2023 Celebration Event Co-Chairs

Vida Ali

Vida Ali was born in Trinidad & Tobago, where her parents raised her with the philosophy that “it takes a village” and “always treat everyone as family.” In her own words, “We never closed our doors. As little as we had, we always shared.”

As a child, Vida moved with her family to the Washington, DC area. She began her work life at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the iconic Washington, DC restaurant that was opened in 1958 by Ben and Virginia Ali. In 1984, she relocated to Los Angeles with her husband, Sage Ali. Vida quickly jumped into the music business, first at Virgin Records and then at Capitol Records in Hollywood. In 1992, Vida left Capitol, and in partnership with Sage, she launched her own company, Vida Media Group.

As one of the entertainment industry’s most highly respected publicists, Vida spearheaded national and international media campaigns for numerous recording artists. Her work was critical to the success of superstar MC Hammer, and her campaign helped his career to explode. Over the years, Vida worked with many other legendary artists, including Rachelle Ferrell, Paul McCartney, Garth Brooks, Lenny Kravitz, Janet Jackson, Tina Turner, Prince, Bonnie Raitt, The Beastie Boys, Megadeath, Poison, Grover Washington, Jr., The Whispers, The Beach Boys, Bebe and CeCe Winans, and many more. Vida continued to work with her DC family business by setting up national media campaigns from her VMG West Coast office to bring special attention to the 40th , 45th , 50th and 55th Anniversary celebrations of Ben’s Chili Bowl. Also, we worked with many non-profit organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation to help make difference.

After spending over 25 years in the entertainment business in Hollywood, Vida returned to Washington, DC in 2009 following the death of founder Ben Ali. She is currently working with the family to forward the expansion of the Ben’s Chili Bowl brand as well as the continuation of its legacy in the DC community and beyond. Over the past 60 years, Ben’s has been a significant part of DC history and culture, and Vida’s impact on the brand has been tremendous in terms of publicity and media relations as well as operations.

With all her credentials and experience, Vida is best known for her great integrity and work ethic. Her positive attitude and deep commitment to excellence in everything she undertakes always inspires and brings out the best in those around her. Vida truly cares about people, and as a result, she is masterful at creating a cooperative and mutually supportive team environment in which everyone takes pride in excellence and everyone wins. She has often been referred to as being “the calm in the center of the storm” because she makes doing a great job look easy and fun. Vida strives daily to spread joy in people’s lives. As Ghandi said, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”


John Guggenmos

A native Washingtonian, John was bit by the real estate bug nearly 15 years ago and has been affiliated with DC-based McWilliams Ballard, a leading project development sales, marketing & consulting firm, since 2002. John has assembled a team of DC real estate & neighborhood experts who know all the ins & outs of the DC Metro condo market, making CondoNest the premier resale expert in the nation’s capital. Guggenmos has experience across an array of product lines, whether selling condominiums, lofts, townhouses, or unique style row homes, and he has sold properties ranging from $200,000 to more than $6.5 million. He has also managed all aspects of the sales process, from hands-on sales, marketing, preview events, model staging and design, continuous client communications, and pre-settlement orientations.

The breadth of real estate knowledge Guggenmos brings to the table makes him a trusted Realtor®, whether for clients buying a house for the first time or for those ready to re-sell. Guggenmos has also worked closely with an array of developers, such as Adams Investments, The Carlyle Group, and Jair Lynch, watching properties evolve from the ground up, which allows him to speak intelligently about each new construction property, even before units go on the market.

Guggenmos is a true entrepreneur, always diving into new small business ventures. When not focusing on real estate, Guggenmos is a member of the District’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission, proudly giving back to the DC community. Guggenmos also enjoys taking advantage of the latest technology gadgets and traveling.


Bryan N. Tramont

Bryan is widely recognized as one of the nation’s top media and communications lawyers. A relentless advocate, Bryan is sought after by clients ranging from Fortune 50 companies to innovative startups for his exceptional understanding of spectrum management, transactions and strategic advocacy before multiple regulatory agencies. His commitment to excellence brings both loyal clients and leading industry honors.

Bryan’s years as Chief of Staff at the Federal Communications Commission under Chairman Michael Powell, along with his earlier work at the agency and beyond, give him a profound understanding of the often complex legal, political and regulatory environments where his clients operate. His keen instincts for achieving results have been honed at the center of the industry.

In addition to his role as Managing Partner, Bryan also leads the strategy and implementation of WBK’s award-winning communications, media and technology team, and directs client management and development.

Bryan lives by the pay it forward ethos, a philosophy he’s helped to infuse throughout WBK. He gives generously of his time and talents to support the community. Whether as a speaker, educator or thought-leader, Bryan is always focused on helping others succeed and encouraging the next generation to thrive.

By supporting the 135th Anniversary Celebration, you can help us ensure that hundreds of teen girls continue to thrive.