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article imageChicago the scene for divas and social butterflies Special

By Kay Mathews     Jan 13, 2011 in Lifestyle
Chicago - The Windy City was aflutter when Maven presented the “Social Butterflies” as part of its Diva Series. The night included Maven founder Sarah Vargo and a Social Butterfly who talk about the event designed to celebrate successful female entrepreneurs.
Vargo is the founder and president of Maven. Being a “connection” agency is the essence of Maven. Vargo stated, “I love hosting networking events and doing social media for clients. We are a connection agency in every sense of the word.”
Vargo “developed Maven after working at some of the nation’s top talent agencies and promotional companies,” including International Creative Management (ICM) and Le Passage.
Maven projects include events such as Chicago Social, Bravo TV reality starts, MTV’s Will from “The Real World XX: Hollywood,” and Emperor’s New Clothes. It is, however, the Diva Series that Vargo describes as her “favorite” among the many projects she coordinates.
In an interview conducted via e-mail, I asked Vargo about the Diva Series’ backstory. Vargo stated:
"I started the Diva Series 2.5 years ago. I really felt the need to bring women together in Chicago to create a collaborative environment where leaders are recognized. I also wanted to motivate and inspire up and coming entrepreneurs. I wanted to get women in the same room who may be competitors and encourage appreciation and understanding. Many women leaders often don’t get a pat on the back and I wanted them to step back, smell the roses and feel good about what they have accomplished. I want them to support, love and encourage each other."
Vargo was quick to point out what is meant by the title of the series. “A Diva is truly not a Diva in the sense of the word (tongue in cheek). She is out there making her dreams happen, has confidence and usually needs recognition because she is too busy working hard to have a prima donna attitude,” she said. “But every woman should be treated like she is a queen! These are the women who deserve to take a step back and be pampered. They are often working so hard they forget how amazing they are! I want to remind them of that!”
When asked about the specifics of the event, Vargo said, “It’s a casual and fun networking cocktail party where the ladies can get to know each other in a fun and festive environment” and is held “at Jbar on the first Thursday of each month from 6-9PM.”
The themed event honors women in Fashion, Beauty, Media, Public Relations, Philanthropy, Culinary Arts, Fitness and much more. Some of the themes include Beautiful Gems (Women in Beauty and Fashion), Media Mavens (Media and PR), Fashionistas (Women in Fashion), Players (Women in Fitness), and Angels (Philanthropy).
List of January s  Social Butterflies  Divas.  Maven event at JBar.  Chicago  IL  Jan. 6  2011
List of January's "Social Butterflies" Divas. Maven event at JBar. Chicago, IL Jan. 6, 2011
Courtesy of Maralyn Owen
The theme for the Diva Series event held in January was “Social Butterflies.” The title of the event speaks for itself in terms of the twelve women honored. Each enthusiastically participates in a range of social activities in Chicago and encourages others to do so as well.
Vargo was asked about the selection process that eventually led to twelve women being designated as “Social Butterflies. Vargo explained, “When I ask women to participate in the event, all of them have the opportunity to be Divas if they are available. There is no selection process after that… Typically we honor about 10-15 women each month. I simply ask them to be involved and they are crowned a Diva. There is no contest or competition after that.”
One of the women crowned as a “Social Butterfly” Diva was Maralyn Owen. Owen, who is the Administration Manager at Suite Partners, Inc./Kenmore Live Studio, described the evening. She said there was “free champagne for the Divas and we were given sets of butterfly wings. It was held at the Jbar, which is the bar in the James Hotel, a wonderful little boutique hotel in Chicago.”
Maralyn Owen and Becky Harris  two of the 12  Social Butterflies  honored by Maven.  Chicago  IL  Ja...
Maralyn Owen and Becky Harris, two of the 12 "Social Butterflies" honored by Maven. Chicago, IL Jan. 6, 2011.
Courtesy of Maralyn Owen
“It was great to see my fellow Social Butterflies...I knew about half of them so it was great to meet the other women,” said Owen. “Sarah's events are always great networking events...she's an awesome party planner. She had a slideshow on the wall showing all the Social Butterflies! It was just fun hanging out with the women I knew and love!”
In terms of how the Diva Series gives back to the community, Vargo stated:
"We currently are working with The Aparecio Foundation. The Aparecio Foundation is a registered, non-profit, 501(c)(3) charity. Every dollar donated goes toward our mission to fund mentoring, academic assistance, and scholarship programs for high-potential, low-income women in Chicago Public High Schools. We are working on various projects down the road and our main objective now is connecting the Aparecio Foundation with big donors and using the Diva Series as a platform to promote the charity's mission.”
For more information about Maven, please visit its website. General inquiries can be e-mailed to
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