San Francisco Social Diary: The California Pacific Medical Center 2020 Gala

The CPMC gala was held on the Embarcadero’s Pier 35, a former dock that’s now a bustling hub of museums, restaurants, and office space.


There had been a lot of buzz about the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) 2020 Gala sponsored by luxury fashion house Chanel, so I was eager to go. It lived up to expectations and raised more than $2.5 million dollars for CPMC medical programs, which notably include clinical trials for food allergies.


Honorees were allergy expert Dr. Kari Nadeau and tech titan, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Sean Parker. Parker co-founded the online file-sharing service Napster and briefly served as president of Facebook. reports he’s worth $2.4 billion, and he’s just 37 years old!

Sean Parker, Dr. Kari Nadeau, CPMC CEO Warren Browner, Gala Co-Chair Sloan Barnett, and CPMC Foundation President Doug Nelson.

Last year, Sean Parker donated $600 million to establish The Parker Foundation, which focuses on life sciences, global public health, and civic engagement. With a personal history of allergies, he’s pledged $24 million to the Stanford Allergy Research Center, a CPMC partner.

Dr. Kari Nadeau is a foremost expert in adult and pediatric allergies and asthma. An MD and PhD graduate of Harvard Medical School, she is Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University and an endowed professor under the Naddisy Family Foundation.


I was awed in hearing what CPMC is doing for San Francisco. Established in 1852, during the Gold Rush, it provides advanced precision medicine and health care for nearly 30 percent of the city’s patients.

CPMC’s new hospital, ten years in the planning, is finally under construction. The main facility, the Van Ness and Geary Campus, will be located in the center of the city on the recently demolished eyesore, Cathedral Hill Hotel, built in 1960 as the Jack Tar Hotel.

It is one of two new smart hospitals that together will cost almost $3 billion (and though that may sound astronomical, the buildings are already fully funded). With an aging population and the effects of the Affordable Care Act, these facilities will be most welcome.

The new state-of-the-art, earthquake-safe CMPC Hospital at Van Ness will cover an entire block. The 12-story, 740,000-square-foot center incorporates forward-thinking construction concepts and sustainable designs.

CPMC Van Ness will house women’s, children’s, cardiology, oncology, emergency care, and transplant departments, with diagnostic, treatment, and inpatient bed space.

The other CMPC project is a transformation of the St. Luke’s Campus on Cesar Chavez to serve the Mission District.


The Gala Chairs included CPMC Foundation Board trustees Sloan Barnett, Carol Bonnie, Dr. Carolyn Chang, Jacqueline Sacks, and Allison Speer.

Gala co-chairs Allison Speer, Sloan Barnett, Carolyn Chang, and Carol Bonnie.

Gala co-chair Jacqueline Sacks and husband David Sacks.

Trustee Sloan Barnett, daughter of New York philanthropists Frayda and George Lindemann, is the wife of Roger Barnett, Chairman and CEO of Shaklee Corporation, the top natural nutrition and green cleaning products company in the U.S.

This attractive, glamorous, and involved couple sold their NY townhouse and bought a home in San Francisco a few years ago. They collaborated on its design with New York-based architect Peter Marino, who has overall design responsibility for Chanel stores worldwide. So the newly furnished home was a most appropriate spot for an intimate dinner to thank Chanel President of Fashion for the U.S. Barbara Cirkva and husband John Schumacher for the Gala evening.

Gala co-chair Sloan Barnett and husband Roger Barnett.


Chanel’s President of Fashion for the U.S., Barbara Cirkva, passed the torch at the end of March to Joyce Green, formerly senior vice president of multibrand retail in the fashion division. Cirkva spent 28 years with the iconic fashion house and is considered one of the most respected fashion executives in the world.

Now she will have more time to spend in the happening city of Miami, her winter home. Barbara joked that her Palm Beach friends drive down to Miami when they want to have some fun, and I’m sure she will show them a good time.

Former Chanel President of Fashion for the U.S. Barbara Cirkva and husband John Schumacher.

Angela Dotson, Chanel VP of Client and Business Development; realtor Joel Goodrich; and Joyce Green, the new president of fashion for the U.S. and Barbara Cirkva’s successor.

The evening’s black and white décor reflected the classic Chanel sensibility.


CMPC’s gala succeeded in doing what every charitable event aspires to—attracting the affluent young techie crowd.

The heavy hitters included Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne, who are setting an example for their peers in fulfilling civic responsibilities and promoting gender equality through Salesforce pay and promotion policies. The firm will soon relocate to a new Pelli Clark Pelli-designed skyscraper within San Francisco’s under-construction Transbay Transit Center.

Marc and Lynne Benioff.

Chanel VP of Marketing Erica Kasel, CPMC CEO Warren Browner, and his wife Mollie Brown.

Other attendees included Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer; Alison Pincus, founder of online upscale home dĂ©cor retailer One King’s Lane; Randi and Bob Fisher with sister-in-law and SF Symphony President Sako Fisher, of the Gap-founding Fisher Family; Lisa Goldman, an active member of the philanthropic Goldman family, who are descended from denim pioneer Levi Strauss; David Sacks, CEO of Zenefits online HR software; and Carol and Shelby Bonnie, co-founder of CNET, leading tech reviews website.

Marissa Mayer and Trevor Traina.

Randi and Bob Fisher.

Alison Pincus, Ken Fulk, and Alexis Traina.

Lisa Goldman and Sako Fisher.

Shelby and Carol Bonnie.

I enjoyed meeting Omid and Gisel Kordestani, a delightful couple. Omid, an engineer, has enjoyed stints at Netscape and Google, and is currently executive chairman at Twitter. Gisel was in full Chanel: a lovely blue dress topped by the most stunning coat, with baubles on its sleeves. (If it were mine, I’d never take it off!)

I love sitting at dinner with people like these, who keep me abreast of what’s happening in the tech world.

Gisel and Omid Kordestani.


The Chanel-sponsored event brought out dozens of San Francisco supporters, many wearing their best pieces from the iconic brand.

Honoree Sean Parker and his wife Alexandra Lenas.

Carol Bonnie, Chef Michael Tusk, who catered the evening, and Lindsay Tusk.

Maria Manetti Shrem and Jan Shrem, who funded a new art museum on the University of California Davis campus.

Harvey Glasser and Gail Glasser, former CPMC Board Chair and long-time trustee.

Ken Fulk, Daniel Lurie, Alec Perkins, and Trevor Traina.

Urannia Ristow, Brunno Ristow, OJ Shansby, and Jeanne Lawrence.

Yurie and Carl Pascarella.

Paul and Anne-Sophie Deneve.

Vanessa Getty and Victoire Reynal Brown.

Todd and Katie Traina.

Mary Beth and David Shimmon.

Ted and Pamala Deikel.

Matt Cohler and Pia Oien.

Warren Browner and Denise Hale.

David and Kelsey Lamond.

Stephanie and Jim Marver.

Chloe Warner, Leigha Weinberg, Jason Moment, and Jessica Moment.

Adam Clammer and Stephanie Harbin.

The evening ended with a special musical performance by Johnny P.


Photographs by Drew Altizer, Irja Elisa Tannlund, and California Pacific Medical Center.

*Urbanite Jeanne Lawrence reports on lifestyle and travel from her homes in San Francisco, Shanghai, and New York, and wherever else she finds a good story.

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