. I then gave them their “Vicki” statuette. What fun it was!

The edited video will appear on Dec. 17 on our media websites and YouTube channel. Register to watch at

Linking, networking and introducing people is my passion and it was a week of connecting.

When I came out to the East End, Todd Shapiro introduced me to Dr. Peter Micholas, whom I reconnected with at a Power Breakfast run by entrepreneur John Catsimatidis, who introduced me to Father Alex, who introduced me to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, who in turn introduced me to 95-year-old artist Dick Stone.

Dick Stone’s work is being featured at “The Muse” thanks to Xanthi Karloutsos, Father Alexander Karloutsos and Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman.Barbara Lassen

When I met Dick, I heard him loud and clear when he said he had never exhibited his current work. So, a lightbulb went off in my head and I thought of Father Alex and his majestic community space at his church. I made a call to this great preacher and his immediate response of “yes” now is being translated into an art exhibit featuring Dick’s work.

Dick has built a tremendous career as an artist. He started as an illustrator in the Norman Rockwell era and created many covers for many magazines, including Look. He was often the go-to man for ad agency art.

Over the years, Dick’s work moved into many art mediums. He created hundreds of canvases in his garage at his Southampton home, where he stores much of his work.

His exhibit will open Dec. 12 at “The Muse” and will run for a month. His work will also be seen on

The world is now our oyster just a link away — the silver lining of our times. Enjoy!

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