Hallie Vanderhider

If you don't know Hallie Vanderhider, chances are you've at least seen her. Equal parts social butterfly and philanthropic powerhouse, she might have even convinced you to donate to one of the many worthy causes she champions locally.

This month, that's the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign, a national movement encouraging women to take charge of their heart health—about 1 in 3 die from heart disease in the U.S., the leading cause of death among women here. Vanderhider, who's chairing the 2019 campaign, is passionate about the cause as she's seen first-hand how high blood pressure can affect even the most "picture-perfect" people, she says, regardless of age, race, background, or wealth, and she believes education is the key to prevention.

A single mom for 28 years with an accomplished, 40-year career in O&G and finance, Vanderhider is the elusive example of "having it all." By day, she serves as managing director of a private equity firm; by night, she dons custom-made ball gowns to fundraise for education and the arts. Her board memberships and trustee positions run the gamut from the Rodeo to the Houston Ballet and Mays Business School at A&M to the Holocaust Museum. She's also earned a slew of accolades, being named a Woman of Distinction, Outstanding Woman in Finance, Texas Executive Woman of the Year, and—naturally—one of Houston's Best Dressed, among other honors.

Next Friday, May 17 Vanderhider will host the 15th annual Go Red for Women Luncheon at the Post Oak Hotel, and this year's event will feature a "purse-onality" auction of fabulous bags—with more fabulous items inside—donated by Vanderhider and other leading ladies in the community. Ahead of the event, we asked Vanderhider to spill her studded Prada tote just for us (spoiler alert: There's a bevy of beauty products). "Who doesn't love a Prada purse?" she says. "This one is the perfect size to fit all my favorite things, but not too big to carry around town."

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