Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June "Cocktails with Courtney"

The June "Cocktails with Courtney" was a notable affair on Wednesday, June 29th, at the Westin Hotel's Tuileries Bar, as we were able to feature special guest Kevin Werbach. The Parisian entrepreneurs were fascinated, and I think mutually interesting to Werbach. Kevin was in town for an invite-only conference held at the OECD on the Internet and Economy. "Internet Economy: OECD high-level meeting on generating innovation and growth." [Many topics were discussed, among them: "Business: Unequal Opportunities - why entrepreneurs thrive in some countries more than in others."]

Taking advantage of being in Paris, Kevin came over with the family for some touring.  His wife, attorney Joanne Werbach is working at (Yes-or-No), which is a real-time survey service as general counsel and VP of Operations. I think it's such a neat, instant-gratification service I will try it out myself! (

Considering Kevin teaches a course at Wharton on "Gamification," Kobojo's Karen Hunt and Youssef Faury, partner of, had a lot to chat about.  Youssef's business helps web and mobile apps publishers and developers with acquisition, retention, monetization and offers real-time analytics applied to constant customer engagement and touchpoint.  (whew!) I met him through his partner, Laurent Lathieyre, who's been to CWC in New York years ago. Youssef was in NYC from July 3 - 9th meeting companies for partnerships.'s Romain Lhez stopped by and brought along Florent Tardivel whose site ( allows amateur and professional photographers have their photographs voted on, then the winner's image is available for purchase, printed on beautiful hardwood. He brought a sample, which we felt would be a good addition to the existing artwork.

This month's cocktail, as the previous three others, was hosted by Recursion Ventures, which creates secure solutions for the world's most critical systems. If you haven't noticed before, Recursion's team has long-time heavy hitters like Henry Bar-Levav, Bobby Mbom and Michael Tiffany. We all know a secure system is a valuable system, so if you want more value--give them a call!

A long-time friend of mine, Victor Le Broussois, stopped by for a quick hello. Victor used to own a company called Stock on Web, but now is in charge of his family's business Country Corner and Interiors. If you crave gorgeous French Country style furniture, you must check them out.

Victor also happens to be the initial reason why I am now living in France. It was thanks to him that I met my husband! Cocktails with Courtney always strives to be personal, and this month was very personal-nay--familial! My Parisian cousin Hillary Goidell stopped by (chic as ever and flawless in her French) and got to hang out with one of my Dallas cousin's who was in town visiting: Randy Pulitzer.  Randy's family business prints all kinds of promotional products, including my Cocktails with Courtney napkins. As his business card says, "the fine art of sticking your logo on cool stuff," if you need quality products and excellent service, check them out:  Randy came with his Paris-based girlfriend, Karen Lowett who has one of the coolest jobs: a middle-school Science teacher at the American School in Paris.

Fellow newish-parents (like me) Angela Peterson Newton and Andrew Newton stopped by for a respite from toddler-dom. Angela and Andrew have been working on several projects around corporate responsibility, the impact of the financial crisis and raising a 2-year old daughter in Paris.'s Irene Toporkoff-Mayer stopped by for a drink, made new friends and reconnected with friends-of-friends. Worldcrunch offers English-language translations of articles from leading newspapers like Le Monde and Die Welt. It's recently gotten a write-up in the New York Times and is gaining momentum.'s founder Nathalie Ohana also popped by with Jean-Marc Larhantec to mix and mingle. Jean-Marc brought his own liquor--it's his own brand he's promoting: Hedonist.  Ooh la la!

[Here are some pics from the fete.]