Born in Kenya, raised in Vancouver, Hanif, is a legend in the hedge fund industry. (Yes his wife is writing his bio and will show him off).
Being a total brainiac, he won a full scholarship to Caltech and followed his studies working as a rocket scientist for NASA (no seriously!). He then pursued a PHD at Harvard but was pulled off after a Masters at Harvard by recruiters on Wall Street. After more than a decade on Wall Street he returned to Vancouver to head PHN as the chief investment officer before spearheading its sale to RBC.
Presently Hanif runs several hedge funds, and continues to shine in this arena pulling in yearly awards and accolades. (Hedge fund of the year, Bloombergs #2 in the world for alternative investments, etc etc)
Hanif lives for his daily run, to work off all the food Jessica cooks, and also enjoys reading, swimming, tennis, relaxing, and dancing to Starboy.
This is Hanif's second trip to Uruguay.
Harald & Sharlene Ludwig
Harald is the ultimate Bon vivant. Travelling and adventuring non stop throughout the year, Harald can be found shredding the gnar at whistler, standing upright on the wings of a plane searing through the sky, kitesurfing throughout South America, or jouncing from private island to private island.
Father to four amazing kids (that have recently flown the coop), husband to Sharlene Ludwig, and mentor to many, Harald is the life of the party and a cheerleader for many young entrepreneurs.
Open minded, light hearted, and charismatic, this Peter Pan will be a favourite of our celebration tribe.
This is Harald’s third consecutive yearly trip to Uruguay.
The belle of the ball, this West Vancouver beauty was a former model and actor (remember the Milk commercial!) until she exchanged her spot in front of the camera for her role as a super mom to four incredible children (who have recently flown the coop!)
The consummate hostess, Sharlene throws the best parties in Vancouver, where she charms everyone with her grace. Kind, warm and stunning, she has a keen intelligence that you will pick up on as she observes the crowd - Sharlene is a female muse. She also knows how to party and dance throughout the night non stop!
This is Sharlene's third consecutive trip to Uruguay.
Alex Gill is Canada's best known food critic and writer - her articles can be found in the Globe and Mail as well as a host of magazines and blogs. Feared by retauranteurs and beloved by foodies, this powerhouse is actually a softy on the inside and the friend everyone needs when they are down and in need of an empathetic ear. Big hearted, prone to belly laughter, a sensualist, and a true epicurean hedonist, this lovely belle will charm our little corner of the world with her curiosity and passion.
This is her first trip to Uruguay.
Neil is best known as the owner and president of Hys of Canada, Canada's highest-end steakhouses. (As you can imagine he is pretty excited to meet his muse Francis Mallmann!)
Outside of the restaurant industry Neil is known for his die-hard passion for skiing - a former member of the National Ski team of Canada, Neil is also keen on exploring mountains by foot and has completed four of the seven world renowned peaks.
Neil can party all night and can also sit quietly throughout the night listening to a friend in need. Neil is one of the best friends a girl could ask for - solid as a rock and as loyal as they come, he has a heart of gold.
This is Neil's first trip to Uruguay.
A consummate gentleman, John is the driving force behind Singleton Urquhart LLP where he acts as the managing partner. Apart from being a big shot rain maker and lawyer (and he is!), John is a great addition to any group with his charismatic and elegant charms- a snazzy dresser he is also able in the right mood to play guitar and sing.
A mentor and inspiration to Jessica, this is John's first visit to Uruguay.
Brenda is the true life of any party, and the warmest personality in our group. She befriends everyone and chats everyone up on her travels from bus drivers to counts - and will most likely make fast new friends down here to add to our group.
An insurance maven by day, and a glittering sparkling hostess by night, Brenda is full of passion for all that she does.
This is Brenda's first visit to Uruguay.
Frank Herrmann and Frank Folberth
The Frank's, or Frank2, as we know them, are José Ignacio staples - you can find these two lovely gentleman frequenting la Huella where they take in the crowds while playing backgammon in a corner table and sipping rosé. Gorgeous, fun loving, hedonists with absolutely impeccable manners, these two love birds are favourites to all that meet them.
Snazzy dressers, they are the ones that will be wearing Hermès ponchos out in the fields of Garzón while the Gauchos look on.
They spend their days bouncing between their multiple residences in Germany, Paris, Zurich and Ibiza - as well as their yearly sojourn to José Ignacio.
This is the Franks' umpteenth visit to Uruguay.
