One day before Ernest Borgnine was presented with his Lifetime Achievement Award he spent a moment or two with Hope's Anna Gladue

Working the stars

"Clearly being able to shake Ernest Borgnine's hand was exciting, this is a man who at 94 years-old is sharp, kind and works hard like a pro. He is inspiring."

A surprise phone call two weeks ago offered up and delivered a local business owner a great opportunity to hobnob with the stars.

Brushing away her hesitation, it was an opportunity the young entrepreneur just couldn’t resist.

Anna Gladue, headed out on a flight from Vancouver to LA, already booked in at the historic Sportsmen’s Lodge, in Studio City.

In its day the Sportsmen was a hang out for the greats: Clark Gable, Bette Davis, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, and Spencer Tracy. Now it would be home to the small town entrepreneur and owner of Anna’s Incense, for the next few days as she mixed it up with today’s stars Jonathan Silverman, Estelle Harris, Eric Estrada, Marilu Henner, Tommy Davidson, Scott Baio, Chris Atkins, Christopher McDonald, Chris Rich, Tempest Bledsoe, Joe Mantegna, Dot Jones and Ernest Borgnine.

It was Borgnine’s daughter who had made the phone call inviting the owner of the Hope company to her event.

“The event was called “Celebrating the Screen Actors Guild Awards” Gifting Suite. The event coordinator, Nancee Borgnine, of The Borgnine Group, was also celebrating her father, Ernest Borgnine’s, Lifetime Achievement Award.

“My ‘Gifting Suite’ event was on Saturday, January 29, and Mr. Borgnine received his award from Betty White, last year’s recipient, on Sunday, January 30, at the actual awards show,” said the owner of the small internet-based incense manufacturing company.

And Nancee Borgnine’s phone call to the Hope company had come as a big surprise. “I received a phone call out of the blue around January 14th. Nancee told me about the event, and that her sister had recommended that our incense be included in the gifting suite. She thought that my website looked great, professional, and asked if I could put together a booth for her event? I was skeptical at first but eventually decided to go for it,” said Gladue.

Not one to be too star struck, the down to earth incense-impresario got right to work…. setting up and working her well-traveled trade show booth.

“It was a good thing that I brought my sister-in-law Tracie, I had to keep turning around and saying, who is that, who is that….

Each celebrity she met was gifted with a specialty glass sine-wave incense burner, 100 freshly dipped Anna’s Incense Sticks, a fresh sage smudge and a few postcards and business cards – all compliments of Anna’s Incense.

“It was exciting to take my experience with trade shows and sales and apply it to a completely different venue. The event was very much like a tradeshow, but the attendees were celebrities.

“Clearly being able to shake Ernest Borgnine’s hand was exciting, this is a man who at 94 years-old is sharp, kind and works hard like a pro. He is inspiring.”

Over the weekend, Anna also got a chance to work a gift exchange or two with other participants in the show heading home this week with their equally unique products like alcohol-infused whipping cream, a woman’s wishing blanket, organic mints, a Tempur-Pedic teddy bear, and purse made out of the same rubber as ‘DAWGS’.

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