December 10, 2023
Editor’s Letter: Inside Robb Report’s Ultimate Gift Guide Issue
Star Wars and mince pies. But mostly Star Wars. That’s what comes to mind in my earliest recollections of the holidays: Along with The Morecambe & Wise Show Christmas special (probably just a British thing), there was an overriding obsession with a galaxy far, far away. Like most children of the late ’70s and ’80s, I collected Star Wars figures and vividly recall re-creating the planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back on my bedroom floor back in the U.K. Wrapping paper was strewn about me, doubling as the rebel base, as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in his navy parka did battle against the evil stormtroopers before breakfast on Christmas morning. Over time, I tuned in to the particular pleasure of giving presents, too, although I wasn’t terribly good at keeping them secret. In fact, I doubt my mom and dad were genuinely surprised by anything I gave them until I was a teenager, thanks to my habit of blurting out not-so-subtle “hints” at every opportunity. I’m still pretty poor at that: As I write this, in November, I’ll admit to having given my wife one of her gifts already, just because I knew she’d like it. So, to this year’s Giving Issue, which combines, in part, all of the above. While I can’t offer Star Wars toys, the list of wonders in our Ultimate Gift Guide this time around is spectacular. The team have really outdone themselves, working with some of your favorite brands to create one-of-a-kind items or experiences—and often both together—that are simply not available anywhere else in the world. There’s a week with chef Eric Ripert in Grand Cayman , foraging, fishing, and cooking, with private jets and yachts sprinkled liberally throughout the experience. We’ve secured exclusive access to jeweler David Yurman’s private vault , from which you can select a unique gem and collaborate with him and his son, Evan, to design your custom piece. And there are driving lessons from F1 champion Jenson Button in your new Radford supercar, together with a place in the lineup at Goodwood’s Hillclimb at the Festival of Speed, where you and Button will put the limited-edition beast through its paces. That’s far from all. How about an expedition across an unexplored section of Antarctica; a bespoke picture from one of the team behind Avatar; a barrel of the first rum distilled in Monaco ; a rare Dunhill lighter and cocktail shaker from the 1930s; or a collection of Napa-estate Cabernet Sauvignon magnums ? Take your pick. But be quick; most of these are one-of-ones—so once they’re gone, they’re gone! Our Giving Issue is about more than just gifts, of course. We look at the often-arduous journey toward launching your own charity , asking those who have done it to share the challenges they encountered, so your path to 501(c)(3) status—and mission success—can be considerably smoother. And recognizing that the holidays can be the most fraught time of the year, we examine the ways to outsource stress and delegate anxiety—from party planners and other seasonal staffers to design agencies that will transform your tree (or in one case, your 68 trees, 650 feet of garlands, and 26 wreaths) or turn your house into a Hanukkah haven. Sticking with a celebratory theme, we look into the trend of installing bars in our homes , because sometimes the very best party is the one just a short stagger away from the bedroom. And we suggest a chic update to the tuxedo, for those wanting to stand out a little this season. Happy holidays from all of us here, and I’ll see you in the New Year.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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