Philanthropy in Style: Tray Rescigno

SocialAtlanta caught up with the philanthropist and entrepreneur as she visited the flagship shop of British designer Alexander McQueen to get suited for Paris Fashion Week.

Tray Rescigno
Tray Rescigno

Meet Tray Rescigno, a native Atlantan entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded ELEVATE, a not-for-profit professional services organization that delivers leadership development programs for community leaders who want to enhance their impact on society. Rescigno is also involved in Cure for Children’s Cancer, Lunches for Learning, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Alzheimer’s Association and several charities supporting autism awareness.

“My role is to give back to the community and give back financially every step of the way,” says Rescigno. “And I love to contribute to these events in a very fashionable way. My goal for the next Alzheimer’s Association gala is to raise $100,000. All the events that I will personally be putting on for this cause will be remarkable- I will do one event a month starting in November and ending in May.”

The Buckhead resident does all of this – work, contribute and lead – with great style. She says she’s equally at home in the front row of Milan Fashion Week wearing head-to-toe couture as she is in a puffy tracksuit while trekking the snow-topped peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro. She’s also got a style worthy of the attention of luxury British fashion house Alexander McQueen, where at the flagship Atlanta boutique in Phipps Plaza, she worked with the team to curate pieces for her packed itinerary at Paris Fashion Week, which she’ll attend this month.

SocialAtlanta’s Dana Shemesh had the opportunity to meet her there and discuss her life both behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

What is your morning routine?

I have a double espresso, and 20 seconds of breathing and meditation, then its hair in a bun and ready for a workout.

How would you describe your personal style?

I look at style more than the energy that I bring, more than what I’m wearing.  I express myself in a strong, confident but casual way, more like a Californian – yet I’m here in Atlanta.

What is your background in business?

I owned and operated a real estate development and acquisition company, and then went back to school in my 30’s, and then was involved with entrepreneurial projects – developing small business and then selling them.

What is your view on fashion and can a person seek both style and substance?

A lot of people think of fashion as a vain, self-centered type of behavior and the general public may think it does not have a lot of substance, and turn that into something for a greater good.  Everyone loves to get dressed up, go to social events, see people they haven’t seen in a long time, and give back to their community. It’s nice to be able to combine that all together in a way that honors those associations and ultimately may help combat some diseases.

What’s your favorite cultural activity here in Atlanta?

I have some benchmark favorites which include the annual Lighting of the Christmas Tree at Lenox Mall, The Peachtree Road Race, and distributing Turkeys for the Homeless on Thanksgiving.

Who is your style icon?

If it were to be one – I would pick Princess Diana, she had a way of entering a room in a chic and sensible way, it was always elegant, it was her entering the room, because of the energy she brought to the room people took notice what she was wearing. It was the combination of energy, philanthropy and fashion that is a triple threat.

What book is on your bedside table?

Tell Yourself a Better Lie by Marissa Peer, it’s a fantastic book which discusses transformational empowerment so that you can edit your story for a different life.  I have read it several times and learn something new every time I read it.

Tray Rescigno
Tray Rescigno
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