A celebrated interior designer (ranked by Architectural digest as one of the top 50 in the world) James is a man of leisure and passion - a great eye for the beautiful, and a sensitive soul, you need to spend one on one time with this gem to appreciate his full depth.
On the surface James is a party queen, always dancing, singing, chatting and laughing - ready to turn any little gathering into a full-on fiesta.
A gentleman, a riot, a hedonist and a gentle soul, James is a unique compliment of contradictions.
James has grown up summering in Punta, a short jaunt from his Argentine home.
David and Leah Rowntree
David and Leah reside in Vancouver (a few doors down from Hanif and Jessica) but travel frequently. David is a successful investor with his own fund, and Leah is a successful entrepreneur, and mind-bank supporter, best known recently for founding and running the Bon Mot book club (check out the line up of speakers she attracted to it - think Ted talks rather than regular book club).
Charming, gracious, and warm, David and Leah are easy company and a pleasure to spend time with.
This is the couples’ first trip to Uruguay.
Judy is a mentor, friend and inspiration to Jessica. Judy has graced the cover of BC Magazine as a business mentor In addition to her many accolades as an entrepreneur. Known in the business community for founding and bringing Blo Bars to their successful height and then selling the franchise to move on to new things, she has mentored countless young entrepreneurs and provided inspiration to dozens more.
Kind, compassionate, open minded and adventurous - she touches the heart of everyone she meets.
This is Judys first time in Uruguay.
Anish (known as AP, or African Prince) was born in Uganda and emigrated to Canada in his youth. He attended the University of British Columbia, where he studied finance with a focus on real estate markets. AP and Hanif have been friends since childhood. AP currently resides in Vancouver where he runs his family's real estate business and is also one of Vancouver's top luxury market realtors. When he is not working, AP loves to travel through Europe, Africa and Asia.
This is AP's first visit to Uruguay.
Diego Filmus and Maya Filmus
Diego and Maya are joining from just across the river in Argentina where they reside. Although Diego is Argentinian by birth, he spent his youth in Canada where he and Jessica first met when they were wee children. (Don't listen to any stories Diego tells you about Jessica having been a studious super nerd that the principle kept a photo of on his desk - all lies!!)
Diego and Maya are recently engaged (congrats!) so they will be double celebrating this trip!
Diego and Maya enjoy bloody undercooked meat in large quantities, dancing, laughing and travelling.
Jess and Diego spent many summers causing trouble in Punta, and Diego has been to Uruguay countless times.
John And Maria Pfeffer and family
Previously the head of KKR Europe, John fell in love with the Argentine beauty Maria and together they have raised a beautiful family of incredible scholars (speak to any of their children for five minutes and your mind will be blown) in the Taylor-Mamdani residence we have an expression we use when we meet children that are poorly raised now - "not all kids can be Pfeffer kids".
While John and Maria reside in the U.K. most of the year, they return multiple times a year to Uruguay to their stunning beach estate where they generously host guests throughout their stay.
Conversations with the Pfeffers are a true delight and can range from music, physics, literature and more.
They are locals and attend at José Ignacio yearly.
Alex and Carrie Vik
Proprietors of the award winning and impressive Vik collection of boutique hotels, this couple are huge advocates and supporters of the arts. You will see this reflected in each of their gorgeous properties, Playa Vik, Estancia Vik and Bahia Vik.
Although Alex is originally from Norway, his connection to Uruguay comes through his Uruguayan mother. Over a decade ago, Carrie and Alex fell in love with José Ignacio and are now heavily entrenched in this community where they have made an incredible impact through their properties and support of artists.
Charming, erudite, and polished - they can nonetheless stay up as late partying as the rest of them! And Alex can seriously cut a rug!
Carrie and Vik come to Uruguay multiple times a year!
Sebastian Vik is a citizen of the world and an entrepreneur. During university he started mosaic.network which he continues to nurture and build. He lives a nomadic life finding a home with family and friends wherever he is. If you are interested in geopolitics or crypto currencies, kitesurfing, polo or a range of other fun activities find Sebastian.
Sebastian first arrived in Uruguay at 6 months old and spends as much time as possible here in José Ignacio.
Caroline Vik & Thomas Bailey
Caroline & Thomas married in José Ignacio in February of 2015!
