Anyone who knows or works with PR pro Lori Puccinelli Stern is more than familiar with her trademark and enthusiastic phrase employed in any situation, terrific or tragic: “It’s all good!”
And so it was -- even beneath stormy skies which forced cancellation of the final round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tourney -- when The Pooch corralled friends, far and wide, to celebrate her 40th birthday last weekend in Carmel.
The warm-hearted Feb. 14th fete was held at the magnificent weekend home of real estate developer Angelo Sangiacomo and his wife, Yvonne Sangiacomo, who created this modernist white limestone manse that sits on the famed 18th fairway of the Pebble Beach Golf Links and overlooks rolling breakers which crash against the sandy crook of Carmel Bay.
“I asked my dad back in September if we could host a party for Lori at the house in Carmel,” said hostess Maryanne Sangiacomo Iacomini, rather uncertain of her father’s response. “When he said, ‘Yes,’ right away my mother and I both asked him if he was feeling OK!”
But among old-school San Francisco Italians, family is family. And the Sangiacomos and the Puccinellis go way back -- back to the days when Lori’s great-grandfather was dentist to Yvonne’s father, the late nightclub impresario, Agostino “Bimbo” Giuntoli, founder of the famed Bimbo’s 365 Club in North Beach.
It was a warm-hearted night of toasts and roasts, during which everyone got a dose.
Mayor Gavin Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom
“Learning that my birthday would be celebrated in this beautiful home, a friend exclaimed, ‘You’re so lucky, the Sangiacomos love you so much’,” said Lori, thanking her extended Sangiacomo family hosts. “Well, let’s just hope they still love me after tonight’s party!”
Lori also toasted her longtime pal, Maryanne Iacomini, whose friendship she described as, “One of the greatest gifts in my life.”
Thanking Maryanne and her husband, suave San Francisco jeweler Marcello Iacomini, Lori’s husband, Peter Stern, also teased, “Marcello doesn’t just sell watches and ties -- he is actually the Italian James Bond!”
To her years-younger husband, Lori boldy admitted, “Yes, I am a cougar and very proud to tell you all that when I was senior in high school, Peter was in the 6th grade!”
Lori, being the always-enthusiastic cheerleader of friend’s endeavors that she is, just couldn’t resist giving a proud PR plug to pals in attendance. A veritable verbal press release, complete with full factoids and figures.
“My friend, Todd Palmerton of Vintage 415, got us this amazing playlist tonight from DJ AM who originally created it for the recent birthday of Jennifer Aniston,” exclaimed Lori, breathlessly. “I told him it just better not be all John Mayer songs. And be sure and check out Todd's new restaurant, Tipsy Pig on Chestnut Street, which is opening soon!”
In need of a “fabulous” root canal? Call Lori’s dad or brother, both endodontists and both named Dr. Larry Puccinelli.
“Lori keeps introducing me as my dad. My dad is an oral surgeon. So if you need a root canal, call him,” said brother Larry, laughing. “But hey, I am a nice guy.”
For anyone, turning 40 is a decided milestone. And Lori received numerous pieces of advice. But the most important words of wisdom were delivered by her pal, Mayor Gavin Newsom.
“Gavin called me first thing on my birthday and, now that he is a veteran 40-something, I asked if he had any advice for me,” said Lori. “His one-word answer? ‘Stretch’!”
Check out the photos below.
Angelo and Yvonne Sangiacomo
Geoff and Hilary Callan with Nate and Sarah Ballard
Lori's parents, Dr. Larry Puccinelli, Sr., and Michele Puccinelli
Tatiana Sorokko and Shannon Bavaro
Chloe Mills and her mom, actress Donna Mills and Lori
Ron Huddleston and his wife, Rebecca
Kevin Brunner (left) with his brother-in-law Mark Sherman and their spouses (who are also sisters), Bronwyn Brunner and Susan Sherman
Lori's siblings, Dr. Larry Puccinelli and his sister, Beth Puccinelli Hilliard
Peter Kaufman with Jennifer Newsom and his wife, Christine Pelosi
Bob Callan and his daughter, Regina Callan
Anna Sangiacomo (standing) with her sister, Susan Sangiacomo (left) and Susan's partner, Diana Pelliccione
Guy and Maria Muzio with Brandt Hooker
Hilary Armstrong (left) with Kelly Valentine and Mikaela Bernstein
Claudia and Eric Ross
Angelina Alioto with Liza and Joey Cannata
Sasha and Matt Bainer
Brett Habermann and his fiancee, Sarah Berger
Taylor and Jennifer Nagle