Lavelle Olexa with members of Lavelle & Co. 


Typically, it’s cocktails and conversations with prominent women, but last week Lavelle & Co. amped it up with a big party for its members and their friends and families at the home of Marianne Cassini in Manhattan’s Gramercy Park.

“We’re turning seven next year, so we felt it was a good time to celebrate,” said Lavelle & Co. founder Lavelle Olexa. “Over the last six years, a lot has happened. We keep going and going. Many of our girls are still with us.”

Lavelle & Co. is a Manhattan-based collective with about 100 members helping to empower young professional women by providing mentoring and networking opportunities. The group meets periodically in New York City at different locations, and most recently hosted HSN’s Mindy Grossman, futurist Edie Weiner and prima ballerina Sara Mearns of the New York City Ballet. “Sara’s whole message was passion and dedication and really never giving up,” Olexa said. “She was discouraged from continuing and not really perceived as a great ballerina, but her hard work and dedication drove her forward.”

Among the crowd of 85 at last week’s dinner were Ben Vereen, Cathleen Black, Jennette Chang, Yeohlee, Adrienne Landau, Fern Mallis, Ruth Finlay, Francine LeFrak, R.J. Graziano, Kay Unger, Carole Hochman and Jane and Peter Elfers.

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