west virginia-native anne hooff moved to charlottesville 20 years ago from washington, d.c. to raise her son in a smaller town that, as she says, both offered a view of the mountains and the varied, vibrant “cultural aspects” of a much larger city. when we met for lunch, i knew i’d like her instantly when she told me she had lived in old town, alexandria, just a few blocks from where i grew up, and from where i am writing this post now.
with a background in public relations, anne worked with luxury hotels, including the ritz and the four seasons, early on, and then, when she came to charlottesville, served as the pr director for keswick hall. she also managed the pr effort for perry cabin, an inn in maryland, as well as a hotel in wales. through working for ashley house hotels, she met most her first and oldest friends in charlottesville. anne is currently the pr director for payne, ross & associates, an advertising and marketing firm in town and works with a wide array of clients and industries.
“everyone has a story,” anne said over her salad, “every encounter is a story.” as a publicist, anne’s career has been focused on finding stories in her clients’ projects, be it the opening of a hotel, or finding multiple angles of a place to produce a number of different stories. it seems natural, then, that anne is drawn to writing short stories herself. anne’s future will definitely include writing—her most recent project is the promotion of castle hill’s readers and writers retreat. hosted by stewart humiston and hugh wilson, the retreat is planned to be held in late may, and will take place over the course of three days. the retreat is going to be very intimate—30 guests and 10 authors—and will include lectures from area writers and workshops for the participants’ own writing.
anne remembers wearing patent leather mary jane’s as a child, and the young sophisticate would tuck the buckle straps under her feet to transform them into black patent leather flats to look older, since adults don’t have to strap their shoes to their feet. now, she wears flats almost exclusively, à la audrey hepburn, save for a pair of lucchese cowboy boots that she wore until they fell apart, and then the company had re-made for her. she never goes anywhere without lipstick, and pulled four different shades out of her pocketbook to show me, along with a few tubes of l’oreal lipgloss. and, of course, sunglasses—she never leaves home without a pair.