Jan Pottker, author of "Born to Power: Heirs to America's Leading Companies" and the best-selling "Dear Ann, Dear Abby: An Unauthorized Biography of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren," has struck again. This time she's written a book about the multibillion-dollar Mars family empire.
"Crisis in Candyland" recounts some amazing stories about members of the family who run the fifth largest private company in the United States. Mars Inc. makes M&Ms;, Snickers, Three Musketeers, Milky Ways and an array of other products.
This family is so wary of public scrutiny that they wouldn't allow Steven Spielberg to use M&Ms; in "E.T.", so Hershey's gobbled up the offer and sales of Reese's Pieces jumped 70 percent.
Ms. Pottker lives in Potomac with her husband and children. When she's not writing, she is president of a group called Writer's Cramp Inc. and a volunteer with Girl Scouts of the United States of America, Whitman-Walker Clinic and the Montgomery County public school system.
Ronald Bray, French Bray Inc. executive, and his wife, Ellen, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a party in the Constellation Room of the World Trade Center on July 16.
Among the well-wishers who stopped by were Ken and Connie && Johnson from Atlanta; Kathleen and Bryan Gleeson of Dublin, Ireland; Jan and Ordell Braase -- he's a former Colts player and a member of the Maryland Racing Commission; Pert and Jim Mutschellar -- he's also a former Colts player; Hall of Famer Chuck Thompson and his wife, Betty; and Jay and Bob Brown -- he's a former Orioles public relations man.
The Brays' son-in-law is Stephen J. Beshara, an Annapolis artist, who traveled with the Pride of Baltimore II through the waterways of Alaska last year. His lovely watercolors were sold to enhance the coffers of the Pride Foundation.
Mr. Beshara will be traveling with the Pride this summer to Nantucket, Block Island and other parts of the Northeast coast. Another reception is planned for the fall, and his watercolors will again be sold to help benefit the foundation.
Glitter gypsies on the move -- Rumors are that Carol Costello will be leaving Channel 11 in the near future. Could it be that Dina Napoli will be the one sitting next to Rod Daniels -- or perhaps Donna Hamilton? Ms. Napoli is the co-anchor of the station's Saturday and Sunday morning news shows, and she came to Baltimore from KXLY-TV in Spokane, Wash. Ms. Hamilton is co-anchor of the 5 p.m. newscast. I called WBAL-TV news director Dave Roberts, who said, "Carol Costello remains under contract with WBAL-TV." However, he wouldn't comment on when her contract expires . . .
WJZ-TV confirmed that night team reporter Greg Starddard is leaving for an anchor position at WAVY-TV Norfolk. He'll be reunited with former WJZ executive producer Gary Stokes, now news director at WAVY. . . .
Love in the air
Love is in the air for two Baltimore bachelors -- USF&G; lawyer Chuck Stapleton surprised his lady friend, Fran Rossi, this summer with a gorgeous diamond ring. No word yet on the date of that wedding, but Sherri Thompson, Nationsbank VP, and advertising exec Hal Donofrio are being married in August in San Francisco. . . .
Fresh from her volunteer job as chair of the Maryland Science Center's successful fund-raiser, Solstice, Barbara Bozzuto has opened her own business. She and Lance Lowenstein have formed a full-service event-planning and sports marketing company, Bozzuto-Lowenstein, on Water Street.