So was Frank Perdue really tough? “Not with me,” cooed widow Mitzi Perdue. “He was a very romantic person.” Hamptons.com caught up with Mitzi at a book party hosted by Sara Herbert-Galloway, Lorraine Cancro Silvetz, and Daniela Zahradnikova, at Daniela’s Space 16 in Soho. Perdue, who has a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard, wrote “Tough Man, Tender Chicken!” as a textbook for business school students, a roadmap for anyone to achieve success, and an insight into the man she loved.
“Frank was incredibly tough in business yet people stayed with him because they wanted to be on a winning team,” she told us. “They admired his integrity and strength. He built a company that employed 119,000 upon his death and sells its products to 113 different countries today, because he was a teacher and a coach. If you stayed with Frank Perdue for five years you probably stayed with him for life. That meant you shared his values and his willingness to work hard and play fair.” We like hearing about a self made magnate who extolled morality as key to happiness and left an “ethical will” to remind his progeny.
Living by those rules, Mitzi was donating all proceeds to charity, this evening’s to the International Committee Against Mental Illness (ICAMI), which deals with PTSD among other issues, and the James Jay Dudley Luce Foundation to support young global leadership, represented by Jim Luce. The Luce Foundation, in partnership with Marietta College in Ohio had recommended “Tough Man, Tender Chicken!” on The New York Times web summer reading list on leadership. Perdue said it’s also Number 6 on Amazon’s best selling business biographies list.
Daniela, who had a Space 16 Pop Up in Southampton last summer, said she will be back, to “celebrate the convergence of art and style.” Look for more paintings, high-end fashion and other artisanal objects of interest… Like the little black dress with a slight architectural twist Mitzi was showing how to wear. Looking good and doing good: Frank would have approved.