Coolest Philanthropist - 2009
Amy Vennema may be Manhattan's truest meeting of style and substance. The designer behind AV max, the successful national fashion jewelry line (Bloomingdale's is a carrier), is also one of the founding members of New York Cares, the wonderfully expansive local charity that brings more than 43,000 volunteers to soup kitchens, convalescent halls, food drives, and more. This June, Vennema hosted a sample sale for her classy baubles, with a whopping 50 percent of the proceeds benefiting her charity. That kind of do-goodery is pretty hard to find anywhere, let alone in the self-satisfied orbit of luxury goods; Vennema deserves a very glittery hug for doing so much for the disadvantaged.