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FROM OLYMPIC GOLD
TO SOLID GROUND

The Hardiek Azzi Family

By Alexandra Fee and Dennis Strazulo

As we gear up to watch the Tokyo Olympic Games, and in honor of the Olympic spirit, Mill Valley Living is excited to be featuring the Hardiek Azzi family: Jennifer Lynn Azzi – a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist in Women’s Basketball and current Associate Vice President, Development at University of San Francisco – and her wife, Blair Hardiek, also a former collegiate basketball player and current Global Technical Director for the NBA. The couple and their budding family – including son Macklin (4), daughter Camden (14 months), loyal English Bulldog, Ella and their adorable, fluffy cat, Mr. Whitey – have settled in Mill Valley and couldn’t be more content. And busy! 

Due to a last-minute schedule change it was late afternoon on Memorial Day when we arrived simultaneously with the Hardiek Azzi’s at their home, for what rivals as our most entertaining  interview to date. Despite having just spent a long day at Six Flags Amusement Park in Vallejo, with two toddlers, we were greeted with genuine smiles and the kind of warmth you’d expect from friends you hadn’t seen in years. Soon after the interview started, Blair quietly slipped away and returned with a plate of hors d’oeuvres and took a seat next to Jennifer, who was nonchalantly sipping her water from a glass baby bottle! 

Jennifer began by taking us back to her childhood. She grew up in a small town in Tennessee with a “ton of love” in her family.  Her mother coached her T-ball team and she affectionately referred to her dad as an early “girl dad”. But her basketball prowess sprouted early and organically.  At age four, her nursery school principal summoned her parents to show them Jennifer making shots on a 10-foot basketball hoop!  Without much thought, playing basketball almost immediately became all she wanted to do. Though she was more than capable, she didn’t play in boys’ leagues as a youth, but instead paved her way playing Bitty Ball on 8-foot hoops, gradually honing her skills and developing into a standout high school player at Oak Ridge High (’86).

University of Texas graduate of Art History and English, and New Orleans native, Donna Seager’s original intention to write about art shifted to directly  immersing herself in the art world by working in art galleries — in New Orleans on Royal Street and then on to Boston where she was a director of a gallery on Newbury Street.  She eventually landed in the Bay Area where she worked for various galleries, including stints with  fellow  gallerists, Kim Eagle -Smith and Robert Green. Through her experience, Donna developed her own aesthetic which led her to open Donna Seager Gallery in 2005 on Fourth street in San Rafael to showcase her particular appreciation of works of art.
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Photography by Laura Reoch,
September-Days Photography
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is May2021_main-cover-photo.jpgPOURING THEIR “ART” OUT IN MILL VALLEY
Donna Seager & Suzanne Gray

Beginning with Susan Cummins Gallery and Robert Green Fine Arts who paved the way as the first original art galleries, Mill Valley has emerged as a bonafide destination for fine art with its exceptional art galleries. Seager/Gray has now been joined by Kim Eagles-Smith Gallery’s relocation here from San Francisco and most recently, Emebet Korn with Desta Gallery, originally in San  Anselmo. Read more
What is Functional Medicine?
Covid-19 has pushed wellness from a luxurious indulgence to a must-have. As the world broke through the astounding milestone of 100 million known Covid-19 cases, wellness no longer is seen as a ‘nice-to-have’, but rather a ‘must-have’. Read more
Judi ShilsQueen of Green Judi Shils. Her Path to Turning Green
April 22, 2021 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, Earth Day which provided a voice for the emerging public consciousness about the state of our planet 51 years ago. Read more
MUSIC SPOTLIGHT

The Jaime Clark Band
If you happened to be walking or biking between downtown Mill Valley and the Blithedale Park on a Saturday afternoon last month, you likely stopped in your tracks to identify the pleasing music emanating from Miller Grove – a magical slice of forest nestled alongside Arroyo Corte Madera Creek. Read more
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cover-only-893x1024.jpgThe B-Side — Beyond the Stage
Meet the Hagars
The impact of rock and roll is far-reaching, and often instrumental in raising social consciousness and awareness. It also acts as a rallying cry to bring people together for a cause, evoking powerful feelings and emotions. Accordingly, some rock musicians do so much more than just entertain.
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For the LOVE of Mill Valley
Meet Joshua Deitch
It is no secret that charisma is a trait many successful people share. Upon meeting Joshua (“Josh”) Deitch, it took little time for Mill Valley Living to recognize his magnetism and well-rounded persona. Read more
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Smithcover-683x1024.jpgThe Future is BRIGHT
Meet Caitlin & Olivia Smith
2020 brought the promise of a great new decade and year, and with it, Covid-19 . It undoubtedly changed the world and placed us all in the center of countless history books to come. But, like so many other difficult times in history, there is a wisdom that rises from the ashes, from the tragedy and isolation. Read more
HAPPINESS IS…
THE PERFECT EQUATION

In the words of Charlie Brown, happiness is…Ed Bogas and Désirée Goyette…a perfect equation of happiness built on a foundation of love, music, passion and community. Read more

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