Caroline is the oldest of the Vik children. Caroline came to Uruguay for the first time when she was 11 months old and fell in love and comes yearly with her family. Caroline is Norwegian and American and 1/4 Uruguayan. She has lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, Monaco, New York, Washington DC, Cambridge and Palo Alto and gets on a plane at the drop of a hat to experience something new.
Some of her passions include foreign policy, education and travel.
Thomas is an American who captured Caroline’s attention in their first year at college. A brilliant and charming young man he was raised in Cambridge Massachusetts and has since lived in Palo Alto and New York and has traveled extensively. Thomas heads an investment fund called Hatch Capital. If you are interested in Crypto currencies seek Thomas out. He has been coming to Uruguay over the past 10 years.
Camilla recently graduated from Columbia University where she majored in Art History. She got her dream job at Sotheby’s in the Latin American Art Department soon after and is happily working and living in New York City. She enjoys her international group of friends, living downtown and exploring the world any chance she gets. Camilla is also a world class golfer.
Camilla came to Uruguay as an infant and wouldn’t miss her yearly trip spending time riding horses, playing polo and golf and spending time with family and friends.
Susana is the youngest of the Vik children. She is a student at Harvard University with interest in engineering, history and mathematics. Susana has lived in Greenwich, Connecticut and Monaco. She is also a world class golfer. Susana came to Uruguay as an infant and treasures her time here each year.
Ester Velo van Hulst and Lucio Velo
Lucio founded legale e notarile Velo in Lugano in 1982 - one of the largest law firms in the southern (Italian speaking) area of Switzerland. The firm conducts business in Italian, English, French, German and Spanish. Lucio is a published author and philanthropist know for his big heart and sharp wit.
Ester Velo van Hulst is a dutch beauty, socialite, philanthropist and mother to three strapping young boys - or rather, men.
Anne Bezamat Cohen and Bill Cohen
Anne and Bill reside in New York but travel frequently, including to José Ignacio yearly where they have a beautiful estancia. Beloved by the community since their first arrival, they host amazing dinner parties and are openly social with everyone.
Originally from France, Anne is a former model now entrepreneur and the owner and founder of Linea José Ignacio (which you will find in your welcome package!)
Bill is a successful entrepreneur with an impressive host of companies and ventures under his belt.
Bill can be found relaxing at home most frequently or at la Huella, while Anne can be found burning the late night candle dancing into the night.
Anne and Bill have been coming to Uruguay for nearly a decade!
In La Barra, a coastal village in Punta del Este, lies Aaron Hojman's Casa Zinc - a stunningly eclectic posada holding Aaron's flare at in every nook and cranny.
Interior design guru and owner of The Trading Post (an antique shop housing treasures collected from his worldly travels), Aaron Hojman has infused Casa Zinc with the same well traveled eclecticism that makes up his vibrant personality. The bedrooms inside are named for the objects within: in the Back to School room hangs classic chalkboards and protractors, the Arquitecto study is home to a draftsman’s table, map chest and work bench and the Biblioteca room resembles a, well, a library.
Jessica and Aaron have been friends for many, many years. When Jessica transitioned from a beach bum youth who hid away with her surfer friends to a young adult, it was Aaron who helped introduce her to some of her favourite adult friends in Punta (including Francis Mallmann!) He was also always her saving grace in La Barra by offering the best coffee in the region and graciously allowing her and her volunteer team to use the cafe zinc as a second office through the barrio Kennedy project.
Laura has been practicing architectural and interior design in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia since 1996.
Her design style features the use of antiques sparingly and succinctly within a context of what she labels "relaxed modernism."
In the past fifteen years, Laura has created several luxurious homes and palaces in the Kingdom, including projects in Paris, Beirut, London, Beverly Hills, Kenya and Buenos Aires.
Internationally renowned chef Francis Mallmann needs little introduction. This super star chef is best known for his mastery of fire, and his seven fires technique. Owner of multiple international restaurants from Provençe to Miami, he also owns and operates Garzón just outside of José Ignacio.
His passion burns beyond fire however, and Francis can discuss poetry, textiles and literature with erudite flair. If you are lucky you will hear him recite poetry or sing a song on his guitar.
Francis and Jessica have been friends since Jessica's youth - and she was lucky enough to have this foodie master treat her to various birthday events throughout the years and has hosted various friends of hers at Garzón.
Francis has been coming to Uruguay his whole life, being half Uruguayan and half Argentine.
