2015 Ambassadors

We are excited to announce our five 2015 Little Black Dress Ambassadors:

  • Carol Denninghoff
  • Stella Grove
  • Missy Martinette
  • Tina Patel
  • Barbara Williamson


Carol 2014 closeCarol, a native Missourian, has lived in Columbia since 1958 and has been a dedicated member of the real estate community since 1975.

She is a founding partner of House of Brokers Realty, Inc. and is a member of the Columbia and National Board of Realtors.

Carol enjoys traveling, learning Spanish, playing bridge, reading, attending concerts, plays and movies, and is involved in the music and art community in Columbia.



Stella_LBD  About me in one word: Passionate

My hobbies: Things I love to do in my spare time – crystallize ANYTHING and everything. I also love taking my dogs Winston and Stumpy to the dog park. I recently took up kickboxing and my favorite hobby will be spoiling my new baby nephew silly!

The perfect afternoon in Columbia: My perfect afternoon in Columbia would be to come downtown with my husband Tony. I love dropping by Kent’s Floral to visit my best friend Jeremy. We would grab some lunch in the window at Tellers and complete the day sitting one the patio at Trops with my favorite drink.

Lask book or magazine I read: I love to stay on point with all of the current fashions and trends. My coffee table is always stacked with Vogue, InStyle, Marie Claire and of course US Weekly is a favorite!

What’s in my cup holders/ glove box: Change! Working downtown and facing the parking meter challenge each day I always make sure to keep LOTS of it in my car. In my glove box I keep about 15 lip glosses (each outfit requires a certain color) chapstick, and my St. Christopher medal that is very important to me.

One woman I admire and why: Barbara Hodges of True North. I really admire her for all of her hard work in the community as an ambassador for the Chamber, a strong member in her church but most important how she has impacted the lives of battered and abused women in our community. All while making it safer environment for us all. Barbara is always so positive and devoted to spreading the word and raising awareness for such a wonderful organization. You can truly see the passion in her eyes when she describes her work and why she does it. Just a great lady all around!

 Advice I have for other women trying to find success: No goal is unattainable. Most importantly always trust your instinct. Life will throw you curve balls but I always trust God will never place anything on your shoulders he doesn’t think you can handle. Work somewhere you love to go and love to do and you will never feel like you have worked a day in your life!

Favorite place in Columbia to find the perfect LBD? My Sister Circus of course! We carry lines you won’t find anywhere else in town or in the surrounding areas. Our number one goal is achieving high customer satisfaction and always giving our honest opinion whether that results in a sale or not. We carry a great selection and a variety of sizes helping you find that perfect Little Black Dress!


Missy Martinette is the owner and publisher of International Award Winning LO Profile magazine and parent company Studio M Publishing, LLC. In addition, she currently hosts several local radio shows in connection with the magazine called “People, Places and Profiles.”

Missy was born in Columbia and is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts/Graphic Design. She has owned her graphic design and publishing agency since 1987. Her accomplishments include recognition in the fields of graphic arts, business identification models, marketing, TV, radio and publishing. PROFILE has been awarded both Platinum and Gold distinctions from the International Academy of the Visual Arts and the International Mar/Com Awards for design, writing and overall Consumer Magazine.

A native of Kansas City, Missy has been living at the Lake of the Ozarks for the past 28 years. She is actively involved in Lake area community events and serves on several charitable committees including past President of the Ozark Coast Kiwanis Club and Co-Chairman of the Christmas of Kids Benefit. She is a member of the Board of Directors to the Camden County Water District #4, the Citizens Board to Lake Ozark Fire Protection District, a member of the Lake Arts Council, Marine Dealers Association, Lake Area Chamber, Camdenton Chamber and Lake West Chambers, the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau, Missouri Press Association, Missouri Association of Publications and the University of Missouri Alumni Association.

Missy is mother to two children Mira, 16, and Jace, 12, and has plans to marry in June 2015 to Gary Pinkel.


TinaPatelLBDTina was born in India and moved to the United States when she was five. She, her mother and sister moved to Kansas City to be closer to her uncle and his family. After graduating from high school, Tina moved to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri and has made Columbia her home for the past 25 years. She is active in her community and has had the honor of planning events for many of Columbia’s notable fundraisers, University events, and has shared in many special events for fellow citizens. Her experience in Columbia’s hospitality industry include, four years at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, six years at The University Club, and five years as the owner of Bleu Restaurant and Wine Bar and Blue Catering. Currently, she is the Director of Events at the Country Club of Missouri.

Outside of work, Tina enjoys spending time with her friends, her dog Josie and catching up on her reading. She loves to cook and most of her free time is spent in her kitchen or reading her favorite cooking magazines or cookbooks.


Barbara Williamson, affectionately known as “Dr. B,” is Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Educational, School and Counseling Psychology at the University of Missouri. She is also Associate Director of the Coalition for Cultural Competence.

Most recently, she and MU colleagues, Juanamaria Cordones Cook and Julie Middleton, co-produced the documentary, Battle: Change from Within, which has won critical acclaim at statewide and national film festivals, and was a 2014 Emmy nominee for best documentary. The Battle documentary has special meaning to Barbara as Eliot Battle, an educator and early advocate for equal rights in Columbia, was a close friend and mentor, along with his wife, Muriel Battle. Through her membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, she helps to raise funds for the Muriel Battle Scholarship, which supports students in their post-secondary academic pursuits.

With previous ties to the Columbia community, having resided here in the late 60’s and early 70’s, Barbara returned in 2001, amazed to see its progress and change. Since then, she has been actively engaged and has served on numerous boards, including the Central Missouri Food Bank, Community Foundation of Central Missouri, Boys and Girls Club, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and MU Friends of Music. She is also an active member of the Columbia Downtown Rotary Club.

On a personal note, her husband, Handy Williamson, is Vice Provost for International Programs at the University of Missouri, and their close-knit family includes a daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren who reside in Austin, TX.