Scene in D.C.: Oracle, Diageo, Verizon Try Tartan Ball

Tartan Ball
Graham Burgess and Darren Burgess, second secretary for Scottish affairs at the British embassy. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

The guests at Saturday’s 63rd annual Tartan Ball naturally were dressed to kilt.

Members of the St. Andrew’s Society of Washington, D.C., an all-male group with proven Scottish descent, compared pleats and sporrans at the Mayflower Hotel. The society’s pipes and drums paraded through the main lobby.

T.J. Holland, the manager of corporate projects for the Bank-Fund Staff Federal Credit Union, said he’s adding a kilt to his collection with the colors of his alma mater, the College of William and Mary.

Daniel Joss said he has started “kilt Fridays” at Fox, Joss & Yankee LLC, his financial-planning and investment-management firm in Reston, Virginia.

The Tartan Ball is the group’s chief fundraiser, and Saturday’s affair raised more than $15,000. Proceeds benefit the Washington Scots Charity & Education Fund, which helps U.S. and Scottish exchange students.

Oracle Corp. was among the leading corporate sponsors. Joel Hinzman, the company’s senior director of government affairs, had a date night with his mother, Carol Malone. They wore the tartan from the Maffett clan, Malone’s family.

Darren Burgess, second secretary for Scottish Affairs for the British Embassy, brought along his father, Graham Burgess, who came from Fife, Scotland, to visit Washington for the first time.

Wee Dram

The evening began with a Scotch tasting provided by Diageo, the other event sponsor.

A dinner of filet mignon and risotto was served on tables adorned with heather and thistle. Tall bottles with blue and gold label Johnnie Walker were swaddled in red tartan covers.

The Scottish country dancers that entertained after dinner pulled at the heartstrings of Rachael Robertson, head of government affairs for Diageo in the U.K. She recalled learning the fancy footwork as a child in Dunblane. Her father is the former secretary general of NATO, George Robertson.

She was joined by Diageo’s head of public policy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maura Jeffords, and Elizabeth Wise, director of government relations.

Mark Mullet, vice president of federal government relations at Verizon Communications Inc., and Brian Mabry, the event chairman and a deputy director at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sported kilts for better displaying the manly gams.

In tuxedos, but still in the spirit, were Patrick Newton, a Capitol Hill communications director, and Derek Satya Khanna, a staffer with the Republican Study Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Counting Dimes

Friday night the March of Dimes held its 2012 Heroines in Technology awards gala. Among the honorees were Anne Altman, general manager for the global public sector at International Business Machines Corp. and Sandy Peavy, assistant director and chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security.

The event raised about $180,000 for local March of Dimes programs, with Intel Corp. as the primary corporate sponsor. The March of Dimes brings attention to infant health with its World Prematurity Day on Nov. 17.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Greg Evans on television, David Shribman on books.

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