Gonzalo Massa is one of the owners of Mutate, the definitive clothing store in José Ignacio, established in 2003. Although Gonzalo did not study design, his eye for details in both apparel and interior design are apparent in his stylish store and accompanying café. Don't let his laid back style fool you - every detail is perfectly planned.
Jess met Gonzalo at Mutate several years ago and has been a devout fan of his styling ever since. You may recognize half of Jessica's outfits from this style gurus collection along with the Polo dresses provided for the January 5 event!
Jessica has known Mica since she was a baby - and fell in love with this little Uruguayan sweetheart from the start. Many a summer was spent with Jessica kidnapping little Mica for adventures on her Vespa to far off ice cream spots or beach spots.
All grown up now, Mica still remains Jessica's adopted little sister and heart.
Born and raised in Punta, Mica now lives in Paysandu where she pursues agricultural studies.
Santi and Lukas Madrid
Super star surfer brothers Lukas and Santi are internationally known for their ability to master the waves. Artistic, soulful and warm as they come, Uruguayan born and raised, this duo is a perfect representation of the best that our small country can produce.
Most comfortable in nature, but happily social in a crowd as well, ask these boys for the best spots to catch a wave!
Silvestre Jacobi and Lucila Dickinson
Silvestre and Lucila run a beautiful art gallery in Mantiales.
Silvestre met Jess in her youth, and he and his "Banda" of surfer friends included Jess in their group (and their families!) and helped to introduce Jess to some of the best surf spots in José Ignacio and a behind the scenes look at the true heart of José ignacio.
Big hugs out to Gonzalo, Pablo, Sebastian and others in the original crew that are not here this year.
Fiona was raised right here in José Ignacio (her father, the owner of La Huella and Caracola is pretty much the town mayor).
Fiona founded and operates the José Ignacio Film Festival along with her husband, Martin Cuinat.
They have recently launched Del Faro productions and you can thank them for the coordination and event planning of our celebration weekend, which they have produced!
They live in José Ignacio most of the year when they aren't travelling for their films.
00549 - 1159284164 | 00598 - 98978328
A true Uruguayan - and even a José Ignacian, Martin has had a hand in shaping the culture of this eclectic community. A huge film buff, he founded the José Ignacio Film Festival with his wife, Fiona Pittaluga. Along with operating the annual film festival, Martin and Fiona also have an award winning short film production under their belt with more on the way!
They have recently launched Del Faro productions and you can thank them for the coordination and event planning of our celebration weekend, which they have produced!
They live in José Ignacio most of the year when they aren't travelling for their films.
Dennis Gocer, The Collective You
Dennis is a legend in Vancouver where he runs The Collective You - a photography company specializing in high-end event portraiture unlike any you have seen before. “It’s storytelling,” he explains for Montecristo magazine. “That’s what’s so magical about people: there’s a story in that face, there’s a story in that gesture, there’s a story in that glance.”
The Collective You began at Gocer’s 30th birthday party, where he set up a mini studio and spent the whole night taking photos of his guests. His portable studio quickly took off into a successful business. But it's not the simple genius of his work that makes The Collective You a success—it is Gocer, and his ability to create relationships with his subjects, that makes it so special.
Social, charming and witty, you don't want miss an opportunity to get in front of this man’s lens. You will love the way he sees you and captures you!
Jorge can be found each temporada in José Ignacio photographing the sparkling gliteratti of Punta. A renowned celebrity photographer, designer, visual artist and art director, Jorge shines best in his sensual portraiture. Based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina and Bogota, Columbia, Jorge shoots for international magazines, NY fashion week and numerous brands world wide.
Make sure to get a portrait or two taken by this Peruvian gem!
Zadro has been shooting weddings for about 7 years. His ephemeral style reflects his personal philosophy. "I love simple things," he explains, "to generate emotions and tell stories through moving images, paying attention to small details that make each wedding unique and special." He creates personalized videos for each couple by combining music composition and editing techniques using documentalism and cinematography as influences. Working very closely with clients to create films that not only take his vision of the wedding but represent each one of them. "Each Film is a work of Art and has a part of what I am, that is my added value."
Based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Zadro is a world traveller, having shot weddings in the US, Guatemala, UK & Spain among others.
Every day of my life I spend several hours thinking about what my life would be without weddings.
Day by day I dedicate myself to living, loving, feeling, being a friend, a good person, and finally I put all my effort to combine that into one of the best days of your life to give to you in film.
I love to shoot weddings and tell sories about love, fun and emotions.
