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Best Social Butterfly Phoenix 2009 - Raven Valdes

But for her long, black mane and the constant chirping, buzzing, and tweeting of her social-networking accoutrements, you could mistake good-time girl Raven Valdes for a film noir minx. With her exotic dress and carriage, she seems out of another time. The irony, of course, is that she's the very definition of her linked-in age.

The 50-year-old divorced mother of a 10-year-old son has been throwing professionally engineered parties in the Valley since 2004. Thanks to their creative themes and Valdes' innate knack(s) for marketing and detail work — not to mention her 10,000-plus-member database — Raven's dialed-in events draw nightlife crowds that are half the native Texan's age, though her target demo tends more toward business-casual folks in their 30s and 40s. And Raven herself is a core attraction; she personally hosts each gathering, and you'll find her at the center of things, holding court in the eye of the storm.

Her staples are business mixers, happy hours, and charitable events, but several times a year, Raven lets down her jet-black hair and unleashes something massive, like her annual Red Light District Costume Ball at the Wrigley Mansion. Last May's edition featured music by Nineball and DJ Old School, a costume contest, celebrity MCs Amber M. and Amber B. of the Bad Girls Club, and pole-dancing lessons courtesy of the PussyCats Pole Dance Company.

Sound like fun? In classic Valdes style, it was hellacious merriment disguised as a fundraiser for domestic-violence shelters.

That's so Raven.

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