Maybe sounds like a cliché but to me every wedding is a new world to discover, and it’s amazing how every wedding could have all the seasonings yet mixed differently to create its own unique flavour.
I’m sure that your wedding will be amazing. And I hope to be with you on your day, being part of this, watching everything through my lens. And canalizing my emotions with yours.
Matlo got his start at The Helen Lefeaux School of fashion design in Gastown. In 1998, after completing his studies, he was selected to represent Canada in a competition that sought to unearth the worlds’ most promising young designers. The attention earned him a great deal of press, but no job offers. Undeterred, he continued to develop his craft, and in 2004, debuted the first Jason Matlo collection.
In the decade plus since, he’s created countless collections, each centered on the characteristic Matlo fit. In 2014, he sent his tenth anniversary collection down the runway, catching only glimpses of it from backstage where he prepped and primped each model before sending her through the curtain.
Jessica and Jason have been friends for years with countless of her favourite frocks designed by the fashion genius. Her bridesmaids are adorned with his custom designed creations.
Lucia is a renowned Uruguayan singer - who is making waves outside of our small homeland.
With a voice that is startlingly powerful, you will be impressed by this gorgeous ladies’ range!
Look out for her at the various events where she will delight us with her singing!
Leonard Schein and Barb Small
Leonard and Barb are adopted family to Jessica, and Leonard was set to walk Jessica down the aisle. Unfortunately, with the October hiccup in plans, flights were cancelled, and Jessica will have to wait until the Vancouver event to have Leonard by her side on the aisle.
Founder of both the TIFF and VIFF film festival, and founder owner of a series of theatres in Vancouver, Leonard is a legend in the Canadian film scene. A huge philanthropist and supporter of the arts and the environment, Leonard is an inspiration and his presence will be greatly missed.
Jime is an Argentinian model and photographer that presently resides in Paris with her partner Willy and her gorgeous baby twins.
Jess and Jime met at La Huella years ago and have been fast friends ever since - spending countless temporadas together, New Years, quiet time and party time together. They even make efforts to travel the world to meet during the year whether in Paris, Ibiza or wherever their fancy takes them.
Their favourite time together however is horseback riding! Born and raised in Cordova, Jime is as comfortable on a horse as she is on a runway, and is the perfect match for Jessica's inclination to gallop wildly in the fields of Estancia Vik.
This is the first temporada in nearly a decade that José Ignacio will not see Jime and we are all saddened to miss her on this trip!!
Chloé Bouygues et Yannick Bolloré
Chloé was born and raised in Paris where she presently lives with her husband Yannick and her four lovely girls.
Jess and Chloé met in Sweden at Lund Universitat where they were studying at the wee ages of 20. Chloé was Jessica's closest friend in Sweden and complete muse - which she continues to be with even more inspiration now! Chloé is a renowned artist known best for her photographic compilations - but more on that later as there will be a post script gift emerging from this event weekend that will be created by Chloé!
Born and raised in Vancouver but bouncing between Hong Kong and London, Bev runs a successful calligraphy studio in London.
Jess and Bev met in Paris while studying at Parsons, and Bev has been a dear friend and muse to Jessica ever since.
Artistic, creative, soulful, adventurous, cheeky and profound - Bev's quiet strength impresses everyone she meets.
Unfortunately, the planning hiccup caused Bev to cancel her flight so we will be missing her presence this celebration - however we are enjoying her welcome package and beautiful calligraphy in her stead!
The UBC and Emily Carr grad is Vancouver born and bred, where she now resides with her husband and little girl.
Jess and Nicole met first at Jess's photography studio in Vancouver over a decade ago when Nicole came in for photo classes. Fast friends ever since - even when Nicole moved to Montenegro - Jess followed and spent a month with her amongst the goat herders and super-yachters.
Nicole is a graphic designer who helped with the invitation packages you received, the website, the itinerary and other bits and pieces.
She is devastated not to be able to attend, but is there in spirit!
Dr Ko Arman and Nolan Bering
Ko and Nolan are dear friends of Jessica in Vancouver, who unfortunately (or actually very fortunately!) cannot attend due to the recent arrival of their baby boy.
We will miss you guys!
Liane is one of Jessica's other favourite muses and long time friend from high school days. This gorgeous actor is known for a range of films and is a brilliant feminist advocate with articles and short films under her belt.
Presently living in LA with her husband and son, she is unable to attend with the new changes in the plans but will be here in spirit as one of the muses.